Transcript for Tucker, James, [Autobiography], in "Father James Tucker Honored; Family Meets in Big Reunion," Deseret News, 25 June 1921, 4:7
James Tucker, son of John and Susan Blackmore Tucker, was born at Eastdown Parish, Devonshire, England, July 22, 1836. The story of his long and busy life, as told by himself, is as follows, in part:
"My schooling was very limited—only about four months. Most of my early life was passed in my father's tailor shop, where under his instruction I learned the tailoring art. When 14 years old, I was bound by contract for five years to my uncle, John Blackmore, to learn the cordwainer trade. After two years my uncle died, and I served under Robert Conbear two years. Then for one shilling per day I served one year under John Prediux. When about 19 years old I went to Exeter, the capital of Devonshire, for further instruction for one year. Returning to the residence of my father, at Kentisbury, at the age of 20 I started busienss for myself as a cordwainer, or shoemaker.
"This continued three years. About the age of 23 I became acquainted with 'Mormon' elders, who visited that locality, teaching the everlasting gospel. Study of the scriptures and earnest prayer, brought me a testimony that what they taught was true. I was baptized in October, 1859, and thus became a member of the L. D. S. Church. The un-popularity of the 'Mormon' doctrine caused some of my friends and patrons to forsake me. The spirit of gathering to Zion rested upon me and in March 1860, I made preparation to emigrate.
"Previous to this I had formed a very friendly acquaintance with Betsy Lerwil, who also had joined the Church, she and I in company with our esteemed friend Richard Fry, his wife, Ann and about 500 others, sailed on the ship 'Underwriter' March 29 and landed after about five weeks in New York.
"From there we journeyed by boat and railroad to the outfitting post at Florence, Nebraska. Here about five weeks were consumed in making preparation to continue the journey across the great plains to the valleys beyond the Rocky Mountains.