Blair, Seth Millington, Reminiscences and journals, 1851-1868, vol. 2, 104-34.
- Related Companies
- Seth M. Blair/Edward Stevenson Company (1855)
M. 3rd & Sat. to day the Spring has sett in for good[.] a most lovely day & Br. M Jones Started for Camp [.eady], I t[r]uly hope we will All get off next week[.] things the past week have been arrainged agreeable to the Spirit of prophecy as gave through me last Sunday Eve[n]ing at Pray[er] Meeting[.] James Yorks has just retur[n]ed and & brings news that Brother Johnson who has been Several days [illegible] and is incoming And
March 25. Encamped 6 miles north of Marlin Falls Co Texas[.] left Port Sul[l]ivan the 9th & Camp Geddy 20th in a slow and ongoing move as all of our camp is not yet up being so long delayed with their business. The weather is dry and windy & our prospects are tolerab[l]e good[.] wrote home yesterday and by special request and invitation I yesterday preached in Martin and I preached to a respectable congregation of Gentiles but after riding 6 miles with 2 of the sister[s] and Bro[ther] Tyler and after singing & praying & preaching for 2 hours no one said in the place come and eat a crust of bread with me—I then called at the Hotel and ordered ..... & such a one as I would not have eat had I have had a better. The Land Lord once stole a gun from me—his name is Sam[ue]l, Blair—to attempt to record the various blessings of God is impossible & the Care & vexation of the camp travelli[n]g & c[.] I am daily surprised at the Goodness of God—I have preached by the way & desire now to cease public Speaking for a Season.
March 30th This day Baptized my Bro. Alonzo S. Blair[,] James York[,] W[illia]m Shaw and Sister [blank space] Raiban who we left[.] She came to us & heard the Gospel & arose and obeyed. Lord bless her.
April 1,st On Consecration Creek 20 m[iles] from Martin—we encamped hear on yesterday at Noon from the fact that I had such a Sevear attack of palpitation of the Heart & debility that I thought I was unable to travell which was true for I thought I should not live long at one time and felt the most Singular impression I ever felt—viz that the Camp must be Sanctified by Sacrafice[.] Such feelings!! oh! my Soul I never felt & I involuntarly felt to Say oh! Lord hear I am and it seemd the Lord would not take me & it turned on the people & they wear required to offer their all unto the Lord which they did & it Seemed their all was aright[.] The whole matter I do not yet understand[.] This day we have travelled—none bei[n]g Sunday[.] we have kept as a fast day unto the Lord & I am better
Apr. 2nd travelled 15 m[iles]. good grass. 3rd today we have travelled 16 m[iles] and campd at present on Ash Creek & we have a poor prospect for good grass. The weather being dry and windy and the ground is so very dry that the grass can not grow—my health has been viz yet very feeble but Since],] I prayd for health this ev[ening]. Since we stoped I feel Eencourgd & feel I will now get—well[.] Lord God grant it I pray Thee for Christ Jesus Sake Amen.
F[riday] 6. Encamped on Mill creek whear I camped 6 years ago on my road to the Valley[.] Yesterday visited my Uncle Thos J Jordan Brother of my Mother—we are waiting for grass &c poor prospect a head[.] Still I pray the Lord to bless us & open up the way that we may pass on—frost last night[.] my health feeble—I think of leaving Soon for St. Louis
S[unday] 8. in camp[.] 20 m[iles] S of Wasahacthy [.] health a little better[.] the State of mind of the Camp. Oh! dout I did not know this was in morminism [Mormonism.] poor Saints how close they Stick to the God of Man or—how jealous They are[.] Oh Me I am tired of men & things & feel to Say Lord this is thy work Thy will be done—wrote home today. Weather nights cold days dry & warm[.] grass poor. Some Stock loss[e]d Saints loose the Spir[i]t & all goes wrong—when Sick I want to be at home—This is the Conference Sabbath[.] I wish & pray unto the Lord for the Spirit of the Conference & pray that the people may be greatly blessed & have all given that they Can Receive & that they it appreciate—
Apr 13. to day Encamped at or near Quertores in 3 m[iles] of the Toun [town] of Dallas, on Trinity River & 80 m from Red River. At this place I Encamped for the river to face 6 years ago on my to the Mountains—The weather is still beautifull & grass pretty good & we have a fair prospect of a fine Season to travell. The health of the camp is fair. my own is improving. The Spirit of the Camp is not good & I feel often times grieved to dwell with those who do not appreciate the blessi[n]gs They Enjoy neither live for the Kingdom of God[.] Envy & jealousey is the Companion of Self will and ignorance—This is a beautiful Country & Dallas is a flourishi[n]g little village—as well as Waxahatchie [Waxahachie.] I hope to leave for St. Louis Soon[.] Still the time is uncertain[.] The Rivers are all low and no navigation with a prospect of a drou[g]th this Season again. My friend Tho G Gordan lives near Millford in Ellis Co. Tex[as]—
15th today is a day to be long remembered by this camp of the Saints as I refered to on the last page[.] an unprofitable Spir[i]t had pervaded the service of a few leading brethern & only 3 or 4 of them—as refered to & the Spirit had long been grieved & at Camp prayr[.] the Lord in Spir[i]t Spoke in terms not to be mistaken which cause all to yield their wills more to the Spir[i]t allthough Some means of the Spir[i]t that once with Stood Moses through ganes & Gambres but the power of God prevailed & we had a profitable meeting & again the Spir[i]t of our Father & God is with the Camp & I feel full of rejoicing for the blessings theiroff [thereof].
A Gentile Dream Old Man Queiton & old mobocrat—Says he dreamed while persecuting the Saints that the Mormons would prevail against all other denomi[n]ation—2nd & that 18 y[ears] ago he dream[e]d they would go to the Mountains &c[.] The particulars I will relate & not write just now—
Apr 23rd Encamped in the Cochtaw [Choctaw] & Chickasaw Nation 6 m[iles] fr[om] Preston having yesterday crossed R[ed] River[.] all in good health & fair Spir[i]ts. I Enca[m]ped On this Spot in 49 on my way to Zion[.] The weather is good & grass fine & all have returned to camp who wear out on basness & my Bro. has got my horse which ran off—just as I thought[.] & I Thank the Lord for it & all his blessings.
I have left Tex[as] the field of my missionary labor The Land whear [where] I first & last felt grief & I feel gratefull to my Heave[n]ly Father for his mercies & blessing that he has granted me in preaching the gospel & gathering out the honest in heart[.] yea my Heavenly Father I thank The[e] in the Holy name of Jesus & the Holy Spir[i]t for Thy Mercys [Mercies] & blessings unto me
St. Louis May 21st On the 28th of Apr[il] I left in Comp[an]y near Fort Boggy depo[t] Chickasaw nation for this place in company with Tho[mas]. L. Green for the purpose of purchaseing & outfit &c for our people the distance from Bog[g]y Depo[t] to Independence is near 450 m[iles] travelling on the West side of grand river[.] crossing The Arkansas river at Bradys Ferry & The Grand River at Allbertys Ford from thence via Soots Mills to Independace [Independence]
This 14th crossed the Trinity river passing North of Dallas[.] 3 m[iles.] Saw the Ed of the Da[llas] Herald—He promised to forward a few copys of his next no. [number] to friends—noticing our comp[an]y &c encamped for the night 4 or 5 m[iles] from Dallas. good place & all well & feel first rate & Thank the Lord for it is his blessing—
20th Encamped for the night in 15 m[iles] of Red R[iver] & the Town of Preston[.] Camp pretty well[.] Water Scarce for the first time[.] drouth [drought] continues[.] grass fine[.] country rolling & beautifull[.] Since the 14th we have traveled[.] finely [finally] laid in Suply of flour at Witts Mills on Elm fork of Trinity 16 m[iles] from Dallas[.] had & invitation to preach at night & did to to a large congregation & allthough my health was feeble the Lord gave me great power & I spoke to the Joy of the Saints & the astonishment of the Gentile—lost a horse last night[.] he run of[f] probably[.] my Bro[ther]. Alonzo is gone back for to hunt him[.] I have oft times Serious reflections on my health &c & oft[en] feel lonely—this is a sparssely timbered country & lime Stone Watters[.] Our Stock Seam to be improving & indeed the Especial blessings of the Lord seems to be around & about us—& a promise to the Saints last winter that "we I felt would cross Red R[iver] without having our waggon Sheets wett with rain" Seems to be about to be verified & Strange[.] it is for this is certainly the most rainy country in the Spring I am acquainted with & their [there] has not fel[l] a rain on us for 3 mo[nths.] I feel to rejoice at the prospect of leaving the borders of Texas So Soon & if the Lord is pleased I am Sattisfied
Arrived at St. Louis May 8th was rec[ieve]d by Bro. Snow & bretheren with a warm welcom[e.] in my travell I found one Mormon family in Mo. [Missouri] & heard of Some in the Cherokee Nation—I found letters hear [here] from my 2 wives and little son Seth which gave me great joy & sattisfaction to hear from them. The Lord has blessed me exceedingly Since I have been hear & I have preached once & have a promis[e] to preach again to day—as it is noticed in the gentile papers—
I have mett hear Elders W[illia]m Pitt[,] W[illia]m Glover[,] Noah Guyman McMullen[,] Benj[amin] Brown[,] Charles W Bassett & others who have been on Mission[s] all of whom I mett in joy & with allso Br[other] Allred
I hope to complete my purchases & get off this week I find the health of the City good but the Cholera Seems to take off ocasionally[.] Some of the Saints at Atchinson on the M[iss]o[uri] River our Outfitting point. The news from the Plains is gloomy to some. The Rains here is more frequent than through the South whear I have travelled haveing found a general drouth [drought] prevailing from Texas to the Mo River allmost—in my travell I was weak & thought more than once I Should have to Stop by The way—Still The Lord has blessed me abundantly & I feel well & desire to gather out quickly—The River is low & freights very high—many of the P[erpetual]. E[migrating]. fund Emigrants are hear & coming from Europe bound for the valleys.
With feelings of grattitude beyond Expression I record the fact that I have fullfilled my mission & have this day left St. Louis on the Lt. Boat! 'Alma' for Home having purchased for myself Some 15 or 20,000$ worth of goods & merchandize & been blessed in all & everything from the day I left home untill this time the Lord having granted unto me Every desire of my heart in wrighteousness [righteousness]. I have asked and truly I feel blessed & feel to record for the blessing of others[.] The truth that God is a Father unto his faithfull Servants & I desire all to acknowledge him as Lord of Lords & God of Our proptes [prophets] & appostles of this day & generation. I have the privelege of the Company of Elder Daniel Spencer[,] Earl Riser[,] gm Barton & Several of the Saints & in deed we are free & Easey haveing The Controle allmost of Every thing aboard—
And amongst the precious po[r]tion of Our Cargo we have the remains of our beloved & worthy Saint & Martyred Servant of The Lord Elder W[illia]m W Majors who died in London, Eng[land], & who was a High priest & one of the Quorum of the Circle of High Priests who mett weekley in The Temple to offer up & invoke agreeable to the order of that House the blessings of God on his people[.] he was as a Saint[.] he died a martyr & a friend & Bro[ther] whom I loved & I hope get to mingle with his Spirit in the Paradise of God.
During my Sojourn in St. Louis I preached Each Sabboth [Sabbath] & did all I could to comfort The Brethern & aid them to the Valley[,] have several with me & during my Stay I work[e]d as well for myself & bretheren as I could Even having & eye to build up the Kingdom all I Can—
June. 2nd To day I preached aboard the Boat the Captain & officers being pleased as well as passengers to hear me & I have not felt very comfortable Since & I desire to quit public Speaking untill I recover more fully my vital powers—a good spirit prevails & the Saints all aboard I think feel well[.] I hope in a day or two to hear Once again from my dear family & the Saints in The mountains & Soon rejoin my Company & leave for Those Sweet & peacefull relations I so recently left—
freights wear [were] $2 per hund[red] pou[n]ds when I arrived at St. Louis. I told the people the Lord would not let me pay
them the gentiles more than 50¢ & Er I was quite ready to leave I got freight at 40¢ and the Lord truly is good unto me for which I feel constantly filled with exceeding grattitude and feel to renew my covena[n]t before him praying Ever for his power to aattend my Every word & deed in wrighteousness [righteousness]—The River is riseing & the health I Think is good & The Saints will soon be on the Plains & I mutch desire it for truly my heart year[n]s for my Mountain Home—
Sunday June 23rd 10 AM[.] Today I taake pen in hand to record mellancholy facts as well as other more pleasing ones. I arrived At Aitchison [Atchison] on the 21st and found my little company awaiting me & was truly glad to again behold my face. We Speed[i]ly prepared for the plains & was organized by Bro E. Snow of the Twel[v]e-appostles my Self being appointed Capt. of & presiding Elder of the Company being the 3rd fifty organized this Season—for particulars of organization See report of Company 1[.] We left on the 15 & haveing travelled Some 20 mi[les] the Cholera made its appearance in Our Camp on the night of Monday the 17th & in the first 24 hours we lost 12 or 13 & up to this time I presume we have lost not less than 20 & at least the 5th of our whole Strength. The Camp presenting for the last 4 days a Cholera hospital! Such a Scene as neither pen can portray or tongue describe father & mother taken—& both buried in one grave or Side by Side leaving crying children Scattered over the Camp while the Shrieking crys [cries] & hollow groans of men & women wear [were] heard on Every Side with the Cry for help from the grave—diggers Whose toil was incessant Seemi[ng]ly night & day while the Stout heart & hale man or woman was seen to reel under their ardious [arduous] duty until a guard can hardly be had or a watch kept through the night of men who may be called well[.] True oh God dreadfull Seems our fate or providence & all I can add is I feel that Thee dotheth all things well
Their is not a family but what has to mourn the loss of Some One & in deed the very hands that administer to you are Cramped. in hand[,] leg—Stomach or are vomiting or purgeing [purging] more or less truly. oh—truly horrid in deed is our Situation but it has been 100 pr ct worse for I feel we are improveing Some Each hour[.] many are today renewing their Covenants through baptism with God & Some for the first time are making them[.] a Man & wife who lives near hear [here] being a mongst the no. [number] a Br. Miller[.] this Encapmet [Encampment] is on the Big Nimehaw [Nemaha]. on the 18th we met Bro[ther] W[illia]m Miller Haight[,] Jno [John] L Smith[,] Jno [John] Kay & Several other Elder from the Valleys. who did us all the good they could[.] blessed us & passed on—to give a more particular Idea of the sorrowfull State of things those who dug the graves & buried the dead went from Camp to waggon Seeking who was dead & thus persons—died & was buried a day before others knew that they wear Even Sick. The reports of the Camp officers braught to me by day & night could for (our numbers) only have been Eaquated [Equated] when Bleucher fell on Napoleon at Watterloo. for a moment See every 5th one dead & the other 3 fifths wounded[.] no I would prefer to risk my command on a Battlefield that Even I have read of allmost on the Earth—in the midst of This I Sent for Elder Ewd [Edward] Stevenson to President Milo Andrus & Ballentyne [Ballantyne] & for 6 good men to help us on. which I exspect in 24 hours—as the Elders with [....] are worn down & to their constency & faithfullness I could not add a laurell[.] they are indelibley Enstamped on the hearts of Ev[e]ry man & woman in this Camp & their names I wish perpetuated to my latest posterity. Viz Jm Barlow[,] Sylvester McEarl[,] Oscar Tyler[,] John Mayor[,] Geo C. Riser & others all so faithfull as well as faithfull Sisters—
To day Nathaniel W [Hunt] Greer departed this life aged about 55 who seemed to be Ever disposed to prove him Self a blessing to his Brethern & Sisters & to Contribute freely to the work. The list of the dead will be found attatched [attached] that died in this Camp—
I Ordained Alonzo S Blair my youngest Brother this day to the office of Elder in the priesthood & blessed him unto that End. I allso reconfirmed Sister Sarah Mariah East—after rebaptism by Elder [Sylvester Henry] Earl—for health &c—
June 25th Br Ewd[ard] Stevenson arrived in Camp at 1.OK [o'clock] Am
of & by Bros Milo Andrus & Ballentyne [Ballantyne] appointed to preside & lead my Camp & thus deliver me from—& Onerous duty & give me & [an] oppituity [opportunity] to live[.] he was by me & Company gladly rec[e]ived[.] The health of the camp had mutch improved & is up to this date. allthough we have dying Ones yet in our midst & oh! truly the providence of God is most singular—On the night of July 1st a man by the name of Geo[rge] Woods who had had the Cholera for days made from his carriage & allthough [although] diligent search was made no whear could he be found[.] Thus a prophecy made by me to the people on Trinity river Texas was fully fulfilled. I told them if they did not repent & do as councilled that around the Graves of their friends they would be united & that their bones should bleach on the plains & not a spade would their there be to cover them up..& in Him was it made true with what had before transpired
Today July 3rd we are Encamped on Little Blue makeing Ox yokes & a tin Coffin for Bro. Jacob Secrest Capt of the 2nd fifty who died with Cholera on yesterday[.] he is on his return from a mission to
Gemany & Europe Germany & England[.] And thus the Elders are called to lay down their lives—But for me I humbley do pray the Lord God in the Holy name of Jesus Christ that I may never be called to lay down my life on a Mission or Battle field but to Spare me to die in peace at Home when the Kingdom is fully Established & Zion free—Amen.
I now purpose to leave the Company & go Home with the Mail Stage & thus reach Home this month if the Lord will which I do humbley pray for & Shall Ever feel to Thank him for through Jesus the true mediator between man & his Holy Father.
Fort Kearney. July. 8th/55 Today I Rece[ive]d Letters from Home under date of May 30th from which I learned that my family was well for which blessing I thank the Lord God in the name of Jesus Christ[.] This last week we have traveled 100 miles I think[.] passed many buffalo & Indians & the Company has Enjoyed fair health. The News—from the plains is warlike[.] Some depredations haveing allready been committed[.] I Exspect to take the mail Stage on tomorrow for Home! God Grant it my Hevenly Father I pray that I may go in peace—The weather is good & road good[.] I learn that & Escort of 20 men go with the Mail & now this place to North Platt[e] Bridge[.] And I le[a]ve having Some feelings of regret for truly many has been the Scenes thr[o]ugh which I have passed with this People Scenes of no ordinery Kind[.] the family that I have So long made my Home with has lost 3 of their Children & Sore affliction seems to have attended not Only them but many others & they all hang on to me & seam [seem] to desir[e] me to remain with them. Yet Swe[e]t Home thy joys are passing lovely & to the bosom of fond wives & Loveling [loving] children will I Strive to flee unto that I may have rest & comfort from tender hands who will truly adminsiter [administer] unto Me
On the 3rd of Aug[u]st. I was permitted to arrive at home in tolerable health & found my Deer [dear] family all well for which & all the blessings & manifestations of my Kind and Heavenly Father I feel to truly thank him in the name Jesus Christ. I left Wy[oming] at Plum Creek 30 miles above Laramie on the 11th of July & returned & mett them with Vegetables & c 15 M[iles] E[ast] of Bridger on the [.th] of Sept (1st day in good health acept measels—They wear truly glad to See me and we journeyed on & reach hear on the 11th inst—Thus Ended a mission in which my health is left feeble & poor But I feel truly grateful for my deliverance and I feel to pray God my Father to heal me—I was kindly rec[eive]d by the authorites of the Church and all friends & allso by my famly.
Seth M. Blair
Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints