Bassett, Charles H., "Celebration of the 24th of July, 1855," St. Louis Luminary, 18 Aug. 1855, 154.
- Related Companies
- Company Unknown (1855)
MORMON GROVE, K. T., August 1st, '55.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE LUMINARY.
DEAR SIR:—Several days have transpired since our celebration of the memorable 24th, but I have not had time or opportunity before to-day to furnish you a report, having been sent to Weston on the morning of the 25th, to purchase supplies for the emigration. And I shall not be able now, to give you anything like a complete report, as our reporter has gone forward with his company, without leaving the minutes which he took down on the occasion.—But I will give you a hasty sketch from memory, which imperfect as it may be, I trust will be of some little interest to your readers.
Agreeable to a notice from the committee of arrangements, the Saints from the several companies, camped in the vicinity of Mormon Grove, came together about 3 o'clock P. M., and formed a procession in front of the Church Store, under the direction of Elder Thomas Colburn, marshall of the day, in the following order:
1st. Carriage containing Presidents Erastus Snow and Daniel Spencer, and Elder Milo Andrus and Charles H. Bassett, committee of arrangements.
2d. Elder John S. Fulmer superintending conductor of the P. E. Fund Emigration, and Elder James McGaw Bishop of Mormon Grove, mounted.
3d. Elder William Willis, orator of the day, and Elder William G. Mills, Zion's sweet poet.
4th. Elders George Rust and Henry Humphries, bearing a beautiful banner with appropriate emblems and devices.
5th. Elder Charles Harper Captain 1st division of P. E. F. company and John Lynch his secretary.
6th. First ten, first division P. E. F. Co., under the charge of Captain Thomas Jeremy.
7th. Second ten, first division P. E. F. Co., under the charge of Captain William Rust.
8th. Third ten, first division P. E. F. Co., under the charge of Captain Francis St. George.
9th. Elder Israel Barlow, Captain second division P. E. F. Co., and Elder Patrick Lynch general P. E. Fund clerk.
10th. First ten, second division P. E. F. Co., under charge of Captain George Bramwell.
11th. Second ten, second division P. E. F. Co., under charge of Captain Joseph Booth.
12th. Third ten, second division P. E. F. Co., under charge of Captain Martin Slack.
13th. Fourth ten, second division P. E. F. Co., under charge of Captain Mathew Rowan.
14th. Elders J. C. [James Calvin] Sly and John Barker, missionaries returning to Great Salt Lake City.
15th. Elders James M. Brown and W. H. Wilson, general clerks Mormon Emigration.
16th. Elder Isaac Alred [Allred] Captain Church train and Elder James Pace, missionaries returning to G. S. L. City.
17th. Church train company, under charge of Elders Samuel Hardy and Isaiah M. Coombs, assistant Marshalls.
The procession moved at 6 o'clock, marching through the principal avenues of Mormon Grove. From the tops of the numerous tents and wagons throughout the Grove were floating flags and banners, some of which were beautifully designed, ornamented with needle work, and bearing appropriate mottos.
About eight hundred souls joined in the procession; the sisters were out in their best dresses, and men, women, and children, seemed to take a lively interest in the celebration, and considering the circumstances, made a much grander display than was expected.
After marching about an half hour and visiting the different parts of the Grove, the procession came to a halt on the green, West of the Church farm.
Presidents Erastus Snow and Daniel Spencer, the officers of the day, and the Salt Lake Elders took the stand, and the companies gathered around to listen to the speeches, &c.
Elder Williams Willes then delivered an extemporaneous oration appropriate to the occasion, which was listened to with much interest by the attentive congregation. The oration was reported by Elder [George Walter] Bramwell, but he left on his journey to the valley without leaving a transcribed copy.
Elder William G. Mills, then read the following beautiful poem which he composed by request, for the occasion.
[The poem has emigrated by the last company. Please to send it back to fulfill its mission.—Ed.]
President Erastus Snow, next addressed the people in his usual spirited and entertaining style, followed by Presidents Daniel Spencer and Milo Andrus. I regret much that I am not able to furnish you a report of these brilliant speeches. They were replete with the spirit of Mormonism, and the listening Saints were much edified and warmed up in their feelings, and encouraged to pursue with renewed spirit and energy, the path of the noble pioneers, whose entrance into the vallies of Ephraim we had met to commemorate.
A number of toasts were volunteered, of which I can only remember a few.
The Mormons, the true supporters of Liberty.—William G. Mills.
Here's to the stars and stripes, That float over the land and sea; May he still have the cholic and gripes, That would stain the flag of the free; But here's to the Saints of God, That alone bear up liberty's pole, May they soon by the Priesthood's rod, Have the world 'neath their own control.
President Erastus Snow; though cold be his name his heart is warm, and ever glows with the warmest friendship for his brethren and sisters.—I. [Isaac] M. Coombs.
Mormonism; like the mustard seed sown, may it continue to spread 'till it extends over the whole earth.—I. [Israel] Barlow.
May the mustard seed which has been sown, produce abundance of mustard to cause the enemies of truth to sneeze well.—W. [William] Willes.
The day we celebrate; it will be cherished in the memory of the Saints, when the 4th of July is forgotten.—I. [Isaac] M. Coombs.
The Mormons; "no pent up Utah contracts our powers, the whole boundless universe is ours."—Charlie.
The Smith family; the proper persons to forge the chains to bind old Satan.—William Willis
Elder Charlie N. Bassett; the ladies favorite. Elder Charlie only needs to be known to be loved.—I. [Isaac] M. Coombs.
The faithful sisters, Charlies favorites; God bless them forever.—Charlie.
May the snow through which we have to pass on the mountains be as good and useful to us, as the snow of Mormon Grove.—W. G. Mills.
Mormon Grove Battalion; they have learned to "right about face," and may they soon "quick march" to the vallies of the mountains.—Joseph Hall.
There were many other pertinent toasts offered, but I am not able to call them to mind.
The people were dismissed with the benediction of President Snow.
In the evening we came together again and enjoyed a grand social dance by moonlight, on the prairie grass. We were dismissed at a seasonable hour, and all retired to their several wagons and tents, well satisfied with the entertainments of the day.
I regret much that I am not able to furnish more than this meagre report of the celebration, but I have relied entirely on my memory.
In an hour we shall be under way for the valley, and my mind is pre-occupied with the idea of fitting up the carriages &c., preparatory to the trip.
CHAS. H. BASSETT.