The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Child of the Sea; and Life Among the
Mormons, by Elizabeth Whitney Williams

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Title: A Child of the Sea; and Life Among the Mormons

Author: Elizabeth Whitney Williams

Release Date: December 28, 2010 [EBook #34769]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Transcriber's Note

A Child of the Sea

This edition of "A Child of the Sea" is being printed under the auspices of the Beaver Island Historical Society, to give our friends some of the history and legend of the Island. The story begins in the early 1800's, discussing particularly the occupancy by the Mormons, over a century ago, and continuing through the resettlement of the Island by the Irish, whose descendants still live there.



Elizabeth Whitney Williams.

Copyrighted 1905.

Elizabeth Whitney Williams.

Having lived all my life beside the water, with my brothers and many dear friends sailing on the lakes, and with the loss of many of my people by drowning, connected with the many years of my life as a Light Keeper, I affectionately dedicate this little book, with fragments of my life history, to the sailor men in whose welfare I have always felt a deep interest.

Elizabeth Whitney Williams.


At the earnest request of many friends I have written this book with some incidents of my early life before coming to Beaver Island.

What I have written about the Mormons are my own personal experiences and what I knew about them by living constantly near them for four years of my life; our leaving the island and settling at Charlevoix for safety then our being driven from there. After the fight then my life in Traverse City and finally returning to Beaver Island again. After the Mormons were expelled my twenty-seven years' residence at that time with the four first years gives thirty-one years of Beaver Island life with as much knowledge of Mormon life as any one outside of their teachings could possibly have. In this little history I have only touched lightly upon the reality, writing what my memory contained that might be interesting, telling the stories as near as possible as they were told to me by the people themselves that had lived and suffered by the Mormon doctrine; some things my parents told me when I was too young to remember, during the first part of my residence on "Beaver Island."


My father, Walter Whitney, was born in Genesee County, New York State. At the breaking out of the Blackhawk and Florida war, enlisted, served his time, was honorably discharged, came to Fort Brady, Sault Ste. Marie, from there to Mackinac Island, there married my mother, who was a widow with three sons, myself being the only child born of that marriage.

My mother was born on Mackinac Island of British parents, left an orphan young, was adopted by Captain Michael Dousman and wife, residing in their family almost thirty years. She married Mr. Lewis Gebeau of Montreal, Canada. Four sons were born Mr. Gebeau and one son dying. My mother married Walter Whitney, my father, residing part of the time at Mackinac Island, going to Grand Haven with the ferrys returning again to Mackinac Island until my father took the contract to build the Newton Brothers' vessel "Eliza Caroline," on the little island St. Helena, then our winter in Manistique, then our coming to Beaver Island. I was born at Mackinac Island. My mother lived to the grand age of one hundred years, passing away since my residence at Little Traverse Light House on Harbor Point, Michigan, U. S. A.


Elizabeth Whitney Williams.Frontispiece.
The Light House and Life Saving Station at Beaver Island Harbor, Michigan.
James Jesse Strang, the Mormon King.
King Strang's Residence. Built in 1850.
The Mormon Feast Ground at Font Lake, Beaver Island.
The King's Highway, Beaver Island.
The old Mormon Printing Office, now the Gibson House, at Saint James, Beaver Island, Michigan.
Font Lake, Beaver Island, where King Strang baptized his people.
Little Traverse Light House, at Harbor Point, Michigan.

[Pg 11]




Among my earliest recollections is my love of watching the water. I remember standing with my arms outstretched as if to welcome and catch the white topped waves as they came rolling in upon the white, pebbly shore at my feet. I was not quite three years old, my mother had left me asleep in the low, old-fashioned cradle and leaving the door ajar had stepped over to a neighbor's house just a few rods away; returning almost immediately, she found I was not in the cradle as she had left me a short time before. She began to search for me at once and fearing I had gone to the shore she ran down to the beach where the rolling waves were coming in with a booming sound, and the wind blowing a gale. She found me standing in the water laughing and reaching out my little arms as the great waves broke and dashed at my feet. Had she not come just in time I would have been carried out with the receding waves.

I had always lived near the water, but until this time had never seemed to realize or distinguish it[Pg 12] from other things. Our house stood just a few steps back from the shore, sheltered in a little grove of evergreen trees. The sun shining on the water in the early morning caused it to sparkle like myriads of diamonds, and the soft glimmer which shone through the green trees even now reminds me of some half-remembered dream. All seemed so peaceful and quiet. I remember at other times when no wind was near and water was calm at night when I lay in my cradle I could hear the soft splash of the water in low murmurs as it came softly upon the gravelly beach so near to us. To me it seemed like some sweet lullaby lulling me to sleep while listening to its low, moaning sound. My mother said it always made her weep, for to her it was the sad whispering voices of departed friends.


The little island of St. Helena is situated about fifteen miles from Mackinac Island, in Lake Michigan. Two brothers, named Archie and Carl Newton had located at this little island; they bought the land around the little harbor and put out a good dock, built a large store and house and prepared to establish a business with the fishermen of lower Lake Michigan. They needed a good vessel for their trading purposes and concluded to have one built for themselves. My father being a ship carpenter, signed a contract to build their ship, which was to be named "Eliza Caroline," in honor of both brothers' wives, who were sisters. And long the "Eliza Caroline" sailed on Lake Michigan, carrying[Pg 13] thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and fish, doing her work nobly and well. The building of the ship brought our family to the dear little island of St. Helena.


When we went to live on the island there were about twenty-five families there. Much help was needed to build the ship so several families came for that purpose. One bright morning in June, not long after my going to watch the waves, I was sitting on the floor beside my cradle playing with my dolls and my little white kitten, when a man came in the door; a beautiful woman stood beside him. Mother was at work; she looked and gave a cry of delight when she saw them. They clasped hands and kissed each other. The man took me in his arms, kissing me and putting me in the woman's lap, where she was sitting in mother's rocking chair. The woman kissed me and smoothed my hair while mother went out to call father. He soon came in and all talked for some time. At last the gentleman and lady left, with father and mother following, taking me with them. We went to the dock, where a vessel was with many people on board, men, women and children, all were laughing and talking so happily together. Soon the vessel was under way with white sails spread to the breeze.

Our people waved handkerchiefs to those on board and hands were waved back to us with handkerchiefs fluttering as far as we could see them. The tears ran down my mother's face for her heart had[Pg 14] been set on going with those people when they went to Green Bay, the Mecca of the west at that time. The man and woman were Mr. and Mrs. William Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell was my mother's cousin; they had disposed of their property on Mackinac Island and with other families were about to make new homes in Green Bay. Mr. and Mrs. Baird were among the rest. This had all been talked over before my father had left Mackinac Island and our people had intended to go with the rest, yet not knowing when they would be ready to start, my father had taken the contract to build the ship and could not possibly go at this time but promised to go in the near future, should all things prove favorable. Mr. Mitchell was a man of very fine appearance, courtly in his manners, kind and genial in disposition, loved by all that knew him. His wife was gentle in manner, a sweet-voiced and sweet-faced lady.

One of mother's friends had sent a package to us from Mackinac Island. When opened we found it contained a beautiful white, hand-embroidered French Merino shoulder blanket, a red Merino dress, ready made, little red morocco shoes and a gold ring for my finger. All was sent as a present to Baby Elizabeth. Mrs. Mitchell had brought me a large wax doll that opened and shut its eyes and had real hair. I was afraid of the doll when it opened and shut its eyes. Being fond of bright colors, the red dress and shoes were a delight to me.[Pg 15]


My brothers were not at home when the Mitchells came, they being over to St. Ignace on a visit to some friends. When they returned and learned Cousin Mitchell had been at our home they could not be consoled as they had expected to go to Green Bay and go to school. Their father's brother, their Uncle John Gebeau, was living in Green Bay, so this was a great disappointment to them. Father said if all went well and good news came from Cousin Mitchell we would move to Green Bay the next year, so the boys felt content and father would not break his contract made with the Newton Brothers to build their vessel. Of course I was too young to realize all this at the time but was told it when old enough to understand.


I remember a big letter came to father and was told later it was from Cousin Mitchell, telling father if he was doing well to remain where he was for the present. And on the return of the little schooner which took the people to Green Bay father received a large barrel of presents for all our family from Cousin Mitchell and his wife. Dress and shoes for mother, pretty little red top boots for all our boys, with little blue jackets and caps for them and many other things which brought joy to their hearts to be remembered by those so far away. Our boys were great favorites with the Mitchells and used to be with them so much at Mackinac Island. My father[Pg 16] also had an uncle living in Green Bay, Daniel Whitney, among the first white settlers of the place. His descendants are still living there. Cousin William Mitchell lived there many years. Before passing from this life he was head keeper of Tailpoint Light House, twenty-two years at Green Bay.

I remember one very nice neighbor we had at this time. Slocomb was his name. Mother dressed the boys up in their new clothes, sent to them from Green Bay, and I was also dressed in my little red dress and shoes, then we were all taken over to see Mrs. Slocomb and from there my brothers took me over to see the vessel being built. I can remember how large it looked, it seemed so high up over us. The ship was to be finished and launched some time in September, then the Slocomb family were to move away to Milwaukee to make their future home. They had only one son, a boy about seven. When he reached the age of sixteen he was drowned at Milwaukee, which was a sad blow to those fond parents.

While more people were coming as more help was needed to finish the ship, all was busy bustle among the neighbors for there was to be a great gathering to watch the launching of the ship. Soon another family came, old friends of my mother's, a Mr. and Mrs. Courchane. The man had come from Montreal, Canada, to Mackinac Island a few years before and there met and married pretty Miss Abbie Williams. Aunt Abbie we children always called her. Mother was so happy to have her friend with her. They had three little girls. Mr. Cour[Pg 17]chane was a ship carpenter by trade and came to help finish the vessel. They were very kind neighbors to us. Their little girls' names were Lucy, Emmeline and Margarette. They lived just a few steps from our house; we children were all very happy together. My eldest brother Lewis was thirteen, the next, Anthony, or Toney, was ten; the next, Charles, was seven. I remember their little red top boots; I would put them on and walk about the floor, which pleased them so much to see the little sister in her cute baby ways.


They would put me into the old-fashioned, low, red cradle which father made large enough for us all to crowd into. There they would rock and sing the old French ballads mother had taught them, sometimes rocking so hard we would all be spilled out on the floor; and that floor! I remember it now, so white and clean with mother sitting near in her sewing chair, sewing and joining in the singing. Then pretty Aunt Abbie coming in; she always looked to me like a picture, with her great dark eyes and black hair braided so smoothly and pretty red cheeks with white teeth just showing between red lips. She, too, would join in the singing, which is pleasant to remember.


I remember distinctly of falling into the water. At the noon hour father sent my three brothers out in our little boat, just a few rods from shore, to[Pg 18] bring a jug of fresh water for the dinner. They took me with them and in some way I fell overboard. Father and mother, with other neighbors, stood on the shore and saw it all. They had no boat to come to us and our boys were so frightened they knew not what to do. Father shouted for one of them to dive after me, which brother Toney did. I could hear little brother Charley crying as I lay at the bottom of the lake. I remember coming to the top, struggling, and going down again. At last I lay quiet on the bottom. I could see the sun shining through the water as the great bubbles of air went from my mouth to the top. Brother Toney being an excellent swimmer and diver, dove down into the deep water, grasping me in his strong arms, bringing me to the surface, where we both were taken into the boat and soon rowed to shore. There my mother took me in her arms and ran to the house, with others following, doing all they could to restore me. After a little time I was able to sit up. Brother Toney was praised by all for his brave act, but the praise was nothing to him in comparison to the joy he felt in knowing that he had saved his little sister's life. Then I remember crying to have on my little red flannel dress. Mother said to me, "If you stop crying I will dry the dress and put it on you." I was sick, I remember, father walking the floor with me in his arms, singing, "When I can read my title clear to mansions in the skies," that being one of his favorite hymns. I was rocked in the cradle several days; when able to play again mother made me a little raspberry pie in a little tin, which made[Pg 19] me a happy child. Mother often said she could recall many pleasures as well as sadness in that summer on the little "Isle of St. Helena."

St. Helena—dear little drop in the sea. How can I describe it as I saw it in after years? I called there on a trip down the lakes, on the steamer "Galena," with Captain Steele as master. We steamed into a pretty little basin of a harbor almost surrounded by green trees. The sun was just rising out from the water in the far distance, the sky was purple orange and pink. As I looked out of my stateroom window and saw before me the beautiful little Isle of St. Helena, I cannot describe my feelings; a few of the memories of my childhood days came back to me. My little brothers, with myself, playing along the shore, but now all was quiet and still. I had heard father and mother speak about it so many times, it seemed as though I saw it all through their eyes. It now looked to me like a lovely little toy. The water so clear and sparkling in the morning sunlight. The dock was in good repair, everything seemed clean, quiet and still. Mr. Newton's house I recognized at once, it being the largest. The little harbor seemed almost a perfect horseshoe in shape, the shore all around was covered with clean white gravel, the trees were mixed with birch, balsam, cedar, pine and poplar. The island is much greater in length than breadth. At the extreme eastern point a lighthouse is now erected. The red beams from its tower shine far out to guide the mariner on his way.[Pg 20]

Sweet, dear, little Isle of the sea!
The grand old waves shall dash upon thy shore,
When we who once have trod thy lovely beach
Shall be known to earth no more.


Time was drawing near to the finishing of the good ship Eliza Caroline. The hammers could be heard from early dawn till dark. Seams were being calked, there was painting and oiling going on from day to day. Many were gathering from near and far to watch the process of launching the ship. The little village was bustling with people. Every home was full, for friends had come to stay a week. My parents told me afterwards the launching was a grand success. The sails and all ropes and rigging had come from Buffalo, N. Y. The trial trip was to Mackinac Island and return and nearly all the people in the little town took passage.

The time had come for partings and sad farewells of old neighbors, for now nearly all must scatter to other parts. My father was sent for from Manistique. A Mr. Frankle had settled there and put in a mill. He was an old friend of my father's, coming from Chegrin Falls, Ohio. Offering good pay, father concluded to accept, and we prepared to move at once. The schooner Nancy, also owned by the Newton Brothers, was to take us to our destination.


Cousin David Corps was anxious to do some fall fishing at a place called Scott's Point, where many[Pg 21] families had come from Canada, Lake Huron and other parts. Fish were very near the shore in the fall of the year and a high price was paid for fish, so we were to tarry at this place until time to go to Manistique.

Sailors were superstitious about moving cats from place to place, so father concluded to take the family in our own little boat, the "Abbigal". We had cats, dogs, rabbits and sea gulls for pets, and father would not leave any of them behind us. Our goods were all loaded on the "Nancy" and "Abbigal." I remember our neighbors coming to the beach to see us off. Aunt Abbie took me in her arms; the tears fell fast on my face. I thought it was raining and held out my hand, as I had seen father do to catch the drops, but no, it was not raining, it was tears falling from our dear friend's eyes. When father called out "all aboard", I was clasped in another tight pressure of her arms. Then father took me and placed me in the boat, where brother Charley and I were wrapped up in warm blankets. Our boat was pushed off by the men with a "God bless you, Whitney," and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs and with our sails spread to the breeze we sailed away from the shore out upon the blue waters of Lake Michigan.

As our little boat glided along we could see the forms growing dimmer until the Island itself looked like a small speck upon the water. Off the south-east of us were other islands looming up out of the sea. Father told us afterward how afraid the two older brothers were, thinking it was whales coming[Pg 22] after us, as they had heard about whales in the ocean. Little Charley and I were fast asleep in our warm little nest of bedding. Life for us had no cares or sorrows. Our baby eyes saw nothing but beauty in all things. All I remember of our landing was seeing many strange faces of men, women and children. Mother said afterward I looked everywhere calling "Aunt Abbie", and cried when I could not find her and Baby Margarette. There were two sweet little babies among the people, which satisfied me as I was so very fond of them. While on our way we had landed at Mentopayma, where we ate our lunch and fed our pets. Father climbed to the tops of the high hills and could see vessels and many steamboats passing up and down the straits. While there we found a large cat which we took with us, he being quite content to be taken with our other pets. Father gave us animals as pets to care for and we were taught to be kind to them.

The time had now come when the people of this little settlement were to pack and go to their winter homes. They were to leave all their fishing outfits locked in their buildings until they came again another year. The vessel "Nancy", which made her weekly trips along the north shore to Mackinac Island and St. Helena, lay at anchor waiting for her precious human freight. The women and children were taken first, then the men with their dogs were put on board. Our family, with one more, stood upon the shore to wave them adieu; white sails were spread to the breeze and they sailed away to their far-away homes for the winter.[Pg 23]


The family that remained were an old couple with a young son of seventeen years. The old couple felt the journey too long for them to take so preferred to remain all winter. Father and mother tried hard to persuade them not to remain, but go home, but they would not go so they prepared to pass the winter at a place called Birch Point, a cold, bleak shore, where the foot of a white man seldom ever came in winter at that time and very seldom the Indian hunters except on their hunting expeditions. Our goods had been sent on to Manistique and we were to follow in a few days in our boat. Just before we left father took us all down the shore to see the old couple that were to remain all winter and try to persuade them to come with us to Manistique. The name of this family was McWilliams. We found the old gentleman very sick. Mother told me afterwards we were with them two weeks. The old man died. Father made the casket. We buried him on that lonely shore in a quiet little nook where he loved so much to sit and watch the waves roll in upon the white sandy beach. Buried him where the blue sea waves might chant a requiem to his grave.

Sing on, sad waves, your sound shall toll
A solemn requiem to the soul
Who sleeps so peaceful on that shore
Till time shall wake to sleep no more.

My people tried hard to have the mother and son go with us but nothing could induce them to leave the lonely grave of their loved one. Time[Pg 24] was passing, father was anxious to reach Manistique at once. They told me it was a great sorrow to leave the mother and son alone, and to make it more lonely the wolves and bears were so numerous we could hear the howl of the wolves and growls of the bears just as soon as it became dark every night. They would sit at our doors and snap and growl at each other. They were so hungry we could hear their teeth snap together. John McWilliams picked brush and wood, keeping a fire around his father's grave until he could build a strong fence of logs around it.


One still, cold morning in November our boat was prepared and we started to Manistique, ten miles distant. Charley and I were again placed in among warm blankets. Our little puppies of the springtime had grown to be great, large dogs and watched over little brother and me like two faithful sentinels. The day was cold and still. Father and the boys rowed while mother steered. We kept close to the shore. Little brother and I were half asleep most of the time. I can hear my father even now singing his old hymns, "Rock of Ages" and the "Evergreen Shore". Many times I imagine I can hear the sweet music of his voice. Mother, too, sang her French glee songs, the boys joining with her. French was our mother's language. Father could not speak it, but understood nearly everything. French and Indian were the languages spoken by almost everybody in those days around the western[Pg 25] islands and shores. The men that came from eastern homes soon learned to speak the language of both French and Indian as it was necessary to carry on their trade.


As we neared the shore Mr. Frankle and his men stood ready to meet us and catching hold of our boat we were landed safely out on the dry land. Our house was all warmed with a nice fire burning in the great stone fireplace. Lights were lighted and supper was soon ready for us all. Beds were put up and soon we felt we were at home.

Mr. Frankle had some friends visiting him from York State who had delayed their going home until they had seen my mother in regard to preparing some sturgeon for them. Sturgeon were so plentiful in the river they could be pulled out with a gaff hook. Mother contracted with them for several tons of smoked sturgeon. The Indians from their village, three miles distant, agreeing to catch the sturgeon, the fish were prepared and smoked, but the season closed too early to ship them that fall, so they had to be packed and kept over until the following spring for shipment to New York.

The river was so full of suckers that the mill had to shut down many times while the men scooped the fish out with a large scoop-net and loaded wagons with them, which were hauled a distance down the beach and piled upon the sand.

At night the bears, wolves and foxes would come to that pile of fish, making night hideous with their[Pg 26] barks and growls. None of us dared go out doors after night came. We lived on the opposite side of the river from Mr. Frankle's mill. Father had to cross the river every morning many times. Bears were swimming across the river and we children used to watch them from our windows. The wolves would come to our large smokehouse at night and take the smoked sturgeon, growling and snarling around our windows. Our boys were busy days and got their lessons in the evening.


Mother had a cousin who was an old man of eighty. He had worked for the Hudson Bay and Great American Fur Companies of John Jacob Astor, carrying great loads of provisions to the trappers all through the Lake Superior country, then taking the loads of fur back to market from the trappers' camps. He being now too old to work, and without a home, my father feeling sorry gave him a home with us. He was so grateful and happy he could scarcely express his gratitude, speaking very little English and that very broken. French, Spanish and Indian he spoke fluently. He was born in Canada of French and Spanish parents. His mother and my mother's mother were sisters. His name was Bertemau Mazoka. The trappers called him Magazau, meaning "store" in English, as with his two dogs, Bob and Maje, he carried a regular store for the trappers. One dog, Maje, had died. Bob, the other, was eighteen years old, and inseparable from the old grandpa, as we children were[Pg 27] taught to call him. He loved to have us call him grandpa. He was very kind and patient with us, never tiring of doing something for our comfort.


But Bob, how can I describe him, the old, patient, faithful dog! He was large and powerful, dark brown with darker stripes in color, part bull in breed, but just as gentle and kind in disposition as possible. He had pulled the heavy loads so long he was almost blind, teeth almost gone and rheumatism so bad it was hard for him to get upon his feet when he laid down. When grandpa came bringing Bob he had said in his broken English, "Mr. Whitney you take me, you take Bob too. Me can't stay if Bob no stay." The old dog seemed to know what his master was saying, for he came close to him and looked straight into father's face. Then father said, "Yes, Bob can stay too." He tried to show his delight with his master by jumping about. It would be hard to tell which of us Bob loved the best. I can see him now sitting in some out-of-the-way corner watching us with his great, almost human eyes. He had not always been kindly treated. He seemed to be so afraid to be in anybody's way, and when he saw us petting the other two dogs he would slink away with head down and look so dejected. The young dogs, too, knew he was a stranger and growled at him and bossed him about. Then poor old Bob would go back of the house and cry and whine so pitifully. At last father could stand it no longer and gave the order Bob[Pg 28] must not be annoyed any more and must have a bed and lay behind the stove in the big corner, and that no one was ever to speak a cross word or strike Bob. Grandpa cried with delight.


Sometimes Bob could not get up alone, then father would lift him up and rub his neck where the collar had worn it sore on his long pulls. He would lick father's hand and look into his face so pitiful it made us all feel sorry to see him suffer. Very soon Bob began not to notice his master very much, but would try to go fast to meet father when he came into the house, and when he could not get up father would go to him, talk and rub him. The dog seemed to understand the kindness. When grandpa saw Bob cared more for father than for himself he cried like a little child. After awhile he said, "No wonder Bob love you, you so good to him, you so good to me, me love you too. Me now give you Bob. You keep Bob for yourself till he die." Then the tears fell fast for a time. After that Bob seemed to know he had a new master and seemed content. With care Bob improved and got about so much smarter. Father had to be away all day to his work. At night when he came home Charley, Bob and I were always at the door to meet him. Sometimes in the winter evenings when grandpa would be telling us his stories and singing to us his songs Charley and I would fall fast asleep curled up on the rug with Bob.[Pg 29]


One day mother was very sick in bed with neuralgia. How gloomy and lonely the house seemed to us children, we missed her so. Grandpa was caring for us children and doing the house work as best he could. Then mother was better and able to sit up trying to sew, saying she could not afford to be idle. Not long after this one day, I know it was Sunday, we were dressed in our Sunday suits, father was reading to us, a knock came on the door, the latch was lifted, the door opened and John McWilliams almost fell into the room, saying, "Come both of you, my mother is dead." Then he sank into a chair and cried as if his heart would break. Mother arose from her easy chair saying "Come Walter, we must go." Father tried to have her not go, telling her she was not able to go, she ought to be in bed as her face was still badly swollen. The snow being deep and it was very cold. Neither father, grandpa, nor we crying children could stop her going. She was dressed in a short time and tried to have poor John eat. He could not eat, saying he must go right back to his dead mother. He left us and all was now commotion. Father and mother were now both going away into the cold, deep snow and leave us children with grandpa.


I remember hearing father tell him over and over again to be careful, which he promised by crossing himself; being a Catholic he took that way to express himself and let father know he meant to[Pg 30] be faithful. Bob was also told to watch over us children, which he understood. At last they were ready to start, all bundled up in heavy, warm clothing. We two smaller children were crying and hanging on to them when mother said, "Now listen children, be good and mind all that grandpa tells you. Don't you know poor John has no one with him, his mother is dead?" We were quiet, but sorrowful. Oh, how little we children could realize or understand the awful, dangerous trip our father and mother were about to undertake! Grandpa realized it and tried so hard to keep them from going. The snow was very deep, weather extremely cold, with bears and wolves to be encountered at every step as soon as darkness came on.


"We traveled along the beach inside the ice banks, as snow was not quite so deep there and we felt safer from wolves. It was noon when we left home. We had about fifteen miles to go, I think, to reach Birch Point. The wind was keen and cut like a knife in our faces. I made your mother walk right behind me, knowing she could never stand the sharp wind. About two o'clock it began to snow so hard it was blinding in our faces. We kept on, and after awhile I saw your mother began to lag and could not keep up even when I walked slowly. It was already getting dark, as the days were so short. At last she said. 'Walter, I am afraid I can't keep up any longer.' I said to her, 'Yes, you must[Pg 31] keep up, we will sit and rest a little while, then you can walk better.' While we sat there we heard the bark of a wolf not far off, and well we knew what that sound meant. I knew then that our only hope was to reach a small shanty about a mile and a half further on. I said, 'Come mother, we must get to the little shanty, there we'll stay till morning.' This gave her new courage, and we pressed on through the blinding storm, snow being deeper at every step. I took her arm and we got on quite fast for a time. We still had over a half mile to go before we reached the shanty and I saw it was now a great effort for her to walk. She now began to worry about the children. I told her grandpa would be faithful and take good care of them and that we must hurry and try to reach the little shanty. I did not tell her of my fears, there being a possibility that it might be gone, taken away for its lumber by some fishermen along the shore in the fall. The snow became so deep it was hard to travel, and I could see she was getting weaker all the time. All at once the barking of wolves began first here then there, in every direction except on the lake side. We kept very close to the ice banks. I saw your mother could keep up no longer. The wolves were gathering from all sides and I realized our only hope was the little shanty, which I prayed might be left standing and that we might reach it in time. I threw down my little bag of tools, hammer, saw and gun. I took your mother on my back and staggered along through the storm. It was almost dark and I feared we might miss the shanty even if it was still there.[Pg 32] The howls and barks of the wolves were very near us now and it was terrible. I knew my own strength could not hold much longer. I said, 'now keep a sharp lookout for the shanty.' I heard the growls and snarls of the wolves and could almost feel their hot breath upon us. I thought of you, my children, and that thought kept me up. At last your mother said, 'Oh, thank God, here is the shanty!' I felt her grow heavier and limp and knew that she had fainted. I made one last effort and reached the door none too soon, the wolves were right at our heels. I pushed the door open and closed it as soon as possible, letting your mother drop down upon the floor until I could get the door safely barred. The snow had drifted in some beside the door. I took some snow in my hand and rubbed her face with it. After awhile she said, 'Walter, are we safe?' I said, 'yes, mother, thank God we are safe for awhile.' I left her and began to look for a place to make a fire. I found a pretty good cook stove with a good pile of wood near which the fishermen had left for anyone who might be in need and we were the first that had need of it. I used my flint and soon had a warm fire. I also found a small tin lamp full of fish oil. I said, 'now mother we are all right. With the provisions I have we will soon have some supper and warm tea.' I took up some of the clean snow in a basin and put it to heat on the stove, where it was soon boiling. I found a bench for your mother to sit on. I took off most of her wraps and soon we were warm and comfortable eating our lunch with hot tea. Oh,[Pg 33] the howling and tearing of the wolves was terrible to hear. They would scratch on the door and try to climb upon the roof. There was one small window near the door. I was afraid the wolves would break it in their jumping about, and how I did wish for my gun that I had to throw down with the tools as we came. There were two large bunks filled with balsam boughs, and I took some of our wraps and made a bed for your mother. She was soon fast asleep. I kept a good fire, and about midnight laid down beside her, and in spite of the howling and barking of the wolves I was soon fast asleep. At break of day all was quiet, the wolves had gone to the woods. We had some breakfast and mother felt better. I left her and went to find my gun and other things I had left in the snow. The wolves had trampled the snow all down about the door and we could see the marks of their claws on the door. We were soon started on our way and reached the little deserted settlement, where I took two boards to carry, as John had also done, as we needed the lumber to make a coffin. From here we found better walking, a straighter beach. We reached John's about 11 o'clock. We found him sitting beside his dead mother."



With us children at home we too had our troubles. I cried all night with earache and poor old grandpa had his hands full to take care of us all. He was up all night, and he worried about father and mother. He was sure they were frozen to death[Pg 34] or eaten up by the wolves. And to make it still harder for him brother Toney went out alone up the river to find the rabbit traps he had set and lost his way home. When he did not come back at dinner time grandpa was almost crazy, but would not let brother Lewis go to look for him, fearing he too would be lost. He left us two little ones with Lewis while he ran down to the river and called to the men at work in the mill. At first he could not make them hear him. He swung his arms and ran up and down, and at last they saw him and two men came over on a raft, our boat, the only one there, being on our side of the river. They thought something terrible must have happened to grandpa. In his imperfect English he could not make them understand. They came to the house and Lewis made them understand Toney was lost in the woods and told them where father and mother had gone. We were all crying, as we two younger ones only wanted papa and mamma. I remember seeing the men run to the boat, cross the river, and soon come back with all the men, Mr. Frankle, with the rest, all starting to the woods. Lewis was gathering up limbs of trees and brush wood to make a big fire at night to guide the men home. Grandpa cried and wrung his hands, praying and crossing himself continually. We two little ones were frightened, not knowing just what had happened. We had our playthings and sat in our corner behind the stove crying to ourselves. The men had taken the two young dogs with them. After awhile Mr. Frankle came back and talked with grandpa, then he took Bob away with him.[Pg 35] Then we began to cry so hard, seeing Bob going off. He heard us and ran back to us children, licking our faces and hands. They put a rope on Bob's neck and led him away. Grandpa did all he could to comfort us, made the tops spin and rocked my dolly to sleep in her cradle, and ever so many things to please us, but we would not be comforted. Our Bob was gone, and we wanted him to come back. At last Lewis came in telling us Bob was coming soon with brother Toney. Charley understood and was quiet. I was put into my cradle, where grandpa rocked me to sleep, singing to me one of his French songs I loved so well to hear.

I have a confused memory of hearing dogs barking and of being carried to the window and seeing a big fire shining far out over the snow and river and the men coming in all covered with snow, and dear old Bob bounding to greet me and kissing my face; then I remembered no more. But when I was older mother told me all about the hunting and finding of brother Anthony.


"The men hunted and found the tracks, but he had turned and circled so often in all directions they became confused. The young dogs were more intent on chasing rabbits and other small game, so nothing could be done with the young dogs. The men knew that if the child was not found that night he would be eaten by wolves. At last one of the men said to Mr. Frankle, 'I wonder if Bob could find him,' Mr. Frankle came at once and took Bob.[Pg 36] As soon as they could make the dog understand what they wanted him to do he started on the hunt. They let him smell of brother's clothes and shoes. At first Bob began to whine and tremble, and lay down at their feet in the snow. They could not speak to him in French, which was the language Bob knew best, his master always speaking to him in French. At last he looked up in their faces after smelling of the shoes and began to bark. He started with his nose to the ground. At first the young dogs worried him by bounding and jumping over him. They wanted him to play with them. But Bob had something more important for him to do—a human life to save. He circled and seemed confused, then threw his head up in the air, gave several loud, sharp barks and looked at the men as much as to say follow me. He left them far behind, though they went as fast as they could go. It was growing dark, they were uneasy. Soon Bob's deep voice was heard barking furiously. He never stopped till the men reached him. He was standing directly over brother, who was lying in the snow. Bob had scratched the snow away and partly dragged him out. At first the men thought Toney was dead. He was just exhausted from walking so far and so afraid of the dark and the wolves. The men carried him home, reaching there at ten o'clock that night amid the howling of the wolves that followed them at a distance." Brother was sick in bed when father and mother came home. They were gone four days.[Pg 37]


Father had made the casket and mother made the shroud. They buried the dear old lady beside the husband she loved so well. Two Indian hunters came that way on their return from hunting. They helped to dig the grave and stayed to bring mother home on their sleds. Mother baked and cooked for John, as they could not persuade him to come home with them to remain until spring. Mr. Frankle sent two men to see if father and mother were safe and they met them coming with the Indians. What happy children we all were to see them again. Bob was wild with delight to see father and mother, and when they learned how Bob had saved brother's life there was nothing too good for him. Old grandpa was so glad when they came home, for his trials were great with us four children. He said to father one day in broken English, "Oh. Mr. Whitney, I so scare. I fraid you keel me when boy lost in wood. Bob one good dog, he fine heme quick. Bob worth ten thousand dollar. Me most crazy all time you gone. Baby she cry all night. Earache. Charley she cut he finger. Lewis he burn she's hand. Oh, I fraid we all go die sure!"

My mother was worried about John McWilliams being left alone so far from any neighbors. The Indian Chief Ossawinamakee sent two of his Indians with their wives and papooses to live near John until spring came. They built warm wigwams covered with fur pelts of bear skins. John was very[Pg 38] sick and they took care of him. When John came to see us in the spring he told us his story how it came they were here so far from their old home. In after years mother told it to me, and I tell it now, as near as possible, as John told it to her.


"My people were well-to-do people with a comfortable home in Canada near the City of Toronto. My brother, being seven years older than I, had a good education, went to the city, became a clerk in a bank, got into bad company, forged a check on the bank and was arrested for forgery. Our farm and the old home went to clear him. He promised father to do better. We heard about these western islands and shores, and thinking this a good place to come with my brother where no one knew of our disgrace, we came, bringing fish nets and a boat. We fished all summer, doing well, but as fall came my brother became restless and discontented. He took the fish nets and boat and sold them all, leaving us nothing, then went we knew not where. This broke my old father's heart and mother soon followed him to the grave. Now I am left alone to battle with the world, but I shall never forget your kindness to me and mine."

After working all summer for some fishermen John went home to Toronto to live with an uncle who offered him a home, and John accepted with a grateful heart.


Since coming to Manistique mother and we two[Pg 39] small children had never crossed over the river nor been inside the big white house, as we called Mr. Frankle's home. One morning I woke and found myself in a strange bed and a strange room. I called and mother came to me, telling me we were in the big white house where I had watched the lights so many times in the windows. She took me into another room. A lady was sitting in a low chair with a little wee baby rolled up in white flannel in her lap. A little baby had been born that night in the rich man's home. I went up to the lady asking to see the dolly baby. She said, "Oh, no, it is not a dolly, it's a baby," but to me it was a dolly. I had my own rag doll in my arms hugged tight, and every little while I would toss and sing to her in French. The beauty of the room was something new to me; soft carpets and rugs on the floor that gave no sound of the patter of my feet as I walked about. The walls were covered with soft tinted paper and beautiful pictures hanging everywhere, curtains of finest lace and silk at the windows. I gazed about almost holding my breath. Everything seemed so still.

Soon a door opened without noise and a little child came into the room. She looked to me like a little angel I had seen the picture of, blue eyes and golden hair. She seemed such a sweet little flower almost too frail to be alive. When she saw me she came to me, holding out her doll for me to take. I drew back, as her doll was wax and opened and shut its eyes. It was almost like the one I had at home put away in its box which had been given[Pg 40] me at St. Helena by Cousin Mitchell. I had not got over being afraid of it yet because it moved its eyes. Mother had to come and explain to them about it. The little girl took me by the hand and led me into a large bedroom where her mamma lay among white pillows. The lady reached out her hand to me, smiling, and drew me up to her. At first I could say nothing. Then as her sister came in with the baby in her arms I said, "Me want to go home and see Charley." Mother came to explain I wanted to go home to see my little brother. The lady said, "you shall see them this evening, I shall send and have them come." Then I told her I wanted to see Bob too. She said, "Yes, Bob shall come." I was more content, and while mother held the wee baby in her arms I sat in a little chair and rocked my doll, singing to it, and when I was given my bread and milk for supper I fed my doll some, and when she choked I patted her on the back just like Aunt Abby did to Baby Margarette.


Soon the lamps were lighted and the men came in to supper. The young lady, Mr. Frankle's sister, had gotten the supper with mother's help. I remember the long table and white table cloth. The men were all seated at the table when Mr. Frankle came in the room with the little wee baby in his arms. He took the baby to the men and some of them took it in their arms and kissed it, tears rolling down their faces. Father told me later it made them think of home and their own little ones, for most of them[Pg 41] had families in their far away homes. Mother took the baby to its mother. I was put into a high chair and sat near the head of the table, heads were bowed and Mr. Frankle asked a blessing. As soon as it was ended I said "Amen" and made the sign of the cross, just as grandpa always did. When I saw them smile I looked serious and got down, telling mother I wanted to go home. I could not eat, but fed my doll, after which mother took me in her arms and rocked me to sleep, singing one of her sweet old songs.


Next morning I could not eat any breakfast, but kept calling for brother Charley, Bob and grandpa. Everything was so still and silent here in the big house. Oh the longing in a child's heart for the old familiar faces and home! Child that I was it seemed to me all that made life sweet had gone out of my life. I grew sick, I could not eat, and for several days lay on my little bed. Little Lilly tried to amuse me with her dolls and music box, but my heart was longing for grandpa, Charley and Bob. One morning father came and took me up and carried me into another room. There was Charley and Bob. It was a happy meeting with us all, but I felt too weak to play. At night father took Bob home and left Charley with us, but Charley, too, was not happy, he could not whittle his sticks or spin his top like he could at home. Mother, too, missed her home. Here everything was silent, and still all were very kind to us. But mother missed our noise and[Pg 42] singing. Little Charley, too, began to droop. At night he went to look out of the window, and when he saw the lights in our windows at home across the river he began to cry, saying to mother, "I want to go home to grandpa." Next day we were both sent home, and grandpa and Bob were so happy. Lewis and Toney, too, were anxious for us all to be home again. At night we were taken again to the big house, as mother wanted us with her. We three children played to amuse ourselves, but all seemed so quiet to Charley and me. Charley was more at home now. Miss Harriet let him spin his top and whittle in the kitchen. After about two weeks mother was ready to go home and we were a happy family.


Life went on very happy with us children, our home was comfortable. After all the years that have passed so rapidly, methinks I can see us all as we were then around our pleasant fireside on many of those winter evenings. Little mittens had to be made for our hands. Little jackets and caps for the boys, in which all took an interest, and grandpa, too, did his share. He made little fur suits for the boys, caps and all. Father would read to us from the big family Bible and explain to us as he read. Then he would sing the hymns he loved so well, mother joining in. Then grandpa would sing with mother their French glee songs, while us children would join in. Then grandpa would rock me in the low cradle and the boys grew[Pg 43] impatient because it kept the fur suits from being made so fast. Then old grandpa would tell us stories of his travels, and when he told us about them we forgot all about fur suits, for we loved to listen to his old French and Spanish songs and stories. He would tell us of his travels and hardships.


Bob seemed almost to understand, as he would always come close to us and listen, looking at us with his great, kind eyes. Many times grandpa would cry as he related some of his most sorrowful experiences, of how some of his comrades had perished from cold and hunger, or of being drowned in crossing the great rivers. Then he would cover his face with his hands as if to shut out the sight of some loved one's suffering. Old Bob would whine and lick his old master's face and hands as if trying to comfort him, then run to father and whine. Father would go over to grandpa and say, "Now don't cry any more, all that is past. You have not any more such trials to pass through. Now be happy with us." It always cheered him and soon he would be at work again. We children always sympathized with him, often shedding tears when he told his sorrowful tales and laughing with glee at some of his jolly ones. Sometimes mother would say, "I do wish you would not tell the children so many sorrowful stories. It makes them sad to hear them." Then he would say, "Me can't help it. Me sad too sometimes." The fur suits were finished and taken over to the big house for Mrs.[Pg 44] Frankle to see them, grandpa being a great favorite with her.


The Indian village was about three miles distant back from the shore or river's mouth. There the Indians had a large settlement of about seven hundred people in all at that time. At one time their village had contained nearly three thousand. Since all tribes had been at peace many of their Braves had gone among other tribes to visit and hunt. This tribe was of the Ottawas, mixed with the Ojibewas or Chippewas. In times of war each had been a powerful nation. Most of these had lived in the Lake Superior region. After peace was declared part of the tribe wandered away to the southward seeking new hunting grounds. The present Chief's father had been a great warrior as well as his father before him. Chief Ossawinamakee (Big Thunder), was a peaceful man, ruling his people with great kindness. He was a noble looking man of fine personal appearance.


The beautiful lake where the village was situated the chief's father had claimed to have found in his younger days when out on a hunting tour. The tribe claimed the lake was enchanted. Its fish and wild fowl, ducks and geese and other game were not to be disturbed by the hunters, but left for "the Indian Maiden" who strolled by its shores, and for her lover that was to come back and take her to the happy hunting grounds. The village was situ[Pg 45]ated beside this beautiful lake, called by the tribe "The Lake of Enchantment," or where "The Spirit of Peace Always Lived." And, truly, when seen in its quiet and wild beauty it was not hard to believe. The legend runs that on moonlight nights the form of an Indian maiden could be seen wandering along its quiet shores waiting for her lover to come from the happy hunting grounds to meet her. In times of war among the different tribes, it was told, a beautiful Indian maiden of the Ottawas had a lover of the Huron tribe. The tribes were at war. The lover was taken prisoner and condemned to die, to burn at the stake. When the awful deed was taking place the Indian maiden was seen to take her flight southward. Braves were sent to bring her back. She forever eluded them and at last disappeared from their sight. When this lake was discovered many years afterwards it was believed the shadowy maiden seen was the same that had disappeared so long ago, and wandered beside this beautiful water waiting for her lover to join her. Wild deer came to drink of its waters, animals and fowls had no fear of the red man. It was indeed an enchanted place.


The Chief's daughter was a beautiful Indian maiden. She was an only child. Her mother died when she was quite young. Her aunt, her mother's sister, had taken the place of a mother to her. The Chief, her father, was very proud of her and greatly attached to her. She was of medium height, oval[Pg 46] face and clear olive skin with red cheeks and lips, her eyes were large and dark with nearly always a sad look in them. Her teeth were like two rows of small white pearls, small hands and feet, she was a royal princess dearly loved by the whole tribe. Her Indian name was Wa-bun-an-nung (the Morning Star.) We always called her Mary. She was gentle in her manner and could sew very nicely, being always busy with her bead work and quills, making many pretty little boxes from the birch bark and ornamenting them with bright colored porcupine quills which the Indian women colored in bright, gay colors. Her father had always taken her with him on his long trips to Canada and the Sault, also to Green Bay on many of his hunting expeditions. She could paddle her canoe as swift as any of the braves in her tribe.


To me Mary seemed like some bright being from another world. Her voice was soft and sweet. She always came to our home with her father, the chief. Then she would take me in her arms, calling me her little white "papoose." She would put me in my cradle, rocking and singing me to sleep with her quiet, soft voice. Many were the strings of beads and deer skin moccasins she gave me. She made me some dolls and put pretty dresses on them. She was always doing something nice for us children and was very fond of us. One day she asked little brother if he would give her little sister, meaning me, for one of her pretty pet fawns. He[Pg 47] said, "Yes." When she started with me in her arms toward the door he screamed and cried so hard before she could make him know she was only in fun. He said, "Don't take my little sister. Go over the river to the big house and take that 'papoose' because it cries so much." When the older brothers came they said, "Why didn't you trade little sister for the fawn and two cub bears?" Mary told her father. When he came again he brought the fawn and two cubs to see if the boys would trade me away for them. As soon as the boys saw the fawn and the cubs they began to cry and beg mother not to let me go. They did not want to trade little sister off for any thing. All the time the chief remained they watched me, fearing he might take me. He was greatly amused at the joke. I was delighted to play with the fawn and the cubs were like kittens to play. The fawn was inseparable from Mary, it loved her so.

The days were longer now and the snow all gone. Grass was beginning to show in many places. The sun shone warm and bright. Mother said, "Spring is here, now don't you hear the birds sing?" Grandpa took us for little walks, but not far, as the wolves were always near almost every morning. Sometimes two or three deer would come tearing past our door, jumping into the river to save themselves from the packs of wolves chasing them, and the bears would swim across the mouth of the river. Indian hunters were always coming home from the hunt loaded with game. Their deer meat was dried and smoked for future use. The wolves would[Pg 48] come close to our house and little brother and I would often try to call them to come and get some bread and butter, we thinking them dogs. Grandpa and Bob were always near us or we would have been eaten alive by the wolves.


I remember one day soon after breakfast Mary and her father came with a number of other Indians, Mary's aunt with the rest. A large canoe was packed and fitted out with all things necessary for a long voyage. The chief and Mary's aunt were going to Canada on a visit and Mary was to stay with us till her father returned. Her father took four men and Mary's aunt with him. Soon all was ready. They shook hands and away sped the bark canoe over the waves. Mary at first was sad to have her father go, but soon was cheerful again. She helped mother with her sewing and worked two pretty pairs of moccasins and made leggings and pretty garters. Some of the work was for her father. Time passed and it began to be time for the Chief's return. Mary grew restless as many storms came. She would look out over the waters for hours. Mother tried hard to comfort her and tell her all would be well. But Mary must see to believe. Her faith could not reach out very far into unseen things. Grandpa tried to comfort her. He would kneel down and pray for her father's return.

One day a young Indian came to our house to see and talk to Mary. Mother told me afterward he was Mary's lover and had promised her father not[Pg 49] to visit Mary in his absence. Hearing how worried she was he had broken his promise. Mary seemed very sad, talked very little to him, and only when mother was present. She had also promised her father not to meet him while he was gone. The Chief had not given his full consent to their marriage. Another Chief's son had asked for Mary to be given him in marriage, which was now Mary's father's business away in Canada. She worried not so much for her father's absence as she feared her father and the Canadian chief would come to a satisfactory understanding and that she might be compelled to marry the Canadian lover whose father had much land and stock. She felt worried because her lover had broken his word to her father and she feared his displeasure. Indians are very strict about their laws and customs.


One day soon after this I saw the Chief coming up the path to the house. He was not alone. Mary was lying in the swinging hammock. She gave a bound like a deer and reached the door just as her father came in. She threw her arms about his neck and fainted away. Mother put water on her face. She soon opened her eyes and smiled at her father. He took her hand and talked long to her. She looked past him and saw the strange young Indian standing beside the door. She gave a cry and put her hands to her face. Her father called him to come to them, speaking to them both. At last Mary gave him her hand and spoke the Indian greeting,[Pg 50] "Bou shou" (how do you do.) In turn we all greeted him with the same term. The Chief talked a long time to Mary and mother, telling about his trip. Father came home to supper.

The Chief had brought a large pack of beautiful silks, beads, scarfs and cloth for Mary to make some new gowns. He also brought some pretty shells from Lake Simcoe for mother, which she prized very highly as her mother was born there, and many more goods of furs and rugs. The young Indian also brought some furs and rugs, one handsome white one with black spots upon it which he laid down at Mary's feet. She did not seem to be very well pleased with the present, but her father was loud in his praise and thanks. At last Mary thanked him in a low voice. As it was growing dark the Chief and the young Indian left for the village, Mary remaining with us for the night. Brother Charley and I lay down on the white rug with Bob beside us and were soon fast asleep.

Oh childhood's happy hours,
Would that they could come again!
If only we might taste their joys once more
Our hearts would sing a glad refrain.


Next morning the Chief came to take his daughter home, thanking mother for taking care of her during his absence. We were all invited to attend the great feast with the other Chemokamon's (white men) from the other side of the river. It had been told to the tribe that morning of the coming mar[Pg 51]riage of the Chief's daughter to the Canadian Chief's son, who had much land and stock to give his bride. When he talked with mother about it she asked him about the other young man and if he had not promised Mary to him. He answered, "We come of a proud and haughty race. This young man has much land and riches while the other has nothing to give my daughter. No lands, no moneys." Mother said to him, "You will miss Mary from your wigwam." At this he softened, then saying, "I have power to extend the time of Mary's marriage."

On the day of the feast the sun shone clear and bright. Our boys were up early and all seemed to be in a hurry. Grandpa had made a little cart for Bob to draw me in, so Bob's harness was all trimmed with gay colored ribbons. Mother put on my little red dress and pretty beaded moccasins which Mary had made for me. Then I was put into the cart and old Bob trotted off so proudly, thinking perhaps of his younger days when he had brought the great loads of furs from the Lake Superior trapping grounds to the Sault and Mackinac Islands to be sold to the traders there. Those were proud days for the voyagers when all the village came out to meet them from their long trips. After crossing the river we were joined by the people on that side, who were a happy lot. This was a holiday for them all. An Indian feast which none had ever before attended. Something to write about to their far away homes. All went along singing. Old grandpa singing his French and Spanish glee songs[Pg 52] with the boys joining, which made the woods ring. We soon came to the lake, and the village of many wigwams was close beside the water.


On that morning the lake was like a great mirror or a sea of glass, not a ripple stirred its surface and the beautiful trees were reflected on every side, hanging branches everywhere full of song birds, and swimming about near the shore were broods of ducks with their little ones among them. None seemed to be afraid of us. There were many young fawns wandering about and drinking from the lake. Mossy banks and many flowers. No one was allowed to harm the birds, fawns or ducks. The place seemed rightly named "The Lake of Enchantment." I remember being carried into a wigwam and laid on a bed of skins and furs. I was so sleepy after my ride. When I awoke I found myself alone and being frightened began to cry. Very soon Bob came bounding in. I took him by the collar and when we were out of doors I saw a lot of Indian children with brother Lewis and Toney running and jumping with them. I saw mother and grandpa, with little brother, going into a large wigwam. I ran over to them. In the middle of this lodge was a great fire with many kettles hanging in which the dinner was being cooked for the feast. The lodge had been made on purpose for the (chemokamon) white man's cooking to be done. Grandpa and mother had full charge of this part. Father soon came and took little brother and me where many young Indians and the white[Pg 53] men were playing a game of ball. There were many squaws and children all gaily dressed with many colored ribbons. Dogs were running about everywhere, and young pet cub bears which the children seemed to be taking care of. The squaws had been to our house and knew us children. They came to us, giving us little cakes of maple sugar.


After a time little brother and I wanted to see Mary, so father took us to her wigwam, which was covered with black bear skins. There we found Mrs. Frankle with her sister and the children. Mary was sitting on a bear skin rug with her hands folded and her eyes almost shut. I wish I could describe her as she looked sitting there in her dark beauty. I could not take my eyes off her. She raised her eyes and looked at me as if to know what I wanted or what did I see. Then she smiled and sprang to her feet, coming towards me. I backed away and gave a great sob just as I have felt since when looking at some beautiful picture. It seemed to thrill me through and through. She seemed almost to know my thoughts. She seemed almost afraid to move. At last she took me in her arms and, sitting down near Mrs. Frankle, the great tears rolled down her face. Mrs. Frankle put her face near Mary's and kissed her. Then the great sobs came. The Indian maiden may sob but never cry aloud like her white skinned sisters. I wondered why Mary should sob and the tears fall on my face when she was so beautiful and had such beautiful clothes.[Pg 54] I felt of her dress and arms, passing my hands over her face, which made her smile. She then gave us some pretty shells to play with. Soon Mary's father came to see if she were ready to appear before the crowd. When his eyes rested on her a pleased look came over his face. He seemed to be satisfied, for he gave a shrug, saying "ugh ni-chi-chin" (good), meaning he was satisfied with her appearance. Little Charley and I had found the pretty leggings and moccasins Mary had made for her father and lover and ran to the Chief with them, holding them up for him to see, telling him Mary made them. He took them in his hand and smiled. He seemed pleased, but Mary came as if to take them. He kept them in his hand, talking long and earnestly to her. She stood with her head bowed and sad. He showed Miss Harriet and Mrs. Frankle the pretty work, which they admired, but Mary seemed so sad they wondered.


We now heard a big drum and the barking of dogs. Then all the men with Mr. Frankle came and the Chief took Mary's hand. Father took me in his arms and we all went out where there were a great many Indians standing in a large circle. The Chief and his daughter went into the circle and all the white people followed. There were great skins of bear and other furs spread about for the chemokamon (white man) to sit upon, but all the Indians must stand while the Chief made his speech and gave the announcement of his daughter's marriage[Pg 55] with the Canadian Chief's son, who was now his guest.


The chief walked into the circle with a proud and haughty tread, waving his hand for all to be silent. I knew nothing of what he said, but my father told me when I was old enough to understand. I remember his form. He was tall and stately, with a fine appearance, and was dressed as became the chief of the proud Ottawa tribe. Many silver ornaments were on his breast. He talked a long time, while all listened in stately silence.

After a time he was silent and two more forms appeared within the circle. The first to enter was the Canadian Indian. His step was firm, his head high, his look bold; he was dressed in bright red, with beaded leggings and many feathers around his head. The other one came in with a soft and silent step. His form was slight and willowy. He was dressed in a deer skin suit, with beaded leggings, silver ornaments on his breast, and a band about his head filled with eagle feathers. He came close to the Chief, his eyes were looking down, his face seemed sad. He was Mary's true lover, the son of a chief of the Chippewas, whose father had died, leaving him in the care of Mary's father. His father had been a great warrior and owned much land, but had lost it all in long wars with other nations. The name of this young chief was Sha-wan-nib-in-asse (southern bird). Mary and he had[Pg 56] been raised together with the understanding they would be joined in marriage sometime, but in one of the chief's trips to Canada with his young daughter, the chief of a tribe there had asked for Mary for his son. Being rich, Chief Ossawinamakee thought it best to give his daughter to the rich chiefs son. Very soon the chief presented the Canadian Indian with a pair of leggings and moccasins, saying they were a present from his daughter. The young Indian expressed his thanks with many bows casting many looks of triumph at Mary's lover. When Mary saw these presents given she almost gave a scream. She stepped forward as if to take them from his hands.


As soon as the speeches were ended all sat in circles. The Chief's circle was filled with his own family, his sisters and their families and his Canadian guest. The Chemokamons were by themselves. The Indians with their squaws and children had corn soup served with dried venison and fish. The soup was put in large pans with only one large wooden spoon or ladle. When one took a spoonful it was passed to the next and so on around the circle of about twelve or fifteen persons. The white people also had corn soup or maize, as it was called, corn pounded in a wooden mortar, with dried smoked venison and broiled white fish, baked potatoes and many other things which mother had prepared herself. There was much talking and laughing among the Indians as well as white people. The[Pg 57] dogs ran round the outside of the circle and every time the drum was beaten they would yelp and bark while Bob would howl. The fawns and deer came near to us as if enjoying the sport, while the little cub bears scampered away to a cute little wigwam where they slept at night. All was mirth and gaiety. When the eating was over the Chief arose, raised his head high, giving thanks to the Great Spirit, and buried a small piece of silver to entreat good crops and full hunting grounds for that year. There was jumping and canoe paddling among the Indians, which ended the day's sport. There had been a white dog killed, as was the custom at their feasts. We saw the pelt stretched up to dry. Father told me many times that all went home at sunset much pleased with their day of pleasure and sport. The white people were delighted with Indian feasts and declared that no White Dog had been served to them in their Corn Soup, knowing my mother had charge of their cooking.


Early next morning all was excitement at the Indian Village, for Mary's lover, Sha-wan-nib-in-asse, was dead. All suspicion pointed to the Canadian Indian poisoning him through jealousy. The Indian women told my mother at the feast that all the week they had feared the two young men would fight, as they hated each other with a deadly hatred. Now the whole village was ready to kill the Canadian Indian, as none had ever liked him for the rea[Pg 58]son that he was British. The old hatred had not died out from their hearts, even though peace had been declared so long among the tribes. The Canadian Indian hurried from the Village and stopped at our house on his way down the shore, where he soon reached a small trading vessel and made his way home to Canada. Mary was very sorrowful with grief at the death of her lover, and her father was sure the Great Spirit was displeased with him for favoring the Canadian Indian. We were all afraid it might cause a war, as all the Indians at the Village wanted their Chief to go to Canada and get satisfaction from the father in Canada. The white people advised the Chief Ossawinamakee not to go to war, as his whole tribe would be killed, having no warriors to be a match for the Canadian Indians. The tribe had lived in peace so long war was only history to them. The Chief took the advice.


They buried the young lover with great honor, buried him with the sound of the muffled drum. Father made the casket and mother was there to help them. They dressed him in the pretty leggings and moccasins Mary had made for him, putting the other pair with bows and arrows, silver breastplates, with a small kettle and wooden ladle and gun, into the casket as was their custom when burying their dead. They buried him beside the peaceful little lake where the branches of the trees were filled with singing birds. Though a child of the forest he had loved Mary with a pure and holy love.[Pg 59]


My father had now finished his contract with Mr. Frankle at the mill. Hearing that there were many people settling on "Beaver Island," several families that we knew from York State, Ohio and Canada, he made up his mind to go there. Our goods were put on board the staunch little ship "Eliza Caroline," the vessel my father had built the year before. The Chief and his daughter Mary came to say good-by. Good-bys were said to our good neighbors across the river in the big house. We had all become very dear friends to each other. There were many kind wishes and God-speeds for us when the Captain said "all aboard." White sails were set and we glided from the river out onto Lake Michigan just as the sun was sinking in the west. Darkness soon shut out the forms of our friends that stood waving to us from the shore. We knew we were once more out on the water on God's great rolling cradle of the sea. We children, with mother and grandpa, said our prayers in the little cabin and were soon fast asleep with the sound of the rippling waves singing to us a sweet lullaby of peace and rest.[Pg 60]



Beaver Island was once the home of the Mormons. This island is the largest in the group of islands in lake Michigan, containing about fifteen thousand acres of land.

To many who may read these pages it may seem like a fairy tale to know that a kingdom ever existed within the borders of the United States. A kingdom has existed, and that little kingdom was on Beaver Island, now commonly known as St. James, being named in honor of him who made himself a king. James Jesse Strang was born and educated in New York State, graduated from the Fredonia Academy of the same state. He studied law and was classed among the brilliant lawyers of his day. In his eight years rule on Beaver Island he was twice elected to the State Legislature of Michigan. His speeches were considered among the most brilliant delivered in the halls of Lansing, the State Capitol. He spoke with ease, his manner was winning, he aimed to be a leader. Strang was living at Voree, Wis., at the time of Joseph Smith's death at Nauvoo, Ill. Having joined the Mormon Church he now claimed to have "Divine Revelations" from God that he was chosen to fill Joseph Smith's place to lead the people left without a leader. After a[Pg 61] hard struggle which he made for the leadership, Brigham Young was chosen as Smith's successor.


Strang felt his defeat very keenly and withdrew with a few of his followers who had entire belief in his revelations. He now went to Kirtland, Ohio, where a Mormon temple had been built as a place of worship for the Latter Day Saints, as they are now commonly known. Strang soon became restless. Brigham Young had already gone with a large number of Smith's followers to Salt Lake City, Utah. Strang wanted more territory, more privileges, which he knew he could not have in Kirtland, so he began to look about for a place where he could establish a kingdom over which he could rule with undisputed sway. Being a lawyer and understanding the law so perfectly he knew he could not carry out his plans unless he found some secluded place where the law of the land could not easily reach him, and where could he find a place better suited to carry out his plans than Beaver Island? In 1846, two years prior to Strang's coming to Beaver Island to establish his kingdom he was on his way west to Wisconsin. The steamer he took passage on was driven into Beaver Harbor to seek shelter from a storm. When Strang was telling all this to my father he said, "When my eyes first rested on Beaver Island I thought it the most beautiful place on earth."

At the time Strang was there, a Mr. Alva Cable from Fairport, Ohio, had located at the Point and was establishing a business. He had built a[Pg 62] dock, a store and a fine large dwelling and was already buying fish from the fishermen and shipping them to outside markets.


Strang had already settled in his mind to locate at Cheboygan, Mich., having looked over the location. Mackinac Island being just near enough for him to get their supplies. At that time Mackinac Island was the largest fish market in northern Michigan, furnishing supplies to the whole north shore and fishermen among the great number of islands, its several stores furnishing everything necessary to the people around and being in close touch with the outside world, having a postoffice and mails coming there from Detroit.

But when Strang saw Beaver Island, its beautiful harbor, fine timber and natural beauty of scenery, the thought came to him like an inspiration, and he said, "This is where I will come to build up my kingdom." And when he saw all the improvements being done he had no doubt but he could soon have all the people about the shore as his followers. But there was much to hinder before he could persuade many of his followers to come and locate on a lonely island, as it seemed to them, in the middle of Lake Michigan. Also Strang's wife was not a believer in the Mormon doctrine, having no faith in the revelations he claimed to have: but Strang had a great command of language and possessed a strong will power. He at last persuaded a few of[Pg 63] his followers to come with him to Beaver Island, where they landed from a steamer in the early part of June, 1848, two years after he had first seen the island. About twenty-five people came with him, and before navigation closed over a hundred more had landed, most of them being all unprepared for a long, cold winter on an island where the snows were extremely deep in winter.


The whole surrounding country at that time was a wilderness. White settlers were few in number. There were many different tribes of Indians wandering about from place to place on their hunting and fishing tours. They were all peaceably inclined, many remained long enough to plant small gardens near the shores, but never clearing the land at any distance back from the shore. The woods were filled with abundance of game to satisfy all their wants and needs. The red men of the forest were best satisfied in their own native wilds. They were nature's children. The trees, flowers, buds, leaves and waves on the shore all whispered their mystery of the great and good Spirit that ruled all things. In those days the Indians were receiving payments from the government. An agent was employed with a clerk to make these annual payments. Sometimes the money would be paid out at Sault Ste. Marie, sometimes Green Bay was the place of gathering, other times Mackinac Island. Then the tribes would gather from far and near, bringing their whole families to receive their money.[Pg 64] That was a happy time for the red man and his family to know the "Great Father" at Washington was such a friend. Payment time, as it was called, also made trade for the white man.


There was a large band of Indians living on Garden Island, three miles distant north from Beaver Island. This island had been deeded to them by the government as their own. Also another island about six miles west of Beaver Island, called High Island. Both these Islands were fertile, covered with heavy timber, and both afforded good fishing opportunities with good harbors at each island. Strang's people never having seen Indians before were naturally very timid, especially when the Indians gathered at Beaver Harbor to sell their fish and being friendly often called at the Chemokamon's house. The Indian being of an inquisitive nature, wanted to see how the white brothers lived in their homes. Strang himself said he felt none too sure of his own life when he saw so many coming to his home, but the Indians and their squaws with their papooses on their backs, that being the fashion of carrying their young children, were always smiling and good natured, which very soon reassured Strang and his people that they were friendly and meant them no harm. At first the Mormons always kept their doors locked and barred. Strang soon preached to them to leave their doors open to their Indian friends, which they did with the faith that their King knew best.


[Pg 65]


About the time my people came to Beaver Island the property at the Point in Beaver Harbor was just changing hands, Mr. Alva Cable having sold his dock and buildings to a Mr. Peter McKinley from Painesville, Ohio, who came with his family and took possession at once, putting in a supply of provisions for the fall trade with the fishermen.

Strang soon called on our people, and was anxious to have my father build our home near the Mormon settlement at the harbor, promising there would be plenty of work, as more of his people were constantly coming. Strang was so friendly and sent many of his people to call on us. His wife also called on us. She was a bright, sensible, noble woman, and we found her friendship was true. My mother being a nurse, Strang told her he would always be glad of her assistance when any of his people were sick. Our people had never heard about Mormons before and knew nothing about their belief or doctrine. Mother told me many times afterward it seemed very strange to her seeing the Mormon women dressed in short dresses with hair cut short and keeping Saturday for their Sunday. When mother spoke to them about it they told her that King Strang had all these revelations from God and that, he being their leader, they must obey what he said.


Our house was soon finished. Father had built it near to a Gentile family, an elderly couple from Tor[Pg 66]onto, Canada. They had bought a small piece of land from the government, making themselves a home the year previous to the coming of the Mormons. They were an Irish family with considerable means. They first came to Mackinac Island to visit a nephew, Mr. P. Kilty. They took a little trip to Beaver Island with others, and were so pleased with it, thinking it would soon be settled and make a desirable place to live. Their name was Loaney, and the place where they located has always borne the name of Loaney's Point. It was on the south side of Beaver Harbor, distant about two miles from the village. On the end of Loaney's Point rests a large boulder which has always been a land mark, sometimes looming up looking like a great black steamer near the shore. Mr. Loaney's nephew, P. Kilty, also located at the Island and was driven away with the rest of the Gentiles, returning again after the Mormons were sent away from the Island, residing many years there and being a successful fisherman and farmer. His son, Mr. Peter Kilty, is now, and has been for several years, a captain on one of the large steamboats on lake Michigan. The old couple, Mr. and Mrs. Loaney, had some sad experience with their Mormon neighbors, losing their home and all they had by their persecutions. After the Mormons were driven off the Island Mr. Loaney returned and was appointed keeper of the Beaver Island lighthouse at the head of the Island, holding the position several years, he being the second keeper having charge[Pg 67] of that station, a Mr. Van Allen being the first keeper when the light was first erected.


The winter of 1849 was an extremely cold winter, with heavy ice and deep snows. Our summer boarders had all packed and gone to their homes. Father had brought our provisions home and packed it away for winter use. Many of our Mormon neighbors with their children came often to see us, and we children played with them. Mr. Loaney had some cows and Auntie Loaney was always bringing us milk as well as to her Mormon neighbors. Our boys and father and mother were very busy making a large fishing seine for a man in Ohio who was coming the next spring.


Before the ice came in the fall father took us all in our boat across to the Point so mother could do some shopping. Mr. McKinley was a very kind and pleasant man and would have us go to his house for dinner. He wanted us to get acquainted with his family. Father took us over to their nice, large and comfortable home. Mrs. McKinley was very kind and seemed pleased to see us. She was a pretty, bright-faced woman, slender, with dark hair and eyes. She had three little girls, Sarah the eldest, Effie and Mary. We children were soon acquainted, playing with the dolls and having tea with the children's little dishes. Mr. McKinley had a sister living with[Pg 68] him whom the children called "Aunt Ann." She was very kind to us, giving us many slices of bread and butter with cups of milk.

I remember the children had such beautiful hair, which I admired so much. Mother helped to set the table and get the dinner on the table, as they boarded several of their help. Our boys were out exploring the Point with some Mormon boys. When we were ready to go home Mrs. McKinley filled a great basket with large red apples for us to take home. Father thanked her, saying he ought not to take them, as he had two barrels at the store for winter use. She said, "Do take these apples, they came from home in Ohio and are better than the apples at the store. Now I want you to have them." We children played together until the last moment. The little girls gave me large packages of candy. Kissing them I promised to come again sometime. Mrs. McKinley was very kind, wanting us all to come again. Father told me afterward when I was older how lonely she was, missing her Ohio home so much. She asked father what he thought about our Mormon neighbors. He said he knew very little about them, so far they had been very kind and pleasant. She told him her fears, saying. "I have no faith in Strang at all. I fear he is misleading those people and I am afraid they will cause us all lots of trouble before long, but my husband thinks they are a well-meaning people. We have invested considerable money, which I feel quite sure we shall regret." Father tried to encourage her to feel more hopeful, but she said she[Pg 69] could not feel they were true. She liked Mrs. Strang, as everybody did who knew her.

Soon after this the cold snows of winter were upon us, ice made very fast. We heard no more the whistle of the boats, and saw no more the white sails of the vessels and fish boats that sailed in and out of the pretty harbor. I was young, yet I remembered and missed all these things.


I was never tired going over to see Uncle and Auntie Loaney, as they taught us children to call them. They were a dear old couple and loved us the same as if we were their own. I remember the pretty large cat with the little white kittens. When she gave me bread and milk I would sit on her clean white floor, and it was hard to know which ate most of that bread and milk, myself or the cats. I used to take my dolls over and stay days at a time with Auntie, and when mother came after me she would say, "Oh don't take her away home. Sure you have four and I have none at all, at all. Now you must leave me one." Then little brother Charley would go and stay a while with them until he got lonely for the rest of us. In that way we took turns being with our kind, good neighbors all the time we lived near them. Some of us were always with them. They had a son married and doing business in Toronto. The next year he came to visit them for a month. Then how pleased she was to tell Michael how good we little children were to her. We children all loved them dearly.[Pg 70]

Winter was advancing. There was much sickness among the Mormon people. Food was scarce with no means to buy, and clothing thin for a northern winter. Mother was called away from home to care for them, and we children were often left at home with grandpa and father. Auntie and Uncle Loaney were always coming to see how we were. I staid with them most of the time, getting lonesome often for Charley and Bob. Poor old Bob was more feeble than ever now, the cold winter bringing on rheumatism.


I remember one day Uncle Loaney coming in and saying to father, "Sure Mr. Whitney, why don't you kill that old dog? He is good for nothing and can't stand up any more." That was enough, little brother and I began to cry and then poor old grandpa, the tears rolled down his cheeks, and when he could speak he said in his broken English, "Oh don't keel Bob, you keel Bob me die too. Me and Bob good friends good many year. Oh no keel Bob." Then father explained what a long time Bob had lived and been with grandpa and how he had saved brother Toney's life the winter before. Then how sorry Uncle Loaney was, saying. "Yes let poor Bob live as long as he can." After that many were the little pails of milk sent to Bob.


I remember a man came to our house one morning and two little boys were with him. Father had[Pg 71] gone with Toney and Lewis out to chop wood a short distance from the house. The man came in with the children and asked to see father. Grandpa was so afraid to be alone with the Mormon he said, "Me no want you keel me. Me give you everything in the house you no keel me." The man said, "No, I don't want to hurt you. My children are hungry." Charley ran out to tell father to come, then the man explained how hungry his family were, having no bread and no money to buy. Father gave them something to eat, and soon the children were sitting with Charley and me eating bread and butter. Father gave flour and other things for the man to carry home.


Mother soon came home, telling of the want and suffering among the people. The King had gone from the Island on the last boat, leaving them to fare as best they could. They had come to the Island too late to plant anything that season and none of them knew how to fish or help themselves. They suffered cold, hunger and death that winter without complaint of their King. Their whole cry was "Oh, if our King were only here." There was some one every day to our house and Aunt Loaney's. The Mormons were in a starving condition. Father gave to them until he feared we should be left with nothing. Grandpa was afraid we children would be left hungry, so he buried many things for us. Mother and Auntie were always busy cooking and carrying food to the sick and dying. Mrs. McKin[Pg 72]ley was just as busy at the Point helping the suffering people all she could. There were several deaths in the winter and spring. After awhile father, grandpa and the boys put some nets through the ice, catching many fish for the hungry people. Our boys set hooks, showing the Mormon boys how to catch the fish to keep themselves from starving. Father and mother were so much among them they began to learn something about their strange belief, which was peculiar, their faith being all placed on their leader, "King James," as they often called Strang, always calling upon him to help them in their trouble. Mother said to them, "Why do you call upon man to help you? Why don't you call upon God and pray to him for help?" They would not listen, saying, "Has not our King the revelations revealed to him?"


Spring had come. Our good old steamboat "Michigan" had come to our harbor once more. Strang also came. He was just as calm and serene as usual, nothing seemed to disturb him. His wife did not return until later in the season. He soon came to our house and seemed very grateful to our people for their kindness to his suffering people during his absence. When mother told him how much they had suffered he laughed, saying, "Oh, they must get used to Island life and expect to have some hardships." Soon the boats came and brought more Mormons. Those that came now were more comfortable and seemed to have more[Pg 73] means to help themselves with. Very soon they were at work clearing the land and making ready to put in crops of potatoes, corn and other vegetables. There were several families who came from Texas, bringing their horses with them, with wagons and a few cows. Of course those who had plenty had to share with those who had little and give their every tenth part to the King's treasury, and very often giving more to help out extra expenses. Strang seemed in excellent spirits and went about from house to house, talking and encouraging his people, and father said no one would think they had passed through such trouble so recently. Soon it was planned to give a feast in honor of the King's return, and great were the preparations going on among the Mormons.


With the springtime also came many fishermen to all of the islands, and many settled along the east shore of Beaver Island as far up as the light house at the head of the Island. A Mr. James Cable, nephew of Mr. Alva Cable, had now come to locate at the head of Beaver Island, three miles north of the light-house point. James Cable came from York State. He was a bright, smart, enterprising young man, recently married to a most estimable young lady of the same city where he lived. They came with their little son Claude, a child of about two years old. Here Mr. Cable invested considerable money; put out a good dock, built a large dwelling[Pg 74] and store, carrying on the wood business for many years, as well as having a fish market, employing several men getting out cord wood to supply the steamboats, as well as buying fish and furnishing provisions and all fishing supplies to fishermen. Mr. C. R. Wright, also another man from New York State, settled at Cable's dock and carried on a large cooper shop to supply the barrels for the fishermen, which became a great industry. Mr. Cable, with all the rest of the Gentiles, was compelled to leave Beaver Island in 1852, not feeling safe to remain longer. After the death of King Strang he returned, taking possession again of his property, carrying on the business with success for several years. Feeling his need of rest he closed out his business and bought the property at Mackinac Island known as the "Astor House."

Several of the men who had been with us the year before now returned again and were boarding with us. There were two brothers that came. Their names were Thomas and Samuel Bennett. Thomas was married when he came and they soon took some land, built a house and put in some crops. They also were in the fishing business. They never were very friendly with the Mormons.


Soon after Strang's coming after that terrible winter of cold and suffering among his people, he claimed to have had several new revelations which must be told to his people. They all prepared for a great feast showing their joy at their King's safe re[Pg 75]turn among them again. It would seem in his talk to them about his new revelations that he told them God was sending many Gentiles to be a help and a support to God's people, meaning themselves, the Latter Day Saints, and that it was right for his people to take whatever was necessary for them to have. That it was their privilege to take from the Gentiles. This was the first time that the King had openly given any orders of that nature to his people. Whether any Gentile had ever been admitted within the council room was never known, or whether some of his own people told what had been said, which many of us thought might be the case, but the news soon spread, and from that time no Gentile felt secure about his property. My father once asked Strang if he had ever preached to his people and given such orders. He answered he had not, but their actions soon told what their instructions had been.


His people soon began to take from the Gentiles whatever they could get. Up to this time the feeling between the Mormons and Gentiles had been very friendly, the fishermen being glad to have the Island settled with a good peaceful people as they had until now seemed to be. Mr. Peter McKinley at the Point was now suffering considerable losses by the Mormons taking his cattle and butchering them, also other goods which they were taking. A young man, or boy, Wheelock by name, told or gave information about the butchering of the cattle. He[Pg 76] being a Mormon boy employed by Mr. McKinley, had to suffer the penalty by receiving fifty stripes with the "blue beaches," that being one kind of their punishments. We had never heard before of the Mormons doing anything of this kind to their people. The boy had told the truth and had to suffer the cruel whipping.


A man by the name of Thomas Bedford was employed by Mr. Peter McKinley. He also gave some information about the stealing of property by the Mormons, and he also received seventy-five of the cruel stripes with the "blue beaches." For this awful treatment Mr. Bedford swore revenge. The Mormons never proved that Mr. Bedford had given any information about their stealing goods from Mr. McKinley, but just concluded he had and gave him the awful punishment. So Bedford bided his time for revenge.

Strang had now a great number around him who sought his favor and were ever ready to do his bidding and many times did things he did not sanction. There were some good, kind, peaceable people that knew nothing about the working of the inner circle that surrounded the king. There was one apostle that aimed to take the King's place and be ruler himself. He was a cruel and crafty man. He took charge of all things among the people in Strang's absence.[Pg 77]


The Mormons were now building a temple after the pattern of the one at Kirtland, Ohio, and I believe of the same size. They had already built a saw mill so they could manufacture their own lumber. They had built a large building made of logs hewn on both sides. This was fitted up as a printing office and Strang edited a paper called the "Northern Islander." The printing office still remains and was turned into a hotel and is known as the Gibson House of St. James. The Mormons were a very busy people. Those that were improving their farms and building their homes had nothing to do, as a rule, with the making of Strang's laws. He had his council men, his twelve apostles, besides elders under the apostles, members of the households of twelve. They did the voting and had all to do with making the laws, that is the laws that governed the conduct of their people. Strang had the revelations and the council of twelve voted it a law. And they had the power to enforce the law and punish any who disobeyed. So far the King had preached against polygamy and said that it should not be allowed, although there were a number of Mormons that had a number of wives apiece. Strang allowed it to be so, as he said they had practiced the law according to Joseph Smith's doctrine, and having several wives apiece he told them they might keep them, but that no more should be taken. So the men who had more than one wife kept them. Strang had many people now to control,[Pg 78] every boat during the summer season brought more converts, as he had several apostles traveling constantly about the country making new converts to their faith. Strang instructed them to make all things to appear at its best, so the people were made to believe the Island was truly the "promised land."


Now the King had a new revelation that polygamy must be practiced. When he made it known to his people it gave them a great shock, as their minds had been made up that this was not to be. Strang very soon obeyed the "Divine Command" by taking a spiritual wife, or as the Mormons called it, "being sealed." Mrs. Strang, his wife, packed her clothing and taking her three children with her, left the Island, never coming back to live with him again. Strang was absent when she left, so she met with no opposition. She came back to the Island twice during his absence, gathering the people together in the temple, talking and pointing out to them the error of practicing such a doctrine, and both times she came she burned the robes which the King wore when preaching in the temple. Mrs. Mary Strang was greatly loved by all his people that knew her. Of course the King was not pleased with the interference of Mrs. Strang.


The King now took one of his young wives, had her dressed in man's apparel and travel about with him seeking after more converts. The name he[Pg 79] gave her was "Charles Douglas." He made a great joke of this, and boasted "Charles" was the best worker he ever had. If Strang was magnetic "Charles Douglas" was irresistible. She was a beautiful woman and extremely fine looking when dressed as "Charles Douglas." I saw Strang and "Douglas" once together. One of the Mormon apostles was living neighbor to us. Mother had sent me on an errand to their house. Strang and his companion came there to dinner. Both were dressed in plain black suits, wearing high silk hats, which was the fashion. Both were smiling and talking very pleasantly together. Of course I supposed it was a young man with Strang, but the apostle's wife told mother about it later.


There was one family living at the harbor settlement who kept a boarding house. This man had four wives. Gentiles as well as Mormons boarded with him, and many were the jokes the man had about his wives, saying he had no need of hired girls, as he had wives enough to do his work. My father was often there to take his meals, and once I remember mother was with him and took me. One of the wives was a French woman. Mother talked with her in her own language and she said she was tired of that life. She not being a favorite wife had too much work to do. She had four small children. When the other women saw her talking to mother in French they seemed not to like it, thinking perhaps she was talk[Pg 80]ing about them. As soon as they came into the room the French woman began to sing as though she was very happy. At another time, when she was sick and my mother was taking care of her, she said, "Only for the love I have for my children I would take poison." Many women that we met were very cheerful and pleasant, while there were many more with very sad faces and manner. When our people first lived neighbors to the Mormons they were very friendly and talked about their work. As soon as they began to take things from us they became silent and did not appear to care to meet us any more. There were a few who never changed toward us and proved friends to the last, although they had to appear sometimes to be our enemies.


One morning I missed Bob. I always ran to see him when I first got up. Sometimes it was very hard for Bob to walk, and when the warm spring sunshine came our boys and grandpa would put Bob in a nice place to lay. Now I could not find him, and when I saw mother I saw that she had been weeping and was now silent when I asked her about Bob. I ran over to Auntie Loaney's. There was grandpa. He was sobbing as if his heart would break and our boys were trying to comfort him by telling him Bob had not suffered a moment. Then I realized. Bob, my old friend, was dead, and I sobbed, "Oh, boys, what made you kill Bob?" Then they tried to explain. I could not listen, I could not understand why it should be done. Then Auntie and Uncle[Pg 81] Loaney said, "Now dear children do not grieve, poor old Bob was too old to live any longer. It is best his sufferings are over." We were all sad over the faithful dog's death. It was several weeks before grandpa and I could feel it was for the best. We buried him where the birds sang first in the spring.


Father now thought it best to move to the head of the island, his work being there with Mr. Cable. We were beginning to fear the Mormons, as they had greatly changed toward us. In their travels up and down the island they most always stopped at our house. And sometimes there would be five or six, and very often they would ask for a meal, which we never refused to give them. Very often they remained all night, and then they were always sure to let us see the big knives they carried hanging to the belt they wore. Towards the last of our stay they carried a gun with them as well. When they came to our doors they never rapped, but simply walked in and helped themselves to a chair. We were told by some of their own people who were disgusted with Strang's doctrine that these men were just obeying the King's commands. He was trying to make all the Gentile people know the Mormons were to have their own way on the island. Just as fast as the Gentiles moved away from the Mormon settlement the Mormons followed and built their homes near to them. The Bennett brothers had already left their home at the harbor and gone to the Gentile settlement.[Pg 82]


Strang had now got the county organized, being attached to Mackinac county; later it was changed to Manitou county. The county seat and post office was at the harbor, named in honor of the King "Saint James." The island was divided into three districts and townships. The town at the harbor was named in honor of the Indian Chief at Garden Island, town of "Peain." The district at the head of the Island was called Gallilee, the center, Troy, the lower, Enoch. Strang was always very kind to the Indians, trying hard to have the Chief "Peain" give him one of his handsome daughters for a wife, which the Chief refused to do. Strang now established a school for the Indians at his own expense, sent a young Mormon over to Garden Island, where he taught school for three years. At a later date the government appointed teachers and gave many years of schools to the Indians, my husband being one of the teachers appointed. Chief "Peain" ruled his tribe with great kindness and firmness. He was a man of noble appearance. Their tribe was the Ottawas. Myself and husband remained on their island as teachers two years, from '62 to '64. Chief "Peain" was always the friend of the Chemokamon (white man.)


On Beaver Island there are six beautiful little lakes. Lakes Genessarett, Fox Lake, Green Lake. These lakes are near the head of the Island, while the other three, Font, Long and Round Lakes, are[Pg 83] near the harbor. Font Lake is where the Mormons baptized their people, and also held their yearly feasts. It is a pretty spot with a long narrow point reaching out into the Lake. This lovely lake is about half a mile distant from the harbor. Long Lake is just a short distance beyond. That, too, is a beautiful spot. Its high land on one side is covered with heavy hardwood timber and great quantities of fish are in Long Lake. Just a short distance from Long Lake is "Mount Pisgah," a high sand mountain. One can look down into the harbor from its top. That, too, has beautiful scenery all about it.

The group of islands near Beaver Island can be seen from "Mount Pisgah." High Island, Trout Island, Squaw Island, which now has a fine lighthouse erected upon it. Rabbit Island and Garden Island, with Hog Island off nine miles to the east. All these Islands show from this mountain, and on a clear day it is a beautiful sight to look upon. Lake Michigan, with its dark blue waters, with so many pretty islands covered with green trees, and the white pebbly and sandy beaches, where the white sea gulls are constantly soaring about or resting upon the water. The island was very beautiful when the Mormons first went there. At that time no timber had been cut off. One can appreciate its beauty only by going out into its center and among its pretty lakes. When my people first came there to live there were still traces left of the "Beaver dams" where the busy beavers had made their homes about the little lakes. This is why the island was named "Beaver[Pg 84] Island," and sometimes the whole group comes under the one name of the "Beaver Islands."


At one time while I lived on the island there were several deer supposed to have come across the ice from the north shore. There was an abundance of wild duck, pigeons, partridges and wild birds of many different kinds. Foxes were plentiful, both grey and red, and once and a while a black fox. Lynx and wild cats were seen, and one old hunter declared he heard a "panther." These wild animals traveled many times across the ice in winter time from the north shore, and very often the foxes crossed from one island to another in the winter. At this date there are no wild animals, unless there might be some wild cats. I saw a wild cat that was shot there in 1882. One great reason that made the island so desirable a place to live at that time was its splendid fishing grounds. No one need to be without money in those days. Fish always brought a good price, and at the time of our Civil war brought a very high price. There were many large cooper shops run. These furnished barrels to the fishermen to pack and salt their fish in. The cooper trade was followed by a great many men. They came to the island from the cities to work through the summer season, then going home again for the winter. The climate being so pure many recovered their health that had lost it. At the present time the barrel trade is a thing of the past. Fish are packed in ice and shipped to the market[Pg 85] fresh. Changes have come to Beaver Island as well as everywhere else. Still it will always be "Beaver Island."


Thomas Bennett was living near to Cable's dock. There were several families at the little settlement. Some came from Canada, others were summer people going home in the fall. Mrs. Bennett and her three children were going on a visit across the lake. Her people lived at Cross Village. Her father and mother came with their own boat to take her with them. I remember so well the morning she left us. We all felt sorry to see her go. Mr. Bennett was a fond father and kind husband. His wife and children were everything to him. There were three little girls, the eldest five, the next three years, and the baby six months. Preparations were made the evening before for an early start. Father, mother and I went to the beach to see them off. It was hard for Mr. Bennett to let them go. He kissed his children many times, then his wife, and he said, "Isabel, how can I let you go. Come back to the house, you must not go." She felt very sad, saying, "Yes, Thomas, I know you will miss us, and I will not stay so long as I was going to. I will come back in a week." Good-bys were said, little hands waved and the boat went sailing out over the rippling waves. Mrs. Bennett held the baby high in her arms for her papa to see, little white handkerchiefs were fluttered as far as we could see them. Somehow we all felt sad. Mr. Bennett walked on the[Pg 86] shore saying, "Oh, my wife, my children. Why did I let them go? I shall never see them more." We tried to comfort him, but we could not. As the darkness came on and the wind blew fiercer our hearts grew heavy. Mr. Bennett walked all night on the shore and my father with him. I lay in my bed listening to the sound of the sullen roar of the sea as the breakers dashed high on the beach. At times it seemed the waves would never stop their rolling until they swept us away. They came so near our door once or twice I went to the window to look out, and nothing but a sheet of white foam could be seen. At times it was like the sound of distant thunder as the waves broke and washed about us. All the next day the sky was dark, the waves had a moaning, sobbing sound that was very sad to hear. We waited two days, then the messengers came over from Cross Village. Two Indians were sent with a letter from the Catholic priest telling all he could of the sad accident.

Early the next morning after the storm some Indians at Cross Village went to the beach to see if their canoes were all secure. The first object they saw was the boat of their neighbor drifting along the shore. No one was to be seen in the boat. They waited until the boat came in reach so they could pull it out from the breakers that still ran high. The boat was almost full of water. They took the water out as soon as possible, and in among the quilts lay little three-year-old Rebecca. She still breathed, her body was warm. The Indians in their excitement delayed taking the child to the house,[Pg 87] thinking there might be more bodies washed upon the shore. They carried the child to the good priest's house and everything that human power could do was done to save the child, but it was too late, "Baby Rebecca had gone to join the angels."

Oh the sadness, it was hard. It seemed sometimes Mr. Bennett could not survive the shock. None of the other bodies were ever recovered. Mrs. Bennett was a very beautiful woman with a sweet, loving disposition.


About this time King Strang decided to build a residence for himself. He made the plans and called it the "King's Cottage." The King came to our house asking my father to go to the harbor and help build his house. He wanted him to do the framing, and father, not being very busy, and not liking to refuse the King, went. Father was gone about six weeks, coming home often to see how we were at home. He boarded at the house where there were four wives. The King's Cottage was built very strong. A story and a half high with a porch across the front. The wide hall went right through the center, with massive strong doors at front and back, and with an open stairway. On each side of the hall was a large room, two bedrooms, hall and closets upstairs. A white picket fence about the yard with a nice garden spot on the hillside. It was a pleasant, cosey home, and the location was most beautiful, looking out on the harbor and Lake Michigan. The house was in the midst of a lovely[Pg 88] grove of forest trees, maple, beach, oak and scattering evergreens. The cottage was built under the small hill or terrace on a level flat and just a short distance from the docks and stores. When we arrived after the Mormons had left the island the house was in good repair. My father and mother occupied it two years, being the first ones to live in it after Strang's death. Strang had started a large addition to the cottage before he died, which was much larger than the cottage itself. The addition was put at the back of the main building, made of logs hewed on both sides, containing eight rooms. But like the cottage itself, it has gone to decay. Strang remarked, "I am getting so many wives I have to enlarge my house."

While father was there Strang invited him to dinner one day in his own home, as he said he wanted him to see how a man could get along with several wives. My father went and had a fine dinner, and Strang was very gay, entertained with many jokes and stories. The four wives had very little to say, but were smiling and pleasant and seemed very anxious to please the King.


Strang joked about soon adding some more wives and soon starting a school for his own children, at which they all laughed. He talked continually, trying to have them all know that he was the king and having authority to rule his subjects as he pleased. When dinner was ended they went to the new cottage, Strang and the favorite wife, the other three women remained at home. Father said none[Pg 89] of the other women ever came with Strang to see how the work progressed, only this one that he most always called "Charles." Father said this young woman was very pleasant and greatly pleased with the house. Strang seemed very affectionate to this wife. Every pleasant day they were walking about together. When father came home he said he was glad to be home again. They were all very kind to him, but it seemed terrible to see people live in that way. He told mother the women had sad faces when people saw them at their work. When Strang came again he said to mother, "I am going to make a Mormon of your husband and what will you do when he brings home more wives?" Mother said "I hope that will never happen, and if it should the women that come into my home will not have a happy time." Strang looked at her saying, "We could find a way to make everything agreeable in a very short time." Then he laughed, saying, "If you were a Mormon, Mrs. Whitney, you would think differently about these things. We believe in this doctrine and that is why we are happy." Mother said to him, "Now you can't make me believe you are as happy as you want us to think you are." He said no more and appeared thoughtful. After he was gone mother said to father. "Do take us away from this island. I am afraid of that man. No one knows what he may do yet."


The King was very particular about the appearance of his peoples' homes. The houses were built[Pg 90] of logs hewed on both sides and all were whitewashed outside as well as in. Their yards were all laid out with care and taste, with flowers and shrubs, and nice vegetable gardens at the back, which gave all a homelike appearance. No liquor, tea, coffee or tobacco were to be used. There were men sent out every day to see that all refuse of fish was buried deep in the ground. He exacted a tax from the fishermen all along the shore of ten dollars for each boat, and as there were always a large number of boats, this added quite a little income to the King's treasury. All paid without hard feelings, as money was plenty and no one cared to have trouble with the King. The Bennetts would not pay the tax. Thomas Bennett felt he had been greatly wronged about his home, having to leave his land as his Mormon neighbors had made it so unpleasant for them, besides he felt Strang had no right to collect the tax from the fishermen. At any rate he refused to pay when Strang sent his men to collect it and the feelings between them were not very friendly.


The winter of 1851 my brother Lewis went to Ohio to school; my father was very sick that winter. We had two Mormon neighbors that were very kind to us. One was a good doctor, and he took care of father almost constantly with help from others. The other Mormon friend was an apostle in the church. He and his wife lived near us. He had charge of the people that lived near the Gentile settlement. They were very nice people. Both[Pg 91] these neighbors were very much worried about the things Strang was preaching. The people were getting restless and divided. Many wanted to leave the island but had no means to go with, and feared to be punished if found trying to get away. A great many were opposed to polygamy. Strang tried to keep his people in harmony together, but the strife was growing every day. In the early spring Strang came to see my father. He was very sympathetic about his being so sick. Mother told him how kind Mr. Bower and Mr. Sinclair had been to us. He seemed greatly pleased and asked to know if he could do anything to help.


When he was leaving he said to mother, "Come over to Sinclair's. My wife is there. We have a nice baby. Come and see our baby boy." Mother took me with her to the apostle's home. There we saw the King and his favorite wife, Charles Douglas, and their baby. I, being fond of babies, wanted to hold him. I sat in a little chair and the mother put the child in my arms. The King was afraid I would let the baby fall. He never let go the child's dress. He seemed very fond of the child, and it was plain to be seen that this was his favorite wife. Most of the time he called her "Charles" and sometimes Elvira. She was very sweet and seemed very fond of her baby, yet her face seemed sad when not smiling. Her manner was quiet and her voice low. Before we left Strang took me on his lap, asking if I did not want to go to school. I[Pg 92] stammered "Yes," but mother said she is too young yet to go to school. When we came home mother said to father, "Don't you ever consent to send Elizabeth to the Mormon school." Strang had remained on the island that winter.

Very soon after our visit to the apostle, we were startled one morning to hear several boats and nets had been taken by the Mormons, with many barrels of fish from the store houses near the light-house point at the head of the island. Some Ohio fishermen had stored their fish and other property expecting to come back in the spring, leaving a man to look after the property. The ice was just breaking up in the lake. The Mormons took everything to the harbor. Our people saw them passing very early in the morning. All were well armed and ready to resist any interference from the Gentiles. We Gentiles were very frightened, fearing they would take our provisions from us, as there were all sorts of rumors. Mr. Cable had a store with a stock of all kinds of merchandise for their spring trade. He feared they would demand the keys and take possession of his goods. There was very little sleep for several nights among us. Our Mormon friends who were true to us advised us all to keep very quiet and not be seen talking with them. They kept us posted as much as possible. The Gentiles made preparations to defend themselves. The Mormons took the boats and nets to the north shore, concealing them in the woods, making it appear the north shore fishermen did the plundering. The owners of the property recovered[Pg 93] the boats and part of the nets, but never recovered any of the fish. They were sold by the Mormons.

At the harbor all was gaiety. Their theater was kept going to amuse the people with dancing parties every week. The King made it a point to entertain the sailors when vessels were detained by rough weather, and they began to think Beaver Harbor was not a bad place to be weather-bound. They found King Strang a charming entertainer. With opening of navigation the summer people came, and our house was again full of boarders. We had built a comfortable house, which was almost complete. Our regular boats were calling, business had started up and we all felt more secure from the Mormons as so many people were coming. Fishing was good, money plenty and everybody was busy. Strang had gone with his wife and child to attend outside affairs. The head apostle was in charge of everything and there was much dissatisfaction among many of his people. Several felt fear for their life, if they disobeyed the King's command. Among these was the Apostle Sinclair.


The Bennetts were living not a great distance from us. Sam, as the younger brother was called, had married a young lady from Detroit, a Miss Sullivan. Thomas now boarded at his brother's home, and was still very sad over the loss of his wife and children. I had been visiting a week with Mrs. Bennett and returned home in the morning. In the afternoon a message came to our house[Pg 94] saying that Thomas Bennett was dead. The Mormons had shot him. It was hard to believe, yet it was true. The Gentiles were very much excited and sorrowful, too, as Bennett had been a favorite with us all. Could it be possible they had killed our friend and neighbor?

My three brothers were dressed in their Sunday suits and walked to the harbor, grandpa going with them, fearing something might happen to the boys. Bennett had always been very fond of my brothers and they loved him. Now, they must see him buried. It was long after dark before they reached the harbor. A Mormon family, who had some boys about their age, kept them all night. The next morning they went to where the body was. It had been put in a blacksmith's shop. Dr. McCulloch opened the body to see which of the seven bullets had proved fatal. One had pierced the heart. The body was put in a plain pine coffin and buried without prayer or ceremony of any kind. The grave was near the water in a little grove of cedar trees where the sound of the waves never ceased their solemn murmurings. When my brothers visited the grave soon after it was piled high with great rocks, meaning that every Gentile would be served the same unless they obeyed the king's commands.


The killing of Bennett was a threat shock to all our people, as no one believed the Mormons would carry things so far. The Bennetts had gone early[Pg 95] on the lake, returning before noon. While attending to their work in their workhouse two Mormon men stepped in, demanding the tax money. Bennett answered, "I want to see the king before I pay it." The men went away. The Bennetts stepped out to go to their dwelling, when seven bullets were fired at once into the body of Thomas Bennett. He dropped dead instantly. The brother ran toward his house with his hand up to his head. Bullets came thick and fast around him. He was shot through the hand, shattering all his fingers on one hand. There were many shots entered the windows. Mrs. Bennett to save her life had to go into the cellar.

The body of Bennett was put into his own boat with all the fish there was in the fish house, which amounted to considerable money, and taking the wounded brother with them to the harbor. There the doctor dressed his wound. Strang always declared he never gave orders to have Bennett killed or to be brought "dead or alive." Until the killing of Bennett we could not believe the Mormons meant to do us bodily harm. Now all was changed. There was no more open friendship between Mormons and Gentiles as before. They avoided us, passing us without speaking with their heads bent and eyes looking to the ground. They seemed a sad and silent people.

Not long after Bennett's death I saw the king coming to our house. The very name of Strang struck a terror to my heart. I felt so afraid of them all now. He was almost to the door, dressed[Pg 96] in his black suit and high hat, I always recognized him from the rest. I said to mother, "Oh, where shall I go, I am so afraid of Strang?" Mother's bedstead was a high, old-fashioned one with white curtains about it. I ran and had just time to seat myself under it, and tried hard to pull the curtains around me, but my feet were left sticking out from under the curtain.


Strang walked in, seating himself in a chair, saying: "Good morning, Mrs. Whitney." Mother greeted him very coolly, as she had not seen him since Bennett's death. How my heart did beat when he asked where my father was. Then I was sure he wanted to take me away to the harbor to school. Mother told him father would soon be in to dinner, which she was then preparing. Strang said: "I guess I will stay to dinner, Mrs. Whitney, and have some of your nice baked whitefish, which I see you have." He saw her putting it into the oven. He talked about many things and after a little while he said, "Where is your little girl?" Then I was sure he would take me away. I wanted to scream, but kept quiet. Mother told him, "The child is afraid of you since you had Bennett killed." He came over to the bed, getting down on his knees, saying, "Come out, child; I will not hurt you. Come and sit on my lap." I drew back. He pulled me out by the hand, taking me in his arms and sitting in the chair he stroked my hair, saying: "I will not hurt you, child. Do not be afraid of[Pg 97] me." His voice was low and his face looked sad. I looked at him a long time, then said: "I see blood on your head. I am afraid of you." He put his hand to his head, passing it over his forehead, and looking at his hand, he said: "I see no blood." He was very pale and his face was serious. Mother explained to him that I had heard the people say that the blood of Bennett was resting on Strang's head. I got down from his lap and took my little chair as far as I could from him, and holding my doll. I watched the king, fearing him so much. He told mother he was absent when Bennett was killed. She asked him why he was always absent when his people did the most disagreeable things. He said: "Do not judge me too harshly. I am not responsible for the killing of Bennett." Father and our boys soon came in with our friend, John Goeing. Strang staid to dinner and praised our boys for being so brave in going on the lake. He said: "My people will never learn to be good sailors; they are too timid." Then he asked about the schooling. Father told him John Goeing, our boarder, was teaching us.


Father told me in after years he had a very serious talk with Strang that day, and the king admitted it was not right that Bennett was killed, but said where there were people that were opposite in their beliefs there was always trouble. Mother told him some sorrows would come to him if he persisted to live as he was living. He smiled, saying: "Oh, we aren't such a bad people, after all, Mrs. Whitney, and when you become one of us you will[Pg 98] think just as we do." He shook hands and was gone. Mother said to father: "I do believe we shall have to leave here soon or we shall be forced to become Mormons." Father assured her that would never be.


John Goeing came to the island and had been with us two years. He was an educated and refined gentleman from Ireland. His father was a rich Irish lord. John had been disappointed in love and left his "dear old Irish home" to come to America. From a visit to friends in Canada he had wandered to Beaver Island, and had been with us ever since. He was a great reader, having a box full of books. He did not work, and being very fond of us children he took it upon himself to teach us. He received money from home often, with the finest of broadcloth suits of clothes with silk underwear. Every evening after the lessons were heard John would read to us or tell us about his "old home in Erin." What brother Charley and I loved most was to have John tell about the chase with hounds. I liked it all except where the fox was killed by the dogs, then I would say, "John, can't you tell some stories where the fox gets away from the hounds?" Then he smiled, saying, "I won't have the foxes killed any more. It makes Elizabeth feel too sorry." Then he would get his books, saying, "Now, children, where shall we go tonight? England, Ireland or Scotland?" Sometimes we all wanted different stories. Then he would say, "I[Pg 99] will take you to Ireland, my own native home." To me it was fairyland to listen to John telling of the home he had left, with its lovely green parks, graveled walks, shady bowers where his father and mother often strolled about with their children. We could almost see it all as he told it to us, and so often when he finished the tears would be falling through his fingers as his head rested on his hands. And the books, how wonderful were the places he took us to in them! He had traveled almost everywhere and we loved best to hear about his travels. We could understand it all better. John was like a brother to us younger ones, and like a kind son to father and mother.


Summer was fast slipping away. Our summer boarders were talking of home. One of our boarders, Mr. William Hill, was anxious to take my brother Charley home with him, put him to school and teach him the engineer's trade. It was all talked over and settled that Charley was to go. We children could not realize much about what it meant. My eldest brother had been one winter with the same man. Charley was to remain with Mr. Hill until he was twenty-one, he being past ten now. Papers were made out and signed. Mother prepared all the clothes for her boy that was going away to another home. I remember so well seeing the tears rolling down her cheeks as she sewed and stitched far into the night, making the little jackets that Charley was to wear in his far away[Pg 100] new home. She sacrificed her own feeling that her boy might have an education, and a good trade when he became a man. The time had now come for Charley to go. Father and mother had grown thin and pale. The packing began. Mother could not finish and neighbors had to come in and finish it for her.


Mr. Hill told her Charley could come back to see us every summer. But somehow it seemed it never would be the same. Charley would never be ours again. It was terrible to think about when the time came for them to go. A letter came to Mr. Hill from his sister in Painesville, Ohio, asking if he could not bring the little sister, meaning me, that she would like to have a little girl to be with her two small children. She would send me to school and I would be near my brother. Then I could come home in the spring and go back another winter if all was agreeable. It was at last decided that I, too, should go the last trip of the steamer Michigan, in December.


The steamer was at the dock. Good-byes were said. Charley was gone. The boat steamed away, taking the first one from the home nest. It was hard for mother to give up her boy, but she felt it was best for him. Oh, how long the time seemed to me! No more could we wander about together.[Pg 101] Our little canoe lay idle upon the beach. There was no little brother to help row the boat, or swing in the old swing from the big maple tree, or chase the plovers along the shore. Our little pet dog was always searching about for Charley. His bows and arrows were put away out of sight. The house seemed still; it was as if some one lay dead. John felt just as sad as any of us. Our neighbors came to cheer us, telling us we should meet again when the spring time came.

Mother still was busy getting the rest of us ready to go. Mr. Crane was our neighbor. He came from the headlands near Fairport, Ohio. His daughter Elizabeth came with him and her brother to be their housekeeper. They owned a farm in Ohio. They were a large family and money could be earned easily at the island as the fish were so plenty. They came with several other Ohio families. Mr. Crane was coming back next season and I could return with them. Nearly all our summer people were gone. We had just two left and they were going on the last boat.

The Mormons were now taking boats and nets every chance they got and the Gentiles felt very unsafe. Our two Mormon friends told our people there was great trouble among them in the Church, as Strang's laws were becoming unbearable.

The weather had changed and snow and ice were now with us, and brother Anthony had gone to Green Bay to his uncle John Gebeau. In another week brother Lewis and I would be gone. How often I said to John, "Now you will be good to[Pg 102] father and mother, won't you? for they will have no one but you, and you will read to them and tell them about Ireland and your old home."

John promised all and mother told me afterward she never could have lived through the winter only that John was so kind. He read them stories, and being a good singer, he sang his old native songs of Ireland. All was ready. Our trunks were packed. Mr. Crane's goods were on the dock. Fishing had been good and those who had not had their nets stolen were going home with money. There were about twenty families of the Gentiles to remain all winter at the settlement at Cable's dock. The rest went to their winter homes.

I was busy bidding my little playmates farewell, as the boat was expected every hour. At last the steamer was beside the dock. Elizabeth Crane had packed my trunk, as mother could not do it. I had my dolls packed and then took them out, saying to mother, "I will leave my dolls so you can see them and you won't be so lonesome." When she could speak she said, "Yes, leave the dolls. When I look at them I shall think you are near." So the dolls were left in their little beds covered up with their sheets and quilts just as I always put them to sleep. We all ate our dinner together. It was a sad, silent meal. Mr. Crane and Elizabeth were charged over and over again to take good care of me if I should be sick. They promised to do all they could for me. Mr. Crane said. "I shall take care of your child as if she were my own." I said to John. "Now who will go to England, Ireland and Scotland with you[Pg 103] these long winter evenings?" He said, "I guess I will have to take your father and mother with me as you children will all be gone." "Well John, be sure you take little dog Prince and all the dolls. Don't leave them here alone." The whistle blew, good-byes were said, mother caught me in her arms with one last long kiss and "God bless you, my child." Mr. Crane and Elizabeth with brother hurried to the boat, John and father coming as the captain shouted "all aboard." Father kissed me, saying, "Be a good girl, come home in the spring and God bless you."


My hand slipped from his into Elizabeth's. She led me over the gang-plank. My little dog had followed me. He put his paws upon my shoulder and was licking the tears off my face. Father called to him, but he would not leave me. The men carried him to father, the plank was pulled in, the paddles turned and we steamed away with those on the dock waving us good-by. Elizabeth took me up on deck where brother and I stood waving as long as we could see the old home where we had all been so happy together. We soon reached the harbor, we landed at the Point dock to take freight. Mr. McKinley had taken his family the trip before and gone to Ohio for the winter, his clerk taking charge of the business in his absence. His father, grandpa McKinley as we called him, came on board to go away for the winter. He was always so kind to us children and we all loved him. It was Sunday, but[Pg 104] I noticed the Mormon women had their washing on the line, Saturday being their Sunday.

We steamed away and soon could see nothing about us, as it was snowing and the sea was heavy. Our boat rolled and pitched about so no one could stand upon their feet. Jane, the cabin maid, took me to her private cabin and let me lie on her couch. As I lay there I began to realize I was leaving my home. It was dark, the lamps were lighted and I said, "Oh I must go home. I can't leave father and mother." Elizabeth took me to her room, putting me in her berth. There I sobbed myself to sleep.


When I awakened we were at the dock at Mackinac Island. Everything was white with snow. The whole island looked like white marble. The damp snow had covered the trees. The fort on the hill looked so pretty where the snow was on the tops of the houses and chimneys. A flag waved over the fort. There were soldiers in their blue clothes walking up and down the fort hill. Dogs and ponies hitched to sleds with people dressed in fur coats, caps and mittens riding along the front street that reached round the pretty bay. The dock was full of people. Men, women and children nearly all speaking in French. There were a number of families going away on the last boat to their winter homes. Elizabeth took me ashore. We went into several stores and there I met old grandpa. I told him I was going to see Charley. He[Pg 105] was so pleased to see me and cautioned me to be careful not to fall overboard and to be sure and tell Charley grandpa had not forgotten him. Then he gave me packages of candy, apples and raisins. I met several that knew me, as they were so often with us at home. We walked down to the Mission House, as mother had told me so much about the Mission. When Mr. Ferry was there mother had attended the Mission school for a time. We saw Robinson's Folly with the white snow covering the rocks and trees. We then came back to the old Mission Church, and going inside I told Elizabeth my mother had often taken me there when I was a baby. I showed her the Dousman pew in front where the family used to sit, my mother being adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Dousman. We then came to the "Old Agency House" with its quaint old chimney outside at the end, its little dormer windows in the roof. It was now all covered with the pure white snow and every shrub around its doors was draped in white. We passed on, going toward the Grand, many little houses covered with cedar bark and some had cedar bark put all around the outside, with narrow strips of wood tacked on to hold it. Some had little square windows with four and six panes of glass with white muslin curtains. They looked like little toy houses, but were warm and comfortable. It was a quaint little village full of jolly, kind hearted people whose hearts were tender and true to their neighbors.

It being cold we soon went back to the boat. Our boat looked like a huge snow bank beside the[Pg 106] dock. The freight was being rolled over the plank and all was confusion. There were handshakes and good-byes as the people hurried over the plank. The "all aboard" was shouted, the plank was pulled in, the paddles turned and we were moving away amid the waving of caps and fluttering of handkerchiefs. Our whistle was saluting, and many of the people on the dock joined in one of the old French-Canadian glee or boat songs, their voices sounding far out over the waters as we passed Round Island.


For a short time we watched the white island covered with snow. It soon set in thick again and the snow came down in blinding sheets with a cold wind. Our boat rocked and tumbled about. We were now out on Lake Huron in a heavy snow storm. Our captain and sailors were dressed in their warm fur coats. Every turn of the paddies was taking me farther from home, and soon such a longing came over me which I could not shake off. I wanted to go home. Elizabeth and my brother tried their best to comfort me, telling me I was going to see brother Charley; but nothing could make me feel better. Brother tried to have me eat something, but I could not. My chin quivered, I tried so hard not to cry, I ran to my room, throwing myself on my bed, trying hard to keep the tears back. Soon Mr. Crane came with a big doll he bought for me at Mackinac Island and grandpa McKinley came to see me, taking me in his arms [Pg 107]and rocking me in one of Jane's chairs. I was very glad to see him. He was a dear white haired old man. He told me some droll stories that made me laugh. Then I told him I was going to see my brother Charley and that I was homesick, and if I didn't get better soon I was going to ask the captain to turn the boat and take me back to Beaver Island.

The storm grew worse, the seas ran higher, the snow was blinding and all things had to be made secure on the boat. No one but the sailors could walk about. Any that tried would be thrown down. The only way they could move about was to creep on their hands and knees. Sometimes our boat was high on the waves, when it seemed every timber in her would be broken. She trembled and then sank way down, where it seemed we would be buried in the foaming waters.


We were now crossing Saginaw Bay in a blinding snow storm. The whistle was blowing almost constantly, and once we heard another quite close to us. Women and children were crying in their state-rooms, others were groaning in fear and sickness. Our boat was creaking and tossing, sometimes on her side, when it seemed she would never rise again. Sailors were running on the deck and orders were shouted by the captain. Water was splashing into the cabins, glass was broken from the windows, and cabin boys were hurrying about nailing up blankets. Dishes were smashing as they fell from the lockers. Cabin doors could not be shut,[Pg 108] our boat was twisted, and it seemed she could not last much longer she settled and trembled so at times, and then the great waves dashed all over her.


Our blankets were wet by water coming in upon us as Elizabeth and I lay in our berth with our hands tightly clasped in each others. She had been telling me about her home, mother, sisters and brothers. How they were waiting and watching for them to come home, saying, "I know my mother is praying for us." Then I said, "And we must pray, pray awful hard, because my father, mother and John said if I was in trouble God would hear me and help me, and I guess I will pray for our boat to be saved." Elizabeth said, "Yes child, pray for us all." And I am sure God heard the feeble prayer I made as I told him how sorry everybody would be if our dear old Michigan steamboat went down. I felt no fear through all the storm. I said to Elizabeth, "Now we must go to sleep." She kissed me, saying, "Dear child, what a comfort you are to me." We were cold and wet in our berths and now the boat seemed pitching and tossing another way. Her head would go down so far it seemed she would pitch over head first. Many were screaming in the cabins. Mr. Crane with my brother and William were on the cabin floor near our door. Our door had to be tied back to keep from slamming. My brother had the life preservers ready and some had already put them[Pg 109] on. Oh the praying and the screaming was terrible; but in the midst of all I went sound to sleep. When I awoke our boat was still. We had weathered the gale.


There was tramping of feet and scraping of shovels. I was sure we had run aground. Brother soon told us we were safe at Presque Isle dock. Oh how glad we felt! Brother said hurry and dress so you can get out on deck and look at our boat. She is a sight to look at. We were soon on the dock looking at our boat covered with snow and ice. One could never have imagined it was a boat that lay there. It was like a big ice berg. Her spar was so covered with ice it looked like a great tree. Our boat was a side wheel steamer with a walking beam. Capt. Newberry was owner and master. He said to his mates, "Boys, when this old steamer of ours can weather such a gale she can go through anything." People came running down to the dock to see the steamer as the news spread. We laid there two days and nights to clear the snow and ice off and make some repairs so she could go to Buffalo to lay up for the winter. Brother Lewis said he could not tell how many barrels of salt were used on that trip to keep the boat from sinking with ice. Our ears were tired hearing the shovels scraping the snow and ice for the rest of the trip.


Our passengers began to feel better that the great storm was over and again we were moving.[Pg 110] Many were to leave the boat at Detroit, as some were to cross over to the Canada side. At Detroit we remained for some time, our Captain's home being there. Mr. Crane, Elizabeth, William, Lewis and I went ashore. Mr. Crane bought me some red morocco shoes and a pretty red silk hood to match my red cloak. We had not many passengers after we left Detroit, and again the sea was rough with a heavy rain storm. When we reached Cleveland we again went ashore, walking about the city all morning, and in the afternoon Mr. Crane took a carriage and we drove about the city, seeing many handsome residences, but they could not get me to say anything I saw was nicer to me than my island home. That night there was a gale on Lake Erie so our boat laid in port. I was still homesick and the tears would come often, though I tried to keep them back. My brother Lewis was to leave us here at Cleveland, as this was where he was going to school. After he left us I was very lonely.


Elizabeth said. "Now my dear child you must have patience. Spring will soon be here and we will take you home again. So now, have patience." All day long after she talked to me I kept repeating every little while. "Patience, patience; have patience." I did not know its meaning. At last I asked her what it meant. She tried to explain to me it meant not to worry, not to fret, to be quiet and wait, try to be happy, sing when I wanted to cry, and be cheerful and not give up to sadness. I[Pg 111] repeated many times what she said to me and promised to do the best I could. How much I needed that lesson before my face was again turned homeward! I did not cry any more. I told Elizabeth my heart was getting too big and I was sure it would burst. When I felt so bad and it was hard to keep the tears back I took my doll Jane (I had named her after the dear, kind cabin maid) in my arms, rocking and singing some of my old French songs my mother had taught me. When Elizabeth looked at me I said, "Now I am getting patience." Soon the captain came in, saying, "Is this the little girl that is homesick?" I said, "Oh no, I'm not homesick any more. I have got patience." He laughed heartily. Elizabeth explained to him what I meant. He said, "No don't you get homesick any more. I will take you home next April on this old steamboat of mine. So get all the patience you can."


At nine o'clock that evening we reached Fairport. It had been raining hard and the night was dark. We were ready to leave the boat. Jane, the cabin maid kissed me many times, saying, "Now my dear child try not to be homesick and we hope to meet you in the spring and take you home with us." We stepped ashore, it seemed to me the dock was moving from under us, we had been over a week on the boat. Elizabeth was soon with her brothers and sisters who had come to meet her. She took my hand saying, "This is my little friend, Eliza[Pg 112]beth Whitney." They gave me a hearty welcome and I knew I was among friends. We hurried to the hotel kept by Mrs. Root in Fairport, where we remained all night. Next morning after breakfast we crossed over the river on the scow ferry, where we were met by Mr. Crane's carriage and we drove to their home on the Headlands. There Mrs. Crane was standing in her door to meet her husband and children. After all had greeted their father and mother, Mrs. Crane with the rest of the family gave me a kind welcome and I felt quite happy with them. Their nearest neighbor was Mr. Alexander Snell. He had been to Beaver Island and knew my parents. Mrs. Snell and everybody was very kind to the little "Island Girl," as I was called. Her sister, Mrs. Wright, was our neighbor at home. Mr. Crane's youngest child was a girl of five years, and a boy named Charley eight, so we children had great fun hunting hen's eggs in the big barn.

After one week one bright morning Mr. Crane took me in the carriage to Painesville to my new home. We crossed the Grand river at Fairport, then took the old plank road to Painesville. How the horses' hoofs did clatter as we drove on a fast trot! We stopped at the turn of the road, where Mr. Crane had two sisters living. Their house was on a pretty knoll on the right as we drove into Painesville. We had dinner with Mrs. Matthews. The other sister was a maiden lady called by the children "Aunt Margaret." They were all very kind to me.[Pg 113]


After dinner we drove into Painesville up to the cottage door to my new home. The lady came to the door and knew at once I was the little girl she expected and said, "Come in." We stepped inside, Mr. Crane saying, "I have brought you this child as you directed me in your letter. Her father has put her in my care and I am responsible for her. If you do not like to keep her this winter I shall take her home with me. If you do take her and at any time don't want her, let me know. I shall come once every week to see her until I go back to the island, and of course you know she is to go back to her home with me unless she wants to stay and you want to keep her." The lady said, "Yes you have said just as my letter to her father reads." She looked at me, then turning to Mr. Crane she said, "She is so small she won't be able to help me much." Mr. Crane said, "Why you said in your letter you wanted her for company and to do little errands and chores for you and be with your children." "Yes," the lady said, "But I shall expect her to help me some." Mr. Crane told her, "You promised to send the child to school and I have money from her father to buy her books." The lady said, "Oh I know we shall like her." Then Mr. Crane handed her the money for my books, saying, "She has clothes enough. If there is anything more needed let me know." He gave her his address and went out to bring my trunk. He said, "Now my dear child, I hope you will be happy in your new[Pg 114] home. I will come every week to see you." Turning to Mrs. Shepard, he said, "If this child gets sick let me know." He bent down and kissed me, the tears falling fast from his eyes, he bowed to Mrs. Shepard and hurried away.

The last link that reminded me of my island home was gone. Oh it was terrible! I tried to run after him to call him back. I wanted to say come back, come back and take me to your home. I could not speak, I could not move, never while life lasts can I forget how I felt when I saw Mr. Crane driving away in the carriage. I was among entire strangers in a strange land. A child of seven and a half years of age. The lady said, "Come to the fire you must be cold." She then took my cloak and hood. I sat down in a little chair. She went about the house at her work, never speaking to me. All was silent and quiet. In a little while the two little children, one a boy of three, the other a year old, just walking, came to me. The oldest brought me some toys and put in my hands, never speaking. Then the youngest came and put his little face up to mine. I kissed him, which seemed to please him, and soon I took him on my lap, where he soon fell asleep, while the other child was sitting quietly beside me on the floor playing with his toys. The lady took the child and laid him on the bed saying. "Do you like children?" I answered. "Yes Ma'm." It was the first word I had spoken since I entered the house. She took her sewing and never spoke. Oh how long the time seemed! I cannot tell how I felt. No tears[Pg 115] would come to give me relief. At last she put her sewing away and began the supper. Then the lights were lit; the baby had wakened and I again took him in my arms. The other child stood close beside me.


Soon the door opened and a man came in. The children cried, "Papa." He kissed the children saying, "Who is this little girl?" His wife told him, "This is the little island girl we expected." He took my hand, saying. "I am glad to see you. But wife what a little midget she is." He was a kind looking man with black hair and eyes. Supper was on the table. I was placed near the children. I tried to eat, but I could not swallow. The food stuck in my throat. Mr. Shepard noticed I did not eat, so he asked me if I would like some milk. I answered, "Yes, sir." Mrs. Shepard told him there was none only what the children had. I said, "Never mind," but little Henry gave me his cup full. I managed to drink it. When the meal was over I asked if I should do the dishes. "Not tonight, but tomorrow," she said. Mr. Shepard asked me a few questions about my island home, which was the only time in all my stay that my home or my parents were ever mentioned to me.


I was put to bed upstairs alone in a room. The first time in my life I was ever alone at night, but I was not afraid, only homesick. I took my doll Jane in my arms, saying my prayers I went to bed,[Pg 116] but not to sleep. My thoughts went back to my home on the island. I could see my pets, father, mother and John sitting around the table, mother sewing, John reading, and the tears would come in spite of all my efforts to keep them back. Then I thought about what Elizabeth said to me that I must have patience, yes I must not cry and I would soon see brother Charley. I would ask Mr. Shepard in the morning about my brother. Then I whispered so low to Jane, telling her it was naughty to cry and complain, and that we must pray God to help us, asking her if she had forgotten the big storm when we were on the lake. In talking to my doll I fell asleep and only awoke when Mr. Shepard was building the fire in the morning. I was soon dressed and was down stairs, where I began dressing the children, and always after that I took care of them. The dear children, how they loved me and I loved them! Never once were they cross to me, and I hope I never was to them. Of course I could not comb my hair. It was long and heavy. Mrs. Shepard did it for me. I helped her with the dishes and soon learned how she did her work. She was very neat and her home was always in order. By standing on a little stool I could reach the dishes on the pantry shelves and soon could do the dishes alone and help about the other work.


The next week I was sent to school in the little red school house. Miss Elizabeth Crawford was[Pg 117] my teacher. She and her mother lived near the school house in a little vine covered cottage. I was very happy in school. Mr. Shepard heard my lessons in the evenings so he could see what progress I made. Mr. and Mrs. Shepard had both been teachers. The Christmas time was saddest for me, for then I missed my home the most.


I was in Painesville over a month before I saw my brother Charley. He came one day and staid to dinner. I could scarcely believe it was he, he had grown so tall and seemed such a little man. After dinner we took the children on the sled and went to Mr. Shepard's shop where he made the wagons. Then we went down the bank to the river. At four o'clock he must start for home. I wanted him to stay all night, but he said he could not. The time came all too soon for him to go and with many promises to come again we bade good-by and he was gone. For days afterward I wondered "had I dreamed he was there or was it a reality." I never saw him again while I remained.

One morning soon after when Mrs. Shepard was combing my hair she took the shears and cut it off short. My heart was broken. She said, "I can't be troubled with your long hair every morning." Mr. Shepard was sorry, but said, "Never mind, it will grow again," which comforted me because I feared it would always be short like the Mormon women's hair. Mrs. Shepard had a[Pg 118] niece boarding with her. She liked to tease me, telling me it would never grow again.

Every Sabbath I went to church and always had my verse learned for my Sabbath school teacher. One morning on my way to school I met Mr. Peter McKinley. He lived in a large house near our school. He was very glad to see me. To me it seemed like seeing some one from home. Mr. Crane came every week to see me, but I never saw him. Sometimes I was at school, twice I was in the house upstairs with the children but never knew he was there until he was gone. Spring was drawing near and I wondered if I ever would see Mr. Crane and go home.

One day Mr. and Mrs. Shepard left home and went to Willoughby. Her niece kept house and I helped her take care of the children. They were gone two days. The front door was always locked and I was told not to go to the door if anyone came. Once when I was on the street I saw Elizabeth Crane and her sister driving. They knew me and I knew them, but they were out of sight so quick I had not time to speak to them. Mr. and Mrs. Shepard came home. They began to pack their goods. Once I said, "Are you going away?" She said, "Yes, we are going to move to Willoughby."


All that night I lay awake. I knew then they intended to move and take me with them, and then I would never see my father and mother again.[Pg 119] My heart was heavy, and all night I kept praying that God would help me to go to my own home. Mrs. Shepard had a sister living near, and next day I went to her, telling her I had not seen Mr. Crane and I feared I was to be taken away to another place and would never see my people again. She was a dear, kind lady, and she said, "I will see my sister about this," and she came right home with me. She talked with her sister for a long time. I did not hear their conversation, only I saw Mrs. Shepard was displeased. When Mrs. Robinson left she kissed me. I saw tears in her eyes. She had been so kind to me all winter. It was the one bright spot in that winter's life for me. The next morning we were to start for Willoughby. As I went to my room my heart was heavy with trouble. I took my doll Jane, telling her my sorrows and fears, but somehow Jane could not comfort me. I said to her, "It is because you don't know anything about my people. You have never been to Beaver Island." The moon was shining bright into my room. I lay a long time thinking and saying, "Oh, what shall I do!" I got out of bed and knelt beside it praying as I had never prayed before. I told God all about my sorrows, saying, "Oh won't you help me and take me home to my father?" My heart felt lighter. With Jane in my arms I lay me down to sleep and never wakened until Mr. Shepard called. We hurried our breakfast. Mrs. Shepard appeared nervous. My heart felt lighter than it had for many a day and I kept listening for carriage[Pg 120] wheels which I felt sure would come. One load of goods had gone to the depot, the dray had just left the door with another and there were just a few things left for the last load. Our wraps lay on a chair.


Mr. Shepard had gone to the postoffice. A carriage drove up and stopped before our door. A lady came quickly in. I looked and saw it was Aunt Margaret, Mr. Crane's sister. I threw my arms about her, saying, "I am so glad to see you. Will you take me home?" She said, "Do you want to go?" "Yes, I want to go." She turned to Mrs. Shepard saying, "I see you are moving. I am Mr. Crane's sister. He was not able to see this child this winter. He sent me as the time is drawing near when my brother returns to the Island. He promised this child's father to bring her back if she wants to go." Mrs. Shepard told her she would have no interference and would keep me. "No," said Aunt Margaret, "Your letter reads the child could go home and come again if all was agreeable. And she says she wants to go and I shall take her. Elizabeth get your things on." I just flew I got my trunk, the lady putting it into the carriage. I was following her when Mrs. Shepard said, "Child aren't you going to kiss me and the children?" I put my arms about her neck, kissing her and caught the children in my arms with a hug and a kiss, then ran to the carriage.

Aunt Margaret lifted me to the seat, took the[Pg 121] lines, and our horse just flew down the plank road till we arrived at Mrs. Matthews, where Mr. Crane was waiting for us. He came, saying, "Dear child how I have worried about you. When I saw I could never get to see you I sent sister Margaret and now you can go home on the steamboat Michigan." Oh what a happy child I was! All the sad, gloomy, lonesome days were forgotten. I was going home. Home to my father and mother. Going to my island home.

We soon started for the Headlands once again. The horses' hoofs clattered over the road to Fairport. We crossed the river, and in a short time were at Mr. Crane's house, where all the family met me with greetings of love. I entered school; Miss Marion Brooks was my teacher. I was at the Headlands three weeks when a letter came from the Captain of the steamboat Michigan to be ready at a certain date to meet the boat at Fairport. Mr. Crane made preparations, and on the date mentioned in the letter we were all in Fairport to take the steamboat. My brother had come from Cleveland.


How my heart swelled with joy when I heard the Michigan's whistle and saw the steamer nearing the dock. Mr. Crane's people were sad to have them go, but all was ready, good-byes were said and again the old familiar sound of "all aboard" was heard. We stepped upon the gang-plank. Jane met us with her pleasant greetings, lines were cast[Pg 122] off, our boat was moving, we steamed out upon the waters of Lake Erie with many blocks of floating ice about us, and the sea gulls were again soaring high above us, uttering their shrill cries, as if they, too, were glad to have the spring time come. We reached Cleveland, where several families took passage for the island, some of whom were our boarders of the year before. At Detroit more came on board. Among the rest Mr. and Mrs. Loaney. They had been to Toronto, Canada, for the winter. There were many fishermen returning to the island on this first trip. More would follow later. The weather was fair. Our steamer had been repaired since that terrible trip in December.

The Captain said to me, "Little girl did you get lots of patience this winter?" At first I could not remember what he meant. Then it flashed through my mind and I answered, "Yes sir." He said, "Well child, I told you this old steamboat would carry you home and now you will soon be there." Jane was glad to see us all again, the tears ran down her face when I told her how homesick I was and what a comfort my Jane had been to me. It was pleasant enough for us to be on deck after we left Detroit. We stopped at almost every port. Lake Huron was calm and quiet this time with just a ripple on Saginaw Bay, but we could feel the motion of big swells, which sent many to their state rooms.


We passed Bois Blanc, and were soon at the dock at Mackinac Island. This time green trees[Pg 123] greeted our view, but the white fort on the hill with the flag waving over it looked just the same. The people were all out to greet the first steamboat of the season, it being sometime about the middle of April, 1852, old grandpa being among the rest. He was glad to see us, but sorry Charley was not among us. Again we walked the streets and climbed to the fort. The grass was springing up in the yards, and all nature told us spring had come. There were happy, cheerful smiles on people's faces, children were playing in the sunshine.

We had now left the dock and again there was waving and singing on the dock to cheer us on our way. Our boat moved out past Round Island. There were great blocks of drifting ice on every side. Near the little island of St. Helena we almost stopped to keep clear of the ice. We steamed past Hog Island, with little Hat Island looking white with ice packed about it. Over to the northward was all ice, which had not yet broken to drift. We soon were at the McKinley dock at the harbor; freight was taken on for Green Bay, again the "all aboard" was called and we steamed along past Big Sand Bay. We could see all the little homes that would soon be occupied by summer people.


Brother and I saw our home, with father, mother and John standing in the door. We waved to them; they saw and answered. Our boat was landed; father and John were there to meet us with other friends. I could scarcely wait for the[Pg 124] gang plank to be put out. Ah well, the home coming was almost worth the waiting for. As soon as I had greeted father and John I ran up the dock for home, my little dog chasing after me. I met Mr. Cable hurrying down. As I ran past without stopping, he said, "Aren't you going to shake hands?" "Oh yes, but I am in such a hurry to get home," I answered. Oh the joy to be once more at home! I took both hands and dashed the water up into my face as I ran along the shore to our house. The sound of the waves seemed welcoming me home. I looked back once toward the boat and saw father with Elizabeth and the rest coming. I ran almost breathless into the house saying, "Mother I have come home." She hurried toward me saying. "Charley." Then she caught at the back of a chair. Her face was so pale I thought she would fall, and I gave her water to drink. She kissed me with her eyes full of tears. I whispered, "No, Charley has not come."

The rest came in. Mr. Crane's people were to stay with us until their house was ready. We were a happy family around our table at supper time.

I was now home and yet there was a sadness about it. We were not all together as we once had been. Father and mother had grown thin and pale. John said he could never tell how much we children had been missed. He had read his books, sung his songs and told his stories to pass away the winter evenings, and they had all worried much about the Michigan, knowing that we were out in[Pg 125] that terrible storm when we left in the fall. I was busy for a few days visiting our neighbors and telling them about my trip and where I had been. My little friend Rose and her mother were glad to see me, as I could tell them about their people on the Headlands. Their Aunt Mary Snell and Cousins Andrus, Alva and the rest. There was a sweet little babe at Cable's. They called her Cora, and I was so glad, because now I could help take care of her. Somehow life had changed. Before going away the world did not seem to reach out very far beyond our island home, now it began to seem like a great big world to me, and many were the questions I asked John, which he was always glad to answer. Once I said, "John were you ever homesick?" After a minute he answered, "Yes, sometimes." I said, "I know what homesick means now."


Though life was busy with us, we missed Charley. Brother Anthony had returned from Green Bay, being delighted with his school, his uncle and aunt were so kind to him. One evening I went to the beach to sit beside the water. I wanted to hear its soft low whisperings again. I was not there long before I heard some one sobbing. I turned and mother was beside me. She said, "I came to look for you and I was thinking that perhaps Charley may never come home." She sat beside me silent for a time and then said, "Now we must not spend our time in sorrow. Sometime[Pg 126] Charley may come." And she told me how anxious she was about a sick neighbor she was caring for, saying, "I shall depend on you, Elizabeth, to help me, and I want you to be careful never to repeat anything we talk about. There is much trouble among the Mormons themselves. Strang has been gone all winter, and some of the apostles refuse to obey the laws of polygamy. There are spies all about us and the Mormons are not our friends any more." I promised her I would be careful. She said, "Mr. Sinclair is afraid of his life, as he knows he may be made an example of for refusing to obey Strang's laws. I have many things to think about and do for this sick woman. And I want to tell you something else. Elizabeth Crane is going to be married in June. Charles Angel will come after her. Then her home will be in Saginaw and her sister Jennie will come in her place to keep house for her father. So now do not worry Elizabeth about anything, for she has lots of sewing and we must help her all we can."

Life was busy; our summer people were with us. Elizabeth Crane had left us never to return. Mr. Angel and she were married at Mackinac Island. When the boat came back her sister Jennie, a beautiful girl of nineteen, came to remain until fall, when she, too, married Mr. James Corlette of the Headlands. Mr. Crane, with others, left the island early in September, as the Mormons had taken every boat along the shore below Cable's dock, with the nets from the lake and fish from their fish houses. They left the island, never[Pg 127] coming back again, just a few months before we, too, were obliged to leave or become Mormons.


Sometime in June there came a canoe of Indians to our shore. They made their camp near us. Mother went to see them. When she came home she told us they were Menominee Indians come to fish for a time. They had been over to Cross Village visiting some friends. Their home was in Green Bay county. There were two small children, the Indian and his wife. The Indian woman was a pretty woman with jet black hair cut straight across the forehead, this being the fashion with Menominee squaws. Their wigwam was always nice and clean. She was a nice sewer, piecing pretty bed quilts, which always looked clean. Often when mother got in a hurry with her work she hired the Indian woman to scrub and wash, and other times to do some sewing. She was always smiling, showing her pretty white teeth.

One morning when I awoke I found father and Mr. Dora, a neighbor, had gone to Mackinac Island. They were gone about three days. When they came home father had clothing for mother which Mr. Cable did not keep in his store. Among the rest was a great quantity of bright colored glass beads and many yards of colored ribbon, which she put away in her trunk, saying to me, "Do not speak about what I have put away." Mother and the Indian woman were often together speaking softly, so I never knew what they said.[Pg 128] Mother seemed anxious, and the Indian woman also seemed quiet and thoughtful.

Soon after father's return mother said to me, "Elizabeth I want you to let all your other work alone and string beads for me." I was delighted, for if there was anything I loved to do it was to string the pretty colored beads. So I began at once, each color on a strong thread. After stringing a great quantity in this way, then I made many strings in different colors, mixing the beads. As much as I enjoyed it I got very tired, and whenever I went to the camp the little Indian children were stringing beads and their mother was sewing, making deerskin moccasins, on which she sewed the beads, which were so pretty when finished. She made many pairs of them. Sometimes the Indian woman came to our house, helping mother and me to string the beads, which she did so fast, and talked so pleasantly in her own language, mother speaking her language as well as the other tribes' that lived around us. There were several camps of Chippewa Indians that lived along the shore that helped the fishermen clean their fish, and the women made oil from the fish refuse which sold for one dollar a gallon or more, according to quality. Most of these Indians came from Garden Island.


Our Mormon friends who used to come to our house did not come any more. There were two who sometimes came in a few minutes, but never re[Pg 129]mained long. Everybody was anxious to know what the king would do about his people when he came back. Many of the Mormons believed Strang would take no notice of the refusal of some of his elders to practice polygamy, while others thought that the man who hoped to have Strang's place would influence him to make them suffer the penalty, which the Mormons themselves told us was death, this elder contending severe measures was the only way to enforce obedience to the law.


Having already organized a band of forty thieves, these men were being trained to go out and do all the robbing from the Gentiles they saw fit to do. The two men who headed the band were brothers and were large and powerful men, Isaac and John Pierce. They were well suited to do such work. The place they chose to secrete their stolen goods was a long point at the lower end of Beaver Island, distant about three miles from the harbor. This place was called by them "Rocky Mountain Point." Being an out-of-the-way place they would not be seen secreting much of their plunder.


One night I was awakened out of a sound sleep by hearing footsteps in the room. I opened my eyes and saw mother with the Indian woman and another woman going up stairs. I waited sometime for them to come down, but fell asleep before they came. I was awakened again. There was a very dim light in the room. I saw a tall Indian who[Pg 130] seemed to walk about very feeble as if sick. His black hair was pulled over his eyes and he held his hand up as if to shade his eyes from any light. There were two Indian women in the room, one the Menominee woman, the other was a stranger but she wore her hair cut across the forehead. She seemed young and was dressed very beautifully. Her moccasins were trimmed with pretty beads, and many strings of bright colored beads were about her neck, and I thought she must be a princess, the daughter of a chief. She and the Indian walked about the room several times, while mother and the Menominee woman spoke to them in their language, they answering in the same. I saw father nod and smile, at which they all took up parcels and small bundles from the table and walked out in single file.


I waited some little time, and hearing nothing I got frightened, thinking father and mother had gone away and left me, I got up, ran out of doors and met mother. She took a blanket from my bed, saying, "Come Elizabeth and see the Menominee Indians, they are going away. They must go home and see to their crops and cannot stay here any longer." I said, "Where did the other two come from?" She made a quick motion, putting her hand over her mouth, which I understood was to be silent and ask no questions. We were both speaking in French. I followed her to the beach, where a large birch bark canoe was packed. I saw[Pg 131] four little children packed away Indian fashion, each had a little black puppy dog in his arms. The tall sick Indian got in first, seating himself and smoking his pipe, then the young Indian woman followed, then the Indian and his wife. There were many "bou shou's" (good-byes) spoken in subdued tones. The Indian and his wife took the paddles, father gave one hard push and away sped the bark canoe over the blue water. The sky was just getting red in the east, little birds were twittering in the branches of the trees, we all stood watching the fast receding canoe, which soon looked a speck upon the water. I ran to the house and crept into bed, and when I awakened the sun was high. I asked mother where the Indians were now; she answered. "They are far away." All day she seemed cheerful, and I heard her sing for the first time since I came home from Ohio. I wandered down to the Indian camp and all I saw was just a few marks where the wigwams had stood. No rubbish was lying about. They had vanished as if they had never been. Surely "They had folded their tents like the Arabs and as silently stole away."


It was eight years afterward when I learned just who it was that stole away on that quiet morning in the bark canoe. I was living for a short time in the Green Bay country. I was invited out one afternoon to a quilting party. The men were to come for supper and a lady was to play for[Pg 132] us on the violin, she being an accomplished musician. She had come there from Baltimore for her health. As we sat at our quilting in the afternoon, one of the women asked the lady of the house why it was they had settled there near the Menominee Indian reservation, and if they were not afraid to be killed sometime by the Indians. Then the lady of the house explained and told her story of how her husband, herself and children had been saved by one family of these Indians with the help of a white family, and this was why her husband was devoting his time to preaching among the Indians. I, being a stranger in the place, had not met this family before, but had been invited to their home with others. Before she had finished I seemed to understand it all. I knew now what all the beads and bright colored ribbons were used for and I knew who the tall sick Indian was with the pretty young Indian woman and the two little children with the others in the canoe. When I made myself known to the lady and her family they were overjoyed to see me. I met them several times afterward, and she told me how they crossed over to the north shore and kept along close to the shore, camping many times where the Indian and his wife set their net and caught all the fish they needed to eat, all the time teaching them to speak their language. They did not go direct to the Indian settlement until fall, then her husband concluded to settle among them and act as a missionary to them. Never very strong in health he had[Pg 133] grown stronger in the open air life. Their children were educated at Green Bay.

I will try to tell just a little of this woman's story. Of how they came to Beaver Island with many others, and how they got away from the Island after much sorrow.


Our home was in a small town in New Jersey. We had a little farm and were very comfortable. It was spring time, our crops were planted and growing. It was told us one day two men had asked for our little church to hold a meeting in for a couple of evenings and the whole neighborhood was invited to attend. My husband being an elder in our little church we, with many other neighbors went to hear the men speak. They were both good talkers and we were all greatly interested. They continued the meetings a week and we all became so interested they were invited to remain longer. One claimed to be a minister, the other an elder. They told a great deal about the Land of Promise they had found. My husband's two brothers were ready to join and prevailed upon my husband to come with them. About thirty were ready to follow the new preaching. They left us to go to other parts and told us to be ready at a certain time, when they would come back and take us with them. We sold our little farm and stock at a great sacrifice, keeping only our bedding and clothing, as they told us it was a long journey. We waited for them to come until November and[Pg 134] had almost given up in despair, when one day they came. When we started there were twenty-five grown people with their children. We had two small children, twins, a boy and a girl. Our hopes were high, we were going westward they told us. We took a steamboat at Buffalo, as they told us no railroad had yet been built to reach there. The trip was hard, cold and tedious. Not one of us had ever been on the water before. We were afraid and we were all sick, but we stood it as bravely as possible and hoped for better times.

It was a dark, stormy night when we landed. Snow was falling. We were a cold, shivering company as we stumbled along up the dock. We were taken into a house, where we soon had a warm supper and were told we could sleep on the floor if we had bedding of our own, as their beds were all full. We made our beds and found it very cold, as doors were opening and shutting until almost morning. We were all put into one large room which was very bare of furniture. Children cried and there was not very much sleep. At the first peep of day most of us were up to take our first look at the Promised Land. At first we tried to look out of the windows, but they were steamed and frosty and we could not see. We then went out of doors. Our first glance was out on the cold, rough water of a little harbor, as they called it, and never shall I forget the lonely feeling that came over me. All was silent but the sound of the waves that washed upon the shore. What little ground was visible where the snow had[Pg 135] drifted was all bare white sand. There were many pretty evergreen trees back a short distance from the water. There being few houses visible we were told the houses and farms were farther back in the country. We were called to breakfast, and when it was finished we were told we could go to the King's house, which was pointed out to us, and he would direct us what to do next. "The King's House." What did they mean? We had never heard of any king. They said, "You will soon know. We are ruled by a king who has revelations direct from God. There are twelve apostles to rule with him, and out of this company of people he will choose four more which are needed." Our surprise was great. We were anxious to know all, so were taken to the King's house. He met us very kindly and explained many things to us. He talked considerable about his revelations and what he hoped to do for his people. His manner was very captivating, and we all felt much encouraged after he had talked with us. We were all divided up among the other families on the island until we could build our homes. We were there over a week before we knew for certain we were on an island. To me it was a terrible shock but we had no time to think much about it only what we should do to provide shelter for the long winter. The King soon left to go travelling for the winter to bring more converts in the spring.

It so happened the home we went to live in the people kept a boarding house and I soon found to my horror the man had four wives, had had six but two[Pg 136] were dead. We soon found them a peculiar people with great faith in Strang and of his building up of Zion calling themselves Latter Day Saints, or Mormons. We had not known or heard of this but had been led to think we could worship as we liked. We soon found it was best not to exchange much thought with our neighbors on the subject and we were so scattered about we seldom met only at meetings. There was being a temple built to worship in and my husband being a carpenter he was most of his time working on it. We soon learned every tenth of our income belonged to the King and many extras to help the expenses. It took quite a large sum to build this temple. They had a small saw mill and there the lumber was cut. Everybody was busy. We were ruled by a man who had no pity for any one. That winter was too terrible to remember. We were all glad to have the King come back in the springtime. He brought more people who seemed to have more means, for those who had, had to share with those who had little. My husband and his two brothers were made apostles soon after Strang came. I saw very little of my husband after he was made an apostle. There was always something to be talked over and explained, so the King had to have most of their time.

Our funds were getting low and I felt very low spirited, but my husband told me he thought that everything would be satisfactory in time. I longed to be free. I wanted to feel I could talk to my husband for it soon dawned upon me we must not[Pg 137] discuss the subject of the doctrine only with a true belief in all of Strang's revelations. The most of the people were gay. The winter time was their time for gaiety. The following spring after we came, when my husband was made an apostle, there was a great feast and we were all baptized in the waters of Little Font Lake. The King was dressed in a robe of white and purple. He gave a short brilliant discourse. To most of them the ceremony was impressive. His wife, Mrs Strang, did not attend as she was not a believer in the doctrine. To me it all seemed a sham. Just before my husband was made an apostle I asked Strang about polygamy and why some had more than one wife. He answered that they had practiced it to some extent in Joseph Smith's time but he would have no such practice but had allowed those who had several to keep them. On the next Sabbath he preached a powerful sermon against polygamy. I felt more secure because I hoped he would keep his word. Very soon after this it came like a thunderbolt to us. The king had a revelation. He must take more wives, and very soon took some more.

In his absence his wife took her three children and left. Before going we managed to meet, as we were fast friends from the first. She advised me to persuade my husband to get away as soon as possible, as she was sure there was great sorrow in store for me. She then told me any disobedience to the oath of allegiance of the apostles, to the king, would be punished[Pg 138] with death, saying she knew this to be true, having overheard the apostle that ruled in her husband's absence, talking about it. But they never knew she heard, and now I must be watchful. It was terrible to know all this, yet I knew she told me the truth. She said, "Make a confidant of no one." We had talked many times before this, but now she told me more, saying, "I would stay here and fight it to the bitter end but I know it would do no good. My life would soon be ended. They have already said, 'Dead people tell no tales.'" "I feel sure Strang's own life is in danger by the plotting of his head apostle." She ended by saying, "I never expect to come back unless I can help some poor soul to be happier. If you ever need a friend's help send a letter to me. You can always trust the Indians." She said, "I have warned Strang of his danger and begged him to put away that bad man, but he will not heed me." She left. I was very sad, but not yet realizing how soon I would need her help.

After awhile a law was made by the King that all officers of the church must have a plurality of wives. Then we women banded ourselves together, I being at the head, we met the king in the temple and took votes, coming out victorious each time. The whole island was in a state of agitation. Every woman interested took her Bible and talked and read God's laws faster than the king could tell us about his revelations. One little woman spoke, saying, "Take all our earnings, but leave us our husbands. We want to live an honest life." He said he[Pg 139] did not propose to be ruled by a lot of weak, whining women. This roused me. I jumped to my feet and I talked two hours. He answered sarcastically and I answered him in the same way. I recounted everything to him. How we had been deceived. He ordered me from the room, and when his guards attempted to obey his orders the other women interfered and Strang was obliged to let me have my say. Often the women applauded me. At last I could speak no more. I was exhausted, but I managed to tell him I hoped he would consider all we had asked of him and grant our request. After a few moments of silence he looked me in the face, saying, "Madam, you have shown such great ability in discussing this matter I think I had better put my temple robe upon you." I answered in the same sarcastic tone, "Yes, and I think your robe would be far more becoming to me than it is to you and I could rule the people and make them happier than you have so far." Never can I forget the look of hatred he gave me. The men hurried me from the room and appeared very much excited. After I left other women made an appeal to him, but left without gaining any promise from him, saying he would give them an answer the next morning. I heard nothing more. Next morning I was sent home in a lumber wagon. My two children and husband were not allowed to come with me. My home was very near to the Gentile settlement. My heart was heavy. I went to some of my Mormon neighbors. Their doors were shut in my face and none spoke to me when I met them. After a week[Pg 140] I was very sick in bed. I became unconscious. When I realized anything I recognized a Gentile neighbor. She was preparing some food for me to eat. I asked her many questions about my children and husband, but she could give me no information. She told me I had many friends among the Mormons, as it was a Mormon woman who had directed her to come to me. She told me to be quiet and have courage and all would be well and that I must get well as fast as possible.

Strang had gone for the winter and she feared there might be trouble between the Gentiles and Mormons, as the fishermen felt they could not endure much more robbery. I felt more courage because I knew this woman had an influence with the Indians, as she could speak their language and was always the Indian's friend. This woman's children were away for the winter and her heart was sad. We could sympathize with each other. One dark night in March I heard a gentle tap at my window. I opened the door. It was my husband. He had been handed a note that morning saying, "Go home. You are safe for awhile." He had walked all the distance after dark. Next day the neighbor woman came and told me my children were both well and cared for. Oh joy! I could get well now, and gained my strength fast.

Navigation opened; Strang came home, remaining only a few days. He was becoming greatly troubled over the discontent of his people and thought best to be away for a time. The fishermen began to come, and several Indian families came also[Pg 141] to fish and make oil. Myself and husband were left to ourselves. One night a letter came to my husband saying, "When the king comes home Mr. Sinclair must be prepared to obey the law or suffer the consequences." It was signed by the head apostle. My husband was greatly worried, knowing the laws so well. In my heart I asked God to help me in my sore distress. I recalled the words of Mrs. Strang that if ever I needed a friend to call on her and she would come if possible. I wrote her to come. I gave the letter to my faithful friend.

The letter was taken to Mackinac Island and from there it was taken to Mrs. Strang. She came, she got my children and brought them to the Indian camp. Myself and husband were disguised as Indians, our children the same, and all were taken away from the island in a birch bark canoe.


The summer was passing, it was late in August. Cholera was raging at Mackinac Island. Fifty-two deaths had occurred there and three deaths occurred at Beaver Island. A lady was boarding with us from Mount Clemens. Her two youngest children died from cholera in our house. My father and I both had it but recovered. Also a captain of a small vessel died. After the deaths our clothing was all washed and the Mormons came, taking everything they could find. They took several boats and all the fish from the fish houses between Cable's dock and the harbor. It was now becoming serious between the Gentiles and the Mor[Pg 142]mons. Peter McKinley had moved his family to Mackinac Island, not considering it safe to carry on business any longer. Mr. Cable had also left and gone to Indiana. His uncle, Mr. Alva Cable, came with his vessel, taking C. R. Wright and family, with several others, to Charlevoix, then called "Pine River." All the Ohio, Canada and Detroit fishermen had gone home. My two brothers had gone to Detroit to school for the winter. Our family, and seven others, were the only Gentiles left on the island, and we were preparing to leave as soon as possible. One morning about the first of November a messenger came to every Gentile family with a letter from the king, saying every Gentile family must come to the harbor and be baptized into the Church of Zion or leave the island within ten days after receiving the notice signed by the King, James J. Strang. Within twenty-four hours after receiving the notice every Gentile family had gone but ours. They had taken what they could in their fish boats. Our boat being small, father thought best to wait for a vessel to come and take us away. The fourth day no vessel had come. Father feared the message to the captain of the vessel had not been delivered, which had been sent by an Indian family going home to the Old Mission. Winds were ahead, the weather rough. Our goods were packed, and every day some Mormon men could be seen walking along the beach, each carrying a gun, but none ever spoke to us. These were anxious days to us, watching and waiting for a sail. Father had made up his mind[Pg 143] if the vessel did not come we would take what we could in our small boat and go to the Indians for protection until we could get to the main land. The evening of the ninth day had come and no welcome sail in sight. John Goeing, our faithful friend, was with us and cheered us with his strong faith that the vessel would come in time.

I had laid down and fallen asleep. I was wakened by hearing low voices talking. I listened a few moments and knew it was Mr. Bower. He was the man who had doctored father when he was sick. He had stolen away from his home in the darkness and came to sympathize with us. He then told us he was going to leave the island the next spring if possible, as he was tired of the life he had to live among the Mormons, saying. "There are many excellent people here that would be glad to go, but they have no means to go with and fear to try to go." With a warm clasp of the hand and a good-by to all, he was gone.


I was called from a sound sleep by my mother saying, "Get up quick Elizabeth, here is the vessel at anchor just in front of our house." I was up in a minute and ran out to see. Yes, there was the little vessel resting so quietly on the water. Father and John were carrying goods to the shore, the captain and another man were loading the yawl, mother and I carried what we could. Our pets had all been put on board, our clothing and most of our bedding was loaded. Mother and I had gone to the vessel. All was loaded except a few boxes[Pg 144] and two large trunks. When father and John started to go back to the shore after them several men were standing beside the goods and each had a gun in his hands. This was enough. Father knew the rest of our goods must be left. Our sails were quickly hoisted, the anchor pulled up and soon we were sailing toward Charlevoix, where we knew our friends were waiting for us. The sun was just coming up in the east, and as we looked back we could see the door of our house stood open as our doors had always been to strangers or any who needed help. None had ever gone away cold or hungry. And some of the people who now stood on the shore with guns pointed toward us had been fed and cared for by my people.

With a fresh breeze and a fair wind our little vessel was nearing Charlevoix, the land that seemed to promise us safety. Surely there we could live in peace. As we neared the river we could see our friends waiting for us on the shore. We came to anchor on the north side of the river, the wind making a big sea at the river's mouth. I remember how happy we all felt that night to be with friends and no Mormons to be afraid of. Mr. Alva Cable had built a large house and shop on the south side of the river on the bank, very close to the water. The lumber he had bought at Traverse City. Captain Morrison had built his house also on the south side just close to the river bank. Several houses were made on the north side of the river. There were twenty-five families of Gentiles, and two Mormon families had stolen away with the fishermen,[Pg 145] claiming their protection, which was freely promised them. One was a Mormon elder and his family, the other a young man living with his widowed mother.


The little village of Charlevoix was just about complete. Our house was built just beside the river, not far from the shore, with just room for a foot path between the house and the river bank. A high hill was on the other side of us. One night a storm came up with a great tidal wave and Mr. Cable's house was almost washed away. The whole village turned out and helped to save the goods. Many of the neighbors had advised him not to put his house so near the water, but he said he always liked to "experiment." Next time he built his house farther up the river, several rods below where now stands the Lewis Opera House. Fishing being good, those that had not had their nets stolen put them out, catching all the fish they could take care of. Mr. Cable had a cooper shop which employed several men. He kept a store, supplying groceries and provisions to the little village, and having a few dry goods to supply their needs. When Christmas and New Years came the people had many little parties and took their dinner together. Many of them employed their time by preparing their nets and knitting new ones for the next season's fishing. There was no sickness and all felt very happy and secure from the Mormons, at least while the winter lasted.[Pg 146]


Our mails came every two weeks. Our mail carrier was William Davenport of Mackinac Island, his route being from the Island to Traverse City, calling at Old Mission and Elk Rapids. Davenport had four large hound dogs. His sled was made of thin boards steamed and bent at one end, with many little ribs or cleats across to give it strength. It glided along on top of the snow and would hold heavy loads. It was called a train. The winter was extremely cold, with deep snow and heavy ice. The mail carrier always stopped with us over night each way, going south and coming north, our people knowing his parents so well he always felt at home with us. It was always a pleasure seeing the mail carrier coming with his dogs and great pouches full of mail. The tinkling of the bells around the dogs' necks always made us drop our work to see them coming on a fast trot, for the dogs enjoyed being noticed and petted. Always a crowd gathered around William to hear the news from the outside. He always trimmed the harness up with gay colored ribbons before coming to the village. How we children loved to watch those great dogs run and play when taken out of the harness, rolling over each other in the deep snow. Father made them a warm place to sleep in the woodshed. Davenport always had various little packages for the whole village. He was obliging and good natured. All of northern Michigan in those days had very few white settlers. Only just now and then a white[Pg 147] family. Indians were everywhere. In the summer season their bark canoes could be seen coming and going in all directions. The smoke from their wigwams was seen rising along the lake shore where they fished and made gardens. In winter they usually went further inland to hunt.


Navigation was now open. Boats and vessels could be seen passing. Fishermen had come from Detroit, Cleveland, Lake Huron and Canada. Several had brought their families to spend the summer beside the sea. My brothers came with the rest. Mr. Cable, or Uncle Alva as he was called by every one, was very happy. He felt sure the little village would grow fast, as he intended making many improvements as soon as possible. Word soon came from Beaver Island for those two Mormon families to come back to the island. In some way the Mormons had found out the men were with the Gentiles. The men sent back word that they would never go back. Soon another message came saying a boat with force enough would be sent to bring them to the island.

As soon as navigation opened Strang extended his territory by sending several families to South Fox Island and several more to Grand Traverse, where they settled near the pretty little harbor, which they named "Bower's Harbor" in honor of the man who had charge of the little settlement, where a beautiful resort is now situated at the harbor, which is called "Neahtawanta" (peaceful wa[Pg 148]ters.) Those who settled there were Mormons only in name, as they were only too glad to get away from the island. About this time it was becoming quite difficult for Strang to manage all his people. The new people coming to the island had very little faith in his "Divine Revelations." They enjoyed the island life for its healthful climate. Strang was losing hold upon many of his people. The newcomers had means of their own and felt free to come and go when they pleased. Many of the women were refusing to wear the bloomer dress and their hair cut short. This greatly annoyed Strang, for he could see he was fast losing control of the people. There had been many improvements, farms were well cultivated, a new dock and store at the harbor village, roads made through the island, good warm houses with gardens attached, and the most of them were very comfortable.


One bright, clear day, the 14th of July, 1853, our men were nearly all on the lake at their work. A watch was kept every day by our people from the high hill near us, where the lake could be seen for many miles. Father and Captain Morrison were on duty this day, taking turns in watching. The men on the lake also keeping a close watch toward the island. Sometime in the forenoon of that day two small dark objects could be seen upon the calm water in the direction of Beaver Island. Captain Morrison took a powerful field glass and soon made out the objects were fish boats coming[Pg 149] from the island. The boats were being rowed and seemed to come slow, keeping very close together. We watched their approach with anxious hearts, fearing our men would not see them in time to reach shore as soon as the boats came. It so happened on that day nearly all the women were together at a quilting party given by Mrs. Morrison. When they learned the Mormons were coming they became greatly excited at first, knowing their husbands had made up their minds to fight if necessary. Father and the captain began to prepare everything for battle. Thinking there might not be bullets enough the lead was melted and father said to me, "Here Elizabeth, take these moulds and run the bullets," which I did. We had notified Uncle Alva Cable and he, too, was preparing. The boats came along, steadily nearing the shore. At one time all took them to be Indians, but as they came nearer it was plain they were white people. A short time before they landed we saw the white sails of our fishing fleet hoisted nearly all at one time. Then we were sure they had seen the strange boats coming. A light breeze sprang up fair for our boats and they came sailing in to land. The fishermen's boats would land over by the south point from the river, as that made the best landing. This was some little distance, a mile or more by land. Captain Morrison went round by the path back from the beach so that he would not be seen by the Mormons. He was to notify the men to come as soon as possible.[Pg 150]


My father went down the shore to meet the Mormons. They landed on the south side of the river, and the boats were landed side by side. The head man of the boats was one of the Pierce brothers. Father asked him his business. He said, "We have come to take the two men that are here with you. Our orders are to bring them dead or alive." Father said. "Why do you want these men? They have left you and will do you no harm. Why not let them go when they do not want to stay with you? And I warn you now, Mr. Pierce, our people have made up their minds to give these men their protection and it will not be best to try to force them to give them up. If you do try to take them there will be trouble, so you had better go." He answered, "I will never leave this shore until we have these men, and we will make you all as humble as mice, and your blood shall mingle with these waters if you attempt to resist us," and many more boastful threats, which he made while he kept walking about swinging his arms. Father talked to him quietly, but he would not be quieted. He grew more fierce every moment. After a time the youngest of the men they came after walked down to the boat, telling Pierce himself he would not be taken back by them. He and the leader had many hot words together pertaining to their own troubles which they had had together before he left them. He had been a member of Pierce's crew and becoming tired of the life had quit them. This they did[Pg 151] not like, as they knew he knew too many of their secrets. Soon Captain Morrison came back and walked down to the boats, telling them not to persist in taking the men. Pierce was more furious than ever. Father and the two others walked away from them towards the house. The Mormons talked a few minutes together. One boat captain seemed to want to push off his boat and go. But Pierce would not let him. I stood looking out of a small window from Captain Morrison's house. I could see directly on to both boats and was but a short distance from them. I could hear almost every word spoken by the leader, as he spoke in a loud, deep voice.


Soon shots were fired, I cannot say how many. All was confusion, women were screaming, some were praying. Men were talking, trying to quiet them. I never took my eyes from the Mormon boats, and when the smoke cleared away I saw the men hurriedly push their boats off and jump into them, taking their oars and pulling with all their might. Then I saw our men coming towards the house carrying a man who seemed to be dead, as blood was streaming down. The form looked familiar to me. I ran to the door and saw it was my brother Lewis. They carried him home, laying him down and examined his wound. He was shot in the calf of the leg. It was a flesh wound. The place was small where the bullet went in, but the flesh was badly torn where the bullet came out. Ex[Pg 152]citement was great; the men wanted to follow the Mormon boats. At the river there were but two boats at the time, our own, which was too small, and Captain Morrison's, which was a large, heavy boat.


The men concluded at last to take that boat and give chase to the Mormons, as the delay would be too great in getting a boat from the fishermen's landing. So the boat was manned by a double crew to row. One man was placed in the bow with his rifle to shoot into the Mormon's boats and sink them if possible. Every bullet he shot seemed to take effect. Our men were powerful oarsmen, and in spite of the distance the two boats had made before our men had got started, our boat was gaining on them fast. Soon one of the Mormon boats was sinking, and they made some delay by getting out of the sinking boat into the other. Our men were straining every nerve to overtake them, which they soon would have done had not the Mormons hurried toward a large vessel which lay becalmed just ahead of them. It was getting dusk, but everything could be plainly seen.


The Mormons rowed with all their might to the vessel, telling the captain that they were fishermen and that the Mormons were chasing them and begged to be saved from their enemies. Of course the captain could do no less than let them get aboard his vessel, which they soon did. Our men came as near to the vessel as they could and told[Pg 153] the captain how it was. He told them he could not do anything, and it was best for them to go quietly home, which they did. The vessel was the "Bark Morgan." It was stated in "The Northern Islander," a paper edited and printed at the island, that seven were killed and five wounded of the Mormons at the battle of Charlevoix. A man who boarded with me several years after this happened told me that this was the correct number. As he was in the boat and one of the wounded, he being shot in the shoulder. He was very young when he was in training with these bad men. He also told us that Pierce, the leader, was very angry and had planned to come back and drive us away or murder us all. They wanted to settle there themselves, which they did as soon as we left.


Mr. Alva Cable called the people together and consulted about what was best to be done. Some wanted to remain and fight the Mormons if they came again, but the women all wanted to go. About that time a Mormon that had left the island and never intended to go back, advised us all to go. So it was decided we should get away as soon as possible, as news kept coming that it was not safe for us to remain longer. Mr. Alva Cable, Wrights and many other families went to Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs, my two brothers going with them. My father decided we should go to Traverse City. Our friend, John Goeing, had left us the week before the Mormons came. He received a let[Pg 154]ter from home. His mother was very sick and wanted to see her son before she died. He went to Mackinac Island, and from there took a steamer to Buffalo. He wrote us just before he took the steamer from New York City, promising to write us as soon as he reached home. We never heard from him again. We felt sorry to have him go. He had been with us four years and seemed like one of our own family.

Our friends and neighbors were all gone. We were left alone at Charlevoix. Waiting patiently for the little vessel to come from Northport which was to take us to Traverse City. At last we saw the white sails which proved to be our vessel. It was dark before the vessel anchored outside the river. The night was warm, our goods were on board, all was silent, only the splash of the waves as they washed along the shore. The little village was in darkness when we closed the latch to our door and walked down to the little yawl waiting for us to be taken on board. We were soon on the deck of the little vessel, the moon was rising, and by the time our sails were up and we were ready to start the water was sparkling like diamonds as the soft light shone upon it. Never had we appreciated its beauty before as now in this beautiful moonlight. Tears were in our eyes, for we had been very happy there with our neighbors. Now we were leaving all and going to a strange place, but we hoped to find a place of safety. Long we watched the beautiful shore as we sailed along in the light breeze. Again we were driven from home. Father helped the cap[Pg 155]tain sail the vessel. Mother and I lay down for a while in the little cabin. I was wakened by hearing the anchor chain when the captain said, "Here we are at Northport." We visited there several days. The captain's home was there. We met many kind people, who invited us to make our home with them for the time of our stay. We accepted the invitation of the Rev. George Smith and were nicely entertained by himself and his family. Their beautiful vine covered home was a perfect bower of roses. The most beautiful flowers grew everywhere about their grounds. Mr. Smith was a Congregational minister. His family were very musical, and our stay of nearly a week is a bright spot in my memory.

Our little vessel had to have some repairs before we could proceed on our journey. We then sailed direct to Bower's harbor, remaining two days with our old friend, Mr. Bower. Himself and wife were glad to see us and to know we had escaped safely from Mormon persecutions. They were very happily situated in their new home and their new surroundings of scenery were very beautiful. Oh, how glad Mrs. Bower was to be released from Mormon rule.


The day was fair, the sun shone bright when our sails were filled with the breeze that carried us along over the blue waters to Traverse City. Arriving at Traverse City, we found several people whom we knew, so we felt that we were not entirely[Pg 156] among strangers. We were soon comfortably settled among very kind neighbors. Traverse City at that time was very new. The Boardman Company had settled there to lumber. The firm of Hannah, Lay & Co. bought the Boardman Company out. A steam saw mill, also a water mill run by water power. This small mill was in the west part of town beside the big mill pond. The company's big boarding house was where the company's men boarded. This was in charge of Dr. D. C. Goodale. Then the company's store, with a large stock of general merchandise, presided over by the genial clerk, H. D. Campbell, or "Little Henry," as we children always called him. He was the children's friend. No matter how busy he might be he always had a kind word and a pleasant smile for us children. Then there was the large steam mill and blacksmith shop just beyond the store. There was no bridge there then to cross the river on. We children most always crossed over on the boom which held the logs in the river. The only bridge on the river was up near the Boardman Lake.


The school house was near the river bank, just about opposite to the river's mouth. It stood back far enough for a good wide street. It was in the midst of a pretty grove of small oak trees that reached their branches far out, giving cool shade where we could sit and eat our lunch. The evergreens and maple trees were mixed about, giving[Pg 157] it a variety of change. Wild roses grew everywhere. It was truly an ideal spot that we never tired of.

Our teacher was Miss Helen Goodale. I will just mention a few names of the scholars I first met on the morning of my first school day in Traverse City. Alexander, James and Jane Carmicheal, George, John and Tom Cuttler, James, William and Richard Garland, Augusta and Lucius Smith, Helen Rutherford and brother, Albert Norris and Agnes Goodale, sister of the teacher.

The next year more people came and more scholars. Our little school house was filled. We were a happy lot, seeming almost like one family. We drank from the same cup, swung in the same swing, sharing our lunches together, and no matter where we have roamed through the wide world can we forget that little old log school house. I have seen it many times in my dreams, and the happy faces of each as we tried to excel to please the teacher. We all loved her, though trying her patience often. Yet we knew and felt she loved us. Oh, happy school days and pleasant school companions! Only a few of us are left at this writing, many have crossed over on the other side, yet I believe it will be a happy re-union if sometime we may meet where no good-byes are said.


Very near to our school house east Mr. J. K. Gunton built the house which bore the name of "The Gunton House," and was run with success by[Pg 158] himself and wife for a number of years. There was no steamboats coming to Traverse City in those days. The lumber was shipped by vessel to Chicago. The schooner "Telegraph" made regular trips every two weeks. The "Telegraph" brought all the supplies for the Company. At the opening of navigation it was a pleasant sound to hear someone say for the first time, "Here comes The Telegraph." Our mails were brought by a mail carrier from Grand Rapids. An Indian and sometimes a white man carried the mail. It was brought down along the shore, it being considered the safest way to travel alone. Sometimes the rivers had no bridges and the mail carrier had to swim across. Mr. Hugh McGinnis carried the mail on that long lonely route for a long time while we lived there.

No farms were yet cleared about Traverse City at that time. Mr. Lyman Smith being the only family living out at Silver Lake, seven miles south of this city. Soon Mr. Alvin Smith took some land on the west side of Silver Lake with Mr. West. More people moved in, and soon the Bohemians came in, settling on the east side of Silver Lake and made nice homes for themselves. Mr. Rice's family came the next year after we came. There were five girls in their family. The two eldest soon married, the other three entered school. Mellisa, Emma and Annie. They lived very near to us and we girls were always fast friends. We walked to school, picked berries in summer time, played, sang and worked together. And of all the places we liked best to go was out to the "Company's Garden."[Pg 159] There we waded the brook, picked the flowers and wild strawberries, and sometimes we caught the horses that belonged to the Company, and climbing on their backs we rode around the field, for it was only a garden in name. It was used for a pasture field for the Company's cattle and horses. Those were days to be remembered. The little water mill, as it was called, had a horse car track laid from it down to the west dock where the lumber was put on the car and the horse drew it to the dock for shipment. Then what fun we all had to run down the track and get the ride back on the car.

The huckleberry plains, as they were called, were between east and west Bay. There on Saturdays, when there was no school, almost everybody went picking and took their lunches with them. Mrs. and Mr. Garland, one of our neighbors, moved to Old Mission on a farm and new people took their house.


The same year we went to Traverse City a family came from Chicago. The next week the man's wife died, being very sick when she came. In six weeks after the little baby died, leaving three more children. Mr. Churchill was sick himself. Mother brought them all home. A neighbor, Mrs. Hillery, took the oldest girl of nine and kept her all winter. There were two little boys left, Frank aged seven, and George aged five. Father and mother adopted little Frank, so I now had a little brother for company. Mr. Churchill left the next June for Chi[Pg 160]cago, taking Amelia and George with him, promising to write us often. We never heard from him again, and always felt anxious to know what became of the two children. Little Frank was very happy with us.

Mr. Greilick and family now came. They built a steam mill near Mr. Norris, about two miles west of Traverse City, on the shore. After we were in Traverse City three years we moved to Greilick's mill. Frank and I used to walk around to the city to school on the shore road. The road was pleasant and very close to the water most of the way. There were no churches in Traverse City then, but Sunday was kept just as sacred as though the people had churches to go to. Sometimes religious services were held by a minister that came from Chicago, going around among the settlers. There were also no saloons in Traverse City. Mr. Hannah kept a large number of men to do his logging in the camps in winter. No liquor was sold nearer than Old Mission and very little being sold there. A drunken man was seldom ever seen in Traverse City in those days. In the camps there was always many accidents and deaths from falling trees and accidents in the mills. Dr. Goodale being the only doctor was kept very busy at times, my mother helping him often. The life at Traverse City was a busy one for us all. We were very happy with our neighbors, often going to Bower's harbor in summer time in our own boat to visit friends.

Rumors many times reached us about the Mormons and their doings on Beaver Island, and at[Pg 161] one time everybody feared they were coming to Traverse City to drive the Gentiles away. Mr. Hannah set watchmen to guard the place by night for a long time, and the fishermen were more unsafe than ever, and were making an appeal to the Government for protection.



I must now hurry over many things that happened while at Traverse City. In June of 1856 news came that "King Strang" had been shot by his own people. It was a long time before we could get the particulars.

The fishermen and merchants had now made a strong appeal to the government asking for protection, and this time Strang could not make his plea strong enough to prevent the coming of the U. S. steamer Michigan with officers to make an investigation of the matter. The king met the steamer at Mackinac Island, hoping to gain a little more time to prevent any arrests of his people. The U. S. steamer proceeded to Beaver Island, landing at the village dock in the harbor. King Strang took passage on her back to the island, and as soon as landing he immediately went to his home not far distant from the dock. He was soon sent for by the officers, as they wished to consult with him about the affair. He started for the steamer, and when about half way on the dock two men stepped from behind a pile of cordwood and both fired their revolvers at once, both bullets taking effect. He was shot through the back twice, but did not die until[Pg 162] eleven days after. He knew his last hours had come, and he begged to be taken to his wife Mary, his true wife. The women he had with him now were no comfort to him. Dr. McCulloch dressed the wounds and told him he feared the trip would be too much for him, that he might die on the way. He said, "No, no, take me home to Mary, my true wife. I cannot die here, doctor. I want to die with my wife and children. Take me to Mary, I know she will forgive me." Dr. McCulloch had him put on a mattress, carried on board a steamboat and taken to his wife's home in Wisconsin. The death of Strang was a terrible blow to most of his people, but a relief to those that were suffering such persecutions from him. One woman at Bower's Harbor expressed great joy when she heard it, but I could not understand why she should be glad of any one's death. She said. "I will tell you just a little of what the king made me suffer."


I was born and raised in a dear little nook in York state. There were four girls in our family, my oldest sister being deaf and dumb. After a time she and sister next to her married, then myself and youngest sister were left with father and mother. A young man came to our village to teach the village school. We became acquainted and in time were married. Mr. H—— built us a nice little home and we settled down to a very happy life. Our home was just a short distance from my parents. My deaf sister was married to a deaf[Pg 163] and dumb man. He had a high temper and did not treat sister Nellie very kindly. After awhile Nellie came home to live with our parents, bringing her little twin babies with her. We all helped to care for them and then John, her husband, seemed more kind. Five years rolled around, when one day three Mormon elders came to our village, going around from house to house talking their doctrine, calling themselves Latter Day Saints. They visited us. My mother being in, she seemed greatly taken with their talk. They came again in a few days. Mr. H—— was out in the fields, and when I told them they said they would go out and find him. They did so and remained with us for supper, staying the evening; then father came over to hear them talk. One of the men was a fluent talker. He kept the attention of all when speaking. I felt a great dread; I knew not why. Then they held services in our little church in the evenings, which continued a week. Many were greatly excited. My parents and younger sister, Sarah, my husband and a number of our neighbors. The men left us promising to come again soon, when they hoped many would join their religion. I could see as the days went by Mr. H—— and my people, with others, were ready to follow these men.

I said all I could to discourage them, but it was of no use, I could do nothing. Preparations were made to leave. Our home was sold at a sacrifice and father's the same. At the time set the three elders came again, holding more meetings. Our goods were packed; also father's and mother's,[Pg 164] and as Nellie and the babies could not be left, we took them with us. One pleasant day in August we bade farewell to our dear old home and kind good neighbors I had known my lifetime. And with many tears of sorrow and regret on my part we started for the Promised Land.

After a tedious trip we reached "Beaver Island." I need not try to tell how disappointed many of us were, as everything was so different from what it had been represented to us. The island itself was very beautiful, just as nature had made it. But to us that had come from a settled country with farms all cultivated, it was a great change. I saw Mr. H—— was very low-spirited, and knowing we must make the best of it, I tried to cheer him, saying, "Now we will soon make us another home, and if all is well we shall soon be as happy as we were before. But you know I can never enjoy this new doctrine." We also found when reaching the island that the bright talking elder was "King Strange" himself, and he well knew I had no sympathy or belief in his teachings. However, Strang gave us our choice of a building spot and we chose as pleasant a place as possible, with father and mother near us, just a short distance from the pretty little Font Lake. We tried to make our home like the one we had left behind. I went to work with a will helping Mr. H—— to build the new home. That first winter I never like to think about, the people suffered so much, but were always patient, never complaining. The next spring I helped to make our garden, also our flower garden, putting[Pg 165] in the seeds I had brought from the old home. That first winter we endured hunger and cold, but I tried to bear it without complaint. I kept the best for my husband to eat and many times went supperless to bed, fearing there would not be enough for his breakfast, as he had to be out chopping wood during the day. A tenth part of our income must be given to the King, and sometimes there was little left, as there was always extras to help other expenses. We had plenty of clothing when we came, but in a few months we had divided most of it with our suffering neighbors. With hard work and scanty food, and great anxiety about Nellie's sick babies, it began to tell on my health. I scarcely knew a care in the old home, now it all seemed to fall on me. When spring came I was much run down in health. When Mr. H—— would sometimes blame himself I would cheer him up by telling him, "Never mind, we have each other, and together we can endure almost anything." We dared not talk much to others that we felt any disappointment. We soon found the King exacted perfect obedience from his people. I knew in my heart he did not like me because he could not win me over to his belief.

The third year we began to be a little more comfortable, and I found a little more time to rest. I had been so busy with hard work trying to make our home bright and cheerful I had not noticed what was going on at the Tabernacle meetings. I soon began to hear rumors how the king was preaching polygamy. I felt worried and I could see that other[Pg 166] women were the same, though we dared not talk much together about the King's affairs. I spoke with my husband about it and he said, "Have no fears. Strang can never make me bring another wife into our home." Soon a friend told me she feared our husbands might be forced to obey the law that the King had made. She was an elder's wife. She then told me my husband was soon to be ordained as an elder. Again I spoke to my husband about my fears. He took me in his arms, saying, "Have no fears Mary. We have worked and suffered together and do I not know how you have endured hunger and cold and gave up our pleasant home to come here with me? I will never desert you or treat you so mean as to bring another into our home. The King has urged me to do so, but I told him I could not obey that command." In a few days several women came asking me to join them in voting down Strang's new law. I said to them. "No, I dare not oppose that man. I feel such a dreadful fear of him." In a day or two they came again, saying, "Mrs. H—— you will be sorry if you do not help us try to vote against this law. We believe if we women band ourselves together, and now that we have the right to vote on this subject the king may think better of it when he sees how we feel about it, and don't you feel afraid your husband may bring home another wife?" I said, "Oh, no, I am sure this cannot be." Then they left me. I felt like one in a dream. This seemed such a strange life to live. I did so long to once more feel free like I used to in the other days. I tried hard at[Pg 167] times to understand about this religion, but could not. I went very seldom to the Tabernacle to hear the preaching so I knew very little about what was said. Father and mother never talked about the old home any more. To them it was as if it never had been. Mr. H——, too, never talked about it, and sometimes I wondered had I dreamed that we ever lived in our eastern home. It was very seldom I ever went to the harbor, as my husband always brought me anything I wanted. I often heard about the parties given there, but never attended any.

One pleasant day in August, the eighth anniversary of our wedding, my husband said to me, "I shall not be home to dinner as there is some very important business to be done at the temple among the elders. Have tea at five o'clock and I shall surely be home at that hour." I followed him to the door saying, "Now remember, Mr. H——, this is our anniversary." He kissed me saying, "I will remember it Mary and be home at five." I sang at my work as I had not done before for months. I felt so happy. I looked about the home and it seemed more like the old home in York State: my flowers on each side the walk to the gate, in front the mountain ash was lovely, and my climbing rose bushes all about, which gave it all such a home-like look. I soon started for the woods to gather wild flowers, mosses and trailing vines to trim the room with so it would look nice when Mr. H—— came home. I met a neighbor and asked her to go with me. She said. "No, my heart is too sad. I fear my husband will soon bring home another wife. Are you not[Pg 168] afraid Mrs. H——?" I answered, "No I am not afraid, for Mr H—— would tell me so if anything like that was to happen." She gave me such a sad look with her eyes full of tears. Pulling her sunbonnet over her face she passed on. I gathered my flowers and vines, returned home and trimmed my rooms. I put the vines around my white muslin window curtains with the pretty lace I had knit around the edge and the white bed curtains to match. I set my table the prettiest I knew how, with the lovely wild flowers in the center; I then ran over to mother, telling her all I had done. I saw her and sister Sarah exchange looks, both saying they were glad I had done so. I played with the children a few minutes, then ran home to prepare the tea. I wore a pink muslin dress, the only one I had left from the old home, and a pretty white apron, the last I had of the kind. Somehow the day had been long, but I felt no fear, only a sadness for the neighbor I had met. Her sorrowful face seemed always before me. Remembering my husband was fond of warm biscuit, I made some, and just as the clock struck five I heard the gate click and our faithful dog Tiger give a low growl. I thought strangers must be coming, as he always barked with delight to see his master. I hurried to the door. Mr H—— was coming up the path with a woman holding to his arm. Before I had time to move or speak they stepped past me into the house. Mr. H—— said to me, "Mary let me introduce you to my wife to whom I have just been sealed in spirit this day, and I hope you will welcome her and show her the re[Pg 169]spect which is her due from you." I stood still; I could not move; I could not speak; my tongue would not move in my mouth. I tried to say "husband, husband," but no sound came. Oh the agony I suffered! I could only follow them with my eyes. I could not speak; I was dumb. The woman gave me an insolent look, saying, "I guess I must have been expected. The house seems to be pretty well fixed up, but she doesn't seem to be very glad. She'll get used to it soon. We'll make her know that I am the mistress here now. Won't we Mr. H——?" He smiled and nodded, saying, "Come let's have some supper. Come Mary, pour the tea." I rushed from the house, running to my mother's house. She met me calmly at the door. "Oh mother, did you know of this?" She answered, "Yes Mary, we all knew it all along and what is the use of making any fuss. It's God's commands." I ran to my sister. She laughed, saying to me, "Well, you must be a fool. You ought to be proud to know your husband is made an apostle of the Church of Zion and already blessed with a spiritual wife. Now do have some sense and don't disgrace us all." It just began to dawn upon me my sister was just the rankest little Mormon alive. I then went to my father, thinking I would receive sympathy from him. He said, "Now Mary do be quiet. Your husband has talked this over with us. We all thought best to say nothing to you about it and when you saw it could not be helped you would just settle down. Your mother and I believe in this doctrine, and we think it is right." I stayed to hear no more. Wild[Pg 170] with grief I ran back home. Oh, my home no longer, to make a last appeal to my husband, to be sure it was not a horrible joke just to try me. I rushed in, throwing myself down at his feet, crying. "Tell me, tell me this is not true! Tell me it is only a joke to try me." I very soon learned it was only too true. They both threatened me with a straight jacket, with bread and water diet until I would quietly submit. I got upon my feet and staggered from the door down the walk to the road. I was blind, my limbs refused to carry me, and just as I was sinking down my dumb sister caught me in her arms. She had seen by my face I was in great trouble, and she saw my mother did not sympathize with me. She followed me, then looking toward the house saw the two standing together. She seemed to understand what it meant, and the first sound I ever heard her make aloud, she gave a hoarse cry and partly dragged me away to a large log beside the road a short distance from the house. It was a large tree that was upturned from the roots and sheltered us from the passers-by. She rubbed my hands, smoothed my hair, pressing kisses upon my face, and showing me she sympathized with me in my trouble. Many times she showed anger, stamping on the ground and shaking her fist toward the house. The moon had risen, and every time I opened my eyes I could not bear to look at it. I wanted it all dark. Dark as midnight. Dark as the world now seemed to me. After awhile the neighbor woman I had met in the morning came to me. She took my hands saying, "Mrs. H—— I am truly sorry for[Pg 171] you. I wanted to tell you this morning, but you seemed so happy I could not do it. I saw you had entire belief in your husband's word. I blame him very much for not telling you his intentions. You might have felt different about it. I, too, have just one week of freedom, then my husband brings in another wife, as he, too, was made an apostle today. But in my case I have been told of it and have the privilege of choosing among the young women the one I think I can best endure. I have chosen a friend of mine. We have agreed to live as sisterly as possible. For my four children's sake I can endure much and I don't see how I can help myself; but I must not be found talking with you, as such things are forbidden." In a still lower tone she said, "I will help you all I can in your sorrow." She pressed a kiss on my face and was gone. I sat beside my dumb sister thinking. "Was it for this I had suffered cold and hunger, leaving our comfortable home in New York State? And of all the days in the year, the anniversary of our wedding day he had brought home the most homely old grass widow to be found on the island, that everybody detested." The king said afterwards he did this to humble my pride. After the woman left us Nellie made me understand she would go to mother's and get me a shawl. The dew was falling, I had no wrap, my dress was muslin. She made me understand I was to wait here until she came back. As soon as she left me I partly crawled and dragged myself to little Font Lake, which was about a quarter of a mile distant. I laid myself down on the moss cov[Pg 172]ered bank, the darkness of despair rolled over me. My husband did not seem the same to me now. He seemed only a great monster beast that I wanted to get away from. I thought how happy our home had been before we knew anything about these strange people, and the dear friends I had left to come to this island. Then I thought of baby's grave far away in the old home. I could endure it no longer. I would end it all by plunging into the little lake where my husband and I had strolled so many times along its green shores. I gave the leap that would end my earthly suffering. I was held back by the dress and dear old Tiger whined, jumping up, licking my face and hands and pulling me back from the water. This is the last I remember until I felt the warm sunshine upon my face and old dog Tiger was lying beside me. When he felt me move he began to whine and lick my hands. I had no recollection of time any more as Tiger and I wandered about through the woods. I ate berries and drank from the lake. All the food I had was what my dog brought me. Bread crusts and meat bones. At last my dumb sister found me by watching Tiger and following him. I knew Nellie, although I was in a very weak condition. She tried her best to get me home with her, but I would not go.

Just about the time all this happened to me Nellie's deaf and dumb husband had come to the island on a steamboat. He had not come with the rest of us, and since we came he had fallen heir to considerable money and had come to claim Nellie and the[Pg 173] children. They had gone to housekeeping in a little log cabin built in a secluded spot on the edge of the heavy woods. The little home was not yet finished. Nellie by her dumb language made me understand John had come and brought letters from the old home. She made me promise I would wait until she came back with John and the letters. In a short time they came. When he saw me it was terrible to look upon his silent rage. He foamed at the mouth and stuck his knife into the earth, but he could make no sound. He passed his hand over my hair. It was white as snow. It was auburn in color when I left my home. I did rouse up a little when I watched the tears roll down his cheeks. Nellie put a dress on me and a shawl. My bare feet were cut and swollen. They both helped me to walk; I was too weak to walk alone. At the last John carried me in his arms to his home. Nellie made me understand that I had been over three weeks in the woods and by the king's orders no one had dared openly to hunt for me or give me aid in any way, claiming that was the way to subdue an unruly spirit. It was told me that he who once had been my loved husband never made an effort to find me, not even my own father and mother. Strang called all this "Divine Revelation." Oh he was more cruel than the grave to me.

From the time I entered John's home my three dumb friends never left me. It was a hard struggle for life with me. I saw no one and none ever came to see us. The dear children kept me alive with their sweet, childish prattle. At that time Strang's[Pg 174] rule was absolute. None would have dared to give me aid. Many were living a double life, seemingly good Mormons, but only waiting for an opportunity to get away. Strang had enemies that would strike hard when the time came. Not long after I went to Nellie's he that I once called husband, watched and shot my faithful dog Tiger. Then I was roused. All the demons in me came to the surface. I could not keep quiet any longer. I got well as fast as possible and caused the King and Mr. H—— all the trouble I could.

The people were divided, not all were pleased with the king and his rule. The Gentiles were leaving as fast as they could, as there was no safety for them or their property. Strang was losing much control of his people. Then he concluded to extend his territory to the mainland, Charlevoix and Bower's Harbor in Grand Traverse. Some had gone to Fox Island. About this time Nellie's husband died very sudden. We never knew the cause of his death. Nellie with her children went with me to Charlevoix, staying there all winter, then went to Bower's Harbor. That winter in Charlevoix we almost starved before spring came. The snow was very deep and ice heavy in the lake. The latter part of March teams came over from Beaver Island on the ice, bringing us provisions. They also went to Fox Island, as the people there were in a starving condition. This was not done by any of Strang's orders. There were some good people who knew our provisions could not last us till the opening of navigation and they came without orders and saved our[Pg 175] lives from starvation. "Now do you wonder I am glad of Strang's death?"

The story was a sad one, but true. It had not been all pleasure in Strang's kingdom. The doctrine they believed in and practiced beyond limit stifled all the good there was in their hearts. There was no pity felt or shown to those who went contrary to the "Divine Revelations" which their king was supposed to have. Poor, deluded people, how different would all have been for them had their leader used his splendid talent for good and taught his people the way of life and truth.


Another year had rolled round. The June days lingered with us still when my brother Lewis came from Beaver Island to visit us. We had not seen him since he left us at Charlevoix after he was wounded. The four years had changed him from a boy to a man. He was now twenty-three years of age. He had many things to tell us, he being one of the men chosen the year before to help preserve law and order in the sending away of the Mormons after the king was shot. He went to the island to help get the people away on the steamboats that were sent to carry them from the island.

As soon as Strang was shot a great number of the people left at once, having means of their own to help themselves with. There were others who had small means. Their homes were all they had. Strang had preached and taught in the temple that no bullet could pierce his body, and strange as it[Pg 176] may seem, there were a large part of his people who believed it. And now when they knew their king was killed, and killed by the bullet, they were prostrate with sorrow; many of them completely incapable of thinking or doing for themselves. My brother said it was a sad sight to look upon when they came to the harbor to go on board the boats. Their sorrow was great. They seemed like a people without a hope in the world. Many wrung their hands and wept with sad moanings, saying, "Our king, our king is dead." Women fainted and were carried on board; children were crying. Even men were sobbing, and two or three attempted to throw themselves from the dock into the water to end their misery. All were allowed to take their household goods, yet many did not do so. Some only took their clothing and bedding. Poor suffering people! No doubt they were afraid of the Gentiles, thinking great harm would be done to them. The feeling had become so bitter between them that in a great many cases justice was not done where it should have been. These people now had no desire to remain on the island now that their king was dead, even when going meant leaving their comfortable homes and all they had in the wide world. Those that worked the hardest suffered most. The building and making of their homes and improving their farms had occupied all their time and attention. They loved their king and their hearts were loyal to him, seeing him only in his best moods, as he was always kind and pleasant to them in his visits about[Pg 177] the island. They knew nothing about the workings of the inner circle or private temple teachings.


Strang knew just how to manage these hardworking, faithful people, and the reason so many were beginning to think favorably of polygamy was because they were taught that only those who were faithful could be sealed, and in this way were counted God's elect. But there were a large number of women who came to the island that had been better taught than to believe in such a doctrine, which was the reason of Strang's failure to enforce the law.

The two men who shot Strang had their own wrongs to avenge. Bedford had been whipped, he claimed unjustly. The other man, Wentworth, also had much bitterness in his heart of treatment he had suffered from Strang. So the two had planned to shoot him at their first opportunity. Immediately after they shot him they ran to the U. S. steamer Michigan and gave themselves up to the officers saying, "We have shot Strang and are willing to suffer the consequences." They were taken to Mackinac Island and put in jail, where they remained about one week. One dark night the door was unlocked and a man said to them. "Ask no questions, but hurry to the dock and go on board the steamboat that is there." They did so. Nothing was ever done in the way of giving these men a trial. Public sentiment was so great at the time[Pg 178] against the Mormons it would have been impossible to find a jury to convict them.


My brother remained with us three weeks. Father and mother thought they would like to go back to the island with him to visit many of their old-time friends, who had gone back to the island after the Mormons left. Mr. Bower, at Bower's Harbor, owned a small vessel and was anxious, as he said, "To go and see how the island looked with the Mormons gone." So, with several more friends from Traverse City and Old Mission, father, mother and Frank went to Beaver Island. They were gone two weeks. I remained with Mrs. Hitchcock, my former teacher, Miss Helen Goodale. She had gone to housekeeping in their cozy new home just built on First street. I was very contented while they were gone never thinking of such a thing that father would move away from Traverse City. When they came back I could see mother was greatly pleased with the island. There she had met so many of her old friends, and there she could talk her own language again.


I could see when mother spoke of the island her heart was drawn to it. I said to her, "Would you leave Traverse City and go to Beaver Island?" It was dark and I could not see her face, but I knew by her voice there were tears in her eyes as she said, "Well, I don't know Elizabeth, but it seemed to[Pg 179] me while I was there I was nearer to my boys, Charley and Anthony, and now as both are sailing they might sometime come into the harbor in a storm." I spoke with father about it. He said he knew mother wanted to go back, but he did not want to take me from school. Frank, too, said mother was anxious to go to the island, telling him there she might see her two boys who were sailing and have her oldest son with her all the time. There was nothing said to me again about it. I had forgotten all about my talk with my mother.

One morning the latter part of August Frank came and said to me, "Elizabeth you must come home. We are going to move to Beaver Island." At first I said. "No, this can't be so. I can't leave my school which will soon now begin." But I hurried home to find it was true. Packing was going on and all preparations were made to move. Mother was happy. She was going to be near her boys as she so many times said when her neighbors urged her not to go. My heart was heavy. How could I go and leave all my dear companions and my dear school, which was my greatest sorrow. Mr. Therian Bostwick had been our teacher the winter before and would be again the coming winter. He was a highly educated man and he and his wife wanted me to remain with them all winter and go to school. Father said I might if I wanted to and then I could go to the island the next spring, but I felt I could not do it. My winter in Ohio, where I had been homesick, made me timid about being separated from my parents. Dearly as I loved my young com[Pg 180]panions and Traverse City, I felt I was needed by my parents. Father's health was failing, that I could plainly see, and Frank not old enough to be much help.


With many tears of sorrow to think of leaving companions, friends and Traverse City, the place where we had been so happy in the four years of our stay, we bade adieu to our kind friends and neighbors and once more were sailing away over the waters to Beaver Island. As we sailed toward Northport it was not long before all traces of the little city had passed from our view, and though I could not see it with my eyes, I could see it with my heart, as I said to one of the gentlemen on board our vessel. There were three summer people that had been at the island since early June. They came over to Traverse City to see what the country looked like and voted their preference for the island as a summer home.

We called at Northport, stopping to see several friends and wait for a fresher breeze. There we met Mr. Dame, his wife and daughter, Mrs. Page, and son Sebe, as we always called him. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and many more wished us "God speed" on the way across the water to our "Island home." We left Northport just as the sun was rising over the treetops. The little town looked bright and pleasant in the morning sunlight. The wind was fair and sea smooth. We soon were past the point, where we could look upon Lake Michigan. North[Pg 181] and South Fox Islands at our left, Charlevoix shore on our right, and soon Cat Head was left far behind, with the "Beavers" growing larger every minute.


The day was fair; the sky was blue; the sea gulls soared about our little ship, uttering their shrill cries in search of food. Soon the land could be plainly seen along the island, and as we neared its shores my thoughts went back to a few years ago, when I stood on the deck of the steamboat Michigan watching so eagerly to catch the first glimpse of the dear old island that was my home. And now as we passed Cable's dock and saw the houses, and people walking about, how familiar everything looked to me. I watched to see our old home, but father said to me, "It is burned down." I looked at the place where it had stood and through my tears it seemed I could almost see my little brother Charley and myself strolling along the beach as we so often did in the old days, chasing the plovers along the shore. Then again I could see ourselves hurrying to get on board the little vessel with our goods left upon the beach and the Mormon men pointing the guns at us. Father seemed to know what was passing in my mind as he said. "There are only friends here now."

We sailed along Big Sand Bay, and there were many little buildings left where the fishermen lived. The Martin's and Sullivans place, with Kilty's and others, all looked so familiar, then past Loaney's Point with the big rock, and the homes looked just[Pg 182] the same. In a short time our little ship was sailing into the harbor, where something new greeted my eyes, and that was the light house on the point, which was not there when I was there last. Everything was so beautiful and fair to look upon I could not help enjoying the lovely trip across the lake.


My brother and other friends met us and took us to the Mormon printing office, which had been turned into a hotel. When reaching there we were met by ever so many old friends, nearly all speaking in French, and their manner so hearty we could not help but feel their welcome. At supper time the dining room was filled with a jolly crowd of fishermen with a number of city people that were staying for rest and recreation in the summer months. Several of them had been with the fishermen on the lake that day watching the process of setting and lifting the nets, and many were the jokes that were made at their expense. Next door was another larger hotel, kept by Mr. David Lobdell and his wife. Mrs. Lobdell came from Fremont, Ohio. This hotel had been full of summer boarders, but many had gone to their city homes. This house had been used by the Mormons as a dance hall and theater.

The summer at the island had been a very gay one. About twenty families had summered there, living in the deserted homes of the Mormons. There were also two or three smaller boarding houses that were all filled and doing a good busi[Pg 183]ness. Fish were plenty, bringing a good price. Everybody had money and used it freely. The fishermen were a good, kind, jolly people as a class, borrowing no troubles for the morrow. In those days there were no tugs used in the fishing business, neither were there pound-nets used. There were many seines used. The fish caught were usually very large in size, both whitefish and trout. The merchants did a prosperous business. In winter the cord wood was chopped and brought to the docks for the steamers' fuel during the summer season.


The evening before we reached there a large party had been given as a farewell to the many summer friends that were going to their city homes. The two young Mormon sisters that Strang had chosen as Spiritual wives were also going away. They were to have a great festival, or feast, in July to celebrate the sealing ceremony of the King's marriage with the two young sisters, but death had come and taken the King before the time of the ceremony. These two sisters were very beautiful girls who were orphans and had a home with their uncle, he being a staunch Mormon, but a very good man. The summer people had been very interested in these two young sisters. Their parents had both died while they were very young. Being raised in the Mormon faith they thought it was right and considered it a great honor to have been chosen by the prophet and King. I was told by one who knew them intimately that they expressed great joy[Pg 184] that they had escaped such a fate. Since the shooting of Strang they, as well as many others, had lost their faith in his religion.


We were soon settled in a comfortable house left by the Mormons. The houses as a rule were placed close together in groups of three. Their yards were nicely laid out and filled with handsome flowers, which were now in bloom. When we reached there houses were plenty and we could take our choice. Mr. C. R. Wright and family had returned to the island, starting a large cooper shop and employing a number of workmen. Mr. James Moore and family, T. D. Smith and family, and many others who had left in 1852 had now returned. Mr. James Cable had taken possession of his property at the head of the island and was again in business. Mr. Peter McKinley had returned and was in business across the harbor on the opposite side from the point at what was called the "Gregg property." Mr. McKinley had been elected to the State Legislature at Lansing, so did not return to the island until late in the fall. His brother Morrison taking charge of the business. Peter McKinley was first cousin to William McKinley, our late President of the United States.

There was a very comfortable school house, built by the Mormons. It was a frame building containing a large library of fine books which belonged to the King. There were books of Greek and Latin, with histories and law books. Our school was taught[Pg 185] that winter by Mr. Isaac Wright from Illinois. The Mormons had always had good schools, as the king wanted to have his subjects educated, but would not allow them to go outside to be educated. The teachers being their own people.

About a mile back from the shore on high, level land was Mr. Campbell's farm. This was a beautiful location on the south side of the harbor. This family had remained when the Mormons had left. They were glad to be left in peace and had become tired of Strang's rule. They were my neighbors for many years and proved themselves kind and true friends.

Mrs. Campbell had been one of Strang's greatest enemies in preventing his enforcing the laws of polygamy. She carried her family Bible to the temple, and there with many other women read God's laws from its pages faster than the king could explain it in his way. She told me all this herself, and said many times when she started for the temple it was with fear and trembling, not knowing sometimes whether she would ever return to her home.

She knew she was defying the King, and no one at the time could tell what the outcome might be, adding, "But we knew we were right and were fighting for our homes. We kept agitating and gained time. Strang began to find his power was not absolute. We women banded ourselves together and fought him with words so strong he had to stop to consider where he stood. Before it was settled the king was shot."[Pg 186]


At the harbor side, or St. James, was quite a village. Two docks, two stores, with the two hotels and two or three boarding houses; further around the bay was the old Mormon boarding house building that had been run by the Mormon with four wives. It was built of logs smooth on both sides. Mr. C. R. Wright converted that building into a large cooper shop. There were about twenty houses back along the hill, reaching along past the temple and Strang's cottage, with several more in the other direction around the bay toward the point. Just back a short distance from the street just opposite the dock stood what was called "Dr. McCulloch's residence." A very pretty gothic story and a half cottage. It was painted white with a white picket fence around it. Dr. McCulloch was the Mormon doctor from Baltimore. A fine physician. Coming to the island just to rest, he gained his health and liked the climate so well he settled there. His wife was a highly cultured lady. While not wholly Mormons, they were just enough so as to live peaceably with the King. Mrs. McCulloch was the leader in much of their amusements, and she often ridiculed Strang about his way of living and insisting upon the women wearing short hair and bloomer costumes. She always wore her dresses long when going on her annual trips home to Baltimore. But when on the island she wore the regulation short dress, as she said, "Just for fun."[Pg 187]

The year we returned, in 1857, a Mr. Burke, a merchant from Buffalo. N. Y., had been that summer at the island with a stock of goods, leaving in the fall, selling his goods to Mr. George R. Peckham, of Toledo, Ohio, who carried on the business a few years alone, after which C. R. Wright went partner with him; then for a number of years the firm of Peckham & Wright was known. Later George Peckham sold his interest to Mr. Wright, and then the firm was known as C. R. Wright & Son. The business grew, as thousands of barrels of fish were caught and shipped every season. It soon became equal to the fish market at Mackinac Island, it being nearer to most of the fishing grounds. In a few years the property at the point was bought by the firm of Dormer & Allen, of Buffalo, N. Y. A large store and warehouse was built, with the dock improved, and the business was carried on at the point with success by that firm for a number of years.


At Cable's dock Mr. John Corlette, of Ohio, had settled, and after a fair success in business of several years he moved to Cheboygan, Mich., with his son-in-law, Mr. Andrew Trombley. Captain Appleby, of Buffalo, N. Y., took Mr. Loaney's place as keeper of the light-house at the head of the island, where his nephew, Frank Blakeslee, assisted. After a few years Mr. Harrison Miller took Capt. Appleby's place, remaining eleven years or more, assisted by his[Pg 188] nephew, Edwin Bedford. Mr. William Duclon succeeded Miller, and after about eight years was transferred to Eagle Bluff light-house, where he still continues at this writing. Mr. Harrison Miller, after leaving the light-house, was appointed keeper of the life saving station at Beaver Harbor, and was transferred to Point Betsey life-saving station. Mr. Owen Gallagher succeeded him at the Beaver Island station.

The Mormons laid the roads out very convenient for the settlers that were in the interior of the island. One road went direct from the harbor across to Bonnar's landing, a distance of five miles. This road passed through many fine farms, and there were roads branching from this one leading to all parts of the island, with the king's highway leading direct through from the harbor to the head of the island. The king's highway was very beautiful with its wild scenery. Many of the roads were built with small logs cut the width of the road and laid down firmly close together. These were called cause-ways or corduroy. This kind was built where it was swampy and low land to go through. These cause-ways were very beautiful in summer time with their branches arching overhead in many places, with beautiful evergreens mixed in with willows, green mosses and flowers.


I soon became acquainted with Mr. Campbell's daughter. She was a bright, jolly girl just two years older than I. They had horses, so Mary and I[Pg 189] used to ride horseback almost every day until she had taken me almost all over the island. Oh, those delightful rides! There were roads and bridle paths going in every direction. I would soon have been lost, but Mary knew them all, and when she had any doubts about the way out from the deep woods those two horses never failed to take us right. Mary was a pleasant companion. She knew the names of all the people who had lived on those now deserted farms. Every house we came to was vacant. The little gates were broken off their hinges in several places, and in some of the houses the curtains were still at the windows. Weeds were growing all about the doors, flowers were still in bloom, with weeds mixed in among them, barns were empty with some of their doors open. There were broods of chickens around many of the barns, and one yard we rode into some pretty little kittens ran scampering under the barn. Mary was talking all the time, saying, "Such a man lived here; they were very good people. Just see how pretty the flowers grow and the lovely currant bushes. Ma and I came and picked the most of them this season, as Mrs. M—— told us to. Oh we did feel so sorry for her to have to leave her home. Now these people were awfully queer. They never talked to anybody; and just see the lovely hay in this field all going to waste." We rode along where there were several houses built close together with a large barn, and the flowers were beautiful. Roses climbing about the windows. "Yes, this is where one of the apostles lived. We didn't like him a bit. Ma says[Pg 190] he made Strang do lots of things he didn't want to and wanted to put father high in office and have him sealed to some more wives, but Ma would not allow it. She went to the temple and did all she could do to stop it, and I believe Strang was afraid the women would mob him. At any rate he let us alone. We liked that apostle's wife. She was a kind little woman." I enjoyed the riding, but it made me sad to see all those deserted homes. I could see how much hard work had been done to make everything so comfortable.


One day, on our last ride, we rode directly across to Bonnar's landing. Mr. and Mrs. John Bonnar had bought and settled on a very fertile piece of land. At that time there was not much cleared; later they had a beautiful home. Mr. Ray Peckham and wife also had bought a good farm near Mr. Bonnar's. This day Mary and I rode around all the homes out on that road, then came down and took the road leading out to Long Lake, near Font Lake. Our horses were walking, Mary was pointing out and telling me about the people that lived on this road. We soon came to a home that it seemed to me I had seen before. I said, "Mary, who lived here?" "Oh, this is where Mr. H—— lived; the man who treated his wife so badly because she did not like it when he brought home another wife." We tied our horses and walked about the yard. Yes, here was the home. There were the rose bushes about the windows, the flowers down the walk, a[Pg 191] mountain ash with its red berries, the vegetable garden at the back of the house with the currant and gooseberry bushes. I looked a long time, seeing it all in my mind as the woman had told me her story. I could see the man and woman standing together in the door while the wife was hurrying away to her mother for sympathy. I could not keep the tears back. Mary saw I felt sad and said, "Why do you cry? Are you lonesome for the friends you have left in your old home?" I said, "No, I am crying because I have heard the story about the woman. She told it to me herself." "Oh yes, I remember hearing ma tell me about this woman. She says she thinks it was the most cruel joke Strang ever planned." (Strang always called such things jokes.) Over there is where her father and mother lived and way over there (pointing to the woods) is where that deaf and dumb sister of her's lived. We walked over to the woods. The little log cabin stood almost hid by the trees and bushes. It had a more deserted look than the rest of the houses. Bushes and weeds were right up to the door. Mary said no one had ever lived in it since the deaf and dumb man had died and his wife and children had gone away. We hurried away. It gave us such a gloomy feeling. We were glad to come back where the sun was shining.


Mary said, "Come, I will show you old Tiger's grave, where the woman and her deaf and dumb sister buried him after Mr. H—— shot him for his[Pg 192] faithfulness to his mistress." We stood beside the spot where the wronged wife had buried her faithful dog. She had planted a rose bush beside it. There were many beautiful roses on the bush that season. Tiger's grave was near the shore of little Font Lake at the place where he pulled his mistress from a watery grave. We then rode down through Enoch, and there Mary pointed to a grave with a beautiful lilac bush at its head with a white picket fence about it. That is where the mother of four young girls is buried. It almost broke their hearts to go away and leave their mother's grave. They had asked Mary to see to it sometimes, which she had promised to do.


Mary said, "Now just one more place to go and see before we go home." We rode around pretty Font Lake, soon coming to a large two story and a half house, built very near the sloping shore of the lake. We tied our horses, walking down the path to the water. There were seats in among the small cedars, which grew thickly about. The house was still in good repair. "This is the Johnson House. The people were rich. He was a merchant living in Buffalo. The King and 'Douglas' went to their home and soon persuaded them to sell and come here. They built this house, and out there you can see the large barn. They brought their horses and carriages. They brought their dead daughter's body and buried it out there on that little knoll." I looked and saw the white railing about the lonely grave[Pg 193] with rose bushes at the head. We went up stairs and saw the large dancing hall with its waxed floors which were still glossy. She told me how beautifully it had been furnished. The parlors and all the rooms were large. Rose bushes grew near the windows, flower gardens with blooming flowers. The setting sun was shining through the windows; the house was clean and it seemed the occupants had just cleaned house and not yet arranged the furniture. It had such a bright, cheerful look. Some city visitors had lived there all summer. Yes, these people were another disappointed family. They had a very handsome daughter highly educated and a fine musician. Strang and "Douglass" used to go there to the parties given, the family not knowing at first that "Charles Douglas" was a woman, that being another one of the king's jokes. Mr. Wentworth married this daughter and the king's visits became disagreeable to the young wife. This caused hard feelings and may have been one of the reasons for Wentworth's shooting the king. We hurried home as the sun was sinking in the west, and I wanted to get away from all these empty houses, for every one seemed like an open grave. I staid with Mary all night and her mother told me many things about their life on the island.



"We had a comfortable home in New York State near to where many more of our neighbors who came with us lived. Strang himself, with two more apostles, were traveling through the country[Pg 194] preaching and telling about the rich beautiful country they had found. We went to hear them, and, like many others, were greatly pleased. Strang did most of the talking himself. He was a brilliant talker. He had such a bright, cheerful manner we were won from the first. We sold our home, the other neighbors doing the same, and in a short time started for the 'Promised Land.' When we reached here we found nothing as it had been represented to us. The island was in its wild natural state. A few had cleared some land and were struggling along the best they could. Our first winter was a hard one, and I cannot bear to think how sadly we were disappointed. When I asked Strang why we had not been told the truth he always turned it off in some way, talking so encouragingly and always making us see the brightest side. Life became busy, as we had a large family dependent upon us. We had some money saved and bought this land and built this house, which you see is large and comfortable. Our children were sent to school and we were beginning to feel quite contented. I often went to hear Strang preach, but I did not feel satisfied, his doctrine did not sound the same as he told it to us before we left our old home, and he was having so many 'New Revelations' that I soon lost what little belief I had ever had in the doctrine. Somehow it was different from what my old family Bible taught me, but I said very little about it at first, although a few of us women used to say Strang had too many revelations to be true. He never spoke anything to me about them, but often[Pg 195] spoke to other women he called upon. Very soon he preached in the temple that he had a new revelation that all the apostles and officers in the Church of Zion must take more wives, and had already taken more himself. This preaching stirred us women up, as he had preached before against polygamy, and about this time I found the king was urging my husband to accept a high office in the church. I called upon the king, asking if this was all true that we heard. He answered in a very decided tone, 'Yes, it is true, and the law will be enforced if you do not quietly submit.' I told him I would never submit or consent to another woman coming into my house while I lived. He said, 'You are not yet high enough in the faith to understand the true meaning of being sealed to spiritual wives.' Well, I tell you I was mad. I went home, and in a few days I joined with several other women. We went to the temple, I carrying my family Bible, and there we faced the King. We women talked faster than he could. He tried to have us stopped but could not. You know how it all ended; I was sorry to see him killed, yet I knew something terrible would happen to him and I told him so when I talked that day. I said such things cannot go on any longer. All these homes would not be empty had Strang lived according to the doctrine he preached to us before we sold our old homes and came here; we would have been a happy, contented people, but his teachings were all false from beginning to end, and he has suffered the same fate of Joseph Smith, whose example he followed. I know[Pg 196] there were bad men influencing him to do all this. It might have been for the purpose of getting rid of him so they themselves could take his place. It is all ended and I am glad I never knew anything more about Mormonism than I have since I came here."


At the time the Mormons left the island the temple was left standing. The excitement was so great and the Gentiles feared the Mormons might return with another leader in Strang's place, so they thought best to burn the temple. It was of the exact pattern as the one at Kirtland, Ohio, as Strang had built it after the same plans. The building was all up and inclosed, but not yet finished. The large room used for preaching was also used for the council room.


In my rides about the island there were many narrow paths in every direction and the young growth of trees made it almost impossible to pass through. We would come upon many little log cabins in the dense woods with no clearing except a small yard and I wondered why this was so. I was told these were some of the places where they used to secrete stolen goods, it being such an out-of-the-way place and in the dense woods no one would expect to find a house. One of the band of "Forty Thieves" who lived with us a few months after I was married and keeping house, told us there were[Pg 197] many such places about that locality of Rocky Mountain, or Indian Point as it has always been called late years, where goods could be hid and they could hide themselves so as not to be found by any stranger. The very mention of the band of "Forty Thieves" struck terror to people's hearts in the days of Mormon rule. There were rumors of many dark deeds done by that band of highwaymen, or pirates as they were sometimes called. It was common talk among Gentiles, and told us by some of their own people who were not very loyal to the king, that vessels were plundered and the crews never heard from. Of course this none of us knew to be true, yet a great many things happened to lead us to think that it might be a possibility. When my people came back to the island there was still a great quantity of goods left stored away in some houses up in that part called "Enoch," about one mile distant from the harbor. There were several boxes of shoes, some crates of dishes partly full, screen cupboards, furniture, chairs and tables. One small house was almost full of stoves. All these goods were new and did not seem to have been damaged. The people who came had helped themselves to all they wanted and wondered where all the goods came from. This helped to make the rumors prove more true that vessels had been plundered and the crews killed. One of our lake captains told me he had a brother who was last seen at Beaver harbor. The vessel and crew were never heard from and no one knew their fate. Of course when Strang's people were getting so bold, doing what they did, tak[Pg 198]ing everything from the fishermen, it could easily be believed they would plunder vessels if a good opportunity came.


Many have been the hours spent, and days even, by people hunting to find the hull of a schooner which was said to have been sunk off Little Sand Bay, myself among the rest, and several times we were sure we could see the hull of the vessel lying at the bottom of the lake several rods from shore. We often went rowing and sailing in that direction and we were sure to say, "Let's look for the wreck." I asked the young man that boarded with us about it, as he had once been a member of the "Secret Society." I said, "Is it true? Has there been such things done?" He said, "If only these stones could talk they would tell you of some things that would horrify you, and though I am free from Mormon rule, I would not dare to tell you some things which our band was sworn to do. We were trained for our work and were known among ourselves as the 'Secret Society.' It meant sure death to any of us to betray anything pertaining to our business." He was only eighteen at the time he joined the "Secret Society." He often had spells of great sadness and many nights walked the floor because he could not sleep. Once I said to him. "Did the King ever give you orders what to do?" He said. "At first the orders were given our captains by the King, but it was not long before we never waited for orders from headquarters. We did what we found to do.[Pg 199] It was the intention that Strang should own and rule the whole territory about these islands and mainland as fast as he could get his people scattered about to possess the whole. Strang got too busy making laws that did not suit many of the women, which was one cause of the ill-feeling among his people."


In one of my rides with Mary we went to the place called "Rocky Mountain Point," where the forty thieves had their rendezvous. It was a lonely place, with the waves rolling in over the rocky shore where we went to the beach and the woods were dense. I had heard so many stories of the Mormons' doings there I felt afraid and told Mary I wanted to hurry away, which we did as fast as our horses could travel through the path. When we came to "Page Town" then the spell was broken. No one could look upon this beautiful place and feel fear. The view is grand out over the water to the neighboring islands and the evergreens are most beautiful. "Page Town" is just on the Lake Michigan side of Font Lake. We could see the Johnson House as we rested on the bank of the lake. There were about a dozen houses scattered about, some right near the bank and others back in among the evergreens. It was named in honor of Mr. Page, who first built his house there with several of his relatives. The location is most beautiful. At this spot Lake Michigan is not quite a half mile from Font Lake.[Pg 200]

The land is a little rolling going out to Font Lake, which gives it a most beautiful view all about. The road was good to the portage. We rode around by the Station Hill, a station put there for government survey, and is a most beautiful place for a look-out, with its white sandy beach and clear water sparkling in the sunlight. During my stay on the island that was always a favorite place to go for a quiet, restful stroll, and our summer visitors never failed to visit Station Hill. There Garden Island, with its lovely green trees, was a pleasant view.


From there Mary and I turned our horses' heads toward the point to visit the light keeper and his wife. They were a dear old couple. They would not let us go before we had tea with them. Their children were all married but one daughter. She was visiting with her sister, Mrs. E. Kanter, in Detroit, and expected to remain there for the winter. The old couple had a young boy named Anthony Frazier living with them. Their home was a marvel of neatness. Their name was Granger. He had been light-keeper at Bois Blanc, near Mackinac Island. His son had taken his place and Mr. Lyman Granger had come to take charge of Beaver Island harbor light, just erected the year before. They took us in the tower to see the lamp It was in beautiful order. Mrs. Granger seeing to the polishing of the lamp and fixtures herself. A few years later I was married and lived neighbor[Pg 201] to them until they left the light-house. Then Mr. Peter McKinley was appointed keeper, where he remained nine years with his two young daughters, Effie and Mary. He lost his health soon after his appointment, but the girls took charge of the light house and were faithful to their charge during the whole time of their stay, finally resigning to go away.


There were always good schools at the island, having several teachers from the city at different times. I will mention a few of our city and island teachers. The city teachers were Miss Ann E. Granger, Detroit; Clara Holcomb, Fremont, Ohio; Miss Belle and Hattie Buckland, Buffalo, N. Y.; Miss J. Voas and Miss J. V. Wilkes, both of Buffalo, N. Y. Our island teachers were C. R. Wright, Michael F. O'Donnell, Miss Effie McKinley, Miss Sarah O'Malley, Miss Sarah J. Gibson, Miss Annie Gibson, and many others. There were two brothers. Charles and George Gillett, of Detroit, Mich. They came several summers. Both were fine musicians. They were sure to be on our first boat in the spring, remaining until fall. One spring Charles came alone. The younger brother had died during the winter. We missed his pleasant face and sweet music. When the other brother returned home that fall he took a bride with him, marrying Miss Clara Holcomb, of Fremont, Ohio. Life on the island was never dull. Our summer friends were pleasant, friendly people, making the life happier by[Pg 202] their coming. Good books were sent us for winter reading, and many little tokens of remembrance were often sent us. We gladly hailed the first boat in the spring because it always brought some friends from the outside world.


I was again on board the steamer Michigan. The same captain, the same crew; Jane, the cabin maid was there with her pleasant smile. There were several passengers from Green Bay going to Mackinac Island, for it was payment time. Among the passengers was Mr. Scott, of Green Bay, who once lived at Mackinac Island. Another was Mr. Michael Dousman, he being another that had lived many years on Mackinac Island. His home then being in Milwaukee. When we landed at Mackinac Island the entire beach from Mission House Point to the place where the "Grand" now stands was filled with a row of Indian wigwams.

There were Indians wearing their blankets and the women dressed in bright gay colors with their papooses strapped on their backs in their Indian cradles. The cradles were trimmed with gay colored ribbons. Dogs and children were all mixed up together. Many squaws were pounding Indian corn to make soup for their supper. The streets near the water at Mackinac looked very bright in their gay colors. Indian women and their children were strolling and chatting together looking at the bright colored goods, while the men were most of the time walking about the streets wrapped in their[Pg 203] white blankets, they talking together in low tones. Perhaps telling about how their grandfathers had met for councils of war at this same place so many years before.

The island was just as beautiful as ever. It was early spring time when I saw it last with the straits full of floating ice. Now the grass was green and the trees were in autumn dress with the beautiful evergreens mixed in among the pretty colored leaves of maple and birch. The crisp autumn air gave new life after a hot summer. It had been a busy season with summer visitors and a few had lingered for payment time.


My visit of a month was greatly enjoyed and I returned to Beaver Island, entering school at once. Our winter was a cold one, with heavy ice in the lake, but the next spring we had the steamer Michigan in our harbor on April first. There was still drifting ice, fishing soon began and the summer was a busy one, with many summer visitors. Our island people were very happy not to be disturbed any more by the Mormons or have their property stolen.

There were several Irish families that came as soon as the Mormons left, and more soon followed. They bought the land and made themselves homes. Among those that came was our genial friend Capt. Roddy, so well known all over Northern Michigan. He was a true sailor, owning several sailing crafts at different times, also owning a very fine farm on[Pg 204] the island. He lived there a number of years. He died leaving his family very comfortable. Many of the people who came to the island bought land and took some of the houses the Mormons had left that were around the harbor and moved them to other locations, so that in a few years the island was changed in its appearance by the buildings being taken away from where they had been. Soon there were enough people to support a church, then a Catholic Priest came, and by subscription a church was built, the Protestants helping. Rev. Father Murray was the first priest stationed there. He was a very social and kind hearted man. After him came Rev. Father Gallagher, a young student just from college. His former home was Philadelphia. He made many improvements to the church building, devoting his whole time to his people. He was a jolly social man and a great entertainer. He passed away after a useful life of thirty-two years service. His remains were taken to his native city, Philadelphia, for interment.


Mr. Robert Gibson and wife came to the island the spring of 1858, buying the property of the old Mormon printing office, converting it into a hotel known ever since as "The Gibson House." Its doors have been open to guests up to the present. Mr. Gibson died some years ago, since which time his widow, Mrs. Julia Gibson, with her family, have continued the business with success.

The "King Strang Cottage" has gone to ruin.[Pg 205] What little there was left of it after summer visitors had carried away pieces as relics took fire and burned.

Capt. Bundy with his gospel ship "Glad Tidings" often came to our harbor and sailing around other parts of the shores and islands in later years holding religious services among the people.


Soon after our return to the island after the going away of the Mormons I became acquainted with a lady that had come to the island just a few weeks before Strang was shot. She came to visit her brother. She was a nurse. She told me what a sad time it was to those people when their king was shot. Some would not believe until they saw him. Soon after Strang was carried home the doctor sent a messenger to this lady to come and take charge of the sick room, as no one else could be found capable, all being in such an excited state of mind. She said, "When I reached Strang's home I found him resting under an opiate. His wounds had been dressed. The doctor was sitting beside the bed. I knew him well and he motioned me to a seat. I went across the hall into another room, hearing the sounds of crying and sobbing. There I saw the four wives with several neighbor women all in a sorrowful state of mind. There was one that sat by herself by an open window looking out over the water. She was silent and quiet with a far away look in her eyes. I motioned to the rest to be quiet, as I feared it would disturb the sick[Pg 206] man. I went close and spoke to the quiet woman. She was the one called 'Douglas,' the favorite wife. Strang often called her Charley. I told her why I had come, that I had been sent for. She roused herself up, saying, 'Oh yes, now I remember some one is needed in the sick room.' She seemed to be almost in a dream. I said to her, 'This may not be so bad. He may get well.' She shook her head, her lips quivered, then she spoke in low tones to me, saying, 'No, he says himself he can't get well and he wants the doctor to take him away from the island.' She stopped a moment and then went on, 'He wants to go to his wife in Wisconsin. He says he must go. The doctor told him he had better not go, but his mind is made up to go. And I think it is best, but the rest don't think so,' meaning the other three women. She told me where I could find everything I needed. There were soon large crowds gathering about the house, women were wringing their hands and sobbing aloud. The quiet woman went out among them, telling them they must be quiet and not disturb the sick man, but they did not seem to know what she said. They acted as if they were dazed. The doctor went out and explained to them that they must be quiet. Some of them went away, others sat down on the grass, sobbing quietly, seeming almost heartbroken. I was in the room when Strang awoke. The doctor was near him. The first words he spoke were, 'Doctor can I go? Will a boat soon come to take me home to my wife?' His voice was strong. The doctor answered, 'We will think about this[Pg 207] later.' 'No doctor I must go, I cannot die here on the island. I must go to my wife and children. I must see her before I die. I can't get well, I know it, and I know she will forgive me.' His voice was pleading. It was hard for the doctor to know just what to do or say to him. I soon went to him with some drink. He looked straight in my face saying, 'Tell the doctor I must go home to my wife and children. I am going to die.' Then after a few moments of quietness he exclaimed, 'If I had only heeded her counsel this would not have happened.' His pleadings never ceased until the doctor said. 'Yes. I will take you.' Such a look of joy came over his face and the great tears started from his eyes. The quiet woman came and took his hand and wiped away the tears, but he seemed not to see her. He repeated several times, 'I am going home to Mary.' His eyes had a far away look and his mind was not dwelling on the daily cares, and he took no interest in anything about the house. He never mentioned anything about the business of the temple, as his only desire was to live until he reached his wife. This quiet woman that seemed so much to him before was nothing to him now. Her sorrow was great but she bore it quietly and helped in the preparations to make him comfortable on his journey, knowing she would never see him again in this life. Four days after he was wounded he was carried on board the steamer. The scene was a sorrowful one; everybody came to see their King who had taught them no harm could come to him. Strang was calm and quiet[Pg 208] through it all, for to him they only seemed as passing friends. His thoughts were not of earth and his lips moved often as if in prayer. He stood the journey well, and the kind and loving wife freely forgave him as he died in her arms. He suffered much, but bore it bravely, seeming perfectly satisfied to be at home with his true wife."


The light-keeper Mr. Granger, had given up his position as a keeper, Mr. Peter McKinley succeeding him. I was now married to Mr. Van Riper and living very near the light-house. My husband had come from Detroit for his health. After we were married he started a large cooper shop at the Point, employing several men in the summer season. My father had now moved into the "Strang House," as the King's house was always called by the islanders. Up to this time no one had ever lived in it since the King's death. Somehow no one cared to live in it, but father and mother found it very comfortable and pleasant. There were more people coming to the island all the time to settle, buying farms. The "Johnson House" was now taken down and moved on some farm. All the houses between Strang's house and Enoch had been taken down. We found the light-keeper and his daughters very kind neighbors. The two girls and myself were like sisters as time went on.

There was no doctor at that time on the island. When anything serious happened the people had a[Pg 209] doctor come from Mackinac Island and later from Charlevoix.

Our mails came by ice in winter from Mackinac Island, a distance of fifty miles. When our mail carrier came with the pouches full we were like a hungry lot of people, as often we were without mail for a month or six weeks. Work was laid aside until the letters and papers were read, then for several days news was discussed among us. Good news was enjoyed by everybody and sad news was sadness for all. In later years our mail route was changed in winter to Cross Village, distant about twenty-five miles. Both Indians and white men were engaged in carrying it, using dogs with sleds as the mail grew heavier, with more inhabitants coming. Winter was the time for social amusements. We usually had fine ice for skating, which was enjoyed by both old and young, women, as well as men.

The merchants laid in a good stock of everything necessary in the fall, but many times people ran short of provisions, then other neighbors divided with them.


In the sixties Charlevoix people came to Beaver Island to do much of their trading, going back and forth in small boats. All travelling had to be done by water. People felt no fear. We were going from island to island in summer time. In those days at Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs, there were just a few white settlers, with one or two[Pg 210] stores. In the early fifties Mr. Richard Cooper started a store and another was kept by the "Wendells" of Mackinac Island. Many Mackinac Island people took their families every summer for several years to the Gull islands, that being a fine fishing ground. Thousands of dollars worth of fish were caught there. Beaver Harbor was then the center for trade. Near to reach. "The boats were our carriages, the wind our steeds." Sometimes there were accidents and many were drowned, still people had to live, and their work was on the water most of the time.

The winter of 1861 my husband and I went to Milwaukee to spend the winter. Mr. C. R. Wright was elected to the State Legislature at Lansing that winter, his family spending the winter in Fairport, Ohio. We all returned to the island in springtime. My parents had now gone back to Traverse City to live. Frank, my adopted brother, had enlisted as a drummer boy at the beginning of the Civil War.


In July of 1862 my husband was appointed as a Government school teacher to the Indians at Garden Island. The school was a large one as there was a large band of Indians. Our school continued for two years, then was discontinued for several years before another teacher was sent among them. That two years was a busy life for us both. The Government furnished seeds of all kinds for their gardens, flower seeds as well to beautify their homes. We were expected to teach them how to plant and[Pg 211] cultivate their gardens and farms. They learned rapidly to make their gardens, to plant corn and vegetables, but these little flower seeds, they could not manage them. Chief Peain was a very social, intelligent man. He watched the process of making the flower beds and the putting in of the small seeds. Then he said, "Too much work for Indian." He then took many of the boys and girls with some of the older ones to help clearing off three or four acres of land, put a brush fence around it, they then took the flower seeds of the different kinds, sowing them like grain and raked them in. Well, such a flower garden was never seen! There was every flower in the catalogue growing up together, and never were flowers enjoyed as those Indians enjoyed that flower garden. Every day at all hours could be seen both old and young going out to look at the bright flowers. Old grandmothers with the little grand children would sit in the shade near the flowers and work the pretty beads on the deerskin moccasins while the children played and amused themselves. As soon as school was over then the race began for the flower garden. And it was a pleasure to us to see them so happy. It was called "The Chief's Garden." He was greatly pleased with the bright flowers, and had us write a letter of thanks to the Indian agent for him.

We always had several friends visiting us from Milwaukee and other cities, which made the time seem all too short. I often look back to that two years of my life and feel that my time was not wasted.[Pg 212]


Soon after I was married Alexander Wentworth, one of the men that shot Strang, boarded with us for several weeks. He came back to the island to visit and see how things were prospering. He was a fine looking and intelligent man, very quiet in his manner. We had several other boarders at the same time, people who came to see King Strang's Island. Alec, as they always called him, was their guide to show them the best fishing streams and take them to hunt ducks and wild pigeons. I often talked with Wentworth about the shooting of Strang, asking him if he had any regrets about what he had done. He said, "I have never yet regretted what I did. The Mormon life was bad, and there was no good in it as I can see and I would not live it over again for anything." The place he liked to go best was to little Font Lake to the "Johnson House," his wife's old "Island Home." This had been the second season he came. After that he never came again and we never heard from him any more.


The winter of 1865 we spent a very pleasant winter in Northport, the next winter in Charlevoix, where we had built us a new home on Bridge street. We sold and returned again to the island, engaging in the fishing business quite extensively for a few years.

In August of 1869 Mr. Peter McKinley resigned his position as light-keeper, my husband being appointed in his place. Then began a new life, other[Pg 213] business was discontinued and all our time was devoted to the care of the light. In the spring of 1870 a large force of men came with material to build a new tower and repair the dwelling, adding a new brick kitchen. Mr. Newton with his two sons had charge of the work. A new fourth order lens was placed in the new tower and the color of the light changed from white to red. These improvements were a great addition to the station from what it had been. Our tower was built round with a winding stairs of iron steps. My husband having now very poor health I took charge of the care of the lamps; and the beautiful lens in the tower was my especial care. On stormy nights I watched the light that no accident might happen. We burned the lard oil, which needed great care, especially in cold weather, when the oil would congeal and fail to flow fast enough to the wicks. In long nights the lamps had to be trimmed twice each night, and sometimes oftener. At such times the light needed careful watching. From the first the work had a fascination for me. I loved the water, having always been near it, and I loved to stand in the tower and watch the great rolling waves chasing and tumbling in upon the shore. It was hard to tell when it was loveliest. Whether in its quiet moods or in a raging foam.


My three brothers were then sailing, and how glad I felt that their eyes might catch the bright rays of our light shining out over the waste of[Pg 214] waters on a dark stormy night. Many nights when a gale came on we could hear the flapping of sails and the captain shouting orders as the vessels passed our point into the harbor, seeking shelter from the storm. Sometimes we could count fifty and sixty vessels anchored in our harbor, reaching quite a distance outside the point, as there was not room for so many inside. They lay so close they almost touched at times. At night our harbor looked like a little city with its many lights. It was a pleasant sound to hear all those sailors' voices singing as they raised the anchors in the early morning. With weather fair and white sails set the ships went gliding out so gracefully to their far away ports. My brothers were sometimes on those ships. Many captains carried their families on board with them during the warm weather. Then what a pleasure to see the children and hear their sweet voices in song in the twilight hours. Then again when they came on shore for a race on land, or taking their little baskets went out to pick the wild strawberries. All these things made life the more pleasant and cheerful.


Life seemed very bright in our light house beside the sea. One dark and stormy night we heard the flapping of sails and saw the lights flashing in the darkness. The ship was in distress. After a hard struggle she reached the harbor and was leaking so badly she sank. My husband in his efforts to assist them lost his life. He was drowned with[Pg 215] a companion, the first mate of the schooner "Thomas Howland." The bodies were never recovered, and only those who have passed through the same know what a sorrow it is to lose your loved one by drowning and not be able to recover the remains. It is a sorrow that never ends through life.


Life to me then seemed darker than the midnight storm that raged for three days upon the deep, dark waters. I was weak from sorrow, but realized that though the life that was dearest to me had gone, yet there were others out on the dark and treacherous waters who needed to catch the rays of the shining light from my light-house tower. Nothing could rouse me but that thought, then all my life and energy was given to the work which now seemed was given me to do. The light-house was the only home I had and I was glad and willing to do my best in the service. My appointment came in a few weeks after, and since that time I have tried faithfully to perform my duty as a light keeper. At first I felt almost afraid to assume so great a responsibility, knowing it all required watchful care and strength, with many sleepless nights. I now felt a deeper interest in our sailors' lives than ever before, and I longed to do something for humanity's sake, as well as earn my own living, having an aged mother dependent upon me for a home. My father had passed beyond. Sorrows came thick and fast upon me. Two brothers and three nephews had found graves beneath the deep waters, but mine[Pg 216] was not the only sorrow. Others around me were losing their loved ones on the stormy deep and it seemed to me there was all the more need that the lamps in our light-house towers should be kept brightly burning.

Let our lamps be brightly burning
For our brothers out at sea—
Then their ships are soon returning,
Oh! how glad our hearts will be.
There are many that have left us,
Never more will they return;
Left our hearts with sorrows aching,
Still our lamps must brightly burn.


Oh sailor boy, sailor boy, sailor boy true!
The lamps in our towers are lighted for you.
Though the sea may be raging your hearts will not fail;
You'll ride through the rolling foam not fearing the gale.
And God in his mercy will lead you aright.
As you watch the light-house with lamps burning bright.
The wind your lullaby, as the raging seas foam;
Oh sailor boy, sailor boy, we welcome you home.
[Pg 217]
Oh sailor boy, sailor boy, sailor boy true!
Your dear darling mother is praying for you;
Your sweet bride is weeping as her vigil she keeps,
Not knowing your ship has gone down into the deep.
As she walks on the shore, her eyes out to sea,
"Oh husband, my sailor boy, come back to me!"
The wild waves dash up at her feet in a foam,
They answer, "Your sailor boy no more can come home."
In sorrow she kneels on that wave-beaten shore,
"Shall I never, see my dear sailor boy more?"
The waves whisper softly, their low moaning sound,
"You'll meet your dear sailor boy, in Heaven he's crowned."


Our light keepers many times live in isolated places, out on rocks and shoals far away from land and neighbors, shut off from social pleasures. In many places there can be no women and children about to cheer and gladden their lonely lives. There is no sound but the cry of the sea gulls soaring about or the beating of the restless waters, yet their lives are given to their work. As the sailor loves his ship so the light-keeper loves his light-house. Where there are three or four keepers at one station they manage to make the time pass more pleasantly. They must in many cases be sailors as[Pg 218] well as light-keepers, as it requires both skill and courage to manage their boats in sailing back and forth between their lights and the mainland, where mail, provisions and other necessaries are procured for their comforts. Often they are drowned in making these trips. The passing of the ships near their stations are like so many old friends to them. They learn to love the passing boats and vessels, and it is a pleasure to know our lights cheer and gladden the hearts of the sailors as the waves run high and the wild winds blow on dark, stormy nights. May the hearts of the light-keepers, as well as the life savers in the life saving service along the great lakes and coasts, be strengthened and cheered in the grand and noble work.

As we lie in our beds so snugly and warm.
The sailors are on the sea battling the storm.
As the sailors are tramping their decks in the midnight hours,
We are trimming our lamps in our light-house towers.


There were many wrecks towed into our harbor, where they were left until repaired enough to be taken to dry docks in cities. Sometimes in spring and fall the canvas would be nearly all torn off a schooner in the terrible gales which swept the lakes, many of which I have been out in, in my trips on the lakes and among the islands.

One of our pioneers, Capt. Robert Roe, of Buffalo, N. Y., had settled on South Fox Island in[Pg 219] 1859. He put out a dock, built a comfortable house, and bought the land the Mormons had occupied. He farmed, and furnished cord wood to lake steamers for many years. Many were the gales he sailed through in his trips passing from the island to main land. His brother was keeper of the light-house several years at South Fox Island.


Of all the many steamers that came to our harbor as the years passed on, and there were many, the "Badger State" of the Union Line of Buffalo, N. Y., gave us the longest service, running for ten years into Beaver Harbor, never once missing a trip and most always on time. Capt. Alexander Clark was master. No matter what the weather might be, how heavy the gale, the good ship "Badger State" never failed us. Thousands of barrels of fish were shipped on her to city markets, bringing the merchants' goods and merchandise. She also carried our summer mails and being a popular boat was always filled with passengers. From the spring of 1873 to the summer of 1883 the "Badger State" was a faithful friend. No one but those who reside on an island can appreciate the steamboat service or what it means to the people. We learn to love the boats, the sound of the whistle even in the midnight hours was music in our ears and brought cheer and comfort to our hearts.


Capt. E. A. Bouchard, of Mackinac Island, commanded several steamers around the lakes and[Pg 220] islands of Northern Michigan and Green Bay. Steamers Passaic and Canisteo of the Green Bay line and the Grace Dormer, which burned in our harbor, where one man was burned and the captain and his wife had a narrow escape with their lives.

In the early days Capt. E. A. Bouchard sailed a small steamboat called the "Islander," and oftentimes when we saw the craft coming it looked as though it might be one of the small islands broke loose from its moorings floating along the water. And it really seemed the captain loved his little craft, for his face always wore a pleasant smile when he greeted us. It mattered not for the "Islander's" beauty, she brought our mail and many friends, who came to enjoy a summer vacation on our beautiful island.

In the sixties we had the steamers Galena, Capt. Stelle, master; Queen of the Lakes, Capt. Lewis Crarey, master; Mayflower, Capt. Woodruff, master; S. D. Caldwell, Capt. Hunt, master; Fountain City, Capt. Penney, master; Dean Richmond, Cuyahoga, Norton, and many others. In the year 1883 steamers Lawrence and Champlain made regular trips until replaced by the newer and larger boats of the Northern Michigan Line.


About the year 1876 Mr. James Dormer, who had done an extensive business at the Point, retired and went to his home in Buffalo, N. Y., renting his property to Mr. John Day of Green Bay, Wis. Later Mr. C. R. Wright and son, also one of the[Pg 221] old pioneers of the island who had carried on the fish business so many years, sold his dock property and store building, moving to Harbor Springs, still continuing in the dry goods business. About that time others of our island people moved to the main land, settling in different parts, making new homes. Several of the young men filling responsible positions as captains, mates and clerks on the lake steamers, and several of the young women being trained nurses in city hospitals.

I now married again, still holding my position as light-keeper. Since my marriage my official title has been Mrs. Daniel Williams. Having a desire to change my residence from the island to the mainland I made the request to be changed to a mainland light station. I was soon transferred to the Little Traverse light-station at Harbor Springs, Mich. The light-house just finished, the lamp being lighted the first time September 25th, 1884. The light-station is situated on the extreme end of Harbor Point, at the entrance of Little Traverse harbor.


Preparations were made, goods were packed, the steamer "Grace Barker" with Capt. Walter Chrysler as master, had come to take us to our new home. So often before had I left the island, passing several winters in other parts, but always returning again, and happy to get back to my neighbors and pleasant island home, with its fresh, pure air. But now I knew this was different. There would be no[Pg 222] more coming back to live, this time was to be the last. The dear old island and I must part. I had always thought it beautiful in the many years I had called it my home; but never before had I realized what it had been to me until now. I was leaving, perhaps never more to return.

Recollections came of my childhood days when free from care and knowing no sorrow, I had wandered through the pleasant paths strewn with flowers, sending their sweet perfume upon the air, as my brothers had so often taken me with them on their hunts; and the beautiful white beach where the blue waters came rolling in where so often we had wandered together, chasing the waves as they came tumbling in upon us, or as we paddled about the shores in our canoes, and where I so often had watched to see their white sails returning to land when I had not gone with them upon the water. As all these thoughts came passing through my mind I wondered if I could leave all these memories behind, or could I carry them away to the new home, the new land as it almost seemed. Though our family was broken and no more could we gather around the hearth at evening time, some had passed over into the beyond, yet there was no place on earth where we all seemed so close together as on the island shores. We had passed through many storms, both mental and physical, but had felt the mighty power of him who rules all things to give us peace and strength. And the "light-house!" That had been my home so many years, I loved the very bricks within its walls. Under its roof[Pg 223] I had passed many happy years as well as some sorrowful ones. It was filled with hallowed memories. Then came the separation from the friends and neighbors. Could their places ever be filled?

The sun shone bright, the day was fair as we stepped upon our steamer that was to bear us away from our island home. As we steamed so fast away, we looked back to watch its white shores with beautiful green trees in the background and the pretty white tower and dwelling of our light-house, which soon could be seen no more only in sad, sweet memories.

Just a few hours passed when we steamed into Little Traverse Harbor, and the "red light," just like the one we had left, was flashing its rays over the waters of Little Traverse Bay for the first time. The water was calm and still. The "red light" shone deep into the quiet waters, and many eyes were watching the bright rays from the light-house tower, and the wish of their hearts had been gratified in having a light house on Harbor Point to guide steamers and vessels into the harbor. The evening was clear and the picture was a lovely one as we rounded the point so near the light. Some passengers said to me. "Here is your home. Don't you know the red light is giving you a welcome?" Yes, it was all one's heart could wish, yet I felt there was another I had left in the old home that was now just a little more dear to my heart.


We were met by friends and taken to their home[Pg 224] for the night. Next morning we drove through the resort grounds to "Harbor Point Light House," as it is known by the land people, but to the mariner it is "Little Traverse Light House." We were soon at work putting our house in order, and the beautiful lens in the tower seemed to be appealing to me for care and polishing, which I could not resist, and since that time I have given my best efforts to keep my light shining from the light-house tower. Many old-time friends came to see us in our new home on Harbor Point, and though we greatly missed our island home and island neighbors, we soon felt an interest in our new surroundings. What I missed here most was not to see the passing ships and steamers, as they were constantly passing where we could see them from the island.

There were a number of steamers, both large and small, running on our bay. Steamers City of Grand Rapids, T. S. Faxton, both owned by Mr. Hannah at Traverse City, that ran as far as Mackinac Island, steamer Van Raalte, owned by Mr. Charles Caskey of Harbor Springs. She was put on the Manistique route, calling at St. James, carrying the mail, with Capt. E. A. Bouchard as master; Clara Belle, another small steamer, with several tugs. Northern Michigan line was Lawrence, Champlain, City of Petoskey, and City of Charlevoix. At this writing the same company have the Kansas, and the two staunch new steamers, Illinois and Missouri. We also have the large passenger S. S. Manitou with Steamer Northland, and the Hart line boats of Green Bay.


[Pg 225]


Since coming to mainland I have visited my old Traverse City home. There I met many friends of my childhood days, my teacher among the rest, with her sister Agnes. For a couple of weeks I was entertained by my old friends, Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Campbell and family. While there I visited all the old haunts and located the spot where the little log school house had stood, and the crooked tree which we school children loved so much to climb into and sit while our companions played about among the green pines and oaks. I strolled around to Bryant's where the road turns off to Old Mission. The old Bryant home looked just the same, nestling among the green trees, as in the years of long ago. Close beside it was the beautiful home of my school days' friend, Mrs. Frank Brush, where I was very cordially entertained by herself and family. I visited with my old friends in their handsome country home, Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Gunton, then around the bay to Greilick's. It seemed but yesterday since I had left it, and yet I missed so many of the old familiar faces. There was much sadness mixed in with the pleasure of meeting with old friends.

The city had changed, no traces were left of my old home. The mill pond was filled in and streets and buildings were in its place. Strangers were in the places where once we children had run our races down the car track to the dock. The house where I had last visited my father, had been removed and another built in its place, but the little[Pg 226] gurgling brook was still singing its cheerful songs and the flowers were blooming on its mossy banks. The beautiful forest trees had been cut down and a city was made where once the wild strawberries and June roses grew, even the Company's garden where we school children used to go and ride the horses around the field, was all changed into a city. While there I found where my three school friends were, the Rice girls. I had thought them dead, but happy was the meeting after thirty-six years of separation, and every summer since they never fail to make a little visit to the light-house, where we again live over the old days. Although there are silvery threads among the gold of our hair, we feel our hearts are young when speaking of the old school days.

Since I left my island home I have never returned but once. The short time I was there were precious hours to me, and though I cannot go I so often see it in memory as it was when nature had put on her most lovely garments of green; when June roses were in bloom filling the air with fragrance with the friends of my younger days. Such pictures can never fade from memory.

I always feel a deep interest in the prosperity and welfare of the island people. My present surroundings are all that could be wished for, and the light-house on Harbor Point is the place that is dearest to me.

A few of the old pioneers of the island are Capt. Manus Bonnar, who owns and runs the Hotel Beaver; Mr. and Mrs. James Dunlevey have a[Pg 227] fine, large dry goods store; Mr. James McCann has another with general merchandise; Mr. William Gallagher is the pioneer pound-net fisherman of the island; Mr. William Boyle and several others are in business. Several outside people have invested in land and in the near future expect to have a resort with daily boats running to main land in the summer months. No more healthful place can be found for rest and recreation than the fair and beautiful Beaver Island.


The growth of many resorts around little Traverse Bay have been wonderful since my coming to Harbor Point light-house. Bay View with its summer schools of music, paintings and works of art, with its splendid gospel teachings and quiet restful places where people come to rest the tired brain from a busy city life. It is an ideal place for summer rest.

Petoskey is a beautiful little city built upon a hillside. It has many advantages of pure air, beautiful views of the water on the bay and Lake Michigan. With its boats and railroads nothing more is needed for comfort.

Roaring Brook, a picturesque spot of nature which must be seen to be appreciated. One must listen to the roaring of the brook to understand the meaning of the gurgling sound. One never tires in rambling about through the quiet, shady, green mossy nooks where the birds sing sweetly among the cedar trees.[Pg 228]

Wequetonsing, how fair to look upon. With its handsome cottages, green lawns, flowing water clear as crystal. Surely no drink can be sweeter than this pure water! It has a beautiful view of the bay, with Petoskey showing so prettily across the waters, and the light-house point with its green trees making delightful scenery for the eyes to rest upon.

Then the pretty town of Harbor Springs nestling so near the high bluff with its many pretty buildings on the heights from which the view is perfect. On clear days Fox Islands and Beaver Island can be plainly seen.

And beautiful Charlevoix. Her natural beauties with works of man have made her fair to look upon. I love to remember the beautiful scenery as I saw it when a child, with its lovely forest trees growing down to the water's edge, wild birds warbling in the branches, wild ducks swimming upon the quiet, calm waters of little Round Lake. There are many other resorts scattered all about the bays and shores where people find rest and strength.

Last, but not least, is beautiful Harbor Point. A narrow point of land which helps to form the harbor with water on both sides and a heavy growth of trees of many different kinds making lovely, natural, shady parks, with many fine summer homes and beautiful drives. On the end of the Point stands the lighthouse with its red light flashing out at night over the waters, looking like a great red ruby set with diamonds as the electric lights are shining[Pg 229] around the bay and harbor. What more is needed of nature's beauty to make the picture complete?

The sun has sunk in the west, leaving the sky all purple and pink. The moon, just risen, sheds her soft, mellow light over the earth; all nature is resting. The birds are in their nests, the whip-poor-will has ceased her plaintive notes, the sea gulls are soaring away to their nightly rest. No sound is heard save the soft, low murmurings of the waves upon the shore.


Transcriber's Corrections

Following is a list of significant typographical errors that have been corrected.

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