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Title: Jacob Hamblin: A Narrative of His Personal Experience
       Fifth Book of the Faith-Promoting Series

Author: James A. Little

Release Date: February 16, 2015 [EBook #48284]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by the Mormon Texts Project
(, with thanks to Tom Williams for




Interpositions of Providence, Severe Privations, Perilous Situations and Remarkable Escapes.



Designed for the Instruction and Encouragement of Young Latter-day Saints.

Salt Lake City, Utah.



MY FIRST MISSION, by Prest. Geo. Q. Cannon. Price, 25 cts.


A STRING OF PEARLS, from the pen of Prest. Taylor and others. Price, 25 cts.


LEAVES FROM MY JOURNAL, by Prest. Wilford Woodruff. Price, 25 cts.


GEMS FOR THE YOUNG FOLKS, by Bp. A. A. Kimball, Bp. Benj. Brown, and others. Price, 25 cts.


JACOB HAMBLIN, a narrative of his personal experience, as a frontiersman, missionary to the Indians and explorer. Price, 35 cts.


In issuing to the public this, the Fifth Volume of the Faith-Promoting Series, we feel that we are making an addition to our home literature that will be appreciated by the Saints generally. The manner in which the former volumes of this Series have been received, encourages us to entertain this hope.

Brother Jacob Hamblin has spent the most of his life as a faithful, humble worker in the cause of God. Though he has labored as a missionary such a great proportion of his time during the past forty years, it has been in a sphere which has not brought him into prominence before the public. Even his name has seldom appeared in public print. Brother Hamblin has never sought notoriety. He has been prompted by motives far more noble. He is such a modest man that he would be content to ever remain in obscurity. Indeed, it was only after earnest solicitation that he was induced to narrate, for Brother James A. Little's pen to record, the incidents herein published, However, though not written for that purpose, we trust the publication of this book will result in making him better known and appreciated by his brethren and sisters. It is a simple, unvarnished recital of incidents of thrilling interest, remarkable adventures and special manifestations of providence, that we think cannot fail to entertain and benefit all who read it.

Brother Hamblin's testimony of God's goodness towards him, and His willingness to answer prayer, should inspire and strengthen young Latter-day Saints. His cheerful self-denial, his devotion to the work of the Lord, and the joy he has found in it should stimulate them to zeal in emulating his example. His portrayal of the policy pursued by the Saints in dealing with the Indians, should enlighten strangers who may read this book upon a subject about which this people have been greatly maligned.

There are many important lessons to be learned from the narrative herein published, and we trust that it may prove profitable to all who read it.



Early incidents of my life—Providential care over me—Marriage—Hear the Gospel, and embrace it—Signs follow—Opposed by relatives—Predict my Father's baptism—My Father Healed in answer to prayer.


Arrival at Nauvoo—My first interview with the Prophet Joseph—Some first impressions of the character of the gathered Saints—Go east on an important mission—Death of the Prophet—Return to Nauvoo—Providential circumstance on the journey.


Sidney Rigdon strives for the guardianship of the Church—He urges his claims at the Conference—Brigham Young, President of the Twelve, and others of the Quorum appear in the stand—A remarkable testimony that the mantle of Joseph had fallen upon Brigham Young—Persecutions of the Saints—Baptism of my Parents—Preparations for the exodus—Sickness—A Methodist comforter—Answer to prayer—Harvest of Quails—Miraculous incidents on the journey to Utah.


Locate in Tooele Valley—Indian troubles—Escape death by an Indian, by following the warning of the Spirit—Hunting Indians—Sudden aversion to shedding their blood—Decide to protect them at the risk of my life—Sent again to hunt and kill Indians—Testimony that the Lord did not want me to kill them, but to carry peace to them—A dream and its fulfillment.


Mission to Southern Utah—Locate at Harmony—Remarkable Prophecies of Heber C. Kimball fulfilled—Indians Harvesting—Indian "Medicine man"—Indian woman healed under our administration—Accompany a hunting party—A fight for a squaw, in which I am compelled to take part—Sickness—Take my family to Southern Utah—Build a fort on the Santa Clara—Rain in answer to prayer—Counsel from President Young—We refuse to administer to the sick until they are washed—A sick boy dies, and the Indians grow mad and threaten us—We follow and pacify them.


Retributive justice to the Indians—We gain influence by it—The Lord gives the Indians testimonies of the truth—War between two bands of Indians—A woman burned to death from revenge—Promptings of the Spirit—Stolen horses recovered—Government among the Indians—Appointed president of the Indian mission—Visit of Apostle George A. Smith—United States army on its way to Utah—Elder Smith's advice to the Saints—Mountain Meadow massacre.


President Young requests me to pilot a company to California—Save a white man from being tortured by the Indians—Indians determined to kill the company—I pacify them—Elders Ira Hatch and Dudley Leavitt sentenced to be killed by the Mohaves—Elder Hatch softens their hearts by offering a prayer—Allowed to escape on foot.


President Young's Indian policy—Expedition to Los Vegas and Colorado Rivers—Suspicious steamer in the Colorado—Learn its purpose—Go after a load of lead—Our horses stolen—Eat poison cactus—Led by the Spirit providentially.


Visit to Salt Lake City—Interview between Elder George A. Smith and Governor Cumming—Elder Smith urges an investigation of the Mountain Meadow massacre—Governor Cumming objects—Appointed sub-Indian agents—Nearly killed by a fall from a tree—A remarkable vision—First mission to the Moquis—Description of their towns, customs and traditions—Some of the Brethren remain with them—Difficult journey home—Moquis prediction.


Second trip to the Moquis—Two Elders left to labor with them—Lack of success, owing to traditions of the Indians—Third mission to the east side of the Colorado—George A. Smith, Jr., shot by the Navajoes—Very trying experience—The wounded man dies in the saddle, while traveling—Forced to leave his body unburied—Bitter reflections.


Arrival at Spaneshanks' camp—His friendly spirit—Return home—Journey in the winter to recover the remains of George A. Smith, Jr.—Destitute condition of my family.


Many Saints called to settle Southern Utah—Destructive flood on the Santa Clara—Narrow escape from drowning—Another visit across the Colorado—A new route—Moquis Indians pray for rain—Their prayers answered—Three Indians return with us—Their devotion and reverence—They visit Salt Lake City.


The Moquis visitors taken home—Singular presentiment of my Indian boy—The route south of St. George taken the second time—Cataract Canyon—The lost Moquis and the "medicine man"—Meeting with the brethren who had been left at the Moquis towns—Explorations about the San Francisco Mountains—Return home—Great suffering with thirst—My Indian boy dead and buried, as he had predicted he would be.


Change in the spirit of the Indians—Some insight into their privations and trials—They threaten hostilities—Difficulties with them settled—A kind, peaceful policy the best—Visit to the Moquis towns—The people are invited to live with the Saints—Their objections to removing—Hostile attitude of the Navajoes—Return home—Suffering with thirst—A providential supply of water—Dr. Whitmore killed—Severe sickness—Healed in answer to prayer.


Travels among the Indians—Watching the frontiers—Trip to the Moquis towns—Great raid of the Navajoes—A good opportunity lost of recovering stolen stock—Skirmishes with Raiders—A peaceable agreement with the Navajoes desirable—Visit of President Young to Kanab.


Visits among Utah Indians—Meet Major Powell—Employed to accompany him—Council with the Shi-vwits—Major Powell's description of it.


Journey to Port Defiance—Interesting visit among the Moquis towns—Arrival at Fort Defiance—General council of the chiefs of the Navajoe nation—Great peace talk—Return home—Treaty of peace in one of the Moquis towns—Stolen sheep recovered for a Navajoe.


Moquis Indians destroy many Navajoes—An Oriba and his wife accompany us home—Peace talk with the Piutes—A dream and its fulfillment—Tuba's prayer—Choog, the Indian prophet—His prediction—Fatal fire in Kanab.


Visit of Tuba and his wife to the Washington factory and flouring mill—Many Navajoes come to trade with our people—Take Tuba and his wife home—More talk about the death of Young George A. Smith—Saints called to settle in Arizona—They become discouraged and return to Utah—Navajoes murdered in Grass Valley—War imminent—Sent to settle the difficulty—Two miners accompany me—Indians call a council.


Indians assemble—The council lodge—Accused of lying to the Indians—Informed that I must die—Privilege granted the Smith Brothers of escaping—They refuse to desert me to save their lives—Violent speeches—Young Indians eager for revenge—Interpreters afraid to speak—Indians propose a compromise—350 head of cattle and horses demanded—I refuse to pay for a crime the "Mormons" never committed—They threaten to burn me—My coolness creates a favorable impression—An agreement—We regain our liberty.


Smith's version of the trying ordeal—A graphic description from a Gentile standpoint—Explanation.


Start home—Meet emigrants to Moancoppy—Visit Presidents Young and Smith—Return to meet the Indians—Providence favors me—Hastele fails to meet me—Return home—Moancoppy mission broken up—Sent with D. D. McArthur to establish a trading post—Hastele visits Kanab, and starts to the Sevier to learn about the murder—I stay at home—Testimony that I should accompany him—Indian Discernment—Hastele is satisfied.


Visit Port Defiance—Mr. Daniels, inspector of Indian agencies—His prejudice against the "Mormons"—Mr. Trewax, the preacher—Peace talk—Mission re-established.


Company start to visit the Arizona settlements—Disaster in the Colorado—Bishop Roundy drowned—Explore a new route—Promise fulfilled—Visit settlements—Severe experience on homeward trip—Assurance of approval from President Young—Trip across the Colorado in search of a criminal—Moquis ceremonies to bring rain—Conclusion.




I was born in Salem, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, on the 6th of April, 1819. When I was three months old, my father removed to Geauga Co., in the same State. That country was then a wilderness, covered with a heavy growth of timber. In my early life I assisted my father in chopping timber and clearing land.

It required twenty faithful days' work to clear one acre, and render it fit for the harrow and a crop of wheat. In about three years the roots of the trees would decay, so that the soil could be worked with a plow.

In 1836, I removed, with my father, to Wisconsin Territory. I remember passing through Chicago, then a mere hamlet, but now a large and wealthy city.

Seventy miles north-west of Chicago, my father, in company with two friends, Messrs. Pratt and Harvey, located at a place called Spring Prairie. It was the most delightful country I had ever seen. It was beautiful with rolling prairies, groves of timber, numerous springs of pure water, and an occasional lake abounding with fish.

My father and I each made a claim on eighty acres of government land which was expected soon to come into the market. I was not yet of age, and my father, wishing to return to Ohio for his family, proffered to give me the remainder of my time, during the summer, if I would take care of the crop already sown.

During his absence, I had the misfortune to cut one of my knees. I took cold in it, and it became much inflamed and swollen. The family with whom I was living did not think I could get well. The swelling had reached my body, and as soon as it extended a little farther, the people expected me to die. I quite despaired of ever seeing my parents again.

In my childhood, I had imbibed a belief that there was a God who would hear my prayers when I was in trouble. I managed to drag myself a short distance into a hazel thicket, where I besought the Lord to have mercy upon me, and not let me die.

That evening, a Mrs. Campbell called at the house. She said she was passing by and felt impressed to call in, but did not know for what purpose. After explaining to her my situation, she said "I now know why I came in here, for I can bring that swelling all out."

This was accomplished by steaming, and I soon got about, and again had the privilege of meeting my parents and other relatives.

The second season after this occurrence my father told me that, as I had been a faithful boy, I might go and do something for myself. I took a bundle of clothing, and travelled westward 118 miles to the Galena lead mines. I worked there nearly a year.

Twice during that time I barely escaped being buried about 100 feet under ground, by the caving in of the earth. At one time, when 200 feet below the surface of the ground, a rock fell on a man who was working with me, and killed him instantly. While dragging his mangled body along the drift, and arranging a rope by which to raise it up the shaft, such an aversion to mining came over me, that I did not go back to my labor again. I returned with the money I had earned, and paid for my land.

In the autumn of 1839 I married Lucinda Taylor. She, as well as myself, had a numerous circle of relatives. I enclosed my land with a good fence, built a comfortable house, and made up my mind to live and die on the place. I believed the Bible, but was without faith in any of the religious sects of the day, and had given up all hope of finding a religion that I could believe to be true.

In February, 1842, a neighbor called at my house and told me that he had heard a "Mormon" Elder preach. He asserted that he preached more Bible doctrine than any other man he had ever listened to, and that he knew what he preached was true. He claimed that the gospel had been restored to the earth, and that it was the privilege of all who heard it to know and understand it for themselves.

What this neighbor told me so influenced my mind, that I could scarcely attend to my ordinary business.

The Elder had left an appointment to preach again at the same place, and I went to hear him. When I entered the house he had already commenced his discourse. I shall never forget the feeling that came over me when I saw his face and heard his voice. He preached that which I had long been seeking for; I felt that it was indeed the gospel.

The principles he taught appeared so plain and natural, that I thought it would be easy to convince any one of their truth. In closing his remarks, the Elder bore testimony to the truth of the gospel.

The query came to my mind: How shall I know whether or not these things are so, and be satisfied? As if the Spirit prompted him to answer my inquiry, he again arose to his feet and said: "If there is anyone in the congregation who wishes to know how he can satisfy himself of the truth of these things, I can assure him that if he will be baptized, and have hands laid upon him for the gift of the Holy Ghost, he shall have an assurance of their truth."

This so fired up my mind, that I at once determined to be baptized, and that too, if necessary, at the sacrifice of the friendship of my kindred and of every earthly tie.

I immediately went home and informed my wife of my intentions.

She told me that if I was baptized into the "Mormon" Church, I need not expect her to live with me any more.

The evening after the Elder had preached I went in search of him, and found him quite late at night. I told him my purpose, and requested him to give me a "Mormon Bible." He handed me the Old and New Testament.

I said, "I thought you had a new Bible." He then explained about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and handed me a copy of it.

The impressions I received at the time cannot be forgotten. The spirit rested upon me and bore testimony of its truth, and I felt like opening my mouth and declaring it to be a revelation from God.

On the 3rd of March, 1842, as soon as it was light in the morning, I started for a pool of water where I had arranged to meet with the Elder, to attend to the ordinance of baptism. On the way, the thought of the sacrifice I was making of wife, of father, mother, brothers, sister and numerous other connections, caused my resolution to waver.

As my pace slackened, some person appeared to come from above, who, I thought, was my grandfather. He seemed to say to me, "Go on, my son; your heart cannot conceive, neither has it entered into your mind to imagine the blessings that are in store for you, if you go on and continue in this work."

I lagged no more, but hurried to the pool, where I was baptized by Elder Lyman Stoddard.

It was said in my confirmation, that the spirits in prison greatly rejoiced over what I had done. I told Elder Stoddard my experience on my way to the water.

He then explained to me the work there was for me to do for my fathers, if I was faithful, all of which I believed and greatly rejoiced in.

On my way home, I called at the house of one of my neighbors. The family asked me if I had not been baptized by the "Mormon" Elder. I replied that I had. They stated that they believed what he preached to be the truth, and hoped they might have the opportunity of being baptized.

The following day Elder Stoddard came to my house, and told me that he had intended to leave the country, but could not go without coming to see me. For what purpose he had come, he knew not.

I related to him what my neighbors had said. He held more meetings in the place, and organized a branch before leaving.

When my father learned that I had joined the "Mormons," he said he thought he had brought up his children so that none of them would ever be deceived by priestcraft; at the same time he turned from my gate, and refused to enter my house.

Other relatives said that my father knew better than to be deceived as I had been. I answered them by predicting that, much as he knew, I would baptize him into the Church before I was two years older.

All my relatives, except one brother, turned against me, and seemed to take pleasure in speaking all manner of evil against me. I felt that I was hated by all my former acquaintances. This was a great mystery to me.

I prayed to the Lord and was comforted. I knew that I had found the valuable treasure spoken of by our Savior, and I was willing to sacrifice all things for it.

My wife's father took great pains to abuse and insult me with his tongue. Without having any conception how my prediction would be fulfilled, I said to him one day, "You will not have the privilege of abusing me much more." A few days after he was taken sick, and died.

Soon after the death of her father, my wife asked me, good-naturedly, why I did not pray in the house or with her. I replied, that I felt better to pray by myself than I did before unbelievers. She said that she was a believer; that her father had appeared to her in a dream, and told her not to oppose me any more as she had done; and that he was in trouble on account of the way he had used me. Soon after this she was baptized, which was a great comfort to me.

In the autumn of 1842, Elder Stoddard returned to the country where I lived, to labor in the ministry, and ordained me an Elder.

About the same time my wife was taken very sick. By her request, I administered to her, and she was immediately healed. I visited my father and told him that signs followed the believer, as in the days of the apostles; that I was a believer, and had been ordained an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that the signs followed my ministrations.

He ordered me out of his house for believing such nonsense. I went out, reflecting as to whether or not I had done wrong in predicting that I would baptize him in less than two years.

Some time after this he was taken sick, and I went to see him. My mother told me he had the spotted fever, and that there was no hope of his recovery. She believed he was dying, and so it appeared to me; but I thought that God could and would save him if I prayed for him.

I retired to a private place, and prayed to the God of Abraham to have mercy on my father and heal him, that he might have an opportunity of obeying the gospel.

It was a moonlight night, and when I returned to the house my mother stood at the door. She spoke to me very kindly, and said:

"Jacob, the fever has left your father; he has spoken and wants to see you."

As I approached him he said, "The fever has left me, and your mother says that you came to me and went away again. What has made such a sudden change? Do you know?"

I answered that I had prayed for him, that I was a believer in the gospel of the Son of God, and in the signs following those that believe.

"Well," said he, "if it is the gospel, I would like to know it; but if it is priestcraft, I want nothing to do with it."

Soon after the sickness of my father, I sold my home, gathered up my effects and started for Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois.

In passing my father's house I found him quite well, and he desired me to remain over night. He showed much interest in the principles of the gospel, and, when I left his house in the morning, the Spirit manifested to me that my father and his household would yet accept the truth.


I traveled westward about 100 miles to the Mississippi river, where I took passage on a steamer to Nauvoo. I landed in the night. In the morning, I asked a young man where the Prophet lived. He pointed out the way to the residence of Joseph Smith, Jr., and said, "If you are going to see the Prophet, do not take any money with you. If you do, he will get it."

I asked the youth if he was a "Mormon." He replied that he was, and that his father was a High Priest. I thought it strange that he should talk as he did.

As I passed along one of the streets of the town, I saw a tall, noble-looking man talking with another. An impression came over me that he was the person I was looking for. Inquiring of a bystander, I learned that my impression was correct.

One of the company asked the Prophet for some money he had loaned him. He replied that he would try and get it during the day. I offered him the money, but he said: "Keep your money. I will not borrow until I try to get what is owing me. If you have just come in and wish to pay your tithing, you can pay it to Brother Hyrum; he sees to that."

I soon learned to discriminate between the different kinds of people who had gathered to Nauvoo. Some were living the lives of Saints; others were full of deceit and were stumbling-blocks in the way of those who were striving to do right.

The following winter I chopped wood on an island in the Mississippi River, twenty miles above Nauvoo.

The Prophet Joseph had told the people that the time had come which was spoken of by the Prophet Malachi, when the hearts of the fathers must turn to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers; the Saints must seek for the spirit of this great latter-day work, and that they must pray for it until they received it.

I had made a practice for several days, of retiring to a private place early each morning, to pray for this Spirit and blessing, when an influence came over me that made manifest to me my nothingness before the Lord. This so affected me for a time, that I was almost led to wish that I had never been born. When thus humbled, it was shown to me how a man could obtain salvation, and what he might attain to. With this I felt satisfied. What was then shown me has been of great worth to me since. I then comprehended that the most implicit obedience to the will of God was necessary in order to attain to eternal life.

In February, 1844, Joseph Smith, the Prophet, published an address to the people of the United States, on the Powers and Policy of the General Government, and offered himself as a candidate for the office of President of the United States.

The same year, at the April Conference, Elders were called and sent forth, two by two, into each State of the Union, with the "Address to the People of the United States," in pamphlet form, for distribution, and to preach the gospel. I was sent with Brother John Myers, to the State of Maryland.

We took passage on the steamer Osprey, in company with seven of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and seventy-one of the Seventies. My companion and I went to Pittsburg, Penn., and from there we traveled on foot with our valises, without purse of scrip, through the State of Pennsylvania.

We were often hungry and weary, and, in some instances, were accused of being beggars and deceivers. This, coupled with my natural independence of character, seemed humiliating, and made our travels anything but agreeable.

We journeyed through Derrytown, Hagerstown, Sharpsburg and Antietam, and preached in the States of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. We visited some places where branches of the Church had been previously organized.

The way appeared to be opening up for a good work to be done in that country, when, about the 4th of July, news reached me that the Prophet, about whom I had preached so much, had been shot by a mob when confined in jail. I did not believe the report until I offered to preach to those who were gathered around me in the small town of Mechanicsburg. They manifested a spirit of exultation, and a feeling of deep gloom passed over me. I felt more like weeping than preaching.

I concluded to hunt up my companion, from whom I was then separated. For this purpose I started for Hagerstown, where I hoped to find him, or learn of his whereabouts.

I had traveled about a mile when I came to a cross road, and the Spirit whispered to me, "Stop here, and Brother Myers will soon be along." I remained on the spot about ten minutes, when I saw him coming, with his hat in one hand and his valise in the other. He did not believe that the Prophet was killed.

We journeyed together to Lightersburg. After meeting and passing many people, the Spirit indicated to us that a man on the opposite side of the street was an Elder in Israel. It proved to be a Latter-day Saint Elder, who had reliable information of the murder of the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch Hyrum Smith. He also informed us that the Elders who were abroad were all called home.

On the 15th of July, 1844, when taking leave of a small branch of the Church in Lightersburg, one of the sisters offered me some money that she had earned in the harvest field. I took one dollar, and told her that I could get home with that.

After starting, I began to reflect on my situation. I must travel on the river steamers from Pittsburg to Nauvoo, via Cincinnati and St. Louis, and I had only two dollars in my pocket. I had been often surprised, when traveling on foot at the pains people would take to invite me to ride or to step into a grocery and take a lunch, and I had considerable faith that the Lord would soften the heart of some one to assist me, when I was in need.

When I arrived in Pittsburg, I had one dollar left. There were two steamers at the landing about to start for St. Louis. They offered to take passengers very cheap. I told the captain of one of them, that I would give all the money I had for a passage to St. Louis. He took my money and gave me a ticket, but appeared rather cross.

I was soon on my way down the river, but still a long way from home, and without money or anything to eat. I began to feel the want of food.

Nothing special occurred with me until evening, when the lamps were lit in the passengers' cabin. I was then asked by a young married lady, if I was not a "Mormon" Elder. I replied that I was; and she told me that her little child was dying with the scarlet fever, and she wished me to lay hands on it and heal it.

I replied that I could administer to it, and I presumed that the Lord would heal it. I asked her if she believed in such things. She said that she did, and that she belonged to the Church, but her husband did not. I was puzzled in my mind to know what to do, for the boat was crowded with passengers, and all unbelievers excepting the mother of the sick child and myself. It seemed like a special providence that, just then, the lamp in the cabin should fall from its hangings, and leave us all in the dark.

Before another lamp could be lit, I had administered to the child, and rebuked the fever in the name of the Lord Jesus, unobserved by those around. The Lord blessed the administration, and the child was healed.

The mother called her husband, and said to him, "Little Mary is healed; not do not say anything against 'Mormonism.'" The man looked at his child, and said to me, "I am not a believer in any kind of religion, but I am on my way to Iowa, opposite to Nauvoo, where I presume you are going. You are welcome to board with me all the way, and if you want any money I will let you have it."

I arrived in Nauvoo on the 5th of August, 1844.


At Nauvoo I found Sidney Rigdon busy among the Saints, trying to establish his claim to the presidency of the Church. He was first Counselor to the Prophet Joseph at the time of the latter's death. The Church was fourteen years old, and he claimed that it was its privilege and duty to appoint a guardian; and he wished the people to sanction his guardianship.

I was much dissatisfied with the course he was taking, and as I could not sustain him, I felt to leave Nauvoo for a season. I went into the country, where I had left my wife and two children with my sister Melissa. When I met my sister, she threw her arms around my neck and thanked the Lord that I had returned. She had seen an account of a man being drowned in the Ohio River, and, from the description, thought that it might have been me.

On the 8th of August, 1844, I attended a general meeting of the Saints. Elder Rigdon was there, urging his claims to the presidency of the Church. His voice did not sound like the voice of the true shepherd. When he was about to call a vote of the congregation to sustain him as President of the Church, Elders Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt and Heber C. Kimball stepped into the stand.

Brigham Young remarked to the congregation: "I will manage this voting for Elder Rigdon. He does not preside here. This child" (meaning himself) "will manage this flock for a season." The voice and gestures of the man were those of the Prophet Joseph.

The people, with few exceptions, visibly saw that the mantle of the Prophet Joseph Smith had fallen upon Brigham Young. To some it seemed as though Joseph again stood before them.

I arose to my feet and said to a man sitting by me, "That is the voice of the true shepherd—the chief of the Apostles."

Our enemies, finding that the death of the Prophet did not break up "Mormonism," as they had expected, began their persecutions again, by burning the houses of the brethren in the outlying settlements.

I joined a company of minute men to assist in protecting the Saints. In one of our scouts we visited Carthage. I examined the jail in which Joseph and Hyrum were assassinated. I noticed that the latches on the two doors that the mob broke in, when they killed the Prophets, had been rendered useless by bending down the catches, so that the latches would clear them. All the entrances to the prison yard appeared to me to have been prepared beforehand for the easy admittance of the mob.

The blood on the floor where the Patriarch fell, had left a black spot about the size and shape of the body. The ball holes in the plastering about the window out of which Joseph leaped, and those in the door and in the wall above where Hyrum had lain, and also where John Taylor had been shot at, denoted that the assailants were desperadoes and well prepared for their work.

When the District Court sat in Hancock County, the judge allowed one of the leaders of the mob to act as an official. He also professed to try to have the murderers indicted, but as several of them were on the grand jury, there were no indictments found against them.

The following winter I assisted in guarding the Saints in and around the city of Nauvoo. My brother Obed lived about thirty miles out in the country. He was taken sick, and sent for me to come and see him.

On arriving at his house, I found that he had been sick nearly three months, and that doubts were entertained of his recovery. I anointed him with holy oil in the name of the Lord Jesus, laid on hands, and prayed for him, and told him that he should recover, which he did immediately.

This occurrence had much influence on my parents. They both attended the following April conference. At its close, my father asked me if I did not wish to baptize him and my mother. As they were both desirous that I should do so, I baptized them in the Mississippi river, on April 11th, 1845.

My father told me that it was not any man's preaching that had convinced him of the truth of the gospel, but the Lord had shown it to him in night visions. Said he, "It is your privilege to baptize your parents, for you have prayed for them in secret and in public; you never gave them up; you will be a Joseph to your father's house."

In 1845, I labored on the Nauvoo temple, doing any work that was required of me. In the autumn, the enemies of the Saints commenced to plunder in the country settlements. Teams were sent from Nauvoo to save and bring in what grain they could. It was necessary to send guards with the teams.

These afflictions, heaped upon the Saints by their enemies when they were struggling to complete the temple, in compliance with the word of the Lord, greatly added to their difficulties.

When winter came, they were instructed to unite their efforts to manufacture wagons, and make preparations for a long journey. I assisted in getting out timber for wagons.

The house of the Lord being far enough completed to give endowments and do other necessary work, I received my blessings in it just before crossing the Mississippi river, in February, 1846.

I labored with the company of pioneers to prepare the way for the Saints through Iowa, after which I had the privilege of returning to Nauvoo for my family, which consisted of my wife and three children. I moved them out into Iowa, 200 miles, where I left them, and returned 100 miles to settlements, in order to obtain food and other necessaries.

I was taken sick, and sent for my family to return to me. My wife and two children were taken sick the day after their arrival. We found shelter in a miserable hut, some distance from water.

One day I made an effort to get some water for my suffering family, but failed through weakness. Night came on and my family were burning with fever and calling for water.

These very trying circumstances called up some bitter feelings within me. It seemed as though in this, my terrible extremity, the Lord permitted the devil to try me, for just then a Methodist class leader came along, and remarked that I was in a very bad situation. He assured me that he had a comfortable house that I could move into, and that he had plenty of everything, and would assist me if I would renounce "Mormonism." I refused and he passed on.

I afterwards knelt down and asked the Lord to pity us in our miserable condition, and to soften the heart of some one to administer to us in our affliction.

About an hour after this, a man by the name of William Johnson came with a three gallon jug full of water, set it down and said: "I came home this evening, weary, having been working with a threshing machine during the day, but, when I lay down I could not sleep; something told me that you were suffering for water. I took this jug, went over to Custer's well and got this for you. I feel now as though I could go home and sleep. I have plenty of chickens and other things at my house, that are good for sick people. When you need anything I will let you have it." I knew this was from the Lord in answer to my prayer.

The following day the quails came out of the thickets, and were so easily caught that I picked up what I needed without difficulty. I afterwards learned that the camps of the Saints had been supplied with food in the same way.

The spring following these events my eldest brother came from Pottawatomie Co., Iowa, with a team to take me home with him. While preparing to leave, the team became frightened, ran along a steep side hill, capsized the wagon, and I was thrown down the hill and the load came on top of me.

The same Mr. Johnson who had before administered to my wants, took me into his house. This was in the morning, and I knew nothing until ten o'clock in the evening.

When I became conscious, I was lying on a mattress covered with blood. I looked around the room, and asked what it all meant. The lady of the house informed me what had happened, and told me that Mr. Johnson did not expect me to live. She further stated that he had called in some of the neighbors, that the doctor had been to see me and wished to bleed me, but I would not let him; that I told them that if they knew where there were any of the Elders of Israel, I wanted them sent for. She informed me that I said other things which displeased the doctor and the neighbors, and they went away.

I assured the family that I was not responsible for what I had said or done, for I knew nothing about it. Mrs. Johnson said that she did not hear or see anything wrong, but the neighbors believed that I was trying to palm off some great "Mormon" miracle on them. I denied trying to deceive any one, but all to no purpose.

The owner of the house I had rented hurried me out of it, saying I could not live in his house any longer. In the month of March I moved into the wagon, with my wife and four children, the youngest not two weeks old.

On the 11th of the following April, 1847, I arrived at my father's house, in Western Iowa. I had previously baptized four of my brothers, and all my father's family had embraced the gospel.

My mother had sunk under hardships, and died on the road from Nauvoo, yet I was thankful to find all my relatives rejoicing in the truth.

In the spring of 1850 I felt like making an effort to gather with the Saints in the mountains. This at first appeared impossible, as my animals had all strayed off, and I could not learn of their whereabouts.

I had concluded to remain another year, when I dreamed, for three nights in succession, where my oxen were, and went and got them. I found my other lost animals in the same manner.

These kind providences, with strict economy, enabled me to make a start for Utah with the company of Aaron Johnson, in the spring of 1850, as I had desired.

I joined the camp, to travel over a thousand miles of desert, with nine in family, one small wagon, one yoke of oxen and two cows.

While crossing the ferry over the Missouri river, with a boat load of cattle, they crowded to one side of the boat and capsized it. Some of the people on board saved themselves by getting on to the bottom of the boat, others by holding on to planks.

I made an effort to swim to the landing, below which was some three miles of perpendicular river bank, and the water along the bank was full of whirlpools and eddies. Despite my efforts, the current took me past the landing. As I was almost carried under by a strong eddy, I began to despair of saving myself. Fortunately, I discovered where a path had been cut through the bank to the water's edge. I succeeded in getting so near the top of the bank, that a woman who was near, and had discovered my situation, managed to get hold of my hand, and, with a great effort, I was saved from the surging waters.

In traveling up the Platte river on our way to the mountains, we found the road side, in places, strewn with human bones. The discovery of gold in California and the excitement it had created, had induced many of the Missouri mobocrats, the year previous, to leave their homes in search of the god of this world.

The cholera had raged among them to such an extent, that the dead were buried without coffins, and with but a slight covering of earth. The wolves had dug up and feasted upon their carcasses, and their bones lay bleaching on the desert. There were days of travel in which human skeletons were usually in sight.

We saw the literal fulfillment of the predictions of Joseph the Prophet, during the persecutions of the Saints in Missouri. He said that those who took an active part in driving them from their homes, should themselves die away from home without a decent burial; that their flesh should be devoured by wild beasts, and their bones should bleach on the plains. Boards had usually been placed at the heads of the graves, on which were the names of those who had been buried in them. Many of these names were those of well-known Missouri mobocrats.

The destroyer came into our company, and several persons died. I told my family that it was a plague from the Lord, that nothing but His power could save them from it, and that it would attack some of the family. My wife thought that I had done wrong in asserting that it would attack our family, as the children would be afraid and be more likely to have it. I told her that it would come, but when it did we must depend entirely upon the Lord and all would be right.

One evening, as I returned to my wagon from assisting to bury a Sister Hunt, Sister Hamblin was taken violently with the cholera, and she exclaimed, "O Lord, help, or I die!" I anointed her with consecrated oil in the name of the Lord Jesus, and she was instantly healed. The next day the cholera attacked me and I was healed under the hands of my father.

I was advised to get into the wagon and ride the remainder of the day. As my eldest son, a small lad, took the whip to drive the team, he fell forward to the ground and both wheels on the left side of the wagon ran over his body. It appeared to me that he never could breathe again. My father took him out of the road, administered to him, and he arose to his feet and said that he was not hurt.

My youngest son, Lyman, was taken with the cholera, and my father in administering to him, rebuked the destroyer, and commanded it to depart from him, from the family and from the company. To my knowledge no more cases of the cholera occurred after that in the company.

We arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 1st of September, 1850.


I settled, with my father and brothers, in Tooele Valley, thirty-five miles west of Salt Lake City. The people built their houses in the form of a fort, to protect themselves from the Indians, who frequently stole their horses and cattle. Men were sent against them from Salt Lake City, but all to no purpose. The Indians would watch them during the day, and steal from them at night.

This kind of warfare was carried on for about three years, during which time there was no safety for our horses or cattle. We had a military company, of which I was first lieutenant. I went with the captain on several expeditions against the thieves, but without accomplishing much good. They would watch our movements in the canyons, and continually annoy us.

At one time, I took my wife three miles up a canyon, to gather wild fruit while I got down timber from the mountain. We had intended to remain over night, but while preparing a place to sleep, a feeling came over me that the Indians were watching with the intention of killing us during the night.

I at once yoked my oxen, put my wife and her babe on the wagon, and went home in the evening. My wife expressed surprise at my movements, and I told her that the Indians were watching us. She wished to know how I knew this, and asked if I had seen or heard them. I replied that I knew it on the same principle that I knew that the gospel was true.

The following day I returned to the canyon. Three Indians had come down on the road during the night, and robbed a wagon of a gun, ammunition and other valuables. One of them, from the size of the track, must have been an Indian known as "Old Big Foot." I thanked the Lord that He had warned me in time to save my wife and child, as well as myself.

The following winter I asked for a company of men to make another effort to hunt up the Indians. On this scout we traveled at night and watched during the day, until we discovered the location of a band of them.

One morning at daybreak, we surrounded their camp before they were aware of our presence. The chief among them sprang to his feet, and stepping towards me, said, "I never hurt you, and I do not want to. If you shoot, I will; if you do not, I will not." I was not familiar with their language, but I knew what he said. Such an influence came over me that I would not have killed one of them for all the cattle in Tooele Valley.

The running of the women and the crying of the children aroused my sympathies, and I felt inspired to do my best to prevent the company from shooting any of them. Some shots were fired, but no one was injured, except that the legs and feet of some of the Indians were bruised by jumping among the rocks.

I wished some of the men to go with us to the settlement. They were somewhat afraid, but confided in my assurance that they should not be injured.

On my arrival home, my superior officer ignored the promise of safety I had given the Indians, and decided to have them shot.

I told them I did not care to live after I had seen the Indians whose safety I had guaranteed, murdered, and as it made but little difference with me, if there were any shot I should be the first. At the same time I placed myself in front of the Indians. This ended the matter, and they were set at liberty.

From the feelings manifested by the Bishop and the people generally, I thought that I might possibly be mistaken in the whole affair. The people had long suffered from the depredations of these Indians, and they might be readily excused for their exasperated feelings, but, right or wrong, a different feeling actuated me.

After this affair, the presiding Elder directed me to take another company of men, go after the Indians, to shoot all we found, and bring no more into the settlement. Again we traveled at night and watched during the day. We found the trail of a small band who had come near the valley, and then turned back on account of a light fall of snow, which would make their trail too easily discovered for thieving operations.

We surprised them near a large mountain between Tooele and Skull Valleys. They scattered in the foot hills, and the company divided to the right and left to keep them from the mountains. I rode my horse as far as he could go on account of the difficulties of the ground, then left him, and secreted myself behind a rock in a narrow pass, through which I presumed some of the Indians would attempt to escape. I had not been there long before an Indian came within a few paces of me.

I leveled my rifle on him, and it missed fire. He sent an arrow at me, and it struck my gun as I was in the act of re-capping it; he sent the second, and it passed through my hat; the third barely missed my head; the fourth passed through my coat and vest. As I could not discharge my gun, I defended myself as well as I could with stones. The Indian soon left the ground to me.

I afterwards learned that as he went on, he met two others of our company and passed them safely, as their guns also missed fire. When the company gathered back to the place from which they scattered, we learned that not one was able to discharge his gun when within range of an Indian. One of the company received a slight arrow wound, which was the only injury inflicted.

In my subsequent reflections, it appeared evident to me that a special providence had been over us, in this and the two previous expeditions, to prevent us from shedding the blood of the Indians. The Holy Spirit forcibly impressed me that it was not my calling to shed the blood of the scattered remnant of Israel, but to be a messenger of peace to them. It was also made manifest to me that if I would not thirst for their blood, I should never fall by their hands. The most of the men who went on this last expedition, also received an impression that it was wrong to kill these Indians.

On a fourth expedition against them, we again surprised their camp. When I saw the women and children fleeing for their lives, barefooted over the rocks and through the snow, leaving a trail of blood, I fully made up my mind, that if I had anything more to do with the Indians, it would be in a different way.

I did not wish to injure these women and children, but, learning that "Old Big Foot" was there, and feeling that he deserved killing, I soon found his trail and followed it. There being snow on the ground, his trail was easily seen. It passed along the highest ridges. As I approached a cedar tree with low, thick foliage, a feeling came over me not to go near it. I passed it under the brow of a steep hill. When beyond it, I saw that no trail had passed on. I circled around in sight of the Indian, but he in some way slipped off unobserved.

Afterwards, when trying to make peace with these Indians, "Big Foot" told me, that himself and party had laid their plans to kill me and my wife and child, the summer before when in Pine Canyon, had we remained there over night. During the same interview he said, placing his finger on his arrow, "If, when you followed me in the cedar hills, you had come three steps nearer the tree where I was, I would have put an arrow into you up to the feather."

I thanked the Lord, as I often felt to do, for the revelations of His Spirit.

After returning home from the expedition, in which I had followed the trail of "Old Big Foot," I dreamed, three nights in succession, of being out west, alone, with the Indians that we had been trying about three years to destroy. I saw myself walk with them in a friendly manner, and, while doing so, pick up a lump of shining substance, some of which stuck to my fingers, and the more I endeavored to brush it off the brighter it became.

This dream made such an impression on my mind, that I took my blankets, gun and ammunition, and went alone into their country. I remained with them several days, hunting deer and duck, occasionally loaning them my rifle, and assisting to bring in their game. I also did all I could to induce them to be at peace with us.

One day, in my rambles, I came to a lodge where there was a squaw, and a boy about ten years old. As soon as I saw the boy, the Spirit said to me, "Take that lad home with you; that is part of your mission here, and here is the bright substance which you dreamed of picking up." I talked with him and asked him if he would not go with me. He at once replied that he would.

The mother, naturally enough, in a deprecating tone, asked me if I wanted to take her boy away from her. But after some further conversation she consented to the arrangement. At this time I had not learned much of the language of these Indians, but I seemed to have the gift of making myself understood.

When I left, the boy took his bows and arrows and accompanied me. The woman appeared to feel so bad, and made so much ado, that I told the lad he had better go back to his mother; but he would not do so. We went to the side of the mountain where I agreed to meet the Indians. His mother, still anxious about her boy, came to our camp in the evening.

The following morning, she told me that she heard I had a good heart, for the Indians told her that I had been true to what I said, and the boy could go with me if I would always be his father and own him as my son.

This boy became very much attached to me, and was very particular to do as he was told. I asked him why he was so willing to come with me the first time we met. He replied that I was the first white man he ever saw; that he knew a man would come to his mother's lodge to see him, on the day of my arrival, for he was told so the night before, and that when the man came he must go with him; that he knew I was the man when he saw me a long way off, and built a smoke so that I would come there.


At the April conference of 1854, I was called, with a number of others, on a mission to the Indians in Southern Utah. Taking a horse, cow, garden seeds and some farming tools, I joined in with Brother Robert Ritchie, and was soon on my way.

We commenced operations at a place we called Harmony, twenty miles south of Cedar City, in Iron County. I made it my principal business to learn the Indian language, and become familiar with their character.

About the end of May of that year, President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt and others to the number of twenty persons, came to visit us. President Young gave much instruction about conducting the mission and building up the settlement we had commenced. He said if the Elders wanted influence with the Indians, they must associate with them in their expeditions.

Brother Kimball prophesied that, if the brethren were united, they would be prospered and blessed, but if they permitted the spirit of strife and contention to come into their midst, the place would come to an end in a scene of bloodshed.

Previous to this meeting, President Young asked some brethren who had been into the country south of Harmony if they thought a wagon road could be made down to the Rio Virgen.

Their replies were very discouraging, but, in the face of this report, Brother Kimball prophesied in this meeting, that a road would be made from Harmony over the Black Ridge; and a temple would be built on the Rio Virgen, and the Lamanites would come from the east side of the Colorado river and get their endowments in it. All these prophecies have since been fulfilled.

On the 1st of June, 1854, I went with Elder R. C. Allen and others, to visit the Indians on the Rio Virgen and Santa Clara, two streams now well known as forming a junction south of the city of St. George.

On the 9th of June, we camped on ground now enclosed in the Washington field. There we saw many Indian women gathering a red, sweet berry, called "opie." The Indians were also harvesting their wheat. Their manner of doing so was very primitive. One would loosen the roots of the wheat with a stick, another would pull up the plant, beat the dirt off from the roots and set it up in bunches. I loaned them a long sharp knife, which greatly assisted them in their labors.

The company returned to Harmony with the exception of Brother William Hennefer and myself, who were left to visit the Indians on the upper Santa Clara. We found a few lodges, and with them a very sick woman. The medicine man of the tribe was going through a round of ceremonies in order to heal her.

He stuck arrows into the ground at the entrance of the lodge, placed his medicine bow in a conspicuous place, adorned his head with eagle's feathers, and then walked back and forth in an austere manner, making strange gestures with his hands, and hideous noises at the top of his voice. He would then enter the lodge, and place his mouth to the woman's, in order to drive away the evil spirits, and charm away the pain. Some one told the sick woman that the "Mormons" believed in "poogi," which, in their language, means administering to the sick. She wished us to wait, and if the Piute charm did not work, to try if we could do her any good.

The medicine man howled and kept up his performances the most of the night. The sick woman's friends then carried her some distance away from the lodge, and left her to die.

Some of her relatives asked us to go and administer to her. We could not feel to refuse, so we laid on hands and prayed for her.

When we returned to our camp, she arose and followed us, and said she was hungry. We sent her to her own lodge. Some of the inmates were frightened at seeing her, as they had considered her a dead woman.

We returned to Harmony about the last of June. On the 3rd of July, I accompanied a hunting party of Indians into the mountains east of Harmony. While with them, I spared no labor in learning their language, and getting an insight into their character.

I had ever felt an aversion to white men shedding the blood of these ignorant barbarians. When the white man has settled on their lands, and his cattle have destroyed much of their scanty living, there has always appeared in them a disposition to make all reasonable allowances for these wrongs. Ever since I was old enough to understand, and more especially after being with them around their camp fires, where I learned their simple and child-like ways, and heard them talk over their wrongs, I fully made up my mind to do all I could to alleviate their condition.

From time to time, when the Saints have had any trouble with them, and I have had anything to do with settling the difficulty, I have made it a specialty to go among them, regardless of their numbers or anger. Through the blessing of the Lord, I have never yet failed in accomplishing my object, where no other persons have interfered in a matter they did not understand.

Returning from this hunting expedition, I made my way, in September, to Tooele Valley, to visit my family, and found them well. I remained with them but a short time, and returned to my missionary labors in Southern Utah.

Our crops had done well. After assisting to gather them, I labored for a season on the fort we were building, the better to defend ourselves in case of trouble with the Indians.

In November, I was sent alone among the Indians on the Santa Clara, to use my influence to keep them from disturbing the travelers on the southern route to California.

When there, without a white companion, a dispute arose between some of the Indians about a squaw. As was their custom, they decided that the claimant should do battle for her in the following manner:

The warriors of the band were to form in two files, and a claimant should pass between the files leading the squaw, and prepared to fight anyone that opposed his claim. The affair had made considerable progress, when one of the parties who had been roughly handled, claimed kinship with me by calling me brother, and asked me to help him.

Not wishing to take part in any of their barbarous customs, I objected. The Indians then taunted me with being a coward, called me a squaw, etc.

I soon took in the situation, and saw that it would not be well to lose caste among them. I accepted the challenge under the promise that they would not be angry with me if I should hurt some of them. I had but little anxiety about the result, for they were not adept in the art of self-defense.

The Indians, numbering about one hundred and twenty, formed in two lines, and I took the squaw by the hand, and commenced my passage between them.

Only one Indian disputed my progress. With one blow I stretched him on the ground. All would probably have passed off well enough, had I not kicked him as he fell. This was contrary to their code of honor, and I paid a fine for this breach of custom.

I was acknowledged the victor, and it was decided that the squaw was mine. I immediately turned her over to the Indian that she desired for a husband.

This was my first and last fight for a squaw. It gave me a prestige among them that greatly added to my subsequent influence.

This short and lonely mission was brought to a close by my return to Harmony.

In the beginning of winter, I went down to the Santa Clara in company with Brothers Ira Hatch, Samuel Knight, Thales Haskell and A. P. Hardy.

We worked with the Indians, and gained much influence over them. We built a log cabin, and a dam to take out the waters of the Santa Clara Creek to irrigate the bottom land. Hard labor and exposure brought on me a severe attack of sickness. At the same time there came a heavy fall of snow, which made it impracticable to get any assistance from the nearest settlement, forty miles distant.

The brethren began to entertain some doubts about my recovery. However, after laying sick fourteen days, with nothing to nourish me but bread made of moldy, bitter corn meal, Brother Samuel Atwood arrived from Harmony with some good things to strengthen me.

After a few days, I started with Brother Atwood on horseback, for Harmony. I rode to Cottonwood Creek, where the town of Harrisburg now stands. I felt exhausted, and could go no farther. I was assisted off my horse and lay on the ground, where I fainted. Brother Atwood brought some water in the leather holster of his pistol, and put some of it in my mouth and on my head, which revived me.

With slow and careful traveling I was able to reach Harmony; but I was so reduced in flesh that my friends did not recognize me.

As soon as my health would permit, I returned to the Santa Clara.

I have before referred to a custom among the Piutes of taking women from each other. Sometimes two claimants decided who should be the possessor of the woman, by single combat; but more generally, each claimant would gather to his assistance all the friends he could, and the fighting would be kept up until one side was conquered, when the claimant who had led the victorious party, would take possession of the woman.

I have seen such engagements last all day and a part of the night. In one of these, in which over one hundred men took a part, some of the combatants became angry, and fought in good earnest.

At the close of the day, it was still undecided who was the victor. At night large fires were lighted, arranged in a circle, and some forty of the combatants came in to decide the matter.

They pulled each other's hair and fought desperately, regardless of the rules usually governing such affairs. The unoffending woman seemed to fare quite as hard, or worse than the combatants. She was finally trampled under foot, and the women who looked on became excited. Some ran with their willow trays filled with coals from the fire, which they threw over the men and burnt them out, as each one found employment in running and brushing the coals from his hair and back.

In the meantime, the woman lay on the ground with her mouth filled with blood and dirt.

At this stage of the affair we used our persuasive powers, and succeeded in inducing the men to let the woman go with the man she wanted.

In the summer of 1855, we cultivated a few acres of land on the Santa Clara. We raised melons, and had the privilege of disposing of them ourselves. I do not think that the Indians ever took any without leave. We raised a small amount of cotton, which was probably the first grown in Utah Territory.

In the autumn of 1855, I returned to Tooele Valley, and removed my family to the Santa Clara. My brother Oscar, also Brother Dudley Leavitt, and their families, accompanied me.

In the winter of 1855-6 we were instructed to build a fort for our protection. There were at that time on the Santa Clara, ten missionaries, and four stonemasons from Cedar City. We employed Indian help, and everything we put our hands to prospered, so that in less than ten days we built a fort one hundred feet square, of hammer-faced rock, the wall two feet thick and twelve feet high. It was afterwards said by President Young to be the best fort then in the Territory.

We invited the Indians to assist us to construct a strong, high dam to take the water out of the Santa Clara to a choice piece of land.

For this purpose they gathered into the settlement to the number of about thirty lodges, but rather reluctantly, for they believed that the Tonaquint, their name for the Santa Clara, would dry up the coming season, as there was but little snow in the mountains.

With much hard labor we completed our dam, and watered our crops once in the spring of 1856. The water then failed, and our growing crops began to wither.

The Indians then came to me and said, "You promised us water if we would help build a dam and plant corn. What about the promise, now the creek is dry? What will we do for something to eat next winter?"

The chief saw that I was troubled in my mind over the matter, and said, "We have one medicine man; I will send him to the great mountain to make rain medicine, and you do the best you can, and maybe the rain will come; but it will take strong medicine, as I never knew it to rain this moon." I went up the creek, and found it dry for twelve miles.

The following morning at daylight, I saw the smoke of the medicine man ascending from the side of the Big Mountain, as the Indians called what is now known as the Pine Valley Mountain.

Being among some Indians, I went aside by myself, and prayed to the God of Abraham to forgive me if I had been unwise in promising the Indians water for their crops if they would plant; and that the heavens might give rain, that we might not lose the influence we had over them.

It was a clear, cloudless morning, but, while still on my knees, heavy drops of rain fell on my back for about three seconds. I knew it to be a sign that my prayers were answered. I told the Indians that the rain would come. When I returned to the settlement, I told the brethren that we would have all the water we wanted.

The next morning, a gentle rain commenced falling. The water arose to its ordinary stage in the creek, and, what was unusual, it was clear. We watered our crops all that we wished, and both whites and Indians acknowledged the event to be a special providence.

I think more corn and squash were grown that year, by us, than I ever saw before or since, on the same number of acres. The Indians gathered and stored up a large amount of corn, beans and dried squash.

From that time they began to look upon us as having great influence with the clouds. They also believed that we could cause sickness to come upon any of them if we wished. We labored to have them understand these things in their true light, but this was difficult on account of their ignorance and superstitions.

About this time an Indian came in from another small band east of the Santa Clara. The Indians who worked with us told him how matters were going with them.

He ridiculed them for their faith in us and what we taught them, and told them that they were fools for living without meat, when there were plenty of cattle in sight. To more fully exemplify his views and set an example of self-assurance, he killed one of our oxen.

Four or five of the brethren went to him, armed. I felt impressed that a peaceful policy would be the best, and, for that reason, I requested them to let me manage the matter. I went into his lodge and sat down by him. I told him that he had done a great wrong, for we were working to do the Indians good.

He talked insultingly, and wanted to know if I wished to kill him, or if I could make medicine strong enough to kill him. I told him that he had made his own medicine, and that some evil would befall him before he got home.

About this time, the President of the mission received a letter from President Brigham Young, requiring us to say to the Indians that if they would live cleanly and observe certain things pertaining to the gospel, they should grow and increase in the land. Also, that we should require them to wash the sick before we administered to them.

An Indian wished us to administer to his sick boy. We required him to wash his child; he refused to do so, and the boy died. The man burnt his lodge, went to the mountains, and called on others to follow him. Some did so, and before leaving, burned a log store house which they had filled with supplies.

The angry man's name was Ag-ara-poots.

The chief of the band came to me and said, "Old Ag-ara-poots will never be satisfied until he has killed you or some one who is with you. You know that he has killed two Piutes since you came here. The Piutes are all afraid of him. I am going away."

I asked him if he would not go to Ag-ara-poots with me.

"No;" he replied, "he thinks that you let his boy die, and he will never be satisfied until he has blood. There are many with him, and you must not go where he is."

As I felt like seeing him, I invited all the missionary brethren, one by one, to go with me, but they all refused except Brother Thales Haskell. One of the brethren remarked that he would as soon go into a den of grizzly bears.

When I went to the house of Brother Haskell and opened the door, he said, "I know what you want. You wish me to go with you to see Ag-ara-poots. I am just the man you want."

The difference between me and my brethren in this instance did not arise from superior personal courage in myself, but in the fact that I have mentioned before: that I had received from the Lord an assurance that I should never fall by the hands of the Indians, if I did not thirst for their blood. That assurance has been, and is still with me, in all my intercourse with them.

Brother Haskell seemed inspired to go with me on this occasion. We started in the morning, and followed the trail of Ag-ara-poots until afternoon, when we found him and his band.

His face was blackened, and he sat with his head down, apparently in rather a surly mood. I told him that I had heard that he intended to kill me the first opportunity.

Said he: "Who told you that I wanted to kill you?"

I answered that the Piutes had told me so.

He declared that it was a lie; but he had been mad and was mad then, because I had let his boy die.

I told him that he had let his boy die, because he did not think enough of him to wash him so that the Lord would heal him, and now he was mad at someone else.

I told him we were hungry, and were going to eat with a man who was not mad, and that he had better go with us. As we left his lodge, he arose to go with us, but trembled, staggered and sat down in the sand.

All the Indians but Ag-ara-poots gathered around us. We told them they had been foolish in burning up their food, going into the mountains, and leaving their friends; that the women and children had better go back to the settlement where there was something to eat, and let the men who wished to hunt, remain. The most of them started for the settlement the same night.

The following day Titse-gavats, the chief, came to me and said, "The band have all come on to the Clara except Ag-ara-poots, and he came on to the bluff in sight of it, and his heart hardened. You cannot soften his heart again. He has gone off alone. You had better pray for him to die, then there will be no bloodshed. Do not tell him what I have said to you."

I did ask the Lord that, if it would be for the glory of His name, Ag-ara-poots might not have strength to shed the blood of any of us. In a few days the Piutes told me that he was not able to walk nor help himself to a drink of water. He lingered until spring and died.


A petty chief, living west of the settlement on the Santa Clara, and on the California road, came to me and said that he had stolen from some "Mormons" as they passed by; that there could not be medicine made to kill him, for he was a hard one to kill, and he would steal from the "Mormons" again the first opportunity.

Some two weeks after this conversation, the Indians told me that this chief was dead. In going home from the Santa Clara settlement, he stole an animal from a "Mormon" traveler, and hid it up until he had gone by; then drove it to his lodge, killed it, and when it was about half skinned he was taken sick, went to his lodge and died.

An Indian living near us said he had killed an animal, and wished to pay for it. I took some pay from him that he might be satisfied, and told him to go his way and steal no more.

He was afterwards caught stealing another ox, after which I chanced to meet him alone. He asked me what I was going to do about it. I replied, "Nothing."

He talked in an excited manner, and said in an angry tone, "If you are going to do anything, do it now; do it here." I explained to him that if evil came upon people they brought it upon themselves by their mean acts.

He talked and acted in such a rascally manner that I was disgusted. I told him that he was in the hands of the Lord; if He would forgive him, I would, but I did not believe that He would. This man died in a few days after this conversation.

The Lord had sent the gospel of their fathers to these Indians, and with it the testimony of many special manifestations, so evident to them, even in their ignorance, that they might be without excuse.

In addition to the destruction of the wilfully wicked and perverse, many promises to them were fulfilled, their sick were healed, etc.

These testimonies more fully established the influence of the Elders among this people, and they looked to us for counsel, and endeavored to do as they were instructed. The men ceased to abuse their families, and they did as well as could be expected of people in their low condition.

They would wash the sick, and ask the Elders to lay hands on and pray for them. The Lord had great regard for our administrations, for I do not recollect administering to one that did not recover. We were careful not to say or do anything wrong, and I feel that a good spirit governed us in all our intercourse with this people. They soon learned to regard our words as law.

At length the Santa Clara and Muddy Indians got into a quarrel, and began to kill each other whenever they could get an advantage. We endeavored to make peace between them, but blood had been spilled, and nothing but blood would satisfy them.

One morning, a Muddy Creek Indian killed one of the Santa Clara band in the wood near our fort. The Santa Clara Indians farther up the stream, hearing of it, took a Moapats woman, fastened her to a small tree and burned her.

When they first tied her, a young Indian came in haste to let me know what was going on. I hurried towards the spot, but before I arrived there another boy met me, and said that it was of no use for me to go on, for matters had gone too far to save the woman. I think they had hurried to consummate the terrible deed before I could get there.

When I talked with the perpetrators they cried, and said that they could not have done less than they did. That is, they were so bound up in their traditions and customs, that what they had done was a necessary duty.

They appeared so child-like, and so anxious to have me think that what they had done was all right, that I said nothing, but felt that I would be truly thankful if I should ever be so fortunate as to be called to labor among a higher class of people.

These things took place in the summer and autumn of 1856. Soon after the burning of the Indian woman, Brother Ira Hatch and I started for Cedar City, by way of the Mountain Meadows. At night we camped near another trail which crossed the one on which we were traveling.

When we arose in the morning, I told my companion that the Cedar Indians had been to the Muddy to attack the Indians living there, and had got the worst of it; that on their return they had stolen the horses from the Santa Clara.

We had never traveled the trail they were on, but I told Brother Hatch that if he would take it, he would find the thieves camped at a certain spring, and when they saw him they would be so surprised that they would let him have the horses without any difficulty.

Brother Hatch found matters as I had predicted, and the Indians got up the horses for him, and appeared anxious to have him take them away.

We afterwards learned that the Cedar Indians had gone to the Muddy, and stolen two squaws from the band that lived on that creek. The Muddy Indians had pursued the robbers, and retaliated by killing a chief of the Cedar Indians, and wounding two more of their party. They also recovered the captive squaws.

It was by the dictation of the Holy Spirit that I sent Brother Hatch to recover the horses. It was the same Spirit that had influenced me to take my wife and child out of Pine Canyon the evening before I had intended to, and thereby saved their lives and my own. It was the same also that had saved me from being killed by "Old Big Foot," when I lived in Tooele Valley.

At this time we had established as good a form of government among the Santa Clara Indians as their circumstances would permit.

They worked for a living, and promised to be honest. If anyone stole, he either paid a price for what he had taken, or was stripped, tied to a tree and whipped, according to the magnitude of the offense. The Indians did the whipping, while I generally dictated the number and severity of the lashes.

In the winter of 1856-7, after the Indians had been trying for some time to follow our counsels, they said to me, "We cannot be good; we must be Piutes. We want you to be kind to us. It may be that some of our children will be good, but we want to follow our old customs."

They again began to paint themselves, and to abuse their women, as they had done before we went among them.

Up to this time, Elder R. C. Allen had been president of the Southern Indian Mission, and had generally resided at Harmony. He had given me charge of the settlement on the Santa Clara Creek.

The following letter shows his release, and my appointment to take his place, and exhibits the Indian policy of President Brigham Young:

"PRESIDENT'S OFFICE, Great Salt Lake City, August 4, 1857.

"ELDER JACOB HAMBLIN:—You are hereby appointed to succeed Elder R. C. Allen (whom I have released) as president of the Santa Clara Indian Mission. I wish you to enter upon the duties of your office immediately.

"Continue the conciliatory policy towards the Indians which I have ever commended, and seek by works of righteousness to obtain their love and confidence. Omit promises where you are not sure you can fill them; and seek to unite the hearts of the brethren on that mission, and let all under your direction be united together in holy bonds of love and unity.

"All is peace here, and the Lord is eminently blessing our labors; grain is abundant, and our cities are alive with the busy hum of industry.

"Do not permit the brethren to part with their guns and ammunition, but save them against the hour of need.

"Seek the spirit of the Lord to direct you, and that He may qualify you for every duty, is the prayer of your fellow-laborer in the gospel of salvation,


Early in the autumn of 1857, Apostle George A. Smith visited the settlements in Southern Utah. He informed the Saints that a United States army was on the way to Utah. What the result would be, he said he did not know. He advised the people to be saving their grain, and not sell any to travelers to feed their teams; for they could live on grass better than our women and children. He thought that all we could afford to do, under the circumstances, was to furnish travelers with bread. That if we would not deny the gospel, we might yet suffer much persecution, and be compelled to hide up in the mountains. "At all events," said he, "bread is good to have."

When President Smith returned to Salt Lake City, Brother Thales Haskell and I accompanied him. On our way we camped over night on Corn Creek, twelve miles south of Fillmore, with a party of emigrants from Arkansas, traveling on what was then known as the southern route to California. They inquired of me about the road, and wrote the information down that I gave them.

They expressed a wish to lay by at some suitable place to recruit their teams before crossing the desert. I recommended to them, for this purpose, the south end of the Mountain Meadows, three miles from where my family resided.

After our arrival in Salt Lake City, news reached us that this company of emigrants, on their way south, had behaved badly, that they had robbed hen-roosts, and been guilty of other irregularities, and had used abusive language to those who had remonstrated with them. It was also reported that they threatened, when the army came into the north end of the Territory, to get a good outfit from the weaker settlements in the south.

A messenger came to President Young, informing him of these things, and asking advice.

In reply, Brigham Young sent general instructions to the settlements, advising the people to let the emigrants pass as quietly as possible; and stating that there was an army on our borders, and we could not tell what we might be obliged to do before the troubles were over. He said we might be under the necessity of going into the mountains, and that he wished all supplies of food to be in a shape to be readily available in such an emergency; and we would do the best we could.

Brother Haskell and I remained in Salt Lake City one week, and then started for our homes in Southern Utah. On the way, we heard that the Arkansas company of emigrants had been destroyed at the Mountain Meadows, by the Indians.

We met John D. Lee at Fillmore. He told us that the Indians attacked the company, and that he and some other white men joined them in the perpetration of the deed. This deplorable affair caused a sensation of horror and deep regret throughout the entire community, by whom it was unqualifiedly condemned.

In Cove Creek Valley we met others from the south, who told us that the Indians were gathering to attack another company of emigrants. I procured a horse, left the wagons, and rode on day and night. At Cedar City I found Brothers Samuel Knight and Dudley Leavitt.

As I was weary with hard riding and want of sleep, I hurried them on after the emigrants, while I traveled more slowly. I instructed these men to make every possible effort to save the company and their effects, and to save their lives at all hazards.

They overtook the company one hundred and fifty-six miles from Cedar City, on Muddy Creek, in the heart of the Indian country. They found a large body of excited Indians preparing to attack and destroy them.

Finding it altogether impossible to control the Indians, they compromised the matter. The Indians agreed to only take the loose stock of the company, and not meddle with the teams and wagons, and not make any effort to take their lives.

The Indians took the loose stock, amounting to four hundred and eighty head, on the fifty-mile desert beyond the Muddy.

The brethren remained with the company, determined to assist in its defense, should the Indians attempt anything more than they had agreed.

The company continued their journey safely to California. Brothers Knight and Leavitt returned to the Santa Clara.

As soon as possible, I talked with the principal Indians engaged in this affair, and they agreed that the stock not killed should be given up. I wrote to the owners in California, and they sent their agent, Mr. Lane, with whom I went to the Muddy, and the stock was delivered to him as the Indians had agreed.


In the winter season, my family usually lived at the Santa Clara settlement, thirty miles south of the Mountain Meadows, to which place they moved in the spring, to keep stock during the summer.

Late in the autumn of 1857, a company came along on their way to California. They brought a letter from President Brigham Young, directing me to see this company and their effects safely through to California. They were mostly merchants who had been doing business in Salt Lake City, and, anticipating difficulty between the people of Utah and the United States army, were fleeing to the Eastern States by way of California and the Isthmus of Panama.

When the company arrived in Cedar City, they sent a messenger ahead of them with the letter to me. Having occasion to go to Cedar City about the same time, I met the messenger. I directed him to return to the company and tell them to come on, and I would be with them in time.

I returned to Santa Clara to make some preparations for the journey, and then started to meet the company on the creek, twelve miles from the settlement.

When I reached the California road, the company had passed, and was some distance ahead of me. While traveling to overtake it, I found a man who had been traveling alone, also in pursuit of the company, with a view of getting through with it to California.

When I found him he was already in the hands of the Indians, and stripped of his clothing. They were making calculations to have a good time with him, as they expressed it, that is, they intended to take him to their camp and torture him.

The stranger, seeing I had influence with the Indians, begged me to save his life, and said if I would do so he would serve me as long as he lived.

I replied that I did not wish any reward for saving him.

In answer to his inquiry, I informed him that I was a "Mormon."

"Well," said he, "I am not a Mormon, but I wish you would save my life."

I assured him that it made no difference to me whether he was a "Mormon" or not. I told the Indians to bring back his clothing, which they did, except his shoes, and I took him along with me to the company.

I found a few Indians around the company, and there appeared to be some excitement. One of the merchants asked me if I could save the ship. I replied that I could see nothing to hinder me. He said: "You can take the helm, but do not run it too near the rocks or shoals; we have plenty of presents for the Indians."

He wished to know what they should do with their animals. I told him I knew where there was good grass, and I would send two Indians to take care of them; to let the two Indians have their suppers, and a shirt each when they brought in the animals in the morning.

At first they refused to let the animals go. I assured them that if I was to direct matters, I should do it in my own way.

After some consultation, they concluded to let me have my own way. The animals were sent out to feed in charge of the Indians, but I presume that some of the company did not sleep much during the night.

The animals were all brought safely into camp in the morning.

After that the company appeared to feel quite safe, and took much pains to have things move as I directed.

When we had traveled about sixty miles towards Muddy Creek, a Moapat Indian told me that the Indians on that stream were preparing to attack the company. I started at daydawn the following morning, and arrived at the crossing of the Muddy about two hours in advance of the company. The Indians had collected in the vicinity of the crossing, with the view of attacking the company when in camp. They believed they could easily kill the men, and obtain a large amount of spoil.

I called them together, and sat down and smoked a little tobacco with them, which I had brought along for that purpose. I then said: "You have listened to my talk in times past; you believe that it is good to hear and do what I say." They all answered, "Yes."

I then told them I was going through to California with some friends, Americans and merchants; and that we had brought along many blankets, shirts and other useful articles. I hoped they would see that none of the animals were stolen, and if any strayed, they would bring them into camp. Some of the Indians did not readily consent to let the company pass in peace.

For further security, I sent for their women and children to come out of their hiding place, where they had been sent for safety, as is the custom of the Indians when preparing for battle.

I had matters in a much better shape on the arrival of the company than I found them. I was careful to listen to all the talk of the Indians, and spent the evening and also the night with the largest collection of them, so that they could not make any general move without my knowledge.

We continued our journey across the fifty-six mile desert to Los Vegas springs. There we met Brothers Ira Hatch and Dudley Leavitt, on their return from a mission to the Mohave Indians.

Those Indians, on the arrival of these brethren among them, took their horses, and then held a council to decide whether they should kill the brethren or not. The chief called a vote of his people, and it was decided that the brethren should die.

A Piute friend who had accompanied the Elders from Las Vegas, began to mourn over their fate, and said to them, "I told you that the Mohaves would kill you if you came here, and now they are going to do it."

Brother Hatch told their Piute friend, who acted as interpreter, to tell the Mohave chief, Chanawanse, to let him pray before he was killed.

The chief consented, and Brother Hatch knelt down among the bloodthirsty savages, and asked the Lord to soften their hearts, that they might not shed their blood. He also said more that was appropriate to the occasion.

The prayer was repeated in measured sentences by the interpreter.

It had the desired effect. The heart of the chief was softened. He took the brethren to his lodge, and put them at the farther end of it, in a secure place. There he guarded them until nearly morning, then told them to go as fast as they could to Las Vegas, eighty miles distant.

They traveled this distance on foot, and with but little food. When I met them they were living on muskeet bread. This is an article of food manufactured from a pod resembling that of a bean, which grows on the muskeet tree. These circumstances were related to me by the Elders when we met.

At Las Vegas I learned that the Indians there expected that the company would have been massacred at the Muddy Creek.

After we left this watering place, three Indians followed us and made an effort to steal. They were brought into camp and guarded until morning. The remainder of the journey we had no more trouble with the Indians.

We met companies of our people on their way from San Bernardino to Utah.

I was engaged the remainder of the autumn and the winter of 1857-8, on the road between the Santa Clara and Las Vegas springs, in assisting the Saints who were moving to Utah.

On the return of spring I removed my family, as was my custom, to the Mountain Meadows, to take care of our stock.


The following letter from President Brigham Young so well illustrates his peaceable and civilizing policy towards the Indians, that I think it should find a place in this narrative:

"PRESIDENT'S OFFICE, Great Salt Lake City, March 5, 1858.

"DEAR BROTHER:—Your note of the 19th of last month came to hand on the 3rd inst. I was happy to learn of the success and the general prosperity of the mission, and trust that the genial and salutary influences now so rapidly extending to the various tribes in that region, may continue to spread abroad until it shall pervade every son and daughter of Abraham in their fallen condition.

"The hour of their redemption draws nigh, and the time is not far distant when they will receive knowledge, and begin to rise and increase in the land, and become a people whom the Lord will bless.

"The Indians should be encouraged in keeping and taking care of stock. I highly approve of your designs in doing your farming through the natives; it teaches them to obtain a subsistence by their own industry, and leaves you more at liberty to visit others, and extend your missionary labors among them. A few missionaries to show and instruct them how to raise stock and grain, and then not eat it up for them, is most judicious. You should always be careful to impress upon them that they should not infringe upon the rights of others; and our brethren should be very careful not to infringe upon their rights in any particular, thus cultivating honor and good principles in their midst by example as well as precept.

"As ever, I remain your brother in the gospel of salvation,


The sending of an army by the general government to look after the affairs of the Saints, occasioned some excitement and much talk among the people. The terrible wrongs and persecutions of Missouri and Illinois came up vividly in the minds of those who had suffered in them, and greatly intensified the public feeling concerning the wrongs which the general government evidently intended to inflict upon the Saints in Utah.

Elders coming in from the European missions, by way of California, thought the government would send a force into Southern Utah by that route.

It being expected that I would visit the Indians and look after matters a little in that direction, in the spring of 1858 I took five men and went by way of Las Vegas springs to the River Colorado, at the foot of the Cottonwood Islands, 170 miles from the Santa Clara settlement.

As was my policy at all times, I cultivated the good feelings of the Indians in that country.

A small steamer lay at the head of the islands, and a company of men, with animals, were making their way up the river, on the opposite side from us. I requested Brother Thales Haskell to hail the boat's crew from a thicket of willows, while the rest of the company remained secreted. If a boat were sent to take him over, he was to pass as a renegade from Utah, and learn who they were and their intentions. Brother Haskell was soon taken on board of the steamer.

I prayed for him that night, for my mind was filled with gloomy forebodings. I dreamed that the officer in charge of the boat, offered the Indians a large reward for my scalp.

At day dawn I sent two men back on our trail to see if there was any one on it, with instructions if they saw anything wrong to not return, but go on their way homeward.

Soon afterwards we saw the yawl from the steamer land Brother Haskell. He informed us that the company was of a military character, and exhibited very hostile feelings against our people; that the expedition had been sent out by the government to examine the river, and learn if a force could be taken into Southern Utah from that direction, should it be needed, to subjugate the "Mormons."

We were soon on our way homeward.

The first night out from the river, a Las Vegas Indian overtook us, and informed us that soon after we left the river, the steamer came down below the Cottonwood Islands, brought a large amount of blankets and other goods ashore, made some presents to the Mohaves and Piutes, and offered to pay well for the capture of any "Mormon" they found in their country.

When we overtook the brethren sent out early in the morning, they told us that they met two of the boat's crew examining the trail we traveled on to the river. The two men started for the steamer, and the brethren traveled the other way.

At this time there were three or four brethren at Las Vegas Springs, laboring to make a settlement. We counseled together, and it was thought advisable to vacate the place. Some of them started for home. My brother, Oscar Hamblin, remained to assist the Indians in putting in their crops.

Brother Dudley Leavitt and I went thirty-five miles west, on the road to California, to a lead mine, to obtain a load of lead.

As I had some knowledge of smelting the ore, our efforts were a success.

The evening after completing our load, I started up the mountain on the side of which the mine was located, to look at it before leaving. I stepped back, and calling Brother Leavitt, I told him that an Indian was watching our horses, and if he did not bring them in and tie them up, they would be run off as soon as it was dark.

He replied that he would see to it. Being strongly impressed with the danger of losing our horses, I warned him a second time, to which he made an indifferent reply.

When I returned it was nearly dark and Brother Leavitt had just started for the horses.

All we ever saw of them afterwards was their tracks, and the trail of the Indian that had driven them off.

The Indians in that section of the country did not keep horses, and therefore were not accustomed to the use of them, but stole them for food.

Brother Leavitt was under the necessity of going to Las Vegas, thirty-five miles distant, to get my brother to come with his team to take our wagon home.

As he did not return as soon as expected, I started to meet him. Not meeting him the first day, I stopped in a small cave for the night.

I had nothing to eat, and gathered some cactus leaves, or pods, to roast for supper.

They were a new variety to me, and had scarlet spots on them. (I afterwards learned from the Indians that they were poisonous.)

After cooking them in the embers, I ate a little, but they did not taste right. They produced a burning sensation in my stomach and pain in the glands of my mouth and throat. I soon became satisfied that I was poisoned.

My misery increased, and I became dizzy-headed. With no help near, I felt that my earthly career was nearly terminated, unless the God of Israel saved me, as I knew He had done many times before. I knelt down and earnestly asked Him to be merciful to me in my extremity, and save my life.

I then became very sick at the stomach, and vomited freely. Great thirst succeeded, and I soon exhausted the small supply of water in my canteen. This I soon ejected, when I became easy and lay down and slept until morning.

Not knowing whether my brother would come or not, I continued on my way to Las Vegas.

I was lank and hungry, and if I ever felt the want of food it was then.

About noon I saw my brother coming to my relief. It was a welcome sight.

Still farther west from the lead mine, there were two roads for about thirty miles. One of them was not usually traveled, but came into the main road. Some time before we were there, a company that had taken this by-road, had left wagons on it, and we were desirous of obtaining some of the iron.

When my brother Oscar and I arrived at the lead mine, we concluded to leave the lead where it was, and go west on this unfrequented road, to a spring, twenty-five miles from the lead mine, and get the iron that was left there.

On arriving at the spring we did not find as much iron as we expected, but we put what there was into the wagon.

Before I went on this trip to Las Vegas and the Colorado River, my team, driven by my Indian boy, Albert, had gone with Brother Calvin Read to Lower California. They had been gone nearly three months.

The morning after our arrival at the spring, when at prayer, the Spirit showed to me a company of our people, a few miles still farther west, on the by-road. I told my brother this, and that my team was with them, and my Indian boy was herding the animals on one side of the wagons near the spring.

I proposed that we unload the iron and drive in that direction.

My brother objected and said he had never heard of water in that direction short of twenty miles.

After much persuasion, my brother consented to unload the iron, but he drove on very reluctantly, telling me that I was a visionary man, and always seeing something.

We traveled about three miles, and came in sight of a camp. I found my boy Albert watching the horses; there was a good spring of water and plenty of grass. Just beyond were the wagons.

The brethren said they never rejoiced more to see anyone than they did us. They were unacquainted with the country, and needed our help to get into Las Vegas.


After my return from the Colorado River, I had occasion to go to Salt Lake City. I arrived there soon after the United States army had entered Salt Lake Valley. The people north of Utah County had vacated their homes and moved south.

Through the instrumentality of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, a peaceable solution of our difficulties with the general government had been arrived at, and the Saints were returning to their vacated homes.

It is generally known that the enemies of the Latter-day Saints have accused them of shielding from justice the white men, who, it was supposed, joined with the Indians in the Mountain Meadow massacre. Mr. Cumming succeeded President Brigham Young as governor of Utah Territory in the early spring, before the arrival of the United States army in Salt Lake Valley.

President Brigham Young requested Elder George A. Smith to have an interview with the new governor, and learn his views concerning the Mountain Meadow massacre, and assure him that all possible assistance would be rendered the United States courts to have it thoroughly investigated.

Brother Smith took me with him, and introduced me as a man who was well informed regarding Indian matters in Southern Utah, and would impart to him any information required that I might be in possession of. He also urged upon Governor Cumming the propriety of an investigation of this horrid affair, that, if there were any white men engaged in it, they might be justly punished for their crimes.

Governor Cumming replied that President Buchanan had issued a proclamation of amnesty and pardon to the "Mormon" people, and he did not wish to go behind it to search out crime.

Brother Smith urged that the crime was exclusively personal in its character, and had nothing to do with the "Mormons" as a people, or with the general officers of the Territory, and, therefore, was a fit subject for an investigation before the United States courts.

Mr. Cumming still objected to interfering, on account of the President's proclamation.

Brother Smith replied substantially as follows: "If the business had not been taken out of our hands by a change of officers in the Territory, the Mountain Meadow affair is one of the first things we should have attended to when a United States court sat in Southern Utah. We would see whether or not white men were concerned in the affair, with the Indians."

At Salt Lake City, I was appointed sub-Indian agent.

During the summer of 1858, when I was at my home on the Santa Clara, one morning about 9 o'clock, while engaged in cutting some of the large branches from a cottonwood tree, I fell a distance of twenty or thirty feet to the ground. I was badly bruised and was carried to my house for dead, or nearly so.

I came to my senses about 8 o'clock in the evening, and threw off from my stomach quite a quantity of blood. I requested the brethren who were standing around to administer to me, and they did so. From the time I fell from the tree until then was lost to me, so far as earthly matters were concerned.

During the time my body lay in this condition, it seemed to me that I went up from the earth and looked down upon it, and it appeared like a dark ball. The place where I was seemed very desirable to remain in. It was divided into compartments by walls, from which appeared to grow out vines and flowers, displaying an endless variety of colors.

I thought I saw my father there, but separated from me. I wished him to let me into his compartment, but he replied that it was not time for me to come to him.

I then asked why I could not come.

He answered, "Your work is not yet done."

I attempted to speak about it again, but he motioned me away with his hand, and, in a moment I was back to this earth. I saw the brethren carrying my body along, and it was loathsome to me in appearance.

A day or two after my fall from the tree, I was carried to the Mountain Meadows, where I was fed on goat's milk and soon recovered.

In the autumn of this year, 1858, I received instructions from President Brigham Young to take a company of men and visit the Moquis, or Town Indians, on the east side of the Colorado River.

The object of this visit was to learn something of the character and condition of this people, and to take advantage of any opening there might be to preach the gospel to them and do them good.

My companions for this trip were Brothers Dudley and Thomas Leavitt, two of my brothers, Frederick and William Hamblin, Samuel Knight, Ira Hatch, Andrew Gibbons, Benjamin Knell, Ammon M. Tenney (Spanish interpreter), James Davis (Welsh interpreter), and Naraguts, an Indian guide.

A Spanish interpreter was thought advisable, from the fact that the Spanish language was spoken and understood by many of the Indians in that region of country. A Welsh interpreter was taken along, thinking it possible that there might be some truth in a report which had been circulated that there were evidences of Welsh descent among these Indians. An Indian guide was requisite, from the fact the none of the brethren had traveled the route. This was the first of a series of journeys to this people.

The company, consisting of twelve men, including myself, left the Santa Clara settlement on the 28th of October. Our general course of travel was a little south of east. The third night we camped at Pipe Springs, a place now occupied by a stone fort, and known as Winsor Castle.

While there, two or three Piutes came to our camp. One of them asked me to go with him to some large rocks, which lay under the high cliffs near by. As we approached them he showed me a human skeleton. "There," said he, "are the bones of Nahguts, who killed your ox on the Clara. He came as far as here, was taken blind, could not find the spring and died."

The following evening we camped at the foot of the Kibab, or Buckskin Mountain, with the chief and nearly all the tribe of Kibab Indians. They provided supper by cooking a large number of rabbits.

They put these in a pile, and covered them with hot ashes and coals. When sufficiently cooked, the chief performed the ceremony of thanking the Father for the success of their hunt, and asked for a continuation of His blessings in obtaining food. He then divided the rabbits among the company. We all joined in the feast. They gave us meat and we gave them bread.

I noticed an Indian sitting moodily, alone, and eating nothing. I sat down by him, and asked what he was thinking about.

Said he, "I am thinking of my brother, whom you killed with bad medicine."

I told him that his brother had made his own medicine, that he came to the Clara, killed an ox, and had brought a curse upon himself. I advised the Indian to eat with the company, and not make any bad medicine and kill himself.

This very prevalent idea of good and bad medicine, among these Indians, gives evidence of a very general belief in witchcraft.

The Indian took a piece of bread, saying he did not wish to die. I was told by our guide that this Indian had said, that in the night, when I was asleep, he intended to chop an axe into my head, but being afraid it would make bad medicine for him, he did not do it.

After climbing dangerous cliffs and crossing extensive fissures in the rocks, the tenth day out from home we crossed the Colorado River, at the Ute Ford, known in Spanish history as "The Crossing of the Fathers." The trail beyond the river was not only difficult, but sometimes very dangerous.

While traveling in the night, one of the animals that carried our provisions, ran off. Two men went in pursuit of it, while the company went on.

The third day after losing our provisions, having had but little to eat, we came to a place where sheep had been herded, then to a garden under a cliff of rocks. It was watered from a small spring and occupied fine terraces, walled up on three sides.

As we passed, we saw that onions, pepper and other vegetables, such as we raised in our own gardens at home, had been grown there. On arriving at the summit of the cliff, we discovered a squash, which evidently had been left when the crop had been gathered.

We appropriated it to our use. It tasted delicious, and we supposed it to be a better variety than we had before known, but we afterwards found that hunger had made it taste sweet.

Four miles farther on we came to an Oriba village, of about three hundred dwellings. The buildings were of rock, laid in clay mortar. The village stands on a cliff with perpendicular sides, and which juts out into the plain like a promontory into the sea. The promontory is narrow where it joins the table land back of it.

Across this the houses were joined together. The entrance to the town on the east side, was narrow and difficult. The town was evidently located and constructed for defense from the marauding tribes around.

The houses are usually three stories high. The second and third stories are set back from the front the width of the one below, so that the roofs of the lower stories have the appearance of terraces.

For security, the first story can only be entered by ascending to the roof, and then going down a ladder into the room below.

After our arrival in the village, the leading men counseled together a few minutes, when we were separated and invited to dine with different families.

A man beckoned me to follow him. After traversing several streets, and climbing a ladder to the roof of the first story of a house, I was ushered into a room furnished with sheepskins, blankets, earthen cooking utensils, water urns, and other useful articles.

It seemed to me strangely furnished, yet it had an air of comfort; perhaps the more so, for the reason that the previous few days had been spent in very laborious traveling, on rather low diet.

The hostess made a comfortable seat with blankets, and motioned me to occupy it.

A liberal repast was provided. It consisted of stewed meat, beans, peaches and a basket of corn bread which they called peke. It was about the thickness of brown paper, dry and crumbling, yet quite palatable.

The hostess, apparently surmising that I would not know how to partake of the bean soup without a spoon, dexterously thrust her fingers, closed tightly together, into the dish containing it, and, with a very rapid motion carried the soup to her mouth. Then she motioned me to eat. Hunger was pressing, and a hint was sufficient.

The day following, the two brethren we had left behind came in with the runaway mule, and a part of our supplies.

We visited seven of these towns, all similarly located and constructed.

The people generally used asses for packing all their supplies, except water, up the cliffs to their dwellings. The water was usually brought up by the women, in jugs, flattened on one side to fit the neck and shoulders of the carrier, and this was fastened with a strap which passed around in front of the body.

Most of the families owned a flock of sheep. These might be seen in all directions going out in the morning to feed, and returning in the evening. They were driven into or near the towns at night, and corralled and guarded to keep them from being stolen by the thieving Navajoes.

We found a few persons in all the villages who could speak the Ute language. They told us some of their traditions, which indicate that their fathers knew the Mexicans, and something about the Montezumas.

A very aged man said that when he was a young man, his father told him that he would live to see white men come among them, who would bring them great blessings, such as their fathers had enjoyed, and that these men would come from the west. He believed that he had lived to see the prediction fulfilled in us.

We thought it advisable for some of the brethren to remain with this people for a season, to study their language, get acquainted with them, and, as they are of the blood of Israel, offer them the gospel. Elders Wm. M. Hamblin, Andrew Gibbons, Thomas Leavitt and Benjamin Knell were selected for this purpose.

Bidding adieu to our Moqui friends, and to our brethren who were to remain with them, we started for home. Sixteen days of hard travel would be necessary to accomplish the journey.

We expected to obtain supplies at the Oriba village, but failed on account of scarcity. We had nothing for our animals but the dry grass, and they were somewhat jaded. The cold north wind blew in our faces, and we lit no fires at night, as they would have revealed our position to the roving Indians.

The journey home was very laborious and disagreeable. With provisions scarcely sufficient for our journey, we again lost some of them by a runaway, and, failing to get meat from the Indians as we expected, we were reduced to very short rations.

At Pipe Spring the snow was knee deep, and falling fast. We made only eight miles to Cedar Ridge the first day, from that place. As night came on we counseled together over our situation.

Taking into consideration our empty stomachs and the difficulty of traveling in the snow, it appeared quite impossible to get home without killing one of our horses for food. We lived on this rather objectionable kind of food for two days.

On arriving home it was very pleasant to find a change of diet, and our families and friends all well.

During our absence, the brethren had some difficulty with the Santa Clara Indians, and the management of it seemed leading to bad results. I visited the natives, and found that there were no bad intentions on their part, and they were all much pleased to have the matter understood and settled.

The brethren whom we left with the Moquis returned home the same winter.

A division arose among the people as to whether we were the men prophesied of by their fathers, who would come among them with the knowledge that their fathers possessed.

This dispute ran so high that the brethren felt that but little or no good could result from remaining longer. Besides, the chief men among the Moquis advised their return.

The brethren suffered much privation and hardship in this effort to preach the gospel to this people. The Indians said that they did not want to cross the Colorado River to live with the "Mormons," for they had a tradition from their fathers that they must not cross that river until the three prophets who took them into the country they now occupy, should visit them again.

Their chief men also prophesied that the "Mormons" would settle in the country south of them, and that their route of travel would be up the Little Colorado. This looked very improbable to us at that time, but all has since been fulfilled.


Early in the autumn of 1859, I again visited Salt Lake City, when President Brigham Young called upon me to make another visit to the Moquis, and take with me Brother Marion J. Shelton, whom we had called to labor with that people, to learn their language and teach them.

He directed me to leave with him one of the brethren who had been with me for some time among the Indians. President Young also put in my charge sixty dollars worth of goods, consisting of wool-cards, spades, shovels and other articles which would be of value to the Indians, with instructions to dispense them in the best manner to create a good influence among them.

I returned home, and immediately made arrangements to carry out these instructions.

Our company consisted of Marion J. Shelton, Thales Haskell, Taylor Crosby, Benjamin Knell, Ira Hatch, John W. Young and myself.

We left the Santa Clara settlement on the 20th of October. Nothing of special interest occurred on our journey, except that at one time we did not find water where we expected, and were suffering with thirst, when some Piutes saw our fire and came to us. They informed us where water was located and in the morning piloted us to it.

We arrived among the Moquis on the 6th of November. We visited and talked with them three days.

I was at a loss to know who to leave with Brother Shelton, and was desirous that it might be made manifest to me. My mind rested upon Brother Thales Haskell. I went to him and told him that he was the only one I could think of to remain with Brother Shelton, but he had been out so much that I disliked to mention the subject to him.

He replied that he was the man, for it had been made known to him that he would be asked to remain before leaving home, but he had said nothing about it.

We left our Moqui friends and Brothers Shelton and Haskell on the 10th of November, and arrived home on the 25th. Brothers Shelton and Haskell remained on their mission until early spring, when they returned home and reported that the Moquis were kind to them, but they could not make much progress in the object of their mission. The fathers of the people told them, very emphatically, that they still believed that the "Mormons" who had visited them were the men prophesied of by their fathers, that would come among them from the west to do them good. But they could make no move until the re-appearance of the three prophets who led their fathers to that land, and told them to remain on those rocks until they should come again and tell them what to do.

Under these circumstances the brethren thought best to return home.

In the fall of 1860, I was directed to make another effort to establish a mission in some of the Moqui towns, and take with me George A. Smith, Jr., son of the late President George A. Smith.

I left the Santa Clara in October with a company of nine men: Thales Haskell, George A. Smith, Jr., Jehiel McConnell, Ira Hatch, Isaac Riddle, Amos Thornton, Francis M. Hamblin, James Pierce, and an Indian we called Enos. We took sufficient to sustain us in the Moqui country for one year.

In speaking at a public meeting the day before leaving, I said I felt different from what I had ever previously done on leaving home; that something unusual would happen. What it would be I did not know. Whether we should ever see home again or not I did not know, but I knew we were told to go among the Moquis and stay for one year, and that I should do so if I could get there.

When we arrived at the crossing of the Colorado River, I again felt the same gloomy forebodings I spoke of before leaving home.

On the morning before crossing, the brethren said I had spoken discouragingly several times, and they wished to know if there was any one in the company that I did not wish to go on.

I assured them that there was no one that I did not wish to go along, but I knew there would be something happen that would be very unpleasant, and that there would be very hard times for some of us.

Young George A. Smith said: "You will see one thing, that is, I will stick to it to the last. That is what I came for."

We all crossed the Colorado River with a firm determination to do the best we could to fill our mission.

The second day's travel from the river we found no water, as we had expected, and what little we had brought with us was exhausted.

About two o'clock in the afternoon, four Navajos came to us, and told us that if we went on to the next watering place we would all be killed. They invited us to go with them to Spaneshanks' camp, where they assured us we would find protection.

We counseled about the matter, and concluded that the animals were too nearly famished for want of water to reach Spaneshanks' camp. If what the four Navajos told us about danger ahead was true, we were in danger from enemies if we went on to water and of perishing with thirst if we attempted to reach Spaneshanks' camp.

As the water was but a short distance ahead on our route, we concluded to push on to it and risk the consequences.

I requested Brother Thales Haskell to go on with the company and water the animals, he having been there before, and being, for this reason, acquainted with the ground. I directed him, for security, to take our animals on to the top of a table rock where there were about forty acres of grass, and which could be reached only through a narrow pass in the rocks, which would enable us to easily defend ourselves in case of attack.

The Navajos were gathering around us from different directions, and the Indian interpreter we had brought with us informed me that they were evidently bent on mischief. I determined to remain behind with them for awhile, and learn what I could by the interpreter and by observation. The interpreter learned from their conversation, that they were determined we should not go on to the Moqui towns, but they appeared undecided whether to kill us or let us go home.

We had taken two Indian women with us, thinking that they might be a great help in introducing something like cleanliness in cooking, among the people we were going to visit. The Navajos said we might go home if we would leave them.

I directed the interpreter to tell them that one of the women was Brother Hatch's wife, and the other was mine. They replied that they would not kill the men who had married them.

Two of the Navajos then hurried on to our camp, which was by the narrow pass, on to the table rock. There the Navajos made a treaty with us that if we would trade them the goods we had brought along, and especially the ammunition, we might go home.

As it seemed impossible to fill our mission, we felt justified in concluding to return.

The following morning we commenced to exchange articles of trade for blankets. While thus engaged, our animals were taken off the rock to water. When returning from the water, Brother George A. Smith's horse turned back on a trail, which, in a short distance, led over a hill and out of sight.

As he started after it, I told him that he had better not go alone, to which he made an indifferent reply. Something else immediately attracted my attention, and he was forgotten until the Navajos in our camp suddenly left, when I learned that he was after his horse, alone and out of sight. I sent two men after him.

They went about a mile, and found him lying by the trail, with three bullet wounds through the lower part of his body, and four arrow wounds between the shoulders.

I mounted a horse and rode to the spot, and learned that Brother George A. had found a mounted Indian leading off his horse, and that he took the Indian's horse by the bit, when the stolen horse was readily given up, with which the owner started for camp.

The Indian who had taken the horse and a companion then rode a short distance together, when one came up by the side of Brother George A., and asked him for his revolver. Not suspecting any treachery, he passed it to the Indian, who handed it to his companion a little in the rear. The latter then fired three shots into him, with the revolver only a few feet from his body.

Brother Smith was paralyzed, and soon fell from his horse. The two Indians then dismounted, and one threw his buckskin shirt over his head, and the other shot the arrows between his shoulders.

We took the dying man on a blanket near to the camp, when he earnestly requested us to lay him down and let him die in peace.

During this time about forty Navajos had gathered at a difficult place on the trail leading to the Moqui towns, probably anticipating that we would make an effort to go in that direction.

I sent our interpreter to ask them what they meant by shooting a man after they had agreed with us that if we would trade with them we might go in peace.

He returned with a message to the effect that three relatives of the Indians had been killed by pale faces like us, and, to avenge their death they had shot one of our men. They said: "Tell Jacob that he need not bury him, for we will eat him, and the women and children will help do it. We want to kill two more; and if Jacob will give them up or let us quietly kill them, the rest of the company may go in peace."

The question was asked me, "What are you going to do?"

Under the trying circumstances, it was a serious question; and the query was an earnest one with us all, "What can we do?" The heavens seemed like brass over our heads, and the earth as iron beneath our feet. It seemed utterly impossible to reach the Moqui towns, which were almost in sight, and like certain death to attempt to escape in the night with our jaded animals.

Our interpreter thought it would be better for two of the company to die, than for all to be killed.

I told him to go and tell the Navajos that there were only a few of us, but we were well armed, and should fight as long as there was one left.

He turned to go, rather reluctantly, saying again that he thought it better for only two to die than all.

I replied that I did not think so; that I would not give a cent to live after I had given up two men to be murdered; that I would rather die like a man than live like a dog.

As the interpreter turned to go, the two Indian women we had brought with us wept aloud, and accused me of bringing them along to be murdered. I went a little way off by myself and asked the Lord to be merciful, and pity us in our miserable and apparently helpless condition, and to make known to me what to do and say to extricate us from our difficulties.

I returned to camp and told the company that we would leave as soon as possible.

Some thought it was certain death whether we went or remained where we were.

I told them, however, that there would not be another one of us injured.

Our four Navajo friends who had come to us the day before, had remained, and now helped to gather our animals and pack up.

We were soon on our way.

I told Brother George A. that we must return home to save our lives, for we could not go any farther, as the Navajos were guarding the pass.

"Well," said he, "leave me; it will make but very little difference with me; it may make much with you. You cannot go very fast if you take me."

We put him in a saddle upon a mule, with Brother Jehiel McConnell behind him, to hold him on.

We left our camp kettles over the fire containing our breakfast, untouched, and all our camp outfit that we could possibly do without.

The Navajos who had been guarding our trail beyond the camp, started after us, coming down like a whirlwind.

Some of our party predicted that in ten minutes there would not be one of us left, but there was no flinching, no wilting in the emergency.

I again predicted that there would not be one of us hurt, for so the Spirit whispered to me.

The Navajos came almost within range of our rifles, and then turned suddenly to the right.

As they passed, the mule that carried our supplies went after them; but, to our surprise, it was brought back to us by a friendly Navajo.

We traveled as fast as possible, while the four old gray-headed Navajo friends guarded our front and rear. They often asked us to leave the dying man, as he was no longer of any use; that the one who shot him would follow to obtain his scalp, and that if we stopped to bury him they would leave, for our enemies would have his scalp if they had to dig his body up.

About sun-down George A. asked me to stop, and said that everything looked dark to him, and he was dying.

Our Navajo friends again said if we stopped they would go on. I said to Brother George A., "It will not do to stop now."

He asked, "Why?"

When I told him, he said, "Oh, well, go on then; but I wish I could die in peace." These were the last words that he said.

A few minutes afterwards, the Navajo friends said, "The man is dead. If you will leave him, we will take you to Spaneshanks' camp, where you will have friends."

Our last ray of hope for getting the body of George A. where we could lay it safely away in the rocks, was now gone. I said to the company, "What shall we do?" The answer was, "What can we do, only lay the body on the ground and leave it?"

I replied that such was my mind, for we would only risk our lives by making an effort to bury the dead, in which we would probably be unsuccessful.

We wrapped the body in a blanket, and laid it in a hollow place by the side of the trail, and then rode on as fast as our jaded animals could well carry us, until late in the night.

We halted on a patch of grass, held our animals by the lariats, and also put out a guard.

I sat down and leaned over on my saddle, but could not sleep. The scenes of the past two days were before me in vivid reality. The thought of carrying the wounded man with his life's blood dripping out of him along the trail, without his having the privilege of dying in peace, combined with the leaving of his body to be devoured by wolves and vultures, seemed almost too much to bear.

My imagination pictured another scene. South of us, in the distance, we could see a large fire, around which we presumed the Navajos were having a war dance over the scalp of our brother.

Then the thought of conveying the sad news to his father and mother and affectionate sister, all old and valued acquaintances of mine, pierced me like barbed arrows, and caused me the most bitter reflections that I have ever experienced in my life.


At daydawn a Navajo came to us, and asked me to give him something as a present. I did so, and, as he turned away, I recognized Brother George A. Smith's revolver in his belt.

We were soon on our way for Spaneshanks' camp, where we found water, grass and friends.

That evening our Indian messenger came, and had an interview with Spaneshanks.

Our interpreter informed me that the message sent to our Navajo friends was, that they ought to kill us that night; and that Spaneshanks replied to the message that he was chief in that country and we should not be hurt.

We were further informed that the party that had done the mischief were from Fort Defiance.

We were warned that ahead of us was a narrow pass, where the Navajos had lately attacked the Utes, and killed their chief, Wahnonee, and that possibly they might attack us in the same place.

The following morning we left the friendly Spaneshanks, and, by making good use of our time, we watered our animals and got them on to a table rock before dark.

Deep cuts and fissures setting in from the north and east rendered our location unapproachable except by the way we had come. We placed one watch in the most difficult part of the trail, and felt safe for the first time in six days. In the morning we discovered a gun barrel with the stock shivered to pieces, shreds of blankets and clothing, and other signs which indicated that the place had been recently occupied. We concluded it was the spot where the Navajos had taken advantage of the Utes.

The second day from Spaneshanks' camp we crossed to the north side of the Colorado River. Four days afterwards on the Buckskin Mountain, the Piutes brought us an abundance of pine nuts.

The supply was very acceptable, as edibles were scarce in camp.

Five days subsequently we arrived home on the Santa Clara, jaded and worn with hard travel and much anxiety of mind.

Our relatives and friends had been much troubled in their minds concerning us in our absence. Some had unfavorable dreams, and they were filled with gloomy forebodings. A young lad, a nephew of mine, told his mother that there was something the matter with me, for he saw me walking along and weeping bitterly. He asked me what was the matter, and I replied, "Do not ask me, for it is too bad to tell."

I know that some people do not believe in dreams and night visions. I do not believe in them when occasioned by a disordered stomach, the result of eating unwisely, but in those of a different nature I have often been forewarned of things about to come to pass, and I have also received much instruction.

I wrote quite a full account of this trip to President George A. Smith, after which he came to my house on the Santa Clara.

In conversing with him about the affair, he remarked, "I was much shocked on hearing of the death of my boy; but upon reflection, we all, in the Historian's Office, came to the conclusion that the Lord wanted the young man just in the way He took him."

President Young also looked upon the matter in the same light.

After this conversation, Brother Smith gave me a note from President Brigham Young, in which was a written request to raise a company of twenty men, and bring in what we could find of the remains of Brother George A. Smith, Jr. Winter having set in, I considered this a difficult task.

It was necessary to go to Parowan for men and supplies, a distance of some seventy miles. This accomplished, we were soon on our way.

Our route was a difficult one to travel in the winter season. The ford of the Colorado was deep and dangerous at any time, but especially when the ice was running. Sometimes there were steep rocks to climb, at other times the trail ran along the almost perpendicular sides of deep rock fissures, narrow, with frequent short turns, where a misstep might plunge us or our animals hundreds of feet below. Sometimes the precipitous rocks were covered with ice, which had to be hacked with our hatchets before we could feel any surety of a foothold.

At one time we waited until nearly midday for the sun to melt the frost and ice on a steep rock, that we might be able to get our animals out of a gulch on to the plain above. On this occasion my pack mule slipped and fell, then rolled and slid down to within about a yard of the edge of a chasm below. We fastened a long lariat to the animal, and saved it and the pack.

On arriving at the place where we had left the body of young Brother Smith, we found the head and some of the larger bones. We prepared them for carrying as well as we could.

At our last camp in going out, the chief who had led the hostile Navajos on our previous trip, came to us, accompanied by his wife, and said if he had known what he afterwards learned about us, he would have protected instead of injuring us.

Nothing of special interest took place in returning home. I went with the remains of George A. Smith, Jr., to Salt Lake City, and delivered them to his friends.

This completed one of the most trying series of circumstances of my life. That the misfortune was no greater is due to the kindly Providence of our Heavenly Father, and the faith in Him and confidence in each other, of the brethren involved in it.

President Young proffered to pay us for our trip. I replied that no one who went with me made any charge, and, as for myself, I was willing to wait for my pay until the resurrection of the just.

On my return to the Mountain Meadows, I found my family out of flour, and the roads blocked with snow, so that a team could not get in nor out of the Meadows. I had left my family with plenty of food, but they had lent it to their neighbors. I was under the necessity of hauling both fuel and flour for them on a hand sled.


It was nearly two years before we made another trip to the Moqui towns. Many of the brethren appeared to think that no good could be accomplished in that direction. In the autumn of 1861, many Saints were called from the north to form settlements in Southern Utah. The city of St. George was founded, and settlements were extended, so as to occupy the fertile spots along the waters of the Rio Virgen and Santa Clara.

During the winter of 1861-2 there was an unusual amount of rain-fall. About the middle of February, it rained most of the time for a number of days, and the Santa Clara Creek rose so high that the water spread across the bottom from bluff to bluff, and became a turbulent muddy river.

Our little farms and the cottonwood trees that grew on the bottom lands were disappearing. The flood wood sometimes accumulated in a pile, and would throw the current of water on to ground which had apparently before been safe from its inroads.

Our fort, constructed of stone, and which was one hundred feet square, with walls twelve feet high and two feet thick, stood a considerable distance north of the original bed of the creek. Inside the walls were rooms occupied by families, and we had considered it safe from the flood.

One night, when most of the people were asleep, some one discovered that the water was washing away the bank on the south side of it, and also that the water was beginning to run around it, between it and the bluff. It was raining heavily at the same time.

The people were removed from the fort as soon as possible, and some temporary shelter was constructed of boards, blankets, etc.

While I was making an effort to save some property near the caving bank of the stream, the ground on which I stood suddenly slid into the water, about twenty feet below, and took me with it.

I still stood on the mass of dirt, but realized that it was being rapidly washed away from under me, and that I was liable at any moment to be precipitated into the raging torrent.

The thought flashed through my mind that there was not one chance in a thousand of my being saved. I heard someone say above me that I was gone; it was of no use to try to save. I shouted at the top of my voice "It is of use to try to save me! Bring a rope and throw to me, and haul me out before the bank caves and I am gone!"

In a few moments I felt a rope drop over my head and shoulders. I lost no time in grasping it, and was pulled up just as I felt the last foothold giving way under me.

Again was my life preserved by that kindly providence which has so often saved me when in imminent peril.

What seems remarkable in the history of that gloomy night is, that in a few minutes after being rescued from death myself, I should be the means of saving another life.

A heavy and rapidly increasing current of water was now running between the fort and the bluff.

In some way or other a sick woman had been left in one of the rooms of the fort, and her husband was almost frantic with the idea that his wife was lost, as he did not think she could be got out. She had a young child, which was safe outside, while the mother was in peril.

I took the rope that had been the means of saving myself, tied one end of it to a tree, and holding on to it, got safely to the fort, where I fastened the other end. I entered the room, drew the woman from the bed on to my back, placed her arms over my shoulders and crossed them in front. I told her when I got to the running water that she must hold herself on my back, for I would be obliged to lay hold of the rope with both hands to get through the water.

When we arrived at the point of danger, her arms pressed so heavily on my throat that I was nearly strangled. It was a critical moment, for if I let go the rope we were sure to be lost, as the water was surging against me. I made the best possible use of time and strength, and reached the shore safely with my burden, to the great joy of the husband and children.

The flood swept away my grist mill and other improvements to the value of several thousand dollars. Most of the houses and the cultivated land of the settlement also disappeared.

In the autumn of 1862, it was thought best to again visit the Moqui villages. President Young recommended that we cross the Colorado River south of St. George, and explore the country in that direction, with the view of finding a more feasible route than the one we had before traveled.

A company of twenty men were set apart for this purpose, by Apostles Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow.

A team accompanied us to the river with a small boat, in which we conveyed our luggage across. Our animals swam the river.

Expecting to return the same way, after crossing the river we cached our boat and some of our supplies.

The first day we traveled south, up a "wash," for about thirty miles. We then traveled three days through a rough, bushy country, with some scrub cedar and pine timber. The fourth night from the river we camped at a small "seep" spring. The San Francisco Mountain lay a little to the southeast of us, and in sight.

In the morning our Indian guide refused to go farther with us, his reason being that we were going into a country destitute of water. We counseled together, and decided that we could reach the foothills of the San Francisco Mountain without perishing.

The first night from the "seep" spring, a light fall of snow came on. It melted and ran into the hollows of the rocks, and furnished an abundant supply of water. This seemed like a special providence in our favor.

The second night we made a dry camp. The third night we arrived at the foot of the San Francisco Mountain, where we again found snow.

The second day after leaving this mountain we reached the Little Colorado River, and then traveled a little northeast to the Moqui towns.

We spent two days in visiting among them. We left Brothers Jehiel McConnell, Thales Haskell and Ira Hatch to labor among them for a season.

The Moquis had been going through some religious ceremonies to induce the Great Spirit to send storms to wet their country, that they might raise an abundance of food the coming season. They assured us that their offerings and prayers were heard, for the storm would soon come, and advised us to delay starting for home until it should be over.

We had been talking with them about sending some of their chief men with us, to see our people and have a talk with our leaders. They objected on account of a tradition forbidding them to cross the great river, which has been referred to before.

We then started for home. The storm came the first night out and wet the country finely. We found shelter under a rock.

While there, three Moqui men came to us. They informed us that, after further consultation, their chief men had concluded to send them with us.

This storm, apparently in answer to the prayers of this simple people, and similar circumstances that have come under my observation among the Indians, have given me an assurance that the Lord is mindful of the wants of those barbarians, and that He answers their prayers with the blessings they need.

The snow fell sufficiently deep to cover up the grass, and our animals had to subsist principally on browse. The traveling was laborious, and when we arrived at the river by our old route, we had eight animals less than we left home with. This loss, and the poor condition of those that remained made traveling slow and tedious.

On arriving at the Ute crossing of the Colorado, we found the water deep and ice running. Fording was difficult and dangerous.

This, coupled with the traditions of the Moquis against crossing this river, visibly affected our Moqui friends. Anticipating that they might be entirely discouraged and not proceed farther, I forwarded their blankets and provisions by the first ones that crossed over.

When we desired them to cross, they expressed a wish to return home, but when I informed them that their things had been taken over, they concluded to follow. When the crossing was successfully accomplished, they returned thanks to the Father of all for their preservation.

On the north side, it occupied a day to bridge a muddy inlet and get on to the bench above. The crossing was accomplished the first day of the year 1863.

Brothers L. M. Fuller and James Andrus, whose animals were still in fair condition, were advised to push on as fast as practicable, and send us back some supplies, as we were very short of food.

The rest of the company traveled slowly to save the weak animals.

We lay by one day on the Pahreah, and killed and cooked crows to help out our rations.

Six days from the river we camped on Kanab Creek. That evening, Brother Lucius M. Fuller came into camp with a fat sheep, dressed, and some bread and flour, which were furnished by Brother Wm. B. Maxwell, from his ranch on Short Creek, forty miles beyond our camp.

When the Moquis saw this food they thanked the Great Father that He had pitied us and sent us food. Prayer and thanksgiving was the daily custom in our company—but to see these Indians, who are looked upon as barbarians, so humble and childlike in their reverence to the Great Father, seems worthy of special notice.

A man who came with Brother Fuller told me, after supper, that he had heard that one of my sons had been killed at Santa Clara, by the caving in of a bank of earth, and he thought it was Lyman. That night I had a dream or vision, in which I learned that it was Duane instead of Lyman, and I told the brethren so in the morning.

Three days afterwards we arrived at the settlements on the Rio Virgin. The brethren in these settlement furnished us with fresh animals and an abundant supply of food. We found a wide difference between feasting and fasting.

Soon after arriving home, Brother Wm. B. Maxwell and I took our three Moqui friends to Salt Lake City. The people on the way were very kind and hospitable. Arriving there, all possible pains were taken to instruct these men concerning our people, and to show them that which would gratify their curiosity, and increase their knowledge. They said they had been told that their forefathers had the arts of reading, writing, making books, etc.

We took them to a Welshman who understood the ancient Welsh language. He said he could not detect anything in their language that would warrant a belief that they were of Welsh descent.

As Lehi had promised his son Joseph that all his seed should not be destroyed, it was the mind of the brethren who reflected upon this subject, that in the Moqui people this promise was fulfilled.


We left St. George to take the Moqui visitors home on the 18th of March, 1863. The party consisted of six white men and our Moqui friends. As I was leaving home, my Indian boy, Albert, met me, and I remarked to him that the peach trees had begun to bloom, and it would be warmer than it had been.

He replied, "Yes, and I shall bloom in another place before you get back. I shall be on my mission!" (He doubtless referred by this to a vision which he had of preaching to a multitude of his people.)

Said I, "What do you mean by that?"

He replied, "That I shall be dead and buried when you get back."

We again took the route leading south from St. George. When we went out on this route the fall previous, we had expected to return the same way, and had cached our boat and some supplies on the south side of the river.

On arriving at the river we constructed a raft of dry timber, on which two men crossed over to obtain the boat. It was in good condition, but our supplies were ruined.

On the south side we looked around for a better crossing, as we had been requested to do, and found one five miles higher up the river, and also a good way of getting to and from the river. This is now called Pierce's Ferry.

We were here overtaken by Mr. Lewis Greeley, a nephew of Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune. As he wished to accompany us, Brother Snow sent a man with him to the river.

We took our former trail as far as Seep Springs, the last water before crossing the three days' desert. The second and third days we found two camps, which, judging from the remains of camp kettles, pack saddles, etc., had doubtless been suddenly broken up, probably by the Apaches. We thought they were the camps of miners.

At the last camp there were five animals with Spanish brands. The Moquis desired to take them along, and, after some consultation, we consented for them to do so.

At Seep Springs we found a small band of Piutes, who had run off a party of Cohoneenes.

As we had intended to explore as much as practicable, after consulting with these Piutes and our Moqui friends, we concluded to take a trail to the left of our former route. This would take us down into Cataract Canyon, which heads near the foot of the San Francisco Peaks.

We followed down a side canyon all day, leading our animals most of the time, on account of the narrow and precipitous character of the trail. At night we camped without water.

About 10 o'clock the next day we came in sight of the Main, or Cataract Canyon. This was still far down in the earth below, and the stream running along its bottom appeared like a bright silver thread glittering in the sun.

In coming to this point we, at one time, traveled about three miles continuously on a trail made with considerable labor in the side of shale rock. I do not remember of a place in this distance where we could have turned our animals around to return, had we wished to do so. We afterwards learned that this part of the trail was considered by the people who lived in the canyon, as their strongest point of defense in that direction.

We traveled a very circuitous and still difficult trail, until four o'clock in the afternoon, before we arrived at the water we had seen six hours before. We found the stream to be about fifteen yards in width, with an average depth of over a foot.

It was rapid and clear, and skirted with cottonwood timber, growing on rich bottom land.

The bottom of Cataract Canyon, Lieut. Ives informs us, in his "Explorations of the Colorado," is 2,775 feet below the general level of the plateau above. We judged the sides of the canyon where we were, to be one-half of this distance in perpendicular height.

The first people that we met had been informed of our approach by one of our Moqui companions, whom we had sent ahead of us. While we were talking with them, others arrived from lower down the stream, who inquired rather sharply why we were there. They were soon satisfied with out explanations.

We were soon engaged in interesting conversation. They had heard of me and my travels, and appeared pleased to see me. They desired that I would not lead anyone into their hiding place, and particularly a stranger, without their consent.

They told us that the horses we had picked up belonged to the Walapies, and if we would leave them they would return them to the owners before we came back. We remained with this people one day. In going out we traveled up the main canyon.

Not long previously these people had been attacked in their stronghold by a band of Indians from the southeast. They showed us a narrow pass where they had met them, and killed seven of their number.

About three miles above where we first struck the stream, it boils from the bottom of the canyon in a large, beautiful spring. We found no water above this. About nine miles up the canyon above the water, we turned into a left-hand side canyon, through which it was about two miles to the country above.

The trail up this canyon was very steep and difficult. The trail we came in on, and this one, are said to be the only means of getting in and out of the Cataract Canyon. From what we could learn from the Indians, we supposed the distance from the spring to where the creek empties into the Colorado to be about eighteen miles.

Through some misunderstanding, two of our Moqui friends had continued up the main canyon. We made a dry camp that night. The Moqui man who remained with us was a religious leader among his people. He became very anxious about his companions, for he said they would find no water. He went through some religious ceremonies for their safe return.

In the night they arrived in camp. They had discovered their mistake, and returned until they found our trail. We had a little water left to relieve their thirst.

I should have before stated that these Moquis never send out any of their people in the public interest, without sending one of their religious teachers with them. The position of these religious men is probably a traditionary remnant of the pure priesthood held by their fathers.

This man who was with us carried a small sack, in which were some consecrated meal, wool, cotton and eagle's feathers. To this sack was attached a stick, which he took out each morning, and, after looking at the sun, made a mark upon, thus keeping a memorandum of the number of days we had spent on the journey.

Our route was considerably to the north of the one we had traveled when on our former trip. The day after leaving Cataract Canyon, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, we came to a cross trail made by wild animals. Following it a few hundred yards into the head of a canyon, we found a pool of good water.

This was the 7th of April. We traveled two days without water for our animals, and camped where we could see the water of the Little Colorado, but it was in a deep gulch, out of our reach. The next day we traveled thirteen miles up the river bank, and camped by the water.

The night of the 11th we were about twelve miles from a Moqui town. Our Moqui companions wished to go home; and did so, while we camped until morning.

They informed the three brethren who had remained in the Moqui towns during the winter, of our approach, and the following morning these brethren met us about two miles out. They rejoiced much in seeing us, and hearing from their families and friends at home. We remained two days with our Moqui friends.

Taking Brothers Haskell, Hatch and McConnell with us, on Tuesday, the 15th of April, we started for the San Francisco Mountain, which was about ninety miles to the southwest. We aimed to strike the Beal road, which runs on the south side of the mountain.

On the 20th of April we got into the foothills on the north side of the mountain, where we found plenty of timber, grass, and snow for water. Game was abundant, and we had no trouble to kill what we needed. The same day Mr. Greeley discovered a pond of clear, cold water, several acres in extent, in the crater of a volcanic peak.

Monday, the 21st of April, we spent in exploring in different directions. We discovered a wagon road, which proved to be the one laid out by Captain Beal. We had traveled around on the north side of the mountain, and struck this road six miles west of Lareox Spring.

On the 22nd we killed two antelopes, and dried the meat, preparatory for starting home.

On the 24th we started for home. We traveled west on the Beal road until the 28th, when we left it and traveled across the desert where Lieut. Ives and party suffered from thirst.

We directed our course for Seep Springs, spoken of in the account of our outward trip, as our last camp before going into Cataract Canyon.

I was fifty-six hours without any water. Brother Jehiel McConnell was so far gone that he could only whisper. Both men and animals suffered severely. From Seep Springs we directed our course for the crossing of the Colorado, south of St. George.

The third day from Seep Springs we traveled into the night, and got off our trail. We tied up some of our animals and hobbled others, to wait for daylight.

During the night, what we at first supposed to be the hooting of an owl, attracted our attention. After listening a little while we concluded that the hooting was counterfeit; that Indians were around us and we had better look after our animals.

I followed a trail a few hundred yards by moonlight, and discovered the tracks of two Indians. Suffice it to say, we lost ten animals out of eighteen.

Assisted by some Piutes, we made an effort the next day to recover them, but failing, on the 6th of May we continued our journey. Five of our animals we packed, which left but three to ride. As there were ten men in the company, we traveled mostly on foot.

We afterwards learned that the Cataract Canyon Indians had not returned the Walapies' horses as they had agreed to, and the Walapies made that an excuse for stealing ours.

When we arrived at the river our feet were badly blistered. We had learned to appreciate the value of the animals we had lost.

Between the ferry and St. George, one day, in the Grand Wash, our animals becoming dry, a mule smelt of the ground and pawed. We concluded that it smelt water under the ground. We dug down about three feet, and found plenty. There has been water there ever since, and it is called White Spring.

We arrived in St. George on the 13th of May, 1863. We had been absent fifty-six days. We had explored a practicable, though difficult route, for a wagon from St. George to the Little Colorado, had visited the Moqui towns, and explored some of the country around the San Francisco Mountain.

I found on my return home that my Indian boy, Albert, was dead and buried, as he had predicted he would be when I left home.

I supposed his age to be about ten years when he came to live with me; he had been with me twelve years, making him twenty-two years old when he died. For a number of years he had charge of my sheep, horses and cattle, and they had increased and prospered in his hands.

Some time before his death he had a vision, in which he saw himself preaching the gospel to a multitude of his people. He believed that this vision would be realized in the world of spirits. He referred to this when he said that he should die before my return home, and be on his mission.

He was a faithful Latter-day Saint; believed he had a great work to do among his people; had many dreams and visions, and had received his blessings in the house of the Lord.


At this time a considerable change had taken place in the spirit and feelings of the Indians of Southern Utah, since the settlement of the country in 1861-62. Up to that time, our visits among them and our long talks around their camp fires, had kept up a friendly feeling in their hearts.

After the settlement of St. George, the labors of the Indian missionaries, from force of circumstances, became more extended and varied, and the feelings of the Indians towards the Saints became more indifferent, and their propensity to raid and steal returned.

The great numbers of animals brought into the country by the settlers, soon devoured most of the vegetation that had produced nutritious seeds, on which the Indians had been accustomed to subsist. When, at the proper season of the year, the natives resorted to these places to gather seeds, they found they had been destroyed by cattle. With, perhaps, their children crying for food, only the poor consolation was left them of gathering around their camp fires and talking over their grievances.

Those who have caused these troubles have not realized the situation. I have many times been sorely grieved to see the Indians with their little ones, glaring upon a table spread with food, and trying to get our people to understand their circumstances, without being able to do so. Lank hunger and other influences have caused them to commit many depredations.

When our people have retaliated, the unoffending have almost invariably been the ones to suffer. Generally those that have done the stealing have been on the alert, and have got out of the way, while those who have desired to be friends, from the want of understanding on the part of our people, have been the sufferers. This has driven those who were well disposed, to desperation.

The Navajos and other Indians east of the Colorado River have taken advantage of these circumstances to raid upon the settlements, and drive off many hundreds of cattle and valuable horses and mules.

In 1864 I visited the Indians east of St. George, accompanied by Brother George Adair. They had gathered between St. George and Harrisburg, for the purpose of carrying out their threat to destroy some of the settlements the first favorable opportunity.

I was asked how many men I wanted to go with me on my contemplated visit. I replied only one, and that I did not want any arms, not even a knife, in sight.

When we arrived in their camp I asked them to come together, and bring their women and children, and all hear what we had to say. They had prepared for hostilities by secreting their women and children, as is their custom.

By talking with them, a better influence came over them, and the spirit of peace triumphed over irritation and a sense of wrong.

About seventy-five miles west of St. George, a band of Piutes had confederated with a band of Indians that had been driven out of California, and they threatened the settlements of Meadow Creek, Clover Valley and Shoal Creek. Brother Andrew Gibbons accompanied me on a visit to these Indians. It was summer, and they had left their corn fields to dry up, and gone to the mountains. Our people had manifested as much hostility as the Indians, having killed two of their number.

We sent out word for all to come in and see us. We made a feast by killing an ox, and, in a general talk, they told over their grievances. They said that they felt justified in what they had done, and also in what they intended to do.

I could not blame them, viewing matters from their standpoint. In the talk I rather justified them in what they expected to do, but told them that in the end it would be worse for them to carry out their plans than to drop them, and smoke the pipe of peace. That the grass upon which the seeds had grown which served them for food was all eaten up, and from that time would be; but if they would be friendly, they could get more food by gleaning our fields than they had before we came into their country.

The talk lasted for hours. The difficulty was settled and we returned home.

Early in 1865, the Navajos stole a few horses from Kanab. I was requested to go over the Colorado, and, if practicable, have a talk with them, and recover the stolen horses. I was also to have a talk with the Moquis, and invite them to move over into our country.

We did not succeed in recovering the stolen horses. We were informed by the Moquis that the old Navajo chief, the friendly Spaneshanks, had been discarded by his band, that his son had succeeded him as chief, and that he was disposed to raid at any favorable opportunity.

For these reasons we thought it would be useless and perhaps dangerous to go into their country. We had a meeting in the Oriba village, with the principal men of that place and one of the largest of the Moqui towns. It was an interesting interview.

We told them we did not expect to visit them much more where they were, and we wished them to move over the river into our country, live with us, and build cities and villages the same as other people.

They again told us that they could not leave their present locations until the three prophets who had led them into their country should appear among them again, and tell them what to do. They predicted that our people would yet move into the country south of them, and would travel with wagons up the Little Colorado.

Aside from their traditions against moving across the great river, they could not see the utility of going over to live with us when we would yet move into their country. They were quite anxious that we should not be angry with them, as they desired that we should be friends, and thought that we might sometimes visit them.

On our return home we were disappointed in not finding water in two places where we had always found a supply on former trips. At the second place we camped for the night. On account of thirst our animals were very uneasy, and we tied them up and guarded them until morning.

The nearest water to us was ten miles distant, over a sandy desert, and directly out of our way; that is, we would have to travel twenty miles to get water, and again reach our trail for home. It was nearly two days' travel on our way home to water, and both men and animals were already greatly distressed.

I ascended a hill near the camp, and earnestly asked the Lord in my heart what I should do under our difficult circumstances. While thus engaged I looked towards the Colorado, which was about forty miles distant, and saw a small cloud, apparently about the size of a man's hat. It rapidly increased, and it did not appear to me more than half an hour before we were enveloped in a heavy snow storm. The snow melted and ran into the cavities of the rocks, until there was an abundance of water.

When we started on our journey we found the ground dry in less than a mile and a half from our camp.

I thanked the Lord that He had sent us relief in our great need, but there were those in the company who did not appear to see the hand of the Lord in it.

In the autumn of 1865 Dr. Whitmore and I made a trip to Las Vegas Springs and the Colorado River. We visited the Cottonwood Island Indians and the Mohaves.

In the winter after our return, Dr. Whitmore and his herder, young McIntyre, were killed near Pipe Springs, about fifty-five miles east of St. George, by the Navajos, who also drove off their sheep and some cattle.

I started out after them with a company, was taken sick, and turned back to go home.

I stopped over night on the road in a deserted house, without food, bedding or fire. Having an opportunity, I sent word to my family about my condition. I got into the town of Washington, twelve miles east of Santa Clara, and could go no farther.

In a day or two my wife, Louise, arrived with a team and took me home. My health was very poor for about a year. At one time my friends thought that I was dying. At first I told them that I was willing that it should be so, for I had only been in their way for nearly a year; but my little children were crying around me, and the question came into my mind: What will they do if I am taken away? I could not bear the thought of leaving my family in so helpless a condition.

I then asked God, the Eternal Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, to spare my life long on the earth, and I would labor for the building up of His kingdom.

I afterwards felt a desire for food, and asked for something to eat. I was told that I had eaten nothing for two days. Some boiled beef and tea were brought me; I thought that I had never before eaten anything that tasted so good. From that time I slowly recovered.


In the spring and summer of 1867 I was called upon to visit the bands of Indians to the east of the settlements on the Rio Virgen, and farther north. A number of settlements had been deserted on the Sevier River, and it was desirable that the temper of the Indians should be so modified that they could be re-established.

I went east seventy-five miles, to the present location of Kanab. After gathering around me some of the Indians, and planting some corn and vegetables, I crossed over the rim of the basin, north, and traveled down the valley of the Sevier.

I sought out places where the Indians were gathered in the largest numbers. I had many long talks with them, which seemed to have a good effect. Although some of the bands were considered quite hostile and dangerous to visit, I felt that I was laboring for good, and had nothing to fear.

In the fall of 1867, as soon as the water in the Colorado was low enough for the Navajos to ford it, I kept close watch of the eastern frontiers of Southern Utah. I met with quite a number of young Piutes when I first went into the country. They said they had dreamed that I was coming out into their country, and they proposed to assist me in watching the frontiers. They proved to be quite useful in watching the passes, and waylaid and shot several raiders.

The season of 1868 was spent in a similar manner to that of 1867, in visiting the Indians in southeastern Utah, and cultivating peace among them.

In October, 1869, I was requested to make another trip to the Moqui towns, to talk with the people, and learn, if possible, whether there were other Indians besides the Navajos raiding on our borders.

I started with a company of forty men, twenty of the brethren and twenty Piutes. We crossed the Colorado where Lee's Ferry now is. Our luggage went over on rafts made of floatwood, fastened together by withes.

On arriving at the Moqui towns, I thought some of the people received us rather coldly. My old acquaintances told me that the Navajos intended to make another raid on our people in a short time. I felt like returning to our settlements immediately.

When we left the towns, I felt much impressed to take the old Ute trail, and cross the river thirty miles above where we crossed going out. Some of the company objected to this and made much of the difficulties of the crossing.

When we came to where a trail led to each of the crossings, I told the company that I did not know why, but I was satisfied that it was our duty to go home by the old Ute trail. I was much surprised to find that more than half of the brethren had made up their minds not to go that way. I told them if I knew anything about the mind and will of the Lord, it was for us to go that way.

The Piutes, to a man, were willing to go the way I desired. The brethren took the lower trail, and on we went. I remarked to them that our trip to the Moquis was a failure. When we arrived home, we learned that the Navajos had been into the settlements north of where our people had guarded, and driven off twelve or fifteen hundred head of animals, among them many valuable horses and mules.

I afterwards learned from the Piutes, that if the company had taken the Ute trail, we would have met the raiders with all these valuable animals on the open plains, after they had crossed the river. I felt vexed that I did not take the Piutes with me and save this valuable lot of stock for our people.

I slept out many cold nights in the winter of 1869-70, watching and guarding with the Piutes. One Navajo was shot when two or three hundred yards ahead of his company, which was driving out a small band of horses. The raiders were much frightened, threw down their luggage and wanted the Piutes to let them go home. The Piutes consented to let the Navajos go if they would leave what they had. They gladly accepted the terms. This took place in the Pahreah Pass, about twenty miles east of Kanab.

The Navajo that was shot was only wounded. I followed his trail the next day, to see what had become of him. I found where he had been picked up by his friends and carried two or three miles. Near him was another camp of raiders, resting.

One of the Piutes who was with me at the time, and had been told in a dream to go with me, shot two of this company, scalped one of them, and said that the other had sandy hair, and he dare not scalp him, for he seemed too much like a white man.

At another time, when Captain James Andrus, with a company of men from St. George, was with us, a few animals passed us in the night. We supposed there were three Navajos with them.

We followed them one day. By taking a circuitous route we came within range of them unobserved. Some of the company fired before the others were ready. Two of the raiders fell; the others, quick as thought, drove the horses upon a sharp point of rocks, where they took shelter in such a way that they could guard their horses without exposing themselves.

We endeavored to approach them to advantage, but without success. I was fired at several times, as also were several of the other brethren. Once, as I was secreted behind a cedar tree, a Navajo crawled up behind a sand rift, fired at me, and the bullet just missed my head.

Finding that the Indians had the advantage of us, we left them, only getting one of the horses. The Navajos secured ten horses and lost three of their men.

Captain Andrus and company returned to St. George, and left Brothers John Mangum, Hyrum Judd, Jehiel McConnell, my son Lyman, myself and the Piutes to watch the frontiers, as we had done through the winter.

The winter of 1869-70 was one of great hardship for the few brethren who, with the Piutes, watched the frontier. They suffered with the cold, and passed many sleepless nights. We crossed the Buckskin, or Kibab Mountain several times, with the snow in some places waist deep.

This Navajo war caused me many serious reflections. I felt that there was a better way to settle matters, and I made up my mind to go and see the Navajos, and have a talk with them as soon as circumstances would permit.

In the spring of 1870, President Brigham Young, his counselor, George A. Smith, Apostle Erastus Snow and other leading men of the Church, came to Kanab, accompanied by twenty men as a guard.

As we had been notified of this visit, we had things in as good order as possible. The Piutes, seventy in number, washed off the dirt and paint which usually besmeared their persons, and put on a fair appearance for Indians.

President Young at first objected to sending out the animals of the company to feed under an Indian guard, but afterwards consented to do so. He expressed himself well satisfied with my labors and policy on the frontiers.

I told him that I desired to visit the Navajos, and have a talk with them; that there had been a number of raiders killed, and I never saw a Navajo's bones on the ground, the flesh having been eaten off by wolves and vultures, but what I felt sorrow for the necessity of such things; that I always abhorred the shedding of blood, and desired to obtain peace in some better way.

When President Young arrived at Toquerville, on his return journey, he sent me a letter of instructions, directing me to do all I could to prevent the shedding of blood; not to let the Indians have any firearms or ammunition if I thought they would use them for killing miners or other travelers; and, if it were possible, he wished the people to get along without the killing of any more Navajos.


I determined to do all I could in the summer of 1870 to establish good feelings among the Indians in the neighborhood of our people, on the west side of the Colorado, that they might be disposed to favor us instead of our enemies. I determined to neglect no opportunity of visiting the Navajos, and endeavoring to get a good understanding with them.

I visited the Red Lake Utes, spent some time at Fish Lake, east of Parowan, and visited the Indians along the Sevier. I had many long talks with them, and believe I accomplished much good, in inspiring them with the spirit of peace.

I met Professor J. W. Powell, who stated that he had descended the Colorado River the previous year, and that the Indians in the neighborhood of Mount Trumbull, southwest of Kanab, had killed three of his men. He wished to visit them, and prevent the repetition of a similar calamity the next season; for he desired to descend the river with a company to explore the Grand Canyon.

He wished to employ someone who understood Indian character, and spoke their dialect, to go with him, and President Young had recommended me as a suitable person. He offered me liberal terms, and, as I was desirous of seeing the same Indians myself, a satisfactory arrangement was soon made.

We left Kanab for Mount Trumbull in September, 1870, and took two Kanab Indians with us. We arrived at our destination the third day, and selected a good camp ground by a spring of water.

We found some natives gathering cactus fruit, which grew there in great abundance. I requested them to bring in some of the party who took a part in the killing of Mr. Powell's men the previous year.

Some twelve or fifteen Indians got together the following day, and we called a council to have a good peace talk.

I commenced by explaining to the Indians Professor Powell's business. I endeavored to get them to understand that he did not visit their country for any purpose that would work any evil to them; that he was not hunting gold, silver or other metals; that he would be along the river next season with a party of men, and if they found any of them away from the river in the hills, they must be their friends, and show them places where there was water, if necessary.

They answered that some of their friends from the other side of the river crossed on a raft and told them that Powell's men were miners, and that miners on their side of the river abused their women.

They advised them to kill the three white men who had gone back from the river, for if they found any mines in their country, it would bring great evil among them. The three men were then followed, and killed when asleep.

The Indians further stated that they believed what I told them, and, had they been correctly informed about the men, they would not have killed them.

They said Ka-pu-rats could travel and sleep in their country unmolested, and they would show him and his men the watering places.

Ka-pu-rats, in the Piute language, means one arm cut off. Major Powell had lost an arm in the late war between the Northern and Southern States.

I think that a part of Major Powell's description of this affair in his "Explorations of the Colorado River," would not be out of place here:

"This evening, the Shi-vwits, for whom we have sent, came in, and, after supper, we hold a long council. A blazing fire is built, and around this we sit—the Indians living here, the Shi-vwits, Jacob Hamblin and myself. This man, Hamblin, speaks their language well, and has a great influence over all the Indians in the region round about. He is a silent, reserved man, and when he speaks, it is in a slow, quiet way, that inspires great awe. His talk is so low that they must listen attentively to hear, and they sit around him in death-like silence. When he finishes a measured sentence, the chief repeats it, and they all give a solemn grunt. * * * *

"Mr. Hamblin fell into conversation with one of the men, and held him until the others had left, and then learned more of the particulars of the death of the three men. They came upon the Indian village almost starved, and exhausted with fatigue. They were supplied with food, and put on their way to the settlements. Shortly after they had left, an Indian from the east side of the Colorado arrived at their village, and told them about a number of miners having killed a squaw in a drunken brawl, and no doubt these were the men. No person had ever come down the canyon; that was impossible; they were trying to hide their guilt. In this way he worked them into a great rage. They followed, surrounded the men in ambush, and filled them full of arrows.

"That night I slept in peace, although these murderers of my men, and their friends, the U-in-ka-rets, were sleeping not five hundred yards away. While we were gone to the canyon, the pack-train and supplies, enough to make an Indian rich beyond his wildest dreams, were all left in their charge, and were safe; not even a lump of sugar was pilfered by the children."

After this council with the Indians, Major Powell gave me charge of the commissary stores and pack train, and directed me to explore the country east, north and south. This afforded me an excellent opportunity to carry out my mission to the Lamanites.

I had many interesting talks with them. I labored to have them understand that there was an overruling Providence that had much to do with the affairs of men; that God was not pleased with the shedding of blood, and they must stop killing men, women and children, and try to be at peace with all men.

These teachings did not appear to have much influence at the time, but afterwards they yielded much good fruit.


In the autumn of 1871, Major Powell concluded to go east, by way of Fort Defiance, and desired me to accompany him. As this appeared to be an opening for the much-desired peace talk with the Navajo Indians, I readily accepted the invitation.

We started for Fort Defiance in October. Three men who were strangers to me, accompanied us, and Brothers Ammon M. Tenney, Ashton Nebeker, Nathan Terry and Elijah Potter; also Frank, a Kibab Indian.

We packed lumber on mules over the Kibab, or Buckskin Mountain, to the crossing of the Colorado, now known as Lee's Ferry. With this we constructed a small boat, in which we conveyed our luggage across. Our animals crossed over by swimming.

We traveled at night most of the way, to preserve our animals from the Indians. We visited all the Moqui towns, seven in number, and had much interesting talk with the people. Professor Powell took much interest in their festivals, dances, religious ceremonies and manner of living.

Arriving at Fort Defiance, Major Powell rendered me much assistance in bringing about peace with the Navajos. About six thousand of them were gathered there to receive their annuities.

All the chiefs of the nation were requested to meet in council. All the principal chiefs but one, and all the subchiefs but two were there. Captain Bennett, Indian agent, his interpreter, and Brother Ammon M. Tenney were also there.

Major Powell led the way by introducing me to the council as a representative of the people who lived on the west side of the Colorado River, called "Mormons." He stated that he had lived and traveled with these people, and, by acquaintance, had formed a very favorable opinion of them. He said that they were an industrious people, who paid their quota in taxes in common with other citizens of the United States, from which the Navajos were paid their annuities.

At the close of his introductory remarks, I arose and spoke about an hour. I stated that the object of my visit was to have a talk with them, and endeavor to bring about a better understanding between them and my people the "Mormons," and establish peace and friendship.

I explained to them some of the evils of the war which had commenced by killing two men and driving off their stock; that while they had taken from us many horses and mules, they had lost twenty or thirty of their men. That our young men had wanted to come over into their country and kill and drive them, but had been told to stay at home until all other means for obtaining peace had been tried and had failed.

I told them I had been acquainted, more or less, with the Indians on their side of the great river for many years, and I found that the Moquis were obliged to watch their stock, or the Navajos would steal it; and the Navajos were under the same necessity. Neither party could trust their sheep out of sight, through fear that they would never see them again. They dare not send their flocks out into the mountains where grass was abundant, and the result was, that they ate poor meat, and many times not enough of that.

Continuing, I said: "If you will reflect on your affairs, you will see that this is very bad policy, and that it would be much better to be at peace with your neighbors and with all men. I see much grass and many watering places on each side of the river. If we would live at peace with each other, we could take advantage of all the land, grass and water, and become rich or have all we need. Our horses and sheep would be fat. We could sleep in peace, awake in the morning and find our property safe. You cannot but see that this would be the better way.

"I hope you will listen to this talk. What shall I tell my people, the 'Mormons,' when I return home? That we may expect to live in peace, live as friends, and trade with one another? Or shall we look for you to come prowling around our weak settlements, like wolves at night? I hope we may live in peace in time to come. I have now gray hairs on my head, and from my boyhood I have been on the frontiers, doing all I could to preserve peace between white men and Indians.

"I despise this killing, this shedding of blood. I hope you will stop this, and come and visit, and trade with our people. We would like to hear what you have got to say before we go home."

As I took my seat, I noticed the tears start in the eyes of Barbenceta, the Spanish name of the principal chief of the Navajos.

He slowly approached, and put his arms around me, saying, "My friend and brother, I will do all I can to bring about what you have advised. We will not give all our answer now. Many of the Navajos are here. We will talk to them tonight, and will see you on your way home."

The principal chiefs spent much of the night talking with their people. Captain Bennett, the agent, and a U. S. army officer, said that I could not have talked better to bring about peace with the Navajos. He manifested much good feeling, and furnished us liberally with supplies for our journey home.

This council was held on the 2nd of November, 1871, The blessings of the Lord were over us in our efforts for peace.

This was probably the first time that the chiefs of the Navajo nation ever heard a gospel discourse adapted to their circumstances; as well as the first time they had heard, from the lips of a white man, a speech that carried with it the spirit and power of a heartfelt friendship. The hearts of many of them were open to reciprocate it.

We spent three days at Fort Defiance, endeavoring to create a good influence, and in getting our supplies ready. Brother A. M. Tenney, being able to converse in Spanish, accomplished much good.

On our way home we called at a Moqui town. There we met the principal chief of the Navajos, those chiefs who were not at Fort Defiance, and some minor chiefs who did not consider themselves as belonging to the United States agency at Fort Defiance.

We met in a room belonging to the principal man of the village. The Navajos, through their chief, told us that they had not come to talk any different from what was said at Fort Defiance, but to confirm what was said there. They never had heard better talk. They had a great desire to have what was said, carried out.

They said, "We have some bad men among us, but, if some do wrong, the wise ones must not act foolishly, like children, but let it be settled according to the spirit of your talk at Fort Defiance.

"Here is Hastele (one of the principal chiefs); I wish you to take a good look at him, so you will not be mistaken in the man. He never lies or steals. He is a truthful man; we wish all difficult matters settled before him. He lives on the frontier, nearest to the river; you can find him by inquiry."

The peace treaty talk here closed by the Navajos saying, "We hope we may be able to eat at one table, warm by one fire, smoke one pipe, and sleep under one blanket."

One of them gave me a note from the United States agent, stating that the bearer wished me to try and recover some sheep that were stolen from him, and were in one of the Moqui towns; and that two attempts had been made to recover them, which had failed.

We lay down to sleep about midnight, and were on our way at early dawn to the town, a few miles distant, where the Navajos said we should find the sheep.

Arriving at the residence of the man having the sheep, I found him to be a former acquaintance of mine. He appeared in a surly mood. We talked to him for some time, but could get no answer.

I then said, "You are the first man I traded with twelve or thirteen years ago. You told me then that before your father died, he took you in his arms, and told you that you would live to see white men come from the west—good men, men of peace; and that it would be but a short time after they came until you could sleep in peace, eat in peace, and have peace in all things. You told me that you believed we were the men your father meant, and I hope you will not prevent peace coming into your country for the sake of a few sheep."

"Well," said he, "I will not; I will give up the sheep."

They were counted out, and the Navajo offered us one or two to eat on our way home. We told him we could get along without taking any of his sheep; he had but few, and would want them.


We were told by the Moquis that when the Navajos were at war with the United States, they were taken advantage of in their scattered condition by the Moquis, who hunted out the worst of the thieves among them, and killed them off. For this purpose the Moquis were furnished with guns and ammunition.

One man told me that he had hunted up and killed eight Navajos single handed.

I was also informed that the Moquis decoyed thirty—five of them into one of their villages, by promising them protection, and then disarmed them, and threw them off a high rock between two of their towns. I went to the place indicated and found a number of skeletons and some remains of blankets. This was done during the winter previous to our visit.

The Navajos have evidently been the plunderers of the Moquis for generations, and the latter have retaliated whenever they have had an opportunity. Peace between these tribes would be a great blessing to both.

This trip and its influences appears to have been a turning-point—the commencement of a great practical change for the better in the lives of these tribes. The Lord's time for a change had evidently come.

Wishing to do all I could to give strength to a peaceful policy, I invited Tuba, a man of good report among his people, to take with him his wife, Pulaskanimki, to go home with me; get acquainted with the spirit and policy of our people, and become a truthful representative of them among his people.

I promised to pay him for what labor he might perform, and bring him home the next autumn.

After counseling with their friends, he and his wife accepted my invitation.

When we arrived on the cliffs before crossing the Colorado, the Piutes living in the Navajo country, came to me and said as they had taken a part with the Navajos in raiding on our people, they desired to have a good peace talk. They were about thirty in number.

After an interesting council, we commenced to descend the difficult cliff to the crossing of the river. While doing so, Brother Nathan Terry said he had a dream the night before, and that it had been on his mind all day, and he believed it meant something. In the dream he saw the company riding along the trail, when he heard the report of a gun. He looked around and saw one of the company fall to the ground, and he thought he went and put the person on his horse, and they continued their journey.

After descending the cliff, I was some distance in the rear of the company, when suddenly, what appeared like a flash of lightning came over me. It was with great difficulty that I could breathe. Not being able to help myself, I partly fell to the ground.

I lay there some time, when one of the Kanab Indians who was with us came along, saw my situation, and hurried on to camp.

Brother Terry came back to me after dark. He administered to me in the name of the Lord, when the death-like grip that seemed to have fastened on my lungs let go its hold, and I could again breathe naturally.

On coming to the bank of the river the following day, Tuba, the Oriba, looked rather sorrowful, and told me that his people once lived on the other side of this river, and their fathers had told them they never would go west of the river again to live. Said he, "I am now going on a visit to see my friends. I have worshiped the Father of us all in the way you believe to be right; now I wish you would do as the Hopees [their name for themselves] think is right before we cross."

I assented. He then took his medicine bag from under his shirt, and offered me a little of its contents. I offered my left hand to take it; he requested me to take it in my right. He then knelt with his face to the east, and asked the Great Father of all to preserve us in crossing the river. He said that he and his wife had left many friends at home, and if they never lived to return, their friends would weep much. He prayed for pity upon his friends, the "Mormons," that none of them might drown in crossing; and that all the animals we had with us might be spared, for we needed them all, and to preserve unto us all our food and clothing, that we need not suffer hunger nor cold on our journey.

He then arose to his feet. We scattered the ingredients from the medicine bag into the air, on to the land and into the water of the river.

To me, the whole ceremony seemed humble and reverential. I felt that the Father has regard to such petitions. The scattering of the ingredients from the medicine bag I understood to be intended as a propitiary sacrifice.

After this ceremony we drove our animals into the river, and they all swam safely to the opposite shore. In a short time ourselves and effects were safely over. Tuba then thanked the Great Father that He had heard and answered our prayer.

Arriving at Kanab, we found all well. Everybody appeared to feel thankful for the success of our mission and the prospects of peace. The Kanab Indians also congratulated us on our success.

Some of the Piutes from the east side of the river accompanied us home. They spent much of the night in talking over events that had taken place during the previous three years. They said they had not visited each other much during that time.

Choog, the Kibab chief of the Piutes, after learning all the particulars from the Indians who went with us, came to me and said: "Now the Indians east of the river have all made peace, the evil spirits will have no place to stop over there. They have followed you here. The destroyer will enter into the wind, fire and water, and do you all the mischief he can. Wherever he can get a chance to work he will go."

At the close of his remarks I smiled. Noticing it, he said with considerable warmth, "You are a wise, good man, and know more than I do; but I know that what I have told you will come to pass."

The third night after this conversation with the Kibab chief, the night of the 14th of December, a house in Kanab, in which resided the family of Brother Levi Stewart, took fire, from some unknown cause. The room in which the fire originated had but one entrance, and in it were stored some combustible materials. The houses were of logs, built in fort form, and the people and their effects were much crowded together.

At the time the fire broke out, people were generally asleep, and six of the family of Brother Stewart were asleep in the room where the fire originated.

Before they could be rescued, a can of oil took fire, and the room was in a moment enveloped in an intense flame, which burst out from the only entrance. The shrieks of those in the fire, and the odor of their roasting bodies; the lurid glare of the fire in the darkness of night; the intense anxiety and sorrow depicted on the countenances of the father and husband, brothers, sisters and neighbors, made up a scene that can never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.

There were several other fires and accidents in the settlements of Southern Utah, soon after the fire in Kanab, which indicated that the Indian chief was prompted by the spirit of prophecy.

Some people call the Indians superstitious. I admit the fact, but do not think that they are more so than many who call themselves civilized. There are few people who have not received superstitious traditions from their fathers. The more intelligent part of the Indians believe in one Great Father of all; also in evil influences, and in revelation and prophecy; and in many of their religious rites and ideas, I think they are quite as consistent as the Christian sects of the day.


A few days after I arrived home from Fort Defiance, I went on a visit to St. George, and other settlements. I took Tuba and his wife with me, that they might have an opportunity of seeing some of our farming and manufacturing industries.

After looking through the factory at Washington, where some three hundred spindles were in motion, Tuba said it spoiled him for being an Oriba. He could never think of spinning yarn again with his fingers, to make blankets.

His wife, after looking at the flouring mill, thought it was a pity that the Hopees (meaning the Oriba women) were obliged to work so hard to get a little meal to make their bread, when it could be made so easily.

Tuba and his wife gleaned cotton in the fields one week, on the Santa Clara, where the cotton had been gathered by our people, and President Young gave him a suit of clothes.

When we returned to Kanab, we found eighty Navajos who had come in there to trade. Most of them were on foot, and had brought blankets to trade. Some of their women accompanied them, which is their custom when going on a peaceable expedition.

Comiarrah, one of their leading men, introduced his wife to me. She took hold of my hand and said, "We have come a long way to trade with your people. We are poor and have brought all we could on our backs. We have not much, and we want to do the best we can with it. We came home to our country three years ago, and found it naked and destitute of anything to live on. We once had many sheep and horses, but lost them all in the war. We were taken prisoners and carried to a poor, desert country, where we suffered much with hunger and cold. Now we have the privilege of living in our own country. We want to get a start of horses and sheep, and would like you to tell your people to give us as good trade as they can."

They traded for fifty horses in Kanab, then went to St. George and other settlements, and traded all the blankets they had for horses, and went back to their own country quite satisfied.

In September, 1872, I went to take Tuba home, as I had promised I would do. Brothers I. C. Haight, George Adair and Joseph Mangum accompanied us. We went by the old Ute crossing, and left some supplies for Professor Powell's party, at a point which had before been designated.

On the east side of the river, we crossed some dangerous places, deep canyons and steep rocks. Some of our animals fell and bruised their legs; one was so badly injured that we were compelled to leave it. Another fell from a cliff into a canyon and was killed instantly.

We made a line long enough to reach the animal by tying together lariats and rope. A place was found where a man could descend to the pack, and the things were hauled up in parcels.

After five days' traveling, visiting some of the Navajo ranches, and talking with the people, we arrived at Tuba's house in the Oriba village.

After feasting a day or two on peaches and green corn, we started for the Navajo agency. We remained there over the Sabbath, and attended a meeting conducted by a Methodist minister, employed by the government to preach to the Navajos.

We were granted the privilege of speaking in the afternoon.

I spoke on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and about the ancient inhabitants of the American continent.

On our way home we visited some of the principal Navajo ranches. Some Navajos came to us to trade for horses. We camped one night with a party at the rock where young Geo. A. Smith was killed.

One of them said he was there when young Smith was killed, and that some of the Navajos tried to get up a dance over his scalp, but the majority of the party were opposed to it, and the dance did not take place. Most of them contended that the "Mormons" were a good people. The party that thought it right to kill the "Mormon" said, if the man who killed him would go and overtake his friends, and they would give him a present, they would acknowledge the "Mormons" to be a good people. He said the Navajo went on after us, and returned with a gun that we gave him.

The fact that an Indian overtook us, and that we gave him a gun, and recognized the revolver of George A. Smith on his person, has been mentioned in the account of young Brother Smith's death.

We were told that the murderer soon died a miserable death, and the Navajos believed it was because he had killed a "Mormon."

The Navajos continued to come to our settlements to trade, and went about in small parties, or singly, as suited them. They placed all confidence in us as their friends.

In 1871-72, I explored many places between Lee's Ferry and Uinta Valley; assisted in locating a settlement on the Pahreah, in starting a ranch in House Rock Valley, and in building a small boat at Lee's Ferry.

In the winter of 1873-74, I was sent to look out a route for a wagon-road from Lee's Ferry to the San Francisco forest, or the head waters of the Little Colorado. I procured the assistance of a Piute who lived on the east side of the Colorado, and was somewhat acquainted with the country. We readily found the desired route.

In the spring of 1874, a company of about one hundred wagons crossed the Colorado, well fitted out, with instructions to form a settlement on the Little Colorado, or on some of the tributaries of the Gila. I was requested to pilot the first ten wagons as far as Moancoppy, and remain there for further instructions.

For a considerable distance beyond the Moancoppy, the country is barren and uninviting. After they left that place, the first company became discouraged and demoralized, and returned.

In the meantime, I occupied myself in putting in a crop. With some help, I planted twelve acres with corn, beans, potatoes and other vegetables.

The companies that followed the one that had returned from the Little Colorado, partook of the same demoralizing spirit. They could not be prevailed upon to believe that there was a good country with land, timber and water, a little beyond where the first company had turned back. They all returned into Utah, and the great effort to settle the country south of the Colorado was, for the time being, a failure.

The failure was evidently for want of faith in the mission they had been called upon to fill by the Lord, through His servants.

When this company was sent into Arizona, it was the opportune time for the Saints to occupy the country. Soon after, the best locations in the country were taken up by others, and our people have since been compelled to pay out many thousands of dollars to obtain suitable places for their homes.

The Navajos carried on a peaceful trade with our people until the winter of 1874-75, when a circumstance occurred which greatly endangered our peaceful relations with that people.

A party of four young Navajos went to the east fork of the Sevier River, to trade with some Utes in the neighborhood. In Grass Valley they encountered a severe snowstorm, which lasted for three days. They found shelter in a vacant house belonging to one McCarty. He did not belong to the Church, and had that animosity towards Indians, too common with white men, which leads them to slaughter the savages, as they are called, on the most trifling pretences.

The Navajos, becoming hungry during the delay, killed a small animal belonging to Mr. McCarty. In some way he learned of the presence of the party on his ranch, gathered up some men of like spirit with himself, came suddenly upon the Navajos, and, without giving them an opportunity of explaining their circumstances, killed three of them and wounded the fourth.

The wounded man, after enduring excessive hardships, made his way across the river, and arrived among his own people.

Telling the story of his wrongs, it aroused all the bitter spirit of retaliation, so characteristic of the Indians from tradition and custom. The affair taking place in the "Mormon" country, where the Navajos naturally supposed they were among friends, and not distinguishing McCarty as an outsider, the murder was laid to the "Mormons."

The outrage created considerable excitement among both whites and Indians. When President Young heard of it, he requested me to visit the Navajos, and satisfy them that our people were not concerned in it.

Feeling that the affair, without great care, might bring on a war, I started at once for their country to fill my mission.

I left Kanab alone. My son Joseph overtook me about fifteen miles out, with a note from Bishop Levi Stewart, advising my return, as he had learned from the Piutes that the Navajos were much exasperated and threatened to retaliate the first opportunity.

I had been appointed to a mission by the highest authority of God on the earth. My life was of but small moment compared with the lives of the Saints and the interests of the kingdom of God. I determined to trust in the Lord and go on. I directed my son to return to Kanab, and tell Bishop Stewart that I could not make up my mind to return.

Arriving at the settlement of Pahreah, I found Lehi Smithson and another man preparing to start for Mowabby. We remained over night to procure animals for the journey. That night, my son Joseph came to me again with a note from Bishop Stewart, advising my return, and stating that if I went on I would surely be killed by the Navajos.

When we arrived at the Mowabby, we found that the store house of two rooms which had been built there, had been fitted up in the best possible manner for defense. This had been done by three or four miners who had remained there, on account of the excitement, for which there appeared to be considerable reason.

I felt that I had no time to lose. It was important to get an interview with the Navajos before the outbreak.

My horse was jaded, and wishing to go to Moancoppy, ten or twelve miles farther, that night, two brothers by the name of Smith brought in three of their riding horses, offered me one, and they mounted the others to accompany me.

At Moancoppy I hoped to find some Oribas who could give me correct information about the temper of the Navajos. Arriving there, we found only a Piute family and one Oriba woman. From them I learned that the young relatives of the Navajos killed in Grass Valley were much exasperated, but the older men expressed a desire to see me before anything was done or anyone hurt.

This news was encouraging to me. It being now evening, we lay down and slept until morning.

Tuba had been living at Moancoppy, and had left on account of the excitement. Some of his effects were lying around in a way that indicated that he left in a hurry.

I was informed that Mush-ah, a Navajo with whom I was somewhat acquainted, and in whom I had some confidence, was camped at a watering place twelve miles east of Moancoppy. I hoped to be able to see and have a talk with him, and get up a conciliatory feeling without exposing myself too much to the ire of the Indians.

Arriving at the water where we expected to find Mush-ah, we were disappointed. The place was vacated. We met a Navajo messenger, riding fast on his way to Mowabby, to learn of affairs at that place. He appeared much pleased to see me.

After a little talk, he pointed in the distance to a high mesa, and said the Navajos were camped at that point, and wished to see me.

We arrived at the lodges after sun down; in the neighborhood were gathered a large number of horses, sheep and goats.

Two or three gray-headed men came out to meet us good-naturedly, but did not appear as friendly as they had formerly. I told them my business. Soon afterwards some young men put in an appearance, whose looks bespoke no good.

There being a good moon, a messenger was soon on his way to inform those at a distance of my arrival.

I inquired for Hastele, who had been shown to me by the principal chief in our final peace talk, three years before, and for whom I was directed to inquire in case of difficulty.

I got no answer, which indicated to me that they did not wish for his assistance. I communicated to the old men the circumstances connected with the killing of the Navajos in Grass Valley, as I understood them. They replied that they were not ready for a talk or council, and said, "When the relatives are all here we will talk."

My spirit was weighed down with gloomy forebodings, and I would gladly have left the place could I have felt justified in doing so. Unless the Lord was with us, what were we to do with all these against us?


The night passed, and a part of the forenoon of the following day, when the Navajos who had been sent for began to gather in.

About noon, they informed me they were ready for talk. A lodge had been emptied of its contents for a council room. It was about twenty feet long by twelve feet wide. It was constructed of logs, with one end set in the ground, and the top ends leaning to the centre of the lodge, and fitted together. The logs were covered with about six inches of dirt.

A fire occupied the centre of the lodge, the smoke escaping through a hole in the roof. There was but one entrance, and that was in the end.

Into this lodge were crowded some twenty-four Navajos, four of whom were councilors of the nation. A few Indians were gathered about the entrance.

The two Smiths and I were at the farther end from the entrance, with apparently not one chance in a hundred of reaching the outside, should it be necessary to make an effort to save our lives.

The council opened by the Navajo spokesman asserting that what I had said about the murder of their relatives was false. He stated that I had advised their people to cross the great river and trade with my people, and in doing so they had lost three good young men, who lay on our land for the wolves to eat. The fourth, he said, came home with a bullet hole through him, and without a blanket, and he had been thirteen days in that situation, cold and hungry.

He also stated that I need not think of going home, but my American friends might if they would start immediately.

I informed the two Smiths of the intention of the Navajos concerning the disposal of myself. I told them they had been obliging to me, and I would not deceive them; the way was open for them to go if they desired to do so.

They replied that they would not go until I went.

Our three revolvers were hanging over my head. It was desirable to have them as well in hand as possible. I took hold of them, at the same time saying to our Piute interpreter, "These are in my way; what shall I do with them?"

As I spoke, I passed them behind me to the Smiths, not wishing to give any cause for suspicion that I had any fears, or expected to use the weapons. I told the Smiths not to make any move until we were obliged to.

The Navajos continued to talk for some time, when I was given to understand that my turn had come.

I told them of my long acquaintance with their people, and of my labors to maintain peace. I hoped they would not think of killing me for a wrong with which neither myself nor my people had anything to do; and that strangers had done the deed.

I discovered that what I had said the day before had some influence with the gray haired men. None but gray haired men belonged to the council, but others were allowed to speak.

The young men evidently feared that the council would oppose their desire for revenge. They evinced great intensity of feeling. The wounded man was brought in, his wounds exposed to the council, and a stirring appeal was made for retaliation by a young warrior. It stirred up the Indian blood from its very depths. He closed by asserting that they could do no less than put me to death.

For a few minutes I felt that if I was ever permitted to see friends and home again, I should appreciate the privilege. I thought I felt one of the Smiths at my back grip his revolver. I said to him quietly, "Hold still! Do not make the first move, and there will be no move made. They never will get ready to do anything."

This assurance came by the whisperings of the Spirit within me.

When the excitement had died away a little, I spoke to the Piute interpreter. He either could not or would not answer me, neither would he answer the Navajos, but sat trembling, apparently with fear.

The Navajos brought in another Piute, and recommended him as a man of much courage, and said he would not falter; but he was soon in the same dilemma as the other.

After some further conversation they appeared a little modified, and, in lieu of blood revenge, they proposed to take cattle and horses for the injury done them. They required me to give them a writing, obligating me to pay one hundred head of cattle for each of the three Navajos killed, and fifty for the wounded one.

This was a close place for me. I could go home by simply putting my name to the obligation. I reflected: Shall I acknowledge by my act, that my people are guilty of a crime of which I know they are innocent; and neutralize all the good results of our labors among this people for fifteen years? Shall I obligate the Church to pay three hundred and fifty head of cattle for a crime committed by others? It is perhaps more than I should be able to earn the rest of my life.

The sacrifice looked to me more than my life was worth. I replied that I would not sign the obligation.

One of them remarked that he thought I would by the time I had been stretched over that bed of coals awhile, pointing to the fire in the middle of the lodge.

I answered that I had never lied to them, and that I would not pay for the wrong that other people had done. "Let the Americans pay for their own mischief, I will not sign a writing to pay you one hoof."

Here the new Piute interpreter would not say anything more.

A Piute chief standing in the door of the lodge spoke to him in an angry tone, and accused him of having a very small heart and little courage.

The chief then asked if I was not scared.

I asked, "What is there to scare me?"

He replied, "The Navajos."

I told him I was not afraid of my friends.

"Friends!" said he, "You have not a friend in the Navajo nation. Navajo blood has been spilled on your land. You have caused a whole nation to mourn. Your friend Ketch-e-ne, that used to give you meat when you were hungry, and blankets when you were cold, has gone to mourn for his murdered sons. You have caused the bread he eats to be like coals of fire in his mouth, and the water he drinks like hot ashes. Are you not afraid?"

"No," I replied, "my heart never knew fear."

The Navajos wished to know what the Piute chief and myself were talking about. The Piute repeated the conversation in their language. They then conversed among themselves; at times they manifested considerable warmth. I was asked if I knew Hastele.

Replying in the affirmative, they asked, "What do you know about him?"

I answered, "I know that Barben-ce-ta and others of your leading men said, at the great peace talk, that he was an honest man, and that all important difficulties between you and our people should be settled before him. I knew this affair should be settled before him, and have known it all the time we have been talking. I came here on a peace mission. If you will send Hastele into our country to learn the truth concerning what I have told you, let as many more come along as you like. I wish you would send the best interpreter you have along with him.

"It is no use to ask me about pay. In the meantime your people can trade among the 'Mormons' in safety. They will be glad to see you if you will come in the day time, as our people come into your country—not to prowl around your lodges to steal and kill. I came to do as I agreed to do at the good talk at Fort Defiance."

I felt that the last I said had the desired effect. Their feelings began to soften.

After some further conversation among themselves, the interpreter said, "They are talking good about you now."

I replied, "I am glad; it is time they talked good. What have they said about me?"

"They say you have a good heart. They think they will wait until they see their greater chiefs, and believe that the matter will be settled before Hastele."

It was then agreed that I should come to Mowabby, in twenty-five days, and they would see if it was not advisable to send some one over, and satisfy themselves of the truth of my statement. Twenty-five notches were cut in a stick, and when they were all gone by cutting off one notch each morning, I was to be at Mowabby.

The history of my intercourse with the Indians on the east side of the Colorado, for fifteen years, had all been talked over. In fact, I had been on trial before them for all my sayings and doings that had come within their knowledge. I was able to answer all their questions, and give good reasons for all my acts.

My mind had been taxed to the utmost all this time. I had been in the farther end of a crowded lodge, with no reasonable probability of getting out of it if I wished to, and without the privilege of inhaling a breath of fresh air.

Some roasted mutton was brought in and presented to me to take the first rib.

The sight of the roasted meat, the sudden change of affairs, together with the recollection of the threats of a very different roast to the one I had on hand, turned my stomach. I said to those around me, "I am sick."

I went to the door of the lodge. It was refreshing to breathe in the open air, and look out into the glorious moonlight. I thought it was midnight; if so, the council had lasted about twelve hours.

A woman's heart seems kindlier than man's among all people. A Navajo woman, seeming to comprehend my situation, came to me and asked me if she could not get me something I would like to eat.

She mentioned several varieties of food she had on hand, none of which I desired. She said she had been at my house in Kanab, and she saw I liked milk, and she would get me some. With a dish in her hand she went about among the goats, stripping them by moonlight.

She brought me about a pint of milk, which I drank, went into the lodge, and lay down and slept until some of the party said it was light enough to see to get our horses.

I asked the Navajos to bring up our horses. I felt it was safer for me to remain in the lodge, than to be out hunting horses, and liable to meet some angry spirits who had been about the council.

The horses were brought, and the Smiths and I were soon in our saddles, and leaving behind us the locality of the trying scenes of the past night.

Again was the promise verified, which was given me by the Spirit many years before, that if I would not thirst for the blood of the Lamanites, I should never die by their hands.


I here give place to a letter from Mr. Smith to the Pioche Record, which was also re-published in the Deseret News:

"MOWABBY, MOHAVE CO., ARIZONA, February 5, 1875.

"On the 15th of January, we were in the very act of packing the horses preparatory to a start, when and Indian arrived, who proved to be Tuba, the chief of the Moquis Indians, a friendly tribe who live in this part of the country.

"I should have mentioned that this (the ferry) is the residence of John D. Lee, against whom I was deeply prejudiced on account of his presumed connection with the terrible Mountain Meadow massacre, and imputation, however, he utterly denies. I found him, on acquaintance, to be a very agreeable gentleman. Mr. Lee speaks the Indian language well, and through hom we learned the cause of the chief's visit.

"A Navajoe chief who had received favors from Mr. Lee, and was well disposed toward him, had arrived at Tuba's lodge that morning (having ridden all night) to get him to go and tell Mr. Lee that three Navajoe Indians had been killed and one wounded by Mormons, a few days before, in an affray in the neighborhood of Grass Valley, on the north fork of the Sevier River; that the wounded Indian had arrived at his camp the night before, and was now actively engaged in striving to arouse the Navajoes to war; that the young me were clamoring for revenge; and to warn him that he would probably be attacked within four days, and to prepare for defense.

"Here was a dilemma. No possibility of obtaining assistance nearer than one hundred and fifty miles; Mrs. Lee and five children, and a helpless old man named Winburn, disabled by a lame foot, who had no risen from his bed for four months.

"After a brief consultation we sent a letter to Fort Defiance, announcing the condition of affairs, Tuba agreeing to forward it forthwith by one of his Indians, and Mr. Lee and his oldest boy started to Kanab to bring assistance. As soon as he was gone we place the house in the best state of affairs we could, and awaited the issue.

..."On the third day, a Piute Indian, sent by the Navajos arrived. After a long talk, Mrs. Lee acting as interpreter, we gathered that the young men of the tribe were at first determined on war, but that the chiefs were opposed to it, for the present, at least; and that they desired to await the arrival of Jacob Hamblin, who had acted as representative of Brigham Young, in all negotiations of importance with the Indians for the past twenty years, and learn what settlement of the affair he was willing to make.

"This was favorable, as two of the slain Indians were sons of one of the chiefs. He wound up his remarks by inquiring if, in case the Navajoes did come here, we would purchase peace by giving up the old man, Winburn, to torture, in which case they would abstain from further hostilities.

"With difficulty repressing our strong desire to shoot him on the spot, we declined the offer, and charging him with a message to the chiefs of the nation, that as soon as Hamblin arrived we would apprise them of his advent, we let him depart.

"Matters remained in status quo until the 29th inst., when when Messrs. Lee, Hamblin, and Smithson, a son-in-law of the former, and his wife arrived, the advance guard of a party from Kanab, now on the road.

"We communicated to Mr. Hamblin the message from the Navajo chiefs, and, merely pausing to take some refreshments, he started at once for the nearest Moqui village, to send a messenger to them to notify them of his arrival, and request their presence, my brother and I accompanying him.

"We reached there about sundown, and found, to our extreme disappointment, that all the Indians had gone to a big dance at the Oriba villages, sixty miles distant, with the exception of one lame Piute.

"We remained there that night, and the next morning started for the Oriba villages, taking Huck-a-bur, the lame Indian, who is a good interpreter, along with us.

"We had not rode over fifteen miles, when we met the Piute who had acted as the Navajo envoy on the former occasion. He said he was going to see if Hamblin had arrived, and expressed great delight at seeing him, saying that the Indians were extremely anxious to see him, and urging him to go back with him to the camp of the nearest Navajo chief, which he said was not more than fifteen miles distant, and talk the matter over there.

"After consultation, being anxious to lose no time, we consented, and after riding some twenty-five miles, instead of fifteen, we reached the Navajo camp, which consisted of only two lodges. A tall, powerful Indian, on whose head the snows of many winters had rested, welcomed us with impressiveness and an embrace like the hug of a grizzly bear, and invited us to enter.

"The lodge (wick-c-up), which was substantially built of heavy cedar logs about fifteen feet long, was circular in form, like the skin lodges of the Indians of the plains, with an opening near the top to give vent to the smoke, and, being covered with bark and dirt, was very warm and comfortable, which was none the less agreeable to our party, as it had been snowing hard all the afternoon. There were three Navajos and three squaws, one of the latter a very pretty girl, and two Piutes.

"After a friendly smoke, they furnished us a good and substantial supper of broiled and boiled goat's flesh and corn meal mush, the squaws grinding the meal in the old-fashioned way, between two stones.

"Then the talk commenced. Hamblin, be it remembered, though perfectly familiar with the Piute tongue, knows nothing or very little of the Navajo language, so the services of our Huck-a-bur were called into requisition. The chief we came to see, I forgot to mention, was not there, but was only, so they said, distant a few miles. As we were anxious to get back, we got the Navajo to despatch the Piute to him that night, so that he might be there early in the morning, and the business be closed that day.

"After his departure the talk went on. The Navajos present expressed themselves anxious that the affair should be settled without further bloodshed, and said that was the wish of the principal men of the tribe. They said the Navajos had long known Hamblin, and they believed he would do what was right.

"Everything looked promising, and after smoking innumerable cigarettes with our savage friends, we retired to rest on a pile of buffalo skins and Navajo blankets worth a horse apiece, and slept soundly and well.

"The next morning the Indians gave us an excellent breakfast and we passed the morning sauntering about, examining such articles of Indian manufacture as were new to us, and endeavoring to while away the time till the arrival of the chief.

"A little before noon twelve Navajo braves, armed with bows and arrows and rifles, rode up on a gallop, and dismounting, entered the lodge without shaking hands and called in an insolent tone of voice for tobacco. We gave them some, and after smoking awhile, they threw everything out of the lodge, saying there were more Navajos coming, enough to fill the lodge. Sure enough, there soon rode up some more Navajos, making nineteen in all, but still no chief.

"To our inquiry as to his whereabouts, they replied he was gone to Fort Defiance. We took our seats, completely filling the lodge, and all hands smoked in silence for some time. Then the Indian whose lodge we occupied commenced talking, and spoke with only an occasional momentary interruption from the others for about an hour.

"After him five or six others talked in rapid succession and from their earnest tones and impassioned gestures, so different from the usual manner of Indians, we could see they were much excited.

"We could not, of course, understand much of what they said, but could gather enough to know that the temper they were in boded no good to us. One old scoundrel, of brawny frame and hair as white as snow, talked in a stentorian voice, and his frequent use of the gestures of drawing his hand across his throat looked particularly ominous.

"In about an hour more they ceased speaking, and, after a pause, told their interpreter to talk. He arose slowly and walking across the lodge, seated himself by Hamblin. He was a Piute, a slave of the Navajos, and as they have the unpleasant habit of sometimes killing their interpreters when they don't interpret to suit them, and as what he was about to reveal was not calculated to render us very amiable, I could excuse the tremor that shook him in every limb.

"He finally commenced, in a low tone, to speak to the following effect: The Navajos believed that all Hamblin had said the night before was a lie, that they thought he was one of the parties to the killing, and with the exception of three, our host and two others of the old Indians, all had given their voice for death.

"Most of them were of the opinion that it was best not to kill my brother and myself, as we were 'Americans,' but to make us witness the torture of Hamblin, and then send us back on foot. As we were not likely to desert a comrade at such a time, this was but small comfort.

"Hamblin behaved with admirable coolness, not a muscle in his face quivered, not a feature changed, as he communicated to us, in his usual tone of voice, what we then fully believed to be the death warrant of us all.

"When the interpreter ceased, he, in the same even tone and collected manner, commenced his reply. He reminded the Indians of his long acquaintance with their tribe, of the many negotiations he had conducted between his people and theirs, and his many dealings with them in the years gone by, and challenged them to prove that he had ever deceived them—ever spoken with a forked tongue. He drew a map of the country on the ground, and showed them the impossibility of his having been a participant in the affray.

"To their insolent query, 'Imme-cotch na-vaggi?' (Ain't you afraid?), he replied with admirable presence of mind, 'Why should we be afraid of our friends? Are not the Navajos our friends, and we theirs? Else why did we place ourselves in your power?'

"He spoke for a long time, and though frequently and rudely interrupted, his patience and nerve never gave way, and when he ceased, it was apparent that his reasoning had not been without effect in their stubborn bosoms. But the good influence was of short duration.

"A young Indian, whom we afterwards learned was a son of the chief, and brother of two of the slain Indians, addressed the assembled warriors, and we could see that the tide was turning fearfully against us. He wound up his impassioned harangue by springing to his feet, and, pointing to an Indian who had not yet spoken, called to him to come forward. The Indian came and kneeled before him, when with one hand he took back his buckskin hunting shirt, revealing the mark of a recent bullet wound, and with the other pointed to the fire, uttering, or rather hissing, a few emphatic words, which we afterwards learned were a demand for instant death by fire.

"The effect was electrical. The sight of the wounded brave roused their passions to the utmost fury, and as we glanced around the savage circle, our hands involuntarily tightened their grasp on our six-shooters, for it seemed that our hour had come.

"Had we shown a symptom of fear, we were lost; but we sat perfectly quiet, and kept a wary eye on the foe. It was a thrilling scene. The erect, proud, athletic form of the young chief, as he stood pointing his finger to the wound in the kneeling figure before him; the circle of crouching forms; their dusky and painted faces animated by every passion that hatred and ferocity could inspire, and their glittering eyes fixed with one malignant impulse upon us; the whole partially illuminated by the fitful gleam of the firelight (for by this time it was dark), formed a picture not easy to be forgotten.

"The suspense was broken by a Navajo, our host, who once again raised his voice in our behalf, and after a stormy discussion, Hamblin finally compelled him to acknowledge that he had been their friend; that he had never lied to them, and that he was worthy of belief now.

"The strain was over, and we breathed freely once more. We smoked the pipe, or rather the cigarette, of peace, and a roasted goat being shortly produced, we fell to with a will, and gnawed ribs together as amicably as if it had not been just previously their benevolent intention to roast us instead of the goat.

"By this time it was past midnight, the discussion having been prolonged for eleven hours. I never was so tired in my life. Eleven hours in a partially recumbent position, cramped for room, with every nerve strained to its utmost tension, and momentarily expecting a conflict which must be to the death, is tolerably hard work.

"After supper, it was arranged by Hamblin that we should go home in the morning, and await the arrival of the chief, for whom they promised to dispatch a trusty messenger. We slept by turns till morning broke, when we bid our amiable friends good-by, and started for Mowabby, where we arrived about eight o'clock in the evening, to the great joy of Boyd and Pattie, who had given us up as lost.

"This was five days ago, and today the Navajo chief arrived, and, after a long discussion, agreed to settle the matter for a certain number of cattle and horses; but their demands were so exorbitant that I am sure they will never be complied with.

"Mr. Hamblin leaves tomorrow morning for St. George, to lay the matter before Brigham Young, and he is to meet the chiefs here again, with the answer to their demands, in twenty-five days from today.

* * * * *

"We shall, probably, in the course of the trip, visit the village of the Oribas, a people who build three-story houses of stone, and whose greatest term of reproach to one another is he is a lazy man.

* * * * *

"In conclusion, I wish to give my testimony to the bearing of Mr. Hamblin during the trying scene I have endeavored to depict. No braver man ever lived. J. E. S."

The writer of the foregoing letter and his brother acted a different part from what I did, and acted it well.

He describes some things better than I can. As I have before remarked, ever since I began to have a correct insight into Indian character, I have felt anxious to do all the good in my power, and have endeavored to settle difficulties with them without bloodshed.

Much good, I trust, has been done by going into their midst and reasoning with them, when their minds were made up to avenge some wrong. I reason with an Indian as an Indian.

For example, Mr. Smith did not understand the motive of the Piute messenger of the Navajoes, who asked, at Mowabby, if they would give up the lame man to torture if the Navajoes would agree, on that condition, to abstain from further hostilities. The Piute thought that the lame man was of but little use, and hoped by the sacrifice of him to save the others.

From his standpoint, his motive was good. Had Mr. Smith understood the Indian character better, he probably would have had no disposition to kill him.


I started home with my jaded horse, and got along by alternately riding and walking. I met some families on their way to settle at Moancoppy.

I told the brethren that I thought the place could be safely settled, if they would leave their women and children on the west side of the river until matters were arranged. I camped with them over night, and gave them an insight into our affairs with the Navajos, and particularly requested that they would not converse with them about their difficulty with us.

Soon after arriving at Kanab, I went to St. George and visited Presidents Brigham Young and George A. Smith. I then returned to Kanab, and worked about home until it was time to go over the river to meet the Navajos as I had agreed to.

Through hardship and exposure my health was somewhat impaired. I endeavored to get a light wagon, that I might travel more comfortably than on horseback, but without success. I set out with a horse and three blankets. Soon after a blowing, chilling storm of rain and sleet commenced, and I became thoroughly wet.

I rode twelve miles to Johnson, when I was scarcely able to sit on my horse. I could proceed no farther, and stopped with Brother Watson, who was living in his wagons and a temporary camp prepared for winter. Sister Watson cared for me as well as circumstances would permit.

The storm continued the next day until afternoon, when the weather appeared a little more favorable. I was scarcely able to mount my horse, but I did, and started on my way.

The storm soon came on again, and again I was thoroughly wet. I traveled until after dark, and stopped at a vacated house at the Navajo Wells, ten miles from Johnson. In dismounting I fell to the ground.

It was in a place where travelers on that road usually camped, and the wood had been gathered for a considerable distance around; and had there been fuel I would not have been able to go after it.

It was a dark, dismal time, and it appeared to me that I could not live until morning. I prayed to the Lord to have pity on me and save my life. I succeeded in getting myself and horse into the house out of the storm.

I felt my way to the fireplace, and was much surprised to find some good, dry wood. I soon had a fire, and, leaning against one side of the fireplace, with my blankets drawn closely around me, and with a small blaze of fire, I was soon warm, and slept until morning.

When I awoke I felt well, and quite able to pursue my journey. I went by the Pahreah settlement, and from there Brothers Thos. Adair and Lehi Smithson accompanied me to Mowabby. There I found Ketch-e-ne and a deputation from the Moqui towns.

Ketch-e-ne renewed the former demand for three hundred and fifty head of cattle for the injury done himself and his people. I told him that when I went home I might talk with the chiefs of my people about it, but would make no promises.

Hastele, whom I wished to see, did not put in an appearance.

I went on and visited all the Moqui towns, and told the people the object of my visit. I requested them to tell all the Navajos they had an opportunity of seeing that I had come there according to agreement, and as they had failed to meet me as I had expected, if they would come over the river, I would be on hand to show them that I had told the truth. Feeling satisfied that things would work all right, I returned home.

Some of the brethren who went to Moancoppy visited the Navajos, and talked unwisely about affairs. They in turn, talked and threatened in a way that frightened our people, because they found they could do it, and the mission was broken up.

I had passed through many perils to establish a mission among the Indians on the east side of the Colorado, but on account of the sayings and doings of unwise brethren, the time came for it to be broken up. The Moancoppy was ordered to be vacated, and I went to assist in bringing the people away. They brought away the feeling with them that there would be another Navajo war.

I attended the quarterly conference at St. George, in May. The war question and the necessity of putting a guard at the crossing of the Colorado were agitated.

In speaking in the tabernacle on Sunday, I told the congregation there would be no trouble with the Navajos, and as soon as the summer rains commenced, there would be a party of them over. I felt an assurance of this from what I knew of circumstances, and the whisperings of the Spirit within me.

It was decided to establish a trading post at one of the crossings of the Colorado, east of St. George. For this purpose a party was sent out under the direction of Bishop Daniel D. McArthur.

As I was acquainted with both crossings, I was called upon to go with them. The ferry was selected. In traveling with Brother McArthur to the Ute crossing, thirty miles above the ferry, and back, I gave him a detailed account of our affairs with the Navajos.

I told him that I considered the breaking up of the Moancoppy mission as unnecessary; there would be no trouble with the Navajos, and some of those among them who had authority to settle their difficulties with us would be over as soon as the first rain fell.

That night there was a heavy shower. The following day I started for home by way of the Pahreah settlement, and Brother McArthur went on to the ferry.

Before separating, I told the brethren they would meet the Navajo peace party that night at the ferry, and they would travel to Kanab together.

They asked me how I knew. I told them I knew they would be over, for they would just have time to get to the ferry since the rain.

Arriving at Kanab I found Hastele and his party, including two good interpreters.

I had been away so much, that my family seemed badly in need of my help at home, and I, at the time, thought I was justified in remaining with them. I requested Brother Ammon M. Tenney to go with Hastele over on to the Sevier River, and satisfy him of the facts concerning the murder of the young Navajos.

After the party had gone I began to work in the garden, but everything went wrong, and I felt that I had done wrong in remaining behind.

I continued to try to accomplish some necessary work, until I was seized with such a violent pain in one of my knees, that I had to be assisted into the house. I sent for my horse, was assisted into the saddle, and was soon on my way to overtake Hastele. The pain left my knee and I was soon all right.

I overtook the Navajos sixty miles from Kanab. Everything worked well for showing up the facts connected with the murder. The brethren we fell in with rendered all the assistance in their power.

I had talked with the Navajos and explained to them the locations of the "Mormons" and the Gentiles, and what took place at McCarty's ranch. I had telegraphed to Bishop Thurber, of Richfield, and Brother Helaman Pratt to meet us at the lower end of Circle Valley. We arrived there before them and waited. I told Hastele there would be two "Mormons" there that evening, who knew more about the affair than I did, and they were men of truth.

We were camped near the road, where men were passing both ways, on horseback and in wagons. When the two brethren were approaching, and still a considerable distance off, Hastele arose to his feet, saying, "There come the two men we are waiting for."

As they drew near, he remarked, "Yes, they are good men, men of God."

As the brethren dismounted, Hastele embraced them in true Navajo style.

I mention this as one of the many circumstances that have come under my notice, which prove to me that many of the Indians, and especially the honest-hearted, are blessed with much of the spirit of revelation and discernment.

The following morning, when arranging to visit the spot where the Navajos were killed, Hastele spoke as follows: "I am satisfied; I have gone far enough; I know our friends, the 'Mormons', are our true friends. No other people we ever knew would have taken the trouble they have to show us the truth. I believe they have good hearts. Here is Jacob; he has been traveling about to do good all winter and spring, and is going yet. When I get home I do not intend my tongue to lay idle until the Navajos learn the particulars of this affair."

Hastele started for Kanab; Brothers Thurber and Pratt, a Mr. Boyd, who was sent by the agent at Fort Defiance to accompany the Navajo delegation, the two Navajo interpreters and I went to Grass Valley, to see the place where the Navajos were killed. Having satisfied the interpreters, we returned by way of Richfield.


Returning to Kanab, we found Hastele and his companion waiting for us. It was thought advisable for me, with Brother A. M. Tenney as Spanish interpreter, to visit the Indians on the east side of the Colorado River, and go to Fort Defiance and have matters properly understood there. We visited the Moqui towns, and had much interesting talk with the people.

Arriving at the Navajo agency, we found there a Mr. Daniels, who had been sent out by the government to inspect the Indian agencies. He had called on the agent at Fort Defiance to report the condition of his agency. Learning of the Utah difficulty with the Navajos, he made an effort to throw the blame on the "Mormons."

The Indian who escaped wounded from the massacre in Grass Valley was there. Mr. Daniels examined him very closely. He also heard the report of Mr. Boyd, who accompanied Hastele, to learn the facts of the case. All the facts elicited gave a favorable showing for our people. Mr. Daniels was disappointed and evidently vexed. He gave me to understand that I did not belong to the council, and was not wanted there.

As I left the room, a Rev. Mr. Trewax, who was there by government appointment to preach to the Indians, invited me to his room, saying that he would very much like to talk with me.

I replied that I had no objection to talking with him if his object was to obtain correct information.

Being seated in his quarters, he asked what our religious faith was, and from what source we had derived it.

I told him "We prove the truth of our religion by that book" (pointing to a Bible that lay on the table). "If you will read what Christ taught, you will learn what our principles are. They are from heaven."

"Is it possible," said he, "that your people believe the Bible?"

I replied, "We are the only people I have met during the last forty years that do believe the Bible. Many profess to believe it, but when I open and read it to them, I find they do not."

Said he, "My dear sir, I believe every word of it."

I replied, "Then we are brethren." I spent nearly half a day with him. He assented to the principles of the gospel as expounded in the New Testament and to the patriarchal order of marriage.

When asked to explain what was meant by the stick of Ephraim and the stick of Joseph, in the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, he said he thought it meant that both Judah and Ephraim should write. He believed the Bible to be the stick of Judah, but where the stick of Ephraim was he did not know. He had thought much about it, but it was a mystery to him.

I told him to wait a short time, and I would bring him the stick of Ephraim. I went out and came back with a copy of the Book of Mormon, which I had brought from home. He appeared much surprised, and grasped the book with some energy. He examined the testimony of the three witnesses, and said, "Surely this book is the best or worst thing that ever was."

I permitted him to keep it. When I left the place he told me he had read some thirty pages of it, and had not discovered anything in it contrary to the Bible.

Matters were settled between the "Mormons" and Navajos on the basis of our great peace talk at the same place, the 2nd November, 1871. The truth was brought to light, and those who wished to throw the blame of murdering the young Navajos upon the Saints were confounded.

This business was finally closed at Fort Defiance, on the 21st of August, 1875. The Navajos expressed themselves as fully satisfied that I had told them the truth when I visited them the previous winter. I felt that the Lord had greatly blessed me in filling the mission assigned me, of convincing the Indians that we had not injured them, and thereby maintaining peace.

Doubtless a war had been prevented, and the faith of the Indians on the east side of the Colorado greatly strengthened in our people.

It is evident to me that I was indebted to the special favor of my Heavenly Father, for the preservation of my life to accomplish this work. At the close of these labors I found myself three hundred miles from home, rather jaded and careworn, but full of thanksgiving for the happy termination of my labors.

On our way home we had some very pleasant visits with the Indians.

In the winter of 1874-5, I assisted in carrying on a trade with the Navajos at Lee's Ferry. One of my sons was with me. I introduced the boy to Ketch-e-ne, the father of two of the Indians killed in Grass Valley. He turned away and wept, apparently much dejected. His friends told me that the loss of his sons was killing him. I afterwards learned that he died about two months after I saw him at the river.

The Navajos carried on quite an extensive trade with our people, principally in exchanging blankets for horses.

In 1875, a number of brethren were called to again establish a mission at Moancoppy.

The winter of 1875-6 I had the privilege of remaining at home. My family was destitute of many things. Some mining prospectors came along, and offered me five dollars a day to go with them, as a protection against the Indians. To go with them could not injure the interests of our people. It seemed like a special providence to provide necessaries for my family, and I accepted the offer. I was gone sixty days, for which I received three hundred dollars.


In May, 1876, Brothers D. H. Wells, Erastus Snow and other leading men among the Saints, were sent to visit the new settlements in Arizona. I was sent with them as a guide. The Colorado was then high—a raging torrent. The current shifted from side to side, and the surging of the waters against the rocks caused large and dangerous whirlpools.

We put three wagons and some luggage on the ferry boat. We were under the necessity of towing the boat up stream one mile, to give a chance for landing at the proper place on the other side of the river. When taking the boat around a point of rock, the water poured over the bow. Word was given to slacken the tow rope. In doing so, the rope caught in the seam of a rock, and the draft on the boat continuing, the bow was drawn under water.

In a moment the rapid current swept the boat clear of its contents. Men, wagons and luggage went into the surging waters.

When I plunged into the cold snow-water to swim, my right arm cramped, which caused me to almost despair of getting ashore. A large oar was passing me, and I threw my arm over it to save myself from sinking. About the same time Brother L. John Nuttall caught the same oar, so I thought it best to try to swim with one arm. However, I was soon able to use both, and went safely to shore.

I ran down the river bank, got into a skiff with two others, pulled out to the head of the rapids, and saved a wagon and its contents on an island. The other two wagons, with all the valuables they contained, including the most of our supplies, passed over the rapids into the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

On getting together we found that Brother Lorenzo W. Roundy was missing. He was said to be a good swimmer, and it is probable he was taken with the cramp and sank at once. His body has never been found.

Brother Lorenzo Hatch sank deep into the river, but saved himself from drowning and was picked up by the skiff.

Brother Warren Johnson and another man hung to a wagon until they were taken up with the skiff, just in time to save them from going over the rapids.

This unfortunate affair occurred on the 28th of May. We gathered up what was left of our outfit, and visited the missions at Mowabby and Moancoppy, and the settlements on the Little Colorado.

About the 1st of December, President Young desired me to take a small company, and look out a route for a wagon road from Pierce's Ferry, south of St. George, to Sunset on the Little Colorado; "for," said he, "our people will want all the choice places where there is water and grass."

Brothers Wilford Halliday from Kanab, Joseph Crosby, Calvin Kelsey, Samuel Alger and Hyrum Williams from St. George, accompanied me.

We left St. George the 13th of December, 1876. We took a route to the ferry a little east of our former one, in order to strike the new crossing of the Colorado, five miles above the old one.

We remained at the river two days, and assisted Brother Harrison Pierce to construct a skiff, with which we conveyed our luggage across; but we forded our animals. After crossing the river, we still took a course east of our former one and the first day arrived in Wallipie Valley, an unknown country to me.

We camped on the north side of the valley under a bluff, where we found a seep of water, or wet ground. We dug a little and found sufficient water for our use.

The finding of this water was entirely providential, as none of us were acquainted with the country, and we had no guide. It fulfilled a promise made to us by President Young when we left St. George, that when thirsty we should find water where we did not expect it.

In the morning we took with us what water we could. We traveled a south-easterly direction, and, as fast as was practicable. At night we made a dry camp, and guarded our animals. The next day we pursued the same course as the day before.

During the long, weary day's travel, the brethren asked when I thought we would get water again. I told them they knew as much about the water as I did, on the course we were going, but we were going the course President Young had told me to take, and I felt impressed that we would get water that night.

We slowly wore away the miles, until, nearing the foothills of a mountain peak, our hopes ran high on discovering signs of stock. Two or three miles farther, as we turned around the point of a hill, we came to a house and corral. We found the place occupied by a Mr. Stevenson. He told us to turn our animals into his yard, and that there was a pump and good water.

It was a mining camp, and water had been obtained by digging. From Mr. Stevenson I obtained information of the watering places between there and the part of the country I had before traveled over. This relieved us from any anxiety about water.

The day we left Mr. Stevenson's we came to an old road which had not been used for some time, but it could be followed. This led us to our settlements on the Little Colorado.

Arriving there, we found the Saints feeling well. I was much pleased to see my daughter Louise. One is likely to appreciate friends and relatives when found by traveling in the desert.

After a short visit we started home, intending to return the same way we had come. The third night out it commenced snowing and blowing. In the morning we concluded that it would not do to continue our journey, as we could see only a short distance on account of the storm.

The best available shelter we could find was a log cabin without a roof, and the spaces between the logs unchinked. We had a wagon sheet which we stretched over our heads, and we were partially sheltered from the driving storm. There we remained two days and nights, during which time it snowed incessantly.

The storm abated the third morning, but the snow lay very deep. Hunger and cold had so used up our horses that we concluded to make the best of our way south, out of the mountains. The third day we got out of the snow, and to the sunny side of a hill, where there was plenty of green, luxuriant grass for our animals. They had plenty, but there was little food for ourselves.

Going out, we had cached supplies for our return trip, but being under the necessity of taking a different route, it was not available.

We went to a military post called Camp Apache, and asked for supplies. We were refused, as it would break orders from the government to let us have them. We applied to a Mr. Head, who kept a sutler's store, and made known our situation. He thought we ought to know better than to travel without money.

I prayed to the Lord to soften the heart of some one, that we might obtain food. I again went to Mr. Head, and told him that we were from Utah; that when we left home we did not expect to see any one to spend money with; that instead of money we took plenty of supplies, which we left in the mountains to use on our return trip, but we could not go the same way home on account of the snow, and if he would let us have enough food to last us home we would send him the pay.

"Oh," said he, "you are Mormons, are you! What do you want to last you home?"

He then let us have what we asked for.

Arriving at the crossing of the Colorado, south of St. George, we found that the flour and meat we had left there had been used, but we obtained some wheat which we boiled and lived on for five days, or until our arrival in St. George.

I gave President Young an account of my trip. I had considerable additional conversation with him, in which he said to me:

"I know your history. You have always kept the Church and Kingdom of God first and foremost in your mind. That is right. There is no greater gift than that. If there are any men who have cleared their skirts of the blood of this generation, I believe you are one of them, and you can have all the blessings there are for any men in the temple."

It was the last time I talked with President Young. He died the following August. The assurance that the Lord and His servant accepted my labors up to that time, has been a great comfort to me.

In the spring of 1877 I thought I would try to raise a crop. I found that the land had been so divided in the Kanab field, that what was considered my share was nearly worthless. I sowed some wheat, but it proved a failure.

Some time in August I gathered up a little grain, and started for the mill, about one mile and a half above Kanab, in the canyon. On the way I met an expressman, who had directions for me to start forthwith to the Navajo country, with Deputy-sheriff Fouts, of Richfield. A criminal had broken from jail, and it was believed that we could prevent his escape.

I took my horses from the wagon, agreed with another man to do my milling, and in a very short time was on my way for the crossing of the Colorado.

Here we first learned of the death of President Brigham Young.

We learned that the man we were in pursuit of had not crossed there. It was thought advisable to visit the Moqui agency, and make arrangements to secure his arrest should he appear in that part of the country. We traveled one hundred and fifty miles east, in the hot days of August.

In passing through the Moqui towns, we found the people making much ado to bring rain to save their crops. They scattered corn meal in the paths leading to their fields; the women dressed in white, and sat on the tops of their houses, looking to the ground through an opening in a blanket wrapped around their heads.

Others of the people went about with solemn countenances to induce the great Father of us all, as they express it, to send rain. By doing as they did, they believed He would be more ready to pity them and grant their request.

Several came to me and requested that I would pray for rain, asserting that I used to help the Piutes to bring rain, and they thought they were as much entitled to my prayers as the Piutes.

I felt to exercise all the faith I could for them, that they might not suffer from famine. In all their towns there fell, the following night, an abundance of rain.

Returning from the Moqui agency, we found the people of the towns feeling well. They said enough rain had fallen to insure them a crop of corn, squashes and beans. We noticed that in and around their towns and fields it had rained very heavily, but on either side the ground was dry and dusty.

On my return home, I found that the fall crop I had planted was too far gone with drouth to make anything but through the blessings of the Lord I was able to provide necessaries for my family.

This seems a fitting place to close this little narrative of incidents in my life.

In my simple way I have furnished the facts for the pen of Brother Little, with the hope that their publication may be a testimony to many of the truth of the gospel, and of the power of revelation to all who will seek for the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

I desire this narrative to be a testimony to all who may read it, that the Lord is not slack concerning any of His promises to His children. My whole life, since I embraced the gospel, proves this fact.

If this little book shall leave a testimony of this to the coming generation, I shall be satisfied.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Jacob Hamblin: A Narrative of His
Personal Experience, by James A. Little


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