|mail: Bill Thayer||
August 28, 1852. A special conference composed of the Authorities of the Church was held in Great Salt Lake City, at which time I was called to go on a mission to Australia. There was upwards of one hundred others called at the same conference to take missions to different parts of the earth — some to England, France, Germany, Prussia, Norway, Denmark, Africa, Hindoostan, Siam, China, West Indies, Sandwich Islands, Novaº Scotia and the British provinces and to different parts of North and South America. There were nine besides myself appointed to Australia.
At this conference many valuable instructions were given.
On the 29th the Revelation given to Joseph Smith in Nauvoo July 12, 1843 on the subject of the marriage covenant was for the first time read publicly to the saints and made public to the world.
On the 16th of October, 1852, that portion of the Elders whose mission required them to travel westward met in council and received our blessings, and entered into arrangements for starting. The following blessing I received under the hands of Jedediah M. Grant, Wilford Woodruff and Joseph Young:
"Brother William. We lay our hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus Christ, for thou art one of the anointed of the Lord. Thou hast received thy holy annointing in the holy Temple. We lay our hands upon your head and confirm all the blessings of the endowments with all the power that has heretofore been conferred upon you. We again seal upon your head and we ask our Heavenly Father that his Spirit may indite our hearts to pronounce upon you such blessings as your heart desires, and indeed, we say upon you that all your heart desires in righteousness before God, shall be given to you. The Lord will not turn you away for p43your heart is sincere before him and you have sought him in the days of your youth and have followed him in the regeneration. You have been quick to embrace the things of God when presented to you and your feet have run in the pathway of obedience agreeable to the council that has been given to you. Therefore the Lord will uphold you in the day of difficulty and danger and you shall have power over them wherever your lot may be cast, you shall prevail over the power of Satan, and the enemies who may seek your destruction, they will be bound. Thou are set apart even to south Australiaº in company with thy brethren who are destined to labour in the same land. You are to be the first counselor to Brother Farnham, who is appointed to be the President of that mission, to set in council with him in oneness of heart, to council and transact business pertaining to this mission in the light of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Lord shall rest upon you, and His Spirit shall guide your understanding. You shall proclaim the Gospel successfully to that people and no power shall turn you away nor thwart you in your purpose, inasmuch as you are intent in doing the will of the Father. We pray that the blessings of the Holy Spirit may rest upon you and abide with you, and we say unto you that they will. You have been faithful in years gone by — have been enlisted in the Battalion to defend the cause of truth, and save the people of God; thou wast valientº in that arduous expedition and indefatigable in thy labours and diligence in that mission. So shalt thou be in the present one. The blessings of God shall be with you in this, as his power was made manifest in that campaign. His Spirit shall guide your feet, and altho enemies shall try to destroy you, you shall triumph over them and be successful on your mission. You shall not experience concern, trouble, or anxiety about your kindred or friends, neither shall they for you. The Spirit shall manifest all things to you your heart desires, for it is present everywhere and it will report faithfully all things you desire to know. You shall have power over the works of darkness, over wild beasts and serpents, the elements shall have no power over you, but shall stand rebuked at your command and in your presence. Go forth with your brethren like a mighty herald of salvation proclaiming the Gospel with power. We seal upon you the blessing of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with all the blessings your heart desires and pray our Father in Heaven to be with you from this time henceforth, that the Spirit of this mission may begin to increase upon you from this hour, to feel the weight and responsibility thereof, and the blessings we pronounce upon you shall be felt from the crown of your head to the solesº of your feet, and shall not fall to the ground. Inasmuch as you continue faithful you shall accomplish your mission and return bringing your sheaves with you and rejoice in the midst of your family and in the bosom of the Church. All of which we seal upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Wednesday, the 20th of October, I took my leave of my family, having dedicated my all into the hands of God.
On Sunday, the 24th I reached Salt Creek, •one hundred miles from Salt Lake City. At this place the Elders for western mission collected together, in number 36. Held meeting Saturday night. Sunday in the forenoon James Brown preached and in the afternoon I was called upon to speak to the people. We had a good time as the Spirit of the Lord was with us. After meeting the Elders organized for their better convenience in traveling. Hosea Stout was unanimously chosen Captain, N. V. p44Jones Chaplain, and Amos Musser, Clerk of the Company.
On the 25th we left Salt Creek, and on Wednesday, the 27th, we reached Fillmore (•60 miles). Held meeting in the evening.
Left the 28th, and passing through the different beautiful valleys reached Parowan City November 1st. Distance •100 miles from Fillmore. Parowan is a beautiful situation in Little Salt Lake Valley. Brother G. A. Smith is its founder, and the blessings of Heaven are plainly manifest upon the labours of the people. The manner in which we were received at this place, as well as at Salt Creek and other places through which we had passed gave us much satisfaction. We tarried at this place 4 days, during which time we held several meetings, and as missionaries, we received much valuable instruction and good council from Brother G. A. Smith, one of the Twelve Apostles. On one occasion Brother Smith remarked that we never looked so good to him before, and that we would do a mighty work in the midst of the nations of the earth.
On the 5th, having laid in our horse feed and made the necessary arrangements for crossing the desert, we took our leave of our brethren in Parowan and traveled to Cole Creek, •18 miles. Held meeting in the evening and again on the 6th in the afternoon and evening and again on Sunday, the 7th in the forenoon and afternoon. In the evening the congregation was addressed by Brother G. A. Smith and we felt truly that the Lord was with us.
Monday, the 8th, at 1 o'clock p.m. we took our leave of the Saints at Cole Creek. At the time of parting many an encouraging word with a hearty God bless you, came from the lips of all. We traveled •9 miles and camped for the night.
Tuesday. Traveled •25 miles.
The 10th. At 12 o'clock stopped at a small spring near the rim of the bason.º After resting a short time we hitched up and went on over the rim and down a tolerable rugged mountain to the Santa Clara River.
The 11th. We continued descending all day. I felt to realize more forcibly than ever the saying of the Prophet "The mountain of the Lord's house should be established in the tops of the mountains." We truly had descended from the mountain tops. This night we camped at a spring •2 miles from the Santa Clara.
The 12th. We reached the Rio Virgin, a distance of •100 miles from Cole Creek.
The 13th we traveled down the River some 12 or 14 miles. Road sandy and heavy hauling.
Sunday, the 14th, held meeting. I spoke first, was followed by others. The Spirit of the Lord was with us and all seemed anxious to do a good work in the name of the Lord and to this end were desirous to sanctify themselves before him.
Monday night camped at the place where the road leaves the Rio Virgin. At this place 10 Indians camped with us. They gave up their arrows and laid peaceableº all night.
Tuesday morning left the River and ascended an exceeding steep and high bluffs. Had to put ropes ahead of the horses and some 15 or 20 men assist in hauling up each wagon. It was 12 o'clock before the last wagon reached the summit. We then had •20 miles to travel to get to water. Reached the Muddy one hour after dark.
p45 The 17th.º Traveled up the Muddy •5 miles, stopped and nooned, and took in water for the desert, then traveled, as near as we could calculate, •25 miles and camped at 10 o'clock p.m. Good grass but no water.
The 19th. Drove •4 miles to the head of the stream and laid by for the day. Elder Jones,º our Chaplain, was very sick and sorely racked with pain, and it seemed that the destroyer was determined that no power should stay his progress. Late in the afternoon 7 of us went a long distance from camp and after setting out our watch we offered up our prayers after the order of the Holy Priesthood in behalf of Brother Jones, and on returning to camp we found to our joy that Brother Jones had been fully restored to health by the power of God.
The 20th. Traveled •17 miles. Camped at Cottonwood Springs. Everything goes quietly along in camp. The time is mostly spent in conversing on interesting subjects which causes the hours and days to pass very pleasantly.
The 21st. Camped at Mountain Spring. Held meeting in the evening. It rained some during the night. Soon after daylight, it commenced snowing and we soon found ourselves in one of the most severe snowstorms I ever witnessed. We hitched up our teams and started down the mountain, and we soon came into a valley where we left the storm. Traveled •10 miles to Stump Springs, nooned and then drove •8 miles and camped.
The 23rd. Drove •14 miles to Resting Springs, stopped and nooned, then drove •7 miles to Saleratus Springs. At this place to our great joy we found encamped Brother Amasa Lyman, C. C. Rich, John Murdock, Brothers Gerard, Julian, Moses, and others on their way to Salt Lake, and also Father Shirwoods company on their way to San Bernardino.
The 24th. All hands laid by in the evening. Had preaching by Brothers Lyman and Rich. This has been an excellent day to me and one long to be had in remembrance. Brothers Gerard, Moses and Murdock are now on their return from long missions, Brother Murdock from Australia, Gerard and Moses from the Islands. Brother Gerard has been absent 9 years. On the morning of the 25th we separated, and having filled our kegs with water, we started onto the desert, and on the 27th reached the Mohave, a distance of •near 100 miles from Saleratus Springs, across a scorching desert.
Sunday, 28th. Had preaching in the morning. At 3 o'clock p.m. hitched up and drove •10 miles. Deep sand road.
29th. Drove •7 miles and camped. Good clover feed and good water. Had preaching at night.
The 30th. Drove •25 miles.
December 1st. Drove •10 miles. Came to the last crossing of the Mohave and camped. Had preaching at night by Brother Graham on the subject of Regeneration.
The 2nd. Left the Mohave and reached the Cahoon Pass at 3 o'clock. Distance •17 miles, at which place the San Bernardino Valley is in full view. Drove on over the mountain and down the canyon •8 miles. Camped 2 hours after dark.
The 3rd. Drove to the camp of the Saints in San Bernardino, distance •15 miles. This is one of the most beautiful valleys in California p46and the welcome with which we were received filled us with joy and gratitude to our Heavenly Father. To meet with warm hearted friends and be made welcome to firesides and luxuries of life, after having crossed a dreary desert of •over five hundred miles, fills the heart with tenderness and gratitude not easy to be described.
The 4th. Felt like resting.
Sunday, the 5th. The people assembled at 10 a.m. and were addressed by Elder James Brown, missionary to South America. At 2 p.m. were addressed by Hosea Stout, missionary to China. In the evening the Saints again assembled and by request of the President I spoke to the people, was followed by Elders B. F. Johnson and N. V. Jones.
Saturday, the 11th. The past week has been very agreeableº spent, most of the Elders have disposed of their horses, wagons and harnesses, etc. We have held several meetings and the Spirit of the Lord is being poured out upon the people.
Sunday, 12th. Held meeting both in the fore and afternoon. Some 40 were baptized, many of whom never had before been numbered with the Saints.
Thursday, the 16th. Held meeting in the evening, at which time Elder B. Frost and Bishop Crosby represented the situation of Elder John Hyde, which showed that he had no property to dispose of and no way of procuring means to defray his expences to San Francisco. The Bishop then called for a contribution and $75 was raised for his benefit.
Friday, the 17th. We took our leave of the Saints in San Bernardino. Some four or five of the brethren volunteered to take their teams and carry us to the coast, a distance of •90 miles.
Sunday, the 19th. At 1 o'clock we reached the City of Pueblo de Los Angelos.º Rained very hard all day. Put up at the Starr House.
The 20th. Drove •25 miles. Stopped at a Spanish house.
21st. It rained hard all day. Never saw it pour down more copiously,º but we were in comfortable quarters.
22nd. Moved to the coast •4 miles. Put up with a forwarding and commission merchant, Mr. Douglass, to wait for a vessel. Found Elder Adison Pratt at this place, on his return from a mission to the Islands.
Sunday, the 26th. Still at San Pedro, and all are very anxious to get away. The very atmosphere seems impregnated with evil, and our landlord seems anything else than a gentleman, and as I begin to see the increasing wickedness of mankind, both among males and females, and then consider that the present is only a commencement of what I must of necessity see, surely my soul must sicken and seek for solitude and rest. O virtue, whither hast thou fled? What is there in this world that is mean, low, or vile, that man will not condescendº to? Will the Lord accept the grateful acknowledgement of his humble servant, that his family is far separated from the vile corruptions of the present age, and will the Lord hasten the gathering of his elect that the wicked and all who will not forsake their ungodly deeds may be ready for the day of burning.
Thursday, the 30th. At 10 a.m. we set sail on board the brig "Fremont" for San Francisco, and on Saturday, January the 8th, we reached the city, having been 9 days to sea. We put up at the Montgomery House, where the most of us stopped until Tuesday, the 11th. We then hired a house with two rooms into which we took our trunks, etc. p47This house became our headquarters and all were to make every exertion possible to procure means for our journey. During the week some of the Elders went to Sacramento and others to different parts of the country. Brother Nathan Tanner and I went to San Jose, a distance of •35 miles, where there are some 30 Saints. Brother J. M. Horner is their presiding Elder and is a noble hearted man. We held meeting on Sunday, 16th. I spoke and had a very attentive congregation.
Thursday, the 20th. Held meeting at Brother Nails. Went to Brother Horners and stopped over night.
The 21st, I left Brother Tanner and in company with Brother Horner, took stage and went to Union City, •9 miles, thence on steamer to San Francisco. At 2 p.m. met with the Elders in San Francisco, and took into consideration the amount of means necessary to defray expenses to our different ports of destination.
|The Australia||Mission||reported||10||Elders||wanting||$125||each.||— 1250|
|The Calcutta||"||"||9||"||"||200||"||— 1800|
|For the Islands||9||"||"||1000|
|Amounting in all to||$6250|
This footing up was rather beyond my expectation, but when the amount was considered that each would have to pay for his passage, it could not well be less. Brother Horner remarked that when we had done all we could in different directions, all we had to do was to make out the amount wanting and present him with the bill. Brother T. S. Williams gave five hundred dollars, besides using much influence in our favour.
The 22nd. I returned to San Jose with Brother Horner.
Sunday, 23rd. Held meeting at 10 a.m. 13 baptized. At 2 p.m. held meeting in Brother Horner's school house. The brethren in this neighborhood donated seven hundred and fifty dollars. This, including the amount received by the brethren from different sources, with the $500 from T. S. Williams, amounted to near $2000.
24th. I returned to San Francisco, accompanied by Elder Tanner and J. M. Horner.
Tuesday, 25th. I received a check of J. M. H. of $2000. Went to the bank, accompanied by Elder Tanner, and drew the money. Before leaving the city, Brother N. Tanner and I procured the deguireotype likeness of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and Brigham Young, which we presented to J. M. and William Horner. William Horner did not belong to the Church, but he had been to the expense of one third the amount which we had received from his brother. This small token of esteem was thankfully received.
The 28th. The mission for Australia, having secured our passage, took our trunks on board the barque "Pacific". The fare for the ten was reduced to $1100, which left $150 for the other brethren.
February the 1st. The vessel hauled out into the stream.
Wednesday, 2nd. Set sail. The vessel had on board 140 passengers, mostly for the gold fields in Australia. The missionaries for Calcutta and Siam sailed 3 days in the advance of us, the Sandwich Island missionaries about the same time. Before leaving the coast I composed the following lines, which were intended as a parting song, and were sung before taking the parting hand with our brethren: p48
Come let us sing a song of praise
For God's protection o'er us
He's brought us safe o'er desert plains
And clear'd the way before us.
We've left our wives and friends most dear,
But this with us don't matter,
We've gone because the Lord we fear
Our homes we'll have hereafter.
The Saints oft poured upon our heads
Their favours without number,
To bless us they were always led,
How oft we'll them remember.
The Devil thought to hedge our way
And thwart us in our purpose
But when we all as one did pray
He was compelled to leave us.
So then we did our way pursue,
And closely stick together,
Our faith had made our hearts so true
That nothing could us sever.
How oft while we were on the way
We'd preach and pray, with singing,
And then upon the sand we'd lay
Till morning light returning.
Then we would up and bake our bread
As cheerfully as ever,
With nothing which has ever led
To hurt or mar each other.
But now we've reached the rolling deep
And soon we must be parted,
But we will all our stomachs keep
And keep ourselves true hearted.
We'll go to nations far and near
And gather up the many
Who the gospel truths will hear,
And labour for their penny.
On earth the God of Heaven's begun
A marvelous work and wonder,
The priests of Baal will howl and mourn
Because their craft's in danger.
But we will onward in our course
And ever will remember
That God who's called and sent us forth
And never will surrender.
We'll bring the sheep into the fold,
And safely hand them over,
"Unmarked and pure, as we were told"
And all be saved together.
p49 Wednesday, the 9th. (Feb.) We crossed the sun's northern line, or the tropic of cancer.º Weather pleasant and wind fair. We now have the trade winds in our favour. Up to the present have averaged •175 miles per day.
The 11th and 12th. Ran over •200 miles each day.
The 15th. Wind began to slacken.
On the morning of the 20th came very near running ashore on Christmas Island. I was awakened at about 3 a.m. by the taking in of sails, preparatory as was supposed, for a heavy gale, but by the time the sails were properly adjusted, our gale proved to be the bursting of waves on the coral reef, and it was with much exertion that the reefs were cleared. At 10 a.m. we reached the southern extremity of the Island, where we found a large and splendid whale ship smashed up on the coral reef. Her name was "Robert Pulcipher" from New Bedford. She had run ashore on the 15th. There were 32 souls on board. They were engaged in removing their oil, etc., onto the Island, and were intending to rig a small boat and go to a neighboring island for assistance. 10 of the crew took passage with us.
Monday, 21st of February, 1853. Crossed the Equator.
Saturday, 26th. Sun vertical.
The 28th. Came in sight of one of the Navigator Islands. Wind ahead. Were obliged to stand off.
March the 1st. At 10 a.m. cast anchor. Upoln is the name of the Island. The inhabitants number 25,000. There are several missionaries here besides traders. The natives are a very large and noble looking race of men. I spent the most of 2 days on the Island, had considerable conversation with a trader, who was a native of Massachusetts. He informed me that the time was when the natives could repose all confidence in each other, but since the whites had come among them, they had learned to practice all manner of wickedness and treachery.
Thursday, the 3rd. Rained very hard. The latitude of this Island is 14.9 south and west longitude 169.8.a
The 5th. We again put to sea. Had on board a good supply of fruit. Sailed round the east end of the island, breeze light.
The 8th. Was quite unwell, felt strong simptomsº of the smallpox (which disease was among the passengers), but I besought the Lord in the fervency of my spirit, and He heard my prayer and delivered me.
On the night of the 10th, I dreamed of preaching, and in my dream the Spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I bore record that I know that the work in which I was engaged was true by the voice of the spirit, and by the voice of Angels, which I had seen in vision. I also declared in my dream that I knew that I had been redeemed and that I should receive eternal life and be crowned with those who had overcome. And many more things I declared in my dream, and my joy was great because of the Spirit of the Lord which was upon me when I awoke, but the more part of the dream was taken from me. But this I can declare, The Lord loveth those who trust in him, and he will preserve them and will raise them up at the last day, for he has shown me this by his Spirit.
Wednesday, the 9th. But little wind. Lay all day in plain view of one of the friendly Islands.
Sunday, 13th. Crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. Wind light. Passengers getting impatient to reach their destined port.
p50 The 15th. The brethren were in a room by ourselves in council and the Spirit of the Lord was upon us. I spoke in the gift of tongues. In the interpretation it was said that inasmuch as we would be faithful to the charge given us, and patient in much tribulation, we should be instrumental in bringing many souls to a knowledge of the truth, and we should have power to overcome every obstacle and to establish the gospel upon the land to which we were sent, and to return home in honor.
19th. Sailed alongside Norfolk Island.
Sunday, the 20th. Five months from the day I left home. The brethren again assembled in their room for council. Had prayer by Brother Frost. Each brother spoke his feelings, after which Brother J. Hyde was administered to as he was afflicted with the canker.º
21st. One of the passengers caught a shark that measured 8 feet. Had some of him served up for dinner, but the look of the animal was quite satisfactory to me without partaking at the table.
22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Breeze light.
26th. Breeze good.
27th. At 12 o'clock •390 miles from Sidney.
28th. Breeze light. All well on board, with the exception of Brother J. Hyde, whose health is on the decline.
Tuesday, the 29th. At 2 p.m. coast of Australia seen from the masthead thru points of the weather bow.
Wednesday, the 30th. At 2 p.m. by the ships time, and Thursday, 31st, at 2 p.m. by Sidney time,b we reached the mouth of the harbour, •7 miles from Sidney, at which place we were met by a pilot who ordered the vessel to cast anchor, as he had been informed that the smallpox had been among the passengers some 4 or 5 weeks previous. At a quarter before 5 p.m. were visited by a health officer who ordered the vessel into quarantine. Accordingly we weighed anchor and sailed to the quarantine ground, which is a beautiful little harbour •about 2 miles to westward.
April 1st. The board of health visited us from Sidney.
Sunday, the 3rd. I had the privilege of preaching the Gospel to the passengers on the quarter-deck. Good attention was paid, and in speaking I had good liberty and was enabled to bear a faithful testimony. Elder Wandall came alongside the vessel but was not permitted to come on board. From him we learned that several had already obeyed the Gospel in Sidney and that he was then ready to sail, in company with 30 Saints for California.
The 4th. The vessel was cleared of its passengers and fumigated. The mattresses, bedding, etc., was taken on shore and burnt.
April 6th. This day we had the privilege of forwarding letters to our families, in charge of Brother Wandall.
April 7th. This day, 19 years ago, I was baptized by Elder John Murdock and confirmed by Orson Pratt. But today I am laying in quarantine on board the barque "Pacific" in Port Jackson, and the captain has just received word that we shall have to lay here until the 9th.
Accordingly, on Saturday, the 9th, we weighed anchor and at 4 p.m. reached Sidney, where our hearts were made glad by a warm reception from the few saints that were to be found in the city.
Sunday, 10th. At 11 a.m. met with the Saints in Sydney,c in a large and commodious hall. President Farnham made a few opening remarks and by request I followed with a discourse. Spoke 1 hour. At 3 p.m. I gave a discourse on the subject of the fullness of time, and p51as many reports had reached Sydney ahead of us, I laboured to show to the Saints that in the dispensation spoken of by Peter in the 3rd of Acts, God would restore the rights, keys and honors of all dispensations from the beginning down to the present time. Spoke upon the Patriarchal order, and the sealing powers of the Priesthood for time and for all eternity, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me and upon the people. This day Brother Farnham and I took dinner with Captain Stainer and lady on board of a large and beautiful ship, of which he has the command. Captain Stainer and Lady belong to the Church, joined in London, for which place they expect to sail in a few days. Sunday night held meeting again. The brethren all spoke who had not previously spoken except Elder John Hyde, who has the canker in the mouth so severely that he did not think it wisdom for him to speak.
The 11th. The brethren of the mission met in council. After prayers, President Farnham made a few remarks relative to the course for us to pursue in Australia, touching upon our separation, etc., after which he stated that it was his desire that Elder J. W. Flemingº become his 2nd counselor, Elder Farnham and myself having been set apart in Salt Lake City. Accordingly Brother Flemming was set apart and blessed by Elder Farnham and myself. In the evening met with the Saints.
Tuesday the Elders met in council.
Thursday night met with the Saints.
Sunday, the 17th. At 11 a.m. we again met with the Saints in a hall which they have rented for public worship. Attended to some business relative to the presidency of the Branch, after which I addressed the assembly. Also at 3 p.m. I addressed the people. There were several strangers present, and the Lord gave us much of his spirit. In the evening Brothers Flemming and Graham addressed the meeting.
Monday, the 18th. At 9 p.m. I left Sydney on board a steamship for Hunters River, a distance of •150 miles or upwards. Reached the mouth of the River, or the city of New Castle at sunrise, Tuesday morning, and at 10 a.m. reached the village of Morpeth, 35 milesº up the River. Stopped at the house of Brother Edmund Harris. Brother Harris and wife belong to the Church, joined in England. In the evening I met with Brother McCarthy, a young man who was baptized and ordained by Brother Wandall, and is for the present to join with me in the ministry. Brother McCarthy and myself took a walk. Went to the village of Maitland, distance •4 miles, and back to the house of Brother Harris. Found Brother McCarthy desirous to do all in his power to spread the Gospel.
Wednesday night I preached in Morpeth.
Thursday I went, in company with Brother McCarthy, to Williams River, distance •10 miles, mostly through a heavy timbered country. Australia appears to be quite a mountaineousº country. Cattle and sheep, before the discovery of the gold mines, were the principal riches of the portion of the country known as New South Wales. The valleys are very productive, much wheat and corn is grown, also a kind of grass called lucern, which yields 3 crops a year. This grass has somewhat the appearance of the red clover in the United States. Good drinking water is very scarce, the fresh water for family use is principally taken from lagoons or pools of standing water caused by the heavy rains. The climate in the Northern part of Australia is excessively hot in December, January and February, which are the summer months and in the winter there is seldom any frost. The people are now harvesting p52their corn and sowing their fall wheat. There are at the present time on the Williams River, some 12 or 15 that belong to the Church.
April 22nd. I preached at the house of Brother Samuel Bryant, and the Lord blessed me with great liberty in speaking.
The 23rd. I returned to Morpeth to fill an appointment.
Sunday, 24th. Preached, and on Monday, baptized one man.
Tuesday returned to Williams River and preached in the evening to a crowded house.
Thursday night Brother McCarthy spoke to the people.
Friday. Walked •5 miles to visit a gentleman by the name of King, by special invitation. Found Doctor Scott present, who is a very worthy Scotch gentleman. The Doctor informed me that he had read our books and that he declared himself a Mormon wherever he went. Said our books had opened his eyes. On my arrival I found the two gentlemanº in conversation on the subject of our religion. Found a good feeling in the house. Mrs. King has the appearance of a very amiable and worthy lady. I took tea with them and spent much time in giving them a knowledge of our principles and of Salt Lake Valley, etc. Left Orson Pratt's work for them to peruse and returned to Brother Stapleys.
Sunday, May 1st. Held meeting at 11 a.m. Blessed 4 children. At 3 preached again. Had a good congregation. There were several present who had never before attended and a good feeling prevailed.
Monday, Brother McCarthy and I went •4 miles and preached in the evening.
The 4th. Went to Allen River, distance •20 miles. Held meeting in the evening.
On the 5th held meeting in the afternoon and evening and again on the 6th in the afternoon and evening.
Saturday, the 7th. I left Brother McCarthy to fill an appointment.
On Sunday I returned to Williams River. Saturday night I baptized Richard Allen and his wife Esther. Sunday, 8th, I preached at Brother Bryant's at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. and administered the Sacrament. Had a comfortable day.
The 10th. I walked to Morpeth •10 miles.
The 11th. Went to Maitland, engaged the printing of some hand bills, and returned to Morpeth.
The 12th. Preached in the evening. Had a good congregation.
The 14th. I returned to Williams River.
Sunday, 15th. Preached twice and baptized 4.
The 16th. I went •4 miles to visit a gentleman by the name of Rawling. He and lady both believe the Gospel. Before leaving Mr. Rawling gave me fifteen dollars with which he wished me to get a new coat, as he had discovered that mine was getting somewhat the worse for wear.
The 17th. Went in company with Brother McCarthy to Brother Allen's and blessed some children. Preached in the evening.
The 18th. Preached at Brother Bryant's. Had a good time.
The 21st. Walked •4 miles and preached in the evening.
Sunday, the 22nd. Walked to Morpeth. Preached at 3 p.m. and again at 7. Between the meetings I baptised two. After the evening meeting I walked to Maitland, at which place I stopped Monday and Tuesday. Wrote two letters to President Farnham, in which I endorsed eight pounds English money which I had obtained for the purpose of obtaining books, as we were desirous to send to Liverpool for a supply.
p53 Wednesday morning returned to Morpeth. Mailed 4 letters for Salt Lake, after which I walked to Williams River, and at 2 p.m. started for Clarance Townd in a skiff in company with Brother McCarthy and six others, distance up the river •15 miles. It rained very hard while we were on the way and the tide was also against us. Reached the village at half past 6 with our clothes as wet as they well could be. At 7 commenced meeting in the parlour of a public house. The room was well filled and good attention paid, and the Lord gave me his spirit. This was the first discourse ever delivered by a Latter-day Saint in this place, and I felt that the Lord had a people here. I gave out an appointment for preaching on the following Wednesday evening, at 10 p.m. started with the brethren in the skiff on our return. Reached the house of a Brother at 3 o'clock Thursday morning. After eating a bite, I went to bed and slept till I had my nap out.
The 29th. Preached twice.
30th. Walked •6 miles.
The 31st. Brother McCarthy returned from Allen River, having been absent about one week, and baptized three.
Wednesday, June 1st. I went the 2nd time to Clarance Town. Filled my appointment out in the evening. Had a good congregation and good attention. Returned same night to Brother Parkinson's, •15 miles.
The 2nd. Brother McCarthy started on a journey north, of •125 miles.
The 3rd. I held meeting at Mr. Rawlings. Had a full house.
Sunday, 5th. Preached twice. Sunday evening I spent very agreeably at the Stapley's conversing on different subjects pertaining to the work of the Lord in the last day.
The 6th and 7th I spent in reading and writing and in strengthening the Saints.
The 8th. I went the 3rd time to Clarance Town. Preached in the evening in a house belonging to Mr. Penfold. Stopped over night at the same house. In the morning I found that there was a portion of the family, besides others in the neighbourhood that had become so interested in the Gospel which they had heard that sleep had departed from them.
The 10th. Preached in the evening at Mr. Rawlings.
The 12th. Preached at Brother Bryant's. After meeting went to Brother Stapley's. Rained very hard.
Monday and Tuesday rainy and muddy.
Friday, the 16th. Preached at Brother Allen's.
Sunday, 19th. Preached twice in the afternoon. Brother Charles Stapley was ordained an Elder and appointed to watch over the Saints on the Williams River.
The 20th and 21st. Spent mostly in writing. Wrote a letter to S. W. Richards, editor of the Star at Liverpool, England. The remainder of the week I went from place to place conversing with the people.
Sunday, 26th. Preached at Brother Bryants. At 11 a.m. the weather was rainy and disagreeable. Spent the afternoon and evening at Brother Parkinson's. There were several present and we had an interesting time.
Tuesday, 28th. Went up the River in a skiff to Mr. Rawling's and baptized Mrs. Hannah Rawling. After baptism returned to Brother Bryant's and met with the Saints agreeable to appointment, and after addressing the Saints for one hour, I proceeded to organize a branch, to p54be known as the Williams River Branch. Brother Charles Stapley, sen., who had been previously ordained, was unanimously chosen to preside. Brother Richard Allen was ordained a Priest and Thomas Parkinson a Teacher. Brother McCarthy was present and made a few remarks appropriate to the occasion, and was followed by Brother Harris from Morpeth who bore a faithful testimony to the truth of the work.
Thursdayº started for Sydney to attend quarterly conference. Went to Raymond Terrace in a skiff, distance •5 miles. This place is situated at the mouth of the Williams River on the Hunters River. On reaching the mouth of the River I found that there would be no boat going to Sydney before Friday. Consequently I returned to Brother Bryants.
Friday, July 1st. I left Raymond Terrace on board the steamer "Rose" at 10 a.m. and reached Sydney at 2 in the night. Took lodging in a steamboat hotel. Slept until 7 a.m. Felt myself pretty much used up, as the weather and sea was boisterous and I was exposed. After breakfast I went, in company with Brother McCarthy, to Brother Robbs on George Street, where we found Brothers Farnham and Flemming. The meeting was truly a happy one, and reminded me of the meeting of the sons of Mosiah after they had been separated for a time on the Lord's errand. Went to visit Brother John Hyde. Found him very low, and to all appearance, past recovery, but still firm in the faith and anxious to depart and be with Christ. His integrity and nobility of soul in his present situation is a great comfort to the Saints, and an astonishment to the wicked. They do not know what to make of his bearing so faithful a testimony to the truth, and withall, so reconciled and even anxious, if it is the will of his Father, to depart and finish his work the other side of the Veil. May the Lord bless Brother Hyde.
Sunday, July 3. It being the time for our quarterly conference, the Saints met in their hall. The meeting was opened by the usual ceremony, after which the Elders proceeded to represent their respective fields of labor. I represented the Williams River district, numbering 45 Saints in good standing, having increased 20 since the conference, with flattering prospects, after which I addressed the conference. In the afternoon the conference was addressed by Brothers McCarthy, Flemming and Jones. In the evening I was again called upon to address the assembly. Spoke upon the subject of the Dispensation of the fullness of times, and in labouring to show the blessings and privileges that would be granted to the Saints during that dispensation. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I was enabled with boldness, and in plainness, to show that it would again be the happy lot of the Saints to enjoy all the blessingº and privileges ever guaranteed to any man through the Priesthood since the world was, and more especially included the promise of God to Abraham of an Eternal increase, etc., which promise was ours inasmuch as we were of Abraham, etc. The subject to which I here alluded was somewhat new to the Saints in Australia, but it was hailed with gladness by the majority.
Monday, July 4. I was in council with the Elders. Had a good time.
Tuesday, July 5, and Wednesday, July 6, was spent in council with the Elders and in singing and testimony meeting with the Saints, during which time we enjoyed much of the rich blessing of the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, July 7. Again started for my field of labor. Reached Brother Stapley's on Williams River Friday. Found the Saints in good p55spirits. Brother Stapley had held the meetings during my absence and has been greatly blessed.
Sunday, July 10. I held two meetings, and in the evening I went •3 miles, in company with some of the brethren, to the house of Brother Warby to visit a sick child which from all appearance had but a few moments more to live, but through the annointing with oil, and the laying on of hands, the child was healed by the power of God.
Monday and Tuesday were very wet and rainy.
Wednesday, July 13. Went to Allen River and preached in the evening.
Thursday preached again.
The 16th. Held meeting and baptized Mrs. Sarah Ann Knight.
Sunday. Held meeting again and on Monday the 18th, Mr. Richard Merchant, George Knight and Jane Smith were baptized. After baptism and suitable instructions, I administered the Sacrament.
Tuesday. Rode to the Williams River.
Thursday night preached at Brother Stapley's.
23rd. Rode to Clarance Town. Found the people anxious to see me. Preached in the evening, and on the following day held two meetings.
25th. Rode to Brother Stapley's.
26th. I was badly afflicted with a cold.
The 27th. I received a letter from Elder Farnham, in which I was informed that he anticipated publishing a semi-monthly paper at Sydney, to be called the "Zion's Watchman."
Sunday, the 31st. I held 2 meetings, and was greatly blessed of the Lord. Felt truly that He was acknowledging my labours and that He was labouring with me, for which I feel to praise His holy name, and may His holy spirit abide with me and increase until I shall be able to accomplish much good in the name of the Lord.
Monday, August 1st. I wrote a letter to Elder Farnham, in which I enclosed a one pound note for his special benefit.
The 2nd. I wrote to Elder Frost, who was labouring in Melbourn. In the afternoon I crossed the Williams River to visit some of the families on the plantation of Doctor Scott.
Thursday. I attended a fast meeting which I had previously appointed at the house of Brother Bryant. I spoke to some length, giving such instructions as were dictated to me by the holy spirit, after which the brethren spoke round, and we had a very interesting time.
Sunday, the 7th. Preached twice at Brother Bryant's. Had a full house and the Lord gave me a great liberty in speaking. The following week I spent most of the time visiting from house to house, and in preaching the word to the people in their own houses.
Saturday, 13th. Walked to Clarance Town and preached in the evening.
The 14th. Held two meetings.
Monday, the 15th. Baptized and confirmed 8 persons, and preached in the evening.
The 17th. Preached again, and on the 18th rode to the Allen River and held meeting in the evening.
The 19th and 20th. Visited from house to house preaching to the people.
Sunday the 21st. Preached to an attentive congregation. While at this place I was sent for to visit a married lady at the house of Sister p56McIntyre, who was possessed of an evil spirit. I had Brothers Bucknell and Penfold in company with me. We found the woman in a deplorable condition. She was considered a respectable lady, but the evil spirit had taken possession of her and had led her to the mountains and to the most rugged places in the rocks, and had sought to destroy her, but by the prayer of faith, and by the laying on of hands in the name of the Lord Jesus, the evil spirit was rebuked and the woman instantly restored to her former mind, for which all the Saints felt to glorify the name of the Lord.
The 22nd. I returned to Clarance Town.
On the night of the 24th, I preached to a large congregation. There was a Presbyterian Priest present who had been visiting the Saints during the day, and had laboured hard to dissuade them from their course. I spoke for about two hours upon the subject of the Gospel, the renewal of the covenant in the last days, etc., after which I remarked to the assembly that there was a gentleman present with whom they were acquainted, professing to be a minister of the gospel, who had stated that the doctrine which I had taught the people was of the Devil, and that I was an impostor, and that inasmuch as this was the case, there was then an opportunity for him to make honourable his position and that in all probability he would be the better prepared to do so as he had that night had the privilege of hearing for himself. But the reverend gentleman concluded to keep his seat. He appeared very uneasy while in my presence, and as soon as the meeting was closed, he made haste to get to some place where he might find a more congenial spirit. He remarked in speaking of me as he was passing through the front yard, that I had read my Bible. This I considered quite an admission, altho he was like hundreds of others in his profession, too dishonest to admit the truth in the presence of the people. I will here state that not at any time have any of the Elders on the Australian mission had the privilege of meeting a sectarian Priest face to face in the presence of the people unless it was accidental, as was the case above referred to, but they are continually on our track, labouring with all the power they have by the circulation of lies and misrepresentations to stop the spread of truth. But God is with his servants, and the few that are honest in heart will hear and embrace the truth.
Sunday, the 28th. Held two meetings at Clarance Town.
Monday, 29th. Walked •12 miles to Brother Stapley's.
September 2nd. Returned by stage and steamer to Raymond Terrace, where to my great joy I found two letters from my family, also one from the mission to the Sandwich Islands and one from Calcutta, all of which brought cheering news.
Sunday, the 4th. I preached twice at the house of Brother Bryant on Williams River. During the intermission I read one of the letters from my family to as many as wished to hear, in which the cheering news was brought to the Elders and Saints in Australia, that the corner stone had been laid for a Temple in Great Salt Lake City.
The 5th and 6th I spent the most of the time writing.
On the night of the 7th preached in Clarance Town.
p57 The 9th. Rode on horseback to Maitland, •20 miles, obtained the suit of clothes before reffered to. Cost 6 lb., 8 S.
The 10th. Rode to Williams River, distance •18 miles. Crossed the river and walked •two miles to the house of Franklin Rawlings, walked half a mile to the water with Brother Rawling, and baptized and confirmed him, after which I walked two miles to Brother Stapley's.
Sunday, the 11th was my birthday. Held two meetings in the day time, and the evening was very agreeably spent in company with a house full of Saints.
The 14th. Went to Clarance Town and preached in the evening.
The 18th. Held two meetings at Brother Bryants. On the night of the 19th heard a Presbyterian Priest read a collection of bare-faced lies to a crowded house. I asked the privilege of replying, but he would not grant it. Consequently, I gave notice that I would follow him the next night, and invited the Reverend D. D. to attend with a promise that he should have full liberty of speech, but he thought best to stay away. I had a full house, and good liberty, and the meeting had a good result.
The 21st. I went to the Allen River and preached at 3 o'clock.
23rd. Returned to Williams River.
The 25th. Held two meetings. Was afflicted with a pain in my breast, a complaint with which I have been more or less troubled for some years, but of late it appears to be increasing upon me. But will the Lord grant that I may overcome, for I desire to live that I may yet do much good. Therefore, O Lord, wilt Thou heal thy servant that he may yet have power to bring many to a knowledge of the truth. O Lord, thou hast heretofore strengthened thy servant, and when he has been upon beds of sickness Thou hast raised him up and wilt Thou hear him at this time and strengthen him, for he asketh it in the name of Jesus.
Friday, the 30th. Started for Sydney. Reached the city 2 o'clock on the morning of the 1st.
October the 2nd. Conference opened at 11 o'clock a.m. I addressed the meeting in the forenoon, and Brother Flemming in the afternoon. In the evening the meeting was addressed by Elder Graham.
Wednesday, the 5th. At 10 o'clock p.m. I again took steamer for Williams River, having had my spirits greatly refreshed by my pleasant interview with my brethren of the mission.
Thursday, the 6th. Preached at Brother Bryant's, and on Sunday, the 9th, held 2 meetings at the same place. There were those present that had come •18 miles to hear me. We had a good day.
The 12th. I went to Clarance Town. Preached in the evening.
The 13th and 14th it rained very hard so that I could not move out.
The 15th. I went to Allen River.
The 16th. Held 2 meetings.
The 17th. Baptized Mrs. Catharine McIntyre and blessed 6 children.
The 19th. Returned to Clarance Town and preached in the evening.
The 23rd. I held two meetings at Brother Bryant's on Williams River.
Sunday, the 30th. The past week the rain has fallen in torrents and the whole country is flooded and much damage is being done, especially to corn, as the people have just finished planting. Wheat is just heading out. Held 2 meetings today at Brother Bryant's.
p58 November 1st. I went to New Castle,º situated at the mouth of the Hunters River, distance •22 miles, where I found some 14 Saints just arrived from Wales, and on hearing that I was in the country, had sent for me. They were coliersº by trade, and had sailed •some eighteen thousand miles, to make, as they said, a fit out for Zion. I found them in a very unhappy condition. I gave them such council as I thought their situation required and after faithfully preaching to them, I took my leave of them and returned by steamer to Williams River, and soon after, I addressed the following letter to S. W. Richards, Editor, Millennial Star at Liverpool, which afterwards appeared in print:
New South Wales, November, 1853
Dear Brother Richards:
Thinking that a word from me might not be amiss, at least, if fitly spoken, I have concluded to address you, as you have, without doubt, received the general news from the Australian mission through our beloved Brother Farnham, who is President of the Mission. I shall content myself with a cursory sketch of a few things which have come under my own observation. Soon after our landing in Sydney, we assembled ourselves in a suitable room, whenº in secret, we offered our payers, and our thanks to God for the many special manifestations of His goodness to us since the time of our starting upon our journey, and also dedicated to him our services while we should remain upon this land. After a suitable time was spent in council assembled, each Elders field of labor was assigned him, and after blessing each other, somewhat after the same order of the sons of Mosiah, we separated, each for his respective portion of the colony, being full of good desires, and fully determined to use all diligence and perseverence to bring the people to a knowledge of the truth, and also, as far as a true and faithful testimony would have a bearing, to leave them without an excuse at that great day which is fast approaching. I am at present situated north of Sydney, between 32 and 34° South latitude, and 151 and 153° West longitude. Since my arrival here there has been 50 added to the Church, and the work is moving steadily along. Relative to the opposition with which we have to meet, or the prejudices of the people, you can form a more correct idea by a reference to your own experience than I have language to portray, or if you should wish a just view of the present policy of the mass of the people, or to what quarter their minds are concentrated, just let your minds eye pass over the length and bredthº of California, and you not be far astray. Still the Lord has a people upon this land, and altho the devil shew them all the treasures of the earth at a glance,1 it matters not. They will receive the truth when it is presented, and manifest by their works that they esteem the reproaches of Christ greater riches than all the riches of this world, if so be they may be worthy to obtain the excellence of the riches of Eternal life. I will now come to another subject, which is more especially the object of my penning these lines. Some 5 or 6 days ago I was informed that a small company of Saints had just landed in the village of New Castle, from Wales, in number 14, all told, and that their object in coming there was to get a fitout for Salt Lake. On learning that they wished to see him, and as that place came under the survey of my watch tower, I concluded to make them a call. The most of them appeared glad to see me, and I was glad to meet with them seeing p59they were here, but could I have seen them comfortably situated in the midst of the Saints in Zion it would have been much more satisfying, but in all probability, as the case now stands, it will be some weeks before I shall have that privilege. I found them pretty tolerably well slimed over, and just about ready to be swallowed up and forgotten. They had lost the Spirit of God, and no wonder! They had no confidence in themselves, and as a matter of course, had none in each other. I called them together, or such of them as chose to come out, and by the Spirit of which I was in possession, was enabled to produce within their bosoms a few censations which may prove beneficial to some of them. After giving them a history of their own course, which they were heard to say I had done more accurately than they could have done themselves, I informed them that as many of them as felt desirous to renew their covenants before the Lord, and after they had renewed them, keep them, and were willing to go down with me into the water and be baptized for the remission of their sins, could be numbered with the Saints in Australia.
If the heads of families among the Saints in Wales desire to see their sons and daughters take the shortest cut to Hell, let them bring them to Australia and then, in all probability, they can have the consolation in the end, of finding themselves, safely landed in the same warm climate, as a reward for pursuing so unwise a course. We feel much encouraged in this colony by the receipt of the excellent supply of books which you were so kind to forward us, and hope that so far as there are responsibilities, or requirements at our hands, we may not be found wanting.
We meet in conference in Sydney every three months, and of a truth the Lord has met with us, and His Allmighty Arm is extended in our behalf all the day long.
Please present my kind regards to all the brethren from the Valley, and to all whose interests are identified with the cause of God. I remain, affectionately,
Your Brother in the cause of truth,
During the remainder of the present month,2 I continued my labours as usual and the blessing of God was upon me. The weather was now becoming excessively hot, and my bodily strength became very much reduced, but I was strengthened while addressing the people in a marvelous manner, for which, as well as for all blessings conferred upon me, I felt to glorify God and to humble myself mightily in His presence, and in the strength of His spirit, I was enabled to walk forth among the people, declaring the words of life, and oft would I bow before God in behalf of the people. But alas, their hearts are hardened and the Devil holds them in his grasp. True it is that straight is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life and few there be that find it, but broad is the road that leads to death and many walk therein.
During the above named months there were two branches organized, one at Clarance Town and one at New Castle, and some nine or ten were baptized. Elder Farnham visited me during the time and spent near 2 weeks with me.
January 1st, 1854. I was again in Sydney at conference, at which time and place it was voted by the conference that a company of Saints should start for Zion as soon as arrangements could be made, and that I p60should have the charge, etc. Had a good time during conference, but the business matters, etc., were rather too much for the health of my body.
On the 6th I took steamer, in company with Elder Farnham, and went up the river to Paramatta, thence into the country some •30 miles from Sydney. Held two meetings, and on the 10th returned by stage to Sydney.
12th and 13th. Elder Farnham and myself were trying to procure a vessel, found passage high.
Saturday, the 14th. Started for Williams River, and on Sunday, the 15th, at 10:30 a.m. preached at Brother Bryant's. During the ensuing week my health was very poor, and on Saturday, the 21st, was so feeble that I could not set up without fainting. It appeared that my excessive labours, coupled with the extreme heat of the season had taken my entire strength from me.
The 22nd was very low. Was at the house of Brother Stapley, and may the Lord forever bless Brother and Sister Stapley for their great kindness towards me. In the evening Brother Howel and lady from New Castle came to see me. Brother Howel laid his hands on my head and blessed me in the name of the Lord, and the Lord heard his prayer and strengthened me.
The 24th. Sent a letter for Elder Farnham, and at 10 o'clock a.m. the 25th he was by my side. I was mending, but my lungs were so weak that a very little exertion in trying to converse would overcome me.
The 26th. Elder Farnham left for Clarance Town and the Allen River.
The 29th I wrote the following letter, addressed to President Farnham, intended for the Saints and inhabitants of Australia, which was published in the Zion's Watchman:3
Beloved President Farnham:
As I have been appointed to the charge of the present emigrating company, and as the time for our departure grows nigh, and my voice will soon cease to be heard in this colony bearing record to the truth of the great work of the last days, I have concluded, in case it meet with your approbation, to leave a few lines in the columns of your faithful "Watchman," hoping they may be of some little worth to the Saints who may remain upon this land, and also to many who have not yet known the truth. To the Saints I would say, beloved brethren and sisters, the Gospel which you have embraced, and in which you are now rejoicing, is that which if rightly understood, and your lives are ordered according to its requirements, will save and exalt you eternalyº in the heavens with the prophets and patriarchs of old, and also with those who have lived and are still living on the earth in your day. This you believe or you would not have embraced it; you have also learned that it is necessary for all Saints to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The great work of the "dispensation of the fulness of times" is not to be trifled with, it requires on our part a work of no small moment. The poor and the meek are to hear the gospel, and be gathered from the four quarters of the earth. Zion is to be built up and made beautiful. Temples are to be reared, and all things made ready for the coming of our Lord, for "When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory." We have many ordinances to attend to which pertain to our own salvation and also to the salvation of our dead, which we cannot attend to in our scattered condition. p61The God of our fathers has sought from the beginning to have his people by themselves, separated from the wicked and by sacrifice He will have them, as the scriptures abundantly testify. And as Saints of the most high, and as individuals, let us search our own hearts, and see that all is right within our own breasts. Let us consider that the Gospel which we have embraced is a living principle, and having considered this, let us ask ourselves if we are living in strict conformity to that council which is given to us from time to time; or are we giving strict heed to the council whom God in his wisdom has appointed to watch over and advise us. Again is all right within our own dwellings — is all peace and quietness between husbands and wives, and between parents and children. Have our persons, our houses and our all been dedicated to the Lord; are we strict to remember our prayers, both morning and evening; or as Saints, as branches, or as a people upon this land, are we strictly united among ourselves; are there no divisions, no strife, no evil speaking, nor contentions amongst us; do we continually uphold by obedience those placed over us whose instructions have made our hearts to rejoice, if so, brethren, you are a blessed people; and by thus continuing, you will be blessed when you lay down and when you rise up, when you go out and when you come in, yes, all things will prosper in your hands, and no good will be withheld from you; and altho the wicked may wrest from you for a time you will have restored to you again four fold; and brethren and Saints, as you esteem me your friend,º and as you love this cause, let me exortº you to continue by your united faith, and by every reasonable exertion, and every faculty of your souls, to sustain and uphold the man who has the watch care over you. I refer to our beloved President Farnham; you have beheld with me his untiring zeal for the cause of truth, and have witnessed his ceaseless exertions to build up and make honorable the cause of God upon this land. Brethren, nerve yourself up to the work, and assist all in your power to bear the burden, and God will bless you. Inasmuch as you sustain that man, you sustain and honor those who have sent him, and you also honor that God who has ordained that man, being clothed upon with the authority of the Holy Priesthood, shall labour for the salvation of his fellow man here upon this earth. Brethren, I write not thus because you have not been properly instructed in these things, but rather, if possible, that I may stimulate you to a renewal of your exertion to assist in rolling forth the great work which has commenced and is taking deep root upon this land. The Saints in Australia have constantly set before them almost every inducement to sin; but, brethren shun the evil as you would the fire, as you regard the salvation of your souls touch not, taste not, handle not that which will bring remorse or cause the Spirit of God to withdraw, but be certain that you keep His Spirit in your bosoms, that you may become mighty in the work of the Lord. To those from whom the hand of fellowship has been withdrawn, I would say forsake your sins without delay, and return and do your first work, renew your covenants before the Lord, and when you have renewed them, keep them.
To those who have not as yet received the Gospel, into whose hands this may chance to fall, allow me the privilege of saying to you the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints are not your common enemies, as you may perchance have supposed; we have not left our peaceful homes to travel to the remotest parts of the earth, and p62face the frowns and calumny of a wicked, unbelieving world, out of any other than the purest of motives. No, kind sirs, God has sent us to you with a message of eternal truth and altho you, together with all your neighbours, close your doors against us, the message will be nevertheless true and binding upon you. That being who once came to this earth and offered up his life to redeem man from the effects of the fall, and opened up a way by which he may be brought back into the presence of his creator, has ordained and decreed that you and I shall obey His word, in order that we may be redeemed from our actual transgressions, and have claim to a part in the first resurrection, or a right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gate into the city, to dwell eternally with the Saints, or Church of the first born. The things necessary to be complied with on our part are, 1st., that we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the fruits of a correct faith being obedience: 2nd, that we repent of and forsake our sins: 3rd, that we be baptized, that is buried in the water by someone having authority from God for the remission of our sins, and 4th, receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. See Luke 24, 47; Acts 2, 38; John 3, 5; Mark 16, 16,20; see also Acts 8, 17 to 19, 6; Hebrews 6, 2; Gal. 1, 8. And I now, to close these few lines, bear my testimony to all into whose hands this may come, that God the Eternal Father has set to his hand for the last time to prune the earth, and that He has revealed a message of His will to man, even the fulness of the everlasting Gospel, by the administration of an Holy Angel; which gospel is for a witness upon all people, that the end, or the hour of God's judgement is at hand. See Rev., 14 Chapter, 7 verse. And all men, without one exception, are called upon to repent of all their former transgressions and dead forms, and obey the Gospel, and flee out from the midst of the wicked, as the Prophet has said, "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." And I now bid you farewell, hoping that you will be wise, and search the scriptures with a prayerful heart, and seek upon the Lord with uprightness of soul, which if you will do, with a fixed determination to do His will when you have learned it, you shall know that the record which I have borne is true.
With sentiments of esteem and kind regard,
Permit me to subscribe myself,
Your ever faithful friend and
in the cause of truth,
(signed) William Hyde.
The following appeared in the same paper:4
The time is close at hand when another company of Saints will leave this land, in the fine new barque "Julia Ann", Captain Davis. Mr. Pond of California, owner of the vessel, will accompany them. They will sail from New Castle, bound for San Pedro. The company is under the charge of Elder William Hyde, who during the past year has laboured faithfully, diligently, and perseveringly in the Hunters River district. His labours have been blessed, many have obeyed the Gospel, and are gathering with him. He goes hence with the full confidence and approbation of all true Saints; and we feel to assure him that their prayers will constantly ascend to our Father in Heaven for his protection and guidance over sea and land, and that he may return safe to p63the bosom of his family and friends in Zion. The company is from the Hunters River district. They consist mostly of farmers and their families. They are of responsible connections, possessing firm, good, and obedient spirits. They number 63 souls. We would particularly request the attention of the Saints and the public to Elder William Hyde's farewell address. — Ed.
The following verses appeared in the same number of the "Watchman" which were composed by me as I was returning from my mission to Vermont, soon after the death of Joseph and Hyrum:
A SONG, Composed by
While far from kind domestic life,
An only child, a loving wife,
While striving in my early youth
To warn mankind, and teach the truth
Sad news I heard, which brake my heart,
It seemed that all must feel the smart;
It came while I, within a room,
Was seeking news from friends and home.
For weeks I'd pored the pages o'er,
That carried news from shore to shore;
But all that came looked dark and drear,
Which caused me the more to fear.
At length a stranger did relate,
Our loving brother Joseph's fate;
That he, with others — strange to tell —
Had been immured in prison cell.
It seemed, for truths which they had taught,
Their lives by demons had been sought;
But that the world the truth might know,
They did themselves to prison go.
While here they justice did await,
How hard to tell how foul their fate!
Those hellish fiends, in hellish form,
Out from their coverts they did swarm.
The prison doors they soon were burst,
The Prophet and his brother thrust;
The balls in showers did stop their breath,
Thus fell these martyrs cold in death.
I listened to this stranger's tale
Until my strength did almost fail;
My blood did chill within my vein,
From weeping I could not refrain.
I asked myself, Can it be so?
Must Joseph fall, and Hyrum too?
The greatest men for deeds of worth
That ever lived, or walked the earth!
p64 But ah! they're gone; they sought in vain,
On earth some justice to obtain;
But there's a court that will them hear,
And at this court they will appear.
Tis now in councils of the just,
Their causes soon will God adjust;
For Joseph there himself will plead,
And God, I'm sure, his cause will heed.
The Saints are soon to get redress,
For all their wrongs and sore distress;
The prayers of those who have been slain,
Are not before the Lord in vain.
Then let us all be pure in heart,
Although we now may feel the smart:
When all the Saints on earth we meet,
Tisº then we'll realize the sweet.
When Christ shall come from Heaven again,
With all his Saints on earth to reign,
'Tis then we'll greet our suffer o'er,
'Tis then we'll meet to part no more!
Tune, Sacrifice of Isaac.
February 13th. I started for Sydney, having with me 400 Pounds passage money, which was to secure the vessel.
The 14th. I visited the barque "Julia Ann" in company with Elder Farnham, was well pleased with the accomodations,º officers, etc.
The 15th. Paid £425, on our passage, the amount for each passenger being £24 stirling.
Sunday 19th. I preached in the assembly room, and on the 22nd at Elder Farnham's room.
Sunday, the 26th. We again met in the assembly room on King Street, and after bearing a faithful testimony to the work of God in the last days, I bade farewell to the Saints in Australia, and the Lord blessed me with a good degree of His spirit.
Early in the morning of the 27th Brother Eldridge came into the office while Elder Farnham and I were sleeping. I awoke and found him sitting, and I was truly glad to see him. He had walked •45 miles the day before in order to see me before I started, and his feet were badly blistered. Brother Eldridge is blessed of the Lord and is faithful in all things, as I trust is the case with all the brethren of the mission, and may the Lord bless them abundantly.
Monday, March the 6th. Elder Frost arrived in Sydney from Melbourne, and on Wednesday, the 8th, I took my leave of Elders Flemming and Eldridge, and also the Saints in Sydney, and being accompanied by Elder Frost, started for New Castle, where we arrived on the morning of the 9th. Here we met with Elder Farnham, also the barque "Julia Ann", they having preceeded us. Took my trunk on board the vessel and took possession of my state room.
The 10th. The company was received on board with their luggage, etc. The 15th. Two Councelors were chosen to assist me, also two teachers were appointed. After the company was organized, President Farnham and I laid our hands on Elder Frost and set him apart to act in p65unison with Elder Farnham, as his second councelor.
Sunday, 19th. Held meeting on the vessel. Had a good time. We have our prayers night and morning.
Wednesday, the 22nd, at half past 3 p.m., the vessel having completed her lading, and all things being in readiness, we weighed anchor and set to sea. At 4 p.m. took the last shake of the hand with Elder Farnham and he returned in the pilot boat to New Castle.
The 23rd at 12 o'clock were •200 miles from land. Some considerable sea sickness on board.
25th. Breeze light. Nothing to be seen in the expanse save the deep blue sea with now and then one of its feathered tribe, the albatrosº accompanied by the smaller tribe, which are seen only far remote from land.
Sunday, 26th. Held meeting on the quarter-deck. Captain and officers present. Spoke on the 1st principles of the Gospel, had good liberty. After meeting the Voice of Warning, Spencers Letters, Book of Mormon, etc., were in good use among the officers and cabin passengers. At night had singing and prayers as usual.
The 27th. Made arrangements for a school for the benefit of the children, to be kept on the deck house, under the care of Richard Allen, jun.
The 29th. Mrs. Allen, wife of Richard Allen sen., was delivered of a son.
Tuesday, the 4th of April. The winds are blowing heavily. Was called out of my birthº in the night to administer to Sister Lilly who had been taken with severe cramping, but by the laying on of hands and the prayer of faith she was instantly healed.
The 5th. Sister Allen was very low and was removed into the cabin.
The 6th. The wind is blowing a gale, and the seas are rolling mountains high, and are bursting over the bull workº so that all is rendered disagreeable. Thursday night the seas are still rolling high, and the weather is rainy and windy, and the elements are being lighted up with lightning, and the aspect with all, is rather lonely. All nature is in commotion, and the elements seem to have waged war, and to be coming in furious contact. But as to our barque, thank the Lord, she rides triumphantly along, as it were, over hills and valleys, and each officerº is seen at his post, and appears to understand his business. But while the furious wind is whistling through the rigging, and the lightnings are chaining their way through the heavens, and the seas are rolling to mountain heights, all is calm within my bosom, for there is a measure of the Spirit of the Lord there which seems to say all is well. Fear not, for the lives of all are in my hands, and my people will I preserve.
The 7th. The wind is still high and we are sailing at great speed.
The 8th. Wind has abated and the sea more calm. Sailing 8 knots an hour.º
The 15th. Came in sight of Otahita Island, also same date came in view of the Huaheina Island.5
The 16th. Came to an anchorº in a small harbour on the east side of the Island.
p66 Monday the 18th. Sister Allen died, and on the 19th she was buried on the Island. I delivered a discourse on the occasion. There were many natives and foreigners present. This was a solemn day to all present. After the funeral services were over, I had a headboard erected at the grave with this inscription upon it: "In memory of Ester Allen, who died April 18, 1854, on board the barque "Julia Ann", enroute for Salt Lake, Aged 41." There has been some little Latter-day Saint preaching on this Island in times past. Elder Noah Rogers once visited it while on his mission to the Islands. At 4 p.m. of the 19th we again put to sea, having taken on board much fruit for our comfort on the way.
Sunday, 23rd. The passengers and sailors assembled on the quarter deck under an awning erected for the occasion and I addressed them for one hour. Spoke from the 7 and 8 verses of the 26 chapter of Acts. The assembly was very attentive. The Captain and 1st mate are favourably impressed.
The 28th. Crossed the Equator. Breeze light, and heat extreme.
29th. There came up a sudden squall and carried away our top gallant and main royal sails.
Sunday, 30th. Had preaching as usual.
May 9th. Came in sight of one of the Sandwich Islands, called Owhyhee.e We stopped at this Island and replenished our stock of provisions, after which the vessel was again put to the breeze, and on Monday, the 12th of June, we were safely landed in San Pedro, California, having been upwards of three months on the vessel and near 90 days to sea. I left the Saints in San Pedro and went directly to San Bernardino, where I procured teams and sent for them.
I remained in San Bernardino until the 27th of July, then left for Great Salt Lake, in company with Brothers Conger and Hope, mail carriers, also a man by the name of Powell. We had mules, both for riding and packing. The weather was excessively hot, and my health being much impaired, I soon discovered that it would be through much suffering that I should perform the journey. And on the 5th day of our travels it seemed that I must give over, as my body was racked with the most excrutiatingº pain, accompanied with a scorching fever. We traveled •65 miles this day, and O, may it never be my lot to experience another such a day. Before we came to our place of encampment I became so exhausted that I fell from my mule, and was hardly sensible that I was falling until I struck the ground. The brethren in company supposed I had completed my journey.
On the morning of the 6th day we were attacked by a company of some 30 or 40 Indians, near Resting Springs, and we had a severe round with them. We succeeded in getting away from them, but not without the loss of one mule and one of the mail bags. Brother Powell was severely wounded in the hip with an arrow. My riding mule was badly wounded, and an arrow passed through my outer clothes, but there was none to touch my body.
I arrived safely at home on the 14th of August, but in a very feeble state of health. Found my family well and in every way comfortable, and while writing, let me not be slow to offer a tribute of thanksgiving and praise to God and His preserving care which has been over me, in the midst of all the perils through which I have been called to pass, both by sea and land, for nothing short of His power p67has sustained me, and brought me again to the bosom of my family and friends. My health remained so feeble that I was able to do but little manual labour for the first year after arriving home, but was able to do considerable public speaking, both in my own neighbourhood, and in other places.
1 (referring to the abundance of gold at that time being discovered)
2 (November, and also the following month)
3 (Issue of March 4, 1854)
Thayer's Note: It will be noted that the inclusion of this item, and the next, in the Journal, is an anachronism proving its later redaction.
4 (Issue of March 4, 1854)
5 (pronounced Uhana, one of the Society group, 30 leagues from Otahita. Lat. 16.44, Lon. 151.5 W.)
a The closest island to those coördinates is Maéwo in the Vanuatu group, at 15.14S 168.17E; Upoln, however, a Samoan island, is at 13.91S 171.73E.
b The International Date Line was crossed during the voyage. Contrary to common belief, there is no formal date line: it has varied, and continues to vary, according to the needs of local governments and travellers. For a comprehensive historical perspective, see the excellent page by the astronomer Robert H. van Gent, History of the International Date Line; for a more chronometric approach, this page at the U. S. Naval Observatory.
c The attentive reader will have noticed that Hyde has consistently been spelling Sidney; from here on, he will consistently spell Sydney following the accepted local usage. In addition to showing his adaptability, this is good evidence that the Journal is based on a real contemporaneous diary; it also suggests that in assembling the Journal, he did not redact the diary too tightly. A perfectly similar case of respelling occurs in the diary, redacted later, of a Dutch pioneer writing in 1854.
d The 19c spelling: now Clarence Town, it was at the time an important regional center, but saw its importance decline with that of the rivers as a means of transport. It's a pretty place; but, with the continuing shrinking of the Web, the photoillustrated webpage that let me write that when I first put up Hyde's Journal has now vanished and nothing near as good has replaced it.
e One of the Hawaiian Islands, called Hawaii.
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A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
Page updated: 13 Mar 11