Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carter Family Reunion Coming UP

Specifics on our upcoming reunion:

June 16th Day of History Gathering at the LDS Church Pavillion at 350 East 2950 North, Provo UT? We will be doing an activity that involves sharing and recording of "lost" family histories and making a mural. Time will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

"Evening of Food (BYO), Games and Stories" on June 16th at the LDS Church Pavillion at 350 East 2950 North, Provo UT. Time will be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

The Family Meeting on June 17th at Carterville Park in Orem at 10:00 am. The address is 2400 N Carterville Road, Provo.

The re-enactment of Hannah Knight Libby Carter's Memorial service. This was done exactly 50 years ago on Memorial Day. We will do this re-enactment at the Provo City Cemetery at her marker. Time will be from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.

A family BBQ at Carterville Park in Orem from 1:00 pm to 3:00. The main dish will be provided by the family organization.

Please let us know if you can make it.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY - Part 26 - Life in Utah and Death

At this point of Hannah’s life we truly reach a black hole as virtually nothing is known about her between her arrival in Utah in 1851 and her death in 1867.  Most references about her during this period of her life state that she lived with Dominicus in Provo.  This writer has found one reference to her that seems to disprove several things mentioned in this narrative. 

The Overland Travel site at https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/41831/hannah-knight-libby-carter states:  “Birth date is confirmed by Manti Ward records at the time of a rebaptism on 29 June 1851. She is listed in that record with the surname of "Morley." (Manti Ward, Record of Members. CR 375 8, Reel 3954.)  This roll of microfilm needs to be studied to see what else it might tell us about Hannah.  Was she in fact already in Utah in June 1851 and living in Manti? One warning about the family of Isaac Morley is that he did have a polygamous wife, Hannah Finch – which can also confuse people as you search for Hannah Morley.

We are left with basically no record of what Hannah’s life was in Utah.  With the exception of the Manti Ward record mentioned above, it is assumed that Hannah lived in the Dominicus’ big house in Provo.  In Chapter 9 of this narrative is found four firsthand descriptions of Hannah in her later years. Rather than reprint them here we will just quote from them.  Clara Melissa Carter, Dominicus Carters’ daughter, remembered Hannah as living in their home.  What specifically she did can only be guessed.  She surely helped the wives of Dominicus in household chores and with the dozens of children.  She was not young.  In 1851 she would have been 65 years old.  Francis Carter Knight, another granddaughter, stated, “…She did not look as old as she really was. Her hair was grey when I knew her. She wore a little lace cap. She had a good education and was always very industrious, keeping her knitting close by, and working when she was what might be considered too old to work.” Probably a later remembrance was from a great-granddaughter, Sarah York Tiffany, who remembered, “She sat in the chair or on the bed and pieced quilt blocks, and her sewing was neat. She was childish and would cry when left alone very long.”  That last comment would lead one to think that possibly in her later years she suffered some form of dementia.

Whatever the case, we are left only to guess what her life was like.  Did she hold Church callings?  Did her children travel to see her or did she ever travel and visit with them?  Over the years it appears that things that were known about her have been lost to our knowledge.  In a 1941 memorial to her entitled “Mother Hannah Knight Libby Carter” they recorded: 

“In June, 1852, Hannah Carter dictated the following message to her son, Dominicus, showing her deep interest in temple work for her kindred dead:

By request of your mother I am writing to you. She wishes to communicate to you some of her wishes with regard to her deceased relatives. She is well at present as common, but as life is uncertain, if it is not her privilege to live in this world to do the work for her parents and relatives that have gone the way of all the earth, she wants to leave this work so that it may be done and done right. She wishes to be ready to go when she is called. This is the way we all should leave.

Then followed a detailed list of relatives she remembered for whom temple work was to be done.

She remained at Provo during the time of the Echo Canyon War and when the body of the Saints moved south to Provo and adjoining towns. She lived in her later years at the home of Dominicus Carter.” 

One other letter of Dominicus opens a small window on Hannah’s last days.  On March 5, 1867 Dominicus wrote his brother, Philip Libby Carter of Illinois: “Mother is alive but very feeble.  I don’t think she can live long.  She is getting old rising eighty.  If you should want to see her before she should die you better come this spring and not wait til the railroad is finished.  Mother wants me to say to you that she does not expect to live long on this earth and she wants you to prepare to meet her in the world to come.  She says the path she has pursued for the last 30 years is the only path by which you can enjoy her society in the world to come and be accepted of the Lord.”   

Besides giving us a glimpse of the ravages of old age working on her body, this letter includes a strong final testimony of a longtime member of the church.  Thirty-three years had passed since her conversion but she still was strong in the Faith. 

Hannah Death Notice
Seven months after the letter to Philip was penned Hannah passed away.  For one hundred and fifty years we were in the dark as to when Hannah actually died. We have never known the exact date, only that on Nov. 2, 1867 a letter was written by Mary E. Whiting from Springville to a relative in Manti stating, "Mother Carter is dead."  And that is where things stood until February 2017.  At that time Virginia Bright (the wife of a descendant of Isaac Morley) contact the Carter family with a newspaper account of her death. The reason we had never found this document was that she was called “Hannah Libby Morley.”  The newspaper article is actually a letter from Apostle George A Smith.  At the time he had responsibility over the communities in Utah county and the news article was actually a letter he wrote detailing some of his activities.  The article reads: 

Provo City
Sunday, Oct. 19, 1867

Editor Daily Telegraph:
     Dear Sir:  This city was visited with a cold storm yesterday, the mountains being covered with snow.
     There is considerable sickness among children; the whooping cough is prevalent, several deaths of late have occurred.
     I delivered two addresses in the new meeting house today also visited the Sunday School, which is making satisfactory progress.
     We are also called to mourn the death of a Mother in Israel, Hannah Libby Morley, who died this morning, the widow of the late Patriarch Isaac Morley.  She was born in the State of Maine, October 9, 1786.
     When 17 years of age she married John Carter, with whom she lived 43 years, and to whom she bore seven sons and four daughters.  She has upwards of 100 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren.  She is the mother of Dominicus, W. F. and John H Carter, prominent citizens of this county.
     One of her sons, Richard Carter, died in the Mormon Battalion.
     She was baptized in Newry, Oxford county, Maine, in 1834.  Prior to her baptism, she was taken dangerously sick, and was given up to die; in the meantime a Mormon Elder called in, whom she desired to pray for her, which was complied with, and she straightway arose, walked one half of a mile, was baptized, and became strong in the faith from that hour.
     She passed through the persecutions in Missouri and Illinois.
     She kept the faith, and lately expressed to her children that she desired to depart this life and join a "sweet rest in Heaven,"
Geo. A. Smith

It is interesting that Smith called her Hannah Libby Morley.  He had known the family for many years and had many dealings with both Dominicus and William Furlsbury at least.  It is interesting that he used Morley instead of Carter in describing Hannah, but she had been sealed to Isaac, and as such she was considered one of his wives and would probably be known to many by the name of Morley.  This comes as a surprise to many of us in our generation but actually helps to point out how far removed from her day we are today.

We need to address the date of her death – as the article leaves us questioning the exact date of her death.  It is titled “Sunday, Oct. 19, 1867.”  The problem with that is that Oct 19th was actually Saturday and Sunday was on the 20th.  It seems logical that she died either on the 19th or 20th.  Since her death is mentioned as happening “this morning” right after he mentioned attending a Sunday school – it would seem most likely that her death date is 20 Oct 1867.

Sign at Provo City Cemetery
Shortly after her death, the body was originally buried at the Grandview Hill Cemetery. This was where three farms converged and is no longer in existence. She was moved along with her head stone to the Pioneer Cemetery in Provo, Utah.  On Memorial Day, May 30, 1941, 155 years after her birth, 90 years after she crossed the plains, and 74 years after her death, 90 members of her posterity held a memorial service in her honor, sang again the songs that were sung at her funeral, and listened to a sketch of her rich life story. Then once again they gathered at her graveside (in the Provo City Cemetery) and dedicated a bronze marker as a lasting memorial to her name and noble character. It bore this inscription (beside the motif of a covered wagon):
                Hannah Knight Libby Carter
                October 9, 1786-November, 1867.
                “Faithful in the day of Trial.”

Hannah's 1941 Marker
Bench to remember Carter children that have no headstones.

With this we end this account of her life.  May her ability to overcome trials and adversity be an example to us.  Also might each of us embrace truth with the strength that she demonstrated.  Hannah was a great example to her posterity of how to live an honorable life.   

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY - Part 25 - Crossing the Plains to Salt Lake

The years 1850 to 1852 saw the Carter families cross the plains from Winter Quarters/Kanesville to Salt Lake City in three groups.  The first to cross were William Furlsbury, John Harrison and their sister, Hannah Carter York and their families.  They crossed the plains with the William Snow Company, leaving on 21 June 1850 and arriving in Salt Lake on 1 to 4 October 1850.  The last sibling to come was Eliza Ann Carter Snow who traveled in her husband, James C. Snow’s Company.  They left Iowa on 5 July 1852 and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 9 October 1852.  In addition to her family they also brought the Richard and Hannah Parker Carter orphans – Franklin Fitzfield, Mary A and Samuel Parker Carter.

This leaves us with Dominicus, who by several accounts brought his mother Hannah along with his family in 1851.  The Church is developing a comprehensive database of the pioneers who crossed the plains called “Pioneer Overland Travel” – see:  https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/  It is a database that is incomplete and constantly being updated.  The irony is that 1851 is the biggest weak line.  The Brethren encouraged all that could travel to come to Utah that year.  In response there were many groups that crossed the plains that year but they were poorly documented.  Not one group has yet been fully accounted for at this time. So this leaves us to surmise the best we can what transpired in Hannah’s crossing the plains.

So the question becomes when in 1851 did Dominicus and Hannah cross the plains.  Most of the accounts of Dominicus life state that he arrived in Utah in June, 1851.  To do that they would have had to leave in early spring before the snows had melted.  That just seemed to this writer to be too early for them to arrive.  After much futile searching it was decided to locate Dominicus’ obituary – which is located at Familysearch.org in his memories in Family Tree.  This obituary states "From Nauvoo he migrated to Boniplat, Iowa, and resided one year at Mount Pisgah, he removed thence to Council Bluffs, whe he resided two years.  He left the latter place on the 20th of June, 1851, and arrived in Salt Lake City on Sept. 25 of that year.  Two months later he came to Provo (Nov., 1851) where he has resided ever since." ("A Veteran Gone," Published in the Territorial Enquirer, 5 Feb. 1884. Seen in Journal History of the Church, Vol 5, Feb. 1884, page 7.) This is the only place where this writer has found absolute beginning and ending dates for their journey.

There is one other source that provides an extra tidbit of information.  Dominicus crossed the plains in 1851 according to the record in Frank Essholm’s book published in 1913 at Salt Lake City—a 4500 copy by subscription edition—Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, page 281. This record shows his picture and states “Dominicus Carter a native of Maine came to Utah in 1851 with Captain Homers Co.”  A search for Captain Homer’s Company has located no further references to the supposed wagon train.  There was a supply train that arrived in Salt Lake in late September what was lead by a Captain Horner.  In looking closely at a copy of Essholm’s book Homer could in fact be Horner, which would explain the non-existence of Captain Homer. 

Typical Wagon
Without any absolutely related documentation of their travels the following will have to suffice to help us to picture what this trip must have been like in 1851 (or thereabouts.)  To go west by wagon and teams was not cheap. People had to obtain their own outfits or pay to go with someone else. President Hyde reported in 1850 that outfits that year cost about $600 each, equivalent in today’s dollars to about $13,000.  It was not wise for any to head for Utah unless they had “team and wagon sufficient to come through without any assistance from the valley,” the First Presidency instructed from Utah in June 1849. “And they should bring breadstuffs sufficient to last them a few months after their arrival.” (The Ensign Magazine, August 2002 – “Pushing on to Zion: Kanesville, Iowa, 1846–1853” By William G. Hartley)

Ironically the year 1851 was a year of low emigration.  With the Mormons, Oregonians and Gold Rushers 1848-1850 had been boon years.  There was a significant drop off in 1851 but things picked up significantly in 1852.  The latter year (1852) was significant for Mormons as the First Presidency essentially told all remaining Saints in the Kanesville area to pack up and move to Utah and abandon all holdings in the States.  Four letters detailing this shut down of the settlements in Iowa were sent from Salt Lake during the 1851 year – at the time Dominicus packed up and left.  (See:  BYU Studies Quarterly, Vol 52, Issue 3, Article  - 10-1-2013 - The Closedown of LDS Iowa Settlements in 1852 That Completed the Nauvoo Exodus and Jampacked the Mormon Trail by William G. Hartley.  Online at http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4463&context=byusq)

The initial cost of the outfit was just the beginning of the costs.  You then had to pay for food to keep you alive and to pay to cross rivers (on bridges or on ferrys.) Since it was impossible to carry enough food to feed your family during the whole trip, it was essential to have funds to resupply your stores as your traveled.   Prices for foodstuffs varied widely from year to year and trading post to trading post.  The following demonstrate this from 1850 and 1852 since no figures could be found for 1851.  In 1850 prices at Fort Laramie were as follows:  Flour $.12 to $.50 per pound; Sugar $.50 to $2.00 pound; Coffee $.50 pound; and Bacon $.50 pound.  In 1852 before Fort Laramie: Flour $.20 pound/$15.00 per 100 pound; Sugar $.50 to $.60 pound; Coffee $.50 pound.  At Fort Laramie in 1852: Flour $10.00 to $10.50 per 100 pounds; Sugar $.50 to $.75 pound; Coffee $.40 pound; and Bacon $.15 pound. (The Plains Across - The Overland Emigrants and Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-60 by John D. Unruh, Jr. [University of Illinois Press – 1979] pp. 276 and 283.)

Ferrying the Platt River

Crossing rivers was an expensive process if they couldn’t be forded.  With 1851 being a high river year the use of ferrys and bridges was essential.  Cost ran anywhere from $1.00 to upwards of $10.00 per wagon and often $1.00 per horse.  Bridges were an extra bonus as they cut down the wait that often occurred at ferry crossings as wagons would back up for days at many ferry passings.
The modern roadmap was not in use in the early days of travel across the plains.  There were maps but they were expensive and in short supply.   Instead there were guide books that were produced to help travelers in their journey.  Perhaps the most famous of the guidebooks available to the Mormons and other emigrants was Lansford Hastings’s The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California, which was written in 1844 and published in Ohio in 1845. Hastings is best known for forging the trail through Emmigrant Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley that the Saints so benefitted from.  He is forever linked in infamy with the Donner Party whose demise was partly due to following the “Hasting’s Cutoff.”  Of more value to the Mormon emmigrants was a guide written by William Clayton.  Clayton was charged with keeping a journal of the first pioneer wagon train of 1847.  His notes were later published as “The Latter-Day Saints Emmigrants’ Guide” which became an instant success with the Mormons and the Gold Rushers headed to California.  (William E Hill, “The Mormon Trail” [published by Utah State University 1-1-2006] see:  http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1098&context=usupress_pubs)  Mr. Clayton, the original publisher of this Guide, is justly entitled to much credit and great praise for his diligence, care, perseverance and untiring industry in measuring the distances from point to point on this route, in describing the country, in pointing out the streams and springs of water, showing the distances in English miles, from one camp ground to another, so that the traveler may always know, when he starts in the morning, how far he has to go before he finds another suitable stopping place. ("Emigrants' Guide to Salt Lake and California," Frontier Guardian, 7 Feb. 1851, 2. See: https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/sources/6644/emigrants-guide-to-salt-lake-and-california-frontier-guardian-7-feb-1851-2)
Wagon Train Crossing the Plains
In researching this part of Hannah’s life one detailed account of a wagon train crossing the plains in 1851 was located.  It is found at FamilySearch.org  in the Family Tree attached as a memory for Elizabeth Carson Griffeth (“On the Trail With the Carsons in 1851” contributed by Nyla Skinner).  The Carsons traveled in what came to be called the Garden Grove Company as they left Garden Grove, Iowa on May 17th and left Winter Quarters on July 3rd (about 3 weeks after Dominicus left) and arrived in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, September 24 (the day before Dominicus arrived.)  Thus their two wagon trains surely shared the trail and probably were in communication with each other.  The experiences of the Carson group probably parallel what happened to the Carter wagon train to some extent.  The following excerpts from the Carson article follow.
In 1850, an article in the Frontier Guardian stated that the average fully loaded wagon weighed about 1,850 pounds. For each person, old or young, it was recommended that one hundred and twenty five pounds of flour be taken, "plus bacon, sugar, coffee, tea, rice, dried fruit and other necessaries in proportion." … Each family would also have stocked their wagons with clothing, household goods, cooking utensils, tools, farming equipment and seeds.  The article in the Frontier Guardian also recommended that for each wagon, the family should have "two good yoke of oxen and from one to three yoke of cows." If those traveling in the company have even four or five oxen, or cows with them, it means they are moving at least three hundred head of livestock. Most families also have several horses. Herding this large group of animals, finding food for them, and keeping them safe from the Indians is a daunting task that requires a good portion of the labor each day.
Winter Quarters had been abandoned since 1848 and was virtually a ghost town falling into ruins.  By the time the Carsons left Winter Quarters on July 2 the Elkhorn River had rose so high they had to make a 100 mile detour to travel to the head of the river so they could cross it.  A day into their journey they met the party of Brother Orson Hyde traveling east from Salt Lake.  Surely Dominicus’ group probably passed him on the trail too.   The Carsons described their early challenges in getting their oxen teams to travel the route they desired and how it took quite some time to train the animals and drivers on how to accomplish this task.  They then encountered Indians along the Elkhorn that drove off cattle and horses.  They also endured more than one spontaneous stampede of their livestock which lead to a couple of the party being trampled to death.  One day they crested a hill only to find gigantic herds of buffalo heading their way.  It took hours for the beasts to pass them. 
By late July the wet cool Spring had turned to a dry, hot summer.  Mountain Fever, or malaria, became a problem on the trail thanks to the wet spring conditions.  The disease is spread through water. None of the pioneer accounts I have read have described how they washed and bathed while on the trail, nor how they took care of other basic needs. They had no toilet paper, and I doubt they carried a four month supply of "corn cobs." It was customary at the time to make use of small pieces of cloth. These, naturally, were washed frequently in the streams. This is why it was possible for the disease to spread so rapidly.
Wagon Ruts in Wyoming
The pioneers passed several natural landmarks such as Chimney Rock, Lone Tree and Devil’s Gate.  Heading into Fort Laramie (or Fort John in those days) the landscape changed drastically from grasslands to dryer vegetation, sage and cactus.  This meant that livestock would now need more feed to survive.  Fort Laramie was a trading establishment of 12 houses enclosed in a wall 11 feet high.  He buildings were built of adobe – which the pioneers would see much of in the coming months.  Wagon trains would stop here to trade, to use the blacksmith shops to make repairs and generally rest up.  This fort was approximately half way between Winter Quarters and Salt Lake City.
The pioneers tried to keep spirits up with dancing, songs and story telling in the evenings.  These activities were important to break the monotony of the days and give the travelers something to look forward to.  This was often a 7 days a week journey with only part of the day on Sunday’s taken out to worship.  The trip was always arduous at best.  It was hard to keep everyone happy.  Discontent seemed to raise its head in every wagon train.  The trail included loose cobble stones, ravines and creek beds to pass.  Wagons were forever having souse wheels.  Every company needed a blacksmith traveling with it to help keep the wagons in repair.  (Dominicus would be very helpful to have around in this case.)
By late August the company spent a week traveling through a bleak and dangerous landscape of mineral springs, alkali beds, and poisonous swamps. It was remembered that many of the families lost cattle to the alkali during this portion of the trek.  The only good thing about this alkali land was the women could gather “salaratus, or soda, since this was the only source of this mineral on the trip. It could be used in place of yeast in baking.   Upon reaching the Sweatwater River they passed Independence Rock.  On August 31st they reported that three companies were traveling together – the Garden Grove Company captained by William Walton, “Captain Brown’s” Company, and “Father Allred’s” company.  These companies would have been in competition for good camping places and for feed for their livestock.
As they passed from Nebraska into Utah their trials were not over.  The land was still dry and oxen died daily from exhaustion, lack of adequate nourishment and water.  This problem wasn’t resolved until they finally reached the Green River.  By this time they were only 120 or so miles out of Salt Lake but the teams were giving out and provisions were growing short.  The companies were throwing away all they could possibly spare in order to lighten the loads. It appears that all of the companies that were nearing Utah at this time were experiencing the same difficulties - shortages of food, and livestock dying nor near death from exhaustion.  On Tuesday, September 16th 1851 the company arrived at Fort Bridger and drove pass it a mile or so and camped.  There they divided their teams up in preparation for crossing the passes of the Rocky Mountains that were ahead of them as it would take cooperation of all the families to make this last crossing.  They were just 112 miles from Salt Lake but the challenges were not over.
In the mountains east of Salt Lake City
The final week of their trek was not described – probably from the extreme exhaustion everyone must have had in crossing the mountains.  Others described the beauty of the scenery and the comfort of not having to breathe dust all day like they had done for months. On Saturday, the 20st of September, the Carsons were about seventeen miles from the valley. Here, the pioneers probably had their first view of the Salt Lake Valley. From the summit of a mountain which the Emmigrants’ Guide described as being 7245 feet high, it was possible to see in the distance the south part of the Valley. Here they met several men with teams ready to assist those who needed help. ... The descent of the mountain was awfully steep and dangerous for about four miles. The next two days saw them travel a whole 4 miles over the roughest, most treacherous landscape they would pass on the entire trip.

On Wednesday, September 24, 1851 the Garden Grove company had breakfast and then moved up and over the last hill and entered the Salt Lake Valley with 60 wagons.  The next day it is reported that Dominicus arrived.  Hopefully this account gives the reader a taste of what the journey for Dominicus and Hannah was like. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY - Part 24 - Carterville Interlude

The Grand Encampment

The first Mormon evacuees arrived in the Council Bluffs area on June 14, 1846 after a trip of 255 miles and four grueling months.  Because there was insufficient means to transport the travelers across the Missouri River, they stopped short of the river in an area that became called the Grand Encampment.  These first wagons camped close to the banks of the Missouri and as new wagon trains came they would stop just east of the last group that had arrived.  By the time the needed ferry had been built about the first of July, the Grand Encampment had grown to cover an area of nine miles east to west and three miles wide north to south.  This mass of some 10,000 people, wagons and livestock completely overwhelmed the ability of the ferry to help them to cross the river.
This large a group gathered in one location quickly became apparent that there wasn’t enough grass for the grazing animals and wood for fires and other needs quickly became scarce.  A few of the Saints were able to cross over the river but the rest were dispersed out from the Grand Encampment to between 80 and 100 smaller communities in a 30 mile radius out from the Council Bluffs area.  Carterville, some two miles north and east of the original stopping place would become one of these settlements.

Brigham Young and the rest of the leadership of the Church still had hopes of a group continuing on to the West but as the year was rapidly passing and it was already late into the travel season the decision was made to stay in this locality and wait for the following spring before crossing the Rocky Mountains.

We know that Hannah and much of her family were in the Grand Encampment by July 1.  It is doubtful that they had been dispersed prior to that day date.  It was while they were in the Grand Encampment that the long arm of the United States government reached out to the despised and displaced Mormon gathered there.

Following the 1845 annexation of Texas by the United States, tensions with Mexico grew until on April 26, 1846 fighting broke out between the U.S. and Mexico.  On May 13th war was officially declared. At this time the Mormon refugees were in the midst of crossing Iowa.  While crossing Iowa Brigham Young and the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve had petitioned President Polk seeking assistance from the Federal Government.  On June 2nd President Polk authorized Col. Stephen W. Kearney to recruit a few hundred Mormons to help in the war but to also “to conciliate them, attach them to our country, and prevent them from taking part against us.” (Polk, James K. (1929), Nevins, Allan, ed., Polk: the Diary of a President, 1845–1849, London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co., p. 109)  This was a symbiotic relationship as Church benefitted greatly from the financial benefits they received from this arrangement.  Young and the other leaders saw nothing but good coming from this arrangement.  Their enlistment would be a public relations victory for the church, demonstrating additional evidence of its loyalty to the United States. (McLynn, Frank. Wagons West: The Epic Story of America's Overland Trails. Grove Press. pp. 386–7.) As the men were given a uniform allowance at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., of US$42 each, paid in advance, for their one-year enlistment and as they were allowed to wear their civilian clothing for the march, the bulk of those funds were immediately donated to a general Church fund. These funds were used to purchase wagons, teams, and other necessities for the American exodus (Actual wages paid over the next year to the Mormon Battalion totaled nearly $30,000). ("The Pioneer Story: Pioneer Trail Map", LDS.org, archived from the original on March 5, 2012.)

Mormon Battalion Ball (by C. C. A. Christensen)
So how did all of this affect the Carter family?  Hannah and the other Carters were in the area when Captain James Allen met with Brigham and the other Church leaders and put forth his proposal for 5 companies of 100 men.  Though Brigham was thrilled with this prospect as noted above, the general populace of the Grand Encampment was not.  Richard Carter, Hannah’s youngest surviving son, was one of the early volunteers as he was enrolled in Company B.  Brigham was assured by Captain Allen that the Battalion would see so battle action but would instead fill a supporting role.  Thus, Richard would not face many more dangers than the Saints as a whole endured in their travels.  As the day of mustering (July 16th) approached they held farewell dance in the Bowery at the west end of the Grand Encampment.  The Carter family probably attended with heavy hearts.  On the 16th Richard said his good-byes and marched off to his destiny.

Twenty members of the Mormon Battalion died during the march.  All died from diseases or accidents -  as the Battalion never had to engage in any military actions.  The 2000 mile trek from Council Bluffs to San Diego was arduous and three different sick detachments were sent back to Pueblo, Colorado and then back to Council Bluffs.  Richard was a member of Lieutenant Willis's Pueblo detachment. He died 25 Nov 1846 as the detachment was traveling north along the Rio Grande.  No grave marker memorializes his last resting space though it is reported he was buried at Puerbelo, fur miles south of Socow, New Mexico along the Rio Grande.  Hannah’s heart must have been broken when the word made it back to Iowa that her son had died.  He left a wife, Hannah, and two young children.  Tragedy would strike this family again in Winter Quarters when Hannah died of smallpox sometime in 1851.  The children were cared for by Eliza Ann Carter Snow’s family and made it to Utah with the wagon trains of 1851.

The Carters were dispersed from the Grand Encampment and settled some two miles northeast of the Bowery along the trail into Council Bluffs.  The community was named Carterville and it was here they made their home for nearly 5 years when they would leave for Utah.  Hannah most likely lived with Dominicus and his family though many of her family were probably also in the immediate area.  The location of Carterville was significant as it was the first community travelers on this portion of the Oregon/Mormon Trail would pass through.  The Carters being mostly blacksmiths were located ideally to provide repairs to the travelers.  A story is told of William Furlsbury coming in to eat lunch each day and emptying his pockets of piles of coins he had already earned repairing wagons of those passing by. These funds were given to the Brethren and helped to fund the needs of the community as a whole. (William actually moved to Kanesville – modern day Council Bluffs – sometime during this period.)

Kanesville Tabernacle (restored)
While living in Carterville with her son Dominicus, Brigham Young was sustained as the second Prophet of the Church and the First Presidency was formally reorganized:

It was discussed occasionally that the First Presidency would be reinstated and it was clear that Brigham Young would be the one most likely sustained as the Prophet and President of the Church.  On December 5th, 1847, the Quorum of the Twelve met at Orson Hyde's farm home about eight miles southeast of present day Council Bluffs.

A unanimous approval reorganized the First Presidency with Brigham Young as Prophet and President, Heber C. Kinball as First Counselor, and Dr. Willard Richards as Second Counselor.  The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles comprised of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, Lyman Wight, Orson Pratt, Amasa Lyman, and Ezra T. Benson.  The precedent set in the tabernacle of reorganizing the First Presidency following the death of a Prophet continues today.

Church policy is to sustain the reorganization by church members.  Immediately, Bishop Henry W. Miller was assigned the task of building a tabernacle large enough to accommodate a large gathering of the members in order to present and sustain the new First Presidency.  A log tabernacle was built in the near downtown area of current day Council Bluffs, and the gathering occurred on December 27th.  This means that Bishop Miller had to build the 60' x 40' tabernacle in approximately 18 days.  This allowed him 2 or 3 days to gather 200 men to complete the monumental task in a cold and bitter December.  The building would need to accommodate 800 to 1,000 people, and was packed when at least 1,000 showed up. (http://www.allaboutomaha.com/Omaha/Mormons/KanesvilleTabernacle.htm)

There is no record of Hannah, or the other members of the Carter family attending this event but they lived so close it is highly likely that they were there or at the General Conference on 6 April 1948 when Brigham was again sustained as the Prophet.

This was only a temporary arrangement, and indeed the Carters hoped to be with the first wave of emigrants to cross over the Rockies with Brigham but they were asked to stay behind and help outfit those passing through.  Though we know very little of this time period we can assume that it was a relatively peaceful interlude compared to the previous ten years.  Hannah would be able to watch her grandchildren grow up in a climate much safer than that which they had left.  Of her family left in Illinois we can only guess that Hannah probably corresponded by mail with them on occasion.  Eventually the call would come to head west but that is another story.

Coleman, Arthur D, “Carter pioneers of Provo, Utah : a biographical, genealogical and historical account of the Dominicus and other Carter families” (1966).
Carter, Barton L, “Dominicus Carter Latter-day Pioneer” (1997)
Scharrer, Leora Carter, “Life of William F. Carter” (197?) FHL  921.73 A1
Jensen, Andrew, “The Historical Record, Vol. 9” (1890)
Wikipedia Articles – “Mormon Battalion,” “Winter Quarters,” “Mexican-American War.”

Historical Pioneer Research Group, “Early Latter-day Saints – A Mormon Pioneer Data Base” (http://earlylds.com/index.php#Walk Where They Walked - Visit Historic Sites)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Reunion News and Registration

Yes it is about time for us to assemble for our bi-yearly reunion.  Please take the time to fill out the form by clicking the link below so we can plan for you.

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY – Part 23 – Crossing Iowa to Carterville

We now enter a great black hole in Hannah’s life.  Little is known of her from the time she leaves Nauvoo and her death in Provo, Utah twenty-one years later.  Unfortunately, the family kept few records of this period so we are left to surmise what happened from the few records that exist.

The following details are drawn from several sources:
1.       The Pioneer Trek from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters by William G. Hartley (Ensign Magazine, June, 1997) See:  https://www.lds.org/ensign/1997/06/the-pioneer-trek-nauvoo-to-winter-quarters?lang=eng
2.       Kanesville Area – BYU College of Life Sciences article.  See:  https://winterquarters.byu.edu/Settlements/KanesvilleArea
3.       MTA Official Guide “The Mormon Pioneer Trail” by Stanley B. Kimball.  See:  http://files.lib.byu.edu/mormonmigration/articles/MormonPioneerTrailMTA1997OfficialGuide.PDF

Hannah’s story is also the story of the expulsion of the Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo so a good place to start is to learn about the waves of emigrants from Nauvoo to the West in 1846.  The origins of this expulsion from Illinois were discussed previously.  Initially Brigham Young planned that the exodus would take them directly to the Rocky Mountains that year.  That was the plan but reality quickly set in and those plans had to be scrapped for 1846.

The Mormon exodus from Nauvoo consisted of three distinct phases beginning on February 4, 1846 when the first Mormon crossed the Mississippi and ending with the last groups leaving Nauvoo at gun point in mid-September of the same year.    This exodus is broken into three parts:  Winter, Spring and Fall.   Brigham Young had initially wanted to wait to leave until spring when the grasses would be growing as food for their livestock.  In October, 1845 Brigham had actually appointed captains for 25 companies of 100 wagons each and ordered the wagons to be built for a spring departure.  His reasoning was that Nauvoo had about 12,000 people at this time and another 2,000 to 3,000 Saints lived in nearby towns making approximately 15,000 people that would need to evacuate.  With 76 people per wagon it would take approximately 2,500 wagons.  By November 23, 1845 it was reported that 3,285 families were organized for the trek – some 800 more families than predicted wagons.  Our Carter families were surely a part of this planning.

Crossing the Mississippi on Barges

 By January’s end, LDS leaders heard of disturbing threats about attacks on Nauvoo, arrests of the Twelve, destruction of the Nauvoo Temple, stealing of wagons “to prevent us from moving west,” Illinois governor Thomas Ford’s sending troops into Nauvoo to enforce arrest warrants, and other designs to prosecute and persecute the Mormons. Taking all of these threats seriously, the Twelve decided to leave quickly—partly for their own well-being and partly to remove themselves as a target that might bring attacks and result in harm to other Latter-day Saints. So departures started early, in February 1846 instead of springtime.  What had been planned as a small vanguard group quickly swelled to an unwieldy size.  This winter exodus of the Camp of Israel involved about 3,000 Saints and nearly 500 wagons, although 100 wagons returned to Nauvoo during March to help move other Saints. They journeyed 300 miles across southern Iowa, a three-and-a-half month trek. 

Fanciful 1870 Drawing 

The first to cross the Mississippi River was Charles Shumway who ferried across on February 4.  For three weeks the temperatures dropped causing the Saints to dodge ice chunks as they crossed the river.  On February 25 Charles C. Rich actually crossed the river on foot and so for a time the wagons were driven directly over the frozen river.  The travelers camped along Sugar Creek some 7 miles west of the Mississippi. Here Brigham organized the people into groups and developed camp rules.  Following a path blazed by a vanguard company, the main body of the “Camp of Israel” left Sugar Creek on March 1, 1846.  For this first group the trip had to be difficult.  It was winter, and they had to travel over snow covered ground.  They took a southerly route at first – skirting the border with Missouri where there were more settlers that they could obtain need for themselves and their animals.  They stopped near Richarson’s Point for 11 days so the men could work for money and provisions.  They initially wanted to cross the Missouri River above St. Joseph, Missouri and join the Oregon Trail to the west of there.  This was a time of great suffering by all.  March snow, cold, rain, and awful mud made the trek miserable and exhausting.  When they left Chariton Camp on April 1st, they exited Iowa’s last organized county and moved into what could be called wilderness but still followed rudimentary roads. They made slow progress, being hampered by rain and mud.  It was during this time that William Clayton penned the song “All is Well” following the birth of his son.  Shortly after April 15, the leaders changed the route to the northwest and headed across this wilderness part of Iowa for Kanesville (known today as Council Bluffs.)  Along the way groups were left to form small communities with farms that would feed those that followed.  Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah are good examples of these way points along the trail. On June 14, the camp reached the Council Bluffs area on the Missouri River, and the first portion of the march was nearly over. The vanguard had taken 130 days, over 4 months, to cross some 265 miles of
southern Iowa, averaging only about 2 miles per day. Here on both sides of the Missouri River, especially in present Nebraska at Winter Quarters, the Mormons spent the winter of 1846-47.

1846 Tails in Red

During April, May, and June 1846, three times as many Saints left Nauvoo as went with President Brigham Young’s advance group. Among the 10,000 spring evacuees were Apostles Wilford Woodruff and Orson Hyde, many of the 300 men who had been guards and pioneers in the Camp of Israel who now had returned to Nauvoo for their families, workmen who had finished the Nauvoo Temple, and new LDS arrivals from out of state. Because of grass and springtime weather, their treks across Iowa took only 4 to 5 weeks, compared to the Camp of Israel’s 14 weeks. Economic, health, and family difficulties prevented these people from leaving sooner. Thousands had trouble obtaining adequate outfits and provisions. They counted on selling, bartering, buying, and luck. When they tried to market their farms, houses, livestock, furniture, utensils, dishes, clocks, books, and other nonessentials, they found many sellers but few buyers. Most Saints sold or traded for pittances, suffering major financial losses.  During this time three major waves of departures occurred.  There was no major organization – when people could leave they did – few companies had more than 30 wagons.  Typical outfits consisted of a wagon and two yoke of oxen.  Most of the people walked and many were engaged in driving the loose stock.  Because of the abundant spring grasses these Saints took a more westerly route rather than going south to skirt Missouri.  Because of their quick passage of Iowa some of these Spring immigrants caught up with the Winter group by May 15th near Garden Grove.  Early in July President Young counted 1,805 wagons between his Missouri River camp and Mount Pisgah—1,300 more wagons than his Camp of Israel started with—and hundreds more were still east of Mount Pisgah. By the end of July most of the spring exodus groups had caught up with President Young’s company and merged with it beside the Missouri River.

The final group to leave was called the Fall Exodus.  On 13 September armed anti-Mormons attacked these Nauvoo defenders and won what is called the Battle of Nauvoo. The Saints signed a formal surrender of the city three days later, whereupon victors drove them out at gunpoint. LDS refugees swarmed across the river to Montrose, and many camped a mile north at Potter’s Slough, on the river’s shore. Most were destitute and sickly. Scores found temporary work and lodging in eastern Iowa while others took to the trail to Kanesville.  One mid-September count found between 600 and 700 Saints camped by Potter’s Slough. Many of these had moved out by the time Thomas Bullock counted only 17 tents and 8 wagons in camp on 4 October. “Most of those are the poorest of the Saints,” he said. “Not a tent or wagon but sickness in it.”  Two different relief parties were sent from Kanesville in September and many arrived in Potter’s Sough by October 6.  On 9 October 1846, Saints camped by Potter’s Slough participated in the “Miracle of the Quail,” when large flocks of exhausted quail flopped into the camp, landing on and under wagons and in tents. “Every man, woman and child had quails to eat for their dinner,” Thomas Bullock wrote.

The fall exodus essentially emptied Nauvoo of Latter-day Saints who desired to go west. As noted earlier, Nauvoo and nearby areas held perhaps 15,000 Saints who could have joined the exodus, augmented by hundreds of newcomers. Where were they at year’s end? Based on incomplete data, the estimate is that by the winter of 1846–47 perhaps 5,000 exiled Saints were at Winter Quarters, Nebraska; 7,500 were in LDS camps across the river from Nebraska and elsewhere in Iowa and at Ponca Camp north of Winter Quarters; 69 and 1,500 were in St. Louis or other Mississippi River towns. At least 1,000 and possibly 2,000 or even more defected from the Twelve’s leadership and scattered from the Nauvoo area. A few members, including Emma, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s widow, and Lucy Mack Smith, his mother, later returned to and stayed in Nauvoo.

Modern Replica Cabin at Mount Pisgah, Iowa

And what of Hannah Knight Libby Carter?  We will never know for sure which group she left with.  It appears that she traveled with Dominicus and once her son Richard was endowed on February 7th they could have left.  If they did they experienced a long, bitter and trying passage across Iowa.  I doubt that the rest of the family waited for William’s wife, Sarah, to give birth in April.  One would imagine that William’s family didn’t leave until about May.  In any case these early months were a trial for all involved.   The family would never be together again – not just because of those left behind – but for those who left Nauvoo too as they would be scattered as well.  Hannah Carter York and her family stopped at Mount Pisgah and didn’t move to the west until 1850.  As we shall see shortly Richard left Iowa never to return not long after the family reached the Kanesville area.

Next:  The Grand Encampment and Mormon Battalion 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

HANNAH KNIGHT LIBBY - Part 22 - Leaving Nauvoo For The West

The time has come to discuss the momentous event of Hannah leaving Nauvoo to go west with the Mormons in early 1846.  There is no detailed account of the family at that time, so we are left to piece together what exactly transpired with only few records to assist us. 

The specifics of what transpired within the Carter family are best seen in context of events that transpired at Nauvoo between the death of Joseph Smith on 27 June 1844 and February, 1846 when the Carters probably left for the west.  The following paragraphs are taken from an article at the web site “Stay in Nauvoo” (http://www.beautifulnauvoo.com/nauvoo-s-mormon-history.html) entitled Nauvoo during the Mormon period (1839 – 1846):

At the death of Joseph Smith the county was gripped in terror in fear of Mormon retaliation. Instead of retaliating, the City of Nauvoo was silent. With the Mormons not returning action, and the governor having gone back to Springfield, the Anti-Mormon Party organized a series of raids against outlying Mormon settlements. By the summer of 1845 the hostilities had progressed to shooting on both sides, and armed groups were again roaming Hancock County. With his immediate attention focused on another outbreak of violence in the southern part of the state, Governor Ford called out the State Militia to again quell the hostilities. This time the Mormons, now under the leadership of Brigham Young, agreed to leave the state and abandon Nauvoo the coming spring.

With their temple nearly completed, the Mormons began to put it to use in the winter of 1845-46. In February of 1846 word came to Brigham Young from Governor Ford that the United States Army might try to prevent the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo into Indian, British or Mexican territory. Fearing his people would be trapped, Young ordered many of the community's leaders to immediately evacuate the city, with the majority of the Saints to follow when the weather was better.

Throughout the spring and summer of 1846, there was a continual procession of wagons crossing the Mississippi River on anything that could get them across. By September the town that had once been home to more than 20,000 people had been reduced to less than 2,000. Impatient to get the remainder of the Mormons from Nauvoo, the Anti-Mormon Party again marshaled their forces and attacked the city that now had only the poorest and weakest Mormons and approximately 200 new citizens. A full-scale battle ensued, with cannon, rifle, and musket called into use. After two days of battle, a peace delegation from Quincy arranged the terms of surrender for the City of Nauvoo. Given an hour to pack what belongings they could, the remaining Mormons were forced from Nauvoo at the point of bayonet.

The destruction of Morleyville by the mob on September 10, 1845 resulted in the burning of the homes in the community proper.  Morleyville encompassed the community and scattered farms in the adjoining area of the county.  Many of these scattered farms were probably spared destruction by the mob due to their isolation.  The Carters appear to be in that group.  Though they appear to have fled to Nauvoo following the September mob action they eventually moved back.  They were back in their homes but safety was not assured.  In fact, the LDS members of the family needed to flee Nauvoo for good while they could.  Staying on their land was not really an option, so the only real question was when they would leave.

As the new year of 1846 dawned Hannah and her children had serious decisions to make.  A major choice all the LDS members of the Carter family had to make was if they would remain in Nauvoo and risk their lives while they waited for their opportunity to take out their Endowments and to be sealed to their spouses in the newly opened Nauvoo temple.   This was risky as the mobs roamed freely and, if the U. S. government moved, they might be forced to stay in Nauvoo.  Many of the family members had now built two temples and surely the thought of leaving Nauvoo without the benefit of going through the temple was not really an option.  Once they left Nauvoo they had no idea if they would ever see another temple built in their life time – so at this point of time the decision to attend the temple was a “now or never” proposition.

The Nauvoo Temple today
Hannah’s LDS children each took advantage of attending the Nauvoo temple:
                                    Endowment Date           Sealing to Spouse Date
Dominicus Carter           22 Dec 1845                   13 Jan 1846
Hannah                          20 Jan 1846                    13 Mar 1856 (in Utah)
William Furlsbury           20 Jan 1846                    28 Jan 1846
John H                           23 Jan 1846                    25 Jan 1848 (Winter Quarters)
Eliza Ann                       22 Dec 1845                     3 Feb 1846
Richard                            7 Feb 1846                     3 Nov 1882 (Utah – after his death)

Hannah, herself, had two decisions to make in relation to the temple – one was simple and the other would be difficult.  Following Dominicus’ and Eliza’s trips to the temple on 22 Dec 1845, Hannah became the third member of the family to be endowed when she attended the temple on 10 Jan 1846.  Her next decision relating to the temple requires some explanation. 

When the doctrine of temple work was first revealed to the early members of the LDS Church, the system differed a little from what we understand it to be today.  Baptism for the dead was the only ordinance that was in effect for the ancestors of the early Saints.  The endowment and sealings of couples were performed only for the living – not the dead.  Hannah was in a quandary with regards to the sealing ordinance.  Her husband John would not join the Church so she would be unable to partake of the sealing ordinance and the thus would not be able to enter the fullness of the Celestial Kingdom in the afterlife, as that ordinance is essential to a person’s progress back to their Father-in-Heaven’s presence. This was the period of time during which polygamy was practiced.  One offshoot of that practice was for women who were unmarried, widowed, or married to a non-member to be “sealed” to a leader of the Church.  This wasn’t intended to be a marriage ceremony as we would view it today, but was done so these women would be able to benefit from the eternal blessings of having this ordinance.   Though the couple wouldn’t live together as a married couple it would be expected that the man would look after the welfare of the woman until she died.

This has been a much-misunderstood situation in the Carter family.  Rumors have circulated that John and Hannah divorced and John remarried prior to his death.  John surely wasn’t happy with what happened but there is no evidence that he and Hannah divorced.  In fact, this researcher, has found no evidence that Hannah and Isaac ever lived together or even lived in the same community.  In fact, it appears that Hannah spent the rest of her life with or near her eldest child, Dominicus.

So why was it that she was sealed to Isaac Morley?  Isaac had been influential with the Carter family since at least the Missouri days.  The children, at least, had fled Missouri with Isaac and settled in Morleyville with his family.  He became the civil and Church leader of the community.  Isaac was the patriarch in the Morleyville area and gave Hannah her patriarchial blessings (she actually had two).  Understanding this, it is easy to see why Isaac would be willing to be sealed to Hannah, which ordinance was performed on 22 Jan 1846 – two days after she was endowed in the Nauvoo temple.

Once these trips to the temple were completed it was time to depart their beautiful city.  We have no absolute dates of departure nor do we know if they left together.  In other life stories, it is mentioned that Hannah left Nauvoo with Dominicus and his family.  Since she was sealed to Isaac on January 22nd it can be inferred that they couldn’t leave before then.  Her last child to be endowed in the Nauvoo temple was Richard on February 7th.  It is probable that most of the family left shortly after that, if they hadn’t already left.  Interestingly Isaac’s life story mentions that his family left Nauvoo in February.  The one exception to all of this was William.  Sarah was pregnant at the time and gave birth to Sarah Melissa on 13 April 1846 in Nauvoo.  They probably left shortly thereafter and were probably the last of the Carters to leave Nauvoo.

Leaving Nauvoo in the dead of winter over the frozen Mississippi River
Leaving Nauvoo after the spring thaw

Leaving Nauvoo had to be a heartbreaking experience for Hannah.  She was leaving her husband of forty years and three children behind to never be seen again.  She was leaving the beautiful city of Nauvoo – once a large and vibrant city for the unknown wilds of the West.  Finally, this was during the depths of winter and the cold weather had to make everyone feel even worse along with making the trip treacherous.  Without a doubt, her life for her would never be the same again.