Source: Life of William F. Carter Sr.
by Leora Carter Scharrer (a great granddaughter of William)
Family History Library Q921.73 A1 #10
FHL Film 1036767 item 2
p. 17 - 18
The missionary journal ends in Lima Hancock County, Illinois on December 20, 1853. He visited his Brother Phillip and sister Mary Jane Dewley. It was here he learned of his father’s death over a year before. He also learned that Roxena had given birth to a son and named him Edward M. after her father. This was a surprise to him as he did not know this baby was on the way when he left home. He rejoiced at this first and good news he had received from his family in over fourteen months.
William F. was a very sick man in poor health. It was winter, thus being low in health, and winter upon him it was impossible for him to continue his missionary work. The brother and sister and friends in Lima, realizing the condition William F. was in, put him to bed and cared for him during the winter months.
By spring of 1854, he had gained most of his strength back and was ready to resume his missionary work. On 1 April he was called by Church Official in St. Louis, to act as an agent of the Church. He was assigned the responsibility of arranging transportation, equipment and provisions for the large handcart companies of immigrants waiting to start the overland trek to Utah. All was handled with dispatch, wisdom, and skill. By 10 April he had the first company of English and Welsh Saints ready which he took to Kansas. The 16th of June, Elder Empey writes from Kansas to S. W. Richards at Salt Lake City as follows:
“The Danish Company comprising of seventy wagons under the presidency of Elder H. P. Olsen have received their outfits, and they rolled out on the plains yesterday.
“I have organized three other companies of English, Welsh, and Scotch. Two of these are P. E. Fund Companies and one is independent. The Independent company consists of about 30 wagons each. I have appointed William F. Carter president of one, and Dr. Darwin Richardson president of the other. The health of the saints is good. On account of the immense emigration to California-Salt Lake this season, oxen range from $75 to $110 per yoke, and cows $25 to $40 per head. The price of wagons in St. Louis is $67. The variation of freight prices is the result of the different stages of the river.”
In making these arrangements for his trip back home, William F. was not anxiously accepted by the Captain. The captain of the wagon train had objected at first to his joining them, thinking no doubt that his recent illness (causing much loss of weight and a poor physical appearance) and his age, 43, would cause him to be a burden. Possibly it was the intercession of a 27-year-old English convert, Elizabeth Howard, that gained him a place in the company. She is reported to have asked, “Why can’t we take that old man along with us?”
Elizabeth was from a well-to-do family. When asked why she always wore silk dresses on the trail, she replied that they were the only kind she had. A friendship developed between these two saints. William F. was able to repair wagons and shoe horses on the journey to the satisfaction of all involved.
At Echo Canyon, Captain Kearns divided the company taking part and leaving William to bring the rest by another route, which proved to be a shorter road.
Captain Kearnes, on arriving at Salt Lake asked Miss Howard for an extra $200 for her transportation to Utah. William F. knowing that this was wrong interceded. He went to his old friend President Brigham Young on this matter.
The solution was soon seen. William F. and Elizabeth were married and sealed on October 9, 1854 at 4:30 p.m. by George A. Smith. Then they proceeded to Provo.
The church records show that William F. after this long and tedious plains trip of three months reached Salt Lake City 30 Sep 1854. The records show that his was the day he was released from his mission. He was away from home 23 months and 10 days.
He was the second Elder who had circumnavigated the globe as an L.D.S. missionary and the first missionary to carry the Book of Mormon the full distance around. On returning home he testified as follows:
“I have suffered ill health, change in climate, and rough weather in crossing the ocean. I have bore my testimony to every person that I possibly could meet, both by sea and land, and I verily believe that I sowed seed in good ground that will grow, and I shall see the fruits thereof. I baptized a man and his wife in Kansas, who will be shortly in the valley. I have only one regret that my health was such that it prevented my staying to finish my mission, but my conscience fully acquits me of having done my best duty as far as I was able and knew how, and that the Lord has blessed me for I am convinced of his special care over me in permitting me to return to my home and family. That simple faith endeavors me to be abundantly blessed in drawing out the honest in heart to join the Gospel that I have bore testimony to around the world, is my prayer, in the name of Christ – Amen.”
Though she doesn’t cite it – one would think that the author of the above Leora Scharrer must have consulted the following source. It should be noted that in the early days of the Church there weren’t all that many missionaries that went out on missions and it was customary for those who resided in the Utah area upon their return to report directly to President Brigham Young about their mission. The following is where that report was recorded.
In The Journal History of the Church – Entry for 30 Sep 1854 is the report of William F Carter’s mission to India. The report begins with:
“Elder Wm. F. Carter the second Latter-day Elder who had circumnavigated the Globe as a missionary arrived in Salt Lake City. The following report of his mission was published in the Deseret News:”
What follows is an extensive report of his mission – the beginning and end from copies of the original paper and the rest from a transcription. The bulk of this report is taken directly from his journal. His summary is interesting: “I arrived in Great Salt Lake City, Sept. 30, 1854. On the 2nd of Oct. I arrived in Provo City, having been absent 23 months, 10 days.
It took 86 days to sail from San Francisco to Calcutta, and 126 from Calcutta to Boston; the distance I traveled round the world being 38,000 miles.” (Deseret News Nov. 9, 1854 p. 2)
|William Furlsbury Carter probably following his mission to India|
This ends this abbreviated account of William’s mission to India. The photo attached to this post is, I believe, a photo of William not long after his mission based on the fact that, compared with the other two pictures we have of him, he doesn't look well.