Monday, October 10, 2016


                Hannah had to have mixed feelings as the family prepared to move to Missouri.  Maine had always been her home.  Newry, though relatively remote, was still just a day or two away from her parent’s home.  In reality, her father had died three years earlier in 1835 and her mother may have been ailing as she passed on 9 Dec 1838 just two months or so after Hannah left.  In any case the decision had been made and between the 10th of September (the last town meeting John attended) and 25 October 1838 (when John was replaced in his town duties), the family did move.  We will never know the exact date that they left, but it was most likely shortly after the town meeting of September 10th.

                Her children who had been in Kirtland had been on the road from February (William and Eliza) and July (John Jr. and Dominicus).  Their passage to Missouri was extremely slow.  It wasn’t until October 2nd that they would reach their goal of Adam-ondi-Ahman – making the trip three months for the last ones that left.  They were poor – traveling by wagons (in William’s case pulled by 1 ox.)  The Kirtland Camp had to stop frequently to rest and to even work to earn food to eat.  For these reasons the trip west was more of an endurance test than an enjoyable trip.

John and Hannah on the other hand made a much more rapid trip to Missouri.  They were in Missouri by 10 Nov 1838 for on that date John signed a deed in Monroe County for 40 acres of land and paid $200 cash.  That date is just eight weeks and five days from the last meeting John attended in Newry.  If we calculate the time from the meeting when he was replaced (October 25) it was just two weeks and two days later.  So how fast could they have traveled the approximate 1500 miles from Newry to Monroe Co., Missouri?

The Atlas of Historical Geography of the United States at provides us with travel times from New York in 1830.  The location of Newry puts it about a week’s travel to the east from New York so a week would have to be added to the travel times shown on the accompanying map.  Trains were just beginning to become popular in the eastern part of the United States and could probably be used to make a good portion of the trip.  Depending on their route they might have used river travel and or stage coaches for part of the trip.  In any case according to the Atlas the trip counting the week east of New York would probably take between four and five weeks.  So the Carters probably left Newry by the first of October be able to traverse this distance in time to purchase the land on November 10.

From the Atlas of Historical Geography of the United States

There were surely four people in their party – John and Hannah and their two remaining children, Richard 18 and Mary Jane 15.  They probably traveled light – taking a few trunks with everything of value that they wanted to take with them.  Recent discoveries have uncovered probably one thing that they took with them – an old deerskin chest 18 inches wide by 10 inches front to back and 7.5 inches deep.  Joe Conover, a cousin in Illinois owns this prized possession today.  In it were stored many documents from the Nauvoo period of our family.  Writing on the inside of the top of the box seems to read Jerad or Jazeb but more likely is Zebulon – Hannah’s father.  This most likely was her prized possession from their time in Maine and probably at one time contained the family Bible.

In any case, unknown to us are when they left Newry, how they traveled and what exactly they took, but there is no question that by November 10, 1838 they were in Monroe Co., Missouri so 4 counties east of where their LDS children were undergoing terrible persecutions.
The old deerskin chest of Zebulon Libby

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