Friday, August 22, 2014

Mary Ann Emmett Ellis b.1822 and Mary Ann Ellis Watkins b. 1857

This brooch was presented to Mary Ann Emmett Ellis on October 3rd, 1899, by the Ogden 2nd Ward Relief Society in recognition of service in that organization for over 20 years.  The image on the front of the brooch is that of her daughter, Mary Ann Ellis Watkins.  This is their story.
Mary Ann Emmett was born 3 October 1822 in Clitheroe, Downham, Lancashire, England, the oldest of John Emmett and Sarah Boothman Emmett’s eight children.  Sarah and six of her children received baptism between the years 1839 and 1844, Mary Ann in 1840 at the age of 17.  As the children grew to adulthood some of them made plans to emigrate to America.  Mary Ann worked as a household servant in order to save up the money necessary.
Mary Ann made the journey from Liverpool to New Orleans with her brother, Thomas Emmett, and Thomas’s wife, Nancy on the Ship Ellen, which departed 8 January 1851 and arrived in New Orleans 14 March 1851.  They traveled up the Missisppi to St. Louis and set to work to earn the funds necessary to emigrate to Salt Lake City. 
John was born 5 January 1828 in Darley, Derbyshire, England, the son of Elizabeth Hague, a single woman, and Thomas Ashton. His mother married George Ellis in 1831 and John took his stepfather's last name as his own.  He, like Mary Ann, also emigrated in 1851.  A letter he wrote to his sister indicates that he sailed on the ship Blanch [sic] on 21 January of that year and disembarked in New Orleans.  He had originally planned to travel on to Wisconsin, but he ran out of funds in St. Louis and so he stopped and began seeking work there.  
John and Mary Ann were married in New Orleans on 4 June 1853, and their first child, a boy who they named George, was born 31 March 1854.  George died at the age of three months.  The following winter John received word that his mother in England had died on 3 February 1855 and he wrote later, in his autobiography, that with the two sorrowful events “the eyes of my understanding began to open little by little” and he received baptism 21 November 1855.
In the meantime, Mary Ann’s sister, Ann Emmett, had sailed to New York City, leaving Liverpool on 29 July 1855 arriving on the ship Cynosure on 5 September 1855.  She departed New York three days later with a company of Saints enroute to Iowa City and traveled on to St. Louis to be with her sister and brother in law.  John had sent sixty dollars to her to finance her journey. She had an infant daughter born to her in St. Louis on 15 January 1856, whom she named Sarah, after her mother.  As Ann was a spinster and raising a child alone was  both socially and economically extremely difficult, Mary Ann and John informally adopted Sarah and raised her as their own child until Sarah died, at the age of 8, in 1864.
Early in June 1856 Mary Ann, John, Ann and Sarah traveled on the steamboat “Arabia” and in about seven days arrived at Florence. There they joined the Daniel D. MacArthur Handcart Company which departed Florence on 11 Jun 1856 and arrived in Salt Lake City on 26 Sep 1856.  They settled in Ogden, Utah.  There three more children were born to Mary Ann and John:  Mary Ann, b. 6 March 1857, John Gregory, b. 22 August 1859, and Elizabeth b. 26 Aug 1861.
A family history written by one of Elizabeth Ellis’s children refers to Mary Ann Ellis commencing “over 20 years” of service as the president of the Ogden 2nd Ward Relief Society sometime after the birth of her youngest child.
Mary Ann Ellis (daughter, b.1857) grew up in Ogden and met a young man five years her senior, Joseph Hyrum Watkins (b. 13 August 1851) who, at age 11, had emigrated from England and settled in Ogden with his parents.  She decided to marry him in a polygamous marriage.  Both she and Mary Ann Doxey (b.28 August 1856, in Ogden) were married and sealed to him on 30 April 1879 when she was almost 22 years old and Mary Ann Doxey was about 6 months older.  Interestingly, both young Mary Anns (Mary Ann Ellis and Mary Ann Doxey) are recorded as having received their endowment in the Endowment house on the same day, as seventeen year olds, on 17 August 1874.  It seems likely that they knew each other fairly well and may have been friends.
On October 8, 1879, Joseph Watkins was called on a colonizing mission to Arizona. Selling all his property for a team, wagon, and outfit, and in company with Mary Ann Doxey Watkins, he left Ogden the 4th of November 1879.   Mary Ann Ellis Watkins remained in Ogden in her parents’ home, where she appears in the 1880 census.
 In 1880 the Ellises received news of the birth and death of a first child, a little girl, to Mary Ann Doxey Watkins in St. Johns.  In early 1881 they received news of the birth of a son to Mary Ann Doxey Watkins there as well.  And Mary Ann Ellis Watkins traveled to St. Johns with her cousin, Thomas Samuel Browning, arriving there in April.
Family lore is that Mary Ann (mother, b. 1822) was unhappy with the departure of her oldest daughter to a place so new and far away nearly two years after her marriage which had included little time with her husband Joseph.   News came to her thereafter that Mary Ann Ellis Watkins was expecting her first child.
That same year John Ellis was called to serve a as a missionary to England and departed for that service on 11 October 1881, leaving his wife, Mary Ann at home with their son John Gregory (age 22) and their daughter Elizabeth (age 20). 
Three months later, on 16 January 1882, Mary Ann Ellis Watkins and her newborn son, George Alma Watkins, both died during childbirth in St. Johns.  The news was devastating to her mother, and her father’s mission diary reflects his deep grief when the news finally reached him in England.
Joseph Hyrum Watkins was released from his mission to St. Johns five months later, in June of 1882, due to ill health, and he and his other wife, Mary Ann Doxey Watkins, returned to live in Ogden. Twelve more children were born to them in Ogden between 1883 and 1903.
Eight years after the death of Mary Ann Ellis Watkins, the members of the Ogden 2nd Ward Relief Society presented a brooch and pin to Mary Ann Emmett Ellis on the event of her 67th birthday as a token of appreciation for her more than two decades of service as president of the society.  They chose to put, on the brooch, the image of her beloved daughter, whose marriage, move to Arizona and death in childbirth had occurred during those years of Relief Society work.

John Ellis and Mary Ann Emmett Ellis

John and Mary Ann Ellis's children, Elizabeth, John Gregory and Mary Ann

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Amos Botsford Fuller 1810-1853 and Esther Smith 1810-1856

Amos Botsford Fuller
Esther Smith

The Early Years
Amos Botsford Fuller was born 26 March 1810 in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York, the fifth child of Luther Fuller and Lorena Mitchell Fuller who had moved their family there from New Hampshire.  The Stockholm Township was small and in a sparsely settled frontier, about 15 miles south of the point where the State of New York and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario all meet.  Amos grew up on his parents’ farm there and besides developing his skills as a farmer, he also became a blacksmith by trade. 
Esther Smith was born almost six months later, also in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York, on 20 September 1810 to Asael Smith, Jr. and Elizabeth Schellenger Smith who had moved to Stockholm from Vermont.  She was the fourth child in a family of eight children.  During her youth she learned to sew, knit, and weave and to braid straw.  In her early years she was apprenticed to a tailor and became an expert seamstress for clothes for both men and women.  Before her marriage she also taught school. 
Esther grew up surrounded by her extended family.  Her paternal grandparents, Asael (Sr.) and Mary Elizabeth (Duty) Smith had moved from Massachusetts and New Hampshire to Stockholm in 1809 and  one of their daughters, Susanna, and five of their six living sons, Jesse, Asael Jr., Samuel (who died in 1830) Silas and John, had moved to the area as well.  Their other living son, Joseph Smith Sr., had moved with is family to Manchester, New York.  Esther’s father, Asael Smith Jr., was one of Joseph Smith Sr.’s younger brothers. That made Esther a first cousin to Joseph Smith Jr.   
Therefore, since the restoration of the gospel was family news, it wasn’t long before Asael Sr. and his adult children and grandchildren, including Esther, heard about it.  Asael Smith Sr. received a letter from his son Joseph Smith Sr. (Esther’s uncle) in the fall of 1828, when Esther was 18 years old.  In that letter Joseph Smith Sr. stated that his son, Joseph Smith Jr., had received some remarkable visions.  Soon afterwards, Joseph Smith Sr. brought his son, Don Carlos with him to Stockholm and told the family members about the metal plates that Joseph Smith Jr. had received.  And in a later visit he brought his son, Hyrum and a copy of the Book of Mormon for family members to read. The discussions among family members and letters back and forth between Smith cousins in Ohio (where the church had moved in 1831) and New York on the subject of religion continued for a number of years.   Appendix A contains a letter from Joseph Smith Jr. to his uncle Silas, in Stockholm.  Appendix C contains excerpts from a letter written in 1834 by John Smith (Esther’s uncle) who had moved from nearby Potsdam, New York to Kirtland in 1833, to his brother Silas in Stockholm.  The latter indicates Amos’s involvement in the conversations.  “Tell Amos the Lord prospers the church here and it increases in numbers,” he wrote, “ I repeat  it — the Church of the Latter Day  Saints will prosper in spite of wicked men and devils until it fills the whole earth  . . . .  The  walls of the Lord's house are nearly completed.  The roof will go on next week.”
However, not everyone received it well.  Esther’s oldest uncle, Jesse, was particularly opposed to the new church and family relations became a bit strained when other members of the family received baptism and became members of it in the years that followed. 

Beginning a New Life Together
Much had happened in Esther and Amos’s life by the time her cousin Joseph sent that letter to her Uncle Silas in 1833 and her Uncle John admonished Amos in his letter of 1834.  .  Esther and Amos had married each other on 8 March 1832 in Stockholm, NY, and records indicate that Amos purchased land in Stockholm a couple of months later on 24 May 1832.    Amos and Esther’s first child, a son, died the same day he was born, 15 May 1833.  And their second child, a daughter, was born less than a year later on 3 April 1834 and died just five days afterwards. The heartbreak must have been considerable.
As previously mentioned, Esther’s Uncle John had received baptism in early 1833 and had moved to Kirtland, Ohio.  Conversations and letters back and forth continued among family members and by the summer of 1835 Esther’s uncle Silas and his wife Mary, her parents Asael and Elizabeth and her widowed grandmother, Mary Smith were all members of the older generation that decided that they wished to do as well.  However, her Uncle Jesse who was Mary’s eldest son, absolutely refused to permit his mother to receive baptism.  So though the rest were baptized that summer, as well as a number of Esther’s siblings, including her oldest brother, Elias, Esther’s aging grandmother was not.  Esther and Amos were also not among those baptized that June and July of 1835.  Perhaps that was because their third child, Jesse Johnson Fuller was born in Stockholm on 1 June 1835 and the careful care of this new son, after losing their first two children at birth, would have been the anxious focus of both parents.  They decided to wait.
 Months later Esther was baptized on 1 January 1836 and Amos’s baptism is recorded as happening some weeks later on 17 February 1836.  The following spring they made plans to travel to Kirtland and arrived there in May of 1836.  The family group that arrived in Kirtland, all within a few days of each other, included Esther’s widowed 92 year old grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Duty Smith as well as Esther’s father, mother, her uncle Silas and his wife  and various other family members.  Mary’s sons, Asael Jr. and Silas, who made the trip, mindful of their mother’s frail health, planned the journey to be primarily by the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes rather than by road, in order for Mary to be able to survive it safely.  Appendix B contains Joseph Smith Jr.’s journal entries about the joy of the reunion that followed.

Early Years in Kirtland, Some Financial Decisions and a Mission to the Northeast
Shortly after their arrival in Kirtland Esther received a patriarchal blessing from her uncle, Joseph Smith Sr. on June 17, 1836.[1]  Amos received the same on 18 June 1836.[2] 
.  In his patriarchal blessing Amos was told that he was called to preach the gospel and that he should teach the Lamanites in their various languages.  He was called to stand with the 144,000 at the coming of the Savior and told to go his way and prosper.    And he was told that he would have visions and angels minister to him.  He was warned to be faithful and promised the blessing of one day talking face to face with the Savior.
In 1836 the country was undergoing an economic boom.  The residents of Kirtland were enjoying the benefits of that good year but they lacked monetary reserves.  They were producing goods and could carry on an active barter system, but they lacked cash with which to make purchases and payments. Many thought that if Kirtland had a bank that would provide a way for currency to begin to circulate more easily in the local economy.    The founders’ application for a bank charter from the state was denied so they called their new entity the “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company”. 
Amos’s name appears again in the Journal History of the Church when he was involved in the creation of the Kirtland Safety Society. In the Journal, in January of 1837, is recorded the following:
January 2, 1837—The Kirtland Safety Society formed a bank with stock by the society.  Amos B. Fuller was named as a member of the society.

January 3, 1837—The Seventies met in the loft of the Lord’s house at Kirtland, Ohio [the Kirtland temple, which had been dedicated in March of 1836].  President Zebedee Coltrin made a few brief remarks upon the responsibility of the office of Seventy.  He and Pres. Hazen ordained several to the 3rd Quorum of Seventies.  Amos B. Fuller was one of those ordained by Zebedee Coltrin.

With a new ordination as a member of a Quorum of Seventy it is not surprising that within a few months Amos was called to serve as a missionary for the LDS church.  Leaving Esther and three year old Jesse in Kirtland with Esther’s extended family nearby to help, he departed to work as a full time missionary, traveling by foot and coach through northern Massachusetts (where members of his father-in-law's extended family lived), southern and central New Hampshire, central Maine[3], and central Vermont, before heading west in the fall and preaching in New York and Ohio.  You can read two volumes of the journal he wrote while he was a missionary.  It is available online at the Harold B. Library web site.  Volume one commences on July 2, 1837. The transcription has some errors due to the challenges of deciphering old handwriting, so it is worth reading the transcription and the digital copy side by side to get an accurate understanding of where he was during his mission work.[4]
Amos’s stops on this mission were often with members of the church where he strengthened and assisted them and, whenever possible, he arranged to speak in schoolhouses and other churches.  Some days were spent in meditation, study and prayer.  Others were spent working to help members and relatives with whom he stayed with their farm work.  His journal contains his words of delight at receiving a letter from his family in Kirtland. 
The “Journal of Church History” which was being kept in Kirtland at the time also mentions his work in New Hampshire with an entry:
Sunday, August 27, 1837—A conference was held in Lyman, Grafton Co., New Hampshire.  The conference was organized and Amos B. Fuller was called to the Chair.  The Chairman (Amos B. Fuller) addressed the conference.  Others representing the branch of Chittenden Co. spoke etc.  The second meeting was addressed by the Chairman on the Word of Wisdom.

The time spent in Maine includes a time when he stayed with a Brother D. Carter.  At times in the journal he calls him “Uncle Carter”.  By September 9, 1837 he had moved into New York state where he stayed with his cousins, Edward Mix Fuller and James.  Two weeks later he left his cousins and headed back to Kirtland, having completed this mission work and looking forward to his reunion with his wife and young son.
Trouble in Kirtland
Upon his return to Kirtland Amos continued his church involvement and his name appears twice more in the Journal of Church History in the fall of 1837.
November 28, 1837, Tuesday—Quorum of the Seventies met in the loft of the Lords House at Kirtland.  Several spoke.  Amos B. Fuller gave a brief history of his labors the past season.  Brigham Young addressed them at length.
Tuesday, December 26, 1837—The Seventies meeting was held in the loft of the Lord’s House in Kirtland.  Amos B. Fuller spoke.
Why did he speak that day after Christmas?  Perhaps due to another mission call because, sure enough, Amos left in the first week January 1838 with Elder Thomas Hale as his companion on another mission, traveling this time to the area of Ohio south of Kirtland.  The journal existing from this mission work is very short, ending on January 18 but indicates that Amos and Thomas traveled by foot defending the LDS doctrine against many false rumors. On one occasion the Mormon Elders were challenged to a debate, complete with moderators, to be held on 10 January 1838. Amos and Thomas Hale accepted the offer and after preaching about the authenticity of the Book of Mormon the Elders allowed their opponents the opportunity to speak. Amos recorded that "Mr. Eddy then aros [sic] and brought forth many false and scurrilous reports enough to sicken a dog to hear and then stated that the character of Jo Smith was sufficient testimony against it which closed his remarks we then had ten minutes to reply and showed the weakness of his argument by comparing the deeds of Jo Smith (as he was pleased to call him) to those committed by Moses David and Solomon."1 
But things were not well at home.  Within a month of his departure the Kirtland Safety Society, which had been formed and of which he had become a founding and investing member the year before, failed spectacularly. His mission work was short.  He returned home quickly.

We know Amos had returned to Kirtland by March of 1838 because his name appears as one of the signers of the constitution of the “Kirtland Camp” dated in March 1838 as one of the people who planned and hoped to move his family to Missouri and to the Zion that the church hoped to build there. The church was suffering great persecutions in Kirtland, partly due to bigotry, partly due to the resentment of disenchanted members and partly due to the frustration people felt at the financial losses they had suffered and the chaos that ensued triggered by the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society.  The failure of the bank had a devastating financial impact on Amos and Esther as well as many others.  In January 1838 Joseph Smith and other church leaders had fled violence aimed at them and gone to Missouri. By March of that year those faithful church member who were left in Kirtland were predominantly the sick and the very poor.  Amos and Esther and their son were among them.  In the ensuing months persecution by disaffected members of the church who were incensed at the financial failure of the Safety Society was fierce along with threats of increased violence if members of the church who were still in Kirtland tried to abandon the town to join those who had already fled. (Likely because the exit of the last members of the church would give those who had lost money in the Kirtland Safety Society failure the sense that the last hope of their recouping their losses was irrevocably gone.)   During the summer of 1838 many of these remaining members of the church counseled among themselves as to how they could follow their leaders to Missouri and escape the persecution in Kirtland.
John Pulsipher who was in Kirtland at the time wrote, “The church in Kirtland was now broken up and the poorest of the poor were left, only because they could not get away.  Only about ten teams were all that was in the possession of the whole of them between five and six hundred persons, but they all covenanted that they would go together or stay together.
“This was the spring of 1838.  The presidents of the Seventy took the lead of business.  They advised every man that could work to go into the country and work a few months, for horses, cattle, wagons, harnesses, money, store pay, etc., which they did.  They worked and prayed and the Lord worked with them.  Signs and wonders were seen and heard which caused the Saints to rejoice.
“The power of the Lord was manifested in various ways.  Angels were seen in meetings, who spoke comforting words, that inasmuch as we would be faithful the Lord would help us and we should be delivered from our enemies.
“In June the company met, brought in their property which had been earned and behold they had means sufficient to move all the Saints from Kirtland.  The company was organized with James Foster, Zerah Pulsipher, Joseph Young, Henry Harriman, Josiah Butterfield, Benjamin Willer and Elias Smith [Esther’s brother] at the head as counselors, to lead the camp.
“On the 6th of July at noon the camp started all in order.  The company consisted of 515 souls—249 males, 266 females, 27 tents, 59 wagons, 97 horses, 22 oxen, 69 cows and one bull.”
Amos and Esther and their little boy, Jesse, were members of this Kirtland Camp that left the town that July of 1838.  Esther began the journey when she was five months pregnant with their fourth child.
Pulsipher wrote “Our enemies had threatened never to let us go out of Kirtland two wagons together, but when we got ready to start, the largest company of Saints that had ever traveled together in this generation started out in good order without an enemy to oppose us.”
The challenge of providing food for so large a company when so many had so little to begin with was a challenge.  The company had an Engineer appointed, Jonathan Dunham, whose business, Pulsipher wrote, was “to go though the rich settlements and towns where he could buy provisions cheap and bring a wagon load to the camp each night.  The rations were given out once a day to the several families according to their number; he that gave in money and he that had none to give, all fared alike.”
  “We traveled along in fine order”, wrote Pulsipher, “and after a few hundred miles we got out of money.”
By this time the camp had gotten as far as Dayton, Ohio and once again the men in the company, including Amos, hired out to work until they had raised enough money to fund the rest of their journey. 
It was not an easy road.  Pulsipher wrote, “…sometimes the weather was good and sometimes bad.  Sometimes our tents would blow over in the rain storms in the night when all within—beds, people, and all—would get as wet as drowned mice, but we could sleep in wet beds and not get sick by it.  The people in the towns, cities and country thru which we passed looked and gazed at us as we passed along.  Sometimes they tried to stop us.  Once they threw eggs at us just because we were Mormons.”
In spite of the challenges most of the members of the Kirtland Camp traveled all the way to Far West safely and a few days after that, on 4 October 1838, traveled on to Adam-ondi-Ahman, Daviess County.  However, Esther, Amos and Jesse did not make the entire journey. By August Esther’s delivery date was rapidly approaching and at the rate the company was traveling they realized that they would not reach their goal of Far West and Adam-Ondi-Ahmen before the new baby arrived. So after traveling 680 miles the little family stopped in the Missouri town of Fredricksburg in Ray County, (now known as Clay County), located or built a small cabin in which to stay and awaited the birth of their new child.     
Loretta Alice Lewis Cowan, Mary Adelia’s daughter and a granddaughter of Esther and Amos recounted the following:  “At the time of my mother’s birth (31 August 1838) the mobs were terrible.  This was in Zion.  When Mary Adelia was two or three hours old the mob surrounded the house of Amos Fuller.   They told him they would give him time to get his family out and then they were going to burn the house.  He explained to them to wait [sic] until his wife until his wife was stronger.  But his persuasions did no good.  He had to make a bed in a wagon and put his wife and two children in it.  Before they had driven far, the house was on fire.”
We do not know where the family spent the following two months but they did not stay in Missouri long.  Missouri Governor Lilbourn Boggs Executive order 44, commonly known as the “Mormon Extermination Order” was issued on October 27.

The Winter of 1838-39
The family’s survival and journey to Illinois with two tiny children over the ensuing winter months, hard on the heels of their journey from Ohio to Missouri must have been extremely hard.
Where exactly the small family stayed upon arrival in Illinois is unknown, perhaps in Quincy, a town that took many refugees in.  However, by June of 1839 the church had begun to purchase land in and surrounding the town of Commerce.  One of the men who owned land in Commerce, Isaac Galland, also owned land across the river in the town of Nashville, Lee County, Iowa which he had founded, about 8 miles north of Keokuk.  The church purchased the Nashville land and 20,000 acres surrounding it on 24 June 1839.  They also during that time purchased further Iowa land, including Montrose, totaling about 120,000 acres in all.  
The town of Commerce was renamed Nauvoo and plots were laid out for families to build and farm.  As the city plots were designed Amos and Esther were designated owners of a four acre plot of land on the northwest corner of Water Street and Main Street in that city, not far from the home of Joseph and Emma Smith, but if they ever stayed there they did not stay there long.  A meeting was held the following summer in Nashville on 23 Aug 1840 at which Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith and a large assembly of Saints voted to begin building the city of Nashville.  Sometime in 1839 Amos and Esther had chosen to move their family there.  Many of Esther’s extended family members who had joined the church, including her parents, sisters and brothers, were living there.  Having that family support nearby would be important to her.  Her son, Asahel Luther Fuller, who was born several years later, would subsequently attribute her being “very frail in body” to the commencement of symptoms of consumption that had began to show up in her life after the harrowing winter of 1838-39.  So perhaps that slowly and increasingly debilitating health issue that was beginning to make itself known was also contributed to the family’s decision to settle across the river in Iowa nearer to family support.

Early Days in Nashville
The Nashville Branch of the church was organized in July of 1839 and Amos and Esther were accepted into that branch that year.  Also appearing on records as members of that branch were a number of extended family members.  As previously mentioned, Asael Smith Jr., brother to Joseph Smith Sr. and father of Esther was one of the earliest settlers of Nashville. Asael Jr., his wife Betsy, and Esther’s siblings, Elias, Silas, and Martha comprised one household in the new town.  Other households included Asael and Betsy’s married children Esther (md. to Amos Botsford Fuller), Mary Jane (md. to George Washington Gee, Sr.), Julia Priscilla (md. to Moses Martin) and Emily (md. to Samuel Pierce Hoyt).  So Esther had her parents and all of her living siblings nearby.  Esther’s uncle, John Smith, lived nearby as well.
Esther and Amos’ fifth child, a son, Luborn Livonia, was born to them in Nashville in December of 1840.
On 20 March 1841 Joseph Smith wrote the following about Nashville, Lee County and the area west of Nauvoo:
About this time I received a revelation given in the city of Nauvoo, in answer to the following interrogatory—“What is the will of the Lord, concerning the Saints in the Territory of Iowa?”  Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name, and are essaying to be my Saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them; let them gather themselves together, unto the place which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.  Let them build up a city unto my name upon the land opposite to the City of Nauvoo, and let the name of Zarahemla be named upon it[5]. And let all those who come from the east, and the west, and the north and the south, that have desires to dwell therein, take up their inheritances in the same, as well as in the City of Nashville, or in the City of Nauvoo, and in all the stakes which I have appointed, saith the Lord.[6]
Amos began to work to provide for his family as soon as he could and within a short time had constructed a sturdy home. A letter written by Esther’s brother, Elias, to their uncle, Jesse Smith in New York, dated 31 August 1841 mentions his brothers-in-law, Samuel Hoyt and Amos Fuller.   “Samuel Hoyt and A.B. Fuller live here and both have a hand some [sic]property. Amos B. built him a fine two story stone house last season and Samuel is building a framed one this summer…”[7]
Though family tradition says that Amos was a member of the Nauvoo Legion in Nauvoo, that’s not exactly right.  Church history records in 1841 show that Amos was a colonel in the militia of Lee County, Iowa and a member of the Nauvoo Legion regiment that was located across the river from Nauvoo in Montrose, Iowa.[8]   Nashville was located in the township of Montrose.  That is probably the reason for the military hat that he wears in a photograph taken of him during that era.
In the meantime, Amos’s father, Luther Fuller and his wife, Lorena Mitchell Fuller had also made the journey to Nashville, probably coming from Stockholm, NY to be with their son..  Little is known about their lives before Luther’s name appears in the membership record of the Nashville Branch of the church in 1840 where he is listed as a teacher.  His wife, Lorena is not listed.

Questions, Family and A Wary Peace
In December of 1841 Amos approached Joseph Smith with a question. The prophet recorded:
Nauvoo 22 December 1841
Elder Amos B. Fuller of Zarahemla stated to me that he had settled all his debts, made all necessary provision for his family, and desired to know the will of God concerning him.
Verily thus saith the Lord unto my servants the Twelve, let them appoint unto my servant, A.B. Fuller a mission to preach my Gospel unto the children of men, as it shall be manifested unto them by my Holy Spirit, Amen.[9]
Amos was appointed to serve a mission to Chicago in 1842 and another to Vermont in 1843.  There are no records of that mission work. Esther gave birth to their daughter, Sophina Alcesta in Nashville in May of 1843.  And Amos’ mother, Lorena, died and was buried in Augusta, Iowa in August of that same year.
Unlike their friends across the river, the Nashville Saints felt safe among their Iowa neighbors.  Emily Smith wrote in her journal, “The people where we lived were friendly to the Mormons and those who lived in Iowa had no trouble with any mob while we lived there.”  Esther’s cousin Joseph Smith would visit his Iowa Smith relatives both in times of peace and in times of danger.  Mary Adelia who was a child during those years recounted how on different occasions Joseph would romp with the children.  He would turn a chair over on the floor, lie upon it in a reclining position and roll and tumble the little ones over him.  And she also remembered one occasion, during mob violence across the river, that the prophet found protection in their home.
 And then the Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered on 27 June 1844.  The subsequent two years were a tumultuous time. 

Vision, Comfort and a Move to the North
Amos and Esther had joined with many others in their anticipation of being able to worship in the temple being built in Nauvoo and they received their endowment there on 10 January 1846. And four days later they received their second patriarchal blessings. These they received under the hand of Esther’s father, Asael Smith. In this second blessing Amos was told, “…And as touching thy ancestors thou shalt have power to redeem many of them and to bring them forth in the first resurrection. By thy faithfulness and thy diligence thou shalt become master, temporally speaking, of all things below and by they faithfulness thou shalt yet bring thy father and thy mother into the kingdom. Thou shalt be of the one hundred and forty and four thousand that shall stand on Mount Zion and thou shalt reign as a king and a prince on the earth with the Savior during the millennium.” He was also told, “I have once declared that thou wast of the seed of Abraham through the loins of Manasseh; therefore thou are a lawful heir to the Priesthood.”
In his words to Esther in her 2nd patriarchal blessing, her father calls her “Dear Daughter” and says the Lord loves her, watches over her and has watched over her since her birth and right up to that moment. He tells her the Lord is aware of the many afflictions she has endured, that the Lord has comforted her in her many afflictions and that she will have peace in later years. The blessing also states that she would lay her hands on the heads of sick member of her family and heal them and when there was no Elder present she could also do the same for friends. It says that she, with her husband, will teach and save his ancestors to come forth in the first resurrection and that she would walk in the New Jerusalem with her husband and dwell forever in peace.
In that uncertain era many members of the church were confused about the leadership of the church as several possible solutions for the leadership vacuum created by Joseph Smith’s death presented themselves. One of these possible solutions was led by a man named James Jesse Strang who Joseph Smith had sent to Wisconsin to see about establishing a stake there should the Saints be driven out of Nauvoo. A recent convert to the LDS church, Strang claimed that Joseph Smith had sent him a letter stating that he should be the prophet after Joseph died. He also claimed that an angel had visited him at the very moment Joseph was murdered and the angel had confirmed that he should lead the church and gather the members with him in Voree, Wisconsin. The majority of the LDS church rejected Strang's claim and he was excommunicated by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS church on 26 August 1844, but a sizeable number of people did follow Strang then and in the following couple of years. Estimates figure that the number was close to 12,0001. His claim that a prophet was necessary (Brigham Young proposed leadership by the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) made sense to them as did the administration of angels which seemed to them to follow the pattern that Joseph Smith had set and which many of them recalled experiencing in Kirtland.
Among these who followed Strang to Wisconsin were Amos Fuller and his family who moved to Wisconsin, likely sometime in 1846. The members of the church who followed Strang became known as "Strangite Mormons” though their official name is “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (no “The”, no hyphen between Latter and Day, and the “D” is capitalized) and they settled first in Voree (now Prairie Springs), a town that had had Mormon members living there since 1835, just outside of the town of Burlington, Wisconsin. During the years of 1844-1846 those Saints who believed in Strang’s claims gathered in Voree, where Strang set up his leadership by patterning the basic organization of his church after the one instituted by Joseph Smith. Tithing was required as early as 1845, and by 1846 the saints were commanded to build a house for the prophet and a temple for God.
Family history stories talk about the Fuller family’s time in Wisconsin with reference to his being a bishop there. The records of the church that James Strang organized also make references to Amos. Amos was called by Strang to be the Assistant President of the Voree Stake in 1846 and shortly thereafter, likely early 1847, bishop of that whole church. In the meantime, on September 28th, 1846 Esther gave birth to their seventh child, their son, Amos Botsford Jr. in Voree.

Divisions in Voree
Strang’s followers faced many challenges, including an acute shortage of available land for immigrating Strangites to occupy and internal problems and defections due to disenchantment that continually plagued the church.
By the end of 1846 there was significant dissension amongst the leadership of James Strang’s church. The church’s high council, in Strang’s absence, had charged John C. Bennett, who held the church titles of “pontiff, general and chief master of ceremonies”, with “teaching False Doctrine, (such as) Polygamy, and Concubinage and attempting to carry them into practice” and “threatening Life, and ridiculous sacred things”. The high council unanimously agreed that “the charges preferred against him were sufficiently sustained” and that he was “legally expelled from the church”. In turn, Bennett ignored both the council and the verdict.
When Strang returned to Voree from a mission trip he also refused to abide by the council’s verdict and removed a number of dissenters from their positions of authority including Isaac Scott and Willard Griffith who were both, in turn, excommunicated, and he required other church leaders to sign a document professing their allegiance to both Strang and to Bennett. Amos B. Fulller, Bishop, was one of the signators.

What Happened Next
A number of the men who had, at this point, either left or been excommunicated from the church began publishing a newspaper “New Era and Herald of Zion’s Watchman”. According to that publication, Bennet began predicting a forthcoming “illumination” at which those present “should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and handle with their hands those angels which should minister unto them” and that if members were quiet the illumination would take place in a few weeks and would “be so marvelous and public as not only to perfectly satisfy the faithful that the Covenant (a group of church members who were given special status as members of that group) was of God, but that it should be a condemnation to the rebellious and traitors who should dare to expose the Covenant.

When Strang returned from a trip away, he renewed that promise, saying that it would be a public manifestation but that membership in the Covenant it had nothing to do with salvation.
On New Year’s Day, 1847 Strang gathered the inner circle of his disciples, including Amos Fuller, for a ceremonial meeting that involved passwords, the Bible and the Book of Mormon and Bennett’s declaration that “We acknowledge no God but the God of J. J. Strang” with all those congregated responding with “amen”.
An article in “Zion’s Reveille”, the Wisconsin church’s newspaper, describes that meeting and mentions Amos.
"The First of January, 1847
"The brethren, under the direction of Uriel C. H. Nickerson, Daniel Avery, and James M. Adams, (three tried and faithful veterans in the service of God and the church) prepared a most sumptuous feast on New Year's Day, at Josiah Sumner's, of which one hundred and thirty partook, notwithstanding the weather was extremely inclement. This was one of the most pleasant festivals the church has ever witnessed. It was truly a feast of love, (as well as a corporal feast) an outpouring of the most noble feelings of the human heart -- a flow of soul commingling with the Spirit of God. The houses of Brothers Strang and Avery were dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, in which Brothers Fuller, Nickerson, Avery, Strang, Bennett, and Greenhow officiated in their respective offices. The meetings at Brother Strang's, during the day and evening, were most interesting and instructive. The sacrament of the eucharist was administered, addresses were given by Brothers Strang, Bennett, Greenhow, Adams, and Nickerson, and universal satisfaction prevailed. May such peace and harmony ever obtain with the faithful."

In that same newspaper the following was also printed:
Amos B. Fuller This worthy brother, who is numbered amongst the few surviving relations of the martyred prophet, Joseph, has been appointed a bishop in the church, for which he is most admirably calculated both by his faithfulness, talents and Christian integrity”
This appointment had likely taken place in December of 1846 upon Strang's return to Voree

Illumination” and Disenchantment
Those who had participated in the meeting during the day on January 1st met again that evening to receive the Lord’s supper and then, on January 2, met in the basement of Strang’s recently completed home. At this point accounts of what happened there vary.
According to John Greenhow, who was a believing member of the church, they gathered “for the purpose of praising and magnifying our God, and whilst engaged in singing and the Prophet [Strang] on his knees washing feet, there appeared a light, as a consuming fire, and it sat upon each of our heads, and while the fire burnt still more increasingly not a hair was singed, and we united in singing, ‘The Spirit of God like a fire is burning, &c.”
According to the editors of “New Era and Herald of Zion’s Watchman”, at the gathering members of the church were annointed with consecrated oil upon their heads unaware that the oil contained phosphorus, a nonmetalic element that glows in the dark (and is also toxic). And, true to form, it glowed.
Several months after this event, the editor of the “Ottowa Free Trader”, published in Illinois, reported that the ceremony entailed head washing, feet washing and concluded with an anointing of heads with oil “that had a queer smell”, after which the members were directed into a dark room where “they were to receive the endowment, which was to be in the shape of an extraordinary and visible manifestation of the spirit, rendering them at once impregnable thenceforth to all the shafts of Satan.” And it was in this darkened room that the “illumination” happened.
Isaac Scott, who was one of the editors of the “New Era and Herald of Zion's Watchman stated, forty years later, in a letter to the “Saints Herald”, an RLDS newspaper in Lamoni, Iowa, that Amos Fuller was the man who, after the ceremony, kept the the bottle of oil that had been used in the illumination ceremony in his home and had given it to him, at his request, so that he could have it and see if the event was reproducible..
He wrote:
James Strang in Voree
I have been a subscriber for the Saint’s Herald ever since its publication…now as James. J. Strang has been spoken of in late numbers of the Herald by some correspondents as the successor of Joseph Smith, the Seer, I think that a little of my experience with this man who claimed that an angel “set him” above all his fellows might be interesting…
The “endowment” that I have mentioned given by J. J. Strang and John C. Bennet, was performed in the basement of Strang’s dwelling house at night, with the lights turned down; and they positively did use a mixture fo phosphorus and oil to produe a pale looking blaze of light on the heads of all those who were present and received this “endowment”; and Strang said that the light (produced by this imposition) was the power of the Holy Ghost, the same as was manifested on the day of Pentecost.
To show the wicked fraud that Strang and Bennet perpetrated upon the people I went to Bishop Fuller (Strang’s Bishop) and got some of the stuff from the same bottle used by Strang and Bennett and I gave the same “endowment” in the presence of a packed house of spectators, several of those who had received Strang’s fraud being present who said it was the one Strang and Bennett used and that no change had been made of it since they used it.
Isaac. F. Scott, Sen. Pardeeville, Wisconsin, December 7th, 1888”

According to the Ottowa Free Trader, it was William Smith, a member of the church and Joseph Smith's brother, who first asked for, received and arranged for the oil in Amos’ home to be chemically analyzed.
Perhaps it was Smith’s test results that were the catalyst for Scott’s attempt to reproduce the event. Whatever the sequence of events was, the results of the analysis must have come as a shock to Amos and Esther. According to the analysis done, the oil that had been used in the “endowment” in which Amos had participated contained phosphorus. And Isaac Scott was able to reproduce the glow in the dark with it,
According to James Strang, Amos, with that information now clear to him, also accused Strang of using phosphorus to fake the “illumination”. And in the Voree Herald, volume 1, No. 5 in early 1846, Strang tried to discredit Amos and his accusation by portraying him as doubleminded.
Strang wrote:
“Amos Fuller, the first one of the number, who asserted the use of phosophorus, gave me on the 10th day of February following a letter directed to Emma Smith, in which he expressed the most unqualified confidence in me as a prophet of God, and an honest man. The very day of his apostacy he scouted the least suggestion of imposition, and declared that it had never been pretended that the glory of God was more manifest in the illumination of the eucharist. “
On the other hand, the unnamed editor of that same issue the “Voree Herald” was sure that Amos’ accusations were wicked and treacherous. He wrote:
“In short, Jesus had his Judas Iscariot and Peter James and John, and Paul suffered much because of false brethren. Joseph Smith had is John C. Bennet, his William Law, the Cowderys and the Fosters and Higbees and many others; all men of high standing in the church, as a matter of course James J. Strang had his enemies among his leading men. Among these were William Smith, U.C.H. Nickerson, Amos Fuller, George J. Adams, J. M. Adams, William E. McLellan and to these others might be added “

Amos's tenure as Bishop of the church was short. He was excommunicated from the church led by James Strang on 4 April 1847, two days before the church’s annual conference, four months after the “illumination” and about five months after his call to the office of Bishop.
It must have been, theologically, a difficult time for him and his family. As Strang began the process of resettling his followers on Beaver Island near the northern end of Lake Michigan, Amos and Esther decided to leave this new church in Wisconsin and join those who hoped to travel west with the body of the church that had followed Brigham Young. The family decided that after the harvest of 1847 they would move.

The Struggle to Iowa
Within seven months of Amos’s excommunication by the Strangites, Amos and Esther loaded up wagons and moved with their children towards Iowa, hoping to join the saints in Council Bluffs. They began their journey in the early part of November of 1847 knowing that they were facing the prospect of dealing with a rapidly approaching winter.
Their five living children then ranged in age from 13 to 2 and Esther was pregnant with their 8th child.   There must have been some urgency in their reasons for departure from Voree for them to start that journey so late in the year rather than wait for spring.  Their daughter, Sophina, who was a young child at the time, wrote about her recollections of traveling for days on wet, sodden roads through what was then the territory of Iowa.  After many days they arrived at a fort, Fort Des Moines which was sparely manned by a few soldiers who had been left to maintain the fort and was occupied by them and a few Native Americans.  It included a number of vacant barracks.  She recalled arriving in the rain and being taken to a large room in a double log house with a leaky dirt roof.  The supper there consisted of soup which at first tasted very good, but as the dirty water from the roof dripped into the bowls of soup it became unsavory with grit.  They decided to leave the log structure and find something more palatable from the supplies in their wagons.  
This Fort Des Moines, (not to be confused with the Fort Des Moines built in 1834) was located where the city of Des Moines now stands.  It was built in 1843, and at first was christened Fort Raccoon.  In May, 1843, the steamboat Ione landed troops at the mouth of the Raccoon River.  They built the fort on the ground at the angle formed by the meeting of the Raccoon and the Des Moines Rivers.  The commanding officer was Captain James Allen.  He had under him a company of dragoons and a company of infantry.
The soldiers were stationed here to watch over the Indians until settlers were permitted to occupy the territory.  The rights of the Indians to the land were looked after, and settlers were not allowed to cross the border into the New Purchase, or west of Redrock, until the time appointed.   But by the time the Fuller family arrived, in 1847, most of the Sac and Fox tribes had been forcibly removed to Kansas and the former reservation opened for settlement. Only a few soldiers were left to maintain the fort.
The next day after their arrival at Fort Des Moines the family headed towards Council Bluffs, Iowa but before they had gone far a violent snowstorm came up and they were obliged to return to the fort for protection.  The storm continued for several days, the temperatures dropped below freezing, the roads became impassable, and the family decided to overwinter where they were.  They moved their belongings from their wagons into one of the abandoned barracks. 
Amos’ blacksmith training and experience came to his aid in this unexpected location.  He set up his forge and began shoeing horses and ironing wagon wheels for residents of the fort as well as immigrants headed westward.  On 13 January 1848 Esther gave birth to their daughter, Esther Victoria, and nearly died from complications.  And on 26, June of that year, Amos’s father, who likely had been with the family through their time in Wisconsin and was now with them in Iowa, passed away at the fort.
About this time they were visited by Esther’s older brother, Elias Smith.  Elias came to see if he could move his family from Iowaville, where they had moved following the commencement of the exodus west, to Des Moines as a first step of their westward journey..  Since the summer of 1846 he had been trying to assist a small group of relatives, including his aging parents, and friends make their way to the Rocky Mountains.  On his return to Iowaville, Elias found his father too ill to be moved and so that plan was abandoned and the group in Iowaville settled in to do what they could to live and work until they would be able to travel.
In the meantime church leaders decided to make Fort Des Moines one of the way stations for members of the church traveling west and asked Amos to remain at Des Moines to provide strategic blacksmithing assistance to church members making their trek west. 

Blooming Where They Were Planted
In the spring of 1848 a man with the last name of “Haymond” who was a wagon maker joined Amos and they set up a business which provided a much-needed service for emigrants.  Often Amos and Mr. Haymond would take old, broken wagons for partial payment for their services.  These they would remake and re-iron and sell to others who would need them. 
Some time later a shoemaker/harness maker from Holland joined them and set up shop in a corner of the establishment.  He could repair boots, shoes, harnesses, and other leather work needed by travelers.  Esther, who was a skilled dressmaker and tailoress of men’s suits also found good employ repairing or making clothing.  The discovery of gold in California in 1848 greatly increased the number of immigrants passing by the old fort and by 1849 Amos’ demand for the business these four workers provided became immense.   
Their granddaughter, Ina Gee Hodson wrote that her mother remembered that at many times the demand for their services was so great that the yard around the shop was filled with travelers and their outfits for days and weeks at a time waiting for their turn for necessary repairs to be done.  And so it was that Esther’s continued precarious health, the call to stay issued by church leaders and a booming business resulted in the family staying in Des Moines far longer than they had expected.
The success of the business allowed the family to save up enough funds to purchase a 160 acre farm on what had been part of an unused Indian reservation prior to their own arrival in Iowa but was no longer being used due to the removal of the Fox and Sac tribes to Kansas in 1846.  It was located about two and a half miles west of the rapidly growing town of Des Moines on the road used by travelers through the city.   This was a great benefit in that it provided the family a way to grow food as well as more room for the children to grow, work and play.  The Fullers built a three room house on the farm.  Amos created a new blacksmith shop there and continued his smith work.  Mr. Haymond and the Dutch harness maker headed west. The new farm and its location provided timber as well as land for planting crops and a number of small streams and cool springs.  There was also an abandoned orchard with plumb, apple, and cherry trees on the property when they purchased it.  The family also grew and gathered blackberries, goose berries, strawberries and grapes.
The small city of Des Moines continued to grow.  By 1850 the population in the city and county was nearly 13,000.  And the number of pioneers traveling though was large.  Sophina recorded in her history that as many as thirty or forty wagons would camp in the groves of the farm for days at a time.  The women and children bathed in the streams and washed their clothes in the shade of the trees.  She wrote that they would want to be accommodated with almost every kind of household article which Esther willingly loaned them.

When Esther and Amos had moved to Wisconsin, her sister Emily Hoyt and her husband and children had remained, peacefully, in Nashville.  As previously mentioned, Esther’s parents, Asael and Elizabeth had moved to the area around Iowaville with their son Elias and his family and also their daughter, Mary Jane (Smith) Gee, and her two young children, Elias S. and George W. Gee.  (Mary Jane’s husband, George Washington Gee, had died on 20 January 1842 while on a church mission to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of “black measles” acquired while tending to a sick child. )  Esther’s brother Silas had also removed his family to Iowaville.
Iowaville, Iowa, is a no-longer existing town between the towns of Selma and Neldon Iowa, though its cemetery is still there and well kept.  Esther’s parents, brothers and sister and their family members stopped in Iowaville while they tried to gather the necessary resources to make the rest of the trek west.  Esther’s mother, Elizabeth Schellenger Smith died in Iowa in 1846.  Her father, Asael Smith Jr., passed away in Iowaville in 1848.   By the spring of 1851 three of Esther’s three siblings mentioned above (Emily Hoyt and her husband Samuel who were still in Nashville with their children, and Elias Smith his family and Mary Gee and her two boys who were in Iowaville) had gathered the means to make the trip.  Amos and Esther planned to make the journey with them.  The families of Emily, Elias and Mary made the long trip to Des Moines and stayed at Amos and Esther’s home for six weeks waiting for the weather to settle. Ultimately the continuing rain and snow which made the roads extremely difficult that spring caused Amos to decide to wait for another year when his wife’s relatives decided they could not delay any longer.  It was a difficult parting.

Not Yet and Not At All
 By the spring of the next year, Esther was expecting her 9th child.  Amos, remembering how difficult her last birth had been did not wish to subject his wife to the perils of giving birth on the plains on a journey west by wagon.  The family postponed their journey for another year and on 3 July 1852 Esther gave birth to her ninth child, Asahel Luther Fuller, in Des Moines.
Ultimately, Amos was not able to take his family to the Salt Lake Valley.  He was, as were many others, stricken with Typhoid Fever in early 1853 and, after suffering for several weeks, died in Des Moines on 29 March 1853, a few days after his 43rd birthday.  He left Esther with seven children ranging in ages from 8 month old Asahel to not-quite 18 year old Jesse.

Keeping the Faith
The family continued to try to gather the resources to make the trip to Utah.  Esther’s second  patriarchal blessing stated that “she would live to see her children gathered in the Valley’s of the Mountains” and, in despite of her fragile health, she was determined to do what she could to make that happen.  But it was not easy.  She and Amos had acquired some considerable property in and around Des Moines.  The process of getting it probated was long and challenging.  The farm was well stocked with cows, horses and machinery.  It would take some time, far more than she wished.   In the meantime Esther’s older children, Mary Adelia and Jesse attended the academy now in Des Moines, and later, when he turned 15, so did Luburn.  Having taught school, Esther felt that she was able to school the younger children at home and did so.
Esther’s brother, Elias, had succeeded in reaching Salt Lake in the trip undertaken in 1851 and had become a lawyer in Deseret (Utah) and by now was a probate judge.  Esther turned to him for advice and direction in settling her affairs.  Though the distance was far and the mails slow, she wrote many times for counsel from him and received much valuable help in the settlement of her estate. 
Meanwhile Mary Adelia met and fell in love with Jesse William Lewis and, after a two year courtship, married him in Des Moines on 27 December 1855.  And Esther’s oldest son, Jesse, married Hialett Atkins on 21 February 1856. 
In 1856 Esther finally succeeded in selling her farm stocked as it was.  Though she didn’t receive full value there was quite enough to provide the necessities and some few comforts for their journey.  The children who were of age, Jesse, and Mary Adelia, received their share of the estate and those under age had their portions left with an executor.  Luburn made a trip back later to receive his share.
Church pioneer immigration records indicate that Esther and four of her children, Jesse, aged 21, Sophina (13), Amos (9), Esther Victoria (8) and Asahel (4)  successfully made the journey to the Salt Lake valley, though there is no record of which company they traveled with.  Esther’s son, Asahel, later wrote, “Mother succeeded, after a long and tedious delay in getting the estate probated and sold, and on June 4, 1856, she started on the journey to the valley [with] all her children, except my oldest sister Mary who had married the fall before, from whom mother exacted a promise to follow as soon as circumstances would permit.” 
Besides the assistance of her married son Jessie and her younger teenage son, Luburn, Esther sought further help.  The equipage consisted of two wagons, each pulled by four oxen and a two-seated buggy drawn by two horses for the younger children to ride in.  One account mentions a third wagon drawn by two horses for Jesse and his wife Hialett and their belongings and others state that there were only two.  Sophina wrote about the first day of that journey: “Our hearts were full of joy and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father that we were really on our way.  Our first stop was at Sunset, 20 miles from home.”
Esther’s son Luburn does not show up on the church history library pioneer immigration records until 1862, the same year he married Minerva Brown in Des Moines.  But his biographer in Prominent Men of Utah indicates that he did make that journey in 1856. Luburn is recorded as having, married Minerva Brown in Des Moines in 1862 and his name appears with hers in pioneer immigration records to Utah that year.  Perhaps that was in conjunction with his trip back to Iowa to receive his portion of his father’s estate, a trip his sister Sophina recalled him taking when he became of age. Mary Adelia first made the journey west with her husband in 1861 and then returned with him to Iowa for a year to sell their farm there before returning to settle permanently in Utah in 1862 where her husband engaged in a variety of successful businesses, including work as an out-and-back teamster from Provo.  Perhaps Mary’s first return east across the plains is how Luburn returned to Iowa to meet collect his inheritance and also, in the process, marry Minerva.
Besides the assistance of her married son Jessie and her younger teenage son, Luburn, Esther sought further help for the journey west.  When she reached Council Bluffs she procured a young man to drive one of the wagons in exchange for his board on the journey west.  From then on the loose cows were driven by Luburn who up to then had been driving one of the wagons. She also hired a young widow, who had also buried a child, to assist with the cooking for the large group in their family party.  Her name was Emily Parkins and Sophina described her as one of the dearest souls who ever lived and a good companion.[10]

Arrived At Last and Pressing On
Esther and her family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on the 17th of August, 1856, a little over two months from the day they left Des Moines.  Esther’s brother, Elias Smith, met the family at the mouth of Emigration Canyon and took them to his home.  They lived with him for two weeks until they found a place to live, located a little north of the Temple Block on West Temple and just one-half block from Elias’s home.  Esther and her children rented one large room in a home and Jesse and his wife rented a small room under the same roof.
Sadly, Esther’s precarious health continued to fail and after only three months with her family in Utah she passed away on 31 October 1856 at the age of 46.  Her youngest child, Asahel Luther Fuller, who was only 4 years old at the time later wrote about her passing, likely mirroring the sentiment expressed by his older siblings and uncle, saying, “My mother was very frail in body, having suffered with consumption for a number of years, caused by exposure in being driven from Missouri with the Saints, through the exterminating order of Governor Boggs.  She had been promised in a Patriarchal blessing given by her father many years before that she would live to see her family gathered to the “New Jerusalem” and her greatest desire had been to accomplish this, but her anxiety in making preparations for, and hardship of the long tedious journey proved too hard for her frail little body…”
After her death Esther’s younger children were subsequently taken in and cared for by their older brother, Jesse and his wife Hialett.  In 1857 Jesse took his wife and siblings with him to Provo where he found employment in a blacksmith shop.  They lived in a small house south on Fifth West and then, tragically, in September of 1857, both Hialett and young Esther who was 9 years old became ill and died within a day of each other.  That left four brothers, Jesse, Luburn, Amos and Asahel, and one sister, Sophina alone together. On the 24th of July in 1858 Asahel (6) and Sophina (15) returned to Salt Lake to live with their uncle Elias and his wife Lucy.  Sophina, when later speaking to her own children, described her Uncle Elias and Aunt Lucy as good and kind to her.  Amos Jr. (12) may have moved with his sister to Salt Lake or he may have stayed with his brothers Jesse and Luburn in Provo.  It is not known. 

[1] Appendix E
[2] Appendix F
[3] In his volume one of his diary he mentions many towns in Northern New England, among them the Maine towns of Fryberg, Waterford, Albany, Bethel, Newry and Gilead. Most abstracts of the journals fail to mention that some of the towns he spent time in were in northern Massachusetts.
[5] The area in Iowa that included the Town of Nashville, the Township of Montrose of which it was part and the surrounding area was referred to as the Zarahemla Stake as a result.
[6] Smith, Joseph, History of the Church, vol. 4, 1908,  p. 311-312
[7] Unfortunately, that house probably no longer stands.  A dam was built on the Mississippi River at Keokuk in 1913 and Nashville was inundated with water wiping out the school, church, stores, and most of the houses.  The area with houses remaining was renamed Galland, after the first settler, Isaac Galland.
[8] It is interesting to note that Montrose was laid out by Esther’s brother, Elias Smith on July 29, 1841 by a special act of the Territorial Legislature.
[9] History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volume 4, p. 483
[10] Emily Parkins later  married William Wagstaff  in Salt Lake and raised a large family of her own.

Appendix A

Letter from Joseph Smith to His Uncle, Silas Smith, in Stockholm, New York, 1833

Kirtland Mills, Ohio, September 26, 1833.
RESPECTED UNCLE SILAS:—It is with feelings of deep interest for the welfare of mankind, which fill my mind on the reflection that all were formed by the hand of Him who will call the same to give an impartial account of all their works on that great day to which you and myself, in common with them, are bound, that I take up my pen and seat myself in an attitude to address a few, though imperfect, lines to you for your perusal.
I have no doubt but that you will agree with me, that men will be held accountable for the things they have done, and not for the things they have not done. Or that all the light and intelligence communicated to them from their beneficent Creator, whether it is much or little, by the same they, in justice, will be judged. And that they are required to yield obedience, and improve upon that, and that only, which is given, for man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
Seeing that the Lord has never given the world to understand, by anything heretofore revealed, that he had ceased forever to speak to his creatures, when sought unto in a proper manner, why should it be thought a thing incredible that he should be pleased to speak again in these last days for their salvation? Perhaps you may be surprised at this assertion, that I should say for the salvation of his creatures in these last days, since we have already in our possession a vast volume of his word, which he has previously given. But you will admit that the word spoken to Noah was not sufficient for Abraham, or it was not required of Abraham to leave the land of his nativity, and seek an inheritance in a strange country upon the word spoken to Noah, but for himself he obtained promises at the hand of the Lord, and walked in that perfection, that he was called the friend of God. Isaac, the promised seed, was not required to rest his hope alone upon the promises made to his father Abraham, but was privileged with the assurance of his approbation, in the sight of Heaven, by the direct voice of the Lord to him. If one man can live upon the revelations given to another, might I not with propriety ask, why the necessity, then, of the Lord’s speaking to Isaac as he did, as is recorded in the twenty-sixth chapter of Genesis? For the Lord there repeats, or rather, promises again to perform the oath which he had previously sworn to Abraham; and why this repetition to Isaac? Why was not the first promise as sure for Isaac as it was for Abraham? Was not Isaac Abraham’s son? And could he not place implicit confidence in the veracity of his father as being a man of God? Perhaps you may say that he was a very peculiar man, and different from men in these last days, consequently, the Lord favored him with blessings, peculiar and different, as he was different from men of this age. I admit that he was a peculiar man, and not only peculiarly blessed, but greatly blessed. But all the peculiarity that I can discover in the man, or all the difference between him and men in this age, is, that he was more holy and more perfect before God, and came to him with a purer heart, and more faith than men in this day.
The same might be said on the subject of Jacob’s history. Why was it that the Lord spake to him concerning the same promise, after he had made it once to Abraham, and renewed it to Isaac? Why could not Jacob rest contented upon the word spoken to his fathers? When the time of the promise drew nigh for the deliverance of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, why was it necessary that the Lord should begin to speak to them? The promise or word to Abraham, was, that his seed should serve in bondage, and be afflicted, four hundred years, and after that they should come out with great substance. Why did they not rely upon this promise, and when they had remained in Egypt, in bondage, four hundred years, come out, without waiting for further revelations, but act entirely upon the promise given to Abraham, that they should come out?
Paul said to his Hebrew brethren, that God being more abundantly willing to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, he confirmed it by an oath. He also exhorts them, who, through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Notwithstanding, we (said Paul) have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast and which entereth into that within the vail, yet he was careful to press upon them the necessity of continuing on until they, as well as those who then inherited the promises, might have the assurance of their salvation confirmed to them by an oath from the mouth of him who could not lie; for that seemed to be the example anciently, and Paul holds it out to his Hebrew brethren as an object attainable in his day. And why not? I admit that by reading the Scriptures of truth, the saints, in the days of Paul, could learn, beyond the power of contradiction, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had the promise of eternal life confirmed to them by an oath of the Lord, but that promise or oath was no assurance to them of their salvation; but they could, by walking in the footsteps, continuing in the faith of their fathers, obtain, for themselves, an oath for confirmation that they were meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light.
If the saints, in the days of the apostles, were privileged to take the saints for example, and lay hold of the same promises, and attain to the same exalted privileges of knowing that their names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and that they were sealed there as a perpetual memorial before the face of the Most High, will not the same faithfulness, the same purity of heart, and the faith, bring the same assurance of eternal life, and that in the same manner to the children of men now, in this age of the world? I have no doubt, but that the holy prophets, and apostles, and saints in ancient days were saved in the kingdom of God; neither do I doubt but that they held converse and communion with him while they were in the flesh, as Paul said to his Corinthian brethren, that the Lord Jesus showed himself to above five hundred saints at one time after his resurrection. Job said that he knew that his Redeemer lived, and that he should see him in the flesh in the latter days. I may believe that Enoch walked with God, and by faith was translated. I may believe that Noah was a perfect man in his generation, and also walked with God. I may believe that Abraham communed with God, and conversed with angels. I may believe that Isaac obtained a renewal of the covenant made to Abraham by the direct voice of the Lord. I may believe that Jacob conversed with holy angels, and heard the word of his Maker, that he wrestled with the angel until he prevailed, and obtained a blessing. I may believe that Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire with fiery horses. I may believe that the saints saw the Lord, and conversed with him face to face after his resurrection. I may believe that the Hebrew church came to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. I may believe that they looked into eternity, and saw the Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant. But will all this purchase an assurance for me, and waft me to the regions of eternal day, with my garments spotless, pure and white? Or, must I not rather obtain for myself, by my own faith and diligence in keeping the commandments of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself? And have I not an equal privilege with the ancient saints? And will not the Lord hear my prayers, and listen to my cries as soon as he ever did theirs, if I come to him in the manner they did? Or, is he a respecter of persons?
I must now close this subject for the want of time; and, I may say, with propriety, at the beginning. We would be pleased to see you in Kirtland; and more pleased to have you embrace the New Covenant.
I remain, yours affectionately, 
Smith, Lucy. Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, 1912, p. 251

Appendix B
Joseph Smith’s account of the family reunion in 1836
               May 16 [1836]…My cousin, Elias Smith, arrived from St. Lawrence county, New York, with the information that his father and family, and Uncle Silas and family, were on their way to Kirtland, and that my grandmother [Mary Duty Smith, wife of Asael Smith] was at Fairport.
               May 17.--I went in company with my brother Hyrum, in a carriage to Fairport, and brought home my grandmother, Mary Smith, aged ninety-three years. She had not been baptized, on account of the opposition of Jesse Smith, her eldest son, who has always been an enemy to the work. She had come five hundred miles to see her children, and knew all of us she had ever seen. She was much pleased at being introduced to her great grand-children, and expressed much pleasure and gratification on seeing me.
               My grandfather, Asael Smith, long ago predicted that there would be a prophet raised up in his family, and my grandmother was fully satisfied that it was fulfilled in me. My grandfather Asael died in East Stockholm, St. Lawrence county, New York, after having received the Book of Mormon, and read it nearly through; and he declared that I was the very Prophet that he had long known would come in his family.
               On the 18th, my uncle Silas Smith and family arrived from the east. My father, three of his brothers, [Asael Jr., Silas and John] and their mother, met the first time for many years. It was a happy day, for we had long prayed to see our grandmother and uncles in the Church.
               On May 27, after a few days' visit with her children, which she enjoyed extremely well, my grandmother fell asleep without sickness, pain or regret. She breathed her last about sunset, and was buried in the burial ground near the Temple, after a funeral address had been delivered by Sidney Rigdon. She had buried one daughter, Sarah; two Sons, Stephen and Samuel; and her husband, who died October 30, 1830, and left five sons and three daughters still living. At the death of my grandfather, who had kept a record, there were one hundred and ten children, grand children and great grand children. My uncle Stephen, and aunt Sarah, were buried side by side in the burial grounds in Royalton, Windsor county, Vermont. Stephen died July 25th, 1802, aged seventeen years, three months, and eleven days.

History of the Church, Volume 2, p. 442-443

Appendix C

Excerpts from a letter written by John Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, to Elias Smith in Stockholm, New York, 19 October 1834

You  say  the  things  that  you  have  seen  and  heard  of  late  look  like  absurdities  to  you.  Suppose  you  mean  the  Gospel  which  I  have  embraced  of  late  . . .  I  tell  you  in  the  fear  of  God  that  these  things  are  true  as  the  Lord  lives,  and  I  would  that  you  would  search  out  these  things  for  yourself,  for  I  know  that  it  is  within  your  reach  if  you  are willing  to  humble  yourself  before  the  Lord,  as  you  must  . . .  or  you  cannot  enter  in the  kingdom  of  God.  It  is because  I  love  you  and  seek  your  best  good  that  I  tell  you these  things.  .  .  .  Now  I  advise  that  with  candor  and  prayers,  you  will  learn many things  that  you  never  thought  of  before  and  you  will  not  have  reason  to  complain  of your  benighted  understanding.  Your  light  would  shine  in  darkness  and  unfold  to  you many  mysteries  which  seem  to  trouble  you  now  very  much.  If  you  will  give  heed  to the  council  which  you  have  heard  you  will  have  peace  like  a  river  and  righteousness like  an  overflowing  stream.  Tell  Amos  the  Lord  prospers  the  church  here  and  it increases  in  numbers.  I  repeat  it — the  Church  of  the  Latter  Day  Saints  will  prosper in  spite  of  wicked  men  and  devils  until  it  fills  the  whole  earth  . . . .  The  walls  of  the Lord's  house  are  nearly  completed.  The  roof  will  go  on  next  week.
John Smith to Elias Smith, October 19, 1834, copied by Zora Smith Jarvis from original, Emily Smith Stewart Collection, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Full text also can be found in
Jarvis, Zora (Smith) Ancestry, Biography and Family of George A. Smith

Appendix D

John Smith’s account of Joseph Smith Sr.’s 1830 visit to Potsdam and Stockholm, New York

"The next morning after brother Joseph arrived, we set out together for Stockholm to see our
father, who was living at that place with our brother Silas. We arrived about dark at the house of my brother Jesse, who was absent with his wife. The children informed us, that their parents were with our father, who was supposed to be dying. We hastened without delay to the house of brother Silas, and upon arriving there were told, that father was just recovering from a severe fit, and, as it was not considered advisable to let him or mother know that Joseph was there, we went to spend the night with brother Jesse.

"As soon as we were settled, brothers Jesse and Joseph entered into conversation respecting their
families. Joseph briefly related the history of his family, the death of Alvin, &c. He then began to speak of the discovery and translation of the Book of Mormon. At this, Jesse grew very angry, and exclaimed, 'If you say another word about that Book of Mormon, you shall not stay a minute longer in my house, and if I can't get you out any other way, I will hew you down with my broad axe.'

 "We had always been accustomed to being treated with much harshness by our brother, but he had never carried it to so great an extent before. However, we spent the night with him, and the next morning visited our aged parents. They were overjoyed to see Joseph, for he had been absent from them so long, (15 years) that they had been fearful of never beholding his face again in the flesh.

"After the usual salutations, enquiries, and explanations, the subject of the Book of Mormon was introduced. Father received with gladness that which Joseph communicated; and remarked, that he had always expected that something would appear to make known the true Gospel.

"In a few minutes brother Jesse came in, and on hearing that the subject of our conversation was the Book of Mormon, his wrath rose as high as it did the night before. 'My father's mind,' said Jesse, 'is weak, and I will not have it corrupted with such blasphemous stuff, so just shut up your heads.' Brother Joseph reasoned mildly with him, but to no purpose. Brother Silas then said, 'Jesse, our brother has come to make us a visit, and I am glad to see him, and am willing he should talk as he pleases in my house.' Jesse replied in so insulting a manner, and continued to talk so abusively, that Silas was under the necessity of requesting him to leave the house.

"After this, brother Joseph proceeded in conversation, and father seemed to be pleased with every word which he said. But I must confess that I was too pious, at that time, to believe one word of it.

"I returned home the next day, leaving Joseph with my father. Soon after which, Jesse came to my house and informed me, that all my brothers were coming to make me a visit, 'and as true as you live,' said he, 'they all believe that cursed Mormon book, every word of it, and they are setting a trap for you, to make you believe it.'

"I thanked him for taking so much trouble upon himself, to inform me that my brothers were
coming to see me, but told him, that I considered myself amply able to judge for myself in matters of religion. 'I know,' he replied, 'that you are a pretty good judge of such things, but I tell you, that they are as wary as the devil. And I want you to go with me and see our sisters, Susan and Fanny, and we will bar their minds against Joseph's influence.'
 "We accordingly visited them, and conversed upon the subject as we thought proper, and requested them to be at my house the next day.

"My brothers arrived according to previous arrangement, and Jesse, who came also, was very careful to hear every word which passed among us, and would not allow one word to be said about the Book of Mormon. They agreed that night to visit our sisters the following day, and as we were about leaving, my brother Asael took me aside and said, 'Now, John, I want you to have some conversation with Joseph, but if you do, you must cheat it out of Jesse. And if you wish, I can work the card for you.'

"I told him that I would be glad to talk with Joseph alone, if I could get an opportunity. "'Well,' replied brother Asael, 'I will take a certain number in my carriage, and Silas will take the rest, and you may bring out a horse for Joseph to ride, but when we are out of sight, take the horse back to the stable again, and keep Joseph over night.'

"I did as brother Asael advised, and that evening Joseph explained to me the principles of 'Mormonism,' the truth of which I have never since denied.

"The next morning, we (Joseph and myself) went to our sisters, where we met our brothers, who censured me very sharply for keeping Joseph over night—Jesse, because he was really displeased; the others, to make a show of disappointment.

"In the evening, when we were about to separate, I agreed to take Joseph in my wagon twenty miles on his journey the next day. Jesse rode home with me that evening, leaving Joseph with our sisters. As Joseph did not expect to see Jesse again, when we were about starting, Joseph gave Jesse his hand in a pleasant, affectionate manner, and said, 'Farewell, brother Jesse!' 'Farewell, Jo, for ever,' replied Jesse, in a surly tone.

'I am afraid,' returned Joseph in a kind, but solemn manner, 'it will be for ever, unless you repent.'

"This was too much for even Jesse's obdurate heart. He melted into tears; however, he made no
reply, nor ever mentioned the circumstance afterwards.

"I took my brother twenty miles on his journey the next day, as I had agreed. Before he left me, he requested me to promise him, that I would read a Book of Mormon, which he had given me, and even should I not  believe it, that I would not condemn it; 'for,' said he, 'if you do not condemn it, you shall have a testimony of its truth.' I fulfilled my promise, and thus proved his testimony to be true."

(From Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, p.154, 1853)

Appendix E

Patriarchal Blessing given to Esther Fuller Smith by Joseph Smith Sr., June 17, 1836

Blessing of Esther Fuller, the wife of A.B. Fuller who was born in Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. Sept. 20th 1810
Dear Sister, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, & by the authority of the Priesthood, I lay my hands on thy head in company with thy father.  I seal the blessing of God on they children: The blessing of Abraham shall rest on thy head, thou art of his seed & lineage, thou art of the Covenant people of they God.  Thou standest in the Fold of Christ by the power of faith, for thy good thou art called to endure afflictions.  Thou must be patient in tribulation.  Thou shalt be blessed with children, they too shall stand in the covenant, and while young shall be in the spirit and prophesy, they shall be among the prophets and prophetesses.
Thou art called to a holy calling.  Thou must listen to thy husband and receive his instructions.  Thy heart shall be filled with joy and thou shalt see the vision opened.   Thou shalt be instructed in wisdom: thy wisdom shall enable thee to do much for they fellow creatures.  I feel to bless thee with all good things.  All thy desires which thou shalt make in Righteousness shall be realized and every such desire shall be gratified.  Thou shalt tarry with thy husband and shall see all things fulfilled which are promised him in his blessing.  Be faithful, Dear Sister, and no blessing shall be to great for thee.  By the authority of the priesthood I seal these blessings upon thy head & seal the up unto eternal life, even so, Amen
Kirtland June 17th 1836 W.A. Cowdery asst. Red. [Recorder] [Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:95]

Appendix F

Patriarchal Blessing given to Amos B. Fuller by Joseph Smith Sr., June 18, 1836

Blessing of Amos B. Fuller who was born in Stockholm county of St. Lawrence in the state of N.Y. March 26th, 1810
Amos, In the name of Jesus Christ the great Redeemer of Mankind and by the Authority of the Holy priesthood I lay my hands on they head in company with thy father, that thou mayest receive a blessing which shall rest on thee and on thy seed.  They posterity shall see thy name and blessing written in a book.  I confer upon thee the priesthood, Thou art a descendant of the holy patriarch Abraham.  Thou art of his seed and lineage Thou hast been called to preach the Gospel.  Thou hast been faithful & done good in the church of thy God & Savior.  Thou hast done good in this generation, thy skirts are free from their blood, go on thy way & prosper.  Thou shalt see the Lord face to face and rejoice in his free salvation.  If thou art faithful and puttest thy trust in the God of Israel, ere long the heavens shall be opened to thy sight, in open vision thou shalt see angels who shall minister to thee.  Thou must go and preach the gospel to the Lamanites in their various languages.  Thou must preach to the nations of the earth.  Thou shalt have many souls among them as crowns of they rejoicing when Jesus Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven.  Thy years shall be many for thou shalt stand on the earth and proclaim the Gospel to the nations of the Gentiles and to the seed of Abraham as long as the earth shall stand.  Thou art called to stand among the one hundred & forty and four thousand with the lamb on mount Zion, dressed in white robes.  Be faithful brother and they soul shall be satisfied with the things of time and eternity.  By the authority of the priesthood I seal thee up unto eternal life, Amen & Amen.
N.B. the above blessing was conferred upon the[e] by the patriarch of the Latter-day Saints as the blessing of they father June 18. 1836
W.A. Cowdery Assit. Recorder [Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:96]

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