Friday, November 14, 2014

Samuel Shepherd and the Nauvoo Temple

The Joseph Smith Papers Project continues to add marvelous resources to its website. A new addition is  The Book of the Law of the Lord, a collection of journal entries, nine revelations, and donations to the Nauvoo Temple.

I took just a few minutes to look at the donations and saw the following entry: 

[Page 32] Decmber 18
Received of Samuel Shepherd per hand James Nelson 2 hogs 4.14 [414] lbs. 2 cts per lb $8.28 on his Tything. deliverd the Temple Committe this 18'' Dec 1841. 

Sam was a veteran of the War of 1812, spent time in a prisoner of war camp in Canada, later joked to his grandchildren that while being held captive his clothing was so full of vermin that he could place them on the other side of the cell, whistle, and the bugs would bring them back to him.

After the war he settled near Kirtland, joined the Church, lost his first wife to cholera on the journey to Missouri, remarried a widow and they sent three sons with the Mormon Battalion. A few circumstantial details suggest Samuel opposed polygamy, and after a brief trip back to Utah in 1857, he returned to his home in San Bernardino. Although he was later baptized into the RLDS Church, he has many descendants in the LDS Church.

In mid-December 1841 he was evidently slaughtering hogs, as noted in the donation records.

That's a valuable record for the family, and, in terms of social history, besides the price of the commodity, it documents when the pork was being processed that winter, but most importantly, it documents that Samuel Shepherd helped support the building of the temple.

And... there may be plenty more discoveries to be made in the book, but until I figure out why my computer is currently blurring documents, I will not be able to read the record.

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