Friday, April 29, 2016

Eliza and Caroline Lyman Plead for Child Support

The women who entered plural marriage generally did so out of a firm belief in the Restored Gospel and the prophetic ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith. There were occasional abuses of the system, some women were coerced into the practice, some men were neglectful or vicious, and some men took wives they could not support, but divorce was possible if desired on the part of the woman, and sometimes the system worked okay for some families.

Amasa Lyman, with his many church responsibilities, may barely have had the means to support one family, let alone eight. John Tanner and Sidney Tanner helped care for Amasa's large family when they were able, but John died in 1850 and Sidney was sent to settle in Beaver in 1857 so Amasa's wives were often left to provide for themselves. Many of the women who entered into the practice of plural marriage suffered severe lifelong consequences, and this included Amasa's plural wives including Eliza Maria Partridge Lyman, who had been a plural wife of Joseph Smith, and Caroline Partridge Lyman. 

After Amasa left the Church, most of his wives took their children and lived well away from him, but it was a difficult situation. Eliza and Caroline wrote this letter not long after he was excommunicated, and hopefully he was able to do something to help them, since the two sisters had ten living children, the youngest just four years old, but he was getting on in years himself.

Fillmore         July 31st 1870

Dear Brother Lyman

You will perhaps be somewhat surprised at receiving a letter from us, but we are driven by stern necessity to do something. We cannot sit down quietly and see our children starve.

We are living now by borrowing of one neighbor then another without any prospect of ever paying which I consider not a very creditable way of doing. It seems to me that there is ^no need of all this destitution, that we are not so much worse off than other folks with regard to property, and can you not devise some plan whereby your family can be fed and clothed and have some little chance for an education? I think you can testify that during the last twenty four or five years we have borne poverty and privations of almost every kind without complaint and have done all in our power to make your life as ^happy as possible under the circumstances and be in truth a help to you, and it is not with a desire to add one sorrow to your heart that we write now, but to let you know how we are situated and see if there cannot be something done to relieve our wants a little. I hope you will excuse me if I have said too much, but I feel almost desperate sometimes, my health is gone and old age comes creeping on, and now when I most need some one to lean on, I find myself standing alone, no Husband to lighten my cares, no Father to provide for my children or to help me in rearing them, no home that I can call my own, no means that I can command to support myself and family, all are gone, gone, and I feel that the weight of responsibility that rests upon me is sometimes ^almost more than I can bear, but I put my trust in the Lord knowing that when all others forsake us he is still our Friend

Hoping to hear from you soon we subscribe ourselves your Friends

Eliza M. Lyman

Caroline E. Lyman

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Letter From a Refugee in 1857

Here is Sidney Tanner writing to his brother-in-law, Apostle Amasa Lyman, as Sidney evacuated both their families from San Bernardino under the direction of Brigham Young while the United States Army marched toward Utah Territory to put down a non-existent rebellion.

To be honest, it had never crossed my mind that Sidney or any of the Tanners would be barely literate, but they had lived on the edges of the frontier their entire lives without the benefit of formal education. 

In the letter Sidney explains that he wants to settle in Salt Lake City, but as we know, the family ended up in Beaver. He ends his letter hoping that his Heavenly Father will deliver them from the hand of the oppressor and enable them to do good while they remained on the earth. I think it is safe to say that his prayer was answered in the affirmative.

San Berinardino November   [1857]

            Amsa Lyman

drop you           Dear Sir

drop you a line to let you know of my welfare myself and family has ben a flicted with sore is eyes  I have not ben able to but litle since I got home thare is a geate excitement in this place at p[r]esent Brother Hanks sold me the four muls and two wagons the goats hee wod not due enny thin a bout I recicive your letter on the 28th I was glad to here from you you wanted me to look after your famly

I will do the bestican [best I can] times Is vary hard here thare is no c[h]ance of seling land here at prsant I expect to start the temes [teams] about tenn days and bring [Amasa's plural wives] Cornelia [Ely Partridge Lyman,] Piscilla [Priscilla Turley Lyman,] Dionishia [Dionita Walker Lyman] and my family as fur as seder citty [Cedar City]

Tare [There] stop and send back temes to help up the res of the famly I want you to make a raingment for grain thar for the temes to return wih as wee will have no monny [money]

Brother Cox will do the best he can for the rest of famly

In my absence when I git the famly all along I want to come to citty of great salt lake

I wish you wood giv em all the infrommation about this this matter from time to time

seei meed [?] and about all others my prare [prayer] is to god my hevnly father hee will de liver us from the hand of opresor and in able [enable] us to du good while wee remain up on the erth

            Amasa Lyman                    Sidney Tanner

Additional information in a letter from William J. Cox to Amasa Lyman (November 7, 1857):
Brother Sidney Tanner will leave about the 20th, with his family, and is advised to leave his load at Cedar City or vicinity and return for a load of the poor, as there are many who are not able to get any part of a fit out themselves. I have adopted the plan of sending some teams with families on the 20th inst, and have them return for another load, especially the best of the Teams, Sidney. Will take your teames at the Same time With a part of your family and leave them at the same place and return to this place for another load, this is all the way.  That offers at present for the removal of the Saints from this place, We are Busy here in gathering teams, and Wagons for the trip. But Waggons are very Scarce and very dear and our traps are very low. So you See that it is an uphill afair to us But We Will Be able to get out, on foot or some other way 
The excitement here is intence, oweing to the late massacre on the Plains near the Southern settlements in Utah, and the high_way and high handed Robery of another Train (as our enemis call it) this side of there, the feeling against all who uphold the authorities of the church is greater than you I presume can imagine, especially in this and Los Angeles Counties

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Update to List of Southern States Mission Presidents

Based on information in the Early Mormon Missionaries database, I have updated the list of Southern States Mission Presidents.

Since the Southern States Manuscript History is now online at the Church History Library website, I have double-checked all the dates of service. The Church History Library needs to correct its list of Mission Presidents; I will contact them and let them know.

Early Mormon Missionaries: John Morgan

The entry for John Morgan in the Early Mormon Missionaries database is deceptively simple since it does not capture any details of his service, including the fact that he served as mission president for many years. It does, however, show that he was set apart each time he headed from Utah Territory back to the South.

Here is a summary of the resources on John Morgan:

Here is a list of the presidents of the Southern States Mission:

Here is a summary of John Morgan's time as president of the Southern States Mission, as captured in the Southern Star:

• • •

John Morgan was set apart October 11, 1875 by Joseph Young.

Joseph Young (1797–1881), President of the Seventy.
He was set apart January 25, 1878 by Orson Pratt.

Orson Pratt (1843–1881), Apostle.
He was set apart March 29, 1881 and again March 29, 1882 by George Q. Cannon.

George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), First Counselor in the First Presidency.

He was set apart January 4, 1890 by unknown; information not complete in this entry.

• • •

His entry shows his parents as Gerrard Morgan and Ann E Hamilton.

Garrard Morgan (1806–1889).

Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan (1815–1901).

John Morgan was born August 8, 1842 in Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana, and baptized November 24, 1868 by Robert L. Campbell. Summary of resources on Robert L. Campbell.

Robert Lang Campbell (1825–1874), Territorial Superintendant of Schools.
Picture from FamilySearch Family Tree, couresy of "Katherineandreasen2."