Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter V

Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow:
One of The Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
by Eliza Roxcy Snow
Chapter V


Leave Kirtland.—Grand Entertainment.—A noble Woman.—Lorenzo drives one Team.—He is very Sick.—Arrive in Far West, Missouri.—Elder Rigdon's Kindness.—Dr. Avord's Meanness.—His Nurse, Nightwatcher and Doctor.—An Incident.—Arrive in Adam-ondi-Ahman.—Lorenzo takes his Gun and goes out to Hunt.—A new Train of Reflections Hunting for Sport.—The old Settlers.—Their Antagonism.—Preparation for Defense.—False Alarm explained.

TOWARDS the last of April, 1838, our father left Kirtland with twenty-one souls in company, to wit: his own family, consisting of his wife, two daughters, three sons, and two grand-daughters, children of our eldest sister who was at this time a widow; Brother Huntington and family; Brother James Moses and family; Brother Pearce and family, and Julian Moses, brother to James. We started with horse and ox teams, my brother Lorenzo having charge of one of our father's teams, which he drove until about one hundred miles from Far West, Missouri, when he was taken very sick with bilious fever.

On our first night out from Kirtland, our whole company stopped, in accordance with a previous pressing invitation, with one of our father's sisters, Mrs. Charlotte S. Granger. Had we been a bridal party we could not have been treated with more respect, or served more bountifully, although we were "Mormons" and she a popular Presbyterian. She was too noble minded to be a bigot. She and her husband are dead. Lorenzo has been baptized for her husband—I for her, and we have had the sealing ordinances performed in their behalf.

Our journey from Kirtland to Far West was rendered tedious in consequence of rainy weather. We arrived in Far West on the sixteenth of July, with my brother very sick in bed. For nearly one hundred miles he suffered such a racking pain in his head that when we traveled I held it as steady as possible to prevent excruciating suffering being produced by the motion of the wagon. On our arrival in Far West, Elder Rigdon met us and requested our father to take my sick brother to his house, which was gratefully accepted, and I was to stop with him, as Adam-ondi-Ahman, thirty miles distant, was father's destination; and as he had considerable stock which he could not keep in Far West, he started out the next morning, to return for us when Lorenzo should have so far recovered as to be able to ride that distance. Dr. Avord, who afterwards made himself notorious as an unscrupulous apostate, spent most of his time sitting under an awning in front of Elder Rigdon's house, and as I was under the necessity of obtaining some medicine for my brother, as a matter of convenience I applied to him, at the same time endeavoring to make him understand that it was the medicine I wanted, and not his medical attendance; but come he would, and continued to come. My brother grew worse the fever increased until he became quite delirious, and I deter- mined to get rid of Avord, and to accomplish this desirable yet disagreeable task, I asked him for his bill as kindly and politely as possible. The idea struck him at once that this request signified non-attendance, and he was very angry and tried to frighten me concerning my brother's condition, by telling me that his skill was needed more then than when he first saw the patient. I tried to be as pacific as possible, but thought that this concession did not recommend him to further attendance. However, when the doctor found me unyielding, he presented his bill, and although sitting in front of the house day after day, he neither called in to see nor inquire after the sick man. I realized that the family of Elder Rigdon, himself included, at that time had more faith in medical treatment than in the healing ordinances, and they all thought me to blame for discharging the physician. But my trust was in God, the prayer of faith, and good, sisterly nursing. As soon as the fever abated, my brother's consciousness returned, and in two weeks from the time father left us he was sufficiently restored, was sent for, and we took a pleasant wagon ride to Adam-ondi-Ahman, Daviess County, although my brother had to ride on a bed.

I will here mention one little incident with which convalescents, many of them, will sympathize. As his fever began to break, my brother tried to think of something he could relish, and his memory went back to college associations and college scenes, and to one college dish. At one time while attending college, he and three of his fellow students took it into their heads to try the novelty of bachelor boarding, each taking his turn in the cooking department. One particular dish, which at that time was relished very exquisitely, now haunted my brother's recollection—if he had a dish precisely like that he felt certain he could eat. His sister at that time, was his only nurse and night watcher, for the people of the house were so displeased with me for discharging the doctor that they were but little disposed to assist, and I was as little disposed to trouble them, although in every other respect they were hospitable and kind, and in fact for years had been quite partial to our family. But the dish; it must be precisely after the pattern, and could I do it? Certainly; for "what has been done can be done," and I am not afraid to try. The ingredients, as he named them, were all at my command, and, after listening anxiously to his description, I went to work and a dish was produced, but alas! it was not the dish—"it did not taste like the bachelor dish." Try, try again, was my motto, and after listening attentively to a more critical description, I went at it again, and although that effort was a pronounced improvement on the first, it was not quite up to the original, but the third time trying proved a success not so much from improvement in the skill of the cook as improvement in the appetite of the patient.

The following is copied from his journal: In Adam-ondi-Ahman, while gradually recovering from the effects of a malignant fever which had detained me a fortnight in Far West, under the constant and skilful nursing of my sister Eliza, for some time I was unable to either do, or read much. One day, to while away the slowly passing hours, I took my gun with the intention of indulging in a little amusement in hunting turkeys, with which that section of the country abounded. From boyhood I had been particularly, and I may say strangely attached to a gun. Hunting, in the forests of Ohio, was a pastime that to me possessed the most fascinating attractions. It never occurred to my mind that it was wrong—that indulging in "what was sport to me was death to them;" that in shooting turkeys, squirrels, etc., I was taking life that I could not give; therefore I indulged in the murderous sport without the least compunction of conscience. But at this time a change came over me. While moving slowly forward in pursuit of something to kill, my mind was arrested with the reflection on the nature of my pursuit—that of amusing myself by giving pain and death to harmless, innocent creatures that perhaps had as much right to life and enjoyment as myself. I realized that such indulgence was without any justification, and "feeling condemned, I laid my gun on my shoulder, returned home, and from that time to this have felt no inclination for that murderous amusement. In fact, years had elapsed since the days of boyhood sport, and in the interval I had neither time nor opportunity for reckless indulgence. Education, the leading star of my youth, had so entirely engrossed my ambition that, until the Gospel of the Lord Jesus took possession of my mind, it was the genii before which everything else had to bow; then, almost simultaneously, missionary labors succeeded book studies, and no room was left for sportive scenes.

A spirit of mobocracy. which had previously manifested itself, was continually on the increase all around us, and very naturally suggested to our minds the thought of preparation for defense. The house we lived in, with the plantation on which it stood, father purchased on his arrival, and paid for in full. It was a "double log house," with an alley about three feet wide between the two. In this alley our faithful watchdog was stationed, and we knew that no intruder could possibly reach either door before the dog would give an alarm, which, so far, was very satisfactory. But, to our deep regret, the mobocrats, finding the dog out of sight of the house, shot him down. He had, by his affectionate faithfulness, so won our love and confidence that he almost seemed one of the family—we sincerely mourned his loss, and I assisted my brothers in giving him a formal burial.

Amid the threatenings of mobocrats to either drive or destroy us, a circumstance occurred, which, though seriously exciting at the time, afterwards afforded us much amusement. One night at about 11 o'clock, we all were suddenly aroused from sleep by the discharge of fire arms, accompanied with loud shouts, apparently about a mile distant. We supposed that our enemies had commenced their depredations by putting their threats into execution, and were making an attack on our people, and the probability was that they would visit us in turn. We immediately began to prepare for defense by barricading the doors and windows, and distributing among all the members of the family such weapons for protection as were available, viz: one sword, two or three guns, pitchforks, axes, shovels and tongs, etc. We proposed that mother take her choice, and she thought that she could do the best execution with the shovel. With no small degree of anxiety, not only for ourselves, but also in behalf of our friends situated at the point from which the exciting sounds proceeded, we kept up a sleepless watch until morning, when intelligence was brought, explaining the cause of the night alarm, as follows: A company of our brethren had been to a distant settlement to accomplish some business requisite in consequence of threatened mob violence, and on their return, having peacefully and successfully accomplished their object, discharged their fire arms, accompanied with a shout expressive of their happy success—resulting in our false alarm and subsequent amusement.