Journal of Alfred Cordon
"I Was Quite Willing to Give up My Sins and to do Anything to Find Salvation"Alfred Cordon
1817 - 1871
Was baptized into the LDS "Mormon" Church on the 30th of June 1839 by Elder David Wilding in Manchester, England. Became a Missionary and a significant force in the Stafforshire Potteries area:
Emigrated to the United States and arrived at Nauvoo, Illinois on the 28th of September 1842: And the Prophet Joseph Smith was Preaching to a large congregation in front of the Temple Block. And after hearing the Prophet Preach but One Sermon, recorded in his journal that he had been well paid for all the trials that he had experienced since joining the Church; (By - Alfred S. Cordon 10-3-87)
The Alfred Cordon Diary of June 1839-June 1840
Edited and with an introduction by Douglas K. Sheffield
From the financial crisis of 1837 which spread across the United States, The Mormons were not exempt.(l) The speculation that had run rampant through Kirtland, Ohio resulted in a monetary depression that caused myriad's of problems for Joseph Smith and the Church. There was wholesale apostasy that not only affected the rank and file members of the church, but also the leaders.(2) Joseph Smith was not free to walk the streets of Kirtland and eventually had to flee to Missouri for safety. Soon, the main body of the Church was relocated in Missouri. This was but a short season of peace and refuge. With Joseph and others of the leaders incarcerated, the membership of the Church was again forced to flee for safety.
Even though the times were perilous, solutions came. On June 4, 1837, Joseph Smith called Heber C. Kimball to undertake the first mission to England.(3) The resulting British converts would be the stabilizing factor to aid the Church in the trying times to come. Heber C. Kimball's company was comprised of two apostles, Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde,(4) and included Willard Richards, Joseph Fielding, John Goodson, John Snyder and Isaac Russell. These missionaries to England met with moderate success. (5) They generally labored in Preston, Lancashire and surrounding areas, including Manchester.
When Heber C. Kimball left England, Joseph Fielding was appointed president of the British Mission with Willard Richards and William. Clayton, a new convert, as his counselors.(6) These three men labored as the presidency of the British mission from April 1838 until July 1840. From the beginning of 1840 through the middle of the next year, a new group of apostles provided reinforcements to the growing missionary work. Included in this group were Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt and Heber C. Kimball. Even though Joseph Fielding was still the British Mission President, with the arrival of Brigham Young, the reigns of leadership shifted.
In Latter-day Saint literature, there is a great deal of information about the apostles and their callings and missions to Great Britain from 1837 to 1842. The arrival of Heber C. Kimball inaugurated the first apostolic mission. With the arrival of the others two years later, the second apostolic mission began. There is relatively little available on the interim period between the two apostolic missions. The studies and articles also tend to be elitist in that they cover the lives of leading Church members. The purpose of this paper is to study Alfred Cordon. He joined the Church in June 1839, and was instrumental in spreading the gospel throughout the Potteries area of England. The Potteries is located in the north west quarter of Staffordshire. The principal towns that comprise the Potteries are Stoke upon Trent, Hanley, Newcastle under Lyme, Hanley, Burslem, and Lane End.(7) Because of the great value of his journals for illuminating this very important period of the early British Mission, my paper presents a scholarly editing of his first volume. (8)
Alfred Cordon was born in Toxteth Park, Liverpool, on February 28, 1817. His father, Sampson Cordon, was a potter by trade and at age 12, Alfred was apprenticed to the same. Although a member of the Church of England, he gives the impression that he was but loosely connected with the Anglican Church through the first seventeen years of his life. He laments the fact that he is "wicked" and a "heavy drunkard". He also acknowledges the fact that he made many resolutions to change and that the Spirit "troubled" him. Alfred Cordon was going through the same struggle that many of his contemporaries were. He married Emma Parker on December l9th, 1836, but still continued in his wicked ways. With the death of his eight-month-old daughter, Alfred earnestly sought God. Three friends ask him if he is interested in a future state. Alfred writes that he is "quite willing to give up my sins and do anything to find salvation."
He is invited to attend some meetings in connection with Robert Aitkin. He goes and while praying has the Lord lift the burden of guilt from him. He helps his wife to be made happy also. After at least ten months, Alfred becomes a class leader for the Aitkinites and reaches some conclusions concerning the second coming. He meets Mary Powel, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon hearing her explain the message of the restoration Alfred starts for Manchester to be taught more. It is there that he joins the Church.
Alfred Cordon becomes a significant force in the Staffordshire Potteries area. Six months after his baptism, Elder William Clayton leaves him in charge of the Church members in this area. Alfred spends many evenings and weekends away from home doing missionary work. He preaches and works with Wilford Woodruff, Theodore Turley, George A. Smith, Brigham Young and Willard Richards. He also attends conferences and represents the Potteries district.
Probably one of the greatest values of the journals of Alfred Cordon is their honest, open appraisal of the times and lives of ordinary working class people. One can feel the empathy and love that John Rowley exhibits when he forces William Bradbury to take a loaf of bread, even though he is "very badly off. When Cordon and others are persecuted for preaching the gospel, the intensity and devotion of the missionaries is felt. The trauma of having problems through a birthing situation is extremely touching. The humor of Alfred Cordon is not lost when he describes the great persecution they have in Leek with the "swarm of fleas."
Alfred Cordon is advised by Heber C. Kimball to become a full time preacher in August of 1840. On October 6, 1840 he is appointed to preside over the Staffordshire Potteries Conference. Alfred spends the rest of his time working full time for the Lord. In July of 1812, the Cordon family finally emigrates to Navoo. He is in Nauvoo but a short time and is called on a mission to Vermont. Cordon is on this second mission when Joseph and Hyrum are killed. In 1848, Orson Hyde calls Alfred on a second mission to England. Upon returning from this mission, Alfred and Emma make the trek West and eventually settle in Willard, Utah. Here Alfred is called as the Bishop of the Willard Ward and has that calling for the last twenty years of his life.
The Alfred Cordon journals were donated to the LDS Historical Department in August of 1958. They are comprised of seven volumes. The first six volumes cover the period of June 1839 through September 17, 1850 and the seventh covers May 4, 1868 through October 21, 1868. Unfortunately, twenty years are missing. Alfred Cordon had four wives and when he died, the journals were divided among the four family branches. The missing years are the polygamy years of Alfred Cordon's life. For this study, only the first volume will be edited. Volume one starts out with a short retrospective account of Alfred Cordon's life up to June 1839 and then has entries that cover through
The editing has been done with a general readership in mind. Except for some slight editorial changes, the journal is reproduced as closely as possible to the original. Alfred Cordon did not generally punctuate, so sentence punctuation has been added. Capitals were added to the beginning of each sentence for consistency. The spelling is often inconsistent, for example: Woodruff, is spelled Woodruf, Woodruff, Woodruffe and Woodrough. This however adds to the credibility and life of the journal. The spelling and the use of capital letters has been left as close as possible to the original. For clarification purposes, the editor has added some letters and words in brackets. The letters inside of brackets that are romanized are unclear in their meanings. Dots inside of brackets represent lost or illegible letters. The first ten pages of the journal are divided into paragraphs to represent new thoughts or new time periods. On the 22nd of December, 1840 Alfred Cordon was ordained an Elder by William Clayton. On the 23rd, Alfred writes "I was now left by myself to attend and watch over the flock of Christ." From this point on in the journal, Cordon takes great care to offer divisions between the dates. In the edited journal, the editor from this point on has added dates at the beginning of each entry. These were not in the original. For your convenience see Appendix 1 at the end of this paper. This is a typescript of Cordon's journal just as it appears in the original. It is hoped that the editing has been done in such a way that the reader can still feel the joys and disappointments that Alfred Cordon felt.
ALFRED CORDON JOURNAL:
AND TRAVELS IN THE MINISTRY OF THE GOSPEL
My Fathers name was Sampson Cordon. He was born in Toxteth Park (9) at the Herculaneun Pottery (10) about a mile from Liverpool, which is a seaport Town in Lancashire. Here my Father lived. His Father was a Potter of the Name of Ralph Cordon. As soon as my Father was about 12 Years of Age, he was put Apprentice to Painting on China. When he had served his Master about 4 or 5 Years, he got kicked by a horse in the face. His nose was broke and one of his Eyes hung down upon his cheek. They thougth for some time he was dead, but he soon recovered from this. But it left a very Bad Head Ache upon him so that he was obliged to leave Painting and he went to Printing upon the Pots. This was not so affecting to the Eyes. Shortly after this he got Married to My Mother whose nam[e] was Myrah Hampson.
In the Year of our Lord 1816, they had a Son Named Horatio Cordon, but this Died. In 1817 On February 28th, I was Born and named Alfred Cordon.
When very Young, I was able to Read very well and I was very fond of reading the Bible and I committed a good portion of the Word to my Memory. I was brought up in the fear of God. I was brought up to the Church of England.
My Grandfather was Clerk of Saint Michal Toxteth Park 16 Years. At his Death, My Father took the Clerkship. It was at [a] Situation of about 30 L per Year.
When about twelve Years of Age, I was put Apprentice to the Potting Business at Hollow Ware Pressing, which is a very particular Branch in this Business. When I had been Apprentice about 2 Month[s], I had a near escaped of being scalded to Death. I fell in a large Caldron of Boiling Grease from Bones. My Legs and feet and Back was Scalded very much. I was brought to the gates of death. I was quite willing to depart. I was perfectly happy in my mind. My Grandfather took my case in hand and I was soon healed. I was no sooner healed and at work again than I began to Swear and take the name of God in vain, go with wicked company and became awfully wicked.
At about 17 Years of Age, I began to Drink Ardent Spirits and in a little time I became a heavy Drunkard. During this Period, the Spirit of God sorely troubled me, but I rejected the strings of the Spirit. I made a many resolution to serve God, but the[y] failed as fast as I them.
I served my apprenticeship, but through bad conduct, I left my master And I came into Staffordshire Potteries. I got a situation in Burslem at Mr. Benjamin Clutow Godwins Works. I still was as wicked as ever. I then left him and I went to work for Messe Mayers and Mawdesly [modestly], I left them throug[h] Drinking and I went to work for Enoch Wood and Sons at Burslem. I still continued as wicked as before. I kept company with a young woman named Emma Parker.
In October , I was brought to the gates of Death once more with the Small Pox. My life was despared of but I got better soon and I set of[f] for Liverpool to my Fathers, leaving Emma Parker very ill of the Small Pox. When I got hom[e], I soon got pretty well, but it left a very bad Billious Upon me. I now got a Situation at Saint Helens which is 12 Miles from Liverpool.
In Dec , I came over to the Potteries and was Married to Emma Parker on l9th December 1836, at the Old Church in Burslem. We then went to Saint Helens. We remained there some time. I still led a desolate life. We then came back to Burslem in Staffordshire. Trade was very bad. I was 14 Week out of employ and my Wife was confined in the inn. We were in a Very bad state. I was troubled again and again on account of my sins, but I would not begin to serve God. I continued in this way until about March 3rd.
On February the 24th, 1837, the little Girl that we had was took very ill with convulsions. It remained in this
state about 12 hours and then Died. This was a great loss unto us. She was 8 Month[s] Old. I was aroused again in my mind and I began to pray to the Lord to direct me and to have mercy upon me.
When at the end of the 14 weeks out of Employment, I got a situation at Mr. Thomas Godwins Navigation Road Burslem and here I have remained ever since.
We buried our Daughter on Feb. 27th and on the Sunday after which was March 3rd, Henry Glover, George Gibbs, John Darlington and Charles Dyteh came unto my hous[e] and conversed with me about a future state. I was quite willing to give up my sins and to do anything to find Salvation. They invited me to the Chapel in conexion with Rev Robert Aitkin. Accordingly, I went in the Evening, all in my working Clothes. For indeed, they were all that I had got.
But I rejoice this moment whilst I am writing that ever I did go. After preaching was over, I went into the prayer meeting and I cried unto the Lord, but there was a terrible noise in the meeting So they took me over to Samuel Polls and I prayed and the Lord heard me. My burden of guilt fell of[f] me and I came home rejoicing in God, my Savior and my Reedeeme[r].
My Wife was not brought to serve the Lord and [at] present. I was fully bent on her being made happy. I began to pray and to ple[a]d with God for her. The Spirit of God came upon her and troubled her very much till at length she Yielded and was made happy on the 1st of April. Now we were both happy in the love of God and Drinking into one spirit and serving the same God through Jesus Christ
I joined Henry Glovers Class and I remained with him about l0 Months and then I was appointed a Leader of a Class. I got about l4 members. When I had been a leader about 4 Month[s], I began to see plainly the 2nd Coming of our lord from Heaven to Earth to sit upon the Throne of David his Father. I saw this was of the greatest importance and I began to teach it to the Members of my Class.
About this time, a Woman named Ma[r]y Powel, One of the Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came from Manchester to Burslem. I got in company with her. She informed me that The Lord had set his hand again the Second time to recover the remnant of his people according to Is[a]1ah 11 Chapter ll V[erse] And that the Angel spoken of in Revelation 14 Chap[ter] 6 Verse and that the Lord had sent the Everlasting Gospel once more unto lost man. I rejoiced for I had many times prayed for this time to come.
We began to talk about the Ordinances of the Gospel. I foun[d] that I was standing upon the Precepts of Men and not on the pure word of God.
Away I went to my Bible and to prayer. The Spirit of God bore testimony to the truth of what she said. We conversed about the Baptism of Christ. I saw plainly it was by Immersion. Without hesitation, I made up my mind, in spite of all other things, I would obey the Gospel. As soon as the Aitkinites heard that I had been with her, the[y] came unto me to try, if the[y] could stop me. But it was
There was John Jones and Henry Staley and Munro, three priests, came unto me and told me she was a deluded woman.
On the Friday Evening [June 28,1839], they held a Church Meeting and John Jones brought a Tract stating the Origin of the Latter day Saints. That the[y] were Money
Diggers, gypsies, fortune tellers and any thing but a good report. One of the priests, H Staley, came to me and asked me to go to the meeting. We began to talk about baptism. He said it was not essential before God. I did not go to the meeting. The[y] told my wife that when I was baptized, the devil would enter into me. But, still I would go to Manchester.
The next morning, before I set of[f] my wife wished she had me asleep. She would cut my throat. This did not daunt me at all. I set of[f] for Man[cheste]r about 10 o'clock on the Saturday the 29th day of June 1839. I went in company with Stephen Lancaster as far as congleton. We overtook Wm. Bradbury. Stephen Lancaster took the coach. And me and W[illiam] B[radbury] set of[f] to walk to Manchester between Congleton and Wilmsley and we walked to Manchester. That night, by eleven o'clock, we went to Mr. Smith. The[y] gave us some supper and we went to bed. The next morning we went to A prayer Meeting in Hart Street and there we got our Breakfast at [...] Lands. We then went to the Preaching Room there we met with Stephen Lancaster. William Berry Spoke that morning. He looked at us all the time. When he had done, we presented ourselves for baptism. We went down to the water and was baptized in the Old River by David Wilding, Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We rejoiced that we were born in the world in these last days to come under the Everlasting Covenant of God.
On July 1 , We was confirmed under the hands of David Wilding. In the Afternoon, We attended the Preaching. In the Evening, Stephen Lancaster who was with us, was not baptized. He saw it a duty, but he would not leave all Sects and Party, so he would not baptize him. W[e] Started home again on the Tuesday morning.
Rejoiced abundantly in the Lord. We walked back again. Stephe[n] Lancast[er] arrived back before us. He came by the Coach. The Aitkins had a tea meeting. He went there. He told them that the Saint[s] in Manchester were hypocrites and he thanked God he had not been baptized. Our wives was there. This cut them to the quick.
On the Sunday that we were baptized, one of the Priest named John Jones got up and told the congregation that we were deluded and when we came back they must treat us as enemy of the Cross of Christ. But for all this, we rejoiced in the liberty of the Gospel. When I was baptized, the Billious Complaint that I had, left me and I have not been troubled me much since.
When we arrived back to Burslem, the Aitkins came around us and the[y] began to persecute us. But we told them that we were saints of God and that none of them had such a witness. Elizth Ravenscroft, Hanah Thomas and others came to our house and asked me the state of things and how I found them at Manchester. We had no privilege of conversing with them but I promised to see them again. Even so Amen.
We kept reading our Bible and Praying unto our Father who is in heaven to direct us by his Holy Spirit that we may be led into all truth. We went on day by day, meeting with a good deal of opposition and overcoming all by the blood of the Lamb.
When we had been baptized about a fort night we had a dreadful Struggle with the Devil. We felt as though God had forsaken us. In the evening we received a letter from bro. William Clayton who was at Manchester. This rejoiced our hearts abundantly and we Thanked and Praised the Lord our God. Bro. William Clayton came over to Burslem on the 25th of July . On the 26th, he baptized bro. Heny Clover, Emma Cordon, Emily Glover, Elizabeth Ravenscroft.
On the Sunday [July 28, 1839] he preached at Hannah Averilles [TRASOVY] Square Burslem in the Morning and Evening. He was Opposed by John .Jones. In the Afternoon he broke bread at bro. Henry Glovers and he confirmed those that were baptized and he Ordained me to be a Priest. This was the 28th day. In the evening he baptized William Smith and George Simpson and Maria Battleby. He left us on the Tuesday and went back to Manchester.
We opened a Preaching room in High Street. I commenced Preaching on the Monday. I baptized Jemima Mellor. She had been ill of a consumption 16 months. She could hardly walk there but she came back rejoiced, a[nd] leaped and praised the Lord.
I went on laboring in the cause of God, preaching and baptizing and meeting with a good deal of Opposition. On October the 20th t1839], I baptized James Spencer Walker. On the 24th, I baptized bro. George Lee. On the 25, I baptized Richard Cooper and Mary Mellor.
On November 17, I baptized Walter Nixon. On the 18, I bap[tized] Edward Parker. On the l9th, I set out for Liverpool in company with George Simpson and Edward Parker. We went to Delamere Forest to a Relation of bro. George Simpsons. I preached to a good number of them and they received the word. We then went unto Liverpool to My Parents. We staid there until Saturday. We then came back to Burslem and bro. David Wilding baptized 11 while I was away. My heart rejoiced in the Lord our God.
Bro. David Wilding staid with us until about December 12th and he baptized 26 from November 11th. When he left, bro. William Clayton came over and he baptized 2. He left us on the 23rd. I was now left by myself to attend and watch over the flock of Christ. The same day I went to Lane End in the Evening. Staid at Botchley near Hanley and baptized Thomas Anderson and his Wife.
December 24, 1839
On the 24th, I preached at Burslem. There was Opposition.
On the 25th, I went to Burslem in the morning and preached in the Afternoon. I went over to Newcastle and Preached in the Evening. Bro. Henry Glover baptized bro. Daniel Bowers, Charles Hawthorne and Richard Wainwright.
December 27, 1839
On the 27th, I went to Stoke and Preached in the Evening.
December 28, 1839
On the 29th, I went to Burslem and I Preached in the morning and Evening. Broke Bread in the Afternoon and Confirmed those that were baptized. In the Evening I baptized Elizabeth Dennis. She came from Lane End. On the 22nd of December, Whilst bro. William Clayton was here, we went to the Afternoon meeting. He broke bread. The Spirit of God came upon me and told me I must be Ordained to an Elder. I trembled and I began to Sweat. In a little time he got up and said the Spirit had made it manifest to Him that I must be Ordained to the Office of an Elder; bro. Henry Glover to be a Priest, bro. George Simpson, bro. William Hulm, bro. Thomas Anuson to be Teacher. We rejoiced abundantly in the Lord.
December 30, 1839
On the 30th, I went over unto Lane End an[d] Preache[d] and baptized Elizabeth Smallwood and Sarah Spragg.
December 31, 1839
O[n] the 31st, I preached at Burslem and baptized Charles Stevenson. This was the first time that I had to break the Ice. When I came home My Wife was very unwell and near to delivered of a Child. She grew worse. About eleven o'clock she was very Ill. Sister Elizabeth Ravenscroft and Sister Fanney Bradbury was with her. I came down stairs and I said to Elizth Ravenscroft the Devil had got Possession of her Body. Now the Lord was about to try our Faith. I talked to her, but her confidence was gone. About Midnight, Emily Glover one of the Sisters came to our house. My Wife got worse and worse. She was possessed of a devil which was writhing and twisting her body in a many dreadful ways. I went to Prayer. I was tempted very much to think that there was no God. She still got worse. About Five o'clock in the morning I was sorely harassed and tried by the Devil that there was no God and that the Religion of Jesus Christ was all a delusion. I reasoned within myself then that I believed in a God and I professed to believe the Bible. For I had obeyed its Precepts and I had Found happiness and Peace. So I was determined to stand upon it if I was Damned at last.
I now found that the Trial of My Faith was more Precious than Gold. I went up Stairs I was determined to have the Victory. The Sisters were troubled sorely. Sister Elizabeth stood by me like a Woman of God. I laid hands upon her. We prayed. She began to exercise Faith in the promises of God. I rebuked the Devil in the name of Jesus Christ and he departed. Her pain left her and she was delivered of a Man Child without much pain but the Child was Dead. The Devil had destroyed it and he all he could to put an end to the Mother. But Praise the Lord for his Goodness. This learned me such a lesson as I never learned before.
January 2, 1840
On Thursday I went in the Evening to William Benbow, Shop Keeper, at Hanley and conversed with him and his Wife. They received the truth joyfully.
January 3, 1840
On Friday, January 3rd, I went to Stoke in the Evening and Preached.
January 5, 1840
On Sunday, I preached at Burslem Morning and Evening, Broke Bread in the Afternoon, and Confirmed one.
On Monday, I went to Lane End and Preached. I saw a young woman named Anna Wagstaff. The Spirit made it Manifest to me that she would be baptized.
January 7, 1840
On Tuesday, I preached at Burslem. I was clothed with the Spirit of the Lord. The truth rather hurt them. I was opposed by John Jones. He was full of a Wicked Spirit as well as the People. They began to be very rough. Someone took a Candlestick of[f] the nail that it was hung upon and threw it at me, but it did no harm. A lighted candle was thrown at me and caught me in the Bosom, another caught George Simpson on his side. The[y] pushed bro. William Bradbury about and some one hit him in the mouth. Yet for all this, we rejoiced because it was for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.
January 8, 1840
On Wednesday, I went to Newcastle and Preached.
January 10, 1840
Friday, I went to Stoke and Preached.
January 12, 1840
O[n] Sunday at Burselm, I Preached In the Morning and Evening, attended to the Breaking of Bread in the Afternoon. After preaching was over in the Evening, I was invited to William Vernon[s]. Alexander Harrison and there [their] wifes was there. I pressed upon them to go to the water. Alexander profferd to go. He had previous to this been a Infidel for he had looked at the Religionist of the day and the Bible and he found far different. He and William Vernon went. I baptized them at Midnight.
January 13, lB40
On the Monday, I Started for Lane End. Called at Stoke and baptized Sampson Stanaway, his Maria and Mary Smallman, William Benbows Servant. Went to Lane End and Preached.
January 14, 1840
Tuesday at Burslem, I preached. There was a rough company present. No harm done.
January 15, 1840
Wednesday, I Preached at Newcastle.
January 17, 1840
Friday, at Stoke and baptized Isaac Whittaker.
January 18, 1840
On the Saturday Evening, I baptized Eliza Parker, my Wifes Sister. The same evening, I went to Hanley to William Benbow. Him and his Wife was willing to take upon them the name of Christ Jesus. After he had Closed the Shop, we went down to Stoke in company with bro. George Simpson, William Bradbury, Thomas Anison. We met with the Stoke brethren and Sisters and the[y] were baptized at Midnight. A most precious season. I wrought home about 4 o'clock in the Morning.
January 19, 1840
I preached twice on the Sunday, broke bread and confirmed 3. Same Evening baptized Samuel Hancock and George Wainwright.
January 20, 1840
On Monday 20th, I went to Lane End, preached and baptize[d] James Rusten, [blank] rejected my testimony.
January 21, 1840
Tuesday Evening, I preached at Burslem. There was a Wicked Spirit made manifest. This evening bro. Wilford Woodruff, one of the twelve, and bro. Turley, one of the Seventies, some men saw me and the[y] fell against me and knocked me backwards of[f]. There was no harm done.
February 7, 1840
Friday, I laid hands on Sister Eliza Parker that was Sick.
February 8, 1840
On Saturday 8th, I received a letter from Sister Mary Powel. Laid hands on three that were sick.
February 9, 1840
On Sunday, 9th, I went to Hanley and Preached morning and evening. Attended to the breaking of bread in the Afternoon and Confirmed one.
February 10, 1840
On Monday, 10th, which was the Queen of England Wedding to Prince Albert, I went to Lane End to bro. Woodruff. We went into the Market Place in the Afternoon. I and bro. Woodrough Preached. My Wife and Sister Maria Battleby, bro. George Simpson, and William Bradbury was with us. We preached in the Evening and I baptized Jonathan Lockett.
February 11, 1840
On Tuesday, 11th, I preached at Stoke Lane in the Evening.
February 13, 1840
Thursday, 13th, I went over to Hanley with bro. Woodruff. There was a deal of Unbelief made manifest.
February 16, 1840
On Sunday, Feb 16th, I went over to Stoke and Preached in the Morning. I was opposed by [blank]. Then went to Lane End and broke bread in the Afternoon and Preached in the Evening.
February 17, 1840
Monday, I went again to Lane End and Preached and baptized George Lockett, brother to Jonothan Lockett.
February 18, 1840
Tuesday Evening, I preached at Burslem.
February 20, 1840
On Thursday, I went to Hanley. Bro. Woodruff Preached.
February 21, 1840
Friday, 21st, I went and opened a new Door at Henry Lewis at Longport. There was a good congregation. Several received the truth. February Z3, 1840
Sunday, 23, 1840
I went to Hanley. Preached Morning and Evening. Presided over the Meeting in the Afternoon. I and my Wife went to bro. Benbow for Dinner and Tea.
February 24, 1840
On Monday Evening, I went to Lane End and Preached. Bro. William Bradbury and John Bourne was with me. We called at bro. John Rowley. He had a very large family. The[y] were very badly of[f], but bro. William Bradbury was worse of[f] than them so they would force him to take a loaf of Bread with him home to his wife and family, for they had nothing to eat. Such a Spirit made my heart to rejoice.
February 26, 1840
Wednesday Evening, I went to a small Village named Red Street in company with bro. Daniel Bowers, James Johnson and Richard Steele, to a Gentleman named Allen Booth. We saw him and his nephew and niece. We had a good deal of conversation with them. They received the truth. I left them to prove all things. They was to send me a note when I must see them again. They were Unitarians.
February 27, 1840
On Thursday, 27th, Evening, I Preached at Hanley. There was great attention paid. At the close of the Meeting, bro. William Vernon came to us. He had Opened a door at Leek, a town 10 miles North of Burslem. He wanted some one to go there on Sunday. There was several of the brethren and Sisters went down with us to bro. and Sister Benbow. The Holy Ghost said separate William Vernon for the Ministry. Bro. Woodrough ordained him to be a Priest. He pronounced a great many blessing upon him. By the Spirit of Prophecy and of Revelation, he told him that he was of the Blood of Ephraim and that he should and behold nations fall and he should see the winding up scene and he should stand upon Mount Zion with the one hundred and Forty Four Thousand and a many other blessings and that the Patriarch should pronounce the same blessing upon him and a great many more Blessings should be Confirmed upon him.
February 28, 1840
On Friday, 28th, I went to Longport and Preached and baptized Harriet Parker. This was my birthday. I was 23 Years Old.
March 1, 1840
On Sunday, I went to Leek in Company with bro. William Vernon, Priest; bro. William Bradbury, Deacon; bro. John Bourne and Samuel Johnson. We went to Mark Washington in Stockwell Street. He was very poor. They had very little to eat in the House. We had no opportunity of getting a congregation of people together so I commenced talking to all that came to his house. One named Isaac Birneachough came. I showed him the Gospel of Christ. He was a Ranter Priest. He said I was right and that the Doctrine I taught was right. We went in the Afternoon to preach in the Pig Market, but it was very cold. The people would not have stood out of doors. I went to Friend Isaacs. His wife was a preacher. They invited me to sit down. I began to talk to them about the Gospel of Christ. His wife was not so open to conviction as him. After talking a little they asked me to pray with them. When I had ceased, they told me that I might preach to them. He went out and brought a good number together. I preached to them the Gospel of Christ Jesus. There was a good Spirit made manifest. They invited us to take some Tea with them. We did so. Isaac had to go and preach this Evening. The Spirit had sorely troubled him. Bro. William Bradbury told him that he must [be careful?] how he handled the word of God. He said he would tell them he was happy. I told him he could not offer the people salvation on faith and repentance alone. He said he would tell them that the[y] must be Converted to Cod. We left his house and came to Mark Washington's. I preached to a company. In the Evening bro. William Vernon went and preached in another part of Leek. After I had done preaching, a Young man came to me. He wished to have My Company a little way home. His name was William Jackson. He said that what he had heard was the truth. He belonged to no Sect or party. He Insisted on us calling at his house and to have something to Eat. He was very poor. He said he would begin to pray for the Lord to let his blessing rest upon him. As soon as I left him, the Spirit made it Manifest to me that he would be baptized and that I should baptize him. I told this to the brethren. We came home rejoicing in the Lord.
March 2, 1840
On Monday Evening, I baptized Sarah Turner and Eleanor Johnson.
March 4, 1840
On Wednesday, 4th, I attended at a Meeting at Burslem. A refreshing season we had.
March 5, 1840
On Thursday, I went over to Hanley and preached and baptized Joseph Plant and Joseph Booth.
March 6, 1840
On Friday Evening, I went to Longport and Preached to them.
March 8, 1840
Sunday, 8th, this Morning, I got ready to start for Leek with bro. William Vernon Priest. It was as beautiful a day as ever was upon the earth. Before I started, I told several of them that before I came back I should baptize one or more. We went, we got there about noon. We went to William Jackson's, he went and called the neighbors together to come to the meeting, there was about twenty present. I preached to them. Several received the truth. We had our Tea at William Jackson's. I and bro. William Vernon took a walk after our Tea. I was sorely harassed in my mind because there was no sign of any being baptized. I asked bro. William what he thought about things. I told him the Devil must not deceive us. He said that the promise was that whatsoever two or three agreed upon, it, should be given them. We agreed in spite of all things that We would baptize Wm. Jackson. We went to the Meeting. There was a good number present. I preached to them. They received the truth. One old Man told me that [h]e had lived threescore and three Years but he never heard anything like it before. Whilst I was preaching, I called out for Volunteers to obey the Gospel. William Jackson got up and said he would be baptized. I went over to an Old woman named Nixon. We had some supper with her. We then went down to the water and I baptized him. He went on his way rejoicing, when he came out of the water, he stood and Praised the lord. I Confirmed at the water side, here was Evidence enough for me to believe in a God of Revelation.
March 9, 1840
On Monday evening, I went over to Lane End and preached and laid hands on Sister Myrah Amison.
March 10, 1840
On Tuesday, I went to Burslem with bro. Turley. He preached. John Jones came to the meeting and he brought one of the Police with him but walked of[f] without speaking a word to us. After preaching was over, I went and baptized Joseph Blaize. Their [there] were four of the brethren with us, four Young Woman and two other boys with us. I and bro. William Bradbury saw something stand upon the water in the form of a White Pillar. We showed it to the brethren, the Young woman's and boys saw it. We thought at first it had been a showday [shadow] of something or other, but we could not find any thing to cast such a Reflection. As it was, I went in and baptized close to it. The Young woman began to Sigh and to weep much. They were very much alarmed. It stood there all the time that we were there and what made the thing more strange was that when we walked of[f], it walked of[f] the water into a field close by. We saw it no more, When I came home, I told bro. Turley we had seen something. He asked me whether it was like a white pillar. He told me things were often seen by the Elder of the Church. It was a strange sight.
March 13, 1840
On Friday Evening, I went to Stoke with bro. Clark from Manchester. We preached to them, laid hands on four that were sick,
March 15, 1840
Sunday, March 15th, I went and baptized Alice Hulme, Rebakah Grocot from Stoke. The[y] rejoiced greatly in the water. I went to bro. Benbow for Breakfast. In Company with Turley, we attended to the Ordinance of Consecrating of Oil for the Healing of the Sick. Then went down to Stoke to bro. Sampson Stanaway. Anointed his Child that was Sick, went to bro. Hulme and preached, went to dinner in Company with Maria Rowley to bro. Sampson. Then went to Lane End and Preached in the Open Air. Attended the Meeting. In the Afternoon Confirmed two. preached in the Evening. A Good Spirit made manifest. John Jones came to Hanley to bro. Turley and conversed with him. He told some of the brethren that bro. Turley would not preach many more times.
March 16, 1840
Monday, 16th, A (Gentleman) the Sheriff came from Newcastle to Hanley and arrested Bro. Turley for something or other that happened before he went for America. I went to Lane End and preached in the Evening and baptized John Johnson, Ruth Ridge and Mary Ann Burton.
March 17, 1840
Tuesday Morning, bro. Turley was removed to Stafford. I went and preached at Burslem.
March 18, 1840
Wednesday, I went and preached at Newcastle. A poor prospect.
March 19, 1840,
Thursday Morning, I was very ill. I could not follow my Employment. I went and preached at Hanley. The Lord supported me abundantly.
March 20, 1840
O[n] Friday, 20th, I went and preached at Stoke. I was very ill. This day We had a letter from bro. Turley. He was in the Debtors Ward. He had neither Meat, Bed nor Fire nor none he could get without Money and he was destitute of this. Yet still he was happy. He was preaching to the bodies of men in Prisons. They gave me Seven Shillings and three pence at Stoke for to send to bro. Turley. Ten Shillings they got at Burslem. And, bro. Edward Parker and bro. William Bradbury Started at one o'clock this Morning [March 21, 1840] for Stafford to see him and to administer to his wants. They came back in the Evening. He was glad to see them. He was very happy. He said he did not owe any Man a penny justly.
On Sunday, I went to Hanley and Preached in the Morning and Evening. Attended to the Breaking of bread in the Afternoon. Alice Chetwin, George Plant, Mary Ann Smith, Martha Taylor were cut of[f] from the Church of Christ. One Confirmed. Laid hands on one that was sick.
March 23, 1840
Monday Evening, I went to Lane End. Preached and baptized Sarah [blank].
March 24, 1840
Tuesday, March 24th, I received a letter from bro. Turley. He was very well. In the Evening I Preached at Burslem.
March 25, 1840
Wednesday, I Preached at Newcastle.
March 26, 1840
Thursday evening, I preached at Hanley to a good Congregation. Received a letter from bro. Woodrough. He had been in Herefordshire twenty days and had baptized Sixty persons, twenty one preacher of Gospels This caused my heart to rejoice in the Lord. He baptized Thomas Kingston, Superintentendent Minister, and he delivered 45 preaching places, most of them licensed.
March 27, 1840
Friday, I went and preached at Longport to a Good Congregation. John Clews, George Mellor rejected my Testimony.
March 29, 1840
Sunday, March 29th, I went to Leek in Company with bro. William Bradbury. We had a very fine Morning. We went along, joyfully conversing about the things of the Kingdom of God. We went to bro. William Jackson's for Dinner. I preached in the Afternoon to an attentive Congregations. They received the truth. I went to Tea with Michael [blank]. Him and his Wife received the truth. They were about being baptized. I preached in the Evening to a Crowded house, and a many were believing the Works. Several staid after the Service was over in the house, but there was none baptized. We conversed with a Young man named [blank] Rushton. He was full of faith. He promised that he would be baptized. We slept at Freind Michaels. He treated us kindly.
March 30, 1840
The next Morning we went through a Silk Manufactory, and a curious piece of machinery it was. We started for Land End about half past nine o'clock, a fine Morn. As we went along the Road, Enjoying ourselves in conversation about the things of God, bro. William asked me to compose a verse of poetry and he would compose another. I commenced.
My Dear bro. William the times near at hand
When we shall not be walking in this here land
But we shall be removed to a land prized of God
And there be preserved from all that is bad
[The next two and one half pages of the diary are blank.]
We arrived at Lane End for Dinner at bro. Isaac Whittaker. We then went to his Wife's Mothers for to baptize her. She was putting bread in the oven to bake, as soon as she had done, she got ready for baptism, the water was close to her house. She ran praying all the way down to the water and I baptized her and she came home again rejoicing and praised the Lord. I confirmed her. Her name was Sarah Ward. We took Tea with her. We then went to the preaching. I preached to a good congregation. The[re] was some opposition. [blank] rejected my testimony.
March 31, 1840
Tuesday, March 31st, I preached at Burslem to a good congregation.
April 1, 1840
Wednesday Evening, I preached at Newcastle and I baptized three.
April 2, 1840
Thursday evening, I preached at Hanley to a good congregation. There was a good Spirit Made manifest. I went and baptized Eliza [blank]. When we came to the water, a person asked me if I believed she could find a remission of her sins through being baptized, I said that I did. He asked wether the thief on the Cross was baptized, I said, I had nothing at all to do with him, but I told him that the Savior said except a Man was Born of Water and the Spirit he could not enter into the kingdom, He said he did not believe that. I saw there was different kinds of infidels on the Earth.
April 3, 1840
Friday, I went and preached at Stoke. A very hard Stubborn Spirit made manifest.
April 4, 1840
My wife went to see bro. Turley. She was with him on the Saturday and he was very happy and comfortable in spirit.
April 5, 1840
Sunday, April 5th, I went to Stoke and preached in the open air. The people were very hard and stubborn. Took dinner with Sampson Stanaway. Then went to Lane End. Attended the afternoon meeting. Broke bread to them. Took tea with bro. Thomas Amison. Attended the evening meeting. A good congregation and a good Spirit made manifest.
April 7, 1840
Tuesday, I went to New Castle in Company with Wm. Vernon priest to obtain licenses for preaching. We went to the Session Meeting and he told us it did not need a Session Meeting to grant one, for any Magistrate could grant a License. In the Afternoon, We went through a Silk Factory then went to Tea with bro. John Wood, then came to the preaching at Burslem in the Evening.
April 9, 1840
Thursday, I went in Company with bro. William Vernon Priest to Tunstall to Thomas Rose Bailey, one of her Majesty's Justice of the Peace for a License to preach the Gospel. He said if we would appear before him on the morrow at Fenton he would grant us one a piece. In the Evening, I went to Hanley to preach, the Congregation was very rough. They laughed and shouted at me a great many times. They blew the Candles out and they pushed bro. William Bradbury on the floor. But for all this I baptized one named Jane [blank].
April 10, 1840
Friday, 10, We appeared before the Magistrate for a license. We obtained one and we paid 2/6 for it. We then went to Trentham and we had a view of the Hall which is building by the Duke of Sutherland. We then had a View of the large monument erected in lasting memorial of the Late Duke, the Father of the present Duke. It stands on a very large Hill. From this place we could see a many large Towns such as Stafford, Stone, Lane End, Fenton, Stoke, Newcastle, Wolstanton, Hanley, and Shelton and a many small villages. I then came in the Evening to Longport to preach. I preached in the Open to a good congregation in the large Square. When the Service was over, they began to laugh and to push us about. There was about 2 or 300 followed us up the road and they shouted and threw several stones after us and some dirt, but there was no harm done. We rejoiced in the Lord our God.
On Thursday Afternoon, about half past four, bro. Daniel Bowers sent for me. He was taken ill of a inflammation down one side of his body. His Wife had no faith in the ordinances of the Gospel. She was not baptized. She went for a Doctor. He came Bro. Daniel would not take any Medicine but he suffered the Doctor to take three half pints of blood from him. He did not suffer this to be done because he had no faith in the ordinance of the Gospel but he thought that losing a little blood was a good thing for a inflammation. But instead of getting better, he got worse and worse. But, however, I went to him and I told him the Lord would grant him a blessing. I administered to him some Oil and appointed him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I laid my hands upon him and Rebuked the Disease in the name of the Lord and in a moment, the Disease was stopped and he was perfectly healed and made whole. He wept for Joy. One of the brethren named Joseph Booth, he exhorted him to stand fast and never to fall back. He called his Wife upstairs and he asked her to be baptized. He said it was a great Miracle and he should go to Hanley and tell about it on Sunday.
April 12, 1840
On Sunday, April, l2th, I went over to Leek in Company with bro. Joseph Blaze and William Bradbury. It was a wet morning. We met bro. Benjamin Mycha at Endon to be baptized. I baptized him and he went back with us to Leek, rejoicing abundantly. We got to Leek. Took Dinner with bro. William Jackson. Preached in the Evening and Afternoon to good congregations. Many received the truth. I confirmed bro. Benjamin. I baptized [blank] Rushton, Joseph Hudson, [blank] [TATTHER]. We rejoiced. As soon as I had baptized them I was taken with a Violent pain in my Gume. It began to gather and it pained me very much. My face began to swell. We arrived hom[e] about half past one in the Morning. Thursday, bro. Woodruff arrived at Hanley from Herefordshire. He had been doing very well. He had baptized 160 and 200 more were ready in about 6 weeks.
April 13, 1840
Monday Morning, about half past five o'clock, in Company with bro. Clark, bro. Woodruff came to our house. He took breakfast with us. They set of[f] for Preston. Five of the twelve and one High Priest had come over from America. They Called a many of the Officers together to hold a Conference at Preston. My face was more painful than ever. I could not go to work at my Employment. My pain grew worse until about four o'clock in the Afternoon my gathering broke. I could not go to Lane End to preach in the Evening.
April 14, 1840
Tuesday Morning, I was a little better. I went in the Evening and preached in Masseys Square in the Open Air. I was opposed by George Wood. He rejected my Testimony. He gave out that he would preach in the same place tomorrow evening at half past Seven.
April 15, 1840
Wednesday Evening, I went to Newcastle and preached. There was very few there.
April 16, 1840
Thursday evening, I went to Hanley and preached. There was great disturbance. I told them not to reject my Testimony, but a many cried aloud that they did. I read my license to them and this quelled them a little. The Chief Constable came and they dismissed quietly.
April 17, 1840
Friday, Two of the Sisters came from Manchester to Burslem, Mary Powel and Betsy Poole. They took Tea with me. We went to Longport to preach. I preached in the open air to a good congregation of people.
April 18, 1840
Saturday, April 18th, Bro. Woodruff and bro. Young, two of the twelve, call[ed] to see us as the[y] were going to Herefordshire. I went to baptize a man. He came from Newcastle to Burslem to be baptized. We went to the water. We got ready for baptism and then we got in the water he was so Nervous he durst not be baptized. So We went home again.
April 19, 1840
On Sunday, Brigham Young and Mary Wyche came to our house and took breakfast with me. Bro. Woodruff called. The[y] laid their hands upon the head of Sister Eliza Parker. We then went over to Hanley and bro. Young Preached. In the Afternoon he broke bread to them. He preached in the Evening. I went over to Lane End and Preached. Bro. Henry Glover Baptized 2.
April 20, 1840
Monday, I went over to Lane End with my wife and Mary Powel and Betsy Poole, George Simpson and William Bradbury. We went over to Sarah Ward at Red Bank and baptized [blank]. We then went to Lane End. I preached to them. I and bro. George Simpon, Charles Hawthorn, John Boourne staid at bro. Isaac Whittaker all night.
April 21, 1840
At about half past 4 o'clock, we set of[f] for Stafford and bro. Thomas Amison with us to see bro. Turley. We arrived there about 9 o'clock and we staid with him until about 12 o'clock. He was very well and very comfortable. He expected to be at liberty in a few days. We came back through Springvale and through Trentham. We called to see Sister Hannah Wagstaff. She was very well. We then came on to Stoke. We took some refreshment at bro. Thomas Anderson. We then came to Burslem. Bro. Henry Glover
April 22, 1840
Wednesday, I went to Newcastle and preached for the first time in the Open Air to an attentive congregation.
April 23, 1840
Thursday, bro. George Smith, one of the twelve, came to Burslem. We went to Hanley. Bro. G A Smith preached. I went this day and appeared before Thomas Bailey Rose, a Justice of the Peace, for to obtain a license for a Preaching Room in Hanley. Bro. William Bradbury asked him for one on Tuesday, but he could not obtain one. The Justice said he could not grant me one for he had not got it in [h]is power. He said he did not understand our principles and there were Churches and Chapels enough. He Asked were we latter Day Saints. He did not understand the Term. I said we were a Sect raised up by the Lord in these Last Days. I said it seemed as though the Lord was not well pleased with them, for he had raised us up. I said the principle we taught were the Doctrines of the Bible. He said the Church of England taught the same. When I examined the Bible, I said, I find that the Church of England and all other Sects and parties under heaven had changed Gods ordinances. He said he belonged to the Church of England. He had not eloquence enough to understand our Doctrine. They had Eloquent Learned men that Employed there Whole tim[e] in Searching the Scriptures and he should depend upon them. I then gave him a Timely Warning. He asked what it was. I told him. He gave it to me again and said he did not want it. He asked whether we thought the Almighty himself had given us Authority, whether he himself had spoken to us. I answered. Yes. I can have nothing at all to do with You, he replied. I bid him Good Morning.
April 24, 1840
Friday Evening, I went to Stoke and Preached in the open air, a Stubborn Congregation. I called the Church together and exhorted them. Laid hands on William Hulme that was Sick.
April 26, 1840
Sunday Morning, I arose and went to Hanley by half past six o'clock to baptize a man. But his mind had got disturbed, so he had rather let it be a little while. I went for breakfast at his house In Company with George Simpson and bro. Jokn Rowley. We then went down to the Abbey to meet James Lockett and I baptized him. Bro. John Rowley and we went on to Leek. Friend [TRAFOCK] met us on our way. I went and took Dinner with him. I then went and preached in the Afternoon in the Open Air, then went to tea with [blank], preached in the Evening in the Open Air. Confirmed three and 4 gave in there names to be baptized. I prayed with bro. William Jackson's Wife and laid hand on his Child that was Sick. I and bro. John Bowley started home. When We got about 4 Miles on our journey, I could hardly walk along the road. With difficulty, I got home about Midnight
April 27, 1840
Monday Morning, April 27, I went to my Employment. In the Evening I went to Lane End to bro. Richards who had called upon us as he was going to Herefordshire to bro. Woodruff and bro. Young. G A Smith and Sister Elizabeth Ravenscroft was with him. I arrived there just in time for preaching. I preached to them. There was a good congregation. Bro. Richards staid here. He had to start for Herefordshire. I and Elizabeth came home together. We was quite tired. When I got home and got into bed, my Ankles pained me the same as if they had been Strained, but in a little time I fell asleep and in the Morning I was better.
April 28, 1840
Tuesday, I had a very powerful impression that I must go and preach at Tunstall in the Evening, so I went and preached and there was a good congregation. Bro. Henry Glover preached at Burslem.
April 30, 1840
Wednesday, I went over to Newcastle and preached out of Doors in the Green to a good congregation.
April 30, 1840
Thursday Evening, April 30th, I went to Hanley. G A Smith preached to them, a good congregation.
May 1, 1840
Friday, May 1st, Inn the Evening I went to Stoke. Sister Sarah Anderson was very ill of a fever. She was waiting for me to come that I might attend to the Ordinance of the Gospel. I administered unto her. I preached out of doors. When I left Stoke, Sister Sarah was a deal better. When I came home, bro. Henry Glover was very ill. I administered to him also.
May 3, 1840
Sunday, May 3rd, I went to Hanley and preached In the Morning. Took dinner at Mrs. Ravenscroft, Attended the Afternoon Meeting and a precious meeting there was, I confirmed one. In the Evening, I preached to a good congregations. We went to Eliza Keeling and confirmed James Lockett. I then went at [and] baptized [blank] and then went to Stoke. Sister Anderson had sent for me, She was taken very ill. I administered to her in the name of the Lord Jesus and I left her a great deal better. I arrived home about twelve o'clock.
May 4, 1840
Monday Afternoon, I went to Lane End. Bro. John Bourne went with me, We took Tea at bro. Isaac Whittakers. I then went to Red Bank and baptized [blank] Shenton, I then came back to Lane End and preached to a good congregation, There was a many watching for iniquity. The[y] were trying to make a man offender for a word, but the Lord put it out of their power. Reptin, the blind preacher, was there, When I had done, he said, My Christian friends I acknowledge that these are the Last Days and in the last days false prophets and false teachers should come and I was a false prophet and what they had heard was false teaching, and what I had said was false, and next Wednesday but one, he would preach and expose my error. I confirmed one. Laid hands on two that was Sick. One was healed in a moment. For this I rejoiced.
May 5, 1840
Tuesday Evening, I went to Tunstall and preached in the Open Air to a good congregation.
May 6, 1840
Wednesday Evening, May 6, I went to Newcastle and preached in the Open Air. Bro. Smith bore his Testimony. We called the Church together and bro. Wm. Smith and bro. Wood were ordained. Smith to the Priesthood of Aaron and a bro. Wood, a Teacher.
May 7, 1840
Thursday Evening, I went to Hanley and bro. Smith preached.
May 9, 1840
Saturday, May 9, bro. Turley was released from prison. He met with I, bro. Smith and seven more Officers in Council at bro. George Simpsons. I arose and proposed bro. Smith to take the Chair. I was proposed Secretary, both unanimously. After bro. Smith opening the meeting with prayer to our Father for his spirit to be upon us to direct us, after prayer, bro. Smith addressed us on the nature of Priesthood, very simply and plainly. He proposed bro. George Simpson be ordained to the Office of an Elder. It was seconded and unanimously carried. It was moved and seconded that H Clover be Ordained an Elder, also Unanimously carried. It was moved and seconded that bro. William Bradbury and bro. Edward Parker be ordained Teachers, unanimously carried. It was moved and seconded that bro. Daniel Bowers be Ordained Deacon, unanimously carried. The meeting was Adjourned until the sixth of May. Bro. Turley returned thanks.
May 10, 1840
Sunday, 10th, I went to Leek in Company with bro. William Vernon. It was a very wet day. We took dinner with bro. Mycock. We broke bread in the Afternoon and I confirmed four. We went for Tea with bro. Tattler. I preached to them in the Evening. A good Spirit made manifest. We [ACTED] until about Midnight and then I baptized bro. Mycock Wife. We arrived home about half past two o'clock. This day bro. Turley was at Hanley. He was loosed from prison. This week was a week of rest to me.
May 12, 1840
On the Tuesday Evening, I went to Penkall and addressed the Meeting on the Subject of temperance. Bro. Smith addressed the Meeting, we were highly received.
May 17, 1840
Sunday, 17th, I went down to Stoke and preached in the Morning. Took dinner at bro. John Rowley. My Wife was with me. We then went to Lane End. Sister Elizabeth Ravenscroft was with us. I hesitated about going. I felt as though I must go to Hanley. My Wife said she thought that when I got to Lane End I should find that bro. Smith wanted me. I said got there I should find that I had to come back. I had not been there long before three of the brethren came for me to go to Hanley. I went and preached. Confirmed six and baptized William Williams. As I was coming home, I called to see Sarah Turner and Elenor Johnson. The[y] were ill of the Small Pox. They was in possession of no faith.
May 19, 1840
Tuesday evening, I went to Tunstall and preached in the Open Air to a good congregation. There was great attention. The Spirit of the Lord was upon me. Several received the truth. I called to see bro. Walkers wife. She had been delivered of a Daughter. I prayed with her.
May 20, 1840
Wednesday, 20th of May, I went over to Newcastle and preached at bro. Woods. Laid hand on one that was Sick.
May 21, 1840
Thursday, bro. Young came to Burslem from Herefordshire, The work had began about three months and nearly four hundred had been baptized and upwards of twenty ordained officers. He went to Hanley in Company with bro. Smith. Bro. Turley was there, He and bro. Smith preached, We then came to Burslem to Sister Johnson. Laid hand [on] bro. Bowers Child and on Eliza Parker.
May 22, 1840
Friday, I went over to Newcastle and preached at bro. Woods, Laid hand on one that was Sick.
May 23, 1840
Saturday, I went to Longport and preached in the Open Air to A good congregation. After preaching I went and baptized Sarah Johnson in the Keepoff. When I came back, bro. Smith asked me to go to Leek on Saturday. He was going in Company with Sister Ravenscroft and Sister Johnson. My Wife wanted to go with them. I promised her she should go if I went, The[y] set of[f] about three o'clock in the Afternoon. My Wife and I set of[f] about seven o'clock at night. We arrive there about [?] O Clock. We met with bro. Smith. He was glad to see us. We took some Supper and went to bed at bro. Tattons, but there was no rest for us there, It was an Old Thatch house and there was swarms of Fleas, Every thing was very clear about us, but the fleas attacked us and a dreadful persecution took place. I slept but about two hours. Bro. Smith was tired, so they did not punish him so much. My wife never slept a minute. The affray ended with about ten or a dozen fleas being Slain.
May 24, 1840
We arose in the Morning, took breakfast with bro. Tatton then went to the Meeting. Broke bread in Company with Elder Smith. Confirmed Seven. Took Dinner with Sister Wardle. Went to Meeting in the Afternoon and preached to them. Took Tea with bro. and Sister Rushton. Went to meeting, Elder Smith Preached to them. It began to rain very heavy and we set of[f] home in the wet about nine o'clock. We got home about half past twelve.
May 26, 1840
Tuesday, 26, evening I went to Tunstall and preached in the Open Air. I was opposed by John Hough.
May 28, 1840
Thursday, I went to Hanley and bro. Simpson preached to them. I bore my Testimony
May 29, 1840
Friday, 29, I went to Stoke and preached to them. Laid hand on three that was Sick.
On Saturday 30th, Afternoon, I started for Cheadle. I had an impression on my mind for some time to carry the Everlasting Gospel to this place. I called at Stoke. Sister Alice Hulme went with me. We went through Trentham. Called to see my Beloved Sister Hannah Wagstaff. She was very well and happy. The[y] rejoiced to see us. We left her and proceeded to Lane End. We called at bro. Whittaker. I went to see bro. Jonothan Lockett, he was very ill. I administered unto him in the name of the Lord and in a little time he was easier. He got up and sat by the Fire. I slept at bro. Whittakers.
May 31, 1840
We arose in the Morning to breakfast. Called to see bro. Lockett. He was very ill. We prayed with him. He rejoiced that ere long he should come again and reign upon the Earth. I then went to Cheadle. There was a many people waiting for us at the Cross. We then went to the market place. I preached to them. Their was a good Spirit made manifest. When I had done preaching, an Old Gentleman named Lees and offered us a half Crown to get some refreshment. I told him I did not preach for Money. He asked us to go and get some refreshment with him. We went. They treated us very kindly. He went with us to meeting in the Afternoon. I preached to them, and many received the word. We came to Lane End. Elder Simpson was preaching. I bore Testimony to the truth of the work. We then went to see bro. Lockett. He was dying. He could not speak to us. We prayed with him. He went easier and in a few minu[tes] his Spirit went to his native place. It was a Solemn season.
Tuesday, I went over to Trunstall. Preached to them. Was opposed by John Boon. He read a pamphlet that had been wrote against us. There was a little disturbance.
June 3, 1840
Wednesday, I went to Newcastle and Preached to them. The Lord helped me abundantly.
June 4, 1840
Thursday, I went to Hanley and preached to them. A good time.
June 6, 1840
Saturday, I attended a Council Meeting at Elder Simpson. I was Chairman, Priest Needham Secretary. After I had been at the meeting, Wm. Bradbury came for me to go and baptize Elizabeth Brooks & Ann Baily.
My heart rejoiced and I praised the Lord
Because of his Goodness in fulfilling his Word.
1. Richard L. Evans, A Century of "Mormonism" in Great Britain, (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1937) p.l0-11. Hereafter cited as Evans. This panic started basically when Martin Van Buren became the President of the United States. It was not a problem for the Mormons only, but was nationwide. See also Milton V. Backman, Jr., The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio 1830-1838, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1983) p.310-41.
2. Joseph Smith said that "No quorum in the Church was entirely exempt from the influences of those false spirits who were striving against me for the mastery; even some of the twelve were so far lost in their high and responsible calling as to begin to take sides, secretly with the enemy." Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B.H. Roberts (2d ed. rev.; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1972) 2:487-488. Hereafter cited as HC.
3. Heber C. Kimball records, "On Sunday, the 4th day of June, 1837 the Prophet Joseph Smith came to me, while I was seated in front of the stand, above the sacrament table, on the Melchizedek side of the Temple, in Kirtland, and whispering to me, said, Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me: "Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel, and open the door of salvation to that nation. Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, (reprint ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973) p. 103-4.
4. "On or about the 1st of June, 1837, Heber C. Kimball, one of the Twelve, was set apart by the spirit of prophecy and revelation , prayer and laying on of hands, of the First presidency, to preside over a mission to England, to be the first foreign mission of the Church of Christ in the last days. While we were ordaining him, Orson Hyde, another of the twelve, came in, and upon listening to what was passing, his heart melted within him (for he had begun to drink of the cup filled with the overflowing of speculation); he acknowledged all his faults, asked for forgiveness, and offered to accompany President Kimball on his mission to England. His offer was accepted, and he was set apart for that purpose." HC 2:489.
5. They arrived in Liverpool on July 20, 1837. Between July 20, 1837 and July 20, 1838, the Elders had baptized approximately 1,500 people. Evans, Century of Mormonism, p.244.
6. On April 8, 1838, 12 days prior to his departure for America, Heber C. Kimball Nominated Joseph Fielding to be the president of the British Mission with Willard Richards and William Clayton as his counselors. See Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 192.
7. In 1840 when Wilford Woodruff first arrived in the Staffordshire Potteries, it was comprised of about 20,000 inhabitants. See James B. Allen and Malcom R. Thorpe, "The Mission of the Twelve to England 1840-41: Mormon Apostles and the Working Classes.", Brigham Young University Studies 15 (Summer 1975):p. 504.
8. Lester Cappon states the case for historica1 editing as follows. "Let me state the case as I see it, in elementary terms. The historical editor of source materials is a historian whose responsibility consists, first, in transmitting authentic and accurate texts of all extant documents within a rational frame of reference, with due respect for archival principles, and, second, in making those texts more intelligible. Since the written record, or its equivalent in other forms, constitutes the primary source of history, he may not evade his responsibility. Lester J Cappon, "A Rationale for Historical Editing Past and Present", 3rd Series, 23(January 1966): p. 57.
9 Toxteth Park is located 3 miles southeast of Liverpool in Lancashire. In 1841 it contained 12,829 inhabitants. This place is situated on the banks of the Mersey and was anciently a park belonging to the Duke of Lancaster. Because of its proximity to Liverpool, it has become the residence of numerous merchants, manufacturers and retired tradesmen. Samuel Lewis, Topigraphical Dictionary of England (5 vols.; London: S. Lewis & Company, 1848), IV, 330.
10. Messrs Samuel Worthington & Co. established the 'Herculaneum' factory at Liverpool in 1796. This firm had a large trade in various types of pottery and for a period from about 1800 some now rare bone-china wares were made. Geoffrey Godden, Godden's Guide to English Porcelain, (London: Willions, 1978)p. 186-87.