12

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1857
DIARY 1857-1858

San Francisco, April 3, 1857:

For some months passed I have neglected my journal, the consequence is that I shall have to write from memory. On the 6th of last October, 1856, I was released from the Sandwich Island Mission. On the 8th of November following, I set sail, in company with my brother Charles C. Hurst, for San Francisco, California. Perhaps it will be necessary to say that we worked our passage before the mast, and when I look back and think of it I can truly say that the hand of the Lord was over us for good, although I realize that it was one of the greatest trials I have had to endure since I have been in the Church. To speak plainly we were in a perfect Hell. The first mate was the meanest scamp I ever saw, however, it did not last long for we arrived in San Francisco on the night of November 23rd. I will leave it to the imagination of the readers how glad we were to meet with the Saints after being with such a set of devils. My joy was so great that it knew no bounds.

When we landed we were worth 37 cents each. Owing to our clothing being very light and thin, and I must confess rather the worse for wear, we experienced the cold weather pretty severely till Brother John Baptist gave me a good cloth coat. Sister Mowery gave me a pair of shoes, and Brother Everett kindly took us in; in fact all of the Saints we met with behaved very kind. We stayed in the city till the 3rd of December, then I accompanied Brother W. Whipple to the Redwoods. He paid my fare. On the following Sunday Clement followed me.

It was some time before we could get work, in the mean time I helped do chores about the house, that is Brother Eli Whipple's. Bye the bye, his wife is very much opposed to Mormonism. We hired out at several places but could get no pay. In the beginning of March, Clement and I concluded we would work on our own account. We split 730 posts the first four days, then a Brother, newly baptized, came from the city. He having nothing to do we took him with us. I believe his name is Ingelsted, from Norway. Up to the end of March we split 3,000 posts and sold them all for $90. As to what was owing to us, we handed out some and left the rest in the hands of E. Whipple to collect though I hardly expect to get one cent.

On the 3rd of April, four of us walked from the Redwoods up to San Francisco, a distance of 36 miles. We arrived at the office at 3 o'clock p.m. and found all the brethren well. April 3rd I gave Brother George Q. Cannon $10.00 for the paper. I gave Brother Mandle $3.00 etc.

Here I had the pleasure of meeting Brother William Cooke, late from New Zealand. I truly rejoiced to see him once more. We had been separated over two years and a half.

On the 5th of April, Sunday, I attended four meetings, the Saints felt well. I and four others renewed our covenants; namely, Brothers E. Whitlock, Brother Bennett, Charles C. Hurst, and Eli Whipple.

Monday, April 6. We met in the capacity of Conference. For particulars, see the Western Standard, Friday the 10th, Volume 2nd, No. 5. I can truly say I never attended better meetings before. The Spirit of the Lord was in our midst. I will state that it was my intention previous to the conference to accompany Brother W. Cooke to the valley, but the conference thought it best, as the field was large and the laborers few, to send us to the mines to preach under the presidency of Elder Shearman.

The following blessing to the best of my recollection was pronounced by Brother C. W. Wamble:

"Brother Frederick Hurst; We the servants of the Lord lay our hands upon you to give you a blessing. Behold the Lord is well pleased with you, and in as much as you keep humble you shall go forth and the power of God shall rest upon you so that when you get up to speak you shall cause men to quake and tremble. You shall do a good work in California, and in due time you shall go up to Zion bearing your sheaves with you. And you shall go forth to the Lamanites and do a great work among them. You shall live to a good old age, yea you shall see Jesus Christ's second coming with thousands of His Saints with Him in the clouds of fire, etc."

On Monday the 13th I wrote to Mother and Amelia and fixed up ready to start. On Tuesday the 14th, six of us; namely Elders Boyle, Winslow, J. Thatcher, C. C. Hurst, and Geary W. Rogers, late from the Islands, started for Petaluma [north of San Francisco] where we arrived in the evening. Here four of the brethren went on to Buckeye and left Brother Boyle and myself at a Mr. Lotson's. Here we met Brother L. Stillman, nephew to President Brigham Young. He is a wild young man, but I believe good hearted. He informed me that he left Salt Lake City about four or five years ago.

Wednesday, April 15. Elder Boyle and I started this morning for Russian River. We called at Mr. Mayfield's, three miles from Petaluma. We rested a while and then pushed on until we got to Old Uncle Shelton's where we were treated kindly. Spent the evening agreeably reading.

Tuesday, April 16. After breakfast, Brother Boyle and I went to Blacher Valley. Got liberty to preach in the school house. Gave out an appointment for tomorrow night at early candlelight.

Friday, April 17. According to previous appointment we met this evening. The people turned out well. Brother Boyle preached, afterward I bore my testimony, etc. The few Saints here feel well at present.

Saturday, April 18. We walked to the Dry Creek Branch, a distance of thirty miles. Found Brother Dramm well and feeling glad to see us. We spent the evening very agreeably.

Sunday, April 19, Dry Creek. At 10:00 a.m. we met at Brother G. D. Sparke's house. A few of the Saints attended, and to tell the truth they felt dull and sleepy. According to President George Q. Cannon's instructions we tried to find out who were going to Salt Lake and who to San Bernardino. In the evening we went home with Brother George W. Chick and wife, about four miles walk up in the mountains. I never saw such a beautiful variety of wild flowers before. Surely, as the scriptures saith, "This land is blessed above all other lands." The scenery in this Russian River district is really charming.

On Monday the 20th, Brother Chick, Brother Boyle and I went deer hunting. We scared one up but he got away from us. We traveled over hill and dale to no purpose for we returned without any game.

Tuesday we came back to Brother Dramm's and stayed all night.

Wednesday, April 22. We walked up Dry Creek six miles to Mr. Waterman's. He is an apostate, but his wife is a Mormon. We found the old lady and her daughter at home and glad to see us. As soon as we rested we had a swim in the creek nearby. Spent the evening very agreeably listening to Brother Boyle and Mr. Waterman telling bear stories. At their request I sang a hymn in the Hawaiian language.

On Thursday the 23rd Brother Boyle went down the creek, and I went up the creek to tell the people if they wanted to hear anything pertaining to Mormonism we would preach at 3:00 p.m. at Mr. Waterman's house. Brother Dramm brought his wagon full of Saints and according to appointment we met. Three or four gentiles attended, although I walked three miles up the creek and waded the stream 6 times, and Brother Boyle went down the same distance. However, we had a good time. I spoke first followed by Elder Boyle and Elder Dramm. After meeting Celia Waterman was baptized under the hands of Elder H. G. Boyle, after which we confirmed her a member of the Church.

Friday the 24th. Held a kind of Counsel meeting. In the afternoon Brother Marion Shelton, and John Roberts, Brother G. W. Chick and his wife Ann Chick renewed their covenants by baptism. We also baptized and confirmed Francis A. Katerine Roberts.

Saturday the 25th. Brother Dramm harnessed his mules to Brother Sparke's wagon and brought us ten miles on our way to Stang Point. He then paid a Mr. Mills $1.00 to fetch us as far as Santa Rosa, which left us but 10 miles to walk. We arrived at Brother Shelton's at 3:00 p.m.

Sunday the 26th. Brother Boyle instructed me to go over to Brother Boyd Steward, a distance of 6 miles, and get the people together for meeting, and he would go to Petaluma and get his letters and be back by 2 or 3 o'clock. On my way I called at Mr. Higginson's to see a Mrs. Martin, another Apostate. She is President Silas Smith's sister (now in the Sandwich Islands). I had quite a long talk with her. I do not think I would be afraid to prophesy that she will yet be glad to do right and gather up. She felt glad to see me and requested me to call again, etc. etc.

Brother Boyd went with me to stir the folks up to come to meeting. I waited until about 3 and then opened meeting myself and preached on the first principles, faith, etc. Brother Boyle arrived just in time to dismiss the meeting.

Monday the 27th. Walked to Petaluma. On our way we called at Mr. Mayfield's and got dinner from an apostate sister. We got into Petaluma about 3 o'clock p.m. Tried to get up a meeting but did not succeed. We stayed all night at Mr. Lotson's.

Tuesday the 28th. We walked to Napa, a distance of 35 miles. Previous to starting, however, Mrs. Lotson put up some lunch for us and gave us some nuts to eat on the road. The Lord bless them for their kindness. Stopped at Mr. Mount's.

Wednesday the 29th. We made out a quantity of hand bills and stuck them all over town informing the public that we would preach this evening at the courthouse. I might add that through the kindness of the Sheriff, Mr. Sparkes, we were permitted to hold meeting in the above mentioned house About 50 attended. Brother Boyle spoke first, I followed. The people paid good attention.

Thursday, April 30. Before starting this morning Mr. Mount gave us $1.00 each, besides lunch to eat on the road, for when we started we intended to walk to Buckeye, a distance of forty miles, but Brother Boyle thought it would not be wisdom. We walked as far as Wilson's, 20 miles. Stayed all night.

Next morning, Friday May 1st. We walked to the Kutah River, 14 miles, where we met John and Moses Thatcher with horses. After bathing we mounted and rode the rest of the way. Just before we reached our destination we had a race, and my saddle, not being girded on tight, slipped over on one side, consequently I fell off, or rather let myself down. I escaped unhurt. We found the brethren and sisters all well and glad to see us. It was not long, in spite of my bashfulness before I felt quite at home. In the afternoon Brothers Cannon, Sherman, Steward, Higgins, and others arrived. We truly rejoiced together. On Saturday we held three meetings, received very much valuable instructions from Brother Cannon and others.

The weather is very warm. The country is parched up for want of rain. This season is so dry it is thought that most of the grain in this district will fail.

Monday, May 3rd. Buckeye Branch held three meetings, one a good testimony meeting. The evening meeting was kept up until half past 12 o'clock. The Saints feel better than I have witnessed for some time past. I really feel to love the Saints at Buckeye, and elsewhere, and may the Lord bless them. Most of the Saints here are anxious to gather up to Zion.

Monday, May 4th. Twelve of us rode down to Sacramento City, through the kindness of Brothers Preston and Joseph Thatcher. In the afternoon President Cannon

accompanied with the Elder from Oregon and Brother Sherman started for San Francisco. Brother Clem and I stayed all night with Brother Joseph Thatcher at a boarding house. He paid for our board and lodging. We then walked to Alder Creek, a distance of 20 miles. Went round amongst the people, told them who and what we were. Captain Hammond said he would give us a room and lights. He immediately set to work with his man, carried seats to the house, cleaned out nicely, furnished me with paper, pen and ink, etc.

I wrote out some notices. About sixty attended, paid good attention till I had done. Clem bore his testimony. Then a white headed old sinner, formerly a Methodist Preacher got up and said he wanted to ask a few questions. He asked me if I knew what the meaning of repentance was, and at what time the Kingdom of God was to be established. He then said that I had pretended to preach Mormonism but I had not done it. He said he knew more about Joseph Smith and Mormonism than I did. Instead of me teaching them he could teach me, and then began telling what a good man he was. He did not swear or lie except in a joke to make fun, and I got up and told them that we understood repentance to simply mean a man turning away from his sins, etc., and forsaking them. And as to the Kingdom of God, if they would read their bibles they would see plainly many prophesies pertaining to the last days. For instance, Daniel, Isaiah, etc. Finally one got talking and another laughing, some shouting, some for us and the more part against us. The meeting broke up in disorder. However before leaving the house the old man said he would send twenty men up into the mountains to cut poles to fence in the cattle, or else (we were so green) the cattle would by mistake eat us up.

Wednesday, May 6th. Walked to Salmon Falls, 12 miles, put up at Brother Orr's hotel. Found them all well. After dinner we went to see Sister Allred. Found her little daughter sick almost to death. At her request we administered to her in the name of the Lord Jesus, etc. I feel to pray our Heavenly Father to bless and heal the child. Sister Allred is a good woman and I feel that the Lord will have compassion on her and grant her the desires of her heart in righteousness, Amen.

Thursday, May 7th, Salmon Falls. We succeeded in getting the schoolhouse to preach in, accordingly to that effect we stuck notices up all over the place. About 30 persons attended. Clem spoke first and preached his maiden sermon, after which I spoke on the Kingdom of God. The people paid good attention. Sister Allred's child is still very sick. We have administered to it twice today. Every time we lay hands on it, it gets better but there are so many unbelieving spirits around here saying: "Oh dear, the poor dear child will surely die." The Doctor has given it up, and there is no hope and there is no hope, etc. I felt like telling them to all go out of the house and not come back again till the child was well. There is a principle in this that has just come to my mind. On a certain occasion Jesus Christ, when he was sent for first of all put them out of the room and then he healed the child. I wrote to Elder W. Cooke.

Friday, May 8th, Pleasant Hill. The Sisters Orr washed our shirts yesterday, and we waited till they were ironed. We then bade them farewell. Called at Sister Allred's. Administered again to the child. I am happy to say that it looks much better this morning. I have felt like humbling myself before the Lord. All the time I felt like telling Mr. and Sister Allred the Lord would have pity on them in as much as they would obey his commandments. We bade them farewell and started for Brother Lunceford's where we arrived at about 2 o'clock.

Found them all well and glad to see us. To tell the truth I feel quite at home. We had not been here long before Sister Johnston (an English sister) came to see us. She really felt overjoyed. We had quite a comfortable chat. In the evening we went down to Brother Raihles. He is gone to town. Saw Sister Raihles, formerly Miss Lunceford. At her request we laid hands on her little boy (just two weeks old) who is quite sick.

Saturday, May 9th, at Pleasant Hill. We went two miles to French Town. Got liberty to preach in the Schoolhouse. Appointed a meeting tomorrow morning at half past ten a.m. I wrote out some notices to that effect and stuck them up here and there from Shingle Springs to French Creek. The weather is cooler.

Sunday, May 10th, Pleasant Hill. We have held three meetings today; one at French Creek according to appointment, one at Pleasant Hill and in the evening at Pleasant Grove. The Saints here feel well as a general thing. I feel to rejoice that the Lord has been with us and blessed us with His Spirit. To Him be the glory, Amen.

Monday. It rained this morning. We have been assisting Brother Raihles fix his wagon as they are going to start for San Bernardino next Thursday. Brother and Sister Johnston will accompany them, they will number, counting children and all, eight persons. I wrote to Brother Aaron Thatcher and Elder Boyle in the evening. I baptized and confirmed Brother William Johnston. He is one of the Battalion boys. He got up in meeting last night and confessed his faults and expressed a desire to live his religion. I will observe that I spoke very pointedly on renewing our covenants, etc. Clem and I laid hands on Sister Lunceford. She is better.

<<< Back Home Next >>>
Pages 67 - 72 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst