Sunday, December 22, 2013

Excerpts From Andrew Madsen Sr. Journal

This segment tells of Delegates sent to the Utah Convention, the prevention and punishment of polygamy.  Andrew tells of the building of his own home, the simple entertainments of the day, the simple fashion and humility of the Saints.  He also tells of those who were volunteers to go help incoming emigrants cross the plains and mountains.

1862 - 

Delegates were sent to Salt Lake City to attend a Convention held on Monday, January 20th, for the purpose of establishing a State Government.

The Convention of Delegates chosen by the people adopted a State Constitution for Utah and a Memorial Congress, praying the first time for the admission of Utah into the Union, as a state, with the name of Deseret.  George Q. Cannon and William H. Hooper were elected Delegates to present them to Congress.

April 8th, Mr. Morrill of Vermont, introduced a bill in the United States House of Representatives at Washington D.C. to punish and prevent the practice of Polygamy in the territories of the United States. It was read twice and referred to the Committee of Territories.

This Bill also made it unlawful for any religious or charitable association in any of the United States Territories to own real estate worth more than $50,000.00.

The Anti-Polygamy Bill was approved by President Abraham Lincoln on the 8th day of July and signed.  Lincoln at the time of the signing the bill, stated that it reminded him of a large stump which stood in the middle of his father's farm that they could plow around.

The principle of Celestial or Plural Marriage had been revealed many years ago by the Prophets of old and practiced by Abraham, the friend of God and revealed by the Prophet, Joseph Smith, of the latter days, The Saints who had taken unto them more than one wife did it by mutual consent and in accordance with the teachings.  There was no law prohibiting it up to this time and they felt that they had broken no laws and were in now way interfering with the rights of others and that they had the right to obey that principle in worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Early in the Spring I and my brother, Mads, began to build me an adobe house.  Material was very scarce and hard to obtain.  The house was built after the pattern of my brother's and was one and one half story high, with a dirt roof.  It has since been remodeled considerably.  The roof has been taken off and rebuilt with an addition to the back and porches in front, adding much to the appearance.  It is now one of the most modern up-to-date dwelling houses in the city.  It consists of nine large comfortable rooms, bathrooms and closets fitted with water and lights throughout.  It is overshadowed with large pine trees, which were planted at about the time the house was first built, extending into the air fully forty feet, intermingling with the poplar and locus shade trees and beautiful lawn borders on the south and west side.
Andrew Madsen Sr. Home located 300 North State East side
of the road.

Andrew Madsen Sr. Home
as it looks today (2013)

At the time I was erecting the house, I made a trip to Payson, where there was a nail factory.  They manufactured nails from scraps of iron picked up and gathered together from broken down wagons and carts found along the emigrant's road across the plains and mountains.  The nails were very clumsy and brittle, but answered our purpose.  I secured what I needed at a cost of twenty five cents per pound.

These goods were occasionally brought in by peddlers and emigrants who brought with them occasionally a small surplus.

It is surprising to reflect upon how well and satisfied we felt under these trying circumstances.  One reason was that we looked to the future and had faith that better times were coming.  We were united in performing all public work and improvements.

fashion of 1901
In these days there were no fashion books for the ladies to be guided by and no choice in cloth.  Sewing was all done by hand and consequently everything was made up in the simplest styles, guided only in the economizing of cloth.  There was no class distinction and we were all considered equal as brothers and sisters.

The people would often gather together in one of their humble little dwellings to feast and dance and  enjoy themselves.  Oft times singing the good old song of "Hard Times Come Again No More," feeling that God had blessed the Saints who had come here to worship him giving them health and strength to endure the hardships which they were daily combating with.  The feeling and spirit which existed at this time will never be fully realized by the reader as it was by those of us here, who have passed through the ordeal.

President Brigham Young fully realized the conditions of the Saints, their great need of clothing.  Therefore he called many of them to go and settle the St. George Country in order to grow and produce cotton.  There were but few sheep within the territory and consequently we did not raise much wool.  

President Brigham Young at once ordered a cotton mill built at Salt Lake City in order that the cotton could be spun into yarn.  The wool the women spun into yarn by the use of spinning wheels, which was mixed with cotton and woven into cloth, but not of a fancy type, the same being commonly known as the "Hard Times Cloth".

President Young also advised the people to organize co-operative canneries throughout the territory and requested the shoemakers to remain at their trade in order to provide men, women and children with shoes.

April 20th, there was a call from President Brigham Young for men to go to Missouri to assist the poor emigrants in crossing the plains to Utah, and in May, 262 wagons, 293 men 2,880 oxen with 143,315 pounds of flour at once started across the mountains and plains for the emigrants.

They traveled in six companies under Captain Horton D. Haight, Henry W. Miller, Homer Duncan, Joseph Horn, John R. Murdock and Hansel P. Harmon.

Mt. Pleasant was always willing to shoulder its share of burdens, so it sent the following men who braved the journey with their other comrades:  Joseph Page, Orange Seely, Neils Waldemar, Wm. Barton, Magnus Ferando and Peter Adolph Fredericksen went along and acted as Night Guard.

Some of the Saints furnished one ox, others a yoke of oxen, and others would furnish the only yoke of oxen they had, while some of the people remaining at home would volunteer to do their work on their farms for them during their absence.  By this method they were fitted out for the journey.  This afforded the poor emigrants better acomodations in crossing the plains and mountains than was afforded those who were compelled to work their way over the deserts and plains during the previous years, drawing their hand-carts with them, which contained their rations and ofttimes their little children and clothing.

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