Sunday November 5 - Saturday, November 11, 1848
A Sabbath meeting was held in the fort. Speakers included Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Erastus Snow, John Kempton, and President Brigham Young. President Young taught the Saints to observe the principles of truth and virtue and warned those who were dishonest before God that they would be put to shame. He counseled the brethren to farm on the east side of the Jordan River for the present time. He encouraged them to cultivate their farms "like the Garden of Eden."
During this month, a schoolroom was completed in the Fort. It was 30 by 40 feet and was located just east of the northwest corner of the fort. [That would place it on the south side of present-day 3rd South, just east of Third West.] Oliver B. Huntington began teaching school. Many years later Brother Huntington gave this description of the school house:
"The first schoolroom in this Territory was located in the north string (of houses) near the northwest corner of the Old Fort. . . . Most of the houses were built as part of the fort wall, with port holes for defense in case of an attack by Indians, and generally with a six-light window opening to the inside of the Fort. The roofs consisted of poles or split logs laid close together and covered with cedarbark or rushes that grew about the marshes.
"Such was the general make-up of the first schoolroom, with an immense quantity of dirt piled on the flat roof as a probable protection from the rain. For the floor we had a similarbut more solid material than that of the roof-hardened clay. The one window was just large enough for six panes of 8 x 10 inch glass; but we lacked the glass and it was not to be had for there was not a store in all this Territory . . . our main dependence for light was on fair weather when we could have the door open.
"For writing tables, some man's wagon box was torn to pieces and laid on trestles. Seats or benches were made in the same way. Our stove was a fireplacea real spacious liberal fireplace, in which we burned cedar and sagebrush. Books then, as now, were the main objects of interest in the fitting out of a schoolroom. Schoolbooks were about as useless then, as one could imagine. . . . Instead of books, our first great problem was to ascertain if we could obtain a living from the products of the soil. So the Book of Mormon, Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, Voice of Warning, Towne's Reader and Speller, Cobb' s Speller; the English Reader, Ruger's and three other kinds of arithmetic books; Kirkham's and Murray's Grammars were used. . . ."
Tuesday was Election Day. It was a presidential election year. Elder Wilford Woodruff, on a mission to the Eastern States, wrote in his journal: "The electric telegraph has become so perfect and universal through the United States that citizens of New York received the returns of many of the states of the Union before they did the returns of the city itself, and before the papers went to press next morning after the election, returns had been received enough to show that General [Zachary] Taylor was Elected President of the United Sates by an overwhelming majority."
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 134 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:387 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, 68-9
Sunday was rainy and the mountain tops were covered in snow. Hosea Stout spent a busy week drawing wood and timber out of the canyons and hauling in hay. On Saturday he traveled to the North Canyon [near present-day Bountiful] to bring in another load of wood. On the way he passed by the warm and hot springs.
Patty Sessions week was spent making a vest for her husband, cutting five pair of pants, doing the wash, and delivering a baby. [Patty Sessions was a midwife.] On Saturday she did rest a little. She had a nice visit with Eliza R. Snow and went to see the lot on which her house would be built.
On Sunday, November 12, 1848, Oliver Cowdery, one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, was rebaptized into the Church by Elder Orson Hyde.
Brother Reuben Miller wrote a letter to a friend on Thursday. "We arrived safe at this place on the 15th October. . . . Our teams stood the journey first rate and thrive all the way. We had no trouble in getting a house. . . . We are at this time comfortable situated, in a good log house plenty of wood and water handy. I find the situation of this people good all things considered, and far beyond my most great surplus of grain.
"When we take into consideration the situation of the church and people of God the winter they left Nauvoo and compare it with their present situation, their faith and works, their united efforts and what they have accomplished since that time. We can say in truth before God that it is the greatest miracle of the nineteenth century. . . .
"The location in the valley has also been appointed from days of old for the gathering place of the house of Israel. . . . Official dispatches from the Church in the valley, to the Church here has just come to hand. Those that wintered in the valley last year have raised from 10 to 20 thousand bushels of grain more than they need to sustain themselves, their crops came in first rate (save a little injury by insects on the outskirts.) Their corn is excellent and fully ripe, their cattle wintered themselves and got fat.They have had no troubles with the Indians. They have found other rich and fertile valleys, with inexhaustible bodies of excellent timber. In short, it is a good place to serve the Lord, and we will build on that consecrated spot, a temple to his holy name, as did the Nephites in days of old."
Elder Wilford Woodruff returned to Boston on Thursday. He traveled by train and omnibus. When he arrived back to his headquarters, he enjoyed reading letters from Orson Pratt and other brethren. On Saturday he spent the day searching for a house to rent in Cambridgeport and South Boston.
Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 334 Smart, Mormon Midwife, 120 Reuben Miller to Henry Eriksen, 16 Nov 1848, family typescript, p.1 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:388
On Sunday Elder John Taylor and Amasa Lyman spoke out against thievery and those who take advantage in deals, called "gougers." The high council held meetings to discuss caring for the poor. Brigham Young gave instruction regarding protecting the poor from monopoly and speculation.
Newel Kimball Whitney's wife, Anne Houston Whitney died during the previous week and was the first to be buried at the Kimball-Whitney Cemetery. This was the first plot of ground to be formally dedicated as a burial ground. [It is located between Main and State Street, about a half block north of Temple Square.] The plot was dedicated by Heber C. Kimball as a private cemetery for the Kimball and Whitney families.
[Later Newel K. Whitney, Heber C. and Vilate Kimball were buried there. In all, there are about thirty-three Kimballs, thirteen Whitneys and ten hired help and friends buried there. In the late 19th century the cemetery became neglected and had been sold away from the family. Solomon Kimball worked to get the land back and raised funds to beautify and improve the cemetery. Years later J. Golden Kimball arranged to have the Church assume perpetual care for the cemetery. The Church now owns the property and it is managed by the Historical Sites Committee. On June 20, 1998, 116 family members gathered in the tiny cemetery with Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy to rededicate the grounds.]
Hosea Stout spent the week hauling hay from "North Canyon" near present-day Bountiful. On Thursday snow fell in the mountains.
On Sunday Elder Wilford Woodruff preached to the Saints at Boylston Hall in Boston. On Monday a "tedious" snow storm fell on the city. Elder Woodruff spent the day getting furniture for a house he had rented in Cambridgeport for his family. On Wednesday he moved his family into the house located on the corner of Harvard and Davis Streets.
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 134 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 335 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:388 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 3, p.335 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 10, p.426 "New plaque graces unmarked graves," Church News, June 27, 1998
On Sunday Elders John Taylor and Jedediah M. Grant spoke at the Sabbath meeting on being good and godly. President Brigham Young mentioned that a company would be raised to explore the country under the leadership of Elder Amasa M. Lyman. Instead of asking for volunteers, men would be called and would be expected to serve. President Young also said he wanted the Council House to be completed as soon as possible.
On Thursday Allen Compton, Dr. Ezekiel Lee, James Casto and John Smith arrived in Salt Lake City from Winter Quarters with the mail consisting of 227 letters and many newspapers. They had been called to this task on October 6. The letters included much interesting news. Brigham Young learned that Allen Taylor's company arrived safely at Winter Quarters on October 14. This company had been sent back to Winter Quarters with teams while the 1848 pioneers were camped on the Sweetwater. [See Aug 27, 1848.]
Silas Richards reported in a letter that 4,000 acres of wheat, corn, potatoes and buckwheat had been cultivated by the Saints in Pottawatomie county, Iowa (Council Bluffs area.) The letters also reported that several companies of Mormon Battalion veterans arrived. They had displayed a lot of gold dust which they had gathered while in California.
On Thursday, Elder Wilford Woodruff celebrated Thanksgiving Day with his family. His dinner included a baked goose and plum pudding.
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 137-38 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 335 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:388