The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

March 1853

1 March 1853 • Tuesday

Writing &c.

2 March 1853 • Wednesday

Raining this morning, it afterwards cleared off and I concluded to start to Lahaina as I knew that Bro. H. [Hammond] was anxiously waiting for us there. I had expected Bros. Hawkins & Keeler but they had not arrived. There was a boy going in with animals and Bro. N. [Jonathan Napela] procured me one to ride after riding about 2 miles we were overtaken by a storm and was soon thoroughly drenched we travelled several miles in the rain when we arrived near the foot of the mountain as the rain did not abate the boy thought he would not risk crossing the mountain and therefore he returned. I kept on on foot & had a hard time crossing the mountain. I arrived in Lahaina about 4 o’clock.

3 March 1853 • Thursday

Bros. Hawkins & Keeler arrived from Wailuku having walked all the way—Bro. [Judson] Gaston also came in from Wailuku with the intention of going to California. Bro. N. had procured 2 pair of shoes for them.1

4 March 1853 • Friday

Bro. Gaston desired me to give him a recommend which I did—he started to-day. We are waiting anxiously for a vessel for Oahu [O‘ahu].

5 March 1853 • Saturday

Still waiting for a vessel.2

6 March 1853 • Sunday

Preached this morning and was followed by Bro. Hawkins. In afternoon had Lord’s supper and we all spoke and had a very good meeting.3

7–8 March 1853 • Monday and Tuesday

Bro. Winchester sent a letter by me to Bro. [James] Kipp in which he requested Bro. K. to let us have $20, which he (Bro. K.) owed Bro. John, to help defray our expences to Oahu.4 In afternoon we went on board; we bargained with the Capt. for cabin passage at $15, as the deck was very much crowded with natives and it bid fair to be a stormy night. I was very much seasick as well as Bros. Keeler and Hawkins. Those on deck must <have> had a miserable time as the seas dashed over frequently. On the morning of the 8th we anchored in the harbor and speedily landed and sought out Bro. Lewis. We [found] all <him & family> well and the following brethren from the valley: Wm. [William] McBride, Nathan Tanner, Benjn. [Benjamin] F. Johnson, Reddin A. Allred, Redick [Reddick] N. Allred, Thos. [Thomas] Karren, Ephraim Green, Jas. [James] Lawson, Egerton Snider; they all appeared well and in good spirits, they had been looking anxiously for us.5 They brought me no letters, but Bro. Joseph Cain, ever mindful and kind, <had> sent me a complete file of the News from the commencement of Vol. 2. Also an Extra [of the Deseret News, Sept. 14, 1852] containing much that was precious, a [Aug. 29, 1852] sermon by Orson Pratt on a certain principle [plural marriage] with the revelation given to Joseph [Smith] on the subject [Doctrine and Covenants 132], and various others principles and doctrines which had been revealed through the prophet Brigham [Young] which caused our hearts to burn within us and filled us with joy and thanksgiving, that our lots had been cast in this day and generation. The news from home was of the most heart cheering kind—the kingdom spreading on the right hand and on the left in the valleys of the mountains and abroad; there had been 109 elders sent out to England, France, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Berlin, Norway, Denmark, Gibralter, Hindoostan [India], Siam [Thailand], China, Cape of Good Hope [South Africa], Nova Scotia and British Provinces [eastern Canada], West Indies, British Guiana, Texas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Iowa, Washington City [Washington, D.C.], Australia, Sandwich Isles. The day was spent in reading conversing, &c. I called upon Bro & Sis. [Albion and Mary] Burnham and found them all well, also Bros. [David] Rice, [William] Franklin and [Edward] Dennis. In evening had a very good meeting at Bro. Burnham’s where Bro. I stopped together with Bros. Hawkins, Keeler, and McBride.6 Sis. B. appears to be much troubled at this new (to her) doctrine, Bros. B., Rice, &c., &c., believe it.

9 March 1853 • Wednesday

Conference was held this morning all the elders being present but Bro. [John] Woodbury who for some reason had not arrived.7 Bro. Lewis was chosen Pres. and I clerk; Bro. L’s course of conduct was discussed in regard to his coming here and taking the presidency here without any vote being taken whether we would accept him or not, &c., &c., and he confessed that he had blundered in this thing. There was then a motion made that we accept Bro. L. as pres. of this mission &c. and carried unanimously. Bros. Tanner and Karren were chosen counsellors to him. While speaking in relation to the choice of the counsellors, there were some latent feelings aroused in regard to the things on the journey which <it> was thought had better be adjusted before proceeding any farther with the conference. Conference was adjourned until morning.8 Bro. Johnson was taken sick with the fever to-day.

10 March 1853 • Thursday

Having arranged all misunderstandings to the satisfaction of all concerned, we again proceeded with the business of the conference. There was a general representation made of the situation of the branches &c.9 The elders from home had brought no instructions from the First Presidency in regard to our return; they had merely heard that it was expected that I would return. Tomorrow was appointed as a day of fasting and prayer.

11 March 1853 • Friday

We proceeded to finish up the business of the conference this morning; immediately after the opening of conference Bro. Woodbury arrived; he was well and more fleshy than when I last saw him. We moved that we should send for books to England, Books of Mormon, Voices of Warning, O. [Orson] Pratt’s works,10 O. [Orson] Spencer’s letters,11 Hymn Books, 3 Copies of the Millenial Star12 as they issue from the press, these works to be obtained on commission. In afternoon we went down to Bro. Burnham’s and had meeting and blessed Bros. Burnham & Dennis and Bro. D’s wife [Hakuole Dennis] and daughter [Mary Dennis] and another woman. We had a very good time. In evening had another meeting & blessed Bros. Rice and Franklin & Wm. Henry, the son of Sis. Burnham and also blessed Bro. B. again as he desired me to bless him. We had also to confirm two <women> that had been baptised that afternoon. We had an excellent time and enjoyed a good flow of the spirit.

12 March 1853 • Saturday

Met this morning according to the order in the upper room of the house where Bro. Lewis lived, we had an excellent time and I felt to appreciate it as a great privilege.13 After this meeting we had a short intermission and then met again for the purpose of blessing each other. The spirit of prophecy was poured out and we were melted down. I was filled very much with the spirit, and received an excellent blessing Bro. Lewis being mouth—that I should translate the Book of Mormon into the language of this people and that my name would be had in honorable remembrance among them—that I should do a great work among other people and learn many other languages—that I should have a numerous posterity and be blessed with plenty—it was a good blessing and one that was confirmatory of others that I had received. After blessing Meeting14 Bro. Hammond started home to Lahaina as his wife [Mary Jane Hammond] was in a delicate situation.

13 March 1853 • Sunday

Held <native> meeting this morning and I preached enjoyed the spirit much and had quite an attentive congregation.15 Held another meeting in the afternoon. Bro. Hawkins preached and I followed—after meeting there were two who wished to be baptised and in consequence of a meeting that we had appointed at Bro. Burnham’s this evening, their baptism was deferred until to-morrow morning. In evening held meeting Bro. McBride preached.

14 March 1853 • Monday

Bros. Woodbury, [William] Farrer and I went up to attend to the baptism of the two who requested it yesterday—I officiated and we then confirmed them. <Bro. Lawson & I> Had a conversation this Tues afternoon with a captain of the name of Babcock, he seemed like an honest man and talked very candidly; he made me a present of an umbrella and Bro. L. a small carpet sack [carpetbag]. There was a British government steamer arrived in harbor this evening from Tahiti.

15 March 1853 • Tuesday

Bro. Tanner was taken very sick last night, we administered to him and he felt relieved. We made preparations to go to-day to Maui. Bros. McBride, R. A. Allred, R. N. Allred, Lawson, Snider, Hawkins, Keeler and myself as the vessel is to sail at 5 o’clock p.m. I had an interview with Mr. Fernander [Abraham Fornander] of the Argus a paper published in this place;16 he treated me very gentlemanly and said that if we wished at any time to publish any thing in regard to any injustice that might be done unto us we could have the privilege. I thanked him for his offer and said that if occasion should ever require we would avail ourselves of it. We started for L. [Lahaina] leaving Bros. Tanner, Johnson & Karren on this island Wednesd and Bros. Green & Woodbury to follow after us for Molokai [Moloka‘i].

16 March 1853 • Wednesday

We were all seasick I kept myself quiet, lying on my back all the time which prevented me from vomiting.17

17 March 1853 • Thursday

Anchored in Lahaina roads this morning; we found Bro. Hammond and family all well. We went up to his place and stopped. He was making arrangements to purchase a place for himself; he had been able to get considerable through towards it by means of Sis. H’s school, and the prospect was good of their obtaining it.18

18 March 1853 • Friday

Busily engaged making benches for the meeting house

19 March 1853 • Saturday

Reading &c. In evening had meeting among ourselves.19

20 March 1853 • Sunday

Attended meeting in morning Bro. Keeler spoke. We again met at <the> usual time for morning services, Bro. Hawkins spoke and I followed. After meeting dinner we had an english meeting and had a pretty good attendance. I spoke but not feeling very well I gave way for Bro. Hammond. After dismissing the english meeting we had native meeting when Bro. H. called upon me to speak. At early candle lighting we met again in English meeting and I spoke and was followed by Bro. McBride. I attended no less than five meetings to-day.20

21 March 1853 • Monday

Transcribing conference minutes to send to Bro. Lewis for home & England.21 Bro. H. had succeeded in purchasing the place to which I before alluded & we men folks all went over there to sleep. We met according to the order this evening after taking the necessary precautions and had a season of rejoicing.22

22 March 1853 • Tuesday

Writing &c. In evening held a meeting among ourselves; we had a very good time and I felt softened down under the influence of the spirit. Bros. Green & Woodbury arrived23

23 March 1853 • Wednesday

Held meeting again this morning according to the order and felt to be much refreshed by this meeting; these are privileges that I feel to thank my Heavenly Father for having bestowed upon me and I have gained knowledge upon various things in regard to these things that I was in doubt about. I was something in the situation of a workman who had learned a trade but had partly forgotten it and was destitute of tools to perfect themselves <himself> in it.

After breakfast held meeting again and we [had] an excellent time; Bro. Woodbury spoke in tongues and it went like fire through me for he spoke with power after he got thro’ Bro. Allred who presided in the meeting called upon us for the interpretation of it. I felt impressed to get up and speak and I done so although I did not know whether I had the interpretation or not. When I opened my mouth it came spontaneously with force and it was prophecy in regard to us and the work which was very cheering.24 Held blessing meeting this afternoon for the natives. I arrived after the meeting was partly through.

24 March 1853 • Thursday

The brethren Allred, Hawkins & Keeler started for Wailuku I had an idea of going to Molokai with Bro. Woodbury if we could get an opportunity before Sunday. About noon commenced raining.25

25 March 1853 • Friday

Raining all day.

26 March 1853 • Saturday

do. part of day. Bro. Hammond called at the Post Office and obtained two letters from the Valley for Bro. Hawkins, one letter from Anne & Angus [Cannon] with a few lines from Bro. Joseph C. [Cain] for me and four newspapers [Deseret News] and an almanac [Deseret Almanac],26 and two papers for Bro. McBride. Anne says that Aunt [Leonora Taylor] has had poor health all summer; Chas. [Charles Lambert] is down with Uncle [John Taylor], working for him at the stone work at Utah [County], they had heard he was unwell and Mary Alice [Lambert] had gone down. Anne has been troubled with the rheumatism for seven or eight weeks in consequence of a cold. Angus has gone to the Printing Office to work for three years, $150 the first, $200 the second and $250 the third. George J. T. [Taylor] has gone to Utah [County] and is learning the Carpenter’s trade and studying French and German. David [H. Cannon] wants to be a carpenter. Leonora [Cannon] grows a little, Elizabeth [Cannon] is nearly as tall. Mary Ann [Taylor] has grown very tall. Angus says he wishes to see me & desires me to pray for him as he does for me; he says he has need of them—his letter breathes a good spirit. Anne says that he has got up in meeting to speak which has pleased her much. Joseph says that he will write next mail (Jan. 1st) he received my letter of last spring. He says that he is looking after my welfare there and he thinks that I will feel the influence of it when I arrive there. He says that Elizabeth [Cain] <(his wife)> is troubled with the liver complaint. I was both grieved and pleased to get this letter—grieved to hear of their ill health but pleased to hear that the Lord had spared their lives. I felt rejoiced to hear from Angus as I have felt somewhat uneasy about him and Davy. I feel to praise the Lord for having blessed me with kind and loving friends and I pray the Lord to save them in the his celestial kingdom.

27 March 1853 • Sunday

Met this morning and I spoke and was blessed with the spirit, spoke on the apostacy of the churches. Held english meeting at 2 o’clock not many in attendance Bros. McBride and Hammond spoke. In afternoon had native meeting and I spoke and was followed by Bro. Woodbury.27 In evening blessed Bro. Kipp.

28 March 1853 • Monday

Reading &c.

29 March 1853 • Tuesday

do. do. Bro. Hoopiiaina brought a letter horse from Wailuku for me to go over.

30 March 1853 • Wednesday

Bro. Snider & I started for Wailuku, he being the one appointed to stay at Wailuku with me, the rest intending to come over to conference on Monday. My reasons for not going to Molokai as I intended were, on account of the rain on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. We arrived in W. and found Bros. Keeler and R. N. Allred here and all well, Bro. Napela was at Kula.

31 March 1853 • Thursday

Writing &c. Bros Keeler & Allred baptised 3 at Waiehu.


  1. [1]Hammond recorded additional details of the day’s events: “Bro. George attended meeting with me. the brethren & sister[s] were very glad to see and hear him speak to them again. . . . no opportunity for going to Oahu to day. The wind is blowing a gale from the East” (Hammond journal, Mar. 3, 1853).

  2. [2]The missionaries held a meeting at which Cannon “spoke on counsel” (Hammond journal, Mar. 5, 1853).

  3. [3]During the afternoon meeting Cannon read “the eleventh Chapter of first Corint[hians] and spoke on the Same on the adminstering of the Sacrement and the duty of members &c” (Keeler journal, Mar. 6, 1853).

  4. [4]Kipp gave the missionaries an order against money owed him by Albion Burnham, to be redeemed in Honolulu (Hammond journal, Mar. 2, 1853).

  5. [5]Upon greeting the Maui missionaries, Benjamin F. Johnson “felt much rejoiced in Seeing there cheerful countanances” (Johnson diary, Mar. 8, 1853). Nathan Tanner wrote that “their countanence[s] all looked cheering I thought they ware a bout the best looking men I ever saw & they seamed to feel so wall and yet they ware very much disapointed to think there was no letters sent to eny of them” (Tanner journal, [Mar. 8, 1853], 62). Cannon later described the new arrivals as “a great help to the mission. Nearly all of them were men of experience. Their presence brought additional life and energy, the effect of which soon became visible everywhere. . . . After their arrival the work received a great impulse on the Island of Oahu, and especially in Honolulu. That town was made alive with excitement” (Cannon, My First Mission, 46). While waiting for the missionaries from the various islands to arrive for conference, the elders in Honolulu had held two meetings. After posting handbills around the city and placing an announcement in a newspaper, they held an English-language meeting at the Market House on Sunday, February 27, which attracted a standing-room-only congregation (Reddick Allred journal, Feb. 27, 1853). The following Sunday, March 6, a meeting was held at the home of Albion Burnham. “Elder Farrer preached to the natives in the forenoon, which was the first attempt at preaching to the natives in the city” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 6, 1853).

  6. [6]Reddick Allred wrote that the missionaries met “for a social prayer, & speaking meeting; all felt well, and rejoiced in view of the work that lay before us, and the former Elders felt that the work would take a new start and roll on in the spite of opposition” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 8, 1853).

  7. [7]Minutes of this elders conference, held March 9–11, are included as Appendix 3, Item 5.

  8. [8]Hammond provided additional details: “The new brethren had some difficulty among themselves to settle, it was all on account of not rightly understanding each other, a good deal of time was consumed and some feelings hurt. . . . it was thought best to adjourn to a more secret place where the brethren could give free vent to their feelings as there was danger of being over heard by outsiders” (Hammond journal, Mar. 9, 1853).

  9. [9]Reddick Allred noted that the elders “reported about 15 organised branches numbering near 1200 Saints” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 10, 1853).

  10. [10]In 1851 Orson Pratt published a compilation of previously published pamphlets, along with some new writings, as A Series of Pamphlets by Orson Pratt. For additional information, see Flake and Draper, Mormon Bibliography, 2:111–12; Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:195–99; Essential Orson Pratt.

  11. [11]In 1842 the Reverend W. Crowell, a friend of the Spencer family and editor of the Christian Watchman, initiated a series of letters with Orson Spencer. In 1848 Spencer published fourteen letters he sent to Crowell, along with additional materials, as Letters Exhibiting the Most Prominent Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For fuller treatments, see Flake and Draper, Mormon Bibliography, 2:321–22; Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:364–67; 2:30–33.

  12. [12]The Millennial Star began publication in Manchester, England, in May 1840. Initially a monthly publication, by 1852 it was a weekly. In addition to reporting Church-related happenings in Great Britain and Utah Territory and discourses and theological treatises of Church leaders, it also published correspondence from Latter-day Saints in various locations. Some of Cannon’s and his fellow missionaries’ letters from Hawai‘i were included in its pages. Further information can be found in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:108–13; Parrish, “Beginnings of the Millennial Star”; Flake and Draper, Mormon Bibliography, 1:619; Millennial Star, Oct. 15, 1851; Sept. 25, 1852.

  13. [13]Tanner reported that the missionaries “prayed for the prosperety of the work in this plase & on these Isleand[s] & in all the World, & Beleive that the work will prosper to the a stonashing of the nations, it will if the Lord will answer Prayer” (Tanner journal, [Mar. 1853], 65).

  14. [14]M written over a B.

  15. [15]Lewis called on “Cannon to speak to the Natives on the apostacy of the Church in the day of the apostles” (Keeler journal, Mar. 13, 1853).

  16. [16]The first issue of the Argus was published in January 1852 as the opposition press to the Polynesian, which served as the official government press. For more information, see Chapin, “Newspapers of Hawai‘i,” 64–65.

  17. [17]Reddick Allred provided a more detailed account of the rough passage: “Left for the Island of Maui on the ‘Kulumanu,’ eight in number. She sailed at sunset; it was quiet rough all night and we were quiet sick. . . . I began to feel alarmed when the wind ceased at day light. . . . And my sickness continued, with no prospect of geting to land till we got more wind. The Capt. very unwisely kept to the lee of Lanai instid of going up thro. the Molokai channel, where we could of had wind plenty. . . . We were left to be tossed about by the waves like a ship without a rudder, which was no advantage to our sickness . . . ; rather a poor time to excercise much faith in commanding the eliments, for the first thing required would be, ‘heal thyself’” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 15–16, 1853).

  18. [18]The elders agreed to a proposal by Hammond during the just-concluded conference to purchase a house at Lahaina that other Latter-day Saint missionaries could also use when in the city. While in Honolulu, Hammond received a fifty-dollar loan from Dennis and thirty dollars each from Burnham and Franklin towards the purchase, which was completed on March 18. Mary Jane Hammond held school for approximately ten students during 1853 (Mary Jane Hammond journal, Apr. 28, June 27, Sept. 27, 1853).

  19. [19]The missionaries also met “with the branch. Bro. Cannon spoke a little on the spread of the Gospel &c.” (Hammond journal, Mar. 19, 1853). Church membership in Lahaina was about sixty members, of which James Kipp was the only haole (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 18, 1853). During the day “writen hand bills were posted at the most public places & at the corners of the st[r]eets calling the attentions of the foreigners of Lahaina to a meeting of the Latter day saints on Sunday the 20th” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 19, 1853).

  20. [20]Hammond recorded further details about the day’s meetings: “At 9 oclock A.M. held our native meeting. Bro. Hawkins . . . spoke on the subject of signs & wonders being wrought by others besides the servants of God. Mat. 24.24. Bro Cannon made a few remarks on the same Subject. . . . At 2 oclock p.m. held our english meeting. Bro. Cannon spoke first, on the subject of new revelation. . . . There was a good turn out but the most of them were strange[r]s, from the ships—only about 5 or 6 of the residents present—about 40 alltogether. They paid the best of attention and manafested a good spirit. . . . Appointed another meeting for this evening at 7 O.C. . . . Only 3 of the residents came out to hear. some 3 or four strangers present. Some 10 or 12 natives present” (Hammond journal, Mar. 20, 1853).

  21. [21]Cannon was preparing minutes for publication in the Deseret News and Millennial Star. These minutes were never published.

  22. [22]The missionaries also dedicated the Hammond home “to the good of the mission, and to the Lord” (Hammond journal, Mar. 21, 1853).

  23. [23]Green and Woodbury had a rough, six-day voyage from Honolulu, “part of the time being driven by a fierce wind & then becalmed” (Reddick Allred journal, Mar. 22, 1853).

  24. [24]Keeler reported that “the interpertation was that we should be blessed in as mutch as we would goi [go] ahead & Magnify our offices & Callings and put our trust in him and keep his Commandments & goi in faith” (Keeler journal, Mar. 23, 1853).

  25. [25]Woodbury noted that he and Cannon wanted to visit the Saints on Moloka‘i “before conference, but a storm blew up from the south, and we could not go” (Woodbury diary, Mar. 24, 1853).

  26. [26]The Deseret Almanac was published yearly from 1851 to 1865 by W. W. Phelps. For additional information, see Flake and Draper, Mormon Bibliography, 2:85–87; Whittaker, “Almanacs in the New England Heritage of Mormonism,” 99–104.

  27. [27]Hammond recounted the day’s meetings in greater detail: “Attended meeting with Bro. Cannon this morning. He spoke on the principle of obeying & acknowledgeing the hand of the Lord in all things. . . . At 9 O.C. met again Bro. Cannon preached on the falling away of the church and of its resteration again in these days” (Hammond journal, Mar. 27, 1853). While only “about 8 or 10 [haole], the most of them . . . from the ships in the harbour,” attended the afternoon meeting, “the hous was very much crouded” for the native meetings (Hammond journal, Mar. 27, 1853; Green diary, Mar. 27, 1853).