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September 1854


7 September 1854 • Thursday1

Bros. Chanc<e>y W. West and B. [Benjamin] F. Dewey arrived from the west Hong Kong, China. They had travelled considerable and had passed through many straitened circumstances—shipwreck, sickness, &c. &c. but had always been delivered. They describe the mission in the East Indies [East India and Hindoostan] and in the adjacent countries as being very laborious & rather unprofitable. They went to Hong Kong with the intention of getting a passage, if possible, for Siam, the place to which they had been sent, but without success and in consequence of the sickness of Bro. Dewey and the precarious situation of his health they had thought best to embark for San Francisco. I was very much rejoiced to see him.2

[8 September 1854 • Friday]

On Friday, the 8th of Sept. nine of the elders who had been appointed for the islands embarked; the others intending to follow the first opportunity.3 Bro. Pratt had thought best to advertise the vessel [Rosalind] for sale, as, he said, he felt by the spirit that it would be a losing concern.4 Bro. Amasa Lyman arrived from San Bernardino a little after this with the intention of raising a loan to pay for the ranch.5 I went in company with him <& Bro. Pratt> to <the theatre> [to] hear the world renowned violinist, <Ole Bull,> and the pianist, M. [Maurice] Strakosch. We were fully repaid in listening to these great artistes.

[20 September 1854 • Wednesday]

About the 20th, Bro. Bigler, Hawkins and Farrer came over from the other side of the bay with the intention of going down to San Bernardino but [did not] in consequence of the counsel of Bro. Parley, who thought it would be better for one or two of us to go and the remainder to stay and endeavor to raise means & return in the spring. As it my return had been mentioned in conference in such a manner as to cause all to expect my speedy return home, and, if wisdom in the Presidency, my return next spring to the islands, it was thought best by Bro. Parley and the brethren for me to return. I wanted Bro. Henry W. Bigler to go with me, but he felt like staying; although I realized full well that the real desires of his heart were to return home this fall. He told me, in answer to my persuasions, that he did not like to return destitute of means. The brethren acted very liberally towards me: the remainder of the means that was left after we landed in San Francisco, which had been collected on the islands for our return I had loaned to Bro. Pratt, during the absence of the brethren on the other side of the bay—there was $100—and as he had <traded> for a pair of mules which were in San Bernardino worth $150 he proposed to turn <them> over to us in place of the cash as it would answer our purpose just as well and not cramp him to pay the cash which was scarce with him. The $100 we had lent him with $50 which he insisted on me accepting, <in spite of my remonstrances to the contrary,> for the writing I had done for him, completed the $150 for the mules; these they turned over to me with $ [blank] in cash that they had earned while on the other side of the bay. I felt under many obligations to the brethren for their liberality and kindness and I pray that I may have the opportunity of requiting them for it.

[23 September 1854 • Saturday]

On the 23rd of Sept. Bro. B. F. Dewey and I embarked for San Pedro, on the Southerner;6 he was intending to go to work in San Bernardino this winter and return in the spring to the valley. We had a very pleasant passage, not any sea sick; we had taken cabin passage and the accommodations were very good. They took us at $25 apiece, the usual price being $45, on the recommendation of Bro. Amasa Lyman, who told them we were missionaries.

[27–29 September 1854 • Wednesday to Friday]

We arrived at San Pedro on Wednesday, the 27th and reached Pueblo de los Angeles the same day. On Thursday, the next day, some teams arrived from San Bernardino and started back the same afternoon. Bro. Jas. [James] Stewart took us and our loading up on his wagon and we started for San Bernardino.

[30 September 1854 • Saturday]

After a fatiguing ride in the hot sun we arrived in San Bernardino on Saturday,7 the 30th. Conference was in session, (it having commenced on the day previous, the 29th.,)8 when we arrived and after washing, and cleaning changing my clothing, we repaired to the Tabernacle, a good sized, commodious adobe building, which was crowded with a good looking congregation of saints, many of whose faces were familiar to me. When we <entered> Bro. [Charles C.] Rich was preaching; he recognized me and called us to the stand. My feelings were of the most delightful kind in listening to his voice and the good instruction and counsel which he gave to the saints. He had not altered but very little since I last saw him when he appointed us for the islands in the fall of ’50. I look upon it as a very great privilege to be once more in a city of the saints and a stake of Zion. Bro. Rich invited us over to his house after meeting and we had an agreeable time; after supper I went with him to council meeting and returned & slept at his house. He gave me a cordial invitation to stop at his house and make it my home as long as I stayed, which I appreciated as a great kindness and accepted accordingly.

Footnotes

  1. [1]Cannon originally wrote this date as September 8 but changed it in pen. This entry originally covered events from September 7 through early October, but during the editorial process date headings were added to more accurately reflect the time span covered.

  2. [2]Overviews of the beginnings of missionary work in India and Thailand can be found in Britsch, Nothing More Heroic; Britsch, From the East, 8–33.

  3. [3]The nine missionaries who sailed for Hawai‘i at this time were Eli Bell, William W. Cluff, Simpson M. Molen, Ward E. Pack, Joseph F. Smith, Silas Smith, Silas S. Smith, George Speirs, and John R. Young. It would take until November for the next group of eight—Sixtus E. Johnson, William King, Joseph A. Peck, Henry P. Richards, Washington B. Rogers, Smith B. Thurston, John A. West, and Orson K. Whitney—to raise enough money to leave. John T. Caine and Edward Partridge did not sail until December (“Elders from Zion Who Have Labored in the Hawaiian Mission,” in Hawaiian Honolulu Mission Manuscript History).

  4. [4]The Rosalind was never used by the mission for its intended purpose and was sold in October 1854 (Tanner journal, Jan. 10, 1855).

  5. [5]While at San Francisco, Lyman secured a loan of twenty thousand dollars to meet past-due obligations on the purchase of Rancho San Bernardino (Lyman, San Bernardino, 139–41).

  6. [6]The steamship Southerner ran a regularly advertised route between San Francisco and San Pedro (Pratt to Richards and the Brethren of the Islands Mission, June 23, 1854).

  7. [7]Written above Saturday in pencil is the word Friday.

  8. [8]Written above the date in pencil was “28th.” Conference minutes indicate, however, that September 29 was the actual date.