In December of 1830 Peter Whitmer Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson were called to serve a mission to the Laminates on the western borders of the United States, just west of Independence, Missouri.
It was these missionary's that had great success in the Kirtland, Ohio area. I'm sure most are familiar with the conversion of Sidney Rigdon by his ex-parishioner Parley P. Pratt and the baptizing of 127 individuals in just a few short weeks. Their mission was a success. The lives of Peter, Parley, and Oliver are well documented, however what happened to Ziba Peterson?
A) He chose to live the remainder of his days with the natives.
B) He did not go west with the Saints, but rather stayed in Missouri and taught school
C) He went west to Salt Lake City, eventually becoming a Stake President in the Church
D) He moved west to Dry Diggins, California
A) Brigham Young I know, you're most likely thinking the same thing I did. Trust me, it's a great story. I was once reading one of the pioneer journals and read where Brigham Young had instructed the Saints to buy native children. What? No way! I thought. That made absolutely no sense to me. Why in the world would President Young instruct the Saints to do this? Maybe, I thought, the person whose journal I was reading heard wrong. A few months later I read the same thing in another journal. This time I knew that Brigham really did say it, but it still didn't make any sense. Finally, I came across a third journal, but this time with far more detail. Apparently, the Ute and Shoshone battled often with each other. Whatever tribe would win the battle would steal the losing tribes children and then try to sell these children to the Saints. When the Saints first entered the valley they were having a difficult time feeding themselves let alone feeding extra mouths, so of course the members didn't buy these kids. With time Brigham Young learned that these children would be killed if they could not be sold. Knowing this, Brigham bought an Indian girl he named Sally and tried to convince the Saints to also purchase these children. It was said that Sally could keep a house as good as anyone and developed all the skills required of the women in Brigham Young's house. It was Sally who married Kanosh.
In the Memoirs of John R. Young, Utah Pioneer, 1847 it's stated that Charles Decker, Brigham's brother-in-law, bought Sally and gave the native girl to his sister Lucy Decker Young to raise.