Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The New Convenience Created a Commotion

Early member of the Church, William Leany, states that what household convenience created a commotion when first introduced to the area he was living in during the 1830’s?
a.                  The sewing machine
b.                  The cook stove
c.                   The ice box
d.                  The electric iron
Yesterday’s answer:
(C)   Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Due to the persecutions during the Missouri years of the Church, the members were obligated to flee to the protection of the state of Illinois. Well, not everyone. From Benjamin F. Johnson’s autobiography we learn that some of the Saints found their way west to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
   Our destination was Fort Leavenworth, but our course was far around to avoid settlements. On the third or fourth day we arrived at the ferry and crossed into what was then the principal frontier garrison in the Indian territory. We at once went to the chief in command, which I think was General Kearney, and told him who we were, and why we had come, and asked for protection; told him we feared our enemies would come for us. He said if we wished to work for the Government we should have employment, and have his protection. Great was this chance for us; whereas we had been so long hungry, cold, weary and persecuted, here we found every real comfort of living with safety, and good wages, and it seemed in the kindly spirit of the offices, and the advantages offered, that the Lord had opened our way and led us there. Our work in general was the care and driving of six yoke of oxen, hauling supplies from place to place about the fort and reservation. Our food was good, and our mess room contained about seventy-five persons, all sitting at the same table and sleeping in the same spacious room at night. Here I began to comprehend more fully the vices of the world: gambling, drunkenness and prostitution were all bare and open faced, and the Indian women and the negroes were just as common as was the money that could pay them. Yet while we in no way joined in with them in their gambling and carousing, they treated us with respect and often with kindness. Soon after our arrival others came some for protection, and all to earn means whereby to be better prepared to leave the state of Missouri, which must be done by the first of April. Among others came my brother-in-law, A. W. Babbitt, and his brother, John.

Benjamin F. Johnson, My Life's Review (Independence, Missouri: Zion's Printing and Publishing Co., 1947), 7-107.

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