Saturday, June 18, 2016

Speedy Spaulding

Who is Speedy Spaulding?
a.                  BYU’s first quarterback
b.                  Heber C. Kimball’s grandmother
c.                   Brigham Young’s father
d.                  Brigham Young Academy’s first all-state basketball player
Yesterday’s answer:
(C)   The mob that was going to fight Zion’s camp the day before
The following is Heber C. Kimball’s description of the hailstorm that forced the mob to abandon their design to fight with Zion’s Camp. This we know and have heard many times, although a few interesting facts do come out of Heber’s account which you probably have never heard before.
   All this time the weather was fine and pleasant. Soon after these men left us we discovered a small black cloud rising in the west and not more than twenty minutes passed away before it began to rain and hail, but we had very little of the hail in our camp. All around us the hail was heavy; some of the hailstones, or rather lumps of ice, were as large as hen’s eggs. The thunders rolled with awful majesty, and the red lightnings flashed through the horizon, making it so light that I could see to pick up a pin almost any time through the night; the earth quaked and trembled, and there being no cessation it seemed as though the Almighty had issued forth his mandate of vengeance. The wind was so terrible that many of our tents were blown over and we were not able to hold them; but there being an old meeting house close at hand, many of us fled there to secure ourselves from the storm. Many trees were blown down, and others twisted and wrung like a withe. The mob came to the river, two miles from us; and the river had risen to that height that they were obliged to stop without crossing over. The hail fell so heavy upon them that it beat holes in their hats, and in some instances even broke the stocks off their guns; their horses being frightened fled leaving the riders on the ground, their powder was wet and it was evident the Almighty fought in our defense. This night the river raised forty feet.
   In the morning I went to the river in company with Brother Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and others, as we had it in contemplation to proceed that morning to Liberty, Clay county; but we could not continue our journey as there was no way to cross the river. It was then overflowing its banks, and we have seen the river since and proved that it was full forty feet from the top of the banks to the bottom of the river. Previous to this rain falling, it was no more than ankle deep. Such a time never was known by us before; still, we felt calm all night and the Lord was with us.--The water was ankle deep to us all night so we could not sleep.
   At this place, W. W. Phelps, S. W. Denton, John Corrill, with many others from Liberty joined us, from whom we received much information concerning the situation of the brethren who had been driven from Jackson county, and the fixed determination of our enemies to drive or exterminate them from that county.
   The next day when we moved into the country we saw that the hail had destroyed the crops and we saw that it had come in some directions within a mile, and in other directions within half a mile of our camp. After passing a short distance the ground was literally covered with branches of the trees which had been cut off by the hail. We went a distance of five miles on a prairie to get food for our horses, and also to get provisions for ourselves; and to get into some secure place, where we could defend ourselves from the rage of the enemy. We stayed here three or four days until the rage of the people was allayed.
   On the 21st, Colonel Searcy and two other leading men from Ray county, came to see us, desiring to know what our intentions were; for said he, "I see that there is an Almighty power that protects this people, for I started from Richmond, Ray county, with a company of armed men having a fixed determination to destroy you, but was kept back by the storm and was not able to reach you." When he came into the camp he was seized with such a trembling, that he was obliged to sit down in order to compose himself. When he desired to know what our intentions were, Brother Joseph arose and began to speak and the power of God rested upon him. He gave a relation of the sufferings of our people in Jackson county, and also of all our persecutions and what we had suffered by our enemies for our religion; and that we had come one thousand miles to assist our brethren, to bring them clothing, and to reinstate them upon their own lands; that we had no intentions to molest or injure any people, but only to administer to the wants of our afflicted brethren; and that the evil reports, which were circulated about us were false, and were circulated by our enemies to get us destroyed.
   After he got through and had spoke quite lengthy, the power of which melted them into compassion, they arose and offered him their hands, and said they would use their influence to allay the excitement which everywhere prevailed against us. They accordingly went forth and rode day and night to pacify the people; and they wept because they saw we were a poor afflicted people, and our intentions were pure. The next day the Sheriff of that county, named Gilliam, came to deliver a short address to us. We formed into companies and marched into a grove a little distance from the camp and there formed ourselves into a circle, and sat down upon the ground. Previous to Mr. Gilliam's address, he (Gilliam) said, "I have heard much concerning Joseph, and I have been informed that he is in your camp, if he is here I would like to see him." Brother Joseph arose and said, I am the man. This was the first time he was made known during the journey. Mr. Gilliam then arose and gave us some instructions concerning the manners and customs of the people, their dispositions, &c., and what course we should take in order to gain their favor and protection.

"Extract from the Journal of Heber C. Kimball," Times and Seasons 2 (1841); 6 (1845)

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