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  Robert Clarkson

  Ruth Clarkson

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In 1845, the missionary work in Hull was going slowly. Reporting at the April General Conference in England, "Elder William Walker remarked in reference to Hull, that when he was sent there, he could not in his address say brethren and sisters, for there was but one sister there. He continued his labors by preaching by preaching at the dock side to hundreds of people, but apparently in vain. He was at times almost in despair, but nevertheless he received encouragement from the word of God, and continued his labors. He remarked also that the books of the church had been a great instrumentality in propagating the work in that neighborhood. -- The prospects were now encouraging, and the minds of the people were in some measure turned to the contemplation of the principles of truth." (Times and Seasons 6:932) However, during this conference, Hull was made into a "Conference" of the church. In 1840, a curious phenomenon was see in the sky above Hull. It was decscribed as a "perfectly blood red flag...which illuminated the horizon for many miles around. At intervals it changed its form, assuming that of a cross, sword and many other shapes...shot away towards the western hemisphere, leaving in its train the most beautiful and varigated colors." (History of the Church 4:253) The first chapel was built in Hull in 1935, years after the massive migrations of the 19th century


With his mother now dead, no other brothers and sisters living at home, an apprenticeship seemed the logical course. Prior to her death he probably spent time caring for his mother while his father worked. His mother died of Jaundice and is buried in St. Mary's cemetary in Beverley.


Or more correctly, his brother-in-law, William Lark. William Lark and Mary Clarkson Lark were baptized into the church on 25 Oct 1859 by James McNaghton.


There appeared to be a lot of missionary activity taking place in the Beverley area during the latter part of 1849. The Hull Advertizer, (newspaper in Hull) had two articles during this time regarding Mormon lectures being held in Beverley.


Robert's sister, Isabella Clarkson Hutchinson was also baptized at the same time.


In 1851 LDS Church membership in Britain peaked at 32,894 -- a level that would not be seen again until the booming growth of the 1960s, over a century later. In 1851 a census was taken, and the following information was collected: Three services were held each Sunday. 7,500 people attended morning services, 11,100 attended afternoon services, and 16,500 evening services at 222 separate meeting-places. Of these, sixty per cent were either in London or one of the industrial areas of northern and central England. In Beverley, 6,000 people attended various churches on this day. 41% went to Anglican churches, 56% to nonconformist chapels, and 3% went to the Catholic church.

On June 1st, 1951, a large conference was held in London. Four of the twelve apostles were present: Franklin D. Richards, John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, and Erastus Snow. All of the American Elders from Britain were present and 1100 members attended the meetings. The elders also were able to attend the exhibition in London which received 40,000 visitor per day. Attractions included music, art and fountains. One of the main attractions was the Hong Kong Diamond which was 180 carrots, worth five million pounds, and was five inches long.


This capacity was that of the secretary of the Beverley Branch, which explains the details that follow in his journal about the activities of the branch. The Beverley branch was created from the Hull Branch on 11 Feb 1851. From that time, Beverley's membership records were kept separate from Hull's records. It appears that William Lark was the first branch president for 4 months, and then Joseph Harper was called to serve as president.


Then conference was in In Hull.


"Acting under extended authorization Elder Lorenzo Snow conceived the idea of introducing the gospel into several countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, including Russia, Turkey, and Spain. Meeting with a brother in England who had lived several years in India, he conceived the idea of opening the door of the gospel in that country by sending him and others to give apostolic sanction to their work. Conferring with his fellow apostles in England upon the subject, they sanctioned his suggestions and Elder William Willis was sent to Calcutta, where a few days after his arrival he baptized nine natives, and raised up a branch of the church among the Europeans of over forty members. About the same time Elder Hugh Findlay, president of the Hull Conference, England, was sent to Bombay, by Elder Snow; and a little later Elder Joseph Richards was sent to the assistance of Elder Willis in Calcutta."

"There is nothing more heroic in our church annals than the labors and sufferings of these brethren of the mission to India. In the main they journeyed to the British army cantonments, and sought a hearing among the English officers, soldiers and camp followers. This method of procedure in fulfilling their mission took them to many parts of the interior of the great land of the east, but as their message was but indifferently received by the English at the British garrisons, they turned to the natives into whose country they had penetrated, but with little success, except in the coast towns, and even here the work among the natives could not apparently be established on any permanent basis because of the instability of the native character. Finally, in 1855, the mission in India, for the time being, was closed by President Brigham Young calling upon the elders sent to that land to return home, bringing with them as many of their converts as had means for the journey, and who could be induced to come." Comprehensive History of the Church, by B.H. Roberts 3:388-389, 4:73.


In these early days of the church, it is interesting that the duties for the Priest, Teacher and Deacon spelled out in the scriptures were very closely followed, since Aaronic priesthood holders were generally adults. As a priest, William Lark's duty was to preach, teach and expound the scriptures, to visit the home of each member and exhort them to pray and to "attend to all duties." Robert Clarkson, as a teacher was to watch over the church, see that there is no iniquity in it, and that the members meet together often and all do their duty. He was to warn, expound, exhort, teach and invite all to come unto Christ. In the coming pages, you will see how seriously Robert followed these duties spelled out in The Doctrine and Covenants section 20. In later years as boys became the primary holders of the Aaronic priesthood, these duties shifted to the Elders.

Another interesting fact in that "Priest", "Teacher" and "Deacon" were used as titles as "Elder" is used in the church today. Robert would have at times been called, "Teacher Clarkson," and William Lark at times was called "Priest Lark."


This room was rented by the members of the branch and was used as their chapel. Brother Adamson was in charge of paying for the rent. "There were no regular sacrament meetings as Latter-day Saints know them today. Rather, there were prayer or preaching meetings, sometimes in homes and sometimes in rented halls or chapels, where the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was often administered. Collection boxes frequently were passed in such Church meetings to raise money for the poor or for missionaries, a practice unheard of in Latter-day Saint services today. There were also public preaching meetings, scheduled by the missionaries strictly for missionary purposes. In these gatherings the elders were not reluctant to take up collections, partly because money was needed to pay for hired halls." ("Men With a Mission", p. 102-3) today


For their night walks in Beveley, since 1824, the streets were lit with gas. Some lamps were placed upon walls, but many were on iron posts. Several of these lamps are still in use today, now lit by electricity. The lamps were lit at dusk and extinguished at 11 p.m. by nightwatchmen-constables. At first only public buildings were gas-lit, but gradually more and more people began to use gas for lighting. The streets were paved with cobbles stones. The surfaces of the streets were often full of hones, and needed constant attention, which they did not always receive. Much of the uneven road surfaces were caused by a lack of care in re-laying the pavements or cobbles after the digging of trenches for gas mains. New pipes were constantly being put in.


Thomas Adamson was cut off from the church in 1856.


This is the first time Robert mentions his future wife by name in his journal. He was 17 at the time and she was 19.


Little remains of the medieval town that Beverley once was except for its two fine churches and the picturesque North Bar. Walking up North Bar street, they passed through the ancient brick arch of North Bar, leading into North Bar Within, a street of Georgian houses aligned with the 18th century Market Cross beyond and, gleaming in the distance, the Beverley Minster. Many of the British felt this street was one of the loveliest in all England. The Market Place that they walked through was the center of retailing activity with most of the shops situated in North Bar Within. Beverley's market day was Saturday, and brought crowds of people in from all the surrounding villages. Stalls were set up in Saturday Market Place, country women sold produce from their baskets, and traveling dentists and patent medicine sellers did a good trade. In 1851, the window tax was abolished so many of the shopkeepers were modernizing their shop fronts and introducing plate glass windows.


The Hull river, about one mile away. There was no shortage of water in Beverley because it was situated upon a spring line. There were 33 public pumps in the 1850's for water and there were also several hundred private pumps in town.


Brigham Young, in 1832 was the first among the church members to speak in tongues. Joseph Smith explained that it was the pure Adamic language and that it was of God. This gift, along with other spiritual gifts were in great abundance as the gospel was restored to the earth. In the Bible it states, "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, at the most by three, and that by course, and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church; and let him speak to himself and to God." (1 Cor 14:27) Joseph Smith also said, "Do not speak in tongues except there be an interpreter present; the ultimate design of tongues is to speak to foreigners." Also, "Speak not in the gift of tongues without understanding it, or without interpretation. The devil can speak in tongues."


Gold was discovered in Australia in 1851 and thousands of people from England converged on Australia to seek their fortune. By the middle of 1852, there were perhaps 50,000 people on the diggings and the average weekly shipment of gold back to England was 20,000 ounces -- half a ton a week. The Times declared, in November 1852, that the flood of Australian gold had become "perfectly bewildering"; by then, a single ship (the Dido) was expected with 280,000 ounces, or ten and a half tons, on board. In August, 1852, the diggings yielded 246,000 ounces. Matthew Clarkson, (Robert's father), was probably on his way to Australia with Robert's brother, Thomas. Later, another brother Henry also went there.

Appleton Harmon, a church leader in the area at that time commented in his journal on the gold rush: "In Australia the gold mines have been discovered to the extent that many individuals have become rich and returned to England whose accounts have been greatly exaggerated until it has stirred up the people in every considerable town in England and Scotland until thousands are going the express object of gitting rich. There is ships going from almost every seaport in England. In fact the fever is carrying off as meney as California Gold fever did from the United States in 1850. It is about 4 1/2 months sail and the fare is about five pounds. Some samples of the gold that has been brought has created a great excitement through the country. Nearly free pasages is given by the crown to several classes of mechanicks, experienced farmers and shepherds, who are tied to follow their several employments for a certain length of time. The number sent out in this way is about at the rate of eight ship loads per month. Some of the saints git the fever and are very desirous of going that way to Australia and on to the valley.


The family records indicate that Robert's father was baptized February 1, 1852. If this is correct, this might have happened while he was in Liverpool on his way to Australia. Possibly Robert's brother Henry, an Elder living near Liverpool, performed the baptism. Robert couldn't since he was still a Teacher.


Appleton Harmon arrived in Hull on January 27, after a very difficult voyage at sea which caused him to be very sea sick. He met with Bro. Allen and President Hardy on the 28th, and on the 30th, met with the Hull branch council of over 20 leaders. He records in his journal that the Hull Branch was "well united and active in the work of God." On Sunday the 2nd, he met with the Hull saints and there were 70 non-members at the meetings. He labored the next week in various towns of the Hull Conference and then on February 7th, headed for Beverley.


Great interest and support for the Salt Lake temple were being generated by the church leaders during this time as plans were being set in place to begin the work on the temple. On July 28th, 1847, Brigham Young "designated the site for the temple block between the forks of City Creek, and on motion of Orson Pratt it was unanimously voted that the temple be built upon the site designated." In 1851, the "old" tabernacle was built on the southwest corner of the temple block, on the site now occupied by the "Assembly Hall." The bowery was immediately north of the tabernacle. Also about this time, the Endowment house was erected in the northwest corner of the square, on the site now occupied by the north visitor's center. This two story structure was dedicated in 1855. It was separated from the rest of the square by a high fence. In 1852, a red, sandstone wall around temple square was started, completed in 1853.

In October 1852, in the "old" tabernacle, the vote to build the temple was taken. Brigham Young said the following, "Some might query whether a revelation had been given to build a house to the Lord...I know a temple is needed and so do you; and when we know a thing, why do we need a revelation to compel us to do that thing? If the Lord and all the people want a revelation, I can give one concerning this temple." (Millennial Star, vol xv, pp. 391-2)

On February 14th, 1853, ground was broken at the southeast corner by Brigham Young. The ground was frozen to the depth of about six inches. "After the earth was loosed around, about six inches deep, President Young said it was his privilege to remove that, and took a lump about one foot square upon his spade, and lifted it high up, and said, 'get out of my way, for I am going to throw this' and there he held it, about one minute, before he could get room to lay it down from off the temple site, so dense was the multitude around." Deseret News, Feb. 19 1853). On April 6th, 1853, the corner stones were laid. Thirty-nine years would pass before the capstone would be set in its place.


In 1849, it was decided that the Church should establish a "Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company," for the gathering of the poor from the nations of the earth. It was intended that those who were aided by this fund should pay back into it the means advanced for their transportation to the West, that others might be helped also to emigrate. In this way it would be a perpetual and self-sustaining fund. By 1880, members owed the fund $1,604,000, but the church cancelled one half of the debt and forgave the poor who had been struggling with the difficulties of life, and who had not been able to meet their engagements to the fund. In 1850-1859, 4,769 people emigrated by this fund. Finally in 1887, the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company was disincorporated by the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker bill, and the funds escheated to the government for the benefit of the common schools of Utah.


Appleton Harmon mentioned this council meeting in his journal. He stated that when he arrived at Beverley, he "found about 30 Saints cheerful and lively." He said that he met with the officers and gave them instructions. At 10:30, and 2:00, he met with the saints and they gave him five shillings.

He was very impressed with the Beverley Minster, "the largest minster but one in England, it looks grand and magnificient." He returned to Hull and spent time visiting the Allens and the Vernons. On February 19th, a rare snow storm occurred, which left one inch. Appleton left Hull on February 26th.


There were six branches represented at the conference with a total of 311 members. During the conference it was reported that 26 members had been baptized during the last quarter so the church was actively growing in the area. Appleton Harmon states in his journal that he spoke in the afternoon and a short time in the evening. "The day was spent quite agreeable and happy and mutch valuably instructions were given which the saints received gladly and felt determined to carry out."

Robert possibly attended the social or festival which was held on the next evening. On April 19th, Appleton Harmon went to Beverley to hold a meeting in the evening with the members, with Robert certainly present. On the following day Appleton had "a fine walk in Beverley Westwood." On the 23rd he had to unpleasant task of excommunicating two sisters of the Hull Branch.

May 4th, Appleton Harmon again went to Beverley and preached a sermon in the evening. He returned to Hull on the next day and organized a tract distribution team with 30 volunteers to distribute church literature.


On June 4th, the Mormon school in Hull held an outing in Beverley Westwood. This meeting was reported in the Hull newspaper, the Hull Advertizer. On June 27, 1852, Hugh Findlay arrived at Poonah, India, from Bombay, the first missionary in that part of the country. He organized a branch of the church on September 12, 1852.


Appleton Harmon was planning on attending this conference but he wrote a letter of apology, because other matters took him to another area. His letter was probably read at the meeting. He encouraged the saints to bind together. He stated that he realized that the Hull conference was having money problems, but if the leaders would catch the Spirit and pass it on to the branches, that the problems would be solved. He encouraged the members to follow what President Hardy had to say and asked that the members contribute to the temple. Finally he encouraged them to try preaching out doors.

Appleton did visit Hull in early August and had a fine time visiting the saints there. A camp meeting was held in a little village 8 miles from Hull called Thorn Gumbald. He stated, "we had 2 waggons in which the saints rode part at a time walking alternately singing hymns etc. The town nearly all turned out to hear us and we had a right good time. A heavy shower ocurred on the way home."


Of this conference, Appleton Harmon states in his journal, "met with the saints at 10 A.M. Conference. Opened when the customary buisness was done and Bro. Long, Hardy, Richards and myself gave some instructions to the saints. The afternoon and evening meetings were principally ocupied by Brother Richards who addressed the Saints in his plain pleasant manner and then blessed the congregation who went home feeling well satisfied with the meeting. September 13th, walked through town and visited some of the Saints and met with the Saints at night in the capasity of a festival when J.T. Hardy was called to preside. We had a variety of songs, recitations, speeches etc and ended in a short address from myself and Bro. Richards, 'Praise ye the Lord.' All was happy cheerful and delightful. Broke up 12 midnight.


Robert was unable to "gather" to Zion at this time because of his apprentice contract.


When the first missionaries were sent to the British Isles, the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed them to "remain silent concerning the gathering...until such time as the work was fully established, and it should be clearly made manifest by the Spirit to do otherwise." By 1840, about 2,000 converts had been made in the British Mission. In April of that year, the apostles met in Preston, England, with Brigham Young presiding and decided that the work was sufficiently established to announce the doctrine of the gathering. From that time the missionaries preached and the Saints practiced the principle.


Church leaders must have seen people putting their funds into sick clubs rather than using it to build up the church and helping with emigration. Before the introduction of old age pentions and sick benefits, people were expected to make their own arrangements to support themselves during periods of illness. Some joined friendly societies, which for a few pence per week provided a little support when a member was sick. Thus these were called "sick clubs." A "funeral benefit" was also paid on the death of a member. Beverley had several of these societies during this time.


Appleton Harmon records in his journal, "Went in train to Beverley. Met with and spoke to the Saints at 10:30 A.M and followed Brother Hardy at 2 P.M." He then returned to Hull and spoke about the same things to that branch.

During the next week, Appleton Harmon met with shipping agents to work out a contract to bring Danish emigrants to Hull. They reached agreement on a steamer that could bring 300-400 people at 1.10.0 per head.


The Hull Conference at that time numbered 280 members. During the past nine months they had contributed 18 pounds to the P.E. fund and 18 pounds to the temple fund.

William Lark was probably ordained an Elder about this time and probably also appointed to be the President of the Beverley Branch. The former branch president, Joseph Harper is no longer mentioned in Robert's journal. Possibly due to the friction in the branch with the Adamsons, Joseph Harper may have been removed from his office or resigned.


Of this meeting Appleton Harmon records in his journal: "we done considerable buisness of importance, but the principal part of it was brought up and sanchoned by the Saints this day as it was set apart for a conference. We appointed a book agent and two presidents of branches and had a representation of the condition of the work of the Lord from two traveling elders which was good and the standing of the Saints which was prosperous, they being reported in a healthy state. I spoke in the morning and at night gave conciderable instruction to the officers and wound up by a sermon to the strangers calling them to repentance and obedience to the Gospel.


In November, Appleton Harmon had requested to return to Utah and he was quickly granted his request. Elder Harmon was very anxious to get home, he wrote in his journal, "I am Sanguine in the expectation of making my exit from the island of Tyrany and darkness to the home of the Saints beyond the mountains of Ephraim and to my own family and home."

Of this occasion, Appleton records in his journal: "This being Christmas and a holaday with the people, the saints had prepared a feast in the Temperance Hall where we all met at 4 P.M. We had a variety of entertainment by way of speaches, songs, recitations and the like. There was several original pieces performed, among the best which was the following by Mark Fletcher.

Farewell thou servant of the Lord
Our blessings go with thee
Thy labours ne'er will be forgot
Oh no! it cannot be
It was for greater things thou left
Thy native Land and home
Then earthly honours can produce
Thy pearl is yet to come.
Through toils and hardships thou has past
To touch mankind the truth.
Which by the Lord has been revealed
Yes! Treasures of great worth
Oh nay, the Lord safeguard thee home
To Zion's secure abode.
Where from Brigham thou shalt hear
The truth and living word.

Appleton also sang a song he composed, and a memorial was read. He was presented a copy of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and a hymn book bound in calf and gilt. The meeting broke up at a late hour.

On December 27th, the wind blew "a huracane and several vessells were wrecked and beached." On December 31st, Appleton bid farewell to the Hull Saints at the railway station. On January 25th, he left England for America.

A couple days later, a company of saints arrived at Hull from Denmark after a difficult voyage. On December 20th, 293 saints from Copenhagen boarded a 167-ton paddle-wheel steamer Obotrit, and a jeering rabble gathered at the wharf to see their departure. The spectators shouted obscenities and cursed the emigrants for following "that Swedish Mormon Priest." At four o'clock that afternoon, the small steamer pulled away and headed for Kiel, Holstein. After a stormy passage the Obotrit and her cramped and miserable passengers arrived at Kiel the evening of the 22nd. Two days later, these Saints boarded the 460-ton British paddle-wheeler Lion and floated with the tide down the Elbe River to Cuxhaven, Germany. There the steamer dropped anchor because of the fog, and the emigrants celebrated Christmas Eve on shipboard. On Christmas Day, the Lion steamed to the mouth of the river but found her progress slowed by head winds. It was midnight before the vessel reached the open sea. The next day, the ship passed Helgoland and encountered a North Sea gale. The wind increased to hurricane force, ripping the bridge and gunwale to pieces and smashing and washing overboard the goods stored on deck. Sailors said they had never experienced such a storm in the North Sea. After the storm's fury was spent, the Lion steamed into the harbor at Hull. Her arrival was greeted by surprise, for it was reported that about 150 vessels had been lost in the storm and the Lion was believed to have been among them.


On August 28th, 1952 in Great Salt Lake City, a special conference was held in the tabernacle. This conference was held in August rather than October for two reasons. First, the church wanted to announce to the world the doctrine of plural marriage. Second, many mission calls were extended from the pulpit, so the gospel would go forth to the four corners of the world. All of these missionaries were called at this conference. They needed to leave for their missions before the cold weather set in.

(Picture of missionaires arriving in foreign lands in the 1850's - 46K)

Some very interesting talks about missions were given at this conference at which 100-150 men were called to leave their families. Elder George A. Smith stated, "The missions we will call for during this Conference are generally not to be very long ones; probably from three to seven years will be as long as any man will be absent from his family. If any of the Elders refuse to go, they may expect that their wives will not live with them; for there is not a "Mormon" sister who would live with a man a day who would refuse to go on a mission. There is no other way for a man to save his family; and in order to save himself, he must fulfil his calling and magnify his Priesthood in proclaiming the fulness of the Gospel to the nations of the earth." President Brigham Young stated, "If the Elders cannot go with clean hands and pure hearts, they had better stay here and wash a little longer." "Women should be loyal to the cause of God, and help to build up his kingdom by their husbands, in assisting them to fulfil their missions; and if they do not do it, they are not helpmeets to their husbands...the man cannot be useful in his labours while she is all the time weeping and mourning every day of her life...When you leave, understand it, you have neither wife nor children: you have handed them all over to the Lord Jesus Christ." These are the kind of dedicated missionaries that spoke to Robert on that day.


On August 28, 1852, the church officially announced the doctrine and practice of plural marriage. On that day, in the old tabernacle, Orson Pratt was called on to defend the doctrine, and he gave a very powerful talk. "It is well known, however, to the congregation before me, that the Latter-day Saints have embraced the doctrine of a plurality of wives, as a part of their religious faith. It is not, as many have supposed, a doctrine embraced by them to gratify the carnal lusts and feelings of man; that is not the object of the doctrine." He stated that "the doctrine of a plurality of wives is constitutional...and necessary for our exaltation to the fullness of the Lord's glory in the eternal world." He gave three reasons for the doctrine: 1. "that you might inherit the blessings and promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and receive a continuation of your posterity, that they may become as numerous as the sands upon the seashore." 2. There were many spirits in the spirit world who needed to be born into good families. "This would be their highest pleasure and joy, to know that they could have the privilege of being born of such noble parentage." 3. It is a commandment from the Lord.

The missionaries took this message to the world and Robert probably heard this same message at this conference. Opposition and persecution increased in England against the church. Apparently, Robert had no problem accepting the principle. Elder Harmon writes in his journal when he read the revelation, "Some of the Sisters looked rather Solid at it, but no kicking that I have as yet discovered." Although Robert never practiced polygamy, we cannot find any opposition to it in his writings. 1,776 members were excommunicated in England during the six months following the proclamation, however 2,164 members were excommunicated in England during the six months BEFORE the proclamation, so we cannot conclude that this new doctrine led to any mass exodus from the church in England. The church had a total membership of 30,690 in England during 1853. Robert was one of 1,845 Priests in England.


The first railroad was introduced to England in 1825, and large scale building began in the 1830's. By 1855, some 8,000 miles had been built. By the 1850s, railways were no longer thought of as a novelty, had ceased to capture the imagination of the public, and were taken for granted. The railway that went through Beverley, ran between Scarborough and Hull and first opened in 1846. During this year, 1852 several people were waiting at the Grovehill crossing in Beverley and were knocked down by a train that was left in charge of the stoker. Somehow it dashed off the end of the side line,' knocking part of a wall and two gate posts down, and ploughing into the crowd. More Information on Railroads.


So it looks like they had two problems here. Thomas Adamson hadn't been fulfilling his calling to pay the rent money, and William Lark, who was recently called to be the new branch president didn't remember that Thomas Adamson had been asked to handle the rent money. Such misunderstandings are common in the church even today.


During January something tragic happened in Beverley. A Mrs. Duffill, the wife of a Beverley innkeeper, was found lying on the railroad line in an insensible state' near Cottingham station. She had been travelling back from Hull at night, in an unlit railroad carriage, with a man from Beverley who was said to have assaulted her and either pushed her on to the line or forced her to jump out of the carriage to escape his attentions. She died a week later.


On the very next day, March 15th, 1853, Mary Lark, Robert's sister and William's wife, gave birth to their first son, Erastus Robert Lark.


In general during this time, religion was a scarce commodity among the working classes and practically non-existent among the poor. They generally identified the churches as something for the well-to-do, not for the ordinary man. They saw no reason to spend Sunday, their day of rest and recreation, in church-going, which they thought of as neither. They preferred to get up late, have the best dinner of the week, and spend the rest of the day in drinking, in visiting or in family gatherings. Robert was fighting an up-hill battle in trying to attract their interest in the church.

On a specified Sunday in 1851 a religious census was conducted throughout England and Wales. This census reported that the lowest level of religious observance was found in metropolitan areas, where church building had lagged far behind population growth. It also confirmed that new religions, such as Latter-day Saints, typically took root first among the working classes in the cities, and that Nonconformists were more common in these metropolitan areas whilst the established Church of England dominated the rural countryside.


Elder Secrist was imprisoned in Prussia on 5 Apr 1853 and the following day was liberated and driven from the country


In the Hull newspaper, The Hull Advertizer, an article reported that the Mormons held a meeting in Westwood in the pouring rain. This article appeared in the June 22, 1853 paper. There appears to be a date problem during this part of his journal.


Family records show that on this day, Ann Clegg's sister Hannah was baptized. This is incorrect because her membership records indicate she was baptized prior to moving to Hull.


Ann Clegg had some of her sibblings buried in the Hull cemetery.


On August 25, 1853, a missionary Elder Willard Snow died on a ship sailing from Copenhagan to Hull. He was buried at sea, 80 miles from Hull.


Doctrine & Covenants 20:61-62,81-82 instructs that "several elders composing this church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time as said conferences shall direct or appoint; And said conferences are to do whatever church business is necessary to be done at the time. It shall be the duty of the several churches composing the church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences held by the elders of the church, with a list of the names of the several members uniting themselves with the church, since the last conference; or send by the hand of some priest; so that a regular list of all the names of the whole church may be kept in a book by one of the elders whomsoever the other elders shall appoint from time to time."


Henry was cut off from the church on July 18th, 1853. His wife, Mary, was cut off a week later on July 25th, 1853. Henry joined the church on May 11th, 1845, Mary joining August 30th, 1845. Henry was ordained a priest on August 9th, 1846, and an elder on June 4th, 1847.


While individual donations were made spontaneously to the missionaries, more systematic fund-raising was undertaken in behalf of elders returning to Zion as well as for the costs of entertaining leading brethren who visited the missions. Missionaries who helped raise funds for emigration of their compatriots generally expected similar aid when their time came to leave England, thus Elder Fletcher had some motivation in asking for donations. Local converts who spent their full time in the ministry were not always so fortunate during this time, but they were usually able at least to borrow the means to emigrate. Tithing was not introduced to England until 1856. Until then, tithing in England was usually paid only at the time of emigration by those who had additional funds left over after paying for their passage.


William Empey arrived at Hull on December 1st. He states in his journal, "Hull is a great sea port town. It is a place that there is great buisness carried on etc. I got there at 1:00. I was made welcome by Bro.Hardy & Ladey and all the Saints etc." visited with the Hull saints during the following week. On Sunday the 11th, he states, "I and Bro. Hardy went to Beverley and held a meeting at that place had a good time with the saints & then returned back to Hull, dist 11 miles." He also stated, "The saints are all alive in this part of the conference."


This illness later led to Robert's untimely death.


:fn.On December 22nd, Elder Empey received a letter from the mission president, Samuel W. Richards warning him to be ready to go to the U.S. at a moments notice. That surprised him because he had assumed he would be in Hull for awhile and had been hunting for a house. On December 23rd he was told to return to America. "I received another letter stating I was to go to the states & I was to be there 28 instant. I according made preparations." On the 24th he states, "The day pleasant. I visited amongst the Saints, told them of my appoint. They apeared to be verry sorry that I was a going to leave soon."


About the meeting on the 25th, Elder Empey writes that he preached to a large congregation of saints on the subject of being driven from Nauvoo and the pioneers. Hundreds of non-members were present.


Beverley's average temperature in the winter is about 39 degrees, and the average temperature in July is 60 degrees.


Two groups of Scandinavian Saints were in Hull during this time. When the first group of about 300 departed from Copenhagen, a large, hostile crowd gathered and shouted derisively. Elder Peter O. Hansen was assaulted by the mob and slightly injured as he was walking back to the Mission Office. The second group was a company of 378 under the direction of Hans Peter Olsen. From Hull, these Saints traveled by train to Liverpool. There, an unidentified fever caused the deaths of twenty two children. The examining physician refused to permit fifteen other emigrants to board the American ship Benjamin Adams with the rest of the company.


It was his sister Mark Lark who went to Sutton.


There were five children in the Lark home. Maria Elizabeth was ten years old, Mary Francis was eight years old, Clarissa was six, Minus was three and Erastus Robert was one. Apparently a local family in Beverley took the children for awhile. Mary Francis would later die on the ship during the trip to America.


Five years earlier, October 25, 1849, William and Mary Lark were baptized in Beverley. In the early days of the church, re-baptism was commonly practiced to renew covenants and show dedication to the Lord. When church members arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, they were re-baptized. In 1856, a reform movement was instituted throughout the church by Brigham Young. During this period of spiritual re-awakening, all faithful church members were re-baptized. The impact of this reform in England was, in fact, more one of pruning than of reforming. Many did not see the need to be re-baptized and declined the ordinance. Members also had to agree to live the law of tithing, the word of wisdom, and other gospel principles before being re-baptized. Even some branch presidents refused to reform, and so were released. "When the branches are all trimmed and set in order," Elder Orson Pratt reported in 1857, "the Saints in these lands will not number more than about one half as many as in 1850."


The 1851 Census gave the 'mean lifetime' in cities as twenty-five years and reported that only about forty-five per cent of the babies born in cities reached the age of twenty.


Apparently, two weddings were performed. First, the marriage ceremony in the St. Stephen Church to satisfy legal requirements, afterwards another ceremony performed by the elders of the church.


This is the second time Secrist had been driven out of a country. The previous year, he had been driven out of Germany. Soon Elder Secrist again parted company with Robert, receiving his release from his mission, and looking forward to again join his family in Utah after a two and a half year separation. He departed from Liverpool on February 3, 1855 on the clipper ship Isaac Jeanes. Elder Secrist never made it home. He died six months later of cholera near Fort Kearney, Nebraska while crossing the plains.


On November 24, 1854, some 300 Scandinavian Saints were crowded on board when the 132-ton paddle-wheeler Cimbria, sailed out of Copenhagen harbor. Although the sea was very rough, the Cimbria reached Fredrikshavn on the east coast of Jutland the following morning. There 149 additional emigrants from Aalborg and Vendsyssel joined the company, further crowding the 160-foot ship. On November 26, the steamer resumed her voyage, and the weather was fair until the next afternoon. Then a strong wind came up, and its rising fury forced the captain to seek haven in the nearest Norwegian port. He put into Mandal, an excellent harbor sheltered by high and steep granite cliffs. Here the Norwegians offered the Saints accommodations on shore for several days until the wind diminished. The elders preached to some of the villagers, and several were later converted. On December 7th, the Cimbria once again put to sea, but the improved weather soon changed for the worse. Before the end of the day a violent storm struck. The waves became mountainous, and the wind shrieked through the rigging. Tons of water crashed over the bow, shattering the bulwarks and some boxes on deck. The captain once more sought safety at Mandals's harbor, but the strong currents and winds made it too dangerous to head toward Norway. The vessel returned to Fredrikshavn, where he anchored on the ninth. During this storm the emigrants huddled below decks, suffering from the cold, the pitching of the ship, and seasickness. Once on shore again, a few of the less hardy refused to travel farther, but most of the Saints recovered their courage and even held public meetings. It was not until December 20th, that the captain felt the weather would permit setting out again for England. For a day the sea was favorable, but the following night the storm returned with the appalling savagery of a mindless beast. Great masses of water threatened to capsize the little steamer, and the twisting troughs between waves seemed designed to break her back. For hours the Cimbria battled the ferocity of the winds and the high seas, while the miserable passengers were too cold and sick and too busy holding on to their bunks, tables, or anything secure to think of much else but prayer and survival. The vessel, shuddering and quivering with each wave, tried to turn back for a third time. Then, in the afternoon of the 22nd, the wind veered to the north. The captain changed course and continued on to Hull. On this December 24th, the battered steamer with her exhausted crew and thankful passengers anchored in the River Humber at Hull.


At Liverpool, they boarded the Yankee square rigger James Nesmith bound for New Orleans.


Robert did split with Mr.Atkinson at this time. Mr Atkinson probably worked him very hard, in fact the town records show that he wanted the town to do away with the law forbidding shops to be open on Sundays. Frequent complaints are recorded by those who had served apprenticeships as youth. One recorded that one morning his master proceeded to beat him with a stirrup and pulled his ears until they were bleeding. Other's described it a form of white slavery.


In a typical working class family at that time, the man would be working probably twelve hours a day or more if he was fully employed, and if he was not it was unlikely that he would take much responsibility for what he would regard as his wife's job. The wife would almost certainly try to get some kind of paid work to help out the household income. If she did that, she too would probably be out of the house most of the day. It is impressive to think that even though Robert probably worked many hours each day, he still found much time to attend to his church duties. fn55 During this time, a great number of saints emigrated. This time coincided with the Crimean War, and illustrates both that the saints were particularly apt to emigrate during periods of international tension and war, and that Church leaders were generally able to make more resources available at such times. President Franklin D. Richards wrote in 1855: "I would say again in reference to the emigration of the Saints to the States, that the horrors of war, the prevalence of hunger, producing bread riots, and the general depression of trade all serve to render it as impossible to stop emigration as it would be to dam up the Hudson [River] with bulrushes."


Church leaders chartered the emigrant ships, usually negotiating the most favorable rates; and the emigrants generally found their vessel awaiting their arrival. Many actually went on board the same day they arrived by train at Liverpool and were able to sleep in their berths or on deck. Others might lodge temporarily with local church members or in boarding houses if there were a delay in boarding. This careful planning spared the converts the risk and expense of waiting in a city where they could fall prey to confidence men and swindlers.


The Cynosure was a 1258 ton ship, 190' X 38' X 19' and was built in 1853 at Bath, Maine. This Yankee square-rigger transported 159 Saints under the presidency of Elders George Seager, William Rogers, and William J. Silver. After a "pretty fair voyage" the ship landed the passengers at Castle Garden, among the first companies to be accommodated in that historic building.

(Picture of busy scene in Castle Garden - 56K)

The Master of the Cynosure was John S. Pray. Eight years later, the ship sailed again from Liverpool with 775 Saints. In the 1860's, the ship was sold to British owners.

With all the problems the emigrants faced, it was essential that they be well organized. The ship's president, appointed by the presiding Church authority in England and sustained by the emigrants, would select his counselors, a clerk to keep a record of the voyage, a sergeant-at-arms to keep order, and occasionally cooks. The president would also divide the steerage into smaller units, usually called wards, each with its own priesthood leader to conduct morning and evening prayers and to help keep order. The number of wards varied from four to nineteen with approximately ten berths or forty persons per ward. There were six wards on the Cynosure. Because of their discipline, the Mormons usually fared better than other emigrants. Lord Houghton reported to the House of Commons, "But the Mormon ship is a Family under strong and accepted discipline, with every provision for comfort, decorum, and internal peace. On his arrival in the New World the wanderer is received into a cofraternity which speeds him onwards with as little hardship and anxiety as the circumstances permit, and he is passed on from friend to friend, till he reaches the promised home." (Edinburgh Review, Jan 1862. pp. 198-9.)

Emigrants were given specific instructions by church leaders. Robert probably brought the tools of his Cooper trade because they were told to "procure some of the best tools of his trade and useful books....all unnecessary things, especially weighty ones, should be left behind. Substantial clothing, linen, flannels, cottons, tapes, thread, needles, pins, worsted, hooks and eyes, buttons of all descriptions, thimbles, combs, writing paper, pens and pencils, are very useful articles to take...It is well to take good firearms, especially rifles. A general assortment of choice seeds of the hardier sorts should be taken. The space allowed on ship-board for luggage is ten cubic feet, but it is better for the passengers to have as much as possible put in the hold, which will give them more room around their berths."

A typical day on board ship began at 5:30 or 6:00 A.M. with a wake-up call from a bell or a trumpet. Cleaning was followed by prayers at 7:00 or 7:30 A.M. and then breakfast. The emigrants would pray again at 7:00 P.M. and retire at 9:00 or 10:00 P.M. The rest of the day's activities were as diverse as dawdling in boredom or admiring a splendid sunset to singing, dancing, and giving concerts. Several of the ships had formal, organized bands. Many spent their spare time practicing their instruments. Tea parties and other celebrations were common. Many of the adults would make canvas tents and wagon covers for the overland journey that lay ahead. Schools might then be used to keep the children out of the way. Some of the men signed on as sailors to earn extra money. The ladies were involved with sewing and knitting. In good weather, the children ran, hopped, skipped, jumped rope, and enjoyed other outdoor games on deck. When the weather was bad, though, everyone had to stay below in very close quarters, and morale suffered.

For religious services, sometimes all of the passengers would meet together. At other times, they would meet as individual wards. Meetings were often held Tuesday and Thursday evenings and two or three times each Sunday. There was usually preaching and, on Sundays, the sacrament and sometimes testimonies.

Diets usually consisted of 3 quarts water daily, bread or biscuit, flour, oatmeal, potatoes, rice, sugar, tea and salt. "The first part of a sea voyage has often as astringent effect upon the bowels, and emigrants would do well to provide themselves with aperient medicines, if any. By regulating their diet and partaking, as far as possible, of such food as tends to relaxation instead of constipation, emigrants would very much escape sea-sickness and its attendant irregularities." Berths were six feet in length, and eighteen inches in width. (Instructions to Emigrants, in Route From Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley)


Up to that time, most of the ships with Mormon emigrants sailed to New Orleans. The average trip from Liverpool to New York took 39 days. The Cynosure made it in 38 days. The Saints would then board river boats which would take them up the Mississippi River. However, to avoid the risk of contagious disease often encountered on the Mississippi, the saints stopped sailing to New Orleans in 1855, going instead to New York, Boston, or Philadelphia.

Robert payed his own way for sailing across the Atlantic, and did not have to rely on church funds. Some emigrants could afford to pay their own fares across the Atlantic and to buy the wagons, oxen, provisions and equipment necessary for the trek to Salt Lake Valley. Those who did so were called 'independent' emigrants. During this period Church agents helped these people by selling them everything required for their 'outfit' for crossing the plains, and by incorporating them into the Church's organization of emigrant companies. Other emigrants paid their own fares across the Atlantic and then stayed for some time at the port of entry while they earned enough to 'outfit' themselves for the trip west. This was the case with Robert and Ann, they were called 'States' emigrants, or 'ordinary' emigrants.


During the first part of 1855, New York City was experiencing massive unemployment. By the time Robert and his family arrived late in 1855, employment was improving.


Robert and Ann's first child was born on January 28th, 1856, a daughter who they named Ann Elizabeth. She was born in Petersburg, NY.


The Larks did not emigrate with Robert and Ann eight months earlier probably because at the time Mary was nine months pregnant with their daughter Isabella. There is no record of an LDS ship arriving in New York during this month. Possibly they arrived in June on the Thornton. Another possibility is that they sailed into Boston in May and took a train to New York.


Robert was very fortunate to have a steady job during this time. In 1857, New York City was paralyzed by "the Panic of 1857." This economic collapse threw some 30,000 or more men and women out of work.


On July 4th, 1857, New York celebrated national independence with one of the bloodiest riots in its history. It began when the "Dead Rabbits," a largely Irish fighting gang attracted some Metropolitan policemen on the Bowery (see map), forcing them to flee for their lives. The Rabbits then launched an assault on a saloon associated with their traditional foes, the Bowery Boys. By the end of the day, open war had broken out between the two gangs and their allies. Perhaps as many as a thousand men and boys rioted through the streets of the Lower East Side, clubbing, knifing, and shooting. When the Metropolitans intervened, they were attacked and forced to retreat, bombarded by bricks and stones rained down on them from roofs of tenements. "AWFUL RIOTS AND BLOODSHED," reported the Tribune in bold captions, "BARRICADES IN THE STREETS -- CIVIL WAR IN THE BLOODY SIXTH -- TEN KILLED AND EIGHTY WOUNDED -- THE HOSPITALS OVERFLOWING."


On the 12th of September, 1857, Ruth (my great-grand mother) was born into the Clarkson family. However, it was not a happy time because six days later, her older sister Elizabeth died of dissentary. As a baby, Ruth was very sick and near death herself with whooping cough, but her life was spared by the power of God after she received a priesthood blessing.

The mortality rate in New York City during this time was: 234/1000 died between the ages of 0-1, 60/1000 died between the ages of 1-4. In 1856, there were 16,191 births, and 14,809 child deaths. The city had a terrible problem with sanitation. Only 1/4 of the households had sewers, and the East River stunk of sewage. It is estimated that from 1840-1860, 75,000 people died because of bad sanitation in New York City. Deaths among children due to dysentery was very common.


Elder George Q. Cannon often visited the Clarkson home while he was on his mission in the eastern states.

On May 23, 1858, another son William Henry was born into the Lark home. He died 18 days later.


In 1859, the Clarksons lived at 259 Ninth Street in New York City, on the west side of Manhattan several blocks south of Central Park. From 1856-1859, the Larks lived at N. 7th N. 6th in Brooklyn.

Another daughter was born into the Clarkson home on September 19, 1859. She was named Ida Clarissa. Another son was born into the Lark home on August 9, 1859. He was named Angus Edward Lark and died the following year.


During this time, Robert received bad news about the death of his sister Isabella, who died February 7, 1860.


From Albany, they probably took the path of other emigrant companies of that time by boarding trains which took them to Syracuse, Rochester, Niagara Falls, Chicago, Quincy, and St. Joseph, Missouri. From there, it was next a two day's steamboat trip to Florence, Nebraska.

Many saints were making the trip west during this time because of the hostilities between the northern and southern states. In fact, in 1861, President Young called all the elders in the states home "in consequence of the war now raging throughout the land."


Historical records show that Jesse Murphy's company consisted of 279 people, 40 wagons, left Florence on June 19th, and arrived August 30th. Evidently the group Robert's family traveled with were a couple of weeks behind the lead group.


William Lark found work as a clerk for George Q. Cannon in immigration work. Possibly he also served in this job back in New York. William also served as their ward clerk.


During this month, Robert's sister Mary and her husband William Lark received their endowments in the Endowment house and were sealed. We do not know why Robert and Ann also did not receive their endowments at the same time. Ann did become pregnant during the next month and was very ill much of the time. Mary Lark gave birth to their 9th child, a daughter on August 13th, 1861, named Louisa Lark. She died 15 days later. Two more children would be born into the Lark home during the next five years, one, a son, dieing at the age of 3 months.

Also during this month, 200 church wagons carrying 150,000 pounds of flour, left Great Salt Lake Valley for the Missouri river to bring in the poor.

At the July 4th celebration, John Taylor spoke on the subject of the civil war which was now raging in the states. "In regard to the present strife, it is a warfare among brothers. We have neither inaugurated it, nor assisted in its inauguration; both parties, as already shown, have violated their constitutional obligations. No parties in the United States have suffered more frequently and grievously than we have, the violation of our national compact. We have frequently been mobbed, pillaged and plundered, without redress. We have been hunted like the deer on the mountains, our men have been whipped, banished, imprisoned and put to death without a reason...Shall we join the north to fight against the south? No! Shall we join the south against the north? As emphatically, No! Why? They have both as before shown, brought it upon themselves, and we have had no hand in the matter...We know no north, no south, no east, no west; we abide strictly and positively by the Constitution."

In October, John W. Dawson was appointed governor of Utah by President Lincoln. Three days later he inflicted a long academic message on the legislature in which he strongly implied the disloyalty of the Mormon people, and urged the prompt devising of means for collection of the direct, special, federal tax (the war tax) in order to vindicate the community of the charge of disloyalty. A few weeks after his arrival, the governor was accused of making improper advances to a Mormon woman.

At the semi-annual conference a number of brethren were called to settle in southern Utah and turn their special attention to the raising of cotton. Later that month, the overland telegraph line was completed from the states to Great Salt Lake City.


Their house was on 8th East, between South Temple and First Street. It was an adobe house fronting the east, with a lean-to room on the back. A fire place was built in the south end of the front room, where they received warmth and attended to their cooking and baking. They used tallow candles for light.


On New Year's eve, Governor Dawson was glad to leave Utah. But on his way back to the states, he was badly beaten and the Mormons were accused of doing it. In reality, it was done by a number of drunk, lawless men who were brought to justice.


The following verses were written by Ann's brother, William Clegg, in Sheffield England and published in The Millennial Star of May 10th, 1862, in memory of his sister, Ann Clegg Clarkson.

Art thou gone, my gentle sister,
From thy friends and kindred dear?
May we look no more upon thee,
Nor they winning accents hear?

Like a meek and lovely flower
Shedding sweet perfume around,
So unobtrusive in life's garden
Was thy welcome presence found.

But suddenly they spirit, soaring,
Left it's tenement below,
And went, escorted by the angels,
Where the Just and faithful go.

Yet methinks I hear thee whisper
From thy quiet resting place.
"Weep not, husband, children, friends,
I've ended well my earthly race."

"I know that my Redeemer lives
And holds the keys of death and hell;
I wait in sure and certain hope;
Then grieve not, fear not, all is well."

"Parents, brothers, sisters, all
Restrain the unavailing tear;
Be pure, and to you callings true;
The resurrection day is near."


Mary Clarkson Lark had lost a baby girl six months previous to this.


Robert later regretted making her go when he learned she gave birth to his daughter, named Emily Clarissa Clarkson who grew up and married Elisha (Lige) Rogers in 1882. Robert's daughter Ruth later became acquainted with her. His Ex-wife, Sarah, later married a Brother Hobson of Richmond and was well provided for until her death in 1877.


The Larks lived in the 1st ward, on 8th South and 6th East, one block north of what now is Liberty Park. They had three children living at home.

Also in June, the entire valley was involved in following the saga of the Morrisites.


He must have been extremely ill because his home was only ten blocks from the Larks.

During this month, Governor Harding, the newly appointed Governor of Utah arrived.


Ann Leaf Clegg and Hannah Clegg decided to emigrate to Utah after Ann's husband, Nathaniel Clegg died April 28th 1862. Church leaders were constantly looking for new and better ways to bring the Saints to Utah. In the fall of 1860, John W. Young brought immigrants by ox teams from the Missouri River after having taken on ox train of produce to the East to sell to provide for immigrants. This turned out to be so successful that he was allowed to speak in general conference about it. Thereafter ox teams were sent from Utah in April with provisions for the yearly immigration, and they returned with immigrants in the summer and early fall. This was probably the case with Hannah and her mother's group.

Shortly after Hannah arrived in Utah, she married Robert's good friend Abraham Smith in November of 1862. Abraham Smith had baptized Robert back in England. Hannah was probably his second wife. Records show that an Abraham Smith also married Rose Kay in October of 1862.

Soon after this, Governor Harding issued a thanksgiving proclamation which was ignored throughout the territory. The non-observance of thanksgiving brought Governor Harding to the full realization of the fact that, though he was governor of Utah, Brigham Young was governor of the Mormon people. In December, Governor Harding delivered a very insulting message to the territorial legislature reproving the people of Utah for the practice of polygamy. "I am aware that there is a prevailing opinion here that said act is unconstitutional, and therefor it is recommended by those of high authority that no regard whatever should be paid to the same...I take this occasion to warn the people of this territory against such dangerous and disloyal council."

[Image of teepee]

In January, Col. Patrick Connor, from Camp Douglas with about 200 troops defeated a band of Shoshone Indians numbering over 400 in a ravine on Beaver creek, near Bear River, 13 miles north of Franklin. About 16 soldiers and some 386 Indians were killed (including about ninety women and children.) The Indians were entirely defeated. This is known in history as the battle of Bear River.


Sometimes they were without flour in the house; then they cooked carrots and ate them. They had a garden and would sell garden stuff. Once a bucket full of ripe tomatoes were sent to one of the hotels in exchange for money or some kind of food, and all they could get was some left over cooked meat steak. At the time the family had neither flour or bread in the house so they just ate the meat. Hannah Hough Clarkson would knit hoods and scarfs for winter wear and sell them which helped some. Flour was very expensive. Ruth and Minnie once went to town for some flour for two dollars. When they arrived at the place where the flour was sold, Minnie discovered the money was lost, and the girls began to cry, but the man was very kind and gave them some flour anyway. Mimmie was nine years old and Ruth was six.

In March, the bitter feelings existing between the troops at Camp Douglas and the citizens of Great Salt Lake City came near terminating in a collision. It was so tense, that one night the city thought it was under attack from Camp Douglas. In reality, they were holding a party because of the promotion of their leader, and they had fired a cannon in celebration. Later that month, church leaders, on behalf of the people, asked Governor Harding to resign, which he refused to do. Governor Harding had been petitioning Congress to place the selection of jurors and the appointment of militia officers in the hands of the federal appointees rather than the local government.

In retaliation, Governor Harding pardoned without just reason a number of "Morrisites" tried and convicted of murder. The Morrisite affair had gained the attention of the entire territory. In 1859, Joseph Morris approached Brigham Young and told him that he held the keys of the dispensation and that Joseph Smith was his forerunner. He intended to be at the head of the church. Joseph Morris had twice been excommunicated from the church for immorality. He gained some followers in a ward near Weber canyon. A church court was held and several members including the bishop were excommunicated. On April 6th, 1861, the Morrisites organized a church. The sect rapidly increased in numbers, and by the time of their break-up they numbered between five and six hundred. Several times the day was set for the coming of Christ, but he did not come, and many started to withdraw from the community. Several of the dissenters were captured and imprisoned by the Morrisites. Court writs were issued and a posse was organized to bring the Morrisites to justice. Three days of gun fire took place at the Morrisite fort. Finally they appeared to surrender, but Morris called his followers "to arms." Morris was killed, along with several others. One member of the posse was killed. In March 1863, the Morrisites were brought to trial. Seven were found guilty of murder, and 66 were fined for resistance. But Governor Harding granted all of them a "full and perfect pardon." The grand jury rebuked the Governor for his actions. President Lincoln soon removed Governor Harding from office. Also, President Brigham Young was arrested for bigamy during this month.


His Cooper business was not going well, and the prospects looked good in the newly settled Cache Valley to the north. Robert left his two year old son with his sister, Mary Lark in Salt Lake City. Robert sold the house and lot for a team of white horses, a wagon, and a black cow that gave milk. On their way to Logan, they found out that one of the horses was balkey. They also found out it would not be forced, but would go by coaxing with grain. However, they reached Logan safely and camped in an old large slab shack that stood in the middle of the public square, just in back of where the Logan Tabernacle now stands, and in which they used to hold church meetings. Bishop Maughan, grandfather to Russell Maughan, the great aviator, permitted the family to camp there until they could get located. He also invited them all up to his home to supper that night, about one block away.

On December 7th, 1864, Robert probably attended a meeting called by Apostle Ezra T. Benson who was the president of Cache Valley. The subject of the meeting was to discuss the proposition of building a Tabernacle.


Robert rented a house of Fred Goodwin and the family lived there until their house on the new lot was built.


Robert got out logs from the canyon and built a one room log house. The house was located one block north and a half block east of the north east corner of the Logan temple block, which was then a bare hill where Indians often had their tents and camped. One of the grave dangers during that time was Indian troubles. Great fires were built there on the hill, around which war dances were indulged in, while the settlers below feared and trembled for their lives. For weeks together the men had to help keep guard on the south side of the Tabernacle Square whenever the Indians were expected to enter town, even when not on the war path,, the Indians were extremely impudent. They walked into the homes and demanded what ever they saw, especially if it looked attractive to them.

The early days of the Logan Fifth Ward were days of hardships and little comfort. Practically all of the houses in the ward were dug-outs, that is, cellars sufficiently covered to shed water. These primitive houses furnished a little protection against the very hard winters of the sixties. One member of Robert's ward, Judge Brangham relates an experience about that time when he once woke up with two feet of water in the dug-out, soaking into his sleeping apartment. It took him all day to bail out the water.

An early settler of the ward stated, "Around that hill in the latter part of 1864, and the early part of 1865, a number of sturdy families settle. I say sturdy advisedly, for it was no small task to haul or pack water a long distance for both man and animals. To the west and North, a number of dwellings were erected; although humble they gave shelter to the settlers in the hard winter of the early sixties. These primitive cabins formed the nucleus of what has since continued the Logan Fifth Ward."

Also that year, work began on the Logan-Richmond canal. All who moved into that part of town were obliged to share in building the canal, and Robert probably helped out.

On April 19th, 1865, the entire territory of Utah mourned over the assassination of President Lincoln. The Mormon people greatly respected President Lincoln for his "let them alone" attitude toward the Mormons.

Ruth Clarkson was baptized in September of 1865. Robert first sat down and explained it all out to her and told her how she must always try to be good. She was baptized by Bishop P. Wolfinstein and probably confirmed by her father, Robert. She was one of the first people to be baptized in the Logan 5th Ward.


When the blizzards came up, snow would drift all over the room through cracks in the walls, and Robert lay sick in bed, the bedstead sitting in the middle of the room. A fireplace built in the east end of the room was their only way of warmth and where the cooking and baking was done. They made tallow candles for light.

During that winter a school house 20X16 feet was built. Everyone helped out to build it although Robert was probably too sick to lend a hand. Ruth and Ida attended the new school that winter. The school master, Adam McGill must have been a popular teacher, for occasionally he would take his fiddle to school and play a few lively tunes. It is recorded that some people thought that the school-master in the new school house taught more dance music than anything else.

In December, 1865 a Logan City Police force of 100 men was organized. Also during the month, President Brigham Young visited, asking the people for donations to buy material for a telegraph line.


A man brought some wheat for work done and when Robert lifted the heavy sacks and poured the dusty wheat into the bin, he started coughing.


The following verses were written by William Clegg in memory of Robert:

Alas, how frail is human life,
How brittle is the vital thread,
When death begins the fatal strife
How soon we're numbered with the dead.

Not one is spared when Heaven allows,
The King of Terror to advance.
The proudest earthly monarch bows
And fades before his blighting glance.

A husband kind, a father dear
Cheers not his home as herto fore.
A friend confiding and sincere
Talks with his earthly friends no more.

Yet glorious consolation this
He loved the gospel and reveried,
A promise of Eternal life
When man from death shall be retrieved.

Then will his wife and children meet
The husband and the father dear,
Will all with joy each other greet
Where death and sorrow comes no more.

Oh, what a meeting will be there,
What pure celestial peace and joy,
Oh, may we all the pleasure share,
Where naught can trouble or destroy.

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