Henry Day autobiography


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Pioneer History of Henry Day

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Henry Day autobiography

  1. 1. History of Henry Eastman Day – His Autobiography (1824-1898) Contributed By Glenn Hill · 2013-06-12 Henry E. Day, was born 6 February, 1824 in Limerick, York Co., Maine. The son of Henry Day and Nancy Eastman; the fourth child of a family of five boys and three girls. When I was five years old my parents moved to Bridgeton, Maine to settle a new country, but I remained with my Grandparents at Limerick until I was ten years old. I then went to Bridgeton where I stayed with my parents until I was seventeen. At this time, 3 September 1841, I left the State of Maine and started west. I was hired along with nine other men to go to Mississippi and clear a spot for a plantation and prepare the land for cultivation. I went from Bridgeton to Portland, Me. by stagecoach; from there to Easton, Massachusetts on a steamboat and from Boston to New Orleans on a sailing vessel. After a journey of twenty-eight days, I landed at Natchez, (Mississippi) on the Mississippi River. Here I worked for eight months at $24.00 per month and sent all but $15.00 of it home to help pay for my father's farm in Bridgeton. After completing our contract I went to Cincinnati, Ohio where I worked for a man named Elisha Turner. It was at a meeting in Turner's home that I first heard Lumeraux preach Mormonism. I, in company with Turner, started for Nauvoo on the 3rd of September, 1842 and arrived there 1 October, 1842. While at Nauvoo I worked for Charles Warren at a livery stable. I often groomed the horse that the Prophet Joseph Smith rode. "The prophet certainly made a noble figure mounted on a horse, and he had some kind of majesty and imposing grandeur about him that seems to inspire those who saw him." Nauvoo about 17 miles North of Warsaw Carthage about 17 miles East of Warsaw In the spring, I took up forty-eight acres of land, and built a house on it. During the winter a County Commissioner gave me a contract to grade five miles of turnpike between his farm and Warsaw, Illinois and to keep the bridges in repair. At this time, there was great excitement throughout the country pertaining to the Mormons. A mob gathered on the prairie about one mile from where I lived for the purpose of capturing Joseph Smith and also in destroying the property of the Mormons. Out of this mob which had gathered, Tom Sharp, a mobcrat and editor of the Warsaw Signal, asked for volunteers to go to Carthage to kill Joseph and Hyrum Smith and any other Mormons who
  2. 2. were in jail. The mob consisted of about 300 people. I was on the road repairing a bridge which had been washed out by a flood, when a mob of about 60 people came along this bridge. However, this bridge was not completed so that they couldn't cross to go to Carthage. Such a low disregarding set as they were, I have never seen before or since. They were on foot following a low, broken wagon drawn by the poorest horses imaginable. In the end of the wagon was a barrel of whiskey, and hanging to the side was a tin cup, so the mob could have whiskey at their pleasure. The mob seeing that they could not cross over the bridge cursed and swore at me and called me everything, but a gentleman. So they went a long way out of the way to get back on the road again, and passed on to Carthage. About two hours later, while I was eating supper, the mob passed on the way coming back. I was at Carthage the next morning of the 28th of June about sun up and examined the jail. The Mormons had come from Nauvoo and took Joseph's and Hyrum's bodies and started back to Nauvoo just as we arrived. During the winter of 1844-45, I chopped wood on the Mississippi bottoms for steamboats. The summer of 1845 I took the fever and ague, and soon after left Illinois and went to Wisconsin where I stayed with my old friend Turner, during my illness, which lasted until the middle of October. Warsaw to St Louis about 170 Miles St Louis to St Joseph about 175 Miles From that time on until I left for Utah, I spent my time mining and prospecting. On the 8th of April, 1850 I started for Utah. I went by steamboat down the Mississippi River to St. Louis, then to Missouri as far as St. Joseph, where I bought a span of horses and a wagon, fitted out for the valley in company with two men named Cook from Cook co., Illinois. We left St. Joseph on 8 May, 1850. At the same time there was a great emigration going to California for gold. A portion of the emigrants centered at St. Joseph, one of the places where they fitted out and crossed the Missouri River. There were so many wagons there that you could not get to the crossing within a mile. http://www.octa- trails.org/learn/virtual_trail/virtual_tour/st_joseph/index.php 1850 - St. Joseph resembled in some respects a vast besieged city - Along the bluffs to the west, were some springs, long rows of tents were pitched closely under the bluff rocks. All the principle roads leading to the town were thickly beset with white tents on either side - while the height immediately to the south of the town were also covered with tents wagons, & horses, and thronged with men.
  3. 3. I never joined any company, but had company all the way, all the time the road being lined with wagons. One day there were 2700 wagons counted which passed New Fort Kearney. There were several other roads besides this one, each one with as many wagons going west. As the California emigrants journeyed westward, they became desperate and disagreeable with one another. When they got to Devils Gate on the Sweet Water, a company of one hundred wagons disagreed and could not make things suitable for each other. So they agreed to divide their outfit between them. They made pack saddles out of the wagons and used their harnesses for straps and packing. They agreed between themselves to burn and destroy all their wagons and supplies which they could not take along. They bent the barrels of their guns so that the Mormons would not use them. The two men I was traveling with took the spirit of the California emigrants, so we had to divide our supplies. I had only one horse left having lost one on the road. I was compelled to leave my wagon and all I had with the exception of one change of clothing on the road. I then came across an Englishman that was on his way to California. I agreed to go with him as far as Salt Lake City to guard his horses and assist him on his journey. He had a wife and a child; also a carriage and five good horses. We arrived in Salt Lake City on 2 July, 1850. I camped on the Jordan River, west of the old Fort on the 3rd of July. The same day I walked to Cottonwood to James Rawlins, father of Bishop Joseph S. Rawlins. I went back to Salt Lake for the celebration of the 4th of July. After that I made my home with Mr. Rawlins until March, 1852. In September, 1850 I went to Draper and took up land for a farm. The next year I built a house, the second house built in Draper and cultivated a portion of my land and put in grain and potatoes. On the 13th day of July 1851, I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was baptized in the Big
  4. 4. Cottonwood Creek. I was married to Leah Rawlins, daughter of James and Jane Sharp Rawlins January, 1852 and we moved to Draper on the 26 day of March, 1852. I helped build a Fort in Draper that was built to protect the people from the Indians. I took part in all the Indian trouble at that time. I joined the Nauvoo Legion. We were not molested and everything went fine until 1857, when word came that Johnson's Army was coming to destroy the Mormons. In September, 1856-7, I was called under Samuel Bennion to go to Fort Bridger with 50 men. When we arrived there, 50 men were selected of all the Mormon soldiers by General Daniel R. Wells. I was again appointed Captain of 10 men. We were sent east under sealed orders and camped at Black's Fork, where the orders were opened. We found that we were to go east and burn all trains of supplies that belonged to Johnson's Army. We heard of two trains of 26 wagons each which were up the Green River. I was sent with Henry Jackson to see how the wagons were situated. We reported to Lott Smith. We had prayers and marched to burn the wagons. When we told the master what we had come for he said he didn't think that there were enough of us there being only twenty-five. Lott replied that if he didn't have enough there, then all he had to do was to whistle, although there was not another Mormon within 40 miles. Lott Smith asked for the Bill of Lading, which he read. We took all the firearms and burned the wagons. Each wagon carried 65,000 to 75,000 pounds of supplies and were drawn by eight yolk of oxen. At Hat Rock, six miles up Weber Canyon, Henry Day sat on a horse all night and kept Johnson's Army back single-handed. He told them that the orders were for the Army not go to any further. There were several scarecrows scattered around and hats placed on rocks. The Army leader thought there were a lot of men, so they retreated. When peace was negotiated, Mr. Day returned home. He moved his family along with the other Draper families to Mountainville, now Alpine, while Johnson's Army passed through the valley and located at Camp Floyd. While the Day family was at this place, their third child Leah Jane was born. Mr. Day and his wife, Leah were the parents of seven children; James Henry, Joseph Elisha, Leah Jane, Eleanora Angaline, Charles Eastman, Derias Rawlins, and Harriet Lucinan. The last three children died while small. Mr. Day was ordained as a counselor to Bishop Isaac M. Stewart of Draper and served in the capacity for twenty-eight years. He married Elizabeth Cottrell 1 November 1862. Nine children were born to them; Samuel C., Nancy Catherine, George Addison, Elias John, Andrew Jackson, Mary Elizabeth, David William, Ellen Lucretia, Rachael Ann, and David William, who died in infancy. He married Caroline Eugenia Augusta Mylander, 21 September, 1867. Two children were born to them; Metilda Caroline and Eugenia Augusta, the latter died in infancy. Mr. Day worked on all the railroad grades built in Utah in the early days. Henry Day, Joseph Rawlins, and MIlo Andrus took the contract and built the Sandcut; the fill and cut beyond the Point of the Mountain, and the strip just this side of the Point, when the railroad was being built through Draper. Mr. Day and Joseph Rawlins also did the surveying for the East Jordan Canal. Mr. Day died 17 October 1898 and was buried in the Draper Cemetery.
  5. 5. Find A Grave http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9537814 Henry Eastman Day Draper City Cemetery Draper, Salt Lake County, Utah Plot: A-53-3 Prepared by J.E. Anderson for Aunt Jane Matilda Allen (1903-1974) Grand Daughter of: Henry Eastman Day 1824-1898 AND Caroline Eugenia Augusta Nylander 1847-1871