Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission, part 5 (Graphic History)

Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission, part 5 (Graphic History)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 11, 2009

Adapted from Leaves from My Journal, by Wilford Woodruff; artwork by Douglas Johnson.







to be continued …

Text from Leaves from My Journal

… We got up in the morning and walked in the rain twelve miles to the house of a man named Bemon, who was also one of the mob from Jackson County. They were about sitting down to breakfast as we came in.

In those days it was the custom of the Missourians to ask you to eat even if they intended to cut your throat as soon as you got through; so he asked us to take breakfast, and we were very glad of the invitation. He knew we were “Mormons;” and as soon as we began to eat he began to swear about the “Mormons.” He had a large platter of bacon and eggs, and plenty of bread on the table, and his swearing did not hinder our eating, for the harder he swore the harder we ate, until we got our stomachs full; then we arose from the table, took our hats, thanked him for our breakfast, and the last we heard of him he was still swearing. I trust the Lord will reward him for our breakfast.

In the early days of the Church, it was a great treat to an Elder in his travels through the country to find a “Mormon;” it was so with us. We were hardly in Arkansas when we heard of a family named Akernan. They were in Jackson County in the persecutions. Some of the sons had been tied up there and whipped on their bare backs with hickory switches by the mob. We heard of their living on Petit Jean River, in the Arkansas Territory, and we went a long way to visit them.

There had recently been heavy rains, and a creek that we had to cross was swollen to a rapid stream of eight rods in width. There was no person living nearer than two miles from the crossing, and no boat. The people living at the last house on the road, some three miles from the crossing, said we would have to tarry till the water fell before we could cross. We did not stop, feeling to trust in God.

Just as we arrived at the rolling flood a negro, on a powerful horse, entered the stream on the opposite side and rode through it. …

Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission (Graphic History) part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18



  1. I would consider throat cutting after breakfast to be a major violation of the traditional rules of hospitality-something worthy of Procrustes. Nonetheless, I admire the notion that would have a man feed two hungry strangers whom he actually hated as a class. That goes one better than the Good Samaritan who merely helped a man who might have hated him.

    How would I react? I am not sure. Would I give breakfast to someone I suspected of being an Al Qaeda agent? A Communist? Cleon Skousen? To Christopher Hitchins? A homeless guy? It is a good question to ask yourself. If you are someone who thinks I might hate you, please come to breakfast. I may not let you in, but I promise not to curse you.

    Comment by Eric Boysen — October 11, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  2. They finally made it to Arkansas!!!

    They still had a ways to go once they got into Arkansas territory as the Petit Jean river is in central Arkansas. But they fortunately got to travel through some gorgeous areas (the Ozark and Boston mountains) to get to the Petit Jean.

    With the rains we’ve gotten of late I can just picture how the swollen streams they encountered looked.

    Comment by Steve C. — October 11, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  3. I continue to get caught up in this saga, and love the pictures that portray the actual history.

    Comment by Maurine — October 11, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  4. Sunday morning comics!! OK, I guess it was Sunday evening before I got to read these, but it is all part of the ritual and all that.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — October 11, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI