Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Guest Post: Can I Trust Leonard Arrington? An Exercise in Historical Provenance

Guest Post: Can I Trust Leonard Arrington? An Exercise in Historical Provenance

By: Kevin Folkman - June 02, 2010

My interest in Mormon history really grew out of a frustration (or guilt) with genealogy. On both sides of my family, a couple aunts, grandmothers, and cousins had pretty much covered all the documented ground and found as much of my ancestry as will be practical before the millennium is in full swing. So while I claim, correctly, that there is little or nothing left to do in my genealogical research, I have been exposed to little bits here and there that tell about my ancestors. It is the stories about these folks that I have found fascinating.

One particular item was a densely typed but brief first person account of my great grandmother’s life, joining the church in England, meeting her future husband/returning missionary onboard the ship to America in 1866, and settling down with him as a country doctor in rural Weber County, Utah. In the middle of this account, Charlotte Senior King tells of a colonization trip that she and her husband Frederick made with their one year old daughter to Arizona in 1873, only to return a few months later, having lost pretty much all their material goods along the way. In fact, more than half of her four page life story is devoted to this particular trip, so it obviously loomed large in her memory.

Fast forward to 1990, and I come across an article in a short-lived magazine for LDS families, This People. In this article, church historian Leonard Arrington writes about “The Human Side of Brigham Young”, using several short quotes showing his humanity, compassion, and even sarcasm. It was the sarcasm quote that caught my attention.

In the quote, Pres. Young is expressing disappointment about some Arizona colonists: “Had we sent the sisters of the Relief Society, some of our pioneer sisters, they would have held that place and accomplished the mission. But instead we sent a passel of squaws down there — some of our pets whom we have raised in Salt Lake City. [We have] raised them on a feather pillow with silver spoons in their mouths. Men that don’t know anything about a hard day’s work or a privation — and they came away because the sun shone hot and the wind blew! Can you imagine such faint hearts! They gave up their inheritance without a stroke.”

The circumstances so closely paralleled the story by my great grandmother that I wondered if he was talking about her experience. At the time, I did not immediately follow up and try to find the context of the quote, and it eventually slipped my mind, until some 18 years later, a discussion about my Dad’s father, who married Charlotte’s and Frederick’s third daughter, did I start to wonder about the quote.

I still had the magazine, so I checked for references. Arrington, not writing for an academic journal, only had a note at the end of the article saying that all the quotes by Brigham Young were from his biography, Brigham Young, American Moses. So I got a copy from the library, and started skimming for the quote. I couldn’t find it, and by this time I was deeply involved in finding out a lot of other information about this 1873 colonization mission, and the “failure” reputation that had become linked to it. The story was so fascinating, that I began writing an article about it, which has been accepted, pending edits and revisions, for publication in the Journal of Mormon History next winter. But even after a detailed reading of Arrington’s book, I had not found the quote. It wasn’t there. Was Arrington making this quote up? I didn’t think so, but I was starting to have some doubts about the quote being about Charlotte and Frederick and their companions in 1873.

This group of colonists left Northern Utah in March and April of 1873, as the first group called by Brigham Young to settle on the Little Colorado in Arizona. Young had taken an intense personal interest in the project for many reasons, and even though this 1873 group, under experienced leadership, had to turn around and come back in July of 1873, Brigham was committed, and starting in 1876 and later, new groups of colonists ultimately went further up the river than my ancestors, and with much hardship, did succeed in establishing a handful of permanent colonies.

Without a reference to the quote, though, I was beginning to think I would have to leave it out of my article. I had found a talk by George Q. Cannon in August of 1873 that talked about the Arizona colonists and their failed mission. I looked up the transcript in the Journal of Discourses and found where he quotes Pres. Young from an earlier talk the same day about Arizona. But no known transcript or notes of that talk seem to have survived.

I turned to a couple of friends, including J. Stapley, who ultimately found the quote in another Arrington book, Adventures of a Church Historian. The reference there is to a biographical account of the life of one Martha Cragun Cox, born in 1852, who recorded her life as the third wife of a Southern Utah farmer and rancher, a feisty schoolteacher, and detailed journal keeper. However, her autobiography had never been published, so I needed to get access to a copy. The helpful folks at the Church History Library responded to an email inquiry, and sent me copies of the pages referenced in Arrington’s footnotes. The quote, though, still wasn’t there.

On a recent trip to Utah, I devoted some hours at the CHL to trying to find the quote. I requested a copy of Cox’s journal, delivered to me on microfilm. Handwritten script on microfilm is tough to read, but I looked first at the page referenced by Arrington, and found nothing of interest there. I then tried to read all the entries for the summer of 1873 when I thought it most likely she had heard Brigham Young speak. Cox wasn’t even in Salt Lake City that summer, or anytime for the years before Brigham Young died.

I did not want to try and read all six hundred pages of her journal on microfilm, so I went back to the catalog, and found that a typescript copy existed. I requested that, which was much easier to read, but again found nothing from 1873 to 1877 that referenced the quote. I resigned myself to having to read the rest of her journal to look for it. So, I began scanning each page from 1877 forward, looking for the quote. Martha Cox had a fascinating life, and I would like to revisit her journal at a more leisurely pace sometime. But this day, I was on a quest.

I could find nothing in the rest of the 1870’s. Nothing in the 1880’s. I was beginning to have doubts about the quote again, and was despairing through the 1890’s. But shortly after 1900, Martha Cox was relocating to the Mexican colonies, and traveled through Phoenix on her journey. There, she mentioned that she marveled at the “Nephite canals” that the early settlers had used when they first arrived in the Mesa area along the Salt River, and how later they had sold the canals to a New York company, thus incurring Brigham Young’s wrath. The quote was there in black and white, but it was talking about the Salt River settlement of Mesa.

Arrington was redeemed, but I was disappointed. This apparently meant I could not use the quote, and my article is weaker without it. However, I copied the quote in context, and started thinking. First, Brigham Young died in 1877. The Salt River settlements had only just been established that spring, and not enough time had gone by for them to develop the canals (which turn out to be remnants of irrigation canals built by the Hohokam Indians, not Nephites), let alone sell them to an outside interest. A co-op formed the Arizona Canal Company in 1882, five years after Young’s death, the first of many efforts to help make improvements and preserve water rights for all involved, including many non-Mormon settlers and farmers who had been in the area for a number of years prior to 1877. Second, the quote talks about people who “came away” because the sun was hot, and the wind blew. While individuals likely gave up on the Salt River settlements, and also the Upper Little Colorado River settlements that were just getting started in 1877, those settlements all remained, at least during the duration of the last few months of Brigham Young’s life.

I also had to consider when Martha Cox might have heard Brigham Young make such a statement. He did winter in St. George in the years from 1873 to 1877, and often spoke there at church meetings. Cox, who had spent much of her life in other parts of Southern Utah and Southern Nevada, actually was residing in and fighting with the school board in St. George during those same years. She most likely did hear Brigham Young make that statement during that time.

Cox also was well known for being a prolific journal keeper, and her autobiography is full of lots of detailed notes about a lot of varied things. She began writing her biography in 1928, and she worked at it over the next two years, ending in 1930, and dying in 1932. The biography was to replace most of her journals that were destroyed when her cabin caught fire at some point in her later years, and only a few papers survived.

The quote, then, may have been something that had survived the fire. In her autobiography, the quote is set aside in quotation marks, with the same parenthetical insertion shown in the quote above. However, she was writing when she was in her late seventies, about a recalled memory prompted by a trip some 25 years earlier, and recorded or remembered from another 25 years at least before that. Historical context makes it highly improbable that the quote was given in response to giving up the canals along the Salt River, as that had not happened before President Young died. It’s possible, though I can’t prove it, that hearing about the canal issues brought to mind the quote she had recorded many years before. Since most everyone, including many of the participants in the 1873 mission, did their best to forget about or distance themselves from the “failure” label that had become attached to it, Cox may have not thought about it either in 1900.

So, at least as far as I can tell, my faith in Leonard Arrington has been restored. I am still using the quote in my article, but I am giving full disclosure to the problems outlined here. It’s going to be a while before I get a chance to dig more deeply into where and when I can get access to notes or transcripts of Brigham Young’s sermons in St. George those last few winters of his life. This is a little bit different kind of provenance problem than some of the old photographs that we’ve discussed here at Keepa of late, but still represents the same kind of issues. I really hope I have the context of the quote right, but I also have to consider that it might not be. I’m also interested in what you think about this. Should I continue to use the quote, or should I abandon it?



  1. I love it, Kevin: the curiosity, perseverance, frustration, teamwork (yay, J. Stapley!), imagination, and most of all the careful consideration of who could have said what and when. Most of the time we tell history in neat chronological accounts with most of the wrinkles ironed out — and really, that’s the job of the historian, to find and weigh the evidence and iron out the wrinkles. But everybody ought to peek behind the curtain sometimes and see what you have so vividly shown: You can never just go to the library and look up the answers. It is just never, ever that easy.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 2, 2010 @ 9:10 am

  2. I can’t wait to read your paper in print, Kevin. I think using the excerpt is appropriate if framed as a reminiscence with full disclosure as you have.

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 2, 2010 @ 9:48 am

  3. …however, nothing is more frustrating than looking up a source and finding that the material you are looking for is not there. Agh!

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 2, 2010 @ 9:50 am

  4. The Arizona colonization attempt on the Little Colorado in 1873 sounds much like the expedition my great-grandfather Andrew Jackson Allen was involved in. He kept a daily journal of the experiences including loss of their draft animals, near starvation and sickness from heat, etc. He describes the struggle to go on, determining the Little Colorado to be dry in midsummer and deciding there was no practical place to settle. They didn’t decide to turn back until messages were expressed to BY asking for direction. The expedition was led by “Orton Hait” [Horton Haight?] and there were seven from Draper besides himself: Joseph Terry, David Pulsipher, James Green, John Fitzgerald. Manassah Fitzgerald, Henry Day, Charles Burnham and Thomas Vawdrey [spelling unsure]. He doesn’t mention any others or any women except “three ladyes”.

    In 1876, Andrew’s son, William Coleman Allen, was called to go and attempt a settlement in the same area. He and others did so and were successful after much effott. The place, now Joseph City, Arizona was first called “Allen’s Camp”. It is a small village just off I-40 a few miles west of Holbrook. I have a photo of my brother and me standing by a street sign: “Allen St.” An interesting place to briefly visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.

    Comment by CurtA — June 2, 2010 @ 9:56 am

  5. This is interesting stuff, Kevin, and I look forward to seeing your work in print. I have done some research on early LDS settlement in Arizona (and as an undergrad published a short article on the subject) as my own ancestor led the group that set up the first successful settlement in the Salt River Valley.

    Comment by Christopher — June 2, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  6. Curt,

    Same trip! This is an important find! I’m supposed to have my article back revised and edited this week, but I am waiting for a copy of another journal I just found out about. I knew about the Draper company, but didn’t have the names, other than Henry Day, who wrote some letters about the trip.

    Of the 100 to 110 folks who traveled south in 1873, they all left at different times, and came south in different groups, which helped in that most of the springs would not support all of the colonists and their animals at the same place. The Draper company got to Moabbi (Moenave) and found a group mostly from Riverdale and Ogden, another larger group at Moencopi, so they moved south to what was called Camp Utah, near present day Cameron, Arizona, and set up camp about half a mile or so from the Little Colorado to avoid the quicksand.

    I’d be extremely interested in getting any copies or transcripts of Allen’s journal for those dates relating to the trip south. You can contact me directly at kfolkman (at) gmail (dot) com.

    As to living there in the Little Colorado river drainage, I’ve seen enough to feel the same way, although I never got up to Silver Creek, which supposedly was better. Those folks suffered incredibly, though, as well.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  7. Well, as Napoleon Bonaparte once said “History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

    Obviously I’m saying this in jest, but surely many errors have propagated distorting what really happened/was said/etc… Even first hand accounts often contain errors.

    Comment by Joseph Smidt — June 2, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  8. Christopher,

    Dan Jones is your ancestor? Small world. Dan Jones and Jacob Hamblin had their life stories published by the Juvenile Instructor in the 1880’s or 1890’s, if I recall, and their accounts of circumstances around the 1873 mission, coupled with Brigham Young’s frustration, are the reasons the 1873 expedition got labeled a “failure”. They were pretty accurate in their descriptions, but there were some things left out of their accounts, and Horton Haight’s report of the 1873 mission never made it to the Church Historian’s office until after 1900 and Haight’s death. I mention in my article the circumstances of how Dan Jones got called to lead the 1876/1877 Salt River mission, which grew out of the 1873 failure. Good stories in all of this.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  9. Kevin,

    The Arizona segment of A.J.Allen’s journal will be in your email today.


    Comment by CurtA — June 2, 2010 @ 10:39 am

  10. Yet another testimony of the power of new media in collaborative work on history. This is really great.

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 2, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  11. Yeah, I’m just thinkin’ how much fun it is to sit back and watch the connections being made right before my eyes!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 2, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  12. I love this stuff. It is why I’m hooked on Mormon history. Thanks Kevin.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — June 2, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  13. This reminds me of the incident Dan Jones relates in his autobiographical “40 Years among the Indians.”

    He was in Pres. Young’s office when a Bro. Staines reported that the company of “several hundred persons with teams” had passed some 45 miles beyond the Colorado, and no water could be found. Someone had gone up on the Little Colorado and found it entirely dry. They prayed, and miraculously, enough rain fell that the barrels could be refilled and the company could retrace its route.

    Pres. Young listened to the report, then turned and asked, “What do you think of that, Bro. Jones?” “I answered, ‘I would have filled up, went on, and prayed again.’ Brother Brigham replied, putting his hand on me, ‘this is the man that shall take charge of the next trip to Arizona.’ ”

    I suspect that even the pioneers that Brigham characterized as soft, silver-spooned “pets” were tough, resourceful, faith-filled individuals.

    Comment by Clark — June 2, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  14. Sorry for the late post above. I see that Dan Jones was already mentioned while I was double checking sources…

    Comment by Clark — June 2, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  15. Nice comment, Researcher. Thanks for the Pres. Hinckley quote. A quite large percentage of the later settlers after 1876 did return. People would go for half a year, plant crops, watch them die when the dams washed out, and returned to Utah, and their places were taken by others who tried the same things over and over again. The first dam that didn’t wash out was built in 1985, I believe.

    Curtis, how should I cite Andrew Allen’s journal entries as I use it for my article? Copy in your possession?

    Clark, the Dan Jones incident you mention is one of the troublesome ones. Whoever told that story to WC Staines had it wrong. Jacob Miller, Haight’s clerk on the mission, wrote a letter to the Church Historian’s office in 1902, after Haight’s death, and refuted the story on several points. The number of colonists in the Dan Jones story were greatly exaggerated, and in fact the majority of the colonists got as far as Moencopi, with Haight and a number of others traveling some 180 miles beyond the Colorado before they returned to Moencopi. There, they waited for over a month for word from Brigham Young that never came. The telegraph was down, and word didn’t get back to Haight until all his group finally had moved back into southern Utah. Horses died, wagons broke down, and the Hopi Indians, while looking for some help from the Mormons against the Apaches and Navajo, really didn’t like the competition for the limited water and farmland at Moencopi and Moenave.

    In retrospect, these first settlers were not adequately prepared for conditions in Arizona, and were to some extent misled by previous reports on the area. Plus they went at the absolute worst time of the year, and in the middle of a several year drought that only worsened the conditions.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  16. Researcher,

    The A.J.Allen journal has been widely distributed. I have it digitized (OCR is great). The handwritten original is in the hands of a descendant in Utah County. It was very carefully transcribed with an IBM selectric font that OCR recognized very well and I scanned all the 62 legal pages and got it into MS Word after careful scrutiny to catch what OCR misread and the misinterpretations of Andrew’s Kentucky phonetics.

    An early typed version has been copied and is in the Church Archives and at the Utah State Historical Society library.

    Comment by CurtA — June 2, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  17. Actually, it might have been better for Researcher to warn you folks who are not familiar with the region to just keep your distance!

    Seriously, though, as the great-grandson of some who helped settle that region, I agree whole-heartedly with the statement of Pres. Hinckley’s that Researcher quoted. Tough country seems to have bred remarkable people.

    Comment by Mark B. — June 2, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  18. RE#16, Jones states that Stainer was relating a story from a “Bro. McMaster, being chaplain for the expedition” so by the time this story was committed to writing, it was already 20-year-old, third-hand information.

    Another example of “Can I trust(fill in the blank here)?

    The book does contain several other bits of information regarding settlements on the Little Colorado though. Brigham Young was evidently more of an optimist than those who had seen the area first hand.

    Comment by Clark — June 2, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  19. To answer Researcher’s other questions:

    William C. Allen was my grandfather’s half-brother. A nine-page tightly spaced discussion of William’s mission to settle and live (for nine years) in Joseph City can be found in Maud Bliss Allen’s book: ALLEN: Seven generations of Allens; Samuel Allen of Kentucky, 1756-1841, pages 145-154. Copies are in the Church History Library (open stacks) and the FHL. Included is a sketch map of the fort of Allen’s Camp.

    There are many Allens in Arizona today, but surprisingly, few are Andrew’s descendants. Rather, they are from Andrew’s older brother Lewis’s family. Lewis ran the Mocassin Ranch near Pipe Springs for years and finally settled in Orderville, UT and died there.

    Comment by CurtA — June 2, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  20. As a side note, Mocassin, was run by my great grand parents.

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 2, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  21. Congratulations!

    I look forward to the article.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — June 2, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  22. Kevin,

    The typed copy which I used for digitization is titled:


    A PIONEER OF 1847

    He was not in the BY pioneer company. He came in the A.O. Smoot Company, called the fourth hundred, arriving in the valley in September.

    When I have used it, I have referenced his entry dates, as the various copies have different paginations.

    Comment by CurtA — June 2, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  23. A few questions for Curt:

    Neither George S. Tanner (Colonization on the Little Colorado: The Joseph City Region) nor Charles Peterson (Take Up Your Mission: Mormon Colonizing Along the Little Colorado River, 1870-1900) lists the Allen journal as a source. Does the family hold the only copy?

    Is William Allen your grandfather? Did he leave any sources about early Joseph City? Neither of those authors lists any sources from William Allen.

    Just in case any readers are not familiar with the area, it’s worth spending a few minutes looking at the region. Here’s Joseph City on Google Maps. You can see that the north-south streets are named after the original settlers (Richards, Westover, Tanner, Bushman, Allen, etc.). (One of those families is mine.) And then if you zoom out, you can see how desolate and alkaline the entire region is, and how prone to flooding.

    And then, if you trace the Little Colorado you can see the other Mormon settlements, Woodruff, and St. Johns among them.

    The 1873 mission certainly had an accurate picture of the region. The water was horrible, and the wind blew almost continuously. The dams washed out year after year and the settlers had to fight large cattle interests including the Hashknife Gang.

    Overall, it was a difficult life, but for both the 1873 pioneers, and the later ones (some of whom packed their bags and returned to Utah) I like to think of President Hinckley’s quote:

    It is good to reflect on the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries.

    Comment by Researcher — June 2, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  24. Despite the BY quote in the original post that prompted this discussion, I’m more inclined to believe the counsel given in D&C 124:49 is more appropriate. (If we go forth in all our might to perform the work, and are hindered, the Lord requires the work no more, but will accept the offering.)

    I suspect that this is why Charlotte King devotes half her life history to the “failed” Arizona–so it’s clear that they did give it their all. (I mean, if Lot Smith couldn’t make a go of it…)

    Had Brigham Young known what would be revealed in Miller’s 1902 letter, would he have made the same statement? I doubt it… And that particular statement doesn’t even relate to the Little Colorado settlements, right?

    Comment by Clark — June 2, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  25. Well, I’m not connected to a- anyone or b-anywhere mentioned in the article or the comments, but I wanted to say thank you to Kevin for a fascinating post, and thank you for all the comments which have been so interesting to read.

    Comment by Anne (U.K) — June 2, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  26. Thanks for the notes, CurtA. Many years ago I heard an interesting story about Henry Tanner’s efforts to track down information about graves belonging to members of some of the early St. Joseph families who didn’t stay in the area. Although they were gone, they weren’t forgotten.

    (After it was Allen’s Camp, it was named St. Joseph, and was later changed to Joseph City. I grew up hearing it alternately called “St. Joe” or “Joe City.”)

    Thanks for the kind words, Mark B., but I should clarify that I have nowhere near the expertise in the Little Colorado region that (for example) Ardis does in Piute County.

    Christopher and Clark — I recently read Forty Years Among the Indians. Amazingly fascinating book and an enjoyable read. I grew up in Mesa but was only aware of bits and pieces of its history. I have a question about that settlement: How did they survive the heat?!

    And finally, AMEN, to comments 10 and 11.

    Comment by Researcher — June 2, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  27. The post was great, but to see CurtA and Kevin interacting was awesome!

    Comment by Ben Pratt — June 2, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  28. Clark,

    Brigham Young probably had a pretty good idea of how bad things were when he made that statement to Dan Jones. Several of the colonists even record meeting with Pres. Young on their return to northern Utah, and by then he certainly had seen Haight’s report, and read the letters sent by Henry Day. In all fairness to Brigham Young, he was used to asking people to do tough things, face almost certain failure, and keep trying. There would always be a next time, and so he used whatever motivating tools he could. There were several of the 1873 group that apparently tried again in 1876 and later. Horton Haight hasn’t left any first person accounts that I can find, but he appears to have felt like the 1873 failure followed him around the rest of his life.

    When he was later called to Oakley, Idaho, in the 1880’s to become bishop of the Oakley ward, Haight’s wife is said to have cried all the way from Farmington to Oakley. And Oakley is a much better climate than the Little Colorado. One can only imagine her reaction to the trip south to Arizona might have been, if Haight had succeeded.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  29. In all fairness to Brigham Young, he was used to asking people to do tough things, face almost certain failure, and keep trying.

    This was one of Brigham’s greatest strengths, and also one of his greatest weaknesses. He had a way, sometimes, of saying “let it be done” and then expecting “it” to be “done” — regardless of conditions on the ground, regardless of his own failure to provide advice or tangible resources. Just do it. No argument. Most people who have studied the collapse of the Las Vegas Mission in the 1850s, for example, chalk it up to differences in personalities among the missionaries, but I lay the failure squarely at Brigham’s feet: He issued conflicting mission calls, provided zero resources, and expected a few dozen men to do what hundreds could not physically have achieved.

    The miracle is that sometimes people *did* manage to do the impossible. The tragedy is that Brigham took their successes for granted and expected miracles on a routine basis.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 2, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  30. Ardis,

    Absolutely right. One big difference in the later Arizona missions was more support. When the first dam washed out at St. Joseph, I believe, in the spring of 1877, Brigham Young mandated an allocation of wheat from Cache Valley to take the place of the crops that died from lack of water. Even so, many of the first group there returned after the dam failure, but others came south with the wheat, and the community at least survived another year, albeit with mostly different settlers. That those later colonies survived at all is a miracle in and of itself. I don’t think they ever “flourished”.

    Thanks, all for your comments. And Curt, thanks for the journal entries. That’s a big help. There are limited accounts of what was going on once the colonists got to Arizona, although playing checkers seemed to have been popular while they all waited for word from Brigham Young.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  31. Au contraire, Anne. You’re connected! These people’s stories belong to all of us–whether our family names dot the cemeteries in dusty towns like St. Joseph or Woodruff or St. Johns or Snowflake or Eagar, or if we’re first generation members of the church in Lanarkshire or Kochi-shi or even Brooklyn, New York.

    Comment by Mark B. — June 2, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

  32. Wow, this is fun!!!

    CurtA, my family lived in Moccasin near Pipe Springs for a while. Not very long. I think they were basically hiding out there for a time, because of my great-great-great-grandfather’s participation in MMM. They were part of the original small group of families sent to settle Washington, UT, which had its own horrible problems with flooding and poor conditions. In addition to a few years in Moccasin, some parts of the family also went to Paraeah/Paria, UT for a time. A lot of that part of the family ultimately settled in Eager and Nutrioso and many remain there to this day. The names are Clark and Lee.

    Another branch of my family ended up in Roosevelt. So my ancestors really have a track record of being sent to the difficult places!

    Please, I would love to correspond with anyone who knows more about any of these places I’ve mentioned or can point me to any sources. I am a complete novice so anything is helpful. I have spent over a year trying to make sense of all this and it can be emotional at times with some of what happened. What is helping me is just diving into the facts so I can get a more complete picture. My address is sisterblah2 at gmail

    Comment by Cynthia L. — June 2, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  33. And amen #10 and 11.

    Comment by Cynthia L. — June 2, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  34. Kevin,

    Just to check, did you look into Leonard’s historical papers, held by USU Special Collections? The finding aid is available at:

    Also, there is the possibility that the quote of BY is part of the archival collections held by the Church Archives, and thus the original is off limits to the public, difficult to cite, and thus is proving to be a little difficult to locate. Finding sources on certain topics of church history during the era Arrington wrote was much different than today, though some problems still remain.

    As for your article, I look forward to seeing it in print. I have read the other essays in JMH and elsewhere about the failed colonies, so it will be good to see additional material added to the historiography. Keep up the good work.


    Comment by Zach — June 2, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  35. To add to the connections, another of my ancestors (and my namesake, Christopher Layton) spent his later years (1880s and 90s) in the Pima Valley and served as President of the St. Joseph Stake there.

    Cynthia, I spent a good chunk of my mission in the White Mountains, including St. Johns, Eagar, and Nutrioso, and my first area covered Roosevelt, though we only made it out there once or twice. IIRC, I have a history of the Eagar Stake that may or may not be helpful. And I definitely have one for the Globe Stake, which probably has some information in the Church in Roosevelt. If any of this sounds useful feel free to contact me at chrisjones13 AT gmail DOT com.

    Comment by Christopher — June 2, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

  36. Also, kevinf, could you contact me privately at the email provided in my #35? Thanks.

    Comment by Christopher — June 2, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  37. Zach,

    I had looked at the catalog at USU, but in my limited time available in Utah, I ended up focusing on what I could find in SLC, which included the Marriott Library Tanner papers at the U, and the CHL. Still, I could probably spend a week more full time researching, which I just don’t have at this point.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  38. I don’t see any reference in these posts to the famous Lot Smith, who was called to lead a United Order of Enoch colony on the Little Colorado. As I recall the settlement (including his wives) chaffed under Smith’s harsh leadership and the communal orientation. Notwithstanding frequent counseling via mail by Wilford Woodruff, Lot Smith couldn’t get it together and was released from this calling, following which he was estranged from the Church until his death during an exchange of gunfire with a Navajo shepherd over a grazing dispute around 1890.

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — June 2, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

  39. I think my post re Lot Smith on the Little Colorado got intertwined with Ben’s re MMM somehow.

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — June 2, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  40. I have no idea how that happened — is your comment correct now, Bill?

    (Ben, I couldn’t figure out how to reconstruct your comment; what I could make out appeared to be off topic and has been deleted.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 2, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

  41. Ardis,
    Yes, it’s correct now.

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — June 2, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

  42. Oooops, I just remembered…it was John Taylor rather than WW who tried to teach leadership to Lot Smith on the Little Colorado. Elder Taylor once commented in a letter to Smith that he appeared to get along better in his dealings with horses than with his wives.

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — June 2, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

  43. Bill, Lot Smith was not involved in the 1873 colonization effort, as best as I can tell, so he does not figure in my article. Interesting story, though, about getting along with his horses better than his wives.

    Comment by kevinf — June 2, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  44. Congrats on making the DesNews Mormon Times BBB today!

    Comment by MoSop — June 3, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  45. Great stuff Kevin! I enjoyed the detective work.

    Comment by W. Smith — June 3, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

  46. I’m reading a fascinating post and very interesting comments when, to my surprise, I read about Joseph City, AZ – where my mother was born. Then Researcher links a map showing the streets named after the original settlers (whose surnames she lists) – and says one of those families is hers. I wonder how we are related, since my mother’s family is the Westovers listed as among the settlers – and surely those families intermarried.

    It’s a small world, and I want to thank kevin for making me aware that I am related to Researcher.

    Comment by Ray — June 3, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  47. Forgot to add:

    Howdy, cousin!!

    Comment by Ray — June 3, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  48. I would be very happy to consider you among my many cousins, Ray. Besides the fact that if you are from Joseph City, you are as good as related in any case, your remarkable common sense and unflappable nature surely marks you as a descendant of the Arizona pioneers. But as far as I know, my family did not intermarry with the Westovers. What a shocking oversight!

    My family and yours did travel to Arizona together. Here is a series of posts on their trip to Arizona. They used the Pearce’s Ferry crossing and traveled over the old Beale Road. The Westovers are mentioned first in the second post.

    Comment by Researcher — June 4, 2010 @ 6:59 am

  49. But as far as I know, my family did not intermarry with the Westovers. What a shocking oversight!

    Amen, cousin! :)

    Comment by Ray — June 4, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  50. This has been a long time coming, but the article, as noted elsewhere along with Stapley and Wright’s terrific article on female ritual healing, is in the mail as we speak.

    Interesting to note is that I was contacted yesterday by a descendant of Horton D. Haight who had read my article. He related to me that the Brigham Young quote was well known in the Haight family, and has been a source of some anguish. I hope to follow up with him about when and where the family heard Pres. Young. It would bring some closure for me on this, as I have not been able to find anything more about it at this point, but I’ve had limited time to do research lately.

    Comment by kevinf — February 14, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  51. I’m a little late, but I loved reading this post and the comments.

    It would be fun if there was an Allen’s camp (Jo City) descendant reunion. I’m from the Westover/Despain line, my great grandmother is Johanna and my grandmother is Emma and I am in awe of both of them. I don’t know how any of the settelers did it and if you are a descendant of Johanna – how DID she do it?
    If you have read Johanna’s biography, I am in possession of the “green box” and am happy to have my cousins over to see it.

    I have not been able to find a list of the original families or a map. Does anyone have access to either?

    Kevin, Is your paper published? I would love to read it.

    Comment by Judy — October 5, 2012 @ 2:20 am

  52. Judy, my knowledge of the settlements of 1878 and later is limited so I know nothing about Johanna or little abot Allen’s Camp. My article was published in the Winter 2011 Journal of Mormon History. If you need anything else Ardis can provide you with my email address. Thanks for your nice comment.

    Comment by kevinf — October 5, 2012 @ 1:20 pm