Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Eminent Women: Ann Fairfax Washington Lee and Susanna Mehitable Rogers Sangiovanni Pickett Keate, Part 2

Eminent Women: Ann Fairfax Washington Lee and Susanna Mehitable Rogers Sangiovanni Pickett Keate, Part 2

By: Amy Tanner Thiriot - December 12, 2011

Part One, Ann Fairfax Washington Lee

Susanna Keate was 64 years old when she helped Wilford Woodruff and the women of St. George do the temple work for seventy eminent women of the world.

She was born Susanna Mehitable Rogers in Quebec in 1813. Her early life was spent moving around Canada with her family, following her father’s work as a trapper. She sometimes went with her father as he set traps.

When Susanna was seven years old, her growing family moved to northern New York State. Susanna’s sister Caroline wrote the following verse about their idyllic childhood:

How oft’ with my playmates in childish abandon
I’ve roamed through the valleys, new pleasures to find.
The murmuring streamlets, the birds singing gaily
Would chase all the gloom and the care from my mind.

In 1825 the Rogers family was present when Marquis de Lafayette made his triumphal tour of the country. According to a family story, when Lafayette kissed a baby in a crowd, Susanna, standing nearby, exclaimed, “Oh, I wish I were a baby!” Lafayette heard and bowed and kissed her hand.

Five years later, the family moved to Manhattan to look for work, eventually running a boarding house by today’s Battery Park.

In the fall of 1833, a new boarder came to the boarding house. In order to explain who he was, it would help to explain the entire history of the Napoleonic Wars, particularly the events in the Kingdom of Naples, now part of Italy, but since this is not the place for a comprehensive review of the Napoleonic Wars, here is a brief description. Naples and Sicily were ruled by King Ferdinand IV. In 1799, French revolutionary forces replaced the king with a republican government, but that only lasted a few months until the clergy returned Ferdinand to the throne. In 1806, Napoleon appointed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, as the King of Naples. When Napoleon transferred Joseph to Spain, Napoleon gave Naples to his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat. Naples remained in upheaval as the Napoleonic Wars raged on. Ferdinand eventually regained the throne and Murat was executed.

The Rogers’ new boarder, Benedetto Sangiovanni, had served under Joseph Bonaparte, then under Joachim Murat. In 1819, he became a knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George.

After Murat lost power, the new government put a price on Sangiovanni’s head. He remained in hiding for three years.

At one time he had a narrow escape from one of the friars. As he tried to approach, Benedetto told him “If you come any nearer I will shoot you.” The Priest said, “Oh my son, I want to do you good. I want to give you good council and bless you.” He kept coming, so [Sangiovanni] shot him. Upon examining him, he found a stiletto in his sleeve.

Sangiovanni eventually escaped Naples, going first to America, and then to London. He was heavily involved with the Italian refugee community, and became a distinguished sculptor.

Sangiovanni went to France to help Don Carlos of Spain and Achille Murat, the son of Joachim Murat and Caroline Bonaparte, regain power in Naples, but the plot failed and he fled France. Achille Murat left Europe, inviting Sangiovanni to join him in Florida, where he would provide him with land.

Sangiovanni landed in New York on his way to Florida and secured lodgings with the Rogers family. While there, he received a stream of distinguished visitors including Joseph Bonaparte.

When 52-year old Benedetto Sangiovanni asked for 20-year-old Susanna Rogers’ hand in marriage, her father was very honored and talked her into accepting the proposal. Almost immediately Susanna left her close and affectionate family to go with her new husband to Florida to live with Achille Murat and his wife, Catherine Willis Gray, a great-grandniece of George Washington.

The Sangiovannis quickly realized the prospects in Florida were limited and moved to London, where Benedetto kept up his revolutionary activities and his career as a sculptor.

Benedetto and Susanna stayed with the Gabriele and Frances Rossetti family until they found lodgings. One of the children in the family, poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, described Sangiovanni in his biography as a close family friend, a tall, gaunt man, very intelligent, and “who had, I believe, ‘knifed’ somebody in early youth.”

In 1835, Benedetto and Susanna had a son, Guglielmo Giosue Rossetti Sangiovanni, later known in America as “Sanjo.”

From here Dante Rossetti will tell part of the story:

Sangiovanni, as a husband, was not unkind in his way, but had all the jealousy (perfectly gratuitous in this instance) and the dominance of a Southern Italian; and his wife was almost a prisoner in her dingy tenement… My mother, with some of us children [including Christina Rossetti], often looked in upon her solitude, and held her in deserved esteem. After some years she came to understand (I know not how) that Sangiovanni was already a married man, having a wife still living in Italy. This was, I suppose, true; and not less true that Sangiovanni had heard nothing of his first wife for many years, and had genuinely believed her to be no more. About the same time our Mrs. Sangiovanni got to know something about the Mormons; so one day she vanished with her son to Mormonland, and was never again traced… Sangiovanni, after much agitated inquiry, resumed his ordinary work [sculpting], and he died at Brighton in 1853.

While briefly in Liverpool, Susanna reportedly had a dream of a man on a street corner with an open book who told her about a key she was supposed to use to make a journey.

When she met Wilford Woodruff and Heber C. Kimball in London in 1840, she recognized Kimball as the man in her dream. The next month, Parley P. Pratt arrived in London with a letter for Susanna from her parents, who had met the missionaries in New York and joined the church.

Kimball and Woodruff visited regularly with the Sangiovannis, and although Benedetto remained opposed to his wife’s baptism, she managed to be baptized without his knowledge, and had her son baptized.

Susanna’s family encouraged her to return to America, including her brother, who wrote:

Sister, farewell, but not forever.
Bound with the cords of grace
Time’s rolling stream will bring thee over
To Zion’s glorious resting place.

Susanna continued to have regular contact with Wilford Woodruff and the members of the church as often as she was able. Meanwhile, Sangiovanni suffered poor health and became more abusive. The family story mentions that one day Sangiovanni left his keys on the table as he left the house. Susanna recognized them as the keys from her dream and immediately took them, and entered a door that Sangiovanni always kept locked. It led to a stairway, and in the stairway, she found a chest containing papers and money and gold coins. She took several coins and immediately packed her belongings and left the house and, with assistance of the missionaries and her friend Mary Ann Mitchell, made arrangements to travel with her son to America.

Susanna ended up in St. Louis. She had no way of finding her family, since the Saints had left Nauvoo and spread throughout the surrounding area. While in St. Louis, she met a member of the church, William Pickett, a close associate of Almon Babbit, and the husband of Agnes Moulton Coolbrith Smith, the widow of Don Carlos Smith. Pickett asked Susanna to become his second wife, and they were married, but when she became pregnant, he made arrangements to send her and her son Sanjo to Winter Quarters.

When Susanna arrived there, she found that the church did not recognize the plural marriage, and church leaders annulled the so-called marriage. Her son Horatio Pickett was born in a dugout near Winter Quarters.

William and Agnes Pickett and their children left for Utah and then California, where William eventually died in the gold fields and Agnes’s daughter from her first marriage, Ina Coolbrith, previously Josephine Smith, became a notable figure in the early California literary community.

At this point, Susanna found her Rogers family. She lived with a sister for a while, and went west with the Saints in 1852. She worked as a schoolteacher until she married widower James Keate in 1856. The Keates accepted a mission call to Southern Utah and shared in all the privations of early St. George. According to notes in the family history, James lived with his third wife, Jacobine, and Susanna continued to teach school and adopted a Paiute daughter, Cora, for company.

Susanna taught school in St. George and lived a long and useful life, doing temple work, and spending her later years surrounded by her son Horatio’s large family. Her son Sanjo served a mission in Italy and ended his days as caretaker of the Deseret Museum in Salt Lake City.

When the women of St. George assembled in their new temple in 1877, the temple president, Wilford Woodruff, was a friend of Susanna’s since the day that she met him and Heber C. Kimball on a street corner in London. And when the temple work was done for George Washington’s family, Susanna did the endowment for Ann Fairfax Washington Lee, the wife of George Washington’s beloved half-brother, a woman who had also lived an eventful, difficult life.

(See listing in Topical Guide for earlier entries in this series.)



  1. What an adventuresome, crazy life and marital history! Thanks for sharing this fascinating woman’s story.

    Comment by anita — December 12, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  2. If I didn’t know you, Amy, I’d wonder if you had made this whole thing up, trying to see how far you could push it before I questioned the reality! What a tale! (And what a wonderful photograph, too.)

    Although Sanjo’s name isn’t mentioned in the post I did about Josephine de la Harpe Ursenbach, my source materials for that show that Josephine’s son Joseph worked for a time gathering specimens for the Deseret Museum under Sanjo’s direction, and I have a letter showing that George Q. Cannon met Sanjo in Liverpool on Sanjo’s way to the Italian missionfield. (All that’s neither here nor there; it just shows how interconnected history always is.)

    Great post!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 12, 2011 @ 8:46 am

  3. That was my approximate reaction when I first read her story, Ardis. (Can this be true??) It is, though, and if anyone has a need for references, I’d be happy to provide them. : )

    There’s so much more to the story — this is just a brief overview. The best place to read a more comprehensive treatment is Jane Rae Fuller Topham’s enthralling biography of Susanna, In Search of Living Water. Mrs. Topham has kindly provided the biography online, and it was the second and most valuable of a very long list of sources for this post.

    Comment by Amy T — December 12, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  4. These are remarkable stories. I think there is a certain irony that she was a essentially a second wife in two marriages that came apart, and that she was willing to enter into the second one despite the first situation, after all that she was steady in her faith.

    Comment by Dovie — December 12, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  5. What a fscinating life story. Thank you for this history Amy and Ardis–my favorite reading today.

    Comment by Bessie — December 12, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  6. Amy,
    A wonderful and complex story of interconnections. Ardis reminds me that there are even more linkages involving Susanna Sangiovanni, Mormonism, and Utah.

    While staying with the Rossetti family in London, Susanna and her “husband” Benedetto may well have met Henrietta Polydore and her daughter of the same name, who was cousin to the brilliant young Rossetti children, Dante Gabriele Rossetti (poet and artist) and his sister, Christine Rosetti (who would become the most famous woman poet in England at that time). At about this time Henrietta Sr. converted to Mormonism, took her daughter (Henrietta Jr.) out of a Catholic boarding school, left her lawyer husband Henry Polydore, and fled to the U.S. with little Henrietta and her sister Jane Mayer, who had become the third wife of Elder Samuel W. Richards, a prominent leader in the LDS British Mission on several occasions. (Just what the connection was between Susanna, the Rossettis, Mormonism, and the Polydores’ flight to Utah is murky but worthy of someone’s exploration.)

    Early in 1858 the famous Mormon apostate John Hyde, Jr. (then in New Orleans) became aware that the two Henrietta Polydores were in the U.S., with Henrietta Jr, in Salt Lake City. Hyde tipped off Henry Polydore, then living in Gloucestershire. Henry, realizing that his daughter was twelve years of age and possibly a candidate for plural marriage, pleaded with the British Foreign Secretary to use his influence to retrieve little Henrietta from the Samuel W. Richards household, where she was living with her aunt (Jane Mayer) under an alias.

    The British Foreign Secretary wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Lewis Cass, who handed off to U.S. Secretary of War John B. Floyd, who ordered Brevet Brig. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston (at Camp Floyd, U.T.) to retrieve Henrietta and return her to her father in England. Johnston turned the affair over to Washington Jay McCormick, the U.S. Attorney in Utah, who served a writ of habeus corpus for Henrietta on Samuel W. Richards and Jane Mayer.

    During the summer of 1858 a trial was held in SLC to adjudicate the matter, Judge Delana R. Eckels ruled that Henrietta must be repatriated, and during the fall of 1858 Eckels, Henrietta, and Jane Mayer set out across the mountains and plains for the Atlantic Coast. At Fort Leavenworth, Eckels wrote to Secretary of State Cass to inform him of their eastbound progress and to say that his party had been shadowed for 500 miles by Mormon “Danites.”

    In St. Louis, Henrietta’s mother came up from Mississippi (where she had been running a resort hotel) for a brief reunion, and then little Henrietta and Jane continued on to Washington where Henrietta Jr. entered the care of Lord Napier, the British Minister to Washington, who then sent her in the care of a Royal Courier to New York, where she boarded a trans-Atlantic British mail packet. In December 1858 Henrietta Jr. arrived in Liverpool and was restored to her mother and resumed her close relationship with her famous Rossetti cousins. Henrietta crossed back to the U.S. several times subsequently to visit her mother (then a neighbor and pen pal of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis) , but not to Utah as far as I know. In the 1870s she died in Mississippi of TB. Whew!

    If the name Henrietta Polydore or Jane Mayer enters Susanna’s papers, I’d welcome the news.

    For anyone interested in more of this saga’s details, see my article “Epilogue to the Utah War: Impact and Legacy” “Journal of Mormon History” 29 (Fall 2003): 186-248, which also includes Dante Gabriele Rossetti’s sketch of Henrietta Jr., which is now in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and can be viewed online by Googling the names of Henrietta Polydore and Dante Rossetti.

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — December 12, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  7. Wow! That’s quite an addition to the story. There are no references to Polydore or Mayer in the materials I’ve seen. I did not personally read through the Susanna R. Keate Collection at the Church History Library, but from the catalog description, it would be a long shot to find mentions of either woman there, and I haven’t seen any suggestion that Susanna’s descendants hold additional documents.

    Comment by Amy T — December 12, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  8. In my #6 I should have said that Henrietta was restored to her father (not mother) after landing in Liverpool in December 1858. (This was a test to see if you all were still awake…heh, heh.)

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — December 12, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  9. What an absolutely astonishing life story, and I love the photo! Thanks so much, Amy and Ardis, for sharing it on Keepa.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — December 12, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  10. Amy, you mention Don Carlos Smith’s widow, Agnes. In the same vein as Susanna’s impressive string of names, what would have been Agnes’s full chain of names at the time she died?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 12, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

  11. These complicated family stories remind me of the words of my high school trigonometry teacher–“If you want to understand the problem, draw a pitcher [sic].”

    One of Sanjo’s daughters married my grandfather’s cousin, but, as far as I know, they had no children. So I’m afraid I don’t have any third cousins out there to tell any more family secrets.

    Comment by Mark B. — December 12, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

  12. I’ve always thought the story of the temple work for eminent people interesting. Thanks for posting. I think this part, “and adopted an Indian daughter, Cora, for company.” is indicative of the times.

    Comment by M Miles — December 12, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  13. Wow. Even though the story is complex, your writing kept it interesting. Great job. It is even better cause it is true.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — December 12, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  14. Thanks, all, for the comments.

    10 — Oh my, Ardis. Agnes Moulton Coolbrith was first married to Don Carlos Smith. After he died, as mentioned in the Joseph Smith Papers Project (Church Historian’s Press), she was a possible plural wife of Joseph Smith. Agnes is listed in other sources as having been married to George A. Smith after Joseph Smith’s death, and before she married William Pickett. So, if all these reports are true, she could be listed in the history as Agnes Moulton Coolbrith Smith Smith Smith Pickett. (Aren’t you glad you asked?)

    11 — No children are mentioned in New Family Search, but they are shown as being buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake, so it’s possible that they had children not listed in the records of the church.

    12 — The Topham biography quotes Heartthrobs of the West with more about Cora [also Corra]:

    “In 1862 James Keate and his good wife Susanna Rogers Keate came to the aid of Corra, a little Indian girl of the local tribes, whose life was threatened by other Indians. Corra was taken into the family as one of their own.

    “…soon after Corra’s adoption, Auntie Keate moved into an adobe home near the main Keate residence. Auntie Keate being one of the early-day schoolteachers of the Dixie locality, Corra was taught to read, write, and do figures. Under her instruction, Corra became a winsome little girl, and was known for being one of the neatest little housekeepers in the town….”

    Here’s a picture of Cora. The caption specifies that she was Piute. She married, first, Rodham Williams, and next, Albert Hartman. She didn’t have any of her own children, and she died in her mid-30s.

    Comment by Amy T — December 12, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  15. Bill, I think you are aware of my interest in Jane Mayer. My 2nd Great Grandmother was the first wife of Samuel W. Richards. The Mayer family sailed to America in January 1857 and settled on a cotton farm in Arkansas but moved back and forth between there and New Orleans. Jane’s mother wrote urging Jane to come visit them. Jane’s son, Henry, was born 29 May 1857, after which they traveled to see her family.

    She was only supposed to stay a short time, but she kept writing to Samuel asking to stay longer. Her letters to Samuel were from Arkansas in 1859 and 1860. Then, because of the civil war, she was unable to leave. Her little boy died in New Orleans, May 1861, while living in Henrietta’s house. Jane returned to SLC before 1864.

    If Mary accompanied Henrietta Jr to Washington in the fall of 1858, she would have had baby Henry with her.

    I would love to hear from you more about this.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — December 13, 2011 @ 12:35 am

  16. Amy, I am totally impressed with your research and how you bring these women to life. Thank you for working on this project and sharing the information with us.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — December 13, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  17. Amy fantastic job with all of those details! What a crazy story – very interesting about about her second marriage not being recognized as a proper plural marriage.

    Comment by Robin — December 13, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  18. BYU history professor Brian Q. Cannon briefly mentions Susanna’s adopted daughter Cora in the larger context of Indian adoption in his essay, “Adopted or Indentured, 1850-1870: Native Children in Mormon Households,” Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah’s Mormon Pioneers, ed. Ronald W. Walker and Doris R. Dant (BYU Studies-Joseph Fielding Smith Institute, 1999), 340-350. [Page numbers are rough guesses]

    Amy, very interesting information on Susanna MRSP Keate beyond that which is contained in my mother’s biography of her. And it was cool to see a photo of Cora. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Dale Topham — December 13, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

  19. How nice to hear from you, Dale, and thanks for the additional citation. Susanna’s history was particularly enjoyable to work on, and it would be so interesting to have her as an ancestor.

    Comment by Amy T — December 14, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  20. For some reason I’ve been thinking about M Miles’s comment — something about how she phrased it — about the baptism of the eminent people. I’m currently reading a history of genealogy and temple work in the church, Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah (James Allen, Jessie Embry, Kahlile Mehr). Church members doing baptisms for prominent people rather than their families is a long-standing problem for the church.

    For example, in 1944, Garrett Myers, the director of the Society (then in charge of clearing names for temple work) mentioned a number of problems that were causing a huge backlog in name approvals. The problems included members doing temple work for celebrities, “even though such indiscriminate name gathering was strictly against the rules of the Society.” He “was particularly displeased with those who had what he called a ‘Royalty Complex’ and who delighted in trying to ‘effect a connection with and to perform temple work for every king and potentate of record.'”

    The purpose of telling these stories here is not, in any way, to support the practice of doing temple work for celebrities. (Perhaps I should put that as a disclaimer to each post!) Temple work should be done for our families and loved ones.

    The purpose of telling these stories is to share the experience of the women who were among those who did the first ever endowments for the dead. Wilford Woodruff’s vision is an interesting way to frame the stories, and we get some sense of the people who were important to him, such as the Washington family and the other eminent men and women. Some of his choices of people to have their temple work done are fascinating. (Charlotte Corday, anyone?)

    Also, this experience was a very important part of the development of Wilford Woodruff’s changes to how we understand temple work, a process which included the ending of the practice of adoption and the founding of the Genealogical Society of Utah, now FamilySearch.

    Woodruff’s experience should not be ignored or be a matter of stress for people, or be made into a heroic part of our theology or made into a pattern for temple work, even, since it was a single but fascinating point in the development of the principles and practices vital to our belief “that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life.” (FamilySearch.)

    Comment by Amy T — December 14, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  21. The post does say (and perhaps I’ll look at the biography to find out) but was Susanna’s father the David Rogers that was an early NYC convert, a chairmaker and was also involved in publishing one of the early hymnals?

    Comment by Kent Larsen — December 18, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  22. Yep, it sure is. Susanna is the daughter of David Rogers.

    Comment by Kent Larsen — December 18, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  23. Kent — I didn’t look extensively at Susanna’s father David White Rogers. He and his children have rather complicated histories. David Rogers painted one or more life portraits of Joseph Smith (portraits unsigned, artist identified by Ron Romig and Glen Leonard). Rogers may have been affiliated with James Strang for awhile, but he moved to Utah in 1852 and ended up in Provo, Utah, and seems to have been a member of the church there.

    Comment by Amy T — December 18, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  24. Sanjo’s daughter s did have children . I traced mildred to california. She was an artist and had a son. Also I think william picket died in Portland oregon and is buried there.

    Comment by Deb — December 19, 2011 @ 1:40 am

  25. Thank you for this information. I have a copy of “In search of living Water” and find Susanna’s story extremely interesting. My families line comes thru Horatio.

    Comment by Carl — June 4, 2012 @ 1:00 am

  26. Susanna’s fathers history is also quite interesting. He lived to nearly 93 years old. He converted to the LDS church when he was 50 years old. Here is a little information that I found online….

    [Carl, due to the length of the posted material — 43 pages! — and a desire to avoid copyright infringement, I am replacing the text of your comment with a link to the source where this article can be read. Thanks for understanding. — AEP]

    David White and Martha Collins Rogers

    Comment by Carl — July 16, 2012 @ 1:53 am

  27. Thanks, Deb and Carl. This family has a rich cultural history with strong connections to poetry and art.

    Comment by Amy T — July 16, 2012 @ 6:25 am

  28. The biographical sketch of David White Rogers that Carl found on was written by Jane Topham, the same person who wrote the biography of Susanna.

    Comment by Dale Topham — July 16, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  29. Thanks, Dale. I was glad Carl pointed us toward that sketch, and I’m just as happy to acknowledge the author.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 16, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  30. I spoke to my mom (Jane Topham). She is quite surprised to learn that the David White Rogers piece is available on and has no idea how it got there. Strange, too, that it has no author listed. She has been distributing the bio among relatives for some years. There’s no copyright and it was never published.

    Comment by Dale Topham — July 16, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  31. The lack of citations when collecting information and lack of respect for copyright is a pervasive problem in the genealogical community.

    Under current United States copyright law, a document such as the history by Mrs Topham has a copyright solely by the virtue of the fact that she created it. There is no legal requirement to register the copyright.

    However, controlling the distribution of a document in this digital age is another thing altogether. If you have followed Google’s legal troubles in regards to copyright, it is a problem of monumental proportions, perhaps similar to the range wars during the settling of the frontier West.

    Best wishes with all of that, Dale. I sure appreciate all the work your mother has done in sharing the history of this amazing family.

    Comment by Amy T — July 17, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  32. Very fascinating story indeed. Horatio Pickett is my Great Great Grandfather. Susanna was a very strong woman, probably where I get my strong will from. Thank you for the post I love to find what stories others write about my ancestors, and some are just that stories.

    Comment by EPickett — December 5, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  33. Er, thanks EPickett. (I think.)

    I don’t have time right now to look through this post and comments, but as I’ve said at various times, if anyone has any specific questions about any of the details of any of these biographical stories, please ask. I don’t normally include footnotes since it would be overkill for the blogging format, but I do have all the information documented and am willing to share citations if asked.

    Comment by Amy T — December 5, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  34. Thank you for this post. I stumbled upon it quite by accident. Another of my ancestors was mentioned in a story about yet another woman. While there I browsed the list, and found the story of Susanna. I have the photo above in my living room right now. Her life reads like a fairy tale. I remember hearing of her whisking away with her son and an apron filled with enough gold and jewels to secure passage to America. Another of her ancestors has a fascinating, but sad story. The Reverend John Rogers did much of the work, and in fact finished the translation of the Bible into the English language after the death of William Tyndale. Their translation is also known as the Matthew Bible. John Rogers was the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England (Bloody Mary) As he was being tried and burned at the stake, he stated that a boy behind a plow would know more about the Bible than the Preachers because of this translation into English. Prophetic, don’t you think?

    Comment by Julianne G. Spendlove — November 2, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

  35. I am a great, great, great granddaughter of Susannah’s. Susannah had Horatio who had Ann (who asked my mom to spell my “Anne” with the e), Ann had Wendel who had Clair who had me. I am so glad for the sharing of this fascinating history. I was raised in and around St. George, and have lived close to the same area in Salt Lake where Susannah lived. I feel so blessed to have her remarkable history to reflect on. Thank you Jane Topham and Amy T. Thank you!

    Comment by Julie Anne Hall Orme — November 5, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  36. In a discussion about the Southern Indian Mission over at JI today, Tod R provided a link to a recently-published thesis on the topic of Indian children in Mormon homes. It mentions Cora Keate, and provides a lot of context and data about the experience of Indian adoptions in those days. Here’s a link:

    Michael K. Bennion, “Captivity, Adoption, Marriage and Identity: Native American Children in Mormon Homes, 1847-1900,” Thesis, UNLV, 2012.

    Comment by Amy T — February 7, 2014 @ 10:31 am

  37. Thanks for the info and the link, Amy!

    Comment by Dale Topham — February 7, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

  38. Here’s a poem that Kent Larsen just posted on another blog. It was written by Susanna’s brother, Charles, who also wrote the little poem above, “Sister, farewell, but not forever…”

    Charles Addison Rogers: What will they do, let history’s page

    Comment by Amy T — May 18, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

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