Sunday, December 23, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act Two Scene Seven: Red Buttes
This scene talks about the effects of the last crossing.  It presents Robert McBride singing "Oh Zion, When I think of Thee."  His sons record he sang this song the day before he passed away.  I discovered after we did the play that this song was set to the music of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief."
The entire song goes like this, although there is no record if Robert sang the entire song.

O Zion, when I think of thee,
I long for pinions like the dove,
And mourn to think that I should be
So distant from the land I love.

A captive exile, far from home.
For Zion's sacred walls I sigh,
With ransomed kindred there to come,
And see Messiah eye to eye.
While here, I walk on hostile ground;
The few that I can call my friends
Are, like myself, in fetters bound,
And weariness our steps attends.

But yet we hope to see the day
When Zion's children shall return,
When all our grief shall flee away,
And we again no more shall mourn.

The thought that such a day will come,
Makes e'en the exile's portion sweet;
Though now we wander far from home,
In Zion soon we all shall meet.
Our family lore says that Betsy froze her feet at the last crossing, which lead to her death a short time later. The removal of flesh with a knife and without anesthesia would have been common.  Ephraim Hanks later documented performing many such surgeries.

Your Heart Will Burn, Act Two Sene Eight

This is a historical reenactment of the Martin Handcart Company.  In this scene the pioneers meet the advance party of rescuers sent from Salt Lake.  This relates the true story of Elizabeth Jackson being visited by her husband who had passed away more than a week before.  He reassured her that help would find them. 
The relationship between Thomas Bailey and Betsy is fictional as we do not have any of what family took in the girls after their father left the company.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act Two: Scene Five

This scene focuses on the struggle of William Ashton in deciding to leave the Martin Handcart Company.  Expecting provisions were not waiting for them, and several of the men left the company at Fort Laramie, joining the army.  William Ashton was among them.  His wife had passed away.  He left his three daughters in the care of others.  We don't know who the family was that provided for the girls.  In this presentation they are taken in by the Baileys.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Isaac Missionary Letter: 1879

IJW to family apr 3 1879
Lamerdale [I could not find this town with Google maps, perhaps Ainsdale] Lanchastershire ED Spr 3 1879
To my Dare famaley Wives and Children knowing that you Wood Like to hear from me i take this opetunety to Right to you hoping tht thes fue Lines Will find you all Well as it Leves me at this time; thank god for it[.]  my feet is a grate Deal Beter[.]  i have Been to Day to a toune Callad onsknk [Ormskirk] to see the sants[.]  But i honley found 1 famaly in that Large Citey[.]  i ham staying to Night With old Bro and sister Rapley Wich takes Water and she Washis my feet for me and she gives me all the harbe Beer Drink to that i Want and thay firnish me a bad to sleep in Whan i call to see tham and give me the Bast they have to heat When i Call on tham[.]  so you see that the Lord as given me a home in the Land of stranges[.]  i have got [page two] some very     kind frends in this Districk Wich Dow all thay Can for me but it is Not Lik Beene at home[.]  i have Been so bisey that it seems that i have Not Left you but 8 or 9 Days[.]  April 1 i Baptized 7 more in to the Church[.]  i start in the Morning to the toune of Limm[.] i have Been thaire once before[.]  i Expet to Baptize 3 more then and then go to Liverpool; stay 3 Days and then Come Back to Wigan my hade quartes[.]  i hope to Baptize 5 more on my Way Back so you see that the Lord is Blesing my Lavers[.]  i have taken a Little Deferent way to What the other Elder as in the past i have visited some of the people in thayre houses and found it to bee very good so far[.]  but Whan they old man find it hout he may make a [page three] Nayse[.]  but that make no Difrence[.]  When the Birds are Caut in the Lord trap i Entend to [do] all i can in This Way[.]  Whan i Cant do Eney more in the houses then i Expet to Cal on some of the Local Breathen and sisters and go in the streets and see What We Can Du thaire[.]  i Think that the Lord Will happen up the Way so that We shall have a good havest of soles this somer[.]  We have got 13 (6 in my lat leter, 7 this) all Ready this spring in the Wigan Districk sinc i Came[.]  i hope to have some Newses from home before Long[.]  it seems that you have for got me but i hope Not[.]  send my Leters to Liverpoole as thay knouse Whare I am Most of the time and thay Will send them to me[.]  Bisness is getting Worse Evry Day[.]  it seems that peepel Will all most starve to [page four] this somer[.]  thousands of men are out of Work and Du not knowe What to Do to feed thare famaley on[.]  this Whick [wee] 2 man has hung them selve; 1 Last Whick because that thaire Children was cr[y]ing for Bread and thay had none to give them so thay tooke this Way to get out of truble[.]  i feel more thankful Evrey Day that i live that i Left this contry When i Did and that my Wives and Dear Children is Not hear now to see and feel What i Now Do[.]  i hope that you and all of the sants in South Jorden Will Make goo youse [use] of your time this yeare and Rase all you Can and Whan you have got a good harvist take god Care of it[.]  i think that With What i have seen it Will Not be Long till you [page five] Whantit Worse that you Do Now[.]  i Want you john to pay all our Dets and then keep out of Det[.]  Do all you Can for your mother and Sophia and the Children[.]  tell Willey to bee a good boy till I Come home and Joseph & Chales to bee god and Eniley & Mintez and Hannah to not for get What I told them before I left[.]  i Dow Not think that I shall bee hable to send them Eny thing[.]  if I Can get a Long with out Calling on you i shall Do[.]  Well i may have to send home for some More Closes but i shall Do s the Breathen in Liverpool offices tells me to Do[.]  if the people Can give the Elders some think to heat thay Will Do Well[.]  some of the Breathen have got help from home all Ready but i Du Not [page six] [intend] to call on you till i ham forst [forced] to Do[.]  i had a Little Money Left When I got to England but it took me some in fiting up so that I Cood go a round Respctble[.]  you Can not go heare as you Can at home[.]  We have got to Look lick gentlemen Whether We are or Not or We Can not get in With the peeple to talk to them!  Sen me Word how the sheep as Dun this Winter and how Maney Lams you have got and the i Will right to you and tell you Wht to Do about giving up sheep: tell all the fokes to Right to me[.]  give my love to all[.]  i must Cnclud With my love you and pray god to Bles you all[.]  your husband and father[,[ I J Wardle
Tell Bro Wit Bills to send Me small pees [piece] temple Rock in it Neus paper and the Mountian Wable and i be much bliged[.]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Monday, November 26, 2012

Isaac's Missionary Letter; March 1879

IJW to home from Wigan march 11 1879
Wigan March 22 1879 England
been Caled away on the 9 Not having time to send my leter before going Whay[.]  i thought i Wood thake a fue more Minits before leving again[.]  i started for 2 visit among the sants but on starting i got a leter from my president in forming me to met him on the 13 of this Month at Upton Branch so i Was away 2 Days[.]  it is 10 clock[.]  i start at 11 on visiting thrue Branch to get my Report Ready for the president to see What i have been doing for 8 Dayes[.]  i Du Not knowe Whan i shall have the time to Right againe as i Canot Right in Evry plase that i go to[.]  i expet to bee away 8 to 14 Dayes[.]  i ham Well thank god in helth and sprit But Wood like to hear from home[.]  give my Love to all the Brothen[.]  i expet som of tham think i hught [ought] to Right to them But i have Not had time as yet so i shud Bee glad if they Wood Wate a little Wile[.]  i hope to have More time in 1 or 2 yeares from Now But tell them to Bee kind enug to Whrite to me[.] [page 2]i thought i shud Like to say one Word to my family in Regard to our tampral Walfare Before Closing[.]  I have not thought of tmprel things much since I left hom Which suprises my self ant Been Much of a spritel Minded Man befor Leving home)  i Wold like to have my son john send me Word how the sheep is getting along-and the horses of panados on the Winmucks and hou the Boys are Duing With the sheep and hou he is getting on in Every Respet with the family Walfare hoping that all is Whrite[.]  Du no fret about me as god is With me by is sprit and Will take Care of me and you all so if you Do What is Wright) if you Can get you Liknes taken send them to Me[.]  Marthannehave your and your Children taken gogather and Sophia and here Chjildren with William in with yours John a lone)  this Will give you some hiday [idea] of Wat i Want[.]  i must conclude With my Best Respet to you all[.]  i Remain fath Isaac Wardle[.]  good by for the present[.]

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Report: The Mormon Experience

Book Report The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton  Alfred A. Knopf  new York 1979
This book, published in 1979, provides a look at the history of the Church, as well as a look at the present day church in 1979.  I wanted to read this book to take a look at Mormon History after they had arrived at Salt Lake, although this book provided helpful insight into the earlier church and moves; and the reason for the moves—from New York to Kirtland and Missouri, and then to Nauvoo, and finally to Utah.  It has a very good section on the church in England, and the immigration of the Saints from England.  One thing I had neglected was the influence of the Book of Mormon in the conversion experience.  Membership in the church was hard; I don’t think many people jointed the Church for help with immigration or economic reasons.  There was a different motivation.
However I wanted to get some idea of the economic system, strengths and weaknesses, after they arrived in the valleys of the mountains.  The economic system of the Mormons had its foundation in agriculture.  This was hard work, but very doable.  The field of mining for the most part, was left to “gentiles.”  However the Mormons were active in developing railroads as well as telegraph offices across the state and West.  There were attempts to develop the iron business which at first were unsuccessful. 
This book deals extensively with the relationship between the church and the government.  This includes the Utah War, as well as the Edmunds Act and the Edmunds Tucker Act and their effect on the Mormon way of life, as well as the financial stability of the Church.
The last section did not proof very helpful to my study, as it dealt with modern and current issues, including people in the sciences and the arts.

My purpose in reading this book was to help in getting a feel for the environment Isaac raised his family.  There is a poem I found interesting.  It does not have a title or author: 
We plow, we sow and irrigate,
To raise the golden grain;
And diligently labor
To independence gain;
Some haul the wood from canyons wile,
Some tend the flocks and herd,
And all our moments are beguiled
By industry’s reward.
My Valley Home, my Mountain Home,
The dear and peaceful Valley.  (Arrington and Bitton p 142)

I see Isaac in several lines of this poem.  I understand he helped establish the road up Bingham Canyon to get wood.  He also grazed sheep over a large expanse of the South Salt Lake Valley.  At the reunion someone mentioned that the grazing area extended through three Mormon Temples, Jordan River, Draper and Oquirrh.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act Two Scene Four, Near Chimney Rock

In this scene, we start with the pioneers talking about the Indian attack on the A.W. Babbitt wagon train in which a baby was killed as well as a couple teamsters.  The baby's mother, who had been part of the handcart company, but left with the wagons and a faster ride at Florence, was kidnapped by the Indians.  We see Peter teasing Mary Ashton.  This teasing of course is fictional.  Also is the relationship between the Baileys and the Ashtons.  There is no way of knowing what the relationships were.  However we do know Isaac was affiliated with the Baileys.

In this scene I make my most serious error historically in that I have Langley walking and helping with the handcart.  Langley was blessed that we would survive to Salt Lake.  Langley either road in Isaac's handcart, or after meeting the rescuers, road in a wagon, all the way to Salt Lake.  He weighed less than 90 pounds upon arriving, but he did survive, and slowly regained his strength.

Another thing that happened this date was the death of Sarah Ashton, the two-week old baby.  Her death is recorded in John Jaques journal and it indicates that she was buried near the baby from the Babbitt Company.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn act 2 Scene 3, Florence, Nebraska

This scene starts with a meeting the Franklin Richards held with the Saints in Florence.  This is an actual meeting (at least two meetings were held) in which the Saints decided to continue onward as Florence represented the last opportunity to winter in the East.  The song "Cheer Saints Cheer" is an original song from this era and is in the book "Handcarts to Zion." 
This scene also presents the blessing which Langley received at the hands of Franklin Richards.  In one of Langley's histories he mentions that he was unconscious during this blessing.  His mother had originally petitioned Brother Toone, leader of a group of 100 for the blessing.  He had responded that he couldn't cure a dead man.  Elder Richard's blessing promised him that he would reach Salt Lake City alive.  
This scene also presents the death of Sister Sara Ashton.  She passed away in child birth at Cutler's park a day after leaving Florence.  Although not actually Florence, it is a community which had been inhabited during the winter of 1846 by the Saints that had fled Nauvoo.
One of my favorite parts in the musical is presented: The Campfire Dance.  This was choreographed by Tamara McGhie.  Music is played by Joe Eliason and Elaine Morris.  Mark (my son) and I wrote this music.  I wrote the violin line (melody) and Mark everything else.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act Two Scene Two

This scene shows the handcart company moving across Iowa.  The children sing "The Handcart Song."  The pioneers actually sang this song along the journey.  Many documented that the sang it the first day as the left Iowa City.  This shows Langley getting sick and being compelled to ride in the handcart.  Langley actually became sick before they arrived at Florence, Nebraska.  It also shows the child birth of Sarah Ann Ashton, the second daughter born to William and Sarah Ashton with this name.  Sarah Anne was actually born later, a day after they were leaving Florence.  This is documented by Patience Loader, whose sister had a baby the same day.  This would have been at Cutler's Park.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Isaac Letter, March 8, 1879 from Wigan, England

This letter talks about Isaac's being called to Wigan as a branch president and his reaction to this.  His experiences visiting the Saints.  Just before ending he has advise for young people who are thinking of going on a mission.

IJW to family from Wigan
In corner, Wardle good by aman
Wigan March 8 1879 Lanatier shire [Lancashire] England
My had [head] jurtes [hurts] at present[.]  Dear Wives and Children it is With plusher that I have This optunety to Right to you[,] hoping thisse fue Lines Will find you Well as it Leves me at this time With the Exepten of a very Bad Cold Wich I have had for 3 Whicks[.] But I hope as Warme Whather is Coming i shall be Beter soone.  i have Not herd from you on home sinc i left[.]  But i hope hear Before Long[.]  i Did Not knowe Whare to tell you to Wright to me till Nowe so i Excuse you[.]  i have been apointed to the Leverpool confrenc to travel unger the Directen of Elder D. Branten[.]  i Was at the half year conference Last Shunday With the Church athroities [authorities] in England and We had a good time[.]  the [page two] sprit of god Was With us[.]  Both speker and hearer felt that god Blesed is servents but i was at this time very Weake to stand up to speek to the Congration[;] But god strantened [strengthened] me for the task[.]  i ashure you i feel my Weaknes to full file the position i Now ocpie[occupy][.]  at the Meeting During the Day it Was Mothined [motioned] that i Bee presidnt of the Wigan Branc and that i travel thrue all the Branchis from Wigan to Liverpoole[,] a Distence of 70=80 Miles and strenten the santes all Lay in my power[.]  i have taken it up on my self to go and see all the santes famelys as a teacher and see Wat I Can Due to strengthen them Wich thay Need very Much[.]  I have visited all this Whick[;] found Maney old people that joined the Curch [page three] 35 years a go[.]  i find a good Deal of Difrence hear in visiting to What i Dide at home visiting[.]  in som plases Whare the Man is in the Church and the Whoman out; some times Whoman in and the Man out With Children Thaken both sids of the qusten[.]  this position i Now ocpoie [occupy] is one that Requires both Wisdam and the sprit of god to Due it fatherly and Du my Dutey[.]  i told Brother Wit Bills that the Expenc  i had got Befor i left home Wood bee of some Worth to me Not Thinking that i shud Need it so soone[.]  But I hop that I have got your prayers and that the Bishop and Couneil and the teachers Will pray for me in their presthod Meatings[.]  i knowe that i Need them very Muck[.]  No one Nose Evethy thing about Wat We have to put up With Excpt he has had [page four]Exprence [experience] in this position[.]  if i am Crectly [correctly] in formed it is Much Defrent to What is Was 10 to 15 years a go[.]  i have Been to 13 Meetings sinc i left home[.]  i Espet to visit all thrue the Districk and then I Will Right to you again[.]  good Night[.]  Cabed away it is all right[.]  Mondy Morning 10 oclock march the 10 1879[.]  i Now have time to Right afue Minits More to you Expeting that to be Callad a Way Evry Minit so you see i have Not Much time to Call my honen [own][.]  as yet i Du Not knowe When I shall have in travling from house to house[.]  i  Du Not get Chance to Reed and Right so you Must not think it hard of me: i took my position as president of the Wigan Branch yeastady[;] Was well Receved by the santes[.]  [page five] i ashure you i Thaught that god had Chooses the Wjeakes [weakest] of all Man to Lead the people[.]  i knowe that i have not had the Esperence as some as had[;] But god as Called me to this position thrue is servents: and i trust in him a Lone to help me to Du my Duty as a Man of god[.]  o Begin to Relise What your Bishop Wit Bills as to put up With in part: But he is at home at Night Whear he Can bee With the Lov one at home[.]  i have not the privlig[.]  i have to trust in the Lord and the kindness of is people for What I heate and Drink and my Bead[.]  I think Wat a privleg it is for you to Enjoye the Comforts of Life so library bestoed on you and the sants at home[.]  my hart yarnes Whith in me Whan i see my pore Brethen have to go to [page six] go to Whorke in the Morning With out the Comfet [comfort] of the Mortles [mortal] Body[,] Requires thay Work from 10 to 14 houres per Day for 75 cts to $1 and think thay are Duing Well[.]  This Wood be if thay had Work all the time[.]  but some gets from 2 to 3 per Whick at the most and thay think it Will bee Worst then What it is[.]  i have see men from holden Whaine[,] Bro Blacke and anone gasside Com from and thay say that men Cannot get Work at all With the ecption of a Day nou an then[.]  it is Not strand [stange] to see from 1 to 200 Men on the streets Conners standing Wating for som thing to turne up[.]  1 Man told me that he had travled 5 Whick to find Work and had not[.]  i  have bee accosted on the street by Whiming [women] hume [whom] i thought was in good Comfebele [page seven] Circumstaces[,] asking for som think to keep them and their Cildren from starving[.]  i have seen all that i Want to Do to satsfie me that god judgment as Bugan in the Nation of the Erth: and I Wood bee glad to get home again But my Mishin is Not filled yet and I due Not Want to Lave till god servents say it is a nuf: so my Dear family Du Not Wurey about me Eney more then What is Right and Natril[.]  i have got the same Cros to Ware as my Brethren on thie mishine and We think that god Will be With us in all that We Du if We fathley Du our Duty[.]  We think that god thrue is servents Dus manifest is poure and that he Will gather in the Lost sheep of Esrel [Israel] if We fathfuly Du our Duty But this the spirit of god and peracevend [perseverance] to accomplish this[.]  tell My yong Brethen [page eight] to get Ready for mishins for agrate many Will have to Come to preach the gospel to this and other Nations[.]  tell tham to Reed thine Bible so that When thay are Caled thay Can say som think in faver of god and is kingdom[.]  i thought i Read agood Deale but i find i No nothing to What i haut to No[.]  Let you Bishop Reed this and if he thinks it is Worth Reeding to the saint in Meating he Can Do so[.]  i give me and Bro Jasey Vinsent you praires[.]  i knowe that he Need them as Well as my self[.]  i Wood lick to see som one from south jorden if it Was But a small Endrigul like my self that had the sprit of god that We Cod in struct Each other in the Dis Charge of our Duties[.]  give my Love to all of my Breathen and sisters[.]  i start on 2 Whicko vist in a place [can’t tell] [,]  good by to you all[.]  my adres is at present No 42 Islington Liverpool[,] the same as you Read in the Deseret Newes[.]  I J Wardle

[This note is above page four] Tell my breathen that i shod be glad to hear from them Eny time[.]  i have Not had time to right to them as yat[.]  thay Must forgive Me[.]  so No more at present[,] from your husband and father[.]

Monday, October 22, 2012

Your Heat Will Burn: Act II scene 1

There is a lot going on in this video.  It starts with the entreacte presented by Joe Eliason and Elaine Morris.  It then quickly goes to a scene showing the activity in Iowa City, and concludes with the difficulty of the Saints reducing their load to 17 pounds each.  It was difficult to sell, when potential buyers knew it would just be left behind anyway. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act 1 Scene 8

This scene is where Elizabeth Ashton passes away.  I have discovered since we did the musical that her death was different, actually on board ship but after they had docked at Constitution Wharf, Boston. For more detail please see this previous post:
I like the funeral scene, the spirit dancing.  I believe spirits go on after death and try to portray this in this scene and other death scenes in the musical.  There is another historical error in this scene with the playing of Taps.  Taps was not written for another five years or more as it was written by General Dan Butterfield during the Civil War.  This is the scene.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Letter from Whitwick

The letter is not always in the correct order

Ijw to family
Whitick Lester shear England Feb 17 1878
Dear Wifes[,] it With love and Afacten that i set Doune to Right to you and my Dear Children hoping that this short later May find you in good halth as it leves me[,] Thank god[.]  i have viset the graves of my grandfather and is famley at the toune of my Birth and found some old frends that Was glad to see me and Mad me Welcome to shuch as thay to to heat [eat] and handed me The Recrd to find my ansesters Names thay told me that it Cost me 8 shilings and 6 penc[;] But after teling them that i Come 74:42 Miles to get this acount of my ansesters thay said that if i Come so many Miles for that thay Cood Do Watt thay had Dun With [page 2] out pay and thay told Me that i must stay and heat Diner With them and told me to Call any time that i Was that Way[.]  i visited all around the tound and found some old acquentes [acquaintances] glad to hear of my father and is famely and of salt Lake Citey and that i had travled so many Miles thay think i have more Exprnenc in travlin then all the pepel in the toune[.]  thay is lots of fokes that is 40 to 65 years old Never Been 20 Mills from hom yet thay go to Work for som body Eles from 60 to 75 cents per Day all the Which go hom on Satud Night With this little Money to support Thair family with Brad and Diner Closes [clothes] and the Luctries [luxuries] of Life then go to Church on shunday[;] But  [page three] No nomore [know no more] to Day about thing in the Eternel Worlds then thay Did when thay Was 10 years old[.]  1 man told me that Was hapy in that Was But Did Not no any thing about the futher[.]  the preacher Was the man to hume thay trusted for all knoleg about havenly Things[.]  no tratiges? For them sefes[.]  this is the Condition of all i have Talked to on faith.  i start in the morning to the Bige toune of Leister to my my unkell Isaac Wardle then to my field of laber[.]  I have rought [written] to Bro Budge at Livepool that i ham Noue ready for it[.]  i have Been visiting the saints and talking to them in Rauand to the kindem of god here on the Earth.  Ben to 5 Meeting[.]  spook to the people Both sant and siner Wich give Bery good attention to Wat i had to say to [page four] them[.]  i Was glad to Bee in the old meting house and to see the Brethen and sisters once more[;] But Not so glad to see them in the Distres Cirstamnce [circumstances][.] si  many of them having No more then $9:50 cts per Weake to Live Han if this is the Condisen of all the fokes in England i know Not Watt thay Will Du[.]  my hart brakes for them[.] i Expet that Most of the Elders Now in England Will have to send home for halpe[.]  this is Deprent to Watch[.]  thay must to Du save all all you Can for Me if i Due Not have help from home knot [know] not Wat i shall Due[.]  the Elders Will have to Call on the Wards thay com from if things Du Not Chang[.]  so you see that Wat We heard Before i left home is More than true[.]  tell Bis Wit Bills to Reed this to the sants so that thay can prepare to meet it if thay are called on so to Du[.]  [page five]  s i Du Not think i shall Whrite to you Again till i get to my feeld of Laber[.]  i hope that all is goine on Wright[.]  i think of you A grate Deal[.]  i hope that Johnay my Dear Boy Will Bee a good and Afacten sone to you and as a father to my Children my prairs is Morning Nune and Night that god May bles him With health that he may proforme Every Dutey Requried at his hands and to have a Wach care over What i left for him to see to[.]  tell D german to Due the very Best he Can With the sheep[.]  i have full Confednc that he up to is Dutey and that he Will be on the Watch[.]  i say the same to Joseph Egbert[.]  Bee a good Boy to me as i am far [page six] a Way from home and have Not the Chanc to see to thngs my self[.]  i have Not got home sick yet and hope i shall Not till i filled my Mishin and Been by honered Relesed[.]  my Ming is on the Work of god to Wich I have Been Called to Du and thing at home I hardly think of[.]  But my Dear family Comes to my Mind With all the focks and the blessing you all in joye[.]  my Mounten home Was heaven Dear to me[.]  you have herde me sai i Now Can presheate [appreciate] it more then Ever Before[.]  give my love to all the my friends as i have many i shall right som leter to[;]  my nebers after a little[.]  i must Conclud With my kind love to you all and pray god to Bles you and preserve you all from the poure [poer] of the advasary is the prair of your husband and farther and Brother in the gospel of peace[.]  Isaac J Wardle

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act 1 scen 7

This is the wedding scene.  It was choreographed by Tamara McGhie.  There were four weddings on board the Horizon.  One of these was Will Severn and Mary Astle.  They were usually conducted by church leadership.  However there is recorder a wedding of the ship's Captain performing the ceremony.  However this likely was a double ceremony as John Jaques did not record this in the company journal.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Isaac's Letters: Letter from Whitwick

Withn Wick Feb 13 1879
Lecster Shier England

Der Wifes and Children[,]  it is With plusher that i set Down to let you Nowe how i ham[.]  i ham Well thanck god family[.]  i hope that this Will find you injoying the Blesing Withes is the grates gift of god to is Mortles hear on hearth[.]  i ham now it the hous of my hant [aunt] fran Smith, my father sister[.]  She and here husband James Smith is Welle and was glad to see me and Made me Welcom to haney [any] thing that thay had[.]  this Was a blessing to me for i Was Weary by travling so many thousand Miles and glad to Bee one Home Whare i loud [allowed] lay Doune and Rest my Wearey Body[.]  i have found a grate Deal of Changes sinc i [page two] left hear[.]  the hold people that was hear When I Was hear have most all Moved or Dead[.]  Every thing Looks as thoe a Blast as Come over the Country and the people Do no Knowe what is the Mater[.]  thrad is so Bad that man With famaleys of 5 to 6 in family Make 2$ 50 cts for Weak[.]  this is all that thay have to live on[.]  you knowe Not Wat povety isin the Valey[.]  Brad is 4 ½ cents per pound[;] Beef 17 cts[;] Muten 18 cts[;] poters $1 : 25 lbs for hus[hel] and other thing in pronportion[.]  Men Dou Not No Wat to Du and Ware to go to Beter Their Condisen[.]  i hard peple gind falt at home before i left but that is all they knowe about hande times falt finder haught to Come heare then thay Wood think that god is Blesing is peple in the Valeys of the Mountins[.] [page three] i have taught since i gote in This plase that god as forsakned it and the sprit of the apost[asy] is heare more than Ever is Was[.]  i have had the privleg to Walk a Round to see Colevill and see som fue old friend[.]  thay tell me that hundreds of peoples is all most staveing to Deth and Willing to Work But Cant get any to Du[.]  i have had young men say to me that if i wood send them Way thay Wood Work for 75 cts for Day for 3 yearz and Bord them them selvs[.]  if this is Not the Beginning of god judgments i do No not ware it Will Comenc and i hope that i whall not see it and that [H]is fathful sant may Be gathred home that thay ma Not see it With me and [page four] the time may not Be long that the sants have to sofer [suffer] like thay Du Now in this Cuntry for the Comen Neserys [common necessaries] of life[.]   one sister told me that she had not tasted aney Meet for 3 Months and did Not knowe hos to get along But When The Elders Came she Wood give them a Bead to sleep in Wich she had Dun for 28 years[.]  i thought Wat a good thing it Wood Bee if Evry Elder that has slep in here house Wood think anuf of the favers Confred on them 2 give This Dear old sister 1 $ apee [a piece] to lete here in joye the same blessing that Enjoy at of haing anuf to Eate[.]  if No more my hart brakes to see the pore sants in poverty and no hope of Been [page five] Beter[.]  When thay asked me to Eat With Them i Thought how Thank full you and thr Brethen and sisters ought to be to our havnly father for the Blesing you Enjoy at home[.]  you No not the povety of the pepel is and i hope and pray you never may see Wat I see[.]  Now Behold my hart akes at the site[.] is at the site[.]   i Whnt you to try to Bee of good Cheer about me[.]  the Lord as Been With me by and Land and see[;] all though i Was very sick on see[.]  his spirit [was] With me When I hasked Bro John South to adminater to me[.]  the Waves and see cecam came as i Thold him it Wood[.] [page six] i shall Now say some thing to you about my Travling[.]  We got to New York in 5 days[.]  attended meating Witch ad Bee appointed[.]  spock to the peple[.]  Dun our Bisnis on the Mondy[.]  Whent on Bord tusday[.]  started Wensday at 11 Clock[.]  the Captin and ofecers Was glad to see us and said that Now We shall go throue al Right fer Not one vessel Ever Went Doun When one of yares Elders was on Bord[.]  i Was surprised at this[.]  Tould the stuand Not to give us prais[;] But god Was our protecton and we shud go thrue all Right[.]  The 4 Night We was Conted on to speck to the pepel Which give good attention all Bu[t] 1[.]  i told him [page seven] that We take the Bible for our gide and if he Coud confound us We Wood go home[.]  But this he Did Not Du[.]  the peple lafed him to [s]Corne and said that he Beter go to school and  Slanne Beter send then to try to put Doun the Mormons Eldres[.]  this Was New to me But god sprit Was With us and We had the Respect of an Bord [.] the Y vessel Wide all men Wood shun him as a inposter[.]  so you see that god Duse strengthen is servants When thay trust in him[.]  We a Rived at Liverpool Satady at 2 a m[.]  When to the ofis Bro Buges[.]  Been out stayed all Night[.]  Whent to Meating on Sunday[.]  3 Meeting Was held.  We Been Caled on to speek to the pepel[.]  We Was [page eight] glad of having the optunity of Raisin our vices in the balef [belief] of godWork in out Native land[.]  to see the sants gather around us and Make us Whalkom [welcome] my hart Did Most ackordedly Rejoice[.]  the spirit of god was With us and at Evning Mmeting[.]  The Word had spred thrue som partes of toun that 2 Elders from slat Lake ad com to preach[.]  i felt very Weake to fill the position[.]  i apricied I Been the first of the 2 But to my satfactin the Lord Was With us[.]  the our sides Was glad that tay come to hear for themsalve[.]  i nou am on a visit to my Native toune; Wich privleg Was grant[ed] for 2 Weaks, the i gate [turned over] my field of laber[.] Ware i know Not[.]  i shall Wright When I get there[.]  goodby for the[.]  god bles you all is the prain of your husband and father[.]  Isaac J Wardle

Ijw to home
Feb 14 1879
Dearest Martha an and Sophia, John n Ivitez, araminty, William, Joseph, Charles, Hannah and my Dear little Sillas Wardle[;]  Good Morning to your all[.]  i hope you are all Well as it leve me[.]  thank god[.]  i thought I Wood say to you that i visiting amont the sant and Du all I Can to Comfel them[.]  thay are all glad to see me But feel sorey that thay are poor that thay canot feed Me as thay Wood like to Do[.]  i have got 2 Wheaks to visits Before i go to my feld of labr so Du  Not Right to me till you hear  from  Me [tear] Not knowing Wh[  ] [page two] may be Callad to laber as yeat[.]  i stayed at Liverpool office 2 Daye and atanded Meeting their[.]  came to Coal ville on Mondy Night[.]  stayed at a hoetell.  Next Morning visitin the Cole min Whare i Worked When i left[.]  hear found thing Changed very Much[.]  i shall Right More patters When i ahe time and my hade is beter [;] is bad from the mazes of the see and Comes it seems hard for Me to Walk as yet[.]  ;et Bro Wet Bills Red this and give love to one and all[.]  Thay all seem allik to me[.]  When [I] thing of the Dear one at home[.]  Give Me your prain that I may be fathfull good[.]  by for the present[.]  god bles your all[.]  [two lines folded over and can’t read]

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Mom's memories of William and Annie Sorenson Wardle reunions

Wardle Reunion by: Ileen Wardle
The last week in July of even years was a special time for our family as the Wardle [William Haston and Anne Sorenson] reunion would be held in Pocatello, Idaho at Ross Park.  The children enjoyed getting together with their cousins they hadn’t seen since the last reunion.
    Everyone brought a special dish and a big pot luck dinner was served.  We all looked forward to Aunt Lucy’s delicious German chocolate cake, Aunt Lucille’s fresh raspberries that she had picked the day before from her patch.  There were all kinds of salads, baked beans, rolls, chicken, ham and roast beef.  Everyone gathered around the table for blessing on the food, fixed our plates, and ate until one could hardly move.
    After dinner there were many different kinds of games for the children as the adults watched the sack races, foot races and then a good ballgame was played.  Pictures were taken of each family group and then many interesting stories were told of the good old days in the Teton Valley were Grandpa and Grandma Wardle had raised their family.  A program was presented with a member from each family presenting a number such as singing, dancing, playing the violin and speaking.
    In the later part of the day a genealogy meeting was held and family group sheets were brought up to date.  During the meeting most of the children would go swimming.  [There was a pool across the street.] 
A delightful time was enjoyed by all and families again left for their various homes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Isaac's Missionary Letters 1879

 Three more transcribed letter

IJW letter, from those that were stitched, not including prior pages, no date but talks of being on ship

The see-man say that when thay is anay of the Elder on Bord that thay have no fears but all Will be Right[.]  thay say that [not] one Ever Was lost When our people Was With them[.]  hoping that these fue lines Will find you all Well as it [is with] Me[.]  thank god I have No feares as to hour safety  But I have as to you and the Children[.]  Martha Sophai gots Bee of good chear[.]  All is well with those that put thine trust in god[.]  No more at present from your husband and father in good spirits[,]  Isaac J Wardle

IJW to family Jan 29, 1879
Jan 29, 1879 New York Bay
[pg one]  My Dane famley[,]  I have been on bord 24 houres only[.]  travel 10 miles the Whaten [White] out[.] Been Deep a nuph to go to see But expect to starte in 3 houres[.]  the site I now behold is something that wood make you gase With Wonder[.] 
The ship Rodes to Much to right Much but thinking one Word Mite bee of some comfort to you[.]  I ahsll do the Best[.]  My helth is been good[;] Ever since I lefe home[.]  keep your selves in god Cheer Concern me[.]  God is with us[.]
[pg two]  give my love to all[.]  kis the children for me[.]  I shall right wen at New York[.] I J Wardle

Ijw to family from New York

Jan 27 1879 New York
My Dear Martha & Sophia, John & Crelez [Crilla Marie] Mentay  [Araminta] & William Joseph &Charles Hannah and my Dear little sillas, i set down to Right to let you all Know how I am at present[.]  i am Well at this time[.]  thank god for this Blesing, hoping that you are all tha same[.]  i am Now far a Way from you but I Can see you all the same].]  I lass see you all the same it is 2870 Miles that We are anpart but I hope hear long it Will Be ganed younited and that We shall Be preserved fromall Danger thill Whe have finishened our Mishin and I have the privlig to Returne [pagetwo] Home to you all again[.]  i have pray god to Bles you all and preserve you that sicknes Nor Deth may Not Make in Rude among you and I hope that I hav got your Best Wahis [wishes] [.]  We trakted Night and Day till REacht this City Not having time to Right to you[.]  i sent 2 scraps to let you [k]Now that i was all right[.]  We came on Express all the Way stopng 10 minits at Ogden 30 at Omaha 40 Chicago 20 at pit burg 15 at pilhadapy arrived at new york shunday at 7 clock[.]  Meating Was a painted at 10 oc Wich We attended and myself and B[rother] south  [page three] Spoke to the people Wich glad to see us and hear form us and that all is Well in zion[.]  We have been this morning and got our Berth No 69 Wich We go to on the 28 at 8 oclock[.]  start for at 9 oclock if all is Welle[.]  the sants are very kind to us[;] du all thay can for us; invite us to eate With them[.]  But  have not got plases for us to sleep[.]  We stay at hotel at Night Wich cost $2 for Bead[.]  I have just got Word of Brother H. Banean sade Rivel at Liverpool England[.]  hoping 11 dayes to be their[.]  i now shall say to be thankfull that you are in the valey of the Mountanes[.]  the Wickness that We see is sickning to Eyes[;]  [page four]  prostetuetnt on Evry hand, Ralrode in Every place, prafanetz till i thought that god Will Com out of is hiding plase and Chasen this nation[.]  i feel More thankful that your lot is Cast with the sants in the valays of the Mountins f[ar] away from the seens[.]  i  Now bha to give My love to all my frends[.]  tell Bro Winseround to Excuse me for not Rithing to him, tim very preshes[.]  at present We have Not got time to Eate lastey[.]  We have got to viset the sants Before We start Which is our Dutey[.]  so No More at present from you husband and father[.]  Issac J Wardle to My famley Wright at Liverpool.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Grandma and Grandpa Wardle

Grandma and Grandpa Wardle by: Billy Wardle
James Wilford Wardle Sr. and Melissa Ann Shaw Wardle

    We seemed to always spend less time at Grandma and Grandpa Wardle’s than at Grandma Wright’s.  I’m not really sure why, except maybe there was more to do at Grandma Wright’s.  We knew her neighbors better and there were kids to play with.  In Rigby (where Grandma and Grandpa Wardle lived) we had a couple cousins; Sally was only a year or two older than me, but still nobody we enjoyed playing with. 
    I do have some memories from the Wardle grandparents though.  Grandpa Wardle had a lot of neat old things—tool, pictures, letters (with stamps).  Sometimes they would talk with Dad about who was who in the pictures.
    We always seemed to make it to Rigby about every trip we made to the area.  There was always a big box of toys to play with—army men and building logs—as well as a set of dominoes in a desk.
    We also played quite a bit of football in the front yard.  There was a park a half block away that provided some fun.
    One summer, Danny Green spent the summer with Grandma and Grandpa Wardle.  As a result, we spent a bit more time there.  We went and saw a movie in the Rigby theater about Gladiators.  As a result we spent a few days playing Gladiators with stick swords.  We really enjoyed ourselves.  At the park there was a concrete structure, like an old water fountain or something, which became our Gladiator stadium.  One time though, Charlie got hit on the foot with a stick and some lady yelled at us for it.
    One time when we visited Grandma and Grandpa Wardle, we stopped by a canal and went skinny dipping.  It seems Mom was mad, but Dad had a good time with it. 
    As Grandpa Wardle got older, we went up there and worked around their place clearing weeds and such things.  It seems often their health wasn’t good.  Grandma Wardle had problems with her hip.
    Once, Grandpa and Grandma Wardle went with us and the Chases to Tony Grove Lake up in Logan Canyon.  On the way home they had some car trouble and Grandpa tried to push his car to start it.  Dad yelled at him to get in and pushed the care with the pick-up.
    We had some good weeks at their place.  Their house was heated with coal.  The stove was in the kitchen and sometimes we brought coal up from the cellar for them.
    They came and spent time with us; Grandma especially after Grandpa died.  I remember we tried to get her out.  She once went with the family to the Capital Theater in Logan.  I guess it was so cold in the theater she didn’t enjoy the show.
    Grandma was eventually placed in a rest home in Pocatello.  We visited once and helped her eat lunch.  She wrote me on my mission that she didn’t like it there and felt betrayed.  She died in the rest home while I was on my mission.  She had been my last living grandparent.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Scene 6, Ship Horizon

This scene is the first day aboard the Ship Horizon, or actually the first several days.  It starts with everyone meeting everyone.  I have Isaac meeting Langley and John Bailey.  However I have since discovered they actually attended the same branch, and very likely traveled from Whitwick England to Liverpool to together.  The first part concludes with the company singing "Friends for Life."
The second part establishes a relationship between Betsy Ashton and Isaac Wardle.  It also sets up Peter McBride as being a tease of Mary Ashton.  However I do not know if Isaac had a relationship with the Ashtons at this time but used artistic license.  This section includes the song "Farewell to Thee England" which was a poem written aboard the Ship Horizon.  It is put to a familiar hymn.

The scene concludes with a meeting lead by President Richards and Elder Martin.  Robert McBride, who was the song leader, leads a song for the meeting.  An interesting note is the delay the Horizon had.  After being towed out to the river, some of the crew mutinied, and had to be replaced.  The leadership would have been put together quickly, and a young man like Isaac would have had plenty to do. The meeting includes a cultural dance.  The Horizon had members from Scotland and England.  The first mate was described by John Jaques as a surly type of man.  However he wooed one of the Mormon Women to marry him at the end of the voyage. 
This section also includes the romance of Mary and William.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Isaac Wardle: Mission, Millennial Star

I received an email from Iva Beckstead which follows Isaac's mission in the Millennial Star, 1879.

Hi Billy,

I don't know if you have the following regarding Isaac John Wardle's mission, but I will include it in this email.

In the book Latter-Day Saints Millennial Star, Volume 41, 1879, M-205.5, page 106 in the Salt Lake City, Utah genealogy library it states “Arrivals – on Saturday, February 6, 1879, Elders John South and Isaac J. Wardle arrived at this port per S. S. Montana.  They have been called on missions to this country and are now visiting their friends prior to being assigned to their fields of labor.” – European Mission – Great Britain.

Page 137 states “Elder Isaac J. Wardle is appointed a Traveling Elder in the Liverpool Conference.”

Page 173-74 states “Isaac was a traveling Elder from Liverpool at a conference held in Miners Hall, Millgate, Wigan, on Sunday March 2, 1879.”  James L. Bunting was President of Liverpool Conference.  Elder Wardle spoke at this conference .  “Elder Wardle testified to the sameness of the spirit that was possessed by those who were true Saints here, with to that possessed by those that had gathered to Zion.  The same spirit would be felt in all the assemblies of the Saints, so long as they sought to do the will of God.  He encouraged the Saints to draw near unto God and He would overrule everything for their welfare.”

On page 435 it states, “A district meeting was held in Miner’s Hall, Wigan, Liverpool Conference on Sunday July 6, 1879.

“The first assemblage convened at 10:30 a.m.  Elders from Utah on the Stand—John Nicholson, from the Millennial Star Office; James L. Bunting, President of, and I. J. Wardle, Ralph Smith, W. H. Haugh and L. R. Martineau, Traveling Elders in Liverpool Conference.

Meeting was called to order by Elder Wardle, President of the Wigan District.  Singing.  Prayer by Elder R. Smith.  Singing.  Sacrament was administered by Elders Marsh and Glover.

President Bunting made some preliminary remarks, explanatory of the duties of the priesthood and Saints.  Brother Wardle reported the district as in a healthy, thriving condition, much energy, he said, being shown by the local priesthood and Saints in reference to the spreading of the work by preaching, distributing tracts and other means.”

On Page 549 in the Minutes of the Liverpool Conference held in the lower concert hall, Lord Nelson Street, on Sunday Aug. 17, 1879, Isaac John Wardle was there in attendance as a traveling Elder in which he gave the closing prayer.

Page 559 – Elder Isaac Wardle writes a letter to President William Budge from Runcorn on August 6, 1879.

“Dear Brother,--According to promise, I write to you concerning the condition of my health.  It is about the same as when I last saw you.  Brother Bunting thinks it would be advisable for me to go home.  I feel myself that I am unable to cope with this climate another winter.  I should like very much if I were able to stay and fully accomplish the mission to which I have been called, but it seems my health will not admit of it. 

I thank you for the kind consideration you have shown in my behalf, and the valuable instructions you have given me.  I would like to go on the next ship, as I think it would be better for me to have a little time at home to recruit before winter sets in.  I hope I have been able to do some good in this land.  At least I have done no harm.

Your Brother in the Gospel,
Isaac J. Wardle”

In the same book, page 555 it says “Release on account of ill health Elder Isaac J. Wardle is released to return to Utah with the company that will leave Liverpool on September 6, 1879.  William Budge, President of the European Mission.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

Isaac Wardle Missionary Letters 1

I have gotten a c.d. of Isaac's letters and documents from Michael Wardle, of Boise who descends from Isaac and Sophia.   The letters were written during his mission, mostly to reassure his family that he was fine.  As I look through them I am impressed with Isaac's love for his wives and his children.  His testimony is also apparent.  It is difficult to transcribe them.  This is due to time, and misspelled words.  Michael transcribed one from later in his mission, and I have done one from when he was traveling to England. I hope to add more letters overtime.

Note from IJW to family
Transcribed as written by Isaac John Wardle

Saturday Morning
Jan 25 1879
Dear families
Than god that we are getting along  wer at 30 miles fro hom.  We shall be in Pitbuge at dine
Start for New York at 1 here  That you are well as it leves me I lan at Wright for we ar gaine so sust  I J Wardle
[Some unintelligible] to you I shall Dd the Best  My health is been goo ever sinc I left home  keep your selves in good Cheer concern me  go is with us.

LTRfromIJW August 7, 1879
Transcribed as written by Isaac John Wardle
Ag 7, 1879
Digmore____, Lancshire, ED
Page 1:To my Dere Wives and Children good morning to you one and all i hope that you are all well at this time i ham very glad to tell you that my halth is much beter
than i have been for some time thank you i have been in the hands of very fine friends i make mantin up Bro and sister Marsh and Wiltsen at Wigen all John Tinsely and Glover Newtune and sis Ruebotem up holen and Bro and Sister Derby shire at Dig more and many others is far as they can make me comfeble. ___ Wich i feel thankful to hallmity God that he as bee so minful of me as to rase up friends to minester to me in time of need and i hope and pray that God will bles them for evry thank that they have to comfort me Page 2: in my affliction thrue wich [which] i have past so far i have been relest from been pr___ of the Wigen District on the count of my halth and a priside over the Chester District to wich place i have been once pres----- Budas and Bunting told me to travle eney whare thout proper for 1 or 2 wheaks but thay Wood Like me to bee in Liverpool at Confrenc on the 17 this climit is very ingures to meney of the Elders it as Raned all this Wheak We had 4 or 5 Days Dry Wather the last 2 Wheaks. 4 Days before that Whe only had some 4 or 5 Days that Whe sawe the sune it ranes most all the time i Do not see how the Erth Drinks all the Water that comes frome abouve it looks Like the judgements of God as Come in this land i hope that Page 3: the Lord will gather out is sant before the grate deluge sahll come on the wicked for i can see them coming very fast I meant then that I spoken of in the 18th Chaper of Ravelations it wood be good for our yongment to reed that chapter and to infom themselves with pidetions of the servants of God I have injoyed myself very much in my labers traveling and preaching to sants and I tell you I never felt haper in all my life than I due in speeking to those have no met the gospel of god In the haper have our outdore meetings as been very well atended We little oppsition but that nothing is honly halp to make us to prepare ourselves for the work of God and to put our trust in him We feel  Page 4: that he as even been with the larned minersters come to aprose us We come of victims and we have had frandes in every place to we have been ____ for God as given us his spirit so fam I recved my sone John later Dated July 6: I was glad that he felt to due all that he cood to make me and my famaly comfortile I was sorey to larne the ___  of sheep but I thout like Page 5: Do not du enething to heart one another feelings compety another all you can I feel in my harte to bles you all and ask God to  bless you and I hope that you will perserved from all the snares that besets monttes heare on erth I wood be glad to see you all but wate till the right time shall come I shall righte you before long infrome you hou my halth is I have not wrote much to you lattely on account of my halth I home that you and all my breathen will forgive me for it tell all the nebers I have not forgot them I wood be glat to hear from them eney time Page 6: I expect to right to meney of them When I can set at a table the resene is that I can not have got pane in my breast and kidneys I can walk beter than set doune to right bee of good Cheer all will be right with me I get a later from J A Clever the other day tell him I feel thankfull it I will right mim as soom as I can I must conclue with my love and efeclen to you all thake care of the Baby send me word how he is good by God bless you all is the prare of your husbend and father Isaac J Wardle
Bee good Children all right to farther a little peace in a later if no more make a x

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Act 2 scene 6 Brigham Young

This scene dramatizes general conference October 1856.  The theme of this conference was to rescue the Saints still on the plains.  Brigham Young had just learned the day before conference that there were companies still on the plains.

This prior post is a better description of the history.

This is a productions of the Stevens Creek Ward,  Ted Dorff portrays Brigham Young and Stan Dye President Franklin Richards.  The narrator is Ashley Orton.

Rescue of the Handcart Companies 1856; Brigham Young

Brigham Young must have approached the general conference with heavy heart.  He had been informed the day before that close to 2000 immigrants were on the plains, two handcart companies, two wagon companies, several freight companies.  It was already early October.

Brighan Young had met with church leaders the evening before to discuss what was needed.  The handcart plan was established with the idea that the Saints would be met on the plains with resupply wagons.  This was lacking, and the handcart companies would be facing starvation rations.

And so Brigham Young introduced the theme of the conference:

"I will now give this people the subject and the text for the Elders who may speak today and during the conference.  It is this.  On the 5th day of October, 1856, many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and the must be brought here, we must send assistance to them.  The text will be, 'to get them here.'  I want the brethren who may speak to understand that their text is the people on the plains.  And the subject matter for this community is to send for them and bring them in before winter sets in.

That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess.  It is to save the people.  This is the salvation I am now seeking for.  To save our brethren that would be apt to perish, or suffer extremely, if we do not send them assistance...

I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one sould of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you.  Go and bring in those people now on the plains."

An so was put into motion one of the greatest rescue operations of the Mormon migration.  The rescuers would be successful in bringing many Saints to the valley, while over 200 of them would die along the trail.  By the time the meeting had concluded men were making preparations to be part of the rescue.  Women removed underlinens to donate to the cause.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: Riverton Stake Materials, Second Rescue

When I visited Donna Olsen, my cousin in Riverton, WY,  she took us to Martin's Cove.  (This was before the visitor center.)  She also took us to the Riverton Stake Center and copied a bunch of materials for me--stories and  minutes with regards to the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies; first and second rescues.  I was left with a big packet of materials, including short synopsis Isaac's life, a day-by-day account of the Handcart Company and their rescue after they hit the snow. This includes journal information.  It keeps the Martin and Willie Companies separate, while telling the story of where each company was on a particular date.

This packet also included information of the second rescue, which resulted in over 4000 temple ordinances being done.  Many of the pioneers had passed away, and their temple work had not been done.  This included baby Sarah Anne Ashton, who was born on the trek, and lived a couple of weeks only.  This included dedicatory prayers, firesides, minutes of a special stake wide sacrament meeting, other interesting materials. 

I used this material mostly when I wrote the musical, but have enjoyed the talks and prayers around the dedication of the monuments.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Scene Five, Wardle Home

This scene depicts Isaac saying goodbye to his family.  At this time my understanding that Isaac was the only member of the church in his family, although most others joined later, except his half brother Thomas Wardle Morton.  This scene includes his father and motherJohn and Mary, older brother William and younger siblings Hannah and James.  John is another brother who is generally forgotten because he passed away before his parents imigrated, but was alive at this time.  Also Thomas his oldest half brother.  Before Isaac left Hannah, William and Thomas were married.  William had two children.  As mentioned Joseph did not immigrate, but he did marry and his wife did.  He was a member of the church.  See the work of Patti Call for more details of this

Thomas was a member, Isaac's parents and he all being baptized before Isaac.  All the other siblings were baptized with the exception of Hannah, who was thought to have immigrated to Australia, however it appears she immigrated to Eastern U.S. Pennsylvania.  Again see the work of Patti Call.  Isaac's farewells probably took place over several days.  He does say he returned to his parent's home from Walsall to say goodbye.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn: Scene Four

I think this is probably the only scene which is entirely fiction.  It presents William Severn and Mary Astle, who actually marry aboard the Horizon in a few weeks.  However as to their romance I know nothing. All I know of them is that they were married on the Horizon and were members of the Martin Handcart Company.  However, it was not unusual for relations to take place through the mail during this period when travel was more difficult.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Martin's Cove Plaque

Martin's Cove Plaque



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn Act 1 scene 3

This is a continuation of the reenactment which we performed in the Stevens Creek Ward, mostly among the youth.  We tell the story of the Ashtons and Isaac Wardle and the company in general.
Scene 3 introduces us to the Ashtons, and their decision to travel by handcart, even with their mother, Sarah Anne Ashton being pregnant.  To William and Sarah were born six daughters.  I this seen we see Betsy, 11, Sarah 7, Mary Ann 5 and Elizabeth 3.   A daughter between Betsy and Sarah previously passed away.  Of course the actors who were cast are older than these ages.  There is no record of how the Ashtons heard of the handcart plan.  Here I have Edward Martin and William Severn bringing the news.  William Severn and Mary Astle were both from Nottingham and they actually marry on the ship Horizon.  Details of their relationship are historical fiction.  London Bridge and the song are both period.
 I am not sure why this didn't come out as one movie, but here is the rest

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Your Heart Will Burn Act 1 scene 2

Scene two follows Isaac and his conversion to the gospel.  Again I have President Richards teaching him when it actually was Frederick Smith.  Isaac talks about not being able to read, which is an accurate portrayal.  He did not have the opportunity to attend school much.  He does talk about his finances and traveling to Zion.  He went to work in the coal at Walsall so as to raise more money.  I think this mine may have paid more as the conditions weren't as nice.  When I wrote this musical, I was under the impression that Isaac was the first of his family to convert to the Gospel.  I was wrong in this assumption.  Many family members converted in the Whitwick Branch, his mother being the first.

Your Heart Will Burn: Act 1 overture and scene 1.

15 years ago I wrote a musical of the handcarts, which we produced in our ward, Stevens Creek Ward.  I told the stories of Isaac and the Ashtons as well as the company.  The program is in this post:

Please remember that this was a ward production, and I was directing.  We have our flaws, but overall I think it is done well.  If not for Susan McGhie, who made the video, we would not have a record of the musical.  I will be correcting some of the historical mistakes I have found.  I am putting the musical on You Tube a bit at a time and will comment here.
  Overture and Act 1 Scene 1:  This video has the overture, Joe Eliason on piano and Elaine Morris on violin.  Stan Dye introduces  the missionaries as President Richards.  This was my first artistic license as Isaac says he was taught by Frederick Smith.  I have not found any other reference to Frederick Smith.  However to avoid multiple cast members, President Richards, president of the European mission, and apostle, is here.  This scene shows Isaac and his older brother William in the mines.  Isaac began working at the age of seven.  He would come home and fall asleep as he ate his dinner.  This is presented in the scene.  Isaac is portrayed by my son Mark and sings the son "Living Between the Light and the Shadows" which I wrote in high school.  I added a verse for Isaac.  We also see James and Mary, Isaac's parents.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Isaac Wardle History: Chapter 10f

There is no way of describing everything that happened on the Martin handcart Trip.  However by seeing the pieces, we have a greater appreciation of the struggle: 
The whole story of the travels and sufferings of the Martin and Tyler Handcart companies that arrived in Salt Lake City on the Sunday of Nov. 30, 1856, can never be written or told. Sketches and episodes may be related in brief, but the weather towards the last of the journey was so intensely cold and the hurrying to get through the mountains to the valley so great as to preclude any attempt to write up any data of the journey. (Jones, Sam, CH)
Brother Orson Twelves, who had three family members starve to death on the trek, explained the disaster in this manner:
There was a shortage of food because the handcarts couldn’t carry much food. The company counted on supplementing their supply at Fort Bridger, and other points along the way and were disappointed…  The unusually early winter was blamed… About one third of the company died… When they were weakened by starvation they couldn’t stand the cold and froze to death.  (Twelves, CH)
Another brother summarized the hardship in this manner:
They had to wade through ice and snow and slush… No one was to blame, it was a situation beyond control, a miscalculation and a series of disasters. The oxen died and their loads had to be carried by the people. The more that died [people] the longer was the delay, for they all had to be given a decent burial. The cold was terrific. (Teeples, CH)
Daniel Tyler, who was the company chaplain, described the suffering of the saints:
Elder Edward Martin was appointed Captain and I his Counseler and Chaplain. My health was poor, but when I saw the Suffering of my brethren and Sisters in consequence of the cold[,] Storms and Scarcity of provisions I plead might[i]ly with the Lord and I was heal[e]d and became healthier than I had been for Several years[.] Elder Martin requested me to See every one out of Camp in the morning and in Camp at night, which I did, he going a head and looking out Camping places &c. I also had to See to burying the dead which in our Company amounted to Some thing over ninety during our over three month travel, out of our Six hundred, Souls! The heavy Snows Set in at the upper Crossing of the Plat[te] about the first of Oct. and continued during the rest of the Journey at intervals the rest of the way… We done our best, and many to day congratulate us on Saving their lives while others whom by the utmost exertion we Succeeded in Saving can Scarcely think of any thing too wicked and false to Say about us.  (Tyler CH)
A pioneer, who met the family of his brother after arriving gave this description.  “they arrived in Salt Lake about the last of November in peril[ou]s condition suffering great hardship in their travels across the plains[.] they were mere skelleton when they arrived in Salt Lake City[.]”  (Barnes, CH)  The New York Tribune provided this graphic description of the pioneers and their condition:
Another of the Hand-Cart trains arrived here last Sunday in a condition which beggars all description. Winter caught them in the mountains destitute of clothing and provisions, and had not the relief which was sent from here reached them, every one of them would have perished. As it is, out of the 500 which started, one fourth have died, and more than 100 of the remainder have lost their hands or feet from the effects of the cold. When they reached here there were not 50 in the train who could help themselves; the rest were stowed in the bottoms of the wagons which had been sent for them, ragged and filthy beyond conception; helpless and despairing they could or would not get out of the wagons to attend to the calls of nature, and if the weather had not been intensely cold it would have bred a pestilence.  (Deseret News, CH)
The late start and frequent delays of the company were the cause for the tragedy.  P.A.M. Taylor summarized handcart immigration in this manner:
The fate of the last two companies of 1856 is one of the most celebrated chapters of Mormon history.  They were caught by snow as the crossed the Rockies and, despite resolute attempts from Utah to relieve them, more than two hundred died.  Faulty timing and the enthusiasm of the leaders combined to produce disaster.  Yet the plan was not a technical failure.  Three companies even in 1856 got through safely, with more than half of the year’s twenty-two hundred handcart emigrants.  Companies in 1857, 1859 and 1860, to say nothing of groups of east bound missionaries, used the method with nothing worse than a degree of hardship which was perhaps an acceptable price for a cheap gathering to Zion. (Taylor, P.A.M. p 136)
David Roberts summarized the death toll:
…The true death toll among the Martin Company can never be reckoned…  Hafen and Hafen cite 135 to 150.  LDS archivist and historian Mel Bashore, who has carefully studied the question, sets the toll at 150 to 170. 
   If we take the range of the death toll in the Willie Company as between 66 and 77, and the range in the Martin Company as between 135 and 170, then the total mortality count in the last two handcart companies amounts to between 200 and 240…  The conclusion is inescapable: the Mormon catastrophe of 1856 remains far and away the most deadly in the history of westward migration in the United States. (Roberts p 255)
The Martin Company therefore saw about 150 deaths of the 600 pioneers, a death total in the range of 25 percent.  Violet Kimball puts the death rate at ten percent for all Westward migration between 1841 and 1868. (Kimball p 148)
Of course death was not the only consequence.  In addition to the deaths, over 100 had serious health consequences from amputations of limbs due to frost bite.  “There were several young men who had their feet amputated to save their lives.” (Fullmer, Church History 1)
Gustive Larson sites several individuals in his footnotes with regards to the cause of the disaster:
Bancroft (H.H. Bancroft History of Utah) summarized the causes of the Hand Cart disaster as follows:  Error in starting late, insufficient number of able-bodied men in proportion to the numbers in the company, and the winter setting in earlier and more severe than had been known in the previous experience of the Utah Colonizer.  This author concludes after his survey of the situation:  “Even the worst enemies of Brigham Young admit that he was in no way to blame for the disaster and that he spared no efforts to relieve.”  Linn (Linn, W.A. The Story of the Mormons) writing in 1902 and apparently drawing his conclusions from Stenhouse’s “Tell it All,” emphasizes the lack of preparation for emigrants when they arrived in Iowa City, the weak features of the cart construction, and the failure to have supplies in readiness at Fort Laramie as the primary causes of the disaster.   (Larson p 215)
An article published in The Mormon untitled “Arrival of the Hand-carts at Great Salt Lake City” gives a favorable description and also provides some insight into the tragedy:
   We are informed from other sources that there has been a good deal of suffering, owing principally to their late start and the unusual severity of the weather…
   When we reflect upon the position of those emigrants, their exposed condition, and the extreme severity of the weather, we have cause of gratitude to our heavenly Father for His protecting care over them and their safe arrival at the place of their destination…
… The trouble has been among those who started late. We were not apprised, until some time after, that companies had started so very late in the fall, and we must confess, when we heard of it, that we trembled for the result. We believe that the brethren engaged in the direction of the emigration used every exertion, and we anxious to take all through that they possibly could; but we then believed, as well as now, that much suffering o the emigrants would have been spared, and also a great deal of unnecessary trouble and expense to our friends in the valley, if the last companies had staid in Florence, or somewhere on the frontier.
…We knew it to be President Young's views that the emigration should start early and we wished to carry out those views. Again, it was our own fixed, decided opinion that the hand-cart trains should start early. Our reasons were that the project was new; that a great many feeble persons, as well as women and children, would be along, and that in case of casualty they would be much safer with an early start. Besides, we have always believed that more trouble, sickness, and expense was caused by detention in camp than by anything else.  (Mormon, CH)
This idea was reflected by Heber C. Kimball of the first Presidency.  “If the immigration could have been carried on as dictated by br. Brigham, there would have been no trouble.”  (Kimball, CH)  Brigham Young put the cause of the tragedy at the feet of those who let them leave late from the Missouri:
   There is not a person, who knows anything about the counsel of the First Presidency concerning the immigration, but what knows that we have recommended it to start in season.—True, we have not expressly, and with a penalty, forbidden the immigration to start late, but hereafter I am going to lay an injunction and place a penalty, to be suffered by any Elder or Elders who will start the immigration across the plains after a given time…
   But if, while at the Missouri river, they had received a hint from any person on this earth, or if even a bird had chirped it in the ears of brs. Richards and Spencer, they would have known better than to rush men, women and children on to the prairie in the autumn months, on the 3d of September, to travel over a thousand miles. I repeat that if a bird had chirped the inconsistency of such a course in their ears, they would have thought and considered for one moment, and would have stopped those men, women and children there until another year…
   Are those people in the frost and snow by my doings? No, my skirts are clear of their blood, God knows. If a bird had chirped in br. Franklin's ears in Florence, and the brethren there had held a council, he would have stopped the rear companies there…  (Young, Brigham CH 2)
Many of the handcart pioneers felt strengthened, and closer to God as a result of their handcart experience.  The story is told of Francis Webster, from a Sunday School meeting in Cedar City:
        I heard a testimony once that made me tingle to the roots of my hair. It was in an adult Sunday School class of over fifty men and women.
        Nathan T. Porter, then Principal of the Branch Normal School, was the teacher and the subject under discussion was the ill fated hand cart company that suffered so terribly in the snow in 1856. sharp criticism of the church and its leaders was being indulged in for permitting any company of converts to venture across the Plains with no more supplies or protection than a hand cart caravan afforded. old man in the corner sat silent and listened as long as he could stand it then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget. His face was white with emotion yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity. said in substance, "I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Hand Cart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that Company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have sited was there too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that Company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that Company ever apostatized or left the church because every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities."I have pulled my hand cart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who  was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there."Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company." speaker was Francis Webster and when he sat down there was not a dry eye in the room. We were a subdued and chastened lot. Charles H. Mabey who later became Governor of Utah, arose and voiced the sentiment of all when he said, "I would gladly pay the same price for the same assurance of the eternal verities that Brother Webster has." (Palmer)
It should be pointed out that to Brother Webster’s knowledge, none had left the church.  However that was not true of all the handcart company members:
   Although the Martin Company truly exemplified the motto “Faith in Every Footstep,” it’s member were not unlike any other disparate group of Latter-day Saints, such as those who made a similar journey at a different time or those found in a modern ward.  There was a majority of the company, including Francis and Betsy Webster, whose faith seemed to grow with every step they took.  There were also those who trudged along the trail, their faith little changed by what they experienced.  Finally, there were those whose faith seemed to weaken along the way.
…The evidence is clear that not everyone came through the experience with the same certainty that he did.  While it is not known that anyone in the company apostatized directly as a result of the trials they endured in the cold and snow, there were Martin Company members who subsequently left the Church.  (Orton 2)
One of these was Sister Elizabeth Whittear Sermon Camm, whose husband died on the trek.  “Poor fellow, he died in the night and so on, one after another, passed away; fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, families and friends, all because through some misguided scheme and speculations, which will, some day have to be atoned for. Many, many honest souls laid away in Mother Earth—for what! I do not want to judge.”  (Camm, CH 2)
However, there were many more who, like brother Webster, drew closer to God.  One brother concluded his handcart sacrifices with a hymn and a quote:
How well the Saints rejoice to tell
And count their sufferings o'er.
When they upon Mount Zion dwell
And view the landscape o'er. 
   I have heard that a lady well known among the saints, once said, while the surest way of getting to Heaven was under discussion. "When I approach the Golden Gate, Peter will at once grant me admission when I cry, "Handcarts!" 
   …our hearts are lifted up in praise to God for all his blessings we now enjoy—& though the handcart episode is one of the unpleasant expirences of our lives, the schooling that it gave, & the training of our unpleasant episodes in our lives since then—all have tended to make our faith in our religion the stronger—& our appreaceation of Gods own hand dealing to us as a people, more easily discerned. (Jones, Albert, CH 2)
Another brother transposed a famous hymn to express his thoughts about the handcart experience:
What if they died before their trip was o'er?
Happy day. All is well
They will endure. No toil or sorrow more,
With the just in peace they dwell.
And as our lives were spared again
To see the Saints their joys obtain
Come let us make the chorus swell,
All is well, all is well.
As Francis Webster, several of the handcart members saw the Lord’s intervention.  Patience Loader commented:
   it seemed the Lords fitted the back for the burden[.] every day we realised that the hand of God was over us and that he made good his promices unto us day by day[.] as we Know God our Father has promised us these blessings if we will call on him in faith[.] we Know that his promises never fail and this we prooved day by day[.] we Knew that we had not strength of our own to perform such hardships[.] if our heavenly Father had not help[ed] us and we prayed unto God continuely for his help and we allways acknowledged his goodness unto us day by day[.] Sometimes in the Morning I would feel so tiard and feel that I could not pull the cart the day through[.] then the still small voice would w[h]isper in my ear as thy day thy strength shall be[.] this would give me new strength and energy and thus we traveled on day after day[,] week after week[,] and for four Month[s] before we reached the valley;…
   … we allways as[k] God to bless to our use and that it would Strengthen our bodys day by day so that we could performe our dutys[.] and I can testefie that our heavenly Father heard and answerd our prayers and we was blessed with health and Strength day by day to endure the severe trials we had to pass through on that terrable Journey before we got to Salt Lake City[.] we Know that if God had not been with us that our strength would have failed us and our bodys would have been left on the plains as hundreds of our poor brothers and sisters was[.]  (Archer, CH)
Sister Loader Archer also mentioned this experoence, which was likely a heavenly angel:
Some time in the afternoon a strange Man appeard to me as we was resting[.] as we got up the hill he came and looked in my face he sais is you Patience I said yes he said again I thought it was you[.] travel on[,] there is help for you[.] you will come to a good place there is plenty[.] with this he was gone he dissapeared[.] I looked but never saw whare he went[.] this seemed very strange to me. I took this as some one sent to encurage us and give us strength[.]  (ibid)
  Another faith promoting experience is that of the Bleak family.  Brother Bleak had been the Branch President in London and had determined to go by wagon.  However when others were following his example, and shunning the handcarts, he decided to travel by handcart.  When this was announced in his Branch, a sister spoke in tongues, the interpretation of which was that the entire family would arrive in safety:
   Two good sisters, one, an aged widow, the other unmarried, in the kindness of their womanly hearts, had volunteered to assist the mother by taking charge of one of the children, at the close of each day's travel till the following morning. The offer was gratefully accepted and the four and a half year old, blue eyed, fair haired boy [Thomas Nelson Bleak], became the chosen one to share the added protection of their tender care.
   One morning, after a very cold night, when winter had overtaken the company, these sisters were horrified to find their little pet lying between them dead, as they decided, and in this condition they brought him to his parents. His father, who had already made a fire, took the child and began by anointing him with consecrated oil, and praying over him, calling upon the Lord to keep His promise that not one of the family should fall by the way in gathering to Zion. Tests were applied, but not a heart beat or other sign of life was in the child. The father continued to administer, to chafe the limbs and body, and to call upon the Lord to fulfill His promise. After what appeared to the sympathetic fellow travelers and suffers as a very long time, the father thought he saw a slight flutter in the child's throat; this encouraged further rubbing, chafing and administration until, finally, by God's power and blessing, the dear child unclosed his eyes and is now a resident of Salt Lake City, father of nine children and likewise a grandfather.  (Bleak, CH 3)
The experience of Ephraim hanks among the Martin Company of itself was miraculous, from his being called by a voice from heaven, to his bringing members back from death, or near death.  Also his interventions in providing food, as well us surgical operations in which the sufferer felt no pain, were a testimony of divine assistance.
Brother Jones further provided some insight into the sacrifice made by the Saints for the gospel in a discourse for the handcart association in 1906: 
…though you gathered to Zion in the humble manner you did—you are of the best blood the earth affords—what greater claim exists to superiority of birth—that you have not; when the Patriarch with hands upon your heads, has with the vision of the seer declared you of the Ephriamic stock.
   Rejoice ye Saints of God in the grand promises made you—since you laid down the shafts of that rickety old cart you have been blessed—many of you have been laboring unceasingly since then—you have spent years on missions—you have in turn gathered your fellow-religionists home to Zion,—have fought the Indians who sought your lives,—endured persecution for the Gospels sake—have been in peril both by sea & by land. Imprisoned & fined for conscience sake—all this and more have you passed through, scince your entry to these grand vallies to which God in His mercy has led you…
…—& though the handcart episode is one of the unpleasant expirences of our lives, the schooling that it gave, & the training of our unpleasant episodes in our lives since then—all have tended to make our faith in our religion the stronger—& our appreaceation of Gods own hand dealing to us as a people, more easily discerned.   (Jones, Albert, CH 3)