MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES AND CHURCH ORGANIZATION IN PENNSYLVANIA, 1830-1840 A Thesis Presented to the Department of Church History and Doctrine Brigham Young University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Arts by V. Alan Curtis April 1976
37 followed "from the gospel and the Lord blest [sic] us much," he wrote. Brother Hodges, a native of the country preached with the missionaries. On December 30, the two brethren met Elders Levi Hancock and Even Greene, who were also laboring in the area. Elder Coltrin wrote they baptized seven before crossing over into Ohio on January 3, 1833. 32
46 States Postal Department has established Central Moreland as a rural postal branch of Tunkhannock, Wyoming County. Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson baptized four, in 1832, at Blakely, about twenty miles east of there. North Moreland was listed by Rand McNally as a township on the southern boundary of Wyoming County with Center Moreland as a village therein.63
47 "Manuscript Found." According to Johnson, Hurlburt hoped to use the Spaulding work, . . . to gain notoriety, obtain money, and work his spite upon the Mormons. So he gave notice that he had struck a lead ro destroy Mormonism, and if they would come together he would tell them where "Joe Smith" got his "Mormon Bible."65 EVAN M. GREENE AND WILLIAM H. H. SAGERS Brothers Evan M. Greene and William H. H. Sagers left Kirtland on April 16 and undertook a labor in Ashtabula County, Ohio. They crossed over into Crawford County, Pennsylvania and preached in Beaver and Conneaut on the twenty-third and twenty-fourth, respectively. After two more days in Pierpoint, Ohio, the brethren returned to Pennsylvania and visited the Church members in Elk Creek. They arrived on April 27 and had a meeting with the missionaries in that area the next day. Those involved in the meeting included Elders Orson Hyde, John Boynton, Daniel Copely and Doctor Hurlburt. Obeying the will of the conference, Elder Greene and Priest Sagers continued their journey eastward into New York on May 1, 1833.66 __________ 65 Benjamin F. Johnson, p. 25.. 66 Evan M. Greene Journal, Vol. II, pp. 1-4.
Document 2: 1833 Zebedee Coltrin comments (excerpts)
Source: Coltrin, Zebedee "Journal 2: Mar. 26, 1833 - Feb. 17, 1834" (typescript on New Mormon Studies CD-rom, Signature Books, UT, 1998)
Note: This typecript is not intended to be a fully accurate representation of the original holograph on file in the LDS Archives. The reader is referred to the original Coltrin documents for exact wording and pagination.
Coltrin says that at a "counsil" held Apr. 5-6, 1833 (probably at what is now Wellsburg), missionary companions D.P. Hurlbut and Daniel Copley were split up; Hurlbut thereafter traveling with Orson Hyde, and Copley with John F. Boynton. As it appears that Boynton has escorted the missionary pair into Erie Co. at the beginning of April, it is possible that the suggestion for their new traveling assignments was made by him. It appears unlikely that Hurlbut had reached the vicinity of Jacksons' settlement (later called Wellsburg and Albion) much earlier than a day or two before this "council" was held.
Thus, it seems likely that D.P. Hurlbut's "laboring around Jacksonville," as recalled by Benjamin F. Johnson, commenced about the first week of April, 1833 and continued on until about the end of May.
March the 26
[And] it came to pass that I Z. Coltrin after the word of the lord came to us that we the Elders of the church of Christ should again go for the to preach the gospel and acording to the word of the Lord Brother J. Modo [Murdock] and my self started and travel 14 miles to my Br Graham in Parrisville & give out an [appointment] to preach to them and spoke to them in tongues
and on the 28
we went to the Bre[thren] in tomson and found the church in some difficulty but the Lord blest us an we settled it
and the Lords day 31
I preach to them and the Lord blest me much and Brother broke bread to the church and we baptized two sisters.
April the 1
we held a counsil conserning William Jessup and turned him out & tusday the 2 we held an nother counil coserning Nancy J. Shum who was accused of running about and the Lord blest us much and we laid the case before her and she confest and said that sche would do better.
Wen. the 3
(ordain avary many Preasts)
we left the church in Tomson and came to Sister Welton and stade all night
we came to the church in Springfield and thare we Found Brother Lyman and Orison Prat and Brother Orison preach to them and we to the church in conyalt [Conneaut] and Found Brother John Boyington[,] H. Smith, Or Hide & coled a counsil & H. Smith pr[esided]
[This meeting was probably held near Wellsburg, on the border of Conneaut and Elk Creek townships, Erie Co., PA, in the home of a member of the Elk Creek LDS Branch.]
. . . & the counsil desied that Or. Hide and Docter Herlbut should travel to [gether] & John F. Boyington & Daniel Copley should travel to gether and we traval to gether and we salutid each other & parted & we came [to] Brother Curtis Hoges in Gerrard.
Sunday the 7
we held meating at Brother Rondeys and Br John preach to them & I spoke after him and the Lord belest us much with his spirit and there was a man presant who got up and wanted to [k]now if we would let and [an] old pilgrim speak to the people but seaing that his desire was to oppose and I told him that i should object to his speaking and he said the Lord would curse some of us because we would not let him speak. we baptised one sister and we laid hans on a babe had the hooping choff.
tusday the 9
we left thare and traveld east...
& the 22 [April 1833]
we went on that day and found B[r] O [Pratt] & L. Jonson and on the next day Brother J & myself went to the church in Warsaw to B[r] Lyons whare I was taken with the sm[all] poxs
and B John left me thare whare I remained untill June & then I came home to Kirtland...
Document 3: 1833 Evan Melbourne Greene comments (excerpts)
Source: Greene, Evan "Journal: Jan. 15, 1833 - Apr. 1, 1835" (partial typescript in Dale R. Broadhurst Papers, Marriott Library, UT)
Notes: This typecript is not intended to be a fully accurate representation of the original holograph on file in the LDS Archives. The reader is referred to the original Coltrin documents for exact wording and pagination. I recently expanded the content of my original notes (taken in 1979, directly from Greene's holograph) after comparing them with the Greene Journal typescript prepared by Cheryl Bean.
Returning from the first leg of his 1833 missionary tour, Greene and John F. Boynton met D.P. Hurlbut and Daniel Copley at "Sister Welton's in Austinburgh" on Mar. 29th. Hurlbut and Copley had set out from Kirtland on March 19, 1833, probably passing through Copley's home in Thompson Twp., Geauga Co., OH, before journeying on to Austinburg Twp. (about 10 miles to the east) in Ashtabula Co. The next day, or soon thereafter, Boynton may have escorted Hurlbut and Copley across the State line into Erie Co., PA -- where the Hurlbut and Copley apparently remained together as Mormom missionaries until April 28, 1833.
[Tues. Jan. 15, 1833: Greene and John F. Boynton left Kirtland . . . stayed at Strong's in Ashtabula Co....
went to Conneaut Twp., Erie Co., PA... went to Elk Creek Twp., Erie Co., PA... organized the Elk Creek Branch
on Mar. 21, 1833... passed through Spring Twp., Crawford Co., PA...]
Friday 29 [Mar. 1833]
We walked to sister Welton's in Austinburgh, here we met Bros. Daniel Copley and D.P. Hurlbut -- staid there that night, in the morning of Saturday 30th we parted [for]... Kirtland...
[Greene spent the first two weeks of April in the Kirtland area]
[Apr 16, 1833]
Leaving Kirtland, in company with Brothers Wm H. H. Sagers & John F. Boynton. We called at Bro. Kingsbury's and took dinner; then we proceeded to Perry and stopped to one, Mr. White . . . In the morning Bro. Sagers and myself parted with Bro. John and we came to Sister Weltons in Austinburgh and stayed and rested our weary limbs.
The next day being the 18,
we came into Trumble where [we] stayed 2 days and preached both evenings to a small congregation...
We left Bro. Reads and this night stopped at one -- Mr. Platt's, in Denmark [Twp., Ashtabula Co.], where we got a congregation together and proclaimed the word unto them. Here they desired us to come again. May the Lord bless them.
We came to Mr. Howland's (where I [had] held a meeting in going up to Kirtland). He was much pleased to see me again. Here took dinner and afterward came into the Beach in Penn[sylvania]. Here they were glad to see me again and some felt to praise the Lord.
[[Note: The walking distance from the center of Denmark Twp., Ashtabula Co., OH east to the sw beach of Conneaut Lake, Summit Twp., Crawford Co., PA was about 25 miles.]]
We came to Mr. Padans in Conneaut where we proclaimed the word again to them.
We came to meet Bro. M[oses] Martin in Pierpoint. Had a meeting in the evening. Came again to the Beach.
[[Note: The walking distance, backtracking westward, from the sw beach of Conneaut Lake to Pierpoint Twp., Ashtabula Co., OH was about 20 miles]]
Bro M[artin] had an appointment so had to leave us and we stayed and held another here and then departed and came this evening to Sister Woodworths and found Bro. John sick. Here we stayed this night.
We visited our Brethren in the Elk Creek Church.
[[Note: The walking distance, northastward, from Pierpoint Twp., Ashtabula Co., OH to the east end of Elk Creek Twp., Erie Co., PA was about 15 miles]]
28th [Apr. 1833] [This meeting was probably held near Wellsburg, at the east end of Elk Creek Twp., Erie Co., PA, in the home of a member of the Elk Creek LDS Branch.]
We had a good time in meeting and we met Brothers in the ministry: O. Hyde [Pratt?], John Boynton, Daniel Copley, D. P. Hurlbert and Bro. Hyde. Administered the sacrament. After meeting we held a counsel to know our duty and it was decided Bro. Sagers and myself should continue our proposed mission to the east . . .
. . . [preaching by the way to those] with whom we could get a chance, until Sunday 5th when we tried to preach in a Presbyterian synagogue but they would not hear us so we left them and came to the next neighborhood and there we got a meeting and proclaimed the word to them.
And the next day [May. 5, 1833]
proceeded and in the evening put up to a house in Harmony, NY. They were very kind to us and desirous to hear the word. Oh may the Lord bless them...
Document 4: 1982 Paul Z. Rosenbaum comments (excerpts)
Source: Rosenbaum, Paul Z. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pennsylvania, 1830-1854 (short excerpts of 1982 M. A. Thesis) (under construction)
(pages 1-61 not transcribed)
[p. 62] with their precedent, their son Jedediah M. Grant was baptized by John F. Boynton at Elk Creek in March 1833. Mary G, Judd, author of the book Jedeiah M. Grant, included comments on Jedediah's wintry baptism: "The day was so cold that as he came up out of the river, his clothes froze to his body." 34 Chart 7 lists several members who resided in Erie County in the 1830s. Organizing the second Erie County branch at Elk Creek on 21 March, Elders Greene and Boynton set it in order by ordaining three men to the priesthood and charging them to watch over it. Robert W. Dimsey was ordained a priest, Stephen Winchester a teacher, and John Sagers a deacon. Thus, the governing authority was bestowed upon three native brethren; remarkably, each were converts of less than two months. 35 As a deacon, Sagers had the authority to assist the teachers, but neither deacons nor teachers could baptize. Deacons were "to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ." 36 In spite of the labors of additional missionaries in Erie County during 1833, only a few conversions were reported. That year Elders Amasa I. Lyman and William F. Cahoon baptized one hundred in the states of Pennsylvania, ---------------------- 34 Mary G. Judd, "Jedediah M. Grant" (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1959), pp. 13-15. 35 Curtis, p. 44. 36 Doc. & Cov. 20:57-58,
(remainder of this text not transcribed)
Document: 1976 V. Alan Curtis comments (excerpts)
Source: Curtis, V. Alan, "Missionary Activities and Church Organization in Pennsylvania, 1830-1840, (unpublished M.A. thesis) UT, 1976.
Notes: Curtis quotes Benjamin F. Johnson to say that while doing Mormon missionary work near "Jacksonville" in Conneaut township, Erie Co., Pennsylvania, Elder D.P. Hurlbut learned of a "romance" Spalding had written years before. This is the same "Jackson settlement" referred to by Benjamin Winchester in 1840 as the place in Pennsylvania where Hurlbut first became aware of the Spalding manuscript. This same story (of D.P. Hurlbut having learned about the Spalding manuscript from people in the Conneaut area) is supported by the published recollections of Daniel Tyler in 1878. Today "Jacksonville" is known as "Albion."
Curtis quotes from LDS missionary Evan M. Greene's "Journal" to show that D.P. Hurlbut and his first mission companion Daniel Copley were present in Erie Co., as late as April 1833. Greene on Mar. 28, 1833 said: "27th.... we met Brothers in the ministry:... John Boynton, Daniel Copley, D. P. Hurlbert..." The fact Hurlbut was present in Erie Co. during this time is confirmed by a statement made by Orson Hyde in 1841: "While the said Mr. Hurlburt was a member of our church, and an elder also, it fell to my lot to travel with him to preach the gospel..." While Elder Hyde took on Hurlbut as a missionary companion after April 6, 1833, Daniel Copley ended up traveling with Elder John P. Boynton -- according to entries made in his "Journal" by Zebedee Coltrin on April 5-6, 1833: "... Orson Hyde and Doctor Hurlbut should travel together & John F. Boyngton & Daniel Copely should travel together..."
See also Paul Z. Rosenbaum's 1982 thesis, which builds upon Curtis' research in several places.