N H Felt Family Biographical Sketch
 
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Nathaniel H. Felt Chronology

New York City, NY Sep 1854 to Oct 1856

This is Old Castle Garden, New York where emigrants first entered the United States before there was an Ellis Island facility.  Nathaniel H. Felt went there many times to both meet new converts, and to arrive himself after a trip abroad

New York City and "The Mormon"
 

Rel DateDescriptionComment and Source

Mon 04 Sep 1854

NHF travels with Preston Thomas, Jeter Clinton and others toward St. Louis and presumably on to New York. Thomas describes a camp organization that made NHF both clerk and chaplain.

Chaplain and clerk were both familiar roles for NHF. Thomas wrote, "I found Bro. John Taylor one of the most agreeable traveling companions I ever met with. Many lectures were delivered by him around the campfire of a very interesting nature."

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Sat 09 Sep 1854

September 9, 1854, AH Raleigh was appointed alderman of the Third Municipal Ward to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of NH Felt, who had gone on business to St. Louis;

Not long afterward, NHF went to New York to assist John Taylor with the publication of the Mormon. NHF really did a great deal of traveling.

Sources

Thu 21 Sep 1854

Alderman NHF attends opening of restaurant

I wonder, did he do that on the very day he left on his mission to the East.

Sources

Journal History

Thu 21 Sep 1854

NHF travels east to NY with John Taylor and company including Elder Tripp

John Taylor, Elder Jeter Clinton, Nathaniel H. Felt, Alexander Robbins, Angus M. Cannon, and his son,



He’s on his way to help John Taylor publish the “Mormon” newspaper in NY.

It’s interesting to us in my immediate family that Angus M. Cannon was there also since my children are the great great great grandchildren of both men. Uncle John (Taylor), then, is also one of my children's ancestors by marriage.

The BH Roberts biography of Taylor gives a few interesting details of the newspaper. NHF was most probably part of the fund-raising efforts to start the paper.

Of great interest to this webmaster is the potential relationship between NHF and Enoch Bartlett Tripp which may bear fruit. Tripp gathered to Nauvoo as a non-Member and nephew of Perrigrine Sessions at a young age (younger than NHF, but not by much). Both shared in the Battle of Nauvoo and both were from New England. Tripp was a shoemaker and businessman. The conversations that could have gone between the two men is tantilizing especially in light of the details Elder Tripp left his posterity in his personal diary. Was NHF ever mentioned?

Sources

Enoch Bartlett Tripp Biog Sketch
Click here for source document

Life of John Taylor by B H Roberts, published by George Q. Cannon & Sons, 1892

Profiles in Mormon Courage, by Hartt Wixom, 1st Chapter Sample
Click here for source document

Oct 1854

Nathaniel H. Felt is replaced on the High Council of Salt Lake

Text not available
The Historical Record By Andrew Jenson

Sources

Sat 07 Oct 1854

NHF is replaced on the High Council

For observers of LDS conferences this conference session conducted by BY was interesting.

Sources

Des News 12 Dec 1854

The Historical Record, Andrew Jensen, Page 277

Tue 17 Oct 1854

After an journey of 41 days we arrived at the Missouri River at old Fork Kearny on the 17th of October. Here we crossed and the company separated.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Sat 11 Nov 1854

Preston Thomas tells some of the details regarding the setup and maintenance of the newspapers to be set up by John Taylor and company.

We then went to Kaneville. There we found Brother Taylor, Felt, Dr. Clinton and others. Brother (John) Taylor was having the prospectus of his newspaper printed which he intends publishing in New York. I tarried with the brethren in order that I might have their company to St. Louis. Arriving there we went in conference with Bro. Eratus Snow, one of the twelve, and Brother Orson Spencer who was here from Cincinnati. Many items of business were transacted appertaining to carrying into effect the mission of Brother Snow publishing a newspaper in St. Louis; Brother Spencer publishing one in Cincinnati; and Brother Taylor, one in New York. I was appointed to go to Washington City and act as correspondent for these papers, but in the meantime I must first go to Texas and try to raise means to start them and also, to pay my expenses while at Washington.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Dec 1854

NHF is in the east conducting business for the church.

Mrs. Cobb is a major player in Nathaniel’s business back east because he writes her several letters

Sources

Journal History

Sat 02 Dec 1854

New York Daily Tribune publishes interview with John Taylor and NH Felt. The article's headline was, "Things in Utah Polygamy and Slavery; Glory of Popular Sovereignty; The Advantages of Having Many Wives; No Chance for One-Horse Politicians; Movement for Converting the World "

A letter from a Mormon in Utah as printed in the Chicago Tribune. The writer describes Salt Lake City and defends the practice of polygamy. An interview with John Taylor and N. H. Felt from the Chicago Press. Taylor and Felt explain the economic conditions in the Utah Territory and their desire for competent government officials. Taylor and Felt are traveling to New York City to establish a newspaper.

From the Chicago Press. We passed half an hour yesterday in the company of two very intelligent representatives-of the "Latter-Day Saints" in Utah—Messrs. John Taylor and N. H. Felt. These gentlemen represent affairs in Utah in a very flattering light. The Saints are rapidly surrounding themselves with the various comforts and many of the luxuries of civilization, Immigration and natural increase are adding daily to their numbers, and the day is not very far in the future when Utah will be " knocking" for admission into the family of States, or preparing to defend…"

Sources

New York daily tribune no. 4251, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. 2 Dec 1854, p. 5, columns 3-4. Click here for BYU 19th Century Mormon Articl Newspaper Index

Sun 31 Dec 1854

Preston Thomas writes in feflection of the passing year, and acknowleging the hand of God in all things. Elder Thomas was on a mission in Texas, but his role was soon to take him to Washington, D.C.

December 31, 1854....This is the last day of the year and will soon close, and all of its events and its troubles and calamities will soon close and be forgotten by the inhabitants of the earth except a few who will acknowledge the hand of God in these things. They will many of them take warning and remember them. So many of the judgments of God have been poured out upon the earth and its inhabitants that Mr. Pierce, president of the United States, remarks in his message that it has been one of the most eventful years on record. Drought with short crops, destructive fires, and storms and floods and the great loss of human life by cholera, yellow fever and other sickness and by explosion and sinking of steam boats and ships have marked it as one of the most calamitous years to be recorded.

Thus it seems that God is verifying the words of his servants which they have preached for twenty years and the world is beginning to see it and to feel his avenging hand, but they will not repent, but will go on in their wickedness and God will continue to pour out upon them His judgments: war, cholera, fires, floods and storm and devastating sickness until the inhabitants of the earth will wander away.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Mon 08 Jan 1855

Preston Thomas learns he is going to Washington, D. C.

January 8, 1855......Today is the day. I learned from the brethren that a meeting was held privately and $300.00 was made up for me to go to Washington, D.C. to pay my expenses there, and the brothers agreed to make some for Bro. Taylor when they should sell their property and it could be deposited in St. Louis in the spring. Most of the $300 was borrowed. May the Lord bless them for this liberality to me.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Tue 09 Jan 1855

Son James Strange Felt born in Salt Lake City

James was blessed by Joseph L. Heywood and John Grey according to records. This is likely because NHF was away on a mission at the time.

Note: Joseph L. Heywood was Bishop of 17th ward where NHF resided

Sources

GSL City 17th Ward Records

Diary if Joseph L. Heywood

Thu 25 Jan 1855

The Deseret News reports GSLC's payment of $7.50 to NHF for his services as Code Commissioner in the previous year 1854.

A Code Commissioner is one who keeps track of city ordinances and code to ensure it is well managed. Such public service is a well maintained Felt family tradition in both Salem and Salt Lake for many years. We have not seen the same dedication much in recent years except as manifested in LaVar Christensen one of NHF's many descendants.

Sources

Deseret News, published 25 Jan 1855
Click here for BYU Digital Collection link to page

Sat 27 Jan 1855

NHF and John Taylor tell a Chicago newspaper about political affairs in Utah and at the end mention slavery which has of recent years been somewhat of a revelation.

Apostle John Taylor and N. H. Felt were later cited as informing a "Chicago Paper" that "some slaves had been liberated ... since they were taken to Utah; others remain slaves. But the most of those who take slaves there pass over with them in a little while to San Bernardino [sic].... How many slaves are now held there they could not say, but the number relatively was by no means small. A single person had taken between forty and fifty, and many had gone in with small numbers." -- Millennial Star

Nathaniel R. Ricks asserts that polygamy and John M. Bernhisel conspired to hide slavery in Utah from the eastern press.

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

We passed half an hour yesterday in the company of two very intelligent representatives of the Latter day Saints in Utah Messrs John Taylor and NH Felt These gentlemen represent affairs in Utah in a very flattering light The Saints are rapidly surrounding themselves with the various comforts and many of the luxuries of civilization Emigration and natural increase are adding daily to their numbers and the day is not very far in the future when Utah will be knocking for admission into the family of States or preparing to defend an independent sovereignty of her own in the mountain fastnesses by the hardest kind of knocks The crops of the past season had been somewhat injured by the grasshopper but still our informants assured us there would be the greatest abundance harvested for the use of the Saints and a surplus for the constantly arriving emigrants as well as for those who may take Salt Lake in their way to California Messrs Taylor and Felt are on their way to New York for the purpose of establishing a paper in that city to be devoted to the propagation of the doctrines held by the Saints and for the purpose of carrying the war into Africa whenever and wherever provocation thereto may be offered Mr Taylor in addition to the dignity of the ApostJeship and a jolly rubicund wide awake Apostle he is brings to the editorship of the Mormon a manifold experience in the profession and we doubt not its columns will be eagerly and satisfactorily perused by the Saints into whose hands it may fall Gentile though we be we shall look for it with some interest ourselves and our readers will doubtless be delectated with occasional excerpts from its columns touching the polity politics and domestic institutions of the Saints as the same may be developed to the world The object in establishing an organ in New York Mr Taylor assures 11 is twofold first to defend the people of Utah from the misrepresentations of lying letter writers and designing politicians and secondly to minister to the wants of the Saints The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

scattered throughout the States The mischief growing out of the two causes above named has tended much to hinder the spread of Mormonism in the States and greatly vexed and scandalized the pious souls who play the shepherd over the sheep collected in Salt Lake Valley Our informants assured us that the people of the States have been led into many erroneous opinions touching the light in which executive appointments for Utah are looked upon They desire competent and discreet men nothing more Men of this character they say they have among themselves more than sufficient to fill all the offices and they think the President would only be carrying out his own doctrine of Popular Sovereignty were he to so far respect the popular wish of the people of Utah as to select his appointees from among them Nevertheless they say any competent well behaved man will be well received there as a territorial officer if he will devote himself to the legitimate business of his office and let other matters alone But the trouble has been with a very few exceptions that while th appointees were notoriously incompetent for the duties of their offices they also intemeddled with the institutions and domestic relations of the Saints in a manner quite extra official and carried things in a etyle of lordly superiority over those who considered themselves their equals in every respect This is what they complain of They want no tenth rate lawyers placed over them and they are by no means desirous that Utah should be made a Botany Bay of for the banishment of broken down political hacks who have sunk their character and capital in the States We inquired of them about the Governorship of the territory Their answer was that the people of the territory preferred Brigham Young in that capacity to any other living man But they would not contend on this point They would receive any com pot put man President Pierce might send out to them as Governor As for brother Brigham himself he did not want the office would prefer not to be encumbered with it had hi The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

faead hands and heart full of other and more important matters The rumours recently circulated respecting this matter thrr said originated at Washington and were pat afloat for political effect The people of the territory care but very little about the matter one way or the other As respects slavery in the territory we were assured there was hut little of it there yet it is there Some slaves had been liberated by their owners since they were taken to Utah others still remain slaves But the most of those who take slaves there pass over with them in a little while to San Barnarclino a Mormon settlement in California some seven hundred or eight hundred miles from Salt Lake City How many slaves are now held there they could not say but the number relatively was by no means small A single person had taken between forty and fifty and many had gone in with smaller numbers Chicago Papn The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Sources

A Peculiar Place for a Peculiar Institution by Nathaniel R. Ricks
Click here for source document

Millennial Star, 27 Jan. 1855, 17:62-63.

Endnotes, Niether White Nor Black, Lester E. Bush and Armand L. Mauss, published by Signature Books; Midvale, UT

Sat 03 Feb 1855

Preston Thomas arrives in Washington, D.C. and writes about it.

February 3, 1855.......Through the blessings of my Father in Heaven I have been permitted to arrive in safety in this city, the place of my destination. For the present I am to commence a living of life which I have never followed before, to-wit, become correspondent to our newspaper and write articles for them.

I was three days in coming from there to this city. I passed through the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia and coming 60 miles up the Potomac River on a steamer, making in all about one thousand miles in three days. During the travel I had very little time for eating and none for sleeping, only as I could sleep on my chair in the cars. Consequently, when I arrived here I was much fatigued and worn out. When I first arrived I put up at Brown's Hotel, one of the finest in Washington. Here they charged me $2.50 a day for board. In the evening I called upon Dr. Burnhisel, our delegate from Utah, who seemed very glad to see me. That night we started around and I found a Bro. Rush who has lately been baptized here. With him I went out and found myself a boarding place at a private home, where I have board, lodging and a private room with fire and lights for $5.00 a week.

For the past two or three days I have been attending the sittings of Congress. Sometimes in the gathering of the Senate, and sometimes in that of the House of Representatives. I have watched with interest for a few days the passage of a bill in the House appointing a general land surveyor for Utah, making provisions for the surveying of the lands in that territory. A Clause was first introduced into the bill donating land to the actual settlements, in the territory, but this The House struck it out it seems. Congress is willing to give Oregon and New Mexico lands, but Utah, which was settled under more disadvantageous circumstances than either, can have no land. And it seems it is only because they are Mormons. I have noticed in the House there were many who were friends to the bill and to Utah while some others seems very bitter.

Last night I attended a lecture at the Smithsonian Institute delivered by a Mr. March upon the subject of introducing the camel and the dromedary into the United States. Mr. March was formerly Minister to Constantinople. When in Arabia he had a good opportunity to become acquainted with these animals and their adaptation to the Great Western Prairies as beasts of burden. He advocated their introduction into the country by the government and that upon a pretty large scale so the experiment might be made upon a scale that would likely succeed.

Today I have spent in writing letters and reading, etc. Among others I wrote one to the "St. Louis Luminary" give account of the congressional proceeding, etc.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Sun 04 Feb 1855

NHF’s future third plural wife, Mary L. Pile, leaves Liverpool for America

“Her mother converted. Parents – Alexander and Sarah Pile. Father died which left her with 2 children, Mary Louise and Francis Pile. Mary heard singing. Went outside to here them. Started joining in the singing. Came to believe that all was true. Wanted to join church. Brother objected. When she joined the church, she had to leave home. Obtained work at a mansion as a maid and hired as a companion by Mrs. Forbush. Lived there until she emigrated to NY in 1853 (1854?). After living there with Mr. Forbush for 3 months she became ill. Elders administered to her while she was in a coma. Said she was dead. After blessing she awoke and spoke. Came to NY with William J. Silver family. Worked in NY for 3 years. Came to SL in 1856. Was married to NH Felt in Endowment House in 1856. After 12 years she was released from this married by Brigham Young and advised to marry WJ Silver.

Family Reunion insert confirms: · Mary L. Pile met NHF in mission office · Mary L. Pile was a good singer; once again showing NHF had a pattern of steering his life around his musical interests.

Donna Joyce Mangum says she has information that backs up the following:

She was 21 Years of age when she immigrated to NY Got on board ship Cynosure with William Silver and family. Mary Askee Silver had a baby while on board ship. Mary Askee found William J. Silver and Mary at the rail of the ship talking and was unhappy about it immediately after having the baby and allegedly assaulted Mary Pile. Family members assume it was because of the severe stress the mother was unde. Mary L. Pile and William took the new baby without the mother’s permission to have him blessed by local NY church authorities (very strange gossip…and needs verification). Is it any wonder why the church now does things the way we do them now. Mary L. Pile was employed at mission office as some sort of assistant. It’s easy for me to imagine Mary Pile finding herself in hot water by the time Mary Askee Silver started to sort things out again in New York. I can also imagine Mary Pile perhaps seeking the advice of the much older (age 39) Nathaniel Henry Felt. Maybe NHF counseled her regarding her improprieties, and then after a while the relationship became another plural marriage for NHF. Who knows really, but it’s easy to imagine. We know in the end Mary Pile didn’t endure with the marriage, and married William Silver as his eighth wife after the first wife Mary A. Silver passed away in Salt Lake City.

Sources

Doc#20, Tab#8 Nathaniel Henry Felt, Family Reunion Book of Remembrance Insert, 1960; (family source has the year incorrectly cited as 1854)

Mon 05 Feb 1855

Preston Thomas writes a letter to the "Mormon."

February 5, 1855.....This afternoon I have written a letter to the "Mormon" for publication. In the afternoon I visited the Senate Chamber of the United States and witnessed the proceedings of that body. The Land Bill granting lands to the soldiers of 1812 passed the Senate and other un-important business was transacted. At night I visited the room of Bro. Burnhisel and spent several hours with him.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Thu 08 Feb 1855

Preston Thomas receives a letter from John Taylor

February 8, 1855.......This morning I received a letter from Bro. (John) Taylor in New York. He informs me that he will start his paper the "Mormon" about next Saturday.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Tue 13 Feb 1855

Preston Thomas calls upon Dr. Bernhisel

February 13, 1855........This forenoon I called upon Dr. Burnhisel and had some conversation with him. He seems to fear very much lest I should write something that would offend some of the members of Congress or President or some head of some Department of State. He is altogether too much of an old granny to suit me.

Sources

Journal of Preston Thomas
Taken from original journals typed by his son, Daniel H. Thomas. Condensed in 1970 and published by Annette Taylor, a great, great granddaughter.
Click here for source document

Wed 14 Feb 1855

NHF receives $15 from Brother George H. Taylor at Haverstraw Branch which was just north of New York City.

Sources

Journal of John Druce, Church Historical Dept. Interview with James Kimball 6/12/03

Sat 17 Feb 1855

First issue of “The Mormon” is published in NY

"We commenced our publication," writes Elder Taylor to President Young, "not because we had means to do it, but because we were determined to fulfill our mission, and either make a spoon or spoil a horn. * * * How long we shall be able to continue, I don't know. We are doing as well as we can, and shall continue to do so; but I find it one thing to preach the gospal without purse or scrip, and another thing to publish a paper on the same terms."

Sources

Life of John Taylor by BH Roberts

Thu 01 Mar 1855

Elder Taylor, visits President Franklin Pierce with Delegate Bernhisel and N. H. Felt

The president made an excuse that he must appoint Col. Steptoe to be governor and that federal troops would accompany him.
John Taylor told President Pierce that the people of Utah recognized his authority. Col. Steptoe was offered the position of Governor, but he petitioned President Pierce to re-appoint Governor Young, and thus is was done.

Sources

Life of John Taylor, BH Roberts, 1892 NHF Biographical Sketch

Mon 19 Mar 1855

PRR Road Committee reads letter from N. H. Felt regarding potential for transporting Mormon emigrants from Europe to Utah

PRR is an abbreviation of Pennsylvania Railroad. Editor Chuck Blardone 2886 Wimbledon Lane Lancaster, PA 17601-1454, or: blardone@redrose.net
I sent Mr. Blardone an email on 29 July 2005 to get a copy of the letter, but none has been returned as of 6 April 2008.

Sources

PRR Chronology, 1855. Downloaded from URL on 29 July 2005. Click here for cached version

Mon 23 Apr 1855

John S. Fullmer writes to the Millennial Star editor from Ship Siddons with news from New York City and that he had met the presidency there with advice on emigration details. Fullmer and Taylor subsequently went to Pittsburg leaving NHF behind in the NY office.

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Sources

The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, 1855, Page 328
Click here for source document

John Fullmer Letter

Tue 22 May 1855


S. CurlingEmigrant Ship S. Curling arrives in New York; Elder N. H. Felt is induced to send a telegram to John Taylor who was in Philadelphia

Sources

The Voyage of the S. Curling by W. Willies
Click here for source document

Wed 27 Jun 1855

15 year old Joseph Henry Felt writes to his father in New York. The news is regarding grasshoppers, hot weather and coal.

This letter demonstrates Joseph Henry Felt's literacy and diligence in public affairs. He knew NHF would be interested in the subject matter. He must surely have missed is father.

Sources

the latter-day saints' millennial star, Volume 17, page 637

Tue 07 Aug 1855

Diary of William John Siler: Aug 7, 1855: "rough" My wife gave birth to a son at 12:45 p.m…

Further quoting, "had trouble with the afterbirth, but called in the elders who administered to her & the trouble ceased. The doctor was surprised he saw there certainly was some power there above his skill or understanding."

Sources

Click here for source document
Harold B. Lee Library, BYU, Mormon Migration

Sun 12 Aug 1855

NHF confirms Mary Jane Madden a member of the Church in the Haverstraw Branch.

Mary Jane Madden would have been a 16 year old girl, says James Kimball. Mary and her sister were Catholic girls in Ireland. Her parents sent them to America to live with an Uncle perhaps.
Terrible storm at sea washed them overboard. Mary was the only survivor. Mormon emigrant ship rescued her. Mary Jane Madden later married Loren Dunn.

Sources

Journal of John Druce, Church Historical Dept.
Interview with James Kimball 6/12/03

Wed 05 Sep 1855

John Taylor and his assistants NHF and Alexander Robbins meet 89th Company on ship Cynosure from Liverpool at Castle Gardens led by William J. Silver

This is probably the first time NHF met his third plural wife Mary L. Pile who was numbered with Silver from England.
This was probably the date of the Millennial Star issue rather than the actual arrival date.

Sources

Millennial Star, Vol XVII, page 505

Wed 05 Sep 1855

Ship Cynosure arrived at New York and Castle Carden

Castle Garden where immigrants of the time disembarked from their ships to meet their new country and home.

This must have been a significant meeting of W. J. Silver and Mary Louisa Pile and N. H. Felt, but there is nothing here to prove it.

"EIGHTY-NINTH COMPANY. -- Cynosure, 159 souls. Sunday, July 29, 1855, the ship Cynosure sailed from Liverpool, England, with 159 Saints on board, under the presidency of Elder George Seager, with Elder William Rogers and William J. Silver as counselors, (Millennial Star, Vol XVII, page 505.) The following account is furnished by Elder William J. Silver, now a resident of the Seventeenth Ward, Salt Lake City: 'In the summer of 1855 and for several years afterwards, a large number of European Saints who had not sufficient means to defray the traveling expenses from their native lands all the way to Utah, were organized into companies and forwarded by the presidency in Liverpool to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and other places in the United States, where they could earn means to enable them to proceed further on their journey, and at the same time form nucleuses for branches of the Church, and help Elder John Taylor, in New York, and Elder Erastus Snow, in St. Louis, to sustain the Mormon and the Luminary -- papers published by them in the interest of the Church. It was intended to send a company on the ship Australia, but as some defects were discovered in her which could not be repaired in time, the Cynosure, Captain Pray, was substituted. This ship left the dock at Liverpool, July 28th, 1855, and sailed the following day for New York, where she arrived, after a pretty fair voyage, on the morning of September 5th, at Castle Garden, they being one of the first companies of Latter-day Saints which were accommodated in that historic building, which had opened for emigration purposes a short time previous. This was a very agreeable surprise to the emigrants, as it gave them time to make their arrangements, etc., while those who wished to go further could do so without incurring expenses for lodging. In New York, the emigrants were received by Apostle John Taylor and his assistants, N. H. Felt and Elder Robbins, and by the active exertions of W. H. Miles and Charles Davey, were soon comfortably housed; and before long most of the men found employment. There were several miners from Wales, who went to Pennsylvania and there located, while some went to other localities. Most of them subsequently came to Utah."

Sources

Click here for source document

The Contributor By Junius F. Wells, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, page 553

Sat 15 Sep 1855

NY Harold publishes editorial that Mormon women should be seduced by good-looking U.S. soldiers

John Taylor snaps back his own editorial.

Sources

Life of John Taylor, B.H. Roberts

Sun 07 Oct 1855

Nathaniel H. Felt sustained as John Taylor's assistant at Philadelphia conference of the Saints

Yet an LDS conference held in Philadelphia (7 October 1855) noted a surge in the work, although things had been floundering for a time: "Elder Harrison, too deserved credit for keeping John Taylor. Courtesy Church Archives. the saints together in Philadelphia, in the dark and cloudy day; they although feeble found a nucleus to gather to, and he now saw the reward of his labors."53 The conference further reported, "Mormonism might have taken a nap for awhile in the east, but it has awakened up and was now alive and kicking." Elder Jeter Clinton was at this time serving as the president of the conference, which would have included each of the Church branches in Pennsylvania. The conference minutes mention that John Taylor was sustained as president of the Eastern States Mission, with Jeter Clinton, Nathaniel H. Felt, Alexander Robbins Jr., Samuel A. Woolley, George J. Taylor, and Angus Cannon also being sustained as his assistants.

Sources

Sun 07 Oct 1855

Nathaniel H. Felt was sustained as an assistant to President Taylor in Eastern Mission with several others in Philadelphia

"Pronounced Clean, Comfortable, and Good Looking:" The Passage of Mormon Immigrants through the Port of Philadelphia by Fred E. Woods

Sources

Click here for source document

Author: Fred E. Woods; BYU Studies; downloaded from webpub.byu.net on 5/18/2007

Tue 25 Dec 1855

John Taylor and NHF ordain Solomon Mack (Jr) a high priest

Solomon Mack, Mormon, son of Solomon and Esther (Hayward) Mack, was born May 23,1805. Ordained " under the hands of elders Brigham Young and Orson Pratt" at Peterborough, July 13 or 14, 1844, and high priest, by elders John Taylor and N. H. Felt, at Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 25, 1856. . Elected elder and president of the Gilsum Church of Latter Day Saints, organized May 26, 1849. Started for Utah, going as far as Kansas, but on account of the unwillingness of his family to accompany him, returned to Gilsum. Died there, Jan. 30, 1883.
Actually the date could not have been 25 Dec 1856 since NHF was already home in Utah by that time. If the month and date is correct, 1855 is the only year it could have taken place. Solomon was ordained at the Peterborough, NH conference that BY was attending when the martyrdom letter was read aloud.
Solomon was Lucy Mack Smith's brother.

Sources

New Hampshire Native Ministry, by Nathan Franklin Carter, page 278
Text not available
The Native Ministry of New Hampshire ... By Nathan Franklin Carter

Sat 29 Dec 1855

The ship “Emerald Isle” arrived in NY; P. C. Merrill declares Elder Felt an excellent counselor to John Taylor and friend.

I have saved a copy on disk. This incident tells a story of some kind. John Taylor is away, and NHF is standing in for him there at New York. I wonder what editorial work was being penned at that time, and could some of it have been done by NHF?

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

NEW YORK New York December 29th 1855 Dear President Richards Knowing your unceasing interest in everything that pertains to the people of God and the earnest yearnings of your heart to accomplish every task that your high calling enjoins upon you we are particularly happy in being able to report the safe arrival of the Emerald Isle in this port.

Our hearts are deeply penetrated with gratitude to our heavenly Father for our favourable passage and for the good conduct of the Saints with whom we have traversed the great ocean The Emerald Isle weighed anchor at a quarter to eleven am Nov 30th having on board 3 Seventies 1 High Priest 40 Elders 29 Priests 14 Teachers 11 Deacons and 248 other individuals of our company only a few of whom were not members of the Church.

After the steam tug had left us we went gaily through the Irish Channel and continued our voyage with exceedingly favourable winds for the first three days. A considerable number soon passed the usual cleansing ordeal sea sickness From the 3rd until the 8th December we had an almost dead calm and made but little progress. During this time we relieved two vessels in distress for provisions the Auxiliare from the East and the Imogene from the West Indies. The subsequent part of the voyage was marked by fine and boisterous weather alternately. Considering the distance traversed and the season of the year we think we have been exceedingly prospered though boxes and tins have danced more frequently than many desired.

Captain G. P. Cornish has behaved well towards us. Observing the orderly conduct of the Saints he left us entirely free to carry out the regulations we thought it best to adopt for their preservation.

Every man chosen to fill any office during this voyage has done well and rendered himself worthy of the trust confided to him. We cannot speak too favourably of the services of Elder Bunce. Besides discharging the duties of steward he had been a comforting visitor to the sick while almost every other person was confined to his berth. The Saints here marked their approval of his conduct by contributing voluntarily a few pounds to enable him to replenish his wardrobe. C.A. Foster aided Elder Bunce greatly besides discharging the duty of captain of the guard.

We have had little sickness save ordinary sea sickness. From this several of the brethren and sisters with some children have been very weak and have been confined to their berths a considerable time. On the 26th we had high winds and a heavy sea which broke in a part of the bulwark rent a sail or two and caused considerable confusion. The same evening, Esther Whiting, six months old daughter of Elder Richard Whiting from the Kent Conference and Charles Adcock eight months old, son of Elder Charles Adcock from the Lincolnshire Conference, died.

Elder Richard Morris from the Reading Conference and sister Emma Packer from the Reading Branch were united in marriage on board Dec 1st Elder G. F. A. Spiller and Sister Caroline Britt both from the Kent Conference on Nov 30th by Elder France; and brother Christopher Woolman and sister Lydia Tarlington from the Leicestershire Conference by Elder France on the 5th December.

Brother Gilbert from Birmingham fell from the forecastle a depth of about 20 feet which caused a severe contusion in the head. He has gradually recovered through the administration of the Priesthood to whose power in the holy name of Jesus he certainly owes the preservation of his life. Brother Charles Williams having a face severely swollen from cold was left at the Quarantine Hospital by the directions of the medical inspector of the vessel.

Meetings have been held morning and evening as regularly as the weather has permitted. The Saints have expressed great satisfaction with their journey Zion ward and have testified of the influence of the Spirit being with them in a greater degree than they had formerly experienced. We think that few could have anticipated a better time at sea. We have had no crime to deal with no differences to settle nothing in our record against any one for which we are truly thankful.

For ourselves we have suffered as much, particularly Elders France and Stenhouse, as any on board; nevertheless we have had strength to overcome.

We extract the following from the secretary's report -- On Sunday Dec 30 meetings were held in the central ward of the ship at which the Saints heartily expressed their entire approbation of the manner in which President Merrill, his Counsellors, and the other officers of the company had acted in their several capacities during the voyage. These feelings they evinced by unanimously sustaining Elder Merrill as their President with Elders France and Stenhouse as Counsellors the Presidents of Wards, brothers Bunce as steward, Foster as captain of the guard, Novice and Botrell as cooks, and brother Wood as secretary. They also expressed their sense of the general civilitv they had received from the captain and crew of the ship and of the peaceable manner in which the lower deck passengers who were not members of the Church had behaved.

Elder Stenhouse read a testimonial, which at his suggestion the Saints had I concurred in presenting to President Merrill in appreciation of his conduct during tho voyage.

Since we arrived in this place we have experienced much kindness and courtesy from every official with whom we have had any relation. The authorities of this state have within the last year established an excellent institution for the protection of emigrants on their arrival here. Castle Garden a spacious circular building capable of accomodating two thousand persons is a home for any who can content themselves with a bed on the planks. The majority of our company have remained there since their arrival until their departure for St Louis and other localities in the Union.

Elder Taylor is at this moment absent from New York but we have had an excellent counsellor and friend in Elder Felt. Elder Mills President of the Branch together with Elder Smedhurst and many of the Saints here have been very kind and have interested themselves much for the benefit of those Saints who purpose to remain here. Some have already found employment and we trust that the way will soon open up for them all. In the mean time those without means have been accommodated with the use of the Saints Meeting hall for lodging until they can better their condition.

That we may not lose the opportunity of sending this by the first maill we must now conclude begging your indulgence for all errors. We remain your brethren and fellow labourers in the cause of truth.
P. C. MERRILL
JOSEPH FRANCE
TBH STENHOUSE

The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Sources

The Descendants of Timothy & Joahanne Gilbert by Minnie Heath
downloaded from URL

1856

Joseph Henry Felt (age 16) describes a typical day in his young life

JHF wasn’t very specific as to the date, but he did describe well the daily routines while his father was away in the east. The household had a substantial garden plot and JHF personally had a cow that mingled with a herd. Maybe JHF referred to "my cow" when it really was the family cow, and maybe the herd was some sort of neighborhood herd. I don't know.

Sources

Lineal History of JHF by Wilcox, Go to Bookmark

1856

NHF’s mother dies in Salem

Sources

Fri 01 Feb 1856

John Taylor and company re-organize eastern branches of the Church

"It affords me very much pleasure to have to state that since the arrival of myself and brethren in these eastern states, Mormonism assumes quite another aspect: we have large and flourishing churches in different parts of this state, [New York] which are continually increasing, not only by emigration but by baptisms. The Spirit of the Lord rests among the assemblies of the Saints; the inquiries after truth are many; the floods of falsehood with which this country was deluged before our arrival are being dissipated, and the light of eternal truth is bursting forth with resplendence and glory.", John Taylor

Sources

Life of John Taylor, B.H. Roberts, 1892

Mon 11 Feb 1856

The Sacramento Daily Union reports the death of Nathaniel Preston Felt in its Obituary section

"In Salt Lake City, Dec. 3d, Nathaniel PRESTON, son of Nathaniel and Eliza Ann FELT, aged 9 years and 6 months"

Sources

Sacramento Daily Union, 11 Feb 1856

Sat 16 Feb 1856

Ship "John J. Boyd" arrives at Castle Garden from Sweden with Immigrant John Felt and family on board

John Felt died in Huntsville, and his family has often been mistaken for NHF descendants in Utah. No direct mention of NHF is made in the narrative, but it can be assumed NHF was at least aware of the immigrant that bore his same surname. Angus M. Cannon or John Taylor could have greeted the ship.
John and family stayed at Castle Garden until 21 Feb 1856 when they boarded a train for Dunkirk.

Sources

Downloaded from www.feltonline.com/.... on 25 March 2004

Mar 1856

A constitutional convention was held in SLC.

John Taylor and George A. Smith took constitution to Congress in the summer

Sources

Life of John Taylor, BH Roberts, 1892

Wed 05 Mar 1856

Elder Levi Savage Jr arrives in New York and immediately looks up the address of Elder Taylor

Levi Savage Jr does a good job of documenting details. The Nausan street address would have been the address only of maybe the office or John Taylorj because George Taylor and NH Felt lived in Brooklyn

March 5, 1856, New York. We thought that we should be in New York this morning by eight or nine o'clock, but the ice and strong wind last night impeded our progress so that we did not arrive until about four O'clock p.m. I got my trunks taken up into the city in Broadway Street, Number 400, Florance Hotel where I ascertained Elder Taylor's address by the City Directory. It is No. 102 Nausan Street. -- Levi Savage Jr Journal

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Thu 06 Mar 1856

Levi Savage Jr. meets with Elders Taylor and Felt

Marrch 6, 1856, Thursday, New York, This morning I found Elder Taylor's office with but little trouble. Here I met both Elders Taylor and Felt and many other brethren with whom I have not previously been acquainted -- Levi Savage

People always seemed to mention both Taylor and Felt when arrving at the office in New York. Felt must have been considered Taylor's leading assistant because there were others there including Angus M Cannon -- JC Felt

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Fri 07 Mar 1856

Levi Savage goes to Hoboken NJ to live for a while with Brother Finlyson which happed to be the advice of NHF. Here again, NHF was an arranger of relationships

March 7, 1856, Friday, Brother Finlyson's. This morning agreeable to Brother Felt's advice, I crossed the river from New York to Hoboken and called on Brother Finlyson. I was made welcome, and in the afternoon I brought my trunks from the hotel in New York and shall make my home here for a while. Elder Taylor starts for Philadelphia on business. -- Levi Savage Jr

Elder Felt is not mentioned, but he most likely accompanied Taylor on the trip

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Sun 16 Mar 1856

Levi Savage describes the meeting hall on Grand Street which NHF probably attended

March 16, 1856, Sunday, 'Brother Finlyson' St Hoboken. Today I attended a meeting of the Latter Day Saints in a hall situated at 116 Grand Street, New York, There was preaching in the morning, afternoon and evening considerably rnany strangers were present. When the afternoon services were over, Brother Bruster requested me to go home with him and administer to his wife who, he said, was badly afflicted with evil spirits. Brother George Taylor and one other Brother accompanied me. We found her truly very bad. as her husband had Said.. We administered to her and she was relieved in a short time. -- Levi Savage Jr.

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Apr 1856

"Bishop N. H. Felt" is sustained as assistant to Elder John Taylor of the Eastern States

The title Bishop is not often used upon NHF except perhaps in the 1850s. It seems like the author of the book was probably in attendance at the April conference of the church in Philadelphia. I wonder if NHF met him there.

Sources

Thu 03 Apr 1856

Truman O. Angell is blessed by Brigham Young to visit Europe and study temples

I think Truman Angell and NHF were well acquainted by now since Angell spent time completing the Nauvoo Temple after BY and the Twelve left.

Sources

Truman O. Angell Journal

Tue 08 Apr 1856

Levi Savage Jr goes to Brooklyn New York to visit Brother Felt and George Taylor

April 8, 1856, Tuesday. This morning after breakfast, Brother Andrew Pettet gave me one dollar and sent his wagon to take me to Rockway, where I took the state for Brooklyn aned arrived in New York a little past twelve o'clock. Stopped over night to visit Brothers Felt and George Taylor. Their residence is in Brooklyn.

George J. Taylor was the oldest son of John Taylor and was said to assist his father in the publishing of The Mormon. Taylor was born 18 years younger than NHF and would have been only 22 years old when Levi Savage mentioned him. I find it interesting that George John Taylor (probably) lived with Felt and not with his father (or did John Taylor also live with Felt)? If true, having NHF and George living at the same address parallels with Brigham Young and his 2nd oldest dtr Vilate. NHF had a nephew who also lived in Brooklyn and this connection may be why they all lived there -- JC Felt

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Sun 13 Apr 1856

Another Sunday in New York City. Elder Felt speaks in the evening

April 13, 1856, Sunday, Brother Hunt's, New York. Today I attended meeting at the Latter-day Saints place of meeting, 116 Grand Street, New York. Brother Miles requested me to address the Saints, which I did. The audience was small the mostly saints. IN the afternoon Elder Taylor addressed the Saints. His instructions will be highly beneficial to all who practice them. After this service was over, he called a council of Elders and requested the Priesthood of this Branch to awaken to their duties, that if they did not, they would be removed and others placed in their stead. Evening Elder Felt addressed the audience.

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Wed 30 Apr 1856

NHF meets the ship "Enoch Train" in Boston Harbor. It appears that he goes aboard ship that night

This looks like a well-written book recently published that will shed light on the subject of emigration in general. NHF was an emigration agent. At the time, NHF seems to be assigned to the Boston area by John Taylor. Maybe he was sent north to meet the ship.

Sources

Downloaded from Day to Day Enterprises website on 14 Nov 2003
The Enoch Train Pioneers

Thu 01 May 1856

Enoch Train lands at Constitution Wharf in Boston. NHF was probably on board as official welcomer of the Church

Sources

"The Enoch Train Pioneers", Copyright 2003

Fri 02 May 1856

Enoch Train emigrants go to NY and receive council from John Taylor.

Perhaps NHF was there also

Sources

"The Enoch Train Pioneers", Copyright 2003

Wed 14 May 1856

The Essex Institute meets as usual in their annual meeting. They thank all who contribute materials to the institute. "Henry Felt" of Utah is thanked, but it must be a typo in leaving out Nathaniel's first name.

I did not realize how early NHF was active in donating material to the Essex Institute. May of 1856 makes sense given his proximity to Salem at that time. To have brought minerals and sego lilies all the way from Salt Lake City demonstrates great forethought on his part when he prepared to leave for New York with John Taylor. I happened on to this entry quite by accident because I was attracted to the publication for other reasons. When I was in Salem last, John Grimes showed me the minerals donated by Nathaniel H. Felt, but the accession date was attributed to be much later and was likely a conflation of another donation in the latter time period. Wouldn't it be interesting to find other documents which allege the use of NHF's middle name as moniker instead of Nathaniel?



Sources

Proceedings of the Essex Iinstitute, Page 4, 150

Sun 18 May 1856

Deseret News mentions NHF’s return call from Eastern States

There is some discrepancy between references in Deseret News and Millennial Star 22 May 1856.
Note: May 18, 1856 would be impossible for NHF to get home. The paper simply announcing that NHF would be returning soon as we know he did in October of that year. This demonstrates the brethren were deliberate about missionary assignments. Nathaniel as on a mission.

Sources

Journal History

Thu 22 May 1856

NHF meets Captain Dan Jones at wharf in Boston

This one is stored “Mormon Emigration Letters.pdf” I found it while surfing the web
Dan Jones is mentioned prominently in Gathering to Nauvoo by Fred E. Woods
James Crane was an emigrant from Wales, and NHF helped to spring (pay their passage) Crane’s group from Boston since they had no means Crane mentions Dan Jones and also describes New York. Later in Salt Lake Brother Crane would have been acquainted with NHF since they lived in the same ward for about 6 months.

Sources

Millennial Star
History of James Crane – see Archive on nhfelt.org

Sat 14 Jun 1856

James Willie mentions the greeting of John Taylor and Elder Felt along with the gentlemen of the press

Willie wrote, "Saturday 14th. This morning a clear sky and favorable wind 4 a.m. tacked ship and stood for Sandy Hook. At 8 a.m. steam boat Achilles came along side, Captain Collins engaged her to tow us to New York. General stir among the passengers all getting ready to land; good feeling prevailing. Doctor came on board off Staten Island and gave a certificate of the good health of the passengers. The Custom House also came and passed our luggage without any inspection. At sun down we landed at Castle Gardens, a large building appropriated for emigrants, where we were visited by Elder Felt who kindly welcomed us."

Sources

"Press Forward Saints" See Trek Stories

Sat 14 Jun 1856

John Taylor and NHF meet steamer tub of saints arriving from Europe at Castle Gardens

Found on web
Shortly after this time, NHF leaves NY and John Taylor’s side to go back home. John Taylor stays in the East.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND TO NEW YORK, USA "DEPARTURE. -- The ship Thornton, Captain Collins, cleared on May 3rd, 1856 and sailed on the May 4th, 1856 for New York, with 764 souls of the Saints on board (560 adults, 172 children, 29 infants), 484 of the total number were P. [Perpetual] E. [Emigration] Fund emigrants, expected to cross the plains with hand-carts.

This company is under the presidency of Elders James G. Willie, Millen Atwood, Jacob A. Ahmansen, and Moses Clough. Elders Willie, Atwood, and Clough arrived in England January 5, 1853; and consequently have been laboring in the ministry, in this country, nearly three years and four months.

Considerable sickness prevailed among the emigrants of whom a number were old and sickly, Seven deaths, three births and two marriages took place on board…

On 14th June 1856 the Thornton arrived at New York, and a tug boat landed the emigrants at Castle Garden, where they were kindly received by Apostle John Taylor and Elder Nathaniel H. Felt.
Downloaded from http://www.pioneerancestors.com on 7 Dec 2008.

Sources

Condensed by Tim Holder from "Mortensen Family History."
History of Hans Rasmussen, downloaded from http://www.ldsep.org/denmark/.... on 30 Jan 2004
Millennial Star, Vol. XVIII, pages 330, 478, 542, 554; Morgenstjernen Vol. III, page 21

Sat 14 Jun 1856

The book, Post Nublia Phoebius by Geral Fowles is now my favorite version of the Thornton

The author reports interesting details about the people on board the ship including Mr. and Mrs. James Astle who wanted to join with the Latter-day Saints as they went to Utah. Elder Nathan Felt was reported to have spoken and had offered practical trail advise for the emigrants. Felt spoke after his file leader John Taylor.

Sources

"Post Nublia Phoebius" Click Here

Sun 15 Jun 1856

Levi Savage mentions the saints coming from the ship "Thornton."

June 15, 1856, Sunday, Brother Hunt's, New York. This morning I attended meeting. The most of the congregation were the Saints that arrived last night in the Ship "Thornton." We also had good meetings in the afternoon and evening. -- Levi Savage Jr

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Mon 16 Jun 1856

Levi Savage meets with Saints at Castle Garden who had lately arrived.

June 16, 1856, Monday, Brother Hunt's, New York. Today I went to Castle Garden and visited the Saints that have lately arrived. They are generally well and in good spirits. A large number of them intend to cross the plains with handcarts and will take the cars for their place of outfit, called Florrance, formerly Winter Quarters.

Some of the details about the handcart saints were clearly well known before the ill-fated trek started. Levi Savage was involved much earlier than I had known in the past and his day-to-day involvement with the other missionaries of New York including NHF is now enlightening. -- JC Felt

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Thu 19 Jun 1856

Elder Levi Savage once famously said on this date, "I have circled the globe." This was in reference to his leaving on a mission 4 years earlier from Great Salt Lake City for Siam. Now on this date he was back in his home town for several years earlier before he joined the Church.

This entry also makes me wonder if he could be in Greenfield, Ohio just three days after being at Castle Garden, New York. Maybe…??

June 19, 1856, Thursday. Elders Willey and Atwood overtook us. We took the steamer to Toledo, touching at Sandusky City, where I took leave of them nearly being in good health and spirits. I took the cars for Greenfield, Ohio where I met with a number of my relatives. They were extremely glad to see me. This is my birth place. I have circled the globe.

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Sat 21 Jun 1856

John Taylor and George A. Smith were elected delegates to present Utah's proposed constitution to Congress

Both the Republicans and the Democrats were against allowing Utah into the Union. The delegates elected not to present the constitution since it would invite sure defeat

Sources

Life of John Taylor, BH Roberts, 1892

Sat 21 Jun 1856

Truman O. Angell visits NHF in NY

Elder Angell is on his way to Europe to study temples. Elder Angell does not return through NY until the following year 20 Mar 1857 when NHF has already gone home.

Sources

Journal of Truman O. Angell

Thu 03 Jul 1856

NHF writes a letter to the editor of The Mormon reporting on the progress of the ship Horizen

Correspondence of Elder N. H. Felt.
------
BOSTON, July 3d, 1856.

To the Editor of the Mormon:

DEAR SIR: The ship Horizon, arrived at Quarantine, on Saturday evening the 28th ult., and drew up to Constitution Wharf on Sunday afternoon. I arrived here on the Tuesday morning following, by Fall River route, and found Elder martin with his excellently organized company quietly waiting the arrival of some one from New York to give them counsel and advice.

On Tuesday afternoon, we had all the luggage excepting the beds and bedding out upon this wharf,, and forwarded to the Worcester Depot before dark; and the following morning, at 11 o’clock, the remainder of the luggage and nearly 700 souls were safely upon the cars and started for Iowa city – Brother Martin, Bro. Tennant and family and a few others remaining to overtake them by express train at Springfield.

The activity and prompt measures of Bro. Martin and his counselors, Bros. Havens and Waugh, assisted very materially in hastening their departure, thus relieving the emigrants from much additional expense attendant upon the delay among strangers.

The perfect good order, cleanliness, health, comfort, cheerfulness and mutual kindness displayed among this company elicited the most unqualified admiration of all who visited the ship, and the expression of Capt. Reed and his officers to their friends who came on board and to myself was one of entire satisfaction and confidence with the presiding officers and company he had brought with him from Liverpool. The captain often remarked he wished to bring no other emigrants as long as he could obtain companies of the Latter Day Saints or Mormons.

A few of the families remain in Boston, consisting of about thirty souls; a number also have gone to New York and some to Philadelphia and Minersville. Boston affords a very limited chance for disposing of the surplus stores; I shall do the best I can with them in Boston, or re-ship them to New York, as the prices shall seem to warrant. Excuse haste. Yours, N. H. FELT.


The Mormon 2: 21 (July 12, 1856), 3

Sources

Downloaded from MormonMigration.com on July 18, 2009
Click here for source document

Thu 03 Jul 1856

NHF writes letter to Mrs. Cobb about what was going on in Boston, MA

Mrs. Cobb was a plural and mostly secret wife of BY for reasons of her own security and well-being. NHF was confidant and friend of both Cobb and Young.

Sources

Journal History

Tue 08 Jul 1856

Margaretta Unwin Clark arrives in Boston on Ship Horizen on 28 Jun 1856. This event shows NHF was present from beginning to end with the Martin Handcart tragedy

Some of the emigrants, who were no immigrants, elected to remain in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Minersville. Nathaniel Felt recorded that the luggage, except what had been forwarded ahead, and nearly 700 of the original 856 members boarded a train which eventually took them to Iowa City, 8 July 1856. It was the end of the railroad. There would be no more ships, no more trains. From this point, the Saints would move on their own power, most of them placing their possessions in handcarts which they would push and pull over the next thirteen hundred miles.

Sources

Anson Call wrote the book Rocky Mountain Prophey

Click here for source document

Fri 01 Aug 1856

NHF Writes letter to Joseph L. Heywood

Note: Joseph L. Heywood was a member of the “Holy Order” in Nauvoo. Joseph Leland Heywood was a fellow Massachusetts native having been born at Worchester only 1 year before NHF was born

Sources

Diary of Joseph L. Heywood

Mon 04 Aug 1856

Joseph L. Heywood receives letter from NHF
“Received a very kind letter from Bro. N H Felt dated New York Aug 1st.”

At the time Brother Heywood was in Washington D.C. trying to clear his name and be reappointed as U.S. Marshall. NHF would have known about Heywood’s whereabouts since John Taylor was also there with Heywood. NHF would also feel like Heywood’s friend since they lived in the same Salt Lake 17th Ward and both came from Massachusetts. More digging into Heywood’s trip to Washington should be done.

Sources

Diary of Joseph L. Heywood, Brigham Young University

Fri 08 Aug 1856

Elder N. H. Felt left New York for Utah, in company with President Franklin D. Richards and his associates from England, on the 8th of Aug. He came out Elder J. Taylor on a mission to the eastern states about two years since and has most of the time been laboring in the Mormon Office.

Sources

The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, 1856, Page 618
Click here for source document

Sat 09 Aug 1856

Letter from Bishop N. H. Felt to the editor of the Mormon.

The entire letter was not included in the source material available.

Letter from Bishop N. H. Felt.
--------- …The gentlemanly agents of the New York and Erie, Michigan Central, Boston and Wocester Railways, with those connected with their several offices, also many of those connected with Castle Garden, in this city, Mesers. Enoch Train & Co., and gentleman connected with their establishment in Boston, have my warmest thanks for the attention and courtesy bestowed upon myself and various companies of emigrating Saints on their arrival in this country, which with myself, will long be remembered by many….

…When the emigration ended its way, in 1846 and 1847, through Saint Louis en route to the mountains, it met in that city, the usual prejudice against the Mormons existing among its inhabitants, which first and last has existed all over the country, but soon the industrious habits, and upright course of the Saints in that region, caused an entire reversion of feelings, and our office was filled with applicants for artisans, laborers, farmers and mechanics from all parts of the city and surrounding country, and ere long, most of the manufactories and establishments of various kinds were filled by expert and willing hands of the Saints, anxious to fit themselves out, by close attention to business, for a speedy journey across the plains, to their long looked-for home in the peaceful valley of the mountains. The same will be the case in New York and elsewhere, for wherever the Saints have congregated for a season, there they have won for themselves a name and reputation for honesty, perseverance and industry, in the face of all the calumny and opprobrium heaped upon a good people, by interested and designing parties, who scruple at no meanness to accomplish the ends of bigotry and sectarianism. Let the Saints here, and those arriving in this country, continue to be diligent in well doing and faithful in all their covenants, whether temporal or spiritual and the Lord will bless them and open the way before them, and enable them to go forth to the valley of the mountains with joy and thanksgiving. God bless the upright in heart, and all those that strive to serve Him….

The Mormon 2: 25 (August 9, 1856), 2

Sources

Downloaded from MormonMigration.com on July 18, 2009
Click here for source document

Mon 11 Aug 1856

Levi Savage Jr arrives at Florance, NE and experiences opposition from non-Members.

August 11, 1856, Monday. Camp of the Saints, Florance, Nebraska Territory. This morning we arose early, got breakfast, attended prayers and started. After traveling about three miles we came to Bluff City. Here, like all other towns through which we have passed, the people thronged the street sides and gazed upon us with apparent great surprise. They were civil, except a few fellows who endeavored to make sport of us, the crippeled and lame not excepted. They were reprimanded by the better chaps. Here we met Elder McGaw, the Emigrating Agent at Florance. As he returned to Florance he came to a house near which some our company had stopped for refershments. Here some of the gentiles and apostates commenced to abuse the Saints and curse the handcart system and those that instituted it. Brother McGaw stood in defense of the System. Sains and servants. Consequently got into a fist fight with them. He whipped one or two of them, but received no material injury to himself except getting his hair well pulled. We moved to the Misouri River, ferried over the encamped ujust after dark. The last handcart company left here for Salt Lake about three weeks since.

Sources

Levi Savage Jr Journal
Click here for source document

Sat 16 Aug 1856

Announcement of Brother Felt's departure from New York back to Salt Lake is printed in the Mormon

(Entire Article Not Included in source materiel)

Departure.
--------
…Bro. Felt has been laboring with us in the office most of the time since his arrival, and has been very efficient in assisting about the emigration, among whom his unremitting attention and care has made him many friends. Personally we have very much enjoyed his society as a co-laborer, and now that he leaves us, he goes with our best blessings and desires for his welfare, and we pray that the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, of Jesus, and Joseph, may watch for and preside over him that he may have a safe, speedy, and prosperous journey to his home in the far distant West; that this health may be preserved, that he may enjoy long life and peace upon the earth and a celestial inheritance in the eternal worlds.

The Mormon 2: 26 (August 16, 1856), 2

Sources

Downloaded from MormonMigration.com on July 18, 2009
Click here for source document

Tue 19 Aug 1856

President Richards and company were on the Missouri River, 15 miles below St. Joseph, August 19. They were all in good health, and anticipated winding up all business and leaving Florence for Utah on the 1st of September.

Sources

The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, 1856, Page 618
Click here for source document

Sun 24 Aug 1856

NHF is called to council with Erastus Snow, FD Richards, Daniel Spencer, CW Wheellock, Joseph A. Young, John Van Cott, WH Kimball, GD Grant, WC Durham. The subject was emigration.

This would have been about the time the Martin and Willie companies were getting a late start toward Salt Lake.

In "The Rocky Mountain Saints" Stenhouse becomes highly critical of his former colleagues as so often happens and seems to exploit the plights of the Martin and Willie companies. NHF was part of the entire scene was was not singularly responsible.

Sources

Sun 24 Aug 1856

NHF meets the famous and tragic Willie handcart company along the North Platt River. This is where the fateful speech was made by Franklin D. Richards for the English saints to drive west. Levi Savage was there to object, but he (Savage) decided to help the immigrating saints on their way

William Woodward uses the phrase "these names I remember although it was 51 years ago" and it sounds ominous. I am fairly certain he didn't conjure up the names from memory, however. He would have needed a printed source for them which wasn't then nor is it now difficult to find.

NHF was with FD Richards, WH Kimball, GD Grant, Joseph A. Young, CG Webb, WC Dunbar and others. This expose of the handcart disaster isn’t very flattering, but it certainly sheds light on the politics of the day. Since I have NHF leaving Florence, NE in Sep I suppose he went back to Florence after seeing the Willie Company.

Nate Orman wrote of Levi Savage, "By this time, it was mid-August and Levi Savage, who knew something about the problems of crossing the vast distances of the North American interior, was incredulous. He insisted that it was too late in the season to begin. The handcarts might be trapped in the high Rockies by an early winter. It was too dangerous, he insisted. His objections were overruled by his ecclesiastical superiors. He then said:

What I have said I know to be true; but seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help all I can, will work with you, will rest with you, and if necessary, will die with you. May God in his mercy bless and preserve us.

It has always struck me as one of the most powerful statements in our history about following the Brethren. Savage knew that he was right and that Franklin D. Richards was wrong. He nevertheless went along with the Willie company, not because he trusted in Richards’ secret infallibility or because he was brow beaten into doing his duty. Rather, he went because the English immigrants — people he had never met and did not know — were his people, and he would help them if he could.

William Woodward wrote, "The companies had to wait for carts & cattle. Although John Taylor was in the States he did not seem to have anything to do with our companies. Geo. A. Smith was also in Washington & Erastus Snow came to our camp before the 3rd company left. In the companies were cripples, and people who had to be hauled all the way. It was intended for every hundred people to have one wagon with 3 yoke of oxen or 4 mules—these were for hauling provisions, tents etc., and they hauled several of the people. Little children had either to be hauled in carts or wagons of our company. In our company one man had a crazy wife & he hauled her as long as she lived, another man hauled his sick brother near all the way to the valley. One old man blind & ruptured unable to walk a 1/2 mile a day, some 66 years old, with no relatives along, was a hand cart passenger, rode as long as he lived, a good old man too, for he was in my hundred; some 5 men over 60 years of age died in my hd. on the way. We never ought to have left Mo. River. It was about August 17th when we left the River: we had 6 wagons when we left Florence and was allowed a pound of flour a day. While at Florence a meeting of our Company was held—I had been sent to Omaha & Council Bluffs, when Levi Savage told of the cold & suffering might be expected on the trip. Bro. Willie assumed all responsibility & Bro. Savage was condemned for his recital of what might be expected on our journey. Bro. Willie gave me the information when I returned from Council Bluffs. Every word spoken by Bro. Savage came true.

Several families with teams joined our company at Florence and travelled with us. After passing Fort Kearney on opposite side of Platte river we Lost many of our cattle one dark night. It stormed during this night, & ravines twenty feet deep were full of water in the morning. Some young men went to hunt for these cattle & had to go miles in the hills before they could cross these streams. Our cattle were not found.

While camped at North Bluff Fork of Platte, F. D. Richards & company overtook us. This company besides Bro. Richards were the following Daniel Spencer, C. H, Wheelock, Jas. Ferguson, Geo. D. Grant, W. H. Kimball, W. C. Dunbar, C. W. Webb, Dan Jones, J. D. T. McAllister, Jas. A. Young, N. H. Felt, Jas. McGaw, & Jno. Van Cott. These names I remember although it is more than 51 years ago.

Next day a meeting was held at our camp. F. D. Richards had heard of the remarks made by Bro. Levi Savage at Florence, and severely condemned them. He said he had heard remarks made by Bro. John Taylor at New York who spoke of the lateness of the season, and Bro. F. D. Richards said he told Bro. John Taylor he could wash his hands from it & he would take the whole responsibility of the emigration on himself. James Ferguson prophesied that the storms would divide and pass us by; in fact we would be free from them."

Sources

Mr. Chislett’s Narrative
Originally from an Anti Mormon book Rock Mountain Saints by TBH Stenhouse.

Times and Seasons (Blog), 28 October 2006, "Levi Savage and Obedience to Church Authorities"

History of William Woodward 1833-1908

Sep 1856

Brigham Young University, The Travels of the Willie Handcart Company, History of the William Woodward

Woodward had a very clear memory when he remembered N. H. Felt's name so many years after the fact.

Sources

Downloaded from BYU http://handcart.byu.edu on 7 Jan 2007

Mon 01 Sep 1856

John Linford writes a long letter back to the New York office of The Mormon from Florence, Nebraska. I believe Elder Linford's experiences closely paralleled NHF's travel experience to Florence even though he is not mentioned every step of the way as President Richards is mentioned. Linford's descriptions are interesting.

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

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The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Sources

The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, 1856, Page 683-685
Click here for source document

Wed 03 Sep 1856

NHF starts home from Florence Nebraska.

He brings home government contracts to keep Army supplied in Utah.
Andrew Jensen’s Church Chronology says it this way, “Apostle Franklin D. Richards, Daniel Spencer, John Van Cott, Wm. C. Dunbar, John D.T. McAllister, Nathaniel H. Felt, and a number of other missionaries, arrived in G.S.L. City, having left Florence Sept. 3rd.

Sources

Thu 04 Sep 1856

NHF Writes to President Taylor from campsite about what was going on. He mentioned the late starting handcart company

NHF’s account is much more upbeat than the anti-Mormon stuff that came afterward.

Correspondence from the Plains.
-----------
BIG PAPAU, Sept. 4, 1856.

PREST. TAYLOR, - Dear Bro: - I sit down at our first camping place to write you a few lines, to inform you of our good health and the general good spirit of the company, we were all greatly hurried during the last week that we were obliged to spend in Florence; Bros. Franklin and Spencer have had a vast amount of settlements to accomplish in completing the forwarding of the hand-cart and cattle-cart companies. The emigrants all went off in the best of spirits notwithstanding the lateness of the season. I think I never saw more enthusiasm or determined faith in any companies of Saints that I ever had the privilege of seeing start across the plains.

The crowd of business obliged Bro. Snow to come out with us thus far, and is with Bro. F.D.R. and Br. Spencer, are now closing up the last of the business connected with the P.E.F. emigration. Bro. Walker is still back with ten wagons loaded mostly with extra freight belonging to the hand-cart companies. Bro. Jos. A. Young went out to meet him and returned last evening reporting him to be seventy miles back, on Tuesday last. Our company is composed of fourteen persons, five wagons, and twenty-five animals – horses and mules, the names of the brethren are as follows: F.D. Richards, Dan. Spencer, C.H. Wheelock, G.D. Grant, W. H. Kimball, J. VanCott, Jas. McGraw, J.A. Young, J. McAllister, W.C. Dunbar, Capt. Dan Jones, C.G. Webb, J. Ferguson, and N.H. Felt. We are in hopes of going to the valley in thirty days, and be there at the conference of the 6th Oct. Excuse this hasty scrawl written on a log.

My kindest remembrance to yourself, kind regards to Bro. George, Stenhouse and Dulin, and all the Saints in New York. I remain your in the Gospel.
N.H. FELT.

The Mormon 2: 32 (Sept 27, 1856), 3

Sources

Journal History

Document downloaded from MormonMigration.com on July 18, 2009
Click here for source document

Sat 13 Sep 1856

The Mormon publishes news from the emigrating Elders to Utah

Click here for cached article

Sources

The Mormon 13 Sep 1856
Downloaded fromwww.lds.org on 6/4/2004

Fri 19 Sep 1856

NHF writes a letter from Fort Laramie to President Taylor

Correspondence from Bishop N. H. Felt.
FORT LARAMIE, Sept. 19, 1856.

DEAR PREST. TAYLOR: Thinking it would be interesting to you, to learn of our whereabouts at this time, I take the liberty of sending you a few lines to inform you of our good health, and prosperity. We have passed through a dangerous country where many deeds of horror have been perpetrated this season, but we have been greatly favored, not even having, scarcely met an Indian, since leaving Fort Kearney to this place, though no doubt they watched us closely. Twelve miles west of North Bluff Fork, Bro. [Almon] Babbitt's train was attacked by the Cheyennes, two men killed, also, Mrs. Wilson's child and herself probably taken prisoner, and worse than death; this was below Kearney. While at Kearney we learned by a soldier from Laramie that Thos. Margetts and family and Jas. Cowden and family had been killed; the soldier had been in company with them a day or two, but had left them a short time in pursuit of a Buffalo, and on his return found the Indians robbing and burning the wagons, and saw the bodies of Margetts and Cowden and one of the woman,—the child still crying at the side of the wagon.

Col. A. [Almon] W. Babbitt, after leaving his wagons, which had been recovered from the Cheyennes, by the Omaha's and placed them in charge of O. P. [Orrin Porter] Rockwell, started ahead with two men, since which no trace of him has been found, he should have been here eight or ten days ago. No. doubt, he and his companions have met with the same fate. He would listen to no counsel, but would go on with so small a party. There has been several other murders of single men, travelling the road, the particulars of which we could not gather.

The brethren send their best respects. Accept my own also, with the same to all the brethren in the office and the Saints in New York.

Excuse the haste necessary in writing this, and believe me, yours in the Gospel.

N. H. FELT.
P. S.—We have passed Capt. [Edward] Martin's, [William B.] Hodgett's, [James G.] Willey's, [Abraham O.] Smoot's, and Rockwell's, trains, all in good spirits and health, and rapidly pushing their way to the valley.

Several returning Mormons are here, quite disheartened from proceeding on, hearing of the dangers of the road. We met some also who where turning back to Laramie with O. P. Rockwell's train.

N. H. FELT.
[According to the date of this letter it should have arrived here by the preceding mail. Though the information it contains relative to Col. Babbitt has been anticipated and already published, we give the letter entire, as no doubt, many of Elder Felt's friends will be pleased to hear from him and of his passing through the Indian ground that far safe.—ED]

Sources

Published in the Mormon, 15 Nov 1856

Wed 24 Sep 1856

Thomas Bullock reports seeing NHF on his way to SLC near Independence Rock, 333 miles from Salt Lake City. Bullock was travelling eastward to his mission in Great Britain with several other missionaries.

Text not available
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star

Sources

Millennial Star, 1856, Foreign Correspondence; p.812

Tue 28 Oct 1856

NHF mentioned by Thomas Bullock. This letter was written well after the Willie and Martin tragedy.

A letter was written by Thomas Bullock to Elder Orson Pratt of the Millennial Star Newspaper office. NHF was mentioned as one of the travelling elders:

When we had come to a halt near Independence Rock, 333 miles from Great Salt Lake City, we were gladdened by the arrival of Elder Franklin D. Richards, accompanied by the following missionaries, who were returning to their beloved homes and families, in the vales of Deseret, viz., D. Spencer, C. H. Wheelock, G. D. Grant, W. H. Kimball, J. Ferguson, J. A. Young, J. D. T. M'Allister [McAllister], J. Van Cott, C. G. Webb, W. C. Dunbar, N. H. Felt, and J. McGaw, they were in excellent health and spirits, and rejoice that they had completed the mission allotted to them. From these brethren we learned the particulars of the killing of the Cheyenne Indians by the United States' soldiers, near Fort Kearney, and their subsequent retaliation by their killing those above mentioned. They also blest us with comforting words, to prepare us for the duties that may be expected of us, and to prepare our minds for the trials that await us from a wicked and perverse generation.

Sources

Journal History,1856, Oct 28

Click here for source document

Edmund Ellsworth Company, Thomas Bullock Letter

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