the Diary of Frederick William Hurst
THIS DIARY WAS WRITTEN WHILE ON A MISSION
TO NEW ZEALAND IN 1875 - 1877
October, 1875. I ought to write up a little of the past. In 1865 we moved to Logan, April 29th. At that time we had three children; namely, Willie, Samuel Harris, and Lucy. 9th of April, 1867, Nora was born. October 28, 1869, Aurelia (we call her Lillie) was born. March 29, 1872 Riego was born. March 27, 1875, we were blessed with a fine pair of twins, son and daughter, we named them Leo and Leoline.
In the month of August, 1868, I met with a very serious accident. I was run over by a load of hay and nearly killed. My left arm was paralyzed, and for the next two years I earned but very little; after which I quit farming entirely and turned my attention to house painting, graining, etc. And I had gradually worked into a good business, in fact, had a great deal more work than I could possibly do.
My brother, Charles C. Hurst and myself were called, October 11, 1875, to go to New Zealand on a special mission to the Maoris. I felt at once to drop everything pertaining to my business and fix up my family as well as possible and be prepared to start with the rest of the missionaries. Means, I had none, and no property to dispose of, however, as soon as I heard the news, I went up to the President's Office and had the pleasure of not only seeing Brother Brigham Jr., but also his father, President Brigham Young. They both talked very kind to me and gave me some very good council relative to my friends in New Zealand; and also expressed a great regard for my family. And President Young informed me that he had instructed Bishop W. B. Preston to look after my family and see that they would be provided for while I was away.
I got a recommend to Brother Wells to get baptized for my Father and brother who were dead, which I attended to on the 12th, and returned home to Logan on the 13to of October.
Aurelia had heard of my appointment, and though in one sense she felt very bad, she bore up bravely, and tried to make the best of it. When I came to look at my family, and considered their circumstances, it pulled on the heartstrings, but I tried to shake it off and leave my family as well provided for as possible.
The Brethren and Sisters were all very kind to me. I'll relate a few instances: I went to Brother Neilson to get measured for a pair of boots. He told me he would make me a pair of heavy calfskin and would not charge me for them, but would give them to me to help me on my mission (price $15), he also gave me a pair of fine shoes ($5) and I owed him two dollars and he called that square. Sister Martinas gave me two pair socks, home made, linen towels and pocket handkerchiefs. The Ward raised $614 and several Sisters did sewing; namely, Eliza A. Cluff, Mrs. Jayshaw, Mrs. Curtis. I can truly say that I never saw people feel better or kinder.
Lucy had been sick with the sore throat and fever, and soon after all the children but Lillie took sick. I had a bad cold and the chills but Nora and Harris were the worst. My brother and I administered to them on Wednesday. Strange to relate, Nora objected, but at last acquiesced. Harris got better immediately and got up and dressed on Thursday. We all thought Nora was much better but at one o'clock noon, she died very suddenly without a moment's notice; she talked up to the last minute. Here was a blow, I about to start on a long mission in three days. My brothers and sisters were extremely kind. My poor dear wife! What a blow to her, or doubly so? I tried to comfort her as much as possible.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday were mournful days indeed, but we put our trust in the Lord, and acknowledged his hand in all things. Everyone was full of sympathy, especially for Aurelia and the children. I felt thankful that I had not yet left home. Much better for it to have happened before I left.
Sunday evening at the meeting my brother and I were called upon to occupy the time. I had great difficulty in controlling my feelings, but felt well. At the close, Bishop Preston blessed us. He prophesied we would go and do a good work and return in safety. The elements would be in our favor, the angels of the Lord would be with, and round about us; we would have friends raised up unto us, and the Lord would bless us on every hand, etc.
After the meeting was dismissed the Choir sang, "Go Ye Messengers" most beautifully. The Brethren and Sisters and Sunday School children all gathered around us, and a great many left money in our hand while giving the parting shake. Mine amounted to $17.50. Some fairly broke down and could not give utterance. Brother Bell and wife, Charles Barrett, a Brother Graham and others. As it was the last night they stayed till after midnight.
Next morning Bishop Preston came with his carriage, also Dave Cranney, to take my family down to the depot. My dear wife did not dare trust herself, so all the children went except the twins. I will hasten and drop the curtain on our parting scene, suffice it to say a great many saw us off at the depot, and quite a number gave us money.
We started at 10:40 a.m. amid sobs and cries of good cheer and best wishes of the community, for which I feel thankful, and I want to live worthy of it.
At Ogden we met with Elder Joseph F. Smith and Charles C. Rich. We had a pleasant chat, and stayed all night at Brother Joseph's. Next morning we went to the Historian's Office; Brother Orson Pratt set us apart for our mission. The following is as near as I can remember:
"Brother Hurst: I lay my hands upon your head to set you apart to travel in the Islands of New Zealand, wherever the Spirit of the Lord may direct. The angels of the Lord will go before you, and the hearts of the people will be prepared to receive your
testimony, and thou shalt do a great work, the Lord working with you. You shall have great wisdom and be comforted with dreams and visions; you shall have great power to heal the sick by the laying on of hands; and in as much as thine heart shall be right before the lord, thou shalt be wonderfully blessed and preserved. The Elements shall be in thy favor, for thou shalt reach thy field of labor in safety, and shall be preserved in traveling from Island to Island and in due time thou shalt return home to thy family in safety, etc."
I do not remember more at present; however, we went over to the President's office and got our certificates. Had the pleasure of seeing Brother George Q. Cannon, and Brother Brigham, Jr. and conversing with them about our mission, etc.
Had dinner at Brother Jackson's, a young man I had worked with for over six years at painting. He bought us each a Book of Mormon, and a Hymn Book, besides various other Church Works, and also the Deseret News Weekly to be sent after us.
In the evening we went to the First Ward and stayed at my wife's mother's (Mrs. Hawkins) and had a pleasant time. Riego gave me a Compendium, Joseph Woodmansee, my Brother-in-law, gave me five dollars.
November 3rd, Wednesday. After bidding the folks a long and last farewell we took the 3:40 train for Ogden, where after getting our tickets, which cost us $55.00 each to San Francisco, we bade a final adieu to the home of the Saints on the C. P. R. R. bound West. It was too dark to see conveniently, but we howled along at a rapid rate.
November 4th. We passed quite a number of mining towns, such as Elko and others, some dry looking places. I could not help thinking the pictures looked far better than the originals.
Humbolt Station, where we arrived in the evening is a very pretty place; shade trees and a beautiful large fountain in full play in front of the Hotel.
We passed Truckee in the night, and the Summit and all through the tunnels just before daylight. This is the highest part of the track, being 1,017 feet above the level of the sea. The scenery in places almost beyond description; to call it grand and sublime seems to fall short of the mark. It is truly wonderful that a railroad could be built across such a looking country. One moment we are dashing through a tunnel, next across a trestle built over an abyss of immense depth, next crossing the top of a mountain, Cape Horn for instance, where it appeared we were in the heavens, and it is truly appalling to look down far, far below, where we see a little tiny stream and to our astonishment we are told that it is the American River. Immense pines appear in miniature. The train was stopped a few minutes so that we could have time to contemplate the truly sublime, yet awful grandeur of the scene. We now took the downward grade, breakfasted at Colfax. We were continually passing through new pretty little towns.
Arrived at Sacramento at 10:35, where the din and confusion from Hotel Service, News boys, Fruit Vendors is distressing and very strongly suggested the idea we were once more in what is termed Civilization. The old landing looked natural.
On to Stockton, then to Oakland, passing through numberless small towns; the last 30 or 40 miles were exceedingly pleasant, our road treading through most beautiful farms, orchards, and vineyards; passed splendid mansions. Even when we got to Oakland our road still lay stretched on piles over the salt water for several miles across the bay toward San Francisco.
We got on the Steamer, Terry, just before sunset. The wind was blowing from the South, they sky looked wild, the smell of the salt water was truly refreshing to me, and the sight of the shipping brought back the recollections of other days long gone by. However, we are speedily reminded by the noise and confusion that we have at last arrived and are glad to take refuge in the Omnibus and make our escape to the Hotel. We put up at the International.
We soon learned that the Colima Steamship for Australia would not sail until the 10th.
We spent our time sightseeing. Sunday we went to the Woodward Gardens, which comprised an extensive menagerie; Aviary and Aquarry Exotie, Trees, Flowers, Museum, Fine Arts Galerie, Etc., etc., too numerous to enter in detail in a journal. We also visited the Anatomical Museum.
Our tickets to Australia and New Zealand cost us each $150.00 in gold. The following names were chosen to go to New Zealand: F. W. Hurst, C. C. Hurst, John Rich and William McLachlan. The rest of the Brethren as follows to Australia: Elder David Cluff, P. Hoagland, Swan M. Croxall, _______ Burton, Isaac Groo, and John Young; Brother Isaac Groo to preside over all the mission.
November 8th. We spent a very agreeable evening at Mrs. Lincous; there were quite a number present, some we had not seen for a great many years. The time was spent in music, singing and conversation. I wrote to my wife and Riego Hawkins, my Brother-in-law, and to Thomas R. Jackson.
November 10th. We bade adieu to San Francisco. Sailed at 10:40 a.m. As we steamed around the Bay toward Golden Gate, San Francisco presented a pretty appearance; it is almost incredible how extensive it has built up. What a few years ago was nothing but a barren sand hill is now covered with beautiful residences and charming gardens.
Lone Mountain, the Cemetery, is well worth one's time to see, well filled with the most lovely ornamental trees and flowers, and very costly monuments. As seen from the Bay, Lone Mountain and vicinity form a beautiful and picturesque background and has a view of all San Francisco, across the Bay to Oakland, and the surrounding country for miles in extent.
We had a smooth sea, and a fine breeze from the North. We speedily passed a Frire Bank under full sail off starboard, and a full rigged ship on our Port; they were soon left far behind and before sunset were entirely out of sight.
This steamer is a beautiful vessel; the finest kind of Clipper; very narrow in the beam, built of iron, sharp at the bows, only 42 feet in breadth and 312 feet long, tower masts, square rigged, and skims over the water like a bird. She is beautifully fitted up, splendid accommodations and everything kept clean as a new pin. Quite a large number of passengers. Brother McLachlan and I occupy a stateroom together; furnished with nice comfortable beds, washstands with marble tops and all the accompaniments; hair brush, scented soap, combs, etc.
I was fortunate in getting a New Testament in the New Zealand language, and also a dictionary, and I devote a great deal of my time studying the language
November 11th. By noon today we had made 259 miles. The wind had increased during the night and shifted to the northwest. Sea Sickness was the order of the day, I actually vomited once myself, but soon got over it. The weather is very cloudy.
November 12th. Wind still ahead. Made 254 miles. Some of the Brethren are still very sick.
November 13th. Made 234 miles. The wind still adress, and the weather cloudy.
November 14th, Sunday. Much pleasanter. Made 256 miles. Attended services in the cabin, the Captain officiated, although quite a number of missionaries on board. Didn't get an invitation to take part in the meeting. The old threadbare and worn out English Church Service as read and it sounded so hollow and empty that I thought to myself: "Oh, for five or ten minutes to tell this congregation a few words of truth just to show the contrast between truth and error."
There are so many courses at dinner, and style, that it took us one hour and twenty-five minutes, which appeared to me to be a waste of time.
November 15th. Made 250 miles. The weather is getting clearer and the wind shifted to the Southwest, but very light.
November 16th. Squally with a little rain. Made 246 miles.
November 17th. Such a lovely sunrise, the sky and clouds were most richly tinted with the rarest and most beautiful colors; such as carmine, rose pink, and gold, and amber blended into deep blue The sea was very smooth and partook of the rich colors of the sky. The effect was truly magnificent beyond description. A fair taste of heaven. Never in my past experience did I see such a sunrise; such scenes as these seem to fill my soul with inspiration, and awakens within us the reality of a glorious future.
I am very sorry to state that Charles, my brother, is troubled with a very distressing cough, in fact his health is very poor. As for myself, I don't remember when I had better health, and although very temperate in my diet, I am steadily increasing in weight. Now we are getting into warmer latitudes, I have quit eating meat, drink nothing but cold water. Although the table affords a rich variety, such as: Mock Turtle Soup; 2nd, broiled meats such as Mutton, Corned Beef, Pork, Chicken, Ducks, and Roast Beef, Turkey, Pork Sausages, Mackerel; 4th, Entries, Kidneys and Curries, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Limas, and Curried Rice, Chicken Pie and Stuffed Hearts; 5th Pastries, English Plum Pudding, Peach Pie, Apple Pie, Cranberry Pie, assorted Torts and cakes; 6th, Desert, apples, Oranges, Bananas, Walnuts, Almond nuts, Dried raisins; 7th, Tea and Coffee, Crackers and Cheese.
The way I do is call for 1st, Potatoes and corn bread, or potatoes and sometime a little white bread, a little soup and crackers, then I wait till desert and have a little Tapioca pudding or Pie. I don't know how they can stand it, but I sit along with some gentlemen who partake of every course as the waiters bring them on. Pardon me for saying it, but I have too much respect for my belly, or too much regard for the Word of Wisdom.
We made 253 miles.
November 18th, Made 243 miles. At sunrise we sighted the Island of Hawaii, Sandwich Islands, then Maui, Lanai, Molokai (where I was twenty years ago this time studying the language in company with Elders Eli, Bell), next Oahu.
We arrived at Honolulu at ten o'clock at night. We worked in alongside of the wharf, where we found a large concourse of whites, Kanakas, Chinamen and Negroes; the place was lit up with torches. Everybody regretted very much arriving at night, as the darkness precluded our seeing the beautiful scenery around Honolulu.
It seems hardly possible to me that eighteen years have elapsed since I left these Islands. Everything seems so natural, except the trees have grown and comparatively few natives to be seen around. I inquired after a great many of the Brethren and Sisters, but invariably the answer would be (noi muke) they're dead. The natives were wonderfully pleased to find that I could talk with them; wanted to know where I was going. I told them that all our company were going to New Zealand and Australia to preach the Gospel.
Our Captain was in such a hurry that they hired a lot of Kanakas and commenced forth with to unload and discharge cargo and taking in ballast, as they wanted to start at eight in the morning. I was very sorry to hear this for I would have liked at least one day to hunt up old friends, but there was no time.
We took a stroll uptown a little way, but being night we could not see as the lights were all out and the inhabitants in bed, and we concluded to return and follow suit until daylight did appear.
November 19th. We were all stirring at early dawn, found to our sorrow and disappointment all the cargo, 150 tons, discharged, and most of the rock for ballast on the wharf, and hastily stored away by the indefatigueable Kanakas, strongly suggestive of an early departure.
We made the most of our time, but dare not go far away for fear we would be left behind. We did not see any of our Brethren from Laie, and some were upon the other Islands. I did not see the first person that I had formerly had acquaintance with, either white or dark.
We started again at 10 o'clock and from noon yesterday till noon today made 118 miles. We laid in a stock of Oranges and bananas and coconuts, etc. I bought an alpaca black coat, my Salt Lake home made clothing being too warm and heavy. At any rate we had daylight to leave and we heartily enjoyed the beautiful scenery in and around Honolulu. Owing to recent rains everything looked fresh and charming to the eye.
November 20th. Ran 263 miles with the wind much more favorable, coming from the East.
November 21st, Sunday. Attended Divine Services again. Ran 269 miles. Very little to relieve the monotony; everyone looking forward with fond anticipation to our field of labor. Charles is still very sick.
November 22nd. Made 261 miles, had several showers of rain. It has been very cloudy all day and lightning in the evening.
November 23rd. Ran 255 miles. Had a very heavy wind during the night with heavy rains. Wind still blowing from the East, the clouds have cleared away and the weather is naturally warm.
November 24th. Almost a calm. Run 255 miles. Dreamed I saw our dear departed little Nora. She ran to my arms, her face radiant with smiles and inexpressible joy. She looked beautiful and very happy.
November 25th. Drew a sketch of the Colima. Run 277 miles, the wind on our starboard quarter. Charley getting worse every day, though he says his cough is better. I draw a little every day so that I don't have much idle time. I study the Maori Language every morning, I begin to read quite fluently already in the Testament.
November 26th. Run 254 miles. about 10:00 a.m., alas the crank that worked the propeller broke, and here we are, becalmed. The machinery alls topped and everybody discouraged.
We have seen a great number of sharks today, caught four of the monsters; they were killed and thrown over again, but were speedily devoured by their friends.
Brothers McLachlan, John Rice and I anointed and administered to Charley, he being much worse. Said he spit up a large teacup full of blood, etc. We rebuked the sickness and disease and commanded it to depart from him in the name of Jesus Christ. He commenced getting better right away; said he felt like getting up and crying "Halleluiah".
A light breeze sprang up in the evening. They happened to have a spare crank on board, so they are trying to rig up again.
November 27th. Made 40 Miles. We have a nice light breeze from the East but this vessel is no sailor.
November 28th, Sunday. Run 86 miles, machinery not fixed yet although they are working night and day. Had an interesting time reading The Acts of The Apostles, Isaiah.
November 29th. Run 79 miles. Raining all day. Got the steam up again at about 11:00 a.m. much to our joy, and the satisfaction of all on board.
November 30th. Made 237 miles. As there was some talk of meeting a steamer I wrote to my wife. Cloudy; quite a breeze from the Eastward.
December 1st, Run 242 miles. Wind quite fresh. Saw three sails, two were a great distance off, one a Brig. apparently bound to the navigation as a Frigate. She came within about three miles of us, crossed our track astern.
December 2nd, Run 227 miles. Wind quite stiff and dead ahead.
At 5:30 p.m., while at dinner, the crank they labored so hard to put in a few days ago broke, and immediately there was such a terrific noise and commotion with the machinery as if the whole inside of the vessel was being wrenched and torn to pieces, and we were all to be instantly blown to destruction. Every heart was appalled, and every face deathly pale. There was an almost simultaneous rush made for the upper deck. By that time the noise had ceased, for thank God, the second engineer ran and turned off the steam, thereby stopping the machinery, barely in time to save the vessel and all our lives.
We learned afterward, if the piston had made one more revolution it would have torn a hole through the bottom of the steamer.
One lady fainted entirely away and it took a great deal of exertion bringing her to again. As the people rushed for the stairs, I arose from my place too, but the thought instantly flashed through my mind: "The vessel will not blow up for you have all (the Brethren) been promised a safe voyage." I then resumed my seat.
Some of the Brethren assured me that they had not been scared in the least. One thing I have to say in their favor, they looked uncommon pale, and it was truly astonishing to see how quickly they arose and rushed to the stairway and joined in the general panic. For my part, I felt my cheeks grow pale, for the noise was so sudden and unexpected and so indescribably fearful that it appalled the stoutest hearts and I can truly say, some of the ship's officers were the palest of the pale, afterward stating that they realized the danger more than the passengers.
December 3rd, Run 90 miles. Very calm all day, the steamer drifting about perfectly uncontrollable.
December 4th. Heavy rain in the morning. Mode 38 miles. The engineers are trying to patch up the crank by dovetailing and banding it so that we expect in a few days to start again with steam. I forgot to state that one of the cylinders partly burst and doubled, so when we start again they can only run one cylinder and will not try to make more than four or five miles an hour.
December 5th, Sunday. Almost a calm, only made 33 miles. At 10:30 a.m., as usual attended Divine Services in the Cabin. Oh, what a treat it would be to have meeting of our own. I can't help thinking that we might have got permission from the Captain to hold meeting in the afternoon, so we didn't interfere. There are eleven of us, and providing nobody else attended there still would be enough. I think it would have a good effect; it appears to me that ever since we left home we have carried our light under a bushel. I have several times broached the subject, realizing that my desires were good, but have been told I was too religious, the party saying they were not dying to preach or particularly desirous of making themselves conspicuous. Besides, our mission was not on board ship but to the Colonies.
Again I have unwittingly got my foot in it when hinting that I though an Elder was lowering himself by associating with the outsiders, such as playing cards, etc. I dared to think (and that too loud) that it was not the way to create an influence that was calculated for good, in fact, I do not see that doing such things that it is the way to keep unspotted from the world, or letting our light shine. I understand that one of our lady passengers told Brother Groo he ought to talk to the young men and persuade them to quit playing cards. I just mention this to prove my assertion that it had a bad effect.
I was told yesterday that I was looked upon in a very unenviable light by my Brethren in the course that I had taken, not only in relation to cards, meetings, etc., but had ventured to mention the impropriety of smoking, and that it would be better to begin to obey the Word of Wisdom in view of the Sacred Covenants we had made by rebaptism. I really think that something more is required of us, because if we have truly
and sincerely repented, how are we going to make it manifest except by our works; and as to being too religious, I think if we had a little more of the religion of Jesus Christ, we would be more united than we are at the present time. We would enjoy more of the spirit of our missions; we would have more power to disseminate the principles of truth and administer in the ordinances of the Gospel.
I would not have it understood that our company is anything but good men, at the same time I think there is plenty room for improvement, and I do not think we want to put off this and that little duty till we reach our various fields of labor and then become perfect all at once. I must confess I do not look at it in that light.
December 6th. Run 80 miles. We are blessed with a fine breeze from the Eastward.
What I wrote yesterday, if I know my own heart, I did not do with the slightest idea of finding fault with my brethren, but I trust, in the true spirit of charity.
December 7th, Run 97 miles. We had a splendid breeze on our starboard quarter.
In the evening we had quite a discussion with a Catholic gentleman and lady (cabin passengers) on the subject of religion, for several hours. But they were so full of Bigotry and superstition they would not receive of or even acknowledge a word of truth. In fact, he went so far as to say if an angel came down from Heaven and told him Catholicism was not true and that Joseph was, he would not believe it. He argued that the Roman Catholic Church was immaculate. I felt that I was casting precious pearls before swine, and it was utterly useless to talk to them. We can not very well do less than defend the truth seeing they came and attacked us in our own quarters. I told them we were not sent to argue with or force the principles of truth on the people; that we simply offered them in simplicity and plainness and it remained with the people to either reject or receive. Of course, if they rejected them they did it to their own hurt; if they received them with an honest heart, they would obtain salvation in the Kingdom of God.
December 8th. Made the very remarkable run of 148 miles with the aid of steam, and we still are blessed with a fair wind (Northeast). Got the machine started again at 8:20 p.m. The thoughts of the last catastrophe made some of the passengers feel nervous. I heard some of the passengers express a hope they would not try the propeller again. One of the cylinders is ruined; on that side there is a crack from five to six feet long near the center of which is another that reaches to the rim, entirely burst thru' altho the iron is 1 ½ inches thick and more at the rim, then clear across the center top the upper half is entirely lifted off. To judge from what we could see and learn the engineers have done a good substantial job of the crank, and by using one cylinder, consider it perfectly safe; so far it has worked well.
At four o'clock p.m. we crossed the 180 parallel, consequently losing one day, Thursday, December 9th, is lost to us, so we jump from Wednesday to Friday. As near as I can understand it, if we cross the 180 parallel at noon, at Greenwich, it would be midnight, or twelve hours ahead of us, and as a day is considered 24 hours we drop a day instead of twelve hours; and then as we keep sailing further West, by observation of the sun, we gain so many minutes and seconds, depending on the latitude and longitude, so that the difference in time is gradually made up.
December 10th. Our fair wind has gradually died away but the propeller comes to our aid, we made 151 miles. Hopes are entertained, if all goes well, that we will see land on Monday next, and perhaps get into port, or Auckland.
December 11th, made about 150 miles. The sky is overcast with rain clouds and a cold Southeaster is blowing quite strong.
December 12th, Sunday. The passengers presented Mr. Forsyth, the Chief Engineer, with a testimonial, accompanied with a purse containing £22 some odd shillings. Quite a number made speeches in honor of the occasion.
December 13th. Very foggy, and altho very near the land we could scarcely see it until about 9:00 a.m. when it began to clear a little.
About 11:00 a.m. we entered the heads and soon after passing the lighthouse we began to see a succession of very beautiful landscapes. The general appearance of this port is very low, and very low hills; but of such a variety of shapes and forms that it is very pleasing to the eye. As we neared the North Shore the scenery was very lovely (Davenport) and then as far as the eye can reach there are nice cozy homesteads nestling among groves of trees. As we turn the point, Auckland comes into view, built upon a succession of low picturesque hills. It really looks magnificent from the harbor, and forms one of the prettiest sights I have seen of late.
December 14th. Went on shore, took a final departure from the Colima, hired a room at the Auckland House, and boarded ourselves.
Spent a good part of the day sketching. In the evening we took a stroll out into the suburbs. We felt very lonely here, for we are strangers in a strange land, among a people full of bigotry and prejudice.
The papers greeted us with a dose of billings-gate, and a rehash from the San Francisco Chronicle, stating also that they hoped we would get as cordial a reception as an Elder had experienced in Wellington some time ago when he was saluted with sundry dead cats and other odorous accompaniments the press actually countenancing and advocating MOB LAW. So much for prejudice and blind bigotry.
I tried my best to comfort myself by comforting my brethren. We began to realize that of our own selves we could do nothing, and altho things looked dark and discouraging we look to the Lord to open up our way so we can get to the hearts of the people that we may be able to bear a faithful testimony to them.
Had a chance to talk to the individuals, and told them the motive of our mission, and inquired if there were any Mormons in all this large town or city, but could not hear of any. I was so full or downcast I could hardly refrain from shedding tears, in fact we all felt alike in that respect. When I retired to my room, I did not pay much attention to form in my prayer to our Heavenly Father, I felt comforted and enjoyed one of the most peaceful sleeps that fall to the lot of man.
December 15th. At 9:30 a.m. we took the cars for Onohunga; then on board the Steamer Haurea (a beautiful compact boat, built on the Clyde, 900 tons) bound for the City of Wellington. Charles and I went to Wellington, and Brothers McLachlan and John Rich went to Littleton, Middle Island. It was quite refreshing to see her skim over the water. We started about 11:00 a.m., smooth sea, close to the land. We were shown the Bar, where the Ship of War was totally wrecked and a great number (several hundred) lives were lost. We stopped several hours, and the sailors caught a large quantity of beautiful fish called snappers. One weighed 15 lbs. Had considerable rain in the afternoon and a fresh breeze.
December 16th. Daylight found us opposite Sugar Loaf Rock, Taranaki, quite a strong wind and heavy sea. We rolled and pitched pretty lively, very much to the disgust of those suffering from seasickness. We laid off and on till a large boat came bringing more passengers and goods. We also delivered both freight and passengers and then coasted along, but it was rainy and foggy and I was very disappointed at not getting a good clear view of Mount Egmont, for I wanted to sketch it. We soon left the west coast of the North Island and struck across Cook's Straits, 140 miles to Nelson. The Wind was very strong and we experienced a heavy sea, frequently breaking clear over our steamer.
Another steamer crossed our track ahead, seemingly bound for Wellington. Nearly all hands on board were seasick and miserable and we were very glad when we got to leeward of Cape Farewell and into the Blind Bay where the waters were comparatively smooth.
We arrived off Nelson in the evening at 7:30 and had to lay over till 9:30 p.m. for the tide rises and falls thirty feet and when we arrived the tide was out and it was impossible to cross the bar till flood tide set in.
McCross, the Pilot, informed us that he had landed there in 1841 and, except two years at Auckland, had been there all the time.
We found it a very curious place as well as dangerous to get into the wharf. We all went ashore for a short time, Charles stayed ashore all night.
I might add that I had no bedding or mattress, pulled my coat off and used it for a pillow, and had my overcoat to lay on. As Charles stayed ashore I luxuriated in his bed as he was fortunate enough to have one. In fact they all three had one but me, but if I don't have any worse than that I shall consider I got off pretty easy.
December 17th. Got up early and went on shore, and was charmed with the beauty of Nelson. The main town is about one mile from the landing and occupies a large flat or valley with charming little nooks running into the hills; containing neat little cottages, many of them nearly hid from view among the trees.
Their Hospital, built on a very pretty grass knoll, situated at the back of the town, is a magnificent place and reflects credit to the Architect. I took a sketch of it and the surrounding landscape. I also took a bird's eye view of Nelson.
While walking around a little I could not help thinking there must be a lot of good folks here that would embrace the truth when opportunity offered. I regretted that we could not stay longer, but we sailed again at 11:00 a.m.
Steamed close along the coast down Cook's Strait; passed thru a very dangerous narrow place called The French Pass. It is impossible to pass through with a steamer against the tide. The water rushed and eddied along like a mighty river pent up in a narrow space. It was truly a grand night. Next we passed a dangerous point where a steamer quite recently struck a sunken rock and immediately sunk. The passengers were all saved, and picked up by a little coaster.
Now we enter Queen Charlotte's Land; passed ships; came where Captain Cook lay by five months to repair the Endevare and recruit himself some men. There are quite a number of small islands in the sound.
It was very amusing to watch the Porpoises, of which there were a great many sporting about, some of them would jump clear out of the water.
At 7:30 p.m. we arrived at Picton, a very pretty little town situated very near the end of the sound. We took a pleasant walk for over a mile, and were surprised to see so many nice buildings in such an out of the way place.
December 18th. When I got up and went on deck I discovered we had left Picton in the night and we were then inside Wellington Heads. We arrived at the Queen's Wharf in a very short time after, but although twenty-two years had elapsed since I was here, the entrance to the Harbor, Tames Island, Evans Bay, Kaiwar and Hutt Valley looked natural.
But the hills back of town were bare instead of covered with trees, and as to the city, we felt like we were utter strangers in a strange land.
We made quite a number if inquiries respecting my Brother, Alfred, and my dear Mother, but met with very little success. We went to a hotel and ate our breakfast and left our things there while we hunted around town. Through the directory we found a Mrs. Bowler in No. 4 Hawkstone Street. After a long search we found the house but it was not Mother, but a Daughter-in-law of Mr. Bowler's. However, she said Alfred was living away up the country, she did not know where, and had taken Mother with him; but if we would inquire at the house where Mother had lived at Willis Street we might possibly find out where she had gone.
Poor Clement, I felt sorry for him, he seemed so discouraged and tired out. I told him if he would go back to the hotel and rest I would go and hunt alone.
I went over the terrace and met Brothers McLachlan and Rich, the latter went to hunt Clement and Mac went with me. I found the old lady, Mrs. Maggie Motgiven, where Mother had been staying. She informed me that Mother was living at Taranaki Street, somewhere at a Mrs. Duff's. After being wrongly directed I almost went in despair; but finally found the right place, found poor dear Mother in a very feeble condition, almost helpless.
She was overjoyed at seeing me, but could scarcely realize it was true that we had come at last to see her, after such a long absence. As soon as I could get away I went and hunted Clement, met him at the lower end of Willis Street, then went back to Mother's.
Learned that Alfred was working up the upper Hutt, however, in the evening he came down. Happening to take up a paper and among the arrivals he saw our names, he jumped up and said, "I am off to Wellington, my brothers have come from Salt Lake and I'm going to see them." Ours was a happy, boisterous meeting.
My oldest sister, dear Salina, is still in Western Australia, and Mother is afraid that my very loving sister, Amelia, is dead, as she was very sick when last heard from, nearly a year ago. She had been to California for the benefit of her health, but had come back to Otohoitia, (Oteheitia?) their place of residence. Oh, what I would give to see them both again. They are missed more than ever now that we have come back.
Sunday, December 19th. Alfred was going to Karari with me, but backed out on account of going back to the Hutt today. He took Charles with him and I went to Karari alone.
I went up to the Cemetery where we used to live and found a beautiful mansion built upon it, and the grounds tastefully laid out; large Australian Blue Gum trees, Norfolk Island Pines, Flowers, etc. The place is so built up I can scarcely keep track of
the old land marks. All along the Karari Road new houses in every direction; I was there almost before I knew it.
I delivered a parcel of current cuttings from Utah, from Brother H. Allington, to a Mr. Reading. They received me very cordially, had me eat dinner, stayed there two or three hours chatting about Utah. Mrs. Reading is bitterly opposed. In speaking of President Young's health she said he caused misery enough, she wished he was dead. Oh, if she only knew him as well as I did she would not talk that way. For I know him to be a very kind and benevolent gentleman, a man that has done a great deal of good all his life.
I then went to Mr. Leaver's in South Karari. They received me kindly , informed me they had belonged to the Church, but through an unwise cause of someone had become offended; Elder Beauchamp being the principal one. I talked as I was led, but did not feel as free as I would have liked; they appear to be afraid of persecution. I reasoned with them out of the scriptures, stayed with them all night, had breakfast after a long walk almost to the terminus of the road. When I bade them goodbye, they did not ask me to return, but thought it utterly useless for me to undertake to have meetings here, for a Mrs. Eagle and son, and Dryden, had apostatized and come back from Utah and had been using their influence against the Church. I told them it put me in mind of when I went to the mines in Australia; every day we would meet people coming back discouraged and said the mines were all a failure and humbug, but that did not prove true, far from it.
I went round to our other old place with the waterfall on it. It looked as natural as though I had not been absent more than a year; the same old ferns and trees, the same precipitous descent. I thought of old times and associations.
I read two or three chapters in Ephesians and felt to thank the Lord for a knowledge of the truth, and earnestly besought him to open up our way before us so that we can get to the hearts of the people, and lay before them the principles of truth and righteousness to their understanding; and that this great prejudice might be removed from the minds of the people in these Islands.
December 21st. I went away over Mount Victoria, down to Evans Bay, and then struck across to Lyle's Bay out at the heads. Collected some very pretty shells, enjoyed a good bath, got back about two or three o'clock.
In the evening I delivered a parcel to Mr. Devalle Carter. He was very courteous, invited me to supper (Tea they call it here), his wife was also very kind.
I told him my business was to preach and I would like to get a hall. He kindly said he would go with me and introduce me to several Pastors, he being well acquainted. He inquired about the Athenium, Odd Fellow's Hall, and several others, but they were all engaged for the holidays, it being Christmas time. One gentleman wanted three guineas for the use of a hall. I told him we traveled without purse or script and, consequently, I had not the means to hire.
He replied, "You must charge so much admittance," and, by the by, "What would be the subject of the lecture."
I told him, "Salvation as Taught By Jesus Christ and His Apostles, and as advocated by the Latter-day Saints."
He did not wish to talk on that subject and gave me to understand that I could not get a hall for that purpose, especially without pay.
My attempts thus far have been utterly futile, and I must say the prospects ahead look woefully discouraging, but I know with the Lord all things are possible.
December 22nd. Brought up my journal. Clement arrived from the Hutt, his health much improved. We have had a good walk up Mount Victoria, and counseled over matters and feel impressed to take the steamer forthwith for Lyttleton. We have found out that the Taranaki sails tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m.
December 23rd. Clement and I took a walk to where we used to live above the Cemetery. He returned and I went on to Karari and took a sketch of our old waterfall.
I got back about noon, and in the meantime he had inquired about our passage; we were both utterly dismayed to learn that it would cost 2 pounds each to Lyttleton. We only had 2 pounds between us, and we owed six and sixpence for washing. However, we concluded to get one ticket and Clement go on down and I would stay until we could hear further from the Brethren.
We went to both officers, they said 2 pounds was the lowest. Clement had a five franc gold piece to make it up to the required amount. I didn't like to take it. Took it and showed it to the agent, and we could not account for it, except to heartily thank God, for the clerk came back and said we could get a ticket for thirty shillings. This was a clear interposition of Providence, for we hadn't seen the agent, Mr. Lodger.
We hurriedly packed Clement's things in my valise, and a little after 4 p.m., after a sorrowful parting, steamed out from the Wharf.
Here I am with one shilling in my pocket, and for sure I haven't a friend to speak to. Everything in the future looks dark. I picked up a book and the following lines struck me very forcibly. I thought I would write them down in my journal. I consider it quite prophetic:
"Commit thou all thy griefs
And ways into His hands
To His sure truth and tender care
Who earth and Heaven commands.
Who points the clouds their course
Whom winds and seas obey
He shall direct thy wandering feet
He shall prepare thy way.
Put thou thy trust in God
In duties path go on
Fix on His word thy steadfast eye
So shall thy work be done.
Give to the winds thy fears
Hope and be undismayed
God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears
God will lift up thy head.
Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He greatly clears the way
Wait then his time, soon shall the night
Be turned to glorious day."
December 24th. Took a long walk out near the heads, and collected some shells. Got back about noon.
Its a good job that my appetite is not very good, for I do not eat very much, for I am about broke. I hope Alfred will assist me till I can get away, or else get a job of work.
I scarcely know what to do, everybody I used to be acquainted with gives me the cold shoulder, and at the same time I would not change places with them. Oh, how dark and benighted these people are. Oh, Lord, How long will it be before the truth can be presented to the understanding of the honest in heart in this place.
I could not help thinking of home. What a good time the children would have hanging up their stockings, and wondered if Santa Claus would remember them all round with his usual liberality. I heartily wish them all a happy time, and a Merry Christmas all round. But I find I must change the subject.
Saturday, Christmas Day. Took a walk round the bay, found a secluded spot on the side of a mountain. While reading from Hebrews 13:5, I was very much comforted by the words, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." I read the whole Epistle of James, and then sought the Lord to open up our way in this Mission, that the hearts of the people might be softened, and that He would give us, His servants, influence among the people to do good. For I earnestly desire to be more actively engaged. I returned comforted.
After breakfast Alfred came and brought Mother some cake and a box of figs; only stayed a few minutes and started off, saying he would be back presently. I ran after him and caught him down Mower's Street, for I felt confident he did not calculate to return. He told me he was invited out to dinner and would be back in the afternoon. I
asked him to give me two or three shillings. He gave me five (2 half crowns) but that was the last of him.
I spent the day drawing, finishing up some of the sketches I took in Auckland and Nelson. It has been a beautiful day. Took another walk this evening, but got thoroughly disgusted at seeing so much drunkenness.
We had quite a Christmas dinner, a small piece of roast beef, and the lady of the house sent several pieces of plum pudding (Mrs. Duff). Dear Mother and I spent Christmas quiet and alone.
December 26th, Sunday. Spent the day reading. In the evening I got an abusive and insulting letter from my brother, Alfred, but have concluded not to notice. It would be beneath me to stoop so low as to answer it.
December 27th. received a letter from Brother William McLachlan, stating they were trying to get at the people by visiting them at their houses and distributing tracts. I sat down and answered it right away.
December 28th. Rain, rain, more or less every day. Had to stay indoors all day.
December 29th. Walked 16 or 18 miles today to look up Brother William Fawsett in Oharia Valley. Learned he was in town, but found his daughter; where I got a lot of our tracts, Books of Mormon, and Voice of Warning, etc. I must say that her father and Mother-in-law, although they do not belong to the Church, treated me very nice.
I enjoyed the first bowl of bread and milk I have had since I left home. I returned the same evening tired enough, for I had such a heavy load of books and tracts to carry. I also got some very nice specimens of ferns.
December 30th. rain again most all day. Who would think this in summertime. Also a cold Southly wind, when I go out I have to wear an overcoat.
January 1st, 1876. Cold, wet, and dreary as ever until afternoon, then the sun came out.
I had almost forgotten to state I received a letter from Charlie yesterday stating that he found the brethren at Kaiapoi, Christmas day, all well. They had concluded I had better stay where I am for the present, and if a chance offered, to learn the Maori language, as there was no opening whatever down there at present. Prospects looked dark there as here.
I must confess I was disappointed, but tried hard to be resigned, knowing that the lord in His infinite mercy is all wise, and if there is anything to do I want to be doing it.
It is lonely though, being left here like this. But no doubt it will work out alright. I feel to live so the Lord will favor me with His spirit, to direct my course in the future, for what lies before me is a complete mystery. I'll have to strike out somewhere, and echo answers, "Where."
January 2nd. Rained all night, and has been cold and cloudy. Took a walk round toward Evan's Bay, watched some fishermen haul their seines in. They caught several large snappers besides quite a quantity of small fishes, different varieties.
January 3rd. Took a long walk in the cemetery, sketched our old place just above on the hill; also a view of Queen's Wharf. Rambled round all our old favorite walks, etc. Rained all afternoon.
January 4th. Wet and very cold. Have to wear an overcoat.
January 5th. Wet, wet, cold an dreary. Am housed up about all the time. All my spare time apart from studying, I amuse myself drawing. I think if I keep on I shall have quite a variety by the time I return home.
January 6th. Mother's Birthday. I bought her a 2 shilling plum cake, and that put me in mind of, "Have I got the money?"
Mrs. William Bowler was here yesterday to see Mother. Owing to some foolish action of Alfred taking Mother away from where Mrs. Bowler had provided a place for her, and never informed them either why or whereabouts. The consequence was that her monthly allowance of 2 pounds had stopped, she of course feeling insulted at Alfred's mode of procedure. But through the kindness of a Mrs. Williams, a school teacher and one of Mother's friends, Mrs. Bowler was induced to come and see Mother.
Yesterday her heart was filled with compassion, though first she let us know how grossly she had been insulted. She says: "It is Alfred though, not your Mother I should talk to on that subject. She told me it was old Mr. Bowler's wish that Mother should be provided comfortably for as long as she lived, that she had promised to attend to it and fully calculated to do so. She then said if Alfred would pay up all he was owing to Mr. Duff, and would continue to pay the rent, she would furnish Mother 10 shillings a week, and Mr. Duff to bring to Mother what she needed for board, or any little notion she might need.
Mrs. Bowler gave me one pound, and I gave Mrs. Duff 10 shillings and kept the balance as she instructed me to get a few little niceties with. Mother is very glad to have me and if I go off for a day gets very anxious about me. I consider it quite an interposition of providence for Mrs. Bowler to come and do as she has done, for I am flat broke and at present no other home.
It is the Lord that provides, and I feel thankful. What would I have done through all this rainy weather? And then Mrs. Duff is very kind to me.
I found old Mr. Fawsett at Mr. George Stratford's. Saw Mrs. Watson, also Mr. and Mrs. Stratford. The above named ladies have belonged to the Church but have died out, also Mr. Watson, but I did not see him. I stayed to Tea, but they were very shy. I answered their questions, which were many, in regard to Utah. I left early in the evening. I think they were afraid I would stay all night like all the rest I have met. They think it is hopeless to undertake to preach here or hold meetings, there is so much prejudice. But although the way has not opened up yet to get a place to preach in, I firmly believe there is a great many good people, and the Lord will not be deaf to our earnest prayers, to give us power and influence to teach and administer in the ordinances of the Gospel.
January 7th. Still wet and cold.
I dreamed I saw two large serpents. One attacked me but I was armed with an American Axe. A person stood close by and said, "Go right on and kill him, don't be afraid. I stepped toward it and it grew to an alarming size till its head was larger than a horse bucket. I struck it several times without making an impression, it was like striking a rock. I was entirely devoid of fear. I called upon the Lord mentally and redoubled my strength and energy, took the back and crushed his skull and then chopped off his head. My companion in the meantime caught the other in his hands and twisted it s neck. However I thought it best to cut its head right off. This latter serpent was about the size of my arm near the shoulder. My companion was very courageous, but entirely unknown to me.
I forgot to state that I received two letters yesterday from Utah, one from my wife, and one from Brother E. M. Curtis. My feelings were so overcome while reading them, especially the one from home, that I cried like a child. I felt ashamed of myself, but could not help it. My wife referred to our dear departed Nora, how she had mourned. Who could refrain from shedding tears. I am truly thankful that the Brethren and Sisters are kind to them. She stated that the Sunday School had had a party and had given her the proceeds, 16 or 17 dollars and 6 bushels of wheat; besides other instances of kindness. God bless them.
Brother Curtis mentioned how they were getting on with Sunday school with such an affectionate remembrance of love and respect. Well I must quit on that subject.
January 8th. The weather is trying hard to clear up, got to be quite warm and pleasant. Mother is very feeble and has been quite poorly all day; can't bear to have me to be away.
Sunday, January 9th. A truly lovely morning. Took a walk before breakfast round the rocks. Thought of the Children at home fixing up for Sunday School, and what
a treat it would be to just walk in on them and also go to meeting. Well, patience is a virtue, but I am here alone. Alone and that expresses a great deal in a place like this. I know it will be easy for the Lord to soften the hearts of the people. I think of how he did it with Parley P. Pratt in Canada, and subsequent to that time in New York City, beside many other instances and that gives me courage and hope and again I know there are many sincere and warm hearted prayers being offered up for this mission daily and hourly and I feel more than ever to live worthy to labor in these Islands.
Took dinner and tea at Mr. George Stratford's; old Mr. Fawsett and I took a long walk in the evening, he seems to like to talk on principles and doctrines; the others are very shy and reserved.
January 10th. I took a long walk to find a secret place to retire to, for I felt bowed down and bewildered, not knowing where to go or what to do. Everything seemed shut down for want of funds. In the anxiety of my soul I wished to exclaim: "Oh, Lord, I am here to do thy will and not my own, wilt thou in Thy tender mercy make it manifest unto me what I shall do for the best interest of this mission. If it is Thy will that I should preach in this place, wilt thou provide means to hire a hall, or what shall I do, and whither shall I go to accomplish the most good?"
I felt like my prayer was answered for I walked down to the Post Office, and received two registered letters, one from brother McLachlan, and one from Charley, containing each a pound note, and instruction to do as I was led. I felt like staying and trying it a little longer after deliberating what was my best course.
I went and hired the side wing of the Old Odd Fellow's Hall for 7 and sixpence; put an advertisement in the evening Post, as follows: "A lecture on the faith and Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be delivered in the side wing of the Odd fellow's Hall on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. by F. W. Hurst.
The editor was very courteous and showed me through the establishment and promised me to add a local. I paid five and sixpence for three insertions. The Brethren informed me they were getting 4,000 copies printed of the tract entitled "The Only Way to be Saved". They manifest a great deal of sympathy and kindly interest in my welfare, especially as I am alone.
Brother McLachlan sent me his only pound, and a young man named Burt gave Charley one to send to me. I felt in my heart, God Bless them for their kindness to me. I had wanted to write home but was destitute for stamps and paper, just flat broke. Thus the Lord provides and I heartily thank Him and feel encouraged.
January 11th. Spent most of the day writing to the brethren at Lyttleton and home. The weather is getting warm and pleasant.
January 12th. Wrote to Brother E. M. Curtis. In the evening visited at Mr. Stratford's. Had a social chat, more so than usual. Mr. Fawcett and I took a walk, and he promised me to go and sit with me and back me up, in fact they all promised to go to meeting, saying they believed I had taken the wisest course commencing right in Wellington instead of some out of the way place.
January 13th. I was writing home most of the day, and in the evening went down to meeting according to previous arrangements. There were very few present when I opened the meeting, several ladies came and found so few there, hastily retired. However, I soon had a crowded hall. Several reporters present. I found it very hard work indeed to speak, the words seemed to rebound, the influence was so strong against me. I spoke in brief about my sojourn in Utah for 18 years, the state of society there, etc., and the principles of Faith and Repentance and Baptism, laying on of hands. Bore my testimony of the truth. Once in a while one or two would get up and leave, some would laugh and make fun. at the close of the meeting I distributed some tracts. They crowded around me and wanted to know about Polygamy, that is what they wanted to hear and not baptism. When I returned to mother's I felt completely tired out, my throat was parched and sore as though I had attended several meetings and had occupied all the time myself.
January 14th. Rain again. Sent off my letters and papers. The press, as I fully expected, were all up in arms and did not spare their abuse and misrepresentation. The Evening Post was the mildest, but the Times and ________ were fearfully rabid and insulting, trying their best to raise their influence against the truth, and they found a great many believers for as a general thing, here as elsewhere, a lie is far preferable to truth. The best of the joke is I'm represented as a sickly Saint from Utah. Well that is about as true as the rest of their diatribe.
January 15th. Quit raining, but cold and cloudy. Secured the Hall for tomorrow afternoon at two o'clock. Spent the evening pleasantly at Mr. Stratford's. Mrs. kindly offered to do some washing for me.
Sunday, January 16th. Mr. Fawcett and I went down to meeting but he refused to take any part in it but sat with me. I don't think there was over forty present, but I felt free and spoke on the subject of the Kingdom of God being established in the last days, from Daniel and others of the Prophets.
Several requested the privilege to ask questions, and I said: "With pleasure." The subject of polygamy was immediately brought up after a short discussion on the falling away from the truth after the Apostles were all slain, etc. I read a part of one of Orson Pratt's discourses on that subject, and referred them to the Ancients, and also to its being a divine command to His, the Lord's, people in these the last days.
One man wanted me to perform some great miracle to prove the truth of my mission, saying: "If you want to cast out devils, go to the lunatic asylum, or the Cemetery to raise the dead, or to the Hospital to heal the sick."
I said: "Miracles are not performed to make people believe the truth." and referred to the scriptures where Jesus says that man would have power to cause fire to come down from heaven, and if it were possible would deceive the very seekers. I told him the proof would be in him humbling himself, and sincerely repenting of his sins and through baptism to have them remitted and receive the Holy Ghost, and that would be proof. He got very rabid and was called to order by several present.
A Mr. Grey then arose and invited me to attend their meeting in the evening. as it was getting very late I thanked him, and after tea I prayed earnestly for the rabid man, and he dried up. For after a few ineffectual attempts at abuse and slurs, I arose and said I was an invited guest, but if there was any ladies or gentlemen present that wished to ask any question within reason I would try to give a satisfactory answer. He was silent all the rest of the evening.
The whole proceeding as a complete farce. They professed they did not belong to any religious sect, but they were searching after truth, but they agreed they had all that was necessary to salvation without any more revelation than contained in the Bible, and quoted: "Though an angel," etc. I arose and told them that we believed that scripture and also that Paul told the truth when he said: "That he neither was taught by man, nor received by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ." There was no reply made to this and the meeting dismissed.
A Mr. Herd gave me a shilling and talked very seriously of a change of heart, and wanted to know if I had ever experienced religion.
I thank the Lord I have had a good chance to bear my testimony today. I lent three "Voice of Warning" and distributed nearly all my tracts. Now what is in the future the Lord knoweth. I seem like I have come to the end of another stopping place.
January 17th. The EVENING POST of today states that I addressed a large congregation on Sunday afternoon and was invited by the Evangelist to a public discussion, and that Elder Hurst the Mormon Prophet and all his absurdities were entirely disposed of. The boot should be put on the other foot, the principle subject discussed was New Revelation and I brought forward an abundance of Scripture to prove my assertions. I felt like I had got the Spirit of it and was perfectly free, realizing the truth of the Savior's words and that says forcibly it shall be given you in that same hour, what ye shall speak of and that there were more for me than against me.
January 18, 1876. Studied and also went down to secure the Hall but cannot get a satisfactory answer till Friday. Took a stroll to Mount Victoria. Took a sketch of Leile Bay, and took the "Voice of Warning" and Hymn Book with me and stayed away all the afternoon.
January 19. Studying and drawing all day. Threatens rain, in fact did rain a little.
January 20. Took a very long walk away out to Ferewiti -- saw what was left of two shipwrecks. The way they were smashed up was fearful. Some Maoris were constructing a large raft to go out and get up an anchor. The coast all round is very rocky and dangerous.
I found plenty of shells. It was dark when I returned. I made a day of it. I found a large cave and sat init and read unmolested by any human being. Being far away, I must say I enjoyed myself very much considering I am, or was, alone.
January 21. Engaged the Hall again for Sunday, after running back and forth. Took tea at Mr. Stratford's and spent the evening.
January 22. Stayed in the house all day studying the Scriptures and hunting up all the passages to prove the necessity of New revelation. This has been a great holiday, being, I think, the 36th anniversary of the arrival and landing of the first settlers in Wellington.
Sunday, January 23. Being previously invited, I went to Mr. Stratford's to dinner. They did not seem so cordial as common--said they were all invited out to dinner, consequently would not go to meeting and even Mr. Fawcett refused to accompany me, and I began to feel very awkward for they had promised to pay for the Hall and I judged the reason they acted so cold was they were sorry and seemed in hopes I would not get a congregation. This does seem uncharitable, but if I'm mistaken I'll take it all back. However, I went down with a heavy heart, and sat in the Hall reading till I got tired waiting, then strolled down on the wharf. Not finding anybody to speak to, returned to Mother's in the evening.
I took a walk up on Mount Victoria. To tell the truth, I feel awful lonely and now I don't really know what course to pursue for the best. I heartily wish Brother McLachlan was here with me, or someone of the Brethren. The general appearance seems to be more for pleasure than meetings.
January 24th. As Mr. Duff and family went out to join in the general holiday, I stayed at home with Mother to take care of the house. I found a curious oyster shell out at Terewidi the other day and what time I had apart from studying I carved a lady's bust out of it for my wife as it will be quite a curiosity.
January 25th. A strong Southly wind and threatened rain, but cleared off the after part of the day.
Finished my bust; Mother is delighted with it. Now that it is finished it looks like ivory, and takes a beautiful polish.
I forgot to state that last week Mrs. Stratford washed me a shirt and a pair of garments, and offered to do more for me at any time. Mrs. Duff also washed some for me and refused to take pay last week.
I received a letter from my brother, C. C. Hurst, stating that he, Brother McLachlan, and Brother John Rich had moved to Christ Church, hired a room and set up housekeeping. I wish I was there to keep them company. Next time I write I think I'll offer my services as cook and will be glad to hire out for my board.
January 26th. Walked out to Karari, went up in the hills back of our old place, a Camden Vale, took a sketch of it and the little old Chapel, also a bird's eye view of Lower Karari.
I had a good ramble through the thick bush and supple jack and all around where our cows used to run when I was a boy. I wish that I could write my thoughts, but I can't, however, I felt to heartily thank God for the knowledge of the gospel, realizing the great contrast; then the future all dark and full of doubt and uncertainty, and what did I know about God or the truth of His kingdom. I felt like saying: "Oh, my Father, may I always appreciate the great blessings and privileges that I enjoy, and live faithful and humble to the end. behold I have been blessed above many of my fellows who are groveling in the darkness, and entirely wrapped up in Priestcraft, Bigotry , and Superstition."
January 27th. I helped with the hay. To my astonishment we had to climb very steep hills and with ropes tie the hay in large bundles and roll and pull it to where they could get a horse and primitive kind of sled. It was very hard laborious work, but to me very novel as well. I told them I calculated making a sketch of our work and send it to Utah.
In the evening Mr. Lewis paid me eight shillings for my work, for which I felt very thankful as I'm in need of money; indeed if I had enough I would buy me a pair of blankets, for I sleep very cold sometimes with just a sheet and a counterpane, although it is summer.
I was afraid Mother would be anxious about me and another thing, after working in the hot sun I chilled so and shook almost like the ague. I was glad to walk to get warm. It was sometime after dark when I got to Mother's. She was very glad to have me back, saying she was so lonely when I was away.
January 28th. Received a letter from Clement. He had a good time in Kaiapoi last Sunday. Preached three times. I almost envied him. I'm truly glad he feels and writes as well as he does. He and Elders McLachlan and John Rich are distributing tracts, but can't succeed in getting a place to preach in. He assures me I am always remembered in their prayers, I'm sure they are in mine.
January 29th. The weather is warm. Studied most of the day.*
January 30th, Sunday. For the information of my children I shall write a little on New Zealand.
Consists of a group of Islands, the largest amongst the numerous groups which together form Polynesia. It comprehends two large islands, North Island and South Island, together with a third called Steward Island of much smaller size, and several adjacent Islets. The whole are within the South Temperate Zone. Area about 100,000 English square miles, or about the size of Great Britain, to which New Zealand is nearly antipodal in position.
The North and South Island are divided by Cook's Straits, South and Steward Islands by Foveaux Straits.
In Government, New Zealand is a British Colony. It is divided into the following Provinces: North Island, Wellington, Auckland, Taranaki, Hawk's Bay, South Island, Nelson, Marlbrough, Canterbury, Otago, Westland.
The colony of New Zealand includes, besides the Island of New Zealand, the group of the Chatham Islands to the Eastward, Bounty Islets and Antipades Islets to the Southeast, the Auckland Islands and Camphill Islands in the direction of South.
Population, March 1st, 1874, was 299,542. Chiefly British settlers about 299,542 in number with a Native race, known as the Maori, numbering about 36,000. The Maoris are nearly confined to the North Island.
Towns: The town of Wellington in the Province of that name is the Political Capitol of New Zealand, but both Dunedin and Auckland are of larger size. The principal towns in the respective Provinces are: Wellington Province, Wellington, Whanganui; Auckland Province, Parnell, Newton, Thortland; Taranaki Province, New Plymouth; Hawkes Bay Province, Napier; Nelson Province, Nelson; Marlborough Province, Blenheim, Picton; Canterbury Province, Christchurch, Lyttelton, Timaru; Westland Province, Hokitika, Greymouth; Otago Province, Dunedin, Port Chalmers, Oamaru, and Invercargill.
* probably studying the Maori language J.H.
Mount Egmont (8,270 ft. high) is the highest mountain on the North Island. On the South Island, Mount Cook is the highest, also the highest mountain in New Zealand, being 13,200 feet high or two and a half miles.
Wellington is the first settlement in New Zealand and was founded in 1840 by the New Zealand Company, an association formed in London, England for the purpose of carrying on colonizing operations in this Colony. The first Emigrant Ship (the Aurora) anchored in Port Nicholson on the 27th of January of that year.
Wellington Province contains an area of 7,200,000 acres; its Southern Coastline extending from Sinclair Head to Cape Palliser Bay and the Harbor of Port Nicholson; stretching from the shores of which is the fertile valley of the Hutt, divided by mountain ranges from the Open Country of the west Coast on one side and the Wairarapa Plains on the other. The city itself contains many fine buildings and is progressing rapidly in size and general appearance. The buildings are mostly constructed of timber on account of earthquakes.
January 31st. Wrote letters to Brother Isaac Groo, C.C. Hurst, and W. McLachlan. I believe this is the warmest day we have had yet and remarkably calm. Also bought two numbers of the Australian Sketcher to send home. I sent three per last mail.
February 7th. Very little transpired all last week worthy of note. Thursday and Friday were wet and also Saturday morning, but it cleared off and I took a walk round Evans Bay and back over Victoria Mount. Took sketches of what is called "The Ship" at Evans Bay (for overhauling and repairing vessels of all sizes).
Alfred visited us in the evening, came again yesterday afternoon, and again this morning. He took Mother and I round to the Wilkinson's Tea Gardens, also a young woman, a stranger to me. We had a good time, found a choice and beautiful garden, glass houses with grape vines loaded with fruit, but scarcely ripe yet. In two weeks they'll be plenty ripe. Mother enjoyed the out although I had quite a job to persuade her to go.
Received letters from Elders C. C. Hurst and McLachlan, which were full of kindness and encouragement. They have hired the Temperance Hall for three months, and were to have commenced last evening. Alfred talks like he would like me to go to Manawatu with him. Was very disappointed in not getting a mail from home last week per S. S. City of San Francisco.
February 11th. Had a good time visiting the S. S. City of San Francisco. She is the finest vessel I ever saw, far surpassing the Calima. The Social Hall, Saloon, etc., are all fitted up like a Palace and excited the admiration of all beholders. She was perfectly thronged from early morn till 3 o'clock p.m. when she sailed. I went all over her from stern to -------. The machinery is truly wonderful and with everything else comprises all the new inventions and facilities of the day. Everything in every department appeared so very perfect and beautiful on a very lavish and grand scale. There was also a very grand
reception given to T. Julius Vogel the night before (the 10th) Torchlight procession, fireworks.
Sunday, February 13th. Retired among the hills alone and had meeting to myself. That is, I took a Hymn book, Voice of Warning, etc., and read part of it for a sermon. Had a good time and returned refreshed. Oh what a blessing it will be to have the privilege to go to meeting again.
February 14th. Walked to Oharia, was received very kindly by old Mr. and Mrs. Wily. Took dinner with them after which he accompanied me to show me around the valley. Took tea at their son's, Mr. Charles Wily. He isn't in the Church but treated me kindly and made me welcome (His wife, Pricilla Fawcett, daughter of old Brother William Fawcett was real glad to see me). I felt quite at home.
Tuesday I accompanied Charles Wily to his work, whip sawing. After staying a while I took a stroll over into Makara Valley -- no regular road but a very indistinct trail up steep hills, down steep declinities. It really was most tiresome, weary, dreary traveling. I don't know when I ever got into such a lonely place before.
I wanted to get to the Open Sea, but when I got (as I afterwards learned) within about 3/4 of a mile of it I met with a large wide swamp or marsh and could not find any way to cross. Consequently gave up the idea. Well I did for I was tired enough long before I reached Mr. Wily quite late in the afternoon the next day.
February 16. I took a job to cut a card of firewood, two foot lengths, for 10 and sixpence. I worked hard all day and succeeded in blistering my hands in a fearful manner. It was a misery to even wash them. However, I cut about 3/4 of a card and before dinner I had filled my contract. I shall not attempt to describe how I suffered with my hands and my side felt like I had been kicked by a horse.
However, Charles Wily paid me and that afternoon I returned to Wellington. I arrived just before dark and found Mother as usual, glad to see me. She was shocked next morning when I showed her my hands. I paid Mr. Duff five shillings out of my hard earnings.
February 18. I truly rejoiced to get a letter from my wife, and also one from my Brother, Charles. The children had a good time Christmas. Mrs. Curtis sent her a basket of things -- candy, nuts, material for a plum pudding, etc. The Seventies, $6.50, Brother Moses Thatcher $10.00 with the compliments of the Z.C.M.I., Dogan Branch, the Brethren had also sent three good loads of wood.
Willie had met with quite a severe accident while sawing scrollwork with the machine. The board slipped and cut his thumb and three large fingers. No bones hurt and it is healing up good.
I must say that I feel thankful to my Brethren and Sisters and ask God to bless them for their many kindnesses to my family. My wife adds that the twins are doing fine and all the rest are well. Thank the Lord.
Charley feels well on his mission. They had about 70 in number to hear them preach in the Temperance Hall, and had a good time. Some few are inquiring after the Truth.
For my part I don't appear to be doing much to advantage, though I have done considerable talking in private or fireside preaching, and feel uncommon well and free when I do. Everything appearing as plain as the sun in the morning.
A week ago yesterday I had dinner with Mr. George Stratford's and had a long talk with them. In the evening I talked with Thomas Watson, who has been a member of the Church. He could not see the necessity of gathering. I told him it would not be very long before the most skeptical would realize the necessity of fleeing to the mountains for safety. He was much more sociable before I left, and invited me to call again.
Sunday, February 20th. A most fearful Northwest Wind or gale all day and very heavy rain last night. Went away up Pollhill Gully for several hours, took a Deseret News with me (I got 3 numbers last mail). Read the history of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum, also a sermon from Elder Joseph F. Smith. My eyes are quite sore, so that it hurts me to read much at a time. I am trying to translate a little from the Maori. "Te hahi o Ihu Karaiti. O nya hunga tapa, o nga ra Whakamutunga." "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
February 22nd. A notable event has occurred today. The first cable dispatch to the press has been received here today, and the first extra containing it published by any Journal in the Colony was issued by the Evening Post today. As the cable messages come from Sydney direct tot he head office of the press agency in Wellington and are thence distributed all over the Colony. The Wellington Journals of course receive it first. New Zealand is thus joined to that great circle of communication which girds almost the whole of the civilized world.
February 23rd. This is Willie's, our eldest son, birthday. I heartily wish him many happy returns of the day. I have been troubled with sore eyes all week and it hurts me to go out, or even to read, consequently it is DULL, DULL. I hope Willie is having a good time at home today.
February 27th. Life is rather monotonous, my eyes are very sore. Yesterday was one of the most lonely days I have experienced here. I walked out to the old signal station, in fact, I ran along the ridge till I reached the seashore. Had a splendid view of Terewiti; took a sketch; found some very pretty shells, better than common, and in great abundance. Had a good time of it, it was dark when I returned home.
I have spent most of the day at George Stratford's having both dinner and tea with them. Monday I walked out to the heads, or entrance to the harbor. Took two sketches; found plenty of shells. I am getting quite a variety and large quantity on hand, but they will do for some of the Brethren that don't get as good a chance as I have. At all events I shall have plenty to choose from.
March 4th, Saturday. Last Tuesday I received letters from my brother Charles, and William McLachlan and Brother Groo. They had all been opened and read before I received them. My eyes being very bad I have kept in the house as much as possible.
March 5th. I awoke and found my eyes so much better I was really very much surprised, and while reflecting it suddenly flashed on my mind, "the Brethren at Christchurch have received your letters, and have been praying that your eyes might be healed."
Being so very much better, I concluded to take a walk to Rarau. I reached Mr. Lewer's just as they were going to sit down to dinner, after a very warm walk across the hills. Mrs. Lewer's was in town. About 5 p.m. he told me he was sorry he could not ask me to stay all night and thinking that a hint I took it as such, bade them good evening and left. I have never troubled them very often, and they never ask me to come back and always seem more glad to see me go than come.
Called at Mr. Reading's. They were as usual glad to see me. I took tea with them. Mr. Lewer refused to receive a tract. I left one at Mr. Readings. He said he did not believe our principles, etc., and did not think he ever would. It was late when I returned to town.
The streets were thronged with pleasure seekers and folks returning from their various places of worship. It really was a charming evening to take a stroll and I thought of the loved ones at home and here am I, a stranger in a strange land, insulted and despised by all that know me, abused by the Press, Priests, and people. And what for? because I have the Priesthood of the Almighty and a message from High Heaven to warn the people to repent of their sins ere the judgments of God will overtake them as a thief in the night. As I have written in some of my letters, it has never fell to my lot to meet with so many rebuffs, slights, insults, and abuse and crosses and disappointments in such a short space of time as I have since I landed here and yet the hand of the Lord is over me for good, and I often realize it to a marvelous extent.
But it does not do to brood over these things; although things look dark now I firmly believe there will be a change before long even if the Lord has to come and stir the people up by His power. He will do all things well.
March 6th. Received three letters and two papers (Deseret News). I hurried off to a secluded spot back of the fence. I found one from my wife, one from Brother Curtis and one from Riego Hawkins, my wife's brother.
It was well I was alone for so much kindness all at once perfectly overwhelmed me. I could not restrain tears (and a copious supply of that). Oh how thankful I am. all well at home. They have plenty of kind friends and I heartily thank God and the Brothers and Sisters in Zion for these many acts of kindness to my family.
All the letters were full of love and kindly feeling and interest for our welfare (Charles and I). The Sunday Schools are flourishing. The people in Logan are going in with a run into the Order--a general reformation, etc.
March 10. I have been writing home all the week. I received and answered kind and encouraging letters from Charley and brother McLachlan expressing great sympathy on account of my sore eyes, etc., and at the time I mentioned had made it a special matter of prayer for which I feel very thankful. These letters are a source of very great comfort to me.
I wrote a short address to the S. Schools, letters to my wife, Brother Gov Foster, Brother Curtis, Brother R. Hawkins, and T. R. Jackson and two illustrated papers to each. I must say this week has passed very pleasantly writing home, etc.
March 11. Walked to Terewiti, through happy valley clear round the lands and back to Lysle Bay. Found some very pretty shells -- some of the smallest Tawa shells I ever saw and plenty of them. I filled a canister for fear of breaking them they are so frail. Had a pleasant day.
Sunday, March 12. Had quite a pleasant visit at Mr. Tha. Watson's. Took dinner, had a good chat about doctors, gifts of the Gospel, etc. Spent the evening at Mother's. Had a very pleasant dream about the Lamanites. Saw some a great deal lighter, in fact almost white. I felt very much interested, trying to talk to them. Somebody standing by said, "It is no use you trying to talk to them, they can't understand you."
I replied, "By the power of God I can, and have never studied their language either." and commenced talking to them right away.
March 13. Walked out to Karari and got a good sketch of our Old Waterfall. Found some beautiful ferns of different variety. They day has been very warm.
March 14. After taking a walk, at Mother's request I scrubbed the floor. Cleaned out the cupboard and had a regular cleanout. Although it had not been done for over six months and is literally alive with fleas. They beat all my former experience in that line, even on the Sandwich Islands.
March 15. Wrote to my Brother, Charles and Elder McLachlan.
March 16. Took a trip out to Oharia, took a sketch of Kaiwara. On the way some of the folks were very glad to see me.
March 17. Helped Charles Wily carpentering all day, fixing cornice, etc., for Mr. Darby. Had a very little talk about Utah, but they were full of prejudice.
March 18th. Chopped wood all day; my left hand is already very badly crippled and both are well ornamented with blisters, but I am broke and must make a raise. I need pants and shoes.
Sunday. In the afternoon, Sister Prisilla Wily, the children and I took a pleasant walk; found some very nice specimens of ferns.
March 19th. Chopped wood all day. A perfect hurricane from the Northwest. Great fires in all directions.
March 20th. The gale continues. Helped fight fires to threatening some homes and fences. Everybody is very much alarmed at the fires; they are certainly fearful. The whole country is on fire. Some have suffered considerable loss; barns, outhouses, cordwood, fences, etc., burned up. The scene at night is terribly grand, the sparks flying and eddying round like snow in a storm in drift.
March 21st. Didn't do much on account of the fire and smoke and the wind still continues to blow in a fearful manner.
March 22nd. My hands were so sore, and my left one so crippled I could not handle the axe. I could not endure it, so I concluded to go out to Papaorie, the seashore. I went by Mr. Quick's, then up Mike's Creek, then past Mr. Kelley's. I found it very difficult to descend to the seashore; no regular path, and the descent was very precipitous and dangerous.
I found a heavy sea rolling in and the coast very rough, and a very poor place to get shells. I could see the small Islands of Mana, and Rapiti. Mana has a lighthouse erected upon it, and from the summit of a cliff, had a good view of Cook's Straits, the Rar Raoa's and Cape Farewell.
Returning through Mike's Creek I found some very handsome ferns, and collected quite a variety.
I returned to Charles Wiley's near barefoot. The extremely rough travel had used up my shoes. This has been one of the roughest days travel I have had for some time.
March 25th. Chopped again today. The weather is pleasanter and the fires are almost out in places. Made out to finish cutting three cords of wood.
Sunday March 26th. Went way over to the creek and had a good wash and change, and felt to earnestly beseech the Lord to open up my way, that I might do good and that this mission might be blessed and prospered. In the evening returned to Wellington in company with a Mr. Hume and Son. We had a long chat about Utah. As usual, he was full of strong prejudice especially against Polygamy.
We came by way of a short cut over the Mountains, down to Kaiwara, being very much nearer by John Town. It was quite late when I arrived at Mother's and she had retired, and my sorry concern of a hat had entirely disappeared. Being very tired and weary I laid down on a couple of trunks till morning, and was very glad to take an early morning walk to get rid of the shivers, for the night was very cold and I had been warm walking.
I had a strong presentment as I was coming along that something either had happened or was going to happen, and the feeling grew stronger after my arrival.
Mother was extremely glad to see me, and we enjoyed breakfast together, after which I went down to the Post Office, and I received two letters from Clement; one containing a one pound note from a Brother Batts to help me. Thank God I have a good kind affectionate brother and kind friends. God bless them.
Our twins are one year old, and to commemorate the fact I purchased a few very curious shells from India. I hope the darlings will live to see many happy returns of the day.
I also bought a pair of watertight boots, but am almost sorry they are so very heavy, having so much iron about them.
When I returned, Mrs. Duff informed me that Alfred had been down the day before and left word that I was to clear out altogether, for I should not stop any longer with Mother. He had stood it long enough. I was prepared for it, and concluded to lay out rather than trouble him or anyone else.
I went right off to Mr. Thomas Watson's and told him that I had been turned out of house and home and did not know where to go, and would like to stay in town, anyway till the San Francisco mail arrived, which I expected would be in a few days. I was made welcome. The Lord had softened Mrs. Watson's heart. Mother felt very bad about the whole affair but could not help herself.
Mrs. Duff also said that Mrs. Bowler said I had no business there, which I scarcely believe as she has always said she was glad I was staying with Mother as she was so feeble. However, the Lord will provide.
I felt thankful that as far as I am aware I have never done anything to injure Alfred and I think the time will come when he will be sorry for the course he has taken, though I don't wish him evil by any means, but, "As a man soweth that shall he reap.", and it is inevitable. This is quite an event to commemorate March 27th, 1876.
March 28th. Watson's are building. I have been helping all day. We raised the frame and put on some of the rafters. They are very kind to me.
Wednesday, March 29th. Reigo's 4th birthday. Bless him, I hope he will have a good time. It is very wet from the Southeast. I posted up my journal, etc.
April 1st. I have been carpentering all week helping to build Mr. Watson's house. Old Mr. Fawsett is also working and a little sandy haired man named Edwards. I received quite a large mail from Utah. Two letters from my wife and one from each of the children except Willie. Also another interesting one from Brother E. M. Curtis, for which I feel truly grateful. Thank the Lord my family are all well, and it is a source of comfort to know I am remembered in their prayers. Their letters are so full of genuine love and affection that I was fairly overcome. My wife and Brother Curtis tell me to be comforted, that I will come out alright.
I also received a letter from my Brother, Charles, from Christchurch, giving quite an interesting account how he spent last Sunday. He had attended several meetings, felt full of the Spirit of the Lord; had finished up the day by baptizing a young woman, his first convert. Quite a contrast between his Sunday and mine, for Alfred had even taken away the chair I sat on. Well, I am very thankful Charley is where he is, where there are a few Saints. Another thing, I think I can stand to rough it better than he can, and I feel very thankful he is doing something and feels so well.
Sunday, April 8th. Spent all the week at Mr. Watson's; helped to build a chimney.
On Friday the 6th, mailed letters to all the family, to Brother Curtis, and also sent another sketch.
It has been raining heavy all day, accompanied by a perfect gale from the Northwest. Spent the day at Mother's.
Sunday, April 16th. Been all week at Mr. Watson's carpentering and painting. Yesterday he gave me a pound note and tomorrow to all appearances I shall again be a homeless wanderer. I think some of going out to Oharia until I hear from Brother McLachlan and Charley again.
I scarcely know what to do for the best, and if I know my own heart, it is to do that which will tend to do the most good. Brother McLachlan told me that Brother Groo thinks if there is any opening amongst the Maoris, if I have sufficient knowledge of the language, to try what I can do in that direction. I do earnestly hope and pray that
something or other will transpire so that I can be doing some good. The fact is, I am not so well posted in the language as I would have been had I been amongst them, but they are such a drunken, low, corrupt set around here I have been ashamed to go near them to associate with them. I have got so that I can read and write it tolerably well.
I wrote and told Brother McLachlan that I was tired of being alone, but if I must continue alone I will try to do my best, the Lord being my helper, but I felt like if there was another Elder here and we were to hire a room and hall by working to pay our expenses, we would in time make an opening, and in all probability raise up a large branch. I have submitted these thoughts to him, and will wait at Oharia for an answer from him.
We have been having a good deal of stormy weather with rain lately, but today it is mild and beautiful. I have been at Mother's and posted up my journal.
This is May 21st and I am really ashamed to confess, through a variety of circumstances I have neglected to post up my journal. Sometimes I have thought lately that my experiences were scarcely worth recording.
On Monday, April 17th (Easter Monday) I returned to this place, Oharia. Next day concluded to go and see Mr. Darby, the Chairman of the School committee, as all applications for the schoolhouse have to be made in writing. I addressed the following to Mr. Darby: "I respectfully solicit the use of the schoolhouse to deliver a lecture on 'Utah and the Faith and Practices of the Latter-day Saints.' Very respectfully, F. W. Hurst, Mormon Elder."
I found him more curious than when I conversed with him. In reply to my request, he said he would lay the matter before the committee and send me word. I lent him a tract entitled, "The Only Way to be saved", which he promised to read.
One old lady (his mother) said: "There is, my dear sir, only one way to be saved."
I replied: "Yes, Madam! Jesus Christ, and He says, 'He that climbeth up any other way is a thief and a robber'."
In a few days I received the following note: "Mr. Hurst, you can have the schoolhouse to deliver your lecture on 'Utah' next Tuesday evening, April 25th. E. F. Darby, Chairman of the Committee."
Sunday, April 23rd. Spent Sunday as usual. Had my meeting alone. Spent the afternoon reading and writing. We are having a great deal of rain, Rain day after day. Tuesday evening the weather was very impropitious, however, I think there was nearly forty present.
I had in secret earnestly besought the Lord to strengthen and aid me with His spirit, and He did I can truly say. I felt the power and influence of the Holy Ghost to a remarkable degree for which I truly feel thankful. I was calm and perfectly collected, and was astonished when I found that I had spoken for one hour and twenty minutes.
I applied for the Hall again to deliver a series of lectures on the First Principles of the Gospel. A man by the name of Best disturbed the meeting in the midst of my remarks by calling out: "I want to ask a question."
I told him if he had the politeness to wait till I got through I would then listen to what he had to say. He got very much excited and as he talked he advanced up the hall. I quietly told the people when Mr. Best got through I would resume the subject. Mr. Best appealed first to the chairman and then the congregation, but they all sided with me. things had taken a different turn than he had expected and after standing looking the fool, he retired to the lower end of the hall very much disgusted.
At the close he wanted to know if I would answer his question. I told him I declined doing so now but if he or anybody else wanted to converse with me on the Principles of the Gospel of Salvation they could come and see me anytime, that my message was life eternal to the people and not to hold public discussions.
"Oh!" he said indignantly, "my question is of public nature and if there is going to be secrets about it I shall not have anything to do with you," and he immediately seized his hat and rushed out.
Robert Wiley was kind enough to go and get the key and help light up, and the old folks wanted to know if I was going to take up a collection. I told them, no, the Gospel was free. And that reminds me that I got the hall free too, although Mr. Darby had previously informed me I would have to pay five shillings and furnish my own candles. Old Mr. and Mrs. Wiley gave me one shilling to buy candles, God bless them for the act. The old Gentleman accompanied me to meeting.
On our return home we had a novel kind of lantern, the bottom knocked out of a common glass bottle and the candle lighted and dropped into the neck. It gives an excellent light.
May 1st. Just six months ago today since we left home and I could not help recalling the agonizing sorrow of parting with the loved ones at home. May heaven continue to bless them and preserve them.
May 3rd. I walked to Wellington. Received letters from my wife, Willie, and Brother Paul Cardon. The letters were long and full on interest. They were having very deep snow in Utah. All my family, thank the Lord, are well. The Sunday School is prospering, the children appear to think I am a very long time away.
I slept at the Watson's, and went down to Mother's Thursday, and answered all the letters. Bought another number of the "Sketcher and Harold"; and also sent four Numbers of "The Day of Rest" well filled with ferns and leaves, all my first collection making the largest and most important mail I have yet sent off, and I earnestly hope and trust they will go safe, especially on account of the ferns.
I received a letter from Charley, advising me to stay here for a while. It commenced to rain very suddenly Thursday noon just as I was about to start to Oharia, I just ran up to Mrs. Stratford's to deliver a message and there I stayed until after breakfast the next morning. They told me that whenever I came to town I was welcome to a bed.
I stayed with Mother until noon, mailed my letters, had to borrow two shillings of Mrs. Stratford to help pay postage. Returned to Oharia in the evening. Alfred had taken my overcoat to the Hutt. I left word for him to have the kindness to return it.
I got the hall again on Wednesday, May 17th, twenty-six persons present. Did not feel quite so free as on the former occasion, but still felt blessed. Spoke principally on "Prophesy Fulfilled". Bore a strong testimony of Brother Joseph Smith's divine mission, and President Brigham Young, his successor. Some few paid marked attention. I don't know yet whether I can get the hall again or not.
I forgot to state, on my return from Wellington I received a letter from Brother McLachlan advising me to remain here and do what I could and to use my own judgment about going among the Maoris. The way does not seem to open up in regard to that people yet, but I shall try and post myself in their language as much as possible.
I talk with folks whenever I can possibly get a chance, about Utah and our people, but prejudice is very strong, and I can truly add Bigotry is a general thing. People don't want to hear the truth.
I realize that St. Paul prophesied aright when he said, speaking of the latter days, "They would be lovers of pleasure, more than lovers of God." and that they could not endure sound doctrine.
Sunday, May 21st. Had a bath in the river; had my meeting; spent the afternoon writing up my journal; took tea with old Mrs. Wiley, who is very kind to me. Spent a very agreeable evening with them, and I feel like saying, "God bless them for their kindness to me, His humble servant." This had been a beautiful day, clear and sunshiny.
May 27th. Have cut nine cords of wood in the hopes I could send Charley some money. I judge from a letter I have just received from him, and one from Brother McLachlan, that they are in need of money, at least 20 shillings was all he could spare and I wanted at least 30 shillings for paints and brushes. However, I could do no better and as the mail from San Francisco was in I took a shortcut over the hills.
It was a beautiful Morning, and when I reached the summit of the divide I was charmed with the beautiful scenery and extensive prospect before me. I should say all around me. To the West and South lay Cook's Straits, apparently at my feet. Cape Farewell stretching far away seaward, then Blind Bay, Pelorus, and Queen Charlotte's Sounds, backed up by the snowcapped Kaikara's, forcibly reminded me of, "Our Mountain Home."
I sat on a log to rest for a few minutes, felt to pray for strength and wisdom, also for the loved ones far away in Zion, including all God's people. I thought of those words, they certainly express my feelings:
O glorious day! O blessed hope!
My soul leaps forward at the thought;
When in that happy, happy land
We'll take the loved ones by the hand
In love and union hail our friends
When this far off mission has an end.
But thoughts of news from home hurried me along. I did not finish my description of the scenery.
Far away below to South and East lay the Te Aro, or South Part of the Wellington port of the harbor shipping; far away beyond the deep blue sea, the entrance to the harbor, Same's Island, Hutt Valley, and to the Northward, Panirua, Papanai, etc.
I called at Mrs. Law's, had dinner with them and then hurried off to get my mail
I received letters from my wife and one from Brother Curtis. My wife's contained a likeness of our dear little Riego, four years old the 29th of this last March.
Brother Curtis's letter contained a draft on the Union Bank of London to the amount of £5.6.0. or about thirty dollars. To use Brother Curtis's words, he says:
"Brother Fred, I felt like you needed some money and I took the responsibility on myself to get up a subscription list and went around to a few of the Brethren and very soon raised $36.00, six of which we left with Sister Hurst. The following names are those who subscribed so liberally:
E. M. Curtis $5.00 O. C. Ormsby $5.00
Moses Thatcher 5.00 Charles Nibley 2.00
Aaron Fair 1.00 Robert Campbell 3.00
Joseph Quinney 1.00 M. W. Merrill 2.00
Charles Frank 1.00 J. E. Hyde 1.00
J. B. Thatcher 1.00 James A. Leichman 1.00
Alfred James 1.00 Edward Smith .50
C. B. Robbins 2.00 Paul Cardon .50
George Gibbs 2.00 Butch. in Co-op 1.00
Samuel Smith 1.00 A. L. Skankey .50
R. Jorgensen One bushel of wheat to Sister Hurst
May the God of Heaven bless these Brethren for their great kindness and liberality to us, His Servants, and especially Brother Curtis and family.
I soon made up my mind what to do with it. I concluded, as soon as I could get it cashed, to send Charley £2 (two pounds), and one pound to Brother McLachlan and let the balance go toward a good black broadcloth suit of clothes.
Just after we landed I bought a suit of dark stuff and the pants and vest turned out to be nothing but shoddy, and I was afraid the coat was no better. I had put it away in a trunk, not particularly needing it in the summer as I had a good Alpaca coat. I took it back to Mr. Lowe, where I bought it nearly six months ago. Looked at a black frock or dress coat, price 2.19.6. To my surprise and pleasure he changed it, but objected to take the draft.
Said he: "Take the coat along and when you get the draft cashed you can pay me the difference, 27 shillings." I felt like the Lord had softened his heart toward me, and feel to thank him with all my heart.
May 29th. Through the kindness of Mr. George Stratford speaking to Mr. Roxbury, in charge of Mr. Nathan's business (Mr. Nathan has recently gone to England). Now one trouble was, the bank was in London, and another thing was the draft was not even dated, not even the year being filled in, but thus: April 187-. I dated the year but not knowing the day of the month had to let it go.
Mr. Roxbury took the trouble to inquire concerning the Union Bank, and said he found it to be perfectly reliable, and made inquiries of me to see how I came by it. I told him from Utah, and showed him Brother Curtis's letter in relation to it.
He wanted to know how long I intended staying in New Zealand. I told him that was uncertain, perhaps several years, but in case I moved away Mr. Stratford would be posted.
He wanted to know my business. I told him I was on a mission.
He said: "Well, Mr. Hurst, I'll keep this and give you a check on the National Bank so that you can get the cash without further trouble." He accordingly sat down and wrote me one to the full amount and handed it to me.
I looked at it and said: "Sir, you have not deducted any percentage for your trouble."
He replied: "No Sir, I am not doing this as a matter of business, but am glad to have it in my power to accommodate a stranger."
I heartily thanked him, also Mr. Stratford, for the kindly interest he had manifest.
I walked over to the National Bank, received the money; went to Mr. Charles Law's, paid the difference on my coat (27 shillings), picked out a vest and pants to match (black cloth) and then hurried off to Mother's and wrote a letter to Charley. Enclosed a 2 pound note and one for Brother McLachlan and barely had time to mail them in time for the steamer. What a load was taken off my mind; nothing has caused me more joy and satisfaction for some time than to have the privilege to send this money to these brethren.
I suffer terribly with a neuralgic tooth, and could get no sleep.
May 30. wrote to my wife, and also to Brother Curtis. Bought some very handsome shells, 2 P's for Clement, a birthday present.
May 31st. Spent the evening at Mr. Law's. Mailed my letters, sent two sketchers home, and returned to Ohario.
Sunday, June 4th. Robert Wiley and I took a walk up Prospect Hill; had a splendid view. To the Southeast lay Te Aro, part of Wellington; the deep blue sea in the distance, two vessels in sight. Southwest, Cook's Straits, and the snow capped Rairara's, formed a picturesque background. Casting our eyes eastward and Northward, we could see in succession Mount Victoria, Evan's and Lyle's Bay. All the East side of the Bay, or Harbour, backed with a succession of mountains ranging North and South rising one after another until at last dimmed by distance, almost mingling with the color of the sky. Then came Wainui Omata, Hutt Valley, and the Wairarapa in the great distance. North and West clouds obstructed the view to some extent, still we could see all out over Porirua and the Islands of Mana, and Rapiti, and again a long line of Blue sea showing a sail near the distant Horizon.
It does not often fall to the lot of man to see such a succession and variety of views that apparently lay at our feet in every direction. After cutting our names in rocks, which are of a soft nature, and reading a while, the exceedingly cold wind made us glad to retreat homeward where I finished up the day writing.
On Wednesday, June the 14th, I received a short note from Charley telling me he would meet me in Wellington, Thursday the 15th. Next morning I was up before the stars had disappeared and ran around and rented a house, for altho' I was truly delighted at the idea of having a company, I had no place to fetch him, and to tell the truth I did not sleep much for I was trying to study up what would be the best course to pursue, and I could see no other alternative than to hire a house to live in and keep batch.
I took a shortcut over the hills and through the bush and arrived at Wellington soon after 11:00 a.m.; went down to the wharf but could not find Charley there and concluded he must have gone to Mother's, where as soon as I arrived I saw his overcoat hanging up behind the door, and after the usual greeting I asked her where Clement was.
She replied she had not seen him. I said he has been here for there hangs his coat.
She says, "Well, how forgetful I am. I took out your coat to air and forgot to put it away again."
However, soon after Charley came in looking a great deal better than he had done for years, and I cannot describe how truly joyful was our meeting after such a long absence from each other. The past seemed like a horrid dream.
Having a great deal to talk about, we took a stroll around toward Evan's Bay, took tea at George Stratford's, and spent the balance of the evening at Mr. Watson's, and calculated to start very early next morning up to the upper Hutt in the Cars. I wanted to get my overcoat Alfred had borrowed and always forgot to return. Besides we wanted to see if there was any chance for work up there. However, just as we were up and ready to start it began to rain furiously, consequently we stayed to breakfast and as it cleared up a little we took the half past eleven car and had a pleasant ride together, tho' when we got to the lower Hutt it rained again and was raining very heavy when we got to the Upper Hutt.
We found Alfred in a small house which was unfinished, sharpening a saw. The wet and cold seemed to have affected his nature for our reception was as cold as the weather. He introduced us to his boss as two men wanting work, but the old man did not want to hire.
We were hungry and cold but received no invitation to dinner, consequently we went over to a little store and bought some bread and cheese.
We got my overcoat for which I was thankful. Charley borrowed a pound off Alfred. He seemed very glad to bid us goodbye.
We took the train as far as Nauranga and then walked to this place. As we came through John's Town we bought six loaves of bread to commence housekeeping.
We met with a very kind reception from old Mr. and Mr. Wiley. We stayed there all night and next morning walked down to our future abode for a short time, cleaned it out, and found a kind of rough lounge, a couple of shelves, a very commodious fireplace, an old bench, a kind of arrangement we didn't know any name for, a side table. Prisilla Wiley lent us a table, also an old skillet, two cups and saucers, two plates, and gave us some tea and sugar. Mother lent us a pillow and blankets, etc., in fact did the best she
could, for which may the Lord bless her. Old Mrs. Wiley lent us 2 blankets, tick, and coverlet or bed spread, 2 teaspoons, salt cellar, 2 knives and forks, and a small billy (or tin kettle) and gave us a pound of fresh butter and several quarts of buttermilk. I don't know what we would have done if they hadn't of been so kind to us. God bless them.
Taking it all around we are pretty comfortably fixed especially after my experience, and my heart of thanks and gratitude to Almighty God for all His blessings.
Charley Wiley still owes me 2 pounds, but I cannot get a cent out of him so far. For one thing, it doesn't cost so much to live, firing is nothing except a little trouble to chop, rent is three shillings a week.
Before Clement came over I had bought some tube colors and some washing painting and had three paintings under way. The subjects were: "A scene in Oharia," "The Terapis S. S.", that took the prince of Wales out to India and "A Mexican Girl", in the possession of old Mr. Wiley, and I am copying it.
After we got settled a little, Charley commenced to chop wood to sell and I worked at painting and cooking.
Some years ago Old Mr. Wiley had a little girl accidently shot dead, and I, seeing a headboard cut out but not lettered, offered to do it for them, especially as they had been so kind to me. They were delighted at the idea. Being made of Totona, I thought I would carve instead of paint the letters, and succeeded far beyond my most sanguine expectations, and now that it is painted looks like rock. Several have promised to give me a job in that line, being very much pleased with my work.
On Thursday, June 22nd, I walked to town, the mail having previously arrived. I received letters from my wife, sons, Willie and Harris, and my daughter Lucy; brothers E. M. Curtis, J. Juashan and his son James's wife, Mattie Blair; papers from Brother C. B. Robbins, letters from Riego Hawkins and Henry Allington of Salt Lake City; another from my Sister, Selina from Western Australia, one from N. S. Wales from Brother David Cluff, Jr. I also received four numbers of the Deseret News. Charley's mail went to Christchurch. I answered my family's, Brother Curtis, and Miss Blair's letters, sent a "Herald and Sketcher".
On Thursday, June 29th, Charley and I both walked into town. Visited Mother; found her feeble and childish as ever, but glad to see us. Mailed out letters and papers and hurried home, barely escaped being caught in the bush in the dark. The day was fine and we enjoyed our walk through the bush very much going in.
We have been having some very heavy frosts lately, and Friday it commenced to rain and has kept it up ever since. This is Sunday, July 2nd.
We have had several visits from a young man named Brown. He was here most all day yesterday and evening. He appears to like to talk about the principles of the Gospel. We have lent him some papers and the Book of Mormon. He came here ostensibly to get me to give him lessons in drawing.
I forgot to state, while I was in town getting my mail I tried to borrow a pair of blankets from Mrs. Watson, and she quite insulted me and said she wasn't going to lend blankets, and her sister (being influenced by her sister I suppose) began making excuses. I arose, although it was very rainy, hastily bade them good morning and left, resolving in my own mind that it would be a long time before I troubled them again.
The fact is we lay cold and have no means to buy. All we have at present is two shillings, and we owe six shillings rent. Charley has cut and stacked 1½ cords of wood, but there is poor sale at present. I went the other night and tried to get some money from Charles Wiley on what he owes me, but all I got was excuses and lies. I shall soon have one of my pictures finished, "The Mexican Girl", and I do earnestly hope I will be able to sell it to make a raise. Last evening Mr. Brown asked me privately if we were short of money, "If so," says he, "I'll lend you some to help you along."
The Lord has always provided, and I expect He'll continue, but it don't always come in the channel we are looking for it, making us exercise our faith, which is all right, and is as it should be.
Monday, July third: Rained all day.
Tuesday the glorious fourth of July. I have been thinking about the jolly happy time the folks at home are having. I thought what a contrast to last fourth. Here we are, having just ate up the last in the house for supper.
It has been a very cold stormy day. The wind has blown a perfect hurricane all day, so bad I couldn't paint.
We held quite a counsel over two shillings which would be the best way to lay it out to the very best advantage, and we decided to lay it all out in bread. We though with economy it would last us to near the end of the week.
But in the evening Mr. Albert Brown came to visit us and after a while after he had been admiring the Mexican Girl (my painting), I told him I had a good notion to sell out to him and if he would give me two pounds for the picture he should have it, telling him we were broke and as he appeared to appreciate the picture he could have it at that price and welcome. He pulled out his purse and said he would buy and he was perfectly willing to lend us money. He paid me one pound and will bring the other pound down some other time. Our hearts were full of thanks and gratitude to God Our Heavenly Father.
Now we are purposely laying in a good stock of provisions. We can get them so much cheaper in Wellington. I calculate to start two more pictures on the same subject. The Mexican girl is a splendid subject and will sell readily.
This is July 17. There has very little transpired worthy of note lately. Life is rather monotonous. We have had a great wind from the South Coast accompanied with rain, besides very severe frosts, but we fully enjoy one luxury, and that is plenty of wood, and big fires. Some of our back logs are quite a sight and keep burning all night long. We have very little trouble lighting fires for there is always plenty of live coals.
Just before Charley came over from Christchurch, an old lady by the name of Eagle was around here visiting and she has given me a shameful character, stating that while in Utah she was well acquainted with me, and said I was a lazy, shiftless drunkard. A profligater of the lowest and worst degree; that I was a stain on even the Mormon community. She strongly advised the people here not to continence or permit me to enter their houses for I was a very subtle, dangerous, low life character that "virtuous girls!!!" were very much in danger on account of a delusive power that I possessed; a kind of devilish, magnetic influence. But enough of this nonsense, this in very brief is the substance of her lies. Thank the Lord I am worthy of such abuse. Jesus said: "Truly the disciple is not above his Lord." And He said: "If they have persecuted me, so will they you also."
The last two Sundays we have taken dinner with Mr. Brown's father. They have treated us very kind indeed, and we try every opportunity to sow the good seed. Last week we applied again to the committee to let us have the use of the schoolhouse, but met with a brief and positive denial, clearly stating we could never, no never get it again. However, time will tell.
The way appears to be perfectly hedged up in regard to getting places to preach in, however, I feel like going ahead with the Lord's help, and not slacken my efforts. We warn the people, and what we can't do in public, will do the best we can in private capacity, generally of an evening. While Mr. Brown and I are drawing, Charley reads aloud a sermon each evening out of the Journal of Discourses and our evenings pass off very interesting and instructive.
I received a letter from Brother William McLachlan the other day stating among other items that it was either work or starve and go naked with them, that the branch at Kaiapae did not assist them at all, and like Charley and I, are thrown entirely upon their own resources. things look dark at present but may take a turn ere long. Insincerely hope and trust they will.
July 19th. Early this morning at about a quarter to five o'clock we experienced a heavy shock of earthquake.
I walked to Wellington although it poured with rain all the way there and back. I
received letters from my wife, son Willie, one from Brother Monson of Richmond, with a letter of introduction to a Mr. Boysen at Christchurch, also one from Anne Bolingbok of Malad, requesting us to make inquiries respecting a brother of hers by the name of Mitchel, both of which I instantly forwarded to Brother William McLachlan.
My folks are all well. My wife thinks we will be released to go home much sooner than we at first expected. I wrote and told her that was the opinion of some of the Brethren out here, but now that I have come so far I would like to accomplish some good, please the Lord.
Before I returned I wrote letters to my wife, Willie Reigo Hawkins, H. Allington, 16th Quorum of Seventies, Brother J. Juashan and son James; but I am very sorry I did not have money enough to buy a Sketcher. However, Mother gave me some pictures and illustrated London News, so I posted them. Well, better luck next time.
The glorious 24th of July was very stormy. High winds and rain. I washed three pairs of garments, two shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, etc. Rubbed the skin off the back of my fingers and they are very sore.
We are very hard up. Sometimes we go a whole week without meat, butter is a rarity, we live mostly on oatmeal porridge and sop, but we have sickened on oatmeal, especially Charley. I went and saw Mr. Bassett, from whom we rent the house, and he took a cord and a half of wood on the rent, paying five weeks.
We have a great deal of dark rainy stormy weather and the wind is almost continually blowing a hurricane.
Mr. Brown continues to come every evening, sometimes we take tea at his father's and spend the evening. Sunday, I find when there are any of their friends present, they are shy of Mormonism.
Sometimes of a Sunday evening, old Mr. and Mrs. Wiley come to see us and the pictures. Clement has nearly exhausted his supply of reading matter, he is now reading Brother Parley P. Pratt's "Key to Theology". Last Friday I walked to Wellington to see a Mrs. Compion, a friend of Mrs. Brown's, to make arrangements about getting a tomb stone for her. She received me kindly, gave me some dinner. She wants one fancy cornered. I agreed to get her one for fifty shillings.
Mother was rather poorly and lonely, but glad to see me. I think she is failing fast. She said she knew she would not live much longer. I hope that when the Lord sees fit to take her she will go in peace.
Sunday, August 6th. Received letters from my sister Selina, and Elder Wm. McLachlan. He seems to be perfectly disgusted with New Zealand, and discouraged in regard to the mission. I do hope and earnestly pray that prospect will brighten ere long.
It takes all one can do to live. Last week we cut two cords of firewood, sold one. Charley sold ½ cord two weeks ago. We are now out of money, meat, bread and butter. We are eating unleavened cakes for a change. Well, I thank the Lord for what we have got. The Lord knows we are both ready and willing to do our best, and the way won't always be hedged up before us, and if we cannot do any good here, the way will be opened up before us somewhere else; may the Lord hasten it in His time.
My Sister Selina's letter filled me with joy. She says she calculates to go to Utah and end her days with us. God bless her. I hope she will be speedily delivered from her present troubles, and come down to Wellington that I may see her face once more. She continually begs our prayers in her behalf.
August 8th. Washed shirts, garments, towels, etc. Wet and windy, in fact continually the rain comes down in torrents. Wrote to my sister Selina and to Elder MacLachlan.
Sunday, August 13th. Been a dreadfully windy day; Southeast and very cold. We are in a very destitute condition, and it requires all our courage, and that would not amount to much without the Spirit of the Lord to comfort and cheer our hearts.
I had a very pleasant dream last night, that filled my soul with joy unutterable. A personage was talking to me. He appeared to be standing in the air several feet from the ground and was telling me, or giving me an account of some very great and important events, several of which will transpire within a year from this date concerning the Lamanites, and cited me to a certain passage in the Book of Mormon, that was now being fulfilled concerning that people, but when I awoke, alas, the dream and the passage referred to fled from my memory, for which I feel sorry, but presume it is all right.
Charley has been very unwell for the last week, suffering from a bad cold. I feel very sorry that our mode of living is so scanty and frugal that I cannot get anything for him. No money coming in yet, but I feel the Lord will provide for us.
Albert Brown has spent most of the day and evening with us; he stayed to supper, also Robert Wiley. I got half a pound of butter last night and Charley made some currant biscuits for supper, having a few currants on hand so we made out quite a supper, after which Charley read a discourse, subject, "True Riches" by President Brigham Young.
I almost forgot to state last Thursday morning, August 10th, Charley Wiley sent George Fawsett Jr. for the table, camp oven, and supermiated old rusty milk pan we use to wash hands in. I told George to thank him for the use of them, however, we improvised a table from an old door we found on the premises. Charley made a couple of
trussels and we nailed it on there. I went over to the bush and cut some saplings for legs, etc., and found Albert Brown splitting shingles. I told him the enemy had made a descent on us and had taken away all our household managements, oven and all, and that the oven business was the worst of it.
He replied: "Never mind, we can lend you a much better oven. If you will come up at noon I will have it up for you."
I did, and beside lending me the oven, Mrs. Brown would have me stay to dinner. I felt sorry that Charley was not there too, for we are in quite low circumstances, and good meal is a treat. I feel a half starved feeling most of the time lately. No mistake, our living is frugal enough; we cannot even get milk lately on account of the cow drying up.
On Wednesday, August 16, I got letters from my wife, Brother George Foster, and Brother E. M. Curtis. Thank the Lord for good news from home once more. All are well and my wife seems to write in good spirits.
Brother Curtis gives a very cheering account of the Sunday School children in Logan. Had a glorious celebration on the Fourth of July.
Last Thursday evening Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Miss Gilbert and two of Mrs. Brown's little boys came to visit us and brought some currant cakes for us. Said they came to see the pictures. (I have just finished "The Serapis", it is very much admired.) We spent a very pleasant evening. They looked at all the pictures and appeared to enjoy themselves.
Sunday, August 20th. Last night Mrs. Brown sent us two small loaves of beautiful light bread. God bless her. I sometimes think she will someday embrace the truth; also Mr. Albert Brown, her son.
We took dinner over at old Mrs. Wiley's, and tea at Mrs. Brown's. After tea I went to hear the English Church Service and a short sermon, text, "Repentance". The preacher labored hard to prove that repentance was a conviction of sin, etc. A very foggy sermon; it was neither understood by either preacher or congregation.
We experienced a very cold, blustery, Southeaster. I think the good seed is being sown in good and honest hearts, only it will take time to grow and develop. May the Lord grant that it may bring forth fruit to His honor and glory.
Someway or other I feel more encouraged lately, for I firmly believe there are some good people here, lost sheep, full blooded, but it will require some stamina to come out and embrace the truth, but I know the Lord can turn the hearts of the people, therefore, I feel to go ahead and leave the result with Him.
If I know my own heart it is to go ahead and accomplish some good in trying to warn mankind, and, Oh! how terribly near are the judgments of God, and alas, alas, how careless and indifferent and heedless are the people in regard to salvation. A great deal of the time our words appear like idle tales. "Oh Lord! Wilt Thou in Thy tender mercies touch the eyes and understanding of the honest in heart; give them ears to hear and willing hearts to obey. Open up our way that we may fulfill our mission in an acceptable manner in thy sight, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
September 10th, Sunday. well, here it is Sunday the 10th of September and for some reason or other I have not posted my journal. The fact is, there does not seem to be much to write about. We have lived very frugal lately, but still we get along, the Lord always provides. Old Mrs. Wiley will have us to dinner on Sunday, and we occasionally go to tea at Mrs. Brown's.
I wrote to my wife, Brother Curtis, and brother George Foster, and also sent three sketchers, Mother's likeness. I received an order from a Mr. Stubbs to paint a picture entitled "Toilers of the Sea". I have finished the "Serapis" and Mr. Albert Brown is going to raffle it off for me.
We have experienced a great deal of wind, but not much rain lately. charley has been cutting wood to pay the rent.
We received a letter from Brother McLachlan containing 10 Post Office Order, we were reduced to ½ penny, and it seems hard to get any money although we have some owing us. We can't both go to town together on account Charley's boots have entirely given out, and that leaves us with but one pair between us, and we wear them turn about. Last night Charley received a Post Office Money Order for 1 pound 5p from Brother MacLachlan; the money is a draft Charley received last summer, and it had to be sent to England to be cashed. Charley will now be able to get some boots or shoes.
Last Thursday I walked to Wellington, found Mother about as usual. Mrs. Duff informed me that Alfred had absented himself on the sly very much in debt. He owes her about eleven pounds for rent and washing and board, etc. She was in a terrible way about him and wanted to know if Charley and I could pay 6p per week rent providing she kept Mother. I told her I was very sorry indeed but the way we were situated I could not promise for I did not know how long we would be here; in a few weeks we might be away, and I could not see the way clear to do anything to be depended upon.
The fact is, Alfred appears to be determined to do us all the injury he possibly can but I know the Lord can over rule this for good and I earnestly desire wisdom to do the very best I can under the circumstances, and not do or say anything that will be a detriment to the cause of truth, or a stumbling block to anyone.
I never in all my former life or experience realized the need of prayer as much as now; I mean the right kind of prayer. In my reflection on this subject, I often think, 'were some of our prayers answered, they would be to our hurt as well as the hurt of others, though we mean well'. How very short sighted we are, and now more than ever before I feel like beseeching the Lord for wisdom to pray right, and be able to say in every sense of the word, "Father, Thy will be done." If we could always pray from the heart earnestly, seeking guidance of the spirit of truth to teach us aright, and lay aside selfish notions and desires, what could hinder our prayers from being both heard and answered by our Father in Heaven; especially if our faith and works corresponded upon this principle. I can plainly see how the prayer of the righteous availeth much, and yet it is a great comfort to know that although we are full of weaknesses, the Lord in His tender mercies both hears and answers our prayers. How many instances I can recall since leaving home in Utah less than a year ago. I think of the nine lepers that were cleansed, only one out of all that number returned thanks to Jesus. Let me follow his example and be thankful; and be as correct and sincere in thanks and gratitude as in craving the blessings. So in this present trial, owing to Alfred's meanness, I realize my utter helplessness and inability to act, and I feel to say: "Oh, Lord, give me a wise and understanding heart, that what I may do, though it be in weakness, may it be overruled for good."
Called to see Mrs. Lawe, she was glad to see me. Informed me old man Eagle's friends had send money to Utah to bring him back, and she fully expected Henry Allington and family would return also. I told her I would prophecy in my own name, if they did leave Utah the time will come when they will be ten times more anxious to get back there again than they are to come back here. At the same time I wouldn't persuade either them or anybody else to stay there against their feelings. I told her that I should heartily thank the Lord when the time rolls round for me to return there. New Zealand has no charms for me compared to my much beloved Mountain Home in Zion.
Feeling very much troubled about Mother I walked to Wellington again yesterday to see what can be done. I called at Mrs. Bowler's old residence, but she had moved. I then went to see Mrs. Redman where Mother had formerly stayed, but she said she was too weak and feeble to have Mother again. I then went to see Mrs. Emma Stratford. Me with an icy reception from her; she also told me about the Alingtons and old man Eagle, and like the balance, she seemed to think Mormonism was now about played out. She couldn't think of taking Mother to live with her.
I then went to Mrs. Duff's and told her what I had been trying to do, and that I was willing to do all that was in my power. She said she would see Mrs. Bowler herself, and if she could do no better would let Mother have a little room upstairs and keep her.
I told her old Mrs. Wiley at Oharia was willing to take her but I was afraid Mother couldn't stand the long ride, however, Mrs. Duff advised me not to take her out of town,
especially as I told her we had just received a letter from Brother MacLachland, telling me if it was possible to raise the funds, he wanted Charley and I to go down to Christchurch to attend Conference in October.
He also stated in his letter that they had baptized eight new members here and blessed four children, and they expected to organize a branch in Poparuri, 3 miles from Christchurch.
After telling Mrs. Duff if we got any money we would do the best we could for her I returned. So much walking made me very sore and tired. I called to tell Mrs. Wiley about Mother and she would have me eat. Well, I was hungry enough after my long walk, for I had nothing to eat in town.
We had dinner there today, and took tea at Mr. Albert Brown's, but there was no possible chance to talk religious subjects, so we returned home early for I wanted to post my journal.
Oh, Lord, hasten the day when we can meet with Latter-day Saints in meetings to worship Thee, and may we be directed and guided to where we can do the most good. I ask it in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Charley has finished three chains of fencing for Albert Brown, and has cut another cord of wood to pay the rent. Last Wednesday week, I went up to help him for an hour or two. While he was driving a post into an upright position the maul flew off the handle and struck me with great force on the abdomen and left thigh. I was a cripple for several days; I used some of old Mrs. Wiley's Ointment well rubbed in. It soon took the soreness out. Thank the Lord it was no worse.
We have received orders for two more Tombstones. One for Mrs. Lawe's husband, and one for Mrs. Kilsby's daughter, aged 15 years.
This is the 15th of September. My dear wife's birthday.
Mrs. Kilsby sent over a splendid leg of mutton. Towards paying for her tombstone Charley said. I wish we could drop one into each of our families as good; and that puts me in mind, Mrs. Brown sent over a roll of butter and a large old fashioned meat pie, made in a deep dish. We are beginning to live better now, we also get a quart of milk every night from Mrs. Kilsby's, which is a treat to me.
I thought today: "May the Lord abundantly bless my wife, and may she live to see many happy returns of the day, not forgetting all our dear children he has blessed us with.
Charley has been suffering with toothache. He had no rest all last night, but is better now. Coal oil stopped it.
I had a singular dream last night. I thought I went down to Christchurch, attended
meeting, and hoped they would not call on me to speak, especially since it had been so long since I attended meetings of any kind. But my fears on that point were soon dispelled by Brother Burnett, who arose and said he wanted to make a few remarks, followed by Brother Steed. I cannot remember what they said, but some person sitting next to me on my left said: "Do you know what the difficulty is?" I replied no. He says, "Well, I'll tell you. They have built a small vessel, and the trouble is every man here wants to be Captain. Elder William MacLachlan is the right man, but the others think they have as good a right."
Last Tuesday I again visited Mr. Darby and applied for the schoolhouse. He got very much excited and replied, "No, no, you can never have it again."
I asked him if he refused on his own responsibility, for our message was very important to him and all people; life and salvation.
He acted very disrespectful, and said: "The committee were all against it."
I told him Mr. Bassett was one of the committee, and he had no objections.
Still getting more excited he said it was no use, the rest of the committee, Mr. Pryer and Bryant had declared they never would give their consent.
Again I asked him if he had read the "Voice of Warning" I lent him 2 or 3 months ago.
He said: "No, and I had better take it away as he had no time to read it." I did so feeling very sorry he was so bigoted and blind, and that willfully.
Saturday night I received letters from my wife and each of the children except Harris, brother Curtis, and one from Joel Ricks Jr. I don't know how to feel thankful enough to God for His continued watchcare over my family, and I heartily thank and say, God bless all who are kind to them.
My wife says she went down to the city on the 24th of July. Mary furnished the money for one ticket. Brother Curtis sent $1.50, Brother G. E. Hyde got a free pass for Lucy and gave them $2.00 besides. She says they had a pleasant trip, started on the 22nd and returned on the 25th. She writes in excellent spirits, and encourages me all she can, God bless her.
She also says she has been rebaptized and confirmed, for which I thank the Lord with all my heart. The children are all anxious to know when I am going home. Their letters are all so full of love to me that brings more comfort than worlds, or than I can express.
Monday, September 18th. Yesterday we took dinner with old Mr. Wiley. The Old Lady's gone to the Wairarapa on a visit. We spent the evening at home writing HOME.
Charley has suffered dreadfully with neuralgic toothache. I burned several of the nerves in his hollow teeth with a hot wire on Saturday, since then he has been better.
On Wednesday, September 20th, I walked to Wellington. Mrs. Brown took Mrs. Compion's Tombstone but did not get the pay as Mr. Compion was not at home and had not left any money. She said I could call and get it anytime after that day.
Mother is troubled with a bad cough, and is far from well, but was delighted to see me. I gave Mrs. Duff five shillings. I also bought Mother some fruit tarts or pies. Mrs. Bowler left word if we moved Mother out of town she would have nothing more to do with her, and Mrs. Duff seems very willing to keep her for which I am very thankful.
I bought a book each for Harris, Reigo, Lucy, Lillie, three drawing books for Willie, a lot of pictures besides for the girls. Also a book for Mary and little May, a pan of very large Helmet Shells for my wife, pin cushion each for Lucy and Lillie, pair of some kind large shells for Mary, and one pair of beautiful spotted shells for her also. And there area a few odd shells besides, however, I managed to return penniless.
I rode part of the way with Mrs. Brown and her two daughters and son Ralph. I also got a sketcher to send home and the "Herold" for Charley.
It took us till 3:00 a.m. to get our mail ready. We filled our books with ferns and moss. We sent off a large variety. I wrote to my wife, also to each of the children and Brother Curtis.
Thursday Charley took our mail into Wellington; bought himself a pair of gaiter boots. It cost 10 shillings and 2 pence to send our mail off, that is books, ferns, letters, and news papers.
We have had two very pleasant days. I chopped wood Tuesday and that with walking to town made me dreadfully sore and tired. Mr. John Valentine took the picture I painted (Serapis) to the Hutt to raffle off as Mr. Albert Brown could not get a sufficient number in this place.
Thursday, October 5th. We are keeping Fast Day today. We have been very much disappointed in not getting letters from Elder MacLachlan, especially as some little time ago he wrote up word that he wanted us if possible to go down there to Conference. I feel very anxious to be directed to where we can do some good in regards to our mission, and feel like putting my trust in the Lord, and most earnestly seek the guidance of His Spirit. I desire to labor where I can do the most good.
Mr. Valentine raffled the picture, Serapis, for six pounds. We shall probably get about five pounds, as I gave two tickets to old Mr. and Mrs. Wiley, and there was 12 shillings expense. I have finished a portrait of old Mr. Shepherd, Albert Brown's grandfather, and am now engaged painting Mrs. Valentine's portrait. Both are quite a success for which I am heartily thankful to the Lord.
A week ago yesterday I went to town and received fifty shillings from Mrs. Compion for engraving a tomb tablet for her son, Francis Compion, aged 18 years. I gave Mrs. Duff ten shillings to help Mother.
On Saturday evening I received letters from my sister Selina and from Brother David Cluff Jr. He reports things favorable where he is laboring at Galbourne; nothing doing in Sydney or Tasmania, but the brethren are doing their best, and like us meet with very little encouragement.
We have been very much blessed lately in getting money from pictures, tomb tablets, and once in a while cutting firewood. When we get all in that is due we will be able to fit ourselves out good and have something to pay traveling expenses, please the Lord.
Sometimes I think it would be a good idea to go into the country; Albert Brown started yesterday for Manawater, and says he will send word what the prospects are up there in regard to the Maoris. Yesterday was a lovely day, beautiful and calm.
Tuesday, October 11. On Friday last Mrs. Brown called in as she was returning from town and said Mrs. Compion wanted to see me. Accordingly, Saturday morning I started early and walked to Wellington. Found out that Mrs. Compion wanted me to paint and sand the Tomb Tablet. As they would not be ready until afternoon I went down to Mother's for two or three hours.
Mother was as usual, glad to see me. No word of Alfred yet.
In the afternoon two of Mrs. Compion's sons accompanied me. Instead of hiring a cart, they actually wheeled the tablet, spade, sand, paint, in a wheelbarrow. I assisted them. we set the Tablet in place and then I painted and sanded it. It looked splendid; I painted it stone color.
Just as we had finished, a Mr. Carr (Sexton) stepped up and inquired of the boys who had done the carving and they told him I did it. He said: "That is a very handsome piece of work." Turning to me he said, "Did you do that?"
I replied, "Yes Sir."
He answered, "What a pity you should be so foolish as to throw away your lifetime and talents in such a place as Salt Lake City among those Mormons."
I soon gave him to understand that art was as much or even more appreciated there than here. Mrs. Compion gave me six shillings.
Louis Brown had engaged to meet me at Lengg's Corner (boot and shoe store) at six so I hurried and had the pleasure of waiting two mortal long hours and then I started for home in disgust, but I soon met him.
We went to the theater to see the play, "The Convict," after which we walked to Ngaraunga and from there took turns on horseback as he had left his horse there. It was a lovely night, calm and the moon had just risen. We reached home about 3 a.m.
Sunday, October 9th. One of Mr. Wiley's sons came to visit us, and we went there to dinner. We preached Mormonism to him, and he seemed anxious to hear and invited us to come and see him and his brother in Wairarapa. In talking to him I never before saw saying to clear in regard to the Spirit of the Lord being withdrawn from the nations. The salt being gathered out and not having the preserving elements they will crumble to pieces and they will be in the same fix as we might see a man noted for his strength and manly bearing and beauty stricken down, depriving him of life. His body will soon go into corruption. So with the Christian world. Oh! Ye stiff necked people, why will ye not listen to our warning voice. Behold we have the Gospel of Salvation, we come in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ. Wo! Wo! Be unto you if you will continue to reject the servants of God. Oh! How can you escape the judgments of the Almighty.
Friday, October 20th. On Wednesday, October 12th I received letters from my wife and sons Willie and Harris, and quite a number of papers, "Deseret News", etc. The twins and Riego had been sick but were better, all the rest are well. My wife sent some of Leo and Lolie's hair surrounded with forget-me-nots and roses.
They report grasshoppers in vast numbers, and doing a great deal of mischief. Harris has earned 15 bushels of wheat, binding in the field. Willie was thinking of taking a house to paint for Brother Charles Barrett and calculates to paint from daybreak until seven so as not to neglect learning his trade. well, may the Lord bless them in all their labors. I am glad the boys are getting energetic and I expect my getting away for a short time will do them good. I think it will tend to make them feel more independent. I heartily thank the Lord they are all getting along so well.
Sunday the 15th. As usual we took dinner at Mrs. Willey's. The old gentleman has gone to Wairarapa to see his sons and the place. We spent most of the day and evening writing home to Utah.
Monday afternoon Charley and I went to the top of Mount Prospect. I took a sketch of Wellington, a birds eye view, and will make a good picture. It was a lovely day; we saw a great many very large flowers called the Clematus. I gathered some and put in my folio.
Wednesday evening we received a letter from Elder McLachlan telling us to fix up and go down to Kaiapoi, South Island. We think we can be ready to start on next Tuesday week if all is well.
Yesterday the 19th I walked to town to send off our Utah mail. It was raining when I started but cleared up afterward and with the exception of a high wind the day was fine.
As I reached town early I thought I would run up and have a chat with Sister Lawe. The door was opened by a strange woman and she was surprised I had not heard of Sister Lawe's death and burial. I had left a small box of shells there but this lady knew nothing of them. She expected they were sold or perhaps Mr. Lawe had taken them to the other end of town.
After mailing the letters, papers, etc., I went to the store and saw Mrs. Lawe's brother, Walter Reading. He informed me that Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Reading Lawe died on Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock of inflammation of the lungs, September 26, 1876, at Wellington, New Zealand. She was sick nine days.
Mother was glad to see me. She said she was not al all well as she suffers from Rheumatism from head to foot. No word from Alfred. Saw Mrs. Bowler and had quite a talk with her. She said Mother should not suffer as long as she lived, etc., etc.
On my return I bought a pair of gaiter boots, 16/6. Coming through the brush I gathered a great variety of ferns as Brother McLachlan wants us to take down a good supply.
I had almost forgotten to state, Mr. Walter Reader told me my parcel of shells was alright in the store. I concluded to leave them there until we leave for Lyttleton.
Sunday, October 22nd. Took dinner at Mr. Wiley's and tea at Mrs. Brown's. They all seem to express sorrow at our leaving this Island.
Thursday, October 26th. It has been very dull and cloudy all week. I have been very busy trying to finish up my pictures.
Last Saturday, October 21st, Robert Wiley accompanied me to Mount Prospect, as some call it, Camden Hill, I wanted to get a larger sketch and took some colors with me to get it as nearly correct as possible. We stayed the whole day and had a very pleasant day. I gathered some very handsome ferns.
Quite a number of vessels and steamers were both coming in and going out.
I had a very pleasant dream last night. I thought I was home talking to Willie and Harris and the rest of the children about the goodness of God to us. I told them that there were many blessings that we received from day to day that come as inexpressible as the dew upon the flowers and took pains to show them how necessary it was for us all to live humble, pure and faithful before the Lord and try to live worthy of His many blessings bestowed upon us.