Dictated by Robert A. Booth to Secretary of Walter Keyes, Salem, Oregon. The year was 1910 Robert, the son of John S. and Sarah Booth, (Nee Scowcrft) was born at Harwood Lee, Near Bolton, Lancashire, England, August 4th, 1820 and with his parents, three brothers and three sisters, on Thursday, September 9th, 1830, left Liverpool on the good ship "Salem"(Salen), bound for New York, USA, where, after a very tempestuous passage of forty-four days, they arrived in good health. The family went to Bronx, twelve and one half miles from the city, for a short time when the parents with the boys and youngest daughter returned to the City, locating on Thirteenth Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where they remained until the following summer, moving thence to West Farms, West Chester County, where Robert obtained employment in an Ingrain Carpet Factory, filling quills and spools at one dollar per week; where he continued to work for nineteen months.
The family leaving West Farms the summer of 1832 for the neighborhood of Bronx Mills, where they resided until September 1836, when in company with three other families, on the 15th day of September, they embarked on the good ship Rockingham for New Orleans, La. Bound, thence, for the St. Louis, where part of the company went to Peoria, Ill.: father's family and another one rented a house whilst father and the man went to West Constine Territory, Head of Lower Rapids of Mississippi River, Fort Des Moines, where there were three companies of Dragoons Stationed. Returning to St. Louis we embarked on the steamer Envoy no the 29th day of November, bound for above place, but, the ice ran so thick, breaking the wheels of the steamer. We put in at Hannibal, Mo. for the ice to run out. Instead, it froze up solid and we were compelled to remain on the boat all winter. About the last of February the boat took on some cargo and started for St. Louis. A family vacated a room and took passage on the boat, giving the two families a chance to occupy the room. It was simply weatherboarded with clap boards, no laths, or lining of any kind, but, having flue for stove, we bought one, fixing partitions with quilts and paying 10 dollars per month rent.
The river, being clear of ice, in twenty-six days we left for our original destination, where we arrived March 17th, 1837, having been so long on the journey and at so much expense, the other family was about out of funds and concluded to tarry at Hannibal; because the troops were to leave and go to Fort Leavenworth; Col. Mason gave us permission to settle at the Old Apple Orchard (1/2 mile south of fort), which Black Hawk, the noted chief, informed us was planted by a Frenchman forty years before. Here we made some improvement, finally leasing the same to a man who rented to another person and we finally were swindled out ofthe property by dishonest land sharks. My father, having died on the 9th day of September, 1838, the family were all sick for a time previous to his sickness, losses of stock, toil and disappointments of various kinds, our means exhausted by trusting to others' honesty, we, a broken, disheartened family, located in what was known as Black Hawk Purchase. About September 3, 1842, I wished to see some of the world and have a good time, left home, expecting to go to New Orleans, but, business was very dull, money scarce, a general stagnation, I remained in Missouri and Illinois, returning home late in 1843, having been gone about fourteen months.
On my return I found two of my sisters and one brother had married,leaving only one brother with mother. On the 30th day of December my youngest sister and husband, accompanied by some others, went to a quarterly meeting from our house (Which was known as a stopping place for ministers of the gospel), I went with them on Saturday, returning at night to our house. Again we went, on Sabbath. There was large attendance, good interest; power divine attended the services. On Sabbath night, after those desiring to be saved from sin had been invited to present themselves as seekers and many had gone to the mourner's bench and the invitation had been closed for some time, much to the surprise of the people who knew me, and very contrary to my previous intentions, I became satisfied, of I was to be saved I must act then and there, feeling or nonfeeling, and, with a heart seemingly cold and destitute as a Nether Mill Stone, my judgment thoroughly convinced, I made my way to the Mourner's bench, I found ere I got to the Bench, I had more feeling then I had expected. After a time the order of services was whilst a sermon would be delivered. All did so save myself. I remained on my knees. Sermon ended, mourners came, were converted; I remained until midnight, last moments of the year 1843 gone; New Year at hand and I was enabled to realize that I was a new creature in Christ Jesus, that old things had passed away. All things were new, I was a free man filled with a peacewhich passeth understanding, and a joy indescribable, and arose shouting Glory. A young man, sitting in the next room where he could not see me, at first shout of glory was so thrilled, he jumped from seat involuntarily to the center of the room as he expressed it. It was lake a clap of thunder to him, hence he sought and experienced the pardon of his sins; also, many others ere the meeting closed. When the exceeding joy subsided I very earnestly exhorted the crowd of young men to seek salvation. Many of my acquaintances were greatly surprised to hear of my conversion, my life so full of mirth and hilarity, manifesting seeming indifference in regard to my own salvation and having had such favorable and gracious opportunities. They began to fear I had become Gospel Hardened. Many believed I ought and would preach the Gospel.
The following April, being quarterly meeting, without any act or wish on my part, I was handed an Exhorter's License and told to magnify my office. I was greatly opposed to preaching, or having any official position in the church, wishing to be, simply a devoted humble Christian. Shortly after receiving license, the pastor called upon me, desiring meto fill two appointments for him on same Sabbath. One in the country and one in town. I most strenuously objected, giving serious and to me valid reasons therefor, but, all in vain. Finally, I would agree to fill country appointment, if he would get some one to fill one in Town, but, he said he would tell the people I would be there and I would have fine congregation, which I did not want. There was not standing room inside, and the door was open and many standing in front and by the windows. I felt like a boy at school entertainment, rising up before great crowd to deliver his speech, which he had not learned. I could only see a very few feet before me when I began to speak, but very soon there were hearty amens and I soon could see one half way across the building and finally all over and around. Many were rejoicing and shedding tears of joy, some tears of contrition and I did not want to exhort or preach and I did not attend the next, which was last quarterly meeting of year, at which licenses were renewed. When my case was called, my leader said my associate said I did not wish it renewed, said I could get good congregations as anyone when I could be prevailed on to give an appointment. The P. Eldor said they had no authority to renew, but to say to go ahead, it would be all right. I then said they had no jurisdiction over me and I need not Exhort, Hence, for years I resisted, pleading with the Almighty to excuse me from the responsibility of preaching.
My mother was a devoted Weslyan Methodist, also her brothers and sisters prominent and official class leaders, stewards, superintendents, etc. Previous to and at the birth of my brother, born May 15th, 1817, her health was very precarious. the physicians told her if she should ever bear another child she would die. Hence my parents concluded that was their last child. after the lapse of time , a physician having a National reputation, who had treated my mother and hence was acquainted, passing through the locality where they lived, called on a friendly visit and in conversing about her case, said it might be beneficial to her health rather than a cause of her death. In view therefore of the possibility of regaining her health she promised the lord, if her was improved, her life spared, the issue being a boy , she would give him to him for the ministry, in which father concurred, although at that time he was not aprofessed Christian. When the event occurred and conditions met on part of the giver of every good and perfect gift she renewed her vow, and dedicated her offering to god, as promised. Of course I never had the least intimation of the affair until some time after my conversion. When I was seriously exercised over the duty of preaching; very many of my former acquaintances, in various places, seemed certain I ought to and some preachers and others urged me to yield. Many reasons presented themselves to my mind preventing my yielding. I was an inexperienced babe in Christ. It would be presumption for me to undertake to tell persons who had a Christian experience of more years than I had of natural life. Again, if I could tell them something new, something they had not heard over and over again, there would be some reason to begin. If my parents had given me a good education. Again, it was a very responsible position, responsibilities under which any; man might tremble. To be an ambassador for Christ, beseeching men, in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God. Then, again, there was a very meager pecuniary support. In the event of my health failing, or my dying, loved ones might be left to the cold charities of the world. Again, if I found I was not in my proper calling as an honest man I would quit. Enemies of Christ would say I entered from a sinister motive. That would injure the church, which I loved. Thus I lived sometimes on the mountain top and then in the dale, often feeling if I could have a sign from God, that I could not doubt, then I would yield.
On the 28th day of August, 1845 I was joined in Holy wedlock by Rev. Uriah Ferree to Miss Mary Miner, a devoted Christen, a true help mate. She was always in favor of my discharging all my Christian, duties. Previous to and after my marriage my mother lived with us. My wife and she were tenderly and strongly attached to eachother. On the 14th day of September, 1846 our home was brightened by the birth of a daughter, to which her grandma was greatly attached. It was perhaps in July, 1847, I, my wife, with babe and mother started on a visiting tour intending to leave mother at the last visit with them, but, when we visited my second sister they insisted on her remaining longer with them and they would take her to the next sisters and they take her to my brothers and he bring her home; hence we left her, in the town of Farmington. She took sick, the doctor advised taking her to my sisters, nine miles in the country, believing the water in town did not agree with her. All that loving hands and medical skill could do failed to check the disease. Twice they sent for me and mine, some fifteen miles. After remaining some time she seemed to improve and I returned. Soon a second messenger came. For days she lingered, filled with abiding trust in God often quoting the 23rd psalm. "Yea, though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me, Thy rod and they staff they do comfort me," (I observe the word do is not in our Bible as quoted by her) but it seemed to give emphasis to the part. Her children who were in Iowa Were all at her bedside, when about 1 o'clock a.m. about the 2nd day September, after her eye had lost its earthly vision and her tongue was palsied in death, I said, "Mother, if the way is still bright and Christ is still precious, raise your hand", at which she at once began raising both arms to their utmost length, then gently lowering them on her breast, when a ray of light from the world, wherein is no darkness, rested down upon her countenance, which remained there when placed in her casket. The Divine Seal of her fitness, for the Heaven prepared for the pure in heart, which caused me to say: "Whilst it washard to part with so good a mother, there was a pleasure in the mourning, knowing she has gone where sickness and parting are unknown". I bless God for such a mother. I presume I owe more to her than any earthly power for my salvation, I mean of course, all Human agencies combined.
Now in regard to some of the Divine Providences attending my life: After I had shed my first teeth and gained the second I had a front tooth on the upper jaw knocked out. I may have been between eight and nine years of age, of course, it was not expected another would come; after months one afternoon I felt a sharp corner with my tongue. I told mother. Her heart beat with gratitude to God; after my restlessness in regard to preaching she told me how she had prayed to God to bestow another tooth, thinking its loss would impair my enunciation and hurt my looks in the pulpit, still expecting I would be an ambassador for Christ. Again when eleven or twelve years of age I was in a stream. The tide was going out. The current also running swift, another one in swimming with me. I had not learned to swim but by touching bottom with one foot I could make head way. I got where it was beyond my depth and went under. Providentially a young man saw me, and shouted to my companion that I was drowning. He caught and saved me. Again, on the 27th day of November, 1837 I broke through ice, in the forenoon, crossing a stream. Late in the afternoon and very cold I got into swift water trying to save a man that could not swim. I had a blanket overcoat, two pairs of pantaloons, two pairs of socks. With him hold of me, so I could only use arms and not my legs I went under three times. To my astonishment when we came to thesurface he let go of me, my thoughts not eternity, unprepared, but on the sorrow and suspense of our friends, not knowing what had betided us as none saw us go in and consequently would not know where to look for our bodies. Thus, I learned a man might die, as the beast dieth. The Almighty, not being under obligation to continually prompt him by his spirit, to prepare for his departure out of time into eternity. he has timely informed us his spirit shall not always strive with man. About dark we arrived at a Settler's cabin, our clothes frozen stiff, rattling like bones. We were told if we had missed his cabin there would have been no chance to escape freezing to death, as it was fourteen miles to the next house, all the way though prairie; not getting my clothing dry before retiring, my shirt froze on my back inbed.
I may say whilst it was my desire to live an earnest and sincere Christian in consequence of unwillingness to preach my religious enjoyment was not uniform. Sometime on the mountain top and then in the dale I promised the Lord if he would bless my honest efforts to secure a home so that in the event of my sickness or death my wife would not be left destitute, I would by His Grace endeavor to do His Will. I accumulated property rapidly, soon would have a home. Many were leaving for the Gold Mines in California. Hearing such glowing reports of men making fortunes I concluded to go, not for a fortune, but to secure Two Thousand Dollars. That with what I already had, by using economy, would give me a sufficient support, so that I would not be depended on the finances from the churches I might serve, I might have funds to help the needy, and worthy objects.
On the 12th morning of march, 1850, I left my home and loved ones on the long and trying journey; on the 18th day of April, we crossed the Missouri River arriving in Hangtown, Eldorado County, California, last day of July in theforenoon.The Immigration was very large. Cholera, small pox, fevers, drownings, accidental and otherwise, swept off its thousands, many dying after getting to California, many on their returning home. On December I left the mines intending to visit my brother in Oregon, arriving in San Francisco, not finding any vessel ready to sail for Oregon. There being several bound for Panama. soon after dinner, we went out of Golden Gate, sea being rough, many sea sick, stormlasting four nights and three days. Two sailors, steering the vessel were lashed fast to keep from being thrown overboard; Captain giving orders through trumpet, sailors would run and catch belaying pins and hold on until favorable chance to run again to execute orders. Passengers shut up in hold, after being out eight days; took reckoning found we were one hundred and fifty due west of Golden Gate. Having strong and fair wind we made one half distance to Panama. Then the wind died away; calm continuing for weeks; provisions becoming scarce; water getting low; we put into River Kealajo, Kingdom Nicaragua, 700 miles north of Panama, paying one dollar each to be taken up to the town. Next day left for Grenada.Many in Truck carts, some on mules or ponies (I was on board Hebe fifty-two days, execrable food, scent of which often caused vomiting), arriving at Grenada, took passage on small sloop Pioneer for San Carlos. Head of San Juan River,distance 120 miles, paying eight dollars per capita, furnishing our own provisions and getting ourselves on board. We were 52 hours making the passage in the broiling sun by day, no chance to sleep and when they moved sail the boom came so near the deck had to lie flat and take hat in hand to keep from going overboard. Here were what was called soldiers, a miserable looking set of cut throats of Humanity, many having scars several inches in length on their bodies caused by knives in conflicts. Here we hired Bungoes (coarse, rough, canoes) to take us 150 miles to Greytown, kingdom of Musketoe on the Caribbean sea, at that time under protection of British Soldiers, West Indian Negroes. After remaining, nine days we took vessel for New Orleans, where we arrived, after passing through fearful storm in gulf of Mexico. Here we separated, going to various states, one to England, which he left nearly seven years previously.
Finally I got home the 28th day of March, between eight and nine o'clock p.m. in good health but about Four Hundred dollars minus instead of Two thousand dollars to the good. Shortly after I was licensed to preach, expecting to join conference, but the winter beingexceedingly hard and my relatives leaving for Oregon I sold out, and, on the 11th day of April, 1952, left my home bound for Oregon. Trusting to reports of newspapers put in by merchants of Kanesville--that emigrants could get supplied fortheir trip as cheap or cheaper than the locality they were leaving and thus saving hauling through bad roads--. We went where we found thousands upon thousands at their mercy, charging as much as Sixteen Dollars ($16.00) per barrel for flour, 12 1/2 cents per pound for rice and other things in proportion. They were anxious to get across the river, going on any kind of craft by day and by night. Finally the Robert Campbell, a steamer came, discharged freight, and beganforriage. There was great effort made to get away from such vast crowd, sickness soon began, vast numbers dying, from cholera, smallpox and other diseases. Where we lay by a little over a day and two nights for women to wash at WoodRiver, not far on the journey, it was said there were forty graves made during our stay.
The Indians were threatening and troublesome, especially the Pawnees; my wife and oldest boy something over four years old both took the cholera, the came evening, wife suddenly felt pain in stomach and turned blind, I saw her trying to get to the wagon where we had just stopped. She was staggering like one intoxicated, I ran to her carrying her to wagon, had bed prepared, and laid her down. Such suffering I never saw, hoping never to see again. I sat by her all night alone, giving her medicine and straightening her hands and limbs after the fearful cramps. My boy in the tent alone close by had no one to see to him. I could hear himleave his couch and go to the bucket of water, brought up for the morning use. He would drink all his stomach could contain, then go to couch, soon he would begin to vomit and after sickness subsided, return and drink until he drank the bucket of water. That saved him. I could not leave my wife and no one came to our help, all afraid of cholera. About two o'clock a.m. my wife's eyes green as gall bladders and though I sat close to her and had candle burning, she could not see me. To me, it was an awful night, I realized this world was a howling wilderness, my farms and all the proceeds of my personal property were in that outfit. If she died I was too far from the Missouri River to get there before the immigration would be away and the probabilities were, I would not get through the hostile Indians, and to continue the journey with four motherless children was simply fearful to contemplate. Through divine Interposition they lived.
After a while I took fever, became weak they were fearful I would die. May wife distressed greatly, at thought of leaving my body away from civilization, likely to be dug up as vast number were. My brother-in-law asked what I thought of having a doctor, we had onetraveling in our train. I told him I had been thinking about the matter and my conclusion was, "Everybody he had doctored for any length of time had died. I might have constitution sufficient to overcome the disease, but I doubted if I could overcome it and the doctor's medicine, and if I died I preferred to die a natural death, hence, hence, I did not want him." His views and mine agreed. although brought very low, in an answer to prayer I was spared. One night a boy died, in the A.M. he was buried; whilst they buried him, my wife went off to secret prayer. She came to the foot of my bed and looking very solemn said; "I want you to promise you will do one thing." After parlaying for a time I said, "Tell me what it is and you know I'll do it, if it is reasonable." She said, "Well its reasonable whether you think so or not. I want you to promise if God will raise you up you will do your duty, and preach when you get to Oregon. If you will, he will raise you up; if you won't you'll die". I said, "Do you think so?" "I've been praying over it, and this is the answer." I said, "Well if the way opens up so I know it is previdential I will try and walk in it, but I won't do anything to open up the way." She said, "No you have always been afraid of doing anything to open up the way and when the way has opened you have failed to go in.
The trip across the Plains by team was a most trying one. Man's selfishness would manifest itself. Some would seek every advantage in order to get gain. True, some were generous and kind. Many ran short of provisions and suffered greatly. I distributed beans on Snake River to the company in which I traveled that I bought at Kanesville, on which I received 37 1/2 less than I paid. I let two strangers traveling on foot have at least 15 pounds of flour for one dollar for which I paid eleven dollars per barrel, taking twelve barrels. My wife baked it into light bread and biscuit in the morning; I disposed of flour to the needy various times, hoping I would have enough to last until we reached The Dalles, but when our bacon failed, the flour melted away rapidly, so that I was entirely out at Willow Creek. I applied to a man who sent forme at midnight to talk to his wife, who was dying with cholera and for whom we dug a grave and did everything we could to assuage his grief, joining his company for his special benefit, when we knew it was to our loss, often lying by on account of his children's sickness. He let me have what was said to be 22 1/2 pounds for 50 cents per pound which we consumed before getting to John Day River, where Shearer's bridge was finally built. I did not have the money at the time of purchase, but paid him afterwards at my brother's house near McMinnville, less 25 cents which he generously threw off.
My team had dwindled away when I arrived at John Day so that I could not go farther. I left my wagon and a few things init to be brought to the Dalles for which the man would not be responsible. After explanation he gave was: Wagon upset on the way, had emigrant family along, and he did not know my things from theirs. The wagon cost me one hundred andfive dollars in Iowa, where I could get an ordinary one for sixty- five dollars. After receiving my things I went in with theothers constructing a raft on which we went to the Cascades. Here my means were all gone, save two cows and one good steer, the last of thirteen head. I sold them for eighty-seven dollars and paid for some flour I had bought on credit.
Finally I arrived in Yamhill Country, near McMinnville, late in November with a wife and four children in good health, fifteendollars and forty cents in money, a farm and all my personal property gone and ninety dollars and forty cents in money; in debt. After a time I moved into camp, took contract to make shingles and three foot shaved boards to cover barn. Out down small tree for shingles, sawed off some cuts, sent for team to haul to camp; whilst he was gone I began clearing away to get in, cutting a hanging limb above my head, about four inches in diameter. It was sap rotten, the ax passed through and into my left foot, hence I had to work at a disadvantage. Work I must, everything to buy, and nothing to buy with. Before it healed I tore the main leader of my leg loose from knee so I could control my foot; every step it wouldswing to the left. I was told to get Balsam fir and make plaster and put on. I cut off boot leg, made plaster, extending above and below the knee, straightening the limb and binding it firmly, thus being able to control the foot, but could not bend the knee. I may say I had completed my contract on the shingles and boards, and was making rails out of dead ash trees to pay for wheat I had bought. Wheat was three dollars per bushel. Not being able to split rails on account of stiff knee Imust chop off the cuts. I did so, being careful until a tree was cut up. I started to look at another. The trees had grown in a low swailey place, where the river ran when out of its banks. It was grown up with brush. A tree had fallen across the swale, debris had lodged against it. I stepped on it with my axe on my shoulder, stepping down I found the distance was greater than anticipation; I must fall. My mind, bring cool, I thought if I fell with axe on shoulder the bit might enter between my shoulder blades. I threw the axe from me as I fell, it struck a bush and in falling stood upon the edge, the bit quartering toward me. I fell with the muscles of my left arm on it. The blood flowed. We tore back of vest lining, boundup, to staunch it. Now I had foot, knee and arm all on one side disabled. Folks said I would have to stop work, I said, "No". There was a large fir tree on the bank of the River; passing along one day I had cut a juggle out and tried it. It was sap rotten, but if we could get it I could borrow a cross cut saw and could use my right arm. It might be pretty hard to open and some waste, but it would make 100 or more rails to the cut, and when I had use of both arms we would make rails pretty fast. I told the owners about it and what I purposed to do if I could get it.
They had never seen the tree, had no knowledge of it, but they would see. The wife said they needed their house and orchard picketed in. I think her idea was, if it would split into rails it might make pickets. I don't know that they ever saw that tree, of on thing I am certain they never made any pickets and they never reported to me. I confess it seemed hard not to be able get such a tree where so manywere growing, and I in such straights. I struggled on as best I could, put in piece of ground in wheat. It yielded well, all things considered. The hogs destroyed some of it, depending on river for fence. In cutting it with heavy home-made cradle, depending on part of scythe stone, I tried to be careful to have it right, as there was only short space between hand and scythe; when sharpening, I set end of scythe on level piece, but it proved to be only about two inches thick and being hollow, underneath, broke. Scy the came down on my finger cutting it one-half off. Of course, if my finger had not given way it would have cut it entirely off. Speaking to the proprietor I showed him, it was just as nearly one-half off as couldbe, cut more than one-half depth on one side, not quite so deep on the other.
There are many incidents to which I might refer, that try men's souls. Waiting at John Day, 45 miles from The Dalles, trying, but finding no way to get on, we had no flour in sight, said to be some coming soon. We paid 75 cents for one pound of green coffee and some other things in like proportion. Wife became greatly discouraged at the outlook. I tried to cheer her, telling her we were going to Oregon; reply did not look much like it. I said darkest hour just before day. Did not think could get much darker. I replied I don't know just how, but we would go, God's promises never failed. His word was true, to the faithful, bread should be given and the water should be sure. Psalmest said he had been young then was old, but had never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread, and infidel club concluded they would disprove it. In the city of London, England, where there were 3000 daily paupers they would prove it untrue. They tried but failed to find either a righteous person or their seed begging. I said I had no more doubt of the truth of God's promises than I had of my existence.
The only question in my
mind is do we fill the measure of the righteous? If we do, we will have
bread, the water is in sight in abundance. I know I have not discharged
my duty at
all times as I should, and have erred in various ways, but God knows my
heart andknows my purpose has been to be a sincere follower of his. He
all about me and I am glad he does and I'll trust, if we fail it will
be because his promise fails. Of course we had some money, but we could
eat that, three men came along on foot with some flour, asked
if she would bake some bread for them. She answered in the affirmative.
had our large tent spread flat on the ground on which she put the
biscuit, one panful after another until it was all baked.They gathered
them up into the sack, asked her charge, she said not anything. They
replied they did
not want her to go to that trouble for them without pay. She said she
not consider it trouble, that the trip was a trying one, and shethought
ought to be willing to help one another, to make it as easy for each
as possible. Then as she looked she saw they had not gathered all the
they had wanted. Said there were more than enough to pay her, if she
been going to charge. She would pay them if they would sell
They wanted to pay her and after they had gone away, say two rods, one
them threw 50 cents on the tent cloth, so I said dear, here is the
which lasted so that the childrennever went hungry. When we arrived in
waiting for an opportunity to get into the country I think no man felt
grateful than I to God Almighty. Little as we had of this world's goods
were all alive and well, many familiesbroken up by death. I said to my
I would not take one thousand dollars and be placed as I was before
That I could make more money here off a few chickens than off a farm in
Right there by the river were a coop of Poland Top Knots, a
had brought across the plains five in number. Two men offer her one
fifty dollars per head for them but she refused. I said to my brother
stood there and heard the offer and the refusal, I've often heard of
two fools meeting. Now I've seen it. They were fools to offer it. She to refuse it.
In the early summer of 1853 I took a contract to dig a portion of the race or canal to run water from Baker creek to McMinnville for Newby's Grist Mill. Taking a yoke of oxen in part pay at one hundred sixty-five dollars and moved on to a claim, in the hills between Willamina and Yamhill rivers, where we underwent more hardships before getting settledfully in my cabin. I cut a complete mouth on my left knee with a drawing knife. We were far from neighbors, no road, near dark, been rainy day, my brother-in-law had camped three-fourths of a mile away. My wife had to go through grass and weeds more than knee high, no trail; to see if he would come and sew it up. He was not there, next morning sent and gotman to come, but he dissuaded me from attempting it. Said it ought to have been done at first, but now it was swollen and stiff and it would be like death to attempt it. If blood started to heal. Here we had no door yet, fire place not completed and our winter supplies not laid in. Wife had to go twenty-two miles with two yoke of oxen and two boys rose. Steam dangerous, but neighbor, hearing she was coming, sent son on horseback to assist herin crossing to avoid getting into swimming water.
I am now in my ninetieth year. Looking back I see very many mistakes I have make. Often think if I could call back the years, with acquired knowledge I could and would change. One of old spoke wisely when he said, "It is good for a man that bear the yoke in his youth". Having a reference to the Christian yoke. I have realized that he that is wise gives heed to the Divine Council. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, by so doing one will avoid many temptations, to which he will be exposed if he puts it off. Also, will escape the unprofitable service of Satan. Often said the regrets of my life are in the main, not giving my heart to God sooner, and been more faithful in His service. Have always felt I ought to have done as I wished, when first converted. Gone to collage and acquired a good education. My life might have been very different, my power for good greater, knowing my education was not equal to very many others, has kept me from pushing forward and occupying better positions. I was urged to go into the active work of the ministry as I was, whilst getting one good thing going to college. I would lose two good things. The result, I neither did one nor the other. I am sorryI've not done more good in the world than I have. I'm glad I have good reason to know some have been brought to a blessed realization of Pardon Sins, and been made conscious of a love all love excelling, even the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, and are now partakers of the unending life where there is fulness of joy and pleasures forever more, even an eternal weight of Glory. Some who entered into and have gone before, before I entered into the ministry, whilst I may regret, that I have not been what I might have been and hence am not what I could have been, I'm glad that by the grace of God, I am what I am.
My prayer is, and that daily, that
may more fully put on Christ; that when my probation ends here
find an abundance upon entrance into the world of endless light. I may
tarry here. Oh! that I might have the assurance e're I go hence, that I
be so happy as to not only find my loved ones gone before, but to have
an assurance that all Our Beloved offspring for whom their
Sainted mother so earnestly labored and fervently prayed, may finally
make an unbroken
family in Heaven, to join in the song which the Angels cannot sing;
Him that hath loved
us, and washed us in his own blood, to Him be Glory and Majesty and Might, forever and forever, Amen! ***Done***
source - This
biography was graciously donated
Mike and Shirley Booth.
Thanks for sharing this fascinating account, Mike and
This page last updated: May 4, 2003