R H O [A] D [E] S W E S T..........Feb 1, 2001
Publication of Descendants of Thomas Foster Rhoads(Rhoades), Elizabeth
Forster Rhoads, His Father Daniel Rhoads and his Father Henry Rhoads Senr and
affiliated Forster, Newman, Patterson, Grimshaw, Daylor, Sheldon, Esery,
House, Elder, Fanning, Powell, & Weimer (Wimmer) families
CHAPTER TWO.....EVER WEST ( see future Chapter One..Palatinate
Germany,Maryland, Penn/Kentucky) Fam Story....name spelling is accurate as
accepted by the Family and on Gravestones..
Brigham Young represented a sizable portion of Joseph Smith's followers after
a crowd killed Smith at the Carthage Jail Ill. in 1844, intending to break
the Saints. He was then beset with many alternative choices for the future
and preservation of the brethren. Various opportunists, each with his own
agenda saw a multitude of personal opportunities hinging upon the political
and economic inertia of the followers.
On October 20, 1845 Thomas Jefferson Farnham wrote to Young concerning
California's potential, Sam Brannan, a strong California protagenist already
had Young's ear as publisher of the Mormon's New York paper. New York
merchant/ Federal lobbyist A.G. Benson was attracted to Lansford Hastings by
his lectures on temperance, but more importantly on his opinions on business
in an American California. US President James Knox Polk needed physical
leverage to attain his goal of settlement of the Oregon question with Britain
and Mexican supremacy over Texas, the South West and California.
Young saw the biased motivation of these and many other acquaintances, so
wisely, he searched his own ranks for a loyal counselor, who could be trusted
to give an unslanted report on a Western Refuge, the means, and route to
accomplish that goal safely for his large group of followers. He saw the
success of his branch of the Church hinging and relying on the offer of
Enduring Peace after the daily tribulations the Saints had faced since the
1838 Liberty Jail affair where Smith was imprisoned..
An Edgar County Illinois Family, most of which heard the calling, was
converted to Mormonism from their Pennsylvania/Kentucky Deutch Church of the
Bretheren roots by Mormon Elder Caleb Baldwin in1836 during his rounds in
Paris Ill. were riots occurred thereafter.
Thomas Foster Rhoads and his wife Elizabeth Forster Rhoads, daughter of Thom
as Forster, gave birth to their youngest son on April 4, 1836, and in respect
to the conversion, named this son Caleb Baldwin Rhoades. Thomas was a
Surveyor and Topographical Engineer, as was his father Daniel, a Pensioned
veteran Revolutionary Line Soldier, many Illinois road survey records to this
day mention Thomas, and is shown in the 1830 Federal Edgar County Illinois
The Rhoads' had always cringed at "civilization" and emigrated ever westward
since before the Revolutionary days, both in search of elbow room and out of
CURIOSITY. One may call this curiosity, foolhardiness or fearlessness or
self-confidence, depending on your own inner security and opinion. The
Rhoads' home was soon burned by a riotous Paris mob in 1838 in protest of the
Mormon doctrines, which Thomas wholeheartedly embraced. This polarized
Thomas's thinking concerning the adversarial "Gentiles", the non-Mormons.
Young was well aware of the Edgar County Ill. trouble and of the contestants.
Ray County Missouri Land records still show that Thomas bought land north
and south of Hardin Mo in 1838 and after, indicating that Thomas had become
feed up with Illinois, thereafter going "underground" about his religious
convictions. The 1840 Ray County Missouri, Crooked River Township, Federal
census shows Thomas with the following Family and slaves....
Male Family, one child under 5 (Caleb Baldwin, author's G Grandfather), 3
between 5 &10, 2 between 10 & 15, one between 15 & 20, and one between 40 &
50 (himself). Female Family, one under 5, two between 5 & 10, one between 10
& 15, and one between 40 & 50(wife/mother Elizabeth) as citizens along with
17 slaves, ten males and seven females, in their new Missouri home. According
to Sutter's New Helvetia Diary, the exhaused Elizabeth died on Sutter's
launch in the Sacramento River in 1847 and was buried ashore in Benicia CA.
Elizabeth's last child Lucinda was born in Ray County May 12, 1841, now
Caleb had a baby sister.
The Family has always believed Thomas' move was not without encouragement
from Young, who needed an incognito overseer of the Mormon interests in
Liberty town and Ray County in 1838 when all the known Mormons were exiled.
All four motives instigated the move; Curiosity, Infuriation, Surveys and
Loyalty. As a slave owner no one suspected he was a Mormon, and so he moved
freely without interferance from the Ray County Community.
But in the meantime, Peace evaded the Illinois bretheren, especially in
Nauvoo. Finally things came to a head in the fall of 1845 and early 1846.
The afore mentioned Farnham, Brannan, Benson, Hastings, Polk and many others
were wringing their hands in anticipation of the potential power of this mass
of colonizers. President Polk had the best leverage however, he offered
Battalion "Jobs" and wages for Santa Fe/Gila Soldiers who were PAID to go to
California, Young gladly accepted, such a deal ! That took care of some
700, but what of the others ?
History books say the Mormons looked at Vancouver Island, Oregon, Alta
California, or a Great unknown Basin, for their Peaceful sanctuary. But
which ? They needed an Experienced Unbiased incognito Researcher. One who
would report verbally, with NO WRITTEN CORRESPONDANCE, DIARIES, etc that
could be intercepted by the hated Gentiles, who could then complicate and
perhaps thwart the emigration.
The Family believes Thomas was called upon once more to exercize his
CURIOSITY. We believe Young asked Thomas to leave Missouri in the spring
of1846 and go West once again, in advance of the followers, to reconnoiter
and survey by eyeball the feasibility of the various Platte/Bear/Salt
Lake/Raft/Humboldt Western Trails and Geography, reporting to Young as soon
as possible thereafter.
The entire Family left Hardin Mo., oxen, wagons and all, first to Liberty,
then crossed the Missouri at St Joseph on the 6th and 7th of May 1846.
Finally joining the Oregon/California Trail at what became Marysville Kansas.
Thomas, son Daniel, his wife Amanda Esery Rhoads, name's are now carved in
red granite for prosterity, at the Council Bluffs Iowa Western Trails Center.
Author Francis Parkman in his 1846 "Oregon Trail" book discusses the rumor
of nearby Mormons ......little did he know.
We have proved to ourselves that grown sons John and Daniel, and older
sisters Sarah, Catherine, Elizabeth along with their own familys would split
off the main trail after traversing South Pass WY but prior to the Sandy with
Caleb Greenwood as guide at Greenwood's (Sublette) cutoff, and thus research
the Northern (Raft River) route. Daniel's registered "brand" in axle
grease, Catherine, John and Henry's name carved in sandstone, all found on
this route, is partial evidence that this is true. A secondary goal for the
two older brothers was to keep and eye on the hated Gentile, Ex Missouri Gov
Boggs on the same route, at the same time, who issued his "Mormon
Extermination Order" in 1838..... little did Boggs know.
Thomas, Elizabeth, the younger children, Caleb, and Lucinda, staying on the
main Trail until Fort Bridger, then took the Salt Lake (southern) route ,
staying with the Harlin-Young-Pyle-Gordon-Dickinson-Lienhard-Wimmer-Hastings
Party, with Reed-Donner bringing up the rear. Again without anyone
knowing they were Mormons, they were the first ever to enter, and leave Utah.
The family tends to still be "close to the vest" on religious/political
matters. Little evidence exists of Thomas' trek across the salt flats
except Lienhard's overjoyed testimony upon reaching Pilot Peak (Donner)
Springs that "...Roadies coaxed from his old fiddle" for the dancing
children. ( Caleb was 10 by this time and Lucinda 5). 1900's Deseret News
newspaper clippings interviewing Lucinda state's she did remember the trek (
5 ? ).
Daniel and John et al finally reached the Humboldt stopped and backtracked up
the South Fork Hastings route looking for Thomas' group, not knowing if they
were ahead or behind. Finding nothing they continued on downstream, the
Truckee, the Sierra's and arrived at Johnson's Ranch, near present day
Wheatland CA. October 6 1846.
Eventually on the Hastings "short cut" the group rejoined the main California
Trail downstream from the present site of Elko NV. and reached Johnson's
Ranch just before the snows, however the ever tardy Reed-Donners had another
Enterprizing Sam Brannan had arrived in San Francisco Bay by sea that same
summer of 1846 and planned all along to vigorously petition Young to keep
coming. We believe, with the aid of Thomas's Verbal Report, Brannan went
east in summer of 1847, rendevoused with Young at Fort Bridger, but to no
avail. Young was sick, had heard of the Sierra (Donner) trouble, and seeing
no privacy in California, decided to stay put in the Wilderness. God only
knows what Thomas's opinion was, no matter, Brannan probably would have
"slanted" it any way, thus loosing the impartiality. If Church documents
exist, concerning Thomas's "authorization" to go West, or any kind of Report,
we are not privy to those documents.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + +
see future Chapter three...Bernie Rhoades, Edgewood, WA
THE MOOD RING
My husband bought me a mood ring the other day.
When I'm in a good mood it turns green.
When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a red mark on his forehead.
Paris Illinois Edgar County newspaper address...
California Birth Index, 1905-10
Free Database Name or Keyword:
Vital records in California have been kept by the state registrar of vital
statistics since July 1905. This database is an index to the birth records in
California from 1905 through 1910. The database provides such valuable
information as first, last, and middle names of those born; birth dates;
gender; mother's name; father's name; and the birthplace.
Use the information below to obtain a copy of a birth certificate from
Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics
Department of Health Services
304 'S' Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (800) 858-5553
Please visit http://www.dhs.cahwnet.gov/hisp/chs/OVR/Ordercert.htm to obtain
the necessary forms and current pricing information.
Ancestry.com. California Birth Index, 1905-10. [database online] Provo, UT:
Ancestry.com, 2000. Original data: State of California. California Birth
Index, 1905-10. Sacramento, CA: State of California Department of Health
Services, Center for Health Statistics, 19--.
January 27, 2001 California Pioneers, 1542-1848
This compilation was extracted from the monumental seven-volume History of
California by Hubert Bancroft. The information extracted was done with the
genealogist in mind and includes lists of inhabitants, lists of pioneers, and
a pioneer register. The first section is a list of all male inhabitants from
1769 through 1800 and the number following the name refers to the following
dates (1) 1769-1773, (2) 1774-1780, (3) 1781-1790, and (4) 1791-1800. The
second section is a list of pioneers with the date they arrived in the
territory following the name. In the last section, biographies are given of
selected settlers to the area. With such a wealth of information, this
database is a must see for researching a California ancestor.
Bancroft, Hubert Howe, California Pioneer Register and Index 1542-1848,
Including Inhabitants of California, 1769-1800 and List of Pioneers,
extracted from Bancroft, Hubert Howe. History of California. San Francisco,
CA: History Company, 1884-1890.
Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Linn Counties, Missouri Index to Biographies
Name or Keyword:
Index to portrait and biographical sketches for Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton
and Linn Counties in Missouri. This index was compiled by Elizabeth
Ellsberry. Information includes names of prominent Missourians, dates of
births, parents' names and other valuable information. This database is sure
to prove useful those seeking ancestors in Missouri.
For further information about persons listed in this database you may consult
original records from the counties specified.
Ancestry.com. Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry Collection. [database online]
Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2000-. Original data: Ellsberry, Elizabeth Prather.
Index to biographies, Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton, and Linn. Chillicothe,
Mo. : Elizabeth Ellsberry, 19-- .
Heinrich Lienhard, Life at Sutter's Fort, 1840s
Name or Keyword:
The discovery of gold in northern California in 1849 radically changed the
face of the territory. This database illustrates the many changes brought to
the area by this one event. The author, Heinrich Lienhard, lived at Sutter's
Fort for three years until returning to Switzerland to accompany Johann
Sutter's family to America. When he returned in 1850, the settlement he
called home was a very different place. This narrative describes life at the
fort before and after the historic event, and includes personal commentary on
the changed atmosphere in the territory. For those wishing to understand life
at Sutter's Fort in the 1840s, this can be an interesting narrative.
Library of Congress. California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of
California's Early Years. Vol. 78. [database on-line] Washington: Library of
Congress, 1999. Lienhard, Heinrich. A Pioneer at Sutter's Fort, 1846-1850.
Los Angeles: The Calafia Society, 1941.
Jacob Harlan, Wagon Trip to California, 1846
Free Database Name or Keyword:
Jacob Harlan grew up in Indiana and moved to Michigan where, in 1845, he and
an uncle organized a wagon train to California. This database is a collection
of memories by Harlan regarding his preparations and travels to the West
Coast in 1846. It contains his encounters with the doomed Donner party, and
Fremont's battalion during his overland journey. He also describes his life
in San Francisco associated with a milk and livery business, storekeeping in
the gold camps near Coloma and farming near San Jose. For those wishing to
better understand the context in which their ancestors may have lived, this
can be a helpful narrative.
Library of Congress. California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of
California's Early Years. Vol. 61. [database on-line] Washington: Library of
Congress, 1999. Harlan, Jacob Wright. California '46 to '88. San Francisco:
Bancroft Co., 1888.
Johann Sutter, Diary
Free Database Name or Keyword:
Owner of perhaps the most famous historical location in California, Johann
Sutter died in bitter poverty despite the discovery of gold at his mill in
1848. This database is a narrative written in 1856 by Sutter detailing his
life since coming to the West Coast in 1838. Researchers will find an account
of his journey west from Missouri, settling on the American river, and the
discovery of gold near his home. He also provides commentary