President Marsh added, in his letter,
"Know then, Brother Woodruff, by this,
that you are appointed to fill the place of
one of the Twelve Apostles, and that it
is agreeable to the word of the Lord,
given very lately, that you should come
speedily to Far West, and, on the 26th
of April next, take your leave of the
Saints here and depart for other climes
across the mighty deep."
The substance of this letter had been
revealed to me several weeks before, but
I had not named it to any person.
The time having now come for me to
prepare for leaving the islands, I had a
desire to take with me all the Saints I
could get to go to Zion. There had al-
ready been a line drawn upon the islands
between the Saints and those who had
rejected the gospel, and the enemies
were very bitter against me and the work of God I had labored to establish. They
threatened my life, but the Saints were
willing to stand by me.
I spent four days with the Saints visit-
ing them, holding meetings and encour-
aging them, while the devil was raging
upon every hand.
I had baptized and organized into the
Church nearly one hundred persons while
upon the islands, and there seemed a
prospect of gathering about half of them
with me, but the devil raged to such an
extent that quite a number were terri-
The inhabitants of the islands had but
little acquaintance with the management
of horses or wagons; in fact, most of
them knew more about handling a shark
than a horse. However, in company
with Nathanial Thomas, who had sold
his property and had money, I went to
the mainland and purchased ten new
wagons, ten sets of harness and twenty
horses. When I got everything prepared
for the company to start, I left the affairs
with Brother Thomas, and went on ahead
of the company to Scarboro, to prepare
my own family for the journey.
The outfit which I purchased for the
company cost about two thousand dollars.
Before leaving Brother Thomas, I coun-
selled him in regard to the course to pur-
sue, and charged him not to be later
than the 1st of September in starting
from the mainland.
I arrived at Father Carter's on the 19th
of August, and waited with great anxiety
for the arrival of the company from the
islands, but instead of reaching there by
the 1st of September they did not arrive
till the 3rd of October; and when they
did arrive the wagon covers were all fly-
ing in the breeze. It took a good day's
work to nail down the covers, paint the
wagons and get prepared for the journey.
On the afternoon of the 9th of Octo-
ber, we took leave of Father Carter and
family, and started upon our journey of
two thousand miles at this late season of
the year, taking my wife with a suckling
babe at her breast with me, to lead a
company of fifty-three souls from Maine
to Illinois, and to spend nearly three
months in traveling in wagons, through
rain, mud, snow and frost. It was such
a trial as I never before had attempted
during my experience as a minister of the
On our arrival at Georgetown we were
joined by Elder Milton Holmes. We
traveled each day as far as we could go,
and camped wherever night overtook us.
On the 13th of October, while cross-
ing the Green Mountains, I was attacked
with something resembling the cholera.
I was very sick. I stopped at a house
for about two hours, but the Elders ad-
ministered to me, and I revived.
On the 24th I was again taken sick,
and my wife and child were also stricken
down. We also had several others sick
in the company, through the exposure of
On the 31st we had our first snow
storm, and the horses dragged our wagons
all day through mud, snow and water.
On the 2nd of November Elder Milton
Holmes left us, and took steamer for Fairport; and two days afterwards a lit-
tle child of Nathaniel Thomas', about
six years of age, died, and we had to
bury it at Westfield.