Chapter XIX.


Ample Food Supplies Arrive--I go to Salt Lake City--My

Report to President Young--He Approves it--I am Accused of Stealing--My Vindication

THE wagons being sent out for the goods soon began to arrive. Provisions were not in question now, as we had plenty. There was also a big Y. X. company, Levi Stewart in charge, going down to stock the road, and a company of Elders traveling with hand-carts came through from Salt Lake City. It was about one week from the first arrival until the last of these arrived.

President Young had sent me several letters containing instructions of various kinds pertaining to my [110] duties; but one particular letter of definite instructions how to arrange many things, had not arrived. I kept waiting for it, as there were many things to do that I had no instructions about. I kept enquiring but no letter came. Finally all were in. I asked some of the older and more experienced Elders what I should do. Their answer was that they were also expecting instructions and that they were more in need of counsel than able to give it.

There are over two hundred teams now on the ground, many of the owners beginning to get impatient at the delay. I was at a loss what to do, so I went out after night and asked the Lord to help me out. I told Him I desired to do exactly what was best, but did not know anything about it, and made this proposition that I would take my clerk with me in the morning, and when a question was asked me by any one what to do, I would tell the clerk to write down just what first came to my mind. And if that was right to please remove the spirit of oppression that I was laboring under and allow me to go back to the fort and enjoy myself with my friends. My mind was at once entirely relieved. I went and passed a pleasant evening.

Next morning without saying anything about the lack of instructions we commenced business. Soon some one asked whose teams were to be loaded first, I dictated to my clerk. Thus we continued. As fast as the clerk put them down, orders would be given, and we passed on to the next. We continued this for four days. Everything that I felt to be my duty was done. All the teams were loaded up, companies organized and started back, men detailed to remain a while longer, Elders furnished flour, and a great deal of business was done. A memorandum was kept of all this.

[111] I hitched up a team and started for home when everything was in shape. I reached Salt Lake City a few hours ahead of the freight teams, and went to President Young's office. He was very glad to see me, expressing much sympathy and saying that if he had known of our suffering in time he would have sent us supplies at any cost. I acted a little stiff for I did not know whether my management of the last business would be approved of or not, but I was determined to defend my actions, for I knew I had done the best I could.

Soon Brother Young asked me if I had attended to everything in order before leaving. My reply was, "I hope I did but do not know."

"Well, you acted according to my instructions, did you not?"

"I don't know. I did not get any instructions, and it was pretty hard on me."

I handed him my book saying: "Here is a report of what we did; I hope it is satisfactory."

Brother Brigham asked his clerk, T. D. Brown, about the letter of instructions. Brother Brown said a few days after the last of these companies left, in looking over his papers he found a letter dictated to D. W. Jones. It was the letter that should have been sent.

Brother Brigham commenced reading my report, and as he read would remark, "That is right; this is right. Well, you seemed to get along all right."

I began to feel pretty good. Finally Brother Brown was told to look over the letter, which was very large, containing many items of special instructions. My report agreed with the whole of it. This confirmed me more than ever in my faith in inspiration. Also in the honesty of Brigham Young and his counseling, for if his instructions had not been honest I would never have been [112] inspired to anticipate them. The trouble lies with us; we many times want to dictate the inspiration, or, in other words, put forward our own ideas and desires and call them inspirations.

I met my mother-in-law in Salt Lake City and heard from my wife and two children, who were living with Father P. Colton in Provo. We started for home the next day, where I met my family after so long and severe a trip. It was with joy and thankfulness that I greeted my wife, who was one of the best and most faithful wives that ever blessed a husband.

This was the spring after what is known as the winter of the Reformation. The Reformation move was doubtless intended for and resulted in good; but like everything else where good is found the devil comes along to see what's up. So it was nothing strange if while browsing around he had a hand in some of the moves of men. This I soon became satisfied was the case now, and I did not take much "stock" in what some people called reformation.

When I left Devil's Gate, it was with the understanding that I was to return there and take charge of the place as a Y. X. station, but Brother Brigham countermanded the order, saying that I had had enough of Devil's Gate for one man.

As I was so sure of going back when I left Devil's Gate I had left my gun, saddle, a wagon that I had traded for, as well as a lot of carriage springs that I had gathered up.

In these days there were many things thrown away on the plains that were of value, and it was profitable to go back with teams and gather up wagon tires and other things which had been abandoned. I spoke to Brother Brigham about this. He said he wished me to [113] stop in the city long enough to help deliver the goods to the owners. Patrick Lynch and myself were appointed to take charge of them.

I soon learned that strange stories had been put in circulation about me. I was accused of stealing and hiding away thousands of dollars' worth of goods. As there was no communication between us and the valley how this started was a mystery, only to be accounted for by men's imaginations. So strong was the belief in my guilt that about the time the reformation was at its height in Provo, a teacher came to visit my wife, telling her that she ought to leave me and marry some good man. I could give the name of the teacher, but he is now dead so I will spare his memory. My wife answered, "Well I will not leave Daniel Jones. I cannot better myself, for if he will steal there is not an honest man on earth." I always appreciated the answer.

One family who I will also spare as they are not yet dead came to search my house for stolen goods but did not find any. They professed to be very sorry for having come. My wife treated them with perfect civility; no doubt they were ashamed of themselves and are to this day when they think of the indignity. While delivering their goods I was often accused of having robbed people. The goods formerly spoken of being divided to cache were never replaced and I had to bear the blame. Again, before the trains had stopped in the snow-storms, so I was informed by some of the brethren who stayed at Devil's Gate, there had been a number of heavy boxes emptied, the goods stuffed into sacks and the boxes broken up for firewood. The owners of course looked in vain for their boxes. Many sacks of goods remained at the Tithing Office for a long time before being identified by the owners of the goods. I believe the most of [114] these articles finally got where they belonged. But in the meantime I was "Paddy Miles' boy," who had done all the mischief. Brother Lynch felt so indignant that he reported these accusations to President Young when I received the following letter:


"June 11th, 1857.

"To the Bishops and Presidents in Utah,

"Inasmuch as there are some persons disposed to find fault with the management of Brother Daniel W. Jones while at Devil's Gate, we feel desirous to express ourselves perfectly satisfied with his labors while there, and with the care that he has taken of the property intrusted to him. He has our confidence, and we say, God bless him for what he has done. The men who find fault with the labors of Brother Jones the past winter, we wish their names sent to this office, and when the Lord presents an opportunity we will try them and see if they will do any better.


No comments:

Post a Comment