Chapter XXXIV.


President Young Requests Brother Brizzee and Myself to Prepare

for a Mission to Mexico--Mileton G. Trejo Joins the Church --His Remarkable Conversion--I Report to President Young that I am Ready--One Hundred Pages of the Book of Mormon Translated into Spanish and Printed

According to the request made by President Young I bought a lot and had a good, comfortable house built in Fairview, Sanpete Co., expecting to make that my future home. The house was not yet complete when I was called upon by Henry Brizzee, about June, 1874, who told me that President Young wished to see him and me at his office to talk with us about a mission to Mexico, saying that President Young understood that we spoke the Spanish language. I had expected this call to come some time. I had both desired and dreaded the mission. My desire was from a sense of duty. My dread was owing to the power of Catholicism that I had seen prevail in that land, while living there from 1847 to 1850.

At the that time no man dared to the pass in front of a church without raising his hat. Anyone doing so was most sure to be pelted with stones with the possibility of having his head broken. A priest passing along the street demanded the uncovering of the head by all who met him. A person's life was in danger unless acting promptly in conformity with all these customs. To offer a word against their religion would be almost certain death.

That the country had been revolutionized and religious freedom declared I had not learned. I only remembered what I had seen. I felt a dread that tried me severely while on my way to the office; but before arriving I had formed the resolution to "face the music." My reflections were: This mission has to be commenced by someone and if it is necessary for the extreme sacrifice to be made, just as well to be me as anyone else.

On meeting President Young, he told us that the time had come to prepare for the introduction of the gospel into Mexico; that there were millions of the descendants of Nephi in the land, and that we were under obligations to visit them. Asked us if we were willing to prepare for a mission. We told him we were. Nothing very definite was arranged at the time. Brother Young said he would like to have some extracts from the Book of Mormon translated to send to the people of Mexico; advised us to get our private affairs arranged, also to study up our Spanish and prepare ourselves for translating and report to him, and when the proper time came and all was ready he would let us know. Some suggestion was made about visiting the City of Mexico as travelers and feel our way among the people.

Brother Brizzee and I visited together often and talked about the work before us. We began to study and prepare for translating. My own feelings were that it would require considerable study, although I understood Spanish quite well. Still to translate for publication required a more thorough scholarship than either of us possessed. I often thought how good it would be to have a native Spaniard to help us.

Some few months after the notice to get ready, Brother Brizzee called at my house, accompanied by a stranger whom he introduced as Mileton G. Trejo, a Spanish gentleman from the Philippine Islands and was an author and a traveler. After conversing for some time with the gentleman I became hopeful that he was the one needed to assist in the translation, which afterwards proved to be the case. Señor Trejo told me that he had been induced to come and visit the Mormon people partly through a dream. His account, to the best of my recollection, was that while discussing religion with a brother officer of the Spanish army when stationed on the Philippine Islands, he remarked that he believed the scriptures literally; that he did not think anyone had the right to privately interpret or change them. His comrade told him he would have to go and join the Mormons who lived in the interior of America; that he had learned about them from his wife, who was an English lady, she having heard about the Mormons and their doctrines in England.

This caused Señor Trejo to reflect and study about the people, so much so that he made it a subject of prayer. Finally he dreamed that if he would go and see the Mormons he would be satisfied. Accordingly he sold out all his interests in the Islands, together with his commission, etc., bade farewell to his people and friends and came to this country a stranger, not knowing anyone or enough of the spoken English to ask for a drink of water. Unfortunately, he was introduced to President Young by a party that did not stand very high in the estimation of Brother Young. I have forgotten the name of the one introducing him. This had rather an unfavorable effect upon President Young, and it was a long time before he gave him his confidence. Trejo never resented the suspicion, only said: "He will know me some day."

Brother Brizzee took Trejo home with him to live. He commenced studying hard, reading and translating the Voice of Warning the best he could. He acquired very rapidly an understanding of the English language, and being a graduate of the highest schools in Madrid, as soon as he got a clear understanding of the text he could write the same in Spanish, his native tongue.

Here I wish to correct an error that exists in the minds of a great many who suppose that Spanish is not the language of Mexico. Pure Spanish is the language of Mexico just the same as pure English is the language of the United States. Just as the uneducated speak bad English, just so the uneducated Mexican speaks bad Spanish. Anyone learning Spanish correctly will scarce perceive the difference when talking to a native Spaniard, a Mexican or a Californian.

Señor Trejo soon became convinced of the truth of the gospel and was baptized by Brother Brizzee. After qualifying himself somewhat, he commenced on the Book of Mormon at our earnest solicitation. My house being completed, I moved my family to Fairview, Sanpete county. Brother Trejo expressed a desire to be with me. He said I understood the written language somewhat better than Brother Brizzee. Brother Brizzee had associated more with the people than I had and talked quite fluently and understood Spanish very well but had not studied the written word so much as I had. It was arranged with good feelings all around seemingly, as soon as I was settled at home that Trejo would live with me and we would work together translating. When brother Trejo came, I rented an office for him where he would be undisturbed through the day. In the evenings we would read and correct together.

In the spring Brother T. returned to the city. I began to feel like reporting to President Young, for we had everything ready, as it seemed to me, to do something. With this before me I came down to Salt Lake City, met Brother Brizzee and told him how I felt. His answer was that he was sick of the whole business; that he had been up to the office to see Prest. Young and could not get a hearing.

At this time Prest. Young was much harassed by lawsuits of various kinds. I felt disappointed at the answer and asked Brother Brizzee if we had not better keep on and do all we could, and probably Brother Brigham would know when we were ready, but I got no promise from him. I told him I intended to keep to work as long as I saw anything to do; and when I felt fully ready I would report. I concluded to remain in the city for a while so as to be near Trejo to encourage and help him. He had commenced to carefully rewrite the whole manuscript of the Book of Mormon, having translated it entirely. He had improved so that by this time his understanding of English was pretty good. He seemed thoroughly interested in the work. He had now expended what money he had brought to the country with him. I shared what money I earned with him and kept him going the best I could until some time in June, 1875, when he came to me and said he would have to quit as he could not live longer without an income of some kind, and he did not want to accept of me as he knew I was not able to spare him means to live on. This confirmed me in the thought that the time had come to report to Brother Brigham, so I told Brother Platt, the man I was working for, that I was now going to see Prest. Young or camp with him till I did see him and report.

I went up town and saw Brother Brigham going into the "Old Constitution" building, followed and spoke to him. He asked, "What are you doing?"

"I am hunting you," I replied.

"Well, what do you want?"

"I want to report to you. You told me to come when I was ready, I am now ready."

"All right, go up to the office, I will be there right away."

When Brother Brigham came in he asked what I had done. I told him just about what had been done, and explained Trejo's situation. Brother Young had never heard a word about his labors; asked if I could vouch for him. I told him I could vouch for the work he was doing, that it was good and getting to be correct. Brother Young was somewhat surprised and very much pleased. He asked me what Henry Brizzee was doing. I replied that I had made my own report and preferred that Brother Brizzee would do the same. Brother Young said he intended to release Brother Brizzee from the call for reasons that were sufficient and said that he would have him notified accordingly.

Brother Brigham advised me to have printed about 100 pages of selections from the Book of Mormon, and get them ready to take to Mexico, and be ready to start about the 1st of September, remarking that the Church funds were low at the time.

I told him I could soon raise the money on subscription if so authorized. Accordingly I received the following letter:

"SALT LAKE CITY, June 1st, 1875,

"To whom it may Concern:

Elder Daniel W. Jones, the bearer of these lines, is hereby authorized to solicit and receive subscriptions to be applied toward the support of Brother Gonzalez while he is translating the Book of Mormon into the Spanish language, and such other Church publications as it may be found advisable from time to time to translate into that language. As Brother Gonzalez's labors, as above mentioned, promise to be productive of much good, it is hoped that the Saints, so far as able and willing, will aid toward his comfortable sustenance while translating, and also to defray the cost of publishing his translations that are desired to be done by November next.


President Young handed me a blank book, saying, "Take this, get what subscriptions you can, and what is lacking I will furnish." He dictated the following heading:

"We the undersigned agree to pay the amount subscribed opposite our names to be used for the purpose of defraying the expenses of translating and publishing the Book of Mormon and other Church works into the Spanish language.

"SALT LAKE CITY, June 1st, 1875.


Edward Hunter, Laron Pratt, Jeter Clinton,
John Sharp, Jos. Bull Jr., W. Grimsdell,
Z. Snow, John Priestley, P. A. Schettler,
Feramorz Little, James Anderson, J. H. Picknell,
J. T. Little, A. McMaster, Jacob Weiler,
G. W. Crocheron, R. Mathews, Thos. Maycock,
Geo. C. Riser, W. J. Lewis, T. F. H. Morton,
Wilba Hayes, H. W. Attley, Jas. Eardley
D. Day, Benjamin Judson, J. P. Ball,
W. C. Rydalch Geo. Margetts, E. M. Weiler,
T. Taylor, O. S. Thomson, A. C. Smith,
J. C. Cutler, John B. Kelly, Angus M. Cannon,
George Goddard, W. H. Perkes, Martin Lenzi,
Erastus Snow, Jno. Kirkman, Geo. Crismon,
George Dunford, Charles Livingston, D. Miner,
A. C. Pyper, John Y. Smith, Hyrum Barton,
Andrew Burt, Jas. Livingston, N. J. Gronlund,
R. Campbell, Lorenzo Pettit, Robt. Dixon,
J. M. Pyper, Lucy Pettit, J. M. Bernhisel,
J. R. Winder, Rosana Pettit, Ann Peart,
J. B. Maiben, J. C. Kingsbury, E. F. Sheets,
Millen Atwood, A. M. Musser, J. C. Rumell,
Francis Platt, A. H. Raleigh, Jas. McKnight,
F. B. Platt, James Leach, John Needham,
P. A. Shreeve, Robt. C. Fryer, C. Crow,
B. Y. Hampton, Wm. F. Cahoon, C. J. Lambert,
William Goforth, Jos. E. Taylor, J. McGhie,
William Hyde, E. M. Cahoon, Mathias Cowley,
Alex. Burt, S. A. Woolley, Mary Bingham,
W. Woodruff, J. M. Benedict, Emma S. Kelley,
A. Woodruff, John L. Blythe, Ludwig Suhrke,
Wm. G. Phillips, R. J. Golding Chas Shumway,
T. O. Angell, Geo. W. Price, Christian Hendrickson,
United Order Tailors, N. V. Jones, Johan Vink,
D. W. Evans, J. Morgan, Jas. Whitehead,
John Nicholson, T. McKean, Paul A. Elkins,
Joseph Bull, T. G. Webber, Geo. Curtis,
J. Jaques, Jas. Sanders, J. D. Cummings,
T. C. Taylor, Orson Hyde, 17th Ward per Bishop
T. McIntyre, H. S. Eldredge, Davis,
C. Denney, W. H. Hooper, 16th Wd. per G. Riser,
J. Tingey, W. C. Neal, 15th Ward per T. C.
S. Roberts, John S. Davis, Griggs,
W. H. Ogelsby, Geo. Q. Cannon, 1st Ward per Bishop
Emma S. Kelly, C. R. Savage, Warburton,
George Buckle, Geo. Lambert, 10th Ward per Bishop
N. H. Rockwood, Morris & Evans, Proctor,
Wm. Nevee, Geo. Teasdale, 11th Ward per Bishop
J. B. Hawkins, Thos. Jenkins, McRae,
Mrs. M. A. Leaver, G. F. Brooks, Hyde Park per S. M.
E. D. Mousley, G. H. Taylor, Molen,
R. B. Sampson, T. Latimer, Moroni, Sanpete Co.,
Thos. Roberts, S. P. Teasdel, per Bishop Bradley,
Robert Aveson,

Anson Call, Geo. O. Noble, Thomas Waddoups,
Joseph Noble, Alfred Burmingham, Samanthe Willey,
David Lewis, Stephen Ellis, Elizabeth Barlow,
John Telford, Daniel Carter, John Easthope,
John K. Crosby, James Wright, Richard Duerden,
Peter Moore, Wm. Henrie, Samuel Smedley,
Wm. Lewis, F. T. Whitney, Wm. Atchinson,
P. G. Sessions, Benjamin Ashby, Joseph Wilkins,
Henry Rampton, Mary Ann McNeil, Arthur Burmingham,
James Wall, Patty Sessions, Israel Barlow,
J. Kynaston, Cordelia M. Barlow, Sarah Nicholas,
John Moss, Jas. Kipper, Sarah Easthope,
Daniel Wood, Benjamin Peel, Lucy H. Barlow,
J. N. Perkins, William Knighton, Heber Wood,
Enoch Lewis, Eric Hogen, Thomas Briggs,
J. T. Botrell, Joseph Moss, Daniel Davis,
J. H. Barlow, Wm. Salter,

Kamas Ward per Bishop S. F. Atwood, 8th Ward per J. M. McAllister, Payson Ward per J. M. Coombs, Provo City per P. M. Wentz, Nephi City per Bishop Grover,



George Barker, Mary Swenson, Preston T. Morehead,
Edward Wildman, Samuel Roskelley, Euphemia Bain,
Silvester Lowe, John F. Mac, Adeline Barber,
Catharine M. Sorensen, Thomas F. Mather, Louisa Barber,
Harriet Meikle, Lars Tooleson, James Mack,
Alice Doane, James Mather, Wm. G. Noble,
Niles C. Christianson, Frank Lutz, David Weeks,
Christiana Ainscough, Lars Sorenson, Robert Meikle,
Joseph Hartan, Elizabeth Knox, Saml. Hendrickson,
John Plouman, Lars Swenson, Betsey Collett,
Wm. A. Noble, Hanna Toolson, Niels Gylenskogy,
Stephen Christianson, Peter Nielson, Wm. Thornton,
Jens C. Peterson, Carl Johnson, Mary Roberts,
Jane Coleman, Diana Hendrickson, Mary Moritzon,
Sarah Langton, Frdk. B. Thyberge, Hannah Olsen,
Robt. Thornly, Thomas Smith, Ann Mary Weeks,
Jane Harton, Lars Mouritzan, Mary Ann Noble,
Niels Tooleson, Ola Hanson, Laura W. Merrill,
Jane Miles, Benj. Lloyd, Penella Gylenskogy,
Jane M. Miles, Caroline Christianson, Elizabeth Heap,
Lena Nielson, Matilda Kelsey, Charles Jones,
Hans Peterson, Andrew Tooleson, Elizabeth Roberts,
Mary Hopkins, Niels Nielson,
Mary Ann Mather, Jens Christianson,

Besides obtaining donations in Smithfield Brother Cantwell solicited help from several other settlements.

Richmond Ward, Cache Valley, per Bishop Merrill.


Jens Hansen, M. H. Martineau, Wm. Trapp,
Klaus Klausen, P. Crone, C. D. Fjelsted,
Olof Hansen, Geo. Hymers, H. D. Hansen,
Geo. Baugh, John Ormond, Ann Davis,
H. R. Cranney, J. Sandberg, C. C. Jensen,
J. H. Martineau, W. Partington, Bodil Hansen,
C. J. Larsen, H. R. Hansen, Ann Hobbs,
H. Thatcher, John C. Larsen, Frank Larsen,
Chas. Laudberg, Jas. Merrill, David Rees,
E. Curtis, Thos. Fredricksen, Gustave Tommason,
W. B. Preston, Lars Hansen, Pleasant Grove per Bp.
John Anderson, L. R. Martineau, J. Brown,
T. Lockyer, H. Flamm, Hyrum Winters,
Rasmus Nelson, Alex Allen, Wm. H. Green,
Thos. Morrell, J. Hayball, J. B. Clark,
R. Gates, Geo. Merrisson, C. C. Petersen,
F. Hurst, H. Ballard, A. Warnick,
R. D. Roberts, R. Maria Nelson, D. Thorn,
T. B. Cardon, Anna Larsen, B. Harper,
Josiah Hendricks, W. J. Davis, D. Adamson,
Hans Anderson, John Thomas, M. P. Peterson,
H. Nelson, Robt. Davidson, Wm. Marrot,
Chas. Martensen, J. P. Tuevesen, Thos. Winder,
John Jacobs, J. Knowles, Olive Thornton,
Osro Crockett, Joel Ricks, Jr., John P. Hayes,
B. Ravsten, J. Quinney,


Magnus Bjearnson, Niels P. Madsen, C. Jacobson,
Jeff Demick, Mrs. Isaacson, Paul Jensen,
Elizabeth Boyack, Marijah Mayor, Hans Regtrul,
Christena Ghrame, August Swensen, Mrs. George Sinnett,
A. P. Nielson, Anna P. Jensen, Isabella Rockhill,
C. Christiansen, Jens Nielsen, John Moone.
Sarah Brockbank, Hans Olsen,
Jas. G. Higgenson, Peter Nielson,


William Thomas, J. W. Taylor, J. Goodwin,
J. Houldsworth, Mrs. Knudson, Andrew A. Peterson,
Wm. Goats, John Austin, James L. Robinson,
S. Empey, Sarah A. Davis, Ephraim City per Bp.
E. H. Davis, Ellen Rolf, Peterson,
George Kirkham, Chas. Barnes, Springville Relief
Isaac Chilton, G. Gudmundsen, Society,
______ Ball, John Andreason, Parowan per Jesse N.
P. Christophisen, Elisha Peck, Smith,
J. W. Morton, Oley Ellingson, Brigham City per A.
Wm. Clark, John Bushman, Nichols,
Mons Anderson, Jens Holm, James McGhie,
Thos. R. Jones, Philip Olmstead, C. J. Lambert,
Abel Mathews, Jane Garner, Centerville Ward per
D. Thurmond, N. P. Thomas, Wm. Reeves,
John Johnson, F. Ericesen, H. S. Ensign,
Wm. H. Winn, A. F. Petersen, Manti City per J. C.
John Zimmerman, Peter Petersen, Brown and Charles,
Elizabeth Bushman, ______ Hawkins, Smith.
Wm. L. Hutching, John Beck,
Edwin Standing, T. R. Cutler,

The names given are all that I can furnish from the list as taken at the time and preserved in the same book given me by President Young. A few names are not plain, so I have to omit them. The donations ranged from ten cents to ten dollars. When the wards are credited, no list of names were sent.

The people were so ready and prompt that it took but a short time to collect the amount needed. In all my travels I have kept this list, as the people helping, seemed to me like particular friends.

I was not long in raising the amount needed, some $500.00, and contracted with the Deseret News office to publish one hundred pages. A committee was appointed to make the selection. I called for them when I was about ready for work but nothing had been done. On mentioning this to Brother Brigham, he picked up a Book of Mormon, saying: "Take this, go home and get a few days' rest. Read the book and when you feel impressed to do so, mark the places and they will be the proper selections, for you have the spirit of this mission and you will be directed aright."

On arriving at home in Sanpete County, I commenced to reading and studying expecting to have but a few days at home, then to soon leave on a very hard mission. My wife and family were kind and loving and I enjoyed home as much as any one could. A few days after my arrival Bishop Tucker, of Fairview, and others wished me to go with them to explore Castle valley. On this trip I read and made most of the selections, afterward approved of and printed.

The first indications of the Pleasant valley coal mines were discovered on this trip by Lycurgus Wilson. Also the country known as Emery County was prospected for settling.

I once noticed a rail road guide book, where General Johnston was given credit of opening the road down Price Creek canyon. This is not correct. No road was there until the rail road was worked through. Captain Seldon took a party up Spanish Fork to a short canyon to the east of Price Creek. According to the best information in my possession, the credit is due to Sam Gilson for first penetrating and passing through Price canyon.

After spending about three weeks I returned to Salt Lake City. The selections being approved, work on the printing was soon commenced. There being no one competent to judge of the translation, Brother Brigham asked me how we proposed to prove to the satisfaction of the authorities of the Church that the translation was correct. My proposition was to take a book in English we, Trejo and I, were not acquainted with, let Trejo translate it into Spanish, then I without ever seeing the book would take his translation and write it into English and compare it with the original. Brother Brigham said that was fair. He asked me if I was familiar with "Spencer's Letters." I said I was not as I had never read them. He sent me to the Historian's office to tell Brother G. A. Smith to let Trejo have a copy and do as I proposed. On furnishing our translation as agreed upon, Brother Smith laughingly remarked, "I like Brother Jones' style better than Brother Spencer's. It is the same in substance, but the language is more easily understood."

Brother Trejo was instructed to carefully re-write the selections and get them ready for the printers. We were advised to call upon Apostle Taylor and ask him to advise us as he had been in charge of the publishing of the Book of Mormon into the French language. Brother Taylor said he did not think we could do the work; and he would rather have nothing to do with it. I told him we had been appointed by the highest authority that there was in the Church to do the work and we believed we could do it and make as good a translation as any that had been made. Two others of the apostles were present. Whether they remember this or not is a question but I am satisfied that Brother Taylor never forgot my answer.

When the printing was commenced, Brother Brigham told me that he would hold me responsible for its correctness. This weighed heavily upon my mind. So much so that I asked the Lord to in some way manifest to me when there were mistakes.

Brother Joseph Bull allowed us an extra reading of the proof. The printers did not understand a word of Spanish and could only follow literally the copy. They soon, however, acquired an idea of the spelling that made it easier than at first.

The manuscript as written by Brother Trejo, was at times rather after the modern notion of good style. When I called his attention to errors he invariably agreed with me. He often remarked that I was a close critic and understood Spanish better than he did. I did not like to tell him how I discerned the mistakes.

I felt a sensation in the center of my forehead as though there was a fine fiber being drawn smoothly out. When a mistake occurred, the smoothness would be interrupted as though a small knot was passing out through the forehead. Whether I saw the mistake or not I was so sure it existed that I would direct my companion's attention to it and call on him to correct it. When this was done we continued on until the same occurred again.

President Young gave us all the encouragement and advice necessary. Brothers George A. Smith, G. Q. Cannon and Orson Pratt also manifested much interest in the mission, as well as a great many others, who contributed means to pay for the publishing of the book.

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