History of Decatur County, Iowa, and Its People, Volume 1

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S. J. Clarke publishing Company, 1915 - Decatur County (Iowa)
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Page 150 - It was a sorrow, too, of itself to simple-hearted people, the deficient pomps of their imperfect style of funeral. The general hopefulness of human— including Mormon — nature, was well illustrated by the fact, that the most provident were found unfurnished with undertaker's articles ; so that bereaved affection was driven to the most melancholy makeshifts. " The best expedient generally was to cut down a log of some eight or nine feet long, and slitting it longitudinally, strip off its dark bark...
Page 150 - Mormon travel — -dispiriting milestones to failing stragglers in the rear. It is an error to estimate largely the number of Mormons dead of starvation, strictly speaking. Want developed disease, and made them sink under fatigue, and maladies that would otherwise have proved trifling. But only those died of it outright who fell in out-of-the-way places, that the hand of brotherhood could not reach.
Page 143 - A few years ago (said Colonel Kane), ascending the Upper Mississippi in the autumn when its waters were low, I was compelled to travel by land past the region of the Rapids. My road lay through the Half-Breed Tract, a fine section of Iowa, which the unsettled state of its land-titles had appropriated as a sanctuary for coiners, horse thieves, and other outlaws. I had left my steamer at Keokuk, at the foot of the Lower Fall, to hire a carriage, and to contend for some fragments of a dirty meal with...
Page 149 - Fox country, still on the naked prairie, not yet half way over the trail they were following between the Mississippi and Missouri- rivers. But it brought its own share of troubles with it. The months with which it opened proved nearly as trying as the worst of winter. The snow and sleet and rain which fell, as it appeared to them, without intermission, made the road over the rich prairie soil as impassable as one vast bog of heavy black mud. Sometimes they would fasten the horses and oxen of four...
Page 149 - ... along some others. But the sign of an impaired circulation soon began to show itself in the liability of all to be dreadfully frost-bitten. The hardiest and strongest became helplessly crippled. About the same time, the strength of their beasts of draught began to fail. The small supply of provender they could carry with them had given out. The winter-bleached prairie straw proved devoid of nourishment ; and they could only keep them from starving by seeking for the browse...
Page 143 - Iowa, which the unsettled state of its land titles had appropriated as a sanctuary for coiners, horse thieves, and other outlaws. I had left my steamer at Keokuk, at the foot of the Lower Fall, to hire a carriage, and to contend for some fragments of a dirty meal with the swarming flies, the only scavengers of the locality. From this place to where the deep water of the river returns, my eye wearied to see everywhere sordid, vaga• bond, and idle settlers; and a country marred, without being improved,...
Page 147 - They were, all told, not more than six hundred and forty persons who were thus lying on the river flats. But the Mormons in Nauvoo and its dependencies had been numbered the year before at over twenty thousand. Where were they? They had last been seen, carrying in mournful train their sick and wounded, halt and blind, to disappear behind the western horizon, pursuing the phantom of another home.
Page 150 - ... by the fact, that the most provident were found unfurnished with undertaker's articles ; so that bereaved affection was driven to the most melancholy makeshifts. " The best expedient generally was to cut down a log of some eight or nine feet long, and slitting it longitudinally, strip off its dark bark in two half cylinders. These, placed around the body of the deceased and bound firmly together with withes made of the alburnum, formed a rough sort of tubular coffin which surviving...
Page 139 - We believe that marriage is ordained of God; and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man or woman, except in cases where the contract of marriage is broken by death or transgression. We believe that the doctrines of a plurality and a community of wives are heresies, and are opposed to the law of God.
Page 149 - Chariton, for instance, of over three weeks' delay. "These were dreary waitings upon Providence. The most spirited and sturdy murmured most at their forced inactivity. And even the women, whose heroic spirits had been proof against the lowest thermometric fall, confessed their tempers fluctuated with the ceaseless variations of the barometer.

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