Historical Pages:

Francis Asbury Hammond

*Francis' middle name is spelled alternately in records as Asbury or Ashbury.  The Asbury spelling is the more common.

Photo:
Parents: Samuel Smith Hammond  
  Charity Edwards

Born: 1 Nov 1822
  Patchogue, Suffolk, NY
Died: 27 Nov 1900
  Bloomfield, San Juan, NM

Spouse: Mary Jane Dilworth
Marriage: 17 Nov 1848
  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT

Children: Francis Ashbury Hammond
  Samuel Smith Hammond
  Fletcher Bartlett Hammond
  Mary Moiselle Hammond
  George Albert Hammond
  William Edmund Hammond
  Lizzie Fontella Hammond
  Eliza Dilworth Hammond
  Joseph Heber Hammond
  Luella Adelaid Hammond
  Maybell Ophelia Hammond
  Amelia May Hammond
   

2nd Spouse: Alice Howard
2nd Marriage: 26 Jul 1864
  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT

Children: John Howard Hammond
  Mary Alice Hammond
  Hannah Howard Hammond
   

3rd Spouse: Martha Jensina Marcussen
3rd Marriage: 5 Apr 1881
  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT

Historical Documents
 
In Early Days
FAH Journals
Francis Asbury Hammond Life Outline
Francis Asbury Hammond Short Sketch
F A Hammond Obituary
Brigham Young Letter concerning F A Hammond
Letters from F A Hammond
 
From the book Francis Asbury Hammond: Pioneer & Missionary, by Nathan Adamson:
Table of Contents
Preface
Growing Up
Francis' Conversion
Francis Gets Married
Francis and Mary Jane Go on a Mission
The Utah War and Francis' Introduction to Polygamy
Francis' Second Mission
The Move to Huntsville
President of the San Juan Stake
End Notes
 
Additional Photos of Francis A. Hammond
Photos of Francis Asbury Hammond
 
 
In Early Days

My Introduction to Mormonism - By Francis A. Hammond

Originally printed in the Juvenille Instructor, June-September 1894

 

In the fall of the year 1843 I was taken ashore from the whaling ship Thames and landed at Lahaina, Maui, one of the Sandwich Islands, sick, and so disabled that I could not continue on the voyage.  My trouble was caused by an accident received while in the Arctic Ocean.  I was stowing down oil in the hold of the vessel during a severe gale, and while thus engaged a barrel of flour headed up inside of a 90 gal. oil cask became loose from between the decks and fell, striking me on the back.  I was carefully hoisted to the main deck and gently carried down to my state room in the cabin, where I continued in my berth, only as I was lifted out occasionally by my fellow-officers, until we returned to Lahaina, from whence we had sailed the March previous.

            When we bade goodbye to my shipmates it was their firm belief they would never see me alive again; in fact I had but little hopes of recovery myself.  I rented a small native house and hired a native boy, Maikai, to take care of me.  Here I lived on bananas, poi, and goat’s milk.  Strange to relate, in about sixty days I was able to get up and walk about, and soon after I was able to work.  I then started in the business of shoemaking; I had learned this trade from my father while in boyhood.  I took a trip to Honolulu, Oahu, about eighty miles by sea, and made a purchase of a small stock of leather and a set of tools, and in a short time had four or five journeymen shoemakers working for me, also several men boarding with me, while Maikai, my native boy, did the cooking.

            The Lord blessed and prospered me in business.  I soon learned enough of the native language to trade and traffic with the natives in a friendly way.  I sought to gain their confidence by dealing justly with them.  They were my principal customers, and I can state that during three years’ business relations with them I never lost a dollar by trusting them.  I also had the custom of the foreign population, consisting of American missionaries, merchants, lawyers and doctors.  Money at that time was plentiful.  For French calf boots I received $20 per pair; other prices were in proportion.

            At this time Lahaina was a great place for the whaling fleet to call for supplies while en route to the then new whaling ground in the Arctic Ocean.  Sometimes fifty to one hundred ships would be in the harbor, or roadsted, sending on shore hundreds of sailors and officers for a day of liberty -- half of the crew at a time, while the others wee on board keeping ship.  All these men would spend from $5.00 to $50.00 each.  Besides this the ships all had to be recruited with stores and fresh provisions for the voyage to the Arctic, each ship spending from $5,000 to $25,000. This made business good for the ship chandlers or merchants who dealt in ropes, blocks, chains, etc.  It also furnished a good market for the products of the Islands, such as beans, green corn, sweet potatoes, bananas, and Irish potatoes, which were cultivated extensively at Kula, on east Maui, at an elevation of perhaps 4000 ft above sea level.  This was an era of great prosperity to the natives financially.  They began to learn the use of money and were not over-scrupulous as to the means used in obtaining it.

            During the year 1846 I saw an account in the Polynesian, the government newspaper published at Honolulu, Oahu, of the arrival of the ship Brooklyn with a company of Mormons, under the direction of Samuel Brannan, bound for California. Little did I think at that time that I would ever become associated with that people; for from all that I had heard or read of the Mormons I was lead to believe they were about the worst people on earth.  Some time in the latter part of September, 1847, I was seized with a desire to leave the Islands and return to my home on Long Island, New York, and marry “the girl I left behind me,” as the sailors sing, and then return and make my home with the people of Hawaii, as I had formed a great liking for the people and their delightful country.  So in order to carry out this resolution I quickly sold out my business and wound up my concerns, packed up my shoe tools and boxed up my stock of leather which I had on hand.

            When about ready to embark for Honolulu, to take passage to California, I made some calls on friends to bid them goodbye.  Among others I called on Mr. Forbes, the seamen’s chaplain, a very good friend of min.  When he learned of my intention of returning home by way of California, he immediately set out to discourage me.  He advised me to take passage round Cape Horn and land in the midst of good Christian society; “for,” says he, “if you go home by way of California, you will find society there made up of Mexicans, Indians, a few renegade Americans, and those poor, deluded Mormon that went there in the ship Brooklyn; of course you would not wish to associate with them.”

            “No,” said I, “for from all accounts I have heard the Mormon people are a very bad lot.” I told him, however, I had made up my mind to go home across the American continent for the reason that it would give me a trip around the world, as I had doubled in the east cape, Good Hope, in coming to the Islands.  This Mr. Forbes was a good, kindhearted man, a good friend to the poor sailors, who as a class have but a few friends.  I had attended on his ministry for three years, but could not be inducted to believe and accept his doctrines for they did not, to my mind, agree with the doctrines and principles taught by the Savior and His apostles as set forth in the New Testament.  In fact, I was at this time of my life and unbeliever in what is called orthodox Christianity; yet I could not but believe in a God, and believed in prayer, and did sincerely pray unto Him.  In my boyhood in reading the history of Jesus and His apostles, I had wept because I did not have the privilege to live in those days, when men spoke and taught by the power and inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  I was told by the ministers of the different denominations that all those things were done away and the canon of scripture was full and no more revelations was needed.  For this reason I remained aloof from all churches, believing I would be saved if I would lead a just and upright life, as well outside as inside of any of the man-made churches. Little did I dream that I should live to see and become acquainted with Prophets and Apostles, raised up and ordained and called of God as they were in ancient days.  Children, you must excuse me for this digression.  We will now resume the narrative.

            In a few days after my interview with Rev. Mr. Forbes, I found myself on board a small schooner, which is a two masted vessel, on my way to Honolulu.  On my arrival I found no vessel ready to sail for the coast.  So rather than be idle I went to work for a man by the name of Woods, who had just arrived from Boston and commenced the shoe and boot business.  I worked at quite low wages rather than to be idle.  This has been my practice all my days.  When I could not get what I thought was proper in wages, I took what I could get, for the want of work.

            About the first of October, 1847, I sailed for California, on board a small schooner loaded with fruit, potatoes and general products of the Islands.  We had a long, tedious voyage of twenty-three days.  When we entered the Golden Gate leading into one of the finest harbors in the world, land locked, as the sailors say, and with capacity sufficient, some say, to moor the naval fleets of the world, there were no docks or wharfs to which ships could approach and discharge their passengers and cargoes.  This was done by means of lighters, or large flat-bottom scows.  So after we had come to anchor we hoisted out our yawl boat, and the captain and three men passengers, besides myself, got in and pulled to shore.  I was in the bow of front part of the boat, and as we struck the beach I made a good spring and jumped ashore without getting my feet wet.  On our landing we found quite a few men with draws, a kind of a low, two wheeled one horse cart, with a kind of platform extending quite a distance in the rear of the wheels, and raised but little from the ground.  One of these persons stepped up to me and saluted, and asked if I wanted my baggage taken to a hotel.  I replied that I did.  He asked me to which one.  I replied that I was a stranger, and told him to take me to any respectable place.

            This man was Brother Wm. Corey, as I afterwards learned, a sergeant in the over-memorable Mormon Battalion.  By this time it was nearly dark, and after going over a rough road quite a distance, he stopped at a Mormon boarding-house kept by Wm. Glover.  While sitting at the supper table, which was well supplied with good, substantial food, to my great surprise and disgust, mixed with indignation, I learned that I was in the midst of a company of Mormons, and I the only Gentile in the house.  My feelings can only be imagined.  Here I was, landed right among the very people that I had promised my friends, the Rev. Mr. Forbes, that I would endeavor to steer quite clear of.  Their talk, and I imagined their looks, were quite different from those of other men.  At the table were seated, as I remember, John White, Orlando F. Mead, Thomas Dunn, Meltair Hatch, Orrin Hatch, Boyd Stewart, all members of the famous Mormon Battalion; there was one conspicuous figure also in the person of James Ferguson, a brilliant young Lieutenant in the Battalion, then a clerk in a wholesale liquor and provision store kept by Robert Parker, one of the most prominent citizens at that time in San Francisco.

            After supper was over I was invited by my host, Mr. Glover, to spend the evening in the sitting-room with him and his family, consisting of Mrs. Glover and a Miss Elenora Snow, a factory girl from Lowell, Mass.

            In making the acquaintance of Mr. Glover, I very soon found him to be a real bonny Scotchman, and blest with more than an average of good common sense, besides being well read up on many subjects.  After this became apparent I was greatly surprised that he was a professed Mormon, and why so intelligent and seemingly good and honorable a man associated wit these abominable Mormons, who were everywhere evil spoken of, I could not understand.  I finally made bold to inquire of him about his religious belief.  I asked if he and the Mormons believed in the good old Protestant Bible.

            “Why certainly, sir, we do,” he replied.

            “What!” said I, “Don’t you believe in a golden Bible, found by one Joseph Smith under a pine tree stump, in the State of New York?”

            He said, “We believe in a book called the Book of Mormon, containing a history of the ancient people who formerly inhabited this western continent. The book contains the records of these ancient races, translated by Joseph Smith, from gold plates, by the gift and power of God through the aid of the Urim and Thummim.  These plates were found by Joseph Smith, in a hill called Cumorah, where they had been deposited by the hand of Moroni, the ancient historian, and delivered to Joseph Smith by the same person.”

            To me all this was incomprehensible, but I felt quite confident that inasmuch as I believed in the good old Bible, I soon would be able to compel him to renounce his Mormonism, so I commenced to ply him with the doctrines of John Wesley, the great founder of Methodism, free will and free grace, bringing all the scriptures I could think of, to prove that we did not need any further revelation, that the canon of scripture was full and complete, using all the old and often-quoted assertion that the Bible contained the whole word of God, all that He ever did reveal and all He ever would reveal; that John the Revelator closed up the whole matter in his visions on the Isle of Patmos.

            Mr. Glover replied by showing from the same good old Bible that the Lord would never cease to give revelation to men on earth, so long as they would hearken and obey His laws, and keep His commandments; and if revelation ceased, it was in consequence of the disobedience, unbelief, and wickedness of the people, destroying the servants of God who held the keys of revelation.

            I soon found myself unable to sustain my position in regard to the Bible being the whole word of God, and I was so surprised to learn that the Mormons had from the Bible so much proof for their faith, that I was quite willing to give up my argument and listen to Mr. Glover, while he unfolded to my mind the true doctrines of Christ as contained in the Bible.

            This, my first interview with a Mormon Elder, lasted from early eve until the fowls commenced crowing in the morning, and when we parted it was with a feeling on my part that I would not have been ashamed to have it known that I had put up in a Mormon hotel.

            I should state here, that my faith in revealed religion was at this time very weak indeed.  I had for years doubted there being any church on earth that taught the Gospel as Jesus and His Apostles taught it.  I was led while in this state of mind to read infidel works, such as the works of Tim Paire, Voltaire, and others, who wrote with all the ingenuity of their souls to destroy faith in the bible as a book revealed from the Lord, and indirectly at least to destroy faith in God.  While I did not turn infidel entirely, I had lived for years as a skeptic concerning all forms of religion, yet I believed in a God and in the Savior as our redeemer, and that he did establish His Church and conferred the authority upon His Apostles to preach His Gospel in power and demonstration of the holy Spirit.  I believe all this did occur as related in the New Testament. In fact, I well remember when a boy attending Sabbath school, we had the New Testament for our text-book, and after reading of the life and ministry of our blessed Savior and His apostles--how they taught the people the doctrine that if they would keep the commandments of the Lord they should know for themselves the truth of the doctrines of Christ. After reading these promises of the Savior, and how the former-day saints obtained and enjoyed a fullness of the gifts and blessings of the Gospel in their day I have retired and wept before the Lord and wished in my heart that I could have lived in that day of Gospel light and knowledge, when I could hear the truth from while in this frame of mind, filled with a desire to know the truth, I would seek the pastor of minister, and ask counsel of him, and tell him of the great trouble and anxiety of my soul concerning true religion, and how to find it.  I would ask how it was that the members of the different Christian churches did not enjoy the first and blessings of the Gospel as did the former day saints, such as the gift of tongues, healing of the sick, casting out devils, prophesying, etc., as related in the scriptures, and promised to all believers by the Savior and His apostles.  The answer would be: revelation, prophesying, etc. and all those miraculous manifestations are now done away with.  They were only given while the Church was in its infancy; they are not longer needed in this day of Intelligence and great learning; the canon of scripture is full, and we do not need any more revelation.

            These answers did not satisfy my mind on the subject, and as I did not believe in any of the churches, I concluded to not join any of them, at the same time I had a certain undefined spirit or feeling down in the bottom of my heart, as it were, that I would live to see the true Church established on the earth.

            I now resume my narrative. After a few days spent looking about San Francisco, I concluded to go to work again at my trade, shoemaking.  Accordingly for a shop to commence business in, I purchased the caboose or cook’s galley that served on the ship Brooklyn on her voyage round Cape Horn.  In a few days I had it fitted up and made quite comfortable.  It was in the size about twelve or fourteen feet square.  Brothers John White and O. F. Mead worked for me; they were members of the celebrated Mormon Battalion.  I had a bunk fixed up in my shop or caboose, where I slept, and if I recollect aright we all “bached” it together.

            My business was good.  Mexicans, Mormons, and Europeans were my customers.  There were at this time, the fall of 1847, but a few citizens in San Francisco.  As I now remember, the Mormons far outnumbered any other class; the civil offices were largely filled by them.  There were few business houses.

            My interview with Mr. Glover on Mormonism, so wrought on my mind that I was constrained  to commence investigating.  Accordingly I was given the “Voice of Warning,” by Apostle P. P. Pratt.  I was more and more surprised as I read and conversed with the Elders, to find that the people called Mormons, whom I had been led to despise, had more truth embraced in their faith than all the world beside.  I believed all I was taught from the Bible, but when the Book of Mormon was offered to me, and told that was also a divine work and equal in authority with the Bible, I could not accept it as such; my traditions and teachings revolted.  At this time I had not considered Joseph Smith’s claim as a Prophet.  I was happy and greatly blessed in what I had learned but I could not stretch my mind to believe so much at once.  There was a certain family living there, by the name of Pell.  Brother Pell had been a Methodist preacher in New England, and his good wife “Matty,” was a woman well versed in the scriptures; in fact she was almost a walking Bible.  I was in the habit of spending my evenings there, and conversing with her on the principles of the Gospel.  I told her of my trouble in relation to the Book of Mormon.  She told me to repent of my sins and be baptized in water for their remission, and have faith in the Lord, and light and truth should increase, and if I was really honest and desired to know the truth, I should be satisfied.  I had great struggles during this part of my experience with fear without, and fightings within, pride and love of the world.

            Finally, after much prayer and investigation, I came to the conclusion that if the Bible was true Mormonism was true; but doubts would arise in my mind as to the truth of the Bible, ideas I had received through reading infidel works would force themselves upon me, and I would be filled with doubt and unbelief.  I was miserable indeed, and felt that I would throw religion aside and try and live a moral, honest, upright life, and let the future take care of itself.  In the midst of this great anxiety and perplexity the Lord was good to me and in a dream showed to me what perfectly convinced me of the truth of the Bible.  In my dream a personage clothed in white came and invited me to go with him.  I arose immediately and was wafted, in spirit, through the air for a long distance, when we alighted in what seemed to be a far off country, and in the midst of old and ancient buildings much decayed in appearance.  My guide took me inside one of the largest, where we ascended a long flight of stairs to the upper story which as all in one room having no partitions.  Here I saw large piles of parchment, and bark of trees.  “This,” said my guide, “is what the Bible was compiled from.”

            I thought my eyes were opened to read the writings found in these piles of manuscript, and to my surprise I thought there was much left there that should have been placed in the bible, and much that we find in the Bible should have been left in the old loft.  This dream had the effect to clear away all the erroneous ideas I had received from infidel writers.  I received it as coming from the Lord, and I rejoiced greatly, and on the last day of the year 1847 I was baptized by Elder Petch, in the waters of San Francisco Bay.  I do not remember who confirmed me.  I think it was Elder Samuel Brannan.  Brannan was President over all the Churches on the Pacific Coast at that time.  He was a very eloquent preacher, and more than average in general intelligence.  He was a very ambitious man, and sought honor of men.  He came a long journey in company, I believe, with Capt. James Brown and some of his sons, at least part of the way, and met President Brigham Young and pioneers on the Green River, of some distance east of Salt Lake, and in council did al he could to have President Young travel on to the coast and locate the Saints in California.  He did not succeed.  President Young could not be turned away from settling the Saints in the Great Basin in the tops of the Mountains, in the midst of the great highway of the nations, as it had proved to be.  The Lord had shown in vision, the place where His Prophet Brigham Young was to locate His people, and all the power of the world could not turn him aside from his purpose.

            Elder Brannan was not pleased with the outcome of his trip; he returned and even after his course was such that he lost the spirit of his calling and finally became alienated in his feelings from the Church.  During the golden days that soon followed he became very wealthy and went into great speculations.

            To my story again.  After I was baptized I commended to worry about the Book of Mormon.  The Bible was all right.  The evil one got hold of me, and I could not understand so well about the Book of Mormon, and in my perplexity I told my dear, good friend, “Aunt Matty” Pell, of my trouble.  As I was about to take my leave, she took me kindly by the hand, and calling me by name, said if I was sincere and really honest, and desired to know the truth, and would go before the Lord and ask him in faith, He would give me a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon.  Accordingly when I returned to my lodgings in my caboose, I took the Book of Mormon, opened it, and knelt down by the side of my bunk and asked the Lord, in the name of Jesus, if that book was true, and what it purported to be.  I used but a very few words in my petition, yet before the words were fairly uttered from my lips a sheet or flame of fire commenced to descend upon my, not very warm at first, but shock after shock succeeded until my whole frame seemed literally being consumed with fire; and yet it was not like the fire that we did use daily, and if we touch it will immediately give great pain’ this was heavenly fire, and filled me with joy unspeakable, My pen nor tongue cannot express the peace, joy and happiness that I experienced at this time.  It continued till in the fullness of my soul I cried out, “Enough, Lord,” when it gradually departed, leaving me the happiest mortal alive.  This was as satisfactory to me as though any angel had appeared and told me the book was true.  No power of man or mortal could produce  such an effect upon my spirit and body; nothing but the power of God, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, could do it.  It is now forty-six years since I received this testimony, and it had never left me, but is as bright and vivid as the day when the Lord gave it to me.  It has been the guiding star of my life.  With this testimony came the knowledge that Joseph Smith, the great modern Prophet, was sent of God to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times.

            Soon after receiving this testimony in answer to my prayer, I fell into trouble again; this time it was not over my own sins and faults and feelings, but I became greatly worried over the conduct of some of my brethren, whom I would see in gambling houses and saloons, drinking and carousing with the wicked.  This did vex my righteous soul very much, and so to get about the matter and correct it, I ventured one day while at work in the shoe-shop with Brothers White and Mead, to ask what the Mormon creed was.  Brother Mead dropped the shoe or boot on which he was at work into his lap and ran his hands through his hair, and looking me full in the face cried out.  “It is ‘mind your own business.” This answer did not at all please me, for I had supposed the Mormons had, like most of the sectarian churches, a great long freed like the Episcopal Methodist Discipline, and I wanted to get hold of it so I could straighten up those whom I believed needed it.  However, I commenced considering and weighing the matter over in my mind, and finally concluded that, although a short creed, it was full of good advice and I would adopt it and try to live up to it.  The observance of that creed has been the means of saving me from much trouble, so far as the actions of men are concerned, and has taught me to not pin my faith to any man or mortal, for all men have weaknesses and are liable to err.  The Book of Mormon informs us that the Lord give weaknesses to all man that he may be humble.

            During the winter, in hearing the brethren talk about the counsel the received from President Young, about how they were to return to the Church when they should received their discharge from the Army, I was seized with the spirit of gathering, and longed for the time to come when a company would be formed and take up the line of march for Salt Lake.  I had a great desire to see the Prophet Brigham Young and Apostle Parley P. Pratt, who wrote that beautiful introductory work to the principles of the Gospel, the “Voice of Warning.” I was so full of love for all such men, I felt in my new-born love and zeal I could almost worship them.

            During the winter a company was made up, and a day fixed on which we should be ready to set out for the Valley.  The day was some time in the latter part of July, it may have been August.  The place, I think, where we were to gather was called Pleasant Valley, afterwards called Hang Town, and I believe it is now called Marysville.

            Quite a few of the Battalion boys found work from Captain Sutter, a fine, generous-hearted German gentleman, living where the city of Sacramento now stands, then called Sutter’s Fort or Sutter’s Embarkardoro. Mr. Sutter was building, among other improvements, a saw mill at this time and the mill-dam and tail-race were principally the work of the Battalion boys.  Others of the Battalion found employment in and around San Francisco during the winter months.

            My business prospered during the winter and I was enabled to add considerable to the means I brought with me from the Sandwich Islands.  During the winter I loaned to President Samuel Brannan some $500 which he invested in goods and fitted out a pack train and sent it into Lower California on a trading expedition among the Spaniards and Mexicans.  The venture did not prove very successful and I had much trouble to get my means back from him and took part of it in horses and pack saddles.  I mention this circumstance to show that Bro. Brannan was not blessed at this time with much wealth, although in a few months from this period he was a very wealthy man.  He advised me to go into partnership with him in buying up real estate which, at this time, was very low in San Francisco; city lots could be purchased for from $10 to $50 per lot, that is, out on the sand hills and in the business portion they could be bought from $100 to $250.  I told Bro. Brannan that I did not feel it my duty to remain there and go into speculation’ that I had agreed to start for Salt Lake with a company in July and gather with the head of the Church.  He did all he could to dissuade me from my purpose, intimating that the Church would be obliged to abandon that desert country from where they had settled and emigrate to California, for he did not believe they could sustain themselves in the Rocky Mountains; therefore what a nice thing it would be for me to invest in real estates and have some to sell when the emigrants should come.

            Thus was I tempted to remain in that land and wait for the Church to come to me.  The Lord blessed me, however, with a great desire to father with the people of God who had been driven many times from their homes among Christians and now had been led by the inspiration of the Lord and His Prophet Brigham, to pitch their tents in the midst of the red hot persecutors, where they could live in peace in the midst of hostile Indians, rather than among so-called Christians.  I was filled with a great desire to see the Prophet and living Apostles of the Lord, who held the authority to build up the Church and Kingdom of God in this my day and generation.  This thought seemed to engross my whole soul, and I felt that Zion would soon be redeemed, and I wanted to do all I could to help forward the work.  I remember feeling very sorrowful because I had not had the privilege of being with the Church from the commencement and taking part in the trials and fiery persecutions through which the saints had been called to wade, all the way from Kirtland to the Rocky Mountains.  Such was my first love and great zeal, mixed, no doubt, with much enthusiasm, but with all, as I look back, I am led to thank the Lord for all my experience, for if I had not been blessed of the Lord through visions and dreams I would not have left that land when I did.

            During the winter I attended meetings regularly.  There was not many preaching meetings.  We had prayer meetings, or testimony meetings, quite regularly.  I was greatly blessed in attending those, where I could hear the Saints testify of the great truths of the Gospel, and how they knew Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  I did not witness any of the miraculous fits of the Gospel in any of our meetings as I remember; I did not seek after them as a sign of the truth, but I did pray for the spirit of wisdom, discernment of sprits, to know evil spirits from good spirits.  I also prayed for the give of preaching that I might be able to tell my fellowmen how to be saved.  I commended bearing testimony immediately after I was baptized.  I made it a rule that in every meeting where an opportunity was given I would rise and bear my testimony to the truth as far as the Lord had revealed it to me; this gave me an increase of faith.  I longed to return and visit my parents and kindred in Long Island, and tell of the pearl of great price which I had found, believing in my hear that they too would see it, and embrace it with gladness.  This I many years afterwards found to not be the case, for not one soul of all my father’s house has received my testimony.

            In the forepart of May, 1848, if my memory is not at fault, some of the members of the Mormon Battalion, while engaged in digging out a tail-race for Captain Sutter’s saw mill, discovered some, to them, queer looking substance, mixed among the sand and gravel, which they were removing.  A few small specimens were fathered up and sent down to San Francisco to President S. Brannan, stating in the letter, as I have the story, that “of this is good for anything there is lots of it here.” Brothers Hudson and Willis and one other brother were considered during those early days as the real discoverers.  This discovery caused one of the greatest revolutions of movements this generation has witnessed.  Brannan obtained the credit of a firm doing business in San Francisco, and bought a big load of mixed cargo, and chartered every launch or small sloop and schooner then plying between San Francisco and Sutter’s fort, some 150 miles up the Sacramento River, for twenty days, and commenced sending forward all kinds of goods to meet the great demand soon to follow, and at the expiration of his charters (twenty days) he was comparatively a rich man.

            Now commenced one of the wildest scenes I ever witnessed.  Everything seemed turned into the utmost confusion.  All old lines of order were completely broken up, and men, women, too, became almost beside themselves, and a wild, mad rush to get to the mines seized everybody.  Captains and crews deserted their ships moored in the bay, and fled helter skelter for the region of gold.  Lawyers left their offices, priests left their flocks, merchants and clerks left their business, servants and laborers left their employers, and San Francisco became almost depopulated, as it were, in a day.  Commodities of all kinds immediately took a fabulous rise.  You could not get service of the most ordinary kind for less than five dollars a day, and wages soon ran up to $16 or an ounce of gold dust a day.

            The reader, no doubt, would like to know how this gold craze affected the writer.  I must confess I too caught the fever, sold out my caboose at what would now seem a fabulous price, and mounted one of my mustang ponies and set out in haste for Santa Cruise Mountain, some sixty miles or more south of San Francisco, for the purpose of obtaining some quicksilver.

            There was a mine there where this article was produced.  I had heard that quicksilver was necessary in the gold mines to gather the fine gold dust with, so I thought I would go well equipped, and make a good pile in short order.  On my journey when I rested or slept I would hold fast my lariat or rope attached to my horse, for fear he would be stolen, as men in the mad rush to the mines did not scruple to seize hold of anything loose that would aid them on their journey to the land of gold.

            I found the quicksilver mine situated high up on the mountain, a very rough, zigzag road leading up to it.  The metal was obtained by washing the ore in great iron pots, with heavy iron covers, oval in shape, nearly like the pot itself, under which a fire was kept, sufficient to melt out the silver, which was received into another large cast-iron pot.  I purchased twenty-five pounds of quicksilver, at $2 per pound, put it into a couple of double thick glass junk bottles, and then wrapped my leggings round them, and securely hitched one on each side of the loggerhead of my saddle, as only a sailor knows how to do, and returned to San Francisco.

            This journey occupied some four days.  On my return I set out fixing up a pack train for the mines, and in a short time I was on the road with an outfit such as I could make up in haste, consisting of flour, bacon, tea, coffee, sugar, rice, and such things as could be obtained at time in the market.  A dollar a pound for nearly everything in the way of provisions was the price.  Of mining tools, I took the pick-ax, shovel and some large milk pans to wash gold with.  In about ten days from the date of the news of the discovery, I arrived with my outfit at Mormon Island, as it was called, situated some twenty-five miles above Sutter’s fort.  Here the principal placer digging was being done at this date, as I recollect, but the whole country was full of prospectors for miles and miles around, so fast had people gathered.  Mexicans in large numbers had left their ranches with crops ready for harvesting, and gathered here for the purpose of getting rich suddenly.

            In company with two parties by the name of Blanchard and Goss, who were fellow-passengers with me from the Islands, I took up a small claim on Mormon Island--I don’t think it was over twenty four feet square.  Here I labored some thirty days washing and panning out the gold, which was quite coarse, frequently finding nuggets worth $10 to $20; but general dust was smaller than ordinary grains of wheat.  As we would wash, we would lay the gold out on flat rocks on buckskin or cotton cloth to dry.  At evening we would clean it by blowing out everything we could with our breath and place it in buckskin sacks.  We also did considerable trading with the Indians. They would bring in some fine specimens which they learned to find by “dry digging,” as it was called.  Beads, salt and sugar were the principal articles they would barter for at this early day.  For these articles the poor Indian was made to pay enormous prices.

            My quicksilver I took so much pains to obtain did me no good, it was not required in mining this kind of gold.  People soon began to come from different parts.  The news flew on the wings of the wind, and in thirty days I should judge there were some ten thousand people gathered up and down the banks of those rivers, embracing many stations and nationalities.  Stores, saloons, and all that follow in the wake of mining camps sprang up as if by magic.

            In the latter part of June, as near as I can remember, I quit mining and divided the results with my partners.  I certainly never made money so fast as during the time I spent digging gold and trading with the Indians those few days.  It was not uncommon for us to clean up from one days work $250 to $300.

            My partner Blanchard was baptized and joined the Church, and was drowned afterwards in the Santa Cruise Mountains during a great flood. 

            I returned to San Francisco, and purchased an outfit for the journey to Great Salt Lake. I loaded up a seventy hundred government wagon, drawn by four yoke of beautiful oxen, with everything I could think of which would be needed in a new country, not forgetting a small stock of leather.  My freight consisted of dry goods, some ready made clothing, coffee, tea, sugar, rice, flour, bacon, etc.

            I was so full now of the spirit of gathering that I did not regard gold at all’ but my trial and temptation was to come.  I was now engaged in carrying out the promise I made during the winter that I would be ready to join a company in July, ready for the journey to the “valley.”  After spending a few days in San Francisco I returned with my outfit to the diggings, and pitched my tent on the banks of the river opposite Mormon Island. I soon found that I had not lost all love for gold or the wealth of this world.  Goods of the class I had in my wagon were in great demand, and I was offered great profits on my stock; from 200 to 500 per cent was I offered.  It fairly made my head swim, and I began to waver in my feelings as to keeping my word and start for the valley in July, so I vacillated and went about looking for the best offer for my goods.  Satan whispered inmy ear, “Why not remain another year, and trade and speculate and get rich; and then you can assist the poor Saints, the widow, and the orphan, and take them up to Zion, and you will become famous on your arrival there; besides it is a new and untried country, and the people already there are hard put to sustain themselves.” In this manner was I tried, and sorely too.  I was in great distress of mind and could not decide; and while in this condition one night I went to my bed in great perplexity of mind, earnestly desiring to know what to do.  I had scarcely fallen asleep when a personage appeared at my tent door, and calling me by name, asked me to come outside.  I arose immediately and stood by his side at the tent door, when he said to me, “Look up the river.” As I did so I say instead of water, what seemed to me pitch or some black substance rolling sluggishly down the bed of the river.  I beheld the multitude digging and washing gold, paying no attention to the melted pitch, and the personage said, “Look again up the river.” I beheld the multitude digging, and saw the same substance coming, but much more rapidly, as it was this time quite hot, and still the crowd kept at their labor.  Again I was told to look up, when this pitch was coming down about hip deep and almost boiling hot, and the people in the diggings now seemed willing to quit if they could recover what they had spread our on the rocks on their cloths of pieces of buckskin, and while searching and diving to secure these treasures I was told to look again up the river, and I saw this substance resembling pitch coming down the bed of the river in a solid mass, about fourteen feet in height and filling the river bed from bank to bank and hot as burning streams of lava that issue from volcanoes.  In my fright I seemed to make a rush for the banks of the river and caught hold of the brush which lined the banks, and thus made my escape.  I also saw quite a number of my brethren make their escape in the same way.  I also saw quite a number of the crowd being carried away and lost to view.

            In the morning when I awoke I was much disturbed in mind, having never experienced anything of the kind before.  However, I still went about looking for a sale for my goods.  Prices were increasing every day, and the temptation was growing stronger.

            I went to bed at night worried and still in a quandary.  The same vision was repeated, still I remained all next day in a state of unrest.  Two powers seemed working with me, and each striving for the mastery.

            I did very little during the day, and went to bed wondering what would become of me, for I had become almost desperate, when to my surprise the dream or vision was again given to me precisely as on the previous nights.  This was the third night the dream was given to me, and when I awoke in the morning my mind was perfectly clear, and I felt to thank the Lord with all my soul that He had thus warned me, his poor servant, to flee from that land and gather with His people in the vales of Deseret, and learn to be obedient unto His commands and harken to the voice and counsels of His holy Priesthood, His Prophets and Apostles whom He has send to lead His people.

            I immediately commenced to make preparations for joining the company who were aiming to leave some time in the forepart of July, as agreed upon during the winter.  I set out to hunt my oxen that had been turned out to graze in the surrounding hills.  I found them all but a very fine yoke of red steers, used as my leaders.  I hunted the country far and wide, but could not find them.  This was a great disappointment, for I could not well move and haul my load of freight without them, and to purchase another yoke at this time was nearly impossible, for oxen were very scarce and in great demand.  However, I concluded I would make one more effort to find them, and accordingly set out to find them, early in the morning on a fine, cream colored mare, for which I had paid the sum of only eight dollars.  I rode out about half a mile from camp when it was suggested to me to pray and ask the Lord to direct me that I might recover the oxen.  I did so, and then remounted, and flung the bridle reins loose over the mare’s neck for her to take just what course she pleased.  She marched off in a direct course for about a mile, when from behind a bunch of thick brush the oxen jumped up.  I was filled with rejoicing, and thanked the Lord that He had heard and answered my prayer.  I returned to camp and soon had my outfit in shape for moving on the trail to the place of gathering.

            After resting a few days at the place appointed for our gathering, those who were to compose the company having mostly gathered in, we made a start, having first sent a few brethren ahead as pioneers to blaze the trees through the timber and mark out the trail for the wagons to follow.  This company was composed of Saints who came to California in the ship Brooklyn, and members of the Mormon Battalion.

            In starting out with the wagon company I had some experience which was quite new to new, that was, managing and driving four yoke of oxen.

            The first day out I managed to upset the whole load of goods from my wagon, while passing a dugway on a side hill.  This accident caused me to doubt my ability as a teamster, and I supposed “the voyage was up,” as we sailors usually think the voyage about ended when the ship is capsized.  However, the boys came to my assistance, and with their experience and strong arms soon had my wagon righted up and the goods replaced, and not much damage was done.  This mishap tended to lessen my self-confidence in managing a team, and I made arrangements with Timothy Hoit to buy my wagon and oxen, and haul my goods for me, and I rigged up some pack animals and joined the pack company.  So I parted with the wagon company and took the trail ahead of them.  We had not traveled but a day or two on the trail marked out by our pioneer brethren when we met some Indians dressed in some of the clothing belonging to the brethren who were ahead looking out the road.  We soon came to the spot where out three pioneers had been murdered by Indians.  It was near a beautiful little spring in the midst of a heavy growth of fine timber.  Signs of a fearful struggle were apparent where the brethren fought for their lives.  The Indians must have crept upon them while they were asleep, and attacked them perhaps with their own arms.  A buckskin purse well filled with gold was found lying on the ground.  We buried the bodies as decently as circumstances would permit, and a rude inscription was placed on the spot to tell the sad tale.  This sad accident caused a deep gloom to rest upon our whole camp; it served to make us more than ever watchful and vigilant.

            We traveled on pioneering our own road the rest of the way over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I remember we traveled a goodly portion of one day on snow as we made the summit.  We finally made the pass and descended down into Carson Vallet and on to Truckee River, where we rested ourselves and animals a short time, for we now had a stretch of county of ninety miles across to the Humboldt River, a desert without water and but very little feed.  While resting here we saw a few Indians lurking round in sight of our camp, but did not venture in. We filled our water canteens and about 3 p.m. left out camp on Truckee River and took the trail for Humboldt.  About midnight we came to where our trail led through a rocky pass, and as we reached about midway of the pass there came a shower of arrows from both sides of the trail.  The Indians had preceded us and ambushed us here in this spot, where we were obliged to pass, with the intention of robbing us of animals and outfit.  We put spurs to our horses and rushed the pack animals and loose horses ahead of us with all the speed possible at our command, while the arrows flew into our train as thick as hail, and continued till we were out of reach.  One large horse belonging to Wm. Muir was killed, and a few others were slightly wounded.  Not a man was touched by an arrow.  We felt to thank the Lord for our deliverance from what seemed imminent danger.

            We rode on without any further molestation during the night, and at about 10 o’clock next morning we reached running water on Humboldt river. Our poor animals were so thirsty that we could not keep them from rushing into the river with their packs on, so eager were they to quench their thirst.

            We had been so much longer on our journey than expected that our provisions were running very short.  We were reduced to hard, dried, “jerked” beef, with a little gravy made with flour and water.

            One day, late in the afternoon, while traveling up the Humboldt, I was ahead of the train looking out for a camping place, when I came upon an old camp ground.  Here I escaped a wolf.  He ran off a few yards and turned around to look at me.  I drew up my old U.S. Yauger rifle and fired at his wolfship. He was wounded in his shoulder.  I left my horse and ran for him, and as I came up with him he turned upon his haunches and snarled at me.  I took my gun and clubbed him in the head, and broke the stock of my gun.  I returned to camp dragging my game by the tail as proud as a Nimrod over my achievement; but oh how the boys laughed at me when they learned I had broken my gun stock!  They said I should have reloaded, and finished my game with another shot. This was the first game I ever killed by my shooting.  The wolf was soon skinned and dressed, and we were so hungry for fresh meat that he was soon disposed of by boiling or roasting him on the coals.  I have eaten a great many different kinds of animals, but of all that I ever have tried that wolf was far the worst. I can almost taste him yet as I think of it.

            We continued our journey without anything worthy of note till about the 1st of September, 1848, when we arrived at Ogden.  Here we obtained some fresh provisions from Captain James Brown and a mountaineer by the name of Goodyear.  From Ogden we followed an Indian trail which led us in a direct route from Haight’s Point to the Hot Springs.  The Great Salt Lake now covers miles of the route we traveled.

            On the 6th day of September, 1848, we arrived in Great Salt Lake City.  I remember thinking the name was much larger than the city, which consisted of three mud forts, called the North South and Middle Forts, enclosing ten acres in each fort, if my memory is not at fault.  The Saints who had emigrated from the East, and a few from the West, were all located inside of these forts or enclosures, probably in round numbers not exceeding fifteen hundred souls.

            I had now arrived in Zion, where I desired to make my home.  The country was very forbidding in appearance, and looked as though we would not have much to live upon but religion and faith.  I had a testimony that the Lord had not brought His people into this land to be starved to death, and I had implicit confidence in the words of the leaders of the people, Brigham young and the Apostles.

            On my trip from California I met brother Collins, the cook on the ship Brooklyn.  He had been to Salt Lake, and was returning to California.  He gave me a note of introduction to Brother Levi E. Riter, living in the South Fort, as he had boarded there during his stay.  Accordingly I called, found brother Riter had gone to California to recover goods he had sent in the ship Brooklyn.  Sister Rebecca Riter received me very kindly and consented to have me board there, and make my home for the present with them.  I was very grateful for this kind reception, as I was an entire stranger, having no blood kin in the Church that I knew of, and yet I soon felt as much at home as though in my own father’s house.

            On the 20th of September, 1848, President Brigham Young and company arrived in the Valley from Winter Quarters.  I sought and obtained an introduction to him.  I was profoundly impressed with his appearance.  Never did a man make such an impression upon me as he did; and I was more than willing to accept him as the great leader and prophet and counselor to the people of God; this testimony had never wavered in the least from that day to the present.

            I had a great desire to make the acquaintance of Apostle Parley P. Pratt, for I reverenced him as my father in the Gospel, on account of the “Voide of Warning,” which had much to do in converting me to the faith.  Brother John Van Cott used to visit frequently at Brother Riter’s, and I was introduced to him.  I soon came to esteem Brother Van Cott very highly for his many virtues and strict honesty, and unflinching fidelity to the cause of truth.  One afternoon soon after my arrival, I dressed myself up in my best bib and tucker, and Brother Van Cott took me up to introduce me to Apostle Parley P Pratt.  We found him threshing beans before his door, with a wagon box with sides turned down for a floor.  He was barefooted, in shirt sleeves, and wore a home made straw hat with brim nearly separated from the crown, and his ears protruding between crown and brim of his hat.  I must confess that I was a good deal surprised to find my ideal Apostle in such a plight, and forced to labor in such a manner for his support, for I had the old sectarian idea about the grave and revered appearance of prophets and apostles, who had little if anything to do with secular or temporal affairs.  With such views I could hardly receive Brother Pratt as the man who wrote so many inspired books.  In introducing me Brother Van Cott stated I was lately from the Sandwich Islands, and had resided there three some years. Brother Parley flung down his flail and seating himself on a fence began talking about the people on those far-off isles, belonging to the house of Israel.  Never in all my life had I heard such a discourse so full of inspiration and prophecy concerning the great work of the Lord in the latter days.  I found my ideal Apostle to be all that I had imagined and far more.

            We sat on that fence, Brother Pratt thus discoursing, till near sun-down, when we were invited to tea.  The writer up to this time had never heard of the doctrine of plural marriage being a part of the belief and practice by the Latter-day Saints, consequently I was very much puzzled when Brother Parley commenced to introduce me to his household in about this manner: “Brother Hammond, Sister Pratt; Brother Hammond, Sister Pratt,” and so on all around the room to some six or seven Sisters Pratt.  I was somewhat dumbfounded, for I could not arrive at any conclusion but that they were all Brother Pratt’s sisters; yet I could not trace the faintest resemblance in their features, hair, eyes or complexion to my dear Apostle. I ate very little that evening for my whole mind was absorbed in philosophizing on the subject of how could all those beautiful women be the real, natural sisters of my dear Apostle, I was so engrossed with this subject that of the balance of the visit I remember but very little, and as soon after tea was over, as good breeding would permit, I excused myself and withdrew to my quarters.

            Sister Riter asked me how I enjoyed my visit.  I replied first rate, but I could not understand Brother Pratt’s social status--how it was that he had so many sisters and none of them resembling him.  Sister Riter replied: “Why, Brother Hammond, they are all Brother Parley’s wives.” Now I was more confounded than ever.  I was not prepared at all for such a revelation as this.  It was also suggested to my mind that perhaps President Young, the Prophet of the Lord, and others of the general authorities were living in the same practice.  My poor soul, monogamic taught, fairly revolted at the idea. Thus was I sorely tried and tempted, and my poor faith nearly shipwrecked.

            Sister Riter took great pains to enlighten my mind concerning the most holy and pure doctrine, and I felt that I was greatly blessed in finding so good a friend, so capable of preaching the Gospel.  She enjoined me not to fight against the principle of plural marriage, and exhorted me to pray unto the Lord for a testimony of its truth.  I did as she suggested, and the Lord was pleased to witness unto me the truth of that doctrine.  I was now at peace again with the Church, the world, myself and the Lord, and all things looked bright.

            My goods having arrived, I bought a log house of Brother Horace Alexander, located just north of the east gate of the South Fort, and commenced shoemaking again, with Brothers John White and O. F. Mead working for me.

            The Winter was well spent.  I never enjoyed myself so well in all my life, although provisions were scarce and very dear.  I paid $5.00 a bushel for frost-bitten buckwheat, the same for frostbitten corn; $5.00 per gallon for frost-bitten corn stalk molasses. Brother Simon Baker had a woolen mill near my door, in which he ground out this corn stalk juice and made it into molasses.  With the squeaking of the old mill, the shouting of the boys and the howling of the big gray wolves, I had no chance to become lonesome.  I do not know whether the wolves ever got a taste of that molasses, but if they did, I don’t blame them for howling, for my lips smart whenever I think of it.

            There was no bolting cloth in operation at the mill at this time located on City Creek, so we were forced, as it were, to use a healthy diet, and I can truly say I never saw people so healthy as were the Saints during the winter of 1848.  We had meetings, parties and schools well attended during the winter and great peace prevailed in the camps of Israel.  The gifts of the Gospel were abundantly poured out upon the Saints in their meetings, speaking in tongues and prophesying were the rule rather than the exception.  Pride and love of the world seemed almost banished from among us.  No one doubted the work of the Lord, the word of Brigham, the Prophet of the Lord.  We loved him and he loved the Saints with all his heart, and served them faithfully by night and by day.  He seemed to have a capacity that nothing could escape, from the locating of the Temples and directing their building, down to the smallest matter in household affairs.  It seemed the easiest matter in the world for him to take our poor emigrant Saints and tell them how to fight the battle of life so that in a very few years they could be found with a nice, well cultivated farm, and comfortable surroundings.  I have seen scores and hundreds of such families made so throughout zion, by hearkening to the counsel of Brigham Young and his co-workers.

            During the winter some became a little uneasy, in consequence of hard times, scarcity of provisions, and the general gloomy outlook.  The glowing accounts which some of the Battalion boys brought in concerning the gold fields which had been discovered in California, helped to make people restless. President young, against all human foresight, boldly counseled the Elders to stay at home and cultivate their farms, and promised that those who would do so would be able to buy those who went to the mines.
 

 
FAH Journals
 
Francis was a prolific journal writer, and left over 8000 pages of handwritten journal entries.  These have recently been transcribed, and are offered to the public by the group FAH Journals, which keeps a tight grasp on the nearly 2000 page transcription of the journals. Contact them for a copy, and they'll send you an email with a copy.  Or you can download a copy from this site by viewing the PAF and DOC files.

 
Francis Asbury Hammond
Life Outline
 
Born 1 November 1822 to Samuel Smith Hammond and Charity Edwards. was the fifth of nine children. He was raised in Long Island New York. He learned his fathers trade - boot and shoemaking. As a teenager he went to sea as a cook and a cabin boy at $4.00 per month during the summer.

In 1840 at the age of 18, Francis shipped out on the boat "White Cake" as an able sea men. It was a whaling ship. His goal was to become the master of his own ship.

In June 1843 he signed up as a boatswain for another whaling vessel "The Thames". They sailed south to the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa-the Indian Ocean on to the South Pacific arriving at the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in March 1844. Then they sailed to the whaling grounds of the North Pacific and Arctic Ocean between Alaska and Siberia.

In the fall of 1843, Francis had a terrible accident during a great storm. He was in the hold of the vessel when a barrel of flour, inside a 90 gallon oil cask, became loose, falling and striking him on the back.

Francis was taken ashore at Lahaina Maui too weak to continue. He had little hope of recovery. He hired a native boy to care for him and in 60 days he had recovered.

Shortly after his recovery, he started a shoemaking business. Maui was the base for all of the whale ships. He soon had five journeymen working for him.

 

FRANCIS' CONVERSION

Francis had attended the Reverend Mr. Forbes's church for the past three years, but he did not believe a lot of what Mr. Forbes said regarding religion. He did, however, have a great deal of respect for Mr. Forbes. Francis did not have any professed faith at this time except that he believed in the doctrines of the New Testament. The following is an indication of his religious convictions at this time:

This Mr. Forbes was a good, kind-hearted man, a good friend I had attended on his ministry for three years, but could not be induced to believe and accept his doctrines for they did not, to my mind, agree with the doctrines and principles taught by the Savior and His apostles as set forth in the New Testament. In fact I was at this time of my life an unbeliever in what is called orthodox Christianity; yet I could not but believe in a God, and believed in prayer, and did sincerely pray unto my boyhood in reading the history of Jesus and His apostles, I had wept because I did not have the privilege to live in those days, when men spoke and taught by the power and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. I was told by the ministers of the different denominations that all those things were done away and the canon of scripture was full and no more revelation was needed. For this reason I remained aloof from all churches, believing I would be saved if I would lead a just and upright life, as well outside as inside of any of the man made churches.25

During the first part of October 1847, Francis set sail for San Francisco on a schooner.

Prior to Francis' arrival the Mormon Battalion had arrived in California. The ship Brooklyn had arrived a year earlier. There was a large number of Mormons in California. Francis lodged at a respectable boarding house run by William Glover. Those staying at the boarding house were from the Mormon Battalion.

Francis read the book A Voice of Warning by Parley P. Pratt.

 

A NEW CONVERT

He became more impressed with the doctrines of the Church and with the integrity of the people. Francis had difficulty with Joseph Smith being a prophet, in spite of the fact that he had longed to be in a society motivated and inspired by such men. He was also having difficulty with accepting the Book of Mormon. His past intellectual and spiritual experience made it difficult for him to retreat from the position that the only form of guidance necessary was from that of the Bible. He also could not disassociate himself from the writings of Thomas Paine and Voltair. These philosophical writings planted in mind doubts about the Bible; these doubts fostered even more misgivings about the Book of Mormon and religion in general. He continued to have inward struggles. However, he began to realize that the Bible truly supported Mormonism. He was starting to think that the Gospel as proclaimed by Mormonism really had something. His doubts, however, continued; and in desperation, he came to the conclusion that he would ignore religion and just try be an honorable individual.

This struggle, however, gave Francis a remarkable experience. In his own words:

In the midst of this great anxiety and perplexity the Lord was good to me and in a dream showed to me what perfectly convinced me of the truth of the Bible. In my dream a personage clothed in white came and invited me to go with him. I arose immediately and was wafted, in the spirit, through the air for a long distance, when we alighted in what seemed to be a far off country, and in the midst of old and ancient buildings much decayed in appearance. My guide took me inside one of the largest, where we ascended a long flight of stairs to the upper story which was all in one room having no partitions. "This," said my guide, "is what the Bible was compiled from."

I thought my eyes were opened to read the writings found in these piles of manuscript, and to my surprise, I thought there was much left that should have been placed in the Bible, and much that we find in the Bible should have been left in the old loft. This dream had the effect to clear away all the erroneous ideas I had received from infidel writers. I received it as coming from the Lord, and I rejoiced greatly, and on the last day of the year 1847 I was baptized by Elder Petch, in the waters of San Francisco Bay. I do not remember who confirmed me. I think it was Elder Samuel Brannan. Brannan was President over all the Churches on the Pacific Coast at that time.

However, even after he was baptized, Francis had problems with the Book of Mormon. After further admonition from Sister Pell: “...if I was sincere and really honest, and desired to know the truth, and would go before the Lord and ask of Him in faith, He would give a testimony of the Book of Mormon...”

Having accepted this council, Francis returned to his quarters--the “caboose” of the ship Brooklyn--and knelt as thousands Latter-day Saints before his conversion as well as millions since have done and received his witness. With the Book Mormon in his hands as he bowed his head, he fervently prayed. Then the witness came:

I... knelt down by the side of my bunk and asked the Lord in the name of Jesus, if that book was true and what it purported to be. I used but a very few words in my petition, yet before the words were fairly uttered from my lips a sheet of flame of fire commenced to descend upon me, not very warm at first, but shock after shock succeeded till my whole frame seemed literally being consumed with fire, and yet it was not like the fire that we use daily, and if we touch it will immediately give great pain: this was heavenly fire, and filled me with joy unspeakable. My pen nor tongue cannot express the peace, joy and happiness that I experienced at this time. It continued till in the fullness of my soul I cried out, "Enough, Lord," when it gradually departed, leaving me the happiest mortal alive. This was as satisfactory to me as though an angel had appeared and told me the book was true. No power of man or mortal could produce such an effect upon my spirit and body. Nothing but the power of God, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, could do it...”

Now Francis had his witness.

Francis prospered in his shoe business. At this time gold was discovered. Brother Brannan, who confirmed Francis, had a store at Sutters Fort. Brannan announced the discovery of gold to the residences of San Francisco. Brannan became very wealthy. Francis was infected with Gold Fever. He sold his business and made a claim on the famous "Mormon Island". His claim was 24'x 24'. He panned gold nuggets worth $10-20 each. Most gold was small like grains of wheat.

Near the end of June 1848, Francis decided to journey to the great Salt Lake with a company of Saints.

 

FRANCIS GETS MARRIED

Just a little over two weeks after his twenty-sixth birthday, Francis married Mary Jane Dilworth. Francis was impressed with the culture, refinement, and general comportment of this very charming young lady. In spite of the frugal resources of the saints during the winter of 1848, they enjoyed  many  social  activities. 

It was at one these  socials that this lovely young lady,  Mary Jane Dilworth, caught the eye of a young man whose life to this time had been full of adventure and inspiration.

 

COURTSHIP

After admiring Mary Jane, Francis found out where she lived, obtained a white horse, and went calling on her. When he knocked on the door, he was greeted by her mother. Sister Dilworth invited Francis in, called to Mary Jane, and presented her to Francis. Francis introduced himself to his future wife, informed her that he was a recent convert to the Church, and that his most recent residence prior to his coming to Salt Lake was San Francisco. He expressed to her his esteem for her and asked her to be his wife.

This was quite a shock to Mary Jane. This proposal came to her from a man to whom she had never been introduced. She had heard him, however, bear his testimony in the meetings held during that winter. That was the only acquaintance that she had with Francis.

Mary Jane through her amazement asked Francis to give her some time to think about this momentous decision that had been thrust upon her without even any premonition. 

After Francis had gone, her mother encouraged her to accept Francis's proposal. Sister Dilworth was impressed with him.

Francis had arrived in the city not totally destitute. He had saved his money while in the shoe business in San Francisco and in the Islands. He had prospered, although briefly, in the goldfields. Now he had set up, what appeared to be a proper and respectable business.

Sister Dilworth told her daughter that she thought that this young man would return, and he did. He returned about an hour later. After Mary Jane accepted the proposal of marriage as a result of the advice given to her by her mother, Francis informed Mary Jane that he had made arrangements to be married in a week and that Apostle Heber C. Kimball would perform the ceremony. So on 17 November 1848, Francis Asbury Hammond, age twenty-six married Mary Jane Dilworth, age seventeen.

MARY JANE DILWORTH

Mary Jane Dilworth was born 29 July 1831 in Uwchland, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her father was Caleb Dilworth and her mother was Eliza Wollerton. She came from a family of gentility and God-fearing tenet. The Dilworths without Caleb moved to Nauvoo, and it was in Nauvoo that Mary Jane was baptized. Caleb, Mary Jane's father, never was baptized. This ordinance was received by Mary Jane in the Mississippi River in 1844. The family shared in the persecutions in Nauvoo and with the majority of the saints and tarried at Winter Quarters preparing for the great migration to the Great Salt Lake Valley. While in Winter Quarters Mary Jane taught school in a "little rock house."

Mary Jane and her sister Ann Dilworth Bringhurst started from Winter Quarters for Salt Lake on 17 June 1847. Near Grand Island, Mary Jane was set apart by Brigham Young who was returning to Winter Quarters from the Salt Lake Valley, to teach school at the fort in Salt Lake. Brigham Young had observed Mary Jane amusing and tending a group of children. He was very impressed with her ability to keep the children's attention as she taught them the ABC's through rhyme and pictures. It was at this time that he told her that her mission in Salt Lake would be to start a school for the younger children. She arrived in Salt Lake on 2 October 1847, about a year before Francis. True to her calling by Brigham Young she opened the first school in the new territory. The first school was held in a tent a few weeks after she arrived from Winter Quarters. The furniture in the first school included some logs and a table. Mary Jane's sister, Maria Dilworth Nebeker, was one of her first students, and she described the event as follows:

I attended the first school in Utah taught by my sister, Mary Jane, in a small round tent seated with logs. The school was opened just three weeks after our arrival in the valley. The first morning we gathered before the door of the tent, and in the midst of our play, my sister called and said, “Come Children, come; come we will begin now.” There were just a few of us, I think only nine or ten. One of the brethren came in, and opened the school with prayer. I remember one thing he said, it was to the effect that we should be good children and he ask God that our school would be so blessed that we all should have his holy light to guide us into all truth. The first day, Mary Jane taught us the 23rd Psalm, and we sang much, and played more."

 

FRANCIS AND MARY JANE GO ON A MISSION TO HAWAII

In April of 1851 Francis, Mary Jane and 6 month old Francis, left for California by wagon. They sold their wagon and team for their passage to Hawaii.

With Francis recent knowledge of the Islands, his experience with the natives, and having some knowledge of the language, the  year 1851 was a good time for Francis to called on a mission to these islands that he had grown to love. He received his call in March of 1851.  His was the one of a second group of missionaries that was called.

George Q. Cannon and Francis later spent a great deal of time preaching the gospel together; and during his extensive traveling with Brother Cannon, Francis heard Brother Cannon bear his testimony of the spiritual experiences that he had when he first arrived on the Islands: instructions from the Lord regarding the Israelite heritage of the Hawaiian people During his travels with Brother Cannon Francis became acutely aware of Brother Cannon's gift in learning and writing the language. After Francis also mastered the language, he assisted Brother Cannon with some of the translation of the Book of Mormon into the Hawaiian language.

This mission proved to be a time of testing and faith building to both Francis and Mary Jane. Their lives were totally changed; and because of their willingness to sacrifice and put their trust in the Lord, the Lord blessed them and developed them into some of his most faithful servants. Francis later faced all of the challenges of a missionary of that period: persecution and struggles in mastering and writing in an unknown tongue.

After they arrived in Waihu, the natives built them a house, and Francis set him up a shop so as to apply his leather trade, and Mary Jane prepared to start a school. She charged twenty-five cents a day for each enrolled child.

Francis noted that it was simpler to trade and do business with the natives than it was to preach the gospel to them, but he also observed that Mary Jane's native students were more conscientious than the white students. He summarized his and Mary Jane's activities:

She (Mary Jane] also took in sewing and opened her home to children by the month. I was away from home a good deal of the time and this helped to keep her from thinking of the states. The missionaries soon got word of her ability to sew and cook and the door was always open. Mary Jane worked tirelessly. It was hard work to support her household and her husband in his missionary responsibilities.

 

A NEW BABY

When Mary Jane started her labor for their second child on April 1853, prayers were offered in her behalf.

Francis did the cooking and helped attend to Mary Jane. During the next week, Francis taught Mary Jane's students. Friday, April 22, Mary Jane was again teaching her school, and Francis on that same day in the evening blessed their new son. It was a very spiritual blessing as Francis describes as it as “Had much of the Spirit of the Lord and did prophesy many things upon his head.” Their second son was named Samuel Smith Hammond.

Mary Jane's journal goes from 15 April 1853 to Monday, February 1855. Most of her entries relate her everyday experiences --experiences that include the routine of a pioneer housewife, sewing and cooking for missionaries, nursing them when they were sick and concurrently teaching school. She was aware of all of the spiritual bliss associated with a mission as well as the routine and the disappointments. She was the chorister in the local branch. Occasionally Francis and Mary Jane wrote to each other when Francis was gone for long periods.

Their journal entries about each other were very formal. Francis referred to Mary Jane as “Mrs. H.” and she referred to Francis as “Mr. Hammond.” Sometimes she traveled with Francis. Most of the time, however, she supported him from their base at their island domicile.

Mary Jane loved to teach. She makes a very direct reference to this in her 17 November 1853 entry to her journal. However, during times of discouragement and homesickness, even teaching lost its merit. As noted above, when Francis made shoes, she did binding for him. Mary Jane did not like him having to make shoes to assist in the family's keep. She felt that he was sent on his mission for other reasons than to make shoes. However, when the need arose, Francis's shoe making skills came in handy, but Mary Jane did everything that she could to support him so that he would not have to interrupt his missionary labors. Most of this support came from her school teaching. She compared themselves to Paul. In her journal entry of 22 December she said: “Getting tolerable well. Mr. H. is shoemaking and I am teaching school so we are like Paul the Prophet when he was on his mission he hired himself a house for 2 years. I think he must of worked hard like us.”

Francis and Mary Jane moved to Lanai in 1855.  Francis continued to work with Elder Green in an attempt to bring the farming into better productivity.

Another son was born on 31 March 1855.  He was named Fletcher Bartlett.  Like little Samuel, he was delivered through the aid of the native sisters.

Their mission was an exalted experience for Francis and Mary Jane.  “By all accounts, Elder Hammond must be reckoned as one of the more important contributors to the establishment of the Church is Hawaii.”  

 

THE RELEASE

They had worked hard and diligently carried out their calling; but after five years, Francis and Mary Jane were looking forward to going home. They left on April 1856. They spent the winter in San Bernardino. Francis established his shoe business again, hoping to recoup some of their finances before returning home.

 

HOME

The last leg of the trip began 18 April 1857, and again traversed the hot desert. Along with the burden of this arduous trip, Mary Jane was again pregnant. It would be no pleasure ride for her to bump along in the covered wagon over treacherous roads. This time their family was larger. The children were still too small to contribute much to the labor associated with this trip.

When they got to Cottonwood Springs on the Santa Clara River in Washington County, a new daughter came to the Hammond family. She was born 18 May 1857 just one month after they left San Bernardino and was named Mary Moiselle. So the last three hundred miles presented to Mary Jane the additional burden of caring for a nursing baby.

Finally, exactly one month after Mary Moiselle was born, the Hammonds arrived at 4:00 p.m. on 18 June of 1857 at their home at Brighton on Big Cottonwood.

Within days after their arrival, they visited with Mother Dilworth. What a joy for Mary Jane to embrace her mother again. What joy for Sister Dilworth to get acquainted with three grandchildren for whom she had never met.

After their visit with Sister Dilworth, a day was arranged for Francis to report his mission to Brigham Young. Then on 26 June, he took a trip north to look over Weber Valley. He was already thinking of a move north.

Francis was now thirty-five years old and Mary Jane was twenty-six. They left as newlyweds, but now older and more mature, their experiences had tested and proved them.

 

THE MOVE TO OGDEN

After his move to Ogden, in March of 1859 Francis went into the “business of manufacturing leather boots and shoes, saddles and harnesses” with General Chauncy W. West. General West was also the bishop of the Ogden Ward and he chose Francis to be one of his councilors in the bishopric. They had their business on what is now the north east corner of 24th Street and Grant Avenue. 

While in Ogden Francis was a member of the City counc1l and the justice of the peace. Three children came to the Hammond home while they lived in Ogden: George Albert, 25 July 1857; William Edmund, 11 August 1861; and Lizzie Fontella, 28 December 1863.

 

POLYGAMY

On 26 July 1864 a big reorganization took place in Francis and Mary Jane's lives. Francis, as commanded by the prophet, entered into the practice of polygamy. Francis justifies his actions as follows:

At this time the Lord revealed the principle of plural marriage to the Prophet. Thru Brigham Young the brethren were commanded to enter into this practice, which they did in all virtue and purity of heart despite the consequent animosity and prejudices of the worldly people. On July 26 1864 I took a second wife as a plural marriage. She was a young English girl and converted to the church. She was born 30 Sept 1845 in South Port England. She was the fifth child of a family of eleven. She had been working in the home of George Q. Cannon and Lorin Farr homes. Her name was Alice Howard.

Alice Howard had been working in the homes of George Q. Cannon and Lorin Farr. George Q. Cannon had recently been ordained an apostle, and Lorin Farr was the Ogden stake president. Upon their arrival in Utah, many young women converts from Europe were without places to stay. At first they were placed in homes of the more prosperous brethren as domestics. This was the case with Alice Howard.

 

ALICE HOWARD

Alice Howard was the daughter of Richard Howard and Mary Ann Johnson and was born 30 September 1845 at Southport, Lancaster, England. She was the fifth child in her family. She also had five brothers and five sisters. The family joined the church in about 1858, just shortly before her father's death.

She came to Utah in 1863.

Just three months after this marriage was performed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Francis was called on another mission to Hawaii by Brigham Young, along with Elder George Nebeker. The purpose of this mission was to purchase six thousand acres of ground to settle the Hawaiian saints.

Francis was encouraged to take his new wife with him on his second mission. Francis left, with the intention of later sending for Alice. One account suggests “But Mary Jane took matters into her own hands, borrowed money and traveled to the Islands to join her husband.” However according to Whitney, Mary Jane spent the summer of 1865 with her children in Salt Lake City while Francis was in the Islands. Young said that while in Salt Lake at this time that Mary Jane taught school in the 19th Ward. Alice worked in the home of Lorin Farr until Francis returned.

 

ELDER DIRECTED TO BUY LAIE PLANTATION

President Brigham Young was one of the last persons Elder William W. Cluff expected to see walking along the path that lead over the grassy meadowlands and through the dense haw thickets of Laie Plantation.

 

But Elder Cluff knew the man approaching him as the President.  They greeted each other and sat down on the grass.  Elder Cluff told of the weeks of searching he and his fellow missionaries had done to find a suitable place for Mormon colonization.  They had tramped over the islands of Kauai and Oahu, looking for sites.  Little land was available and prices were high.

President Young looked out over the grassy plain that stretched down to the broad, sandy beach then gazed up toward the timber covered mountains.  Bunches of sheep, cattle, horses and goats grazed here and there or lounged in the shade.

“This is a most delightful place,” he mused.  Standing up, he said “Brother William, this is the place we want to secure as headquarters for this mission.”

Suddenly President Young was gone and William stood wondering if he had been dreaming.  In the afternoon of the same day, he and his companion walked over to the big frame house of Thomas T. Doughtry and talked about the property.  Mr. Doughtry indicated that he might sell.

Later in the year, just two days before Christmas, Elder George Nebeker and Francis A. Hammond arrived in Honolulu, delegated specifically by President Young to buy a large tract of land suitable for the cultivation of cotton, sugar cane, and rice.

Elder Cluff told them that they needed to look no further than Laie Plantation just 35 miles across the island.  The two Elders insisted on first seeing what the other islands had to offer and spent much time looking on Hawaii and Kauai.  Finding nothing suitable, they decided that elder Nebeker should return to the mainland to report and get further instructions.  Elder Hammond, while waiting, took a look at Laie Plantation.  While his companion was still on the high seas en route to the mainland, Elder Hammond signed an agreement with Mr. Dougherty to buy the plantation for $5,000 down, $3,000 more by July 1, and the remaining $6,000 in two years.

The purchase included the big white house complete with furnishings, two smaller houses also furnished, a barn and other outbuildings all within a four-acre enclosure surrounded by a black wall of volcanic stone.  Farming implements, 500 head of cattle, 500 sheep, 200 goats, and 25 horses went with the property.

Elder Hammond rushed back to Salt Lake City on the heels of his companion to raise the $5,000 down payment before the 10 weeks deadline expired.  Elders Cluff and Alma A. Smith moved onto the property and fenced about 40 acres of land.  They planted about half of the 40 in cotton and corn plus three acres of rice.

Within the deadline, Elder Hammond returned with the cash.  He felt that sugar cane would be the main crop and sold the livestock to help meet the payments.

Early in July 1865, Elder Nebeker returned to Laie bringing eight “labor missionaries” and their families.  All of the men had skills needed in building up the plantation and in teaching the Hawaiian members who were expecting to gravitate to the new center.

In 1915, part of the plantation was dedicated as a temple site.  The temple was completed four years later.

The principal crop changed from cane to students in 1958, when the beautiful campus of the Church College of Hawaii was completed and dedicated.  Laie Plantation thus became a religious, cultureal and educational center for all the Pacific Islands.

(From the Church News, Jan 28 1967, by Arnold Irvine)

 

THE MOVE TO HUNTSVILLE

In October of 1865, shortly after his return from his second mission to Hawaii, Francis and his family moved to Huntsville. He was called to be the presiding elder of that little community with William S. Lish and David McKay as his counselors.

 

FOUNDER OF HUNTSVILLE

Huntsville was named after Captain Jefferson Hunt, Company A commander of the Mormon Battalion. The reader is reminded that Francis probably first met Captain Hunt at San Bernardino when he and his family disembarked from the ship after leaving San Francisco on their way home from their Hawaiian mission.

 

SETTLING ACCOUNTS IN OGDEN

Although his resources had been diminished as a result of his last mission, Francis was able to purchase two homes for his families. They were just a short distance apart. He took with him from Ogden a yoke of cattle, one old wagon, one pony, and one little bob tailed cow.

Bishop West paid Francis for his interest in the tannery and the property held in Ogden. With this money, Francis was able to buy the houses along with twenty acres of land. The houses were two log cabins with dirt roofs--one for each of his two families.

 

GETTING ESTABLISHED AGAIN

When Francis arrived in Huntsville there were about twenty­five families in the town. Along with the hardships associated with this move, tragedy came into Francis and Mary Jane's lives. In February 1866 while still in the initial stages of pioneering Huntsville, Francis's and Mary Jane's little three-year old daughter, Lizzie Fontella, died.

The log cabin dwellings that Francis’s families were to live in at least until the early 1870's were described by his daughter Mary Alice Hammond Sorensen:

We lived in a little log house about 1/2 block from the first wife's home. I was not quite 4 years old when my mother died, but I can remember the house faced the east with a door and window on the front. The window was on the right side of the door, In between the door and window in the inside were shelves covered with a curtain. I remember these shelves and what was kept on them.

In this little log house there was another pane window on the west with a table by it. On the south side of the room were two beds, one for my mother and one for my brother John and me. On the north side was a Charter Oak Store and in the northwest corner an old fashioned cupboard. The floor was of bare boards scrubbed white and clean. The walls were white washed. The beds were old 4 posters with strips of rawhide crisscrossed for springs. These things with a few chairs composed the furniture of the little home. The roof of the house was covered with dirt and weeds grew on it in the summer. I can remember mother on Christmas standing by the table rolling out dough and cutting out dolls for presents for us. We took currants to use for eyes of these dolls. There was an old granary to the north of the house which was used as a kitchen in the summer. The wood pile was on the south side of the house.

The log cabins were later replaced by more hospitable dwellings, along with other property improvements.

 

THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD

During the construction of the transcontinental railroad, Francis took a contract to build a portion of it. This contract provided work for many of the local men.

Brigham Young was one of the major contractors for the Union Pacific. In all, close to 10,000 workers were used. This turned out to be an economic shot in the arm for the pioneering settlers. President Young's contract consisted of the construction of the stone bridge abutments and tunnels in Weber Canyon.

Although he did some contracting on the Union Pacific section, Francis's main contract was with the Central Pacific. He subcontracted from President Farr and Bishop West. Benson, Farr, and West built the railroad from Humbolt Wells, to Ogden, a distance of about two hundred miles. It was somewhere in that distance that Francis and many of the men from Huntsville did their work. He says that the saints built the railroad with the same determination that they used to settled the frontier. Francis and Thomas Bingham each having a contract, employed about thirty-five men with teams, and they started the work commencing at Promontory. Payment for their labors brought hard cash into the community.

Francis undoubtedly was present at the great union of the tracks at Promontory Utah on 10 May 1869 when the golden spike was driven.  It was a great day for the nation and for the saints.  Francis was part of this great episode.  The tradition among some of the members of the family is that Francis’ image is in the picture of this great event that is in every US History book.  The author’s mother informed him that Francis as shown in the picture was standing on the cattle guard of the engine on the right.  Because the images in the picture are so small, however, it is difficult to determine which image is Francis’.

 

FAMILY

While in Huntsville, Mary Jane brought five more children into the world: Eliza Dilworth on 27 August 1866, Joseph Heber on 21 October 1869, Luella Adelaide on 27 January 1871, Maybell Ophelia on 23 November 1872, and Amelia May on 22 May 1877.

Francis’s second wife, Alice Howard, gave birth to three children: John on 15 November 1867, Mary Alice (the author's grandmother) on 14 April 1869, and Hannah on 5 January 1873. Hannah was named after Alice's older sister.

In 1869, Francis went to the eastern states on a mission which was encouraged by the leaders of the Church. The call was made for five hundred missionaries. Francis became one of them. While in the East he went to see his family in Long Island. In his own words he described the occasion:

“In the fall of 1869, in company with about five hundred Elders, I went on a mission to the United States, to visit friends and relatives and to do all we could to modify the intense feeling of bitterness and hatred which prevailed at that time in the hearts of the people and with the government against the Saints. We accomplished some good and returned to our homes in the spring.”

 

THE LOSS OF ALICE HOWARD HAMMOND

On 28 January 1873, Alice Howard died of child bed fever just shortly after Hannah was born. Alice was only twenty-eight years old. Hannah was placed in the care of Sister Wheeler until she could again be with the Hammond family.

 

MORE TRAGEDY

In January of 1876 Francis A. Hammond, Jr., Francis's and Mary Jane’s first child, and Angus McKay went on a mission to Arizona. The snow was deep, and it took a great deal of effort to leave. But a few months later on the 27th of May, this child of Mary Jane’s ,youth died. Angus had the unpleasant task of burying him in a coffin made from a wagon box. This was a tragedy felt by the whole town.

 

THE PASSING OF MARY JANE

Sadness again visited Francis just a little over a year later. Mary Jane died of child bed fever on 6 June 1877 just a short time after she, gave birth to her last child.

Mary Jane had served the Lord, her husband, and the Church in a most commendable manner. She will always be considered one of the great ladies of the Church. The town of Huntsville has erected a monument to Mary Jane Dilworth Hammond. It is located in front of the school with the following inscription:

In Honor of the first school teacher in Utah, Mrs. Mary Jane Dilworth Hammond. Taught first school in Salt Lake City October 1847. Came to Huntsville with her husband, Bishop Francis A. Hammond, 1865, where she resided until her death, 1877.

Mary Jane had been a beacon of culture to pioneer Huntsville. She taught school along with her many other civic and Church callings. Included in her Church callings was a calling to be president of the first Relief Society in Huntsville from the 8 December 1867 until her death.

Francis lost both of his wives during a period of only four years. The children of both wives were now motherless. Mary Moiselle, who married George Halls as well as the children's older sister--the reader will remember that Moiselle was brought into the world by Mary Jane as Francis and Mary Jane were returning from their mission in Hawaii--took care of the children for a short time.

 

MARTHA JESINA MARCUSSEN HOLMES

In order to lift the burden from Mary Moiselle, Francis hired Martha Jensina Marcussen Holmes to keep house for the Hammonds and take care of the children. Mary Alice referred to her as Mrs. Martha Holmes. A few years later on 5 April 1881 Francis married her. She was a young Danish convert who was a widow at the time that she started caring for the Hammond children.

She got along very well with the children, and they all loved her. Mary Alice described her in the following manner: “She was very kind to us and took the best care of us she possibly could.”

 

BISHOP HAMMOND

Just a few days after Mary Jane’s death, Apostle Franklin D. Richards called and set apart Francis as Bishop of the Huntsville ward.

 

FRANCIS LOSES MORE OF HIS FAMILY

Francis, during the years he was in Huntsville, watched its steady and painful growth. There had been extreme winters and early and late frosts that had hurt the crops. Crickets had given them trouble. 1878 was hard on the saints. They experienced an epidemic of scarlet fever and diphtheria. About twenty children died of one of these diseases. Typhoid fever would soon plague Francis. On 7 January 1879 Francis's 17 year old son, William Edmund died of typhoid fever. Just a month later, his 19 year old son, George Albert Hammond died of apoplexy. George Albert experienced good health right up until the time of his death. He died as he was about to retire to bed after having been to a ball. During the act of undressing, he fell across his bed. His little brother was with him at the time, and as George Albert fell lifeless across his bed, his brother yelled for assistance. Francis and other members of the family rushed into the room, only to find that it was too late. Francis certainly had his share of tragedy.

 

THE WEBER COUNTY LAND AND LIVESTOCK COMPANY

In 1878, Francis contracted to supply the stone for the Weber River bridge. He was either a close observer or an intimate participant in the steady growth and development of the area. It was difficult to raise wheat because of the frosts, but barley and oats did very well. Potatoes also flourished. Ogden Valley was a good dairy environment, and the cheese factory was able to produce as much as 18,000 pounds of cheese per annum. The dairy herds were of good stock.

 

FRANCIS’ LAST YEARS IN HUNTSVILLE

Between the years 1881 to 1884 his two oldest sons, Samuel and Fletcher and his daughter Eliza married. Samuel married Eleanora Sorensen, Fletcher married Olivia Bronson, and Eliza married Mons Peterson.

These were good times for Francis: not only was there celebration for the marriage of three of his children, but the town recognized him at the celebration of his 61st birthday in 1883. This must have been a surprise party arranged by Martha, his wife.

Francis loved a good party. His large banquet table was not only to feed a large family, but it was an indication of his love to entertain.

 

PRESIDENT OF THE SAN JUAN STAKE

Francis was 62 years old

In October of 1884, Francis was called to the San Juan Mission. Along with this calling, he was also set apart as president of the San Juan Stake. However, before he made the move from Huntsville to San Juan, he and his son Samuel took a reconnaissance trip to the area.

On 24 March 1885 Frances was set apart for his mission by Presidents John Taylor and George Q. Cannon and Elder Franklin D. Richards.

Francis made his move in two trips. The first trip included seven wagons. It was his plan to return to Huntsville in July to bring his wife and the rest of his family and possessions to San Juan.

 

THE ADVANCE PARTY

The route that this advance party took went through Salt Lake, then to Provo, Springville, Nephi, Gunnison, and Salina. Francis went ahead of the group and visited friends along the way. While in Provo Francis had dinner with President A. O. Smoot. He also called at the Brigham Young Academy to see his friend Karl Maeser.

They reached bluff in the early evening. They were entertained by Bishop Jens Nielson. He provided for the weary travelers a place to camp. Bishop Nielson, the Jones, and the Waltons also provided lodgings in their respective houses. Francis expressed his gratitude to the Lord for their safe arrival.

Like Huntsville, the community had shortly been settled - about five years. At one time there were sixty-five families, but when Francis arrived, the numbers had decreased to twenty. Those, including their president, who had left became discouraged because of the difficulty in controlling the water. During floods, the head of the canal would be washed away, and the ditches would be filled with silt. It was almost too expensive in time and labor to keep repairing the damage.

One of the first business transactions that Francis accomplished was to buy a log house from Amas Barton. Francis said that it was a comfortable three room log house. There was a rock addition and a lean-to for a kitchen. During his pioneering days in the early establishment of the Salt Lake Valley and at Huntsville, he experienced the difficulty of keeping dirt roofs from leaking. He was impressed with this little cabin because the rock part of the house had a shingled roof. The house was located on a little rise called “Vinegar Hill.”

Soon after arriving at Bluff, Francis held a ward conference, and he was sustained as president of the stake with William Halls and William Adams as counselors and Charles Walton as clerk. Francis then made a visit around the stake. It took four weeks. The stake was made up of the Burnham Ward in Fruitland, New Mexico, about 100 miles from Bluff; the Mancos Ward in Colorado, 90 miles away; the Bueno Ward, six miles south of Moab; and the Moab Ward. The Monticello Ward was later organized in 1890 under Francis's direction.

On 25 May Francis, along with William Halls Joseph Johnson, Lemual Redd, Alvin Decker, Tjayles Haskell and Peter Allen explored the Elk and Blue Mountains, about forty miles north of Bluff. They were interested in the suitability of the area for stock grazing. The timber and waterpower resources were also surveyed.

Francis and his companions held a meeting up on the highest mountain in the area; and at this meeting, Francis also dedicated the land.  Each member of the group bore his testimony, and they sang hymns and prayed.  It was determined that the area was very suitable for stock and dry farming.

 

RETURN TO HUNTSVILLE AND FINAL MOVE

Francis, his son Joseph--just fifteen years old--his daughter may, and Mary Haskel and her father left Bluff the 12th of July 1885 in order to return to Huntsville and bring the rest of their property.

Francis shipped some of his farm equipment by way of the railroad to Durango.  He bought two wagons, two mowers, three harrows, and a cream separator.  He shipped his equipment to a Brother A. S. Farnsworth at Durango at a cost of $85.00

As the San Juan settlers left Huntsville for the last time, they took with them 500 head of stock and 8 wagons.  Members of his family traveling with him were Martha, his wife; his sons, Fletcher and wife and 4 children, John, and Joseph; his daughters, Mary, Luella, Maybell, Hannah and Amelia May; his sin-in-law George Halls and Moselle.  Mary, who was sixteen years old at the time, drove one of the wagons all the way to Bluff. Thomas Halls was also among the group along with Peter, a boy hired to drive one of the teams.  Joseph accompanied the herd.

Instead of taking the Grass Valley route, which was the route they had taken the first time, they decided to take the Castle Valley route. 

The Castle Valley Route took them to Green River. This was a long and hard part of the journey.  Sometimes the grades were so steep that they had to use extra teams for the wagons.  At Green River, they ferried the wagons for $2.00 per wagon.  At the Grand River, Hyrum Taylor met them and guided them across the river.  At Kane Springs, they again experienced bad roads, and they needed to double-team their wagons at Peters hill.  At a place called Recapture, they met Samuel Smith who had come to assist them.  They rinally reached Bluff on December 4.  The trip for the wagons had taken about 49 days.  Peter, the boy hired to drive the cattle, arrived at Bluff without the cattle on 18 December.  He had to leave the stock at Recapture.  The snow was deep and the cattle were tired.  It took them two months to drive the cattle that far.  This cattle drive cost the Halls $850.00, but this sum also included the addition of 4 mules, two saddles, two horses and a wagon.

As Francis had suggested on his first journey, the settlers soon organized “The San Juan Mercantile Stock Raising and Manufacturing Company,” which also included a co-op store.

In 1891 the company purchased the Elk Mountain Brand Cattle; and Francis, L.H. Redd, and Kruman Jones were appointed managers. It was not long before the company had 2,000 head of cattle and 6,000 head of sheep.

 

THE UTAH REMOVAL BILL

In 1890 Francis was informed that the Indians in Colorado, Arizona and other states were to be placed in the Bluff reservation, A bill was in Congress, that if passed, could make possible for those Indians who were on that reservation to be able to take over the homes and ranches of the Bluff settlers.

President George Q. Cannon, the Utah Territorial delegate (Caine), L. J. Nuttal, and D. Cannon, the son of George Q. Cannon were sent by the Church to represent settlers in connection with what was called the Utah Removal Bill. During this trip, Francis also had the chance to visit Long Island and preach the gospel to some of his friends and his family.

In Washington he met with various congressmen and senators, particularly those who had anything to do with the committees on Indian affairs.  He testified before the Committee on Indian Affairs.

 

THE DEDICATION OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE

The next red letter event in Francis's life was his attendance at the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple.

As usual, Francis attended the Annual General Conference of the Church in 1893. The sessions started on Tuesday 4 April and adjourned on the 5th of April. Then, on 6 April 1893, Francis walked on to the Temple grounds that morning through the south gate. The weather was stormy and threatening. After entering the grounds, Francis entered the Temple through the south west door.

Then he and other stake presidents and Church leaders took a tour of the temple. Francis described the beauty of the workmanship. He was thrilled to enter the baptistery. There he expressed his admiration for the font that was laid upon twelve oxen. He understood the significance of the symbolism of the twelve oxen representing the twelve tribes of Israel. From the baptistery, Francis and the others were shown the various ordinance rooms. He was thrilled with each experience. When the group was shown the Celestial Room, the spiritual fire within him glowed in rapture. In his own words he was "struck dumb as it were with astonishment at the heavenly grander of this room of rooms."

Next he went to the large assembly room. He described in his journal of 6 April the program: the music, dedicatory prayer, talks, etc. President Woodruff invited the stake presidents to attend as many of the other sessions as they desired. Francis accepted this invitation from the Prophet and attended several other sessions until he returned to San Juan.

 

ACTIVITIES IN SOUTHERN UTAH

Francis did lots of corresponding.

The correspondence between Francis and his family reveal his feelings and disposition during the last years of his life, particularly his correspondence between himself and Amelia, "my own sweet baby," as Francis addressed her in one of his letters to her when she was going to school at the Brigham Young Academy. He also addressed her as "My own dear daughter." These salutations show his willingness to express his love freely to his family, but particularly to his youngest daughter. Amelia traveled around the stake a great deal with Francis in his last years. She assisted him in a most supportive way. When she went away to school, Francis mentioned in a letter to her dated 17 January 1900, “I shall be very glad when your school days are over and you at home again, and at leisure to accompany me in my journeys around the Stake.” Although Francis had lands and cattle, cash was in short supply. In spite of this, he sent his “own sweet baby” to college. She became a very well educated and articulate leader. In a letter that she wrote to Francis when he was in Salt Lake Amelia gives an excellent description of what was going on in the settlement in 1889. It is noteworthy that she wrote this when she was twelve years old.

 

Bluff, San Juan co, Utah

August 12, 1889

Dear papa

According to my promise I will now endeavor to write you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along. We are well and hope you and Mary are the same. We feel very lonesome since you left, we stay alone here during the day. Lizzie Allen stays here with us at nights because it is so lonesome at nights and there is so many Indians in town. We put the cow up and have kept her up ever since. The Indians have been singing and dancing every night. They did a good deal of shooting and they are going to sing and dance for 5 nights for rain. Br. Jones said he never knew them to act so saucy before. The other night they went into Br. Barton's lot and stole all his watermelons but 3 which were hid in some squash vines. They have stole Hans Bayles and Lemuel Reed's field potatoes. They dug up most of the vines and took all they could carry and left the rest on the vines. This morning when Ma woke up just at sun up there were 6 large Utes on horseback standing watching us. Ma was much frightened to see them. Red Jacket was with them. They stood talking to each other for a long while and wouldn't go off. They didn't say what they wanted. All the Sisters are very much frightened. The water has come in the ditch but it is a very small stream, just one can water at a time. We just took the water a little ago on the garden. Ma hired an Indian to weed corn and pay him 75 cts a day. He has been here two days and we talked about keeping him another day. The corn is wilting for the want of water but the weeding is doing it some good. Ma has just gone down to see Br. Barton about putting a floor down tomorrow. Two SM arrived here last Sunday night at 12 o'clock. Br. Bailey came from the mountain just 10 minutes before they came. Br. Bailey rushed all the men out and they went to the mountains with their blankets to sleep and when they came back in the morning they found out they did not come for our brethren but they came for some train robbers. I suppose you have heard about at Thompson Springs. Brother Redd and Br. Allen was going to Burnham but the Bishop didn't think it safe to go. This is all I can think of this time. Hoping this letter will find you well. Write and tell us if you have good health. May God bless you and prosper you on your journey is the best wishes of your daughter.

Amelia Hammond

 

P.S. Br. Decker has not returned yet, but sister Decker thinks that they will either be here tonight or else tomorrow. Br. Barton's girls did not go to the Mancos. The Navajos come in town about sundown and then they go home about 1 or 2 o'clock. They come in late just so they can steal the melons at night. Last night Ma woke up and there was three crowds passed. Give my love to Mary and Philip. A.M. Hammond.

P.S. I forgot to say that Ma sends her love to you and Mary.

 

STATEHOOD

Francis's journal entry for 6 January 1896 was interesting. It was the day that Utah became a state. This entry reveals more about of his personality.

Sunrise Flag hoisted, guns fired and general bells ringing and all the noise possible was made. Honor of the day as Inaugural Day for the officers of the New State to be sworn in and enter upon their official duties. At 12 noon all the noisy demonstration repeated and people assembled in the new meeting house where a nice program was carried out consisting of speeches by F. A. Hammond, P. D. Lyman, L. H. Redd Jr., L. H. Redd Sr. A reading on Liberty by Miss Elliott, songs by the children led by Bro. Decker. Recitation, Lillian Decker. Bp. Jens Nielson Chaplain, Jos. Barton Marshall of the day. Evening a grand ball and elegant supper enjoyed by all. Thanks to our Heavenly Father, Grover Cleveland and the great Democratic party for Statehood for Utah.

In addition to the excitement of statehood for Utah, Francis had a full year in 1896. During his annual General Conference visit, he did considerable temple work for his family. He stayed in Salt Lake well into May. One of the highlights of this activity was when he and Moselle were proxy for the temple work for his parents.

He also participated in the first State

 

THE MOVE TO MOAB

Francis is 77years old

In May of 1899 Francis's move from Bluff to Moab. Prior to Francis’ move from Bluff to Moab, the town gave him and Martha a farewell party at the meeting house. The whole ward was present, and a program, dinner, and dancing was enjoyed by all who attended.  Twenty one dollars was given to Francis for a rocking chair.  He purchased one in Salt Lake the next time he made a trip there.

In Moab he purchased a seven room cottage that had eight acres of ground, an orchard, and an alfalfa field.  Attached with it were two cows, a pig, 160 chickens, various household gifts, a washing machine, books, bedding.  Francis liked the way his home and land plot were organized.  In his own words; “It is very conveniently arranged,

The last two years of his life he continued to make his rounds about the stake. For a seventy-seven year old man, this was quite a job. Francis's health was failing him some. In fact, the First Presidency were considering releasing him. However, he must have shown some reluctance at this suggestion and continued to perform his duties, even at this late age. In fact, he faithfully continued making his visits to keep the stake in order. On one trip on horseback on 1 June 1899 while on his way to Bluff, after drinking a cup of milk for his supper, he took a quilt and blanket from his saddle roll and made him a bed on a hay stack.

During the last-two weeks of his life, Francis a trip around the stake. He was accompanied by his fourteen year-old grandson, Dilworth Hammond, who was his teamster. Dilworth took care of his needs and assisted him. Francis's age had finally caught up to him.

Francis held a conference in Monticello and Verdure and then went on to Bluff for a another conference on 13 November. Brother Wayne Redd was with them riding horse back. He held another conference in Mancos. They stayed there two days. Then on 20 November Francis, accompanied by President Halls, after an early breakfast, he and President Halls went to Fruitland, New Mexico. This leg of the journey took two days. They arrived in Fruitland at 2:00 p.m. and began the conference which continued to the end of the next day.

From Fruitland, they set out on 24 November for Fairpoint, New Mexico which is about thirty-five miles up the San Juan River. The road to Fairpoint took them through Farmington which is located on the Mainus River and is rich orchard country. The road continued on across the river on a bridge, up the San Juan on the north side, passed  through  a  ranch  on  the  bottom  land  until they came to Bloomfield. Here they forded the river at the ferry site. A ferry was available there during high water. 

The party arrived at Brother Tinney's about 3:00p.m. They rested a short time, hitched up two teams and went up the river another four miles. This was through about 5,000 acres of developed county. A nine mile canal was the source of water. It was at this time a developing area. Land was cheap and there was plenty of wood and coal for fuel. The climate was good, and there was sufficient forage for sheep and cattle.

On 25 November 1900 the party breakfasted at J. S. Tenney's. Then they met with the saints at 10:00 a.m. They had dinner at Brother Gellispie's and discussed with some of the brethren about the organization of a ward. Then they met again at 2:00 p.m. and organized a new ward to be called the Hammond Ward. James S. Deaton was sustained as Bishop with John S. Tenny and William White as counselors. After the meeting, they drove to Brother Tenny's, and upon entering his yard, they drove under a wire cloths line. The buggy top struck the top of the line and frightened the horses. They ran off with the buggy's occupants--Francis and William Halls--threw the buggy around, and both Francis and William were thrown out of the buggy. William was uninjured, but Francis hit his head against an adobe granary with a rock foundation. The injury was severe, and he lived another day and a half.

After his death Francis was taken first to Ogden by way of the Rio Grande Western Railroad where his funeral was held in the Ogden Tabernacle and then to Huntsville and buried next to Mary Jane and. Alice, his two polygamous wives.


Francis A Hammond

By Preston Nibley

 

The early life of Francis A Hammond, second president of the San Juan Stake, was filled with adventure.  Had he written an account of his first 25 years it would read like an Horatio Alger novel.

Francis A Hammond was born in the village of Patchogue, New York, on Nov 1 1822, Patchogue is located on the Atlantic side of Long Island, and from his infancy the boy watched ships going to sea and returning.  The romance of the sea got into his blood, and, he related, “I commenced going to sea as a cabin boy and cook when I was about 14 years of age.” This was on coastal vessels and was only undertaken during the summer months.  In the winters he attended school and assisted his father who was a boot and shoe maker.  The boy also learned from his father something about tanning leather and making harnesses and saddles. “I learned enough to enable me in after years to establish these branches of industry,” he relates.

When Francis was 18 years of age he had learned enough about the sea to secure a job as “able seaman” on a whaling vessel, bound for Cape Horn and the Straits of Magellan.  Hunting whales in the cold Antarctic waters was adventurous work.  The great monsters had to be speared and then hauled to the deck of the ship where they were cut to pieces and the blubber secured.

Francis was away from home two years on this first whaling expedition.  After the whaling season was over the crew hunted seals on the rocky islands at the tip of South America.  On the return voyage, while the ship was anchored in a small bay, the chief mate and steward absconded in a small boat and took the ship’s arms with them.  They were captures by the crew and taken back to the United States for trial, Francis A. Hammond acting as their guard.

In June of 1843, he sailed on his second whaling expedition, this time to the Arctic Ocean.  He now knew enough about life at sea to secure the job of “boatswain,” which gave him the privilege of “living aft and associating with the chief officers.” The hsip sailed down the west coas of Africa, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and then struck out directly for Hawaii, which was to be its base during the whaling season.

Hawaii was reached in March, after eight months of sailing.  The ship then headed north to the whaling grounds, between Siberia and Alaska.  Here an accident happened to Francis A Hammond.  A barrel of flour accidentally rolled down a hatchway and struck him in the back.  He was so badly injured that at Lahaina, Maui, he was but ashore to recover, in the fall of 1844, while the vessel pursued its way homeward.

After being on land two months at Lahaina, Francis had sufficiently recovered to set up a boot and shoe shop.  From the beginning his business prospered.  His trade came from both the natives and the seaman, and it was not long before he hired two men to assist him.  In 1846 he read in a newspaper which had reached him from California, that a shipload of Mormons had arrived in San Francisco Bay.  He wondered what kind of people they were and one of his men told him he had heard they were bad people.

Francis A Hammond was now 24 years of age.  As he thought of his life he determined to sell his business, go to the states and marry an American girl, and then return to the islands to make his home.  Accordingly, in the fall of 1847, he sailed for San Francisco. On his arrival he put up at a small hotel, and to his amazement found that the proprietor, William Glover, was a Mormon.

Finding that business was brisk he decided to remain in San Francisco for a few months and establish a shoe repair business.  He purchased the “cook’s galley” from the ship Brooklyn, moved it to shore and set up his shop.  From the beginning he prospered.

Frequently he and MR. Glover visited in the little parlor of the hotel.  One night they sat and talked religion “until the fowls commenced crowing in the morning.” Francis felt Mr. Glover’s sincerity and became definitely interested.  Mr. Glover gave him a book to read called the “Voice of Warning,” written by Parley P. Pratt.  He read it carefully and its forceful arguments helped to convert him.  He also prayed to know whether Mormonism was true.  On December 31, 1847, Francis A Hammond was baptized in San Francisco Bay by “Elder Petch” and confirmed by Samuel Brannan.

 

Francis A Hammond becomes a Prospector

About a month after Francis A Hammond was baptized, on December 31, 1847, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill on the American River in California.

Francis tells us that as soon as the word reached San Francisco, “a wild, mad rush seized everybody to get to the mines.  Captains and crews deserted their ships, lawyers left their offices, merchants and clerks left their places of business, laborers left their employers and San Francisco became almost depopulated in a day.”

Francis also caught gold-fever.  He sold his shoemaking establishment, bought a packhorse, loaded on his supplies and started for the gold fields. He traveled twenty-five miles north of Sutter’s Fort and located a piece of ground “twenty-four feet square” on Mormon Island.  He related that his ground was rich in gold dust and nuggets.  “I never made money so fast in my life,” he writes, “As during the time I spent in digging gold. It was not uncommon to clean up $250 to $300 from one day’s work.”

When the gold excitement was at its height, Francis heard that a group of Mormons from the ship Brooklyn, and also discharged members of the Mormon Batallion, were about to journey overland to Salt Lake Valley to meet their families and join the Saints in the gathering place.

He was sorely tempted to remain in California and accumulate more gold; then a strong desire seized him to unite with the saints, whose religion he had espoused.  He made his decision, sold his claim, packed his horse, and met the Mormon group who were traveling eastward.  The trip was over the Sierras and across the Nevada desert. The little one-year-old isolated settlement of Great Salt Lake City was reached on September 6, 1848.

Francis A. Hammond found a boarding place in the old Fort and with his usual diligence propmptly opened a shoemaker’s shop.  Business was good from the beginning and it was not long before he was able to hire two men to assist him.  Also he soon found the girl of his choice.  Two months after his arrival he was married to 17-year-old Mary Jane Dilworth, Utah’s first school teacher.  Francis at the time was 26.

There were two men in the little Mormon colony whom Francis was anxious to meet.  One was Parley P. Pratt, who had written the book, “The Voice of Warning” which had invlufenced Francis in joining the Church; the other was President Brigham Young, the great pioneer leader.

When he was introduced to Parley P. Pratt, he found the Apostle “threshing beans before his door, using a wagon box with the sides down for a floor.  He was barefooted, in his shirt sleeves and wore a homemade straw hat, with the brim nearly separated from the crown, and his ears protruding between the brim and the crown.”

Francis Hammond was quite surprised.  “I must confess I was a good deal surprised to find my ideal Apostle in such a plight, and forced to labor in such a manner for his support, for I had the old sectarian idea about the grave and revered appearance of apostles and prophets.”

Shortly after his arrival he was favored with an introduction to President Brigham Young.

“I sought and obtained an introduction to him. I was profoundly impressed with his appearance.  Never did a man make such an impression on me as he did... No one doubted the word of Brigham, the Prophet of the Lord.  We loved him and he loved the Saints with all his heart, and served them faithfully by niht and by day.  He seemed to have a capacity that nothing could escape him, from locating temple and directing their building, down to the smallest matter in household affairs.

“It seemed the easiest thing in the world for him to take our poor emigrant Saints and tell them how to fight the battle of life so that in a very few years they could be found with a nice, well-cultivated farm and comfortable surroundings.

Francis states that the winter of 1848-49 was a happy one for him and his bride.  “We had meetings, parties, and schools, well attended, during the winter and great peace prevailed in the camp of Israel.” Someone set up a molasses mill near his home. “With the squeaking of the old mill, the shouting of the boys and the howling of the big gray wolves, we had no chance to become lonesome.”

 

Francis A Hammond, Colonizer-Missionary

After he had resided two and a half years in Salt Lake City, Francis A Hammond received a call from the First Presidency, in March 1851, to undertake a mission to the Hawaiian Islands.  He was told that he might take his wife and six-months-old baby with him.  Accordingly he closed up his business and in April joined a group of missionaries bound for California.  It was a difficult journey, through the heat and dust of the desert.  Two months time was spent before they reached San Pedro.

Arriving at San Pedro harbor Francis sold his outfit with his family and boarded a sailing vessel for San Francisco.  Here he labored as a shoemaker until he had sufficient money to pay the necessary fare to Hawaii.  Also he purchased a quantity of shoe leather as he knew he had to work his way through the mission.  On August 10, 1851, he was put ashore at Lahaina, Maui, where he had lived previous to going to California.

There is not sufficient space here to relate the interesting details of Francis A Hammond’s mission.  He and his wife remained on the islands for four and a half years, during which time hundreds of natives were baptized and many branches of the Chruch established.  Also, between their arrival and departure, two more children were born to them. 

In March, 1856, Francis and family sailed for home.  Arriving at San Bernardino, California, they found a Mormon colony and decided to remain all winter and recuperate their finances.  Francis set up his shoe shop and by spring he had made enough money to buy a team and wagon.  They arrived in Salt Lake City in June, 1857, after and absence of six years.

In July, 1857, word was received that Jonstion’s Army was marching to Utah. Francis spent the fall and winter with the Mormon troops in Echo Canyoun, who had been placed there to hald the advance of the army.  When peace was declared he returned to his home.  In 1859 he moved to Ogden and joined Chauncy W. West in establishing a business “for the manufacture of boots, shoes, saddles, and harnesses.” This venture proved to be profitable and Francis made considerable money.

His business career was interrupted in the spring of 1865 when President Brigham Young requested him to go to Hawaii and assist Elder George Nebeker in the purchase of a 6,000 acre plantation on which to settle the native saints.  This work was carried out and in the fall, when he returned home, he was requested to move to Huntsville and preside over the members of the Church in Ogden Valley. For a number of years he acted as branch president, but in 1877 a ward was organized with Francis A Hammond as Bishop.  The same year (June 6th) his beloved wife Mary Jane Dilworth, died and was buried in Huntsville.

Other important events occurred at Huntsville while Francis A Hammond served as bishop.  On September 8, 1881, a little 8-year-old boy, named David O. McKay, was baptized by Peter Geertsen and confirmed a member of the Church by Bishop Hammond.  Today, David O. McKay is the honored President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

In the fall and winter of 1883-84, Bishop Hammond and his son, Fletcher B., having aquired a considerable number of cattle, made and extended tour of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of Old Mexico, looking for an opportunity to buy a large cattle ranch.  No doubt hearing of his desire to move to the southwest, the First Presidency, in 1884 appointed him to preside over San Juan Stake.  He accepted the appointment, sold his holdings in Huntsville, and the following year moved to the isolated town of Bluff.  His sons drove 450 head of cattle to the new location.

To recount the activities of President Hammond during the following 15 years would take more space than we have here.  Besides a vast territory in Utah, his stake extended into parts of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.  It took him three weeks to make the rounds of the wards and settlements over which he presided, traveling with horses and buggy.  All his work was faithfully performed.

On November 1, 1900, president Hammond observed his 78th birthday.  Three weeks later, while visiting the saints in Bloomfield, New Mexico, his horses became frightened and he was thrown from his buggy.  He died without regaining consciousness on November 27.  His body was returned to Utah and buried beside his wife, Mary Jane, and other members of the family in Huntsville.