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John Edward Page, 1799-1867

"History of John E. Page,"
The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 27 (1865):103-104


The following is a brief synopsis of the journal of Elder John E. Page, as given by himself:--

The subscriber was born of Ebenezer and Rachel Page, their first child, February 25, A.D. 1799. My father was of pure English extraction, my mother of English, Irish and Welsh extraction. My place of birth was Trenton township, Oneida County, state of New York.

I embraced the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was baptized August 18, 1833, by the hands of Elder Emer Harris, (own brother to Martin Harris, one of the three first witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon). I was ordained an elder under the hands of Elders Nelson Higgins, Ebenezer Page, Jun., and others. My baptism took place in Brownhelm, Lorain County, Ohio; my ordination in Florence, Huron County, of the same state, on the 12th of September 1833.

I moved to Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, in the fall of 1835.

On the 31st day of May, 1836, I started on a mission to Canada West, Leeds County. I was gone from my family seven months and twenty days.

On the 16th day of February 1837, I again left Kirtland with my family of wife and two small children, taking with me all the earthly goods I possessed, which consisted of one bed and our wearing apparel of the plainest kind, to continue my mission in the same region of country as before.

In July following, the commandment came forth for me to occupy a place in the Quorum of the Twelve.

On the 14th day of May 1838, I started with a company of Saints, made up of men, women and their children, for the state of Missouri, where we landed, in the first week of October, with a company occupying thirty wagons, at a place there called DeWitt, some six miles above the outlet of Grand River, on the north side of the Missouri River, where we were attacked by an armed mob, and by them barbarously treated for near two weeks.

We then went to Far West, Caldwell County, where we united with the general body of the Church, and with them participated in all the grievous persecutions practiced on the Church by means of a furious mob, by which means I buried my wife and two children as martyrs to our holy religion, who died through extreme suffering for the want of the common comforts of life, which I was not allowed to provide even with my money.

On the 19th of December 1838, at Far West, Elder John Taylor and myself were ordained as apostles under the hands of Elders B. [Brigham] Young and H. [Heber] C. Kimball, in the Quorum of the Twelve, to fill some vacancies in the quorum which had happened by apostasies--having baptized, in two years time, upwards of six hundred persons, and travelled more than five thousand miles, principally on foot and under the most extreme poverty, relative to earthly means, being alone sustained by the power of God and not of man, or the wisdom of the world.

John E. Page.

------- At the time Brother Page was called to go on a mission to Canada, he objected, for the reason that he was destitute of clothing. Brother Joseph Smith took off his coat and gave it to him, and told him to go, and the Lord would bless him abundantly on his mission.

He started with his family for Quincy, Illinois; and while on his way, I and several of the Twelve who were going up to Zion to fulfill the revelation which said the Twelve should "take leave of my Saints in the city of Far West, on the 26th day of April next, on the building spot of my house, saith the Lord," met him, he had just upset his wagon on a sideling hill, and among other things had spilt a barrel of soft soap, which he was scooping up with his hands. I counselled him to return with us; he at first objected, but I insisted he should get ready, to which he consented, and accompanied us to Far West, and attended the conference there on the 26th of April.

He went to Illinois and located with Father Judd's family for a season, on the Mississippi flats, below Warsaw, Hancock County.

While located at Father Judd's, he preached in Adams and Hancock Counties.

In 1839, he neglected to go to England with his brethren of the Twelve, according to the word of the Lord to that quorum.

April 8, 1840, Elder Page was appointed by a general conference at Nauvoo, to accompany Elder Orson Hyde on a mission to Jerusalem; and although he started on this mission, he never left the shores of America.

He travelled through Indiana and Ohio, and spent the winter of 1840-1 preaching occasionally in Cincinnati and vicinity. He arrived in Philadelphia in June 1841, where Elder George A. Smith, on his return from England, met him; and knowing the Saints were willing to raise ample means to carry Elder Page on his journey, Elder Smith urged him to proceed on his mission to Jerusalem.

Soon after, Elder Page became involved in difficulty with the branch in Philadelphia, and in the fall President Hyrum Smith wrote to him to come home.

He did not return to Nauvoo until the spring of 1842. On his way he delivered several discourses at Pittsburg, and got up a petition, which was signed by the Saints and others, to President Joseph Smith, praying that he might be sent to Pittsburgh.

At the conference held April 6, 1843, he was sent to Pittsburgh, where he organized a branch of the Church from those baptized by himself and other elders, and some who emigrated thither. In organizing this branch he drew up a constitution, requiring their president to be elected every four months. At the first election he was chosen president, at the second election Elder Small was chosen president, having received the most votes. He moved his family to Pittsburgh, where he continued to preach.

During the summer of 1843, the Quorum of the Twelve went eastward from Nauvoo on a mission. Elders H. [Heber] C. Kimball, O. [Orson] Pratt and John E. Page, met at Cincinnati, and organized that branch. Elders Kimball and Pratt proceeded on their mission, and as soon as they were gone, Elder Page called the branch together, and annulled the organization, and reestablished the old one.

In a few days after Brothers W. [Wilford] Woodruff, Geo. [George] A. Smith and myself visited Cincinnati, and we disapproved of Elder Page's proceedings for the reason, that it was not right for one of the Twelve to undo what three had done.

Elder Page, in company with his brethren of the Twelve, went to Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Boston. He remained in Boston some time. President Joseph Smith, disapproving of his course in Boston, directed him to proceed to Washington, and build up a church there. He went to Washington, remained a short time, and baptized several, then returned to Pittsburg.

Soon after President Smith's death, an advertisement appeared in the Beaver, Pennsylvania, Argus, that Elder John E. Page was out of employment, and would preach for anybody that would sustain his family."