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Lorenzo Hill Hatch, 1826-1910

Autobiography (1826-1846)
Typescript, HBLL

JOURNAL 1 1855-1856
(Commenced Writing, 11 December, 1855)

Lorenzo Hill Hatch, son of Hezekiah and Aldura Hatch, born 4 January, A.D. 1826, in the town of Lincoln, Addison County, state of Vermont.

My mother's maiden name was Sumner; Aldura Sumner, born May 1803.

My father was born in Charlotte, Vermont. (County of Chittenton) Son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Hatch, December 2, A.D. 1798.

My father was married to Aldura Sumner, 3 February, A.D. 1820.

The Family Record of my Father: John Sumner Hatch, born 24 November 1820 Jeremiah Hatch, born 7 July 1823 Lorenzo Hill Hatch, 4 January 1826 Abram Chase Hatch, born 3 January 1830 Adeline Hatch, born 26 January 1834 Elizabeth Hatch, born 19 January 1837 Hezekiah Moroni Hatch, born 9 November 1840

All of the children born of one mother, Aldura Hatch, who was a good mother all her days.

My father was a farmer and reared me at that occupation.

My father was baptized into the Church of Latter-day Saints in the fall of 1840 by Elder Peletiah Brown; having formerly been a Universalist in belief, but never joining a church. My mother was of the same belief and both had good understanding of the scriptures and were moral in all their habits. They were good to the poor and kind to strangers.

My father and mother were poor when first married, but my father bought a farm of his father's and paid him a big price for itaving time to pay for it given him. The farm was not cleared and was heavily timbered except for a few acres where a house and barn stood. He worked hard, burnt ashes, and made payments for his land and store goods. Thus he cleared up his farm or some portion of it.

My father became wealthy and had a good orchard of several hundred trees that he set out. My father was a great reader and histories were well known unto him, of nations and peoples. He was a representative to the Legislature, which was quite an honor in that country; thus I have given a short history of my father of whom I shall take notice hereafter as I proceed with my journal.

I was baptized in the month of February, 1840, in the fifteenth year of my age. My mother was baptized at the same time. I was quite faithful and steady for a boy and obeyed my father and mother and they had confidence in me. I labored very hard while my father lived.

My brother, Hezekiah Moroni, died in the town of Lincoln, Vermont, 19 April, 1841, being five months and nine days old. Father sold his land to prepare to go to Nauvoo, and my mother died 10 April, 1842, in the town of Lincoln, Vermont. This affected the family very much and created great excitement among the gentiles because a Latter-day Saints should die. Thus, the spirit of opposition was great because the Lord had caused the gospel to be preached and the honest in heart had obeyed it.

Soon after the death of my mother, my eldest brother John took sick which terminated in dropsy of the bowels. About this time, my father moved to Bristol, Vermont to my grandfather's to prepare for the trip to Nauvoo. Here, John continued to get worse and my mother being dead, I took care of him as best I could. My father had a hired girl to do the work, but the time drew near for our departure, father having bought his teams.

Sometime in the month of August 25 or 26, we took leave of our friends and country, leaving John very sick. This was the greatest trial that I ever had in my life up to this date, 12 December, 1855, although I have lost an affectionate father and mother and a brother and wife.

Before we arrived at Nauvoo John died--7 September, 1842. We arrived in Nauvoo after six weeks, having traveled 1500 miles. At the time of our arrival the Prophet was in hiding from the "writs" that were in circulation against him by accusation that was made by the state of Missouri.

Through the efforts of Governor Carlin of the state of Illinois, this excitement passed in a few weeks after our arrival, and we had the privilege of seeing and hearing the Prophet speak to the Saints. Soon after our arrival, my father bought a farm from the Prophet Joseph east of the Big Mound, six miles from the city on the east. He also bought a city lot of Reuben Hadlock [Hedlock] and commenced building a house on it. The house was 30 x 16, two stories of brick, located on the Mulholland Street. It was two or three blocks east of the temple, with a porch in front. He put up this house in February. In March he commenced fencing on his prairie farm. He was taken sick about the first of June with the bilious fever and died 25 June, 1843; and thus, we were left in the midst of the saints without father or mother whilst many sought the advantage of us and took it--not the saints, but those that professed to be. Let them have their reward.

Brother Jerry was married previous to the death of father. I was eighteen years at the time, Abram fourteen, Adeline ten, Elizabeth seven. Abram lived with grandfather's folks who came to Nauvoo the same time that we came. I lived with Jeremiah (my brother) and we were poor enough. We did fairly well though, for it was hard times. The little girls lived from place to place as they could find places to stay.

Jeremiah Hatch, my uncle (father's brother, the eldest of his father's family) was the administrator of the estate. He sold the personal property, such as wagons, harnesses, stock, cloth, clothing and bedding which ought to have been kept for the heirs and trusted it out. The estate was never settled. How much he collected, I do not know. This much I do know. The heirs received nothing except a few articles which they bought at the sale. Had Jerry and I known how things were going we would have bid on everything and let the administrator and scoundrels go to the devil, where they have gone.

Sometime in the winter of 1843, I was ordained a priest and traveled through the city as a teacher and was blessed. I will record a prophecy that Joseph Smith delivered concerning the coming of the Savior. He said in the name of Jesus Christ that, "He will not come within forty years from this date." (Spoken 10 March, 1844.)

At this place in the original journal, there are seven full pages of patriarchal blessings. That is: four blessings given to Lorenzo Hill Hatch, two to his wife Sylvia, one for his wife Catherine, one for his brother Jerry and one upon the head of his father, Hezekiah, by Hyrum Smith the Patriarch at Nauvoo, 6 March, 1843. James Sloane was the scribe. One of Lorenzo's blessings was give by the Patriarch Hyrum also. This last blessing was given 11 January, 1844. After this blessing is recorded, Lorenzo records the words thus: The word of Brother Hyrum concerning my father: He said that he had very singular feelings when he blessed father which were in consequence of the shortness of his life, and this was in fulfillment of a dream which my father had in Vermont concerning the Prophet.

Family of my mother, Aldura Hatch. Her maiden name was Sumner. She was born 4 May, 1803, daughter of John and Abigail Plumney Sumner. Rebecca Hanley, the older sister of my mother, was born 5 February, 1798. Cyrus Sumner, the oldest brother of my mother, was born 17 January, 1804. This data was copied from a letter received from Vermont.

Death Dates: Hezekiah Hatch (my father), died 25 June, 1843, age 45 years, 6 months, 23 days.

Aldura Hatch (my mother), died 10 April, 1842, aged 34 years, 11 months, 6 days.

John Sumner Hatch, died 7 September, 1842, aged 21 years, 10 months, 17 days.

Hezekiah Moroni Hatch, died 19 April, 1841, aged 1 year, 5 months, 9 days.

Hannah Elizabeth Fuller Hatch (the wife of L. H. Hatch), died 10 August, 1847, aged 20 years, 5 months, 14 days.

Loisey Hatch (wife of my brother Jeremiah Hatch), died 14 April, 1869.

Ezra T. Benson, one of the Twelve, died 3 September, 1869, at Ogden, Utah, born 22 February, 1811.

Two more Patriarchal Blessings are written in the original journal, one given to the writer, L. H. Hatch and the other to his wife Alice. Both blessings were pronounced by Patriarch John Young. Among these blessings, we find one given as a father's blessings, which I shall copy.

A blessing given by my grandfather, Jeremiah Hatch Sen., 7 March, 1848, at Winter Quarters.

"Lorenzo, I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to bless you in all things that are agreeable to the Lord's will or that will meet his approbation. I also bless you and pray your Heavenly Father to grant you long life. And I bless you to have a desire that you may be good to the aged and to all that it may be in your power to assist. I bless you that you may go forth to preach the gospel according to the order of the priesthood wherever you may be sent and that you may bring many things into the Church, that we haven't known, and knowledge. And may you be an honor to it. May your Heavenly Father send his Holy Ghost upon you wherever you may go that you may bring many into the Church and continue to improve until the end of your day. These blessings I seal upon your head even so. Amen."

Jeremiah Hatch Sen., four, five and six times great-grandfather of present descendants was living at Bristol Vermont when his son Hezekiah (father of Lorenzo Hill Hatch) taught him the gospel. Hezekiah had heard of the "restoration" through Elder Pelatiah Brown. No sooner was Hezekiah and his family baptized than he took the glad tidings to his father, Jeremiah, and family, all of whom embraced the truth except Jeremiah Jr. Jeremiah Sen. was seventy-four years old and his wife, Elizabeth, sixty-eight years at the time of their baptism in 1840, yet, they enthusiastically joined their children in the difficult move to Nauvoo, Autumn of 1842. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War in which struggle his father, Nathaniel Hatch, lost his life.

It was at the temple in Nauvoo that Jeremiah Sen. and Elizabeth received their endowments, one week before the final exodus from that city. (31 January, 1846) Elizabeth died at Winter Quarters 5 December, 1847, and three months later her husband gave the above blessing grandson, Lorenzo. It was more than two years later that Jeremiah, the beloved grandfather, died on the plains near Council Bluffs at the age of eight-six years. (23 May, 1850)

(Birthdates of seven of his children omitted)

NAUVOO April 14, A.D. 1844.

I was ordained a Seventy by Joseph Young, president of the Seventies, and started on the 15th with Thomas Fuller on a mission of Vermont to preach the gospel. [This mission was to advocate Joseph Smith as President of the United States. Mission over shortly after martyrdom.] It was Monday, 3 o'clock P.M. when we found a man in from the country with a team and got a chance of riding with him to a village about sixteen miles from Nauvoo. His name was Simon Draper. We stayed that night with Father Gates.

Next morning, at 8 o'clock started on our way with the same man and rode with him until about 12 o'clock noon. Started on foot and traveled until about dark. We came to a house and wanted to stay all night. He wouldn't keep us saying that he started Mormons away at dark. At the next house we wanted to stay, but the privilege was denied us. We told him that if he would not keep us in the name of the Lord, that we would stay out of doors. Accordingly we stayed out of doors and slept in the hazel brush with our valises under our heads and it was very cold, being the 16th of April.

We arose before day and started on after thanking the Lord for our preservation through the cold and dreary night. We got our breakfast at a farm house and paid for it. I was taken quite sick, having eaten nothing from one morning till the next. After throwing up my breakfast, I felt better and we traveled on that day for thirty miles and put up at a public house and paid our bill, thinking that it would not be prudent to stay out of doors at this time of year.

Thursday, April 17. Went to Peoria on the Illinois River. Took dinner at Brother Hunt's who lived at this place. We crossed by ferry and traveled a few miles staying with a brother by the name of Dobson all night.

Friday, April 19. We went to Bolen Green and heard of some brethren about five miles from there. We found them that night and stayed with Brother Shepperd. Spent Saturday the 20th with these brethren as well as Sunday the 21st and preached to the people and counseled them to go to Nauvoo.

Monday, April 22. Took leave of the brethren and went to Brother Benson's. Took dinner with him and traveled on to a brother's by the name of Vail. Here we stayed all night of Tuesday the 23rd. Brother Vail took his horse and went five miles with us. He took us across a creek. The streams were very high as it had rained a great deal for a few days past. We traveled through many streams this day as the country was most deluged in water. We traveled thirty miles and stayed all night with a woman by the name of Oliver at Oliver's Grove. The man was not at home. We bstimony, which had a good effect.

Wednesday, April 24. Traveled on, we found a great deal of water and very deep sloughs which run like rivers. We forded them, holding our coats up so as to keep our books out of the water. Stayed all night at Ash Grove. We stayed with a woman and her sons who told us that Mormons couldn't stay in the Grove. We passed as travelers and felt of the boys heads and praised them for their good sense. They wouldn't take any money because we were such "good fellows."

Thursday, April 25. We traveled about twelve miles and came to the town of Milford where Brothers Norman Milford, James Munroe, and Marcellus Bates had raised up a branch of the Church. When we arrived here, I was taken sick in consequence of sleeping out of doors (may they receive their rewards according to their works) and also in consequence of the wet weather and exposure that I had to pass through. We stayed there nine days and preached to the saints. My health improved. We preached seven times and baptized one man by the name of George W. Harris. On the 4th of May, we ordained Benjamin F. Chamberlain, an elder, and Silas Harris, a teacher. We left Milford, Monday, May 5th for Lafayette in Indiana, traveling thirty-two miles that day. Stayed with a man all night by the name of Janens.

Having been sick, it was hard for me to walk so far in one day. I was very sick all that night but no one knew my feelings as I kept them to myself. This man and his wife treated us with great respect and shed tears when we left. They believed our testimony and no doubt they would have been baptized if we had stayed a few days with them.

Tuesday, May 6. Traveled to Lafayette on the Wabash River and took a boat on the Canal. Name of Canal was the Wabash and Erie Canal and runs through the state of Indiana. We rode that night to a place called Def. Got off the boat on Wednesday the 7th. We found a brother by the name of Martin. He had raised up a few members of the Church. We stayed a few days with him and rested as well as preaching to the people. Left Brother Martin's Monday the 12th. We traveled twelve miles and found Brother Mires. [The author uses the word "traveled" when they walked.] Brother Mires and his family belonged to the Church [Branch] and Logan's Port. We preached to the people in this town and left it on Wednesday the 15th. Brother Mires went a mile or two with us when we parted with him. Traveled till about 3 o'clock and found Brother Bunn; took dinner with him and then left for the Canal and took a boat for Toledo. Arrived at the town of Wain in the evening of Friday the 17th. Got along well on Saturday and arrived at Toledo in the evening of Sunday the 19th.

Took a steamboat for Buffalo. We worked our passage and were treated worse than dogs. One of the firemen threw a stick of wood at Brother Fuller and just missed his head. My health was very poor. Arrived at Buffalo Tuesday the 23rd. We then engaged our passage for Port Junction and gave all the money we had for this passage. Left Buffalo Wednesday and arrived at Rochester Thursday the 23rd. We stayed here till Friday the 24th at 3 o'clock. Arrived at Utica Monday the 27th and at Port Junction on the 28th when we left the boat. We had no money and there was a toll passed thd the bell rang but no one came out and we hurried on. Arrived at Father Fuller's home, Tuesday, 28th in the night. I was quite sick when I arrived.

Sunday, June 2. I preached for the first time and the Lord told me that I could not preach of myself and I was confounded. I stayed from the 28th of May to the 17th of June and worked for Father Fuller. He gave me nothing when I left for Vermont, a distance of 125 miles. At his house, I found my wife. She was his daughter. We were not married for most two years after this date.

June 17. Started for Vermont and arrived there on the 27th. Preached in Ferisburg in the evening. It was the first sermon that I had preached after I left Brother Fuller and it was the second time that I had tried to preach in my life. The Lord blessed me an I had great liberty. One woman arose and bore testimony that what I had preached was the truth. It was at the house of Charles Haight, my great uncle. He was an old man. I had never seen him before. His wife believed my testimony. After which, I started for Bristol. [Bristol was the home of Jeremiah Hatch Sen. when he received the gospel. It is ten miles south of Lincoln, Addison County, Vermont, which was the home of Lorenzo in his boyhood as well as his birthplace.]

June 25. Arrived in Bristol where I found Brothers John Chase and Almon Harding. On the 26th I found my Aunt Hannah, mother's youngest sister an also my cousins. They received me kindly. On the 27th, I started for Northfield with Brothers Chase and Harding, some thirty of forty miles on foot. This was the day that Joseph, the Prophet, was martyred with his brother Hyrum. Thus fell two of the mightiest men that lived in this generation. It was a gloomy day and we traveled twenty-five miles that day. We arrived on the 28th at Brother Liman Hotens. We came to this place to hold a conference. Brother Erastus Snow had charge of this state. He did not arrive. We held a meeting on the 29th. Brother Harding preached on the 30th. Brother Chase preached three times on Monday, the first day of July. I held a meeting about two miles from the former place. Brother [Harding] was with me. I spoke to the people. We had a good turnout and the Lord blessed me. They said that I knew more scripture than the old preacher who had preached forty years. July 2nd, Brother Snow and Brother William Hyde preached.

Brother Snow called a Council of elders that were present. Here it was manifested that Brother Jason Hoten should be ordained but he refused. Soon after this Brothers Snow and Hyde left for Nauvoo. There are many that believed the gospel in this place. Shortly the news of the death of the prophet reached here and they were not baptized. Brother Chase was counseled to stay on here a few days and preach. Brother Harding and myself were to go back to Lincoln. We started on the 3rd and arrived at Lincoln on the 4th of July, 1844.

I went to Bristol on the 6th of July and held one meeting in that town. Formerly there had been a branch of the Church here and a good deal of preaching in this region of the country. I found they had become perfectly hardened; therefore, I held no more meetings. Being quite destitute of clothing, I went to work for fifty cents a day. This was all that they woule me.

About the middle of this month the news came of the death of Joseph and Hyrum. At first I could not believe it, but at last was convinced that it was a fact. Then I mourned and wept as the children of Israel did when Moses was taken from them. [This in his own words was his testimony concerning Brigham Young given just before his death, 20 April, 1910.]

"I was alone a young man, being but eighteen years old, 1500 miles from home. The question in my mind was, who would lead the Church now that the Prophet Joseph was gone. About a month later a letter came from my uncle, Jeremiah Hatch who had married a daughter of Sidney Rigdon. He claimed that the Lord had called Sidney Rigdon to lead the Church. I was at the house of one of my cousins in the town of Bristol, Vermont. It was about noon. I stood in the middle of the sitting Room reading the letter to my cousin, when a voice plain and distinct said, "Brigham Young is the man God has chosen to fill the vacancy." I so declared to my cousin. My father had gone to the Great Beyond and Brigham Young was a father to me all the remainder of his life.--Lorenzo Hill Hatch."

After haying was over, I worked for $7.00 per month for Seneca Sumner, my mother's cousin. That was all they would give me although I earned twice that much. During the winter, I threshed some grain and chopped wood for different ones, among these, a man named Thomas Wilder for whom I fixed up a shop. He didn't pay me all that he agreed to do. Let him have his reward.

During the winter, Brother Harding and I went to the state of New York and preached several times, also preaching once or twice in Vermont. Then we commenced fixing for our return to Nauvoo. In the spring of 1845, I bade my kindred farewell and left in company with Brother Harding and Johnathan Heywood. Brother Heywood took his family. His wife was a bitter enemy to the truth and murmured all the way. We went to Buffalo, from there to Chicago and from there across the state of Illinois to Savanna, on the Mississippi River. Here we took a steamer and arrived all safe after twenty days of travel at Nauvoo, a distance of 1500 miles. I was away one year and three months during which time I traveled many hundred of miles on foot. I was turned out of doors several times in Illinois and also in the state of New York because I was a Mormon. The Lord did preserve me all the time I was gone. At home I found brothers and sisters all well; my grandfather and grandmother were well. I was happy to get home and found Nauvoo flourishing; such crops, I never saw growing out of the earth before.

After resting myself and visiting, I went out to the farm where Jeremiah (my brother) lived and worked with him through the summer. We concluded to build a house on the farm. We therefore commenced getting materials together for that purpose. We cut hay on the prairie on share of one half. When our half was delivered in the city of Nauvoo, we sold it for $4.00 a load. By this means, we got ready to be brought from the kiln, when all of our work ceased. Our lime still lies there and our brick is in the kiln to this day for aknow about it. The devil commenced raging and the mobs commenced burning the houses of the saints in the surrounding country and the inhabitants had to flee for their lives to Nauvoo.

I went to Nauvoo and stood guard with the rest of my brethren. I went to put down the mob. We went to Warsaw and the town was all vacated. The devils had gone, so there was no fight for us. I shall only give an outline of my life here, as I kept no daily journal.

[Lorenzo worked on the temple during these last months.] We succeeded in getting the temple so nearly done that many thousands received their endowments during the winter. In the fall of 1845, Father Fuller and his family came to Nauvoo. I became attached to his daughter Hannah. In 1846, the 2nd or 1st of February, I with her received our endowments. On the 3rd of February, 1846, I was married by Bishop Hale to Hannah Elizabeth Fuller.

My father-in-law requested me and Daniel Mcarthur and Guy Barnum to go with him into the wilderness as he had wagons and money to buy teams with which to take all his family. The brethren aforementioned had married his daughters which made about twenty persons. The Church had agreed several months previous, to leave Nauvoo. We complied with the request of the old gentleman. The property left of my father's estate--which belonged to us--was worth $3000 before this difficulty came upon us, but at this time couldn't be sold at all for any price. So of necessity I was obliged to comply with the request as I had no means to take me away. We fitted up the wagons, broke the cattle, got all things ready and on the 27th of February, I bade my friends farewell and we crossed the Mississippi River on the ice. We got to the camp about 3:00 P.M. where the brethren were.