Vilate Murray Kimball (1806-1867)

Two Letters from Nauvoo, June 1844

Nauvoo June 9th 1844.

My Dear Companion,

It is one week yesterday since I closed a letter to you. Although I have not spoken to you for a week, yet you have not ben out of my mind many moments at a time when I was awake; and when I am a sleep I often dream about you. I dreamed last night of being in Victor at Nathaniels with you. I thought we were very happy. I hope this will prove a true dream. Nauvoo never was so lonesom since we lived here as it is now. I went to meeting last sunday for the first time since Conference. I was so home sick the moment I got there, I should have turned rite about and came home a foot if I had not ben afraid it would make me sick. Joseph, Hiram, nor any of the twelve was there. Noah Packard preached and you may be sure I was glad when he got through. When I got home I found a man here from Fort Madison after a girl; Jennett went with him. His name is Webster, he said he was acquainted with you. I hope she will do well. The next day Backenstauce from Carthage came after her, seamed disappointed that she was gonbethis was monday last. I heard in the morning that Sarah was sick abead the day before. I went over to Br Nobles to see if he would take his wife and I up to se her towards night. He said he would, and acordingly did. We found her much better. She had had a turn of the nurves headake. I tried to have her come home with me, but she said she would wate till she felt better, then she would come and stay several days. I expect her this week.

Br. Nobles is very kind. He knows I am not able to walk much, he has invited me to ride with them several times. Yesterday he took his wife and I, down to Hibberds after cherries. They charged 10 cents a quart for what we brought home, but gave us what we wanted to eat. I bought 3 pints, and I believe I eat as many more, so I did not begrudge the money. I have had one mess of green peas. I bought 4 quarts at 4 cents a quart, when I got them shelled I had 3 gills. Thiss was paying dear for whistle, or the peas, but I do not begrudge myself any thing that I can eat now days, and I know that you dont nor never did. My health is very poor, my stumach loaths almost everything. I am so sick and faint that I cannot set up a good deal of the time. There is a cause for this, which cause you will no doubt rejoice in. A hint to you, is sufficient. William and Mary started for Ramus yesterday. I dont know whether they can get there on account of the bad roads and high water. The wether continues cold and wet. Br Whitney called here to day, said he had ben talking with Doctor Bernhisel. He thought the quorum had better get to gather and pray for the rain to be stayed, or we should all be sick.

June 11th William and Mary got home yesterday. They went to her Fathers, but could not get to Ramus. The bridges are all washed away in every direction, so that there is no passing nor repassing. I am sorry, for I was in hopes he would get that cow. But I do not know as we shall want cows or anything els here much longer. Nauvoo was a scene of confusion last night, some hundred of the Brethren turned out and burned the printing press [the Nauvoo Expositor], and all the aparatus pertaining to the office of the opposite party. This was done by order of the City Councel. They had only published one Paper, which is concidered a public nucence. But I donot know whether it will be considered so in the eyes of the Law or not. They have sworn revenge, and no doubt they will have it.

June 24th My Dear Dear Husband, various have ben the scenes in Nauvoo since I commenced this letter, I should have sent it before now, but I have ben thrown into such confusion I knew not what to write. This is not all. The mails have not come regular, eather on account of bad roads and high water or less they are stoped by mobs. I have not had a letter from you since the one you wrote back by the Ospry. I know your anxiety to hear from us must be very great, as you will no doubt hear of our trouble by report. Nothing is to be heard of but mobs collecting on every side. The Laws and Fosters, and most of the decenting [dissenting] party with their Families left here a day or two after their press was destroyed. They are sworn to have

Joseph and the city councel, or exterminate us all. Between three and four thousand brethren have ben under arms here the past week. Expecting every day they would come, the brethren were calld in from all the branches round to help defend the city. Joseph sent word to the Governor if he and his staff would come here, he would abide their desision. But insted of his comeing here, he went to carthage, and there walked arm and arm with Law and Foster, untill we have reason to feer he has cought their spirit. He sent thirty men in here dabefore yesterday to take Joseph and sent him a saucy letter, saying if these could not take him thousands could. He ordered the troops here to deliver up their arms, and dispers.

Yesterday morning (although it was sunday) was a scene of confusion. Joseph had fled and left word for the brethren to hang on to their arms and take care of themselves the best way they could. Some were tryed almost to death to think Joseph should leve them in the hour of danger. Hundreds have left the city since the fuss commenced. Most of the merchants on the hill have left. I have not felt frightened amid [it all] neither has my heart sunk within me, untill yesterday, when I heard Joseph [wrote] and sent word back for his family to follow him, and Br Whitneys family were packing up, not knowing but they would have to go, as he is one of the city councel. For a little while I felt bad enough, but did not let any body know it, neither did I shed any tears. I felt a confidence in the Lord, that he would presurve us from the ravages of our enemies. We expected them here to day by thousands but before night yesterday things put on a different aspect.

Joseph went over the river out of the United States, and there stoped and composed his mind, and got the will of the Lord concerning him, and that was, that he should return and give himself up for trial. He sent a messenger imediately to Carthage to tell the Governor he would meet his staff at the big mound at eight oclock this morning in company with all that the ritt demanded. They have just passed by here, on their way thare. My heart said Lord bless those Dear men, and presurve them from those that thirst for their blood. Their giveing themselves up, is all that will save our city from destruction. The Governor wrote if they did not do so, our city was suspended upon so many caggs of powder, and it needed only one spark to tulch them off, so you can see how he feels. What will be the fate of our dear Brethren the Lord only knows but I trust he will presurve them. If you were here, you would be sure to be in their midst. Thiss would increase my anxiety of cors.

Now I must tell you the fluctuation of mind I have had about going to met you. I saw Br Adams a week ago last saturday. He told me he had ben detained so long here, that he had concluded to take his wife with him when he went. Said if Helen and I would go with them, he would agree to take us to you. Said he had no money but he was acquainted with the captains of the different boats, and he could go to Sincinato [Cincinnati] without money, and there he could get what he wanted. He calculated then to be here last friday and stay untill to morrow when we were to start on the Ospry. I saw no prospect of going at all unless I took up with his offer. I asked councel of Br Whitney and others. They all advised me to go, so I went to makeing redy with all posable speed. But it was not three days before I heard they were agoing to write for the twelve to come amediately home. I saw Joseph passing by, and went out and asked him if it was so. He said yess, there was a prospect of trouble and they wanted you here, and you would want to be here. He also said you promised to return amediately and fetch him that money.

I came in feeling so disappointed that I could not help but shed some tears about it. Br Richards soon came along and told me to cheer up, said he did not aprehend any danger. Said he, hold on a few days, we shall not write yet at any rate, so I took courage again, but it was only to meet another disappointment. He called her[e] last friday. Told me he had just dispatched a messenger with letters to all the twelve to come amediately home, and fetch all the forse with them, that they could raze. This mesenger was to take the first boat and go down to St Lewis before he mailed them, as it is no use to mail them here. I knew nothing but what they were gone, untill Br Adams told me saturday evening, that was all counteracted and the mesenger did not go. They had concluded not to send for you, and said he, perhaps we shall go yet. That is the last I have seen of him. He preached here yesterday, and started for home last evening. I understand he has another mission appointed him. So I see no prospect of going east at present, although I never had stronger faith about any thing in my life. I have no desire to go and leve the children unless the excitement should wholely subside, which I do not believe it will at present.

My page is full, and I can only say may the Lord God bless and presurve us all to met again. I believe he will. The children all send love and glad wishes to their dear Father.

Sarah has ben here and spent a week with me. She is usually well, and not much frightened. Justen Jonson is agoing to take this over the river and mail it for me, so fare well my dear.

V. Kimball

Nauvoo June 30th 1844

My Dear Dear Companion

Never before, did I take up my pen to address you under so trying circumstances as we are now placed, but as Br Adams the bearer of this can tell you more than I can write I shall not attempt to discribe the scene that we have passed through. God forbid that I should ever witness another like unto it. I saw the lifeless corpes of our beloved brethren when they were brought to their almost distracted families. Yea I witnessed their tears, and groans, which was enough to rend the heart of an adamant. Every brother and sister that witnessed the scene fe[lt] deeply to simpathyze with them. Yea, every heart is filled with sorrow, and the very streets of Nauvoo seam to morn. Whare it will end the Lord only knows.

We are kept awake night after night by the alarm of mobs. These apostates say, their damnation is sealed, their die is cast, their doom is fixed, and they are determined to do all in their power to have revenge. Law says he wants nine more, that was in his quorum. Some time I am afraid he will get them. I have no doubt but you are on[e]. What makes me feer, is from a circumstance that took place when the legion was first called out to defend the city. There was several Drums found with blood on, no one could account for it. They examined to see how many there was, they found tenn, and while they were examining the eleventh there came a large drop on that. Wm has seen them; he says with all the drums have ben used the blood is yet plain to be seen. He has got two if he gets the nine more it will make eleven. But I try to submit all things into the hands of God.

I have felt oposed to their sending for you to come home at present and did not know as they would untill brother Adams called here a few moments ago, and told me he should start in about too hours. If I wanted to write I must send it to the mantion house within that time. So I have not time to say much, neither is it nesaceray as he can tell you all. My helth is geting better, the children are all well. I mailed a letter to you last monday directed to Baltimore. The letters you sent from Washington all came to gather last wedensday, and a paper. The mail has not ben in before for fore weeks. The letter you sent from Pitsburg I have never got. When I red your pressing invitation for me to meet you, and that you had got a witness that I should do so, I again took courage that some door would open that I should yet go. But Alass my hopes are all blasted. My constent prayer now is, for the Lord to presurve us all to meet again. I have no doubt but your life will be sought, but may the Lord give you wisdom, to escape their hands. My time is up to send this, so you must excuse me for I have writen in a great hurry and with a bad pen. The children all remember you in love. Now fare you well my love till we meet, which may the lord grant for his sons sake Amen.

Vilate Kimball