Archive for the ‘Jackman Family History’ Category

This is the second letter preserved in the Church History Library from Levi Jackman to his family (from the same manuscript and microfilm: MS 4453). The first letter was dated July 27th, 1835. In Levi’s autobiography, he marks the following day with this entry:

Tuesday, July 28 – (My birthday) I commenced work on the temple, and worked 194 days. The House was dedicated on Sunday, March 27, 1836. During my stay in this place I boarded with Elder Runals Cahoon. It was a fine family and enjoyed myself in their society. All the important circumstances that took place in these days are recorded in history. I would only say that I believe that as great things were heard and felt and seen as there was on the day of Pentecost with the apostles.

Depending upon how he counted (days of the calendar, work days?), this would conclude his his construction efforts on the Kirtland temple around February 7th, 1836. This second letter is dated February 26th, 1836,right around the time that his work on the temple had concluded. In his letter, he makes mention that the lower room is in the hands of the painters. As Levi was a carpenter, this would have meant that his work there would have been done, though there is no word on whether he continued to work on other portions until it’s dedication nearly a month later in March. Meetings were being held in the building before the dedication, so Levi’s work was probably wrapping up, and his homesickness is evidenced in this letter:

Kirtland, Feb 26th 1836

Beloved wife and family,

I again sit down to write a few lines to you. I sent a letter last week and at that time I could not get any money and I thought it doubtful when I should get any, but very luckily and equally unexpected, Brother Cahoon got some and let me have five dollars this week and I improve the first opportunity to send it. The mail goes West tomorrow P.M. and it will not likely reach you the last of March. That will be some time from this time when I am writing it, and for the very cause that the distance is so great.

And while I am running my pen along over the paper, I reflect and say is possible that I am at so great a distance from my family, is it a fact that eight or ten hundred miles lays stretched along between me and the wife of my bosom, the choice of my youth, and with her our children, the pledge of our love, the gift of Heaven, and not only so, but an aged mother who has been a partner with us through prosperity and adversity, whose prayers, together with the rest of my family, daily are sent to God for my welfare. And that is not all, with them are brethren and sisters with whom I have passed through seasons of joy and sorrow, seasons of prosperity and adversity, yea, as it were all things but death itself, who still love God and pray for me as I do for them. Yes, I have left them all and many and wide are the prairies, and many the widespread valleys of timber, and many and deep are the rivers that separate us, many has been the day since we parted, and many suns will set behind the southern skies before, before we shall enjoy each other’s society again. Many a songster of the grass will warble forth his note of gratitude to God from the widespread branches of the sturdy oak, and mingle their voices with their kindred songsters who choose a humbler seat amidst the violets and on the green shady willows beside the murmuring stream before we shall join our voices in praise to God in that place where you are which is so far from this.

Why have I made so great a sacrifice? Why have I torn myself from such a society? Was it for honor or riches or ease or pleasure or a good name among the world? This could not have been the object, but it was for the salvation of souls. This being the case, have I in any degree accomplished the business for which I started? I think I have.

I frequently receive letters from that little band in Illinois which were introduced into the Kingdom by Brother Baldwin and myself. They still remain steadfast and have eight or ten more added to their number and they say they thank the Lord that they ever heard our voices. They are getting ready to move on next summer, so I think that I have not left all for naught, for I think that when we and they shall meet together in our Father’s Kingdom and join with angels and the hosts of Heaven to sing praises to God and the Lamb, I think that our moment of this employment in the company in such a place would sink into everlasting forgetfulness [and] all that we have sacrificed to fetch it about, when we realize that through our suffering they [are] saved and crowned with us in the Kingdom of God.

Then let us be patient and not think that we are called to do hard things, even if we do have to be parted for a little season, it is all working for our happiness and for the happiness of others. I am sensible that you have many trials to pass through, having the charge of a family and in low circumstances of life and health, not having any land, neither home that you can call your own, living as pilgrims and strangers in a strange land and deprived of my company, having large boys to manage, and I do not know how they behave. I am sensible that you have trials which [are] grate and unavoidable, but one thing I do know, that is God is our friend and he will fetch things round for the good of his people in the end.

I do desire that the children would live in love and in obedience because such will be saved and well with Christ in heaven.

As it respects means, I have but little, we have had a good chain of winter, a few days ago[it] thawed some, but since that time we have had a real storm and it is now very cold.

The lower room is in the hands of the painters and I think in about three weeks it will be ready for meetings, ant it is likely the whole house will be done in April.

I suppose that you have heard that the second seventy have been chosen and Brother Follett is one of them.

It is a general time of health. The Hebrew scholars are mostly doing well. I informed you in my last letter that I was paying some attention to it, but for want of books, etc., I have deferred it until we get one established in Zion when I can attend to it [with] better advantages. Brother Phelps and many others can translate very well. A great many of the apostates have come back by the door. William Bunch has not come yet but he feels very bad many times.

I do not know of anything more of news at this time but I desire that meetings should be kept up that you all may be strengthened one of another. Tell the brethren from me to be faithful to watch and not faint for the day of redemption draws near and I hope that you all will be ready that there may not be anything to prevent the cause of God from moving on when it starts. Tell my brethren and sisters that I remember them all in my prayers and I want they should remember me. May God bless you all, amen.

Levi Jackman

(Exterior is addressed to:)

Paid 25

Angaline Jackman

Liberty, Clay County, Missouri

Levi’s eloquent and gentle words about his wife and his family have touched me, and brought the man to life. What a treat to have such a personal and intimate look at one of our ancestors!

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I recently made a trip down to the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, to try to gather some documents pertaining to my ancestor Levi Jackman. While some of the documents have been copied and distributed for many years, other documents seem to just be cropping up in the catalog, and don’t seem to have been distributed among family members, at least not among my branch of the family.

After following the slow and somewhat tedious policies of the Church History Library’s reading room, I was able to copy about 50 pages of documents. I’ll post them here as I get a chance to review them and transcribe them. There are still many documents that need to be copied, if anyone is familiar with scanning microfilm (very similar to the process at the Family History Library) and would like to go make some more copies, I’d love to have your help.

Anyway, here is my first transcription. It comes from a collection titled Levi Jackman Papers, under the call number MS 4453. I have standardized most of the spelling, and added punctuation for readability. There are a few words I could not figure out, if you know what they are, please make a note in the comments and I’ll correct it.

Kirtland, Ohio,

July 27 1835

Beloved wife and family, I suppose that you are waiting for a letter and think the time long since you received a letter from me. I have over run my time six or eight days on account of getting through and I got here yesterday morning.

Brother Baldwin sent a letter the day before we left our place of labor on Clear Crick, Ill., He did not say when we should start for we did not know but something might hinder us – but so it was that we started the next day. We baptized two that night and one the next morning, making in the whole at that place twenty three and they lay near our hearts. We left them in a flood of tears but thanks be to God they are strong in the faith and I hope to meet many of them where parting tears will not be known.

It is true I loved brethren before with great love, but I find that a greater degree is to be enjoyed after spiritually begetting them in to the kingdom after much labor in the spirit by night and day for a long time. Some of them would burst into tears when we spake of leaving them for some days before we left them, and I believe that many of them would been willing to shed their blood for our safety. But we left them and traveled the National road the most of the way to Columbus, Ohio, however we stopped at the place where Brother West baptized two when he went down and then in a prospect that some more will obey in that place, we found the people through Indiana to be a hard, blind, and wicked bit. They did not want to hear the gospel. None feed them that preached it, only for their money and if we had not had any money with us which we got by subscribers for paper, I do not know how we should lived. But the Lord knows how to ____ all things before ____ for his people.

We preached but once in Indiana and once in Ohio. Last Thursday we reached Head Portage on the canal. We found a fine church in that place. We met with them in afternoon, had a good time. We found Brother P. Pratt’s wife living with his mother. She has joined the church again but she is still out of health. We went to Sister Siddy’s sister. She is well and as nigh as I even learn she will go to that country as soon as Brother Cr. Coalts gets big enough. She informed me that sister Siddey was married. I acknowledge I was astonished beyond measure but I had to sit it down among the curiosity of the latter days.

We got a chance to ride as far as Aurora and from there I went to Hiram. I was informed that there was a church of about twenty members in Sholersville.

I got into the edge of Hiram about sunset. It would be in vain for me to describe my feelings while passing over the ground I once so frequently traveled and as I came to the place where we, with many others, obeyed the gospel, I stopped on a log which lay over the little stream on the upper side of the road. There I reflected on the times we so frequently resorted there to witness the solemn ordinance there administered. But great in the change, no prayer to be heard, no sweet singing to enliven and charm the soul, but there only remains the green grass on which we used to kneel and the little clean stream which glides along, making its way to the basin of the great deep. My mind still pursued the subject of the great fall of the once beloved Harvey, the changes of times and different scenes which we have passed through, etc. The whole scene was rendered solemn on the account that night was spreading its dark mantle and the bustle of the day was rushed to silence and I passed on, thanking God that my eyes had ever beheld the place and that I there obeyed the gospel.

I forbear dwelling on this subject. I went to Sister Hinkey’s. They was very glad to see me but the old man left the shores of time on the third of last May. The old lady and Sophronia is strong in the faith but Eber is rather  ____. The people in that place are all well. I was in a hurry to get through and started next morning. They send their love to you all. They are coming out as soon as they get their things ready. Brother Hamman came out here about four weeks ago and they (as I am informed) concluded to go to the Michigan. Daniel sold his farm, got two hundred dollars in cash, so Benjamin took Daniel’s family and went on as Daniel went back after Benjamin’s family. Platt is about as he ever was and went with them.

But as I before said, yesterday morning I got to this place. The Brethren are all well and engaged in the cause of the Lord. You will learn by the papers that the house is covered and the steeple nearly done. The prospect is that next season will fetch things for our joy if are faithful.

I intend write more on this subject in my next. I have not room to right in this but a few of the many things that I want to. I expected to have got a letter from you here but there is none. Fruit is very plenty. Brother Borsh (?) the head mason on the house has withdrawn from the church. I expect to work on the house for a spell and I shall send something for your help as soon as I can get a chance.

Brother Baldwin is well and will send a letter next week. We have finished our journey together in unity and peace. He has shone himself ______ as a preacher of the gospel on all accounts. He is a worthy brother.

I must conclude by exhorting you to be faithful. I am sensible that you are lonesome without me, but remember, dear wife and children and mother, that we are to receive the great blessings of the kingdom by sacrifice, and if you are willing to give me up to the Lord for a season, it is a sacrifice which is pleasing to the Lord and the Lord will give unto you the reward, and in the name of Jesus I exhort you all to be faithful and patient and as the Lord liveth, the day of your rejoicing is near at hand, for all heaven is engaged in it and the servant of the Lord are laboring night and day to fetch about the glorious day.

I exhort the children to obey your mother in all things and do it willingly, and pray much for yourselves and for me and for the redemption of Zion and for the day of rest for the people of God.

So I must conclude, remember my love to all the faithful brethren and sisters and may God bless you all, amen.

Levi Jackman

——

(Exterior is addressed to:)

Wife of Levi Jackman, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri. Paid, 25.

Below are the scans of the microfilm from which this letter was transcribed. Click on each to see the full image, then from that page you can right-click and save the image to your computer.

 

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