Parley P. Pratt in Nauvoo
By Rick J. Fish
Prepared under the direction of Robert Grow,
President of the Jared Pratt Family Association
Feb., Parley issued a pamphlet, “An Address by Judge Higbee and Parley P. Pratt…To the Citizens of Washington and to the Public in General.”
Parley published “Millennium and Other Poems” (New York).
Feb. 19, Orson wrote a letter to the saints in Commerce, explaining that Brigham Young, H.C. Kimball, and Parley P. Pratt had joined him in NYC, and that they were all preparing to sail to England soon.23
Mar. 4, Parley and Orson Pratt attended a conference in New York, with Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Geo. A. Smith, and the saints from the area.24
Mar. 9, New York City, “…we [Parley, Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith & Reuben Hedlock] embarked on board the ship ‘Patrick Henry,’ for Liverpool, England. We were accompanied to the water by my family [Parley’s family], and by scores of the congregation, of both sexes.”25
Mar. 9—Apr. 6, The men spent these days sailing to England on the ‘Patrick Henry.’
Apr. 6, The company arrived in England after a rough passage of 28 days. After landing in Liverpool, Parley, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball went to the docks. “Elders Orson Pratt and George A. Smith, and Reuben Hedlock stayed on board to look after the baggage. About three p.m., Brother Young sent a small boat for them, and the boatmen piloted them to the same place, where they all met together, partook of the Sacrament, and returned thanks for their safe deliverance.”26
April, Parley issued a pamphlet called “An Address by a Minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the People of England.” This pamphlet will be twice reprinted in England and three times in the U.S.
In 1840, Parley wrote six tracts. He wrote ten altogether while he was in England for these two years. Half of these tracts were written in response to Anti-Mormon attacks.
Parley published a tract called “Plain Facts, whoing the Falsehood and Folly of the Rev. C.S. Bush” (Manchester, 1840).
Parley published a tract called “An Answer to Mr. William Hewitt’s tract against the Latter-day Saints” (Manchester, 1840).
Parley published a tract called “A Reply to Mr. Thomas Taylor’s ‘Complete Failure,’ & Mr. Richard Liverey’s ‘Mormonism Exposed’” (Manchester, 1840).
Parley published a tract called “The True God and His Worship Contrasted with Idolatry” (Liverpool, 1842).
Apr. 7, Parley and Orson were among the Twelve who greeted Elder John Taylor. They found Elder Taylor and others had already baptized about 30 souls in Liverpool.
Apr. 8, Parley and Orson were among the Twelve who journeyed by rail to Preston.27
Apr. 11, The Twelve met in Preston. Seven of the quorum were present including Parley and Orson.28
Apr. 12, The Twelve met in the Cockpit in Preston, and preached to a large assembly.29
Apr. 14, “A council of the Twelve, namely, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith and John Taylor, was held at the house of Elder Willard Richards, in Preston, England, when the latter was ordained to the Apostleship, — agreeably to the revelation,– by President Young, under the hands of the quorum present.”30
In addition, this was the first day of a three day conference held in Preston. Parlrey and Orson were in attendance all three days.31
Apr. 15, A general conference was convened in the Temperance Hall in Preston, where Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Parley were appointed a publishing committee for a monthly Church periodical to be called the Millennial Star. Orson Pratt was also in attendance at this conference.32
Apr. 16, Last day of a three day conference held in Preston, England. Orson and Parley were in attendance.33
Apr. 17, The Twelve met one more day in Preston, before embarking to their respective fields of labor.34
May, First issue of the Millennial Star was published. Parley composed a hymn expressly about this periodical entitled “The Morning Breaks, The Shadows Flee.” The lyrics to this hymn or poem appeared on the cover of the first issue.
Over the next several months Parley composed nearly 50 hymns and published them in his hymnal.35
May 18, Parley published “An Address by a Minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to the People of England.” This four page address was first published in Manchester. See April 1840.
July 6, A General Conference was convened at Manchester, in Carpenter’s Hall. Several of the Apostles were present. During this meeting, Parley was chosen President. Parley’s new hymnal was presented at the conference and accepted by a unanimous vote. Also during this conference, Parley received a letter from his family in New York informing him that they were dangerously ill of scarlet fever. After conferring with other members of the quorum, he concluded to return to New York and gather his family and bring them to England [since he expected to be in England for several years].
July-Aug., Parley left England immediately after the conference and spent the next 37 days on a ship crossing the ocean. He landed in New York and found that his family had recovered from their illness of scarlet fever. Parley preached in the area and then took a ship to Portland, Maine, where many of Mary Ann Frost Pratt’s family lived. None of Parley’s wife’s family had ever seen Parley before.
August, Parley wrote to the Times and Seasons saying, “By a recent letter from Elder O. Pratt, Edinburgh, we learn that the number of Saints is steadily increasing in that place.”36
Aug.-Sept., Parley and his family left Maine and traveled back to New York. They next obtained passage to England on another ship. The family consists of Parley, his wife Mary Ann, three children: Mary Ann Stearns, Parley Parker, and Nathan. They also bring along Mary Ann Frost Sterns Pratt’s sister Olive Frost who decided to accompany them to England.37
Oct. 7-8, The Twelve met these two days in connection with the conference. Both Parley and Orson were in attendance.38
Oct. 17, Parley’s family arrived safely after a long voyage. Parley resumed his editorial duties in Manchester and assisted in the publishing department and in the presidency of the Manchester Conference, and again became involved in the general presidency of the work in that country. In his absence, the Star had been published by Brigham Young and Franklin D. Richards.39
Dec. 28, Orson Pratt had converted 95 people in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Jan. 1, Brigham Young, Parley, and John Taylor attended a conference in Liverpool. The DHC also notes that Orson was in Edinburgh at this time.40
Jan. 19, Parley made a short visit to Bolton, England and then returned to Manchester.
Feb., Parley and others succeeded in printing 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon at Liverpool.
Apr. 2-7, The Council of the Twelve assembled in Manchester, in the Carpenter’s Hall. (Nine members of the Quorum were present including Parley and Orson Pratt. All of the members of this Quorum decided to conclude their missions and return to Nauvoo except for Parley. He thought he should remain in England so the publishing and printing work could continue.41 It was also resolved that the day appointed to leave Liverpool for America would be the 17th day of April.42
Apr. 11, Parley and Orson both preached on this day in Manchester.43
Apr. 15, Parley and Orson were among the nine members of the Twelve who sign an epistle to the saints in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man.44 Following this letter, several members of the Twelve, including Orson, left Manchester, and journey to Liverpool45.
Apr. 16, Orson wrote to Parley in Manchester. He informed his brother that on March 30, he had left George D. Watt in charge of upwards of 200 members in Edinburgh.
Sometime this year Parley published a tract(s) called “An Appeal to the Citizens of the Empire State. By an Exile of Missouri. A letter to Queen Victoria. The Fountain of Knowledge, Immortality of the Material Body, Intelligence and Affection.” (Also see Jan. 1844). In addition, he also published, “A letter to the Queen, Touching the Sings of the Times, and the Political Destiny of the World” (Manchester).
June 2, Olivia Pratt was born to Parley and Mary Ann. She was their second child of four children.
June 4, Heber C. Kimball wrote a letter to Parley saying that the Twelve started home to Nauvoo this day. He said that Orson would remain in New York to republish his Edinburgh pamphlet. Heber also said that “Your brother William is well.”47
Sept. 21, Parley and Amos Fielding chartered a large new ship called the “Tyrean” and sent 207 Saints to Nauvoo.48
Oct. 17, The Manchester Conference was convened at Carpenter’s Hall. Twelve branches were represented, consisting of 1581 members with appropriate officers.
Nov. 8, Parley sent out the ship “Chaos” with about 170 members headed for America.
Dec. 1, All twelve members of the Quorum of the Twelve (including Parley & Orson Pratt) sign a letter condemning stealing.49
Dec. 25, On Christmas Eve, several members of the Quorum of the Twelve spent the evening with Hiram Kimball. Mr. Kimball was a wealthy land owner who lived in Nauvoo prior to the Mormon’s arrival. As a gift, Mr. Kimball gave each member of the Quorum “a fractional piece of land lying on the west side of his second addition to Nauvoo.”50 It appears that Parley was given Block 13 Lot 1, while Orson Pratt was given Block 13 Lot 4, which lies directly south of Parley’s allotment.
It is difficult to know if this was a free gift or just an option for the later purchase of the property since Parley buys this exact piece of land from Ethan Kimball (Hiram’s brother) on Oct. 31, 1842 for $50.
On the bill of sale it has Ethan Kimball as the person selling the land while his brother Hiram also signs the document as Ethan’s attorney.51
In 1843, Parley sold a portion of his lot to Elisha H. Graves. On Oct. 14, 1844, Parley and Mary Ann sell the remaining portion of Block 13 Lot 1 to Eliza Chandler for $60.52
Jan. 1, “I [Joseph Smith] again have the pleasure to report the location of the Twelve Apostles. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards are in Nauvoo. Geroge A. Smith, in Zarahemla, Ohio. Orson Hyde in quarantine at Trieste, Italy. Parley P. Pratt in Liverpool. Lyman Wight in Ohio. William Smith in New Jersey. John E. Page somewhere in the Eastern States.”53
Jan.-Mar., Parley went on several short missions to the Isle of Man, Middlewich, & Norwich. On the Isle of Man, Parley said, “…and after preaching to vast multitudes the plain truth of the Scriptures, they would mock and make light of the Bible, and everything quoted from it.”54
Mar.-Apr., Parley published “The World Turned Up Side Down, or Heaven on Earth…” (Liverpool).
May 15, A conference of the Church in Great Britain was held in Manchester.
May 29, William wrote from Nauvoo to Parley in Liverpool, England. William informed Parley that their mother arrived in Nauvoo at William’s home last November. He also states that their brother Anson wanted to come to Nauvoo, but was too poor. William thanks Parley for sending him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He also thinks Parley for sending some issues of the Millennial Star, and lastly for a dress Parley had sent to William’s wife.
William continued to explain that he had moved from Fulton Co. in the middle of August 1840, and that his wife was taken sick the next month (September). He also revealed that he was too sick from September 1840 to the spring of 1841 to accompany Parley on his mission to England as Parley had requested.55
June.-Aug., Parley preached and wrote several pamphlets. During these months he was also editing the Millennial Star.
July 17, Brigham Young wrote a letter from Nauvoo, to Parley in Liverpool, explaining Orson’s difficulties. “Br. Orson Pratt is in trouble in consequence of his wife (Sarah). His feelings are so wrought up that he does not know whether his wife is wrong, or whether Joseph’s testimony and others are wrong, and do lie, and he [Orson] deceived for 12 years or not; he is all but crazy about the matter. You may ask what the matter is concerning Sister P[ratt]. It is enough, and Doct. J.C. Bennett, could tell all about himself and his *** enough of that. We will not let Br. Orson go away from us. He is too good a man to have a woman destroy him.”56
Sept.-Oct., Parley chartered four ships for emigrating saints to sail to New Orleans. The first ship was the “Sidney” with 180 souls including the Cannon family. The “Medford” was the second ship which could carry 214 souls. The third ship was the “Henry” with 157 saints. The last ship was the “Emerald” with 250 passengers including Parley and his family.57
Sept. 17, Orson put an ad into the Hancock County paper (The Wasp) announcing that his university courses would start on Sept. 26, “at a building situated a few rods north of the Temple” (probably his own dwelling on Parley’s store). The tuition for the quarter ranged from $2.50 for reading and writing to $10.00 for differential and integral calculus.58
Oct. 29, The ship “Emerald” left England and arrived ten weeks later in New Orleans in Jan. of 1843.59
25 Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 300.
26 DHC, vol. 4, 104.
27 Journals of Orson Pratt, 116.
28 Times and Seasons, June 1840.
29 Journals of Orson Pratt, 116.
30 DHC, vol. 4, 114.
31 DHC, vol. 4, 115.
32 DHC, vol. 4, 115.
33 DHC, vol. 4, 115.
34 Journals of Orson Pratt, 116.
35 The volume titled A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe was printed in Manchester, England, in 1840 under the direction of Brigham Young, PPP and John Taylor. It was the second hymnal of the church and was known as the Manchester Hymnal. It was similar to Emma smith’s first hymnal in title and for the fact that it was printed only text or poems without musical bars or set melodies. The Manchester Hymnal was published in twenty-five editions through 1912. See Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories & the Messages, Karen Lynn Davidson, 1988, 10-11.
36 Times and Seasons, vol. 2, 230.
37 The Times and Seasons reports that they left in September. Times and Seasons, January 15, 1844.
38 Journals of Orson Pratt, 125.
39 DHC, vol. 4, 224-5. In the DHC, vol. 4, 254, it suggests that the tract probably came out in September and not October. This tract also contained the first version of what would become the Articles of Faith.
40 DHC, vol. 4, 256.
41 DHC, vol. 4, 324.
42 DHC, vol. 4, 326.
43 Journals of Orson Pratt, 132.
44 DHC, vol. 4, 344-8.
45 Journals of Orson Pratt, 138.
47 Whitney, The Life of Heber C. Kimball, 312-6.
48 See Appendix 2.
49 DHC, vol. 4, 466.
50 DHC, vol. 4, 484.
51 See BYU Archives, MSS 7, Box 2, Folder 6, for a copy of the bill of sell and deed to the property. Also see Historical Department, NRI collection.
52 See BYU Archives, Mss 7, Box 2, and the Historical Department, NRI Collection for the deeds and bills of sell.
53 DHC, vol. 4, 490.
54 Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 319.
55 Information supplied by Glenn Rowe. Also see LDS Church Archives, Parley P. Pratt Collection, Correspondence, 1842-1855, Msd 897 fd. 1.
56 Journals of Orson Pratt, 561-2.
57 See Appendix 2.
58 The Wasp, Sept. 17, 1842.
59 The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, page 325, says the ship left on Oct. 29; however, in Volume 5 of the Documentary History of the Church, page 180 (subsequently DHC), edited by B.H. Roberts, says they left on Oct. 25, 1842.