An address written by P.P. Pratt to be read at the Pratt Family Pioneer Jubilee Reunion, July 21st 1897 by Nephi Pratt.

Relatives and friends: – As president of this reunion, I bid you all a hearty Welcome – Welcome thrice Welcome to our Pratt Family gathering.

All hail to this year of Pioneer Jubilee! I Had desired greatly to meet with you, and address you and give to each one a personal kindly greeting; but as my Heavenly Father has suffered me to be brought down at this time to the portal of death, I shall have to be satisfied to write from a sick couch, a few broken sentences or thoughts, as they may be suggested by the Holy Spirit.

I feel thankful that I have been born of goodly parents. I feel thankful that my lot was cast among a God-fearing illustrious people. I feel thankful that my life has been spared to see this auspicious year of Pioneer Jubilee. I am in full sympathy with these family reunions, and take pleasure in contributing my mite for their success. This should be a time for the interchange of thought, – a day of rejoicing, – a day long to be remembered

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These walls should resound with oratory, with music, and with songs of praise and thanksgiving until every heart is softened is softened and made glad.

I was born, – as a child of promise; March 25, 1837 at Kirtland Ohio. Soon after when my mother died I was put to nurse upon the breast of Mary Ann Angel Young, – wife of Brigham Young; who was nursing her baby boy Brigham Jr., – this fact brought to my knowledge by Pres. Young himself, makes apostle Brigham Young my foster – brother  While I was being reared by her hands, my father, for conscience sake, lay in a “dungeon bound with chains”.  Making his escape from prison he fled to Nauvoo where my early boyhood was spent. I was acquainted with the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum, and I have never had, during my life, a doubt, regarding their Divine Mission. When eight years of age I was baptized in the Mississippi river, by my uncle, Orson Pratt.

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Owing to the spirit of Political and Religious intolerance, my father and family, with many thousands of Saints, -including myself, -fled from Nauvoo. We crossed the Mississippi River on the ice in February 1846. Just as we were approaching the western shores of the river my fathers wagon broke thro’ the ice, and my stepsister Mary Ann, was thrown into the river and nearly lost her life. In our pilgrimage to the West through the wilderness of Iowa, under the leadership of Brigham Young, we suffered many hardships and privations. We had snow and sleet, hail and thunder, lighting and torrents of rain, being often drenched to the skin. Often I awoke in the night, when sleeping in a tent, or under a wagon, and found myself sleeping in pools of water. We spent the dreary winter of 1846 and ’47 at Winter Quarters, on the banks of the Muddy Missouri, when for want of the necessities of life, many of the Saints died with skurvy <scurvey> and fever. Marion Brady, – now a prominent man at Union Fort, and

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myself were the “Cowboys” of the camp, at Winter Quarters, in the spring of 1847. The Omaha Indians being hostile, at times, when we were out in the rolling hills with our cows, they would take a shot at us with their bows and arrows. At one time an arrow stuck in a bush one or two feet from my person. As a boy I was some what mischevious quite early one morning in the latter part of March, I took a stroll down the banks of the Missouri river, when scarcely a stones throw from our log & sod cabin, I spied a big rattlesnake, which had just crawled out from under a bush to bask in the morning sun. Procuring a stick I began teasing the reptile; he rattled, squirmed, hissed, and glared at me; but I heeded not the warning. I seemed to be facinated to the spot and charmed with its movements The more he squirmed, the more I tormented the poor creature; when finally he coiled and was about to spring on me, George Whitaker, now a tried veteran of the 7th ward, came up

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behind me and seizing my collar rescued me from my perilous position.

ü I was present at Winter Quarters, when the Great Pioneer Company was organized; and saw them start out on April 5th 1847, under the leadership of Brigham Young, on their perilous journey across the plains.

Some weeks later three thousand Saints, and about six hundred wagons, followed in the wake of the Pioneers; Apostle John Taylor and my Honored father having the general supervision of these first companies of emigrating pilgrims.

The journey across the plains, to the fathers and mothers of Israel, was for the most part, one of trial, hardship, and sacrifice; to the young men and maidens, the “darkest clouds” had their “silver linings.”

The trip to me as a young boy, although sorely vexed at times, was one of interest, novelty, and pleasure. As the Camps of Zion, wended their way towards the land of promise, daily new scenes burst up on our view, and now

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and then we would <meet> a hunter and trapper or a band of indians decked with beads, ornaments, and feathers. The novelty and bustle of camp life, the neighing of horses, the lowing of the cows with their young calves, the deer, antelope and buffalo, and flocks of wild geese, the chase, and the crack of the hunters rifle, the fresh fish from the anglers hook, the vast plains and sunburnt hills the rocks, rills, and caves; the lone tree by the wayside, the cold springs, the oasis in the desert; the indian wickiup and grave; the wild flowers, and laughing children; the prairie fires and moonlight nights; the howling wolves and screeching night owls; the inspired Sabbath address and song of Zion, all filled my heart with delight and inspiration

Being provided, by my father, with an Indian Pony, my boy companions and I, drove cows most of the way across the plains. We drove them through mouth of Emigration Canyon, where we got a full view of the valley, Sept 28th 1847. In my boyish dreams I had fancied

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we were coming to a choice land; to a land of timber, grass, flowers, and gurgling brooks and springs; -but when I saw the parched soil, the alkali beds, the sage brush plain, the large black crickets, and halfstarved indians, my heart sank within me, and I felt we had come to a land of desolation, instead of a land of promise. How thankful we should be for our mountain home. for the Lord has changed the Desert into a fruitful field.

My strength fails me, and I cannot carry out the full design of this address, but I do desire to say that, -I have been acquainted with the leading men of the church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, all my life; with the Prophet Joseph Smith, with that great and good man Brigham Young the Apostle and Pioneer with Heber C. Kimball, Geo G Smith, Joseph Young, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, Parley P. Pratt, and our venerable President Wilford Woodruff whose life is spared to lead Israel; these mighty, heroic, self-sacrificing, Godfearing

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men, with others, have laid the foundation, under God, of a Theocracy which is to endure for time and eternity. It is expected that the sons and daughters, of these early pioneers of Religion, and the great American Desert; will build upon the foundation laid by their parents, until the earth shall be redeemed and man shall be placed upon a higher plain of intellectual, moral, and spiritual progress.

We should be true to God, to his priesthood; true to our religion, and true to each other, and loyal to our country, and its President.

My uncle Anson, William, and Orson, and my cousin John Van Cott, and my own father, were loyal and true men to their own convictions. My father attained to the administration of an angel, by whom he was touched, and spoken to; and awaked from a deep slumber. At another time while exploring at the head of Parley’s Canyon, he was wrapt in Vision for some time, and heard voices of a choir of heavenly singers: awakening he jotted down some of the verses of

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the hymn they sang: the tune he carried in his mind, which he, some weeks later heard repeated by two young sisters by the name of Glover. One of the last discourses, of my father, was delivered to a large audience in Cinncinnatti. He spoke for about two hours on the subject of revelation. His remarks were said to be the most eloquent that had ever been delivered in the city. For the benefit, more especially of the young, I desire to refer to an item of history in my fathers life never before published. In the fall of 1856 my father was stricken with a disease, and said to his family gathered around him – “my time has come to die”; – then President Brigham Young, Heber C Kimball, and others came to his bedside and said, -“Brother Parley, we cannot spare you, we desire to have you live to assist us in the work of the Lord” –when he replied, “Pray for me, that I may be healed, and that my life may be prolonged.” They then administered to him, and he recovered rapidly, spent the

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winter in preaching thro’ the settlements. In the following spring, 1857, he was sent on a mission to the States, and died as a martyr in fulfilment of Prophecy. Here is the item: In April 1836 some two days after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, father delivered an address in the Temple: The subject matter of the address, and the manner in which he deliverd it, impressed the Prophet Joseph: – when he threw his arm around the neck of Apostle Charles C. Rich, and delivered in his ear, in a whisper, the following remarkable prophecy: – “Brother Parley is valiant for the Truth, he will yet die as a martyr for this Cause.” Thus father had a lease on life of over eight months, and Prophecy after 21 years had a literal fulfilment.

We should all seek to know the Truth and to become acquainted with the spirit of revelation.  Personally I have had many things revealed to me as regards the past, present, and future I have been conducted by my own fathers hand, through Heavenly mansions, have seen

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their adornments and carvings: – and with wonder and amazement said to father, “Who is to occupy this beautiful palace?”  when he replied in a clear full voice, – “My own family.” During the last year I have delivered in Utah and Wyoming 93 addresses, on Pioneer Life and other subjects, and the compliments I prize most highly from Brother Richard Ballentyne, J.H. Putnam and others, ran as follows:- “Brothe Parley, we are glad to see that you have a great love for the work of God, and that you have the “Spirit of your Uncle Orson and father resting upon you” – the- “Spirit of Apostles and Prophets.”

As I feel that my life’s work is drawing to a close I trust I may be pardoned for referring so often to my own personal history.

Governors, rulers, and noted men now come to Zion, to celebrate and take part in our Pioneer Jubilee, but in the language of my sire past: The time will come when “Kings and Queens shall revere, and Nations, incense bring to Zion’s Temple and Zions King.” —

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[Transcribed by Rebecca Staker and Cheryl Brawn, May 2011]

Parley Parker Pratt; Parley P. Pratt Address, 1987; MS 581, folder 1, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.