brilliancy would never have been dimmed or darkened. It was the false sympathy of apostates from the truth that took Sydney Rigdon from the fold of Christ.
In my former letter on page 3, I referred to Captain Jeremiah Hatch and did not properly explain the honor conferred upon him. It was after his retirement from the war that the honor of Captain was conferred upon him and he was made captain of a military company. He was, as you say, too young to become a captain in the army. [He was a fifer.]
My sister Adeline gave me some information about grandfather which she received from Uncle Josephus Hatch. After the death of his father, our great grandfather, his mother bound him out to some man to raise. Not being treated as he thought proper, he was induced to run away from his employer. He was sent to mill with a sack on his back. On the way he found a recruiting officer and was induced to run away and join the army, but not being of the standard height required, was placed in the ranks of music as a drummer boy.
His mother was of Scotch descent, having left Scotland with her father who had high rank in the government of the old world. He became obnoxious to the King and fled with the Pilgrims to America. His name was Purnell, and our grandmother’s [great grand] name was Achsah Purnell. After grandfather married, his mother always lived with them. She was a woman of great gifts.
Grandfather Hatch had three brothers and one sister. The sister married a man by the name of White and lived in Ohio. On our way to Nauvoo, my father hunted up this Aunt. Her son was a hotel keeper. The old lady was very much pleased to meet her brother’s son (or my father).
I remember that we stopped and visited for one day and the company went on to Kirtland. I presume some trace of them could be made at the present time. The place must have been thirty miles east of Kirtland. Her name, I think, was Mary.
We had an uncle who died at about twenty-one years, next older than our father. His name was Abram Chase Hatch. At his death the relatives were much distressed and disappointed as his attainments were of the highest order to become a political leader and reformer of the religious views of that age.
My father and this uncle believed in universal salvation for all the children of men. They believed that God was just and merciful. Much prejudice prevailed against the sect, and my father held discussions with eminent teachers of different views. These discussions were in writing but he had to quit a book which would have been published had he not met with the elders of the Latter-day Saints. Our grandfather and grandmother held to the same views as did Uncle Josephus.
Our Uncle Abram had a wonderful memory and could listen to a sermon of length, return home and repeat it, giving chapter and verse, so said my highly cultured
grandmother. Grandmother was well versed in the Holy Bible and to her I am indebted for what has been my life’s work of expounding the scriptures. She would call on me to read while she worked and she could correct any mistakes I made. The Bible was an open book to her.
I would be pleased to converse with you about our grandmother and other matters relative to the family. She had a brother by the name of Charles Haight. He was a large, tall man, being six feet, three inches tall. He lived at a place called Ferisburg, Vermont. I saw him when on my first mission in 1844. He was about seventy-five years old and was quite smart. He was active and treated me with great courtesy. He was de-lighted to hear from grandfather and his sister Elizabeth. He got out an appointment for me to preach and I held services in his house. His wife believed my testimony and wanted to be, baptized, but the old gentleman wanted more time to investigate. I expected to have seen them again, but when I went to visit them again they had gone away on a visit. I remember the date, June 20, 1844.
About your views of the Bible, they are same as my own, and I will here state that your father was a friend of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He was made a Free Mason in Nauvoo, and was associated with these great men in the same lodge. He was very kind to me and I expected to find him when I returned to Nauvoo. After my father, he came next, but alas I was disappointed.
The parties that were owing the estate of my father apostatized and never paid their notes. My Uncle was in Pennsylvania. We as a family were left without means. I never blamed your father. I believe he did the best he could to get in the debts that were due the estate. Those were troublesome times in Nauvoo, Hancock County, and your father sent out to allay the excitement that resulted in the death of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. He vindicated in an able manner the rights of the Mormon people. His defense was able but unavailing.
There is much that I would like to say about our ancestors, but I will have to close by asking you to give my kindest regards to your family, and to cousin Charles, your brother, and hoping that I may live to meet you on this side of the great river, but if not I am sure we will meet on the other side. This work called Mormonism will never cease, but will go on. It will revolutionize the religious world. It is the kingdom that Daniel, the prophet, spoke of which the God of Heaven would set up in the last days--it would stand forever, and it should not be given to another people.
From your Cousin,
Lorenzo Hill Hatch
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November 14, 1903