LIFE AND HISTORY OF PHINEAS W. COOK
 

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Section 15 September 1855- March 1856  
 

I now return to the subject of our liveing and proceed to state our circumstances during the year of 1856 and the most prominent events which transpired

In September 10 day 1855 a young man was brought to me by his father whose name was Salkield he wanted to bind him to me for four years, and it was agreed that I should furnish him his cloathing and board and send him to school three months each year he was 14 years old and quite awkward to begin with he helped me 2-1/2 months and then began to go to school and he continued his three months and lived as the rest of my family, in spring his father said I was going to leave the city and he said his son could live with me no longer. I told him I did not feel satisfied for I could not offerd to keep him in such hard times so long for what he had done finealy it was agreed that we would leave it to John Young and we both went to his house but he, Salkield went on with so much abuse that he left the house in disgust, and 1 proposed that he should pay me twenty five dollars to which he agreed to pay by the next Chirst-mass but finely when it was due he refused to pay it and thus the matter was ended

The 7th day of Feb'y I went to Ann Snedaker and asked her to trust me with fifteen bushels of potatoes which she was very loth to do I promised to pay her one dollar a bushel in city scrip and if she would let me have the Lord would bless her and finely after much persuation she consented in a few days I went and paid her as I had promised haveing obtained it for my services as water master I put an addition to the back side of the house and done considerable repairing to the other part,

I made a bellows for a blacksmith by the name of Russel he paid me a plow and some poles for the rafters to the addition I also made a cupboard for Lorenzo Young he paid me alittle milk for the babies and some meat and left a balance due me of three dollars the job amounted to twenty three dollars

This was about the last work 1 could get and get any provisions for And I started out to sell my coat for some flour or some kind of bread stuff and traveled through the city the most of the day and could get nothing I finely saw Jedediah M Grant he said he would give me some work for which he would pay me part money I told him I would gladly do it if I could by flour for money and after hunting for sometime I got one hundred pounds of Levi Stewart on the strength of his (Grants) promice at 10 cts a Ib and went to work and he paid me and I paid for my flour After I had finished his work he asked me rny price I told him I had no price he could pay me what he thought fit. After this Levi Stewart furnished me some work but it was at a vary low rate I received a little flour and some beef bones that neither he nor I could eat as to meat thare was but vary little and what thare was we could not eat at 7 cts a pound it was sour I again saw bro Grant and asked him for something to do and some bread stuff he said he had no flour and could not furnish me provisions of any kind he had some work and he could pay me a little money. I told him my family must have provisions I was willing to work for him at his own price if I could get bread. After spending sometime hunting around I could not find any flour for sale and I dared not begin his work

About this time I learned that a new settlement was to be made at Summit Creek Utah County under the direction of Isaac Morley senior and Benjamin F. Johnson And Father Mor-ley as we always called him invited me to join in the enterprise I told him if it was council from the presidency I would go Being vary familiar with bro Grant I asked him what he thought of it, he said he had no council for me I had always been with bro Brigham and I might go to him for council which I felt vary willing to if I could get the chance but he was most always buisey and it was luck and chance to see him and get in a word edgeways for thare was always so many tnat wanted to talk with him I did not like to trouble him

But having no other way to do as I thought I determined to go and see him and ask his council This was the 12th day of March I found him standing in tne office door it was in the morning and thare was none but bro Kimball and Carrington presant I asked him if he had a few leasure moments as I wished to get some advice He said yes come in and take a seat so we walked into the back room and I sat down on a sofa or lounge I said I had done the best I could but in spite of my best endeavors I was about out of provisions but I did not wish to murmer or find fault I could not get labor that would furnish my family with provisions but the times ware hard and bread was vary scarce but I did not consider anyone was to blame I had been invited by Father Morley to go with Mm to Summit Creek and I would like to get his council on the matter if he had no objection He said he had expected to see me in that position before now you have stood it longer than I expected he said if you had staid here and continued to work for me you would have had your rations with the rest of my workmen whether you was in debt to me or not but you saw fit to go away contrary to my wishes. I said I never thought of leaving him untill he told me to go He said he never told me to leave but I was teasing him to let me work for bishop Hunter and others and he concluded to let me have a chance I said I never knew that Bp Hunter had a days work for any man untill after he told me to go for myself or anyone else He said I was a liar and I knew it, as for council he had none for me he did not care whare I went to or what I done for a liveing I was enthusiastic in my religion I was running here and thare to no purpose when I might as well do all my erands at once I took a journey for each on the same rout and refered to his own way as doing all his buisness at one journey. And seemed to condemn me in almost everything that came into his mind. To me this was entirely unaccountable I new for myself that I had been faithful to him and had tried to build him up with all my might and why he should thus chastise me was indeed a mystery, I felt as though I should sink into the earth I could not reconcile my feelings I felt that death would be a welcome guest to me I had forsaken every earthly friend or kindred for the sake of the gospel had felt proud that I could boast of being a servant to him notwithstanding myself and family fared hard many times lived short many times without anything in the house but bread and many times a scant allowance of that After he had concluded his remarks to me I arose from my seat and said good by bro Brigham and left the house I cannot discribe my feelings I was now entirely without friends and new not what to do I was in debt and no way to pay had a large family and nothing to eat for days I could think of anything else until I grew angry and gave vent to my thoughts by saying he had had my laber and my money and all my influance and he was unthankful and found he could get no more out of me and this must be the cause for thare could be no other cause I had labered for him either directly or indirectly for nearly nine years and I had been faithful to the utmost,, and he well new it and his feelings must have arisen out of a spirit of revenge or malice I then determined to leave the city and go out into some of the settlements whare I should be likely to get food for my family and went about immediately making arrangements for that purpose Thare was due me from the avails of the mill in Sanpete a considerable amount and I sent to them demanding a yoke of oxen and waggon and some provisions if possible. 

The same day I saw bro Brigham I went back and had another talk with bro Grant he seemed vary friendly I told him all that had passed and said that he and bro Brigham had both refused to give me council and I knew no other way to do now but to fish and cut bait for myself for I was forced to do business on my own hook he said that I should make money at that

I settled with the clerk of the city and received pay for services rendered in city scrip I bought some cotten yarn to make a seine for fishing expecting to get fish if nothing else to live on We made twine and knit the net or seine ourselves I pawned a work stand to Williams Camp for flour he aided me considerable in procuring provisions while I remained in the city he went to Orson Hyde and William Prices store (for I had found that they had a few pounds of flour for sale) He asked Price to trust me saying if he would trust me for two dollars and a half he would do the same but Price refused to do it. He Camp let me have some flour from time (to time) and took his pay in city scrip which was a great help I pro -posed to Hiram Clawson to take back the house as I had no way to pay for it I said I would pay rent for it while I had lived in it andhe said they would do it they charged me seven dollars a month for the use of it thirty months which amounted to two hundred and ten dollars. I found myself still in debt according to their books about five hundred dollars and I had labered all the time, but I was ownly allowed two dollars and fifty cents a day for my laber as foreman on his big house and many common hands were allowed three. I also thought it rather hard but I felt that I would not find fault. I had got about ready to leave the City ownly I had not yet received the oxen and waggon but was looking for it every day

The 7th day of April I saw Thomas Thirstin I told him I was going to leave the city he asked me what was my notion I told him I could not get provisions in the city and I must do something I was going to try to get me a farm if possible to rais my own grain. He said if I would take his advice he would furnish me with provisions till harvest I said I would do any way that was right for the sake of getting something for my family to eat He said he owned a house and city lot in the sixth ward and if I would move thare and build him a house like bro Grants I could work his lot on shares and he would furnish the material and I could put up his house. Previous to this about six months he had promised to give me one of his daughters for a wife and I thought he felt an interest in my welfare and I agreed to build his house for fifty dollars less than I did Grants for the sake of getting provisions. So I took his word and moved into his house. It was a dirty place and hardly fit for a dwelling place for human beings thare was no floor and it was about 12 by 15 feet squair one roof and that was flatt I got a tent and pitched it at one end to make room for us He was to furnish me flour or wheat to last us till harvest and I was to wait on him for the rest till fall. I moved the 10th of April. It seemed a great contrast after liveing in a comfortable house and so suddenly changeing it for a miserable hovel but I felt to do any way rather than be in debt. I was vary unwell at the time I felt greatly troubled about what had hapened so much so that it wore my flesh away that I weighed 130 pounds and my usual weight was 148 pounds. After fixing around and getting some wood and my heifer from Moredocks herd I started the 16th on foot to see Thirs-tin about some grain and material for his house. It was 15 miles for me to walk he promised to be down a few days and bring me some wheat and get some lumber for me to go to work on for his house. I returned late in the evening completely over done with the days trip the next day I was confined to my bed. I had chills and fever and had a pain in my finger which proved to be the eyeresypelas it was full of inflamation and great pain I asked the Lord to heal me And it was manifest to me that I had done wrong for finding fault with bro Brigham and I must repent or I had forfeited my right to live I promised to do better in future and as soon as circumstances would permit I would go and see him and make it right It was then manifested to me to call my three wives to lay hands on me and pray for me that I might be healed which I did the oldest being mouth for the others. I soon felt better. We had nothing in the house to eat but a little boiled wheat that I had laid up for seed. Ellen Green daughter of William Camp heard of our situation and had the kindness to lend us 15 Ibs of flour and a little tea and sugar for which may God bless her forever

About this time the 20th br Thirstin came down and brought me 4 bushels of wheat he charges two and a half dollars a bushel which is ten dollars. I hired Mathew Savage to take it to mill and bring home the flour. I paid again the flour borrowed of Ellen Green

25th received a yoke of oxen 11 or 12 years old at 135. 00 and an old waggon at 65. 00 and 5 bushels of potatoes of the avails of the mill at Sanpete The oxen was vary poor in flesh and one of them was sick and they ware not fit for service I turned them out after giveing them some tobacco that they might recruit

29th (April) ploughed the lot 30th planted it to potatoes and corn.

I had a great deal of trouble with my heifer she would cross the Jordon and leave her calf and I was vary feeble in health and had to walk three miles and back to get her but I at last tied a rope to her head and passed it between her fore legs and tied it over her back so as to keep her head down which prevented her from crossing after I had trimed my seine for fishing and went to the Jordon and caught a few which ware vary exceptable as we had nothing but flour and we felt vary saving of that desiring to make it go as far as possible 5th of May I went to look for a white heifer that ts one year old but could not find her found one of my oxen vary sic brought him up and give him some tobacco.

Tired out and vary unwell my last years laber has I fear ruined my constitution or at least I can not endure scarcely anything in shape of hardship 6th today feel some better went a fishing with br Bulin and Mathew Savage they are vary scarce in the Jordon did not catch any.

7th & 8th went fishing got 6 for my share for which I felt vary thankful 9th went to the mountain for wood 10th returned with a good load of wood but obliged to go to bed sick. Br Thirstin came in and said he had concluded not to build which had disappointed me in getting bread for my family, it is to late to get out and get in a crop I asked him what he thought I should do he had put me off till now and thare seemed no chan-^e left he said he did not know I would have to do the best I jould he could do nothing for me. I felt that he had been prejudiced by some one against me, I said I am resolved what to do I will leave your premecie^ as soon as I can the Lord assisting me, 10th rested llth went to meeting Sunday 1 met Dimic B Huntington and I told him all that had befalen me, and he told me that his lot had been some like mine but he felt to say that within 14 months I should prosper more than I had ever done before I met Jesse C Little and he said I must pay for my brandy at Godbies before I left for he was responcible I asked him to go with me across the street and we would see if I had not already done so when we came to the store he was informed that it was paid for and he went off seeming to feel ashamed of what he had done

I called to see John Young and he told me that stories of diferant kinds had been carried to Brigham against me as he had been told by Doctor Sprague who said he heard Jedediah Grant say that I had determined to do buisness on my own hook and I had the spirit of apotacy and many other like things, but he (John Young) said that I must be pacient God was no respec-tor of persons if I had been wronged it would return on the heads of those who had done it in due time

One thing must be noticed here which hapened two or three months ago Br Heber C Kimball said on the public stand that John Pack had refused to sell flour to the poor saints at any price and had sold 8000 Ibs to the Gentiles at 10 dollars a hundred and he belonged to the 70s but did not deserve the name and said that if the 70s suffered such things to be done by members of their quorums that God would curse them and censured all the 70 vary much for not disfellowshiping such members. The next day I met bro Kimball and asked him if his case aught to be considered before the quorums, he said yes and if you dont cut him off I'll cut you off. I asked him what coarse I was to persue or whare the testamony could be had. he said the gentiles themselves was testamony enough I asked him if such testamony would be allowed before a court of the priesthood he said yes. I then went andinformed Prest Joseph Young of what he Br Kimball had said. He told me that his case had been up the last meeting and I must object to the minutes of the meeting being excepted when they was read for he had been exhonorated by them, it seemed that bro Kimball wanted him cut off at all events.

As it was the day of the meeting I had no time to get my witnesses and when the minutes ware read I did as I was coun-ciled objected to the exception of them on the ground that I was not satisfied with them and it was laid over till the next meeting I went to see the gentiles in question and they refused to say anything about it and affirmed that it was every mans right to sell his flour to whom and at what price he chose I then went back to Br Kimball and told him about the matter and said I could not get testamony to substanciate what he had said and should be unable to sustain the charge and should be compeled to confess myself in fault He said he did not care I might confess then When meeting came on again it was called up and I arose and withdrew my objections and said as for myself I had no personal feelings against br Pack I done as I did because it was required as a duty of me but he was not satisfied he made a lengthy speech vindicating his inocence and related his many years experiance in the church and denounced me as a private individual and a man whose deeds could not be chronicled on the escutcheon of fame like his honored self etc etc

Phineas Young David Wilkins Wm Thomson Daniel Wood and Salon Foster all made corresponding speeches in turn. The question was at last asked me if I could prove what I had made as an objection. I said I could not I was then asked if I was sorry for what I had done I said I was not for I had done as I was told by my superiors but I felt that Bro Pack was to be ex-honorated for the want of Testamony. A resolution was then passed that any 70 who was thareafter found making br Pack a subject of conversation should be in danger of the council and the matter closed. Prest Joseph Young said the thing should never hurt me However this was said to me privately after the close of the meeting It now seemed that nearly every friend that I had ever had, had shook me off and I My realized that in God was my ownly trust and all men ware like myself cold changeable and universaly governed by interest or circumstances

Friday the 28th day of March by their own free will and choice my three wives went with me to the endowment house and ware each sealed over the alter each one have previously had the privelage of leaveing me if they chose as it would be far better to do so before this solomn ordinance was performed than to wait and become aleianated and want a divorce after
 

Journal Sections
  1. Brief history of Phineas' ancestry
  2. Childhood to 1838
  3. 1839 - Spring of 1843
  4. 1843 - 1845
  5. Conversion to the Mormon Church
  6. Leaving the family to join with the Mormons in the west 1845-46
  7. To Mechanicsville, Winter Quarters
  8. Winter Quarters 2
  9. Traveling West to Utah
  1. Settling in the Valley
  2. Run in with Indians
  3. 1851 - 1853
  4. 1854-1855
  5. Events of 1855
  6. September 1855- March 1856
  7. May - July 1856
  8. August - December 1856
  9. 1857 - Journal Conclusion