Sunday, June 28, 2015

Martin Handcart Pioneer: John Jaques: 29

John Jaques traveled with his pregnant wife, Zilpah Loader Jaques and his 2 year old daughter.  John Jaques had served for some time with the Apostle Franklin Richards helping to edit the Millennial Star.  Several of his poems were published in this magazine, as was his catechism for Children, which became the church curriculum for children in Sunday School for some time.  His poetry put to music comprise two LDS Hymns including "Oh Say What Is Truth."  For his services Franklin Richards purchased him a rifle which he took on the trip.  During this period he is known for a letter which was published in the Millennial Star.  The letter was a rebuke of his  father-in-law and family which had traveled to New York, and was waiting a good circumstance to travel by wagon.  Jaques' letter basically said the way is open through the means of handcarts.  His father-in-law, James Loader would succumb to the pressure and the family traveled by handcart.  He said he would travel by handcart if it kill him, and kill him it did.
The daughter of John and Zilpah came down with the measles aboard the Horizon.  However she was nursed back to health.  John Jaques served as Captain of a 100 on the boat and with the handcarts.  He also served as the company historian, and kept a very good journal until the last crossing.  After this he wrote of the events, but from memory.
Zilpah would bear a son along the journey.  The family asked if she could ride in the sick wagon and permission was granted, but no family member could ride with her to attend to her.  Consequently the family decided to decline this and they got behind the rest of the company for a couple days.  During this rims they passed a large group of Indians, who helped them haul for a time.  This is also when Zilpah's father became ill.  They finally caught up with the handcart company, arriving in camp after midnight, and then having to be ready to leave again early in the morning.
John documents how the ice cut into his legs when the pulled through the Sweetwater River to Martin's Cove.  He became stuck in the river as the women were carried across, as his male companion who said he couldn't go through the river.  Valley boys came to his rescue and helped him across.  Close to the Green River, Flora would pass away.  They would take her body to the Valley where she was buried in the Franklin Richards plot, and the family taken in by the apostle.

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