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The Missionary Journal Of Amasa Lyman Clark
November 1887

Journal of Amasa L. Clark

Nov. 22, 1887

I received a letter of inquiry from the first Seven Presidents of Seventies dated Sept. 20, 1887, desiring to know my condition and feelings in regard to peforming a mission if my service should be needed within the next three years. In answer I said I was willing to do what was required at my hands.

On the 3rd of Nov. 1887 I received a letter from President (Wilford) Woodruff stating that my name had been accepted as a missionary to the Southern States & that I was expected to start on the 15th of the same month. Before starting I moved (d) Alice my wife down to my fathers and according to arrangements started from Salt Lake City on the 17th of November via of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway. (p. 2)

Leaving Salt Lake (11-10 a.m.) I traveled south through an open country for about 15 mi. then descended into the river bottom of the Jordon where the train makes several nice curves. After abt 5 or 6 miles travel in the river bottom we came out on a level plain in Utah State, arrived at Provo at 1-10 p.m. here I met Bros. Moroni Dunford and Robert Skelton. Travel southeast through Springville and Spanish Fork and then up the Spanish Fork Canyon saw several charcoal kilns and a sand stone quarry and some slate colored rocky cliffs. The grade was so heavy another engine joined us until (sic) we reached Soldier's Summit (7465 ft above sea level) we then passed through Pleasant Valley which is not settled very much. Continuing down grade we pass through Price Canyon. (p.3)

It was quite difficult to construct a road through this canyon as it runs on the edge of rocky cliffs which shoot perpendicularly into the air for hundreds of feet. In the eve. We came to Castle Gate. The huge pillars of rock composing it are offshoots of the cliffs behind. One peak is 400 ft. high the other five (hundred). Travel over a desert company and arrive at Green River after dark. Had a talk with Wm Elliot of Rochester, Minn., an unbeliever in the Bible

Nov. 18 (Friday)

Wake up early in the morning and find myself traveling through up the Gunnison Canyon. (T)hrough this canyon runs the Gunnison River which flows into the Colorado. This canyon affords very beautiful (s)cenery. The road has been (p.4) constructed in the side of solid cliffs which hand over the cars and shoot into the air for hundreds of feet. Leaving the canyon we follow up the river through a small valley about a mile wide. In this valley are hundreds of acres of me(a)dowland. Saw great amount of hay and some nice beef cattle. Arrive at Gunnison for breakfast. Here another enjine (sic) joins us. Continue to the southeast from Gunnison up a very small canyon the grade being very heavy. At this time we begin ascending the Rocky Mountains. The grade becomes heavier averaging about 270 feet to the mile. We gradually ascend the mts winding around the hills forming very short curves. Near the summit the train runs around six miles of road in accompolishing three (p. 5) quarters of a mile. Reach the summit abt. Noon (10,952 ft above the sea). In de(s)cending the mountain the train runs around similar curves forming curves a great deal like a letter S. On arriving at the bottom Moroni Dunford pulled a tooth for me. From the foot of the mt. We run through a very narrow valley out into a plain country between two ranges of mts. In this valley are several small villages among which is Poucho. Here we cross the Arkansas River & follow it down through Grand Canyon. This canyon is about 30 mi. long and is very narrow.

At one place it is so narrow that one end of a bridge is held up by two iron beams which extend above the track from one side of the canyon to the other. (T)he other end is fastened to the cliff (p.6) Along through these canyons are found several (cake) kilns. The fire in the(s)e kilns burns from (to) bottom. After leaving this canyon we follow the Arkansas River southeast opening out into the great planes (sic). Leaving the beautiful rocky mts. In the west. We soon arrive at Cannon City Col. Which is the same altitude as Salt Lake City also growing the same products. Here is situated the state prison of Colorad(o). This (is) a great mining district---coal. Forty miles farther brings us to Pueblo. Was much surprised to see the streets running off in different direction(s). Arrive(d) here at 4-25 p.m. Change cars for Kansas City. Leave via. Of Atchison (Topica) & Santafee at 6.50 wide. Travel through planes all night crossing the line between Col. (p.7)

Nov. 19 -(Saturday)

And Kansas about 12-30 a.m. Wake up in the morning and still on the planes. The soil seems to be a light cast containing alkali and other minerals. Many towns & villages are built along the railroad. Corn is the principal product.

In the eastern part of Kansas the land seems to be better & several coal mines are also found here. Arrive at Kansas City at 5-10. While here I visited the Cable line also went out and saw the Missouri River by moonlight. The population is about 200,000. Streets run in different directions.

Leave here at 9-20; via., of Fort Scott, Gulf R. R. Rode in a chair-car. We are at this point coming into the forests of white oak and other trees. Travel all night (p.8)

-20- (Sunday)

The cotton plant soon begins to appear but is not cultivated as extensively as corn (and) (lumber). Travel south-east through Missouri & the north-eastern part of Arkansas. Receive telegram that the trussell (trestle) works are burned. Have to run around another road which is a great deal farther causing us to be late to connect with the other train at Memphis. Cross the Mississippi about 10 ( p.m.) on a ferryboat-Charles Marion. Was taken in & shown the barge engine, electric engine, driving-wheel etc. Arrived at Peabody House, Memphis about 11-50 p.m. This city contains 60,000 inhabitants. Stay all night and start for Chattanooga at 10 a.m.

-21- (Monday)

via of the Memphis & Charleston (p.9) Along the road are seen cotton field(s). A great many trees are cut from the forest. About one half the population seem to be Negroes. Droves of pigs are seen instead of herds of cattle.

This part of the country consists of rolling hills which are covered with trees. The people are generally very indolent. Children receive a very poor education having to work in the cotton from the last of April to late in the fall, sometimes until (sic) Christmas.

Travel from Memphis through the south-wester(n) part of Tenn., the north-eastern part of Miss., the northern part of Alabama, the north-western corner of Georgia, then back into Tenn. arriving at Chattanooga (p.10) 10 p.m. and go to the Kennedy House.

(Nov. 22) (Thursday)

In the morning take Dummy Line & go to Missouri Ridge. On this hill some hard fighting was done during the war between the north and the south. Obtained some wild raspberry leaves, also a (small) cedar bough from the tree where Gen. Bragg had his headquarters.

In the afternoon went and visited the ice factor(y) where water is distilled and frozen in vats by the use of compressed air.

Nov. 23 (Wednesday)

Bro. Morgan left for the west the 22nd with a company of Emigrants. Bro. Spry (Bro. Morgan's assistant) and Heber Rich, who was assisting Bro. Spry, came to the Hotel and gave us some instructions regarding our responsibility as missionaries and the manner in which we should (p.11)


Conduct ourselves. Bro. Robt Skelton was appointed to labor in Clay Co., Tennessee. Bro. O. P. Jensen & myself were sent to Ezell, Spartanburg Co., S.C. Bro. Skelton started the next morning Nov. 24 abt. 5 o'clock. We were to start at 9.10 but on account of having to meet Bro. Spry we did not go until, 1- p.m. Arrived in Atlant(a) at 6:50 p.m. , after traveling about 150 miles through a rolling country covered with pine, hickory, oak, and other trees. Could not make connection at Atlanta and stayed all night there. The people of Atlanta were divided in opinion about the liquor question & it was to be decided by ballot. Those opposed to the sale of liquor, The Probation Club, about 25,000 in number, were parading the streets, most of them having (p.12) torches & preceeded by a brass band. Stopped at hotel near the depot and started for Cowpens St. at 7-40 a.m.

Friday Nov. 25

Arrived at Cowpens St. or Hampton at 4-10 p.m. after traveling all day through a very rolling country covered with forest. The country is very thinly settled except for a settlements scattered along the railroad. At Hampton we met Bros. Humphery & Stookey who were just going to start south-west into a new field of labor. We also met Mr. Jno. Black who is a rough man but he is very friendly to the Elders; they having stayed to his house at times for four years. Twenty-five Elders have stayed at his house.

Walked home with Mr. Black about 7 miles north-east of the Station. Here we found the S. C. conference of the Church presided over by Moroni D. Ferrin (p.13)


Here I joined Bro. Wm. A. Redd in laboring with the members of the Church and holding Sunday School and Meeting at (near) Tickety Mt. Every Sunday. Bro. Jensen labored with Elisha Peck, (of) Lehi three miles east of here in a Branch of the Church. Stayed all night with Mr. Jno. Black (7 miles)

Saturday 26 1887.

Ate dinner with Jno. Black. After dinner, met with Elder Ferrin who had been visiting the Saints south-west of here.

The people are very thinly settled there being about three or four houses to the square mile. Stayed all night with Sydney Berry.

Sunday 27.

Attended Sunday School and meeting held on porch of Alonzo Canty's. Spoke at each meeting. (p.14) Stayed all night with Jno. Black, Esq.

Monday 28, Nov.

Wrote to my wife, W. W. Clark, & to Wm. Spry, Chattanooga, informing him of our safe arrival. Met Elder Elisha Peck from Brighton Branch. He was acquainted with Ezra J. Clark in England. Stayed all night with James Watts.

Tuesday 29.

Went to Ezell P.O. three miles distance. On returning visited Cowpen's Monument where the last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought. The monument is built upon a square rock. It was made of rock in an octagon shape upon which is placed a large white stone of the same shape. Height about seven feet. From the top extends a rod into the air about eight feet long (p.15)

Missionary Journal of Amasa Lyman Clark

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