WASHINGTON COUNTY[Mo.] AND THE HISTORIC MORMON MOVEMENT
Researched & Written By: Esther M. Ziock Carroll
(Published in the Independent Journal 6 June 1996)
Esther M. Ziock Carroll At.....
Nauvoo, Ill. - March/April, 1996
The early Mormon church was founded in New York State in 1830 by the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. The movement spread westward with centers developing at Kirtland, Ohio; Independence and Far West, Missouri. At every point the church endured great persecution and eventually feellings against the Mormons became so intense that Missouir's Gov. Boggs threatened open season on them when he issued an order for their "expulsion or extermination." More than 5,000 persons, inclulding people from Washington County, were driven from the state during the winter of 1839. They crossed the ice on the Mississippi River and took refuge in Illinois. On the bank of the river they began clearing brush and trees and constructing houses. Swamp land was drained, streets were laid out and public buildings and schools were built. The town of Nauvoo was established and soon became the largest city in the state as new members arrived from the United States, Canada and England.
Approximately 1842 Smith received a revelation on "celestial marriage" and the practice of plural marraige began in Nauvoo. It continued until 1890 when, under pressure from the government, the church finally forbade the practice.
After Smith's revelation friction once again developed between the Saints (Mormons) and Gentiles (non-Mormons). In 1844 Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were shot by a mob in Carthage, Illinois. Persecution was renewed and conditions in Nauvoo grew steadily unsettled.
In 1846, under influence from the government, Brigham Young, now leader of the church, planned and executed the largest mass migration in America. The Mormons decided to abandon Nauvoo and in the spring of that year Young and 147 Saints began the historic exodus. Many more soon followed. They traveled 1,500 miles of wilderness across three states - Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming - treking over the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, by foot and by covered wagon to an unknown desert land in Utah. They arrived at the Great Salt Lake Valley in July, 1847 and Salt Lake City was founded. It still thrives today and is the world center of the Mormon religion, now called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Following is a list of a few Washington County, Missouri people who helped to establish Nauvoo. Some of them died there and others made their way to Utah:
SAMUEL W. HENDERSON: Samuel W. married Hannah Harris in Washington County, Missouri in 1833. Samuel died in Nauvoo in 1843 and is buried in the old Nauvoo Burial Ground.
WILKINSON HEWITT (HUITT): Wilkinson was the son of Elizabeth and James Huitt, Sr., who came to Washington County from Georgia in 1805. He married his first wife, Sarah Ann Robinson, here in 1833. In 1842 he is listed in Nauvoo records as having two daughters - Maryanne and Henrietta. In 1843 he was called on a mission to Alabama. He was back in Nauvoo in 1846 and sealed to his second wife the same year. He married his third wife in Nebraska in 1848. (For more Huitt/Hewitt information see below.)
SAMUEL HENDERSON, SR.: Samuel came to Washington County, Missouri from Tennessee circa 1810. After the death of his first wife, Mary Goforth, Samuel married Elizabeth Harris in 1827.
It appears that Samuel was first a member of the Presbyterian Church in Bellevue Valley. However Samuel later became a member of the Mormon faith and after relocating to Nauvoo he attained the rank of high priest. Several of Samuel's children died in Nauvoo. He died in Salt Lake City in 1856.
An interesting coincidence: In French Bellevue means "beautiful view" and in old Hebrew Nauvoo means "beautiful place".
SAMUEL HENDERSON, JR.:Samuel, Jr., was born in Washington County, Missouri and was the son of Samuel, Sr. Samuel, Jr.,married his first wife in Nauvoo. LDS records show that he practiced plural marriage and eventually had thirty-one children (that's right - 31) by three of his four wives!
SAMUEL N. HENDERSON: Samuel N. was born in Crawford County, Missouri and was the grandson of Samuel, Sr. When he was a baby his parents, Ann Harris and James Henderson, were "driven out of Missouri by the mob" and moved with the Mormons to Nauvoo. They were both deceased by 1843 and are buried in the old Nauvoo Burial Ground.
Samuel N. went to live with his grandfather and later resided with Mrs. Elizabeth Gates. Elizabeth was a very good friend of Emma Smith, wife of the founding prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., and did most of her sewing for her. She always took Samuel N. with her when she went to the Smith home to sew.
Following is an excerpt from Samuel N.'s autobiography desribing his trip to Utah: "We wintered on Cage Creek for the winter, and in the spring of 1847 we started with a company of Saints to the Great Salt Lake Valley (came with Daniel Spencer Company). I walked most of the way and drove loose cattle. I was barefooted and my feet got full of prickly pears and they were all of the next summer working out. Lots of them worked out of the tops of my feet. We arrived in Salt Lake City 12 November, 1847. I was nine years old then."
1996-97 commemorates the 150th anniversary of the exodus from Nauvoo to Utah. Residents of Nauvoo maintain numerous historic sites and original buildings including the Smith home. The Henderson and Hewitt properties are located across the street from the LDS Visitors Center a few blocks northwest of the old temple site.
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Recieved From: William D. Huitt 14 June 2001 - Wilkinson Hewitt is the son of James Hewitt Sr. and James had a brother John Wilkinson Hewitt Sr. and his youngest daugther was Rebecca Huitt. [This make Wilkinson and Rebecca 1st cousin.]
Now to the main point. Rebecca married Thomas Carlin. Thomas Carlin was the 6th Gove. of Illinois and Rebecca was the 6th first lady of Illinois.
On Dec. 16, 1840, Thomas Carlin signs a bill incorporating Nauvoo a city. The city charter allows for establishment of a University and the Nauvoo Legion.
Carlin, who had joined in a Bipartisan welcome to Mormon refugees from Missouri, routinely signed the charter that gave almost unlimited local governmental powers to Joseph Smith and his associates at Nauvoo. Later, approved Missouri warrants for the extradition of Smith as a fugitive from justice. Smith who did not suspect that trouble was ahead, was arrested a few hours after he had been treated with respect when he called at the governor's home.
Rebecca Huitt Carlin is my 3rd Great-grandaunt and Wilkinson Hewitt would be my 1st cousin 5 times removed. Our family on each side was invould in the Mormon History. small world. For more information on Rebecca Huitt Carlin click here.
HUITT HISTORY CONTINUES BACK TO THE YEAR 1625!!
DESCENDANTS OF REBECCA HUITT CARLIN SIXTH 1st LADY OF ILLINOIS
Counting From: 9 April 2001