Diaries from the hand of Thomas Fletcher Royal, 1821-1911, his brother James H. B. Royal, 1830-1910, and their father William B. Royal, 1796-1870, presented in overlapping chronological order. More Royal pages here.
I was born in Columbus Ohio Jany. 6, 1821. My father's name is William Royal, son of Thomas Royal, who left England when only sixteen years old and came to America and took up arms in the cause of freedom--received a
My father was a potter by trade--but from the time of his conversion, which was about the 20 or 21st year of his age he felt that the Lord had called him to preach his gospel. He continued however working at his trade in Columbus, Ohio, where he first settled after he was married and then in Piqua, Miami Co., O. till his health failed,when he engaged in farming near the latter place, and soon after moved to Sangamon Co. near Springfield, Ill. Here he purchased land and made a farm and prospered greatly in worldly matters. But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him, and he continued to groan and sigh, weep and mourn day and night in view of the awful consequences of refusing to take upon him the high and sacred responsibilities of a minister of Jesus. Thus for 12 or 14 years he labored under the heavy burden of "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel."
During most of this time however he was industriously engaged as a class leader and an exhorter, laboring to do all the good in his power everywhere at home and by the wayside, and in supporting the gospel by inviting it into his own neighborhood and into his own house and giving his own temporal blessings with an unsparing hand to those who were engaged in the work which he refused to perform himself--always pleading as an excuse--a want of those qualifications which he thought necessary for the ministerial office.
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #1, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
1851 JournalOctober 8th.
For several years I have felt the importance of writing statedly an account of my religious experience in the form of a personal journal, the object of which would be simply my own improvement. Hitherto, however, this among many other matters of importance has been neglected. The old adage is, "better late than never to do good." And it is no doubt true. And it is in view of this fact that I this evening resolve that if there is any good in keeping such a journal, I will hereafter reap its benefits: late as it is in life to begin such a work--this being my 31st year.
I furthermore resolved this evening while on my knees in secret prayer to turn over a new leaf in my religious history. For more than eighteen years I have belonged to the M.E. Church, and most of that time I have professed to enjoy religion and to my shame I must confess that I have not always been uniform and regular in my habits of secret devotion, sometimes using this means of grace regularly and again neglecting it for a time. This no doubt accounts for that want of uniformity in my spiritual enjoyment which has always characterized my religious career. I therefore promise that by the grace of God I will hereafter be faithful in discharging this duty at least three times a day.
Monday Oct. 13.
I have been enabled through grace thus far to keep my resolution, and have found the Lord precious to my soul. Regularity in private prayer has always been a source of great profit to me. It is for the health & growth of the soul. as necessary as regular meals, for the health and growth of the body.
Yesterday was in some respects a good day for me. In the morning I had a conversation with a good sister who enjoys the blessing of sanctification. My faith was strengthened. I worked as hard as I could all day for the Lord. I visited two Sabbath schools and felt blessed in talking to them. I tried to preach three times, but had not much liberty. If any good was done the Lord did it. I had great faith and liberty, and was greatly blessed in my prayer at Sand Lake, especially in praying for the quarterly meeting. I read our rules three times and commented upon them somewhat at length. In family prayer before retiring to rest we had a solemn time. Sister Hall led in prayer--and such a prayer I have not heard for a great while. O what faith! What power! She enjoys the blessing of perfect love.
May the Lord be with me as I visit from house to house today.
I trust this day's labor has not been in vain in the Lord. I have felt blessed in trying to do good in private families. I found a young lady at Hickory, the daughter of very pious Methodist parents, who was once powerfully convicted for sin, and for three months according to her own testimony she tried as hard as she could to obtain the pardon of sin and an evidence of a change of heart. But alas! Yielding finally to the enemy, and to the advice of an ungodly Methodist backslider in Kenosha--and a lady too at the time in good standing in the M.E. Church, who laughed at her seriousness and told her it was all folly, and tried to persuade her to promise she never would pray again--may God have mercy on the corrupt heart of that miserable adviser.
In the afternoon I visited some English families near Father Dodge's chapel at Millburn, who are members of our church, but live out of the bounds of our societies. We all met together at the house of Brother Holiday, a local preacher, and enjoyed not only an interesting social and religious interview, but I trust a profitable season. For some time we have felt anxious to make provisions for these good brethren and sisters by giving them prayer and class meetings and preaching in their own neighborhood--and for this purpose presented to Father Dodge in writing a few weeks since a formal request for the use of his chapel occasionally on week evenings--which he laid before the official board of the society, who refused to grant our request. May the Lord open a door for us in this neighborhood.
At Loon Lake this evening the congregation was largely attentive and serious; great solemnity prevailed while I tried to press home the inquiry. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" Heb. 2.3.
I had unusual light upon this subject. I think from the interest the people manifest here, by making fires and providing lights and coming out in good season and giving good attention to the word and all suchlike things, that there will be good done at this appointment. There were not less than eight or ten candles and as many candlesticks placed upon the desk by different persons as they came into meeting. These to be sure are but small matters--but undoubtedly they are so many indices to thoughtful hearts.
This morning I was greatly tempted--but continued in secret prayer until my heart was softened--when a flood of tears gave vent to my feelings--my mind became much clearer and my soul was drawn out in prayer--and my faith was greatly strengthened. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
After preaching at Sand Lake this evening as there appeared to be great solemnity and some weeping in the congregation during the sermon we followed up the impressions with a few prayers by the brethren--who all take right hold here and work like men.
I believe the Lord is about to revive his work here. By a vote of the whole congregation we will have meeting again tomorrow night. But I must go home in the morning (ten miles) and provide for my family and return in the evening.
This evening just a little after dark, while I was at home lying on the lounge fast asleep, a loud rap at the door aroused me: On opening I was agreeably surprised at finding my brother Charles standing upon the platform. This is the first visit with which we have been favored from any of our relatives since we have been keeping house.
Our first quarterly meeting for Libertyville circuit has just closed, and not a single conversion that we know of during the meeting--though in other respects we had a good time; believers were greatly blessed--and we trust a lasting impression was made on the hearts of sinners. Preaching was with power. Brother Sinclair, our P.E., was with us and we trust that his very efficient labors will prove a great blessing to the church throughout the entire circuit. Our love feast was first rate. Four children and one adult were baptized. About one hundred communed. But this precious season for which we have so long looked with intense anxiety, and for which we so fervently prayed, has passed and not a soul converted!! I believe the Lord will yet revive his work in this place. I expect to see a manifestation of this tonight at our meeting. I do believe the work will break out tonight.
Last night will long be remembered by many. After preaching mourners were invited and five presented themselves for prayers. Some of them found peace in believing. But the work was more powerful among old professors and backsliders. Such a time of weeping, confessing and praying I have not seen before for many a day. In visiting from house to house today I called on a Roman Catholic family--and when I asked the lady if she enjoyed religion she replied that she did whenever she could get where it was, but says she, "We live so far from it here we can hardly ever enjoy it."
I have visited today about eleven families--part of the day my mind was rather dark--though I am determined to go ahead and do my duty feel as I may. After visiting the last family this evening I found myself nearly four miles from the place of meeting--and though I had traveled all day on foot I did not feel tired. On my way returning I was blessed in secret prayer by the roadside. These words came very forcibly to my mind: "It is the will of God even your satisfaction." This is a high and holy estate--and yet it is for all God's children, even for the weakest and most unworthy, yes, even for me. "He wills that I should holy be." And shall I oppose that gracious will. No I cannot. How can I longer refuse to give him my whole heart.
We brought our meeting to a close this evening, and although there were not as many conversions as we desired, yet I trust, yea, I feel confident there has been a great deal of good done though it may be as bread cast upon the waters.
I bless the Lord for what I enjoy--my soul was drawn out in prayer this evening for our little society in Libertyville, especially for the leader. I can say that by the grace of God I am growing in grace. May the Lord keep me humble and prayerful. I long to be cleansed from all sin.
I think I am gaining ground; my faith is increasing--my love of the world is diminishing, and the love of God is increasing. Oh, for that "faith that overcomes the world."
"O for a heart to praise my God,Friday Nov. 7.
A heart from sin set free.
A heart resigned, submissive, meek;
My great Redeemers throne."
I observed this as a day of fasting and prayer--and never will regret it. I found it good to humble myself before the Lord. It was easy to pray and exercise faith. While my body fasted my soul fasted.
I found the Lord precious in praying for our members individually.
The Lord is good to me and my family/ My dear wife tells me this morning that she enjoys a better state of mind lately than formerly. Our little daughter Anina Tema is well, and just learning to walk. How good the Lord has been in raising her to health. How thankful we ought to be, for she is a great comfort to us. May she ever be.
I find it good to wait upon the Lord in abstinence and prayer today. While engaged in prayer last evening I requested the Lord to remove me out of the way by some means if I was not in my place and make way for those who would be more useful than myself--Lord, teach me my duty and help me to know my place. I felt assured that I was in my place as long as I would be faithful and that the Lord would be with me and open the way for me to do good.
This morning the societies in this ct. [circuit] rested with great weight upon my mind in prayer. O may I feel more for that part of the church committed to my care than I have ever done. The burden of my prayer was for our local preachers. May the Lord make them coworkers together with us.
I have not enjoyed that close communion with God today which I have in some other fast days. I have more humiliating views of my own weakness, ignorance and unworthiness than usual. I feel that this is good for me. I want to know just what I am, that I may seek the more earnestly to be what I ought to be.
We were this day favored with a visit from the Rev. Mr. Paine, a minister of the Congregational Church with his wife, both of whom are very sociable and I trust enjoy a good degree of religion. To us the visit was not only interesting but, no doubt, very profitable. O how precious the moments spent in social and religious conversation, singing and prayer with those whose hearts beat in unison with our own.
How I rejoice that the day has come when ministers of different denomination can converse freely and intimately with each other and delight in each other's society--enter into each other's feelings and take sweet counsel together. "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
Today about 2 o'clock the Lord gave us a son--His name is Stanley Olin--for his grandfather Stanley and the late lamented Rev. Stephen Olin D.D.
We certainly feel thankful for this precious gift--We now have two sweet children--a daughter and son. We love them greatly, but we trust we shall never be so foolish as to idolize them.
But we need much grace and wisdom.and prayer to aid us in "training them up in the way they should go." We give them both to the Lord & agree to train them for him. May they be the Lord's forever.
I received a great blessing while engaged in secret prayer today. My cup was full.
I never was happier than now.
Dec. 20 & 21.
Our second quarterly meeting for Libertyville ct. was held on the above days. Nothing unusual interest occurred. Our love feast would have been good only for disturbance made by persons coming in before it closed in great numbers. Open-door love feasts and class meetings are useless appendages to any church.
I reported at this Quarterly Con. 100 pastoral visits for the last qur.
Mar. 6 & 7. 
The dates of our 3 quarterly meeting. During the last quarter my horse has been lame nearly all the time.This together with my own afflictions, and afflictions in my family, have prevented me from accomplishing much on the circuit during the short qr. just passed.
My report of pastoral visits was only 50.
My enjoyment has not been so even or so great for a few weeks past as formerly. Though the work is on the advance--there is a general revival influence all over the circuit. A good proof of this was seen in our love feast at this quarterly meeting. Oh! What a precious time. The whole work is well represented here. At the close of love feast 12 joined on trial. Sunday evening I was obliged to leave the quarterly meeting to attend a protracted meeting we had in progress at Hickory about 15 ms. distant and thank God I was well paid. I was blessed in preaching and at the close seven mourners presented themselves for prayers--and two were converted.
About the last of March we were favored with a visit from Father and Mother Royal. Oh! the joy!! Visited for the first time by our parents. Father preached for me in the Libertyville church on Sabbath from "God is love." Good text--and good sermon.
Father revealed to us during this visit that he had made up his mind to go to Oregon overland the next spring if we would accompany him. We rather favored the enterprise; as we had long felt it our duty to go.
There was nothing now in the way of going except the want of means. I owed forty dollars yet on my subscription to Rock River Seminary--and where were the means to come from? Bro. White, a local preacher on the circuit said, "I will tell you where--David T. Gould of Long Island says he is cashier of his Heavenly Father's bank and if a draft presented, and properly attested, he could not fail to cash it. If you will give him a history of the circumstances, I will sign the letter by way of attestation and I think he will send the money." I did so and he sent me the forty dollars, saying he had made it a subject of prayer and had the evidence it was his duty to forward it. At conference I was transferred to Oregon to go overland in the spring following.
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #1, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
July 14th A.D. 1851
at home in Pleasant Hill
My health for the last five months has been poor owing to my severe labors on the Livingston circuit.
Did not attend conference and in consequence of poor health the conference gave me a superannuated relation.
But after resting a few weeks my health has greatly improved, and as another preacher was needed with Brother S. B. Smith on the Pleasant Hill circuit I consented to go on with Brother Smith and accordingly was appointed by John Chandler, P.E., and by a unanimous vote of the quarterly conference Aug. 30.
I have visited since quarterly meeting about 50 families, prayed and conversed with about 47, conversed with 3 and filled all of my appointments.
Wm. RoyalOct. 1st 1851
Since Sep. 17 I have visited about 30 families, conversed with all, prayed with about 20.
Since the above was written I have visited about 20 families, conversed with all, prayed with about 15.
Since the above was written I have visited about 50 families, conversed with all and prayed with about 40.
Quarterly meetings, tolerable good time, four joined on trial.
Visited 7 families, baptized Brother Richardson's child and preached at night at Hudson, S. B. Smith, next night same place.
After deep reflection and earnest prayer to Almighty God and also asking counsel of the pies [sic] and knowing I have this day bought of Brother John Allen ten lots, all in one block, Block No. [blank], a good frame house on it, three rooms and a pantry and some other buildings, the whole lot under a good board fence, some fruit trees. For the above described property I have paid two hundred dollars down, all in gold, and have given my note for three hundred dollars more on or before the last of January next and also another note of $5.00 to be paid on or before 15th day of April next. This I do not consider running in debt in the usual way because I have sold my land on Fox River for the above amount of $1,000 but have not yet received the whole amount.
One principal object in all this is that I may be the better able to school my remaining children who are with me, that is, James H. B. R. and Mary E. R. and Jason Lee R.
I with my family have moved to Bloomington the 3rd time, having traveled this circuit 19 years ago and the Waynesville 13 years ago and lived in this place.
I have now moved I think about 48 times; the Lord only knows whether it will be the last.
January A.D. 1852.
My health not good, not able to endure the cold, bleak winds of Illinois. I was compelled to leave my work and after preaching my last sermon on the Pleasant Hill circuit on on my return home the words of the apostle came into my mind where he said having no more place in these parts &c. and it seemed very clear in my mind that my work was about done in Ill. and that I had a work to do in Oregon or California and thought it to be my duty to cross the plains in 1852, but my better part, I mean my beloved companion did not view this matter as I did and could not consent to undertake so great a journey in our old age, consequently we made no arrangement for the trip this year, but through the course of the year after much thought on the subject and earnest prayer to God to direct in this matter it seemed good to us all and to the Holy Ghost we trust to make an attempt to cross the plains in 1853.
Accordingly we began to make arrangements for this great journey; sold our property in Bloomington, moved to or near Randolph's Grove in the fall and spent the winter at this place. We found Brother Randolph and family very kind.
We left this place March 7th, 1853 and started on our journey, visiting our friends on the way.
We crossed the Missouri River on the 27th of May 1853, and on the 27th of October we arrived safe in Gold River Valley in the settlements, just 5 months to a day this trip has been long and tedious and attended with some severe trials in some respects, yet to me the trip has been very pleasant, and I think profitable in a scriptural point of view. Never, no never shall I forget the goodness of Almighty God toward us on our journey and after our arrival in this good country, this golden country.
On our first arrival in the settlements prospects looked rather gloomy. We have lost considerable of our stock, money about gone, we were at [omission], Jason our only child under age was nearly blind, provisions very high, flour from 20 to 25 dollars per hundred, potatoes from 8 [to] 12 cts. per pound, onion 19, butter $1 per pound, salt 25 and 30, chicken $5 per pair. Pumpkins about 2 cts. per pound, cabbage from 50 cts. to 75 cts. per head and everything in proportion. Rainy season coming on. Now what is to be done, why, trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be free. We stood still as it were to see the salvation of the Lord and that God, whose goodness toward us was so great on our journey did not forsake us.
Now in this critical moment Eli Anderson sent us word that he would be glad to have us come into his house and cook and wash for five men and he would furnish house, stove and wood and all of the provisions for his men and four of our family, free of cost to us
These men were wicked, and I told them that I was a Methodist; my family were Methodists, and when I was at home I had family prayer. Under my absence my wife had family prayer and [told him] that we wished to enjoy all our religious privileges unmolested and if we could enjoy these privileges we would come in and if not we would not come in. I said to him what quarreling we done I wanted to do it now and not after we come together. He remarked that we could enjoy all of these privileges without interruption. We then went in immediately and stayed until January A.D. 1854, got along first-rate. During this time I went to work and built a hewed-log cabin, stone chimney, and moved into my own house Jan. [blank] 1854. A part of my land I took up and a part I bought, for which I gave a good wagon and one yoke of oxen.
Praise the Lord for all his benefits toward the children of men and in a special manner for his goodness toward us. At the last Oregon Conference T. F. Royal was reappointed to this work, Gold River circuit. Another man was needed and Brother J. H. Wilbur, P.E., desired me to go on with T.F.R. I immediately consented and went to work and am now traveling this Gold River mission. O may the Lord give us good success this year in winning souls to the Savior.
There is an appropriation to this work for this year to T. F. Royal $200, to the [illegible] myself 100, and the balance of our claim of the mission if we can get it.
I continued to travel on this work until Sept. 23, received missionary money for 1st & 2nd quarters $50 and of the mission about $20. Some time previous to this Brother Wilbur informed me that there was a claim of vacant land near him and thought that I would do well to sell out and move onto it. After some thought and prayer on the subject and also consulting with friends concluded to sell and move onto the said claim of land.
Accordingly, on the 12th day of Oct. I sold my claim for $800 and on the next Wednesday I started on my journey with my family, called in Jacksonville at Fletcher's, stayed until Saturday morning then left, went to Doct. Wm. Miller's, spent the Sabbath. On Monday pursued our journey pleasantly, having about four days rain, got safe to Brother Wilbur's on Tuesday night, the last day of Oct. and on the first day of Nov. A.D. 1854 I went on to my claim of land, stretched my tent and as the quarterly meeting was to commence on the next Saturday I done nothing towards my building till the next Monday, only make a few shingles.
On Monday Nov. 6th I commenced to build my house and on Saturday night moved into it, being enclosed.
(On Tuesday I got my stove.)
On Monday Nov. 6th 1854 the school commenced in the new Academy. Jason's eyesight has so improved that he commenced going to school the first day of the term and is making rapid progress in his studies.
Jan. 1st 1855
This day two years ago I bought teams in Ill. to move me to Oregon and by the blessing of God we have been brought safely to this good land and this 1st day of January 1855. All well, living at the foot of Fountain Hill in our own house in full view of the Academy about ¼ of a mile distant.
In this house we have one of the best of schools, taught by my son James and Brother Wilbur a part of the time. We also have meeting twice every Sunday and prayer meeting every Thursday night. Our meetings are very well attended and are very profitable to all who attend more or less. Our house is frame, 21 by 18 feet, some more than one story high, making considerable of room upstairs. Bedrooms cut off the main building, one 7 by 8, the other 8 by 10, leaving a room 16 by 18 feet with a good brick chimney and cooking stove.
The fall and winter thus far has been very pleasant. This night a few of the young ladies and two boys, Wesley Kahler and George Grubb, made us a visit with James at the head and took supper with us. Sister Clinkenbeard and two children visited us through the day and also Rev. James Miller who is appointed to travel the South Umpqua circuit. He travels through it sometimes. He remained with us until next day.
We are I trust as a family are endeavoring to serve God, and on this first day of the year 1855 are endeavoring to dedicate ourselves and all we have anew to God. Amen & amen.
Wm. RoyalJan. 2nd
A little rain and a good deal of snow. I suppose if it had not a melted it would have been a foot deeper, but as it melted it only got about 3 inches deep.
Some snow, but melting off very fast.
A little snow every day, about 10 inches deep. Froze a little last night.
Snow about one foot deep. Froze a little, ice last night.
This day 35 years ago about 5 o'clock in the morning our eldest son Thomas Fletcher was born in the city of Columbus O. When he was born I was upon my knees in prayer to Almighty God and at that moment dedicated him wholly to the Lord and so have I dedicated every one of our children to God and shortly after their birth we have again dedicated them to the Lord in holy baptism and thanks be to God none of them have ever become dissatisfied with their baptism, but all of them made profession of religion while quite young and now two of them is in the itinerant work of a Methodist minister. O that God may keep them and us their parents faithful to the end. Amen and amen.
Brother Wilbur has been absent about 12 days attending Fletcher's quarterly meeting in Jacksonville. At the same time the M.E. church in that place was dedicated. Brother Arnold, P.E. from Cal., preached the dedication sermon. Brother Wilbur returned this evening, Jan. 6th, bringing Mary with him in company with Brother Oglesby. They inform us that the snow was 28 inches deep in Gold River Valley. We was very glad to see Brother W. and especially Mary.
Brother Oglesby tried to preach at night [to] an Englishman by the name of Sutton. Preached a very sensible, practical and energetic discourse.
This morning Mary has gone in to the school to assist James. May the Lord abundantly bless their united labors in the school. Amen and amen. The snow nearly all gone, cloudy, a little rain.
Clear most of the day, warm, very pleasant.
Warm, cloudy most of the day. Strawberries out in bloom, that is, a few.
A little rain this morning before day. I have been some unwell for a few days, having taken cold.
Afternoon clear, very pleasant.
A little frost last night, very pleasant through the day.
Clear, pleasant. A little frost last night, very pleasant today. Sunday I preached at 11 from 1 Tim. 2nd c. 4th v. James preached at night from Job 22nd c. and 21 v.
Monday Jan. 15
Warm, cloudy, rain in the afternoon.
Rain at [omission], light showers.
18 and 19th
Warm and considerable of rain this day. Jan. 19 was the examination of the school for the 1st quarter in the near building.
The examination passed fine, greatly to the credit of both teachers and students.
The next quarter commences the 29th of Jan.
Rain. Preached at B. Grubb's, very good congregation, text 2nd Cor. 6 c. 1 v.
Jan. 22 and 23
No rain, no frost, grass growing some.
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29.
Clear most of the time, foggy part of the time.
30 to 31.
A very little frost this morning.
Fog till about noon, clear, warm.
A little rain the last 5 days, mostly clear and warm.
Went to Brother Tibbetts with oxen and wagon after potatoes.
Rain last night. Turned out my oxen last night. This morning went to hunt my oxen and pretty soon discovered by tracks that they had made for home. I pursued them on foot not overtaking [them] till reaching home, a distance of about 9 or ten miles.
Light showers of rain. This is our quarterly fast, which we always observe as a family. O may God bless this fast to our good and in answer to prayer give us a prosperous quarterly meeting.
Walked to quarterly meeting 6 miles to B. J. Grubb. Got on in good season 11 o'clock, found J. H. Wilbur, P.E., Brother Rayner, P.C. and Brother Sutton from Yreka, Cal., J. H. B. Royal and myself, all preachers.
Brother Wilbur preached at 11, Brother Sutton at night.
Sunday, Feb. 11th
The above brethren both preached; sacrament was administered. Had good preaching and we think a pleasant and profitable time at night. I preached from Mat. 44.24, had a feeling time. Eight or ten rose up for prayers. At the close of the meeting it was impressed on my mind to appoint a prayer meeting for the next night, which I did. Rain Saturday night, Sunday and Monday much of the time.
Monday Feb. 12th
The birthday of Mary and Jason. Mary 22 and Jason 16. This day Feb. 12th I visited nearly all the families in the neighborhood, and at night a goodly number came out through the rain, mud and Egyptian darkness and we had a good time. A number of sinners cried for mercy. Tuesday visited a number of families and returned home, found all well.
Rain in afternoon, grass getting tolerable good. The grass was cut off to ground last summer and fall by the grasshoppers, and the season being dry grass has been scarce.
Cloudy, warm, got my claim surveyed, corners established and proved up my claim. Sent up my notifications to surveyor general.
Sunday attended an appointment at B. J. Grubb's. Brother Sutton preached for me. I then exhorted and met class, had a good time.
Cool wind and showers of rain.
Showers of rain, a little snow on the Coast Mountains.
A very little frost this morning, snow on the mountains.
Heavy frost, ground frozen some.
Hard frost last night, pleasant and clear today.
Cool, a little cloudy.
Clear, more pleasant. This day I am 59 years old. My health is very good. This day I rode to Father Burt's and back about 20 miles. My wife's health is not very good.
When I look back on past life I find much in my history to regret but feel that God forgives my foolish past, and I believe he will give me grace for time to come. O may my few remaining days be spent wiser and better than the past.
Sunday 25th Feb. 1855
This day I preached in Winchester for the first time to a good congregation for that place from James 4.7.
A little rain last night.
Warm, grass growing fast.
Today we expect T. F. Royal.
After our arrival in Oregon S. H. Taylor wrote a letter giving an account of our trip to this country of our strict observance of the Sabbath, and in consequence of this was left on the Humboldt, also spoke of our danger in a hostile country and of our great deliverance and how we out-traveled the train who left us and were first into the settlement &c. &c. This letter was endorsed by T. F. Royal and sent by him to Cincinnati for publication in the Western Christian Advocate, which letter was published in said paper of April 5th A.D. 1854, when the paper came to hand. S. P. Taylor [is] a brother to S. H. Taylor. [The entire decade of the Advocate is lost.]
Being one of the train who left us who is also a local preacher, this Brother Taylor was much enraged when he read said letter and was greatly mortified to see this whole matter spread before the world, and he greatly abused his brother and
Fletcher and continued to persecute them for a long time and finally preferred charges against T. F. Royal, denying said letter, saying that every word of it was false.
The investigation was to commence this day at 1 o'clock p.m. and at about 11 o'clock a.m. S. P. Taylor came to my house in company with Rev. J. H. Wilbur and informed me that T.F.R. would not be here in consequence of the sickness of his wife, she having had a miscarriage of a false conception and had been dangerously ill. T. F. Royal wrote to Rev. J. H. Wilbur to be sure to go on with the examination the same as if he was here.
I was therefore very unexpectedly called to manage the investigation for my son. This took place at the time appointed and we continued Thursday afternoon and at night Brother Flinn from Scottsburg preached, after preaching commencing the investigation and continued till about 10. Friday morning at 7 o'clock continued through the day and till about 9 or ten o'clock at night Saturday morning in session at 7 and continued with the exception of about one hour and a quarter for dinner till near 4. I then had arrangements to go to Brother Burt's in order to take the testimony of Father Burt and ten of his family besides his son Omar Burt and Liman Martindale, who had been present during the whole investigation and had given in their testimony to the truth of the whole letter, but Brother Taylor seemed so completely used up and wept and desired that I would not go to Burt's and wished me to stop further investigation. I informed him that I could prove that he had made many or a number at least of false statements during the investigation and that I had intended to impeach his testimony and destroy his testimony in this case.
But my sympathy was moved by his tears and I stopped further investigation and left the whole matter with the committee. Committee adjourned to meet Tuesday morning next at 9 on Sunday and Sunday night Brother Flinn preached.
Some rain and more at night. Monday pleasant, rain at night. Tuesday much rain.
Tuesday, March 6th A.D. 1855
This day the committee wrote out their decision in regard to the above named case and have expressed their opinion of the entire innocence of Fletcher and guilt of Taylor in the most positive and strongest terms and have requested Taylor to make acknowledgments to Fletcher and a public acknowledgment to the church.
Wednesday showery. Grass getting plenty.
Thursday raining a little. It is well understood that my wife has always or at least sometimes had some doubts in her mind of the propriety of our coming to Oregon, but on yesterday while engaged in prayer to God all doubts on that subject was removed. She now says that she sees that it was all right and can see the hand of God in this whole matter and in reading the Bible it seemed to be thickly strewn with exceeding great and precious promises, all of which seemed to be applicable to us in our trials on the journey, and after we got through she is now perfectly resigned to our emigrating to this country.
Friday and Saturday 9th and 10th
Still raining a little in showers.
Sunday about as the two past days. This day I walked to Brother J. B. Grubb's, 6 miles, preached from John 12, latter clause of 26 and then walked home.
Rain much in forepart of day, snow in after part of the day. Sun melted all. Two or three frosts lately.
13, 14, 15
Sum rain every day.
Hard frost last night. Clear, cool and pleasant today, Saturday.
Sunday rode to Brother Jones' school house, preached from James 7. Met class, had 7 persons present, 5 of them members. Had a good time.
This week has been dry and warm.
Sunday rode to Brother Smith's on Calapooia about 12 miles, preached from Psalm 119--59.60, met class, had about 12 persons present. This was the first class meeting ever held in that neighborhood. Had [a] very good time.
Sunday rain showers nearly all day. Brother Tibbetts preached in the Academy and I preached in Winchester in afternoon from Mat. 24-44.
On last Saturday I bought a young cow, two years old, and calf of Brother Aiken for which I gave $50. Had a great deal of trouble to get her over the river and to break her.
Monday April 2nd 1855
Pleasant, a little cool.
Pleasant, a little frost last night.
There has been a little rain lately, several frosts through the month.
Filled two appointments for Brother Rayner the 1st in Green Valley in the new frame school house. Preached from Gal. 5-22 and in afternoon at Underwood's. Met class at both places. Preached from James 4.8.
April the 30th
Returned home. Visited some families, took in another appointment at a vacant house near Mr. Myers'. O may the Lord give success at this place. Sister Myers I think is the only professor in the neighborhood.
Visited Brother Beckett's family, a man who has lately moved into our neighborhood. This brother and sister appear to be pious yet in error, praying only at night in the family I advised him to pray at least morning and evening. Told me he thought he would. They have eight little children; three of them commenced going to school today. Others would go but for want of suitable clothing. I proposed on next day to aid in getting them some clothing if it would give no offense. Brother Beckett told me it would give no offense but [be] thankfully received.
Tuesday May 1st 1855
Frost last night, very pleasant today.
Cool showers passing all day.
May the 7th
This day General Lane, Democrat, & Governor Gaines, Whig, candidates for representatives for Congress, delivered political speeches in Winchester. I heard them a few minutes only, as I do not believe in that way of electioneering. I was passing on business and called [omission]. A man by the name of Williamson, a horse racer and gambler as I am informed attended this meeting and on his return being intoxicated was thrown from his horse and died in a few hours.
Preached at Mr. Harkness' at 11 and at Winchester at 4 then returned home, neglecting to put on my overcoat and as it blew up cool in the evening I took cold and was laid up near two weeks.
Brother Wilbur filled two appointments for me as I was unwell.
We can just begin to see the grasshoppers. They appear to be in great abundance.
Quite unwell, yet preached twice and met class at each place. Had an excellent time at Green Valley at 11 o'clock. The Holy Ghost fell upon us, and we were made to rejoice in God our Savior.
The weather has generally been cool this month and a plenty of rain. The grasshoppers are getting large and are very numerous and bid fair for taking every green thing.
Friday June 1st 1855
Preached at J. B. Grubb's school house. The Lord was with us. After preaching and dining at Brother Grubb's I called at Brother Rayner's, found him at home. Brother Rayner had been confined pretty closely at home for near two months. Sister Rayner has a young daughter about two weeks old and is doing tolerable well. Sister Rayner's sister is with her. I hope Brother Rayner will soon get out on his circuit again.
Mary and Jason with a number of students have gone to visit Julia Day's school at Garden Bottom, this being the close of the quarter and examination day.
On last night or afternoon at 6 o'clock Brother Sanderson, a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, preached for us a very sensible good sermon from Romans 5-11 and this morning made us a kind of pastoral visit, with which I was much pleased. He prayed with us. He is school commissioner for this county and is visiting every neighborhood and nearly every family and preaches every night where he can get a congregation. May the Lord give him good success as a school commissioner and as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have great joy and comfort in believing and trusting in God and in doing even as well as I do, yet in the midst of my joy and comfort I have sorrow. As the Apostle says, I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. Romans 9-9.
When I look around me and behold this beloved Oregon, its lofty green mountains, its beautiful and productive hills and then its far more rich and productive valleys and its beautiful and almost ice-cold springs and its uncommon healthy climate, I am pleased and thankful to God who made it and bless his name for the privilege of living in it, but then when I turn my mind to the moral and religious condition of this happy land I am grieved. In many portions of this land swearing, lying, Sabbath-breaking, gambling, drunkenness, adultery, fornication &c. &c. are but too common.
But to the praise of this and many other neighborhoods in this country they are as free from these vices perhaps as any neighborhood in the States, but when I see them where they do exist I am grieved.
Again when I look at the state of religion in our land I see that much has been done and is still doing in the name of the Lord in this which might be a happy land but we are not all at it, neither are we always at it. I mean at the work of building up the cause and kingdom of the Redeemer. This is a grief to my soul. Some of the ministers are doing well, others are not doing much. Some of us are old, worn out and [have] but little means of support, have to work for our living and are inclined to think that we cannot spend more than about two days in a week in preaching, visiting &c. Others who have a support do only a part of the work of the Lord, for instance, Brother M. on the South Umpqua circuit I presume has not spent more probably than one 6th or 8th part of his time on and in his work.
Again Brother R. on this charge hardly ever preaches, only on Sundays, and I have no knowledge of his ever making a pastoral visit in his charge.
These things grieve me. Now what shall be done. What can I do, an old worn-out superannuate of the R.R. Con. W. Bramwell said pray, pray. This always brings me out on the right side.
Feeble as I am, scanty as my means of support is, I feel very much inclined to give myself entirely to the work of the minister. O may the Lord direct in this matter.
Preached at Brother Burt's from Psalm 1st. Had good time, large congregation. I appointed a two days meeting at Brother Smith's on Calapooia.
Also another at Green Valley to commence June 23.
Good rain. The season has been very fine, but the grasshoppers are taking every green thing.
William Royal Journal #9, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
Jacksonville, March 30th 1854.
Today I learn that I am appointed to Umpqua Academy for the coming year. O how thankful I am that they have done anything for me, far more than I expected. Am to make my home with Rev. J. H. Wilbur. O what a privilege to be with such a man of God. How I shall prize his example and instruction. O how unworthy I am of such a place, and yet how much I need just such a situation. May God qualify me for the important work that lies before me. Make me useful to the young and rising generation of this land and country in which I may labor. My feelings flow out for the young. I delight to teach them the way to God. Yea, the way to heaven.
* * * * * *Monday, April 17th, 1854
This day at precisely 9 o'clock I opened the school in a log cabin a few rods from the residence of Rev. James H. Wilbur. This is the beginning of operation of what is now styled the Umpqua Academy. Have at the opening of this school 13 pupils, six girls and seven boys, varying in age from 5 years to young man of 18. I am much pleased with the present prospect of our school. I am struggling to commence a systematic and well-regulated school. I never entered upon the discharge of the duties of teacher with such strong determination to carry out the principle of order in every particular, if possible by the blessing of God. I felt that God blessed me in the very first act of my duty in opening this school. O that he would direct in this whole affair, that though this may be the day of small things yet we trust it is laying the foundation for something great and noble. Lord let thy blessing be upon all the students, and may they while they are cultivating their minds also cultivate their morals. I make a list of those present first day and [who] witnessed the commencement of this school: R. M. Bunton, Mary A. Jenkins, Sarah E. Flint, Helen A. Flint, J. C. Flint, Alvin Reed, Isabelle Flint, E. C. Jenkins, Thomas Jenkins, James Jenkins, Elijah Bunton, Geo. N. Reed, Calvin M. Reed, Oscar Reed, Richard Belin [sic--Belieu?].
Tuesday, April 18th
This day all the exercises of my school passed off pleasantly, all the pupils being on hand in good time. I opened my school by singing and prayer. Have a place for everything and person and all in their places. Have a regular time for all recitations, and in short try to be systematic in all our transactions. Today I have felt that God was with me directing me in all my movements. Oh God, the work is thine, thou alone canst make this school profitable. Man may be used as an instrument in accomplishing thy designs, but thou must do the work. Into thy hands would we commit this great work. Today two accession to the school, the Misses Brown.
Wednesday, April 19th
At 9 o'clock precisely all present. I never felt more of the divine presence in my life than I have enjoyed since this school commenced. Lord help me to watch and pray and on thyself rely, assured if I my trust betray, I shall forever die. O for direction from him who doeth all things well.
Thursday, April 20th
Everything passed off pleasantly.
Sunday, Apr. 23rd, 1854
Sunday school at 1:30 p.m., good attendance. At the close Rev. J. H. Wilbur catechized the school, and afterward preached, after which had class meeting.
Saturday, April 29th
During the past week we have had increase in the school both in numbers and interest. Yesterday while closing for the week in trying to talk with my pupils about their souls I felt happy in so doing. O that God would soon convert every one of them.
Saturday, May 6th
Of late our school has increased in number. Have now 24 in all, expect more in a few days.
On May 4th the first stick of lumber was hauled onto the ground for the Umpqua Academy. On yesterday I closed up my school, all in good order and feeling.
Sunday, May 7th
One ½ o'clock p.m. Sunday school and at 3 preaching by Rev. Rayner: "Bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profitable to all things; having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." Good sermon.
This morning several additional students, also Rev. J. H. Wilbur for the first time visited the school. I now have 26 students. O that I might feel my increased responsibility as our school increases. Our small room is now about filled and still there are others yet to come; come one come all, say I. When the room is too small we can make an addition. Today I saw Mr. Omar Burt.
Thursday, May 18th
Today 31 students present. This morning Miss S. E. Flint presented me with a ripe strawberry, very fine and enclosed in a rose. First I have seen this year. I shall never forget it. This is a beautiful warm day. I am sure my scholars are improving. They all manifest a great respect for me. May God make me useful to them is my desire and prayer.
Friday, May 19th
Today had a rather pleasant time in school. Afternoon about 25 spoke pieces and declaimed. Quite an improvement on the first. Some of the little girls spoke and two of the young ladies spoke a dialogue. I think a number of my scholars are inclined to become religious. O that all might soon be converted and made happy in Christ their Redeemer. Shall I see it? O for faith. May the spirit of the great head of the church rest upon the school.
Sunday, May 14th, 1854 [sic]
This morning I started from Bro. Wilbur's at 8 o'clock and rode to Father Gilmore's and tried to preach at 11 o'clock to a very attentive congregation. Had some liberty, trust that some good was done. Today I have been quite anxious that I might be at home with our Sunday school, as it was report day. The school recited during six weeks 2700 verses extra, beside 7 each Sunday for their lesson, making in all about 3000 verses recited by a school of 30 scholars, mostly by about 15 of them. I think this is certainly noble indeed. Premiums were distributed by Rev. J. H. Wilbur.
Sunday, May 21st
Quite a full school, all much interested. Large Bible class. Rev. J. H. Wilbur took charge of the Bible class today--very interesting time, all the teachers present. School questioned on the lesson by Bro. Wilbur, who also preached at 3 o'clock p.m. Text: "A little that a righteous man is better than the richest of may wicked." Good sermon. About 20 persons in class meeting. I tried to lead, felt that God was with me. Oh for full salvation from sin.
Monday, May 22nd
I arose at 4:30 a.m. Today one new scholar and one has quit school viz: Miss Knott. I now have 33 in all. A very pleasant school indeed--30 present today. Rather cool. This morning Miss Flint 3rd presented me with a quantity of nice strawberries. On Friday last Mr. Reed 3rd and Kuykendall gave me quite a lot of them. Oh how kind my pupils are to me; I love every one of them very much. How very pleasantly we get along. I know that God is with us. Oh that he would abundantly bless us all.
Tuesday, May 23rd
Arose at 4:30 a.m., milked the cows, made a fire and brought in water and restaked the pony and read 4 chapters in my Bible, and went into the garden and hoed corn and beans etc. for more than an hour, and after breakfast and prayers I studied a while and went to the school room and wrote copies for the day etc. etc. At 9 o'clock my scholars all on hand but one. 32 present today. I felt happy this day--last night I had a very happy time in my sleep. O Lord, increase my faith. I want to be made pure and wholly the Lord's for time and eternity. Save me from slothfulness in thy service. Last night Sister Wilbur was taken quite sick and today is quite ill, not able to be up much. Have now, I think, quite a good girl to work for her board. Miss Sarah E. Tibbetts, daughter of a local preacher in our church. Today weather pleasant again. This day I have enjoyed myself remarkably well.
Wednesday, May 24th
Today quite cool. 32 pupils present, much interest manifest by most of the students. Lessons for the most part well recited. Some of the small children are doing very fine. Today we have a strong cool breeze from the ocean--such a thing is not known in the western states.
Friday, May 26th
Today quite cool. Afternoon saw the eclipse of the sun, about ¾. I smoked glasses and all my scholars examined it, and after we went into the schoolhouse I explained it to them. Had 4 compositions read and about 20 pieces spoken by young gentlemen and ladies. Spent one hour singing and then I tried to talk to them on the importance of being religious.
Monday, May 29th
Last Saturday I went to Father Gilmore's and on Sunday tried to preach at 11 a.m. and at Mr. Harkness' at 4.p.m. Good congregation both places. I enjoyed myself very much indeed, had some liberty in speaking to the people. Stayed at Father Burt's all night. This morning home for breakfast at 7 o'clock. On Sat. got a letter from home, from brother T. F. Royal.
Wednesday, May 30th
Very pleasant day to me; my classes are doing fine in almost everything. This evening I went home with Dr. Reed's children for supper. Found quite a fine family there and had a pleasant visit. I tried to encourage Nelson to persevere and continue earnest in prayer and strong in faith. After tea I called at Mr. Flint's, had
quite a pleasant little visit there. Encouraged Miss H. A. Flint and then home after dark one and ½ miles. Dr. Reed and lady are very kind; they have hot long since been converted.
Thursday, June 1, 1854
Part of this day pleasant. 30 pupils present. Find much interest manifest on the part of many. O that my anxiety for them might increase, also I long to see my scholars converted.
Friday, June 2nd
Today is our quarterly fast day. I feel that God blessed me in trying to discharge this duty. My school passed off pleasantly today, much improvement in composition by young ladies, also declamation by gents. Everything seemed to work to my hand today, am much favored in many respects.
Saturday, June 3rd
This morning rose at 4 a.m., milked 3 cows, went to Winchester, crossed myself on flatboat, bought a pair of shoes and crossed back in a skiff, got home for breakfast and shaved, after which I started in company with Bros. Yeoha and Dr. Reed & Mr. Witt for Green Valley to attend our quarterly meeting. Got to Bro. Pinkston's in season, and when I went to schoolhouse found a few persons there. Soon after in came Bros. Wilbur and Rayner. Bro. Wilbur preached at 11 a.m. At 3 p.m. I tried to preach from Daniel 6-8. Felt that God in some degree helped me at the close; had a good time indeed after service quarterly conference. Present: Rev. J. H. Wilbur, Presiding Elder, J. O. Rayner P.C. and Rev. Tibbetts, a local preacher; Bros. Pinkston, Reed, Kuykendall, Meadly, Gilbert and myself. Took dinner at Bro. Pinkston's. Stayed all night at Brother Webber's.
Sunday, June 4th, 1854
At daylight I arose having retired at or after midnight. Last night we had a good time in praying and singing until a late hour. After breakfast I went to the school house in company with Bros. Yeoha & Sturgis. Made a fire and helped to arrange the seats, and then spent some time in singing and prayer. At 9 love feast. Good time. At 11 a.m. preaching by Rev. Wilbur. At the close of love feast Bro. Wilbur baptized 5 children of Bro. Pinkston's. After Bro. Wilbur's sermon had an intermission of 20 minutes. Rev. J. O. Rayner then preached the funeral sermon of Bro. Venable, who was killed by the Indians, text: "There the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest." Good sermon, after which I called a few minutes at Bro. P.'s and thence home same evening. Had some little talk with a few children and distributed among them some tracts and papers. This day I have enjoyed a good degree of divine presence. I think never before have I felt such an anxiety to see something done for the children and youth of our land. I am anxious that more should be said on the subject of training children, for the physical, mental and moral culture of the young.
Monday, June 5th
Today nearly all scholars here in good time. Attended to the school and after dismissing at night I drove a team plowing and scraping Academy grounds.
Wednesday, June 7th
This morning I was up betimes, and before school time had collected about dishes enough together for to set a table for 25 persons. As this is the day for the raising of the Umpqua Academy building, all hands are turning out. At 11 all ready to raise. Bro. Wilbur came to the schoolroom door and said: "In about ten minutes services will commence at the frame." I then marched my school out to the place, Rev. J. H. Wilbur read an appropriate portion of scripture and the school sang, and then he prayed, after which we returned to the schoolhouse, and the hands, about 40, proceeded to raise the frame. The neighbors had contributed towards getting up the dinner, and a number of the sisters were out to assist Sister Wilbur in making arrangements for dinner. Everything passed off pleasantly; there were about 80 persons for dinner, men women and children, for my school took dinner with the rest. I did not have school in the afternoon but assisted in raising the Academy. All seemed cheerful and pleasant. No accident of a serious nature took place.
O may this he the point of attraction for Southern Oregon, an institution of learning that shall tell well upon generations to come. May we not despise the day of small things. Through this medium may many of our children and youth be saved from ignorance and from error and guided into the way of happiness and life. O may sanctified learning be here imparted. Mental and moral culture of the youths of the country carefully attended to, and may God bless and he with the founder, Rev. J. H. Wilbur. This evening I had the privilege of seeing Rev. John Flinn, who is on the Scottsburg charge. The Umpqua Academy is now raised, and this is certainly an important crisis in the history of Umpqua Valley.
Saturday, June 10th
This day warm. After attending to various little matters, I yoked up Tip & Bright and hitched them onto Bro. Wilbur's buggy and took his Lady and Libby Fackler to Dr. Reed's and took dinner with them and then back afternoon. After going to Winchester. Such a place and such an office, a disgrace to Southern Oregon.
Sunday, June 11th
This has been a good day to me. Sunday school at 2. Punctual attendance of teachers and scholars. At 3 I tried to preach from John 8-32 & 35--"If ye continue in my words etc." Good time--excellent meeting, had class.
Monday, June 12th
This morning raining, it rained nearly, all night last night. Warm rain.
Tuesday, June 13th
Quite cool today. This [has been] a day of peculiarly anxious feeling on my part. I want to see my school converted. O for a prosperous time in this school in many respects. This evening Esq. T'Vault & daughter and Mrs. Hunter came here.
Wednesday, June 14th
This day all my scholars were present, 30 here, nearly all engaged in study quite industriously. Mrs. Hunter of Jacksonville and Miss T'Vault of Gold River visited my school this morning. Today clear and very pleasant indeed.
Tuesday, June 27th
This very pleasant day. Bro. West visited my school, also Bro. J. E. Grubb and Misses Sarah and Charlotte Grubb were here some time. Bro. West gave us some very good remarks. I think him to be a good man. It is quite encouraging to have persons visit the school occasionally.
Friday, June 30th, 1854
Very pleasant day. Nearly all my scholars out to examination today. First examination of the school held in Rev. J. H. Wilbur's house. Exercises commenced at one o'clock precisely by prayer by Rev. J.H.W., after which we had a brief examination of classes and singing and declaiming etc. Exercises all passed off pleasantly and, as far as I could judge, satisfactorily. About 30 persons beside the school present. At the close Rev. Wilbur made a few remarks expressing his satisfaction of or with the proceedings. Most of the students of the school did remarkably well. For the past quarter, this much I can say, there has been a greater degree of success attending this school than I anticipated at the commencing, and it is the desire of my heart to give God all the glory. If anything has been accomplished it has been by him and him alone. The past quarter has been to me a very pleasant one. I am quite sure that I have by observation and experience learned something myself. While I trust it has been profitable to others, I feel that it has been especially so to me. I feel that so long as the church thinks it best for me to remain here I will do my best for the prosperity of this institution. While I am here in the Providence of God I believe he will help if I but look to him. Bro. Wilbur has been laboring very hard indeed to get up an institution of learning, by day and by night sacrificing money, comfort and so forth for this end. I believe that great will be his reward in another world. I feel like doing all I can for its good. May God help.
I am perfectly willing to labor here or to go elsewhere today if the church should think it best. I am willing to go anywhere, but I want to do something somewhere, then while I am here let me be wholly given to my work. If I can do more good teaching than preaching, that is my work. While I have enjoyed myself the past quarter in connection with the children, I have taken much comfort in forming acquaintances with the children's parents and neighbors. I find here many kind friends who have been to me kind and good as to a brother. There are a number of good faithful Christian brethren and sisters, but above all what sweet counsel and seasons of profit have I had with those excellent of the earth Bro. & Sister Wilbur. How choice their words, how correct their deportment, how strong their faith, how good their counsels, how worthy their example of imitation in almost every particular. How devoted, what anxiety for the cause of God. May I follow their example and they live many years of usefulness. Never did I enjoy a home more, aside from my parents' home. O how much indeed I have been favored, best of homes in good society, have many to help and none to discourage me. If anybody should be thankful I should certainly. Plenty to eat and drink and wear. The first quarter is past, now I want to enter upon the next with more zeal than the past. Improve on the past in many respects.
Saturday, July 1st 1854
This day spent in making preparation for the coming celebration of the Fourth of July. I have much to do and many things to see after as I have the honor to be the steward. I want to act well my part, be it what it may. I have also the honor of being
also sec'y. and treasurer of the committee of arrangements for the occasion. We are getting up a Sunday school celebration for Umpqua Valley. Have a free dinner and warm at that, coffee etc.
Monday, July 3rd
Worked hard all day and part of the night making preparations for the celebration. Hired three cooks. Have half a beef, a fat venison, a number of pigs and 40 chickens. The deer and pigs are to be barbecued whole. Three hundred feet of tables. Borrowed all the dishes from Winchester. Gathered knives and forks from the settlers. Will have any amount of bread, pies, cakes, peas, potatoes, fruit, beets and cucumber pickles, butter, tea, coffee etc. enough for all.
Tuesday, July 4th, 1854
Arose this morning at daybreak, milked 3 cows, saddled Mr. West's horse and rode one and one half miles to Mr. Flint's, found all in bed. Thence to Dr. Reed's, one half mile, thence to the celebration grounds, 2 miles. Then to Mr. Bunton's for breakfast, 1 & ½ miles. Thence to Mr. Hill's 1 mile, to Mr. Gardiner's, thence to John Kuykendall's 1 and ½ miles, then to Mr. Jenkins', where I got a load of things and took them to the celebration grounds. Worked 2 hours setting up tables and then went to Rev. Wilbur's and changed my clothes and got ready for the exercises, which were as follows: At 10 a.m. the children all met at Bro. Wilbur's house. Present were the Umpqua Academy Sunday School, Garden Valley Sunday School, Cole Valley Sunday School and Deer Creek Sunday School. These united with others formed a procession. Waving a large banner in front and followed by the speakers of the day, Sunday school superintendents and many others, marched to the grove 200 yards away. Besides the banners carried by each school we had 2 large flags, five medium-sized ones and many small flags. The exercises passed off with credit to all concerned.
The program was as follows: Prayer by the chaplain, Rev. James H. Wilbur. Singing by the children: "We Are But Young." Address to the children by Rev. C. P. West. Singing by all. Address to the parents, Rev. J. O. Rayner. Song by Millard Doane, marching to Academy and back. Reading Declaration of Independence by Mr. H. C. Jenkins. Singing by all, "America." Oration by Hon. R. E. Stratton. Toasts, Mr. Applegate. Benediction by Elder Stevens. Marched to tables. Five hundred persons ate plentiful and much left. Everything passed off quietly and orderly. I never saw a more respectable crowd anywhere. No swearing or drinking, and all seemed well pleased. We had tables set for about 2.00 at a time. The deer was set up on all four at the head of the table, a wreath of flowers adorned its head. I worked very hard all day and until 10 o'clock at night. I am satisfied with the whole affair better than I expected. I never worked harder with as good a will as I have here on this Fourth. No doubt the affair will have a good influence. This evening I am somewhat tired.
Wednesday, July 5th
Day spent in returning crockery, knives and forks etc. All returned safely. Out of 600 pieces of crockery brought from Winchester only two plates were broken. Good tale this for the order etc. Enough of money to pay everything and some left for the Academy I think. This week is vacation, I must work all I can; next week have to commence my school again.
The following is the list of donations for the Fourth of July dinner:
Mr. F. R. Hill solicited and turned in this list:
Mr. Willis Jenkins--$10.00
J. H. Wilbur--4 loaves of bread, 2 pyramid cakes, 1 dozen pies and stewed fruit.
J. W. Walton--6 chickens, 2 dozen eggs, 1 bushel new potatoes.
W. S. Chenoweth--½ bushel peas, 2 bushels potatoes.
G. Hannon & Mrs. Evans--5 loaves of bread, 3 gals. cucumber pickles, 18 chickens, 1 bushel peas, 2 pyramid cakes & 1 bushel potatoes, ½ bushel small cakes, 2 dozen pies, 2 gals. pickled beets.
B. Hay--1 fat pig, ½ bushel beans, 1 dozen onions, 1 bushel potatoes.
Ja. Jones--1 bushel potatoes, 1 bushel peas, 6 chickens, 2 doz. eggs.
Abs. Jones--6 gooseberry pies, 2 chickens, 2 dozen eggs, 1 peck potatoes, 2 loaves bread, 1 western cake.
Mrs. Sarah Owen--10.00
John Stanley--½ bushel potatoes, 1 peck peas, 1 fat pig.
J. B. Bowen--1.00
Mathew C. Ruckels--5.00
R. H. Dearborn--5.00
Wm. T. Perry--1 bushel peas, ½ bushel potatoes, 1 fat pig.
Needham Imbler--½ bushel small cakes, 2 loaves bread, 2 dozen radishes.
Lane & Flood--$10.00
H. G. Rhinehart--5.00
Mr. Bell--furnished materials for flag.
S. W. Crane--2.50
Mrs. Smith--½ bushel potatoes, 4 chickens, 6 pies, 1 pyramid cake, 1 peck onions
Mrs. Stevenson & Mrs. Lane--6 loaves bread, 24 pies.
Jo. Holdman--10 pounds butter.
J. G. Todd--$10.00
Creed Floed furnished table ware.
(signed)Monday, July 10th, 1854
F. R. Hill.
Examinations, 4th of July and vacation with all their pleasures are passed and gone, and this day I have commenced the 2nd quarter of this school with 21 students, 8 more than at the commencement of last quarter. Some who were here last quarter are not here now, and others are here. I feel great anxiety to labor more diligently this qr. than last for the interest of the school. While the pupils have a work to perform, much, very much depends on the teacher. I ask not for riches or name [sic--fame?], but for wisdom that I may be able to teach aright, govern aright, and act rightly in all my labors.
Friday, July 14th
Today while trying to fast and pray I enjoyed much of the love and peace of God. O that we may have an unusual good time at the camp meeting. It is good for us to afflict our souls. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way.
Saturday, July 15th
In company with Bro. Wilbur I went to Garden Valley to quarterly meeting at 11 a.m. Bro. Wilbur preached. 3 p.m. the quarterly conference. At 4 Bro. Rayner preached a good sermon. This afternoon to my own surprise I refused to preach. God save me from doing the like again.
Sunday, July 16th
At 9:30 a.m. love feast, good. 11 a.m. funeral sermon by Elder Wilbur. Sacrament administered to 3 preachers and 34 members. At 3 p.m. Bro. Wilbur baptized by immersion 5 persons viz: Dr. C. C. Reed and wife, Bro. A. J. Sturgis and two others. At 4 p.m. Rev. West preached, Bro. Wilbur exhorted. Last night I stayed with Bro. Woodruff. Took dinner with Bro. Rayner.
Monday, July 17th
Home for breakfast. Last night cattle ate up my borrowed saddle almost, except the tree.
Saturday, July 22nd
Today I went out to Father Gilmore's on Deer Creek 17 miles, got there after night.
Sunday, July 23
Tried to preach in the school house at 11 a.m. Had quite a good congregation and some liberty. After I was through I was introduced to Rev. Mr. Dillard, Cumberland preacher, who being requested after a few minutes intermission, preached also. In afternoon returned home. Got home at 9 o'clock.
Sunday, July 30
This morning rode 6 miles, called at Bros. Grubb and Rayner's. At 9:30 opened Sunday school. At the close talked a few minutes to the children and teachers. At 11 a.m. tried to insist on their forming an immediate acquaintance with God, after which I met the class. There seemed to be much feeling manifested by some. Trust the meeting was profitable. I then returned home 6 miles to meet the Sunday school at 2 o'clock. Was late in consequence of difference in time pieces, but present in time to ask questions and close at 3. Heard Bro. Rayner preach, and again met in class. Enjoyed myself usually well.
Saturday, Aug. 5th
Today I am home at Bro. Wilbur's alone, Bro. W. and wife and Libby Fackler are gone to Deer Creek to spend Sunday there. O may God he with them and grant them a good time. During the past week my school has been more prosperous than at any time since the beginning. I want to see still more interest manifested. Today I feel like really working harder than ever for the school. What a field. Intelligent, lovely youths and children, how can I do too much for them. I crave the qualification to be useful to them now. I would that I might do much, but if I can't do all I must be careful, yes, very careful to do what I can. This is what the Lord requires of me. All the good I can, be it much or little. Lord, qualify me for the duties of tomorrow in the Sunday school and in the congregation. When I think of the parents and children around that are yet in sin and strangers to God, standing on the very brink of ruin, my soul is stirred within. I want to see them converted. Lord, work by whatever instrumentality thou wilt, but save these sinners, and especially the children and youth.
Sunday, Aug. 6th, 1854
This morning I rose at 5 o'clock and after attending to some little chores and taking breakfast I sat me down to read and study to prepare for Sunday school and preaching. At 1 p.m. the school began to come in, and a few minutes before 2 we commenced Sunday school, 3 teachers absent, most of the scholars present. Quite an interesting school today, good attention, a number of young men out. About the usual congregation for preaching. I tried to point out to the people God's requirements. O that God would point out to me all things that he requires that I should do. Though when I think of the many failures to do as well as I know, I am almost ashamed to say: Lord, show me the way. I find there is a lack of faith, today somewhat cloudy in my mind.
Monday, Aug. 7th, 1854
Last night thunder and lightning and some rain. This day cool and pleasant. 30 scholars present. This day saw Leo Baker, who informed me that he had brought his sister-in-law to Brother Clinkenbeard's to board and attend this school. O that I might be well prepared to act nobly my part, now that I am to assume new responsibility with every accession to our school. May I labor faithfully that I may
induce others to do the same. Everything passed off unusually pleasantly today. I want a pure heart, perfect and right, renewed in every thought. Nothing but the grace of God can renew such an unworthy, unprofitable servant as I. I want to lay hold by faith on the promises set forth in thy word. Take me and make me thine. There seems to be an unwillingness to acknowledge what God is willing to do for unbelief, stubbornness and pride. O for humility. This evening I talked with Sarah Kilborn about her soul, she promised me that she would try to pray every day. May God help her to do it.
Tuesday, Aug. 8th
This has been rather an encouraging day to me, had 22 pupils present. One new scholar viz: Miss Alvira Tibbetts. I hope she is a good girl and will do right. I am this day more than ever anxious to act and labor for the good of my school. O that I might be able to make the proper arrangements to make the school more and more prosperous every day.
Wednesday, Aug. 9th
Today most of the day cool and cloudy. All our exercises passed off very pleasantly. M. E. Bunton, who I thought had forsaken us entirely, was here today and thought he should commence after camp meeting again. I hope he will. I am anxious about him, want to see him do well. Nearly all the pupils are quite interested now. O for more and more manifest interest on the part of all the pupils. I am not satisfied until I can see all doing something and doing well too.
Thursday, Aug. 10
Today pleasant, have got along quite well indeed. Many pleasant things transpire constantly, and occasionally some not so pleasant. Most of the children are now trying to some extent to do right. I am laboring for the good of all.
Saturday, Aug. 12
This day I have tried to do some choring, made out Sunday school report and went to Winchester and then brought up the horses and at sunset started to Garden Bottom. Called at Bro. J. B. Grubb's, then at Bro. Rayner's, then went out to the field for oats, and then back to Bro. Grubb's for the night.
Sunday, Aug. 13th
This [was] a pleasant morning. At 10 a.m. attended Sunday school. At the close talked to the children and at 11 a.m. tried to preach, after which rode home 6 miles by 2.p.m. for Sunday school. At 3 heard Rev. J. W. Miller preach.
Wednesday, Aug. 16th
Commenced school early, had ½ hour noon intermission and closed at 3 p.m. Started for camp ground 8 miles distant. Arrived in company with Dr. C. C. Reed just in time to hear the first sermon by Rev. J. W. Miller. Found on the ground some 10 or 12 families camped.
Thursday, Aug. 17
At 10 a.m. I tried for the first time to preach in the open air. First time in a pulpit and 1st time at a camp meeting. At 2 p.m. Rev. J. O. Rayner preached, at 6 p.m. Rev. J. H. Wilbur, several forward for prayers.
Friday, Aug. 18th
At 8 a.m. Bro. J. W. Miller preached. At 11 a.m. I tried to preach. While I was speaking Bro. John Flinn from Scottsburg circuit came to our help. At 2 p.m. Bro. Rayner, at 6 p.m. Bro. Flinn preached. Several persons forward for prayers.
Saturday, Aug. 19th
At 8 a.m. Bro. Wilbur, 10 Bro. Miller, at 2 Bro. Flinn and at 6 Bro. Rayner preached. Many forward for prayers tonight.
Sunday, Aug. 20th
At 8 a.m. Bro. Tibbetts preached, at 10 Bro. Wilbur administered ordinance of baptism by immersion to several persons. Some by pouring, and one child by sprinkling. At 11 a.m. Bro. Miller preached and at 2 Bro. Flinn, at 6 p.m. Bro. Rayner. After which there were many forward for prayers, a number of conversions, among whom was H. C. Jenkins, one of our students.
Monday, Aug. 21st
This morning Bro. Tibbetts preached; many forward for prayers. Conversions in almost every part of the encampment. This morning 31 joined the church, yesterday 13. Afternoon Bro. Flinn preached, at night speaking meeting. About 100 persons arose as witnesses for Christ, several conversions, among whom was Miss Alvira Tibbetts, one of our students. Praise God for his goodness. Last night sacrament administered to 5 ministers and many members about midnight. O that we might constantly bear about in our bodies the dying of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, Aug. 22
This morning I left the campground early and rode to Winchester, then to Dr. Reed's for breakfast, and then home for school. O what a happy time I had with my pupils as I met them on Bro. Wilbur's porch and told them about the conversion of some of the young persons of the school. They all promised me that they would seek God and try to meet me in heaven.
Saturday, Aug. 26th
Yesterday Bro. Flinn visited my school for the third time, also Mr. Bugh [sic]. I am still encouraged to try to do my duty as well as I can for humanity. Holiness of heart and purity of life. Consistently holy in all conversation. An active member of the church of Christ that I may be honored with a seat in those bright mansions above.
Sunday, August 27th
Raining all day--got ready to go to Winchester to hear Bro. Miller preached and was not permitted to go in consequence of Bro. Wilbur's horse getting away from him. At 2 o'clock a number of persons out for Sunday school and Bible class and preaching, Bro. Tibbetts preached. Several persons requested prayers of the church, among whom were E. Bunton and Thomas Jenkins, students of our school, and Miss H. A. Flint.
Monday, Aug. 28th
Rainy--12 out for school today--Had school in Bro. Wilbur's room and in consequence of bad weather suspended the school for a few days.
Thursday, Aug. 31st
Opened again today, had 4 new students and increased responsibility. We now have 33 in all this quarter. Today 26 were present.
Friday, Sept. 1, 1854.
Today 27 students present, school prospering rather better. Improvement in composition and many other respects.
Sunday, Sept. 3rd
Prompt attendance at meeting and Sunday school. Some 3 scholars present and large Bible class. I tried to preach, not much liberty.
Monday, Sept. 4
Today fair weather. 4 new students added to our number, increase in numbers, increase in responsibility. O for prosperity in this department.
September 28, 1854
Today second quarter ended. This closes up school for this log Academy. I think it has not been in vain that we have had school even under such embarrassing circumstances. We now have a vacation until first of November next. Up to this time have had some 40 students in all. Expect to commence next quarter in the new building.
November 6th 1854
School opened in the Umpqua Academy, 23 students. J. H. Wilbur in charge of the school and assisted by J. H. B. Royal.
January 17, 1855
During this quarter we had 40 students, classes in reading, writing, mental and practical arithmetic, spelling, geography, philosophy, bookkeeping, algebra and grammar. Closed the school today. Quite an interesting school. January 8th my sister Mary came to teach with me. Bro. Wilbur has not been in the school the last ½ quarter. Quite a pleasant time. Weather pleasant most of the time. Our room very comfortable indeed. J. H. Wilbur has done much toward regulating the school the present term. Our examination passed off quite creditably to teachers and pupils, in my judgment. O that a still greater degree of success may yet attend us in our labors.
January 29th, 1855
This day the fourth quarter of the school in Umpqua Academy commenced with 23 students. Myself and sister Mary teachers. We commence on the "No Whispering" rule and expect to carry it out. We have a variety of students, good, bad and indifferent, but by the grace of God will do what we can for them.
April 13th, 1855
The 4th quarter closed today. Quite a large company present at examinations. 37 students in all this quarter. On Friday evening of 13th. Exhibition, order of exercises on next page. All of the young men did well. Closed by an appropriate address to the students by Hon. R. E. Stratton Esq. and some few remarks by Judge Deady. Singing by students, people pleased generally.
Program, April 13th, 1855.
April 23rd 1855
This day the extra quarter of Umpqua Academy school opened with 31 students. Myself and Sister Mary again enter here as teachers. We have more children than heretofore, more classes in orthography, mental & practical arithmetic, geography, grammar, bookkeeping, philosophy and algebra.
July 4th, 1855
This day had school nearly as usual first part of the day. Had a picnic dinner in Bro. Wilbur's yard. At 3 Bro. Wilbur made some remarks and prayed with them, about 50 present, spent some time singing & visiting etc.
July 6th 1855
This day we closed the extra quarter of our school, some more than 50 students present. During the past quarter 51 students entered the school. Our number has been greater than any previous quarter, had an average attendance of 42. This day we had an examination of a few classes in the former part of the day and in the afternoon speaking & singing by the students, all passed off satisfactorily excepting the valedictory by F. P. Holman, which was quite a weak affair--and also the remarks by myself were anything else than satisfactory. I am now through with this school I presume. O how unprofitable I have been. I regret that I have not been more careful, and labored harder and spent more time for the benefit of the school. If anything good has been accomplished it has been by the blessing of God upon the labors of Rev. J. H. Wilbur. If it had not been for his care and attention, assistance and counsel the school would no doubt have been an entire or nearly a failure, instead of from a commencement of 13 students there have been 100 in connection with it during its progress since April 17th 1854. May God bless the labors that have been put forth, and that may be in the future.
James Henry Bascome Royal.J. H. B. Royal Journal, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 373. From a typescript prepared by his daughter Emma E. O'Sullivan, March 1939. Asterisks in the typescript suggest that many dates have been omitted.
Thursday Oct. 21, 1852
About 9 o'clock this morning we took our leave of Father & Mother and home to spend a few weeks in visiting our relatives in Fulton, Schuyler, Brown, Pike, Scott and Sangamon counties. Weather beautiful, roads good.
At noon we called at Mr. Baird's and fed our team--they invited us to take dinner and insisted but we declined, preferring to take it from our box as we rode along--thus saving time. We passed through the beautiful village of Farmington and arrived at Canton at dusk. We passed crowds of people just returning from Canton and wondered why so many had been in town today--but we soon learned that the great Senator Douglas had addressed the citizens that afternoon and that Mr. Linder was to speak at night. Already the town was ringing with music of their brass band which was performing lustily on the public square, where the people were forming in procession to march to the M.E. church where the address was to be delivered. Our horses were either so delighted with the music or anxious to hear the speech that we could hardly restrain them from falling in procession.
We put up with Rev. B. C. Swarts the pastor of the M.E. church and my former colleague on the old Peoria Ct. We enjoyed a delightful visit with our dear brother and sister and were sorry that we could not stay longer.
Canton is a flourishing inland town.
We took din. with Mr. Milton Haney, stationed preacher in Lewiston. Found a welcome reception.
At night we called on Mr. Robert Bacon of Astoria, an old schoolmate of mine and also a chum at McKendree College, glad to see us. Astoria is quite a neat little village ten miles from Prairie. Two steam mills, one of which is owned by our chum, several stores and many cooper shops. We were not a little surprised on learning that Dr. M. D. Strong, our old friend and family physician, was a citizen and merchant of this place. Of course we could not leave without shaking his hand and duly visiting the family--and married daughter--our old pupil.
The road--Oh! how rough! "Zig, zag" tilt, tilt; jolt, jolt; up and down and all around, six miles out of the way, for following too closely our directions.
This would have mattered but little in the prairie, but look out for the timber where the roads are only worked by the teams & heavily laden wagons.
When we came to Rushville we found the courthouse and yard filled to overflowing with tickled hearers while Mr. Douglas addressed them from the door. We drove up and heard him a short time. If all he said was true his opponents in politics should be in the state prison. But we could not listen long to this excited, boisterous, political harangue: time was now too precious as it was now drawing near to the close of the week and some distance yet to drive.
We withdrew and drove to the graveyard and visited there, perhaps for the last time, a brother's grave.
There were many graves there, and pickets draped in mourning--and many headboards with initials and names and dates and epitaphs: and there were almost innumerable tombstones, white and clouded, small and great, vertical and horizontal, marble slabs, brightly polished, with rich engravings and gorgeous sculpture and significant emblems--all plainly signifying that loved ones and honored and lamented ones reposed beneath them--we stayed not to read and admire, but came hastily to the well-remembered spot where a few years before we looked for the last time on a dear brother's earthly remains and consigned it to the silent grave. It was a lovely spot. A kind of solemn loveliness pervades the place and a lonely pleasure is imparted which none may know or enjoy, but a dear bereaved friend. There was no ornamented mound or cemented wall or chiseled slab; there was no proud monument or costly edifice--there was no evergreen there; nor even a weeping willow to wave mournfully its pendant branches over that brother's grave. Yet it was not a neglected spot. The visitor is forcibly impressed with the thought that some once loved one reposes beneath that grassy mound, so carefully enclosed with a neat plain picket with a headboard bearing the inscription--
In memory ofThis scene awakened many thoughts of the past--thoughts of a pleasing nature, and those of sadness. The sports and glee, fun and merriment of joyous childhood: the amusements and rambles of happy schoolboy hours, and the buoyant spirits and sanguine hopes of youthful days. Home--father--mother--brothers--sister, cheerful fire blazing on the hearth--happy voices, pleasant sayings--the table spread--the bountiful meal prepared by the faithful loving mother's hands--the family altar scenes--the Bibles and all the family in a group reading verse about--the melody of nine voices commingling in the music of the morning hymn
George A. Royal who departed
this life Oct. 16, 1842, aged 17 y. 3 m. 16 d.
"We lift our hearts to thee.The season of solemn fervent prayers--and the moment of sweet calm that followed---the return of our father from the circuit, or a brother after weeks or months of absence--and the pleasing thought we are all at home once more--these and a thousand other recollections of the past come crowding into the mind in rapid succession, and for a moment bring back the joys of those golden days, and introduce us in imagination to the society of all those loved, and loving ones. But one sad thought throws a solemn gloom over the whole picture. It is not (though this is a sad thought) that those days have passed away and that this happy circle is broken--but that sad thought is caused by the remembrance of having spoken unkindly to that departed brother--one unkind act I never can forget. I trust God has pardoned me. I am sorry I did not ask him to forgive me before he died.
O day star from on high."
Once in a fit of anger I gathered a stick of wood and chased him most furiously into another room, threatening to strike him. I did not strike him--but I never can forget how he looked, and begged--and how shamed I felt afterwards for my wicked conduct. I wish all brothers and sisters could know how I feel about this now my brother is gone.
* * * * * *After a pleasant visit among relations we returned by the way of Jacksonville, Springfield and Bloomington--and after spending some days with our dear parents near Randolph's Grove where they were preparing through the winter for starting early in the spring to Oregon--We in company with Bro. Charles and wife set out for Victoria. We arrived safely home at Father Stanley's Christmas Eve.
I was transferred by the Rev. Bishop Ames from the R.R. Conference at its last session to the Oregon An. Conference with the privilege of crossing the plains the following year.
A question now arose--How shall I spend the time from this till spring and how can I prepare for the journey without leaving the regular work?
I was left without an appointment that I might have time to visit friends and have time to prepare for the long and dangerous journey.
I had not means sufficient of my own, and there was no appropriation from the missionary board to defray expenses.
Now how shall I get means if I travel on a circuit?
There were openings of this kind where help was much needed. But no prospect of more than a mere supporter. My friends suggested some one plan and some another. Good offers were made where I thought I could see openings for making money. But how can I have even for six months the work to which my Master has called me? My answer all the while was, I cannot. And I did not by the grace of God.
On New Year Day  the preacher in charge on Lafayette circuit (on which Father Stanley lived), Bro. Lazenby, came to see me for the purpose of employing me on the circuit with him, as his colleague had left the work, and he was alone and in feeble health. The circuit was large and important--but Bro. B. said he could make no promises as to support, only that he would divide with me whatever he received.
I at once entered upon the work, regarding this as the indication of Providence. And thanks be to God I found the path of duty the path of safety.
The Lord opened the way for my Oregon trip in a wonderful manner while I worked for him. As the time drew near for our departure, persons voluntarily contributed for our aid. One brother unsolicited arose in a congregation after I was through preaching for the last time at that place and requested a contribution to aid us in our journey. This call received a liberal response.
One lady whose countenance I never shall forget though she was a stranger to me came to me at the close of my last discourse in Wyoming--and said as she bade me farewell, "Here, take this bit of money (a ten-dollar piece) and remember my prayers shall follow you, especially in behalf of a son I have in Oregon. I hope you will find and do him good. He is my only son." Her voice trembled and chin quivered as she spoke of her son in that far-off land. May God hear and answer her prayers.
When the time for our departure arrived we found we had a pretty comfortable outfit.
At a missionary meeting in Victoria called by Rev. J. O. Hedstrom, missionary to the Swedes, which was largely attended by our friends and the citizens generally we bade farewell to all--Yes, all our friends and neighbors, classmates & ministers and to dear brothers and sisters and Father and Mother, and after receiving the collection raised for us on the occasion, besides numerous presents and tokens of kindness from private donors never to be forgotten. We took dinner with Bro. Hedstrom and took up our line of march for the wilderness plains.
Our "outfit" consisted of one wagon, two yoke of oxen, and one yoke of cows, with means to get another yoke on the way, and provisions and clothing enough to last us five months, with a little case of medicines and money enough to defray contingent expenses.
Thus my wife and I and our two children and a young man along to drive started on our journey across the plains to the Pacific Coast.
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #2, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
Rogue River Valley O.T.Dec. 23, 1853.
I left home today to visit Rogue River for the first time. On my way called at Mr. Walker's and urged them to send their children on to school one and all. Bro. James was teaching in our house. They said a little boy living with them had no parents. They died in crossing the plains. I told them to send him immediately; it should cost him nothing. His name is [blank].
On my way I fell in company with Mr. Pratt, an old packer and mountaineer. His house and nearly all of his property was burned by the Indians in the war last season. It had cost him thousands of dollars--but it is now in ashes and he is camped near the ruins while he takes care of the crop. His wife is in Willamette Valley and says she will not come back while there is an Indian alive. He informs me that there are two little girls living at his place whose parents crossed the plains this year and are not able to send them to school--but he proposes to pay their tuition if they will get a place in Jacksonville for them to board--but they could get no suitable place.
I told him if they could have confidence in us, we would take one of them into our family and board them for their work. As we live in a part of the same house it would be comfortable and pleasant for a little girl to board with us.
He will let me know on Monday what they will do. I tried on seeing the ashes of Mr. Pratt's fine house to impress on his mind the important lesson that the scene suggested--viz, that all things earthly was very transitory and uncertain in their nature, and that it would be acting the part of wisdom to secure a mansion in Heaven, "a house made without hands eternal in the heavens." I fear he thinks but little about these things. His heart is fixed on this world. May God have mercy on him.
A little after dark I came to the picket gate of Dr. Ambrose's fort. I got permission to stay all night, put up my horse and went in. The Dr. himself is at Salem in the Legislature as a representative from this county. His lady I found at home. She was hospitable and kind and truly a lady in every sense of the word. But a young woman boarding with her certainly is not a lady, for one reason--she smokes.
Mrs. A. was raised in the neighborhood where my father first settled in Ill. within a half mile of my grandfather Royal's. She says she belonged to the Christians before she left home but has somewhat backslid in this new country. Miss F., the smoking young woman, says her mother was a shouting Methodist, but she had no confidence in her shouting. For her part she did not believe in that kind of religion which frightened people to serve God.
(Taking down her pipe) With an ostentatious air, she said; "I believe in a God of mercy." "I don't believe the old gentleman has placed me in this world just to be miserable while I live and then punish me forever."
No more do I. For "he willeth not the death of any," and if you should finally be lost it would be your own fault. "You would not come to him that you might have life."
"I believe I am as good as anybody now. I know I do wrong sometimes, and I believe I will be punished for all my wrongs, and I believe that everybody will have to suffer punishment for all their sins, everyone, however small."
I don't believe it, by any means, said I. God teaches us in his word that he is merciful--"forgiving transgression, iniquity and sin." Will he punish a pardoned sinner? Will [he] punish for all those little sins after they are all forgiven, canceled, blotted out, separated as far from the sinner as the East is from the West. And now, it is your privilege to enjoy pardon instead of endure punishment for your sins if you will only sincerely repent and ask forgiveness, through Christ who hath suffered for you. Do you ever pray?
"Yes, I when I think I need anything I ask God for it--but when I have a plenty to eat, drink and wear and all the comforts of life, what would I pray for? I don't see the use of being always dingin' at the old gentleman when a body don't need anything."
Don't you need anything but your victuals and clothes? Have you no soul? No spiritual wants? Are you not susceptible of higher and holier desires? Has not God made it our duty to ask him for spiritual blessings, and has he not promised to "give the holy spirit to them that ask him."
"O, well, I don't believe in so much parade and display about religion no how. I believe what the Bible says, that "there is none good, no, not one--and he that says he liveth and sinneth not is a liar. I believe I'm just as good as anybody--I have my own way of thinkin' about these things."
It is true as you say that Christians should not make a vain show or ostentatious parade of their religion, and yes it is their duty meekly to "confess Christ before men"--to "acknowledge him in all their ways"--and to "let their light so shine before men that they may see their good works." It is true also that in a state of nature no one can do anything good; and no one unassisted by divine grace can live without sin. But St. John informs us that "he that is born of God cannot commit sin"--that is, while he is a child of God, and that "he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." But his righteousness is not his own. It is the righteousness of God. For himself he can only say, "I have been an unprofitable servant--and his only plea, his highest claim, is through the merits of Jesus Christ his only righteousness--through faith in his name. The humble Christian never proudly asserts, "I am better than," or even "as good as anybody else." But by the grace of God I am what I am."
Here I broke off the dialogue by consuming all the time myself in talking to her, warning, advising, exhorting, and entreating her in a feeling manner, and with a good degree of liberty endeavored to impress upon her mind the importance of attending immediately to the salvation of her soul.
Her feelings became quite tender, and she was much more reasonable at the close of our conversation. But I fear she is far from the Kingdom.
Before breakfast I tried to talk some with Jack, a young siwash, but could converse but little as I do not understand the jargon, but I could see intelligence flashing from his bright black eye. Poor fellow, I feel sorry for him and his race. I believe something may be done for him and his race. As a tribe they are anxious to learn to mommock (or work), and read and write and live like the Bostons (or whites). And they learn very fast, and are proud of doing things like the Americans.
After breakfast I talked with several young men on the subject of religion, trust it will do them good. I then visited the family of lawyer T'Vault and found them very sociable and genteel, though not religious, favorable however to the cause and under Methodist influence. I next visited and took dinner at Mr. Gall's. The visit was well received. Though the family are all unconverted they seem just like Methodists. Indeed I can't help but love them. With proper care I believe they may soon be brought in. The next family are German Lutherans by the name of Rosenstocks. They are anxious to have regular preaching and say they "vill elp do bay de breacher is vages." They are preparing to observe Christmas Eve in the usual German style with a fine supper and an illuminated Christmas tree and garden--their neighbors are just coming in to share with them in the festivities of the occasion. I of course received a very pressing invitation to stay all night and join them in the celebration, but my work was laid out for the evening and I felt that duty compelled me to decline, so on I went down the river, called a moment at Dr. Miller's, found they were all going to see the Christmas tree and gather some of its fruit. I put up at Mr. Birdseye's for the night. All very kind--he was raised an Episcopalian & she a Baptist. We have some hopes they will become Methodists.
The congregation was as large today as could be expected in so sparsely a settled country. All intelligent and well dressed--and give signs of having been raised in the higher circles of life. Notebooks stacked on the table. Singing good. Text Isa. 9.5. "For unto us a child is born," &c. Attention very good till the chimney took fire. After preaching I organized a society. Three persons joined by Ger. Dr. Wm. Miller and lady and father-in-law J. M. Young. Some were very much affected, and no doubt the society will increase.
I spent the evening and night at the Dr.'s. They are well posted up in the history of the M.E. Church in the western conferences, especially in Illinois. This furnished us with an ample field of conversation and soon found ourselves almost intimately acquainted.
After making several visits that I trust will prove useful, I met a young man in the road on horseback from the mines near Jacksonville, hunting a mule. He turned about and rode with me.
His name is Crawford, from Missouri this year to Willamette and had just come down here to the mines.
Said I, are you religious?
Did you ever enjoy religion.
"Yes, sir, and I intended when I left home to cross the plains to keep it but I missed it."
To what church did you belong?
"To the Methodists."
Do you intend to give religion up now entirely.
On further conversation with him I found that his parents were irreligious and that the young man who came with him had been also religious and was now in the same fix with himself. He promised me to attend church and try to be religious again. I visited three other families and met a man in the road who said to me, "You are about to lose one of your blankets."
Thank you sir, said I; do you live in this neighborhood?
"Yes, sir; I board at Mr. Ingalls' and am mining near there."
Then you will attend preaching in that neighborhood.
"Yes, I would be glad to do so."
Do you enjoy religion?
"I trust I do. I have just lately joined the church down in Willamette."
"The Methodist church."
Very well--then you want to join our new society at Dr. Miller's?
"O yes, to be sure."
Then come out two weeks from next Wednesday night and you may have a chance. Farewell Br. Taylor.
The next man I found was Mr. Pattey, who said he was not a professor of religion in this country. Had been, but not here. He thought this no place for such things. He invited me into his house, in which resided Mr. Russell and family. None of them religious. Two interesting little girls that ought to be in school, but their parents are not able to send them, having lost everything on the plains this season. These are the girls Mr. Patrick proposed sending to school if they could have a place to board. They have consented to let the oldest one come and board with us. And will fetch her sometime this week. As I left the house I met a man [who] said with considerable emphasis "I do enjoy religion, though I do not belong to any church. I have had a great many ups and downs in this world. I once had a wife," and (with deep emotion he added) "she was a good woman too, and died happy and no doubt is now in heaven, and I intend to meet her there,"
As I rode past Patrick's tent I observed a young man, perhaps 18, standing by the camp fire. I felt it strongly impressed upon my mind that I should speak a word to him about his soul. I wheeled my horse about, went back and inquired if he had ever experienced a knowledge of pardoned sin. In a very reasonable and candid manner he frankly told me his experience. Said he did not enjoy religion, but felt its importance. His mother was a pious woman, and a Methodist. She taught him to pray--but he does not pray now. Upon her deathbed she called her children around her bed and exhorted them to meet her in heaven--had her reason to the last, and died shouting. He never can forget her prayers and instructions. I felt deeply for the interesting lad and gave him all the good advice I could. He felt deeply and appeared anxious to manifest his gratitude to me for my kindness and interest in his welfare. From the sudden impulse of the moment he drew from his pocket and offered me a cigar, perhaps the only one he had, one which he had been saving to enjoy in a leisure hour himself--but he felt that he would rather deny himself this luxury and give me the privilege of enjoying the perfumes of his richly scented cigar. He was artless and honest in making this offer--but I declined accepting, stating that I once loved to smoke cigars and would still if I would indulge, but I thought it a useless habit and quit it for fear it would grow on me till I became a confirmed smoker.
"I expect it's a bad habit," said he, and as I bade him farewell he said he was much obliged to me for advising him and that he would come to church and try to lead a new life. As I left him my feelings overpowered me and I gave vent to them in floods of tears and fervent prayers for the salvation of this interesting young man.
Mr. Huston, his mother and brother live in the next house. All irreligious--I talked to them the best I could and prayed with them and though they were quite distant and stubborn at first they seemed very kind, invited me to stay for supper and said as I took my leave of them we are very much obliged to you for your visit.
I stopped for the night at the Willow Spring place, all unconverted here, but friendly and treat the minister of the gospel with respect. I had prayers with them night and morning and enjoyed good liberty in praying. Geo.
I talked personally and plainly with Mr. Dean the landlord and his lady and sister-in-law Mrs. [Robert] Huston, whose husband was killed by accident in the Indian war a short time since--they acknowledge the importance of religion, and appeared serious. They charged me nothing for my night's lodging, supper and breakfast and invited me to come again and fetch my lady. It would afford me much pleasure to do so.
I started for Ft. Lane, called at every house and spoke with several young men about the welfare of their souls. Took dinner at Mr. Peninger's, whose wife has been a Methodist. They will send their oldest daughter and son to school next week, if they can get a place for them to board. When I came to the Fort I called at the headquarters of the Captain, who was absent. However Mr. Culver, the Indian agent, was present and treated me in a very gentlemanly manners. He is a fine-looking man, possessing more than an ordinary share of intelligence, a good education and accomplished manners. He is a fluent speaker, entertains his company pleasantly and leaves a favorable impression upon their minds. He gave me a satisfactory history of the Indians and their difficulties with the whites; and gave me much information relative to the peculiar character of the Rogue River Indians, which confirmed me in my opinion that something might be done to greatly improve the mental, moral and social condition of their tribe.
The Captain soon entered and I was introduced to him as a clergyman of the Methodist Church. I said to him that I was appointed to labor in this valley this winter, had commenced the work--preaching where there was an opening, visiting from house to house--inquiring after the spiritual welfare of all--encouraging those who are religious to be faithful and making such provisions for them as our circumstances will allow, at the same time trying to persuade those who are not religious to become so. In discharging this duty, I must not pass by those who are placed here for the defense of our country. For this purpose I have called to see if a sermon occasionally would be acceptable. On being assured that it would, I left an appointment for the second Sabbath in next month at 10½ o'clock.
The Capt. kindly invited me to stay and take tea with them at 4 o'clock. I declined, and excused myself by saying my arrangements for the day are such that I cannot consistently stay until that hour. I took my leave of them and started for Butte Creek. On my way I found at the saw mill and several houses along a number of old and young bachelors to whom I introduced myself and my business--exhorted them and passed on across Bear Creek and up Rogue River in a blind path till I came to an Indian rancheria, where I inquired of the Indian the way--he pointed across a small stream and up the river through a very thickety bottom. As I turned and rode away he started towards me and made motions for me to stop at the same time, saying something which I did not understand. I supposed however that he wanted to beg, and said, without stopping, as if I did not take his meaning. Yes, yes, thank you, this is the way to Butte Creek is it? He roared out laughing, as did also his squaw & children and had a real dish of fun at my expense.
In a few minutes I was brought up standing at a deep and rapid stream where a bridge had lately been washed away. I turned and went back to look another way when the Indian called after me and pointed me back again, saying that was the way to Boston house, Butte Creek and so on. I told him bridge gone couldn't cross--he said by signs I must make my horse get down into it and wade; as I seemed to hesitate he went along to show me the way and took me some distance downstream and pointed to the place where I must cross--It looked frightful, banks so steep and water so swift--but I ventured to make the leap and down we went, horse and all, head first. I turned the horse's head upstream and urged him forward against the rapid current to the coming-out place a few rods above. As I rode up my guide placed himself on a footlog which lay directly over me. I thought if he were disposed he could easily send me downstream with the driftwood where I never could have been found to tell of my fate. As I rode out my saddlebags fell off almost in the stream. As I gathered them up and I was getting ready to start I turned and thanked my guide--saying (klose siwash) or good Indian. He said, "Nika Jack tiee Jim's tillicum." I am Jack and belong to chief Jim's band. After all I could not get through this route for trees, logs and brush, so I retraced my steps, crossed back the same way and looked for another route. I have no doubt but Jack was perfectly honest in directing me, and had I been an Indian no doubt but I could have gone through, but I was deterred by many wild and dismal obstacles ahead, which perhaps were magnified by my imagination.
After traveling several miles through deep mud, that often almost fastened my horse in his tracks, I came after dark to the house of Mr. Stow, who married the daughter of widow Walters, near the old camp ground on Spring Creek in Sangamon Co., Ill., near Springfield. They are not religious now, though she once was and belonged to the M.E.C. I said to her that, in wandering away out here so far from her native home and all its privileges and blessings I trust she had not wandered away from her Savior. She made no distinct reply, but fretfully scolded the children about something as if they had all at once become the most hateful children in the world. I proposed the same question in another form, but she just then discovered something wrong about the cooking, and found it necessary to give instant orders, and that too in no very pleasant way--and thus she continued ordering and scolding and complaining, occasionally leaning back in her pillowed chair, her head reclining to one side, and her eyes apparently fastened upon some object on the floor, when she would draw a long breath, and say, "It seems like I've got the worst children ever was. It's enough to make one distracted."
"I've got such a powerful headache it appears like it would kill me to talk so much." All this time I sat with speechless silence and almost wondered if I would be the next object of cutting reproof and severe tongue-lashing, but I escaped and in the calm after she had rested a little from her exhaustion I again ventured to introduce the subject of religion. This time she responded; though rather gruffly, saying, "It looks like a mighty hard chance for one to be religious here."
I tried to make all allowance possible for her unpleasant state of mind by attributing it to her illness, and proceeded to exhort her to come back into the old paths and tried to encourage and comfort her and soothe her feelings, by saying religion is a sweetener for all the ills of life, a sovereign balm for every wound, a cordial for all our fears. "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." It is hard to live religiously here amid the troubles and perplexities of this life, and especially in this new country, with a large family of children, and in the midst of afflictions: Yes, it is hard. But it is harder still to live without religion.
I left my horse in pasture and traveled on foot today, as the mud was so deep all over the country as to make it very very difficult traveling on horseback. As I visited from house to house I called at Mr. Ducker's--found them all at home and glad to see me--How glad we are to meet with those who traveled with us across the plains; they seem like a part of the same family. After dining and praying with them I started across the buttes to Newcomb's & son-in-law's & found that some six of them had been Methodists [and] were glad of my visit, and all who were at home promised to join the church when I come to organize in Feb. on the second Sabbath.
Returned home--found all well and happy. Had just received a bundle of papers from Br. Wilbur.
There was one circumstance however that had transpired in my absence that I was sorry to hear.
A young man came to my brother one morning about school time and informed him that there was great dissatisfaction with the school--and with a good deal of agitation added--"If something is not done immediately to allay the excitement, your school will be broken up. A large number of your scholars have stayed out, and will not come any more unless there is a change in one particular."
"Ah," says James with great surprise--"what is the cause of their dissatisfaction?"
It is said you have a colored girl in your school."
"If there is, I could not tell for the life of me which one she is."
"Her name is [blank] the one sent in by Mr. French."
"And if she is not sent immediately out most of your scholars will stay out. Their parents cannot bear the thought of sending their children to school with a negro--it will be thrown up to them as long as they live."
"Well, sir, I think you must be mistaken--the girl you refer to is as white as you or I."
"There is no mistake but she has colored blood in her--her mother is a mulatto and most of the
By this time Mr. French had heard of the fuss and came over and told my brother he could send this girl no longer--as it was making so great [a] disturbance in the school. Here the matter ended. But such an end as this was. Good heavens!! How can such conduct be suffered!! My heart bleeds for the cause of the oppressed, the downtrodden; for those innocent ones whose efforts and bright hopes & fair prospects are blasted, and whose pure hearts are thus crushed by a poor, proud, inhuman, unprincipled, contemptible tyrant of a fool.
Among other little matters of importance I visited the school and talked to the scholars.
This last day of the old year we closed on our knees in prayer around the family altar--while a noisy rabble in the streets were yelling and screaming and incessantly firing a cannon until James & Mary Ann were done praying, when they ceased and a number of them gathered around our window during our last prayer, and at the close some of them ran away mocking. But this did not move us only in pity for them, for the Lord wonderfully blessed us in praying for them and we rejoiced and were exceeding glad.
When we recount the mercies of God they are more than can be numbered during the past year, in the States and on the plains and here in Oregon. Among our friends and relatives at home and among strangers abroad, in the land of our nativity, the land of peace and plenty and in a far-off desert, heathen land. The mercy, blessings, and protection of our Heavenly Father have been a like manifest at all times. His grace has always been sufficient when we trusted in him. The severer the trial the greater the grace. May the Lord forgive the sins of the past & help us to be more faithful and useful during the coming year if our lives shall be spared.
T. F. RoyalThomas Fletcher Royal Journal #1, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
1854. Journal.Sunday Jan. 1st.
This morning I went to my appointment in One Horse Town in the mines, and found but few in attendance--being New Year's Day, and observed as a holiday by the miners, I talked to the few present a short time, sung and prayed with them, and returned home to fill my appointments in Jacksonville.
At one o'clock the friends of the Sabbath school cause met in the school room and we organized the first S. school in Jacksonville, Br. Kahler was elected superintendent: Jas. H. B. Royal asst. and S. H. Taylor librarian. Br. Taylor brought forward and presented to the Sabbath school a small library of books of the A.S.S.U. which he had brought across the plains with him. All present took an interest in the enterprise. All in attendance, though few in number, were encouraged with the prospect of the infants' S. school.
After preaching at 2 o'clock from these words; "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm XC. 12. I organized a society composed of four persons, S. H. Taylor, Christopher Alderson, Mary Ann Royal and Jas. H. B. Royal.
Sunday Jan. 8.
I filled three appointments today, one at Ft. Lane at 10½ o'clock. The Captain and his officers, the Indian agent, the regular soldiers and three or four natives were present. Neatness, good order and good attention were all of interest manifest on the part of the congregation. I tried to explain to them the way of salvation by grace through faith. At 2 o'clock I tried to persuade my congregation in Jacksonville to "acquaint themselves now with God and be at peace that good might come unto them." At night I preached with some degree of liberty to the young men from this text--"Wherewith, shall a young man cleanse his way; by taking heed thereto according to thy word." Good attention and deep solemnity prevailed throughout the service.
Started to my appointment at Miller's some 25 or 30 miles down Rogue River and walked as far as his brother's the Dr. and found as I could get no horse it would be impossible to reach there in time, so I declined going and stopped with the Dr. for the night.
Among other visits today I called on the young Mr. Jewett's who keep the upper ferry and conversed with them about their souls--and learned that they had been raised by Methodist parents--but wicked themselves and inclined to Universalism though not confirmed. As I left them one said our mother would rejoice if she knew who had been here and talked to us as you have. I shall write to her about it. The wind was now blowing hard and the rain had now commenced falling and all things seemed to portend a stormy night for meeting, which it proved to be. But for all this there were a few present to whom I tried to preach & left an appointment for two weeks, only on Tuesday night. I went home with Mr. & Mrs. Rosenstock and stayed all night and found them very kind--but I fear their Lutheran religion won't do. O that God would thoroughly and powerfully convert their souls.
I talked with Mr. Libby about his soul. This afternoon I started to my appoint in the Wagner Fort neighborhood--took our little daughter along to see her grandmother and had a tedious time carrying her 12 miles on the horse before me.
I went with Father to his new house and after talking with him some time visited Mr. Barrett's family--found the gentleman sick and had lately lost his companion but professes to enjoy religion--as also two of his sons, and are members of the Associate Reform Church. I returned and helped Father a little on his house and passed on towards Mr. Rockfellow's, calling at a packers' encampment just as they were unpacking their mules and swearing dreadfully. I reproved them and they ceased to swear. I found one of them was a nephew of Rev. John Sinclair of the R.R. Conference, my old P.E., his name Phillips. Mrs. Rockfellow is a Methodist.
I took supper at Mr. Wagner's, stayed till after school meeting and went home with Mr. Beeson to stay all night. O how changed; once this was a praying family--now only moral.
In the morning I tried to preach in Mr. Anderson's house from these words, "And his name shall be called wonderful."
In the afternoon I was greatly blessed on preaching at Br. Gay's. I read our rules and organized a society. The following persons presented certificates--Rev. S. P. Taylor and wife and son, Robert and daughter Rachel. Rev. Gray and wife Flora joined without letters, as did also their children Mary and Robert. Br. Gray himself says he has his credentials with him to show that he is an ordained preacher--he also says he's a superannuate of the Missouri Annual Con., of the M.E. Church South, and that through his neglect his wife had no certificate.
After making a few visits I returned to Father's and spent the night. How glad little Anina was to see her father come back.
This morning packed three bu. potatoes on my horse and started home afoot driving my horse before me. On my way called at Mr. Evans' and got some hymn books and packed them on top of my load and went home. Thank the Lord for a good cheerful home and a loving, faithful wife.
Today I visited the miners at their cabins and found a friendly reception, I feel that the labors of today will be blessed.
The house was crowded this morning in Miner's Town.
Our congregations were large and attentive in Jacksonville at 2 p.m. and at night--I felt that the Lord helped me wonderfully--I feel greatly encouraged.with the prospect of better days in this place. There is a great change in the observance of the Sabbath here already.
Today we took Mr. Libby into our house to take care of him and doctor him as he is very sick and not able to stand bachelor's fare in the miserable shanty where he was taken sick. I went down to Dr. Miller's to my appointment at night and found no congregation--preached a little to the family and hired hands and left an appointment for four weeks to fill on my way to conference.
But few in attendance today in the mines. After preaching as I returned I overtook and entered into conversation with Mr. Payne of Ohio, who said he was once a member of the M.E. Church but had backslid here in the mines and had fallen into many bad habits--had concluded to reform his life and become religious when he gets home, but on more mature reflection he had resolved to become religious now, and join the church the first opportunity "for fear I never get home." Very well, said I, come out this afternoon to preaching in town and you shall have a chance to join the church in class meeting. He came--joined--and was greatly blessed.
Congregations this afternoon and tonight were large and solemn. Singing good. I took up a collection for the purpose of purchasing new books for the Sunday school $16. After preaching a stranger by the name of White from Althouse Diggings came forward and presented me with $5.
Saturday Feb. 11.
I started afoot to Butte Creek and found the traveling very hard, the mud deep and sticky. I carried a pole ten or fifteen feet long on my shoulder all the way across from Bear Creek to jump the small streams. Tired and weary I supped at Mother Walker's and spent the night.
Very stormy--heavy snow with some thunder--congregation larger than could have been expected--mostly young men--I believe the Lord will make this visit useful to the people--I opened the door of the church and Sister Newcomb joined. Others no doubt will join the first opportunity.
Brother Newcomb sent a boy and two horses to carry me part way home--may the Lord reward him for his kindness.
Wednesday 14 [sic]
Mr. Libby has got about well and went today to board at the Robinson House.
A little after noon I started with my family to Father's to visit them and be ready for quarterly meeting. Our carriage and team was two yoke of oxen and wagon. We arrived in safety just [at] dusk. O! how glad we were to see all the folks--how much gladder we were to see our sweet little Anina who had now been from home five weeks. What a sweet happy home Father has made for himself and Mother and Mary and Jason Lee.
Our quarterly meeting commenced--I preached from Psalms 84.10. After preaching organized a quarterly conference of 10 members--Br. Jas. H. B. Royal was recommended to the traveling connection.
Love feast in the morning good--it was a precious season. Preaching at 11 by Br. Gray good--afterwards collection $23 dols. & the Lord's Supper was administered by my father. This was the first love feast and the first communion season in Rogue River Valley.
Brother Taylor preached a good sermon for us at night--and our quarterly meeting wound up with a good state of feeling and left as we trust under God an excellent influence on the community.
I came home on Monday with Sylvester Taylor and brought our cow--spent Tuesday in looking in vain for a horse--came home in the evening and found Father had just arrived with my family and sister Mary.
An appointment for preaching was circulated with the expectation that Father would preach but he was not able so it fell to me--the house was so full there was no room for another one.
I was disappointed in getting a horse and consequently was not able to start to conference today according to previous arrangement.
In the evening I joined in holy matrimony Mr. Kerr & Mrs. Grant, both of our city.
I started for conference--had good roads--and a pleasant ride to Mrs. Shefler's 18 miles where I put up for the night--here I found several of our Jacksonville boys--all very kind and glad to see me--had prayers night and morning and no bill to pay.
On my way I called a moment on the young Mr. Blank's, found the older one sick and talked to him about the state of his soul; he gave evidence of great indifference and stupor as well as ignorance upon the subject of religion. He said he had not thought much about it since I visited them before. No doubt he told the truth--about all they think about is to save their claim and make money off of their farm and ferry.
I was surprised that they had no spirituous liquors in their bar, as it is so common at all these public stands in this country--but on inquiry I found it was not because they were too good or too temperate to keep it--"For," says the older brother--"I dare not keep it on account of this brother of mine--he has become so dissipated--he would soon kill himself drinking if he could have free access to it." Alas! alas! thought I--and what a pity, said I, that one so young (not older that 21 or 22) should have acquired such intemperate habits, and thus in the morning of life give himself a [omission?] sacrifice soul and body to a perverse and base appetite, and thus become his own destroyer!
As I turned away from the bed of the sick man--with a single glance my eyes surveyed the room--the furniture--the stools, the long bench--the filthy bunks--the dirty grease-coated table--the shelves with their heterogeneous mass of unwashen dishes--a knife and a spoon--a fork and a saucer, a tea cup and a salt box--a plate and an old black dish cloth, a coffee pot and a frying pan: These all thus unnaturally coupled off were huddled together with a nameless variety of crumbs and scraps, and bones and peelings--and--the awkward bachelor cook only know what all.
And the fireplace--O! how lonesome! There were a few chunks smoking on the big pile of hot ashes--and even these chunks seemed to feel conscious of the gloom, and tried all they could to cheer up the place--but their snapping and singing only made the stillness and dreariness of that lonesome hearth the more gloomy. True there was one article of furniture there, that made us think of domestic life and happiness--but certainly nothing was ever so much out of place as it--and I'm sure no inanimate thing was ever caught in a more awkward position. It was a softly cushioned rocking chair!
I have seen the wild goose wander from her course, and circle round and round in the raging storm to find her way--I have heard the mournful cooing of the dove for her lifeless mate--I have heard of a ship at sea being lost in the fog, and by adverse winds driven far away and drifted upon some unknown distant land--but, never did I see or hear of anything so completely lost, and forsaken, and so far from home as this rocking chair. What, thought I, can this mean--a rocking chair, neatly trimmed and cushioned all over here in a rusty old bachelor's hut.
My curiosity was excited, and had I not asked for an explanation, I would have gone off wondering whether they kept it there for an object of worship or just for mere curiosity--for no bachelor ever made such a luxury for his own comfort. The secret of the matter was this--a family had once lived there and this was the woman's chair which she was obliged to leave when she moved--as they had no means of transportation only on a pack train.
As I mounted my horse and rode away I congratulated myself on my happy state, and thought I would not be a bachelor for all Rogue River Valley, gold and all.
I called on Mr. Rayborne as I passed down the river--but he disappointed me in not having the promised money ready--so I must go on to conference without it. I felt sorry to see poor old Buck and Brandy feeding there in that lonesome bottom all alone. Poor old fellows, I can almost cry for them--they were such good faithful servants and worked so hard to haul my family across the plains--I am sorry I ever hit them a lick--I wish I could keep them always. If there is any happy place for dumb brutes hereafter I have no doubt but they will go straight to it when they die.
I crossed at Evans' ferry free of cost--the ferryman was not religious, but he said they never charged ministers--as I passed the house I found French Louie there--he appeared glad to see me and invited me in to take something to drink as it was a cold, chilly morning. I thanked Louie and told him I was not cold, and if I were I would not dare to drink spirits--for they say there is poison in it--and if a man indulges in drinking he acquires an appetite for strong drink and then there is danger of his becoming a drunkard--and that would be a dreadful thing--so I will not drink for I don't want to be a drunkard--do you, Louie?
"No--of course I don't."
Then, Louie, let's be on the safe side and not take any poison.
Louie said no more, but looked thoughtful as I bade him goodbye, mounted my horse and trotted off down the river.
The road was beautiful to Dr. Miller's, the brother of our Dr. Miller. He was not at home but his mother-in-law, a good Presbyterian lady, Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Miller were there and made me very welcome, gave me my dinner and invited me to call on my return and preach for them.
In the afternoon I passed over fine roads again leading over a most charming country to travel through abounding in romantic scenery--it was mountainous to be sure and heavily timbered--but the road lay along in the little narrow valleys, and over low places in the mountains and through narrow passes--occasionally coming suddenly out into some sunny valley just large enough for a good farm and tavern stand. Crossing Jumpoff Joe, that beautiful little stream noted for its high precipitous banks and rapid current--and pausing awhile to--I moved slowly, silently and musingly through a dense forest of pine--fir and cedar trees--until all at once it grew quite light--when I looked up just in time to catch through the openings in the evergreen boughs a glimpse of the setting sun as he shed his last lingering rays on one of the most picturesque little valleys I had ever seen. Here was a new farm and tavern stand. This looks as if somebody lived here, thought I, and I was not long in calling for a night's lodgings, supper and so on. I turned out my horse and went into the bar room and found it filled with men from Willamette--bound for the mines--soon I was called into the dining room for supper and as I stepped in I drew from my pocket the nice white pocket handkerchief my sweet wife had put up so neatly for me, unfolding it as I went, looking as pleasant as I could, expecting every moment to see the landlady and bid her good evening and be received with a welcome smile to her table--I looked all around to see her--but looked in vain. I soon found when I commenced eating that the supper was got up by a man and had no one to wait on me at table but a batch. There was no female about the house but some squaws who were tittering and laughing in the kitchen, and had come there to sell themselves, as we were informed, for the night, but their hellish traffic was broken up for that night--for when supper was over I asked the landlord if he would be willing to have prayers in his house before going to bed--he said he had no objections. I asked the men in the barroom if they were willing; they all said yes--accordingly we went at it--but these Indians never witnessed the solemn exercise of religious devotion before--they were alarmed--two young bucks about 18 years old, who made their home there, were present in the bar room and when we all kneeled down they broke for the door and out they went and around by the kitchen door and the squaws out and after them. They all took to the mountains and laid out in the cold pelting rain all night--and never ventured near the house till late in the morning when they came in with their blankets dripping wet.
Road, scenery and all very pleasant this morning--except the rain that fell on me constantly till I arrived at the top of a high mountain, where I found quite a change in the weather and in the storm, for instead of rain it was snowing so thick and fast I could hardly see the distance of a hundred yards before me. In turning over the summit of this mountain to descend the northern declivity I instantly penetrated a dense dark forest through which the new territorial road had lately been cut and traveled just enough by pack trains to make a complete staircase of it, from top to bottom--and every step was a deep mud hole and between all the steps were ridges that almost touched a mule's breast--to descend these steps with a horse not accustomed to them was [a] rather frightful and hazardous undertaking. I was afraid to ride here--so I waded down through mud, water, logs and brush for several miles to a beautiful stream formerly called Grave Creek but by the last legislature changed to Leland for the name of a young lady who
While I ate with gratitude this welcome lunch I thought of home, sweet home--and felt in my heart--what I try now to express on paper--May the Lord bless those precious hands that placed this bundle in my saddlebags--not that I thought so much of the bundle but that it made me think of one I love better than my own life.
In the evening I crossed Cow Creek and commenced circulating an appointment for next day at 2 o'clock at the Canyon House.
I stayed all night with a lot of dirty bachelors--but they were very kind to me and fed my mare all the oats and hay she could eat and charged me nothing. And all came to meeting. A young Indian was staying with them whom they called Sam--I showed him my Bible after prayers in the morning and told him it was the sochalie tiee's [high chief's] book--the Bible--klose waugh-waugh (or good talk) sochalie tiee's waugh-waugh God's talk, to Boston man and siwash too. He looked at it with a good deal of reverence and as the boys were catching mules to go to preaching he said he wanted a mule too to go and hear me waugh-waugh klose, so they caught him a mule and he went along and appeared quite serious as if he understood what was said.
I started early to church so as to give my appointment a better circulation--calling at every house on my way--when I told them at the last house there would be preaching at the Canyon House at 2 o'clock--a sick man on a bed by the fire said--"I mean to go too--now for I have not heard a sermon since I left the States and I mean to go." "You are not able," said his sister--
"But you must haul me in the wagon--I must go."
I saw he was not able to go to church, so I got down, went in and sung, read a chapter in the Bible to him and tried to point him to Jesus, the great physician who could cure him, soul and body. I left him bathed in tears.
I found a good welcome at the tavern where I was to preach--they were glad to be noticed in their neighborhood and rather complained that they had never had preaching before. My congregation was composed of pretty hard cases no doubt, one of whom was a woman who started to go to her husband in California in company with Dr. Rose. She became attached to him on the plains and came into Rogue River Valley with him and lived with him as his wife till the Indians shot him, and now it is said she is cohabiting with a man by the name of Miller, a brother-in-law to Dr. Rose, deceased. Poor woman--she looks like a demon from the bottomless pit instead of an angel of love. Occasionally she seemed to feel a flash of conviction and for a moment would forget herself and almost give way to her feelings--when she would again resume apparent self-possession, and look me in the face as I tried to enforce the plain truth, as she was nerved up by the energy of seven devils.
The landlady and her sister appeared to be quite amiable women. They all treated me with great respect and charged me nothing for accommodations.
I never will forget this day as long as Canyon Creek continues to course its way through that frightful pass between those rocky cliffs and towering mountains.
I entered this dismal chasm, this dark and dangerous and much-dreaded Canyon quite early in the morning, expecting to encounter difficulties greater than I had ever met before in traveling--but little did I imagine that the reality as I found it lay before me. I was told the first part was the worst. True, with its deep mud holes, logs, broken bridges, mule steps sidling, steep and rough, it was bad enough to be the worst, but it was good when compared with the last half of the road.
It was about noon when I first entered Canyon Creek, which rises some 2 miles before you reach the middle of the Canyon. At first it was a small stream, though bold and rapid. I had no fears of this little noisy brook--but I did not think of the facts, that this is only the head of a stream, the windings of which I must now follow, crossing and recrossing
The road was now beautiful when compared with what I had just passed--so on I went cheerfully and rapidly thinking I will not make a whole day's trip of this 12-mile canyon as travelers generally do, for I am over the worst now and it is quite early. I did not expect to get along so well.
True, all this while I observed the creek was getting deeper at every crossing, but this suggested nothing to my mind, only that the increase of water must be caused by the many little tributaries that I was constantly crossing.
At length we--I mean Spotty and I, for she, poor creature, had the worst of it--At length we came to the point where they say we have to enter and travel downstream in the bed of the creek for a mile--it was downstream, sure enough, "with a vengeance." The stream was not only rapid and boisterous, but it was muddy, so that it was impossible to see where the holes and rocks were, consequently the process of wading down it was not a little frightful and a good deal more dangerous. But for all this, we were getting along pretty well--one careful step at a time--one step at a time--oh what a careful animal this is, thought I--if she blundered along like some horses, she would soon plunge me into these furious waves--Now we are safely past this cragged point, and around this pile of rocks, and down these crazy falls--and through this foaming surf?--no, not for three quarters of a mile yet--for I can see the whitecaps as far down the stream as I can look, and that would be a great ways only that the creek is so crooked and narrow and the walls so high. Anyhow I could hear the roaring of the waters at the other end where they rush out of this crevice if they were not so noisy here. But, stop, what does this mean--well I may stop, for I can get no farther--but there's nothing like trying--but certainly this can't be the road--though it is impossible for it to be anywhere else--how do they pass this drift, and these large trees across this narrow pass, oh, I see they do not pass them at all, for they have just floated and fallen here, that large tree I see is just fresh torn up by its roots and in its fall mashed these others down with it into the stream & these old logs, floating down, have lodged against them. But I had better be contriving some plan to get through or over this pile for there is no getting round. The water is now to the girt and rising I must be quick about getting out of this or I will be helped out. No quicker said than done; I dismounted onto a floating log--and Spotty, brave as Selem, at the word of command bounded over the first tree, but the bridle rein was so short she jerked me with her, but as it happened I fell across the saddle and soon righted up--or righted down rather, for she was just in the act of crawling under the next tree which lay just high enough above the water to let us pass close to the bank by being very humble, and submitting to a good hard squeeze such as we would not like to have repeated often.
Now, the way is clear--at any rate as clear as could be expected among these rocks in this muddy water, and in this dark, almost subterranean passage under this dense forest. on a rainy day.
But not so clear after all--worse & worse! Here is a four-foot fir log, 8 feet long. just whirled in here crosswise and wedged in between the rocks as tight as if it had grown there. The flood is rushing underneath it, strong enough to draw a horse under if he should stumble and fall--the water is now up to my mare's breast--and the top of the log is about 18 in. above the water--Now what shall I do? This log can't be moved; neither can it be jumped. The rain is increasing, and the torrents come rushing more wildly and furiously from above. To go back against this current and over the logs already crossed would be almost if not quite impossible, and I would be afraid to stay in this dreadful place 15 minutes longer. The thought here occurs to me; i.e, one of the thousand thoughts that here rushed to my mind is this--I have often said that I never have been in a place yet so completely closed up but that by the blessing of God I got out somehow, But what shall I say now? But this was no time for idle speculation--all this time I was acting as well as thinking, for ere I was aware of it I was on top of the log, pulling at the bridle as if I expected Spotty could jump this log tooand she poor creature was turning her head back upstream to signify that she could now go no farther--"This is a leap I cannot make." But the third time I pulled on the rein: as if nerved up by a consciousness of our extremity, she put forth all the strength she had and made the desperate leap--she however only succeed in getting her forefeet on top of the log--but with another desperate effort she got her body on--and now here she was--her forefeet hanging below, and her hind feet above and could not of course touch bottom with either, so as to help herself in the least--now how to get her off I did not know unless the water should rise high enough to wash her off. After resting a moment, she made another struggle and by getting her hoofs into the bark of the log she tumbled herself off on the lower side.
After righting up all safe we turned downstream again to see what next, when suddenly I heard a loud yell behind me--I turned and saw three men who had just rode up to the log and had hailed me to know how I got over but they could not hear what I said but supposed I had come up thus far and had turned back.
As it happened they had an ax with them and soon cut down the log enough at one end so as to get their animals over and from this on I had company, but the water and momentum of the creek was now increasing at every crossing and finally became so dangerous we dare not ride it again. So we took off our saddlebags & blankets &c., turned the horses loose and drove them through--every time we thought our horses certainly were about gone they would catch on the rocks with their forefeet and hold on as long as they could--but in spite of their struggles the watter would dash them off and send them tumbling down into the brush. They however finally all got over safe, we following at every crossing on logs and drifts carrying our loads. This was cruel & frightful, but it could not be helped. Praise God for deliverance.
We got in at night to stay with a very kind and pleasant family. Everything was cheerful and happy within and without. But it was not, though it made me think of, home.
There blend the ties that strengthenFeb. 27. [inserted here from Appendix later in same volume]
Our hearts in hours of grief,
The silver links that lengthen
Joy's visits when most brief.
Then dost thou sigh for pleasure
Oh, do not widely roam,
But seek the hidden treasure
At home, dear home.
I did not have time to write everything of importance that transpired for a few days and therefore left a few blank leaves to fill up from recollection at leisure--but these pages were not large enough to contain all when I came to write down the items of each day's occurrence--two days were crowded out entirely and those with me were eventful days.
Tuesday--28 & Wed. March 1
My first work this morning was the delightful task of writing a letter to Mrs. Royal.
After breakfast and prayers I came on down the South Umpqua to Mr. Roberts'. Just before I got to the house I crossed in rather a bypath, a narrow stream with high banks. As the banks were full I did not suppose it was deep--but as there was quite a long step down to the water I got off and made my mare step down--but it proved to be rather a long step so she made a leap and the water and mud took her in to mid-sides. But the reins were "whoop too short" and I was holding tight to them so in I went head first, over her back, but caught to the saddle just in time to save myself of a good cap-a-pie ducking, but not in time to save my hat, for as I raised my head from the water my hat was swept off by the current and started downstream, but I soon recovered it and poured out the water and went up to the house with the water dripping down over my face and clothes.
Here I found Amanda Burt sick and talked to her about her soul--but she has no concern about it. She says she would be glad if she could believe in religion--but the more she reads the Bible the less she believes in it. Nothing she reads or hears can convince her that the Bible is a revelation from God. Poor girl--it is my opinion she is constitutionally skeptical. It is a family complaint--a kind of hereditary mental derangement. Her parents before her were just so, but are now very pious.
I rode a few miles further and stayed all night with a very kind family though not religious.
As I was about leaving in the morning he said, "As your horse has had such a hard time you had better leave it to recruit till you come back if you can get a horse somewhere--and I think I can tell you where you may get one, Mr. Gilmore at the head of Deer Creek but a little out of your way has a good many horses, and he is a clever man and a Methodist--I guess he will let you have one." said I, there will be no harm in trying at any rate. When I came to Father Gilmore's and made myself known and told my business--he said--"if you will stay with us and rest today we will fit you out in the morning." As I had time enough to get to con. and two days to spare I told him I would stay. When morning came he did fit me out sure enough. His own favorite large sorrel American mare Dolly was brought out, saddled and bridled, and a bag of oats provided to feed her a few times on the way, and a ten-dollar gold piece placed in my hand to get her shod. The old gentleman got up another horse and rode with me six miles to Father Burt's.
I called at Winchester and got Dolly shod, crossed the river and went above the ferry a few hundred yards and looked on awhile at a game of shinny played by about 40 young Klickitats. They were all nearly naked. They spared no pains to exhibit their muscular limbs and fine proportioned bodies to the very best advantage to all the bystanders, most of whom were young squaws, perhaps their sweethearts. While I looking on here a gentleman came up to me and commenced conversation about these natives--as I was about leaving I inquired the way to Mr. Wilbur's, and he said, "Are you not the man he was looking for from Jacksonville." Perhaps I am---I presume he has been looking for me, and I am from Jacksonville--my name is Royal. "I suppose you are on your way to conference then." Yes, sir--"Well sir, I suppose you are too late; Brother Wilbur and all our preachers have been gone a week and conference is now no doubt in session, and will probably be out before you can get there--so you had better stop and stay with us. There will be a prayer meeting at our house tonight and we would be glad to have you stay." This gentleman was Dr. Reid of near Winchester. Said I--there must be some mistake about the matter; I think I must hurry on to conference. So on I went--called a moment on Sister Wilbur who confirmed what Dr. Reid had told me. Still I felt that I must go if I only got there in time to come home with the preachers. I went two miles beyond and I believe was Providentially led to stay all night with Mr. Gardiner, for he and his wife both were seeking religion and were glad to receive instruction in divine things. I had liberty in explaining to them the way of salvation through faith and in praying for them. They said they never had heard the subject of faith so clearly explained before.Friday March 3--1854 [inserted here from Appendix later in same volume]
Traveling over the hills, through narrow gaps and winding passes from one little valley to another; up and across little streams, and around hills and mountains covered with grass on the south and forest trees on the north; all of which with the two beautiful Umpqua rivers compose the great Umpqua Valley; I at last entered the most northern division of the Umpqua, known as Yoncalla Valley. Beautiful, almost in its native wildness. Occupied however by a few families--the Applegates, Ambrose, Miller, Longs, Wilsons &c., who had taken claims and had commenced improving them.
Passing through the valley in a heavy shower of rain, and approaching a stream swollen so that I could not ford it, I found by following a trail through the brush, a large fir tree across the creek, when with some coaxing I induced my animal to climb upon it and thus cross safely over on this footlog. I should explain, however, that this great fir log had been prepared for a mule bridge by spiking poles on each side and filling in between with brush and dirt, and thus making quite a safe bridge for pack trains, but rather ticklish for a large American mare, not used to climbing trees. Safely over, the storm cloud receding and a bright rainbow spanning a narrow pass in front of me, a harbinger of hope, I hastened on my way rejoicing that another danger is passed, and wondering when I should spend the fast-approaching night. Wending my way over steep hills and down into a narrow valley about sunset, I found among the forest trees on the banks of Pass Creek a little log cabin, with smoke ascending from it. I passed in front, and the usual hello! brought out an aged man who was truly glad to welcome company to his bachelor home. I found his nature similar to his name--"Goodman."
Traveling up Pass Creek six miles and over the Calapooia Mountains 8 miles through the dense, lonely, sublime forest that covers these lofty peaks, after many steep ascents & descents, I at last emerged from the forest darkness and mountain declivities into the bright and picturesque little Siuslaw Valley, nestled high up in the northern foothills of the Calapooias. Here I found at the first [sic--end of entry]
Rainy until about noon, when it slacked up just in time for people enough to come out and make a good congregation. All were anxious to hear preaching--some said it was the first they had heard since they left the States. A society of 10 or 12 members may be organized here immediately. They are anxious to have such an organization and regular preaching in the new school house they are about building.
After preaching I went to Br. Cartwright's to spend the night. They came over with the last emigration from Knox Co., Ill.
He is a brother to B. H. Cartwright of the R.R. Con.
The parents and two oldest children have letters from the church.
I felt awfully pained and mortified to find them dealing out whiskey to the public. They are keeping the Mountain House on the north side of the Calapooias Mtns. but this is no excuse at all. I tried to shame them out of it and dissuade them from it--and I feel somewhat in hopes that they will quit it. She said she would not have his brother know it for a thousand dollars. Their younger son, who is only 9 or 10 years old, won't have anything to do with it, he wouldn't sell a drop if travelers never got any. But his sister next older sells it and carries the money. Oh! What horrid work!
My first work this morning was to write a letter to my dear wife, to send by some boys going to the mines. These boys are children of Methodist parents and promise me they will attend church and keep the Sabbath and keep out of bad company when they get to the mines. [I] like their appearance very much; though they have been out here for some years in this wild country and in the mines they have kept quite moral.
I started over the mountains 8 miles to Brother Gay's neighborhood--the first family I found was by the name of Hall, lately from England, and across the plains last season--cousin to Br. William Hall at Osceola, Ill. They were fitting out at the same time I was for Oregon, only they were rich and spent a vast amount of money on their outfit. Their cousin told me about their their glee and great anticipations--they had many valuable horses for their teams and some horses and some greyhounds on purpose for the chase on the plains--said I to Br. Hall they will find it not so funny before they get through--Sure enough they did, for they lost nearly everything they had before they got through and even lost themselves on the new route and nearly starved. As I passed along down the valley to Br. Gay's 4 miles I circulated an appointment and preached at night to a small congregation. They are thankful for preaching here; there are a few Methodists here.
I started down the river this morning--passed through Eugene City and so on three miles further to Br. Zumwalt's where I learned that Br. Pearne had held a quarterly meeting there but two weeks previous--and that Father Zumwalt had been employed on the ct. in my place--but on account of his age and infirmity he had not been able to reach many of the appointments. After I got my dinner and horse fed I called on Mr. McCabe who was sick with the lung fever and very low. I tried to show him the way of salvation and also exhorted his wife who is a seeker.
After a hard ride of 15 miles I came to Father Zumwalt's a little after dark--After introducing myself to them I asked if I was not rather late in getting to my work--they said just in time to be sent away as Con. was so near at hand.
This is a beautiful country here in Willamette for those who love level, wide, extended plains.
Yesterday I was gloomy and sad all day though the weather was delightful and the scenery more so--but today I had more faith and was blessed more in prayer as I rode along.
I am here informed that Conference will not commence till a week from next Thursday. This will give me abundant time to go once round "Spencer's Butte Ct." and arrange a plan to hand in at Con. This circuit embraces all of Lane County west of Willamette--Eugene City, the county seat, is included. The circuit takes its name from a very high, sharp, pointed butte which stands in the middle of it and is hardly ever out of the preacher's sight, as he travels round his work.
I remained today most of the day at Father Zumwalt's house--visited a little in the afternoon, and preached at night. Mr. Chapman, a representative from Benton Co. to the last legislature of O.T., was present to hear me. He was one of the members who took such a strong stand in favor of a Sabbath law in this Territory, which to our shame and disgrace came so near failing to obtain--and in fact might as well have failed as to have been left as it was "only to be applied in cases where it was applicable."
I think I am growing in grace a little. I had stronger faith and sweeter communion with God today in secret prayer. Oh! for a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I returned to Br. Solomon Zumwalt's near Eugene and preached at 2 o'clock.
A Presbyterian minister of the old school was present--Mr. Robe--He informed me that there is but one regularly established minister of his church in the territory--Said he, "Our system is such that we cannot supply a work like Rogue River Valley unless we are very near to the point."
* * * * * *As I rode along today, I fell into a state of mind that produced great darkness for some hours--I have not overcome it yet entirely, though I was in a measure relieved while at secret prayer this evening in the pine grove near here.
The light however was very feeble, not much clearer than the light of the moon by which I was enabled to find my way back to the house after I reluctantly left the spot where I had chosen to pray--and even this light was partly obscured by the clouds.
If I had always lived right I would not suffer thus--for "the path of the just shall shine more and more until the perfect day." "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." "I am the light of the world; he that followeth after me shall not walk in darkness, but he shall have the light of life." I know where the difficulty is--I have not followed the Savior as closely as I should.
If the Lord spared me to return home I will by his grace assisting me live better than I ever have done--set a better, wiser, and holier example before my dear family. O that the Lord would prepare me now by his grace and cleanse me by his holy spirit, that I may perfectly love him and worthily magnify his name.
* * * * * *What an interesting family this is of Brother Zumwalt's--Eleven children when they crossed the plains and now twelve--all living, all healthy and perfect in their physical organization and handsome in their features and pretty in their manners but there are only three of them in the church.
It rained hard most of the night last night but it is clear and beautiful this lovely spring morning. "Spencers Butte" is white with snow and looks quite wintry, but it is warm and pleasant here in the valley.
* * * * * *I intend by the help of the Lord to spend this day in fasting and prayer. I feel greatly cast down--last night passed very slowly and gloomily away although I was in a good bed and very comfortably situated so far as outward circumstances were concerned. Those exceedingly disagreeable dreamy reveries which used to haunt my sleeping hours are returning. I can attribute this singular unpleasant state of mind and body to nothing but a derangement and highly excited state of the nervous system, produced by too free a use of strong coffee,
Since I left home my drink has constantly been strong coffee and of late three times a day with hot sad biscuits and fried pork.
* * * * * *For two or three days a passage of scripture has been frequently returning to my mind, and as it has attracted my attention so often I have concluded to write it down and append to it the thoughts it had suggested.
"But the word of God is not bound."The persecutors of the gospel of Jesus Christ may with madness pursue and capture its advocates, put them in prison, confine them in dungeons, and bind them down with chains and fetters, but they cannot confine the gospel--"Wherein," says St. Paul, "I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound." On the contrary, it is, thus, made the more public--and the means with which they thought to crush the truth, were under God, the very means, by which it was spread abroad.
II. Timothy II.9
When the Jews had crucified the Lord of life and glory, and had got his body confined in the tomb with a very great stone which was firmly sealed, and had placed there a guard of Roman soldiers to make it perfectly secure; then the enemies of the cross vainly imagined they had secured a triumphant overthrow of all his teachings and doctrines; and had effectually prevented the establishment of his kingdom.
But their jubilee was short. Their great precautions in securing the tomb proved to be the very means of convincing the world beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ was indeed risen from the dead.
When the martyrs of Stephen hurled the last shower of stones at his meekly bowed head, and saw him fall asleep in death, commending his soul to Jesus, and his cruel murderers to the mercy of God--when they had left his bruised and mangled body lying on the ground where he fell a willing martyr for the cross of Christ, they returned to the city--but only to learn that the victim of their malice & cruelty was only a man, while the cause they would overthrow was unharmed & even greatly increased in strength.
For though the persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem continued so great that "they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea & Samaria, except the apostles," yet this was the very means under God of spreading the gospel more and more for "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word."
Though Saul of Tarsus from the moment he was present consenting unto Stephen's death--became one of the most cruel persecutors the church had ever known, yet Stephen's sermon, the manner in which he died and his last words made an impression on his mind that never could be erased.
Though Stephen was dead, his words still burned in the hearts of many who heard his preaching and saw his shining countenance.
"As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and hailing men and women, committed them to prison." Still the work went on, and many were added to the church in town and country, far and near.
"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women he might bring them bound into Jerusalem."
Having obtained the desired authority, on his way he was miraculously arrested and informed that it was hard for him "to kick against the pricks" or fight against God--and this zealous persecutor is now made an instrument in carrying on the great work which he designed to overthrow.
It now became his lot to suffer persecution--but he gloried in stripes in imprisonment in bonds--knowing that the word of the Lord would still run, have free course and be glorified.
If he was shut up in prison it was for the salvation of the jailer & his family--If he was taken by the multitude it was to preach to them Jesus and the resurrection, bound and brought before governors and kings it was only to preach to them the gospel and to the multitude around them--1st to Felix who hearing his reasoning of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come trembled and said "go thy way for this time"
Festus, moved with the power of his eloquence and zeal, cries out "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." "King Agrippa," says Paul, "believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." "Then Agrippa said unto Paul 'Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.'"
If confined in a ship of Adramyttium it is that God may give him all them that sail with him.
If cast upon Melita it is that wonderful works may be done for the natives.
And when brought to Rome and delivered up as a prisoner, he was permitted to "dwell by himself for two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him."
"Preaching the kingdom of God, & teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding."
The word of God was not bound.
Infidels and all wicked men, sages and philosophers, haughty superstitious priests and potentates in all ages of the world and among all nations, both pagan and Jewish & Christian, have arrayed their peculiar forces both singly and combined against the word of revelation, and yet the Bible lives----
--"Its pregnant pagePublished in hundreds of different languages, it is scattered by millions, broadcast among the nations of the earth--And notwithstanding all the good it has done and is still doing, storms of persecutions are still hurled against it--yet,
has stood, time's treasure; and the wonder of the wise."
"Like some tall cliff that with awful form swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm; though round its base the gathering clouds are spread, eternal sunshine settles on its head."
Men have tried to burn it, but it can't be burned. Infidels prophesied boldly in the public streets long ago that in three years a corn crib would hold all the Christians in the world--but many scores of years have passed and now tens of thousands of spacious churches are not sufficient to contain them. "There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard."
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."
"Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?"
The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
"Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us," "Away with him--away with him"--
"We will not have this man Christ Jesus rule over us."
"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." To him every knee shall bow, and every [tongue] shall confess that he is Lord. "As the rain cometh down &c."
"So shall the word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where to I sent it."
The dying words of Melville B. Cox have done perhaps a thousand times more good than all his labors would have done had he lived to a great age--"Let a thousand fall but let not Africa be given up." How many multitudes have been moved by this dying appeal to contribute their thousands for the salvation of downtrodden Africa.
And how many brave hearts full of the missionary fire have been enlisted in the great struggle for the salvation of this noble race.
Again men may try to bind the word, with the withes and thongs and iron bands of partial creeds and confessions--offering its mercies and blessings & salvation only to a favored few--and still the Bible speaks for itself publishing to all the world that "God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him."
"People and realms of every tongueInference: False systems of religion flourish under persecution, it may be said--True, but nowhere else, while the Christian religion flourishes persecution or not.
Dwell on his love with sweetest song,
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings in his name."
* * * * * *Friday afternoon [March 10, 1854] I called on Dr. Johnson. His lady [is] a Methodist--In the evening I went to Br. Milliron's and stayed all night. My mind is not yet relieved. O for faith.
I expected to have gone from Bro. Sol. Zumwalt's on 'round the circuit--but as I cannot get another horse I return today to Father Zumwalt's. At noon I was blessed in prayer measurably. But at night the Lord met with me in a very special manner--I found him very precious indeed--Oh how easy it is now to pray--my soul is so enlarged--and my spiritual vision is so much clearer. Thank the Lord for his peaceful presence tonight--How good the Lord is to bless one so unworthy as I.
I preached to a good congregation at eleven o'clock and after preaching we had a good class meeting.
After dinner I went home with young Br. Zumwalt, and as I rode along in the wagon I read one of Mr. Wesley's sermons on this text "What is man?" After we got to the house I read another on the same subject and then one on the instruction of children. I will read this sermon oftener if my life is spared and read it also to my dear wife--
I found it good to wait on the Lord in secret prayer today.
I spent most of this day at Father Zumwalt's studying and reading his good books, and writing some.
While I was praying this morning darkness seemed to prevail--I could. not feel--I could find no words to express even the few scattered thoughts I had--I struggled but could not even get the spirit of prayer--this began to make me feel very unhappy--when it was whispered to my mind, "The spirit helpeth our infirmities with groanings that cannot be altered. Rom. 8.25.--and all at once my desires and feelings burst forth in agonizing prayer and light was poured into my soul--Oh, it is easy to pray when the holy spirit helps us.
I begin to feel quite at home at this good father's & mother's--they appear to be quite sorry to have me go away, but I must leave now--they say they are obliged to me for my visit and company--but I feel under a debt of lasting gratitude to them and feel as if I deserve nothing of credit or thanks for my poor company.
Taking my leave of this excellent family I started on towards the seat of conference, which is about six miles distant--so as to be there in time to get permanently fixed at my lodging place and be ready to commence with the very first exercises of conference.
Called a moment at Br. Crow's and went over to Brother Wadsworth's, the class leader and spent the afternoon with them--they are a very amiable and religious young couple just across the plains this year from Michigan. Her father has been a P.E. if that con.
In the evening we all went over to young Brother Crow's house and had a social sing and closed with reading the scriptures, singing & prayer--And I stayed all night and slept in the house they kept in readiness for us a long time last fall while they were looking anxiously for us every day.
Weday [sic] 15--
The sky is clear, the air is pleasant and all nature is cheerful as it has been now for several days.
I read and wrote some this forenoon.
This morning I knelt beside a little lake in a sweet secluded spot, shaded with some beautiful young firs and other trees, and there found joy and peace in communion with my Savior.
In the afternoon I came to Belknap's settlement and found several of the preachers collected together, among whom was Bro. Close of the Wisconsin Con. who was examined with me when we were on trial the first year in the R.R. Con., after which he was cut off by the division of the conference into the Wisconsin Con. He appeared to be glad to see me; I was glad to see him. We all went to meeting together and heard a good discourse from Br. J. W. Hines who was transferred from Troy Con., and came by water this last season and was here in time to meet his two brothers Gustavus & H. K. very unexpectedly directly after they got in across the plains--they did not know he was coming. They said they were behind us on the plains and heard of us often, and tried to get with us.
Br. Hines' text tonight was--
"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Thursday 16--9 o'clock a.m.
Most of the members of the Oregon Annual Conference being present, the session was opened at the time appointed with the reading of the scriptures, singing and prayer by Rev. Pearne, which was followed by a prayer meeting and the administration of the Lord's Supper, which was a blessed season, after which the house was called to order and as the Bishop was not present we proceeded to elect a president--Br. Pearne was chosen and took the chair when we proceeded to business.
The business of the conference moved on harmoniously and rapidly. There is a most excellent class [of] ministers in this. I do love them.
It is rather singular that I should love them so soon--but I do, and can't help it, neither do I want to help it.
At night, I tried to preach from II. Timothy II.9.
"But the word of God is not bound."Friday 17.
The conference was characterized by a harmonious session and very rapid dispatch of business.
At 3½ o'clock preaching by Rev. L. Case, late of the Iowa Con., with great zeal and power from
"Godliness is profitable unto all things."Missionary sermon by Brother Roberts at night. This was a strong, well-arranged and appropriate discourse.
Text Luke 19.10--Jesus Christ the great model missionary.Saturday 18--
The Bishop has not come yet. We think it very strange he does not come.
The business of the conference still moves on rapidly and satisfactory to all.
* * * * * *In the afternoon Brother H. K. Hines preached for us--from Matt. 9-37-38 and treated the subject thus--
Christ had compassion on the multitude because they fainted--sheep without shepherd.
II. Text then is important--dignified & abundant works before the people of God.
Important1st. In its connection with those who are perishing--
2nd. To the church itself--severest labor best discipline--abundant
1. In extent--The field is the world
2. In extent--The productiveness of the field
Its dignity is seen in its objects--removal of sin.3. From its agents
4. From its results
II. The laborers are few.
1. Few realize the condition of extreme want and ruin among men.
2. But few propose to labor for the salvation of the world--
III. The Lord will in answer to prayer, raise up and send &c.
1. He directs this mode of proceeding.
2. It is his own work and his glory is connected with it.
3. The exigencies of the case imperatively demand it worn and weary--Faint yet pursuing--
Observations.1. Every Christian is to be a laborer.
2. Reward is for labor not profession--if a crown--a starless one.
Missionary Anniversary at night--
Speakers--F. S. Hoyt. & A. F. Waller--both excellent.
This was a happy day--it is impossible to describe the loveliness, beauty & sweetness of this holy day.
First in the morning we had our conference love feast--power & salvation was in every speech--dewy tears in all eyes, heavenly smiles and sunshine on all countenances and the love of God and the brotherhood in all their hearts.
At 11 o'clock the congregation was exceedingly large--everybody in all the county almost had thronged out to hear the Bishop but there was no Bishop here. Rev. T. H. Pearne was the speaker for this hour--and blessed be the Lord, he had power given him from on high while he preached from
"And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost." Prop: Faith accompanied by the Holy Spirit, the great motive power of the gospel ministry: Closed with prayer by Rev. Close.
Just as the congregation was about ready to be dismissed--an oldish-looking gentleman about six feet four inches high, with round shoulders, sandy complexion, blue eyes, fresh countenance, gray hair and a very modest look entered the house and walked down the aisle halfway and stopped--all eyes were turned towards him and no doubt all wondered who this neat-looking old gentleman was--Our minds were however instantly relieved by Bro. Woodard who knew him and introduced to the congregation
Bishop Simpson.It was announced that Bishop Simpson would preach at 3 o'clock and the congregation was dismissed.
When the hour arrived and the meeting was opened he said he wished to say a few words of a personal nature. The boat on which he came had been hindered in various ways on sand bars &c. He got off at Salem and hired conveyance at enormous expense to fetch him out--came part way and team gave out. He hired another and came on and on in the night Saturday, got lost and came into Marysville about morning--20 miles more through the mud brought him here. But O such a sermon as he preached for us from
Sunday School Anniversary at night--speakers Kingsley and Buchanan--mourners were called, and 7 or 8 came, mostly young--we had a good time.
Mon. 19 [sic]
Bishop in the chair today--
Preaching at 3½ by Gustavus Hines.
Anniversary of Tract Society at night.
I sat up all night and prepared my S. sch. memorial to be read next day.
Conference prolonged its session till sometime after noon, when after an appropriate address by the Bishop our appointment were read as follows, written here by Dr. Flinn.
1854-1855 Oregon Conference Appts.
Bishop Simpson. presiding.
Willamette District, Thomas H. Pearne, P.E.Appts. read off
Salem, Gustavus Hines
Butte Creek, C. O. Hosford
Oregon City, H. K. Hines
Santiam Forks, Enoch Garrison
Calapooia, J. W. Hines
McKenzie's Fork. Oglesby, Sup.
Spencers Butte, N. Starr
Marys River, I. W. York
Marys River, Isaac Dillon
LaCreole, Laban Case
Yamhill, N. Doane
Willamette University, F. S. Hoyt
N. Yamhill & Chehalem, J. Spencer
A. F. Waller, Presiding Elder
Portland, P. G. Buchanan
Portland Academy, C. S. Kingsley
Oswego, G. M. Berry
Oak Point, Geo. Roe
Astoria & Clatsop, F. Farnsworth
Pacific City & Shoalwater Bay, Rhodes
Vancouver & Cascades, J. Gerrish
Puget Sound District, W. Roberts, P.E.
Olympia to be supplied
Steilacoom & White River, J. F. Devore
Seattle & Duwamish River, D. E. Blain
Fort Townsend &c., W. Morse
Coveland & B. Bay, J. Elder
Chehalis & Cowlitz, W. Mason
Umpqua District, J. H. Wilbur, P.E.
North Umpqua, J. O. Rayner
South Umpqua, J. W. Miller
Scottsburg, J. Flinn
Coos Bay supplied
Gold River, T. F. Royal, one to be supplied, Father Royal
Umpqua Academy, J. H. B. Royal
21st March 1854
O how hard it was to part with the good brethren of this con. I shall always remember with pleasure the scenes of this con.
After conference adjourned I got into the carriage as usual with Brother and Sister Starr with whom I boarded and rode with them to Mother Starr's for dinner. Mother Starr lost her husband on the plains the last emigration. After dinner we went home and I prepared to start. But it was hard starting. They had been so kind to me in providing everything comfortable for me and carrying me back and forward to & from con. in the carriage. I came up 3 miles to Br. George Belknap's and stayed with Br. Wilbur so as to get an early start next morning,
Lovely morning--How beautiful this Belknap country looks this morning. What an industrious, good people these are--What good houses, barns, fences &c. What large fields & pastures. I believe their hearts are larger than all the rest.
Breakfast over, Brother Wilbur, Br. Flinn and I take up our line of march for home--each of us leading a horse for Br. Wilbur. Roads not quite as bad as we expected. Came to Mr. Heatherly's after dark and took lodging.
We got an early start this morning, and after an exceedingly unpleasant train of misfortune we stopped and took dinner at the same place we started from.
Brother Wilbur had packed a wild colt with three boxes of books, garden seeds & fruit trees and gave it to Br. Flinn to lead--he had not proceeded far when the colt took fright and broke loose and ran away, stringing the pack as she went. The boxes were mashed to pieces and the books scattered broadcast over the prairie as the sower sows his seed. And the colt ran back three or four miles before we caught it.
After dinner we started again & came up through the Siuslaw settlement & so on over the Calapooia Mountains, making a drive of 18 miles--The afternoon was so fine--the scenery so grand and the company so excellent that we were hardly conscious of the passage of time. When we arrived at the summit Brother Flinn rode up to the highest pinnacle and with uplifted hat proclaimed "This is Point Royal."
A little before sundown we made the descent to the exquisitely beautiful valley of Pass Creek and put up at Mr. Estes' where I am now writing after all but we are in bed.
-- Pages Missing --be converted and taken out of the world and thus clear his father's way--if this was the only way relieving a father's heart bursting with grief and thus give the undivided attention and influence of this great and good man to the cause of Christ.
Sister Wilbur then followed in the most fervent importunate petition for a continuation of the good work now in progress in their neighborhood and for a general revival of religion. This woman is one of the excellent of earth. Her heart is all absorbed with her husband's in this great work.
She is good company--makes herself agreeable--talks fluently and talks a great deal--and her words are all choice words, right words--words fitly spoken & therefore "like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
After breakfast and prayers were all over Brother Wilbur and I took a walk out over the land he claims, and talked about the prospect of this point becoming the center of our operations in this valley--It is my opinion that this will be someday an important point, a place of attraction. It is by far the best place for an institution of learning in all Southern Oregon. And it has the right man at the helm to manage and bring about the most desirable results--& by the blessing of God he will do it. The location which he has selected for the Academy is the most beautiful and romantic spot I ever saw. It is in the angle of two public roads, equidistant from each, about 200 yards--the background is a low mountain covered with pines, firs, & laurel. Beautiful shade trees all around--It commands a fine view of a most charming valley in front of several miles in extent, with a succession of hills on the right and left of the main valley rising one above the other in majestic grandeur & beauty. One half of the farther end of the view is closed up by a high mountain with a bold perpendicular front, at the base of which flows along the beautiful North Umpqua, running out through the right-hand corner of the landscape and so wending its way down through the hills and smaller valleys westward to the "Coast Range," which stands out prominent above all the rest, with its numerous peaks and snow banks forming a dark, rich, evergreen border and fringe to this picturesque scene. A healthier location perhaps has never been found this side of Eden. The base of the mountain on which it stands can never be wet or muddy, being hard and gravelly, thus making beneath those shade trees the most delightful play and promenade grounds--the water, as pure as ever gushed from mountain rocks, rises just high enough above, to be easily conveyed in pipes to every part of the building. It is far remote from stagnant pools and marshes--the streams of the surrounding country are all "just such as they have in Umpqua"--rapid, clear, cool and as pure as melting snow. In the heat of mid-summer the air is modified by the fresh, wholesome breezes from the ocean and from the snowy peaks.
In short, the proprietors, the location, the air, the water, the scenery and all the circumstances combined are well calculated to make this everything that parents could desire, as a suitable place to send their children to receive an education. Everything connected with it is wisely arranged, and this spot is pointed out by the finger of God as the radiating point of flight and sanctified learning for all Southern Oregon. So may it be.
After dinner I reluctantly took leave of this happy place--I say reluctantly because it would have been congenial with my feelings to have complied with urgent entreaty and stayed in this lovely family by their great library and enjoyed a holy Sabbath in the good revival that is going on here--but other engagements compelled me to go. I had promised to spend a Sabbath in Brother Gilmore's neighborhood if practicable.
A little before sundown I alighted from my horse at Father Burt's door. The old folks were gone after their daughter, who has been sick ever since they came in through the Canyon and has not been well enough yet to be hauled home. Aaron and the girls who were at home were all in a state of great alarm when I rode up, saying to me with great agitation Sister Amarantha is very sick just taken down--out of her head. They had sent for neighbors. But she soon got better. After talking with them a little and receiving the letters they had ready for me to carry, I went on up Deer Creek--but had not proceeded far before I met the old folks coming back without their sick daughter. She was not able to come--poor girl, I fear she will never be able. I think she has consumption--I called to see her on my way down and found her still a confirmed infidel--I fear she will die so--may God have mercy on her.
It was a little after dark when I got to Brother Gilmore's.
My cold and hoarseness are much worse this morning,
My faith is increasing--I am growing in grace--I met my Savior in a secret place among the mountains this morning and had sweet communion with him.
At twelve o'clock I had a solemn feeling time in preaching and had good liberty at first--but my voice failed towards the last on account of the cold on my lungs.
Some old acquaintances of Father's were there from Monmouth Ct., Ill. by the name of Pierce.
Being in a room by myself, I arose this morning before the family & before it was quite light and knelt by my bedside and spent a long season in prayer, though the time seemed short to me. I felt truly that I had laid all upon the altar--and that I was all the Lord's--O may I ever be all the Lord's.
This family is certainly a superior family--such hospitality and kindness I have rarely found among entire strangers. Father Gilmore would have nothing for the use of [the horse], though I had her more than three weeks and traveled her over the worst roads in all the country--he would not even let me pay for shoeing her. He had taken good care of Spotty--She looked and acted like another animal--she was so well recruited. When I got ready to start for home I found the old gentleman had a horse ready saddled to go with me. He took my load and carried it 4 miles to the top of a very high mountain over which the trail led, which he came to show me as a much nearer way.
When we parted on the top of that high mountain, his eyes filled with tears and he was unable to utter a word as he shook my hand, and thus silently bade me farewell--
Words are inadequate to express the deep emotions of my soul--and figures could not represent the the great debt of gratitude I owe this father in Israel.
About 2½ o'clock I called for dinner at Mr. Briggs' on South Umpqua. While dinner was getting I opened my saddlebags and told the children to help themselves to S.S. books to read while I stayed. After dinner I concluded to stay all night, as I could not go through the Canyon today, and it is only 2 miles from here to it. This gave these interesting girls and boys more time to read, and they improved it well till bed time--during this time they read three books entirely through and some in other books--as they were so delighted I hope and pray that this opportunity and these books will make a good and lasting impression on their young minds. Their parents are "Christians" & appear to be excellent people--all love to read good books and have our preacher stay with them.
One month ago this morning I passed here going on down to conference, glad that I had escaped the horrors of the Canyon. I must now enter it again. Hope it is improved.
It was about 8½ o'clock when I entered and just 12 when I got out. How changed! When I went down it took me a whole day hard work to get through, now it is a good wagon road nearly all the way--about 20 hands having been to work on it constantly ever since.
The creek is now a clear little brook instead of a deep, rapid, muddy, dangerous stream. The logs and brush and trees are cleared out of the road, and the clouds from the sky--it does not look like the same place.
After getting through, I tied my horse and retired a short distance from the road and knelt in prayer--after returning thanks to the Lord for preserving me amid the dangers of this place carrying me safely through and back again--I said, now Lord, as thou hast so wonderfully protected me, and brought me safe through the trying scenes of this place, so wilt thou bring me safely through the more trying scenes which I may have to pass through this year. I was enabled to believe he would.
I stayed last night at the "Six Bit House," Mr. Reavis proprietor--first-rate accommodations for a bachelor house--nothing to pay. I tried to persuade them to become religious but I fear the prospect is rather dull.
I am now while writing at Mr. Baptiste's tavern on Leland Creek, feeding Spotty some oats.
Stayed all night at my good friend's Dr. Miller's house.
Today I conversed as I rode along with James Walker on the subject of religion and was blessed and believe by the blessing of God a good impression was made on his mind.
A little after noon I entered my own lovely home once more and found all well.
O how sweet is home. And how thankful I feel to God for his goodness to me and mine.
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #3, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
1854 April 2nd
There were but few out to preaching in Jacksonville this afternoon on account of a little rain and a little misunderstanding about the appointment. At night the congregation was large in the court house and I had good liberty in preaching from 2 Tim II.9.
Through the week I had some temptations--but thank God, through grace I gained the victory every time, and found the trial of my faith only made it stronger.
On Wednesday, April 5, 1854 Brother James H. B. took his leave of us for his work in Umpqua Academy. O how the Lord blessed me in praying for his success.
On Thursday Apr. 6, I visited Father's house and had a delightful [and] happy visit.
On Friday 7th Sister Mary came home with me to stay with us and teach school in Jacksonville. O that God would make her and her school a blessing to the children and the place.
Butte Creek Sunday, Apr. 9.
Praise God for his special presence today--Before breakfast I walked out with my Bible in hand very much cast down and prayed that God would point out scripture applicable to my case. My attention was at once directed to the last chapter of 1 Peter--I read and reread and pondered--I was encouraged--my faith was greatly strengthened and I was truly blessed.
After breakfast I retired to the chaparral to pray, when the following passage of scripture was impressed on my mind. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." It came like a beam of light, and with it a flash of joy. I continued to pray and this passage still hung before my mind. At length I prayed for a text to preach from today and these words came again as plainly as if they were spoken. Still I had no thoughts of preaching from them. I tried to think of something else. I took my Bible and looked for something that was more familiar but all in vain. Yet I could not get the consent of my mind to preach from this text. Said I, "O Lord I have never tried to preach from this, neither have I thought of it as a text. I am totally unprepared." The conflict in my mind now became so great that I began to feel awful. Finally I promised God if he would help me I would try it--and I shall always thank God that I did. I felt in my soul that God was in his own word, and that good was done. I believe that God is going to do a great work for this people this year.
Monday morning Apr. 10.
My mind is clear--my faith is strong--and the word of the Lord is plainer and more precious to my soul than it has ever been.
This is almost a blank day--The time of my appointment was misunderstood at Dr. Miller's and consequently I had no congregation--had prayed with the family and went on to our lower appointment which was to have been at 5 o'clock, but to my surprise I found the good folks all at work, some making chimney and some washing and so on--How they were mortified when I told them this was Sunday. They had kept the day before through mistake and wondered that I was not to my appointment.
Grants Pass.Monday, April 17.
This morning I organized a society in this neighborhood at Mr. Patterson's house--The following persons gave in their names--viz, Dr. Greenberry Miller, Caroline Miller, Rebecca Patterson and Joseph W. Patterson. The Doctor by letter, his wife & mother-in-law join by letter, the latter two from the Presbyterian Church, and Joseph on trial. Mrs. Flournoy afterwards joined on probation.
First Subscription May 15, 1854.
About this time I commenced preparing for building the church in Jacksonville, and as it was in a season of great pecuniary pressure the struggle was hard, but through the blessing of God we were enabled to secure means by donations and on the first Sabbath of 1855 it was declared out of debt and dedicated to the worship of Almighty God.
Rev. J. H. Wilbur, P.E., and Rev. E. Arnold, P.E., of Northern California district officiating. Sermon preached by the latter. Owing to the press of business after commencing this job, for I not only had the oversight of the whole, but had to assist much in the work owing to this with many trials that pressed upon me this year--my journal was neglected. But the Lord was with me and the few that were added to the church stood firm through some of the severest trials. And best of all, the Lord poured out his spirit upon us and we had a good revival influence nearly all the year--conference year which was nearly a year and six months.
Many were reclaimed and added to the church. Some converted and many returned home to the States to carry back richer treasures than those they dug from the earth.
Sunday schools prospered--We had a very magnificent celebration on the 4th of July in which five Sabbath schools took part. Each had appropriate banners and one of them very beautiful and instructive. It was given to the Baptist S.S., the 1st S.S. organized in Jackson Co.
We also labored hard to promote the cause of education in general and saw much fruit in that direction. We were placed in a capacity to do good and exert our influence to a good advantage, Sister Mary being in the school in town and I being elected County Superintendent of Common Schools.
We had a flourishing teacher's association, and several good schools, all taught by good, moral and religious teachers.
And a strong society of about 25 members that met regularly in the church at Jacksonville--besides several small societies in the country.
At times during the year persecution was very high. At times the rabble would be ready to overwhelm us with curses and imprecations and loud threats, and vindictive abuses for our noisy meetings, which we always kept up as they said to their great annoyance--for our house was near gambling saloons where they were, though noisy themselves, often disturbed by our singing and praying. One poor, sick gambler declared we "kept up a camp meeting at our house all the time." And, poor fellow that he was, no doubt it seemed so to him: for our singing and prayer in family worship morning and evening--the singing in school, which was quite frequent through the day--together with the prayer meetings twice a week and singing school once a week must have reminded the wretch so often of his fallen condition that he hardly found a resting spell between times. We could often smell the cigars and whiskey about the window and hear the rowdies run and yell and curse as they stood around listening or as they fled mocking.
Again they would be ready to mob us for allowing a colored brother--Isaac Jones, a local preacher, to come into our meetings and pray with us. They swore they would take Isaac out if we called on him again--and cursed us for being abolitionists. But we hardly ever failed to call on Bro. Jones at every prayer meeting. For he was full of faith and the Holy Ghost. And when he prayed we always felt manifestations of divine power.
Once when I was going to my Sabbath appointment at Sterling, a mining town about six miles from Jacksonville, I met our good Bro. Kahler returning from there with a message for me. He said, "It will not be safe for you to go into Sterling now. They are enraged to desperation there against you for reporting liquor sellers as they think to the grand jury for selling liquor on Sunday and thereby causing them to be heavily fined. There are some three or four hundred reckless miners who defend them, and the saloon keepers have been giving them whiskey, and they were drunk and carousing all night and the burden of their rabble talk was curses upon you. They told me to tell you that it would not be safe for you to show your face in that place. And as they are so drunk and bloodthirsty, there is no knowing what they will do. I would advise you not to go. You can do now as you please."
Bro. Kahler, said I, my appointment stands there at 11:30 o'clock, and I mean to try to fill it.
I passed entirely through to the upper end of town--tied my horse and then returned on foot, calling in at every tavern, store and saloon, as was my custom, pressing in through the crowd till I could gain the attention of all and then call out at the top of my voice--Gentlemen--there will be preaching at Fowler's corner in fifteen minutes.
It was not long until I had the largest congregation I had ever seen in Sterling, and God helped me to preach more plainly than usual. After preaching, a liquor seller, with whom I was well acquainted, came forward through the whole length of the building, apparently in great excitement--for he looked pale as a sheet and trembled. I reached out my hand and shook hands with him and he spoke friendly, but I never could guess the cause of his agitation.
At any rate there was no exhibition of tar and feathers, according to my threats. They thought nothing of shooting each other for what they regarded much less offenses--but it proved true--"Those whom God protects, no evil shall molest."
"The wicked flee when no man pursueth--but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #4, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
Wilbur August 20th 1856
We do hereby promise ourselves and each other and our God that we will attend to the duty of secret prayer three times in a day. The grace of God assisting us. From henceforth so long as we or either of us live on the earth.
T. F. RoyalThomas Fletcher Royal Journal #4, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
M. A. Royal
Feb. 24th A.D. 1857
I am this day 61 years of age.
Time like an ever-rolling
Stream bares all its suns
Away we fly forgotten as a dream
Dies at the opening day
Truly the Lord has been good to unworthy me and mine; his goodness is infinite. Nearly 40 years of my life has I trust been spent in the service of my heavenly father, yet by no means so fully as I wish it had have been. Thanks be to God, he for Christ's sake pardons my former sloth. O I feel that he has pardoned and cleansed my heart I trust from all sin. I feel that I love him with all my heart. That grace which has sustained me sixty-one years will I believe be sufficient for me through life and in death. O Lord help me to love the more and serve the better. Rain last night and today.
Rain last night and some today.
Heavy rain in afternoon, prayer meeting conducted by Anderson. Good meeting.
Frost last night.
Rain last night, pleasant.
Pleasant, good congregation. Brother Anderson preached Heb. 11th 25.26. We had a good time.
Monthly Sunday school concert. Brothers Anderson, Brown and Wells was appointed to address the meeting; Wells declined. Brown and Anderson made many apologies and then spoke well.
I was then called by the meeting to speak. I arose and remarked that I did not expect to be called on to speak and had not time to prepare apologies. I then made a few remarks as best I could. T.F.R. followed. We had a good time at our last meeting. Brother J. York promised to make a box to receive the monthly collection for the S.S. union of the M.E. Church and by examining the contents of the box it was ascertained that $5.65 had been collected.
Tuesday March 3rd
A little rain this day. The examination of the school commenced. A part of the students acquitted themselves well, particularly the larger scholars.
This is the day for the new President, James Buchanan, to take his seat. I hope he will do better than his predecessor. Oh may the Lord bless him and help him to rule in the fear of the Lord and be a blessing to this great nation.
The examination still goes on. Still goes on with increased interest and credit to themselves and teachers and closed at about 9 o'clock very pleasantly.
Rain. T.F.R. preached, text Psalm 85-6. Good time. Prayer meeting at night led by Brother Brown. Good time.
Rain in forepart of the day, grass getting plenty.
Very little rain.
A little rain. Brother Brown preached from Rev. 2nd, latter part of 10th verse. This was original. I met the class upstairs, had [a] good time. Prayer meeting night conducted by Brother Pinkston. The Lord was with us.
Rain last night.
Rain last night. On yesterday I bought [of] J. L. Clinkenbeard interest in 72 sheep, 69 ewes and 4 rams. His interest in the sheep is one third of the lambs and all of the wool. 40 ewe lambs and 4 rams, 34 wethers now on hand. It is supposed that there is about 12 more ewes yet to have lambs. For the above I paid $75.
A little rain. Prayer meeting at night led by Bro. Anderson. The Lord was present to bless.
Cloudy and cool.
Rain this day. I read in the congregation the sermon on evil speaking, making at the same time other remarks on this vile practice, not exactly as a cure but as a preventative of the evil. May the blessing of God attend it to the good of the people. We have had a good time all day. General class after preaching.
A little rain yesterday, heavy rain today nearly all day. On yesterday I visited some families among others. I went up into the belfry on the Academy where Brother Brown lodges and studies. Brother Wilbur in his great kindness made arrangements with Doctor Miller, who lives in his house, to board Brother Brown. This act of kindness I fear has been a snare to this young brother. Being so well provided for, he spends I think about from five to seven days in each week and he told me on yesterday that he had never made one pastoral visit yet. The same may be said I think of Brother Anderson.
My object in visiting Brother Brown was to talk to him on this subject. I prayed with him and read the article in the discipline on visiting to him and urged him to attend to this duty, telling him that if he merely preached on Sunday and done nothing else that he would accomplish nothing. I urged him to stir around among all the people in every part of his work and at the same time holding as many meetings as he could, assuring him that the blessing of God would attend. My intention is to visit as much as I can. In my circumstances I have always been greatly blessed in this part of my work.
Brother Brown did not attend to his appointments on the lower part of the circuit, that is, Kellogg's, Scottsburg &c., because it rained a little and the roads were bad. Brother Anderson is making up another drove of horses to take to Rogue River for sale. He took one drove in the fall, I think about seven each time, some of them very valuable. Is this the way to travel circuits or to obey that command be instant in season &c. and warning every man with tears publicly and from house to house.
A little rain.
Hunted horses yesterday on foot today on board horse, found my mares with young colts but could not catch them. O how tired I am, but this is prayer meeting night and I must go. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Brother Anderson at home, did not get out. Brother Bowser conducted the meeting by the direction of Brother Brown. The Lord was with us to bless.
A little rain in the morning then clear, pleasant.
Much wind. This day I walked about 7 miles to Jacob Jones' to a two days meeting appointed by Brother Rayner. As I was on foot I did not reach the place of the meeting till after the service was over. Brother Rayner preached to 7 persons, made no other appoint[ment] until Sunday at 11. I got on to Brother Jones' and on learning that there was no appointment for the evening I got the boys to pass around among the neighbors and publish an appointment for [a] night meeting. Quite a number came out by this time. Brothers Rayner and Tibbetts got on and Tibbetts preached. I exhorted and quoted the words of Elijah to Ahab 1st Kings 18th 41st for there is a sound of a great rain. It is true I did not see a cloud even as large as a man's hand, yet I thought that God in mercy was about to visit that people.
Brother Rayner then appointed a prayer meeting the next day at 10, preaching at 11 [and] 3 and maybe at night.
Met according to appointment, had prayer meeting. Brother Rayner wished me to preach but the school house being very open and the wind high and cool I could not preach. He then preached and wanted me to preach at 3. I told him I could not preach in that house while it was so windy. We then changed it to Brother Jones' house at 4. I then preached to a good congregation. Brother Rayner exhorted. Mourners were invited to kneel for prayers. I think about 8 kneeled down, but I think there was no convictions. Brother Rayner then made an appointment for another two days meeting in four weeks then asked me when I could preach there again. I said tomorrow night.
On foot I visited nearly all the neighborhood, I hope not in vain. This thing had never been done before. I found several without the Bible and scarcely a good book of any kind. We had a good congregation at night; I preached from Psalms 119-59.60. Rayner exhorted. The number of seekers had greatly increased; prospects are good.
Great rain. Returned home in the rain, found all well.
April 1st 1857
Attended meeting with Brother Rayner at Father Jones'. Rayner preached, eight or ten mourners. Isaac Jones and wife say that they were blessed in some measure.
Thursday April 2nd
Visited a number of families, I hope not in vain. Returned home at night, very tired. Sold 4 Bibles to this people.
Preached at Iles' old house at 11, I hope not in vain. Had first-rate time. At 4 preached at Isaac Driver's. 7 mourners. Very good time.
This week labored hard in the garden. Very tired.
Preached at Father Jones', Brother Venable with me. The Lord was with us.
This week also spent in hard work in the garden.
Went with Brother Anderson.
Attended prayer meeting at Iles' old house, appointed by Isaac Driver at 11 and at 4. Preached at Mr. Brown's to good congregation. This is a new place. This family has been keeping house I think two or three years, but have never had a Bible nor Testament.
I sold him a Bible and hymn book and he promised me that he would lead a new life.
I sold Mr. Turner two Bibles, one for himself and the other to present to a friend and on last Sunday night he and his wife joined the church with 7 others.
This week visited some families. O how much this kind of labor is needed, and yet I think our circuit preachers make no pastoral visits.
Among others I visited Brother Gilham. He said How do you do Mr. Royal. I said Have I got to be Brother [sic] Royal? It seems so, said he. I said What have I done? He said Nothing. Said I, I used to be Brother Royal. I said to him Are you religious? Yes, said he, then said The wrong must be in me; no, you have done nothing, said he. Then what is the matter? Why Brother Rayner has done me wrong. Have you told him of his wrong? No. Then, said I, the Savior says if thy brother trespass against thee go and tell him of his fault between thee and him alone &c. Said I to him Do you attend meetings of any kind? He said No. Said I, the scriptures say neglect not the assembling of yourselves together. I then said to him in the language of the Savior why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say. I labored with him for some time, read the 18th of Mat. and prayed with him. O may the Lord bless this interview to his good and the good of his family.
This was a high day with the school here. They read the student's gem [apparently a student newspaper], spoke some dialogues, had a picnic dinner. Everything went off fine in my opinion except a little horsing after dinner. This seemed to me to be a little out of order for this place.
I have this day received a letter from my son W. B. Royal, the first for seven months. This was a treat. It is lengthy, giving an account of many of our relations and other matters and things with much satisfaction, and at the same time my heart was pained to learn of the increased affliction of Wm. and that there was but little hopes of his recovery and but little if any hope of either of the boys coming to Oregon but glad to learn that they were religious.
May 9th 10th
Just finished shearing 73 sheep. Sheared 23 today. Am very tired.
Preached at Father Jones from John 22-21. Had good time.
Preached at Mr. Brown's. These people are determined to serve God.
Unwell. T.F.R. filled my appointment at John Smith's.
Attended a union camp meeting on South Umpqua. Had good time, probably 9 or 10 conversions.
Rev. Wm. Roberts, Bible agent for Oregon and Washington territories.
Preached at the Academy. Had first-rate time. The anniversary Bible meeting had been held on Saturday.
The board of managers met by the request of the president, and after some consultations they employed myself as an agent for the Umpqua Bible Society. This society at our meeting on Saturday became auxiliary to the O.B.S. Brother Roberts then gave me an order to the president of the society at Oregon City, Mr. Pope, for all the Bibles I wanted. I then started on Tuesday morning with Brother Roberts, went to Cartwright's first day, Sam. Starr's the 2nd and to Bro. Roberts' third night. At 11 o'clock found them all well and very kind. 4th day to Molalla, 5th to my Brothers Charles', found all well and to my astonishment and joy found my son James here. James spent the first and only Sabbath of his circuit this year. He remained with me here until Tuesday morning then we both went to Portland. Stayed all night with Brother Campbell from Ill., an old acquaintance.
Left Portland and James, about noon got to Oregon City. Had fine rain. Called on Brother Blaine, the stationed preacher, presented him with a letter of introduction from Reverend W. Roberts. Find Brother and Sister Blaine very kind. Got what Bibles I wanted and left on Thursday morning and on Saturday afternoon got to Brother Samuel Starr's. On Sunday attended Brother Miller's appointment at Bellfountain and by request preached for Brother Isaac Miller and at 4 hired a young Brother, Starr, [to] preach. He done well. Here I saw the venerable and Rev. John Starr, the father of the young preacher, for the first time, also Father and Mother Belknap and many of the connection. These people stand high in our estimation.
Monday morning June 29th
Had fine rain in the forepart of the day. Started on my way about 11 o'clock. Broke my wagon, found friends [and] got it mended for 50 cts. Camped out Tuesday morning. Commenced raining and rained about all day. Got to Cartwright's wet and cold, was kindly entertained.
Wednesday July 1st
Crossed the mountain, having near one thousand pounds. Got safe to Brother Miller's. Found a very kind reception and in the morning pursued my journey. Got home about 5 o'clock, found all well except my dear wife. She in consequence of some exposure had been greatly affected with a pain in her back and for two nights had to sit up in her chair all night.
We had a fine celebration at this place. Everything I think went off well except their shouting and hurrahing when I think they were not happy in God.
Unwell. Hired T.F. [to] preach at the Academy.
July the 16th
This and the last week I have been engaged in distributing Bibles and other books. Have had good success and at Brother Tapp's this day fell in with Brother and Sister Wilbur, who were just returning from the States with three young men who came with them, a Mr. Waters and Chambers, who were nephews of Brother Wilbur, and also a Mr. Jones. O how glad to see Brother and Sister Wilbur again and thankful to God for that grace that had been over them in their absence and his mercy in bringing them safely home again.
This day I started out to Deer Creek with Bibles and expecting to publish an appointment for Sunday, but on my way met Brother and Sister Belknap, my daughter Mrs. Flinn and the Rev. Edmond Jones, one of the bishops of the M.E. Church. I then returned home with them and we then had the pleasure of entertaining the Bishop from Saturday until Monday. He preached in the Academy at 11 from Heb. 2nd 10th. An excellent sermon. O what a holy man of God; what a blessing to a family to entertain such a man of God.
Brother C. J. Belknap preached at 4, a good discourse, and they all left at about 9 o'clock Monday July 20th.
Conference commenced in Corvallis. Bishop Janes presided greatly to the satisfaction of all and no doubt to the profit of many, both preachers and people. At this conference I was transferred from the Rock River Conference to this Oregon Conference and was appointed tract agent. I entered immediately on this work and have thus far been successful.
Attended James' [sic--Janes'?] camp meeting on the Sandy and Milwaukie circuit. This was a time of much rain but a glorious time; about 25 conversions. Brother August Hines, P.E., got on the ground Saturday 12 o'clock and left on Monday morning. I was present at the beginning and left Monday after preaching. The meeting was protracted till Wednesday.
I bought a piece of land on the Columbia River and returned home the forepart of Oct. with a load of Bibles and other books and sold them to the preachers for distribution. I then disposed of much of my household furniture and on the 23rd of Oct. started with my family to the lower country. Got across the Calapooia Mountain Saturday night late, head of East Fork, got into an empty house, plenty of oats, paid $1.50. Preached on Sunday at 11.
Sunday 1st of Nov.
Got to Mr. Ingalls, 20 miles south of Oregon City, a very clever man, not religious, got oats, potatoes, a little bread and flour, milk &c., charged one dollar only. May the Lord convert his soul. It rained on Friday.
Nov. 2nd and 3rd
Rain each day. Tuesday night got to the place I bought here. We met James just as we drove up. The rain continued to the 10th Tuesday night. [marginal correction: The rain continued until the 9th.] Ground froze about half inch. Wednesday night cold.
Thursday Nov. 12th
This day I left my brother Charles Royal to go to the Umpqua. Here I very reluctantly left my dear companion, expecting to be absent several weeks. Stopped at Portland first night with Brother Kingsley, Friday night with John White, son of Dr. White. Good accommodations each night.
Got to Brother Reverend Neill Johnson, found them very kind. They invited me to spend the Sabbath with them. I accordingly accepted their kind invitation. Brother Johnson had an appointment at 11; he invited me to preach. I did so, had good liberty. Three persons shouted; one of them jumped over the house in the old-fashioned way. All the professors in the congregation were Presbyterians. Cumberlands Brother Johnson desired me to preach again at night. I did so to a large and attentive congregation. Prospects fine for a revival. We have now had 6 hard frosts in succession.
Brother Johnson wished me to preach the next night, but I could not consistently remain in that place any longer. I therefore commended them to God and on Monday morning pursued my journey. Got to Salem about noon, 16 miles, called for books at the depository but Brother Pearne was from home and preparing to move the depository and the P.C.A. office, family and all to Portland, so I got no books.
Got to Brother Hardy's, found them kind. Tarried overnight, next morning went on to Brother Parrott's. He talked of buying my farm in Umpqua Valley, promised to meet me on the 25th at my house for the purpose of seeing my place and buying if he liked.
Took dinner with Brother Wilbur and Brother Phillips. Sister Wilbur had been unwell but had got better. Had gone on a visit to Lebanon.
Went on to Azariah Starr's. After I had loosed my horses he told me that he had no feed of any kind for my team, and it was then so dark that I could not well go any further. Finally he told me that his brother Noah Starr had oats there but did not allow him to feed them. I then told him that if he would not let me have a feed for [my] hungry mares that if I was spared till morning I would replace them. He then let me have a feed, four sheaves.
In the morning early I got one of my mares in order to go and get the oats, but Brother Starr after thinking the matter over thought it would not do to let an old itinerant preacher pay for his own horse feed at his house and he would not suffer me to go and get them. I then started early without having my team fed. Traveled 6 six miles, bought feed and went on my way rejoicing.
Got to Brother Humphrey's, found them very kind. Found plenty for both man and beast.
Got to Brother Gardiner's near the mountain. O how kind these people are and truly devoted to God and useful as a class leader and S.S. superintendent. O may the blessings of heaven attend them and their children.
Crossed the mountain, came to the house of Brother James Miller, my old friend. This family are always kind and good. Here I spent the Sabbath, hired Brother Isaac Driver [to] preach, who is a new beginner on his first circuit. He done tolerable well. After preaching Elisha Applegate went home with us. Driver and Applegate soon commenced an argument on the subject of religion, philosophers &c. and continued their speech until about one or two o'clock. This long and I think vain argument was an affliction to me.
Monday morning Nov. 23
Started to my home in Umpqua Valley, got safe to my son's just at dark. Here I found Brother and Sister Flint on a visit all at supper. All well.
Brother Lewis S. Parrott came on according to promise on Thursday 26. He looked at my place, [liked] it and bought a part of it, fifty acres of the improved part, for which he gave me ten dollars in hand and is to give me $390 in tenders [legal tenders--i.e., paper money] and $400 in 11 months, at which time I am to make him a deed and give him possession. I am again permitted to attend another Thursday night prayer meeting. The good Lord was with us.
I am still at my home all alone. I have been planting out currant clips and sowing bluegrass seed. It has been raining a little each day since Wednesday.
Considerable of rain fell last night and it still rains today. It is warm, grass is growing finely and it is greatly needed. Grass has never been so poor in this valley before.
Much rain today. I stopped last night with Thomas Markham, who with his wife lately made profession of religion and joined the United Brethren. After coming to this place I learned that Moses Haight had an appointment to preach. This brother is just beginning to try to preach. He took for his text Set your affections on things above &c. He cannot preach at present, but if God has called him to the work of the ministry and he is faithful he will do all that God designs he should do.
I this day filled an appointment at 11 at Brother Holbrook's, near 30 persons in attendance. We had a good time in afternoon. I rode about 6 miles through the rain, no congregation. Stayed all night with Brother Tower.
Traveled nearly all day in the rain. At night stopped with Brother David Smith, found them very kind. Myself and team well provided for.
Tuesday December 1st
But little rain. Took dinner with Father Sutherland, who professed religion with several of his family last summer. The old brother I think is still trying to serve the Lord with his house. I returned to my home near the Academy, and this evening I had visitors.
T. F. Royal and wife we had a pleasant time at bed time. They went home and here I sit all alone by a good fire. O how lonely without my beloved companion. Yet I feel that all is right and the best of all is God is with us.
Wednesday Dec. 2nd 1857
I laid me down on last evening, slept sound and secure. Have awoke refreshed and strong and still find my kind preserver near. O may no gloomy crime pollute this day or Jesus' blood like evening do wash all its stones away. This is a pleasant day. This morning brothers Dr. Wm. Miller, G. Kuykendall, Joseph McKinney, James R. Stark, Rev. G. H. Brown, Rev. T. F. Royal, Mr. Jesse Cook all made me a call. They witnessed some improvements which I had been making such as the sowing of bluegrass seed, the planting of currant slips &c.
Thursday Dec. 3rd
Just four weeks today since I left my beloved companion and children. O how long the time seems to be but the gloom is in some measure dispelled by the kindness of children and grandchildren on T.F., wife and children and also as I am just about to start to Portland. Pleasant day. Got safe to Brother James Miller's. O what a kind family. Before I left Fletcher's Mary Ann very kindly furnished me with a plenty of nice rye bread, boiled beef &c. designed for my dinner on the way, but this night them ugly dogs of Brother Miller's got into my wagon and ate up the last bite of my good dinner. But the Lord well provided. The good sisters gave me dinner on the way. Friday last night it rained very hard; waters very high. Came to a creek near Estes', found it very high but found an old bridge a short distance down the creek and was enabled with the assistance of some kind friends to draw my wagon over on the bridge by hand and swam my mares over. This was soon and safely done and I on my journey again. Crossed the mountain, got safe to Cartwright's just at dusk, find them kind.
Still raining but still drive ahead. Got safe to Brother Isaac Duckworth's, put up for the Sabbath. This brother and wife and her father, Brother Kent, are Protestant Methodist but I think pious people. Here I found Brother Zumwalt. He is about 71 years of age and has been a Methodist near 50 years and is happy in God. I think him to be a man of deep piety. He has in his younger days committed to memory many hymns and spiritual songs which he sings first rate with the spirit and with the understanding also. O how happy he gets while singing. Here just at dusk comes a man driving two yoke of oxen and wagon, had been to [a] mill. Lived about 3½ miles off.
He had some thoughts of staying all night and then going home on Sunday morning. He loosed his cattle from his wagon and let them stand while he ate his supper, but while he ate the oxen went home and he after them and the next morning he came back with his cattle. I preached at this house in the afternoon to a few people. This man stood for preaching. I read for his benefit as well as others the 20th of Exodus. I preached from Isaiah 3rd 1st clause of 10th, had good liberty. Trust that good was done. The man above alluded to was their circuit preacher, and I think a well-meaning man, yet he needs to be taught the way of the Lord more perfectly. May the Lord guide him into all truth and make him useful. This family was very kind, charged nothing. May the Lord bless them abundantly in temporal and spiritual blessings. Amen and amen.
Monday Dec. 7th
A little rain. Traveled 36 miles hoping to get to my brother's this week. Came to Corvallis a little after dark, stopped with my old friends Brother and Sister Wilbur. O how kind. Here also is Brother Waters, their nephew, a first-rate young man. He is teaching school and I learn that he is doing well.
Rose early, ate breakfast by candlelight. Started on my journey.
Through a tremendous rain got safe to Brother Parrott's about noon, 16 miles. Hoping to get $400 of him in part pay for my land, but he had not obtained it yet. In consequence of this and high waters I was compelled to stop. Great rain all day and for part of night.
Wednesday 9th Dec.
A little rain, very high waters, no money, can't travel but am well provided for, having plenty for myself and team.
Thank the Lord for all his mercy. Brother Parrott is out trying to make a raise of money. Returned in the evening without success.
Very strong wind last night and much rain. There is a writing school held here in the school house every night. On last night a young man by the name of Collins dropped down almost as dead, probably fainted. Was carried off to a neighbor's house about one mile off and notwithstanding the great rain and the darkness of the night. Sister Parrott's kindness and anxiety to do good to the sick was such that she would give her husband no rest till he consented to go with her through the rain on foot to see and wait on him through the night. This young man is a backslider. O may this affliction be a blessing to him he is getting. The young people here on their return from school are exceedingly noisy.
Brother Parrott has been out again today in search of money and has returned with the promise of what he needs in the morning. If he should be successful I hope to start on my journey tomorrow if it does not rain very much. Very little rain today.
Friday Dec. 11th
This morning Brother Parrott got $400 for me and I started on my journey. Got to Brother Burns'. Sister Burns and two children at home, found them very kind. Brother Burns went to California with cattle last May and has not returned yet. I used to be acquainted with this family in Ill. They were then in moderate circumstances, but are rich now. They live in a house which cost them about four thousand dollars, and I think they have about 600 head of cows and other cattle. There is a great danger of these things being a curse and not a blessing. O may the Lord save this large family of twelve children.
Started on in good season, got about one half mile and got into one of the worst mud holes I have found in Oregon. My Dolly mare got down and could not get up until I loosed her from the wagon. Here I labored, unloading and prying up, for about two hours and in the struggle got my wagon tongue broke, but tied up and went on my way rejoicing that I had come off so well and thankful to the Lord that it was no worse. Got to Mr. Wm. Howe's, an old friend of my brother Charles in Ja. [sic] Here I put up for the Sabbath, found no appointment for meeting for divine service and as I was afflicted with a cold and cough I made no appointment for preaching. Spent the day in reading meditation. Mr. Howe is not a member of any church yet seems to be a good man and I think he will yet join the church with his wife whom I think to be an excellent woman. They have an excellent family, six sons and one daughter.
Here I was treated with much kindness. May the Lord reward them an hundredfold. There has been but little rain for four days.
Much rain today. Got to Lafayette. Here I found my old friend John Bird and family, at whose house I used to preach in Ill. Find Brother and Sister Bird and one daughter, Mrs. Ferguson, trying to serve God but was much grieved to learn that Brother Bird did not have family prayer. O what an evidence this of a very low state of grace.
A great rain last night and but little today. Got safely on to Mr. Charles Brown's about 8 miles south of Portland. This family are not religious, yet treated [me] well and I paid them well. I had prayers with them morning and evening and exhorted parents and children to repentance.
Wednesday 16th 1857
On my journey early, bad roads much of the way to Portland but pleasant day. Got safe to my brother Charles' just at dark, found my beloved companion well, brother Charles lame in his back. O how happy we are to meet in safety after a separation of five weeks. Here I also found my son James. He had been much afflicted with a gathering in his head which has caused him to be very deaf. Jason is teaching school for the first time in his life at Mt. Pisgah. I call [at] 17th, brought my family down to the Mt. Pisgah neighborhood, took dinner with Mr. Scott then came on to Mr. Zimmerman's in order to pay the payment of 900 dollars on my land and take possession of it, but as he had gone to Portland I did not get possession until
Saturday Dec. 19th 1857
We find the house, yard &c. exceedingly dirty and have had one hard week's work to purify this temple. We have had a little frost and but little rain since last Monday.
Dec. 20th 1857
This day I preached at Mt. Pisgah from St. John 5.39, had good liberty and good class.
A little rain.
Hard frost last night.
James and Jason are both with us today helping to fix up a little. We consider James the householder here at present and until Nov. next my business calls me to travel most of my time and it is my intention to be at my home at Umpqua as much as my business will admit of after the weather gets pleasant. We had prayer meeting last night; we felt that God was with us. The weather is fine.
This day I went to hear Doc. Crosby preach. He had a good text, done it no injustice. Left it just where he found it except quoting it a few times. Oh that men would know and keep their places. The Church also should see to this matter.
Some rain today.
Considerable of rain last night. Very pleasant today. James S. Royal and his stepson dined with us today. Pleasant today.
29th and 30th
Much rain, warm.
Pleasant. This night James has an appointment for a watch night meeting at Mt. Tabor and I have one for this place, Mt. Pisgah. I feel very much disqualified for preaching and taking charge of the meeting in consequence of having a hard cold.
I would here state that since my arrival in Oregon in 1853 Oct. 27 until within about 5 months the people have been very free from colds, but since that time hard colds or influenza has prevailed throughout the length and breadth of this hitherto very healthy country and in some instances it has proved fatal. Quite a number of children in Portland and in some other places have died either with these hard colds or as some think with the scarlet fever.
The year rolls round and steals away the breath that first it gave. The last day of 1857 has come and the last hour and minute will soon be here. Just so the last year, month, week, day, hour and minute of our earthly existence will soon come. O what an important lesson. This should teach me and all as the Savior says to be also ready.
Oh God for the sake of Jesus Christ pardon my former sloth and mercifully grant me grace to enable me to live wiser and better for [all] time to come. Amen and amen.
William Royal Journal #10, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161. 1831-1840 pages of journal not transcribed.
Sunday Jan. 1, 1860.
Scottsburg & Oakland Ct. Umpqua Dis.
Oregon An. Con.
This morning I feel very much fatigued in body from three causes: The labors of the watch-night meeting last night--rheumatic pains during the latter part of the night, and a severe blow on my mouth from my bedfellow in a fright springing to his feet, yelling like an Indian, at the same time striking me by some means so violently as to cut my lip severely and almost shattering five or six teeth from my mouth. With difficulty I awoke him from his dream. Though suffering a little in body I felt more of the divine presence than usual.
I preached at 11 o'clock in the court house at Judge Underwood's from St. John 111.3. God helped. Father Tower exhorted.
At two o'clock my text was Ecc. last two verses at Ferguson's S.H. Class after. I am today amazed at the grace of God--It is so unbounded and free it makes me ashamed of myself. Last week I was so tempted and tried that [I] felt as though I was forsaken of God--but the clouds are gone and the sun shines all the clearer.
Visited Bro. Tibbetts and found him much perplexed about his embarrassment in finding an opening to preach. Thought the Conference had tied his hands by not giving him work. I tried to comfort and encourage him and made arrangement with him to commence a protracted meeting at Judge Underwood's court house 7th inst. At 11 o'--Called on Bro. Smith and visited Bro. Grubb's. Put up for the night at Bro. Gardiner's and attended the monthly concert in the Academy (at Wilbur) and was well entertained with the exercises which consisted of speeches and dialogues by the juvenile members and recitation of appropriate passages of scripture by Sunday school scholars, speeches from Rev. I. Dillon and Rev. Dr. Miller, and a collection of about six dollars.
No. 18. Cleansing Powders.
Ginger 2 oz.Pulverize fine and mix.
Gentian 4 oz.
Fenugreek 1 oz.
Black antimony 2 oz.
Rhubarb 2 oz.
Dose--one tablespoonful morning and evening--in bran or oats--say 5 or 6 days. Brush and card well.
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #2, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
Umpqua DistrictSept. 17, 1867.
Left home for Empire City, where I am to hold the first Q.M. for this year. On the way visited Mr. Byers' school. Passed steam mill and paid one hundred dollars on lumber. Camped at night with Bro. Cornutt, a local preacher of Roseburg, Or. Had a good visit with him. Conversed on the general interests of the church till a late hour in the night,
Sept. 19th 1867.
While waiting here at Scottsburg for an opportunity to go down the river I have concluded to spend a short time in soliciting contributions for Umpqua Academy.
SubscriptionsLeft Scottsburg at half past four for Gardiner craft U.S. mail boat, Capt. Henry Wade, our old pupil. Mr. Traver fellow passenger. Now we are afloat; Scottsburg recedes. Winding around among high mtns. We pass Pulpit Rock--then Brandy Bar--and Echo Island.
Sep. 19, 1867.
Brandy Bar was named by sailors who ran aground and drank a bottle of brandy before they could get off.
Echo Island is so named from the peculiar echoes that answer each other from mountain to mountain at this point: We are trying this now as we ride along--They are very amusing.
We can hear four distinct echoes.
Arrived at Gardiner about 8 o'clock and put up with our old friend and pupil, P. P. Palmer.
Friday Sep. 20, 1867.
Six o'clock a.m. found me afloat on the morning tide. P. P. Palmer kindly advancing me on my journey in his sail boat. The wind and tide fair, we sailed rapidly, making nine miles in about one hour. This brought us to Winchester Bay at the mouth of the Umpqua. Here I hired a horse at $6 for the trip and so traveled down the beach 20 ms. to Empire City on Coos Bay, where I arrived at about 3 o'clock p.m.
This is a beautiful bay about 1¼ miles wide at Empire City. I hoisted a white flag at the ferry landing opposite the city and Bro. Cummings, the preacher on the circuit who was on the lookout for me, soon came over for me with a skiff.
He and his excellent lady were glad to see me, and at once made me feel at home. At dinner we had clams, the first I had ever eaten. An appointment was soon circulated and I preached in the evening to a respectable and serious congregation.
Spent the a.m. in making calls. Preached at 2 p.m. and held quarterly conference and attend the Good Templars lodge at night. I was pleased with the lodge, and they professed to be greatly pleased with my address.
Love feast at 9 a.m., good time. The members were engaged and abundantly blessed. Preached at 11 o'clock.
Preached again at 2 and baptism, two children of Bro. Noah Cornutt, and administered Lord's Supper. Preached again at night to a full house. There was much emotion--many wept, and no doubt many are under deep conviction. In private conversation with the M.C.T. of the lodge. I found him a subject of deep conviction. He is a promising young man. I feel deeply concerned for him. I have never felt so much concern for a strange people as I do for this intelligent and kind community.
While there is much wickedness in this place there are many redeeming qualities. Some of the families are of a superior class--and not only moral but lovers of Sunday sch. and preaching. By the blessing of the Lord I have no doubt but Bro. Cummings and his zealous wife will raise up a good society in this place.
Monday morning 23rd.
I left Empire greatly strengthened and feeling that the people had truly endeared themselves to me.
Gathered by the way many shells and a specimen of kelp on the beach to carry home to the children--saw a schooner come in over the bar at the mouth of the river,
Stopped awhile at Dr. Drew's at old Umpqua City--had a pleasant interview with him and his amiable Presbyterian lady, gathered some whortleberries--went all through his extensive and beautiful hennery--where he had about 900 chickens and many ducks.
After dinner came on with Henry Wade to Gardiner, arriving at 8 o'clock.
There being no opportunity of going on up the river I spent the day in soliciting contributions for Umpqua Academy.
The trip thus far has been laborious and expensive--though exceedingly exciting and pleasant.
Even the twenty miles on the beach was by no means dreary or lonesome. It was pleasant to travel on the clean white sand that was being constantly washed before and all around me and sometimes under me by the ocean spray. Then the shells and many curious things all around--the gulls of every size and color, sometimes in flocks on the sand and again on wing over the foaming spray--the seals diving under the breakers and popping their heads out again like little monkeys on the other side--the constant roar of the restless ocean--the long rows of snowy breakers constantly chasing each other furiously assuming a thousand forms regular and irregular--dashing, clapping, crashing--rumbling, hissing, sparkling--now advancing--now receding, now running far out upon the beach--and now rushing back into the deep, leaving a path of sparkling spray behind them in which thousands of little birds called sandpipers were constantly running gathering up little insects. I saw one poor gull that had a broken wing--it would swim out till a breaker would catch it and roll it ashore and then again frightened at me would swim out till another breaker would catch it and dash it once more at my horse's feet.
I saw also a majestic Columbia River steamer swiftly pop up just outside the breakers.
Promised L. Kent of Elkton to let him know if there are funds in the school treasury for his dist.
Mr. Cooper proposes to buy the Cook claim at the end of the year and have the use of it for $20 during that time.
Thomas Fletcher Royal Journal #2, Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161