A copy of this autobiography came into my possession through a visit in 2004 to the Nauvoo, Illinois Land and Records Office run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. RoseMary's Aunt Marie was serving a mission in Nauvoo and pulled some records of our ancestors. It was included with records of my wife's direct ancestors, William Pope and his wife Catherine John McBride (James McBride's sister) and Charles Augustus Davis and his wife Ruth Elizabeth Kennan.
I didn't notice the autobiography until June, 2006 when I was looking through the sheaf of papers from the records office. James McBride was born in 1818 and died in 1881. I read the autobiography and realized that here was a unique eyewitness to the history of the church, from Missouri to Nauvoo, crossing Iowa and the plains and finally the settlement of Utah and occupation by Johnson's army.
The manuscript I have is not the original. Indeed, I don't know where the original is. The manuscript seems to have been produced in two parts. The first part seems to be more recent while the latter part seems to be of an earlier vintage. The last of the autobiography was written in 1876.
I have attempted to retain the language and wording of the original. In some cases this included misspellings as well as grammatical errors. I have attempted to restore the page breaks of the original. The typed manuscript did include page number markings, making that restoration possible.
I have tried to include explanatory notes to obscure references to aid the modern reader. I have also added maps and other graphics to enhance the reading experience for the reader. Any notes I added are colored so the reader can easily identify my additoins.
June 26, 2006
|Ancestry of James McBride||Page 5|
|Siblings of James McBride||Page 6|
|Move to Ohio||Page 6 - 1810|
|Settling on the Red Haw||Page 7 - 1820|
|Birth of James and Conversion to Mormonism||Page 8 - 1818 - 1831|
|Move from Ohio to Missouri||Page 9 - 1834|
|Move to Haun's Mill||Page 10 - 1837|
|The Massacre at Haun's Mill||Page 10 - October 30, 1838|
|Burying the Dead||Page 14|
|Spying on the Mob||Page 16|
|Arrival in Illinois||Page 18 - 1839|
|Marriage; Martyrdom of the Prophet||Page 21 - 1844|
|Exodus from Nauvoo||Page 23 - 1846|
|Brother Thomas hanged in Iowa||Page 24 - March, 1847|
|Arrival in Council Bluffs (Kanesville) and leaving for Utah||Pgae 27 - 1850|
|Chimney Rock||Page 29|
|Arrival in Salt Lake and founding of Grantsville||Page 31- October 4, 1850|
|Building the fort at Grantsville||Page 34 - 1853|
|Johnson's Army and fleeing again||Page 37 - 1857|
|Death of Marion Louisa McBride||Page 40 - 1875|
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES MCBRIDE
Autobiography of James McBride, typescript BYU
MCBRIDE, JAMES RIN#12552 MCBRJ18.P
My grandmother's maiden name was Mary White. After her marriage to my grandfather, she gave birth to John, James, Philip and Thomas. Of the girls there were Isabelle, Mary, and Sarah--and I believe another girl, whose name I can not tell. but was the wife of ??? McDougal. Perhaps the names are not given regular-but as nearly so as I can remember having heard them.
I believe my grandfather was of Irish descent.
My grandfather's name on my mother's side, was Thomas John. His wife's name was Ruth ???. After her marriage to grandfather John, she gave birth to James and also a son who was scalded and died when quite young, whose name I can not give. Of the girls, Sarah, Elizabeth, Hannah and Catherine, my mother, are all I have any information of.
Thomas McBride, (my father) was born March, 1776; in London County, Virginia. At the age of about eighteen, he was married to Catherine John. At the time she was about sixteen years of age. I think they were married in Hancock County, Virginia-at least grandfather John lived in that county at that time.
[Dennis' notes: I can't find London County, Va. This is possibly Loudon county, just west of Washington, DC, or may be part of present-day West Virginia. The John's died in Berkeley county, West Virginia.]
[page 6] To my mother were born, Rebecca, Ruth, Amos, Mary, Hannah, Elizabeth, Susan, Thomas, Sarah, Isabelle, James, Catherine and Dorcas. There were two other girls born in the family that died when infants, and I think they were not named.
The first seven above named were born in the state of Virginia, in which state Susan died.
(1810) My father left Virginia in the Spring of 1810--and moved to New Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio; a journey of about three hundred miles. Taking with him all his children living except Ruth; who was living with her grandfather and grandmother John and remained in Virginia for some time after.
In the autumn of 1813, my father returned to Virginia and brought home with him, Ruth. I will now give you a short account of my father's trip. He rode a pacing mare called Snap--and not being able to furnish a better mode of conveyance, my sister Ruth, who was then about fourteen years old, was obliged to ride and walk in turn with father, a trip as you already understand of about three hundred miles, from Virginia, to Lancaster, Ohio.
Rebecca and Mary were both married in Fairfield County, Ohio.
Thomas, Sarah, Isabelle and myself were born in the same county.
(1820) In March 1820 father moved from Fairfield County, to Wayne County, a distance of about one hundred and ten miles. Taking with him Ruth, Amos, Elizabeth, Thomas, Sarah, Isabelle, and myself. There he took a lease on a school section of land for fifteen years--which was
They may have followed the approximate route of highway 50 from the vicinity of Leesburg to Lancaster, Ohio and then from Lancaster, Ohio to Red Haw, Ohio, in Wayne County, near Wooster, Ohio.
The conditions on which the lease was took, was that my father was obliged to clear not less than twenty acres of heavy timbered land. The clearing was to be divided into fields of not more than seven acres each, lawfully fenced. He was also to put out an orchard of not less than twenty-five apple trees, and twenty-five poach [peach?] trees each. A log house, and a double log-barn were to be built.
My father's circumstances were very poor. He had but little stock when he took the lease, and unfortunately lost part of that. But bone and sinew were put to chopping and grubbing--and the younger hands to gathering brush-whether boys or girls, it mattered not, the clearing must be done. The first year about five acres were cleared, and put in corn. Heavy frosts destroyed the crop, so the first year there was no income from the lease.
In three years however, the eighty acres were about cleared, and a gradual income was realized.
Catherine and Dorcas were born in Wayne county.
Ruth, my oldest sister remaining at home, was here married to Perry Durfee; a few years after my father took the lease.
(1826) Amos McBride, married Keriah McBride--a daughter of Robert McBride, but no relation to my father's family. Elizabeth, afterward married a man by the name of James McMillen. My sister Sarah died about the year 1828.