compiled from the collected writings of Martha Whiting Brown, Ruth Brown Lewis, other family writings, & historical writings as noted in text
by Louine B. Hunter
1997 revision
  1. Elisha Jr.'s early years
  2. Sally Hulet's background
  3. Missouri 1833
  4. Far West, Missouri
  5. Battle of Crooked River, Caldwell County, Oct. 25, 1838
  6. Illinois, 1839-1845
  7. Narrative Poem
  8. Exodus

Conversion, 1830

Sally's family, the Hulets, had heard that a man named Joseph Smith found a book written by civilized people who once lived in the Americas.

Sylvester Hulet, Sally's thirty year old brother, traveled 175 miles from Ohio to New York to learn about The Book of Mormon in January of 1830. He was in New York right after the first books were printed and someone sold him a copy. He was really excited because in those days the books were very scarce because they only printed a few the first time. There, in March, Sylvester was baptized, a month before the Church was organized.

He took The Book of Mormon back with him for the family to read as they sat around the fireplace in the evenings. They listened while it was read, and it struck their hearts. One day Joseph Smith and Parley P. Pratt came to their door and asked if they could come into their home and have a meeting. They were invited in. Joseph told them how he got the Book of Mormon from the Angel Moroni, and as he talked, his eyes shone and he had such a spirit about him that they knew he was speaking the truth.

In October of 1830, when Oliver Cowdry, Ziba Peterson, and Parley P. Pratt went to Ohio as missionaries, the Hulets were baptized: Sally, now forty three; her mother, Mary Lewis Hulet, age sixty seven; and Sally's siblings: Charles, Charlotte, and Rhoda. (Mary Lewis Hulet was a widow when she was baptized. Her husband, Sylvanus Hulett, had died six years earlier.)

Elisha did not join the Church at this time.

The Hulets were one of the very first families to join the Church. They never forgot the great experience of Joseph Smith bearing his testimony to them and bringing them the truth.

A Loss and A Birth

In August 1830, just two months before Sally was baptized, her fifth child, Harriet Amelia, died at the age of fifteen. A month later their last child, Francis Lewis, was born in Nelson.

Kirtland, 1831

In 1831, the Saints were commanded to gather together in Kirtland, Ohio, the first "Zion" of the restored Gospel. The Whitings and their extended family were already residing in nearby Nelson, where trials, hardships, and persecutions soon began.

Missouri, 1831

The Prophet Joseph received a revelation in 1831 revealing that Missouri was the land appointed by the Lord and consecrated for the gathering of his people. After July of 1831, there were significant numbers of Saints in Missouri.

They were commanded to purchase this land to the extent of their ability, that they might "obtain it as an everlasting inheritance." They soon set about the work of founding Zion. Sidney Rigdon dedicated the land of Zion for the gathering of God's people and on August 3, 1831, the temple site in Independence was dedicated by the prophet.

So rapidly did the Saints gather to Zion during the summer of 1832, that the "Star" for November reported 830 souls in the new settlements. The Hulets and Coxes moved to Missouri in response to the call of gathering.

Ohio, 1832

Growing resentment against the Mormons erupted in a mob attack on Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon at Hiram, Ohio, in 1832 (just a few miles from the Whitings in Nelson).

During the next six years mobs plotted and assembled, and though for the most part their attacks never materialized, their threats were a constant source of anxiety for the saints.

Ohio, 1833

The Kirtland Temple was begun in 1833 and dedicated in 1836.

When Edwin was twenty four, he married Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson, an Ohio girl of French descent. They were married at Nelson in 1833. She was a highly educated school teacher, quite an accomplishment for those days.

Their first three children were born at Nelson. Their first, a baby girl, died the same day she was born on October 18, 1834. This great sadness was repeated six years later on November 11, 1841, when twin girls were born to Edwin and Elizabeth and died the same day.

Source: Louine Berry Hunter

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