Paperclippings Blog: 150th Anniversary of the Death of Parley P. Pratt

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I pray because I believe, and I believe because I pray.

Joseph Walker--Deseret Morning News

Utah, United States

Kelly is the mother of 5 adorable kids--4 boys and a girl. The girl came in a package with a boy (twins). Kelly is married to a charming young man who lives and breathes computers. They are also guardians for three nieces and a nephew.

She is active in the community having served as PTA President of a local elementary school, on the board of the Salt Lake Mothers of Twins, as a district round-table trainer with the Cub Scouts, as a volunteer for Sidelines (a support network for Women on bed rest during pregnancy) and she and her husband are active in the LDS Church.

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"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Helaman 5:12

Courtesy of Scott Kurtz


Saturday, April 14, 2007

150th Anniversary of the Death of Parley P. Pratt

On May 13, 1857 my husband's 3rd Great Grandfather, Parley Parker Pratt, was killed near Van Buren, Arkansas.

While on his mission, Parley sensed his approaching death. He wrote home, “I long to do my duty while here and then go to rest in the paradise of God.” Indeed, Parley stated, “I neither dread nor fear death, but I anticipate changing worlds with joy inexhaustible.” In May 1857, shortly after his 50th birthday, Parley was murdered outside the small town of Van Buren, Arkansas.

As he lay dying, Parley testified to those who had come to help: “I die a firm believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. … I know that the Gospel is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God, I am dying a martyr to the faith.”

The Extraordinary Life of Parley P. Pratt

Many things, both good and ill have been written about Parley Pratt. But there is no doubt that he was not an ordinary man. His legacy lives to this day.

In the mountains to the east of Salt Lake City there is a canyon that bears his name. I-80 East from the Salt Lake Valley climbs through this Parley's Canyon.

"The transportation story of Parleys Canyon is one of development by phases, in which one mode of transportation improves on, or replaces, another. The most recent phase is today's high-speed six-lane limited access freeway which is Interstate 80; but it all began with Parley Parker Pratt's initial exploration of the entire canyon in June 1848." Utah Rails.Net

In November 1849, after suspending work on his road for a season, Pratt was called to head an exploring company of fifty men to southern Utah and to counsel Brigham Young on promising areas for new settlements. Pratt gave to the legislative assembly optimistic forecasts for settling the present sites of Richfield, Marysvale, Parowan, Cedar City, Washington, Santa Clara, Mountain Meadow, Beaver, and Payson. His company brought back samples of iron ore, coal, and other minerals. He provided specific information on weather, soil conditions, water, forestation, and other topographical conditions.

He opened his toll road in 1850, and during its first season of operation collected $1,500 from California-bound gold seekers and others. He left for a mission to Chile the following year, and the road largely fell into disuse. Today, what was then the "Golden Pass Road" is the Interstate 80 freeway through Parleys Canyon, a major scenic route into the valley, and one that services numerous communities east of Salt Lake City.,PARLEY.html

He was a poet, song writer. Seven of his songs are currently included in the LDS Hymn Book.

Pratt, Parley P.

In the old historic Nauvoo, Illinois there is a street bearing his name. It was along this street which runs west to east toward the Mississippi River that most of the early Mormons last saw their beautiful town. Parley's Street became known as the Trails of Tears (later to be renamed the Trail of Faith). As the Mormons were being driven from their homes in February 1846 they followed this road to the River and on to the west.

Parley Pratt, in his short 50 years, would cross the oceans six times. "Parley provided crucial leadership in the trek to the Salt Lake Valley and in the early exploration of Utah. During the winter of 1849–50, he led a 50-man expedition to investigate possible settlement sites and natural resources in southern Utah. In the 1850s Parley traveled twice to California as president over a mission to “all the islands and coasts of the

In 1851 he sailed from gold rush San Francisco to Valparaiso, Chile, along with his wife and another missionary, making the trio the first missionaries to South America. Unfortunately, civil unrest, restrictive laws against non-Catholic religions, struggles with the language, the death of an infant son, and lack of adequate funds cut short this early effort." The Extraordinary Life of Parley P. Pratt

A Note: Two of his descendents have run for President of the United States. George Romney was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, losing to Richard Nixon and his son Mitt Romney who is currently in the running for the same nomination.

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On Sunday, April 15, 2007 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Joubert wrote...

Fascinating history. Does that mean that your husband is related to the Romneys?

On Sunday, April 15, 2007 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Kelly wrote...

My husband is probably a 6th cousin to Mitt Romney or something like that.

I think Parley Pratt is the great great grandfather of Mitt Romney.

Parley Pratt has a LOT of descendents.

On Sunday, April 15, 2007 9:39:00 PM, Blogger mimiscraps wrote...

I didn't know the relation! Cool! I also didn't realize that he wrote those hymns!

On Monday, April 16, 2007 12:14:00 AM, Blogger Kelly wrote...

Amy, have you ever seen the LDS Church video "How Rare a Possession"? It has a bit of the story of Parley P. in it.... VERY GOOD!

I learned about his song writing and poetry from reading his autobiography. That is a very good book, too.

On Monday, April 16, 2007 12:46:00 AM, Blogger Joubert wrote...

Thanks, Kelly. Did Pratt have so many descendants because he was a pre-monogamy Mormon?

On Monday, April 16, 2007 1:17:00 AM, Blogger Kelly wrote...

Patrick, what an interesting way of saying "polygamist". Yes, Parley had several wives. That was a common practice in the early days of the Mormon Church. It was banned before the 19th century was over. There was an official statement made by the Church at that time forbidding its continued practice.

Many people still associate current polygamists with the LDS Church. But, anyone entering into polygamy now would be kicked out of the Church.

This is actually a sticking point for Romney who has polygamists ancestors on more than one side of his family...though he does not adhere to such practice himself.

I could go into a history of all that, but that might take all day. If you are interested in the history of that I can fill you in.


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