Saturday, July 11, 2009

Benjamin Brown at Winter Quarters

In the book "The Gathering" by Maurine Jensen Proctor and Scot Facer Proctor, on page 109 it says:

Benjamin Brown, called to be a bishop of one of the thirteen wards in Winter Quarters, looked at his new stewardship with some trembling. He wrote, "We could not put in any grain until the next spring. We began then, more than ever, to feel the destitution of our position, for want of vegetables and brought on the scurvy the provisions of many become exhausted, and our prospects of a fresh supply seemed rather distant....One of the wards was committed to me, and this, of course, entailed upon me the care of the poor--no trifling matter under such circumstances. It would take no small space to describe all the expedients to which I was driven in fulfillment of this duty, for the little stock I had of my own was soon gone, and still the poor had not done eating. What was to be done? I went to President Young and very pathetically told him that all my grain was gone, and I had not the first shilling in my possession with which to get any more grain. All the consolation I got from him was some instruction to feed them well and take care they have enough to eat, and it would not do for a Saint to say he could not. So I had to scheme. I borrowed ten dollars from a sister who possessed a small store. I then crossed the Missouri River, and laid the money out in meal and some meat. But when this was gone I had to borrow of someone else to pay her, and then of someone else to pay him. I borrowed until I made my debt up to fifty dollars, and no more chance of payment appeared than at the first. Who would not have been bishop then? Fortunately, just at this juncture, the lost cattle of one who had died in my ward came into my hands, and I sold them for fifty dollars. I paid my debt, and I was just right, and ready to commence borrowing again with a clear conscience."

From Benjamin Brown typescript, BYU Archives