Lucy, Mary, and Thomas’ stories are not unique. Brigham Young encouraged Mormon families to purchase or barter for native children believing they would be better off in Mormon households. Native Americans, called Lamanites, could lighten their skin, becoming white and delightsome through conversion to the Mormon church. The saints saw bringing native children into their homes as an opportunity to save them while increasing the church roster.
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Chapter 15- Peninah
Peninah was said to have been proud of her race. What did that look like in her daily life? What parts of her native culture did she pass on to her children? The family who wrote of her consistently referred to her native roots as “her race” rather than “our race.” She was also called a “true Christian colonizer.” Having native racial pride and the heart of a colonizer seem at odds with one another. Did native identity and pride continue with her lineage or end with her?
Chapter 14 – People Of The Land
“Pioneer’s ownership was made possible by our participation in the genocide and forced removal of the indigenous tribes.
Before Brigham Young’s claim that God wanted us here, these tribes had lived on and stewarded the mountains and valleys. They used bows and arrows to hunt for birds, bison, and mammoths and fished in lakes and rivers.”
Chapter 10 – Hiding Wagons
“While my grandfather helped a wagon escape because his outrage moved him to take action, others were taking action to end the greed-fueled brutality of enslaved men, women, and children, living their entire lives as someone else’s property.”
Chapter 9 – The Company You Keep
“A group of pioneers who traveled together was called a company. Companies took their name from the man responsible for leading them. Some companies established rules to follow while traveling together. There were practical rules, like returning lost property to the Captains for safekeeping, tying dogs to wagons at night, and bringing horses and mules into camp before sundown. Other rules of not leaving camp without permission and pledging implicit obedience to the leaders were attempts to keep order in place.”
Chapter 8 – Journey To Utah
“Assassinating a leader is a powerful way to send a message.
The message sent with Prophet Joseph Smith’s murder was, “Mormons are not welcome here.”
Chapter 5- Leaving Canada To Follow A Prophet
“God’s latest revelation to Joseph Smith instructed him to gather his chosen people in a central place called Zion. Here the saints could practice their faith while waiting for Christ’s second coming. Little did he know the Mormon search for a utopia was only beginning.”
Chapter 3 – Settling In
“Settled” is such a cozy word. I like to settle into a comfortable chair or settle down for a warm winter nap. But for eager settlers like Henry and Elizabeth Wood, there was nothing cozy about settling into the raw Canadian land which Britain had given in exchange for their allegiance.”