Thursday, December 3, 2009

The First Relief Society Presidency in the Southern States

After reading The Amateur Mormon Historian’s December 1st post, The First Relief Society Presidency in the Southern States, I couldn’t resist. "Sister Victoria Faucett was unanimously sustained as president, Sisters Sinia Lawrence and Emmeline Faucett, her counselors. Sister Joan Manning, secretary; all of whom were elected for six months." It was organized August 10th, 1878. I have a copy of that portion of the John Morgan Journal at home, so I looked up the date.

August 10
Conference met at 10 a.m. Attendance improved. The branch from a distance well represented. Held three meetings including a priesthood meeting.

August 11Conference met at 10 a.m. with a good attendance of saints and few strangers. Our meeting was interrupted by a slight shower. Conference adjourned at 9 p.m. after a good time and a general good feeling on the part of the saints. [“Wrote Deseret News” is written after this entry, by Nicholas G. Morgan (is my guess).]

I spent a little time studying the early part of John Morgan's journal looking for the sisters that President Morgan called to The First Relief Society Presidency in the Southern States.

From the John Morgan JournalCassandra [Georgia] 1877
September 10th
Wrote letters during the forenoon, in the afternoon went up to Mr. Bailey’s and stayed all night.

11thStarted out early in the morning to look up a place to baptize in. Mr. Bailey accompanying me. Selected a spot and went down to Bart Fawcett’s, from there to Mr. Parrs’. Had dinner, returned to Mr. B. and assisted to fix a baptizing place. At night had meeting and preached a long sermon to a good sized audience. Stayed all night at Bart Fawcett’s.

12thWent up to Mr. Bailey’s and in the afternoon baptized the following persons:
Mrs. Martha Bailey Sr.
Mrs. Martha Bailey, Jr.
Mrs. Jane Payne
Mrs. Millissa Jennings
Miss Emma Fawcett
Miss Victoria Bailey

Stayed all night at Mr. Kerke’s.

Haywood Valley [Georgia] 1877

16th—Went to Uncle Jeter’s where we remained part of the day and stayed all night at Bro. Marshalls’. Uncle Jeter came over and informed us that he had some folks to baptize the next morning.

17th—Went over to the baptizing place and baptized the following persons:
B.F. Marshall [,] Confirmed by Elder L.
[probably Lisonbee]
Jas. Keele “ [Confirmed by Elder] J. M. [John Morgan]
Sinai Lawrence “ [Confirmed by Elder] L.
Elizabeth Keele “
[Confirmed by Elder] L.

After dinner we went across the Mountain to Bro. Moyer's where we stayed all night.

John Morgan journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah. Picture from John Morgan descendant Geraldine M.'s visit to Haywood Valley, Georgia, 2008.


  1. Very nice!! Don't keep this a secret, though. if you have stuff to add, let me know and I post a link to it on my blog.

  2. Thank you for the kind word, Bruce. I really don’t know what I have, or what might apply, until I see a post or article with familiar names or places. And familiarity seems to be a long time coming. When I read the names of the sisters in the Relief Society, I knew I’d seen Lawrence before, so I went hunting. Now, I too would like to figure out who Jetter Lawrence is, and why John Morgan calls him Uncle.

  3. Oh, good; I'm glad Bruce saw this post. How wonderful to be able to pool information like this!

    I'd also like to know who "Uncle Jetter" was, since he evidently played a significant role in John Morgan's mission. He doesn't come up in New Family Search or Rootsweb, which may mean that he didn't emigrate to Colorado or other points West.

    He doesn't show up in this article (although someone else with the first name Lawrence does):

    but it mentions a source that may be useful in the research on John Morgan: the San Luis Stake Manuscript History, 1878.

    Anyway, nice post on the Relief Society, Bessie!