I received this from Susan Beddes, Ruth Ann Tolman and William Pearce. I wish to thank all of them. JDL Pearce was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was sent on a mission in 1877, and this is a portion of his diary - Val.
Copy of Memorandum Book and Diary of John D.L. Pearce, of his Mission to his relatives back to Mississippi in 1877. Copies by Jesse L. McCullough from the little book left to my mother by her father J.D.L. Pearce and now in my (Jesse L. McCullough) possession. Copied as he wrote it.
"I left home, in St. George, Utah at 11 O'clock A.M., May 16, 1877. I left Salt Lake City, at 7 A.M., June 6th, arrived at Ogden 10 A.M. Fort Stel 5:30 A.M., June 7th. Arrived at Medicine Bow 8 A.M., at Laramie 11:10, at Cheyenne 14 min. to 3 P.M. Stopped 30 min. to dine. 5 P.M. clowdy on level prairie and the train is running so fast that the smoke from the engine flies by the windows of the cars.
2 A.M. the 8th. passed Kearney Junction 12 M. at Silver Creek mired down 15 min. passed, beginning to move a little 6 p.m. parted with all the brethren except Bro. John Alger at Omaha.
6 A.M. the 9th. parted with Bro Alger at St. Joe and now away I go to St. Louis. Passed Treston at 7 a.m. The country is all overflowed, the R.R. in many places is washed out, causing a great deal of delay, besides being very dangerous traveling. Finally had to leave our train and get a transfer for 2 miles into Kansas City and they lay over 4 hours for the St. Louis and Pacific Down train. Arrived in St. Louis at 7 A.M. on the 10th completely worn out.
Found my way to Bro. Andrew Burman's, who lives at 1114 Cass Avenue, by whom I was kindly received. On the 11th, rested on the 12th, helped Bro. Burman clean out a drain. In the evening took a stroll around town.
June 13th Stayed in St. Louis, attended a prayer meeting of the saints at 7 P.M. where I spoke, was blessed of the spirit and had a good flow of language. Satisfied myself very well.
June 14th. Stayed in St. Louis. In the afternoon visited Sister Flecher and son, who are both strong in the faith and struggling to save up means to go to Zion with. I gave them the best council that I could and encouraged them as much as possible. At 10 P.M. took the train for Baldwin, Miss. Traveled all night.
June 15th. Crossed the Mississippi River on the steam ferry at Columbus, Ky. at 8 A.M. Arrived at Baldwyn, Miss. At 5:30 P.M. It was raining hard and the streams all/high, hired a horse and struck out through the woods for Aunt Harriet's where I arrived at 7 P.M. Found Grandma and all the rest of the folks well and very glad to see me.
June 16th Sunday, rested and talked Mormonism. I am at cousin Jesse Pearce's and all the rest.
June 17th. Helped cousin Henry Duke hoe cotton in the forenoon, in the afternoon it rained. Everything seems so strange but I am determined by the help of God to fill my mission and do some good. On the 18th, 19th and 20, did about the same.
June 21th. Hoed cotton in forenoon. In the afternoon it rained and I got wet. Am very anxious to get a letter from home.
June 22nd. Wrote 2 letters, one to D.M. Stewart, one to H.G. Boyle and continued to study the Scriptures and hunt out the prophesies, both ancient and modern. The more I pray and read the more light I get and the more plain are the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. In the even cousin Harrison Duke and I went over to Jesse Pearce's and stayed all night.
June 23rd. Went up to uncle Zebulons who lives 3 miles east of Boonville. Found him and family all well and very glad to see me. Came home in the evening.
June 24th. Sunday. Stayed home all day. On the 25th, read the Doctrine and Covenants all day.
June 26th. Read and talked and am waiting for Uncle Zebulon to get through with his plowing and then he and I are going to take a trip around through the country, visiting and preaching. He being an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and very well versed in the scriptures.
June 27th. 9 A.M. Have just been looking at Father's writing on Aunt Harriet's door. One place he says, "May 16, 1871" and signed his name. In another, he says, "July 17, 1871, we are going to start home today." And I remember he and Bro. Thomas got home to St. George on the 5th of August the same year, being 19 days on the road. I met them on the north end of the Cottonwood Bench.
June 28th. Read the Bible until dinner. Went over to cousin John Duke's and spent the afternoon. Came back at night, had supper, prayers and went to bed.
June 29th. Forenoon spent reading and writing to father. I gave him a long list of his progenetors and relatives, some sixty odd names. I feel good in the work for the dead. Am sure they will receive the Gospel for they know the benefits of it.
June 30th. Wrote to my wife, Martha, in the forenoon and in the afternoon received a letter from her and one from father also one from Bro. D.M. Stewart. He presides over the St. Louis District.
July 1st. Sunday, all well, the young folks gone all day to singing. Henry and I went over to his brother John's and spent the forenoon.
July 2nd. Helped the boys replant corn in the bottoms. At noon wrote a long letter to Martha in relation to my theashing machine business with Miltbanks.
July 3rd. Stayed at the house all day. Very hot.
July 4th. Wrote letters to my children, one to Wm. B. Pace and one to cousin Wiley Duke.
July 5th. Went over to cousin Jesse Pearce's, had a good visit, his wife pretty strong in the faith for the chance she has had and Jesse enquiring and very favorable.
July 6th. Visited with cousin John Duke, he was not well. Talked on the principles of the Gospel. In the afternoon received a letter from home. It was a good and encouraging letter written by Martha, my wife and Milley, my daughter.
July 7th. Helped cousin Harrison finish cutting his oats.
July 8th. Spent the day talking and explaining the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In the afternoon Aunt Abbe came.
July 9th. Helped Harrison with his cotton.
July 10th. Spent in talking with Uncle James and Aunt Abigail Duke.
July 11th. Wrote to Father and to Elder H.G. Boyle, who is at Kindle, Basque Co. Texas, also to Elder J. Morgan who is at Rome, Ga.
July 12th. Came home with Uncle James and Aunt Abigail Duke, a distance of 23 miles. Found all well and very glad to welcome me, and very anxious to go to Zion.
July 13. Talked Mormonism all the forenoon. In the afternoon went over to Uncle James Cromeans. Stayed all night. Had a good time.
July 14. 10:00 Uncle Jim had a fit. He has been subject to them ever since he was 18 years old. They were caused by a gin screen falling on his head at that age. He is now 71 years old.
July 15. 6 o'clock; breakfast just over. I am not very well, pain in my breast. I was feverish all night. At 9 o'clock Uncle Jackson Cromeans came, looked very natural only older. In the afternoon went back to Aunt Abigail's and stayed all night.
July 16. 11 o'clock at Aunt Abigail's, two months ago today at 10 A.M. since I left home.
July 17. Still at Aunt Abigail's talking Mormonism.
July 18. Went to visit Uncle Jackson Cromeans and family. His son John Y. is inquiring after Mormonism. He is a bright intelligent young man.
July 19. Late in the afternoon returned to Aunt Abbie's.
July 20. Read and history of the later Southern Rebellion.
July 21. Read and talked until dinner. In afternoon helped tom Cromeans fence a turnip patch. At night cousin Jesse Pearce and Harrison Duke came after me and brought me two letters. One from my son John H. and one from Wm. B. Pace. Both were encouraging.
July 22. Came home or rather to Aunt Harriet's, which I call home.
July 23. Stayed at home, have a bad boil or rising coming on my right arm just below the elbow, it is very painful.
July 24. What pleasant recollections of joyful celebrations with happy Saints in Zion.
July 25. Heard that cousin George Pearce and family were at cousin Jesse's, came over to see them.
July 26. Stayed with my cousins Jesse and George. Talked Mormonism. They both intend going to Zion in the spring, if possible.
July 27th. Cousin George, his family and me came over to Aunt Harriet's. Stayed all night.
July 28th. Stayed at Aunt Harriets.
July 29th. Sunday stayed at home in forenoon. Uncle Zebulon came. We talked Mormonism, enjoyed ourselves splendidly.
July 30th. Uncle and I went down to cousin Abigail's daughter who is married to Mr. Benjamin Clarke, they received us warmly and treated us good. I felt to ask God to bless them and done so.
July 31st. Cousin Geo. Washington Pearce, Uncle Zebulon's son, followed us down a distance of 6 miles and demanded baptism. For which we felt to thank the Lord. I administered the ordinance of baptism and we confirmed him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was mouth. The people seemed anxious to hear the truth so we preached in the evening. Felt very well.
August 1st. Uncle Zebulon and I came back to Aunt Harriet's and remained over night.
August 2nd. Stayed at Aunt Harriet's.
Aug. 3rd. Came over to cousin Jesse's. Stayed all night. He thinks he will be ready to start to Zion by the 1st of Dec.
Aug. 4th. Came home with Uncle Zebulon, found his family all well, his wife very kind and glad to see us. She seems to be honestly seeking the truth. I pray God that he will cause her to understand the truth.
Aug. 5th. Stayed at Uncles. Early in the day a Mr. Lestor came in, we soon got to talking on the fulfillment of prophesy. I read the Voice of Warning to him. He liked it very much.
Aug. 6th. Stayed at Uncle Zebulon's. Aunt Willey becoming more and more interested in the Gospel.
Aug. 7th. All well.
Aug 8th. 7 1/2 P.M. I am tollerable well. Little cousin Joseph is not well.
Aug. 9th. Visited a Mr. Lesley, had a very interesting talk with him on Mormonism.
Aug. 10th. All well.
Aug. 11th. Left Uncle Zebulon's for Aunt Harriet's. Uncle came with me 4 miles, then I had 9 or 10 miles to travel alone through a broken heavy timbered country. I arrived at Aunt Harriet's at 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 12th. Sunday stayed at home. There were several visitors. Read and talked Mormonism most of the day. Cleared up many prejudices caused by false reports.
Aug. 13th. Went home with Cousin Jesse Pearce and wife. Harrison Duke went with us. He and I returned at 4 p.m.
Aug. 14. Stayed at Aunt Harriet's. Not very well, very billious.
Aug. 15th. Not been talking much. Feel bad.
Aug. 16th. Went to town a distance of 9 miles. The ride did me good.
Aug. 17th. Just had breakfast. Felt much better than I did yesterday.
August 18th. Still improving. Would like to write several letters but have no paper.
Aug. 19th. Very warm day. My health is improving.
Aug. 20th. Very Hot. A great deal of sickness in the neighborhood.
Aug. 21st. Tried to help Cousin John Duke sheer sheep, but found myself too weak. Had to quit.
Aug. 22nd. Improving but am still some billious.
Aug. 23rd. Better. Read Pres. Young's discourse delivered at Farmington, June 7th, 1977. It is so refreshing, so unlike the doctrines of the world.
Aug. 24th. All well. Cousin Harrison came home from his cousins having been gone 5 days.
Aug. 25th. Cousin Jesse and I went to visit Aunt Emily. Stayed all night at her home.
Aug. 26th. Went to Uncle Thomas Maddox.
Aug. 27th. Returned to Aunt Harriet's.
Aug. 28th. Stayed at home.
August 29th. Attended a Candelite meeting and baptism. I could not help pittying them in their ignorance, but I don't know as the deserve pity for they rejected the truth. In the afternoon received a letter from home my family are all well for this I feel to thank my Heavenly Father.
Aug. 30th. 8 A.M. All well. I am now seated to write home. Finished my letter and went home with Cousin Jesse.
Aug. 31st. Stayed with Jesse. Went to a Methodist and Baptist revival meeting at night.
Sept. 1st. Came back to Aunt Harriet's and found them all well.
Sept 2nd. Read the scriptures all day.
Sept. 3rd. Read history of Rome.