Some Long Tracks

Following the exodus from Nauvoo in early 1846, the Saints found themselves in the Iowa wilderness, facing the stark realities of simple survival.

In spite of their preparation for the experience, they discovered that they were lacking many necessary provisions.

At a place called Mt. Pisgah, some 200 miles from Nauvoo, leaders of the camp of Israel" decided to send a party south into the Missouri settlements to purchase needed supplies with furniture, clothing, and household items for barter.

The men in the group had been instructed to exercise care in their dealings with the Missourians, and they obeyed that counsel well. In a few days, and despite the suspicions of the Missourians, they managed to assemble the needed goods and were on the way back to the trail in Iowa.

All went well until in the village of Maryville, a bold and salty Canadian convert named Daniel Wood got into a heated conversation with a Missourian about the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and about the persecution the Saints were enduring because of their religion.

"We had a great deal to say about the Constitution of America," Daniel later recalled, "and this commenced quite a long discourse. I laid before him how they transgressed the laws of heaven and of America and how they had killed innocent men in jail."

As the debate heated up, Brother Wood chastised [sic] the Missourians for failing to realize that "the Lord had a hand in bringing about the Constitution of America, and when you transgress His laws, it is like touching the ball of His eye."

After the Mormons left Maryville, word quickly spread about this brash Canadian visitor, and as Daniel traveled north with the acquired provisions, he learned that a mob was after "the Mormon Wood." Fortunately, one of his companions loaned him a fast horse upon which he wisely made long tracks back in Iowa and to his family camped on the trail west.

Daniel Wood never forgot his last experience among the Missourians. It was a favorite story heard for generations in Woods Cross, Utah, the community he founded in 1849.--Gene A. Sessions

10 April 1976 p. 20 (Part of a series produced by the Church Historical Department.)

Typed from photocopy of the original (assumed to be from the Church News) by Norma Jean M. Wood 8 January 1991