Samuel Jackson, Sr.’s Mission to the Southern States

The following is an excerpt from Samuel Jackson: Mission to Southern States (1881-1883) by Jeanette Hurst. “Sometime in the late spring or early summer of 1881 thirty-six year old Samuel Jackson received a call from President John Taylor to serve in the Southern States Mission. Samuel was a farmer living in Nephi, Utah and the father of five children ranging in age from 11 to one year. He and his wife, Hannah, also cared for his elderly father, Benjamin, who lived with the family. The call was not unexpected but Samuel was not home to receive it. He had been called away by other responsibilities. His wife Hannah opened the letter, read it and then penned the following response:

Nephi City June 28th
President Taylor
Dear Brother
I received your letter requesting my husband to be prepared for his mission.
I regret to say he is not at home he is 350 miles west from here but I will
communicate with him immediately. He was obliged to go but left word with
me if word come to let him know. He will have to come home with a team he
cannot be here for that date.
Your Sister in the Gospel
Hannah Jackson

While the letter hints matter-of- factly at the heavy responsibilities born by both Samuel and his young wife, the affirmative response to the call is clear. Three weeks later, Hannah again wrote to President Taylor, explaining that her husband would be ready to leave for his mission as soon as he returned home.

Nephi City July 13
President Taylor
Dear Brother
I have just received an answer from my husband he says he will be home about
the first of August. He says he will be ready to go on his mission when he gets
home. He did not get my letter until the 11th.
Your Sister in the Gospel
Hannah Jackson

About six weeks later, in response to another letter from President Taylor, Samuel himself declared himself ready and willing to depart:

Nephi Juab Co.
August 23rd/81
President John Taylor,
Dear Brother
I received your welcome letter, dated 18th and contents noted. I am ready and will
be in Salt Lake City at the appointed time.
I am your brother in the covenant
Samuel Jackson

Samuel was set apart in Salt Lake City on Saturday, 17 September 1881 along with his brother-in-law, Charles Andrews, and James Jenkins, also of Nephi, Utah. He left for the Southern States Mission, along with Elders Andrews and Jenkins, by train the following Monday morning and on arriving at his destination was assigned to labor in Alabama.”

Below are copies of the original letters.  If anyone knows where a copy of Samuel’s mission journal can be found please let me know.


Category: Samuel Jackson Sr. | No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *