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  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

"And Should I die Before My Journey is Through"

The welsh words "Evan" and Eofn mean fearless and bold.

There is a small monument on the edge of the Mississippi River that honors those who took part in the Nauvoo Exodus. It is called the "Exodus to Greatness." On it you will find the name of my great, great, great grandfather Abram Abraham Evans.

This monument stands to honor over 2, 000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who died along the Mormon Trail. My Grandfather, Abram, died on September 26, 1856 near Sweetwater Wyoming. Abram never made it to Zion.

Abram was an Immigrant. He and his wife Mary Davies were Welsh. Abram (1807-1856) voyaged with his wife Mary Davies (1819-1903) on sailing vessel, The Samuel Curling. Mary and Abram were compelled to join the Saints in Zion after hearing the Mormon Missionaries. The Holy Ghost testified to them of the truthfulness of the missionaries, and they and their children joined the church. They arrived at the Boston Harbor on May 23,1856. There were 707 British Saints on board. Abram and his family were among them. Abram and Mary left behind much for their new found faith. They were land owners with valuable properties. They owned several rentals and owned the local brewery (the main business in town). Abram was a good financier and Mary an excellent manager. Mary was fluent in English and Welsh. They were driven by their love of the gospel and Faith in Jesus Christ to come to America. They left their finances and business dealings in the hands of an employee who promised to settled their dealings- It did not not happen.

Mary and Abram had nine children. Four of them died in infancy (John, John, Elizabeth, and Hyrum). They were buried in the Methodist and Old English church Yards. The other children Jenkin (from whom I descend),Thomas, Jane, Elizabeth, Hiram and Mary Anne (for whom I was named) joined them on their journey to Zion.

Their voyage to America lasted 5 weeks. Life at sea was harsh- storms and constant nausea dampened their spirits. During these times they would huddle together and sing their native Welsh songs. Curling never feared when he had Mormon Saints on board. He knew their faith would protect them all. Upon their arrival to America, they stored all of their unnecessary belongings in storage in Boston along with all of their genealogical records (It was later destroyed by fire).

They took the railway to Iowa City where they joined other Welsh Saints and were assigned to the Edward Bunker Company on June 23, 1856. Their 300 mile walk to Winter Quarters. The journey across the plains was difficult. With little food, and few supplies, the Evans family pressed forward. When their shoes wore out, they used animal hides to cover their feet. They relied on their Welsh songs to lift their spirits. On July 20, 1856, they left Winter Quarters and began their one- thousand mile journey on foot across the plains.

Along the final leg of the journey, Abram became a victim of Cholera. He became to weak to walk, so his family pulled him. When they could pull no more, Abram was allowed to ride in the sick wagon. On September 15, 1856, 49 year old Abram Evans was laid in a lonely grave in a clump of trees.

Abram was just 150 miles short of his Journey's End. He gave up much for his faith, but he left that faith to his posterity. His testimony of the Divine truth ushered him forward. His Love of the Gospel comforted his family in absence

Abram left his homeland. He trekked valiantly across the prairies of his new land. He embraced persecution, and abandoned wealth. He was an immigrant, and immigrant of Faith who never finished his journey this life, but was heralded a hero in the next.


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