Diary of Richard Gibbons

Copied from his own daily
journal and covering the time
from March 16, 1888 until his
death on January 1, 1924

Volume I
March 16, 1888 to
December 31, 1895
Diary of Richard Gibbons

March 16, 1888
I was called on a mission by President Wilford Woodruff, to labor among the Maoris, a remnant of the House of Israel, the native inhabitants of New Zealand.
I was born at Santa Clara, Washington County, Utah.  My father had lived on the frontier from the time that he had brought his family to the Valley of the Mountains. From there he went to Cedar City, and then to Santa Clara where I was born, and then on to the Muddy River. We lived there for seven years and paid taxes to Arizona during that time, but when Nevada straightened up its lines, it brought us into that territory. They promptly started suit against us for back taxes for the seven years that we had paid to Arizona. We were advised by President Brigham Young, to leave so we moved back into Utah and settled at Glendale in Oane County. We arrived there in March of 1864.
In 1875, father was called on a mission to labor among the Moquis of Northern Arizona. He worked there until 187?. He then moved his family to Moencopy, which was headquarters for the missionaries. One year later, he moved us to St. Johns, where we remained until his death on February 9, 1886.
I took leave of my home in 1888 in company with John Berry and John Brown. My brother-in-law, William Holgate and his wife accompanied us as far as Navajo Station. We arrived there at twelve o'clock. My mother had been stopping there for some time taking care of a sick friend. She took my leaving very hard but she realized my calling and encouraged me to go.
At 3:45, I stepped onto the train and started on my long journey, leaving my folks in tears on the station platform. I arrived at Albuquerque, N.M. at 1:50 a.m. and laid over there until next day. We then obtained half-rate tickets and started on for Salt Lake City. The next stage of our journey was over the Atchinson Topeka and Santa Fe line to La Junta , Colorado. We started at 3:15 a.m. and arrived and then took a branch road of the A.T.&S.F. for Pueblo and reached that city at 12 p.m. We stayed at Pueblo until 3 a.m. and then took the D.&R.G. for Salt Lake City. At daylight, we reached the Arkansas River and followed it up through the great Rocky Mountains, seeing en route, some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. Anyone who has heard of this country but has not seen it, would not believe it possible to build a railroad through such wild and rough country. They had to split the train in two parts and attach a locomotive to each part before we could cross the worst part of the mountains. The part that I was on, was two miles ahead of the other half but as the line had to wind and twist around so to find the proper grade, at times we were only a hundred yards apart on a straight line but yet with two miles of track between us. At 12 a.m., we were on top of the Rocky Mountains and the train was assembled again and we started in on the descent, finding the grade and the scenery to be identical with that which we had encountered on the ascent. We reached the Gunnison River and followed it to its junction with the Grand River (Colorado River).
Next morning at daybreak, we passed through Spanish Fork, Utah Valley, finding it to be thickly inhabited and then on to Salt Lake City. We arrived at 6 a.m. and put up at the Windsor Hotel.
I cleaned myself up and went to church, and attended two meetings in the evening. As I was standing on Jennings Corner, an elderly gentleman, accompanied by a young man, passed me talking interestedly. The young man's features looked familiar to me and upon making inquiry, I found him to be my cousin, Hyram Belknap. I also met my uncle, Gilbert Belknap, his wife and two daughters, Adie and Mary. At the next meeting, I met some more of my cousins.
On Monday, I went to the president's office and gave in my Genealogy, and on Tuesday, I was set apart by the Apostles Lorenzo Snow, Abraham Cannon and John Morgan. Brother Cannon was Mouth. There were in the neighborhood of thirty missionaries waiting to be set apart for missions all over the world. The president of the Northwestern States Mission was there and bore a strong testimony to the truth of the Gospel.
After buying myself some books and a valise, I took the four o'clock train for Ogden. John Barry said he would meet me at Ogden Junction on the 24th of April. I arrived at six p.m. and caught a streetcar up to Gilbert Belknap's place. Next day, I went down to Hooper with G. R. Belknap, arriving at 6:00 in the evening. I was happy at finding them all in good health. I met all my cousins and as there were a good many of them living in Hooper, I spent two days visiting with them. While I was there, my Uncle Gilbert was released from the Bishopric. I dined with Apostle Richards that evening. I went up to Ogden with Hyram Belknap and found two letters waiting for me, one from my brother Joshua and one from President D.K. Udall. Everything seemed to be all right at home.
I attended quarterly conference on the second of May, and on the fourth, I returned to Hooper. Received two letters from home, one from my brother Andrew and one from my brother William.
On the afternoon of the 10th, I went up to North Ogden with G. R. Belknap to serve a summons.
On the 11th, I went up to Huntsville, through Ogden Canyon. On the way up, I met Fred Frurrer.
I returned to Ogden and bought me a trunk, next day I attended Y.M.M.I. at the Ogden conference. At 12 o'clock, I was invited to dine with Bros. Anderson, Middleton, and Junius Wells. In the evening, I attended a lecture given by Bro. J.M. Tanner, on the customs and traditions of the peoples of Palestine and on the descendants of Shem, Ham and Jeptha. On the 14th, I dined with Sam Browning and attended the celebration of the laying of the corner stone of the city hall at Ogden.
May 15, 1888
I made acquaintance of J. O. Stevens, a photographer, who gave me some valuable instruction. That evening, I attended a street entertainment given by the Ogden band. I took supper with Heber Sears the same evening.
May 16, 1888
In the evening, I went to a party at the home of A. T. Wright. F. H. Wright has just returned from a New Zealand mission. He and Brother Sears sang some Maori songs.
May 17, 1888
I went down to Hooper to make my last stay. I spent the 18th and 19th getting things ready to start.
May 20, 1888
I bid the folks good bye and went up to South Weber Canyon with Wm. Belknap. We arrived at Robert Wat's place at 10 o'clock and found that he had just gone up Weber Canyon. We followed him and found him fishing. After returning to his house, we spent the night with him. Next morning, he brought me down to Ogden, where I found that Gilbert Belknap and his wife had just left for the dedication of the Manta Temple. At 3 o'clock, a fellow missionary, James S. Nye, came to see me, telling me that he also was ordered to the same mission as I.
May 22, 1888
Elyzabeth Merriot sent three parcels and twelve dollars to her son, M.S. Merriot, who was already in New Zealand.
May 23, 1888
I went down to the depot with Nye who was on his way to Salt Lake City to be set aside for the New Zealand mission. As I was coming home on South St., I met old Tom Hellar going down the street in his one horse shay.
May 24, 1888
Gilbert and his wife returned from the dedicating of the Manti Temple, next morning. He showed me the program of the singing and I copied some of the songs. I made arrangements with Uncle Gilbert to forward all letters and money that arrived after I was gone. I borrowed $25 from G.R. Belknap to make myself safe. At 9 o'clock, I went down to Hooper to take another farewell of Uncle Gilbert and family. I arrived there at 11 a.m. Adie went down to the Hammons place with me to take dinner with them.
While I was at Uncle Gilbert's place, I got the names of his children and the number of grandchildren. They are as follows:
Gilbert R. Belknap
Sarah Coal
Reuben Belknap Lucina Hammons 3
Jane Belknap Levy Hammons 6
Joseph Belknap Ninerva Howard 7
Hyram Belknap Annie Christenson 4
Agustus Belknap Mary Read 1
Vincent Belknap Evelyn Hardy 1
Ansy Belknap
William Belknap Eliza Wats 7
Frank Belknap Seily Roberts 2
Dorah Belknap John Stoddard 7
Oliver Belknap Margeret Maning 2

May 25, 1888
Sam Browning gave me a pocket compass to see if the magnetic attraction of the south was the same as that of the north, after crossing the Equator. I borrowed $25 from my cousin Gilbert and he gave me $5 more than I asked for. The first thing I did was to buy me a pair of boots for $4.25. In the evening, Hyram Belknap made me a present of $5 which was very acceptable to me.
May 26, 1888
I went down to James Nye's and we both went on down to the Z.C.M.I. to see Heber Sears. He gave us some very valuable information on what we would need for our trip. While we were there, John S. Bingham came in and I took him up to dinner with me. After dinner, we went down to the Cooperative and saw Thomas Young. At 5 p.m., we went down to the depot and there we ran across Walter Reed and J. N. Heywood. I did not expect to meet him until I got to San Francisco, but nevertheless, I was very glad to see him. We also met another New Zealand missionary by the name of Dame, also one by the name of Peter Reed. We stood around the station and if the rest of them felt like I did, we were a passable imitation of a flock of lost sheep. Walter's father secured our tickets and then we returned to our various stopping places to wait for 11 p.m. to arrive as that was the train we were to leave on for San Francisco. I took Heywood to my Cousin Gilbert Belknap's place to supper. I found some things there from my dear old mother and I can assure you it was a comfort to get them knowing they were from her own hands. After packing my trunk, I spent a very agreeable evening, until the appointed hour. When it was time to leave, Nye arrived with a wagon to take our things to the station. I bid the folks farewell and went to the station and found the rest of the boys waiting for me. I checked my baggage to San Francisco and at 12:15, the train pulled out, leaving Utah and the scenes of my boyhood behind me.
May 27, 1888
Next morning at 9, I ate breakfast at the Wells, 218 miles from Ogden. We passed over some very barren country but after reaching the Humboldt River, it began to improve. At 5 p.m., we were 419 miles from Ogden at Humboldt Station, where we had supper at 6. We saw a good deal of wild game just before we arrived at Trucky River, the principal kinds being pheasants and elk. At 12, we reached the river.  The Trucky River heads in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and flows down the west slope, watering a good deal of forest. One would judge by the sawmills that it is quite a timber country.

We reached the Summit Station at daybreak. This was the highest point the railroad reaches in this locality, having an elevation of 7017 feet. From there we began to descend into California and the scenery began to take on the beauty and colors which make California famous. Houses, orchards and vineyards were perched right on top of the mountains. On every side, one could see the marks of the gold diggers. At length we reached the foothills where the rolling slopes melted away into a plain covered with grain and greek oaks as far as the eye could see. All-in-all, it was a sight worth looking at. We got to Sacramento at 9 a.m., 744 miles from Ogden and 140 from San Francisco. As we crossed the Sacramento River, I saw my first steamboat, that is, to be close to one.

The country here seems to be a great farming district. There are orchards and vineyards in quarter sections, one right after the other. It was a beautiful sight after seeing some of the raw, rough country of Nevada. When we came to the Bay Station, the train was divided equally and half of it was run on each side of the ferryboat, so as to balance it properly. On each side of the boat were four large boilers, each one as large as four ordinary boilers, and in the center were the large engines that furnished the propelling force. When it shoved off, it seemed like a floating island. As we crossed, I noticed that the bay was covered with small fishing boats.

We arrived at Oakland at 1 p.m., the cars having come 14 miles across the bay. We checked our baggage at the Brooklyn Hotel, got off the train and went on the Oakland ferry. This was more like a ship than the one that ferried the train over, being equipped with life preservers and other regular ship equipment. After completing the three mile voyage from Oakland to San Francisco, we landed on the wharf and were almost deafened by hotel barkers shouting out the names and marvelous qualities of their respective hotels. A policeman asked us which hotel we wished to stop at and we told him the Brooklyn. He hailed a cab for us and we piled in and rattled off to the hotel over the rocky streets. We secured rooms at $0.50 a day. The principal part of the city is made up of business houses, built of stone and from five to seven stories in height. Most of them are fireproof.

That evening, I went to the Bell Union Theatre with Walter Reed but after the show was over, I couldn't find him, so I returned to our rooms alone. There I found Heywood fast asleep with the light out and the gas still turned on. He would have smothered if no one had found him in time. I turned the gas off and woke him up. I took him outside and waited an hour for the gas to air out so that we could go to sleep.
May 29, 1888
Next day, I went up to the Woodard Gardens to see the animals. They had a great variety, including lions, tigers, kangaroos, leopards and many others, also a large collection of birds. When I returned to the hotel, I found the boys were all there, having just returned from buying our tickets on the "Alameda," the ship on which we were to make the voyage to New Zealand. We got a discount of $10 thus reducing the cost to $90.
May 30, 1888
I went up to the jeweler's store and bought a gold watch and chain. It cost me $40 at a bargain price. In the evening, I went a wax figure show, portraying the dangers and ravages of the Venereal diseases. The figures were very lifelike and was just about the most sickening sight I ever saw or ever expect to see.
May 31, 1888
This morning, we made arrangements so that we could have our prayers and then, we went up to the Cliff House. On the beach, we could see the seals and sea lions laying around on the rocks, some of them as big as an ox. They made noises similar to those made by a hog, only much louder. They were very active creatures. In spite of their size and awkward shape, they would climb with ease on rocks and boulders where it would have been impossible for a man to have gone. It was an awe-inspiring sight to see the great ocean waves dash themselves against the rocks and throw spray many feet into the air. From there, we went up to the Sutru Heights Gardens and found them to be very beautiful. From there we went down to the beach, where I found some seaweed and I gathered some to send home in my next letter. After that, we went down into the thickly populated Chinatown. Everything there was the same as in the American quarter except that everything was carried on by Chinese. It amused me to see them shaving each others heads in accordance with the prevailing Oriental custom.
Mon. June 2, 1888
I wrote some letters home and ordered more money. I bought some oranges to take on the voyage with us as we are leaving the American continent tomorrow. It will be a great pleasure to me to get away from San Francisco.
Tue. June 3, 1888
We were up early this morning getting things ready for our departure. We settled our account at the hotel and then went down to the wharf. I checked me trunk to Auckland, N.Z. and made arrangements for our berths. We got them close together, Walter taking No. 1, I No. 2 and Heywood No. 3. After making all the arrangements, we went ashore to get our breakfasts and then returned from up town. On our way, we met Dame and another man named McDonald, who said he was going to New Zealand also. he said he had some freight he wanted to get out but didn't have the money to pay the charges and tried to borrow some from us, or to pawn a watch he had in his possession. He turned out to be a snide, so we dropped him like a hot potato.
At 11 a.m., the ship's crew started getting up steam. The ship is 345 feet in length, 40 in width and 30 deep. She is an ironclad steamer. Steerage passengers were not allowed in the fore part of the ship.
At 12 o'clock, I mailed some letters I had written and at two, we shoved off for the ship. This was evidently the signal for the handshaking and weeping to begin for it commenced immediately on all sides of us. As we climbed on board, we were saluted by the whistling of the engines and the shouting of the people.
It seemed heavenly at first to be gliding so smoothly over the water, but as soon as we got outside the bay, the ship began to pitch and rock, causing my head to whirl. Every thing I looked at was going around in circles and such a feeling swept over me that cannot be described on paper. About an hour after we got under way, Dame began to vomit and an hour later, Heywood joined him. Young made an unwilling third and before I knew it, I was outdoing the best of them. At 4 o'clock, I took my last look at America and began to wish that I was back in St. Johns. At nine o'clock, we went down to our berths, which were on the third deck, but as there was no ventilation, the smell of rotten vegetables nearly smothered us and worst of all, there were sick people spewing on every side of us. How I did long for old St. Johns.

Nothing of importance occurred unless an argument the boys had with two Josephite missionaries, who were going on missions to Australia, could be called that. One of them was Leimon White's son. The argument did a lot more harm that good.

Sat. June 9, 1888
We passed through a bunch of flying fish today. They will raise up out of the water and fly for a hundred yards or more and then drop back into it like a stone.
Sun. June 10, 1888
I was awakened this morning by the boys shouting land ahoy. I went up on deck and there I could see the Sandwich Islands away to our right.
We arrived at Honolulu at 6 o'clock and while we were at breakfast, two gentlemen arrived and inquired for Dame. They turned out to be two missionaries, Matthew Noal and Dean. On our way up town, we met another missionary who was working among the Kanakas, Davis by name. I posted a letter to my mother as I went up to the elders' stopping place. As I moved along, I noticed many queer trees and plants that I had never heard of before. When we reached the house, I asked for a cold drink of water and was told that there was no cold water on the island. The spring and well water was all alike. Here I met the wives of Noal and King as well as two other missionaries, King and his wife, who was a daughter of Mr. White of St. Johns, and Barrell. We attended meeting and were all called on to speak. After it was over, we all had the luxury of a shower bath, and as soon as we were through, dinner was announced and how we did eat. I thought I never would get enough, but I finally succeeded. I left the table and went out on a little rise that overlooked the town. It was a grand sight to me who had never seen anything like it before. I went back and thanked my hosts, took leave of them and went our to see the sights of Honolulu. As I walked down through the streets, I noticed the orange and banana mangoes (Mark Twain's Muskmelons) hanging high in the tops of the trees. I went on down to the King's Palace, a beautiful building enclosed by a ten-foot stone wall. After looking the Palace over from there, I went around to the public buildings in front. On the lawn, there was a statue of a native over seven feet tall and well proportioned in other ways. He had been a king and was noted for his great strength. The natives said that he could take two common men by the necks and knock their heads together and kill them with the same ease that you or I could a rabbit. His name was Kamehameha. I arrived at the wharf in time to board the ship. There I found that the missionary named Dean and his wife and baby, were taking passage to Samoa to open up a mission among the natives there.
After they had raised the anchor, we took our way straight into the southwest. We had traveled 2100 miles since leaving San Francisco. The food that was served to us steerage passengers was very unwholesome, in fact it was so bad that I made arrangements with the second baker for two decent meals a day. He would not accept more that a dollar. I got word of Erastus Snow's death. I have known him all my life, but I guess it's waiting for all of us sooner or later. The steerage was so uncomfortable that I slept on deck. During the night, the wind raised and blew my hat overboard, so I had to buy me a cap. In the evening, a school of porpoises began playing around the ship. It was very amusing to watch them.
They got up some amusements on deck today. First they started some sparring, but one couple went at in earnest and hit everybody and thing that got within a rod of them. Then they started skating and tried many other things to try and help the time to pass off smoothly.

We arrived at Tutuwila at 2 p.m. Two skiffs and a sailboat came out to the ship, bringing fruits, sea shells and curiously carved pieces of wood to sell to the passengers.

Dean and his wife and two other passengers went ashore here.

The natives seemed to be an intelligent race of people. Their hair was of a yellowish color but it might have been dyed for all I know about it. I noticed that their hair was not all the same color. It ranged from yellow to black. When we started off, they swan around us like so many ducks.

When we were under way again, the ocean seemed agitated with some of the largest swells hitting the ship that I have seen yet. In traveling from the sun, we have lost a day, so we have to turn the calendar from the 20th to the 22nd. It rained quite a bit today. We passed several light houses.

Sat. June 23, 1888
We arrived at Auckland at 9 a.m., completing a 3950 mile voyage form Honolulu to Auckland. Met George Romney of Salt Lake at the wharf. I got my trunk by the customs house and hired a cart to take it up to Frederick Rogers' place on East Street. We went afoot to a Mr. Norstrand's and then on down to Mrs. Rogers'. This lady had joined the church in England twenty-four years ago and has been trying to get to Zion ever since. Her husband does not belong to the church. She gave us a very good dinner.
We received a letter from President Paxman appointing us to our fields of labor. Dame and Young were sent to Wiurapa; Walter Reed to the Bay of Islands; Heywood and Nye to Hawks Bay and Bingham and myself to Poverty Bay.
Sun. June 24, 1888
I was feeling quite well when we left, but when we got out to sea again, it made me seasick. I attended Sunday School and two meetings during the day and I had to preach twice.
Tue. June 26, 1888
Dame and Yound started for their field of labor today. After seeing them off, I went to the Union Steamship Co. and got me a ticket to Gisbourne, which cost me two pounds. That evening, Reed and Romney left for the scene of their labor, just one month from the time we met at Ogden until we parted at Auckland. I bought me a Maori testament and Williams' "First Lessons in Maori" and a book sack and then returned to Mrs. Rogers' place. I found a young lady there named Eliza Wade, who spoke very good English.
Wed. June 27, 1888
This morning, we went upon Mount Eadon and got a very good view of the city. Houses are built all over the country in clusters, some of them in lava beds. The timber is the same way. It is scattered around in groves. From where I stood, I could count eight extinct craters. In ages gone by, this must have been a dangerous country to have lived in. The country is covered with clover and many other kinds of grasses that are green the year around. While we were there, two young ladies came up to the top of the mountain to see the country. We also noticed two little boys working in a fenced in lava bed. They were piling fragments of the lava rock up on the ricks to sell.
In the afternoon, we went down to the dock to make arrangements for our berths, but the "Stuart" (the ship on which we were to take passage to Gisbourne) was not at the dock yet, so we returned to our hotel. As we passed the railway station, we noticed a crowd gathered there, so we stopped to see what the excitement was about. We elbowed our way into the crowd and found out that the point of interest was a French lady who claimed she was a marvelous doctor and healer.  Her husband, a French Canadian was with her, acting as her assistant. The lady doctor was working on an elderly lady doctoring her for a paralytic stroke. When the doctoress was through with her, she moved her out of the chair and had an old man lifted into it. The old man, she said, had not walked a step for seven years on account of his weak back. She offered five hundred pounds to any man, woman, or doctor present who could cure him until he would be able to get up and dance, but as no one accepted her offer, she started to work on him herself. She gave him a dose of medicine and then turned him over to her husband and turned her attention to the healing of an old man who was so deaf that he couldn't hear a thing and had been that way for the last twenty years, but this marvelous lady cured him in less that twenty minutes. All that I saw her do was to blow in his ear with a little tin instrument and then saturate some cotton and put it in. When she pulled the cotton out, she took a quill and stuck it in his ear and pulled something out and the poor old sufferer was completely cured. By this time, the husband was through with his patient also. They left them sitting there for about fifteen minutes and then the lady had the band strike up a lively tune and ordered the erstwhile invalids to get up and dance. They did so and when it was all over, the old crippled man went off and left his crutches.
Thur. June 28, 1888
I bid my new friends farewell this morning and went down to the wharf and went on board the "Stuart." We got underway at 12 o'clock and shortly after, the dinner bell rang. As they had a lot better food on this ship than they did on the "Alameda," I ate a hearty dinner and supper, but during the night, the waves got so rough that it made me seasick.
Fri. June 29, 1888
I felt so tough today that I couldn't eat any breakfast or dinner, but we reached Gisbourne at 2 p.m. and as soon as I got ashore again, I felt much better. The "Stuart" anchored outside the bay and a small steamer came out and took the passengers off and landed them. The first people I met when we got ashore was some of the members of our church. I got my first experience in "hunying" (rubbing noses). I pulled my hat off and stood there ready for anything. My nose is rather small in comparison to those of the Maoris, but if our noses won't touch, our heads will. As we walked along toward the hotel, we met two missionaries, Angus Wright who was president of my district and J. E. Nagle who was president of Bingham's district. A Maori, Wirihana Topeka by name, met us with his cart and we got in and left our baggage and in a few moments, we were at his house. We were completely tired out when we reached there, but after eating a good supper, I felt much better. Supper over with, we had prayers and the Topeka got up and welcomed us to New Zealand.
Sat. June 30, 1888
I was furnished with a horse and saddle and went down to Tawhao, a branch of the church. I arrived there at 4 p.m., a distance of 16 miles. They gave us a good supper consisting of good meat and fish and Irish and sweet potatoes. The Maoris are great vegetarians. We had our supper off by ourselves, but I noticed that the Maoris all ate in a group, sitting around on the floor and eating out of the dished with their fingers. We held a meeting that evening and it seemed that a very good spirit prevailed among the people.
Sun. July 1, 1888
Today being Sunday, we gathered the people together and held Sacrament meeting. Having no benches, they all lay down on the floor. The deacons all had long sticks in their hands and were stationed around among the congregation. If one of them should go to sleep a deacon would punch him in the ribs and wake him up. We also held a meeting in the afternoon, at which Mr. Wright baptized a child into the church. We held another meeting in the evening and there I met two European members of the church, named Murtagh.
Mon. July 2, 1888
Pres. Wright and Magel went to Bokoututu, another branch of the church, while Bingham and I returned home to Kaiti.
Tue. July 3, 1888
We went down to the beach gathering shells and when we returned, we found that Wright and Nagle had returned.
Wed. July 4, 1888
Early this morning, Nagle and Bingham left for the district of Waiapu, leaving Wright and I here alone. Having nothing to do, I went down to the beach on the east side of the island and gathered some very nice shells. The island is about one mile wide at Kaiti.
Thur. July 5, 1888
Today we went down to Tawhao Branch, the same place where we held our meeting on July 1st, and held a meeting again. We excommunicated a priest from the church while there.
Fri. July 6, 1888
Today we went to another branch of the church called Muriwai. On our way down, we stopped and looked through the Church of England which had been built by the natives. The walls and roof were made of thatching and the inside was painted very nicely. We arrived at Murimai at 3:30 p.m. The church members here are building a house of worship. They have it nearly finished.
Sat July 7, 1888
This morning, I went down to the beach ??? the evening, James, the son of our hostess Caroline, came in from a successful pigeon hunt.
Sun July 8, 1888
We had James' pigeons for breakfast, boiled with the entrails in them. I found them to be very good served that way. I attended church at 10 a.m. this morning and at 2 this afternoon.
Mon July 9, 1888
Jim (James) gave me a book to write Maori words in. After breakfast, we saddled our horses and returned to Kaiti.
Tue. July 10, 1888
Wirihana Topeka has got him some lumber to build him a house. I helped him cut out some of the more difficult parts of it and in so doing, I learned a good many words of the Maori language. He also bought a large water tank to catch rainwater from the eaves of his house, but when he tried to get it under the eaves, he found that it was too large, so in order not to make another mistake, he is building the house to fit the tank.
Wed. July 11, 1888
We went to Gisbourne today and then Wright went to Muriwai to arrange for a wedding between Wirihana's son and a girl living in town, while I rode on to Bokoututu. I didn't know the road, but I fell in with a man named Jacobs and he showed me the way to the Murtagh brothers' place. When I reached there at 5:30 p.m., there wasn't anyone home, but half an hour later, Mrs. Murtagh arrived and by evening, George and Thomas were both there. We spent a very pleasant evening.
Thur. July 12, 1888
This morning, I walked up to the sawmill with the Murtagh brothers. On the way up, we passed a Maori gathering, a denomination called the Hau-Hau. They meet on the 12th of every month and celebrate it as their Sabbath. We got back home at 12 o'clock and shortly after, Wright came. We held a Thursday night meeting and we all enjoyed ourselves greatly. We took up a donation to help translate some of our church works into the Maori tongue.
Fri. July 13, 1888
We started on our return trip this morning. We were accompanied as far as Gisbourne by George Murtagh. I called at the post office and found a letter from Elder John Manning, in answer to the one I wrote him from Auckland.  He gave me a hearty welcome to New Zealand. He also said that Elder Dame is resting up from his voyage.
Sat. July 14, 1888
John Morris and several other Maori church members arrived from Rockaitutu to attend meeting tomorrow.
Sun. July 15, 1888
We held two meeting today and as the members seemed to be quite firm in their belief, a very good spirit prevailed. In the evening, we had quite a rain. Wirihana returned from Muriwai with the girl that his son is trying to marry. He was successful this time.  He brought his mother and his cousin Caroline with him. We held an evening testimony meeting and afterwards, the young couple were congratulated.
Mon. July 16, 1888
I sat around the house all day and didn't do a thing but eat and study the Maori language. In the evening, I walked down to the beach and out on to a promontory that jutted out into the ocean and watched them getting out rock for the wharf at Gisbourne.
Tue. July 17, 1888
When I got up this morning, the women were getting ready for the wedding of Edward and Matamoana. It took place at 9 a.m. There were a number of saints over from Rockaitutu, so when the ceremony was performed, they all went home and prepared a wedding supper, which was served at 4 p.m. As the bridegroom was not present, they gave me the seat of honor at the side of the bride. Afterwards, we had prayers and sang some hymns and then the talk drifted to the Maoris of America, the Indians. They showed me several modes of dancing that were practiced by the Maoris. Taking them as a race, they don't seem to be as ambitious as the American Indian.
Wed. July 18, 1888
We put up two sides of Wirihana's house today. It rained off and on all day, so I passed the time away copying down some verses from the Maori bible to read at our next meeting.
Thur. July 19, 1888
I worked on the house today and spent the rest of the time toasting my shins and studying Williams "First Lessons in Maori." In the evening, the Murtagh brothers came down.
Fri. July 20, 1888
Thomas Murtagh returned home today, while George went on to Napier for his health. I sent a letter to J.S. Nye by him.
Sat. July 21, 1888
I wrote to James R. Hay in Auckland, asking him to forward my mail if there was any there. I worked on Wirihana's house in the evening.
Sun. July 22, 1888
Wirihana was sick so we administered to him this morning. Today being Sunday, we held two meetings and enjoyed them very much. I was very lonesome in the evening, due to the fact that I haven't received a letter from home for such a long time.
Mon. July 23, 1888
The bricklayer was here and at work before we were out of bed this morning. He is building the chimney to Wirihana's house. In the evening, the moon went into a total eclipse. I first noted it at 5 p.m. and it lasted until 7 p.m. The old lady said that it was a sign of the last days.
Tue. July 24, 1888
We finished the chimney and the roof of the house today. At dinner, the conversation turned to polygamy and to my surprise, I found that the people know more about it here than the church members do at home.
Wed. July 25, 1888
I left Kaiti at 12 a.m. and started going around to the Branches. Conference had been postponed for a week. When I got to Gisbourne, I got a letter from Elder Meriot, stating that Heywood had got through all right. Wright went to Muriwai while I went by Rockaitutu with Wirihana, his wife Horiana, his son Joseph and his daughter-in-law Matamoana. I met the members at Rockaitutu and then went on up to Ivapas and stayed there that night. We are on our way up to Tanga, up at Pakahai, a Hau-Hau church. I slept with Joseph at night.
Thur. July 26, 1888
This morning at eight, I started traveling up the Mangatu Arua (river) and arrived there at 11:30 a.m. They fired a couple of shots as we came up. When we got off from our horses, the all began to cry in a kind of a whining tone. After we got inside of their church, they all began to speak in turn. As I stepped inside, I noticed in the center of one of the "bareingo" was a hideously carved wooden idol, formed crudely in the shape of a human being. At noon, we had a regular Maori dinner consisting of mutton and potatoes. Afterwards the church bell rang and the Maoris came together again and were having a grand time at "cracky," when an Englishman came in and asked if there was a preacher there. The natives told him there was. Having read so much about missionaries being flogged, shot up, burned or hanged and not being able to imagine what his business was with me, I began to wonder if he had unhealthy motives in coming there, but to my relief, I found that he had come to discuss the principals of my church. We discussed the doctrine of the New Testament and he denied the Bible, but yet he believed there was a God. When he started off, he said that his name was Oliver Goldsmith. After he was gone, we all laid down together and I spent my first night in a Maori "cracky."
Fri. July 27, 1888
This morning, I met a man named William Farr who had been in this country for 45 years. He told me a lot about the customs of the natives. He said that the first time it ever snowed in that country was thirty years ago and he said that the natives attributed the death of a white man (who died shortly before the snow fell) as the cause of the storm. We left there at 12 o'clock and followed down the Mangutuwhare to where it emptied into the Waipana until we came to Hoapo's place. We were invited over to Harry Thompson's place to spend the night. I had calculated to come on down to Wirihana's place that night, but he wanted me to stop and administer to a sick child that lived in the neighborhood. Harry Thompson was very kind to me.
Sat. July 28, 1888
A church member named Murter was here this morning so I saddled up my horse and rode down to Rockaitutu with him. We arrived there at 12 a.m. and found everybody well at the Murter's. I went up to see the president of the branch and as I found him ill, I administered to him. At 4 in the evening, Wright came down and spent some time administering to the sick people in the neighborhood. We had a rain during the night.
Sun. July 29, 1888
We held two meetings today. I spent some time learning parts of the scripture in Maori. I did not feel very well, owing to a pain under my left shoulder. I rained again and kept it up all night.
Mon. July 30, 1888
It rained all day today. I went down to Betty Morris's place and from there to John Morris's. We bore our testimonies and left some tracts and other literature of our church.
Tue. July 31, 1888
We were ready to start home when Hoope came down and wanted us to go up to his place and administer to his sick child. On the way up, we passed a large party of Maoris, about sixty in number, dragging a forty foot log behind them. They were starting to build a church and were having a great time turning work into play. We returned here about 12 a.m. and spent the rest of the day studying Maori. I have traveled 179 miles this month.
Wed. Aug. 1, 1888
We left Rockaitutu at 10:15 and started for Kaiti, accompanied by Thomas Murtagh. W could not cross the Waipana River, so we had to go around by the bridge, a distance of 30 miles, arriving at Gisbourne at 2 p.m. The first thing I did was to have a tooth pulled and then I weighed myself. I have gained fifteen pounds since I left America. I called at the post office and got a letter from Elder Boyd Stewart, at Greytown, Wairarapai. I was sure glad to hear from him. We arrived there at 4 in the evening and found a white woman at home, who was looking for a Maori husband. Maybe I can find one for her.
Thur. Aug. 2, 1888
I went to work on the house today. In the forenoon, Edward rode a wild horse. Their method of breaking a wild horse is quite different from the one we use in Arizona. He saddled it and then put his foot in one stirrup and rode on one side of it until it was tired out. We held a meeting this evening which was very successful.
Fri. Aug. 3, 1888
We finished the house today, so now we will be able to live more comfortably than we were before.
Sat. Aug. 4, 1888
They got a new supply of fish this morning. Among the lot was one called the devil fish or octopus. It had six long tentacles or arms. At the end of each arm was an air cup with which it could exert a terrific power of suction, thus enabling it to hold its prey with ease until it had killed it. It was one of the most frightful looking things I have ever seen. In the evening, the people began to gather to prepare for the arrival of President Paxman who is coming tomorrow.
Sun. Aug. 5, 1888
It rained nearly all night. This morning at 5 p.m., Wright and Murter went down to the wharf to meet President Paxman and George Murtagh, who is returning from Napier. At 7 a.m., they arrived there and the Maori began shouting "Haeremai." When they rode up, I met them and shook hands with President Paxman. I was very glad to see him as he was the first elder we had seen since the 4th of July. We held our usual meetings, President Paxman occupying most of the time. Just as we were finishing supper this evening, there came a cry at the door. Wright and I went to see what was wrong. When we got outside the door. he heard screams like that of a mad person coming from away out in the brush. We went running out to where they were coming from and found Wirihana's son Edward and his wife Matamoana struggling like mad. Wright and I separated them and tried to carry Matamoana to the house, while she fought, scratched, bit, and tore her hair like one possessed. She had evidently gone stark mad. We called Paxman and had him administer to her, but when we went to give her the oil, she would hit the spoon with her hand and knock the contents all over, but finally me managed to force some down her and administered to her several times. Then we left the room and held prayer and then returned and administered to her again before she went to sleep. We moved into the new house and had prayers and the retired to rest at 9:30.
Mon. Aug. 6, 1888
I got up before Paxman and the others did this morning. I saw Matamoana leave the house but did not think anything of it until quite a bit later. After some time, I went in to see how she was and found that she had not returned yet so I told Edward about it and we both went out to find her. After a short search, we found her and brought her back to her room. A little bit later, I found out what was the matter of her. It seemed that she had had some cross words with her husband and had gone out in the brush to sulk awhile and some evil power had taken a hold of her. We administered to her again after breakfast and she seemed to be a lot better. This is the first case of this kind that I have ever saw and I sincerely hope that it will be the last one also. We administered to her again in the evening and she seemed all right, thusly manifesting the power of God over the powers of darkness. I can plainly see how necessary it is that we should live in such a way that evil will find no dwelling place in us.
Tue. Aug. 7, 1888
In the morning, she was still slightly affected in her head. At 12 a.m., we saddled up our horses and started out to visit the branches. Paxman and Wright went to Roackaitutu, while I went to Tau Fau. I arrived there at 3:30 p.m. and found everything all right. They were all busy making mats for use in the church. In the evening at prayer time, I was called on the read a chapter in the Bible in the Maori tongue, so I selected the third chapter of Matthew. It was the first time that I have ever been called on to use the Maori tongue in public.
Wed. Aug. 8, 1888
I came to Muriwai and found everything all right there. The men have all gone hunting wild pigs so as to have meat during conference. I attended a meeting in their church this evening. They had just finished it. I met a man yesterday, whose face from the eyes down, was one huge scar. Whether is was a burn of the ravages of disease, I couldn't say. He was sure one frightful looking object.
Thur. Aug. 9, 1888
I expected to meet Maroni Meriot here and then go up to Tawhao with him to attend meeting, but he didn't show up. We were to have met Paxman and Wright there.
Fri. Aug. 10, 1888
The members began to gather for conference today. Paxman, Wright, Meriot and the Murtagh brothers held an evening testimony meeting. We had a very agreeable time.
Sat. Aug. 11, 1888
We held two meetings during the day and a priesthood meeting at night. Some very good teachings were given to those who spoke in the afternoon. Administered to two children today. We collected four pounds, twelve shillings and a fourpence from the congregation to add to the funds for translating the church works into the Maori tongue.
Sun. Aug. 12, 1888
We held prayers this morning at 9 o'clock and at 10, we held sacrament meeting and at 2 in the afternoon, we held conference. The president of the church, the apostles and all the leading authorities were presented and sustained. We held another meeting in the afternoon at which there were twelve ordinations of priests, teachers and deacons. In the evening, we held a testimony meeting and forty members got up and bore their testimonies. Everything went off all right excepting that Wright's and my horses got loose and we had to return some distance to our sleeping place, afoot. It wouldn't have been so bad, but it was still very muddy from the recent rains and the night was pitch dark. We finally had to make us a lantern out of a bottle before we could go any farther.
Mon. Aug. 13, 1888
We got up a little earlier that usual this morning and went back to the church. When we reached there, we found that all of the members who were leaving, had their horses saddled and were waiting for breakfasts. After we had eaten and were ready to start, Wright borrowed a horse from Hamy Rakeni and went to look for our lost horses. I came back to Kaiti in the cart with Mary Baker. It rained on us off and on until we reached home at 2 p.m. Wright arrived shortly after with the horses, having found them at Tau Fau. I received a letter from James Hays in Auckland, stating that Elder George Romney was sick.
Tue. Aug. 14, 1888
It rained off and on so we had to lay around Kaiti all day. I went walking down to the seashore and found a large open spot that looked like it had been a camp ground. There were so many human bones lying around that it wasn't a pleasant sight to look at. The native say that they were poisoned from drinking water out of a poison spring nearby. That evening, I had to administer to Opidity who was ill with fever.
Wed. Aug. 15, 1888
Opidity wasn't any better so we administered to him again. At 8 o'clock, Paxman, Meriot and Wright went up to the Waiapu conference while I went to Muriwai and took the horse Wright had borrowed back to Hamy Rakeni. We held our regular meeting here.
Thur. Aug. 16, 1888
I left Muriwai at 9 a.m. and arrived here at Tawhao at 1 p.m. I baptized a man and his wife and confirmed them as members of the church. I also administered to a sick child. I held our regular Thursday night meeting at which the new convert got up and bore his testimony.
Fri. Aug. 17, 1888
We had prayer this morning and then I administered to the same child that I did last night. The men had all gone to Falskebay at 8 a.m., so I started for Rockaitutu and arrived there in time for dinner. I found George Murtagh quite sick.
Sat. Aug. 18, 1888
In the afternoon, I went up to Karakia, about four miles above here, to see Sears who was getting a little careless in his duties. he promised to come down if it was a fair day.
Sun. Aug. 19, 1888
The day was fair but Sears did not come, but we did not need him as we had two substitutes. Two gentlemen of the Salvation Army, Jerry Malan and Nicholas Gibbons. They came in while I was speaking, so I lengthened my remarks and spoke on our first principles of the gospel for their benefit. We had quite a little argument with them, but we held our own with the assistance of Thomas Murter. I got a few points that will be of great benefit to me if I study up on them.
Mon. Aug. 20, 1888
I committed the 15th and 16th verses of the 16th chapter of Mark to memory and selected a whole lot more for the future. I went over to Betty Morris's place and spent the evening with her. I improved considerably in my ability to speak the Maori language today.
Tue. Aug. 21, 1888
I went over to Betty's for dinner today. While I was there, I made the acquaintance of James Morris, Betty's brother, and James's daughter Charlotte. While I was there, John Morris returned from Waiapu with a young man, the intended husband of Charlotte. He said that they had had a very successful conference, having made eight converts.
Wed. Aug. 22, 1888
I left Rakaututu early in the morning and reached Kaiti. Some of the Hau-Hau Maoris were having a tangy.  Shortly after, Wright, Ezra T. Stevenson, the new president of the Waiapu district, and Elder Magle, the ex-president arrived from Waiapu. Mangle was on his way to the Bay of Islands to put in his last winter there. He is going home in the spring. In the evening, I received a letter from James Nye, who was at Hastings, Hawks Bay, stating that all was well with him. We administered to Opidity again. He seems to be quite sick.
Thur. Aug. 23, 1888
I went out walking on the beach today and found some small crawfish. I spent part of the day studying up on the gospel. We held a meeting in the evening.
Fri. Aug. 24, 1888
After breakfast, Stevenson, Wright, Magle and myself caught a ride on the gravel train into Gisbourne. I had my usual luck at the post office. From there, I went down to the wharf and watched the heavy waved rolling in and dashing themselves upon the beach. The ocean is exceptionally rough today, owing to the high wind that has been blowing all day. I arrived home at sundown and the others came shortly after.
Sat. Aug. 25, 1888
I went out on the beach and tried to watch the Maoris fishing, but it was too windy, so I came back to the house and wrote a letter to President Wilford Woodruff on a little private business and also sent one home. In the afternoon, I went down to the beach again and watched some small boys catching bubus, a small shellfish that makes a very good food.
Sun. Aug. 26, 1888
Early in the morning, we got up and helped Magle get ready for his voyage to the Bay of Islands where is to continue his labors with the Maoris. We reached the wharf at 7 a.m. and bid Magle good bye and Stevenson also as he was returning to Waipu. We went to Tawhao and arrived in time for sacrament meeting. We held another meeting in the afternoon. We retired at 8 p.m.