My Pioneer Ancestry
Thomas Leonard Frazier:
2, 1827, in Henry County, Tennessee; the son of Thomas and Jane Frazier
of North Carolina, his mother Jane having been born in Fayetteville, Cumberland
Co., North Carolina. With the western movement and expansion, his parents
imigrated about 1825 to Henry County, Tennessee where they made their made
THE FOLLOWING IS RECORDED IN
DEED BOOK J OF HENRY COUNTY, TENNESSEE.
"To Thomas Frazier by Richard
Swor a certain tract or parcel of land containing 60 acres, a part of a
tract of 482 acres granted to said Richard Swor lying in the said County
of Henry, 12th District 8th Section. Dated May 13, 1825
THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM
JOURNAL HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. UNDER THIS DAY (JULY 18, 1836) ELDER WILFORD
WOODRUFF MAKES THE FOLLOWING JOURNAL EVENT:
"I rode in company with
A. I. Smoot to a ferry on the Tennessee River. The ferryman was absent.
We were offered the use of the boat and ferried over ourselves; but not
being much used to the business, and losing one oar in the river and having
to row with a broken oar, we landed a great distance below the usual place
with a high circulation of blood and blistered hands; but our horses leapt
the bank and we went on our way to the Sandy, which we swam and spent the
night at Thomas Frazier's." It must have been only a matter of short time
until death called the father of the family with which these Mormon missionaries
spent the night. We are told that Thomas Leonard's father died while he
was just a young lad and that his death was a result of poisoning.
THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM HENRY
COUNTY COURT MINUTES 1836-1849, PAGE 13, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1836:
"It appearing to the satisfaction
of the court that Thomas Frazier Jr. late a resident citizen of Henry Co.
at the time of his death and died intestate, leaving Jane Frazier, his
widow and next of kin, where upon motion it is ordered by the court that
letters of administration of all and singular the goods and chatter's rights
and credits of said deceased issue to Jane Frazier and John H. Williams
who there upon entered into bond of twelve hundred dollars with James C.
Gainer and Solomon Copland as their security and were qualified according
to law." From records and information at hand it appears that after the
death of his father, Thomas Leonard, his mother (Jane), sister (Martha
Jane), and two brothers (Andrew Jackson and Warren) left Tennessee between
1844 and 1846 and traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they joined the main
body of the saints.
The Temple Endowment records
reveal that Thomas Leonard, his mother and sister received their Endowments
in the Nauvoo Temple, January 31, 1846, just prior to its desecration by
those who opposed the teachings and standards of Mormonism. It is also
recorded that Martha Jane was married to Francis Marion Williams prior
to their leaving Nauvoo. In the dead of winter and shortly after their
Endowments had been taken care of, the Frazier family, with thousands of
the Saints were driven from their homes, possessions and beloved city,
Nauvoo, the Beautiful. The hand of fate had smitten its fateful blow. Their
beloved Prophet, their homes and all that was near and dear was taken from
them. But even this persecution could not take from them their abiding
testimony of the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel which they had received.
With great faith and courage
they commenced what proved to be a long arduous journey toward the west.
"A modern Israel feeing into the wilderness." Numbered among these faithful
and courageous pioneers was the Frazier family. "It was while traveling
through what is now the state of Iowa with their three thousand wagons,
thirty thousand head of cattle, sheep, horses, and mules, their camps were
visited by Captain James Allen, of the United States Army who asked for
a contigent of "able bodied men to serve in the war with Mexico".
Continuing on to Council
Bluffs where Brigham Young was with the main encampment, Captain Allen
laid the matter of recruiting a battalion of soldiers before the Mormon
leader, who decided to furnish five hundred men immediately. Within two
weeks the Battalion was ready to march. The true spirit of the gospel was
manifest by both men and women. The night before the new Army were to commence
their long journey, everyone gathered to the bowery where square dancing
and a cheerful party drowned the sorrow of parting.
On July 20 the troops started
on their journey numbered among those gallant soldiers in Company D, was
Private Thomas Leonard Frazier.
From the journals of members
of the Battalion we learn there was much suffering in the camps.
With General P. St. George
Cooke in command of the Battalion continued their journey southward by
way of the Rio Grande and Gila Rivers. The very meager rations were served
during the journey. The march of the Battalion along the Gila and through
the sands and deserts of the Southwest, is a story of patience and faith
hardly equalled in history.
It was a strange-looking
army that trailed along day after day. Barefooted much of the time, the
men suffered with sore feet, and the heat of the sun burned their skin
terribly. The hides and tails of animals were used for food.
The deserts were terrible,
the crossing of the Colorado River was a bitter experience for they waded
the stream, the water at times reaching their arm-pits.
After a long and treacherous
journey they reached California without conflict or battle as President
Brigham Young had prophesied they would providing they kept the commandments
of the Lord.
On July 15, the Battalion
was mustered out at Los Angeles although a few of the men re-enlisted for
service. Of those mustered out, two hundred and forty of them organized
themselves into a command and proceeded to the American River, not far
from Sutter's Fort. Some found employment with Captain Sutter, while the
main company crossed the Sierras by way of Donner Pass. Here they met Sam
Brannan, and were informed that the Saints had arrived in the valley of
Great Salt Lake. Tyler, with men under his command reached Salt Lake City
in October 1847, and was given a hearty welcome. The next year the remaining
members of the Battalion, with many others who had gone to California on
the ship "Brooklyn" in 1848, joined their relatives and friends in the
It is not known at this
time with which one of these groups Thomas Leonard Frazier returned to
Great Salt Lake Valley; but he had arrived at the Valley by Feb. 1849.
We are told that he was at Sutter's Fort at the time that gold was discovered
and that he brought enough gold dust from California in his saddle bags
for a wedding stake.
Being a brave and handsome
hero; his majesty touched the heart of that lovely lady; Miss Rachel Maxfield
Young (adopted daughter of Brigham Young), herself a pioneer and a daughter
of Valentine Whitman Young and Jemina Angell Young, by birth.