Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The John H Gibbs Papers

In a recent article about the Cane Creek Massacre, I found a reference to the John H. Gibbs Papers at BYU. I really need to make a trip out to Utah soon. The collection is not available on line and I'm sure they won't mail it to me to look at. But a summary of the content is available and in it I found a wonderful story.

While the Gibbs family was sailing from Wales to America in 1866, Fanny Gibbs wrote a story about two boys on the boat. One was her brother, John H Gibbs. The story describes a game of marbles which was played "for keeps." John who, was 13, had lost and did not want to give up his marbles to the winner, a 9 year old boy also going to Utah. A fight broke out which the sailor in charge of the children on the ship had to break up. There was no indication of who got to keep the marbles, but the name of the other boy was recorded: Brigham Henry Roberts, who would eighteen years later at great personal risk retrieve the bodies of Elders John H. Gibbs and Willian S. Berry to return them to Utah.

5 comments:

Ardis E. Parshall said...

You're kidding! I never heard this story. What a wonderful, wonderful coincidence.

Bruce Crow said...

In a church of 12+ million it is sometime easy to forget just how small the church was 140 years ago. Even so, it is amazing.

Amy said...

That is very cool. It's one of those "minor" details that really makes history come to life.

Thanks, Bruce!

Anonymous said...

yes Bruce this story is true. the guy who broke up the kids arguement was called Blackeyes

Anonymous said...

Both of those stories are referenced in the book Defender of the Faith (The BH Roberts Story)