Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First Relief Society Presidency in the Southern States

On August 10th, 1878, on the evening of the second day of the Southern States Mission Conference in Haywood Valley, Georgia, “President [John] Morgan stated that he would proceed to organize a Relief Society for the Benefit of the sisters in the Southern States Mission. They could be a great help to the Elders in spreading the gospel, as they could do so by writing their friends, distributing tracts and disseminating the principles of truth among their associates and friends. All were invited to join who wished to do good.”

“Sister Victoria Faucett was unanimously sustained as president, Sisters Sinia Lawrence and Emmeline Faucett, her counselors. Sister Joan Manning, secretary; all of whom were elected for six months.”

Martha "Victoria" Faucett (nee Bailey) was born in Walker County, Georgia on February 6th, 1860. She married Alfonzo Cromwell Faucett, probably just before the August 1878 Conference. The marriage date on Family Search is an estimate of 1879 and is probably based on the birth of their first child, Dixie Leona Faucett on November 9th, 1880 in Manassa, Colorado I now believe this is actually Victoria Ann Coxwell born in 1842. She married Jesse B. Faucett. I think the age is a better match for the calling she was given. Jesse was Alonzo's uncle.

Sinia Hamilton Lawrence was born on January 29th, 1855 in Georgia to Thomas Anderson Lawrence and Sinai Ann Scoggin. Sinia emigrated to Colorado sometime before April 4th, 1881 when she married James Ranson Keel.

Martha Ann Emmaline Faucett was related to Victoria Faucett. She was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on October 28th, 1856 and her whole family moved to Georgia before 1860. Emmaline married Ramsey Fricks in 1879.

Joan Manning was probably the wife of William R. H. Manning who was ordained a teacher of the Beech Creek Tennessee Branch on the third day of the same conference.

[Bessie dug up some more from John Morgan's journal and posted it at Ancestral Ties]


Ardis Parshall said...

My goodness, that's early for Relief Society outside of Utah! Nice post.

BruceCrow said...

I found it when I was looking for something else. Funny how that works.

Amy said...

These names are familiar since John Morgan was very involved with the Saints in Haywood Valley. (This is the location associated with his Three Nephites story.)

I don't see too much in his bio about these people: a picture calls Victoria "Queen V. Bailey Faucett..wife of Alonzo C. Faucett," but she is called "Victoria" in the only other mention in the book.

Joan Manning was involved in the collation, binding, and mailing of the original edition of Morgan's missionary tract "The Plan of Salvation," which was written in the home of Jetter Lawrence, whoever he was!

I would be happy (of course!) to see any and all materials you turn up about the members in Haywood Valley.

J. Stapley said...

This is really quite fascinating. I've seen records of Relief Societies outside of Utah fairly early, but it is always Missionary wives that are the Presidents. This is really interesting to me as an early example of indigenous Relief Society. Have you come across any records of the RS or of the women that served in the presidency? In the church during this period, matters of liturgy and ritual were generally passed on by example. Formalized instruction didn't occur for decades. I'm very interested in how this RS learned what to do. Did they bless the sick like sisters in Utah? What were their meetings like?

BruceCrow said...

I'll dig the newspaper article I got this from and send it to you. I had seen Victoria called "Queen Victoria" in a couple of other sources as well.

I'll have to look up jetter Lawrence to see if he was related to Sinia

J. Stapely,
I haven't run across any meeting minutes, letters, or journal entries about the operation of the RS in th South. This was the first I had seen of the Relief Society in the Southern States at all. I'll be keeping my eyes open for it from now on.