Cane Creek, Tennessee was the site of the greatest bloodshed in the conflict between Mormons and those opposed to them in the US South. One of the effects of this was that missionary work stopped in the area. Of course immediately after the Massacre, B. H. Roberts came to the area, albeit in disguise and with a single minded purpose of retrieving the bodies of John H. Gibbs and William S. Berry.
Next was Willard Washington Bean. He came in 1895, on his way home from his mission in Tennessee. He also visited in disguise.
In 1897, two missionaries making a tour of the conference, Elder Nels P Nelson and Elder Bench, found themselves having to chose between walking through Cane Creek or adding twenty to thirty miles to their trip. Feeling they had quite enough opportunities to walk, they chose the short path. What follows is an excerpt from a letter Elder Nelson wrote about the experience.
Coming up Cane Creek we were busily engaged in conversing upon present conference duties, but as we came near the place of this sad occurance (sic), our thoughts flew from the present to the reviewing of events some fourteen years ago, when two of god’s servants sealed their testimony with their blood. We ate dinner near the Condor farm, where the shooting took place – passed the houses of Widow Hinson and son, saw the grave of Mr. Hinson, the leader of the mob and the man killed by one of the Condor boys. We stopped at a number of houses and talked with the people. They seemed greatly surprised seeing the Mormon Elders in that neighborhood again. People were not inclined to talk of the past, but by questioning them, we learned their side of the story. We were impressed with the uneasiness manifest while talking upon the subject, proving a guilty conscience and aching heart. All seemed to regret the actions of the mob, and one man said “it was a big mistake.”
I would just love to know more about what he was told and who he spoke with. Perhaps he wrote more in his journal.
5 weeks ago