One Side By Himself

One Side By Himself

Ronald O. Barney
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 424
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    One Side By Himself
    Book Description:

    "What an astonishing life and what a remarkable biography. Lewis Barney's sojourn on the hard edge of the American frontier is a forgotten epic. Not only does this book tell of an amazing personal odyssey from his birth in upstate New York in 1808 to his death in Mancos, Colorado, in 1894, but Barney's tale represents a living evocation of some of the most significant themes in American history. Frederick Jackson Turner theorized that the frontier shaped our national character, but Lewis Barney's life stands as a testament to the real impact of the westering experience on a man and his family. Ron Barney's detailed biography of Lewis Barney provides a participant's view of Mormonism's first six decades of controversy, hardship, and triumph, viewed from the bottom of the social heap. Despite his wide-ranging experience and endless sacrifices, Lewis Barney was a worker in the Mormon vineyard, not one of the princes of the Kingdom of God whose lives have been so exhaustively celebrated. Barney's lack of status in this complex hierarchy adds tremendously to the value of this study, since so much nineteenth-century LDS biography has ignored the lives of ordinary people to celebrate a surprisingly small elite whose experiences were far different from those of the general Mormon population." -Will Bagley, editor of the series Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier and editor of The Pioneer Camp of the Saints: The 1846-1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-472-7
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VIII)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. IX-X)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. XI-XXI)

    A frontier preacher in 1831, writing from American civilization’s fringe in western Missouri, described to an eastern religious superior a strange characteristic of some who settled in his vicinity, at society’s edge. Rather than welcoming the development and civilizing effects of community-building, he said, “To live in the midst of a neighborhood thickly populated is to them very disagreeable.” From their youth this type had become “accustomed to live one side by themselves.”¹ The preacher, characterizing the hardy lot who shunned everything urban and wrested their livelihoods from pristine landscape, could have been describing the nineteenth-century family of Lewis Barney....

  5. Chapter 1 The Barneys on America’s Frontier: The Holland Land Purchase, 1800–1811
    (pp. 1-8)

    Lewis Barney’s family precedent in America first landed upon Massachusetts’s shore about 1630. Jacob Barney, a British Puritan born at the seventeenth century’s beginning, arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony at its inception, becoming a visible figure in Salem before his death in 1673. From Jacob and his wife Anne descended the bulk of Barney family strains in the New World. Lewis, among the family’s eighth American generation, was preceded by New England roots nearly two hundred years deep. For several generations family numbers swelled in Salem, Taunton, Swansea, and other eastern Massachusetts villages before the opportunistic beckon of untouched...

  6. Chapter 2 The Silhouette of Ohio: Barneys in America’s Interior, 1811–1826
    (pp. 9-22)

    Lewis Barney was but three years old when in late 1811 or early 1812 “his father moved to Ohio on the waters of Owl Creek in Knox County in a little town by [the] name of Clinton near Mount Vernon.”¹ The environment of youthful Knox County was visually beautiful. The rich, unadulterated stream-fed bottomlands in the county were accented by lush hills in the north and east.² To even the casual observer, the area held great promise. Ohio’s attractions for settlement had been noised about the nation for years. The Treaty of Paris (1783), ending the Revolutionary War, opened a...

  7. Chapter 3 These Fertile Prairies: Yankees on the Illinois Frontier, 1826–1832
    (pp. 23-37)

    The year 1826 was a time of endings and beginnings for the Barneys and for the United States. Just two weeks before Charles left the Sangamon country to retrieve his family so they could reinvent their family’s circumstances in Illinois, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, died 4 July 1826, within hours of each other. The eerie coincidence of their passing on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption by the Second Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence appeared to fit a providential timetable. The passing of these friends-turned-foes-turned-friends symbolized the end of the revolutionary era—the formative years of American...

  8. Chapter 4 On My Farm: Lewis Barney Comes of Age, 1833–1839
    (pp. 38-46)

    Upon his return to the family farm after his military service, Lewis Barney, still unattached, calculated to remedy his detachment. His younger sister, Lucinda, now twenty years old, married a local man, John Daniel Copeland on 7 March 1833, and together they set their new household within Lake Fork. The Copeland family had been in the area for several years and were active Lake Fork Baptists like the Barneys. Lewis was now twenty-three and older than many young men who had already assumed the marital role. The list of essentials for marriage were not extensive, but the items on the...

  9. Chapter 5 An Honest, Industrious People: Conversion to Mormonism, 1839–1840
    (pp. 47-58)

    The Barneys’ settling in Iowa had, by all appearances, provided them with the prospects of prosperity and peace. At the same time, events in the state immediately south of Iowa were everything but peaceful. Perhaps as many as ten thousand members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were displaced from several northern Missouri counties to western Illinois during the winter of 1838–1839. Publicity about the conflict between the Mormons, as the Latter-day Saints were called, and the “old settlers” of Missouri likely reached the ears of everyone in the Mississippi River valley. It was more than...

  10. Chapter 6 Unaccustomed to City Life: Nauvoo and the Hancock Prairie, 1841–1844
    (pp. 59-73)

    The conversion of the Barneys to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ignited the reformation of their religious world view with life-altering impact. Not only did their spiritual outlook reform, in gathering with the Saints in Nauvoo these villatic folk entertained the prospect of settling within an urban society-in-the-making for the first time. The freedom, independence, and lifestyle options available to those on society’s fringe were at the outset supplanted by their adherence to Mormonism. When considering the adjustment required of them to affiliate with the highly organized Latter-day Saints it is remarkable that there was not some...

  11. Chapter 7 A Gloom over the Country: The Final Years in Hancock County, 1844–1846
    (pp. 74-83)

    For the Saints, Illinois had been good for them for only the first two years of their residence on the Hancock County peninsula. Nauvoo flourished, despite the difficulties of the economy. Streams of converts, many being those baptized during the mission of the Twelve Apostles to England beginning in the late 1830s, vitalized Nauvoo and surrounding environs, expanding Mormon influence in the region. By 1842 pressures from outside and inside the church exacted a toll on the Saints collectively and certain church leaders individually that changed the nature of life in the Mormon capital. Joseph Smith was required to hide...

  12. Chapter 8 Midst Sighs and Lamentations: Iowa—Prelude to the West, 1846
    (pp. 84-94)

    Notwithstanding the initial success of the Saints in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith as early as the summer of 1842 related to close associates that the time would come when the center of the church would be far away from the Mississippi River Valley. Their destiny lay in the West, on the other side of the Rocky Mountains.¹ But in 1842, the Mormon prophet may not have seen that the fate of the Saints would be forced upon them so soon. The Latter-day Saints became a refugee people.

    An anxiousness surrounded the evacuation of Nauvoo. After all, it was the depth of...

  13. Chapter 9 A Story Makes a People: The Exodus to Zion, 1847
    (pp. 95-105)

    In the popular image of Mormonism, the removal of the Saints from the Midwest to the valleys of the Great Basin, beginning in 1847, remains one of the defining events of the religion. The previous pivot points of Latter-day Saint history to 1847 had been witnessed or experienced by only a minority of church members. The trek to Zion in the mountains over the next half-century by tens of thousands of Saints of high and low station alike, Americans and Europeans, provided a common context that welds the seams of disparate entities into a people. “Although [Mormonism is] called ‘the...

  14. Chapter 10 A Band of Brethren: The Return to Winter Quarters, 1847
    (pp. 106-116)

    It was the design of church leaders to establish the Saints’ foothold in the Great Basin in time to accommodate not only a fraction of the pioneer company who would winter there but also to assist the companies following the vanguard. As it turned out, about 1,700 of the roughly 2,100 who converged that year upon the Salt Lake Valley would winter there.¹ The plan also called for church leaders to return to the Missouri River to sustain their families, among them 95 of the 143 original westbound pioneers.² The return of the major portion of the vanguard, accompanied by...

  15. Chapter 11 Barney’s Grove: Iowa and the Last Trek to Zion, 1847–1852
    (pp. 117-136)

    The satellite of Mormonism planted in the western desert was now more than a dream. Its transformation from colony to headquarters in 1848 excited all who dreamed of gathering to Zion. The focus for most Winter Quarters Saints was preparation for a spring emigration, but concurrent with the planning was the hard reality of sustaining life. The heroic aura surrounding the vanguard company did not eliminate the survival concerns for some of the venturer’s families. Finding his family in very difficult straits, Barney was, upon his return to the Missouri River, still “thankful to find them alive.”¹ The circumstances of...

  16. Chapter 12 We Managed to Live: The Palmyra Plain, 1852–1856
    (pp. 137-152)

    Quite remarkably, on their way to Utah the Barneys had traversed one-third of the continent without the loss of or serious injury to any of their family. Now, after three months on the trail as they rolled into the valley from Emigration Canyon, the eastern gate to and from the Mormon settlements, they were within the perimeter of a religious sanctuary of which they had vividly dreamed for months, if not years. The sanctuary, with the innocuous title of the Territory of Utah, was established by the U.S. Congress in 1850 to provide a federal context to the growing population....

  17. Chapter 13 He Would Not Forsake His People: Spanish Fork and the Utah War, 1856–1858
    (pp. 153-169)

    The newly minted settlement of Spanish Fork enjoyed significant growth in 1856 after a year’s stagnation in the former twin communities. This village, at 4,565 feet in elevation and built upon three alluvial fans from the course of the Spanish Fork River as ancient Lake Bonneville receded, witnessed its population bounding to 439, a jump of nearly 20 percent from the previous year.¹ Its attraction was noted widely. “Spanish Fork is the most favorably situated settlement in Utah County for the purposes of agriculture and stock-raising,” wrote one nineteenth-century historian. Covering a tract of nearly forty thousand acres, it had...

  18. Chapter 14 We Left Them Crying: Spanish Fork and Springville, 1858–1861
    (pp. 171-182)

    Sometime in the 1850s, likely during his tenure in Utah County, Lewis Barney posed for a photographer. It is the only known likeness of him extant. Probably about fifty years old at the time, the portrait of Barney somewhat belies our image of the hardworking, weatherworn frontiersman. Rather we see his lean and sober, clean-shaven, square-jawed countenance decorated by fashionable attire. (The time required for a subject to sit still while the image adhered to the plate precluded many smiling faces in the nineteenth century.) His hair, long and parted on one side according to Mormon fashion of the day,...

  19. Chapter 15 Busted Up: Utah’s Sanpete and Sevier Valleys, 1861–1865
    (pp. 183-194)

    With new beginnings for the Barneys in the 1860s, the mother country from which they and their Mormon brethren withdrew years before was fraught with a malady capable of dissolving the Union. In 1860, the same year of the Pony Express’s inaugural, meant to draw the country together, Abraham Lincoln became president, provoking South Carolina to leave the family. Within months Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, five other southern siblings, severed their familial ties and formed the provisional Confederate States of America. The primary effects upon Utah’s citizens from the brewing fratricide were the withdrawal of U.S. troops from...

  20. Chapter 16 Beginning to Be Old: The Indian War and the Railway, 1865–1869
    (pp. 195-210)

    A constant throughout most of Lewis Barney’s life was his proximity to Native Americans. The pattern began in his infancy near the Tonawanda Reservation in western New York. In Ohio he encountered Indians while the family lived on Owl Creek. Within a half-dozen years of settlement in Illinois, Barney was enlisted against the Sac and Fox in the Black Hawk War in 1832. His plunge into and return from the western wilderness in 1847 brought him into precarious contact with the Plains Indians. Once in Utah’s Utah County, he spent most of his time with Indians nearly at his back...

  21. Chapter 17 A Frontier Village: Monroe, Utah, 1871–1874
    (pp. 211-221)

    Utah, at the beginning of the 1870s, was significantly dissimilar from the Utah two decades earlier. The population had increased by nearly eight times and was approaching 87,000. Almost 250 Mormon settlements and cities dotted Utah, southern Idaho, southern Nevada, and northern Arizona. Technological advances in communication and transportation accounted for much of the change. In 1850 Utahns viewed the outside world primarily through the weekly Deseret News. With the short-lived Pony Express in 1860 followed by the telegraph in 1861, Mormon settlements within Utah’s valleys had timely access to information previously delayed for weeks or months. The contemporary world...

  22. Chapter 18 A Division with the People: The Monroe United Order of Enoch, 1874–1878
    (pp. 222-237)

    Population changes in the 1870s involved increased immigration of non-Latter-day Saints into Utah, fostering pluralism and diversity in the mountain valleys. To Mormon leaders it was apparent there was a demonstrable lack of progress for church members toward the ideals expected of modern Israel, something akin to their Mormon Reformation concerns in 1856. Other factors contributed to this unsettling condition, such as the nationwide economic depression of 1873 and an increase in federal pressure manifest by the arrest and hounding of the now elderly Brigham Young. A course correction circulated through Mormondom. “To consolidate the interests of all Latter-day Saints,...

  23. Chapter 19 The Salvation of Thy Relatives and Friends: The Last Years in Sevier Valley, 1877–1882
    (pp. 238-249)

    The end of August 1877 was a milestone in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah Territory, as well. President Brigham Young, the leader and guide for the Saints for thirty-three years, passed away in Salt Lake City on 29 August. Surviving the bitter winds of oppression and antagonism for the forty-five years of his association with the church, the summary of his church leadership is of incredible proportion. During his tenure as Mormon prophet the church progressed from adolescence to majority. His last remarkable act was the reorganization of the male priesthood structure...

  24. Chapter 20 Better Situated: Farther into the Frontier, 1882–1886
    (pp. 250-269)

    The United States Senate passed the Edmunds anti-polygamy bill on 16 February 1882, focusing the scrutiny of the American public upon the Mormons once again. A month later the bill passed the House and was signed days later by President Chester A. Arthur. The bill and succeeding legislation created havoc in Utah and within Mormonism in no small way during the remainder of the decade. Polygamists took the government barrage directly. Whether Lewis Barney, whose plural families lived apart, felt threatened by federal marshals worming their way through Utah’s settlements is not known. With time ticking away, the machinery of...

  25. Chapter 21 If It Takes the Rest of My Life: The Quixotical Family Kingdom, 1886–1894
    (pp. 270-286)

    Historian Frederick Jackson Turner, influenced by the 1890 census report, popularized in 1893 the watershed conclusion that the American frontier was closed. Determined in part from the ratio of persons to land, Turner argued the open spaces and wildness of America that characterized the country since its beginnings were now closed, rendering the opportunity offered by the frontier no longer applicable. The concept, as well as the milestone, was significant. The frontier, he stated, had been the underlying tool in the creation of Americanism: “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American...

  26. Barney Family Relationships
    (pp. 287-287)
  27. Notes
    (pp. 288-368)
  28. Bibliography
    (pp. 369-393)
  29. Index
    (pp. 394-402)