Shortly before her 21st birthday, Charlotte married William Abbott.2 He and their ten children were also born in Northamptonshire. Chances were fair that Charlotte, like her parents before her, would spend her entire life within the bounds of one English county.
But faith intervened.
Charlotte and William were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 1850. Several of their children also joined the Church in the ensuing years. Brigham Young, the president of the church, once taught that emigration, “upon the first feasible opportunity, directly follows obedience to the first principles of the gospel”.3 Joseph Smith taught that the faithful immigrated, or “gathered,” to Zion “to build unto the Lord an house whereby he could reveal unto his people [temple] ordinances”.4 All faithful Latter-day Saints had a desire to receive temple ordinances. In Charlotte and William’s time, temple ordinances were available in one place: Utah.
During his mortal ministry the Savior taught, “There is no man that hath left house, or…children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time…and in the world to come eternal life”.5 Charlotte and William showed their faith in Him by their works:6 in 1866 they departed for Utah, along with their daughter Mary Ann Elizabeth Abbott George (later Cheshire) and her son William. They sailed from London on May 5, 1866 aboard the Caroline. Of this voyage a contemporary newspaper noted, “the vessel itself being 8½ feet between decks, and possessing many other conveniences and comforts….But… of far greater importance…the people were inspired with the spirit of confidence in their God. One and all looked on the trials and dangers of a sea voyage with unflinching courage, having an assurance that God was their friend…". After five weeks at sea, they “arrived at New York June 11th, and…continued the journey by steamboats and railroad” and wagon train.7
|Passenger list. Charlotte's family are the last 4 on the page. 8|
|Mormon wagon train circa 1879. 11|
Most of the westward journey was typical: a few births and deaths, food made mostly of flour, cold weather and a great deal of walking. However, on August 14th, at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, soldiers stopped the wagon train and related that 100 people had recently been robbed and killed by Indians. And on the 18th “we had trouble with the Indians. We suppose they followed us. We had just corralled, and began to cook our dinners, when the alarm came that the Indians were driving away our cattle. They (the boys) followed them. They got away with ninety-one head and wounded three” oxen. On August 20th the Company “passed Deer Creek. The same day the Indians took our cattle, they took all the possessions of two homes, killed the people and burned their homes”.12 The Indians also burned down Deer Creek Station, a telegraph station and former Pony Express stop.13
|Deer Creek Station before its destruction by fire. 14|
The company continued on without further incident and “arrived in good condition on the 15th [of September], having made very good time”.15
Charlotte and William settled in Salt Lake City. They were sealed (married for eternity) in the Endowment House on February 23, 1869, obtaining through faith the temple ordinances for which they had trekked 6500 miles16, forsaken home and country, and left family, because they “judged him faithful who had promised”17.
1 - All genealogical information (birth dates and places, baptism and sealing dates, etc.) is from familysearch.org. Charlotte's Person ID is KWJ8-TC2
2 - Photo from "Utah, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1847-1868," index and images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KL71-4KQ : accessed 29 Nov 2014), William Abbott, ; excerpted from Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah: Comprising Photographs, Genealogies, Biographies (Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Pioneers Books, 1913).
3 - Encyclopedia of Mormonism, eom.byu.edu/index.php/Immigration_and_Emigration
4 - Encyclopedia of Mormonism, eom.byu.edu/index.php/Gathering
5 - Mark 10:29-30
6 - see James 2:18
7 - Quotes and information in this paragraph from Mormon Migration,
8 - Passenger list from Mormon Migration website, http://files.lib.byu.edu/mormonmigration/registry%20images/MM_MII/Boxes%204-5/Images/CR%20271%2025_Bx%205%20Vol%201_00247.jpg
9 - from
"Passenger List," Deseret News[Weekly], 26 Sep. 1866, 341http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/trailExcerptMulti?lang=eng&pioneerId=35112&sourceId=10503
10 - William Henry Chipman Company, Company Detail, http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/companyDetail?lang=eng&companyId=87
11 - Photo, "Mormon emigrants." Photograph of covered wagon caravan by C. W. Carter ca. 1879. 165-XS-7 , from
12 - Quotes and information in this paragraph from
Clark, Caroline Hopkins, Diary, in Utah State Historical Society Cache Valley Chapter, Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956, reel 1, item 10.http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/trailExcerptMulti?lang=eng&companyId=87&sourceId=4951
13 - This is presented on many sites, including
14 - Drawing of Deer Creek Station by a soldier, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Grace Raymond Hebard Papers, from
15 - from
"Cap. W. Chipman's Train," Deseret News [Weekly], 19 Sep. 1866, 333.http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/trailExcerptMulti?lang=eng&companyId=87&sourceId=10804
16 - from Distance Table on Monday June 18 in
The Diary of William Driver
17 - Hebrews 11:11
Line of descent:
Charlotte Freer Allibone, 1808-1879
Mary Ann Elizabeth Abbott, 1845-1920
George Cheshire, 1873-1935
Clara Lavon Cheshire, 1915-2007