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Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West

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Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West narrates the wide-ranging life and times of John P. Hawley’s search for and service to an authentic Mormon faith. Melvin C. Johnson has been researching Hawley’s adventurous life along the American borderlands and frontier for three decades. Hawley was an active member of several Latter Day Restora Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West narrates the wide-ranging life and times of John P. Hawley’s search for and service to an authentic Mormon faith. Melvin C. Johnson has been researching Hawley’s adventurous life along the American borderlands and frontier for three decades. Hawley was an active member of several Latter Day Restoration denominations in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas, the Indian Nations of Oklahoma, and Utah Territory from 1838 to 1909. A Mormon Ulysses follows Hawley’s adventures in the West growing up as a logger, woodworker, settler, church official and missionary. He helped build the first Mormon temple west of the Mississippi, battled the Comanches, was entangled in the horrors of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and pioneered the Pine Valley community in southern Utah. Hawley’s western odyssey is timely, worthy, and deserves to belong in the canon of American history and biography.


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Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West narrates the wide-ranging life and times of John P. Hawley’s search for and service to an authentic Mormon faith. Melvin C. Johnson has been researching Hawley’s adventurous life along the American borderlands and frontier for three decades. Hawley was an active member of several Latter Day Restora Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West narrates the wide-ranging life and times of John P. Hawley’s search for and service to an authentic Mormon faith. Melvin C. Johnson has been researching Hawley’s adventurous life along the American borderlands and frontier for three decades. Hawley was an active member of several Latter Day Restoration denominations in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas, the Indian Nations of Oklahoma, and Utah Territory from 1838 to 1909. A Mormon Ulysses follows Hawley’s adventures in the West growing up as a logger, woodworker, settler, church official and missionary. He helped build the first Mormon temple west of the Mississippi, battled the Comanches, was entangled in the horrors of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and pioneered the Pine Valley community in southern Utah. Hawley’s western odyssey is timely, worthy, and deserves to belong in the canon of American history and biography.

6 review for Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Angulo

    The book.was different than I expected. I thought it would be a more focused book for readers who were well versed in restoration history/schisms. It was not. The book was written for a person with little knowledge on the subject. The author briefly touches on many subjects that have been written about extensively in other places. This makes the book readable and provides a nice backdrop for the faith struggles this man had. While Hawley, himself, did not seem like a remarkable person to me, I t The book.was different than I expected. I thought it would be a more focused book for readers who were well versed in restoration history/schisms. It was not. The book was written for a person with little knowledge on the subject. The author briefly touches on many subjects that have been written about extensively in other places. This makes the book readable and provides a nice backdrop for the faith struggles this man had. While Hawley, himself, did not seem like a remarkable person to me, I think his life in trying to follow the restored gospel underlines the complexity of succession and the advancement of the restoration that Joseph Smith laid out. This is a nice primer for those who wish to know more about succession and the various groups who held the strongest claims to it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Wolfe

    John Pierce Hawley may not be a popular name that many Latter-day Saints recognize, but Hawley's mark on its history is important. He was a man that was loyal to the Restoration movement throughout his life joining many Mormon denominations. Hawley was a man that stuck to his principles for the most part by being in a monogamous relationship even though he was looked down by others. The only thing I wish the book contained was more evidence for against him being part of the Mountain Meadows Mass John Pierce Hawley may not be a popular name that many Latter-day Saints recognize, but Hawley's mark on its history is important. He was a man that was loyal to the Restoration movement throughout his life joining many Mormon denominations. Hawley was a man that stuck to his principles for the most part by being in a monogamous relationship even though he was looked down by others. The only thing I wish the book contained was more evidence for against him being part of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and his relationship with the Indians where he lived.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Max Evans

    Life and Times of JOHN PIERCE HAWLEY: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West This was a pretty good book. John Hawley really did seem to be involved in all aspects of.the restoration movement. Some of the points drawn by the author seem a little thin at the time. A couple of things jumped out at me. John wrote only two lines about the wagon train trip from "So it is we went to Utah and we had a very pleasant time crossing the plains rejoicing and dancing as we went. We left Kansas City on the 24th Life and Times of JOHN PIERCE HAWLEY: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West This was a pretty good book. John Hawley really did seem to be involved in all aspects of.the restoration movement. Some of the points drawn by the author seem a little thin at the time. A couple of things jumped out at me. John wrote only two lines about the wagon train trip from "So it is we went to Utah and we had a very pleasant time crossing the plains rejoicing and dancing as we went. We left Kansas City on the 24th of July, 1856, and landed in Salt Lake October the 11th.” From this the author comes up with an entire chapter about the west ward movements of the Utah Latter-day Saints. Half of the chapter was about the mortality the Utah LDS experienced on the trail west. This was all right but I wondered why it was included since the Croft Company of which the Hawley's were part didn't suffer any deaths. I like the authors suspicion that John wrote so little because he had so much experience crossing the plains that that's all he thought of it. In the flap cover it said that Hawley had opposed the Mountain Meadows Massacre (MMM) and that it almost got him killed. I was looking forward to the information about the MMM but there really wasn't that much about it. Probably because there really wasn't that much real information about it. John says that he wasn't there but John D. Lee said that he was. His brother George definitely was there and maybe used John's pistol. John was supposed to have been warned by Uncle Billy Young to keep quite about the MMM or he would be put out of the way. That's about all there was and like I said I was hoping for more. Another time was when the author said that in Hawley's diary he didn't write about the Native Americans but this didn't keep the author from talking about the negative things the Utah LDS did to them. John didn't say anything about African American slaves, or non slaves. The author really didn't say that much about them either. He did mention that one of the families involved in the wagon train sold some slaves to a chief to finance the their trip west. It was while reading this that I thought that this was a very negative book about the Utah LDS but that's when I realized that this was a book about the Reorganized LDS more than the Utah LDS. When I read it like that it made a lot more sense to me. The thing I found most interesting about this book was the interactions of the different LDS sects. From the Wighites who Hawley first associated with, and their belief that they were waiting for Joseph III to grow up and take his right place, to all the missionary work that took place between the different sects. This book wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, but it had a lot of information that was new to me. It also showed that there is a lot of information out the that I wasn't aware of. It will be interesting to find out more about it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Cosgriff

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katharine

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brenden

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