JACOB HAMBLIN LEARNS OF HIS
MISSION AMONG THE INDIANS

[When he arrived in Utah, Jacob Hamblin settled in the Tooele Valley west of Salt Lake City. Relations with the Indians were very tense for the first years, as the Indians stole from the settlers, who in turn tried to extract revenge. Jacob eventually was guided to be a peacemaker, and came to be known as the "apostle to the Indians"...]

The presiding Elder directed me to take another company of men, go after the Indians, to shoot all we found, and bring no more into the settlement. Again we traveled at night and watched during the day. We found the trail of a small band who had come near the valley, and then turned back on account of a light fall of snow, which would make their trail too easily discovered for thieving operations.

We surprised them near a large mountain between Tooele and Skull Valleys. They scattered in the foot hills, and the company divided to the right and left to keep them from the mountains. I rode my horse as far as he could go on account of the difficulties of the ground, then left him, and secreted myself behind a rock in a narrow pass, through which I presumed some of the Indians would attempt to escape. I had not been there long before an Indian came within a few paces of me.

I leveled my rifle on him, and it missed fire. He sent an arrow at me, and it struck my gun as I was in the act of re-capping it; he sent the second, and it passed through my hat; the third barely missed my head; the fourth passed through my coat and vest. As I could not discharge my gun, I defended myself as well as I could with stones. The Indian soon left the ground to me.

I afterwards learned that as he went on, he met two others of our company and passed them safely, as their guns also missed fire. When the company gathered back to the place from which they scattered, we learned that not one was able to discharge his gun when within range of an Indian. One of the company received a slight arrow wound, which was the only injury inflicted.

In my subsequent reflections, it appeared evident to me that a special providence had been over us, in this and the two previous expeditions, to prevent us from shedding the blood of the Indians. The Holy Spirit forcibly impressed me that it was not my calling to shed the blood of the scattered remnant of Israel, but to be a messenger of peace to them. It was also made manifest to me that if I would not thirst for their blood, I should never fall by their hands. The most of the men who went on this last expedition, also received an impression that it was wrong to kill these Indians.

(Little, _Jacob Hamblin_, 1945-46, pp. 24-25)(Compiled and written by David Kenison, Orem, Utah,

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