Question: What happened to Daniel Brown after he joined the Mormon Battalion in 1846?
Answer: Daniel Brown was born 2 October 1822, in Saltfleet Township, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada, to Francis Brown and Abigail Edmunds. Abigail gave birth to one son John, and then died in 1823 soon after the birth of her second son, Daniel. Francis married Mary Ann Quade about 1825, and they had seven children: Francis, Mary Ann, Samuel, Eunice, Israel, Susan, and Joseph.
Francis and Mary Ann spent the early years of their marriage between Canada and New York. The family probably joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada. John E. Page had done missionary work in Canada and had converted many and took them to Dewitt, Missouri. The settlement of Dewitt was in the southeast part of Carroll County, Missouri, about fifty miles southeast of Far West. In 1838 the Saints were driven out of Dewitt by a mob. Francis died in Dewitt in 1838, probably due to the hardships they were enduring there. He was buried on the side of the road between Dewitt and Nauvoo. Daniel was about fifteen at this time.
Daniel (age 23) was married and sealed to Harriet Stanton St. John (age 17) on 29 January 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. Harriet was born 7 November 1829 in Clymer, Chautauqua, New York, to Stephen Merritt St. John and Sally E. Stanton.
John, Daniel, and Francis are listed as seventies in the records of the Seventies Hall in Nauvoo. Soon after they were married, Daniel and Harriet left Nauvoo due to the persecution of the Saints there, and traveled to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. In the early spring of 1846, Brigham Young was asking for volunteers to join the Mormon Battalion. Daniel and Harriet decided to both join.
They were assigned to Company E in May 1846 and headed out on the trek in July.
The following is a letter Harriet wrote to Mary (Daniel’s step mother):
Dec. the 25th 1846
Dear Mother and Sisters and Brothers
With pleasure I improve this opportunity in writing to you to let you know that we are both enjoying good health at present and want to see you very much. The Battalion was separated at Santefee (Santa Fe) and those that was sick and wore out with fatigue was sent back to purbelow (Pueblo) 70 miles above Bents Fort under command of Captain Brown. The number consisting of 85 men and 20 women here to remain until next spring then to take up our line of march for Fort Larime (Laramie) there we are in hopes to meet you all and travail with you all over the mountains. Daniel and John and Francis and father all went with the Battalion and left me alone to come back with the sick after the Battalion got 400 miles below Santefee (Santa Fe) there was a company of fifty men sent back under command of Lieutenant Willis being sick and worn out with fatigue.
Daniel being one among he got his leg broke by a horse but it is mostly well and he is now building a house for us to live in this winter. As Daniel was coming through Santifee (Santa Fe) he got the letter you wrote to Francis. He had been gone sometime before the letter arrived and Daniel thought as long as Francis was gone and would never get it he would take it out and see what news you sent. We was glad to hear from you and hear you was well. We would be glad to see you but must wait patiently until we meet in California. I would be glad to write more but I can’t for my hand is sweld so and so lame that can’t hardly close my letter. Daniel sends his love to you all and all enquiring Francis and John was well when Daniel left them. My love to you all and to all enquiring friends. Signed: Harriet S. Brown
For whatever reason, Daniel and Harriet were divorced. Mormon Battalion records indicate she had problems during the march. In 1847 Harriet married a John Wesley Binley. In 1848 John and Harriet had a little daughter named Harriet. They were then divorced, and on 17 August 1850, Harriet married a Hamilton Swarthout in Monterey, California. They had five children.
In 1850, Daniel (27) is living in Missouri with Mary Brown (42), who is his step mother, and his brother, John (29), and half brothers and sisters: Mary Brown (20), Unis Brown (18), Francis Brown (22), Israel Brown (17), Susan Brown (14), and Joseph Brown (13). Daniel is listed as a “laborer.’
By 1865 the family has moved to California. Daniel Brown was baptized and confirmed a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 5 May 1865 at Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California, by George Adams. He was ordained a priest. He attended the California branches at San Bernardino, Watsonville, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.
In 1880, Daniel is living in Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California, with his step-mother Mary (74). Daniel is listed as a “teamster.’
Daniel apparently lived the remainder of his life in Watsonville. He died 21 October 1899 in Wastsonville. He is buried there in the Pioneer Cemetery near Mary, his stepmother, who was the only mother he knew. Mary had died on 12 October 1882 in Watsonville.