Jane Manning James – Black Pioneer

Jane Manning James – Black Pioneer
Provo Daily Herald, UT, Februray 16, 2005 -Jane Manning James, the most well-known female black pioneer, was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Connecticut. She then walked 800 miles with eight family members, including her young son, to meet thousands of church members in Nauvoo, Ill., in 1843.
Originally, she thought she would ride a steamboat for part of the journey, but after she put her trunk of clothes on the boat, the captain would not let her on and would not give her back her trunk. In her life history, which she dictated to be read at her funeral, she detailed her shoeless journey.
“We walked until our shoes were worn out, and our feet became sore and cracked open and bled until you could see the whole print of our feet with blood on the ground,” she said. “We stopped and united in prayer to the Lord; we asked God the Eternal Father to heal our feet. Our prayers were answered and our feet were healed forthwith.”
During the trip they each had to show free papers at state borders to prove they were not escaped slaves.
When they finally got to Illinois, they were not met with the excitement from the Mormons they expected. James’ records indicate her family of new black converts who arrived in worn-out clothes were rebuffed by some members.
But church founder Joseph Smith had the opposite reaction. James said he welcomed them into his home with a warm smile…..(Follow the link by clicking on her name above to read the entire article.)

1 thought on “Jane Manning James – Black Pioneer”

  1. Thank you for this article. After watching a tv show last night which was about the Union Pacific railroad bing built, they depicted a Mormon family as being violent and disliking black people. I am a convert to the church. This misguided characterization of early members did not sit well with what I had thought. After reading more from your article I am again reminded of the never ending deceit of Satan to sway the hearts of his children from truth and love of The Lord. Bless this pioneer and her prodigy I pray.
    Patricia Hill

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