So far, we have been unable to locate an obituary, but one might still exist in newspapers preserved either at the Indiana State Library or the Illinois State Historical Library. On the internet, one account by Jackie Drybread (firstname.lastname@example.org) gives the same dates but shows the place of death as Morgan Co., IN, and says she was born in Cumberland Co., PA. The ultimate source for this information has not been determined, but it may simply stem from confusion over the place of death!
A biographical sketch of Reuben S[mith] Aldrich was published in the Commemorative biographical record of prominent and representative men of Indianapolis and vicinity (Vida Dutton Scudder, J. H. Beers & Co., 1908, p. 1141). It includes the following information about Reuben's grandmother Pheba Smith Aldrich: she "survived until 1891, she then dying at the age of ninety-one years. She was a daughter of Joel Smith, a native of England, who settled in Ohio and followed milling and farming. He was prominent in the Methodist Church. His children were: Jane; John; Clarinda; Elizabeth, Mrs. J. McCoy; Mrs. Sarah Thurston: Mrs. Susan Zuriolt; Pheba; and Mary. Mrs. Isaac McCoy." This information is highly suspect, because of the errors in the names and spouses of Pheby's siblings.
Mary Sheetz bible records give month as April, assumed to be in IN, but data from Levi Holsapple descendants says August, in Cumberland Co., IL. Cemetery listing there has April, and gives exact age 91 y, 2 m, 16 d.
marriage book 3, p. 53, and marriage license book 3, dated 17oct1822.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Pheby SMITH | (1800 - 1891) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | __ | | |__| | |__
Philip Smith died a victim of his own belief in witchcraft; his death is a well-known passage in Cotton Mather's "Magnalia Crhisti Americana" (1702)....
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Samuel SMITH _______| | (1602 - 1681) m 1624| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Philip SMITH | (1633 - 1685) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Elizabeth CHILEAB __| (1602 - 1686) m 1624| | __ | | |__| | |__
1880: Jackson Tp., Van Buren Co., IA, p. 527D, with S. C. Powell family; 1900: same place, p. 72, widow, 9 children of whom 5 are still living, lives with her son John H. Casady, who is divorced; 1910: same place, p. 83, but this time she says she is the mother of 8 children, or whom 5 are living.
Birthdate from Bobbye Phillips, genealogist of the Chapman family.
__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | |__ | _John B. SMITH ______| | (1792 - 1849) m 1815| | | __ | | | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| | (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | |__ | | |--Rachel C. SMITH | (1821 - 1915) | __ | | | _John CHAPMAN _______| | | (1763 - 1850) m 1788| | | |__ | | |_Elizabeth CHAPMAN __| (1797 - 1853) m 1815| | __ | | |_Rebecca PEACE ______| (1767 - ....) m 1788| |__
_____________________ | _____________________| | | | |_____________________ | _Henry SMITH ________| | (1610 - 1682) m 1635| | | _____________________ | | | | |_____________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Rebecca SMITH | (1650 - ....) | _John PYNCHON _______+ | | (1565 - 1610) | _William PYNCHON ____| | | (1590 - 1662) m 1618| | | |_Frances BRETT ______ | | |_Ann PYNCHON ________| (1618 - 1681) m 1635| | _William ANDREW _____ | | |_Anne ANDREW ________| (.... - 1630) m 1618| |_Bridget RYSLEY _____
Census record for 1880 indicates her father was born in NY, mother in OH. The fact that the oldest known child was born about 10 years after their marriage suggests that other children either died in the cholera epidemics that swept through the area in 1846, or else that some children lived elsewhere with relatives.
Date from Bobbye Phillips, genealogist working on the Chapman family. (However, cemetery record gives birthdate as 1818, no day or month.)
__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | |__ | _John B. SMITH ______| | (1792 - 1849) m 1815| | | __ | | | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| | (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | |__ | | |--Rebecca SMITH | (1816 - 1905) | __ | | | _John CHAPMAN _______| | | (1763 - 1850) m 1788| | | |__ | | |_Elizabeth CHAPMAN __| (1797 - 1853) m 1815| | __ | | |_Rebecca PEACE ______| (1767 - ....) m 1788| |__
She appears to be the daughter of the Mary Smith who was living with James Abernathy in the 1850 census, Prairie Tp., Davis Co., IA. In the 1856 census she is with the Henry C. Smith family, and in 1860, she is apparently listed as Rebecca Abernathy, living with the Hugh Abernathy family. It was at Hugh Abernathy's house that Rebecca was married to Daniel Winstead in 1867.
_Reuben SMITH _______ | (1767 - 1840) m 1788 _John B. SMITH ______| | (1792 - 1849) m 1815| | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __ | (1773 - 1834) m 1788 _Reuben Peace SMITH _| | (1823 - 1907) m 1844| | | _John CHAPMAN _______ | | | (1763 - 1850) m 1788 | |_Elizabeth CHAPMAN __| | (1797 - 1853) m 1815| | |_Rebecca PEACE ______ | (1767 - ....) m 1788 | |--Rebecca SMITH | (1846 - ....) | _Hugh ABERNATHY _____ | | (1740 - 1826) | _James ABERNATHY ____| | | (1783 - 1853) | | | |_Mary HAMILTON ______ | | (1770 - 1838) |_Mary ABERNATHY _____| (1824 - 1856) m 1844| | _____________________ | | |_Elizabeth _____ ____| (.... - 1835) | |_____________________
In addition to the estate inventory file in Adams Co., there is apparently a notice in the Adams County Democrat regarding Reuben's estate, 30 sep 1847.
Since there is a Reuben P. Smith in the next 2 generations, a Plummer link in an earlier generation is possible. We noted in records of Adams Co., OH a 04 may 1833 permission from "John Smith" for marriage of Rachel Plummer, a "relation" "living with us for some time" whose "relations live 200 miles away", b. 08 jun 1809. At one time we thought this might refer to John, son of our Reuben Smith, but it is now clear that John B. Smith had already moved to Rush Co., Indiana by that date. We have been unable to find any direct link, and it appears that the namesake Reuben Plummer was a local preacher (mentioned in records of Highland Co., for example).
There have been several other significant suggestions as to the origins of our Reuben Smith. The first is to identify him with the Reuben Smith son of Reuben who is recorded at Lunenburg, Worcester Co., MA. The problem with this hypothesis is that the date given in the Lunenburg vital records, 18 oct 1767, does not match the date recorded in several sets of bible records for our Reuben Smith. It is possible, however, that the date at Lunenburg represents a baptism or has been misread. But before we accept this origin, we must be sure that the Reuben of Lunenburg did not remain in Massachusetts. We find the next child of Reuben Sr. recorded at Fitchburg, where the family relocated about 1772 and remained for many years. Reuben Sr. was constable, selectman, surveyor, and tax collector at various times in Fitchburg at least as late as 1805. His second marriage is recorded in 1790 (date possibly Old Style?). Then in 1806 we find the marriage of Reuben Smith, Junior. Was this the son of Reuben Sr., or merely a younger Reuben from another family? If the former, then our Reuben is not the one born at Lunenburg.
Another hypothesis is that our Reuben is the one mentioned in a muster roll from Washington Co., PA. There is no tradition in the family that our Reuben was a Revolutionary War soldier. He did not obtain or apply for a pension, and he is not listed as a pensioner on the 1840 census. While it is true that many Adams Co. settlers came from that part of Pennsylvania, it seems more probable that the Reuben Smith mentioned at later dates in Washington Co. tax lists and other records is the same man who appeared in the muster rolls, and not the one who left the area to settle in Adams Co., OH. Nevertheless, it may be profitable to study the early records of southwestern Pennsylvania in more detail. Our Reuben most likely traveled by way of Ft. Pitt, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio River, the natural highway leading to Adams Co.
Another genealogist has suggested that our Reuben is a son of a Joseph Smith and his wife Rebecca Dath or "D'Eath", but this seems to be based only on the coincidence that Joseph is supposed to have had a son Reuben. This family is from the South. A well-documented grandson of this couple, Rev. Canario Drayton Smith (1813-1894), left personal correspondence and an autobiography that says his father, Samuel Smith, had only one brother, Nathan, who left for Missouri and was not heard from again. Rev. Smith also mentions several sisters, all of whose families remained in the South. In spite of this, there are now at least 16 children attributed to Joseph and Rebecca on the internet, including our Reuben and a Joel whose Revolutionary War pension file does not support this parentage. No primary sources have been cited for any of these questionable attributions.
A tradition among some descendants of Anna Smith Newman Palmer says Reuben was actually born in England and came to America when he was 8 years old. This tradition also puts Sarah Beach Clark's birthplace "near Carlen, Massachusetts", but there is no modern place of that name. Could it be a misreading of Gardner, Worchester Co.? Or something even farther afield?
A genealogist has reported on the internet that Reuben's daughter Pheby was born in Cumberland Co., PA, but no source is given. It is possible that someone has finally found an obituary for Pheby, unless the attribution is as speculative as the other suggestions. However, it is more likely that this genealogist has confused Pheby's place of death and burial, Cumberland Co., IL, with Cumberland Co. in Pennsylvania, and there placed her cradle.
The only known account with any sort of provenance is the one written by Reuben's granddaughter Nancy Ann Zumwalt (1831-1904), which identifies Reuben's parents as Oliver Smith, a physician and surgeon, and Sarah Herrick. This couple is said to have come from England about 1770, and to have had some degree of wealth in Pennsylvania until their property was destroyed by the Indians! Nancy Ann would have been well informed about the family from her parents, who evidently passed on much information about her relatives. The account, by then over 20 years old, was edited by Nancy Ann's son Rockwell Hunt, noted historian, and published in the Overland Monthly in April, 1916. The section about the Smith ancestry and the wedding of Susanna Smith to Jacob Zumwalt in 1830 is quoted here:
"My mother's maiden name was Susanna Smith. She was the daughter of Reuben Smith, whose children were Sally, John, Joel, Anna, Joseph, Phoebe, Reuben, Stephen, Mary Ann, Clarenda, Elizabeth, Susanna and Cynthia. My great grandparents, Oliver Smith and Sarah Herrick, who were born and married in England, came to America about 1770. Sarah was a very large woman, taller than Reuben Smith, who was six feet six inches tall. Oliver Smith was a physician and surgeon, and was quite wealthy until the Indians took and destroyed his property. Grandmother Smith died January 17, 1834; and grandfather Reuben Smith died September 25, 1840.
"My own parents were both born and raised in Ohio, as farmers. They received only a moderate education, as colleges and seminaries were then unknown in that part of the country. They had no carriages to go riding in when they were young. A walk of five or six miles was not considered much; but horseback riding was very fashionable among old and young alike. To go to church on Sunday, or to market or to the mill with a bag corn, wheat or buckwheat swung across the horse's back, or even to weddings, ten, twenty or more miles away—all these were most common, every-day affairs.
"When my parents were married father was twenty-two and mother nineteen. Father came twenty miles on horseback with his company of family, relatives and friends. On arriving at mother's home, they all rode around the house three times for good cheer, according to the style of the day. On these long rides it was customary for the young men to carry the girls' collarettes in their high silk hats, so they would not get mussed up."
(Further clues might be sought in the Rockwell Hunt papers at University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA, and in the original manuscript for the above publication, at the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Note that Nancy does not say that her mother's name was Susanna Kindle Smith, as given by other family members.)
Now, the given names in this family are typical of New England. However, with the possible exceptions of Sally and John, all the children before 1803 are born in Pennsylvania. What would bring a New Englander to Pennsylvania, rather than to New York, the more popular migration path? While investigating the mysteries of Reuben Peace Smith and his wife Mary Ettie Coray, we realized that precisely this set of names was quite common in that part of Pennsylvania that was claimed by Connecticut. In Luzerne Co., for example, an Oliver Smith and a Reuben Smith are found on a tax list from 1796 (various transcribed versions exist, one identifies the area as Salem Tp., but they were not recorded there in the 1800 census). An Oliver Smith was among the settlers of the Susquehannah Company at Kingston in the Wyoming Valley in 1769. They had returned after an absence of several years caused by the French and Indian War, among other difficulties. Oliver Smith is also on the list of settlers for 1763. While we would have to suppose that Nancy Ann Zumwalt was misinformed about the movements of her great-grandparents, this is so far the only place in Pennsylvania where we have found an Oliver and a Reuben Smith at about the right period. Neither Oliver nor Reuben are listed among the people whose land claims were settled by the State of Pennsylvania circa 1800, so it seems most likely this family left the Wyoming Valley before that date, adding to the difficulty of establishing whether they might be the family we are looking for.
The interesting possibility that Reuben's first son John was actually born in New York would fit very well with this hypothesis, as many families in the area migrated back and forth across the state line, particularly to Steuben and Allegany Counties in New York. For example, among the inhabitants of Goshen, Orange Co., NY about the time of the Revolutionary War were several Corey's, Knapp's, and Smith's, including at least one Oliver Smith. Some people from Goshen, including the Corey's, are known to have moved on to Luzerne Co., PA. Did the Smith's do the same?
Among the wills that relate to early residents of Goshen, there is one for Oliver Smith who died in 1761, leaving, among others, a son Oliver. This second Oliver seems too young (b. 1751) to be the father of our Reuben, but he comes from a very large kindred that could easily include an Oliver who was a few years older. Among the names that are common in this group of Smith's, who arrived in Goshen by way of Weymouth, MA and Long Island, we may cite John, Joseph, Pheby, Susan, Elizabeth, Ann, and Oliver. There were many Reuben's and Joel's among their neighbors. The hypothesis that our Reuben comes from this family could be tested through DNA technology, as there appear to be living representatives of both lines.
Since descendants of two of the children say that Reuben was born in England and came to America as a child with his parents, it is logical that his birth should have been recorded in England. So far, no such record has surfaced, but only a small fraction of the church records have been indexed. I have to wonder if they misunderstood, and that Reuben was born in "New England" instead, consistent with the information his children gave on the 1880 census.
John Wingate McCoy family bible. Birthplace of Elizabeth Smith McCoy's parents from 1880 census. At least one other 1880 census reading for a child of Reuben indicates CT instead of MA.
John Wingate McCoy family bible and other sources.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Reuben SMITH | (1802 - 1802) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | __ | | |__| | |__
Census listings 1850-1880 show no children (all in Meigs or Oliver Tp.)
Marriage from records of Carl Thompson, original source unknown.
__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | |__ | _Joel SMITH _________| | (1794 - 1876) m 1814| | | __ | | | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| | (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | |__ | | |--Reuben C. SMITH | (1815 - 1880) | __ | | | _____________________| | | | | | |__ | | |_Isabelle A. MCADOW _| (1792 - 1875) m 1814| | __ | | |_____________________| | |__
Birthplace may have been Smith Co., KS, since father's pension application of 1907 says they moved to KS about 1875, then to Whatcom Co., WA in 1892. 1910: Eldridge Precinct, Whatcom Co., WA, ED 344, p. 49.
lived in Bellingham, WA as of 1924.
_____________________ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) | | |_____________________ | _Reuben Plummer SMITH _| | (1837 - 1924) m 1859 | | | _Frederick STARN ____+ | | | | |_Maryann STARN ______| | (1794 - 1850) | | |_Mary Ann _____ _____ | | |--Reuben Othaniel SMITH | (1880 - 1960) | _____________________ | | | _O. HUFF ____________| | | (1811 - 1860) | | | |_____________________ | | |_Mary Ann HUFF ________| (1841 - 1933) m 1859 | | _____________________ | | |_____________________| | |_____________________
Reuben was tall and thin, with dark curly hair. He met his second wife first while passing through St. Joseph, MO, then again in Utah, where they married. She was prevented, she told him, from escaping Utah with him, and it seemed that various people tried to make each of them believe that the other had remarried. The story continues that they finally figured out that this was not true, with the assistance of Reuben's brother Henry C. Smith, and Reuben arrived at Old Forge, Luzerne Co., PA the evening of 14 aug 1858, just in time for the death of his mother-in-law Mary Coray three days later. By 28 aug 1858, Reuben and his wife were at Dansville, Livingston Co., NY, where Reuben dictated his part of the story to Nelson Winch Green, who wrote and published Mary Ettie's account of Fifteen Years among the Mormons. But there is much more to his story!
As a result of information gleaned from records of Davis Co., IA and elsewhere, there is now enough information to attempt a chronology of his life.
He was born in Adams Co., OH, or possibly adjacent Highland Co. His family moved to Rush Co., IN along with their Chapman in-laws. The family was still living in Rush Co. when he married Mary Abernathy, probably the daughter of James Abernathy and sister of Hugh Abernathy, in 1844. The reasoning for the parentage of Mary Abernathy starts with the 1850 census: the 1850 census of Prairie Township, Davis Co., IA, lists Elizabeth Smith, Reuben's mother, with several of her children still living at home. The next family listed consists of James Abernathy, age 60, William T. Abernathy, age 21 (presumed to be the son of James), Mary Smith age 26, and Rebecca Smith, age 4 (presumed to be the daughter of Mary Smith). By 1856, Mary is gone, and Rebecca is living with the Henry C. Smith family. In 1860, the daughter has become Rebecca Abernathy and is living with the Hugh Abernathy family.
The Smith's and the Abernathy's moved to Iowa, probably a few at a time, beginning in 1839. They settled at "Stringtown" in Davis Co. On March 3, 1847, John B. Smith and his wife Elizabeth sold 50 acres to Reuben Smith. On May 7, 1849, when Reuben was about to set off for California from St. Joseph, Missouri, Reuben P. Smith and his wife Mary of Davis County sold the same land back to John B. Smith (Reuben's wife Mary's signature is not noted in the deed book, but her name appears in the deed). It seems likely that Reuben had become an adventurer by 1849, caught up in the California gold rush, and left his wife and daughter with relatives in Iowa while he attempted to get rich. This scenario casts new light on the events recounted in Fifteen Years among the Mormons. At first, Reuben's galantry in wishing to remove Mary Ettie from the Mormons while they were in Iowa might have had as its purpose something other than marriage. What is reported in the narrative is Mary Ettie's recollection of what he said and wrote, which might not be exactly what he meant. But by they time they met again in Salt Lake City, about 1851, his first wife may have been dead, and his words relating his intentions toward Mary Ettie at that time are thus very plain. That leaves the problem of the surviving daughter, Rebecca. She is last found on the census in 1860, age 13. She married in 1867, but we have no later reference. James Abernathy remained in Davis Co. In 1852 he was a referee for setting out Elizabeth Smith's dower land. Eventually, we found his gravestone dated 1853, under a hickory tree on his old farm.
The 1847 census of Davis Co., IA shows heads of households and the number of people in each household. We can identify Reuben's father John B. Smith, 7 people, his brother Henry ("H. C.") Smith, also 7 people, and the R. Smith with 3 people in the household could be Reuben. There are other Smith families in Prairie Township, however, so the identification cannot be confirmed.
But to return to the chronology: the narrative describes his first meeting with Mary Ettie in St. Joseph, Missouri. Mary Ettie had moved with her first husband to St. Joseph to run a boarding house catering to itinerant Mormons, probably during 1848. Most likely in the spring or summer of 1849, when "the weather was very warm", Reuben arrived at the boarding house looking for a room, and on his way to California "mostly on account of his health". The discovery of gold in California had only reached the midwest about September of 1848, too late in the year for travel across the mountains. Before the end of 1849, Mary Ettie had left St. Joseph and "Wallace" Henderson, her first husband, for good, and traveled to Kanesville, IA, where she stayed with her father-in-law, Samuel Henderson, Sr. It was there, probably in January, 1850, that Reuben Smith first advanced the notion of a life together. He intended to leave for California about March 1, 1850, and at that time mentioned the prospect of working in the gold mines. Reuben intended to be gold miner, though he still hoped the climate would improve his health. (The chronology proposed here is based in part on the realization that Mary Ettie's trek to Utah must have been in 1850 rather than 1849.)
When he next saw Mary Ettie, "about two years" later, it must have been in 1851, probably late enough in the year to be considered winter. He had returned from California in fine health, without striking it rich, but with sufficient resources to begin farming. He farmed in Pleasant Grove ward, Utah County, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, and worked to establish himself with the local bishop, so that he would be allowed to marry Mary Ettie.
Mary Ettie's published account includes a "certificate of tithing", showing that Reuben was living in Pleasant Grove ward, Utah Co., UT in at least September 1851 – April 1852. The certificate was preserved because it legitimized Reuben as a Mormon in good standing, for long enough to be married to Mary Ettie. Reuben P. Smith is also shown in Utah Co., Utah in the "1850" census, which appears to have been taken in 1851. Mary Ettie reports he farmed there from about 1850 until they were married. By the end of 1852, after their marriage, R. P. Smith is shown on the Bishops' membership lists in the 15th ward of Salt Lake City, again corroborated by Mary Ettie's account. The narrative says that Reuben left for California just 15 days after his marriage, confirmed by a number of newspaper articles that coincide nicely with Mary Ettie's account. However, Mary Ettie is mistaken in saying that their marriage took place after Nathaniel V. Jones had been sent to Hindoostan (his appointment to that mission is given as August 28-29, 1852, also in the Deseret News).
Reuben's movements in 1851-1853 can be reconstructed by combining reports in the Deseret News with the information in the narrative:
The arrival of Major Holeman, the new Indian Agent, was noted in the Deseret News, August 19, 1851 (vol. 1, no. 39). Jacob H. Holeman, from Kentucky, had been nominated by President Millard Fillmore on March 7, 1851, and confirmed quickly by the US Senate. The Deseret News reported, "Mr. Holman, Indian Agent, has visited this place and returned to Laramie, to attend the great convention of Indians, with the Government agents, which is to take place Sept. 1st." While the Major was thus occupied, we can be sure Reuben was based in the area, as letters waiting for him at the Salt Lake City post office are advertised in the Deseret News as of September 30, 1851 (2 letters), June 30, 1852 (he was with Holeman in California at this time), March 31, 1853, and June 30, 1853 (2 letters, but he had already departed again for California by that date).
Reuben was establishing himself as a proper Mormon, farming at Pleasant Grove ward, during this period. At this point in the narrative, a number of episodes are inserted. At one point (p. 180 ff.), Mary Ettie is requested to visit Brigham Young in his office for "counselling". She describes this incident vividly, because it ends with her being sealed for eternity to the ward bishop, Nathaniel V. Jones, whom she thought most unpleasant. The Leonard J. Arrington collection at the Utah State Archives contains a small folder of notes relating to an unsuccessful attempt to shed some light on Mary Ettie's account, circa 1970. The file notes an entry in the "Journal History" collection for March 8, 1852, "Pres. Young sealed two couples in the office and counselled Maryette Coray at nine..." It is extremely tempting to identify this journal entry with Mary Ettie's narrative, though Dr. Arrington seems not to have worked out enough of the chronology of the narrative to make the connection.
Reuben describes his two trips to California in this period. The first time, he was in the employ of Major Holeman. This expedition is described in the May 29, 1852 issue (vol. 2, no. 15) of the Deseret News:
"Major Holman, Indian Agent, left his city about two weeks since, with an official escort of 25 or 30 men, as rumor says, on an excursion to Mary's river or Carson valley, to treat with the Indians. Wishing to know the truth of rumors, we called at the office of the Superintendent of Indian affairs for this Territory, when we were informed that no report of Major Holman's movements or designs had been received at that office. The station assigned the Major by the Superintendent was in the south part of the Territory, as we had supposed, that being the only vacancy, according to the proclamation of the Governor on that subject previous to the arrival of the Major in the Territory. We cannot put that and that together, i.e., how the Major can be on official duty, as Indian Agent, while he is several hundred miles from his post and going still further. So we are obliged to serve our readers as we are served, and leave the subject where we found it."
Major Holeman's party returned to Salt Lake City in the fall of 1852. Reuben was entrusted with the care of some of the Major's horses and mules while the Major was away. He took them south, to Pleasant Grove Ward, where he had been farming (tithing certificate shown in the narrative, and the 1851 census listing). Reuben's statement describes an incident involving stolen mules. (p. 398-400 of the 1870 edition:) "It was in the fall of 1852 that Major Hollman's party returned to the city. The major, immediately after this, went on to Fort Bridger, to look after something connected with his offical duties; and having been delayed unavoidably, he was overtaken by the snows, and was obliged to pass the winter there.
"He had left his horses and mules in my charge, and in order to procure good grass, I took them to Utah, forty miles south of the city. I left a man to look after them, and returned to Salt Lake City; and soon after, two of the mules were stolen.
"The mules were missed about the time of the passage of the Mormon train from the city to San Bernardino, in charge, I think, of Charles C. Rich and Amasy Lyman, by whom I have always believed they were taken. I advertised for them in the 'Deseret News', but the only thing that ever came of it was, the knowing laugh it occasioned among the Mormons. This was one of the many things that opened my eyes to the real state of things in Utah, and more fully determined me to leave the Territory.
"As will be seen by the beginning of chap. 23 of the foregoing Narrative, I had made arrangements to go to California with Mr. Mac. He could not delay; and although Major Hollman had not returned, I went on to Bear River leaving the horses in the care of John Hammer, a Mormon", [footnote from the narrative: "This Hammer is the brother-in-law of John Norton, the 'Danite'; whether he is himself a 'Danite' I never knew. As to Norton, see Chap. XXIV and XXV of this Narrative."] expecting Mac would join me there, and bring my wife. But it appears that after I had left the city, some horses, and other mules were stolen, and when Major Hollman returned, late in the spring, he was told by the Mormons that I had taken them.
"The major, after some trouble, found them all, except the two mules first mentioned, in the possession of the Mormons, who claimed they had bought them of me before I left, which I afterwards heard Major Hollman at first believed, but I am well satisfied he finally understood how it was, for he afterwards came to California, and passed within two miles of where he knew I was stopping; and although he spoke of me, and expressed a wish to see me, he said nothing that indicated a loss of confidence. Had I been informed of his being there at that time, I should have taken all pains to have met him; and I know I could have shown him that the hand of Mormonism was at the bottom of it. Indeed, I have since learned by my wife and others, that the mystery of the disappearance of Major Hollman's stock, was a standing joke among the Mormons at the city for a long time afterward. He is now in the States, as I understand, and I should be glad to have this statement meet his eye. My relations with him in Utah were of the most pleasant and agreeable character."
That the Major was delayed until spring is noted in the Deseret News, January 22, 1853 (vol. 3, no. 5): "Major Holeman is at Weber with animals and will not be able to come in until Spring." Shortly after Reuben left for California to sell his cattle and spirit his wife out of Utah (April 17, 1853), the Major returned and discovered some of the animals in Reuben's care had disappeared. The Utah State Archives preserves an "Affidavit of J. H. Holeman, I. A. [Indian Agent] vs. Reuben P. Smith, filed April 23, 1853":
Territory of Utah
Great Salt Lake County
Personally appeared before me, J. W. Cummings, Clerke of the Probate Court in and for the aforesaid County in the Territory of Utah, J. H. Holeman, I. A., who upon his oath deposeth and saith that sometime during the fall or winter of Eighteen hundred and fifty two or winter of Eighteen hundred and fifty three, one Reuben P. Smith did, without any permission from me, J. H. Holeman, I. A., sell and fraudulently convert to his own use thre[e] mules, the property of the U. S. Government, value three hundred Dollars. Said mules were plased in the care of the said Reuben P. Smith for him to herd, in the fall of One thousand Eight-hundred and fifty two.
I therefore pray the Probate Court in and for Great Salt Lake County to take such measures as shall bring the said Reuben P. Smith to Justice, and further deponent saith not.
Now, Reuben says that he advertised for the two stolen mules as soon as they disappeared. The notice appeared in the Deseret News, March 19, 1853 (vol. 3, nos. 9-10): "$10 REWARD. Strayed or stolen from Utah County, Pleasant Grove ward, two dark brown Mules, branded i. A. on the left thigh. Any person returning said Mules to the subscriber in the 15th Ward or at Holliday and Warner's store shall receive the above reward. R. P. Smith." (Holliday may be the merchant identified in the narrative as Hockiday. This and similar errors may simply reflect the printer's difficulty in working from a handwritten manuscript. On the other hand, there is at least one mention of a real Hockaday in Bancroft's History of Utah.)
Reuben's account mentions several locations in California where he either mined or farmed from 1853 to 1858. So far, no documentation from this period has been found. The chronology of this period is still very tentative. He arrived probably about June or July, 1853 at Cosumnes, Sacramento Co., where he sold his cattle and then worked for about 8 months for Solomon Mizer. Solomon Mizer or Miser and his family are well documented there, and Solomon (b. 06 sep 1823, Putnam Co., OH, d. 30 sep 1876 near Cosumnes) is buried at a small cemetery in the modern development of Rancho Murieta. Next Reuben spent about 4 months mining at Spanish Camp. That brings us approximately to the fall of 1854, when Reuben says he spent 6 months at Sacramento City. Next, his brother William J. Smith came to Sacramento from Iowa, likely about May, 1854. They went to Live Oak City and bought a mining claim, which they worked for about 3 months without success. The next venture, probably in the fall of 1854, was a farm purchased on Cache Creek (Yolo County), which they kept for about 2 years, until they were dispossessed by a court order in favor of other parties, "claiming under a Spanish title". That would be in 1856, about the time a number of Mexican land claims were being settled. Finally, they moved to Suisun Valley, Solano Co., where they bought a "rancho", where they stayed until Reuben got word that Mary Ettie was still waiting for him in Pennsylvania. (Deed indexes for Solano Co. seem not to contain any record of this sojourn.)
Reuben's statement says that he left Suisun Valley, CA in July 19, 1858, two days after receiving news from Mary Ettie, and sailed to New York via the Isthmus of Panama, arriving at the residence of Mary Ettie's sister Mrs. Phebe Knapp in Old Forge,PA at dusk on August 14. His voyage is confirmed by the passenger list of the Steamship "Star of the West", arriving in New York August 13 from Aspinwall (modern Colón), Panama. If the ship arrived early on the 13th, he might really have been able to reach his destination late on the 14th. The passenger list identifies him as "R. P. Smith", age 39, laborer. The age is a few years too old, but we have come to expect that no one's age in this story is reported correctly! Most of the other passengers are listed as miners, presumably unsuccessful ones.
What happened to Reuben and Mary Ettie after they returned to Pennsylvania and New York in 1858 is not clear. No record of them has yet been found in Steuben Co., NY, where her relatives were living at the time her book was written, nor in Livingston Co., NY. Luzerne Co., PA has not been investigated, nor Pike Co., IL, though the narrative gives the names of relatives in these places. Reuben P. Smith has been found on the muster roll of the 1st Regiment of California Cavalry in the Civil War, enlisting as a Private on Jaunary 20, 1864 at Sacramento, and discharged December 31, 1866 with the rank of Sergeant, and his movements after that can be traced.
The edition of 1870 continues with a history of the Mormon religion and information about the recent developments in the struggle of the United States to enforce the rule of law in Utah. No further contact of Nelson Green with the Smith's is mentioned. We are left to assume that the couple retired from public view, as they both professed to fear retribution by the Danites.
The Reuben P. Smith who served in Company H, 1st Regiment, California Cavalry, is found on three successive censuses and other records. The directory records seem to be at least a year behind reality, as can be seen by comparison with the 1880 census. Additional records are gleaned from the Great Registers (voters' registration records for each county in California).
1867: Sacramento Township, Sacramento Co., CA: voter registration record for Reuben Peace Smith, age 43, born in Ohio.
1868: San Francisco, voter registration record for Ruben Peace Smith, age 44, born in Ohio, address Clementina between 5th and 6th.
1870: San Francisco, NARA microfilm reel 85, p. 826. R. P. Smith, age 43, teamster, born in Ohio, living with Van Dyke family from Pennsylvania.
1871: San Francisco, CA: Reuben applies for homestead at San Francisco Land Office.
1872: Alameda Co., CA: marriage of Reuben P. Smith and Mary P. Bowers, January 10.
1873: Alameda Co., CA: patent issued June 20 to Reuben P. Smith for land in section 22, T 3 S, R 1 W. Reuben was eligible for cheap land as a result of his Civil War service, when the Homestead Act was liberalized in 1872 in such a way that the timehe spent in the military, just short of 3 years, would be subtracted from the number of years he would have to work the land in order to obtain title. The property was acquired almost immediately by Charles McLaughlin, San Francisco tycoon and "railroad baron", for $1,000 in "gold coins" (10 sep 1873). The homestead application shows Reuben claimed to have a wife and "children" and had resided on the land since January, 1871.
1876-1877 directory: Reuben P. Smith, 502 Fell St.
1877-1878 directory: Reuben P. Smith, teamster, 502 Fell St.
1879: Salt Point, Sonoma Co., CA: voter registration record for Reuben P. Smith, 23 jun 1879, age 52, born in Ohio.
1880: San Francisco, 857 Harrison St., Enumeration District 104, p. 1.
1880-1881 directory: Reuben P. Smith, farmer, NE corner of Gough and Grove.
1881-1882 directory: Reuben P. Smith, teamster, SW corner of Fifth and Bryant, resides 857 1/4 Harrison St.
1888: San Francisco, voter registration for Ruben Peace Smith, age 69, born in Ohio, address 6 De Hone St..
1889 affidavit for pension: 6 De Hone St., San Francisco.
1890-1891 directory: R. P. Smith, teamster, W. A. Meeker, res. 6 Dehon.
1890: San Francisco Co. "Great Register" (official list of voters), Reubin Peace Smith, age 60, born in Ohio, living at corner of Albion St. and Camp St.
1891-1892 directory: Reuben P. Smith, miller, 18 Albion Ave.
1892-1893 directory: Reuben Smith, farmer, 18 Albion.
1892: 26 Oak Grove Ave,San Francisco, California, voter registration record for Reuben Peace Smith, 18 oct 1892.
1893-1894 directory: Reuben P. Smith, expressman, 26 Oak Grove Ave. (The family was in Berkeley by then, and it is possible that Reuben was commuting to San Francisco to work.)
1898: Listed on Great Register of Alameda Co., Berkeley, First Precinct, age 75, 5'8" tall, light complexion, blue eyes, gray hair, working as teamster, address 1626 Oxford.
1900: Alameda Co., CA, Oakland Township, Berkeley, 1626 Oxford St., Enumeration District 395, p. 6.
1900: Sale of lot at southwest corner of Albion Avenue and Camp Street, Augusta H. and Reuben P. Smith to Fannie R. Stowe, $10, reported in the San Francisco Call, 13 feb 1900.
Affidavit in Reuben P. Smith's hand,
from his pension file, 20 feb 1889.
He applied for a pension based on his Civil War service April 15, 1887 (application 606,456, certificate 540,083), and his widow Augusta H. applied for a pension April 23, 1907 (application 868,121, certificate 691,860). A marriage announcement for Reuben P. Smith and Mary Bowers appeared in the San Francisco Morning Call, 25 jan 1872, p. 4. col. 3., noting that the marriage had been celebrated at "Haywood" (Hayward), CA on January 10, 1872. (The son William is in fact a stepson.)
Proof of Reuben Peace Smith's parentage is provided by the mention in Mary Ettie's book, in Reuben's statement at the end of the narrative, that his mother Elizabeth Chapman was the sister of "Crowing" Joseph Chapman, newspaperman and politician from Indianapolis, who died while returning from the Mexican War. This person is easily identified as Joseph Peace Chapman, born in 1796, son of John Chapman and Rebecca Peace, early settlers in Adams Co., OH. Joseph's marriage to Jane Curry is recorded there (1821). It is now clear that Reuben Peace Smith must be Joseph Peace Chapman's nephew, and therefore, that we have found the right man.
Census estimates for his birthdate do not agree. His age at death is given as 83 (as of February 1907), which would suggest a birth year of 1823. Genealogist Bobby Phillips, from records of the Chapman family, gives exact date 22 jul 1823.
A more detailed discussion of our research on Fifteen Years Among the Mormons is available here.
Birthdate from Bobbye Phillips, from Chapman family records.
California Death Index.
Married by Andrew Cunningham, ward Bishop, according to Mary Ettie's narrative, and just before Reuben left for California. Official record (from Deseret News) differs somewhat.
As reported in the Reuben P. Smith pension file. They were married by an itinerant minister, and no official record has been found.
__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | |__ | _John B. SMITH ______| | (1792 - 1849) m 1815| | | __ | | | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| | (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | |__ | | |--Reuben Peace SMITH | (1823 - 1907) | __ | | | _John CHAPMAN _______| | | (1763 - 1850) m 1788| | | |__ | | |_Elizabeth CHAPMAN __| (1797 - 1853) m 1815| | __ | | |_Rebecca PEACE ______| (1767 - ....) m 1788| |__
Roster of Iowa soldiers in Civil War shows Reuben P. Smith, res. Hopeville (Clarke Co.), enlisted July 28, 1862, Co B, 18th Inf., discharged June 29, 1865, St. Louis, MO. Located this family in Clarke Co. (ED 45, p.9, line 1) in 1880 census, and p. 421 in 1860 census. Apparently missed in 1870? 1850: Johnson Co., IA, Big Grove Tp., in family of William A. and Hannah Smith from OH, not a descendant of Reuben Smith. 1900: Whatcom Co., WA. Reuben thought his father was born in CT (e.g., 1900 census).
"VETERAN IS CALLED — Reuben P. Smith, thirty-five years a Bellingham resident and a civil war veteran, died Sunday morning at his home, 1703 James street, at the age of 87 years. He was a retired farmer and many years ago lived on the Axton road. In the Civil war he served in the eighteenth regiment, company B, Iowa, between 1862 and 1865. He had been married to his widow, Mrs. Mary Smith, since 1859. Aside from the widow, the survivors are three sons, E. F. Smith and R. O. Smith, of Bellingham, and H. M. Smith, of Portland; five daughters, Mrs. Nettie Cook, Mrs. Jessie Scrivener, Mrs. _. D. Prouty and Mrs. Myrtle Clendenen, of Bellingham, and Mrs. Madge Steel, of Kansas; thirty-three grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at Arthur C. Harlow's mortuary Tuesday at 3:30 p. m. with the Rev. George Martinich officiating. Officers of J. B. Steadman Post, No. 24, of the G. A. R., will conduct services at the chapel and members of the Sons of Veterans will be the pallbearers. Interment will take place at Woodlawn cemetery. (From The Bellingham Herald, July 28, 1924)
Record from a descendant shows 20 instead of 21 March as recorded in the McCoy family bible. Located in 1860 census, Clarke Co., IA. Unknown where relatives may be, but there are other Smith's b. Ohio in that census.
History of Whatcom Co., WA vol II p869 has biography -- to Iowa Terr. in 1840, Co. B 18th Iowa Vol. Inf., to Kansas 1882, to Whatcom Co., WA in 1890
Date from Les Smith, no place indicated. Probably occurred in Clarke Co., IA, where couple is found in 1860 census.
_____________________ | _____________________| | | | |_____________________ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) | | | _____________________ | | | | |_____________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Reuben Plummer SMITH | (1837 - 1924) | _Joseph STARN _______ | | | _Frederick STARN ____| | | | | | |_Catherine BONER ____+ | | |_Maryann STARN ______| (1794 - 1850) | | _____________________ | | |_Mary Ann _____ _____| | |_____________________
1880 census Franklin Tp., Grant Co., IN, ED 171 p. 13-14 has household of Joseph Smith age 54 b. OH, parents b. MA and KY, with wife Martha, and his ch. Joseph, Sarah A., John; also his son Joel B. with wife Angeline and this couple's son Wilbert; also a Louiza J. Smith age 25 with children Mary B. age 9, Caroline age 7, Joseph age 4, and Benjamin age 2. The only son of Joseph who is missing is Reuben T. This line of reasoning has been confirmed from the marriage records.
_Reuben SMITH _______ | (1767 - 1840) m 1788 _Joel SMITH _________| | (1794 - 1876) m 1814| | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __ | (1773 - 1834) m 1788 _Joseph A. SMITH ____| | (1825 - 1913) m 1849| | | _____________________ | | | | |_Isabelle A. MCADOW _| | (1792 - 1875) m 1814| | |_____________________ | | |--Reuben T. SMITH | (1850 - 1879) | _____________________ | | | _____________________| | | | | | |_____________________ | | |_Martha Ann HOGGATT _| (1828 - 1887) m 1849| | _____________________ | | |_____________________| | |_____________________
_____________________ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) | | |_____________________ | _William S. SMITH _________| | (1838 - 1909) m 1869 | | | _Frederick STARN ____+ | | | | |_Maryann STARN ______| | (1794 - 1850) | | |_Mary Ann _____ _____ | | |--Riverius "Verie" Paul SMITH | (1888 - 1960) | _____________________ | | | _____________________| | | | | | |_____________________ | | |_Charlotte Helen WOODRUFF _| (1851 - 1923) m 1869 | | _____________________ | | |_____________________| | |_____________________
_____________________ | _____________________| | | | |_____________________ | _James E. SMITH ______| | (1839 - 1880) m 1865 | | | _____________________ | | | | |_____________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Rosa L. SMITH | (1879 - ....) | _____________________ | | | _David Allen DRAPER _| | | (1813 - 1875) m 1843| | | |_____________________ | | |_Almedia Jane DRAPER _| (1847 - 1880) m 1865 | | _John WHEELER _______ | | (.... - 1850) |_Minerva J. WHEELER _| (1825 - 1912) m 1843| |_Mary _____ _________ (1787 - 1850)
_Joseph SMITH _______+ | (1798 - 1867) m 1824 _William Theodore Freylinghuysen SMITH _| | (1844 - 1917) m 1865 | | |_Rebecca M. NEWMAN __+ | (1803 - 1875) m 1824 _Ulysses Simpson SMITH _| | (1866 - 1951) m 1888 | | | _James ANDERSON _____+ | | | (1796 - 1896) m 1831 | |_Elizabeth Anna ANDERSON _______________| | (1839 - 1908) m 1865 | | |_Mary BAIRD _________+ | m 1831 | |--Rosalind SMITH | (1907 - ....) | _____________________ | | | ________________________________________| | | | | | |_____________________ | | |_Ida May HANEY _________| (1868 - 1946) m 1888 | | _____________________ | | |________________________________________| | |_____________________
From Pedigree Resource File submission of Wesley L. Cherry. We have not located the original marriage record, but this couple is first located in the 1854 census in Big Grove Township, and there do not seem to be any other Rosannas in the area.
_____________________ | _____________________| | | | |_____________________ | _John (Laban?) SMITH _| | (.... - 1868) m 1831 | | | _____________________ | | | | |_____________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Rosanna SMITH | (1832 - 1880) | _____________________ | | | _Alexander MCCOY ____| | | (1770 - 1841) m 1796| | | |_____________________ | | |_Mary MCCOY __________| (1814 - 1880) m 1831 | | _Samuel MCCULLOUGH __ | | (.... - 1804) |_Hannah MCCULLOUGH __| (.... - 1815) m 1796| |_____________________
_Joseph SMITH _______+ | (1798 - 1867) m 1824 _John Foster SMITH ___| | (1830 - 1917) m 1856 | | |_Rebecca M. NEWMAN __+ | (1803 - 1875) m 1824 _Francis Marion SMITH _| | (1859 - 1930) m 1893 | | | _John WILLIAMS ______ | | | (1802 - 1868) m 1831 | |_Sarah Jane WILLIAMS _| | (1832 - 1880) m 1856 | | |_Nancy SMALLEY ______ | (1813 - 1874) m 1831 | |--Roy O. SMITH | (1905 - ....) | _____________________ | | | ______________________| | | | | | |_____________________ | | |_Mary Ann LEISTER _____| (1871 - 1930) m 1893 | | _____________________ | | |______________________| | |_____________________
_Joseph SMITH _______+ | (1798 - 1867) m 1824 _William Theodore Freylinghuysen SMITH _| | (1844 - 1917) m 1865 | | |_Rebecca M. NEWMAN __+ | (1803 - 1875) m 1824 _Ulysses Simpson SMITH _| | (1866 - 1951) m 1888 | | | _James ANDERSON _____+ | | | (1796 - 1896) m 1831 | |_Elizabeth Anna ANDERSON _______________| | (1839 - 1908) m 1865 | | |_Mary BAIRD _________+ | m 1831 | |--Russell SMITH | (1908 - 1985) | _____________________ | | | ________________________________________| | | | | | |_____________________ | | |_Ida May HANEY _________| (1868 - 1946) m 1888 | | _____________________ | | |________________________________________| | |_____________________
_____________________ | _______________________| | | | |_____________________ | _James Polk SMITH ___________| | m 1866 | | | _____________________ | | | | |_______________________| | | | |_____________________ | | |--Sabra SMITH | (1881 - ....) | _Samuel MCCOY _______+ | | (1797 - 1882) m 1819 | _John Alexander MCCOY _| | | (1825 - 1880) m 1845 | | | |_Sally PILSON _______+ | | (1796 - 1835) m 1819 |_Elmira (Emily?) Jane MCCOY _| (1846 - ....) m 1866 | | _____________________ | | |_Nancy PERRY __________| (1822 - 1880) m 1845 | |_____________________
After comparing census records, including those of Eliza Jane Thoroman, it now seems likely that Sally really was born in Massachusetts. This puts the date of the family's migration to Pennsylvania somewhat later that we had previously believed. In fact, the date could be as late as 1794, as Joel is the first of the children of Reuben for which documentation exists as to their place of birth.
Meigs Tp., Adams Co., OH.
marriage book 1, p. 122, and marriage license book 1, p. 13, license dated 25sep1811.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Reuben SMITH _______| | (1767 - 1840) m 1788| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Sally SMITH | (1790 - 1877) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __| (1773 - 1834) m 1788| | __ | | |__| | |__
_Reuben SMITH _______ | (1767 - 1840) m 1788 _Joel SMITH ________________| | (1794 - 1876) m 1814 | | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __ | (1773 - 1834) m 1788 _John M. SMITH _________| | (1817 - 1907) m 1845 | | | _____________________ | | | | |_Isabelle A. MCADOW ________| | (1792 - 1875) m 1814 | | |_____________________ | | |--Salomon SMITH | (1868 - ....) | _____________________ | | | _William NESBITT ___________| | | (1798 - 1877) | | | |_____________________ | | |_Elizabeth Ann NESBITT _| (1825 - 1904) m 1845 | | _____________________ | | |_Dorcas (Dorothy) SPURGEON _| (1808 - 1875) | |_____________________
_Reuben SMITH _______ | (1767 - 1840) m 1788 _Joseph SMITH _______| | (1798 - 1867) m 1824| | |_Sarah Beach CLARK __ | (1773 - 1834) m 1788 _Joel SMITH ____________| | (1825 - 1890) m 1852 | | | _John NEWMAN ________ | | | | |_Rebecca M. NEWMAN __| | (1803 - 1875) m 1824| | |_Hanna FOSTER _______ | | |--Samantha "Bird" SMITH | (1858 - ....) | _____________________ | | | _____________________| | | | | | |_____________________ | | |_Mary Elizabeth WARNER _| (1832 - 1865) m 1852 | | _____________________ | | |_____________________| | |_____________________
Samuel Smith, 32, came in the "Elizabeth" in 1634 with wife, Elizabeth, 32 and children, Samuel, 9, Elizabeth 7, Mary, 4, and Philip, 1....
The Smith family settled at Watertown, where Smith was admitted freeman on 3 Sept. 1634. They soon migrated to Wethersfield, where their home lot was on the present Broad Street. In Wethersfield Smith was a magistrate and a selectman and represented the town as deputy to the General Court from 1641-53....
__ | __| | | | |__ | _Samuel SMITH _______| | (1602 - 1681) m 1624| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Samuel SMITH | (1625 - ....) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Elizabeth CHILEAB __| (1602 - 1686) m 1624| | __ | | |__| | |__
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