March 20, 2024

Jacob Hamblin Stopping war

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The life of Jacob Hamblin was full of adventure, struggle and near death experiences. He was the man called on, when conflict arose among the Native American Tribes and the Pioneer settlers. Jacob Hamblin was sought to calm the tensions between the two groups, sometimes in the most trying circumstances. He worked tirelessly to bring peace.

Often times Jacob was working with Natives that did not speak English. Jacob learned to speak some of the Native American languages, he was often relying on the Spirit to communicate with the help of Native translators. There were many different tribes of Native Americans, and many different languages it was very difficult to communicate. Jacob relied heavily on Heavenly Father, knowing he would be protected and guided to help the groups live in peace. In the autobiography of Jacob Hamblin he tells the story of an imminent war between the Native Americans when three Navajo's were murdered in the Grass Valley. These boys were killed by white men, but not Latter-day Saints. Jacob was sent to stop the threat of war.

When Jacob heard of the deaths of these Navajo boys, he knew it would be a very delicate and volatile situation. Jacob traveled to a place called Moancoppy where he hoped to find some Navajo to help him discover the temperament of the Navajo people. When Jacob arrived at the area nobody was there to meet him, there was only a Piute family and a Oriba woman. Worried the problems were already escalating Jacob hurried to find the group of Navajo.

On the way to the Navajo people Jacob learned the families of Navajo boys killed were exasperated and ready to fight but the older Navajo men desired to speak to Jacob Hamblin before any more were hurt.

When Jacob arrived to the Navajo camp, he was not greeted with the same warm greetings he was use to from this group.

Jacob recorded:

"Two or three gray-headed men came out to meet us good naturedly, but did not appear as friendly as they had formerly. I told them of my business. Soon afterwards some young men put in an appearance, whose looks bespoke no good."

Jacob was told the group was not ready to talk, they were waiting for the family of the boys that were killed, and would not begin until the relatives arrived. Jacob said his spirit was "weighed down with gloomy forebodings and would have left the place could I have justified in doing so. Unless the Lord was with us, what were we to do with all these against us?"

At noon the next day the Navajo said they were ready to talk. All the people involved gathered in a log cabin with only one entrance, Jacob noticed there was no way of escape, if it became necessary. There were twenty-four Navajo gathered in the cabin, four of the men were councilors of the nation.

When the meeting started the relative to the young men who died said that the Navajo were lied to by Jacob Hamblin, saying that because these boys went to trade with the "white people" the boys were killed and one injured with a bullet hole through him. The angry Navajo relative went on to say, that Jacob would not be able to go home, but would be killed as payment for the deaths of the boys. The Navajo man said the two men with Jacob were allowed to leave and live, but only if they left right away. Although extremely afraid for their lives, the men chose to stay with Jacob and support him in negotiations.

Tension were very high but Jacob stayed calm through the negotiations reminding the Navajo of his efforts for peace and understanding of each other. Jacob told them that he hoped they would not kill him for a wrong he, nor his people committed. The gray-headed men of the group sided with Jacob, but the younger men were worried they could not have revenge.

The Navajo brought in the young men who survived with bullet holes and showed his wounds to the group. This stirred up the people again to great anger against Jacob. They were upset and ready for revenge. Through the chaos Jacob said the spirit whispered to him of an assurance that all would be okay.

It was hours of negotiations and over time the desire for blood revenge diminished. The Navajo changed the desire to kill Jacob to wanting extreme amounts of payment for the lives of the boys. The Navajo asked to be paid 100 head of cattle for each of the three Navajo killed and fifty for the wounded one. This was more than Jacob would earn the rest of his life, is was a huge amount to pay. Jacob thought of agreeing to the terms and running, and simply worry about fulfilling the terms another day. He knew agreeing to the terms and not paying would never work, but he really wanted to be out of the life threatening situation.

Ultimately, Jacob chose not to lie and told the men he would not sign the agreement, because he would never be able to pay. Jacob said that he had never lied to them and he would not pay for the wrong that other people had done.

The group sat in negotiations for 12 hours before it was over. Jacob reiterated that it was not his men who had killed those boys and the Navajo are still free to trade without fear from his people. Simply trying to defuse the strong feelings of the night.

After many hours on intense negotiations the Natives agreed to let Jacob leave, with his life! They also agreed to start no war over the deaths of these boys. Jacob and his companions were relieved beyond words. Years before Jacob had been given a promise saying "if I would not thirst for the blood of the Lamanites, I should never die by their hands."

Jacob Hamblin's life was protected. This negotiation was one of the most intense and terrifying experiences of the life of Jacob Hamblin. Multiple times the Natives wished to just kill Jacob and have it all be over. Jacob had worked with the Native people for years, and was very close friends with many of them. Jacob was able to stand straight and tall, knowing he had the protection of God. He was able to be a peace maker between the two groups, protected and helped by God.


p 114-125 Jacob Hamblin book

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