IINANCY BOSS RAWSON 1829-1888
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Orson Pratt Brown's Cousin
Nancy Boss Rawson
Nancy Boss was born at Lexington, Davidson County, North Carolina March 26, 1829, the daughter of Phillip Boss II and Obedience Brown Boss (sister of ). Her father passed away in 1835 or 1838, leaving her mother with nine children, six sons and three daughters.
Her mother moved with the children to Brown County, Illinois in 1838 where she and her family allied themselves with the Mormon Church and gathered at Nauvoo in 1842.
At the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith's death my mother, Nancy Boss, was employed as a servant girl at the home of Colonel Williams, the man who led the mob that killed the Prophet. She cooked the dinner for the mob before they started to the jail.
Knowing that she was a Mormon girl Colonel Williams refused to let her go outside the house. She said before she went to work for Colonel Wilhams the mob burned her mother's house.
Her mother, Obedience Brown Boss, was loved by everyone. One friend, a non-Mormon, called her "Aunt Biddie," and warned her to get out and leave her home as the mob intended to burn it. That night she and her children, some being very young, took what things they could carry and slept down or near the swamps, thinking it would be safe for them there. She said the mosquitoes nearly ate them up.
The next day mother heard that the mob had burned their home and all that she owned. Mother and all the children who were old enough to work sought employment, and she was glad to get work at Colonel Williams, not knowing of course, that he was the leader of the mob.
While at Colonel William's home, he knowing that she was a Mormon girl, threatened her life if she attempted to make her escape. She told how the mob carried on like so many demons, and heard them plan the martyrdom of the Prophet.
The night before they killed the Prophet they painted their faces black and drank whiskey until they acted as if they had gone mad.
She said her room was upstairs, and as she was sitting on the stair steps she heard Colonel Williams say, "Every nit makes a louse, let's kill her."
Nancy Boss was so frightened she sat by her window and watched. She did not know at what time or moment the mob would come up the stairs to kill her, and likely would have done so only she was needed in the service of the Lord.
The next night after the mob had murdered the Prophet, they came back to Colonel William's home and they seemed very much frightened. They knew that they had committed a terrible wicked crime, and they did not know what was going to happen to them. She said they acted like crazy men.
She got word from her uncle, Captain James Brown, that he would be down into the woods at a certain place and would wait for her.
Colonel Williams had taken most of her clothing away from her, but she put a few things in a bundle and threw them out of the window, then took a bucket as though she were going after water. After she got out she dropped the bucket and ran to the woods as fast as she could, not knowing at what moment they would shoot her, but no doubt prayers were offered up for her safety.
She found her uncle mounted on his horse waiting for her, and through him she made her escape.
She remained with her mother until 1846, when the family left Nauvoo and joined the fleeing Saints. They arrived in the valley of the Mountains in 1849. She was married to Daniel Berry Rawson the same fall, 20 November 1849.
On November 9, 1845 Daniel took his first plural wife, Martha Atchinson, born around 1827 from the Yelmore, Hancock, Illinois area. Not much is known about her.
On March 10 1866 Daniel took a second plural wife, Mary Melvina Taylor, daughter of Joseph Taylor and Mary Moore Taylor. Mary had four sons: Silas Daniel Rawson 1867-1950, David Ward Rawson 1872-1945, Joseph Horace Rawson 1874-1912, and William Woodruff Rawson 1881-1933.
At the time of her death Nancy was the mother of ten children, eight daughters and two sons. She passed away at Farr West, Weber County, Utah on 20 August 1888. She was a kind, honest, affectionate mother, and always ready to help in the Relief Society whenever help was needed. She labored many years as Counselor to the President of the Relief Society, in the first organization in the Harrisville Ward, which office she filled with honor. She died as she always had lived, a true, faithful Latter-day Saint.
Arrest of Daniel Berry Rawson
PAF - Archer files = James Brown Sr. + Mary Polly Williams Emmerson > Obedience Brown and her brother James Brown Jr.
"141 Years of Mormon Heritage: Rawsons, Browns, Angells --Pioneers" by Archie Leon Brown 1973, pages 32-35.
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