Pioneer Story of Priscilla Pitt Lunt
Caroline Wright (212) – Mother
John Martin Pitt (211) – Father
Priscilla Lunt (41) – Self
Priscilla Pitt is the daughter of John Martin Pitt and Caroline Wright. Her mother, when a young lady, had very poor health, in fact the young man who was in love with her was warned by his cousin, a doctor, that should they marry, he might not have her for very long, but the boy, John Martin Pitt, answered: “Even though she should die soon after we are married, I am willing to take the risk, for I love her and want her for my wife.”
It was seven years after their marriage before the first child was born and she often, in her old age, said that Priscilla saved her life. Later, six more children came to them. Her father joined The Church of Jesus Christ on 19 October 1851, therefore Priscilla and the other children were brought up under the influence of The Gospel.
The spirit of gathering came to the Pitt family, as it did to all the faithful converts and one thought was uppermost in their minds. They wanted to gather to Zion. John Pitt was a devoted Latter-Day Saint, and the living of his religion the foremost ambition of his heart, he surely obeyed the instruction of Jesus “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God”. He did missionary work in his native land, and on Sunday mornings, walked twelve miles to his Priesthood Meetings.
He made this statement “I would rather be a door keeper in the Kingdom of God than be the King of England”.
In a very humble manner this wish was granted to him for after coming to Nephi, Utah he was a door keeper at Sunday School for about twenty-five years and he was never late once and he kept order among the boys, if they wanted to whisper to each other, they would peek around to see where Brother Pitt was. He taught those children to do their talking outside and thus they learned reverence for a church.
Priscilla was born 10 October 1846 in Willenhall, Staffordshire, England. She was a dainty little child, when nine months old she could walk and so tiny she could go under the dining room table, when a year old her mother would take her out to the gate and send her down the sidewalk to bring her father home to lunch, naturally the mother would watch her and the blacksmith shop was only a few doors down from their home, but it pleased the daddy to have her come for him.
The family planned, worked and saved to get sufficient means to go to America and on to Zion. Priscilla and her father were actively engaged in church activities, and when she became seventeen years old it was decided that she should be the first one to go. Accordingly on 21 May 1964 Priscilla Pitt bade her family goodbye. Also her friends all except one, Mary Jane Chappell, who was making the journey with her, she set sail from Liverpool the sailing ‘General McClellan’ in company with eight hundred and two other saints who were starting on the same journey.
Although, but seventeen years old, she was very mature in judgement and with almost a perfect faith in the Gospel, she was put in charge of her friends family, the Chappell’s, and together she and her friend, Sarah Jane, traveled all the way to their journey’s end at Nephi, Utah.
Think of the courage and faith it would take for one so young to leave all that was dear to her and go into an unknown country, away from everything she held so dear, the voyage across the ocean was long and tedious, rough seas tossed them about and for days the wind would take them off their course, unlike ocean travel today, then passengers had to do their own cooking. This was very difficult when the sea was rough, as all articles that were not made fast would slide, thus many times, just as a meal was prepared it would be thrown to the floor by the toss of the boat.
Many died on the ship and were buried at sea, finally on 23 June 1864, she landed at New York and from there took a train for Nebraska. At this time the Civil War was on and many times the train was searched for spies. At one time a bridge was burned just ahead of the train and it was necessary to wait until the bridge was rebuilt before they could go on.