1846 was a big year for 23-year-old Thomas Mozley. On January 3 the Baptist church in Erie, Pennsylvania, licensed him to preach. In the late spring of 1846, he took the ship Clarion from Erie to the south end of Lake Michigan, looking over the country and networking with fellow Baptists. Meanwhile his courtship of Elizabeth Van Natta was moving along. Should they emigrate to this near-frontier? From Milwaukee he wrote back to her.
On board the Clarion
Milwaukie June 7 / 46
I landed at this place last evening about 7 oclock & was glad I assure you to set my feet on “terra firma” Our passage here has been as short & pleasant as I could have expected the particulars of which I must reserve for a future communication I was somewhat anxious to reach this place on Saturday night or early Sabbath Morning but was not permitted & felt rather lonesome being deprived of the priveliges of the Sanctuary however I spent the day in reading &c & as I have before said landed about 7 oclock as soon as I could conveniently go ashore I set out for the City which is about 1/2 a mile from the place where we landed & after some enquiry found the residence of Mr Jacks [?] with whom I have some acquaintance I there enquired for the Baptist Church being anxious if there was evening meeting to attend Mrs. Jacks went with me to the Church Eld Tremann preached not their pastor but one who supplies his desk yesterday he being absent Mrs Jacks introduced me to Brn Sibley & Byron two of the prominent members of the Church here I called on Br Byron this morning & conversed with him about the Church here & c Met with two old acquaintances from Ohio this morning in the City who had come
When I sat down to write the Missouri was just in sight She passed us just now I saw Henry & intend to send this by him Capt Davis & Lady have just gone up to the City & are intending to go out into the country while we are gone to Chicago we are expecting to sail if we get a breeze in an hour or so I like the appearance of this City very well from what I have seen the most pleasant part for residences being high & dry & commanding a fine view of the bay river &c but I must reserve any further description until a future time
Have been very strongly advised to take a tour into the country & have had some serious thoughts myself of going out to Mr Thomas region but have concluded not to go at present keep aboard until we go to Chicago & see that place also am told by all I have conversed with here that the Country N & West of Milwaukie is far superior to that about Chicago however if I am spared I shall see for myself in a day or two providing the wind is fair & shall then be able to determine whether to remain in this country or not at present I hardly know what to do I try to pray from day to day for direction from above & hope that whatever my future course may be it may be in accordance with the Will of my Heavenly Father I trust dear Sister you will not cease to pray daily that this may be the case
Should I remain any length of time in this region I will write you again soon & let you know my prospects &c.
You will be anxious to know the state of my health I feel much better than I did when I left Erie & have no doubt the trip will benefit my health much Oh that the health of my soul might improve also & my inward man be refreshed I hope dear Sister your health is good & it is my daily prayer that God would keep you & grant you every blessing & prolong your life for usefulness in his vineyard so that if we are permitted to be united in yet stronger ties we may be a blessing to each other & to the kingdom of our Lord. I remain ever yours,
Remember me to your Mother & Mable &c.
born 23 July 1822 Collingham, Nottinghamshire, England
married 3 September 1846, Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania Elizabeth Van Natta, daughter of William Van Natta and Sarah Thompson, born 10 Oct 1821, Chautauqua, Chautauqua County, New York, died 8 Jan 1910 Ripon, Fond Du Lac County, Wisconsin -- seven children
died 21 September 1877, Marquette, Marquette County, Wisconsin
ANCESTORS: We know all four of his grandparents and his four maternal great-grandparents.
COUSINS: At least three of his seven siblings marreid and had children. His brother Edward married Elizabeth’s sister Mabel, so their descendants (in Kansas and Missouri) are double cousins.