1918 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY DETAILING THE LAST FEW WEEKS OF HIS MORMON MISSION WORK IN NEW ZEALAND AND THE TRIP HOME

By: ELDER JAMES MILTON OLSEN

Price: $5,895.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is the super, original 1918 manuscript diary and travel journal handwritten by a young 25 year old Mormon missionary named James Milton Olsen [b. January 20, 1893] who after three years of Christian outreach and preaching the Gospel of Mormon in Thames New Zealand to the Maoris [the indigenous people of New Zealand] returns to America. The son of Utah rancher George Theodore Olsen and Catherine Maria Edwards Olsen. He married Hazel Acord on March 5th, 1919. Beginning April 15, 1918 James' is at the end of his 3 year mission and heading back to the United States. The 43 page narrative begins with Elder Olsen in New Zealand spending his last weeks attending meetings, saying goodbyes and packing for his trip home. He spends much of the time with the President of the New Zealand Missions, Elder James N. Lambert. [BIO NOTES: President Lambert: "Elder James N. Lambert, former president of the New Zealand mission, returned July 3rd, 1920, after nearly 51 months of missionary work in that far-off land. While there he published in the Maori language, the second edition of the Book of Mormon, 3,000 copies." 1920 Improvement Era, official magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.] Goodbyes said Elder Olsen boards a train for Auckland, spends a few days there and then boards the SS Niagara for the trip home. Here are some snippets: "On board ship were the Premiers of Australia, The Rt. Hon. Mr. Massy of New Zealand and to this Mr. Massy I had a letter of introduction. Then there were other big men such as Sir Joseph Ward, one Prime Minister of N.Z., the Sect of the Navy of Australia and several French Generals. So we had a Whakahihi crowd." [Sir Walter Massy-Greene major politician and entrepreneur; Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand; George L. Macandie, Australia's Secretary of the Navy.] "April 17th, 1918…..At 12 o'clock we ate dinner with Billman's and at 1 o'clock I had my photo taken with Howard Johnson. At 2 o'clock we called in at Parne Thorn's pawn shop and had a good conversation then caught the train and rode 12 miles to Omahu. Arriving there we walked 2 or 3 miles and met all the natives and latter all the elders rode in from Kerikeri. In the evening they gave us a lovely dinner and at 7 o'clock began the meeting. Elder Russon and I were called on to speak, to give our farewell talk. Elder Mow interpreted for me. After we had finished the Maoris talked to us telling their sincere love for the Elder's and biding us goodbye. We went to bed late." "April 18th, 1918. It was raining all day so we remained at Omahu until 4 o'clock. We played the phonograph, read the Improvement Era, and jumped until we were very stiff and sore. In the afternoon (train time) I had to bid them all goodbye. I rubbed noses with nearly 15 natives and I bid good luck to Elders Mow and Moody. We were driven to the train in a two wheeled cart by a native….I cleaned up and wrote up my diary preparing to meet Elder Wright who is supposed to arrive today by the 1 o'clock boat. His is taking my place. At one o'clock we walked to the boat and waiting until 1:30 for it to arrive at the wharf. Elder Wright came. We all strolled back to Sister Johnston's home. I gave him possession of the bed which I had been sleeping in for two years, also the wardrobe which I had been in possession of. In the afternoon we visited the chapel. He found it to be much smaller than the one in Auckland. In fact it used to be the mayor's barn." "April 20, 1918. I slept with Howard Johnston, didn't get up until 7:30. Washed and wrote diary. Elder Wright and I caught the 9:30 train and took two boys to Kerikeri where I baptized them. The water was very cold so early in the morning but managed and the boys fared all right. There were several elders so it was a nice service. After that I went around to all the natives and rubbed noses with them all biding them farewell. One old lady gave me a kit, Clara Watene's mother. We bought several pictures of the last conference from Bro. Spencer of Auckland then caught the train and rode back to Thames….In the evening Pres. Lambert came from Auckland. We were all happy to see him. He always brings a happy spirit. We ate dinner at Sister Johnston's. At 7:30 we held a good open air service. I did not assist in singing as my throat was too bad. I stood on the corner however. Elder's Mow, Wright and the president talked…." "April 23rd, 1918. I ate breakfast at Payne's then came home and destroyed all my letters with the exception of a very few. I also tied strings around all my books and prepared them for packing. In the afternoon Elder's Wright, Stalling and I visited the hospital where I bid goodbye to Mrs. Rutallia whom I had been visiting for 2 years. The poor soul had lain there for over 14 years. From the hospital we went to the police station. Elder Moody was with us. I bid him goodbye also. He had been a very good companion and helpmate…." "April 24, 1918. I ate breakfast at Royal's then came to the house and began packing up. If ever I had to plan, it was then, to get all my belongings in my suit cases and trunk, then I had to give away many things. But finally everything was packed. I had one trunk weighing 200 lbs., 2 suitcases, one hand bag and a roll of blankets….." (He attends a social and then for the final time he meets many of his good friends and bids them goodbye and many of them give him gifts which he lists. Then he says, "After the social it was with difficulty that I bid most of them goodbye." "April 25th, 1918. Went to Monteque's, Lemmee's and others bidding them goodbye, then went to the station where several of the saints and friends were there to see me off. It was hard to say farewell, as one never can tell when friends will meet again, especially those of a foreign country. It was hardest of all to say goodbye to Bro. Payne, as he had been my heartiest supporter. Elder Russon and I left at 9:30, Sister Payne, Johnston and Wasene rode with us as far as Parekura then we bid them farewell. We rode on to Auckland, getting there at 5 o'clock P.M. We had a cater take our things to headquarters, costing us 2 shillings each. In the evening after a lovely supper we went in company with President and the Auckland Elders and the President's daughter Phyllis to a cottage meeting at Mrs. Trae Farland's. Four of us were called on to speak." "April 26th, 1918. Went with the president and a number of elders to the American council's officer and obtained my permit to leave New Zealand. My companions, Elder Gallacher and Pearson could not get theirs until later. After this I bought three towels costing me 5 S. then the president, Elder Patrick and I tried to find the home of Sister Johnston, a saint who does not know where to stay with us or join the reorganized church. We were unable to find her. Coming back to headquarters I wrote two letters, one to Mr. Johnston of Thames and Toki Watene of Kopu. Then wrote up in my diary. In the afternoon President Lambert gave me two letters, one to my father and one to Mr. Hardy, a life insurance man recommending me to that business. After taking with the president, Jack Monteque came to the mission home and he and I went downtown. We had a shave in Frank Monteque's shop….." "April 30th, 1918. I packed my trunk and visited. I went to Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston's and while there I met two Elders of the Josephite Elders. They had been given our mission a very bad name. They are very prejudice against us. Their main subjects are blood atonement, polygamy, true succession to the President. They argued with me 4 hours. I held my own. In the afternoon I received letters and telegrams from the following….." (He then lists many names) "May 2nd, 1918. (He is sailing on the steamship "Niagara") We took our trunk and suit cases to the boat as we expected it to leave any moment. The custom officer examined a few of our things then we were able to take them on board. At noon I ate dinner at headquarters then at half-past 12 Elder Patrick and I visited the Hanby's. They treated us very kindly. They gave me several photos. In the afternoon I received my release, a diploma which I had worked for, for nearly 3 years. I was happy to get it……" (He again bids everyone goodbye but the boat was running late so they bid more people goodbye including Miss Hanby who was at the gate. He says, "She was the last girl I said goodbye to in New Zealand. She is certainly one of the best girls I ever met in my life." "We went back to the ship and finally went to bed. The next morning we were out in the mid ocean. The passengers were all lovely. On board ship were the Premiers of Australia, The Rt. Hon. Mr. Massy of New Zealand and to this Mr. Massy I had a letter of introduction. Then there were other big men such as Sir Joseph Ward, one Prime Minister of N.Z., the Sect of the Navy of Australia and several French Generals. So we had a Whakahihi crowd. Our cabin was no. 124, and 72' 2" square. In there was a fan, electric lights, 3 beds, a dresser, a wardrobe, a wash basin and cloths racks." "May 4th, 1918. Was not feeling too well so remained in bed a few hours. Missed two meals. I played a game of tennis with two ladies and wireless operator. He was a splendid friend, taking us over the boat and informing us to every move and movement. Saturday evening we sang and held a dance. We were even asked to join several times, but didn't have the nerve to try." (Then to Sura and off for a little while and have lemonade in the hotel.) "May 6th, 1918. If you will remember, 3 years ago I mentioned in my diary that we went to bed on Tuesday and got up on Thursday, losing a day. Tonight it is making up that day. We go to bed Monday night and get up on Monday morning. Had hotcakes for breakfast, also egg omelet. Began reading, "The Light of Western Skies" by Zane Grey. We played deck quotes and other games. Met the Sec. to Mr. Ward, one prime minister of New Zealand. We held a concert at night." "May 7th, 1918. It was very warm. Several persons were curious over our being "Mormons." We conversed with several over religion. I had my laundry done up. We couldn't get fresh water as it had been mixed by mistake with the salt water…..The boat games were very interesting. There were many of the women who smoked. Some thought it strange that we wouldn't gamble…." "May 12th, 1918. (Hawaii) We were in American waters at 8 o'clock. It was a happy day for us, to see American flags flying all over. Our boat flew an American flag. The doctor came on board and examined all of us. There our passports were ____. Then at 2 o'clock we went ashore. I was one of the first off. We rented a motor car for 3 hours and rode over the island. It was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. We went to what is known as the Ecquarium (Aquarium) where you see several kinds of fish. They are of every color known. All kinds' sizes and colors. We also rode to Diamond Point Mountain. We rode to Waikiki Beach where we saw surf riding. After riding we visited the "Mormon Church." We met the secretary, his wife and three elders. They were not very sociable. We ate a big dinner down town…..At 5 o'clock we went back on the ship. There were hundreds of people to see us off. Many of the natives were selling flowers….The boat pulled out of Honolulu at 5:30. We went to bed early. Two new Elders came on board, returning home." BACKGROUND NOTES: One online source: "Most Maoris had been converted to Protestant and Roman Catholic Christianity by the 1850s; but because they believed they had been cheated in land deals by the whites, whom they called pakehas, the Maoris made war on the pakehas. These wars lasted from the late 1850s until the 1870s. When the wars ended, the time seemed to be right to take the restored gospel to this outstanding part of the Polynesian race. When William Bromley was called as New Zealand mission president in 1881, President Joseph F. Smith told him that the time was right to take the gospel to the Maoris. The first successes among them came in 1883, but once the Maoris and the Mormons got together, Maori converts flocked into the Church. By the end of 1884 the missionaries had firmly established the restored gospel among the Maori people. The next several years were very satisfying to most of the elders and sister missionaries (several couples were sent to New Zealand beginning in 1885). In August 1885, there were 16 Maori and 4 pakeha branches of the Church, and this number continued to grow steadily for the next 15 years. At the close of 1887, there were 2,573 Latter-day Saints, and by the turn of the century there were nearly four thousand members of the Church in New Zealand. Most of the Maori tribes, including large numbers in the north, around Whangarei and the Bay of Islands, had been introduced to the gospel. In 1901 there were 79 branches. Clearly, since the early years in Hawaii, the Church had not enjoyed so much success with a Polynesian people." The 5¼" x 8½" diary is written in a unique once rich looking red leather gilt stamped flip top style book that has a worn and torn red leather cover, detached but accounted for, with his name stamped in gold lettering. The book is hand numbered beginning at 313 to 358. We note that like all LDS Church diaries each page has a carbon copy. What is unusual and unique is that most other Mormon missionary diaries had carbons with one copy given to the church. It appears Elder Olsen kept his copies. Overall G.

Title: 1918 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY DETAILING THE LAST FEW WEEKS OF HIS MORMON MISSION WORK IN NEW ZEALAND AND THE TRIP HOME

Author Name: ELDER JAMES MILTON OLSEN

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: THAMES NEW ZEALAND SALT LAKE CITY UTAH, 1918

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0002124

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, ELDER JAMES MILTON OLSEN, NEW ZEALAND, MISSIONARY, UTAH, MORMON CHURCH, CHRISTIAN OUTREACH, CONVERSION OF NATIVE PEOPLES, ABORIGINALS AND RELIGION, RELIGIOUS CONVERSION, CHRISTIAN OUTREACH, THEOLOGICAL, MISSIONARY, MISSIONARIES, CHRISTIAN, CHRISTIANITY, MAORIS, WWI, WW1, POST WORLD WAR I, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, LDS CHURCH, NEW ZEALAND MISSIONS, ELDER JAMES N. LAMBERT, PAKEHAS, KIWI, ANZAC, PROSELYTIZING, JOSEPHITE ELDERS, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPHED, AUTHORS, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, PRIMARY SOURCE, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT, SOCIAL HISTORY, PERSONAL STORIES, LIVING HISTORY, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL,