On 21 April 1842 addressed a letter to JS, whom he called a “Beloved Brother in Christ,” documenting his fourteen-month mission to . Adams apparently wrote the letter for publication in the Times and Seasons, which regularly featured missionary reports. At the time Adams wrote the letter, JS had served as editor of the paper for two months.
On 13 February 1841 accompanied to aboard the packet ship United States. Hyde and Adams arrived in on 3 March 1841. For a month Adams visited cities in northwest England. In April the decided that Adams should relocate southeast “to Bedford & Northampton and labour in that region.” He was appointed to serve as the president of the Bedford . Four days later, at a in , he was a . He departed for Bedford on 9 April, stopping to preach in Birmingham for eight days.
The need for additional support in Bedford was identified in August 1840 by , who was a member of the mission presidency before the Quorum of the Twelve arrived. Bedford was Fielding’s birthplace. He believed the had not given the area “a fair chance” as they had in other places in where more growth was apparent. Bedford received little attention from traveling elders after and John Goodson served as the city’s first missionaries in 1837. In 1841 missionary Joseph Brotherton described the congregation in Bedford as “feeble.” Fielding understood that residents of Bedford felt a “great dissatisfaction about religion,” creating an opportunity for missionaries to share their message. During ’s ministry, the branch membership steadily increased.
In December 1841 boarded the Mersey, which was bound for . After eight weeks at sea, a series of storms forced the vessel to return to . On 16 March 1842 Adams departed again, this time on the Sheridan, and arrived in New York one month later, on 16 April.
Writing to JS five days later, provided a triumphant narrative of his mission, focusing on his many successes in converts. He detailed public debates and sermons before large audiences in and while at sea. Adams also described his difficult journey from Liverpool to New York.
The original letter is not extant. The featured version was published in the 15 June 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons.
Adams reported that the branch had fewer than thirty members when he arrived. A month later he reported “68 members, 8 priests, 1 teacher, and one deacon.” (George J. Adams, Northampton, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 22 June 1841, in Millennial Star, July 1841, 2:33; Lorenzo Snow, London, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 25 May 1841, in Millennial Star, June 1841, 2:32.)
in the east. His memory will long be cherished by the saints in Bedford and its vicinity; in fact I shall never forget this ’s kindness to me; no, never, while memory holds her seat; and I trust the counsel and good advice that I have received from this from time to time in traveling with him, will never be forgotten by me. After the above I continued laboring in Bedford, Malden, Honneydon, Northampton, Thorncut, and the adjacent country until the 19th of July, during which time many were and are now rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God that is to be revealed in the latter times. At the time above stated, at the request of , I visited to preach in his place while he visited Bedford. During my stay in , (about seven weeks,) I visited Ramsgate and Woolwich, in Ramsgate I baptized Capt. Harris, an old Methodist, and him to preach the gospel. I also baptized a number at Woolwich, and then returned to . During my stay in I held two public discussions with the great men of this generation, in both of which the truth came off triumphant. During my stay in forty were baptized, and full as many in Bedford and its vicinity by . About this time I received such counsel from and other brethren in as warranted me in making arrangements to return home in the fall, I also counselled with and , and they gave their consent to my return; and on Sabbath, the 12th of September, I gave my farewell address to the people of , we had a large and attentive congregation, the people were very kind to me, especially our beloved brother . This our has had much to contend with in proclaiming the truth in and Woolwich, the foundation of which was laid by Elders , and . But the Almighty has abundantly blessed his labors, and he is accomplishing a great and mighty work in these places in the name of the Lord. On Saturday, the 18th day of September, I left for Bedford to finish my labors in that region previous to my return home. I arrived in Bedford late in the evening, and on the following day preached three times to a crowded chapel; after the above I continued preaching in Bedford and the surrounding country, assisted by Elder Joseph Brotherton and others; until October 3d, during which time many were baptized from week to week. On the day above named, it being the last that I should remain among them previous to my departure, I preached three times, 19, and a number were ordained to the different offices. On Wednesday, Oct. 6th, I bade them a final farewell in Bedford amidst the prayers and blessings of the saints and friends. I then, agreeable to previous appointment, proceeded on my way to Birmingham and West Broomwich, where I remained and labored about three weeks, during my stay a number were baptized and many believed. I continued my journey from Birmingham to (where there was a large raised by Elder ) to fill appointments I had made more than three months previous. I arrived in the 30th of October, and the next day being Sabbath I preached twice, and in the evening I gave my reasons for renouncing Methodism. The Music Hall was crowded to overflowing, there were over two thousand persons present; I continued laboring in a number of weeks, during which time I held five public discussions, in every one of which the truth triumphed; to God be all the praise. During my stay in many were baptized and hundreds were enquiring after the truth. At the time I delivered my farewell lecture the Hall was completely full, at the close the entire congregation gave me their good will and blessing.
Early in November my passage was engaged in the ship Mersey, Capt. Rae, to sail for by the 25th of Nov. but owing to contrary winds and stormy weather we did not sail until the 31st of December. We had 200 souls on board, and among them a clergyman of the Church of England; the first eight days we had fair wind and good weather, but after that time we had gale after gale for five weeks with head winds, which finally ended in a tempest that commenced on Sunday the 6th of February, 1842, and lasted with unabated fury for seven days, during which time we were driven back towards seven hundred miles; our helm broken, our round house washed away, our main-mast sprung, our bulwarks stove in, and our provisions almost exhausted: so much that it was deemed advisable to return to , I would be glad to give a full account of the cir [p. 827]
Hyde left Bedford on 7 June 1841, departing England later that month and journeying through other European countries en route to Jerusalem before arriving on 21 October 1841. (Orson Hyde, London, England, to George J. Adams, Bedford, England, 7 June 1841, in Page, Spaulding Story, 10; Letter from Orson Hyde, 17 July 1841; Hyde, Voice from Jerusalem, 8.)
Page, John E. The Spaulding Story, concerning the Origin of the Book of Mormon, Duly Examined, and Exposed to the Righteous Contempt of a Candid Public. Pittsburgh: By the author, 1843.
Hyde, Orson. A Voice from Jerusalem, or a Sketch of the Travels and Ministry of Elder Orson Hyde, Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to Germany, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Liverpool: P. P. Pratt, 1842.
On 5 August 1841 a correspondent wrote that after Adams arrived in London he “held two public discussions, and is going to hold another to-morrow evening—he is obliged to get a large place to hold it in, as the meeting place is not half large enough—he has preached twice in the Regent Park, and is to preach there again next Sunday.” (“Extract from a Letter to Elder H. C. Kimball,” Times and Seasons, 1 Oct. 1841, 2:557.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Kimball, Smith, and Woodruff began their missionary labors in London on 18 August 1840 and spent the majority of their time there during the next several months. Smith departed for Staffordshire on 10 November 1840 because of declining health. Kimball and Woodruff left London in late February 1841. Kimball visited Woolwich in mid-December 1840. (JS History, vol. C-1, 1123; Heber C. Kimball, Nauvoo, IL, 4 Aug. 1841, Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons, 16 Aug. 1841, 2:507–510; Woodruff, Journal, 26 Feb. 1841.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
In an October 1841 letter, Adams wrote that seventeen were confirmed on 3 October and that hundreds attended his farewell address that evening. (George J. Adams, Bedford, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 5 Oct. 1841, in Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:144.)
In a 14 December 1841 letter, Adams stated that he arrived in Liverpool on 28 October 1841. (George J. Adams, Liverpool, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 14 Dec. 1841, in Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:141.)
The meeting that evening was arranged prior to Adams’s arrival and was advertised via “large placards . . . posted through the town.” (George J. Adams, Liverpool, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 14 Dec. 1841, in Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:141.)
Historian R. J. Broadbent described the Music Hall as “a plain brick edifice” on “Bold Street at the corner of Concert Street.” Constructed in 1786, the building once served primarily as a concert hall. In February 1841 John Taylor reported that he arranged for the Saints to hold their meetings in the Music Hall for twelve months. (Broadbent, Annals of the Liverpool Stage, 334; Letter from John Taylor, 3 Feb. 1841.)
Broadbent, R. J. Annals of the Liverpool Stage from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Together with Some Account of the Theatres and Music Halls in Bootle and Birkenhead. Liverpool: Edward Howell, 1908.
These five meetings included a three-evening debate on the Book of Mormon with “Mr. J. B. Philips, of the Church of England,” at the Queen’s Theatre; two discussions in Liverpool, including a debate with “Mr. M’Intosh, a Socialist lecturer,” at the Hall of Science in Liverpool; and a two-evening debate with “Mr. Stevenson, a Wesleyan minister.” Adams’s fifth public discussion may have been his response to a “Mr. Brindley,” who gave a lecture against the church. (George J. Adams, Liverpool, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 14 Dec. 1841, in Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:141–143.)
Adams delivered his farewell address “on the subject of restoration” on the evening of Sunday, 5 December 1841. According to Adams, he “had the largest congregation ever assembled in the hall with the saints.” Approximately twenty-five hundred individuals attended. (George J. Adams, Liverpool, England, to Parley P. Pratt, 14 Dec. 1841, in Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:143.)