He’s known in some parts as ‘Scribe for Zion’

by illimitableoceanofinexplicability

 

“After I left you, and launched forth with my frail bark upon the boisterous sea of varigated sercumstances that surround the servants of God, when apart from the body of the saints, I began to learn and know many things by my own experience, that I had not in the least anticipated in my former life.”

– George D. Watt to Willard Richards, February 5, 1848

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wattThe President and Founder’s Great Great Grandfather, George Darling Watt

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George Watt was born in Manchester, England, St. George Parish on May 18, 1812 to James Watt from Gatehouse of Fleet in Kircudbrightshire and Mary Ann Wood Watt from Rochdale. Not long after George’s birth his father set sail for America with his wife’s brother in search of the fountain of youth, but, unfortunately, met his death in New Orleans. This story, long told by the family, sadly, was not true, as James Watt actually made his way to Australia where he died much later as an old man.

After his father’s departure George (as he recorded years later in serialized adventures titled ‘Little George Stories’) had no easy time of it, as he describes,

“Our Mother’s second marriage did not improve our condition so far as home comforts… I was cast out, driven forth in a heartless manner upon the cold bosom of a wicked and ungenerous world”

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How awful for Little George! Out there all alone! Sometimes he would even have to, according to him,

“crawl into an out-house and cuddle up in a corner all alone, and then he would cry himself to sleep”

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Can you imagine? Horrifying! Then (oh yes, ‘THEN’, isn’t it always just) he was found by a “kind lady” who, though it’s hard to imagine this being ‘kind’, handed him over to the gatekeeper of the local poor house where,

“Little George screamed with terror….for help, but she hastened away”

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Once in the poorhouse Little George was beaten by an “old nurse” and helped by another inmate who was once a teacher and who taught Little George to read and write.

Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, there were many more adventures ahead for George, and that eventually, as you may have guessed already, through the application of hard work and prayer, he was able to escape from the clenches of poverty.

Later, as a young man George was baptized a Mormon in the River Ribble and was declared the first British convert after winning a foot race. (This foot race is recreated here (at about 1:35, if you’re interested (warning: it’s kinda creepy):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG2Oo_Zl0Ec )

Much later, after getting chummy with, and going to work for the leader of the Mormons, Brigham Young, George set to work on what was called the ‘Deseret Alphabet’

“As all organized things, from a grain of sand to a world, is composed of a congregation of isolated atoms, so language is composed of an assemblage of simple, pure sounds, It has therefore occurred to me, very forcably, that an alphabet should contain just as many letters as there are simple-pure atoms of sound”

– George D. Watt to Brigham Young, August 21, 1854

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Alright, well, not too long after this George became acquainted with the young (he was 47, she was 18) Elizabeth Golightly who he decided he wanted as a wife, although he already had three other wives (one of whom was his half sister), but fortunately, back then, the Mormons had no set limits on how many wives you could have, and so he focused his efforts on courting young Elizabeth.

“I offer myself to you, if you can in return give me this love, and with it yourself, which offering would be prized by me above the glittering and perishable treasures of the earth.”

-George D. Watt to Elizabeth Golightly, 1858

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watt2The President and Founder’s Great Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Golightly

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And so, of course, they were married which, quite wonderfully, lead to the birth of the President and Founder more than 100 years later.

THE END

That’s not really the end for George and Elizabeth, but enough to result in me here and now typing all this. If you, for your own personal reasons, would like to become more acquainted with George I would recommend the book ‘The Mormon Passage of George D. Watt’ written by some long lost cousin of mine by the name of Ronald G. Watt. There is also (for those sadly deficient of leisure time) a far shorter summation of his life available on Wikipedia, though, and this, I guess, goes without saying, some of their facts and figures aren’t quite right, if you know what I mean.

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