October 19, 2023
Taped a new YouTube video today. I had to make a confession at the beginning.
Some of the things I am about to tell you are going to be very hard to believe. I hope you can hang in there with me until we get to the end. I must say I had a hard time believing much of this research myself. That said, this is a tragic tale with some mighty big questions, which I state in the video and then we open with this image.
A Bold And Crazy Prophesy
In 1848, a young, Latter-Day-Saints excommunicated prophet made a bold prediction that would change the life of a beautiful young girl named Olive Oatman.
James Collins Brewster, 24, had visions of a promised land—The Land of Bashan—and his passionate message gathered adherents wherever he spoke: "Fear not, for I am with you. I will bring your people from the east and gather you into the west. The wilderness and the wasteland shall fall away and the desert will rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and the glory of Bashan shall be given to it."
And where was this so-called Land of Bashan located? At the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, today known as Yuma, Arizona. Never mind that the area rarely gets more than 3.5 inches of rain a year, is mostly sand dunes and harsh desert with daytime temperatures reaching triple digits every day for months on end. Oh, and never mind that James Collins Brewster had never been to Yuma Crossing and spoke of the banks of the river being lined with pine trees.
And The Zinger is?
I believe Olive had two children because the respected historian Sharlot Hall told a researcher, privately, in 1904, that Olive did in fact have two children with a Mojave husband and one of them sometimes visits Fort Yuma. And, I do believe Susan Thompson, even though she got the time spent with Olive after her release wrong. Her quote is devastating. She said Olive was a "grieving, unsatisfied woman, who somehow shook one's belief in civilization." I don't think that is a sentiment or a statement you can make up. It strikes me as painfully honest and true.
So, of course she didn't want to be rescued. She was leaving behind her family. And, in the end, she lost two mothers. A double tragedy.
Oh, and what about the prophet Brewster's crazy claim about the Land of Bashan?
Thanks to Teddy Roosevelt and the newly minted Bureau of Reclamation in 1902, The Yuma Project diverted Colorado River water to irrigate more than 58,000 acres along the river, all the way to the Mexican border.
Let's end this with a quote from Brewster:
"The wilderness and the wasteland shall fall away and the desert will rejoice and blossom as the rose."