This story is about:
Persecution through the ages.
It’s the story of my family.
We start in France in the 1600’s, where the accepted religion couldn't allow the Huguenots to practice and
preach their beliefs. The Lamoreaux family was forced to walk away from everything they owned with
“dinner on the table” and “candles burning” to disguise their flight. They counted themselves lucky that they
had their own sloop. Many did not get away.
They were blessed to find refuge in England. It was still their hope to return home to France. Eventually,
however, for business purposes they took out British citizenship [denization] and settled in Bristol. When
they found that, being immigrants, their children would not be allowed to inherit property, they set out in
their own small sloop for the New World.
The family were in New York City by 1700. The next generation, one son and two daughters settled in
Colonial New York. Their children also settled in New York, mostly up and down the Hudson River.
Now we come to Revolutionary War time. Many of this generations were loyal to the British, who had
rescued them from their homeland, The families were living in New York City and north up the Hudson
River as far as West Point in the late 1700’s. This was the very worst area to be in during this uneasy time,
a time of the “Cowboys” & the “Skinners.” One day the British would take all their supplies and the next day
the Rebels. They fought for what they believed, therefore, they were exiled being jailed and persecuted on
their way, step by step down the Hudson, till they finally got back to New York City. Then when the war was
over, because of their “loyalty” they were not allowed to return to their farms and homes but were forced to
exile even farther into Canada.
In Canada, the lands the British had promised to give them were not ready. They again traveled up river, the
Saint John this time, looking for a place to settle; petitioning for land as they went. Each petition was met
with a cruel rejection. Finally, new lands were opened in Upper Canada. The family received land in what is
now Toronto in Ontario. Again, they settled in and built prosperous farms and businesses only to pick up
what they could and leave again.
This next exile was, at least, voluntary. Being a people very interested in religion, they listened to a preacher
named Parley P. Pratt, from the States, telling of a new religion, built with an organization like the original
church Christ had established. They embraced these truths with their whole hearts and left to “gather with
the Saints.” They went to Kirtland, Ohio. Persecution, again, reared its ugly head and they were forced to
leave. As a group of Saints they traveled to ”Nauvoo, the beautiful.” Persecution proved to be even worse
here and after building new homes here, they were again forced to leave. This time manning cannons in
defense of their city as they left.
They traveled across the frozen Mississippi River and settled into “Winter Quarters.” Both young and old
family members died under such harsh conditions, but most of the family made it all the way to Utah.
Again, as when they settled in New York and Canada, there were no homes to move into, they had to build
Soon, after becoming prosperous members of this new settlement, they were again forced to run for their
lives. This time it was for religious beliefs that were legislated illegal after they had been established.
Polygamy, not being illegal in the United States at the time, was entered into by several of the family
members. Now it was illegal. What do you do with a wife and young family who is now illegal? Being
responsible men they could not walk away from their obligations. They were persecuted, hounded and
finally forced into exile in Mexico. So, in the late 1800’s, the family again walked away from prosperous
farms and businesses, loaded their belongings into wagons and fled, this time even farther south.
They settled into Mexico and built farms and homes and businesses. They got along very well with their
neighbors, until… In the early 1900’s war broke out. Poncho Villa could no longer protect them from the
“Federales.” They were told on Sunday that they had to be gone by Tuesday. Burying their china and
precious things, they packed what little they would need for the trip. They thought they would be back before
the year was out. They moved into tents in El Paso, Texas for a while, waiting to be able to return to their
homes. Eventually, they realized they would never return and started settling in Arizona.
And that brings us to the generations of the 1900s. We have been in Arizona for three generations. Again,
prosperous farms and businesses have been built. The tragedies of this generation are much more
individual. Homes and businesses are lost through individual persecutions these days, like floods and
draughts, economic depressions and divorce. And we move from house to house instead of state to state
or country to country. Things are eventually settled and this is a good resting-place for my family. However, I
don’t think it will be the last.
akrc 4/16/00 - 2007