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Nancy Gibbons Armstrong
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Birth: Jan. 7, 1799
Knoxville
Knox County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Aug., 1847
De Soto
Washington County
Nebraska, USA

Daughter of James Gibbons and Elizabeth

Married William Lewis Armstrong

Married John Doyle Lee, 27 Feb 1847, Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska

There was much suffering that winter throughout the camps of the Saints. By December they were strung out for three hundred miles across the Territory of Iowa from the Mississippi River to the Missouri where they had established their Winter Quarters.

Nancy was the wife of a wealthy merchant by the name of Armstrong who owned an establishment in Louisville, Kentucky and another in Carlisle Kentucky at which places he did business as wholesale and retail dealer of dry goods. The people of Carlisle were bitter enemies of the Mormon Church and a mob threatened to tar and feather John D. Lee. Mr. Armstrong took John home with him and protected John. Mr. Armstrong was not a believer of any religion but was considered a high minded and honorable man. On subsequent visits to the area, John usually visited with and sometimes stayed at the Armstrong's home.

Nancy, his wife, and Nancy's sister Sarah, were believers in the Mormon faith. John advised Nancy not to become a member of the Church and he refused to baptize her until such time as her husband would consent to it. Elder Smoot afterwards baptized Sarah Gibbons and Nancy Armstrong.

Brother Smoot had taken his wife with him on a mission and she laid the plan to get Sarah to go to Nauvoo. A wagon was sent to take Sarah Gibbons' goods to Nauvoo, and in it Mrs. Armstrong sent her valuable clothing and jewelry, amounting to some two thousand dollars. She intended to join the Saints at the first chance. A few months after Sarah had gone Mrs. Armstrong got the consent of her husband that she might pay a visit to her sister and the Church at Nauvoo; he fitted her up in fine sytle, sending two serving maids to wait on her.

Soon after she left home, the friends of Armstrong advised him to stop his slaves at St. Louis, if he wanted to keep them, for his wife would never return to him. Armstrong stopped the slaves, and Nancy, his wife, went on to Nauvoo, where she stayed until the Saints left that place after the death of the Prophet.

In the meantime, Abraham O. Smoot received a call to the Tennessee mission, met Nancy Armstrong and her sister, and baptized them both. Elder Smoot's wife had accompanied him on his mission, and it was she, John said, who invited Sarah, after baptism, to move to Nauvoo. She later became a plural wife of A. O. Smoot.

A few months after Sarah's move to Nauvoo, Nancy convinced her husband to allow her to visit her sister. While there, became acquainted with Rachel Woolsey, who was by this time, one of John's plural wives. Apparently Brother Smoot was not interested in having Nancy in his family, and she did not intend to go back to Tennessee to her husband. She related all this to Rachel who informed John.

By this time, February 1847, the Saints had removed from Nauvoo and were at Winter Quarters. On Saturday evening, February 13, Nancy visited Lee at his home. She told him of her situation, saying that with the Saints all preparing to leave for the Valley, she was about to be left at Winter Quarters with no assistance. After discussing the matter, she asked John if she could not be included in his camp when he moved out. He, in part, consented by telling her that she was not without friends.

Ten days later, Nancy again visited Lee. Very candid with him, she said she had not a friend in the whole camp to whom she could turn for help. She chided John for his virtual disregard for her welfare, adding that he was one of the first elders to bring the gospel to her, and that she could not understand why he was always so cool, never coming forward to give her any advice, encouragement, etc. John assured her that he had the highest regard for her, but since her sister Sarah was married to Smoot and that since Brother Smoot had brought her from Tennessee, he was under the impression she would become a member of that family.

Her reply was that she traveled with the Smoots only out of necessity because she was not acquainted with any other family. She then asked Lee outright if he would not "take charge of her."

"Do you wish to be connected with me in marriage according to the seal of the covenant?" he asked her.

She replied, "I do, and [I] am willing to fare as you do in all things in adversity."

His reply was, "Your request shall be granted."

The next day, February 27, 1847, Nancy Armstrong was sealed along with two other women, to John D. Lee. Nancy Armstrong was John D. Lee's twelfth plural wife, thirteen years older than Lee. His diary records the following:

"Winter Quarters, O[maha] N[ebraska], Sat., Feb. 27, 1847. At 30 m. to 7, evening, Pres. B. Young and lady came into John D. Lee's to attend to the following ordinances (SS) [sealing to spouse]:

"Nancy Gibbons, born Jany 7th, 1799, Noxville, Nox County, state of Tennessee.

"Mary Vance Young, born Nov. 10th 1817, Jackson Co., Tennessee.

"Lovina Young, born Sept. 25th, 1820, Jackson Co., Tennessee.

"John Doyle Lee, born Sept. 6th, 1812, Town of Kaskaskia, Randolph County, State of Ills."

Following the ordinance, John said they all sat down to a sumptuous supper, after which President Young and his lady "amused the party by singing some sacred and sentimental hymns adapted for the occasion."

When the Lees moved to Summer Quarters later that year, Nancy, surprisingly, remained with the Smoots. In fact, it appeared that she had remained with them during this whole time since her sealing to Lee had been performed. She eventually joined the Lee family and took her place at Summer Quarters as one of his wives.

John later wrote of her, "... My whole family respected her. She was forty-eight years of age when she was sealed to me, and she was a true wife until her death..." Nancy died that August at Summer Quarters, the victim of the same ailment that took many others in the group, probably cholera.

Nancy could be buried at Summer Quarters where she died, but her burial has been recorded in the Winter Quarters listing. Many early journals did not distinguish between the two "Quarters", which are separated by a distance of 13 miles and lie in two different counties. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  John Doyle Lee (1812 - 1877)
 
Inscription:
AT THE BURIAL GROUNDS
OF WINTER QUARTERS
AFTER NOVEMBER 15, 1846
COMMENCING AT THE
NORTH WEST CORNER

ADNEY C. ANDERSON 5 MOS.
MARTHA ANN ANGELL 10
TRUMAN C. ANGELL 2
NANCY ARMSTRONG 48
CAROLINE ARNOLD 12
BENJAMIN A. BABCOCK 11
CIRVILLIA JANE BABCOCK 1
GEORGE BABCOCK 17 MOS.
SUSANNAH E. BAKER 17
MARY BARTON 74
MARY BEAKLY 18
JANE BENBOW 54
SUSANNAH BIGLER 61
SARAH BILLINGTON 37
MARGARET BLACKHURST 42
FRANCIS BOGGS 15 MOS.
LEACH BOSTWICK 72
ELIJAH BRAILEY 13 MOS.
CHARLES H. BRINGHURST 8 MOS.
JAMES BRINKERHOFF 14 MOS.
MORONI BROWETT 14 MOS.
EMILY JANE BROWN 6 DAYS
 
Burial:
Mormon Pioneer Cemetery
Omaha
Douglas County
Nebraska, USA
Plot: Grave #207
 
Created by: SMSmith
Record added: Mar 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35007051
Nancy <i>Gibbons</i> Armstrong
Added by: Shari Hanson Frey
 
Nancy <i>Gibbons</i> Armstrong
Added by: Shari Hanson Frey
 
Nancy <i>Gibbons</i> Armstrong
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sunflower Lady
 
 
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- SMSmith
 Added: Jun. 17, 2016

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