Nancy Gibbons (1799 - 1847)

8835. Nancy1 GIBBONS was born 7Jan 1799 in Knoxville, Knox, Tennessee. Nancy died Aug 1847 in Summer Quarters, Nebraska.

Nancy Armstrong was John D. Lee's twelfth plural wife. Thirteen years older than Lee, she was sealed to him at Winter Quarters on February 27, 1847, the same day Polly and Lavina Young were sealed to him.

Nancy had been married previously to a wealthy merchant by the name of Armstrong. When John D. Lee was in Overton County, Tennessee serving a mission, he received protection from a threatening, unruly mob by Mr. Armstrong, who invited him to stay at his home. Thus John met Nancy Armstrong and her sister, Sarah Gibbons, who was a single woman. Sarah had been staying with her sister and brother-in-law.

Mr. Armstrong, John said, "was not a believer in any religion," but Lee held him in high esteem, because he saw Mr. Armstrong as a "high minded, honorable man."

On subsequent visits to the area, John usually visited with and sometimes stayed at the Armstrong's home.

Eventually, both Nancy and Sarah gained testimonies of the restored gospel. Nancy requested baptism, but Lee advised against it and refused to baptize her until such time as her husband would consent to it.

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. 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.

She married (1) ________ ARMSTRONG.

Nancy married (2) John Doyle LEE 27Feb 1847 in Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska.

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