June 1883


1 June 1883 • Friday

June 1

Marshal Ireland was out here to <day to look> after the welfare are [or] rather the warfare of his numerous charges I requested an interview and he came in to <see> what I wanted I our conversation was about as follows. I said I wanted to ask you Mr Ireland why you lock me up he smileingly answered that I ought to ask Ju[d]ge [Stephen P.] Twiss but said I I understood while I was at Beave[r] that I was entirely in the charge of the Marshal1 and that he had the right to lock me up or not as he chose says he the commitmant says you are to be confined within the Penitentiary and should we do that you would have to go within the walls of the Prison2 he thought I ought not to complain as I had about th[r]ee fourths more room than the prisoners in general were allowed but said I am not a criminal there is no necessity for kee[p]ing my room lock[ed] you do not expect me to run away it is simply done to humble me but it never will and end and aim was <for> which I was sent here will never be accomplished. Says Mr Ireland you are mistaken if you think we are trying to extort a confession from you for I assure you if we were we would resort to more severe measures I can tell you well said I it will <would> never do you any good not even if you put me in the cell of which you have been speeking. he then said if he were in my place he would not suffer to sheild some one else [p. 10] I told him I was not here to shield some one else he said that the case was plain enough and that if I was allowed to go on unpunished that the witness who might be summoned on any murder case might <also> refuse to give evidence on said he if you had refused on the ground that you would commit your self it would have been quite different. said I I would not do that they did not ask me questions regarding any crime committed but they had the question were relitive to my own affairs which I beleaved they had no wright to ask and I therefore promptly refused to answer them Mr Ireland said they did have a wright to ask those quest[i]ons and then he left went out and it was a very good thing he could not read my thoughts for they would not have been very complimentary <to> any are all of those who have united there forces against a woman with a to prosecut[e] a woman to the ful[l]est extent of the law, and a <little> beyond.

4 June 1883 • Monday

June 4

I have learned to day that the Supreme Court will not meet untill the third monday in June that will be two weeks more but I do not regred [regret] staying so badly as my friends make it as pleasant as possible for me Bro. William Fatheringham [Fotheringham] visited me saturday last he talked very kindly to me and related some of his experience wh[i]ch seemed wonderfull to me and I felt ve<r>y contented to [p. 11] under [endure] so small a trial as myne in comparison with so many Pa3 and Bro [blank] Young visited me sunday both talked encourageingly and were hapy at havingly [having] the privelig of visiting me and finding me so comfortable and how thankfull we all ought to be who have heard and heark[e]ned to the truth and how mercifull is our Heavenly Father that he turns the desir[e]s of our enimy who are forever trying to crush and root us out to our advantage and how truely I feel to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things for since leaving my home I have been abundantly blessed in health and friends have bee[n] raised up unto me both from among us <our> people and those that are not of us my attorney4 has been to see me to day besides several other visitors I received a letter from My mother5 yesterday informing me of their good health and that my little boy6 was quite contented and hapy which was a source of great comfort to me.

5 June 1883 • Tuesday

June 5

I was visited to day by my uncle Joseph Harris who lives in Ogden I was greatly pleased to see him Pa and my cousins also came and we had a very pleasant visit talking and chatting on verious subjects untill our hour was up and then we shook hands and parted in the hope that I would soon be released and be permitted to visit my friends at leisure a little circumstance occurred to day in which, after reflecting upon it I could but acknowledge the hand of providence. there were several gentlemen here looking around the prison [p. 12] and as they passed by my window one stooped and looked in I was very indignant but thought perhaps he did not know by whom the room was occupied but presently another one came and then another and by this time I was just storming but I had not much time to think untill I heard the bolt was being withdrawn and the warden Mr. [George N.] Dow says Miss Harris there are some reporters here who which [wish] to have an interview are they the gentlemen who just passed my window said I, Yes says Mr Dow No then I will not see them on any consideration. I then related to him what had occurred and that I should have pulled the blind down in their faces if I had not thought they were friends of his and that he would be offended he said I ought to have done so and he persumed they didnt know any better. I have never refused an interview when requested and should not have in all prob[ab]ility have done so this time had I not been offended by their ungentlemanly conduct but I arterwards [afterward] learned these were reporters for the New York and Denver tribune and that they were going to wright utah up when told that I would not see them they were disapointed and said [p. 13] cannot we get a glimce of her they evidently thought me different from other humane [human] beings one said he must admit he admired my pluck.

6 June 1883 • Wednesday

June 6

very little has occured to <day to> int[er]rupt the monotony of this dreary place except that I was visited by the president and counsil [council] of the releif society of shuggar [Sugar] house ward7 they expressed themselves ready and anxious to render any aid I might require Oh! how greatfull I feel for the interest shown in my behalf. one of the guard to whom I refered as being kindly disposed towards our people informed me that the the Marshal had requested him not to talk to me <he> beg[g]ed me not to [be] offended if he didnt seem quite so friendly but it is my opinion that they are afraid the guard will sympathise with me for several others who were very kind and ready to converse with me when not other wise engaged are wonderfully silent now and I think they have all been caucioned to avoid showing any friendship to me

7 June 1883 • Thursday

June 7

Doc. [J. B.] Carrington who was arrested for bigam[y] and then allowed to excape was recaptured and brought here a few days ago to day he had a hereing [hearing] and was acqited [acquitted] I could not help feeling that there was is great injustice in the way the law is carried <out> here they have me and my innocent [p. 14] babe confined in a prison because I refused to give evidence that was supposed would lead to the arrest and convict[i]on of a mormon polygammist but Doc Carrington a man noted for his villiany is allow[ed] to slip through the loop holes of the law though there is evidence enough showing that he married a second wife while the first wife was liveing but he makes no pretensions to mormonism that is the sequal I had <received> letters to day from friends one from my Cousin D E [Dennison Emer] Harris also learned that Pa had gone to Provo have had no visitors my baby has been quite sick all day

8 June 1883 • Friday

June 8

Sister Musser visited me to day accompanied by her sister inlaw Mrs pratt she informed me that that visitors were allowed <only> certain hours to come in and thirty minnets is the time given to see their friend instead of an hour which has been customary from nine untill evelen [eleven] in the foornoon is the time appointed and it is also the hours given me for out door exercise so I must either relinquish the my walk in the fresh air or the company of my friends I think they are useing unnecessary energy in trying to make this miserable place even more miserable if that were possible. Sister Musser also gave me a list of names of those who have given means for to procure the [p. 15] neccssarres [necessaries] to render my sojurn here more comfortable I received a letter from a non mormon lady expressing her sincere sympathy and cordialy inviteing me to come and stay at her house when I return to Beaver

10 June 1883 • Sunday

June 10

it is just a month to day since I was arrested but it seems much more than that to me Sister Jospehine smith [Josephine Groesbeck Smith] wife of John Henry smith visited me to day and I was so glad to se[e] her for I felt very lonely havent had mayy [many] visitors lately one of the guard told me that there was a letter on there table this morning requesting them to have nothing to say to me I suppose the Marshal thinks that this will make me feel so badly that I will surrender immediately though luckily I did not come here to be entertained by any of the guard and therefore shall not feel to lament a great deal

11 June 1883 • Monday

June 11

Well this is realy to[o] abserd for any thing the gaurd by an effort for I know it is an effort for some of them have maintained perfect silence to day so for [far] as I am conserned one in passing me just <now> chansed to meet my eye when he instantly turned his head in another direction <and said> Oh! dont you look at me I had to laugh I couldnt help it. another in passing looked as if he was going to speak but I raised my hand as a signal of silence when he plased [placed] his finger on his lips as a token of assent and passed on [p. 16]

June 11

they go round with down cast eyes afraid to look right or left for fear of seeing me and if they do chance find me looking at them they look so confused and ashamed of the part they are made to play and I beleave if this absurdity is carried on much farther they will become disgusted among themselves for the dul[l]est and most perverse cannot fail to see the utter folly and wickedness of such an uncalled for and unlawfull outrage

12 June 1883 • Tuesday

June 12

How hapy and greatfull I feel to night I have been visited to day my uncle D L [Dennison Lott] Harris Bishop of Monroe and a friend Bro Bates also of Monroe we had an excellent visit of an hour and then they left me in the hope of soon seeing me liberated and allowed to mingle once more among my friends My atorney has also been here he reports all prosperous and says five other lawyers besides himself are interesting themselves in my behalf and their [there] will be no do[u]bt that there efforts will meet with success. the names of the lawyers are as follows S A [Samuel A.] Merritt, Arthur Brown, Judge [Robert] Harkness, W. Kirkpatrick [Moses Kirkpatrick]. [p. 17] J. D. Rawlins [Joseph L. Rawlins] and S A Ken[n]er I havent seen my Father for a week but I hear he has gone to Logan. the guard who has been a friend to me has gone away he came and shook hands with and bad[e] me good by though he was not permitted to converse with me yet he said he wished I would call and see his mother when I got out and that he was very sorry that he was compeled to act as he did

13 June 1883 • Wednesday

June 13

My Cousin Horace Cummings visited me to day and brought me a most beautifull preasant consisting of a complete set for dressing table it is a beautifull Morroco bound case lined inside with rose collored satin while the cover contains a plated glass mir[r]or the set consists of hair brus[h] combs tooth brush small glass button hook glove stre[t]cher cct [etc.] altogether it is a most ellegant and valuble present he said it was left ther <at> his house by a gentleman he did not know there was no card or message except a present for Miss Harris. I think I can guess who it was <is> but will not untill I assertain the truth.

16 June 1883 • Saturday

June 16

Pa has returned from Logan and says he had an elccellent [excellent] time found the folks in good health an spirits which is indeed a great blessing. My baby has been very poorly this week has [p. 18] a bad cold and coughs incessantly Mr Kenner visitede me to day says they are pretty well prepared for the contest which will come up some time next week I sincerely hope that I may be allowed to return home though it will be with some regrets that I have <take> leave of my numerous friends and aquaintances which I have made since leaving Monroe. I had a call from two Ladies whos will start on the morrow for there [their] homes in the East but I suppose they wished to see the Elefant before they left utah However they were very polite and lady like in there behavior <conduct> twards [me] which cannot be said of all of them

17 June 1883 • Sunday

June 17

To day is sunday and I have been looking all day for Pa but he hasnt come but Sister Musser and Sister Smith8 came to see me this morning Sister Musser invited me to come and stay with her a few days when I get released

18 June 1883 • Monday

June 18

Father came to see me this morning and we had a good visit this afternoon My Cousin Harris [Horace] Cummings and his wife9 and sister10 also Mr angel [Truman O. Angell Jr.] <of logan>11 came to see me they were all glad to see me looking and feeling so well and Mr Angel of logan said I had thousands of friends who were thinking of me constantly and that I must <try and> content myself for a little while and all would be well with me [p. 19] I saw in <by> the paper that Court was a[d]journed till the 21

21 June 1883 • Thursday

June 21

tomorrow I persume I will know how wheither I am to make this wreched place my home for the summer. S. A. Kenner visited me yesterday and said they had apointed friday to consider this case but I am afraid they will have to consider it a week or two before coming to a decision I had quite a conversation with the warden this evening he said I was to leave here at 9 o clock tomorrow morning he also expressed a hope that I would not have to return and said he, if your Lawyer dont get you out of here he ought to be shot he didnt say what he thought of the man that got me in here but said he thought it was a fearful thing that people would beleave in a religion that it was <could> possibly get them into this place he doesnt understand our religion nor the persecution we have to put up with. I asked him if he intended staying in utah if so he ought to visit among the mormons and become aquaint [acquainted] for himself he would then know how false a great ma[n]y statements were, which had been given him for facts [p. 20] he said he excepted that was true I told him he could not find <amore [a more]> industrious, honest upright people. he did not answer me for I persume he did not beleave all I said for he is terribly predigiced against us but he and his wife have been very kind to me and have repeatedly expressed their sentiments with regard to my being brought here though they do not place the blame where it ought to be.

22 June 1883 • Friday

June 22

Well the Supreme Court met to day and my case was fully argued. Arthur Brown Col. Merrit [Samuel A. Merritt] and S. A. Kenner. for the petition and Judge [Philip T.] Van Zile & Zera Snow in opposition the argument was lengthy on both sides at the conclusion of which the Court announced that the case would be taken under advisement and a decision given monday 25. I had a very aggreable time all treat me with the greatest respect there were a good many in the court room and of course I was the center of attraction for the curious but I stood the test pretty bravely I think and after returning here I was visited by a reporter for the Cronicle [Salt Lake Evening Chronicle] I was very much fetieuged [fatigued] with the days excitement but he seemed to want to tax my conversational powers to the utmost. [p. 21] and I think I satesfied him, at least I satesfied myself. for after I had parried some 25 of his impodent [impudent] questions without seeming absolutely rude. he said Well you are the worst woman to interview I ever saw I very naturaly asked him why and he says I cannot find out anything well I have been talking to you ever since you came but I dont mean to give any interesting itims [items] for your papers for I dont want my affair[s] puplished he seem[ed] taken back to think he had been able to glean so little information and <said> they wanted my picture that I <had> become so famous that my pictur would find ready sale and I told him I didnt think it would as I should not permit any thing of the kind he then took his leave and I ventured to express a hope that he had learned enough to pay him for coming to which he laughed and responded with a good evening I met the warden a few minutes after and he asked me if my visitor was inquisitive I told him yes very. he laughed and <said> the reporter says you are a pretty smart woman.

23 June 1883 • Saturday

June 23

I am tired <today> and not in the best of spirits either as I have been obliged to share my cosey little room with another female prisoner12 who was arested yesterday on a charge of Bigammy and from what I can learn [p. 22] she is one of the lowest class though she acts very well so far she has a baby13 eleven months old with her my baby is not well to day.

24 June 1883 • Sunday

Sunday June 24

I have talked with the warden and asked him if he thought it just or fair that I be confined in the same room with this woman and he said he <did> not he was very sorry that it had to be so that it wasnt right and he cincerely hoped that I would be released Oh! I feel that it is more than I can bare to be shut <up> with a common prostitute and be obliged to eat at the same table I had a good cry last night three or four of the guard express[ed] their views on the matter but of course they cannot help it they told me not to take it so hard that they were sorry, but I must bare with it as it could not be helped. the Warden said the Marshal was comeing out to day and I ought to talk to him I told him I should say more than I ought to if I commensed on the Marshal he said he would talk with him on the subject and see what could be done Bro. [Charles W.] Penrose <editor Desiret [Deseret] news> and his wife14 came to see me to day I told him how I felt & he said that I would get out tomorrow and I hope & trust I will. My baby is better

Mr Kenner & several <other> gentleman have just been to see me He, Mr Kenner is hopefull that I will be released but I [p. 23] feel very doubtfull about it Ju[d]ge Twiss would be glad to let me off if it did not cause a sacrifice of his pride but he does not want to admit he did wrong and I am very much afraid that he will not. Mr Kenner said my lawyers were determined to get me out even if they had to tell them that I was willing to answer their question but I <said> no a thousand times no I would rather stay all summer or as long as they chose to keep me rather than admit any such thing for I am not willing and never will be to answer their questions I He said he was glad to see me so determind and had when the suggestion was made discouraged it and would have continued to do so but every thing that can possibly be done has been and should it fail to winn my release they thought that it would be better for me to acknowledge my willingness to answer their questions than stay in the horrid place any longer but I am not afraid the Lord will wachover me as well here as any where and I know I am doing wright I have seen Mr Ireland and he says he will have some <different> arangements made if I have to stay here he said it was a shame and he didnt know it was so bad [p. 24]

26 June 1883 • Tuesday

Salt Lake Penitentiary

June 26 1883

Editor Deseret news.

Thinking perhaps a few lines from me might prove interesting to your readers many of whom have taken a lively interest <in> my welfare. I have concluded to write The question which has afforded much food for comment for the past few weeks, has been desided [decided]. And who can fail to see the glareing injustice of such a decision None not even the judges themselves were they willing to admit it but when did a mormon ever receive justice at the hands of a gentile Ju[d]ge or Jury.

I do not beleave but that Judge Twiss would be willing enough to grant my me my liberty did he not think it would be a sacrifice to his pride to acknowledge he had erred.

And I have no doubt he will winn honors among his fellow companions [p. 25] whose highest aim would be to persecute the mormons and root out polygamy as they term it but which is only an excuse for if they realy wished to purify society they could begin at home and they would find enough to keep them busy with out interfereing with the mormons There is a woman imprisoned here with me now who states from a personal knowledge of the facts that she knowes of plenty of gentiles both married and single who keep there [their] mistress[e]s and visit houses of ill fame unbeknown their wives who perhaps think there husban[d]s a modle of perfection. but theese very same men will howl like a pack of hungry wolves at mormon polygamy I wonder how they would relish haveing their names published togather with the name of my informant

I wish to tender my heart feld [heartfelt] thanks to the people who have <shown> taken so much interest in my behalf and also to the Lawyers who did all that could be done and all that would have been necessary to have secured my release [p. 26] had an impartial Judgement been rendered before closing I wish to draw attention to a peice in the Cronic [Chronicle] perported to have been an interview with my self in which it would seem I felt to complain that I had not received that dollar subscription but which is by no means the case the matter was spoken of but not atall in the light in the which the Cronicle reporter wishes to iluminate his papers as I had not thought of the circumstance untill he mentioned it and I gave him no re[a]son to think I was dissatesfied

very respectfully

Belle Harris15

June 26

The above is a letter which I have written to the news. I was not much supprised at the decision of the Court for I seemed to know twenty four hours before the decisions just what it would be and so prepared myself never the less it was a shock when I realised that I must stay here two months more [p. 27] they were not going to let me go down to hear the decision but My lawyer learning that I was not comeing telephoned to have me there at 2 o clock so I was taken the they Court were waiting on me and I was according [illegible] in to the Court room I was meet by Mr Kenner who asked me if I was prepared to meet my doom to which I answered yes I scarcely noticed how many there were gazeing at me but took my seat next my Father who was present in a few words the Court anounced that that they were united in their decision and Court was a[d]journed several ladies came and shook hands with me but I scarcely noticed who they were my feeling[s] were so strong as to almost overcome me. Mr Kenner and my Father conducted me to a room in the Marshals office where I had time to collect myself and to visit with my Father. Mr Kenner told me my Lawyers <were> a drawing up a paper expressing my willingness to answer those questions as a last resource to excape this imprisonment. but I would not hear to it [p. 28] presently Mr Merrit came in with the paper he read it to me and said twas for me to say whether I would sign it or not and I said no never he said it wasnt likely they would ever ask me to answer them again but I told him I would not sign it on any consideration he said he admired my pluck but didnt honor my Judgement I told him he didnt understand it was he said no he did not he could see no re[a]son why I could not answer it he gave me the paper and said I might change my mind before august and sign it I took the paper but told him it would not be any temptation to me and I should never change my mind he was sorry but could do nothing more at present The Cronicle reporter came in and asked me if I was not going to answer those questions now to wich I answered as I had so many times before [p. 29] he said I would be obliged two [to] eventual[l]y and I said we will see about that accompanied with a look that he did not fail to understand. Father said he thought he would go home and see how they were getting and then come back it seem so hard to part when the Marshal anounced the wagon was aready to take me back to the Pen. but I did not break down nor have I yet but I feel that the Lord overrules for the welfare of his people and I am willing to wait

29 June 1883 • Friday

June 29

I have had no visitors cince I came back untill to day Sister E[liza] R. Snow & E. B. Wells and Sister Musser and Sister Smith16 they talked very encourageing to me they thought it awfull that I be compeled to stay in the same room with this woman and I do too I thought the Marchas [marshal] was going to have another room prepared but the Warden [said] he isnt they have furnished her some clothing and are going to try to have her keep clean It [is] so intencely warm that it is just suff[o]cating I dont know how I shall be able to [p. 30] indure it the ladies that were here said they would see that every thing for my welfare would be furnished They also wished I could have my picture taken and I think I will consent

Cite this page

June 1883, The Prison Journal of Belle Harris, accessed May 25, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/belle-harris/1883/1883-06