December 1899


1 December 1899 • Friday

Fri. 1st. Went visiting had 3 conversations and visited 2 houses. In the evening went to choir practice. Bro [Platte D.] Lyman and [James L.] McMurrin were there.

2 December 1899 • Saturday

Sat 2nd. Fasted Went to the baths in the morning. In the evening the Misses Bell came to see us and Bro McMurrin came over later. We went with them to [p. 101] Argyle St to the car.

3 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday 3 Fasted. Went to the 3 meetings. It was conference. I was called out to speak in the after noon. Was very much frightened did not do very well. I had fasted three days that I might do well and had studied quite a bit. I suppose that I do not know how to put myself in a position to get my prayers answered. I think I must do something I ought not, or there is something I ought to do that I do not. We went with Sister Hamilton to dinner.

4 December 1899 • Monday

Monday December 4. Went to priesthood meeting at 10 and stayed till 3. Came home and had dinner. The Misses [Agnes and Leah] Watson from Edinburgh and Bros [John S.] Smith & [William P.] Nisbet came over, The girls stayed to tea and then we went to “53” and had a kind of a program We went to the train with the girls at 9.35. came back to Holmhead and stayed till 10.30.

5 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tues. 5. Today is Sister C.s [Eliza Chipman’s] birthday she is 26 We went to Holmhead this morning and have stayed home this after noon.

7 December 1899 • Thursday

Thurs 7 Went to the boat to see some people off [p. 102] for Utah and went from the boat to visit Miss Scott stayed there for a while and then came to 53 and got supper as Sister Reed [Agnes Cooke Reid] was away after supper went to testimony meeting

8 December 1899 • Friday

Fri 8. Went to the baths in the forenoon, came home and went down town to cash my check and bought me a night gown. In the after noon I wrote some letters and sewed some and then took our bag and baggage and started to 53 and from there went to the station en route for Ireland accompanied by Bros Smith [John B.] Young [William H.] Gardner and [James K.] Miller. Went from St. Enochs Station to Ardrossan and then took the boat for Belfast. It was 12 oclock when we got on the boat so we just went to our room and went to bed and I did not awake till we had stopped and people were up and walking around and then I heard Bro Allens [Thomas L. Allen Jr.’s] voice so I got up and dressed and went up stairs. The stars were still shining but there was a glimmer of day in the east. Bro Allen and I had quite a long talk before the others joined us. As soon as they [p. 103] came and we had exchanged morning greetings we started for No 5. My Ladys Road (the conference house) One of the first things that attracted my attention was that the houses were all brick and only 2½ stories high. There were knockers on the doors. Every thing looked much brighter and cleaner than Glasgow, and the houses looked very low after seeing such high ones. On arriving at No. 5. We were greeted by Bro [F.] Merrill in a gray flannel shirt a sort of a butchers apron and his sleeves rolled up above his elbows. We soon learned that he was cook that week. Every thing about the house looked clean and neat. The kitchens and butrys [butler’s pantries?] have stone floors which make them look rather cold and cheerless after coming from the place where the kitchens are so bright and shine so much. After breakfast we met the rest of the Elders and then went up stairs and cleaned up the rooms, we were just done in time for dinner. In the evening Bro’s Allen and McMurrin Sisters C. and B. took a walk through the park and down the Royal Avenue and up past the Custom House where Bro McM. used [p. 104] to preach when he was here 15 years ago. Also called on Mr and Mrs Jarvis some friends to our elders. Came home and had supper and as we were quite tired Bro Allen took us to the place where were [we] were to stay with three orphan girls named Stewart. We did not stay <up> very long but went to our room which we found to be just lovely and clean. It was quite good to see a bed stead again and was better when we found the bed to be soft and warm just like our beds at home.

10 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday1 10. Fasted. Went to meeting in the White Hall on Ann Street. Twas very cold in the morning The day was disagreeable as it was raining and foggy and the cold large room with only a very few people in it added to the cheerless surroundings Bros Allen, Lyman and Nielson spoke and the regular church authorities sustained. After meeting we made our way through the drizzling rain to No 5. had dinner and again returned to meeting things were better in the afternoon the room was warmer and the rain had ceased. I was called [p. 105] on to speak first and was followed by Bro Lyman The attendance was quite large there were lots of gentiles there. In the evening Sister C Bros [Joseph C.] Mc.Farlane and McMurrin took up the time. We went to our lodgings soon after meeting and had a gospel conversation with the girls. Spoke some on baptism and they seemed to think our views very reasonable

11 December 1899 • Monday

Mon. 122 [11] We got up but it took us so long to do it that it was 11 oclock when we reached No. 5. The Bro’s were just ready to start to the Photographers and we were thankful we had not kept them waiting After about 10 minutes walk we met Bro Allen coming to tell us that on account of its being such a dark day the man wanted us to go to his residence and have them taken out doors. Well we walked and walked it seemed miles, the wind was blowing and it was very cold at last we came to the place and had our “picture.” As yet we do not know the result yet but I don’t imagine they could be very good the wind was so strong and our hair blowing every way but the right way. The streets we [p. 106] passed out in this part of Belfast seem something like our American towns. Fine brick houses with beautiful lawns and trees. One avenue had pine trees along each side and looked very pretty. On reaching home we had dinner and then went to Priesthood meeting. it lasted about three hours and the spirit of the Lord was there. After meeting we talked and sang till time to go home.

12 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tues. 13 [12]. Stayed at home in the morning and in the after-noon we went to visit Bro & Sister Hoffman we had quite a good time. They are very kind hospitable people. We had a german dinner. Two fried eggs a very large piece of meat and as much “Greece gravy” as would do our whole family was given to each one. Some of the glasses of milk were more than quart glasses. They seem to eat on the wholesale plan. We had two of those “immense” and the result was awful dreams night mare etc If we had eaten one more— Oh I dare not think of the result!!

13 December 1899 • Wednesday

We got up on Wed at 9 oclock and the gentlemen [p. 107] came for us to go through the Belfast Rope works they cover 60 acres of ground and make all kind of rope from cord strings to big ropes for ships. They employ 3000 hands, a great number of them being women. The rope is made from hemp and it looks something like wild hay. It is put up in bales. The rope is made almost like thread the process is something the same but is far dirtier and harder work. The women who work there look like big bundles of dirt their hair and faces are something awful. Most of them were barefooted. The workers in coates and the carpet factory are queens in comparison. At the first hemp is put into a machine that grinds it all up fine and then it is put through others till it comes out in a fine thread. After it was made into thread it was run through some paste to stiffen it and was then wound on very large nickel plate cylinders to polish it and make it smooth They twisted it very odd. Had a kind of a little wagon that run on rails in a very long room and as this wagon came up it twisted the rope. [p. 108] In Belfast are the largest linen mills in the world. One firms ship yards that cover 80 acres and an immense Tobacco manufacturing factory. The River Lagon [Lagan] runs near the center city. The trains are all drawn by horses. The streets are quite wide. A good many of them were not paved. Most of the grocer shops sell liquors It is a very bad place for drink. There are 300,000 people in Belfast. The Irish people are divided against them selves. Their are the Catholics and Protestants and they are very bitter towards each other. They are called the Orange men and the green. The latter are Catholics. The majority of people in Belfast are Protestants but in Dublin they are mostly catholics

We went from the rope works to No 5. to dinner and then talked and read till time to go to the boat to see Bros Lyman Mc.Murrin [Mc.]Farlane3 off. We rode in a jaunting car4 to the docks. Saw an Irish quarrell The policeman did not dare to interfere. He looked quite pale. We walked home from the docks and got [p. 109] there just in time for meeting.

After meeting we went to our boarding place and then to bed.

14 December 1899 • Thursday

Thurs. 15 [14]. Went to No 5. at about 11. Sister C wrote to Pres. Miller and I sewed on buttons. for the boys. In the afternoon we called on Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis and then went away out in an other part of town to meeting Sister C and I spoke We walked to our boarding place arriving there at about 11 oclock. On entering we saw a fine stately looking elderly lady on the sofa and were informed that she had heard we were mormon’s, and as she was very curious to see some real live Mormons she came to have a look at us. We had quite a good conversation and she seemed very friendly and said she wished her boy could see us. as he was quite opposed to our people. After she went we soon went to bed as we were quite tired and were going in the country early next morning

15 December 1899 • Friday

Fri 16 [15]. At 7.30 this morning we were up and preparing for our trip. Which ever were ready [p. 110] first were to go for the others. So we started but met Bros Allen and [G.] Green at the corner of willow field street so we took a train for the Northern County’s station and arrived there just in the nicht of time boarded the train and were off. It was very cold but the sun shone brightly and every thing looked green although it was then Dec. On arriving at Daugh we took a jaunting car and rode to the town where we were met by Bro. Stewart. He got another car and we went to Bally Clare and went through the paper mills. The paper is made of some kind of wood that is brought from Norway and Canada and cooks after it is prepared by those countries like large blocks (2ft x 3ft x 3in) of blotting paper These blocks were put through a machine which ground them up into about inch pieces and then it was put into some kind of acids, water, etc which made it look like foam on water and then it was run over large sheets of copper just filled with little holes so that the water ran out and left [p. 111] only the paper on the tin. It was then run off the tin on to hot rollers and pressed and dried and came out paper. It only takes a very few minutes to make it after it is put on the copper sheets. From the Paper Mills we went to the bleaching factory where they bleach linen and cotton goods and went through there. It was very interesting, then we once more got on the jaunting car and started for Hall Town, our destination. After riding about three quarters of an hour we were again told to alight and In the distance we saw the long white farm house and barn. On arriving we were ushered into the kitchen. The fire place was quite large and their was a little fire on the floor of it There was one very small window and the room was very large and the window had not been washed in this century the room was rather black 2 or three cats were around the fire. There was an old grandma there who said she was “terrible glad to see us” She was very good and kind but I am afraid that she had not seen any more water than the [p. 112] windows had. Then there was Bro Stewarts wife “Pro tem”. Her hair was hanging in one braid down her back and her dress was quite short. Bro Stewart and a large dog made up the rest of the party. The floor was rock the cupboard was board shelves with out doors there was a table a bench some buckets and some chairs. We were told to go into the parlor which we accordingly did and this room was like the rest, It could have been made comfortable had you used some tack about fixing up but as it was it was quite cheerless. Bro Green and I sat on one chair to warm ourselves (now isn’t that a confession for a missionary girl) but we were not piled up but side by side, Bro Allen and Sister C. had a chair apiece and we played truth upon honor till we were called to supper.

Owing to things both seen and unseen my apetite was not as good as usual but I ate some crackers and jam and Sister C heroically drank my cocoa and the dog looked on longingly on for his turn As soon as the meal was over the family went [p. 113] out to catch some turkeys for market and I went for a shawl the cats and dog were now having their turn and seemed to enjoy it but for all that the people were very kindhearted and agreeable and I like them very well. At 6 we started back to the train and arrived in Belfast at about 8 oclock we went directly to No 5 and had some good bread and milk and then went to spend the evening with the Misses Stewarts. Sister C helped them sew. I made candy and we had a good conversation till about 12 oclock

16 December 1899 • Saturday

Sat. 17th. [16th] Went and bid the Mrs Stewart who came to look at the “Mormon Wonders” on Thurs. night good bye she gave us each a handkerchief and was very kind. The girls we were living with gave us a picture of an Irish jaunting car. Then we went to No 5. and talked till time to go to the boat. Bros Allen[,] Merrill[,] Gray[,] and Nelson went with us and we waved to them as long as we could see them and then for an hour stood out on deck and watched the coast and waves as they came dashing past the boat. While we were watching the waves a man was watching us. I noticed him first and then [p. 114] Sister C spoke about his ways. Just then we felt ourselves called to go below and for 5 hours I was as sick as I ever want to be. The old channel did its best and the water fairly dashed over the top of the boat—“O dear”. At Ardrossan we were called to get up in a hurry as the stewartess said we would miss the train so we moved with what speed we could command and got a carriage all to ourselves and had just finished congratulating our selves on our good luck when a nice looking young gentleman came up and pushing the little heating apparatus over to me remarked. “These things are more for style than use but perhaps you can get a little heat,[”] then sat down in the opposite corner but dark and dreadful ending to a tragic day here come the man that had stared at us on the boat and finding us he went and had the man bring his baggage and was coming in our car. I felt a thrill of fear run over me and I said to Sister C “let me go and find a car with women in it. I found one. [p. 115] We left and got in a car with some Americans who were traveling and had a pleasant journey home Of course we don’t know what might have been but I felt impressed for once.

17 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday 18 [17] Went to Sunday School and two meetings. Went to “53” in the evening

18 December 1899 • Monday

Monday 19 [18]. Went to the conference house and cooked breakfast for the boys. Sister Reid was ill. Everything went up side down. We first set the lum5 on fire and got quite a fright. The mush was awful salty. The greese in the frying pan caught on fire and etc We managed to put in the day at house work and came home in the evening fairly worn out. Then Effie [Lindsay] and Maggie Freeman and her sister Madge came and we had a long gospel conversation.

19 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tues. 20 [19]. I felt sick all day. In the after noon we went to see a gentile woman that Bro E. met in tracting She lived at 27 Alexander St off Berkley St. In the evening stayed home.

20 December 1899 • Wednesday

Wed 21 [20]. Stayed home in the morning. Went to 53 for tracts. Went tracting and gave out 65 had four very short con’s and one long one. [p. 116] Miss Scott called to tell us about speaking in the Band of Hope.6 Stayed home in evening Felt better today. Bro Young came over for a few minutes.

21 December 1899 • Thursday

Thurs 22 [21]. Went with Sister Nelson in the after noon to the Bazaar and I did not know it was a place where they sold things and did not take a penny with me. Well if we had suddenly dropped into a hornets nest I could not have felt more uncomfortable. The young old, and middle aged women and children flocked around and wanted us to buy every thing from a down Quilt to a scent bottle when I got out I felt very much relieved. We decided to finish out the day by going to call on Nelsons cousins. We had a pleasant time and came home just in time for testimony meeting

22 December 1899 • Friday

Fri.—

23 December 1899 • Saturday

Sat 23. Stayed home. Made candy in the afternoon. Bros [W. Moultrie] Worthington and Nesbit called Went to 53 and had supper. The boys all went to the pantomime with the exception of Bros [William] Gould and Miller. After they had got about half way there [p. 117] they remembered us and N and W came back for us looking awfully plagued. Of course we did not go. We are too important7 In our own eyes to be forgotten.

24 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday. Went to Sunday School and two meetings. Went to Nelsons to Christmas dinner. Bro. [David O.] McKay was there last year and McKinnen [Malcolm McKinnon] the year before. Came home in the evening and wrote parts of two letters and cried a little, not for any thing in particular—but Bro McKay had not written to me for two months, and he had been ill, I heard and I was so far away and— but that isn’t the reason I cried!!

25 December 1899 • Monday

Dec. 25. Christmas morning just think!! I thought of all I did last Christmas of home, of loved ones, and friends after thinking it all over I got up and dressed my self and went to “53” for letters. The[n] came—the dearest letter from Bro. McKay—I am afraid I looked delighted but I tried not to—I was awfully glad when sister C asked me to go home for the washing so I could be as happy as I wanted too with no one to look at me. And read it again “all [p. 118] by my self”. We received quite a number of presents among others was a funny little doll from Bro Smith & Buchanan [Alexander Buchanan Jr.], a purse from Sis. [Lizzie] Nelson, cake and Christmas cards Sis Hamilton 6 handkerchieves Inez and Clara a box of candy Rose Rooke a pen from Bro McKay

As a token of remembrance

And a wish for happy times

When e’er Santa makes his visits

And you hear the Xmas chimes

I this golden pen now send you

With the wish that til we meet

You will use it very often

Penning words divinely sweet.

I also received a number of beautiful cards from my friends. Sister C. had not been feeling well all day so in the evening I came home and doctored her up. Thus passed my first Christmas in Scotland. We had dinner and an oyster supper at “53”. I won the oyster supper from Bro Eccles. He bet that at conference time [p. 119] we would be sent to Edinburgh and I bet we would not.

26 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tues. 26. Went to call on Mary McDonald at 120½ Broom a La [Broomielaw]. Met a man who was very favorable to the mormons. Effie called in the evening. Then after going down stairs with her I came back and started to write but there was such a big fight down stairs in the next house to this that I was afraid and went to bed. The woman had just been hurried out of that house that day and then they were fighting. It was simply awful.

27 December 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday Dec. 27. Twas very dark and foggy we had the gas lighted most of the day. In the afternoon we went to Nelsons—and ate—–ate—–ate as usual. We had a piece of plumb-pudding that covered the whole of the plate—then oranges—apples chocolate—etc. In the evening we went to the dance practice. I danced with Bro [Charles] Murray three times in a row that event called forth the following out burst from Sister C. “Bro Murray tip toed across this floor and took my fair companion to accompany him in a quadrille I felt a blush come to my face and had any one [p. 120] know the reason I would have felt uncomfortable I did not envy my fair companion of her womanly grace and beauty but to see her to be the choice of such a one—but ah me! After this dance is a German Schottishe was called and low and behold here comes Bro. Murray, this time of course for me I could entertain nothing to the contrary, but alas! all the straightening up and looking nice, I heard his voice shaped into these words, Miss Booth will you assist me— She modestly advanced a few words of acceptance—and again I remained disappointed—but I thought what he does to my companion he will surely do to me—and last is best of all the game. The next time was an other quadrille—here comes Bro Murray—its my turn to shine—now Miss Josie will have a turn of envy I was too excited to hear his words but I heard yes from Josie’s lips, I saw them walk across the floor With shattered hopes I fell back into the lap of false destiny. At the close of the dance I collected myself sufficiently to rise and take Josephine home”8 That is Sister Chipman’s [p. 121] version. As for me they swung me till I was sea sick and I was glad to get home—not to cast any reflections on Bro M. for I quite appreciated the effort.9

28 December 1899 • Thursday

Thurs. 28. Went to 53 in the morning. In this afternoon we went to Sister Griers and Leggatts [Martha Officer Leggat’s]. Came up to testimony with Bro [James H.] Wickens. There were a number of Elders and saints who were going home present. Some boys were taking girls out. They were an awful “spoony” crowd.

29 December 1899 • Friday

Friday 29. Called on Bro [William W.] Hamilton and Sister Rankin. Spent the evening at “53”. Twas very stormy.

30 December 1899 • Saturday

Sat. 30. Met the elders and saints

31 December 1899 • Sunday

Sun. 31. Attended the three services. This was the last day of the old year. We did not sit up as our coals were out. I received a beautiful pen from Bro McKay and a letter from Aunt May [Booth Talmage]10 and $5.00 for a present. We went to bed. Heard the bells ring and whistles blow and people out singing playing drinking etc.

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December 1899, Journals of Early Sister Missionaries, accessed May 18, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/early-sister-missionaries/josephine-booth/1899/1899-12