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6 January 1870


Public Meeting; Fifteenth Ward Relief Society Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

Women, men, and children stand in front of the two-story Fifteenth Ward Relief Society Hall

Salt Lake City Fifteenth Ward Relief Society Hall, dedicated August 1869. This photograph, date unknown, was published in 1893.

[. . .] Pres Mrs [Sarah M.] Kimball said we had met to express our feelings in relation to the Cullum [Cullom] bill, now before Congress. She spoke of the part our forefathers had taken in the struggle for freedom, how they had suffered and bled for the principals of civil and religious liberty, and she felt that we would be unworthy of the names we bear and of the Blood in our vains, should we longer remain silent, while such an infamous bill was before the House, a bill whose object if attained would make of our men menial serfs, and if they make serfs of them what do they make of us. She then called for the vote of all who were in favor of entering a protest against said bill.

The Vote was unanimous. [. . .]

At 5 Sisters Snow [Lucy W.] Kimball and [Bathsheba W.] Smith arrived. [p. 139] Sister Snow said we had her hearty concurrence in the measures that had been taken, felt that the Ladies of Utah had too long remained silent while they were being so falsely represented to the world, felt it was high time that we should rise up in the Dignity of our calling and speak for ourselves, that the world thought we were in the bonds of servitude, which we had no power to break, felt it to be right and due to our brethren that we express our feelings and not remain silent beneath such a flood of falsehood.

The world does not know us and truth and justice to our brethren and to ourselves demands us to speak.

Spoke of the Relief Societies said Pres [Brigham] Young was urging the Sisters forward to be more useful and to take a wider sphere of action, and still to honor and fill nobly the position of wife &c. We are not inferior to the Ladies of the World and we do not want to appear so. Was pleased that this movement had been made and wished to see it extend throughout the Territory.

Sister Smith said she was pleased with what had been done, and moved that we demand of the Gov’ [government?] the right of Franchise, vote called and carried.

Mrs Lucy Kimball said she felt that we had borne in silence, as long as it was our duty to bear, and moved that we be represented at Washington Sisters Snow and Kimball was elected as representitives.

Sister Snow said she had seen the day When she was proud of our Country and flag, but the Executors of the Gov’ had disgraced themselves and the Country which had boasted of being a [p. 140] shelter to the world was trying to make slaves of a portion of her citizens, thought that many of our people didnot [did not] realize the extent of the degredation, the Bill if passed would bring us to. [. . .] [p. 141]

Source Note

Fifteenth Ward, Riverside Stake, Relief Society Minutes and Records (1868–1968), vol. 1 (1868–1873), pp. 139–141, CHL (LR 2848 14); Sarah E. Russell, Secretary. (An introduction and annotations to these minutes are available on the First Fifty Years of Relief Society website, https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/part-3/3-12?lang=eng.)

Footnotes