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22 January 1872


Anniversary Celebration; Fourteenth Ward Meetinghouse, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

White building with wood trim, Salt Lake City, circa 1890

Salt Lake City Fourteenth Ward meetinghouse, circa 1890.

By Co-operation of the Female Relief Societies and Retrenchment Association, in celebration of the 69th birthday of Zion’s Poetess, Miss E. R. Snow [. . .]

[. . .] Prest. Mrs. [Mary Isabella] Horne stated the object of the meeting, and remarked that as the anniversary of the birthday came on Sunday, the 21st, the surprise was deferred until this day, Monday. [. . .]

Mrs. S. [Sarah] M. Kimball then read the following

ADDRESS:

OUR OWN BELOVED ELIZA.

We thus emphatically claim you, because you have so unreservedly given yourself for the public weal.

This, the anniversary of your birth-day, we feel to be a befitting occasion to turn the tables and make you the recipient of our blessing.

Your life has been rich with incidents and experiences that cannot be written outside the tablets of the human heart. It is, in part, the result of these experiences that makes you the Eliza that you are.

For the sick you carry a balm, for the sorrowful comfort, and for the wayward reproof.

Through the influence of your pen, many in this and other lands revere and bless your honored name.

 

Let works of love and friendship still,

Your mind and time employ;

Teach woman her true mission, till

She’ll not her gifts destroy.

And when the blessed reign of peace,

Shall fully have come in;

You will have earned a radiant wreath,

In helping conquer sin.

E’en now the rays begin to shine

Around yoar ripening brow,

And the rich dews of purer climes

Seem settling on you now.

The faith and peace that with you dwell,

Bear fruits of love and joy;

Of these it seems your call to tell,

And thus your time employ.

 

Through prophetic influence you have confered blessings without stint. Let blessings return multiplied.

As a help meet, or suitable, you have honored every plank, and stood firmly on the platform of your martyred husband. We feel that we are revering his memory in our feeble endeavor to smooth your pathway.

We now beg you to accept this tribute, with the assurance that did it reach many times its present proportions, we should still feel ourselves your debtor.

Mrs. [Elizabeth] Howard, of Cottonwood, presented Miss Snow with the birthday cake [. . .]

Miss Snow arose and received the cake, after which she made the following remarks:

Had I the language of angels, and were my tongue as the pen of a ready writer, it would be utterly impossible for me to express my feelings on this occasion.

This is a surprise to me—I had not received a hint of this until I was introduced to this grand assemblage as its honored guest. To think that I am receiving so many honors from the purest, the noblest, and the best who dwell upon the earth, I feel my own unworthiness, and I ask myself the question, “What an [am] I, that I should be thus honored?”

It is in vain for me to attempt to express my feelings, and I leave the subject to your own reflections.

I thank you, my sisters, and you my brethren, for your presence. As far as it is in my power to bless, my heart is full of blessings for you. In the name of Jesus, I ask God to bless you all.

Singing.

Mrs. H. [Hannah] T. King then read the following

 

POEM

Welcome! Welcome, sister dear—

You are Presidentess here.

Yes, our Priestess, sister, friend;

To thee our spirits freely bend;

And thus each heart, within each hand.

In one and all to thee expand;

Yes, thou hast earn’d thy sisters’ love,

And time our faithfulness shall prove.

On the Tribune take thy seat,

Upon this festive evening treat:

The fealty of our love we bring—

Accept the humble song we sing.

Laureate of the latter days,

Thou hast won the Poet’s ba◊s.

Not the empty sound of song.

The poetaster of the throng:

But Truth and Principle adduced,

In all thy Lyre has produced.

Thine are songs that will be sung

In the pure seraphic tongue!

Thine are songs ne’er will change

Through Eternity’s broad range;

And the golden harps shall teem

With Eliza’s glorious theme.

“Oh! My Father”—and again,

“My heart is fix’d”! immortal strain!

Hadst thou ne’er pen’d another line,

These would have stamp’d thy muse sublime.

Long, noble lady, may you live,

Thy words of wisdom still to give;

Long my thy presence greet us here,

Upon the morning of the year.

Long mayest thou raise thy earnest voice

To bid thy sisters’ hearts rejoice,

Then like the glorious sun decline,

To rise in an immortal clime.

HANNAH T. KING

 

S. L. City, Jan. 11, 1872

An address in behalf of the young ladies by Miss S. [Sarah] E. Russell, was read—THE YOUNG LADIES’ ADDRESS TO SISTER E. R. SNOW.

SISTER ELIZA R. SNOW.

Beloved Lady:—We, you[r] young sisters, desire to address you on this festive occasion, in concert with the elder ladies, to present to you our affectionate congratulations on the return of your birthday, and we pray that health, strength, and long life, with all their attendant enjoyments, may be your blessed portion.

We rejoice that we have the happy privilege of helping to swell the present assembly of your sisters and friends and we desire to express at this time the rich appreciation we have of the kind commendations you have bestowed upon us in our retrenchment labors, and the desire we have to press forward and continue in the same.

Continue, dear lady, to give us your faith and prayers for our progression in all things that shall assist to make us good and noble women, that we may be a blessing in whatever situation we may be placed.

Again we say, accept our congratulations dear sister Snow, and our gratitude for all your kindness and indulgence to your young sisters.

And unitedly we fervently pray, God bless you. [. . .] [p. 2]

Source Note

Minutes of a Surprise Meeting,” Deseret Evening News 5, no. 53 (24 Jan. 1872): 2.