September 1874

1 September 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Sep. 1. The anniversary of Eugene [H. Harris]’s birth;1 he would have been thirty today it seems almost like a dream when I consider and reflect upon it; if he were living how much happiness he might bring to me; what a rock to lean upon; what a shelter and protection his strong arm might [p. 18] {p. 20} be for his nervous and delicate mother; I feel sure he would have grown up pure and true-hearted, kind and generous he was beautiful no lily could be fairer than this sweet bud of promise; I can never forget the sensation I felt when I realized I had become a mother; young, childish; inexperienced; always petted and indulged to the very extreme; away from home and friends in a strange city none who had known me hitherto save my husband and he so young, and altogether unused to the world, we two so unsophisticated alone in a strange place where all were strangers to us, having no idea of the stern realities of life, how hard it was how severely we were put to the test, Our Father in heaven the only one to whom we could go, for comfort, sickness poverty and all its attendant [p. 19] {p. 21}2 consequences; when I look back it seems incredible that I should have passed through such hard and thorny places and kept and preserved myself as free from evil and impurity as I have always firm in the belief of the kindness of my Heavenly Father always hopeful believing in the light after darkness; in God’s mercy and feeling that somehow it was all for the best; God has been very good to me in many things He has given me beautiful children, and many kind and true friends a husband whose interest in the kingdom of God is ever uppermost; [p. 20] {p. 22}

3Sep. 3 <2>. School opened4 Em. does not know as yet whether she will teach or not, Miss Cook is undecided, she has fewer scholars, Miss Ida was to open school in the 13th. ward Assembly Rooms5 but it was not ready it is deferred until Wednesday consequently Miss Cook will not fully organize until that time, the weather is very warm, fruit is ripening and every one is busy with it, I am not well enough to commence as yet,

6Tues. Sep. 3, no change of any kind everything dull in the way of business I was very sick again similar to the other sickness, indeed I feel as if my health was failing seriously– I suffer with my head [p. 21] {p. 23} all night I kept the folks up, Em. was very attentive Mellie was not well either suffering all the time with her side;

2 September 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. <Sept. 3. <2>> I was very low-spirited indeed, every time any one spoke to me I was crying, Annie & Louie commenced to dry a few peaches I was writing most of the day Mr. Hendrie called to bring Em. a book, Lile was here and baby,7 I could not see him: I felt more gloomy than usual, Annie went to ask a friend of mine to call but could not get them, they were engaged, I longed to see my husband who was dead,8 [p. 22] {p. 24} why can we not call them to us in our grief and sorrow, why cannot our dead come back to us if only for one sweet solemm hour; in the evening Em. went to the association so did Annie, Mellie was at home; Louie slept up with Ruthie Young; called on several poor people;

3 September 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Sep. 3. Today was our Relief Society Monthly meeting,9 I read the minutes of our last meeting, had a pleasant time; in the evening Mr. Tanner Will and Mr. Hendrie were here, had a very pleasant time, Will went away early and afterwards Tanner Hendrie Mell & Em. all had a gay time singing comic and all that in the empty parlor down stairs; [p. 23] {p. 25} how gay and joyous they were and how elastic and buoyant their spirits overflowing with wit and humor, their sorrows have been of a light nature if any have ever come into their life all save Mellie and hers are almost forgotten in her new-found happiness; soon after they left Louie and a crowd of little folks came serenading, and we were delighted with their merry voices and gladness; Em. went horse back riding with <Rudgar Clawson>

4 September 1874 • Friday

Friday Sep. 4. All our folks nearly went to the Lake I was up at the house but my husband was not to be seen, O how I want to see him, how long the time seems, and how weary I grow [p. 24] {p. 26} for one sight of his <beloved> face one touch of his dear hand; O how I love him and he feels it not nor realizes all the pangs and tortures he has made me suffer, Mellie & Emmie went up to Zina [V.] Hyde’s to a little Sociable– had a very pleasant time–

5 September 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Sep. 5. One of the most remarkable incidents of my life occurred today– I went to meeting in the 14th. Ward a very good meeting indeed, went up home with the Mrs. Musser’s Annie [Seegmiller] Musser came home with me, we were talking of women’s affairs and of Polygamy, she is very inexperienced in these things, she is a very sweet little woman, [p. 25] {p. 27} lovable gentle and amiable in the evening I went to the other house, Em. & I were alone Will. was here with Mell, Annie went to the theatre and Louie to bed early, Mr. Hendrie came home with Annie from the Theatre they had been for ice-cream and candy, he staid here until two o’clock we were talking– of past and present; soberly and earnestly. Daisie was sick all night.

6 September 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Sep. 6.

This is a lovely day O how I enjoy the autumn, the trees are glorious and the harvest moons so perfectly radiant, Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears] came in the morning and spent the day with both children;10 [p. 26] {p. 28} we had a good visit. Mell. and her were talking a great deal of her coming marriage, Belle feels very anxious over it, as indeed we all do, Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears came early in the evening to take her home, she is very comfortable in circumstances, and happy in her husband’s love, as well as pleasantly situated; Will was here in the evening Richard Taylor Joe. Taylor and Rudd Clawson called on us, Em. went to bed sick, I felt very uneasy about her, she is so precious to me in many ways, so perfectly congenial in temperament the thought of ever being seperated from her is very painful to me, how can I ever bear it, we have been so much to [p. 27] {p. 29} each other, in our dull lonely common-place life;

7 September 1874 • Monday

Mon. Sep 6. <7> Today I have been idling thinking dreaming lounging reading writing made two calls in the afternoon Went up to the other house in the evening– talked considerably with Frankie [Frances L. Wells]– and Martha [Harris Wells][.] Ann Eliza [Webb Young] lectured in the Liberal Institute11 Methodist Church.12 Abbie [C. Wells] & Dessie went to hear her, Septimus and Mary Ann, too– I do not see how they could sit there, and hear it, I am sure I have no feeling of sympathy or interest in any such thing– Em. and Annie went to the Theatre, there were the Irish Hibernican’s [p. 28] {p. 30} with their Panorama,

8 September 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Sep. 7. <8> Went to the Theatre in the evening took Louie with me, it was very pleasant, very good house, pictures were grand, Mr. Hendrie spent the evening here, Will was here too;

9 September 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. 7 <Sep.> 8 <9> Ort & Stan with Mrs. Alice [Young] Clawson and children arrived from the South,13 Ort. attended the Association Em. went– Annie was preparing to go up the Canon, Mr. Hendrie called here a few minutes on his way to escort Mrs. Woodward to the Theatre– I met with a serious disappointment which caused me to be particularly dull all the evening I consoled myself by writing, was up until daylight

10 September 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Sep. 10. This is Em’s birthday Annie went up Big Cotton Wood [p. 29] {p. 31} with her father and several of the family Wallin Lile & Baby were along,

Mr. Hendrie presented Em. a set of jewelry very plain but good; Mell. gave her a ruffle and bow of ribbon Belle gave her a chemise Ort. gave her a book Shakespeare’s Characters; she was disappointed having expected to go out riding and the wind blew furiously, I went to see the Vokes, Mr. Hendrie was here until twelve;

11 September 1874 • Friday

Friday Sep. 11. I was busy all day cooking running about &c. I went up to Mrs. [Sarah Wagstaff] Sears in the 11th. Ward towards evening and took tea with them, she has an elegant lot of flowers, called around to Hartwell’s to see after fruit for our Party [p. 30] {p. 32} came home found Will here Em. had gone to the Theatre, this is the last night of the Vokes; Mell has got her silk dress from the dressmaker’s Ort. came home with Em. from the Theatre, I saw my friend twice today when I was out,

12 September 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Sep. 12. Em. went up to her father’s this morning Mell. and I were very busy all day making preparations for the party– I walked down to the Second Ward, and while alone upon the way pondered over many things– thought is always busiest when we are alone, it reminded me very forcibly of the time when Irene [Haskell Pomeroy] and I walked down there in /49, with our babies in our arms; how different everything is now, at evening I went up to Belle’s the company nearly all came that were invited– the music was excellent, and everything went off [p. 31] {p. 33} agreeably; dancing closed about half-past eleven, all seemed to enjoy themselves; happy youth, Annie came home from Cotton wood <Hanmer [Daniel Hanmer Wells Jr.] made Em. a present of Lucille By Owen Meredith–>14

13 September 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Sep. 13. This is John [K.] Whitney’s and his son Newel [K. Whitney]’s birthday it is a very beautiful day and warmer than usual, we are all very well– Mellie & Will went up almost to Ensign Peak for a walk, we have had no visitors today but some serious trouble– I have been very busy clearing up after the party– this evening I fully expected my husband here but was again disappointed. if he only knew how much good it would do me and what pleasure and happiness it brings to my subsequent days he would not be so chary of his attentions, I suppose it is rather an exertion in him [p. 32] {p. 34} to come, he is not in want of me for a companion or in any sense, he does not need me at all, there are plenty ready and willing to administer to every wish caprice or whim of his, indeed they anticipate them, they are near him always, while I am shut out of his life, and out of sight out of mind, it is impossible for me to make myself useful to him in any way while I am held at such a distance

14 September 1874 • Monday

Mon. Sep. 14. a very beautiful day– Mellie went down to Mary Ann’s, I was busy all day around the house seeing after home affairs, did not feel very well either Ort. was here and spent the evening Will as usual, Eliza & Annie had their endowments today–15 Em. & Annie went to the Theatre [p. 33] {p. 35}

15 September 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Sep. 15. I got Belle’s black-walnut lounge brought down today, Belle came down to spend the afternoon and do some shopping– Bessie Bell went home to Provo Valley and she engaged Mary Jane [Johnston] Woodward, she is very sorry– but the girl promised to return after conference– Zina [Young Williams] and both children16 have been up to Belle’s on a visit staid all night, Will was here in the evening I was taken with one of my old nervous attacks; Louie went to the Theatre–

16 September 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Sep. 16. I have had a very singular dream last night one I can scarcely understand whether it imports good or ill I [p. 34] {p. 36} know not, I cannot get it out of my mind, it haunts me constantly, Mell. has gone to spend the day with Eliza [Partridge] Kingsbury; Em. went to the Society with Ort. it met at Mamie [Mary Ann] Jones’, Frankie called down Charlie was here Will. too spent the evening,

I was feeling very miserable indeed in body and mind– scarcely could keep myself calm, Lou. fainted away at school today– Annie has been up to see her father about some things I am very much in need of, I hate to trouble him, he seems so down-hearted I wish I had any other resources; in this I regret as I have ever done not having a son; sister Lucy was <here this evening>

17 September 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Sep. 17.

This is the gloomiest kind of a day windy and cloudy, Mell. is making preserves for [p. 35] {p. 37} herself– I have been doing some errands and writing– Sister Ada [Adeline Woodward Earl] was here said Charlie had been told he was not needed any more at the store;17 she feels very bad about it– Lou went to the Theatre tonight Mr. Wilson spent the evening here, Em. was very melancholy and has been lately an unusual thing for her, I can scarcely account for it– it is a great grief to me for her cheerfulness, was a continued support to me; and her gaiety filled the house with sunshine I never remember feeling more gloomy than tonight, after Mr. Wilson left we were talking of Hanmers approaching nuptials and the very elaborate preparations which were being made to celebrate it– Mellie alluded to her own wedding in a dismal sort of way calculated [p. 36] {p. 38}18 to give one the impression that she more than half regretted the course she was taking– I feel very unhappy about it, but am unable to decide what would be my proper method of giving wholesome and timely advice; bills were presented to my husband for dishes dry-goods etc. to a most alarming amount considering his embarrassed circumstances May God help him is my prayer; and clearly show him, his duty in all circumstances and on all occasions;

18 September 1874 • Friday

Friday Sep. 18. This is one of the most melancholy anniversaries of my eventful life, 9 years ago today I was pained beyond the power of mortal help or sympathy– I shall never recover from that fearful blow to my peace and happiness– it touched the tenderest fibres of my nature; O what is it not possible to suffer and still live– I have many times [p. 37] {p. 39} thought the pangs of death would be preferable to the agonies of endurance but Our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us all we are in His hands let us at least try to be passive and submit to the decrees of the Almighty; Mellie was putting up fruit in the morning afterwards went to help Frankie I put up the stove in my room today, the weather has been fine warmer than the past few days Em. & Annie are gone to the Theatre it is Benefit night Lou. has gone to a Surprise Party to Ruthie Young’s Mr. Tanner and Will were here, Mellie is not feeling well and has a tooth-ache I called on Lile today Belle had called previously– Martha Wells is expected home from Cache Valley tonight her brother’s19 wife20 has died after her confinement– [p. 38] {p. 40}

I have been sitting here alone all the evening– reading Lucille and Leigh Hunt’s Wishing-Cap-Papers; and I have been thinking as well, of so many things past and present– trying to solve mysteries and reduce theories &c. &c. I do not like sitting alone it makes one conjure up all sorts of weird fancies’ I like to be alone in the out-door air with plenty [of] folks within call, Autumn is becoming beautiful in color and plumage I love the leaves they are always dear to me and their rustle has a music to my sense unsurpassed they tell us of joy and of sorrow, they whisper sweetly to us they sing and shout, they have a language all their own, and only understood by one who listens to them year after year until they become conversant with each varying [p. 39] {p. 41} symphony, walking among dry leaves always reminds me of my youth and girlhood of the grand old venerable woods of our dear New England and the thousand associations that it has clustered around our hearts, ever fresh and green in mine no decay there of the things so cherished then, all joy and true happiness live endlessly, they cannot die; happy reminiscences of chestnutting Beech-nutting– when our very hearts were brimming over with gaiety and gladness and the robin and bluebird did not sing with more joyousness than did we;

Sat. Em & Annie returned from the Theatre Mr. Hendrie & his friend Mr. Rumsey from St. Louis escorted them to the gate– he sent his love to me, [p. 40] {p. 42}

19 September 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Sep. 19. All day long I was very busy with household duties, could not even get to my meeting in the afternoon went up town to do some errands Met Mr. Hendrie on the street he told me he should call around in the evening, Mellie & Em. went to the Warm Springs with their father, Will came Jim [James L.] Tibbitts and Carl last of all Mr. Hendrie Annie & Louie went to the Theatre, The Exponent came and the piece I had written21 rec’d all sorts of comments, not altogether pleasant some of them, we passed a quiet evening talked of books fashion style men and women also of History– broke up about twelve– [p. 41] {p. 43}

20 September 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Sep. 20. Abbie Wells is twenty two today, Em. was taken very sick early this morn. she has been very ill all day, I have been waiting upon her all day and am so tired I can scarcely stand it, however I have had sufficient strength given me to endure, Lile was here while we were at dinner– we have been unusually free from callers for which I am very glad, in the evening Richard Taylor Rudd Clawson Joe. Taylor and Will were here Em. was easier,

21 September 1874 • Monday

Mon Sep. 21. This is a most melancholy anniversary to me, one of the most terrible afflictions of my whole life happened upon this day, and whenever the day comes around, it always brings my misery and anguish fresh before me [p. 42] {p. 44}

Em. could not go to school and was not well enough to go to German, she went to see her father for a few minutes about eight o’clock, Mr. Hendrie called and said he would do as I wished him with regard to a matter of importance to me, he had heard Em. was sick and felt uneasy I think I know he loves her devotedly but is to honorable to manifest more than the most sincere friendship under the circumstances and as he knows Em. is true to the principles of her religion, and would not think of disobeying; Em. came home and said her father had got us a new set of bedroom furniture; tomorrow is Hanmer’s wedding-day and all is in commotion preparatory, [p. 43] {p. 45}

22 September 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Sep. 22. A most lovely day I believe Hanmer and Geneva [Emma Geneva Price] were married at twelve Em. went up to dinner she gave them a silver napkin-ring with their initials engraved upon it– they had many handsome and expensive presents; and I suppose they are as happy as mortals can be; the reception commenced about eight the repast was sumptuous and in excellent style I went down about half-past ten my husband seemed pleased to see me indeed everything was pleasant the house and its inmates dancing continued until half-past two Mell & I came home about one I was very happy that evening and yet my disappointment was some what serious; we got our22 new furniture today [p. 44] {p. 46}

23 September 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Sep. 23. This is the anniversary of Bishop [Newel K.] Whitney’s death as good a man as ever lived, a father to all within his reach and more than father to me, I looked to him almost as if he had been a God; my youth my inexperience of life and its realities caused me to trust most implicitly in one who had power and integrity always at his command; Em. did not feel strong enough to go to the Club.

24 September 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Sep. 24. Francelle [Francella E.] Pomeroy is twenty-nine today I remember distinctly when she was born in Nauvoo, O how fear fully we all suffered then privation of feeling and the actual necessaries of life, I never can bear to think of it, it seems to me to be locked up in my memory some where [p. 45] {p. 47} like a phantom of the past; I wish I could never think of some of my troubles then, they were truly agonizing; well it is past now and if we are rewarded for our suffering here according as we believe why I have some thing on account which will help to balance my bad deeds or shortcomings (I went out for a ride in the evening for my health to see if it would do me good, as I have not been well lately in body or mind;)23 Lou had a surprise party of little folks they enjoyed it immensely, we had thirty five bushels of apples come from the farm24 to dry today, I feel almost as if a new era had dawned upon me; [p. 46] {p. 48}

25 September 1874 • Friday

Friday Sep. 25. I was out looking after some of the poor and the sick; in the evening Will & Mell had sort of a quarrel, he went away vexed and she went to bed crying; Em. was playing on the guitar and singing all her old songs over to me I was out on the porch it was a lovely moonlight night so clear and starry– about eleven Mr. Hendrie was passing towards his room, we asked him up he came for a few minutes and sat on the porch with us, such lovely nights the harvest moon;

26 September 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Sep. 26. I went with Zina Young and Sister [Rachel Ivins] Grant to administer the ordinances to Sister Anderson [Elizabeth Anderson Howard],25 she has inflammation of the lungs; [p. 47] {p. 49} I sent my piece to the Exponent26

27 September 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Sep. 27. Em. and I both went to the Ward meeting to hear Orson Pratt preach; Heber [J.] Grant came home with us, afterwards Stan & Rule and several others were here;

28 September 1874 • Monday

Mon. Sep. 28. The weather is excessively warm, fortunate on account of our fruit, we are doing all we can tomorrow we are going to have an apple-paring Jo. Pitt and Ort. and Ab Kimball27 came here and brought some beebeerr, Will was here; Mr. Hendrie called on his way from the Geological lecture28 did not go up stairs; [p. 48] {p. 50}

29 September 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Sep. 29. another excessively hot tiresome dusty day, in the evening Rule Ort Brig Hebe[r M. Wells] Stan. Rudd Jo. Taylor, Budd and lots more boys our own crowd of girls all come to pare apples, they finished them all except a few, had refreshments and danced afterwards I went down to Mother’s staid a few minutes took Lou. with me, they broke up about twelve o’clock, all seemed to enjoy it, received a letter saying my br. Hiram [E. W. Clark]’s29 second boy Wallie30 was dead had died very suddenly– he was nearly six years old, Mr. [George R.] Hewlings called on me today and I had some conversation with him in regard to literary labor, he is going to look over my writings and criticise them and help me to better them [p. 49] {p. 51}

30 September 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Sep. 30. One of the very warmest days for this time of the year, I posted a letter today of some importance, O how miserable I am in regard to some of my children, almost heart-broken; every nerve in my whole system is unstrung– all the anguish a mother can feel in seeing her children do wrong I feel tonight, my heart is bleeding almost– misery and darkness and I have no one to go to for comfort or shelter no strong arm to lean upon no bosom bared for me, no protection or comfort in my husband; Emmie & the little ones are all tenderness O what should I do without them. but they are only weak themselves and need to be nourished by me, O if my husband [p. 50] {p. 52}31 could only love me even a little and not seem so perfectly indifferent to any sensation of that kind, he cannot know the craving of my nature, he is surrounded with love on every side, and I am cast out O my poor aching heart where shall it rest its burden, only on the Lord, only to Him can I look every other avenue seems closed against me, O help me Father in heaven to overcome and resist temptation in every form or shape,

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September 1874, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed May 25, 2024