The Church Historian's Press

February 1888

1 February 1888 • Wednesday

This is a day full of toil and anxiety. Two loads taken up to the other house and such confusion nothing orderly, yet it is good to get things over the front porch. What a trial it is to me to be upset so in leaving here I am so strongly attached to this place I feel that my whole soul is wrought upon in parting therewith Every book, paper, letter all are exposed more or less in the upsetting and emptying of drawers etc. Well I cannot but repine & yet I ought not I suppose. This month my birthday will transpire and I shall have entered upon a new era of my life. How strange it will be, and how sad to be without my own darling baby Lulu [Louie Wells Cannon]. Wrote to my husband to-night. [p. 56] {p. 59}

2 February 1888 • Thursday

I was late going over the hill last night and did not get down town until very late. Ellen came down to pack my china and glass ornaments etc. And Br. James to do the kitchen carpet. Annie came up to Mell’s with all the children and spent the day. Little Q. took home his Banties.1 It was very dark when Annie left and after that Verona and myself came down to the house here and did some writing. I have been feeling very ill all day and could scarcely keep up. We went over a great many things and wrote the names and addresses of agents for the paper, and also did some visiting speaking of the past very much. O, how sad to feel I shall never see her2 any <more> [p. 57] {p. 60}

3 February 1888 • Friday

Came late as usual to the Office and answered some letters. Came down to the house with Annie & we packed up a few things to go to the other place in the buggy. We took them up it did seem something accomplished. Ellen tacked down the kitchen carpet, and I had such a lot of calls I could scarcely get away to come down to the house. Annie sent off a letter to Belle today, I am very anxious to hear from her have not heard since Sunday. John Q. came in and had something to eat with me, or at least after me. He seemed to be in good spirits and I rather enjoyed the hour he stayed here. O, how dreadful to me to think of the past ten years. [p. 58] {p. 61}

4 February 1888 • Saturday

Today I have not accomplished much, have had many unpleasant things to endure and feel low-spirited indeed. All the afternoon some one has been in talking and not so agreeable either. Aunt Zina came towards evening and opened her heart more fully. She expects to go to Logan very soon. I went down with John Q. to the Farm and had dinner with all the children and both John Q. & Annie. We sat up very late talking over things and I slept little until morning. O these dreadful days. When will all be settled and we be free again from these fetters that bind us and the dark clouds that lower around our pathway. [p. 59] {p. 62}

5 February 1888 • Sunday

This would have been the anniversary of Bishop [Newel K.] Whitney’s Birthday. Annie and I came up and went over a few sacred relics of our dear ones now departed, We had some lunch in the sweet parlor where we have been so happy and we talked of all the days now gone forever and our precious ones laid away to rest. How long it will be ere I shall go to them I know not. Dear Annie went home early and I stayed alone. Mell came about 8 and sat awhile and then we came up to her house together. Every place is lonely and it seems as though a desolation had come upon us. Belle & her little flock so far away, my two darlings gone forever how shall we be bye & bye [p. 60] {p. 63}

6 February 1888 • Monday

This evening when I took up the Deseret News after a day of toil hard toil indeed there I saw as in letters of burning fire so deep did they pierce my inmost heart that the trial of John Q. Cannon for polygamy was set for the 24th of February. O, how dreadful when we have already suffered as we have in the past. I could not contain myself scarcely I went & hunted John Q. up at the City Hall and he comforted me somewhat by assuring me it should be postponed if it could not be quashed or taken from the Calendar. My heart is nearly broken. I was to have met my husband this evening privately but I could not. Such dreadful feelings came upon me suddenly [p. 61] {p. 64}

7 February 1888 • Tuesday

Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears sent the valise with all the things Belle sent to us. Dear Belle how she does try to help us and to make us all feel comforted in her absence from us. She has such a good heart. She sent figs and oranges for the little ones and wine muscatelle for me. It is very superior in quality and seems to exhilarate almost as much as Champagne– Q’s bow and arrows are very nice and extra good. I shall send Louie’s cap (seal skin) to Lucile [Sears]– I am still busy at the house trying to get the garret cleared up. How dear to me are all these attic treasures, but I might as well tear them from me now. My darling has gone and I have no one at my hearthstone, no one, no! [p. 62] {p. 65}

8 February 1888 • Wednesday

This has been a sorrowful day to me, working very hard all morning and handling over the most precious things that almost break my very heart to touch and no moment to hide myself and weep, always aiming to keep up for the sake of others, O how difficult what a strain upon one’s nerves. Such a severe tension, yet it must be how can one avoid it? This afternoon went to Sister [Elizabeth Jane Du Fresne] Stevenson’s birthday party, took her a present a book– there were a great number there both brethren and sisters and such a good feeling. Br. & Sister [Joseph] Horne together Angus M. Cannon & Clara [Clarissa Moses Cannon] Br. Stevenson and three wives quite a wonder in these days. My husband came and we both spoke also Br. & Sister Horne & Br. Cannon & Sister Smith– <went home with my husband Sister Stevenson was 50. today> [p. 63] {p. 66}

9 February 1888 • Thursday

We worked hard finishing the garret. Had lunch from Spencer’s. Annie was up all day helping me. Beat Louie’s bedroom carpet & took it up. Moved the piano into the dining room and took up parlor carpet. Saw Mr. Sears in the Co-op gave me good tidings of Belle & the children. Referred to the past and to Belles, opera house. I felt so fatigued I could scarcely get home it seems so painful to go over all the scenes of the years gone by; happy they who have no such grievous burdens to bear. Had I some leisure to sit down and write, to put into rhymthm form eloquent and touching the tender pains and sweet sadness that encompasses my life about it might be of <some consequence & possess some merit–> [p. 64] {p. 67}

10 February 1888 • Friday

This morning was gloomy and dismal. Went down to the office to hard work. Called on Lydia Ann and felt much annoyed at her speaking of my husband attending with me Sister Stevenson’s party Annie came up and went Maria Y. Dougal [Maria Young Dougall]’s Sociable, or Kettle Drum. She looked very nice, Talulah [Charlotte Talulah Young Wood] went with her. [Edward A.] Franks the Deputy who has been after me for days now found me today at my office and subpeoned me to appear at Court on the 24th of February. I was much upset and trembled very much indeed. Drove down to Annie’s with her and back again. The night terribly dark and roads very muddy. Verona was up when I came home. Had a letter from Zina Young today [p. 65] {p. 68}

11 February 1888 • Saturday

This morning hurried with my revise hoping to get the paper out but all in vain. Had lots of callers and in the evening went down to Sister Horne’s to take some notes of her journey to Arizona & California, did not feel very well or happy. Wrote to Mrs. [Jane H.] Spofford of Washington Treasurer of the National Woman Suffrage Association and to Mrs Matilda Joslyn Gage and to President George Q. Cannon and send five dollars to the National W. S.3 Association How different everything seems now to what it did formerly. Once Louie & I would have so rejoiced so over my appointment4 and been talking it over so freely– but now I cannot feel to mention it to any one. [p. 66] {p. 69}

12 February 1888 • Sunday

This morning rose rather late a damp soft air. After breakfast made ready to go to Annie’s Went down and spent the day. Annie had a fire in the parlor and we sat there most of the time. Such a sweet room and a bright wood fire in the grate. Children so lovely had lunch and then dinner wrote to Belle & Annie addressed Valentines to Belle’s children Ort’s and others. We sat up very late wind blew fiercely and stormed hail and rain. Q. coughed and altogether it was a wretched night. My heart was aching for of late I have been melancholy and low-spirited and it seems difficult to go on with my moving. I am almost wild at times and know not what to do John Q. went to <Ward meeting> [p. 67] {p. 70}

13 February 1888 • Monday

<Hospital meeting today. [Hiram B.] Clawson not present> Annie came up town with me this morning, we drove past the Court House where the voting was going on. There are two tickets the Citizen’s and the Liberal and there will be some opposition no doubt but no effect in the way of losing the election as our people are vastly in the majority. We passed the City Hall too and saw the display in caricature on the Liberals’ wagons. It is the time for Valentine’s and there is quite a stir. sent off some to Belle’s children for myself and Annie also to Neva Clark and her brother Granger5 Daisie in Boston and some in the City. Last year I sent one to my sweet Louie in San Francisco and O, how gladly would I do so now if it were possible. Verona has gone to a Valentine Ball in the 18th Ward with Ort & Zine [p. 68] {p. 71}

14 February 1888 • Tuesday

Verona enjoyed herself very much indeed and I was greatly pleased. She was quite happy this morning recounting her dances & so on. Saw my husband on the street today. The parlor carpet came up from the dear old home. How sad it seems to be fetching away the last things. Wrote letters to Sister Ellen [Woodward Fuller]. to Sisters [Wilmirth Greer] East & [Sarah Colborn] Pomeroy in Arizona. Received a letter today telling me that Sister [Emily Atkin] Warburton of Tooele was dead buried today. Miss [Mary] Cook called and spoke of her intention to go to Mexico. She feels impressed to do so. Went to see Helen [Mar Kimball] Whitney, heard the account of Lillie [Elizabeth Ann Whitney Paton]’s marriage, and that she is enciente. Pray God to bless her with happier days as a mother. Mell & Verona have gone to see the comic opera of Dorothy—— [p. 69] {p. 72}

15 February 1888 • Wednesday

This morning did not reach the office until 12. m. Then there were many things to be considered and much work to do, Ellen was fixing and mending the old carpet I I was called upon to go to the Legislature with Sister Zina D. H. Young & went down home saw John Q. and went on to the Office again where I found Aunt Zina in waiting and we went direct to the City Hall and to the House of Representatives. A discussion arose in the House upon a Bill on Divorce which occupied most of the afternoon. After returning to the Office my husband came in and he stayed some little time, invited me most urgently to spend the with him which I consented to do. [p. 70] {p. 73}

16 February 1888 • Thursday

Rose rather late and went down town, heard considerable about the land-grabbing affair.6 Received a letter from President Woodruff about being a member of the Press Committee of the International Council of Women at Washington. Saying I should accept. Several unpleasant things occurred to mar my peace and enjoyment and it has really been a very disagreeable day. Annie came up with Louise and Margaret Mell went with Ort to the Theatre to see the “Merry War” last night. I am very low-spirited and unhappy this evening very Verona is not well. We have had the parlor carpet put down today [p. 71] {p. 74}

17 February 1888 • Friday

Went down town late as usual Ellen was darning the carpet all day. Sister Howard came and stayed for hours Annie came up with the children and made some calls around. Brought me the news that the case was postponed and seemed to feel jolly over it. I am very low-spirited indeed, in fact I cannot feel in the least happy and comfortable. I am sad because of my home more perhaps than for any other reason. Mell went to her club Literary and Annie took her home in the buggy. Mell & Verona had letters from Daisie today. John came in and staid awhile with Ellen. Went over and saw Lydia Ann & Susan. Came up home and took care <of Verona> [p. 72] {p. 75}

18 February 1888 • Saturday

<Mell sent telegram to Will this morning> Verona had the most dreadful night imaginable until after 3 in the morning. She slept a little after that. I was completely exhausted. Came down town late. Verona was very bad indeed with neuralgia, and Mell alone with her. It was raining fast and it soon began to snow and such a heavy damp storm too. Annie came up and brought Q. Ellen and she put up the book case and the books in it she arranged and it did look very nice. Quenton called and I had several sisters coming although it was so stormy. At evening I went up to Mells in the wet and damp feeling so weary Verona was dreadful. It was almost impossible for her to endure the pain [p. 73] {p. 76}

19 February 1888 • Sunday

All last night Verona kept up an incessant groaning and crying and even her mother heard her in the West upper chamber. In the morning Mell telephoned for the Dr. who when he came gave her a hyperdermic injection of morphine, but it had little effect. She suffered acutely all day long and at evening we gave her a dose in a solution. She was a little more comfortable during the night. It had been a disagreeable day for the snow was melting and the mud deep and walking almost impossible. I never went out of the house through the day at all. Wrote some letters and read at intervals when the pain in Verona’s head was less intense. [p. 74] {p. 77}

20 February 1888 • Monday

Last night I slept more and felt a little better this morning. Went down to the Office and set to work vigorously finished some br◊◊◊ir copy and went down to my dear old home. Went thro the house, up into the garret, and every nook and corner. Just as I finished the rooms and was about to go a feeling of melancholy came over me too powerful to endure. O how shall I tear myself away from this home of my life. Had a letter from Belle to-day with Spring violets from Emma [W. Sears]. Have not seen Annie or the children since Saturday. Abram H. Cannon was arrested this morning. There is no news of any consequence except a terrific cyclone in Mt. Vernon– Verona went to 18th Ward party with Ort. [p. 75] {p. 78}

21 February 1888 • Tuesday

<Piano moved up today> A very unpleasant day Verona is a little better & I feel she will improve now. Went down town just after eleven. Mr. Sears came up to Mell’s this morning and told her Belle was in a dreadful way. I sat down and wrote to her. Sent for John Q. to come & see me he came and talked over the case. I have urged Belle to be silent and trust it will be the means of keeping her at home with the children for the present. Saw Chloe [Young] Benedict and had a long talk with her. Wrote to John Q. after seeing him. Told him my feelings and anxiety. Went up home with a breaking heart to be cheerful and as sociable as usual. O how dreadful it is and how heart-rending are my feelings. [p. 76] {p. 79}

22 February 1888 • Wednesday

<Clara Horne [James]’s baby died to day> This is Washington’s Birthday and a National Holiday in America. I went down to the Office however and Annie came and we did some few things. Put up curtains in the parlor made some changes in the pictures and had lunch in the Northeast Room The parlor looks nice Q. And Louise came up with Annie. Mell had kind of a tiresome day with callers and Verona to take care of as well as visitors Her father7 came for a while and said he was going to the Theatre tonight to see the Home Dramatic in Our Boarding House Had a bath in the office came up at 8 o’clock have accomplished very little today. [p. 77] {p. 80}

23 February 1888 • Thursday

Mr. Sears called upon me & talked of going away we are still going on with our straightening up and Annie put up the curtains today before in the parlor, and made other arrangements– about the furniture etc.

These are dreadful days for me. The case in court hanging over us all the time & such dismal forebodings & terrible dreams. O my heart is broken and my nerves are completely unstrung. I have no one in whome I can confide my feelings nor is it in my nature to do so. I am not so constituted I can respond to others in their times of sorrow but I cannot impart my own griefs to others. Time and heaven alone can help me to rise equal to the occasion when sorrow comes. [p. 78] {p. 81}

24 February 1888 • Friday

My trouble is for the present posponed. Last night’s paper and also this morning’s say the case is continued.8 Mr. Sears will go and Will [William W. Woods] will come home.9 O, may the God who rules and controls all things help us to bear this fearful calamity that has fallen upon us. There is a great deal of concern over the suits against the Church. Jim Jack testified in the Courts what gas stock the Church owned and the Receiver immediately sent out to get hold of the bonds.10

This is a serious thing and there is no telling now where it will end. I have all my copy in and have all my proofs read which is quite a relief. The girls met across the way today to make some arrangement about my birthday and Jote [Joseph S. Wells]’s wedding present [p. 79] {p. 82}

25 February 1888 • Saturday

This is not a very nice day and so much to do. Sisters Taylor came to me yesterday and let the cat out of the bag as it were about Nellie Colbrook [Ellen Colebrook Taylor]. Sarah M. Kimball has been in to see me too. Dr. Pratt yesterday saying the ladies were coming on my birthday to honor me. Septimus came and packed Belle’s trunk. Annie came up and helped me to think of things to put in. Mell was in a terrible way about the telegraph operator refusing to send a telegram without receiving cash down. She made herself sick and brought about a tremendous trouble for me. Why when I have always sought to make others happy by self-sacrifice and cheerfulness <even> when my heart was bowed down with sorrow, should I [p. 80] {p. 83} be the victim of other’s ill-humor and spleen, I cannot imagine.

26 February 1888 • Sunday

This morning Annie came up for me and brought up Annie Louise & Margaret and we went to the cemetery to the graves of our loved ones. Then we drove home, to the farm “Solitude” and I looked up the diamond ear-rings. Afterwards gave them to Annie. Louise has her Aunt Louie’s <silver> watch George Q. her cameo sleeve-buttons and Talulah her gold ones marked with an L. Mell has the diamond collar-button, and pearl ear rings. Verona the ring with one pearl. Daisie a ring with a rupy [ruby] cluster. Belle the gold bracelets, Dot ear-rings Sep. a gold pencil Dot also a silver bracelet. Rob [L. Sloan] has the emerald ring– Annie and I sat up very late talking. [p. 81] {p. 84}

27 February 1888 • Monday

This morning we had quite a time to get started. Annie had so much to do and the children worried. However at last Annie had given all the necessary directions to the farm hands and we made a start. Annie had some errands on the street and so had I and we went down together but I could not accomplish what I wished. I had a disagreeable time with getting the parlor stove up and dust on the furniture and so on after all had been done so nicely. Had so many callers today and the weather was unpleasant. The work in the S.E. & N.E. Rooms is nearly complete. The old walls are covered with furniture and drapery & pictures as much as possible and the effect is very good indeed. Miserable evening so fatiguing [p. 82] {p. 85}

28 February 1888 • Tuesday

Annie came up and brought Louise and stayed all day long, working every minute. She was so tired when she went home. Dr. [Ruth] Wood called on me for items, statistics etc to give her lectures in Kansas and at the International Council at Washington D.C. She evidently thinks she can do more towards our cause than any Mormon woman can do. After being here 15 months she knows more than we know ourselves. Her manner and her discourse are equally repulsive to me. I thoroughly dislike her altogether and have not a particle of faith in her or her words. I urged her to call upon my husband and get further information [p. 83] {p. 86}

29 February 1888 • Wednesday

Yesterday was cold and disagreeable but today is positively outrageous. Rain snow and wind, all combined Such terrible weather. I hope it is not prophetic. I worked at one thing and the other trying to get ourselves in readiness. The girls in the family furnished the cakes Annie ham chopped for sandwiches, the boys ice cream and the women oranges. We spent a delightful evening refreshments were handsomely served. Many reminescences of former days in the old house were recalled and music and songs with animated conversation whiled away the hours. Those who played the piano were Frank [Frances Wells] & Lena [Helena Fobes] Wells and Margie Dwyer. Ort Whitney did the singing It was a success most certainly. [p. 84] {p. 87}

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February 1888, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 21, 2024