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January 1890


EVENTS IN EMMELINE B. WELLS’S DIARY FOR 1890

11 January

EBW was a delegate to the annual meeting of the Utah Territorial Woman Suffrage Association.

4 February

EBW submitted her photo and four poems to a large poetry collection called Local and National Poets of America, printed by the American Publisher’s Association.

4–5 March

EBW received $1,000 from the sale of her husband’s properties and contemplated how to secure her future.

13–17 March

EBW spent several days in Manti, meeting with church groups in Sanpete County and joining her husband in the Manti temple.

6 October

President Wilford Woodruff’s official declaration on plural marriage was read to the general conference session.

19 December

EBW advised friends organizing the Woman’s Cooperative Mercantile & Manufacturing Institution.

1 January 1890 • Wednesday

This morning rose very late had been up nearly all night until we wished each other, “A Happy New Year.” John Q. [Cannon] is a little better of his cold. We have had a very nice day: the children have been very sweet and looked so pretty. I gave John Q. a book of poems Hezekiah Butterworth’s. He gave me this diary and Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon] gave me a buff ribbon. Q. [George Q. Cannon]1 Louise [B. Cannon] Margaret [Cannon] and Daniel [Cannon] I gave a little ornamental suvenr [souvenir] I brought from Washington, and ten cents each– Their papa gave each one a book and baby a whip– It has been a pleasant day, in the house we had a fine dinner and enjoyed it very much. Annie & I had the evening to her ourselves. [p. 25] {p. 27}

2 January 1890 • Thursday

Came down on the morning train with John Q. Annie came with us to the depot. We both had to pay our fare. Passes are run out. Work waiting & Daisie [D. Dunford] sick. Ellen [Hitchings Harrison] very melancholy. In the evening my husband2 came and spent the evening Mrs. [Malinda Gamble] Finch & daughter were here, she Emma [Finch Cope] is in great trouble– I lent her “Mortara.” She teaches in Coalville. I scarcely dare acknowledge even to myself what declarations my husband made to me to night– had it happened years ago how different my life might have been. But Alas, it comes so late– he is about to settle with [William W.] Riter who has bought the 12th ward property– The last one of his former homes.– [p. 26] {p. 28}

3 January 1890 • Friday

Daisie is still suffering from her cold, paper still hanging on. Emma Juch English Opera Company are playing at the theatre and Daisie has a ticket for each performance. Wednesday “Faust Thursday Der Freischutz” Friday Carmen. Emma Juch visited the Tabernacle with Charles S. Burton & sang “Angels ever bright & fair.” She was greatly pleased with the building and would like to sing in it. Mr. [Evan] Stephens was to leave tonight for San Francisco I was alone all the evening writing and reading proof. The telegrams from the East & also foreign ones are alarming with statistics of influenza. The snow continues to fall tho’ today it is thawing. [p. 27] {p. 29}

4 January 1890 • Saturday

This is Geo. Q’s birthday and I wanted so much to go up to Ogden but it is utterly impossible It is a very dull day– and snows at intervals. Daisie seems really ill, and we are alone and fires to keep in and so on, it is very hard on us. No letters from Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears] or Mell [Melvina Whitney Woods]– either for Daisie or myself. Have had lots of callers, some from the country and have not been very well, and it was quite an exertion to keep up. Dear little Q. I hope he has had a happy day and all has gone well. I tried to telephone but could not get connection– I have bought Geo. Q. a book “The Brownies[”] I wish he could have it today Daisie has written to John [Critchlow] today. [p. 28] {p. 30}

5 January 1890 • Sunday

A very cold day and more snow, stayed at home all day long and fixed up things around we had a nice dinner together and a pleasant evening. Annie Hamilton came to see us and said she would like very much to go to Murray [Idaho] and stay with Verona [Dunford Hillard] but it is quite impossible to leave the Laundry. I gave Annie a book and wrote her name in it. I wrote some more verses for my poem or at least I revised some and wrote two more. It does not suit me at all even now and I shall add to it at another time. I wish I had not published it yet until it was more complete. I have not accomplished very much. I rather expected my husband here to night but he has not come. [p. 29] {p. 31}

6 January 1890 • Monday

This morning Daisie had to get up and make fires. She felt very ill and not able scarcely to be up. Josie [Simmons] and Mattie [Wilson] are finishing up the work and paper is to be on the press tomorrow, we are all busy with preparations for the mailing, well one cannot do only so much work any way and it seems to be my fate to work for the public. I have been reading manuscript for the Juvenile3 for some time past and get very little done for myself. It is disagreeable weather one can scarcely stand it– snow and wind and cold. Daisie is not fit to work at all yet she is trying to do the wrappers. [p. 30] {p. 32}

7 January 1890 • Tuesday

This is a very cold bleak day and my husband came in the middle of the day and I was so busy– it is too bad that I should have so much to do when he is at home, that I cannot spare time to visit with him. We had some conversation however and a pleasant little time. Daisie sung for him several songs “Fair Sevilia” “Thou Star of My Heart[”] “Love’s Old Sweet Song” he liked her voice very much. he liked Thou art my Star the best of all. We had a pleasant time– and he arranged to go to Ogden next day if he could. This evening I finished some letters and more of the reading– I do not feel very well. [p. 31] {p. 33}

8 January 1890 • Wednesday

One week of the new year gone– my husband came and talked over Ogden and arranged to go on the 4 o’clock train and I decided to go at six. We were chatting and visiting a little and he went away and I began to prepare copy so I could go– Went down to the 6 o’clock train in the snow storm and cold and found he had not gone until then– we arrived in Ogden late & the night was very dark took a carriage and drove to Annie’s. Had a nice evening with her and the children they sung and recited for him,– we sat up rather late and after retiring talked until very late as I intended to go home early in the morning– [p. 32] {p. 34}

9 January 1890 • Thursday

<Suffrage Meeting appointed for today adjourned until Saturday> Came down on the morning train and had lots of callers and quantities of work. I am preparing another chapter of Hephzibah– I hope it will be of sufficient merit to publish in book form– I mean it shall be– I feel so annoyed when I look back at the time I have worked to think I have not more to show for it– I always longed so to do some creditable work– a long poem for instance– and yet time never seems favorable– Ellen is still here and likely to stay with us for she is as far from making up with Joe [Joseph W. Harrison] as ever. There is a serious difficulty– a letter from Belle at last I do want to know more and so wish I could see them all in their home [p. 33] {p. 35}

10 January 1890 • Friday

<People’s Party parade a handsome showing elegant banners & flags–> I remember this day 41. years ago when [Francis] Ashbell Pomeroy was born– how well I recall the mother’s 4 pride when she found the baby was a boy– and how sorry she felt for me that mine (my Belle) was a girl. We used to compare them often afterwards. I have been exceedingly busy Mrs. [Emily Tanner] Richards and Mrs. [Mary Ellen Richards] Webber have both been in and so many others. Dr. [Elvira Stevens] Barney brought Sister Sarah [Granger] Kimball up and Dr. [Romania Bunnell] Pratt came and so the time goes. Lydia Ann [Alley Wells] has been in– and Ort [Orson F. Whitney] and one or more of our own boys & I have been out with accounts and paying bills, over to see Aunt Zina [D. Huntington Young] & so on– [p. 34] {p. 36}

11 January 1890 • Saturday

This is Geo. Q. Cannon’s sixty third birthday and a dreadful day it is in the way of wind and snow– the Suffrage meeting was held today the Annual meeting for the election of officers and I was the Chaplain of the day. Mrs. Sarah M. Kimball was elected President and Emily S. Richards first Vice President– and Resolutions were prepared for Mrs. [Lydia Dunford] Alder and Mrs. [Mary Jane Mount] Tanner of Provo5 and I was Chairman of the Committee of both– there was not a large or enthusiastic meeting– Sister [Mary Isabella Hales] Horne and I called on Aunt Zina after the meeting was over– and then I came home to rest for I was very weary– [p. 35] {p. 37}

12 January 1890 • Sunday

Daisie got up and prepared our breakfast then went to meeting and I went to the Post Office and after wards to the Tabernacle George Romney and George Q. Cannon preached. George Romney on the mission to the Maori’s, their language and origin & spoke of their language After meeting I went up to the house where Lydia Ann & Susan [Alley Wells] live and on the way met Mrs. Sanford [Sarah Poyen Sandford] coming to see me, she was just the same as ever– so glad– and we kissed on the Street and talked and said our Good Bye & parted. My husband was to be here and I was very anxious to get home to him he came and we had a very pleasant visit and talked until after midnight– [p. 36] {p. 38}

13 January 1890 • Monday

My husband was here we had breakfast together and we talked over old times & early days, and of our journeyings to Nauvoo– he told me of his going there to Commerce in 1834– and I ten years later in 1844– he seemed so interested in the conversation that we both forgot how time flew, and he was to go on the following morning– We had talked of our children and grand-children, our books our work, our appreciation of poetry & song, when all was cut short by Gershom [B. F. Wells] coming to take him away. He went reluctantly and I cannot say how I felt– so sorrowful, so sad– to see him go– shall I ever see him again I know not– [p. 37] {p. 39}

14 January 1890 • Tuesday

This is an awful morning and the Esquire6 as we call him started for Manti alone too– I disliked very much his going alone– It does seem cruel to see him start off in that way at his time of life. There is a change of cars to be made and after the railroad is left, fifteen miles of sleighing– roads rough and uneven– etc. Yet his will-power is strong and his faith is very great– I think he is much better off there, well provided with every comfort– such elegant apartments– plenty of men at his command, or ready to do his bidding, engaged in a work that fills the soul with visions of the infinite, and draws one near very near to the throne of grace [p. 38] {p. 40}

15 January 1890 • Wednesday

This is another storm, blockades betwen here and the West and the North. Cannot get mail from either Belle or Mell– It seems so awful– even Logan the trains are not all in time– reports from all points tell of wind storms and calamities by land and by sea– many deaths are reported from New York caused by the colds so prevalent all over the country it is called La Grippe in Europe. June [Junius F. Wells] and Lena [Helena Fobes Wells] have been having a serious time with it in New York– could not sail on account of it. So many suffering here at home with the same complaint. Hugo [D. Wells] & Abbie [Wells] are both kind of sick with colds. Jennie next door has scarlatina. [p. 39] {p. 41}

16 January 1890 • Thursday

Daisie still suffering from an attack of La Grippe– or influenza stormy and unpleasant and altogether we are very much worked up about blockades and we have no coal– have to burn dust and then borrow besides such gloomy weather too I have never had so little going out at any time as nowadays– politics are the absorbing topic– one would think our salvation depended upon the election– A great exertion has been made to awaken the people and they feel determined to leave us duly undone on the part of the Peoples party– if they had any justice it would be all right– [p. 40] {p. 42}

17 January 1890 • Friday

This is Mary Jane Whitney Groo’s birthday– Mr. [Isaac] Groo has been here and told us he had remembered her. Such a sunshiney day the first for a long time & though cold it is good to see the sun once more. News from all quarters of snow-bound trains, of deaths from la-grippe and accidents of all sorts– one feels almost sick after reading the calamities that appear in the daily papers. I have been finishing another Chapter of Hephzibah it enters into my very soul to write those things No one knows save only those whose hearts are interwoven with their themes how much one suffers in writing for the public, the innermost feelings of the soul– [p. 41] {p. 43}

18 January 1890 • Saturday

I hurried and did up a lot of errands and had a lot of callers too so as to go to Ogden, the storm was kind of disagreeable and I was not sure if I could get through or not, for the train had been ice-bound at Wood’s Cross before– going to the depot the wind and sleet was simply awful– but I persevered and arrived safe. The train pulled out shortly after– I met on board Mrs. Swan whom I had seen before in my journeying on the cars– she is a very lovely woman– I gave her a copy of the paper– she goes to Florida next week for the winter– drove to Annie’s in a carriage and found her giving the dear little ones their Saturday night baths– we had a very lovely evening together baby so sweet [p. 42] {p. 44}

19 January 1890 • Sunday

Rose in time to breakfast with Annie and the children. We had a nice day together she told me about her father’s visit and also Br. Cannon’s on his way to Washington. We talked all day long the children were well and happy– John Q. & Annie came to the train with me and I had to wait there for hours. Dr. [Seymour B.] Young was on the train and we sat together and visited all the way down. He took me home in his sleigh and I found Daisie & Ellen in the parlor & a good fire waiting and also a warm supper in the dining room– Mrs. Sophia King Cook was buried today from Dr. [William] Castle’s house– I should have gone to the funeral if I had been at home– [p. 43] {p. 45}

20 January 1890 • Monday

This morning Josie made up the paper. I waited for her and finally was hindered from going to the bank until late then Sister E. S. [Elmina Shepard] Taylor came– and I postponed it for it was quite impossible to get through– Nett [Susan Annette Wells] Culmer was here and invited us to come and take dinner and spend the evening. We decided upon Saturday night, and promised to go if nothing happened. Fannie V. [Van Cott] Young and Isaac [A.] Clayton, were to go to Logan today to be married and to have a grand reception at the bee hive in the evening at the Gardo, which will doubtless be a brilliant affair. In the evening I was alone writing letters and preparing work. [p. 44] {p. 46}

21 January 1890 • Tuesday

Today I rose late and felt very weary, went down town and then to see Aunt Zina she seems so childish in her expressions. Sarah Kimball came to talk with me about the Suffrage and some arrangements to be made, and read me a kind of greeting she had written to the public. It was very good but not complete. She will call her board together to finish it up and sign it. Judge [Thomas J.] Anderson rendered a decision yesterday in the case of a child born in plural marriage more severe than even the Edmunds’s Law. So it seems everything falls heavily upon woman.7 Caroline Raleigh came with her troubles for sympathy & advice. Her father8 is very cruel to her under the guise of religion– [p. 45] {p. 47}

22 January 1890 • Wednesday

This morning before I was up the mail from the North came with letters for Daisie containing the startling news that Verona had a little girl–9 born on the night of the 16th of Jan. Not much else, very small very pretty dark hair & dark eyes and weighing 5 or 6 pounds by guess. We were quite upset and nervous. went down town & telegraphed to Barry & then both Daisie & I wrote letters and I wrote Annie to tell her the news. I bought baby a cap or little hood to day, have not been very well, wrote also to Mrs. [Maria Miller] Johnson “Ruby Lamont sent her a little token of remembrance– wrote Resolutions last night and mailed them this morning to Lydia Alder and Bishop M. [Myron] Tanner–10 [p. 46] {p. 48}

23 January 1890 • Thursday

No answer to the telegram we feel very nervous about it. finished mailing, we are without coal which is very disagreeable to say the least. No letters– received calls from Lydia Ann Wells & Lula [Louisa Lula Greene] Richards also Lyde [Eliza F. Wells] & Emeline [Young Wells] Sisters [Elizabeth Anderson] Howard [Amelia Crossland] Mc’Donald [Minerva White] Snow and others. called on Aunt Zina, sent off baby’s cap and wrote to Mrs. [Mary Ann Ward] Webb of Lehi– Mrs. [Hannah Settle] Lapish American Fork & Mrs. [Jane H.] Spofford of Washington to whom I sent my membership to the N.W.S.A.11 also sent two dollars in Stamps to Prang’s to get a book called “The Voice of the Grass[”] by Sarah Roberts– the blockade is not broken between here & San Francisco and no letters come of course not– feel very uneasy about my scattered children– [p. 47] {p. 49}

24 January 1890 • Friday

Today 20 years Sidney [W. Sears] was born in the old Atwood House over by the 13th ward. Poor Belle what an experience that was for her and for me. Grandma Booth the midwife and Mrs. Liddell Nurse and all so different to us, and our ways of doing things– It is Will [William W. Woods]’s birthday too, he is 49. born in 41.– I suppose they are all rejoicing in Murray [Idaho] today Sister Howard and I were to go to Centerville to the Sisters Stake Conference and also to organize the W.S.A.12 of Davis Stake or County rather, but the trains were so irregular– that we failed and I went to the Theatre to see the old folks, it was their Winter benefit today– Daisie had a letter from Barry and from Nina [Winters Leverich]– [p. 48] {p. 50}

25 January 1890 • Saturday

No news from any of the absent ones, though I am so anxiously waiting. About noon I went into Mrs. [Mary Ann Oakley] Taylor’s next door and told her to get away from the house as it was likely to fall in, and sure enough about two hours after the whole adobie wall on this side fell out with a great crash. No one was hurt and that was a great blessing. It was a shock to us all. Tonight the People’s Party paraded the streets, sent off fire works Roman candles etc. It rained hard and last turned to snow. The weather is moderate Mary V. Young13 Brigham Young’s youngest daughter had a reception last evening at the Bee Hive– they were married in Logan. [p. 49] {p. 51}

26 January 1890 • Sunday

This morning we rose very late but I went to the Tabernacle in the Afternoon and heard Dr. [James E.] Talmage deliver a very eloquent and impressive discourse on the principles & testimony of the Gospel. I liked it very very much I came home and dined with the girls– then wrote a letter to Sep [Septimus Whitney Sears]– my eldest grandson <5 pages letter paper> and– read two or three chapters in Charlotte Brontes “Professor[”] It is Sep’s birthday and I felt I must write him a letter– as he is now growing towards manhood rapidly 16 today & it seems such a short time since he was a baby in long clothes. There are no mails yet from there but the letter will go when the trains get through and he will know that I wrote on his birthday– [p. 50] {p. 52}

27 January 1890 • Monday

This morning there was mail from San Francisco but no letter from my children, neither there nor in Idaho– baby is now ten days old and we have heard so little– I must try to get up to Annie’s– Afternoon had letter from Belle but none from North– Telegrams bring news of rains winds and storms in all directions. by sea and on land. How I wish I had my children around me once more as formerly– it breaks my heart to think of the distances that separate us. I went out this afternoon and passed my old home and the dear <old> garden– so neglected now and so forlorn to all eyes but mine. Heaven help me I am homeless– and yet must be patient and acknowledge how kind our Father in heaven <is> [p. 51] {p. 53}

28 January 1890 • Tuesday

So much to make one feel depressed, people calling & time occupied and yet somehow there is a vacancy and lonely feeling– this morning I had a letter from my husband full of tenderness and love for me– have scarcely had time to read it carefully He seems anxious to have me come to him but I cannot go– Ort came in the afternoon he had returned from Evanston where he had been to assist in dedicating a new meeting house– he had a poem in blank verse with him and read it to me. It was the personification of Jealousy and Envy– in poetry– it would be a subject of comment if printed– [p. 52] {p. 54}

29 January 1890 • Wednesday

This is another gloomy day and I am trying so hard to get some of my work done and feel as though I was not crowded– but it accumulates fast and daily tasks are added. So day by day one plods along. Letter from Belle today– Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears is ill, perhaps not serious, and may soon be well again. How much I do desire to have them all at home once more as in days past if I could only have my dear old garden again, how happy we might be. No word from Verona, A letter from Annie for the paper, and saying they are well. Drums beating at night and boys marching and the streets full of suspicious looking men come to vote the liberal ticket [p. 53] {p. 55}

30 January 1890 • Thursday

A very busy day and so disagreeable under foot mud and slush one can scarcely venture outside the door. I have been very nervous and unable to attend to my work although I have said nothing. Br. [Charles W.] Penrose came and gave me two tickets for the theatre. Daisie and Ellen went and liked it very much. Sister [Ellen Spencer] Clawson and Lydia Ann have been and invited me to help them with a letter to the President of the Stake14 concerning some doubts on the part of Bishops as women presiding etc. I rec’d letter from the Am. Pub. Ass’n15 Chicago asking me to have my picture in the book, of local and national poets– [p. 54] {p. 56}

31 January 1890 • Friday

Aunt Zina’s and Sister Jane [Snyder] Richards birthday– a very sultry and clear day overhead and still muddy in the streets– Phebe [Young Beatie] made a party for a few ladies in honor of Aunt Zina– had a very nice dinner or five o’clock tea and meeting afterwards. Aunt Zina has reached 69 years, she looked very dignified in black silk dress puff sleeves lace collar and cuffs. I sat up late writing and trying to read on the Committee work. So much to be done. I would like to have more leisure and devote it to poetry and to French and some little cultivation of person, as it is I have not a moment extra time and do not do justice to my work. [p. 55] {p. 57}