The Church Historian's Press

February 1891

1 February 1891 • Sunday

Geo. Q. Cannon made quite a strong speech in favor of woman’s rights privileges and purity as well as her influence upon society. Slept late but went to the Tabernacle and to dinner at 323. Second Street, and on my way home called at Rule [Rulon S. Wells]’s and one or two other places wrote some on my Life of Mary Ann Young after coming home & read some proofs and prepared editorial matter, so much to be done & so little time to do it in. [p. 62] {p. 63}

2 February 1891 • Monday

The days go by one after another and so little is done to amount to anything. Melancholy days these are for me, snow and sleet and mud and no conveniences, and others whom I have known intimately have so much to make their lives pleasant and to save them trouble or care– I would like to have some leisure to write and let my thoughts find expression in words, but I am hedged in and about my opportunities are not great and my environments are beyond my control. Ort comes in occasionally but he needs me to comfort him instead of my bestowing receiving any from him. [p. 63] {p. 64}

3 February 1891 • Tuesday

Things are moving on towards the election and also to the Woman’s Council. The Presidency are anxious we should make the Representation, but willing the women should furnish the money for the delegation and indeed I think it is perfectly right. People appreciate far more that which they have to pay for than that which is given them especially when it is concerning things they do not thoroughly understand. The sisters will try more to comprehend what they pay for– [p. 64] {p. 65}

4 February 1891 • Wednesday

Annie’s baby was named and blest on the 8th day it is called Eleanor Adey after one of the Cannon ancestors. said to have been a very beautiful woman and specially attractive. I have been to a meeting of the Ladies to talk over the matter of joining the Council, it seems so hard to get people to distinguish between this and the suffrage convention. Mrs. Richards is determined to go down, one can plainly see, she is not to be outdone, Emily has already gone with her husband though she declared she must have means or she could not go– [p. 65] {p. 66}

5 February 1891 • Thursday

The birthday of Newel K. Whitney in 1795. the 96th year of his age if he were living dead more than forty years ago– how peculiar does my marriage to him appear at this date, more like a dream than a reality– he was a wonderful man in many respects aristocratic and reserved– had been fortunate in business matters, and eccentric surpassing any one I have ever seen– What perfect faith and trust he had in the Prophet Joseph [p. 66] {p. 67}

6 February 1891 • Friday

Little Newel [M. Whitney] as we always called him was born in the log house in Winter Quarters in 1847– not quite a year after we left Nauvoo, Ill. He was very small and feeble as well and when a few days old he died to all appearance and we all felt he was gone, but his mother’s1 faith was most wonderful and she said administer to him father to her husband and he did and the child was brought to life by the power of faith and grew strong and comparatively well and lived to be nine years old and was baptized and ordained– but could never walk [p. 67] {p. 68}

7 February 1891 • Saturday

There is a great deal going on in regard to the representation in Washington– Money begins to come in and things seem to move in the direction of my going, I am having dresses made [p. 68] {p. 69}

12 February 1891 • Thursday

Have been in a muddle all day long trying to get a few things ready, dresses to be finished off and other preparations to be made, and Will [William C.] Spence coming in and out about our railroad fares and how many are going etc. [p. 73] {p. 70}

13 February 1891 • Friday

Made up my mind to go to Washington & attend the Convention. Sister [Electa Wood] Bullock of Provo came and quite astonished me by staying here, as I am very little acquainted with her– she wanted to know more about the journey and the necessary details also the credentials, read me her speech which had been prepared by some smart shr[e]wd man, and which needed lots of corrections May Wells has promised to keep the office for me and I shall leave it to her with perfect safety– [p. 74] {p. 71}

14 February 1891 • Saturday

Went up to Ogden on the 8 o’clock train [p. 75] {p. 72}

15 February 1891 • Sunday

Was at Annie’s today and came home in the afternoon leaving Annie & baby all right & bade them good bye, as well as all the little ones. Felt bad to leave Annie but knew she was in good hands, Mrs. Bullock came up on the afternoon train. and stayed here, Mary came to help me pack count the money and get instructions about the office work, stayed until midnight and I stayed up all night trying to leave things comfortable [p. 76] {p. 73}

16 February 1891 • Monday

Left home on seven o’clock train, with Mr. & Mrs. W. J. [Walter J. and Phoebe Young] Beattie and Mrs. Kimball for Washington. John Q. came on the train at Ogden to see me, and Mrs. Richards came to go on with the party, we also saw Frank [Franklin D.] Kimball & Hebe Grant who had just returned from San Fran [San Francisco]. Frank had seen Belle– our journey was pleasant except we were a little crowded Some unpleasantness in regard to the County money for the Woman Suffrage Association, there are seven delegates traveling together Mrs. Jane S. Richards Sarah M. Kimball, Electa Bullock, Carrie Thomas Katie Thomas Phebe Beattie and myself [p. 77] {p. 74}

17 February 1891 • Tuesday

We did not have to change trains at all, & had only to go into another car. There are enough of us to have a good time among ourselves and we have talked and visited and watched the scenery and places on the route to our hearts content

We are now on the Chicago & Northwestern– [p. 78] {p. 75}

18 February 1891 • Wednesday

Reached Chicago between one & two p.m. and drove to the depot and bought tickets for Washington. Phebe Mrs. Richards and I are all in one section Phebe will have upper berth– etc. [p. 79] {p. 76}

19 February 1891 • Thursday

Pittsburg[h] found the water very high and also at Johnstown [Pennsylvania], crossed the Susquehanna ever so many times water nearly on a level with the bridge

Arrived in Washington 10 o’clock p.m. Frank [Franklin S. Richards] & Emily Richards came to station, registered for all the party– [p. 80] {p. 77}

20 February 1891 • Friday

Mrs. S. M. Kimball & P. Y. Beattie room 65. Mrs. J. S. Richards and Electa Bullock Room 107. Mrs. Carrie S. Thomas and Kate Thomas, 325. and myself 111. I am on the only one with an outside window– rooms all taken before-hand. Frank & Emily came and took us to the White House State, War & Navy Building & then in the afternoon to the Capitol– in the evening we were in and around the parlors [p. 81] {p. 78}

21 February 1891 • Saturday

This morning we kept our appointment with Mrs. Sewall in her room, Mrs. Kimball, Mrs. Richards, Mrs. Thomas & myself– we took our credentials and she made a clear statement of the case. We were not long in the room not much over half an hour and then came together and decided on our course of proceedings. There was some misunderstanding of how we should present the matters and what part of the work we should state as it must necessarily be brief– at last I finished the paper and carried it myself to the door. Mrs. Sewall took it and we were left in suspense. Miss [Susan B.] Anthony was the first to bring me the good news that we were admitted without a dissenting vote– [p. 82] {p. 79}

22 February 1891 • Sunday

Last night Mrs. Spofford gave a reception to the Delegates in the parlors. of the House here. More than 500 women were present among them some notable people. Mrs. Lillie [Elizabeth] Devereux Blake, Mrs. Sara Andrews Spencer, Mrs. [Sylvina Nickerson] Nickerson of Boston, Belva [B.] Lockwood, Clara Barton as also Susan B. Anthony the grandest of them all. Today the Council opens with Religious services by women ministers & seats free, I went and many others but we could not get near the door so pressing was the crowd, hundreds outside, so I went to Samuel [K.] Hall’s & saw him, his wife, Blanche the daughter and Arthur M. D. the son– in the evening Mr. & Mrs. [John T. and Margaret Nightingale] Caine called & we [p. 83] {p. 80} were all in Mrs. Kimball’s room. and talked over home affairs.

23 February 1891 • Monday

This morning went to the Wimaughdosis and got our badges. for the Woman’s National Council and during the early morning session after Miss [Frances E.] Willard’s speech she introduced the Delegates, and from Utah Mrs. Richards for the Relief Society & Mrs. Thomas for the Young Ladies Association– There were two sessions one in the evening and at both speeches were made that were quite effective. The Opera House is pretty well filled– formerly when there have been assemblies of women it has not been so popular as it is now [p. 84] {p. 81}

24 February 1891 • Tuesday

This was an interesting day continuation of the speeches Mrs. Potter [Bertha Honoré] Palmer the President of the Woman’s Department of the World’s Fair made her debut this evening. Jennie [Cunningham] Croley– and Mrs. [Annie Nathan] Meyer sister of Emma Lazarus2 who wrote the book “Women in Journalism[”] spoke and ever so many more Mary E. Ripley for one she is such a character– looks and acts and dresses like a man– The Press women were called together at Willards Hotel parlors– four or five hundred of them and a Committee was chosen to prepare a constitution for an International Press Federation– I was made one of seven members <of the Committee>3 [p. 85] {p. 82}

25 February 1891 • Wednesday

Today was the close of the Council and Utah came on in the way of miscellaneous business etc and was allowed representation in the afternoon at an extra session– Mrs. Richards spoke extempore– and I read the paper– Miss Willard praised my reading very much. Mrs. Thomas had read just before and could not be heard– she is not a good reader or a very suitable delegate, tho’ she is an amiable person and sweet-mannered, but it requires more than that. Reception this evening at the Willard Hotel– [p. 86] {p. 83}

26 February 1891 • Thursday

Today the Woman Suffrage Convention commenced with Susan B. Anthony in the chair– [p. 87] {p. 84}

28 February 1891 • Saturday

This is the last day of the Convention proper, and is moreover my birthday if I have any fixed time in the year or date in the month; some of the ladies are about leaving us. my time has been so occupied, that it never occurred to me it was the day of my birth and I sixty three years old. But such it is. [p. 89] {p. 86}

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February 1891, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 19, 2024