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March 1892


1 March 1892 • Tuesday

Annie stayed all night and until the afternoon next day– today. I had lunch at Belle’s with her and she went home soon after– so many little ones it is not convenient to be away from home. Quite a number of my particular friends have called on me today. It is fifty years today since I was baptized into this Church and went down into the little brook just close to our house where the ice had been broken for us to go in. Such a scene as we had with the Congregational minister and other notables and Elder [Eli P.] Maginn baptized me and six others I was the youngest & the last– [p. 61] {p. 94}

2 March 1892 • Wednesday

<Lucile’s birthday 16 years old> Went to the Y.L.M.I.A. Conference last evening and made the opening prayer also spoke a short time– told them it was fifty years since I had been baptized into the Church and of my faith and confidence. There are still some presents and remembrances coming in from friends and I feel as if it was too much it fills me with gratitude to be so blest and honored. I am trying to do what is possible towards the preparations for the Jubilee– things are being pretty well started on– letters keep coming in and it is almost more than we can do to satisfy all– paper getting mailed [p. 62] {p. 95}

3 March 1892 • Thursday

Mailing going slowly so many hindrances Lucile’s birthday yesterday and I took her down and purchased a ring for her– she fitted it in as I had such bad luck with Emmie’s. had to have it altered made larger– Have had lots of visitors and tried to answer all their questions; Aunt Zina feels a great responsibility to have the Jubilee pass off satisfactorily and make a good impression at home and abroad. I do hope she will be gratified and great good accomplished for all women. We have been to see the Presidency and they entirely approve and heartily endorse the movement and will be present if possible [p. 63] {p. 96}

4 March 1892 • Friday

President Cannon has been in the East for some time in New York and in Washington and other cities, but Joseph F. Smith thinks wee should gather up material after and put it in some form to make use of. I think we should have a book similar to the National Council of Women. This is Talula’s birthday or would have been, it is the day when Presidents take their seat in the White House. I am more busy than ever with the festival or Jubilee arrangements I go up to Belle’s every night and sleep there, always have a nice warm breakfast and it helps the day out ever so much there are so many tiresome things that happen in the office [p. 64] {p. 97}

5 March 1892 • Saturday

Saturday is always more fatiguing than other days and I almost invariably want to go to Ogden in the afternoon and so I feel more nervous than usual. Belle has a plan in her head about a change in the family or at least Mr. Sears has and he has lain it before her and intends she shall act upon it. Mary Ann [Needham Sears] is to have a divorce and Belle is to be legally married by some one in civil authority It will all depend upon Mary Ann’s willingness & if she gets money enough she will conform undoubtedly but not without. I am not going to have anything to say in it– I cannot see how it should be done & it bothers me.1 [p. 65] {p. 98}

6 March 1892 • Sunday

I could not get to Ogden in the morning but came up later in the day and found Daniel [H. Cannon] not very well, dear little fellow he looked so ill and coughs too. Annie is all right and yet I do not like them to go on in this way John Q. with all his splendid faculties and mental power ought to do something more financially successful. We had a pleasant evening except for Daniel’s cough Sweetie [Louise Cannon] Bob [Margaret Cannon] and Eleanor so cunning made such pretty tableaux for us in the door way Mrs. Barton called and afterwards her husband. [p. 66] {p. 99}

7 March 1892 • Monday

This morning went down on train also John Q. arrived home found so much waiting to be done. We are getting letters all the time in regard to the Anniversary fifty years organization of the Relief Society in Nauvoo– and so many want items for the celebration in the respective localities. The Correspondence is something immense together with all my regular work and duties. I do hope we shall have a successful celebration. The notices are out already and we have decided upon the Tabernacle for our meeting in Salt Lake City and we have ordered the picture of Emma [Hale] Smith life size [p. 67] {p. 100}

8 March 1892 • Tuesday

This is Mr. Sears birthday 48 years old– Belle will have a fine dinner for him and make him feel as happy as she can under the circumstances– of course he feels unsettled and it is not much wonder– his mother and father are in favor of his settling with Mary Ann and think it is the best and only thing under the circumstances and I am pretty much convinced of the same thing myself. It is terrible to break up families in this way, but the government is responsible for these sad occurrences and not the men and women who are thus despoiled of home and happiness Mr. Sherman went with Sep[timus] to dinner– [p. 68] {p. 101}

9 March 1892 • Wednesday

My mind is distracted with the many questions and the constant strain to know what I ought to say or do– in this and that– Sister Richards of Ogden Aunt Zina’s Counselor does not coincide with us in reference to the history of the Relief Society which is to be read here– She wants us to publish it as a circular and let each branch have the same to read, whereas we want each one to write her own and have them all to cull from at some future time, when we prepare a document for use in the future and we decided to keep to our own way.2 We had a meeting but after all could not agree I think Sister Kimball favored Sister Richards [p. 69] {p. 102}

10 March 1892 • Thursday

This is Daniel’s birthday three years old and I went to Ogden to see him and took him a birthday gift. We were all very happy together and his cake was quite a wonder– Sadie covered it with candy and he was more than delighted. The children were well and it really seemed such a happy family, John Q. is constantly in Salt Lake through the day & it is of course very hard for him to go up and down twice on the train morning & evening. David is a fine specimen of a boy and baby is growing so very fast & pretty too– [p. 70] {p. 103}

11 March 1892 • Friday

This morning came down on the train as usual lots of mail & plenty of work waiting to be done. I feel very anxious to do all in my power for the sake of earning my salvation by helping others, Jesus said if ye love me feed my sheep, and if ye give a cup of cold water in my name etc. It is very hard to prepare for such an assembly as the Relief Society Jubilee will be and please all, it cannot be done, some are sure to be offended or disagreeable, we have met & counseled together over it and some of us try to conciliate & others are aggressive– [p. 71] {p. 104}

12 March 1892 • Saturday

This is one of the busy days and yet as I have something to say I must go to the meeting in the 14th Ward and speak to the Sisters. There was a pretty good turnout & I enjoyed it very much Some awakening to a more comprehensive view of woman’s sphere and work– Sister Horne has done a very wonderful work, she has prepared an article for the Jubilee which takes in much of her life and labors here in the valley she was one of the company who came after the pioneers <in ’47>3 [p. 72] {p. 105}

13 March 1892 • Sunday

We had nearly completed our preparations for the Jubilee and I went to the Tabernacle– very cold and deep snow– After the services– notices were given out for this and that and we fully expected President Angus M. Cannon would give out the notice of the Jubilee and when he did not I went towards the stand spoke to Br. Thomas and he announced it to Br. Cannon and he gave it out in good shape. Captain Willard Young came forward and asked me to get some ladies selected and call upon Mrs. Elliott [Grace Hopkinson Eliot] on her arrival in the City. She is the wife of President Elliott [Charles W. Eliot] of Harvard College Cambridge, Mass.– [p. 73] {p. 106}

14 March 1892 • Monday

Today I made calls on several ladies in reference to Mrs. Elliott’s being welcomed on her arrival as she was expected the following day, found Phebe [Young Beatie] and Mrs. Kimball and Zina and while at Reedings, we ordered an immense key <of green & white> three feet long to be made for the Jubilee to represent the tree of knowledge Joseph Smith turned for the women of this generation since which time women have been developing powers and attributes which had previously lain dormant and also claiming independence and freedom in civil political and religious matters unheard of before.4 We ordered a basket for Mrs. Elliott in the name of four of us, she had not been heard from or the train [p. 74] {p. 107}

15 March 1892 • Tuesday

Stormy weather Denver & Rio Grande train from the East reported late– probably will not arrive today although we are on the look out for it, as are also the Committee who are to meet and entertain President Elliott and wife– final preparations almost made Emma Smiths picture finished and so much discussion over it that we decided to speak to Pres. Woodruff so Aunt Zina went alone to talk to him and he replied that any one who opposed it must be very narrow minded indeed so whether or not the picture goes. We have seen Bishop [William B.] Preston and also the President of the Stake in regard to decorations and we can have all the handsome flags and bunting– [p. 75] {p. 108}

16 March 1892 • Wednesday

This was the birthday of Hannah T. [Tapfield] King she was one of those queenly women in person and in size, she was quite intellectual and wrote profusely. President Elliott arrived today by the afternoon train, we had watched and waited his coming so long and hers Susa Young [Gates] and a party from Provo came with them and the Committee with Captain Young Chairman went to meet them and escorted them to the Hotel where we met them. Presented the basket of flowers she is very like Mrs. Judge Elliott almost the same manner. Attended Pres. Elliott’s lecture & were much interested, he compared our exodus to that of the Pilgrims of New England– we sat on the platform– with Mrs. Elliott [p. 76] {p. 109}

17 March 1892 • Thursday

Relief Society Jubilee we celebrated in the big Tabernacle and we had with us of the authorities of the Church Joseph F. Smith and Abram H. Cannon John Smith the Patriarch, The portraits of Joseph Emma Eliza & Zina hung on the organ which was draped with the stars and stripes and all the stands were ornamented with flowers. Sister Zina made the opening address of welcome and greeting and was quite eloquent Joseph F. offered the noonday prayer and the affair was quite effective.5 In the afternoon at 3 p.m. we went with Pres. Elliott’s party to the Lake & Buffalo Park,6 had quite a nice time and in the evening we attended our own ward Jubilee– [p. 77] {p. 110}

18 March 1892 • Friday

This morning the Elliott party with Dr. [James E.] Talmage, Dr. Maeser and others left for San Francisco and we began to settle down after the excitement of the Jubilee and so forth– the Tribune is furious over Pres. Elliotts lecture and are making it a sensation through the Associated press–7 however words cannot be recalled and his position entitles him to his own opinion, and he has influence that will carry weight and remove some of the prejudice against us. Today it is a year since I reached Ogden on my return from Washington after my attending the National Council of Women & of the N.A.W.S.A.8 [p. 78] {p. 111}

19 March 1892 • Saturday

Just a year ago today I went to see my husband who was ill at the new house on A. St. He felt very cheerful thought he would soon be well wanted me to tell him all about Washington affairs. Still talking much of the Jubilee and Pres. Elliott’s visit and lecture, so vexed that our people should have a word said in their favor the spirit of enmity & jealousy is rife in mankind, no matter how circumspect one may be or a body of people, if they have the truth to proclaim it brings persecution & misrepresentation [p. 79] {p. 112}

20 March 1892 • Sunday

This is a very stormy day I went to the Tabernacle and heard B. [Brigham] H. Roberts, he speaks well on the Gospel but is not quite broad enough on some matters pertaining to women; is a better missionary than husband I have heard. He has prejudiced many against the suffrage question and kept some back who believe in it from taking active part– In the evening I had my editorial & story & wrote up at Belle’s, had a nice fire and good light children all went to bed early– [p. 80] {p. 113}

21 March 1892 • Monday

wea. stormy

Went before the Presidency today to give hear articles of incorporation in regard to the Relief Society. Pres. Woodruff had to leave us and go to the Commissioner to give evidence about Church matters9 and Joseph F. Smith was left in charge as Br. Cannon is away in the East. There were present Mesdames Zina Young Jane Richards Bathsheba Smith Sarah Kimball, M. I. Horne & E. B. Wells, After reading one or two Aunt Zina saw some objections and the reading was discontinued, and general conversation on woman’s work in the Society was discussed. Pres. Smith promised to bring up some matters at the coming Conference [p. 81] {p. 114}

22 March 1892 • Tuesday

wea. fine

Stayed at Annie’s all day until 4,50 D. & R.G.10 train We had quite a pleasant time and I tried to rest & recruit [recoup?] there does seem so much to do in this world and so few take hold of active duties. I have been reading Hypatia of late it is by Charles Kingsley and is of course largely imaginative, but very interesting and contains many facts, and is admirably written. Today is the anniversary of Carrie Granger [Snyder]’s birthday she was born in 1852– and were she living would be 40 years old. How strange it seems [p. 82] {p. 115}

24 March 1892 • Thursday

These are such miserable days and things are so unsettled at Belle’s Mr. Sears is determined and his father and mother11 are both on his side, Nathan & his wife [Malissa Wilson Sears] are very disagreeable & making Mary Ann uncomfortable by their gossip– Septimus is staying at his mother’s and Sherman is with him a great deal– I am glad he has some one that suits him, they seem such good friends [p. 83] {p. 116}

27 March 1892 • Sunday

This morning came down here late and after doing a little went to the Tabernacle, two or <3> missionaries spoke one was Willie [William O.] Lee and then after them C. [Charles] W. Penrose. I went up to Belle’s and took dinner came back and went over some of my copy and did some writing one letter to Daisie.

Frank H. Dyer was buried today. He is a younger man than I thought him. Has done a great deal in a short life not all for good either. He was Deputy U.S. Marshall for Utah during the most severe persecution and he employed the most wicked Deputies to do his dirty work; causing us all no end of trouble in fact mine was almost unbearable–12 [p. 87] {p. 117}

28 March 1892 • Monday

Kate [Catherine] Wells birthday she was born in this very room where I am writing 39 years ago today. I remember well her advent and how she looked when a baby. She is a very energetic young woman, and I do wish she had a good husband & home one suited to her. She deserves it and would be a dutiful and conscientious wife. She has improved herself in Art studies beyond my expectations or those of her most intimate friends I think as she has persevered in acquiring taste and tact in coloring and in china painting also and with some training has done much herself– [p. 88] {p. 118}

29 March 1892 • Tuesday

Today has been very full this morning went to the Presidents office to see about holding the Conference and saw Pres. Woodruff who told Aunt Zina and myself that we could have Tuesday evening for the Conference of the Relief Society There are so many things to attend to for the organizations and so much literary work that I am anxious to do and accomplish and my mind so harassed with cares and ways & means to keep things going that sometimes I feel more than unequal to the occasion. I find on every hand so many who want help and so few who can render assistance– [p. 89] {p. 119}

30 March 1892 • Wednesday

Day follows day and little is accomplished in my line of work that is at all satisfactory I am so desirous of doing something creditable and the time never comes. President Angus M. Cannon thinks I really ought to give up the paper and rest and live off the Church, that seems such a queer proposal to me– I do not quite see how it would be. I fear I should get little to live upon in the way of delicacy and what about clothing who would furnish those– not until I can no longer work will I do that certainly not but I do wish to do something literary more than I have done of late– I pray I may have the ability [p. 90] {p. 120}

31 March 1892 • Thursday

A dreary dismal day paper went to press and many things to annoy me & vex the feelings. Mr. S. [Sears] came & Belle & Dot Lucile & others and time slipped by– Emily [Wells Grant] & little Dessie [Martha Deseret Grant]– evening came and the ladies of the club one after another. We had a very nice pleasant meeting & discussed several subjects Miss [Genevieve L.] Brown played some selections and Mrs. [C. Louise] Boyden recited two selections one from Victor Hugo the other the Hungarian. This is one of the most interesting meetings we have had. I do feel the Club will prove a blessing to us in various ways and I know I am learning more & more & becoming acquainted with pleasant people [p. 91] {p. 121}

Footnotes

  1. [1]Under the requirements of the Edmunds Act, Septimus Sears pledged to live with only one wife. He now proposed to make his separation from his first wife permanent and to take Belle Whitney as his legal wife. (Madsen, Intimate History, 321, 321n12, 14; EBW, Diary, 8 and 24 Mar. 1892; 11 Apr. 1892.)

  2. [2]In celebrating the Relief Society jubilee, the central board planned to read a history of the founding of Relief Society in 1842. Since some members of the board desired local societies to record and preserve their own Relief Society histories, the Woman’s Exponent published this announcement: “The President of the Relief Society, Mrs. Zina D. H. Young, desires to obtain, for future use and reference, historical sketches of each branch of the Relief Society in all lands where there is or has been an organization, the sketch of each to include the amount of charitable work or disbursements made and for what purposes, with necessary data; also when organized and by whom, the names of officers, and the changes that have been made, if any. The President wishes the minutes of Jubilee celebrations held in each ward or place, whether in this country or in other lands, accompanied with the sketch of the Relief Society written for the occasion. Address these manuscripts and communications to Mrs. E. B. Wells, office of Woman’s Exponent, Salt Lake City, Utah.” (“Important to the Relief Society,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Apr. 1892, 20:139.)

  3. [3]“Address of Mrs. M. Isabella Horne,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Apr. 1892, 20:137–138.

  4. [4]Relief Society women chose a floral key as the motif of their jubilee celebration. This was based on Joseph Smith’s statement at the 28 April 1842 meeting of the Nauvoo Relief Society: “I now turn the key to you in the name of God and this Society shall rejoice and knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time— this is the beginning of better days, to this Society.” Sarah M. Kimball quoted these words in a historical sketch presented at the jubilee celebration. EBW also wrote a statement, which was read at the jubilee celebration, emphasizing that the key of knowledge had been turned to emancipate woman. (Derr et al., First Fifty Years, 59, 601, 610.)

  5. [5]“The Relief Society Jubilee Exercises at the Tabernacle,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Apr. 1892, 20:137–144.

  6. [6]Buffalo Park was intended to be a showplace at the Great Salt Lake’s Garfield Beach in Tooele County. The buffalo populating the park were later sent to Antelope Island. (“Tooele County Guide to Historical Attractions: Buffalo Park.”)

  7. [7]See “That Eliot Lecture,” “After President Eliot,” and “President Eliot’s Day,” Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Mar. 1892, 4.

  8. [8]National American Woman Suffrage Association.

  9. [9]At issue was ownership of the Temple Block in Jackson County, Missouri. (Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9:16, 21, 189–190.)

  10. [10]Denver & Rio Grande.

  11. [11]John and Sarah Wagstaff Sears.

  12. [12]Marshal Frank Dyer tracked down John Q. Cannon and Louie Wells in October 1886, leading to the John Q. Cannon polygamy prosecution case in September 1887. (“John Q. Cannon Arrested,” Deseret News, 13 Oct. 1886, 12; “John Q. Cannon Nabbed,” Salt Lake Daily Tribune, 8 Oct. 1886, 4; EBW, Diary, 11 and 16 Sept. 1887.)