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January 1895


EVENTS IN EMMELINE B. WELLS'S DIARY FOR 1895

2 February

Received a tribute from Susan B. Anthony at the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention in Atlanta.

5–8 March

Visited leaders of the National Council of Women at their homes: Rachel Foster Avery near Philadelphia and May Wright Sewall in Indianapolis.

26 March

Lobbied men shaping the Utah constitution to include women’s suffrage.

12–15 May

Hosted Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw in Salt Lake City for the Rocky Mountain convention of the NAWSA.

9 July

Elected chair of the state women’s Republican committee.

9 September

EBW wrote, “Almost every evening I have to speak somewhere and being the Chairman of the Woman’s Republican League something bright is expected of me on all occasions.”

16–20 October

Removed her name from the Republican ticket for the state legislature.

1 January 1895 • Tuesday

wea.1 Cold & snowing

This morning I sat writing then went over to Belle’s [Isabel Whitney Sears] and saw all the family, then to the Office for my mail and to Annie’s [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon] to dinner– Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears Belle & Eugene [S. Sears] & Brent [Brenton M. Sears] came up, John Q. [Cannon] went to the theatre and took Q. [George Q. Cannon]2 with him– I stayed with Annie all night, baby3 has a bad cold and worried considerable in the night. John Q. and Annie had oysters in the shell. Br. [George Q.] Cannon sent them over– Louise [B. Cannon] Margaret [Cannon] & Q. were all in new suits. The weather is cold snow fell this morning. Br. Cannon has been quite ill but is now much better. Lucile [Sears] went to Emily [Young] Clawson’s to a Watch party. I gave some trifle to each one of the girls & grandchildren– {p. 30}

2 January 1895 • Wednesday

wea. cold & windy

This morning baby seemed better and Lucile came to help Annie. I came away directly after breakfast and found myself late– went to work but had so many callers could not accomplish much– Miss [Phoebe] Couzins came over and Aunt Zina [D. H. Young] Dr. [Ellis Reynolds] Shipp Sisters [Rebecca Beesley] Doolan and [Sarah Mitchell] Graham and Br. [James E.] & Sister [Marilla Miller] Daniels from Provo and Emily [Tanner] Richards, R. M. [Ruth May] Fox and Dr. [Ellen Brooke] Ferguson– We sent off ninety five dollars today to Mrs. [Harriet Taylor] Upton Treasurer of the N.A.W.S.A.4 I tried to write in Gladys Woodmansee [Bentley]’s Album– she is going to Mexico on the 7th. Such hard work to express what one feels for friends. How I wish we could give expression to our thoughts in words suitable to the occasion at all times– {p. 31}

3 January 1895 • Thursday

Went to Fast meeting in the 18th. Ward this morning, heard several young women speak– Georgie Clawson [Foote] who had been with the Christian scientists told her experience and how she became convinced of her errors– I bore testimony to the truth and the mission of Joseph the Prophet. I gave donation to the poor to the Bishop5 and also to the Relief Society. Came back and Phebe [Phoebe Young] Beatie came and said she must give the tea-party for the Delegate6 on Saturday– so we postponed the Executive meeting until later on. I tried over and over to do some special writing but my mind was so wrought upon that it was quite impossible to get sufficient calmness– {p. 32}

4 January 1895 • Friday

This is Geo. Q’s birthday & President Cannon has gone on to New York and so the birthday preparations are not to be given until his return– I bought Geo. Q. a box of Dominoes & went down to have supper with them– his father took him to the theatre and I stayed with Annie. There was a terrific wind one could scarcely see, and the shrieks and groans of the storm on the mountains were terrifying– John Q. put me on the car and I came home and went over to Belle’s Dot [Seraph I. Sears] came to stay with me and we were awake until about four in the morning. Mr. Sears tank blew over and bent the pipes double– it was a frightful experience– we could not sleep– {p. 33}

5 January 1895 • Saturday

Today is better– I have tried to do a little mailing and have had many callers, and towards evening went over to Phebe Beatie’s to the tea party or reception and found everything very pleasant and such sweet music. Such pleasant company. I went on up to Sister [Malinda Gamble] Finch’s where I had been invited to dinner with a party of ladies and when I arrived the dinner was over but they made it very agreeable for me and I enjoyed it very much indeed. The ladies were all old and dear friends. Ruth [Reese] Kimball who is blind gave us some interesting experiences and I enjoyed every minute. After coming home I had such a bad cold and was so tired– I was very ill– {p. 34}

6 January 1895 • Sunday

Last night I woke in the most suffocating condition I got up and tried to overcome it in every way but it seemed quite impossible twice I tried to go over to Belle’s and turned back but finally went and woke them all up– and stayed with Dot– I came home and did a few little things and then went up to keep my appointment with Miss Couzins, Miss [Ada] Patterson came and together we went over to Laron Pratts we had a fine dinner & pleasant company and enjoyed it very much indeed– Capt. Bishop and wife were there and everything was very pleasant I came down to Annie’s and John Q. was just about starting on a trip to San Juan– {p. 35}

7 January 1895 • Monday

This morning I had an appointment with President [Joseph F.] Smith at the office– for myself and Aunt Zina but he had not come and so we had to come away without seeing him. The Reaper’s Club met & we had papers from Mrs. [Louisa Noble] Badger & Mrs. Annie [Taylor] Hyde current items followed, and the meeting was a very pleasant one. In the evening I worked hard writing letters– until late enough for theatre Lucile came up and we went away together. We were quite early and saw all the people come in and rather enjoyed it, [Alexander] Salvini is a great actor, rather hurried in some parts. I went to Annie’s to sleep we were so late getting out that we had to take the last car– p. 36}

8 January 1895 • Tuesday

This morning at eleven we were to hold our silk meeting and we also had an appointment at the President’s7 office– finding the brethren were not there, Aunt Zina and myself went back to the silk meeting and after the meeting adjourned we met the Presidency8 and were able to state our views satisfactorily and to get such advice as we needed. We are to have a meeting of the Silk Ass’n on Tuesday Jan. 22nd at the old Federal Court Room and we hope to take some action there in reference to the general feeling upon the subject of the Experiment Station– Meantime we are making every exertion possible here at home– Lena Tillman came to Annie’s {p. 37} yesterday to work–

9 January 1895 • Wednesday

Annie and children are pretty well– have not heard from John Q. yet– but as we know if there was any bad news it would come speedily, we hope for the best– I came up in good time and went to lunch to Mrs. [Margaret Walker] Salisbury’s, the day is very cold, her house is comfortable and we had a delicate lunch well-served. Met Miss [Charlotte E.] Hayden the children’s governess– went into the schoolroom and heard the lessons for an hour or more– talked about the Daughters of the Revolution and who were entitled to join Sep and Lucile had Annie’s tickets to go to the theatre to see Salvini in Don Ceaser d’Besan. I spent the evening with Annie– we went to bed in pretty good time– Emaline <baby> [Emeline Cannon] has a bad cold & Sweetie [Louise B. Cannon] the ear-ache– {p. 38}

10 January 1895 • Thursday

Day follows day and nothing seems to develop and yet I know I must go on, for unless I do the whole matter is lost and all our former work goes for nothing– I am so occupied all day and all the evening Annie and I must talk and nothing is really accomplished that it seems impossible so to get the necessary letters written to obtain money. The office always filled with those who are anxious to learn concerning the Convention & the Council9 and there is much to tell Belle has my dresses made. {p. 39}

11 January 1895 • Friday

This is Geo. Q. Cannon’s birthday he is in New York at the Hotel Imperial most likely and is in all probability busily engaged in financial affairs. The children are ready to give the exercises as soon as he returns home. Annie keeps up remarkably well and yet it worries me to think of her being taken in the night and no one by except myself. We hear good news from Mell and the others at Northern Idaho. My work drags on slowly not having money to hire a person to help me– The weather is fine and makes one feel like going out instead of being shut up at home. I have forwarded letters and money in pretty good time to the Convention & Council {p. 40}

12 January 1895 • Saturday

Today is very stormy and it is the regular meeting day in the 14th. Ward hall & Sister Zina presided in the absence of Sister [Mary Isabella Hales] Horne There was an enthusiastic spiritual overflow– and the gift of tongues was manifest also the interpretation. I have finished Pembroke by Miss Wilkins [Mary Wilkins Freeman] and have read Zoroaster by F. Marion Crawford and begun {p. 41}

13 January 1895 • Sunday

Every Sunday I try to attend service either in the Tabernacle or in the Chapel at evening– but now that Annie cannot go at all and her husband away I think it my duty to stay with her on Sunday– I have prepared a Circular Letter to the several Associations of the W.S.A.10 in the different organized Counties and it is in the Secretary’s hands to be type written, all the envelopes are addressed & very soon the letters will be issued, and I do hope there will be a feeling of unity. Tonight Miss Couzins speaks in the New Opera house the Grand. Miss Cousins lecture was very good entitled the “Silver Conspiracy” but she was aggressive towards men said there were no American men they were mice {p. 42}

14 January 1895 • Monday

Miss Cousins is very persistent in coming to me for what she wants instead of the Gentile women. I am not willing to have her speak under the auspices of the Woman Suffrage Ass’n of Utah– but she has already spoken before the Woman’s Club the Press Club, the Reaper’s Club and the Literary Club and will go to Ogden this week <today> and speak twice there– so she cannot complain so far as that is concerned– I have spoken to Mrs. Porter and settled about her bill for the two weeks and have told her decidedly that she cannot expect anything more from us but she still thinks if Br. Cannon were here he would lend or give her more {p. 43}

15 January 1895 • Tuesday

Yesterday afternoon Mrs. [Rebecca Ellen Mantle] Little & Miss [Susan] Riter called on me to ask me to engage Miss Cousins to speak to the Cleofan11 on Tuesday next and she would receive what they always gave $5.00. I saw her brother and talked to him about the matter and he promised to telephone she speaks in Ogden tonight, and has arranged to speak in the theatre next Sunday night– I attended the Utah Woman’s Press Club tonight and shall probably not be there again for some time– We had the By-Laws revised and other business completed– the meeting was mostly occupied by Mrs. [Syntitha] Dickinson’s paper on Indians {p. 44}

16 January 1895 • Wednesday

This morning Bishop O. [Orson] F. Whitney came to my office by appointment and gave me a blessing Aunt Zina was there & we all knelt down & had prayer first then he blest me– then Aunt Zina– we were both much gratified and felt uplifted with the blessing he gave to us– promising health and safety and many other things through our faith and faithfulness. I have many times realized the blessings of the Lord through the administrations of his servants who bear the Holy Priesthood but Orson has had a peculiar power in blessing and the divine influence shed abroad in my heart at the time {p. 45}

17 January 1895 • Thursday

This is Mary Jane Whitney [Groo]s anniversary of her birthday she is fifty one today. Her husband Mr. [Isaac] Groo is very ill– it is also the anniversary of William Dunford’s birthday he was born in 1846 or 47– in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England– he has been dead for some time now–12 how much sorrow came to us through him I can never tell what my experience has been not only in that but many other strange events and incidents in my life. The weather is severe and I am not well but much over-wrought. It is very difficult for me to rise above the circumstances that depress me at the present time, and be cheerful and help others. {p. 46}

18 January 1895 • Friday

Still trying to wade thro’ difficulties and keep my head above water so that I can sleep and eat & work– so much to be done. I have not really recovered from my nervousness brought on last fall by over-exertion fatigue & exposure– the weather too is really not bright enough to make the prospect of going away a cheerful one. My paper is always behind it seems like and the people who should be helpful are depressing instead of helping one forward. Mrs. Salisbury has gone & she is really a sort of talisman towards the fulfillment of my hopes and aspirations– she is such a true friend in times of need– {p. 47}

19 January 1895 • Saturday

Annie’s confinement being so near has such a depressing influence upon me. I feel that I must go and yet it looks impossible Money does not come in rapidly and the regular fees and dues must be paid whether one has other means or not– the Relief Society is a rich institution and ought to be ably represented as it deserves. Aunt Zina says she will go one day and the next time I see her she thinks she cannot– I feel it would be of great benefit to her if she would go out into education– at society more– contact is the one thing that would uplift her– some letters & money are coming in and we shall be able to make everything right and for me to go I am sure– {p. 48}

20 January 1895 • Sunday

Orson K. Whitney was born Jan. 20, 1830– the year the Church was organized and was wonderfully gifted. I went to the Tabernacle as I was anxious to go before leaving the City to go East– I feel very uneasy about Sister Zina lest she will not go down– She really should go with me– and have a rest. of course I realize that the Temple, the House of the Lord is the highest earthly position and that to minister there as a High Priestess is greater than being associated with wise & great women of the world– but we have to do both a temporal and a spiritual work & one balances the other and both are necessary and Aunt Zina needs both {p. 49}

21 January 1895 • Monday

<Reaper’s Club met today new officers elected Mrs. [Caroline Stockdale] Thomas President Mrs. Gra◊n Sec.> This is Aunt Eliza [R. Snow]’s birthday and Aunt Zina and other ladies who have come in have been reminded by me of the fact. I am glad that the reception for me is to be on her birthday and she would be 90. if she was still living and I feel proud of her memory– hundreds of people came to Mrs. [Elizabeth Claridge] McCune’s to the Afternoon reception from two to seven– the refreshments were delicious and the decorations splendid– everything passed off nicely and though the weather was cold and the streets muddy yet it made but little difference to the ladies. I was very late in going and did not have much time to converse with the company Miss Cousins seemed to have been a decided attraction {p. 50}

22 January 1895 • Tuesday

Today many of the sisters have been in asking for the account or result of the reception but I was not aware of its financial success. Miss Cousins speaks for the Cleofan on the topic of Portia and is to receive five dollars, Kate [Catherine Wells] is to escort her there and so on– she still hangs to me in reference to her bills and wants to borrow money she is invited to stay over in Ogden– for which I am very glad indeed and hope she may succeed in getting some pecuniary help– still I do not know how that will be– she did not tell me who had sent the invitation she is very clever but also very impractical– {p. 51}

23 January 1895 • Wednesday

There is an awful snow storm and it is very unpleasant going out but I am so busy at work I cannot think of any thing like enjoyment– though I am invited here and there. We had a Silk meeting in the Old Federal Court Room– Mrs. Salisbury presiding Mrs. [Isabella Fisher] Bennett read a paper on Silk Culture in France Mrs. Salisbury on the World’s Fair exhibit. Mrs. [Corinne Tuckerman] Allen gave a history of what had been accomplished and Mrs. [Margaret Mitchell] Caine gave an impromptu address on primitive work & Mrs. Z. D. H. Young on Work in Utah in the early times. I spoke of the future what we expect & hope for then we met at the office on business13 {p. 52}

24 January 1895 • Thursday

This is Will [William W.] Woods birthday and would have been Sidney [W. Sears]’s and Eleanor [Cannon]’s my grandchildren– Sidney would have been 25– & Eleanor 4 years old– I have been very busy trying to urge the girls on to do their work on the paper & get it out before I go away– Annie is not very well and it worries me a great deal. I went home late and we stayed up until two in the morning watching and waiting for John Q. Annie was ill in the night had a nervous chill and before light Geo. Q. went over to Marshal [Nathaniel M.] Brigham’s and called up the telephone for Dr. [Romania Bunnell] Pratt who came and gave Annie a dose of bromide and decided she would not be sick yet {p. 53}

25 January 1895 • Friday

<Isaac Groo Mary Jane Whitney’s husband died today–> This morning we succeeded in getting Sisters [Marilla Johnson] Daniels and [Aurelia Spencer] Rogers together and I went to the Temple after President [Lorenzo] Snow as we were to ask him about setting us apart Aunt Zina was with me and we flew around as fast as we could– Br. Snow was going off to Brigham City and so we went back to the Presidency and told President Jos. F. Smith. He told us to see Abram H. Cannon and get the other sisters which we did and went into the back office of the Presidents and Joseph F. blessed me and Abram blessed Sister Rogers & Jos. F. Sister Daniels. We were all promised that we should return home in safety and many other blessings I managed to get down to Annie’s Sister [Catherine] Lewis had come and she was feeling better {p. 54}

26 January 1895 • Saturday

<slept at home last night for the first time since Jan. 6.> Today I leave the City to go to Atlanta to the N.A.W.S.A Convention and afterwards to Washington D.C. to the National Council of Women– left 5.20 on board No. 7 Pullman car Kamela– pulled out of depot at 5.20 & passed through Davis Co. & Ogden & Echo Caňon before going to bed– saw the famous devil’s slide once more– tried to initiate Sisters Daniels & Rogers into the necessary work they would have to do after reaching the Convention both are very amiable and want to do all they possibly can– they do not seem to stand the excitement as well as I do– they are not used to it as I am– {p. 55}

27 January 1895 • Sunday

We tried to be gay and cheerful but had to remember it was Sunday though there was no appearance of it anywhere near to us. We talked and read and rested all we could Sister Rogers slept considerably. changed cars after leaving Cheyenne to the Altus same train much to our annoyance as we did not expect to until we reached Kansas– however we had to submit much as we disliked it we however submitted and the porter helped us into another Pullman just as comfortable as the first and quite as private. The country seemed very much the same all the way along– only now & then a large town nothing very striking on the line {p. 56}

28 January 1895 • Monday

today is just the same as usual and we are still discussing Convention & the sisters with me are busy trying to read up and get familiar with proceedings. I did go off the train to dinner– half a dollar and felt better– arrived in Kansas City about dusk & Mr. Proudtree came to meet us at the Car– asked for Mrs. Wells and helped us about our luggage– I went into the dining room and had supper half a dollar again but I had no lunch <I could eat> and felt the need of warm meals– the other ladies only took hot water– and their own lunch. In the depot. Mr. S. W. Sears my son in law came up to us and we were very glad to see any one from home he brought us some beer & stayed until his train for St. Louis pulled out– {p. 57}

29 January 1895 • Tuesday

<We left Kansas City on the car Lithia arrived in Memphis at 5. p.m.> Alamitos to Atlanta Stayed five hours at Memphis Tennessee rained & snowed– had to go away up town to get berth tickets– paid 4 dollars each we had a most affecting scene to witness there. A woman religiously crazy. she had three little children and husband with her. We were very glad to go on board the train at 1/2 past 8, train pulled out at 9. p.m. the country through which we passed was queer, houses on stilts and meadows and swamps and burnt fields and woods– We passed thro’ Tennessee Alabama & Mississippi on to Georgia– I Slept little and was wide awake in Birmingham a large town and could see by moon light handsome houses and churches {p. 58}

30 January 1895 • Wednesday

<sent off telegram as soon as we arrived> Rec’d letters that had been forwarded to the Aragon– and one from Mrs. Fox with the money for the Utah W.S.A. I did not try to do much but only wrote a letter to Annie & tried to get acquainted with some of the Delegates– Miss [Susan B.] Anthony has been most kind to me– Mrs. Daniels & Mrs. Rogers are in the next room to me– In the evening all delegates were called to a meeting so Miss Anthony should see and hear from each one some expression and we all met in a room in the Hotel and we heard the opinions and expressions from various states– Miss Anthony had me sit by her which was a very great compliment & I felt it very strongly. Sisters Daniels & Rogers were both there– {p. 59}

31 January 1895 • Thursday

<weather windy & dismal> Opening of the Convention Miss Anthony in the Chair, Rev. Anna [Howard] Shaw invocation to Our Father & Mother etc. then minutes etc– Miss Anthony appointed Committee on Credentials Harriet Taylor Upton Ch. then Com. on Plan of Work Mrs. C. C. [Carrie Lane Chapman] Catt Ch. & Miss Laura Clay Kentucky Miss Mary Hay New York Mrs. Annie L. Diggs Kansas & Mrs. E. B. Wells Utah– We immediately withdrew to set to work– the hall was handsomely decorated & the flags for seats represented the different States & Territories alphabetically. Badges had been prepared by the Howard girls which were yellow stamped in black with the words inscribed Constitution Wisdom Justice Moderation. Evening devoted to speeches– {p. 60}

Footnotes

  1. [1]text: The “wea.” (weather) heading is preprinted in the diary.

  2. [2]The son of John Q. and Annie Cannon.

  3. [3]Emmeline Cannon. (See EBW, Diary, 8 and 16 Feb. 1893.)

  4. [4]National American Woman Suffrage Association.

  5. [5]Orson F. Whitney was called as bishop of the Salt Lake City Eighteenth Ward on 14 July 1878 and served until he was called as an apostle on 7 April 1906. (Horne, Life of Orson F. Whitney, 46, 240.)

  6. [6]Joseph L. Rawlins.

  7. [7]Wilford Woodruff, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  8. [8]Members of the First Presidency were Wilford Woodruff, president, and counselors George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith.

  9. [9]See EBW, Diary, 26 Jan. 1895, for reference to their travel to the NAWSA convention in Atlanta, Georgia, and the National Council of Women in Washington, DC.

  10. [10]Woman Suffrage Association.

  11. [11]Cleofan was a Utah women’s literary club formed in 1892. The club’s founders chose the name cleofan intending that it mean to “cleave together.” (Derr, “Scholarship, Service, and Sisterhood,” 253; Susan Lyman-Whitney, “Club Still Helps Women of S. L. ‘Cleave Together’ in Quest for Knowledge,” Deseret News, Oct. 2, 1992.) Cleofan/cliofan is the Old English word for “cleave,” meaning “split.” The word cleave’s opposite meaning, “to hold together,” comes from Old English clefian/cleofian. (“Words to the Wise,” Take Our Word for It.) EBW mentioned the Cleofan club in her diary on 14 April 1894.

  12. [12]William Dunford, first husband of Melvina Whitney, died 17 October 1891. (EBW, Diary, 30 Sept. 1895; Dunford, Death Record, 17 Oct. 1891.)

  13. [13]“Utah Woman’s Silk Association,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 and 15 Feb. 1895, 23:237–238.