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April 1895


4 April 1895 • Thursday

Today I went direct to our Woman’s Conference Dot kept the office & we had a pleasant sort of meeting– I was very weary and felt the need of faith– I urged Aunt Zina to let us talk of current matters instead of having reports in the usual manner– At noon we were much disturbed by messages that seemed doubtful of our getting equal suffrage– but I was not so gloomy yet felt prayer would help us– Sister Zina offered prayer in which we all joined and we felt comforted– in the evening Jos. F. spoke to us very strongly on this subject– {p. 123}

5 April 1895 • Friday

The great Conference of the Church opened today all the First Presidency in their places and most of the Twelve– A large audience for an opening day– {p. 124}

6 April 1895 • Saturday

Today all is confusion I was feeling very badly when I came to the office but tried to work Mrs. [Hannah Settle] Lapish of Am. Fork was here and many others, such a confusion one could not well keep one’s head level. Miss [Marian E.] Scoles of Logan called and we had to make an appointment for Tuesday next. I felt much distressed but sent out many letters about 80 in all– {p. 125}

7 April 1895 • Sunday

This morning is lovely and bright, slept better last night and lay in bed very late felt somewhat rested. Went to the Tabernacle & heard Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon & Pres. W. [Wilford] Woodruff. Conference closed today; until October. Tried to find Aunt Zina and talk with her but failed utterly. Annie and baby were well but she has too much care and not sufficient help. I stayed until nearly ten came home to prepare copy for paper. Sent off a letter to Julia [Ivins] McDonald and others. Mrs. Caine is counting up signatures. I wrote to Mrs. Frank [Frances] Stuart Parker today about the Woman’s Congress in October and whether it should be held here. {p. 126}

8 April 1895 • Monday

The sad anniversary of my sweet Emmie [Emeline W. Wells]’s death, a dreary morning and O so hard to work and to meet people we have a meeting of the National Woman’s Relief Society and so much to do– I made a short speech but could not say half that was in my heart of the present needs of the time– {p. 127}

11 April 1895 • Thursday

This is Belle’s wedding day1 and she is to have a dinner. John Q. & Annie and myself are all except her own family and Dot’s best young man.2 The dinner was fine and everything passed off pleasantly and we had a fine evening. We all remember though the sad sad funeral on this day seventeen years ago how lonely the house was how dreadful– I could not look up or speak to any one all through the service, every one tried to comfort me, but no one knew what I was suffering. She3 was one of the noblest girls that ever lived, never pained me by word or deed. Too pure for this life, she lives in a better world, where pain and sin and sorrow cannot enter More lists of names today for equal suffrage– {p. 130}

13 April 1895 • Saturday

Emeline [Y.] Wells birthday she is thirty eight today born in 1857– how well I remember it before the Echo caňon war4 and the move to Provo when we all left our homes & took to wagons and tents to sojourn wherever we could find shelter and a resting place, Emeline has been much with me in times past and now she teaches kindergarten and is doing nicely– {p. 132}

15 April 1895 • Monday

My brother Hiram [E. W. Clark]’s birthday he is sixty today and there is no doubt great rejoicing in their home, all the family will doubtless write him letters of congratulation except me and I cannot though no one feels to want to give him love and honor more than I but I am not equal to so much actual work. It does seem strange that so delicate as I have always been such burdens are laid upon me. {p. 134}

16 April 1895 • Tuesday

This is Elise [Gasser]’s birthday and I gave her a new hat Belle bought her a silk waist– it is a fine day not too cold– {p. 135}

18 April 1895 • Thursday

This morning I hurried with all speed in order to prepare the new lists that came in and was off to the Convention in very good time but not too soon after all– Saw Thurmon [Samuel R. Thurman] at the Cullen and talked with him– found him very confident of the result– he is one who reassures you when in doubt– the vote was taken and stood 69. for and 32 against– a little bitterness was manifest from [Brigham H.] Roberts & [Charles S.] Varian also [William F.] James but altogether it was smooth sailing I sent a telegram to Susan B. Anthony to let her know– We kept very quiet and made no demonstratiom5 {p. 137}

19 April 1895 • Friday

This is John Q’s birthday he is 38 today it scarcely seems possible– I have been very busy trying to get on with some of my work which is so behind and Dr. [Charles F.] Wilcox has prized [appraised] the [Deseret] Hospital instruments and left them in the middle of the floor and Parley P. Pratt [Jr.] who is to take them on account came up today to get them and Luella [Young] Brigham called and in the middle of it Judge [Charles S.] Zane came and brought me his list with his own signature at the top of the list, I went to Annie’s to dinner had goose & plum pudding all were well and content spent the evening, Louise came home & slept here {p. 138}

20 April 1895 • Saturday

After Louise and myself had breakfast we went up on the car together– it was a glorious morning I found Miss [Maria] Fletcher6 had been to the office and gone out again, but she came back and interviewed me again, and several others called to see me– I gave Miss Fletcher a letter to Mrs. Salisbury I wrote Mrs. [Harriet Taylor] Upton Sister [Mary Ann Weston] Maughan of Logan & Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery I went over hundreds of magazines and of old letters– sent off presents to Mrs. Avery’s children and worked very steadily, came home very weary and to my house dark and lonely, it is very nice weather but we need rain {p. 139}

21 April 1895 • Sunday

<My brother Manson [J. Woodward]’s birthday> This morning I rose late Em came with my breakfast– after I had dressed I commenced writing. Wrote to Mrs. Walcott of Dedham Mass. to Carrie Chapman Catt New York City to Mrs. [Mary Jane Cornwall] Atwood Kamas, Mrs. W. W. Woods Wallace [Idaho] my own daughter and to D. [David] H. Cannon St. George– I have not felt very well and perhaps would have been better for some exercise but kept on writing Belle came over and said Elise was sick after awhile I went over for a few minutes– Lucile came in on her way to Annie’s I became very nervous & mentally distressed so went over for Dot to come and stay all night {p. 140}

22 April 1895 • Monday

Emily [Wells Grant]’s birthday and I suppose will be royally kept as she seems to be fortunate in money matters– she is very intimate with all the Hooper’s7 in view of Bryant [Briant H. Wells] & May [Mary Jane] Jennings engagement and marriage in the future– I have been writing letters and making up lost time in the best possible way, Aunt Zina has been in and several others– we are having quite a time over the Convention questions and some little annoyances and things do not keep very smooth with some of the members I am reading some and trying to keep balanced to help hold things level as I find some of the officers are inclined to be quite excitable to say the least {p. 141}

23 April 1895 • Tuesday

This is the anniversary of Percival [Woods]’s birth, he came when we were all full of sorrow and grief like a bright presence a sweet messenger. His was such a welcome life and every prospect hopeful– it is seventeen long years since and yet how well one remembers all those things. It was pouring with rain in the evening when Will came to tell me the news, and I had been so much alarmed, tho’ I knew the Doctor was one who thoroughly understood his profession and was competent in any emergency– I was glad when the news came though I was full of tears– and today it rains as it did so long ago– and I am still sad so very very sad8 {p. 142}

29 April 1895 • Monday

Today the time is drawing very near for the closing of the Convention and one can scarcely attend to the work of the office or of the Clubs because of the strain. The Reaper’s Club adjourned today until four weeks as we need time for Miss Anthony and also the Reception to the Constitutional Convention which is very near now– the Federation [of Women’s Clubs] too are to have a reception and between this, that & the other one is puzzled to know how it is all to be done– in fact my own brain seems wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement and it is difficult to know what to do first or how to economize one’s time & strength {p. 148}

30 April 1895 • Tuesday

<wrote to Mell tonight> Today we had a silk meeting at eleven and I had many things on hand to do– it is Leslie [A. Dunford]’s birthday and he would be twenty three years old– we all loved him very much indeed. I had the care of him more than any one of the children who were at home with me even more than Verona– I feel sad at the loss of such a boy as he was especially an untimely death by accident. Mary Cravath Whitney died today early morning she was a fine woman. only fifty seven– I have been up to see the girls and went over to Aunt Zina’s came home worn right out. Belle is sick in bed– {p. 149}

Footnotes

  1. [1]Isabel Whitney married Septimus Wagstaff Sears as a plural wife on 11 April 1869. They were remarried in a legally recognized ceremony on 11 April 1892. (EBW, Diary, 1869 or later, p. 87; 11 Apr. 1892.)

  2. [2]C. William Buchholz. (“A Holiday Wedding,” Salt Lake Herald, 30 Dec. 1896, 8.)

  3. [3]Emeline W. Wells.

  4. [4]The Utah War of 1857–1858 was also sometimes referred to as the Echo Canyon War. In late 1857, the Utah militia built fortifications at the narrows of Echo Canyon in northern Utah to discourage the entry of federal troops. (Whitney, History of Utah, 4:186; Barlow, “The Utah War.”)

  5. [5]For a review of the debates over a women’s suffrage clause, see White, “Woman’s Place Is in the Constitution,” 221–243.

  6. [6]For an explanation of Maria Fletcher’s interest in interviewing EBW about her poetry, see EBW, Diary, 9 and 14 July 1895.

  7. [7]Family of William Henry Hooper, former delegate to Congress from Utah Territory and president of the Deseret National Bank. (“Hooper, William Henry,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.)

  8. [8]William Percival Woods, son of William W. Woods and Melvina Whitney Woods, was born on 23 April 1878, shortly after the death of Emeline W. Wells on 8 April 1878. He died of diphtheria on 17 October 1887 at age nine. (EBW, Diary, 17–20 Oct. 1887.)