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December 1897

1 December 1897 • Wednesday

<Wrote to my sister Lucy today> My stove was up when I came home from the club– last night– much more comfortable for sleeping. This morning snow– dreaded to go out went up late Pearl there early dismal day– have not felt well. Had proofs to read and copy to prepare and arrange papers for binding had lunch at Dr. Pratt’s. Dr. Shipp came to see me, she is a lovely woman. My work is all in now for my book. Susa has a new fad to establish a Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution here at home1 we have appointed a meeting at the Lion House for Friday at eleven o’clock Prest. Cannon is coming to speak to us. I do not care very much for the methods. It is a most miserable night the wind howls and it is bitter cold. I am here alone and too weary to write or amuse myself in any way except to read kept that up until two in the morning [p. 367] {p. 152}

2 December 1897 • Thursday

For some reason I fancied it was fast day as in the olden times. It seemed almost prophetic– did not feel just right. Winter has come in good earnest and it is hard for me to keep comfortable, have had a long talk with the Governor about this and that– the U.S. District Attorney and the Daughters of the Revolution– Went down to Annie’s to supper John Q. was at his father’s2 to a meeting of the family. He came home about ten and we had the regulation late supper; then I come home and really slept better than usual, though I was reading until very late almost morning. I had a letter from Mell today, she wants me to send her the desk & Bible– I have much to depress me in many ways. Have had many callers today– feel uneasy about Annie’s baby and Q’s ankle also. [p. 368] {p. 153}

3 December 1897 • Friday

<My Sister Lucy is 80 years old today> This morning went off early and on the car half way to the City the power gave out and cars were stopped, so exasperating but however after impatient waiting on we went again and I was barely in time. Susa came and talked over what she had done, Maria Dougall wanted Annie for President so I telephoned to her and she said if chosen she would accept. Baby is still quite sick had a bad night. We had ten woman and I was elected Chairman Temporary & Susa Young Gates Temporary Secretary– President George Q. Cannon came in and talked to us and also General John Q. Cannon– afterwards we had Kindergarten meeting in the office and then later I went to the lecture on Rome at the Assembly Hall by Dr. Jame [James] E. Talmage it was very good indeed and I took Myra Russell with me. [p. 369] {p. 154}

4 December 1897 • Saturday

This morning I was anxious about my mail as I knew there was to be a large meeting in my office of the Primary officers– and I also expected the revise– I was there in good time and stayed during the meeting reading my proof etc. The subject of raffling in the Primary came up and I protested against it. Mrs. Cobb agreed with me, there was some discussion and it was decided to refer the matter to Prest. Cannon3 After meeting adjourned I wrote letters and sent away Receipts– went to the Vienna Café and had lunch. Came home about 1/2 past nine and read the story of Mrs. Clyde by Julien Gordon in the Cosmopolitan then some chapters in “Beth” Sarah Grand’s new novel, first written since the Heavenly Twins. Had a letter today from the Woman’s Journal office– Miss Alice Stone Blackwell– about women in office– [p. 370] {p. 155}

5 December 1897 • Sunday

I slept rather late was glad to rest I am so weary nowadays, after the usual routine of morning work I wrote some letters first to dear Aunt Zina and daughter Zina in Canada– then to Sister Jane S. Coleman in Teasdale Wayne Co. and some others sent Luna Y. Thatcher our Incorporation & By-Laws. and Ellen [Russell] Goldsbrough copy of Conference Minutes. Looked over some odd writings, Em came over to see me. I was so anxious to hear from baby Catherine that I went on up there, had a talk with John Q. etc. Louise and Margaret came home with me. I read them my story. I started over to Belle’s after the children went home and met Belle & Dot coming here, turned back, they stayed an hour had a pleasant time, was so glad to have them come. Have been reading Beth this evening– [p. 371] {p. 156}

6 December 1897 • Monday

I slept better in the early morning than during the night– when I had long periods of wakefulness, and so I was late at the office expecting Pearl was there, but found she had left a note saying she was ill.

I looked over my mail and went out to the Juvenile office to see about my books being bound as everything was now finished and ready– they promised some by Wednesday. I looked up some books on Revolutionary matters and the Boston Tea Party which occurred on Dec. 16, 1773. The Reaper’s Club met fourteen ladies present C. S. Williams paper on Egypt was very good. Sister Smith gave a brief sketch and personal reminescences of Hyrum Smith Sister Horne added some remarks on the same subject. Kindergarten Committee met & settled up lecture returns. Sent away letters written yesterday. My sister Adeline’s birthday 68 years old today– [p. 372] {p. 157}

7 December 1897 • Tuesday

Called on Mrs. Salisbury took her the Resolution and stayed to lunch. She leaves tomorrow for New York & Washington, she expressed her entire satisfaction with the Resolution as amended. Came back to the office in time for the meeting of the Ladies who wish to organize the D. & R.4 acted as Chairman. there were present besides myself and S. Y. Gates, Secretary. Mrs. [Julia Murdock Farnsworth] & Miss [Julia A.] Farnsworth,5 Mrs. C. S. Williams & Miss Priscilla Smith Dr. Ellis R. Shipp Dr. R. B. Pratt, Mrs. M. Y. Dougall & Mrs. P. Y. Beatie <Laura Hyde> six of the ladies took blanks for applications. Went again Dec. 22. Tuesday 3. p.m.

Went down to Annie’s to her birthday– gave her a soup tureen– John Q. gave her a dozen silver oyster forks. Belle a nice handkerchief and Em. embroidered picture frames. Each of the children something useful Q. a gold pen– Louise a winter skirt, Margaret a handkerchief bag made by herself Letters from Rachel Foster Avery Harriet Taylor Upton Mary G. Hay [p. 373] {p. 158} & Hannah J. Bailey Treasurer National Council–

8 December 1897 • Wednesday

Today has been awful last night severe wind I was totally unable to sleep all night. I read hour after hour in Beth– Sarah Grand’s new novel– and at intervals tried to compose myself to sleep but utterly failed. About four o’clock a terrific noise came like some one bouncing against the front door– I jumped out of bed thinking Mr. Sears had come to take me over there because of the wind I called at the top of the staircase loudly “Who’s there” but no answer– I called again & the third time– of course this made me more and more nervous. I have been busy all day with mailing. Wrote to Miss Alice Stone Blackwell in reference to Women voting sent bills to Mrs. Hills & John Clark– had supper with Dr. Pratt. Came home in the snow– Wrote this evening to Verona Birthday letter and to Virginia S. Sterling New York City also to cousin Sam [Samuel K.] Hall in Washington D.C. about Chapin record– [p. 374] {p. 159}

9 December 1897 • Thursday

This morning looked up on several matters and went over to Belle’s Annie & Cavendish were there, I took my parasol to be mended and has quite a search for some one to do it. Then I went through piles of manuscript and printed matter to get material for Dr. M. H. Cannon to write up. Spent most of the afternoon in talking and explaining things to her. I worked late in the evening and felt uncommonly weary. Came home about Nine o’clock and ten minutes, and after usual preparations and reading the Evening paper– sat and read chapter after chapter of Sarah Grand’s new book “Beth.” So many sayings reminded me of myself– for instance taking leave of places instead of people– I have often felt condemned for this sort of sentiment. Even now it dominates me many and many a time– tonight is wonderful, clear and the heavens more than shining there is no word in the language to express the feeling– [p. 375] {p. 160}

10 December 1897 • Friday

Mailing again missed my gold glasses and was very nervous indeed, quite over-wrought my book was out several of them bound and the work not satisfactory which grieved me very much indeed as I have been so long working upon it. It has made me quite ill and depressed I worked hard all day– had a letter from Mrs. [Ellen M.] Richardson of Boston in answer to mine written just 12 days ago. She speaks very enthusiastically of the work to be done by Women about the University.

Have been reading Beth Sarah Grand’s new novel which is being very severely criticised by the public press, She possibly will not mind as it will advertise her book much more widely than if it had been praised. My head aches very bad and I am greatly depressed to night– have to write too– [p. 376] {p. 161}

11 December 1897 • Saturday

<Wrote three important letters today–> Verona’s birthday. 28. A dismal day here but do not know how it may be there– hope she is having a pleasant time. My spectacles are really gone and I have strained my eyes to write with my other old ones.

Aunt Zina returned from Canada this morning. I have not seen her yet. Have had several letters today and sent off Lyle [Eliza Woods Wallin]’s desk and Bible to Mell at Wallace [Idaho]. wrote Mell too. My book is now fairly launched Deseret News made a notice this afternoon. At last after all these years of waiting it is an accomplished fact. How great a blessing it may be to me and mine I know not yet. It is however something of a legacy to leave to my own and to my friends. I do feel grateful for the privilege of making this contribution to the world and especially to my own people [p. 377] {p. 162}

12 December 1897 • Sunday

Today tried to rest in the morning and fixed this and that, read a little– Louise & Margaret came after Sunday School, brought me some mince pie– went to meeting and mailed letter to Margaret W. Campbell Des Moines Iowa– she sent me the crayon picture of Brigham Young and is a devoted equal suffragist. I have pretty much decided to have the Colonial Tea Party so many things seem to conspire to hinder it. and I have never said one word to any body.

President Woodruff Brigham Young and George Q. Cannon preached– President Woodruff at nearly ninety one years of age could be heard distinctly in that immense building. I came home and commenced preparing my list of names to send to– I have finished Beth– and I can scarcely make up my mind on the contents, It is not a book that is at all uplifting. [p. 378] {p. 163}

13 December 1897 • Monday

Went up very late and found Pearl had not come, was very much upset– so many people had been in and door locked. Commenced writing invitations sent off one to Jane S. Richards Ogden and one to A. J. Crocheron Worked very hard, fully intended going to see Dot but was hindered and could not go in time. My books have come over and Sister [Caroline Stockdale] Thomas came and took hers and some samples. Richard [A.] Shipp came for some for his mother–6 and so they will soon be distributed [p. 379] {p. 164}

14 December 1897 • Tuesday

Mrs. Richards came down from Ogden and spent two or three hours in the office. She has not seen Aunt Zina and she had not received her letter about my party. [p. 380] {p. 165}

15 December 1897 • Wednesday

Went over to Belles this morning and found them quite enthusiastic about the Colonial Tea Party hunting up old items etc. I was very glad. After going up town went over to Dr. Pratt and into Br. Cutlers7 to see young [Henry F.] Fernstrom about Pearl. Annie Hyde & Laura came in and I lent them the Woman’s Journal with Belle Kearney’s article about Utah.8

Mr. [Anthony C.] Ivins of the Herald came and I gave him a book to make a notice in the Sunday morning paper, also talked to him about the Boston Tea Party.

sent off invitations to Dr. [Elvira Stevens] Barney Clara [Moses] Cannon and Julina [Lambson] Smith– Dr. Barney came in directly after, it seemed so ridiculous. It is Annie Hyde’s wedding anniversary 27 years married and Joseph [O.] Young’s birthday, he is 44 today. [p. 381] {p. 166}

16 December 1897 • Thursday

Today I must make final arrangements concerning the Colonial Tea. I have dwelt much upon it and have been greatly impressed with the unique idea, and hope it may prove beneficial and inspiring socially. A new idea sometimes creates an interest in a fad even and this is much more. It has behind it historical data and facts as well as romance.

Towards evening guests began to come Aunt Zina and Sister Jane S. Richards, Sister E. S. Taylor Mary A. Freeze, Ellis R. Shipp Dr. Pratt Hannah C. Wells Martha G. Wells, Mrs. [Isabel Whitney] Sears Mrs [S. Isabel Sears] Buchholz, Mrs. Sears, Mrs. [Elizabeth Ann Wells] Cannon and Miss Russell Louise & Margaret– more than half of the guests were prevented from coming on account of the intense cold. I was greatly disappointed– however we had a very good program– Annie read The Old Woman Over the Sea [p. 382] {p. 167} and Louise sung “The Good Old Days of Yore” and acted it Margaret recited “And that’s the way of the world you know.” Miss Pearl Russell grand-daughter of Joseph Young brother of Brigham Young sung–

Dr. Pratt read a long dissertation on the Colonial troubles with England– and M. A. Freeze read on [an] original verse or two and Ellis Shipp spoke of her visit to Plymouth and Boston and of the rock on which the Pilgrims landed etc. as also did Dr. Pratt & myself, and Aunt Zina Young the oldest lady in the party whose descent dates back to the Huntington who signed the Declaration of Independence spoke of sitting on her <grandpa’s> knee and hearing him recount the battles he fought under Washington– and Isabel my grand-daughter read “The Boston Tea Party[”] in a childs book an illustrated poem–

17 December 1897 • Friday

<Walton called to speak of the Rep. State Committee– and bought one of my books> [p. 383] {p. 168}

18 December 1897 • Saturday

Yesterday Dr. Pratt and myself washed and anointed a young girl Mary Ann Martin at her rooms in Constitution Building I had been invited to lunch there but was scarcely well enough to take anything to eat– I was also invited to dinner at Sister Stevenson’s where a number of ladies met at dinner but could not go Went to the Kindergarten meeting at Dr. [J. F.] Millspaugh’s9 office at 2 p.m. It was the annual meeting and election of officers– Prof Wm. Stewart was elected President– I was made <one> of the Board of Directors which I trust will be only to give advice. In the evening I came home and did some writing on the story for the Deseret News. Miss Ellenore Dutcher of Omaha came to see me– but I was not in the office Relief Society S. L.10 Stake Conference also Primary [p. 384] {p. 169}

19 December 1897 • Sunday

I rose late– had been up very late writing and reading I was desirous of resting and recuperating so I did not care to rise Em came over early After attending to several little things I wrote on the story I had commenced last evening. I had the day to myself entirely as no one came– I rather enjoyed the quiet. Mr Sears and Belle went up to Dot’s to dinner also Eugene & Brent– Lucile and Em were the only ones at home– I think it is a great thing accomplished that I have my book at last I felt as if it was such an undertaking after I had it started I had not thought it would be so much actual hard work and anxiety My first book of my own– I feel the Lord has blest me in giving me this after all my sorrows and grief. [p. 385] {p. 170}

20 December 1897 • Monday

This morning when I went up I found a letter from Taunton [Massachusetts] saying all records had been burnt in 1838–11 so of course that would be along with others– a letter from Sister [Mary Hyde] Woolf in Canada and one from Rachel Foster Avery in Philadelphia– later came a package from Daisie. Miss Ellenore Dutcher of Omaha called, and showed me some of her newspaper work She is a bright interesting young woman– and makes a good impression– She is anxious we should have representation at the Omaha Exposition– Inquired much about plural marriage. The Reaper’s Club met fifteen present– subject Joseph Smith the Prophet his life and incidents connected with him. Sister [Bathsheba W.] Smith was the principal speaker– some items were read from P. [Parley] P. Pratts account of Joseph The day has been excessively cold. Sister Wilcox and myself supp[l]emented Sister Smith’s remarks. [p. 386] {p. 171}

21 December 1897 • Tuesday

The anniversary of my mother’s12 birth and of the landing of the Pilgrims– I wanted so much to have had some company but the cold is intense and I am in the midst of writing a story for the Deseret Evening News. There is so much I long to do– and I can do so little. Dr. Pratt and myself went out to look up a book to present to Mrs. Sarah M. Kimball on her birthday Dec. 29 when she will be 79 years old. We decided on getting two books and bought one price 1.50 Elizabeth Stuart Phelps– Chapters From Life. Had a letter from Mrs. Campbell of Iowa in regard to the crayon portrait of Brigham Young she gave to me for a Christmas gift. There are so many events transpiring. We had a Meeting of the Daughters of the Revolution– Susa read some more letters from the East & gave out six more blanks. [p. 387] {p. 172}

22 December 1897 • Wednesday

This is a day on which I must finish if possible my story I wrote late as I could sit up last night– it is difficult to know just how much one can say about people who are well known– when one deals in fiction one may say very much more. Pearl is here and we are sending off books by mail that have been ordered. I took over part of my story this morning to the Printers. And now I am reading proofs and waiting upon all who come in– such a confusion and so much more to do, than one expects Letter from Verona saying she may not get my present off soon enough for Xmas day [p. 388] {p. 173}

23 December 1897 • Thursday

All my copy has gone over, the story is finished and I feel sort of relieved– I must collect my stories in a book I am sort of determined upon it– it will be a fine book to leave to my generation– Annie telephoned to ask if I would go to the theatre and as I can as well as not I will do so– the play is a North Carolina farm after the war & is called The Jucklins I went and enjoyed it very much– I have heard from Mell’s that Tom [Stephen Thompson Allen] is sick with sore throat I fear their Christmas will be sad. I went home with Annie & slept there– baby13 was awake when we reached home– she has grown very fast lately a beautiful child [p. 389] {p. 174}

24 December 1897 • Friday

I remember so well one Christmas Eve when Oscar [S. Oscar Hinckley] was born in our old house at home in New Salem– it was not our custom to keep Christmas but I recall mother saying on that day <or night> it was Christmas Eve. Samuel Hinckley– Cordelia’s husband was there– that was so very long ago– about fifty nine years ago I have been kept busy all day with my books of poems getting some of them sent off– and at night I hurried out and bought a few more books and some handkerchiefs, and ribbon– the stores are very much crowded and I am ever and ever so weary Had supper at Annie’s and we stayed up while the Xmas tree was decorated so many lovely things John Q. Annie & George Q. fixed it all beautifully some thing for every one in the house [p. 390] {p. 175}

25 December 1897 • Saturday

<Went down to Belle’s through the day> This morning I came down late the children were all overjoyed, The Xmas tree was beautiful I did not feel equal to any exertion my face was paining me very much and I felt so despondent though glad with all my heart that we were all nearly well if not quite baby is still hoarse and so am I– very– such presents, and Cavendish in his first pants. Emmie all in white with two new dolls and toys galore. Daniel with skates, Q. with new watch and other gifts– Margaret’s sled bright red. Cavendish rocking horse– and so many things, Belle sent up gifts to all and Louis came over with work basket from Mamie and Emily [Hoagland Cannon] for Annie. The dinner was fine and altogether it was a grand Xmas dinner turkey plum pudding & all the other things. John Q. went to the theatre and Annie and myself and the children sat and chatted until late. I felt so weary and went up before John Q. came home [p. 391] {p. 176}

26 December 1897 • Sunday

Last night the children brought me a letter from my sister Lucy I did not open it fearing what it might contain & knowing how depressing the influence she had exercised upon me when in my home. This morning I opened and read it before going down stairs. She was very sarcastic and unrelenting– sent it upon mourning paper to show her grief. We were all late and Annie & the little girls all the work to do as Orella had gone home to Xmas.

I came home and worked at my writing fixed my editorial and sent off two or three letters [p. 392] {p. 177}

27 December 1897 • Monday

Have been very ill today with neuralgia so nervous I could scarcely do my work, but managed it somehow to get through the day though at times it seemed impossible– besides there were so many aggravating things happened– it is May [Mary Josephine] Earl’s birthday, she is 38 years old to day how the time flies– [p. 393] {p. 178}

28 December 1897 • Tuesday

Letter from Mrs. Cleophas and Carol B. [Caroline Beebe] Pratt of Provo about reports Sister Mary A. Farnsworth came about the situation We agreed she should come for one week and try it– as she was uncertain about being able to do my work– Today has been cold and sort of sleet falling– there is no Temple work this week– [p. 394] {p. 179}

29 December 1897 • Wednesday

This is the <first> wedding day <anniversary> of my grandchild Isabel and of Will Buchholz her husband I presented them with the book by George Meredith the Amazing Marriage– said by critics to be the novel of the century– it is a very fine day– Sister E. S. Taylor and myself went to see Sister Sarah M. Kimball and to present her with the two books we had purchased for her one is by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps entitled “Chapters from a Life,” & the other by Marie Corselli [Corelli] “The Mighty Atom.” We found her very ill– Lucy Kimball and daughter were there– We had wine & fruit cake and drank to her health, she had presents of flowers and pillows for cushions. I came home late and cold and felt much worse with neuralgia– [p. 395] {p. 180}

30 December 1897 • Thursday

To day I have been so very busy– many people calling and so much going on & the revise did not come. Annie’s girl is not well Orella and Mamie Emily and the children are spending the day there– have had a letter from Mell and from Daisie Tom getting along very well. Strange no one has given me a book all through Christmas time I have given away dozens and more about 3 dozen in all. I am disappointed with that I hoped for some new reading I had a fearful time with Miss Smith– she is very insolent and untruthful. [p. 396] {p. 181}

31 December 1897 • Friday

<Yester>Today Dr. Pratt is making <made> great calculations on the Press Club evening– we have never planned so much at any time I don’t think– I am not well enough to do very much and am glad nothing depends upon me specially. However I have no doubt she will feel repaid– Mrs. Ella W. Hyde had a paper from or on Confucius and Mrs. Emma [Howell] Jenson on the South Sea islands Dr. herself upon the Mongolian races and so many things to exhibit, some from the East Indies and Tahiti New Zealand and other places in the South Sea. We had sentiments from Confucius. I went to Annie’s and we sat the Old year out and the New Year in– had champagne it was very fine– we had a pleasant time only I was not well and Orella very sick– [p. 397] {p. 182}

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December 1897, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 16, 2024