The Correspondence of Martha Hughes Cannon and Angus M. Cannon, 1886-1888Letters from Exile
The Correspondence of Martha Hughes Cannon and Angus M. Cannon, 1886-1888
Edited by Constance L. Lieber  and John Sillito

title page:
Letters from Exile
The Correspondence of Martha Hughes Cannon and Angus M. Cannon, 1886-1888
Edited by Constance L. Lieber and John Sillito
Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates
Salt Lake City
1989

copyright page:
© 1989 by Signature Books, Inc. All rights reserved
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Printed in the United States of America

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Cannon, Martha Hughes.
Letters from exile : the correspondence of Martha Hughes Cannon and Angus M. Cannon, 1886-1888 / edited by Constance L. Lieber and John Sillito.
p. cm.
1. Cannon, Martha Hughes – Correspondence. 2. Cannon, Angus M. (Angus Munn) – Correspondence. 3. Mormons – Utah – Correspondence. 4. Polygamy – Utah. 5. Marriage – Religious aspects – Mormon Church. 6. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Doctrines. 7. Mormon Church – Doctrines. 8. Utah – Biography. I. Cannon, Angus M. (Angus Munn) II. Lieber, Constance L., 1953- III. Sillito, John. IV. Title.
BX8695.C26A4 1989
289.3´092´2 – dc20 89-32696 [B]
ISBN 0-941214-77-X

dedication: For Mattie and Angus, whose lives have enriched our own

frontispiece:

Martha Hughes Cannon and Angus M. Cannon

Contents:
Preface [see below]
Introduction [see below]
A Cannon Chronology [see below]
Prominent Characters [see below]

The Correspondence
01 – Voyage to England: March – December 1886
02 –  Sojourn among the “Gentiles”: 1887
03 –  Return Home: January – June 1888

Preface

[p.vii]“There is no more valuable record of personal reflections, events, institutions and contemporary attitudes than the letters written from the heart and intended only for the eye of the receiver … Hurriedly written, full of apologies for spelling or penmanship with promises to do better the next time, the personal letter provides the only record of intimate conversations, though taking place at a distance. Through letters one is permitted a glimpse into the heart of another age.” —S. George Ellsworth (Dear Ellen: Two Mormon Women and Their Letters [Salt Lake City: University of Utah Tanner Trust Fund, 1974], x)

Through this edition of the letters of Martha Hughes and Angus M. Cannon, we are pleased to present a view of a nineteenth-century Mormon polygamist couple set against a backdrop of the historical forces they confronted. The letters were written while “Mattie” lived on the “underground” in England in order that Angus could escape federal prosecution for his practice of polygamy.

In late 1887 Angus wrote to Mattie that he felt “such a desire to visit and accompany you on some of your journeys and sojournings, I cannot describe it. I feel you would get to know me better.” In our attempts to know Mattie and Angus, we found ourselves regretting our own inability to “journey and sojourn” with them. Yet through their extensive correspondence we were permitted an illuminating look at their private lives, feelings, and [p.viii]expressions, and came not only to know them both but to understand and appreciate the time in which they lived.

In approaching our task, we decided to edit these letters with a light touch. We have corrected obvious misspellings and made minor corrections in grammar and punctuation. Martha Hughes Cannon was an educated woman with a good understanding of spelling and grammar. Yet she consistently misspelled certain words (Illinois was always Illanois, for example) and used dashes instead of commas and periods. The same is true for Angus, who, though not as extensively educated as Mattie, was sufficiently literate for his time.

In addition to correcting spelling and grammar, we have occasionally broken lengthy paragraphs at appropriate points. Major changes or deletions are noted with ellipses or brackets and footnotes, minor changes having been simply incorporated into the text. Generally the deletions made in the letters have been passages illegible in the original text or extraneous material, especially lengthy travelogues of Mattie’s experiences in England or on the continent. Readers should keep in mind that many of these letters were written in haste, often under adverse conditions. Had Mattie or Angus had the opportunity to edit these letters for publication, we believe they, too, would have made many of the same changes. Moreover, it should be remembered that not all of Angus’s letters to Mattie are extant. Thus there are gaps in the collection and references in extant letters to ones that no longer exist.

Significant and frequently mentioned individuals are noted in the section entitled “Prominent Characters.” Women are indexed under their married names, and aliases have been cross-referenced to actual names. In some cases we have been unable to identify individuals mentioned in the text, and this is duly noted in the footnotes.

Any undertaking such as this involves the contributions of many people. We particularly appreciate the historical department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, which permitted us to publish these letters which it houses. Moreover, a number of historical department employees—especially Ronald Watt, Glenn Rowe, William Slaughter, and Steve Sorensen—assisted us in obtaining permission and at various stages of the project. It should be understood that while the LDS church gave permission to publish the letters, neither it nor any of its employees approved, guided, or shaped this work. [p.ix]We remain solely responsible for the content, accuracy, and interpretation of the letters.

In addition, the following individuals provided information, assistance, and support crucial to completing this project: Jo Ann Peterson, Martha Hughes Porter Monti, Helen Cannon Ovard, Shari Siebers Crall, Scott Birkinshaw, Craige S. Hall, Jeff Sillito, and Louise Putnam. At Signature Books, George D. Smith, Gary J. Bergera, Ron Priddis, Connie Disney, Jani Fleet, Susan Staker, and Brent Corcoran have been enthusiastic supporters from the beginning.

Finally, without the support of our families we could have never finished this book. We particularly appreciate our spouses—Wilford Lieber and Linda Sillitoe—who took time out of their schedules to give assistance, encouragement, and a sympathetic ear. At the same time, Constance thanks Anna, Matthew, Lydia, Andrew, and Philippa who tolerated baby-sitters, fast food, and her preoccupation with the events and people of a century ago. John thanks Melissa, Rob, and Cynthia who were interested observers and companions generally. We hope they are as pleased with this book as we are with them.

C. L. L.
J.S.
Salt Lake City
September 1988

Introduction

[p.xi]“Oh dear, Oh dear!! If we ever live through this present strait, I trust we will be ‘wiser and better men’ and women … I grow heartily sick and disgusted with it—polygamy.”1

So begins a letter to Angus Munn Cannon from his fourth wife, Martha (“Mattie”) Maria Hughes. Mattie was twenty-seven years old in 1884 when she married the fifty-year-old Angus. At the time she wrote the above letter, Mattie and her five-month-old daughter, Elizabeth Rachel, were hiding from United States federal marshals in Centerville, Utah, making final preparations for a trip into exile in England. Of this time she would later write, “Were it all written or told—(either would be an impossibility)—it would make as thrilling a tale as ever appeared on the pages of fiction.”2

For Mormon polygamists family life in Utah in the late [p.xii]1880s was a challenge. Polygamy, or plural marriage, can be traced to the earliest days of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). In the 1830s, founding prophet Joseph Smith said he received a revelation calling him to take additional wives (one of these revelations later became section 132 in LDS editions of the Doctrine of Covenants).3 Smith may have taken his first plural wife as early as 1835, but the doctrine did not become well known within the church until a decade later and was not preached publicly until 1852. Over the next forty years, however, LDS officials openly exhorted the faithful, especially those holding ecclesiastical positions, to enter into this “new and everlasting covenant of marriage.”

Public reaction to rumors of Mormon plural marriage was immediate and hostile. In 1854, the Republican party campaigned on a platform opposing the “twin relics of barbarism”—polygamy and slavery. A series of legislative measures between 1862 and 1887 specifically sought to outlaw plural marriage and provide penalties for its practice, including fines, prison terms, and political disenfranchisement. In 1882, the Edmunds Act stipulated that any married person with a living spouse who married again was guilty of polygamy and could be sentenced to five years in jail and a $500 fine. This legislation also banned unlawful cohabitation—individuals living as husband and wife who were not legally married. However, the act provided that children born of polygamous parents before 1 January 1883 would be considered legitimate but those born after that date would not. Five years later, in 1887, the Edmunds-Tucker Act passed. This new act ultimately sought to destroy the LDS church as a political and economic entity, and required plural wives to testify against their husbands. These and other legal measures (enhanced by various American church groups opposed to polygamy) ushered in a period of repression known as “the raid.” As Mormon historians James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard observed:

Otherwise law-abiding men suddenly found themselves escaping to the underground—that is going into hiding, and frequently moving from place to place to escape the marshals who were hunting them. Hideouts were prepared in homes, barns [p.xiii]and fields to serve as way stations for the fleeing “cohabs,” as they were nicknamed by their pursuers. Secret codes were invented to warn of approaching deputies, and … scores of federal officers brought into the territory to conduct this all-out raid disguised themselves as peddlers or census-takers in order to … question children, gossip with neighbors and even invade the privacy of homes.4

By the late 1880s civil disobedience had become a major fact of Utah life. According to Allen and Leonard, not only were husbands dodging federal marshals, but wives and children were either forced to flee or live through “long periods of deprivation and fear.”5 Marriages were disrupted and people’s lives were altered dramatically. During this decade the federal government issued “more than a thousand judgments for unlawful cohabitation and thirty one for polygamy.”6 Overt repression and harassment subsided only when LDS church president Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto of 1890 declaring that the church had stopped teaching plural marriage, had forbidden its further practice, and indicated a willingness on the part of the church to abide by government statutes.7

Among those closely watched and ultimately prosecuted by federal marshals during the 1880s was Angus M. Cannon, then president of the Salt Lake City stake of the LDS church, a geographic and ecclesiastical division comprising several wards. Warrants were often issued for his arrest, and Angus spent much of his time on the underground, aided by his large family and associates. As his plural wife, and as a suspect named in some of the warrants, Mattie faced two choices—to remain underground in Utah or a neighboring area, or to go into exile.

Mattie was reluctant to remain at home in hiding. For a year, before and after the birth of her first child, Elizabeth, she had been on the underground avoiding federal marshals. As soon as she was able, she fled to the East. She later remembered: “Just [p.xiv]think it will be two years next month since I last saw the Rocky Mountains—and soon be three years since I saw our beautiful city by daylight. How little I dreamed, I would become a burden to people so early in life. God being my helper, I will guard against a repetition of this purgatory.”8 These experiences helped Mattie shape her resolve “to breathe the Rocky Mountain air freely or not at all … I would rather be a stranger in a strange land and be able to hold my head up among my fellow beings than to be a sneaking captive at home.”9

Martha was accustomed to holding her head up among strangers. A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in 1880, and of the University of Pennsylvania and the National School for Elocution and Oratory in 1882, she was an intelligent, articulate woman, who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to her marriage uncommon for her time and which colored her life and that of her husband and children. Consequently, she must have felt a sense of relief at leaving the persecution of Utah polygamists behind (“Let me off then I’ll be happy,” she wrote from Centerville10) combined with a sense of adventure and anticipation as reflected in the early letters.

As early as 1885, Mattie, resident physician at the Deseret Hospital in Salt Lake City, knew her situation would have to change. She wrote to an old school friend, Barbara Replogle, that:

no place on earth is more enchanting to me than this rugged Mountain region. It suits a nature like mine but the human heart requires and craves change—and to a restless disposition like mine, three years in one locality—without some radical change for a period, nearly uses me up. Barb I am used up—am building up an excellent practice, and my health is better than ever, since my return. But I long for a vacation for a short time to abandon all thought of business life and be once more Mattie.11

A month later, she wrote again to Replogle:

the City of the Saints [is] more like the City of Desolation now-[p.xv]a-days as the persecution that is going on against the polygamists is almost unendurable. The U.S. is determined to put down polygamy… I am having no peace, because I am considered a leading Mormon Woman. Barb you will hurt yourself laughing when I relate to you some of my experiences. They have had me married to one of the Mormon Leaders, and arraigned me before the Grand Jury to answer to the charge of being an associate in polygamy—of course I was acquitted.12

Despite her letter, Mattie had been married for seven months and had to keep the marriage secret. Even her parents had not been told of it at the time.

The strain Mattie experienced reached beyond her own personal situation. As she explained, she might be used as a witness against other polygamous marriage partners since she had been the physician who delivered the children in several cases:

Hence I am considered an important witness, and if it can be proven that these children have actually come into the world, their fathers will be sent to jail for five (5) years … To me it is a serious matter to be the cause of sending to jail a father upon whom a lot of little children are dependent, whether those children were begotten by the same or by different mothers—the fact remains they all have little mouths that must be fed.13

Mattie could have been thinking of her own husband and daughter, as Angus had been convicted of unlawful cohabitation and sentenced to six months in prison only days prior to her writing the above letter.14

Mattie’s experience with the federal marshals during her husband’s arrest, trial, and conviction was newsworthy. On 10 January 1885, Angus was served a warrant on the complaint that for more than ten years he had “continuously lived and cohabited with more than one woman, namely, with… Amanda Mousley Cannon, and with one Sarah Mousley, and with one Clarissa C. Valentine Mason, and with the said Mattie Hughes.”15 Seventeen [p.xvi]days later the paper reported that marshals had been unable to locate “Miss Hughes,” although Angus’s nephew commented, “she has been on the street considerable attending to her patients.” Two days later the nephew reported that “Uncle Angus’s case was postponed until tomorrow in order to give the marshals time to find Miss Hughes.”16 In fact, Mattie eluded a warrant served at the Deseret Hospital on 27 January and never appeared on the witness stand. Accounts of the trial in the Deseret News feature Clara Mason Cannon as the chief witness, with additional testimony from Lewis M. Cannon and Angus M. Cannon, Jr. Eventually, Angus Sr. was charged with “lascivious cohabitation” with Amanda Mousley Cannon and Clara Valentine Mason and sentenced on 13 May.

Several other times Angus was either “wanted” or detained. The Deseret Evening News reported on 27 August 1886 that deputy marshals were looking for “Mr. Cannon” at a Bluff Dale farm. Mattie must have felt especially vulnerable, complaining to Angus the following month: “Why you sought to couple my name with the proceedings is not just clear to me … You must remember that I have played my part in that little game, and it’s hardly fair to ‘lug’ me into other people’s circuses, if only in name.” Mattie probably felt that her safety did not have to be jeopardized to protect others of her husband’s wives, especially Maria Bennion, whom Angus had married on 11 March 1886 while Mattie was preparing to go into exile. Yet she was genuinely worried that Angus might be arrested again, as she continued in the same letter: “To learn of your being caught would be a great shock to my feelings, as I can painfully realize how little justice or mercy would be shown you.”17

Cannon was arrested a second time, according to the 25 November 1886 edition of the Salt Lake Herald, and “charged with unlawful cohabitation with Sarah [Mousley] Cannon and Mattie Hughes—bail $10,000.” When Mattie learned of the arrest, she wrote a frantic letter under the name of “Ezekiel Brown,” chastising herself for not insisting that Angus visit her (to get him out of Utah) and for not offering to do anything in her power to help.

When Mattie first approached Angus in March 1886 with [p.xvii]her plan to take Elizabeth into exile, he was heartsick. He wrote in his diary, “I am told [a] friend wants to go to England and I consent … I leave her tonight with the saddest heart I ever felt.”18 For Mattie and Elizabeth, just getting out of Salt Lake City and Utah without being recognized had been dangerous. While waiting to board the train to New York, Mattie was noticed and had to hurry to another stop. Her baggage never caught up with her.19 Later letters from England record her replacing items lost in the confusion.

Mattie left New York in high spirits: “Everything is lovely and the goose hangs high!”20 In a letter written aboard ship, she mentions that the “level of the sea is certainly the place” for her health. She was still convalescing from complications following the birth of Elizabeth and seemed convinced that living at a lower altitude would be better for her and her child. This theme recurs throughout her letters: “Health is everything in this life … If my head gets bad when I reach the high altitude of Utah again, I shall say good-bye to that section, as dearly as I love it, and make a permanent home near the level of the sea.”21

Mattie and Elizabeth landed at Liverpool on 1 May 1886 and started for Birmingham a few days later. Their arrival was noted by another “exile,” Emily Wells Grant, daughter of the church’s European Mission president Daniel H. Wells and a plural wife of Heber J. Grant (who would become seventh president of the Mormon church in 1918). Emily Wells Grant wrote to her husband, referring to Mattie by Angus’s middle name, Munn:

Mattie Munn arrived in England the other week, we were perfectly amazed. She stayed with us two days and then went among her relatives. The other day we had a letter from her declaring her intention to return to more “congenial climes” inside of three months. There is nothing will induce her to live here, after one weeks experience. She don[']t understand how Mrs. C. & I have stood it. There have been several exiles here since we [p.xviii]came but they didn’t any of them stay long. I would advise Mrs. Munn to remain away from Utah[,] for were any of her enemies there to get one peep of little Miss Munn they could convict the whole family. I never saw such an image in my life.22

Mattie herself commented on the situation, “I have met some other ‘undergrounder’s’ a jugful more miserable than your exiled ‘Maria’ [Mattie]; one of them in fact feeling particularly ‘Cussed.’ Ah, don’t misery like company though?”23

When Angus received his first letters from England he recorded in an uncharacteristically lyrical fashion in his journal: “‘Dolph’ Whitney brought me package of letters I sang:—Good news from home,—good news for me has come across the Deep Blue Sea. Shure [sic] enough a letter of 1st and another of 4th instants. The former announced arrival of loved ones safe and well in Liverpool & the latter at Birmingham …”24

Possibly Mattie had anticipated a relatively quiet exile among her mother’s relatives. However, she was unhappy with her uncle, Thomas Evans (her mother’s brother), in Birmingham, whose wife she found “swears and plays drum on the children’s heads from morning to night. Keeps up a perpetual bedlam, and drinks her half-a-pint-of-four-penny [a day].” Less than a month with those relatives was enough. Mattie wrote in the same letter, as she went into the country: “Aunt had a cataleptic fit … Uncle is inclined to investigate the Gospel and Satan is making himself manifest in various ways.”25

Life was better in Wolverton, Warwickshire, where she lived near other, more distant, relatives. Living in Wolverton “near Stratford on Avon,” she was out of the “Smokey City—hot hell”26 and nearer places of cultural interest: Shakespeare’s home and the newly completed Shakespearean museum; Kenilworth Castle, which Sir Walter Scott had made famous; and Warwick Castle. Letters to Angus and Barbara Replogle are replete with her de-[p.xix]scriptions of the sights, their impressions on her, and literary quotations, none “strictly verbatim [but] matchings of ‘pastime’ reading of ‘long ago’ that come to me partly forgotten.”27

Emily Wells Grant wrote that Mattie and another exile going by the name of Anna Hull were “living in the country and are getting fat. They have all the fresh air, milk, eggs, &c. they want and are quite contented since they have been so pleasantly located together.”28

From his side of the ocean, Angus recorded in his diary, “my family all arrived from the City… we convened in the orchard and sat upon quilts, upon the grass and chairs. I said I was happy to meet so many of my wives and children together in freedom, while my mind wandered to those far away and I thought: how sad that I cannot acknowledge and meet all I so dearly love.”29

Mattie’s early letters to Angus show a determination to keep up with affairs at home and reveal much about Mattie. She had access to the Deseret Semi-Weekly News published in Salt Lake City and to the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, a publication of the British Mission. She also bombarded Angus with questions and offered him her opinions. She seemed especially concerned with the affairs of two prominent women of her day—Emmeline B. Wells and Romania B. Pratt Penrose. Emmeline was the editor of the Women’s Exponent periodical, where Mattie was employed before going to medical school. Emmeline was also on the board of directors of the Deseret Hospital, where Mattie was resident physician from 1885. Although friends, the tone of Mattie’s letters about Emmeline tends to be sarcastic and exhibits a tinge of jealousy.

For example, in early 1886 Emmeline and other Utah women went to Washington, D.C., to correct popular opinion about Mormon women. Mattie wrote Angus that she was pleased to hear about the good work the women were doing at the Capitol [p.xx]but added an aside that, of course, the other women were merely accessories. Emmeline was “fully equal to the task single-handed.”30

Of Romania Pratt Penrose, Mattie wrote: “I tell you notwithstanding we both are considered tolerable good saints, there is an internal antipathy existing between we two women, which only slumbers while I am in seclusion but will ‘erupt’ when I begin to jostle in the medical field again.”31

Perhaps Mattie was genuinely jealous. Romania was practicing medicine openly at “her” Deseret Hospital (Mattie wrote acidly), and Emmeline was active in politics and journalism. But Mattie was stuck in a little country village with an often ill baby, sacrificing her career and ambition to keep her husband out of prison and herself out of the witness box.

Personal fame was always a possibility in Mattie’s mind. “Come out to the Rockies and let us tread the ladder of fame together,” she once wrote.32 After her marriage, during her pregnancy when she knew her life would change, she still pleaded, “Even if we have to be poor, let us not waste our talents in the cauldron of modern nothingness—but strive to become women of intellect and endeavor to do some little good while we live in this protracted gleam called life.”33 Towards the end of the exile, as she anticipated returning home to a more normal life, she was philosophical: “when I look around me and see how many of the young people of this generation are spending their time and talents on the mere nothingness of existence … then I feel you and I have surely been preserved by a wise Providence to accomplish [something] superior to this in this life.”34

To close friends, Mattie wrote of her ambition, her desire to “accomplish something more in this life.” But to Angus she expressed herself in terms of love, support, understanding, weariness, or jealousy—especially of Maria Bennion whom Angus had married as Mattie and Elizabeth were departing for England. Mattie’s need to be secure in his love (“taking the great plan into [p.xxi]consideration,” she joked, “a quarter section, aye! even less, is preferable to none at all of your precious self”35) is another constant theme. She wanted to believe him but fought against his assurances (“perhaps this very moment you are basking in the smiles of your young Maria [Bennion]. Well bask and be happy—but remember that your blessed neck is at stake… if you ever tell that I am jealous”36). She also worried that he had to do too much for her since she could no longer contribute to her support by practicing medicine. “You speak of me ‘giving up all for you.’ Has it ever occurred to you how much you have given up for me? Do you ever think of it?—I do—and it sickens me.”37

Mattie struggled between accepting polygamy intellectually and understanding it with her heart. She told Barbara Replogle, “I have linked my fate with one that I love—one who seems all but perfection in my eyes—but I don’t let him know it all—I think it well for a woman to keep a little reserve power in that line.”38 Toward the end of 1886 she scolded Angus for implying that he had deprived her parents of a daughter by marrying her, “If their real feelings were analyzed, I’ll warrant that they realized that they have not only not lost a daughter in any sense, but have gained a son, one of the noblest in the world, by our union, and I assure you it has made me one of the happiest little wives and mothers in creation. It’s truth.”39 A few weeks later, however, she complained to Angus:

I do have quite a fight with myself at times. I do not wish to kick over the traces … nor have I any inclination to simmer down into an imbecilic resignation … when a woman once gives herself up to wifehood and maternity, it means everything to her and there is an inherent principle within her that is stung to the quick when her rights as wife and mother are curtailed, obscured, or buriesqued from whatever cause.

Yet her faith also enabled her to add, “But the knowledge that it is God’s plan … is the only thing that saves [me and others] from despair—almost madness I fear.”40

[p.xxii]As her exile abroad continued, Mattie’s letters changed in tone. They became full of pain, jealousy, loneliness, and depression, lacking the usual “good-humor in spite of trials” of her earlier letters. The only letter Angus destroyed is from this period. It was written on 22 October 1887, just before Mattie returned to the United States. Angus had received many letters written in a bad humor (“were it not for [Elizabeth] and the religion of our God I should never want to see Salt Lake again, but seek some other spot and strive to forget what a failure my life has been”41) without responding in kind. On one occasion he told Mattie her depression could “not be wondered at as you have endured your exile better than I could have expected to do, under altogether more favorable circumstances.”42 But this time he particularly took Mattie’s letter to heart.

Had you said you were “pleased and pained”; pleased to have heard of my accident and pained that I was not killed outright, instead of saying “pleased and thankful that you were preserved, and pained to know that you were the subject of said accident”, I should have better understood you when I read what you said … regarding the deception I have practiced upon you, i.e., pretending to love you while my heart was estranged and my feelings flowed in other directions … I would be more happy looking upon you from behind the veil while you laughed at the circumstances of my death, let it be never so untimely, if it would make you free and happy to choose that which your heart would tell you was worthy of you…. You may doubt it with your whole soul, but you are loved by the man you have gone through everything for and sacrificed everything on earth for.43

Timely communication in those days was difficult. This is reflected in the order of the letters that follow. Since we have arranged them as they were written, not necessarily as they were received, the reader will notice the time lag in the exchange of information, as letters crossed and recrossed the Atlantic, averaging three weeks from writer to recipient. Mattie and Angus had each written and received several letters before she responded penitently to the above:

[p.xxiii]Oh Papa, Papa!! I feel like crying myself sick to think what a wicked girl I have been to hurt your feelings as I have: I did not know what mean things I had written until I read your quotations from my letter … My own Loved One can you forgive and ever have confidence in me again. Write as soon as you get this and say you forgive me—I am frantic with grief when I think how I have wronged you.44

Finally the days of exile ended. Mattie left Liverpool for the United States on 2 December 1887 aboard the Arizona45 and enjoyed an all-too-brief interlude with Angus in New York before continuing on the final part of her exile to Michigan. The last letters, written in 1888 from Algonac, Ann Arbor, and Chicago, are more straightforward, laced with some sarcasm and jealousy but with little of the quotations and introspection of the bulk of the correspondence. They are the letters of a woman who knows her youthful dreams and ambitions will never be fulfilled: “My beautiful St. Clair of years gone—which I always then saw in its summer loveliness, its surface roseate with morning sunbeams or its crystal waters reflecting the different hued lights from the many crafts that dotted its surface at evening. ‘Twas here I used to compose love letters and dream… of fame and happiness in years to come.”46

As her exile drew to a close, Mattie said she still hoped to visit Barbara Replogle but never did. Although there were reasons for missing the visit—letters not received, forgotten or inconvenient appointments, Elizabeth’s illness—they are not convincing. Possibly Mattie was looking for an excuse not to see her friend, a “gentile,” fearing that it would be too difficult to explain polygamy to a non-Mormon, however close the two women were. So much had changed for Mattie—in only ten years she had gone from schoolgirl to medical doctor, from polygamous wife and mother to an exile returning home. She wrote with such affection [p.xxiv]of her college days in Philadelphia and Michigan, perhaps she felt it safest to cherish the friendship as she remembered it, fearing that she might lose Barbara if she attempted a meeting.

Mattie arrived in Salt Lake City in late May 1888. Her last letter to Angus included in the collection was written from there on 23 June 1888. She lived with her family, yet in a sense her exile continued.

I am busy with practice but have no office or home yet. Am simply staying at my step-father’s residence. ‘Tis a fact that all my relatives understand me even less than yours do you. So you may realize my situation to an extent—my anticipations of happy associations with loved ones after my long exile were altogether overdrawn, which is often the case with imaginative natures—and I find myself already simply enduring one of the veriest practical proxy of lives which is the dryest chaff imaginable to a susceptible nature.47

After her return, Mattie started a private medical practice and taught classes in nursing and obstetrics. During the next two decades, however, she became best known for her political activities. In 1896, she was elected to the Utah State Senate, the first woman to win such an office in U.S. history. Mattie ran as a Democrat for one of several at-large seats. Among the Republican candidates she bested was her husband.48 In addition, Mattie served as a member of Utah’s first state board of health. Angus continued to serve his church as president of the Salt Lake City Stake until 1904. Soon afterward he was called as Salt Lake Stake Patriarch, a position he held until his death in Salt Lake City on 7 June 1915.49

Mattie and Angus—dynamic, strong willed, prominent members of the community—were never able to live together publicly as husband and wife. Their later correspondence reveals a [p.xxv]stormy, yet affectionate relationship. After her return from exile, Mattie and Angus had two additional children—James Hughes Cannon in 1890 and Gwendolyn Quick Cannon in 1899. In 1904, Mattie and the children moved temporarily to California for health reasons. Mattie eventually settled permanently in Los Angeles to be near her children. She died there on 10 July 1932.

It is in Mattie’s internal conflicts—idealism versus the practical side of life—that readers will hear a modern voice and see themselves. Her themes—love, marriage, the search for self-definition, and recognition within the realities of life—are universal. The years separating 1888 from the present blur as we see our own struggles so eloquently portrayed.

A Cannon Chronology

[p.xxvii]1834

17 May: Angus born to George and Ann Quayle Cannon, Liverpool, England.

1842

September: Cannon family sails for the United States.

1843

Spring: Cannons settle in Nauvoo, Illinois.

1849

October: Cannons arrive in the Salt Lake Valley.

1857

1 July: Martha Maria (Mattie) Hughes born near Llandudno, Wales, to Peter and Elizabeth Evans Hughes.

1858

Hughes family emigrates to the United States.

1861

Hughes family reaches Utah; Peter Hughes dies shortly after arrival.

1862

Elizabeth Evans Hughes marries James P. Paul.

[p.xxviii]1871-75

Mattie teaches public school and works as a typesetter for Deseret News and Woman’s Exponent.

1876-78

Mattie attends and graduates from University of Deseret.

1878-81

Mattie attends and graduates from medical school at the University of Michigan; practices medicine at Algonac, Michigan.

1881-82

A student at University of Pennsylvania where she graduates with a B.S., and receives a diploma from the National School of Elocution and Oratory.

1882-86

Resident physician at the Deseret Hospital.

1884

6 October: Marries Angus in the Endowment House.

1885

January: Angus arrested on charge of unlawful cohabitation.

13 September: Elizabeth Rachel Cannon born.

December: Angus released from prison.

1886

April: Mattie and Elizabeth travel to England.

1887

December: Mattie and Elizabeth return to United States.

1888

June: Mattie and Elizabeth return to Utah.

[p.xxix]1890

19 May: Son James Hughes is born in Salt Lake City.

1896-1900

Serves as a Utah state senator.

1899

17 April: Daughter Gwendolyn Hughes is born in Salt Lake City.

1915

7 June: Angus dies in Salt Lake City.

1932

10 July: Mattie dies in Los Angeles.

Prominent Characters

[p.xxxi]ANDERSON, DR. W. F.

Member of the visiting board of the Deseret Hospital. According to the Deseret News, “His ability and long experience places him among the foremost physicians in the West.”

BALLARD, HENRY

Born 97 January 1837 in Thatcham, England. Joined the Mormon church in 1849, came to Utah in 1852, and eventually settled in Logan. Served mission to Great Britain 1886-89, where he was president of the London Conference. Died 98 February 1908 in Salt Lake City.

BENNION, MARIA

See Cannon, Maria Bennion.

BENEDICT, WILLIAM F.

Member of the visiting board of the Deseret Hospital.

CALLISTER, EDWARD

Born 1824. Tailor living in the Salt Lake City Stake. Angus Cannon spoke at his funeral on 20 January 1888.

CAMPBELL, ROBERT

Born 1854. Served two terms as mayor of Logan, Utah, in 1870s. In 1888 was called on a mission to Great Britain. After [p.xxxii]returning he worked in the Presiding Bishop’s Office and was general manager of the Utah Power and Light Company. Member of the Alta Club and the Commercial Club, he served another mission in 1915, then worked for the Church Historian’s Office. Died 1931.

CANNON, ANN AMANDA MOUSLEY

Born 10 June 1836 in Centerville, Delaware. Married Angus M. Cannon on 18 July 1858 in Salt Lake City, the same day her sister Sarah Maria Mousley married Angus, as well. Died 18 March 1905 in Salt Lake City.

CANNON, CLARA CORDELIA MASON

Born 1839. Third wife of Angus M. Cannon, marrying him on 16 June 1875 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. He was her second husband. She had previously married William Henry Mason in 1859, by whom she had six children before his early death. After her marriage to Angus, she had three more children. Second counselor to Louie B. Felt in the General Primary Association of the church, 1880-95. Died in Centerville, Utah, 21 August 1926.

CANNON, ELIZABETH RACHEL

Born 13 September 1885 in Grantsville, Utah. Oldest child of Angus M. and Martha Hughes Cannon. Married Roy Stillman Porter 17 July 1912. Later married George McCrimmon.

CANNON, GEORGE QUAYLE

Brother of Angus M. Cannon. Born 11 January 1827 in Liverpool, England, to George Cannon and Ann Quayle. Ordained apostle in 1860; counselor to Brigham Young, 1873-77, to John Taylor, 1882-87, and to Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow. Died 12 April 1901 in Monterey, California.

CANNON, JOHANNA CRISTINA DANIELSON

Sixth wife of Angus M. Cannon. Born 2 October 1850 in Carlshaven, Blakenge, Sweden, to John Danielson and Hannah Lavitson. Had one child, who died young. Died 17 February 1922 in Salt Lake City.

CANNON, JOHN QUAYLE

Born 19 April 1857 in San Francisco to George Q. Cannon and Elizabeth Hoagland. President of the Swiss and German Mission, 1883-84. Counselor to Presiding Bishop William B. Preston, [p.xxxiii]1884-86. Excommunicated for adultery 5 September 1886. Died 14 January 1931.

CANNON, LEWIS MOUSLEY

Born 1 April 1866 in St. George, Utah, to Ann Amanda Mousley and Angus M. Cannon. Served mission to Germany, 1887. Married Mary Alice Hoagland Cannon on 1 October 1890. Died 7 June 1924.

CANNON, MARIA BENNION

Born 5 August 1857 in Taylorsville, Utah, to John Bennion and Esther Wainwright. Married Angus M. Cannon, as his fifth wife, on 11 March 1886. Four children. Died 13 April 1925.

CARRINGTON, ALBERT

Born 8 January 1813 in Vermont. Joined Mormon church in 1841 and came to Utah in 1847. Secretary to President Brigham Young. Apostle, 1870-85. President British Mission intermittently from 1868-80. Excommunicated 7 November 1885 for adultery. Died in Salt Lake City on 19 September 1899.

CLAWSON, HIRAM BRADLEY

Born 7 November 1826. Early convert to the Mormon church and 1847 pioneer in the Salt Lake Valley. Prominent businessman, bishop, and clerk to the president of the church. Active supporter of the Deseret Hospital. Died 29 March 1913.

DAVIS, EDWARD

Born 11 November 1842 in London. Emigrated to Utah in 1874. Missionary to England, 1885-87, and president of the London Conference. After returning, settled in Star Valley, Wyoming, where he served as a high councilman. Later was patriarch of Boise Stake.

DUNCANSON, ANN WHITEHEAD GARVEY

Born in Hurley, Warwickshire, England, on 14 November 1820, to Robert and Mary Haywood Whitehead. Married James Patrick Garvey 29 March 1846. Later divorced. Arrived in Utah in 1859 and married David Martin Duncanson (1811-85) 13 November 1859. Had one son, David (1861-67). Died 13 September 1915.

DUNCANSON, ELIZABETH HENDERSON

Born 12 February 1819 in Leith, Limlithgow, Scotland, to William and Grace Gibb Henderson. Married David Martin [p.xxxiv]Duncanson (1811-85). No children. Set apart as a midwife 26 September 1873 by Orson Pratt and George Q. Cannon. Died 28 October 1890 in Salt Lake City.

DUNSTER, EDWARD SWIFT

Born 1834. In 1873 appointed to the chair of obstetrics, diseases of women and children, and clinical gynecology at Michigan University medical school. The New York Times called him “one of the ablest members of the medical faculty.” Died 1888.

DYER, FRANK H.

Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, 5 September 1854. At the age of twenty became editor of the Yazoo City Democrat. After the paper failed, moved to Utah in the 1870s and worked as a miner and freighter. In April 1886 appointed to serve as U.S. marshal for Utah. A year later became the federal receiver assigned to receive church property. After 1889, became successful businessman and Democratic party worker. Died in Salt Lake City 26 March 1892.

FERGUSON, ELLEN BROOKE

Physician, teacher, suffragist. Born in Cambridge, England, in 1844. Married Dr. William Ferguson and studied medicine after his death. First house physician of the Deseret Hospital. Died in 1920 in Whitestone, New York.

GRANT, EMILY WELLS

Born in Salt Lake City 22 April 1857. Married Heber J. Grant (later seventh president of the Mormon church) 27 May 1884. Died 25 May 1908.

“HULL, ANNIE.”

See Meyer, Annie.

“HULL, FRED.”

See Meyer, Frederick August Engelbert.

“HULL, MRS. ANNA.”

See Meyer, Anna Ballmer.

JOHANNESEN, ANNA EMMA SCHETTLER MEYER

Born 18 April 1886 in Basel, Switzerland, to Anna and Fred “Hull” (Meyer). Married Theodore Bernhardt Johannesen 30 June 1915. Died 15 November 1953.

[p.xxxv]KIMBALL, HEBER CHASE

Born 14 June 1801 in Sheldon, Vermont, to Solomon F. Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Ordained apostle in 1835. Served as counselor to Brigham Young from 1847 on. Died in Salt Lake City 22 June 1868.

KIMBALL, JONATHAN GOLDEN

Born in Salt Lake City 9 June 1853 to Heber C. Kimball and Christeen Golden. Lived in Bear Lake, then in Logan, Utah. President, Southern States Mission, 1891-94. In 1892 called to the First Council of Seventy. Died 2 September 1938.

MASON, CLARA CORDELIA.

See Cannon, Clara Cordelia Mason.

MCRAE, ALEXANDER

Born 7 September 1807 in North Carolina. Baptized 1837 and came to Salt Lake City in 1852. Served as bishop of the 11th ward in Salt Lake City from 1857 until his death on 20 June 1891.

MEYER, ANNA BALLMER

Referred to as “Mrs. Hull” in Mattie’s letters. Born 6 October 1853 in Basel, Switzerland, to Samuel Ballmer and Anna Grieder. Married Paul Schettler 1881. He died in 1884. No children. Married Frederick Meyer in Logan, c. 1885. Daughter Anna Emma Schettler Meyer born 18 April 1886 in Basel. Anna divorced Meyer in 1892 and married John Phillips in 1893. Died 17 December 1912 in Logan.

MEYER, ANNIE EMMA SCHETTLER.

See Johannesen, Anna M.

MEYER, FREDERICK AUGUST ENGELBERT

Referred to as “Hull” or “Fred” in Mattie’s letters. Born 23 June 1849 in Schleswig Holstein, Germany, to Frederick Meyer and Anna Jensen. Married Emilie Hannibal (1872) and Anna Ballmer Schettler. Employed at ZCMI. Died 18 August 1915 in Salt Lake City.

MOENCH, LOUIS FREDERICK

Born 29 July 1846 in Neuffen, Germany. Emigrated to the United States in 1856 with several siblings. Convert to Mormonism, he taught in LDS and public schools until 1884 when he [p.xxxvi]served as a missionary in Germany and secretary of the Swiss and German Mission. After return in 1888, he helped found Weber Stake Academy, serving as first principal. Died 25 April 1916 in Ogden, Utah.

MOUSLEY, ANN AMANDA.

See Cannon, Ann Amanda Mousley.

MOUSLEY, SARAH MARIA.

See Cannon, Sarah Maria Mousley.

NICHOLSON, JOHN

Born 13 July 1830 in Scotland. Baptized in 1861. Served mission in England 1866. Died 25 January 1909 in Salt Lake City.

PAUL, ANNIE MARIE PETTEGREW

Born 12 May 1862 in Salt Lake City to David Pettegrew and Caroline Cope. Married Joshua Hughes Paul 14 June 1883. Died 4 March 1931 in Salt Lake City.

PAUL, BARBARA

Born 30 October 1872 in Salt Lake City. Married Louis Henry Baliff in 1895. Died 11 March 1964. The “Birdie” of Mattie’s letters.

PAUL, ELIZABETH EVANS HUGHES

Mother of Martha Hughes Cannon. Born 22 March 1833 in Barston, Warwickshire, England, to Joseph Evans and Marie Shervington. Married Peter Hughes 4 Feb 1854 in Llandudno, Wales. Three children. Peter died in Salt Lake City in 1861. Married James Patten Paul 25 October 1862. Five children. Died 17 January 1923 in Salt Lake City.

PAUL, JAMES PATTEN

Born 17 July 1817 in Ayr, Scotland. Emigrated to Utah, c. 1850. Married Robina Gribben. Married Elizabeth Evans Hughes 25 October 1862. Died April 1891.

PAUL, JOSHUA HUGHES

Born 20 January 1863 in Salt Lake City to Elizabeth Hughes Paul and James Patten Paul. Married Annie Marie Petrigrew. Professor of English and natural science. President Utah State Agricultural College in Logan and LDS University in Salt Lake City. Died 6 March 1939 in Salt Lake City.

[p.xxxvii]PAUL, LOTTA ROBINA

Born 14 February 1870 in Salt Lake City to James Patten Paul and Elizabeth Evans. Half-sister of Martha Hughes Cannon. Died 31 January 1938. The “Lottie” of Mattie’s letters.

PAUL, MAUDE SARAH

Born 30 December 1875 in Salt Lake City to James Patten Paul and Elizabeth Evans. Half-sister of Martha Hughes Cannon. Never married. Died 8 August 1965.

PENROSE, CHARLES WILLIAM

Born 4 February 1832 in Camberwell, London, England. Second counselor to Angus M. Cannon in Salt Lake City Stake in 1884. In 1885 served mission to England and presided over London Conference. Ordained apostle 1904. Called to First Presidency 1911. Died in Salt Lake City in 1925.

PENROSE, ROMANIA BUNNELL PRATT

Born 8 August 1839 in Indiana. Emigrated to Utah in 1855. Married Parley P. Pratt, Jr., 1859. Divorced 1881. Graduated from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1877 and studied at the Eye and Ear Infirmary in New York City. Member of the board of directors of the Deseret Hospital. Married Charles W. Penrose (“Williams”) in 1886. Died in Salt Lake City in 1932.

REPLOGLE, BARBARA

Born ca. 1853 in Illinois. Fellow student of Mattie’s at the National School of Elocution and Oratory in Philadelphia. They maintained a correspondence for twenty years. Replogle became a noted temperance lecturer and in the 1890s was president of Illinois’s ninth temperance district. There is evidence her married name may have been Atkinson.

RICHARDS, EMILY SOPHIA TANNER

Born 13 May 1850 in Salt Lake County. Married Franklin S. Richards 18 December 1868. Active in advancing women’s rights and suffrage and was a national advocate for Mormon women. Died 1929.

RICHARDS, JANE SNYDER

Born 31 January 1823 in New York. Married Franklin D. Richards 18 December 1842. Counselor in the General Relief Society organization, 1888-1901. Six children. Died 17 November 1912.

[p.xxxviii]SCHETTLER, PAUL AUGUSTUS

Born 13 August 1827 in Prussia. Served for twenty years as treasurer of Salt Lake City. First husband of Anna Ballmer Meyer (“Mrs. Hull”). Died November 1884.

SCHOENFELD, EDWARD

Born in Saxony, Germany, 8 March 1832. Baptized 1855. President of the Swiss and German Mission, 1870-72. Died 2 September 1914 in Salt Lake City.

SHIPP, MILFORD B.

Born in Edinburgh, Indiana, on 3 March 1836. Moved to Utah in 1850. A graduate of the Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania. Along with his plural wives, Ellis and Maggie, he was editor of the Salt Lake Sanitarian. Served several missions to England. Died in Salt Lake City 14 March 1918.

SMITH, JOSEPH FIELDING

Sixth president of the Mormon church, 1901-18. Born 13 November 1838 in Far West, Missouri, to Hyrum Smith (brother of Joseph Smith) and Mary Fielding. Ordained apostle in 1866. Died 19 November 1918 in Salt Lake City.

SNOW, ELIZA ROXCY

Plural wife of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Born 21 January 1804, in Becket, Massachusetts, to Oliver Snow and Rosette Pettibone. Joined Mormon church in 1835. Came to Utah in 1847. President of the General Relief Society of the LDS church, 1866-87. Presided over the Women’s Department of the Endowment House from 1855. President of the Deseret Hospital board. Died 5 December 1887.

SPORI, JACOB

Born 26 March 1847 in Oberwyl, Switzerland. Baptized 1877 and came to Utah in 1879. Served a mission to Switzerland and Palestine, 1884-87. Presided over the Turkish Mission, 1885-87. Died 1903.

SUDBURY, CLARA ANN.

See Taylor, Clara Ann Sudbury.

TAYLOR, CLARA ANN SUDBURY

Born 28 April 1858 in Salt Lake City to Samuel John Sudbury and Emma Grossland. Married Joseph Edward Taylor 1 April [p.xxxix]1884 as fourth wife. Eight children. Died 3 January 1939 in Salt Lake City.

TAYLOR, JOHN

Uncle of Angus M. Cannon. Ordained apostle 1838. Third president of Mormon church, 1880-87. Born 1 November 1808 in Milnthrop, Westmoreland, England, to James and Agnes Taylor. Died 25 July 1887 in Kaysville, Utah.

TAYLOR, JOSEPH EDWARD

Counselor to Angus M. Cannon in the presidency of the Salt Lake City Stake. Born 11 December 1830 in Horsham, Sussex, England, to George Taylor and Ann Wicks. Died 18 February 1913.

TAYLOR, LISADORE AMELIA

Born 21 August 1886 in Salt Lake City to Clara Ann Sudbury and Joseph Edward Taylor. Married William David Campbell 24 April 1907.

TAYLOR, SOPHIA WHITTAKER

Born in England on 21 April 1825. Emigrated to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and became John Taylor’s third wife on 23 April 1847. On finance committee of the newly organized Deseret Hospital in 1882. Died in Salt Lake City 1 March 1887.

TEASDALE, GEORGE

Born 8 December 1831 in London, England. Ordained apostle 1882. President of the British Mission, 1886-90. Died 9 June 1907 in Salt Lake City.

WELLS, ABBIE CORILLA.

See Young, Abbie Corilla Wells.

WELLS, DANIEL HANMER

Born 27 October 1814 in Trenton, New York. Aided church members on their arrival in Nauvoo (Commerce), Illinois, in 1839. Was an alderman, member of city council, general in the Nauvoo Legion. Joined LDS church 1846 and came to Utah 1848. Counselor to President Brigham Young, 1857-77. President of the British Mission, 1864-65 and 1885-87. Married Emmeline B. Wells 10 October 1852. Died 24 March 1891.

[p.xl]WELLS, EMMELINE BLANCHE WOODWARD

Born 29 February 1828 in Petersham, Massachusetts. Joined Mormon church 1842. Married James Harvey Harris 1843. He left her in 1844. In 1848 arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with Newel K. Whitney, her second husband. After his death, married Daniel H. Wells in 1852. Had three daughters. Edited Women’s Exponent for thirty-eight years. Active in Woman’s suffrage. President of LDS Relief Society. Died 25 April 1921 in Salt Lake City.

WEST, JOSEPHINE RICHARDS

Born 1853 to Franklin D. and Jane Snyder Richards. President of the Weber Stake Primary Association, 1879-86. Served as counsellor in the General Primary Association, 1897-1905. Died in Logan, Utah, 23 April 1933.

WHITMER, DAVID

Born 7 January 1805 near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Baptized 1829 by Joseph Smith. One of “three witnesses” to the Book of Mormon. One of the six founding members of the church. Excommunicated 1838. Died in Richmond, Missouri, 25 January 1888.

“WILLIAMS.”

See Penrose, Charles William.

WOOLLEY, AMY IRENE

Born 12 February 1868 in Centerville, Utah, to John W. Woolley and Julia Sirls Ensign. Married Thomas Cherry 15 November 1893. Died 24 September 1921. The “Aimee” of the letters.

WOOLLEY, JOHN ENSIGN

Born 1 January 1852 to John W. Woolley and Julia Sirls Ensign. Married Mary Elizabeth Crandall 7 April 1874. Married Elizabeth Knighton 13 January 1889. Died 8 August 1912 in Centerville, Utah.

WOOLLEY, JOHN WICKERSHAM

Born 30 December 1831 in Pennsylvania to Edwin D. and Mary Woolley. Came to Utah 1848. Settled in Centerville, Utah, 1864. Married Julia Sirls Ensign 1851; Ann Everington 1886; and Annie Fisher 1910. Died 28 December 1928.

[p.xli]WOOLLEY, LORIN C.

Son of John W. and Julia Sirls Ensign Woolley. Born 23 October 1856 in Salt Lake City. Married Sarah Ann Roberts 25 January 1883. Died 19 September 1934 in Centerville, Utah.

WOOLLEY, MARY CRANDALL

Married John Ensign Woolley 7 April 1874. Died 8 August 1912.

WOOLLEY, RACHEL CAHOON

Born 11 June 1849 in Cottonwood, Utah, to Andrew Cahoon and Janet Carruth. The second wife of Samuel Wickersham Woolley, married 28 June 1868. Died 20 January 1887 in Grantsville, Utah.

WOOLLEY, SAMUEL WICKERSHAM

Born 2 April 1840 in Nauvoo, Illinois, to Edwin D. Woolley and Mary Wickersham. Married Rachel Cahoon (his second wife) on 28 June 1868 in Salt Lake City. Died 28 January 1908 in Grantsville, Utah.

YOUNG, ABBIE CORILLA WELLS

Born 20 September 1852 to Daniel H. Wells and Hannah Corilla Free. Married Seymour B. Young 28 April 1884.

YOUNG, SEYMOUR BICKNELL

Born 3 October 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio, to Joseph Young and Jane Bicknell. Ordained a Seventy 1857. Married Ann E. Riter 14 April 1867; twelve children. Married Abbie Corilla Wells 18 April 1884. Died 15 December 1924 in Salt Lake City.

Notes

1. Martha Hughes Cannon to Angus M. Cannon, [March] 1886, Angus M. Cannon papers, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; hereafter HDC. For additional information on Martha, see Jean B. White, “Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon: Doctor, Wife, Legislator, Exile,” in Vicky Burgess-Olson, ed., Sister Saints (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1978); and Constance L. Lieber, “‘The Goose Hangs High': Excerpts from the Letters of Martha Hughes Cannon,” Utah Historical Quarterly 48 (Winter 1980): 37-48.

2. Ibid., 3 May 1888, AMC papers.

3. Originally published in 1835, the Doctrine and Covenants contains revelations, information about church membership, and clarification on doctrinal questions. It was revised in 1879 and recanonized as scripture the next year.

4. James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 396.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. For information on plural marriage, see Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1986); and Jessie Embry, Mormon Polygamous Families: Life in the Principle (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987).

8. MHC to AMC, 6 March 1886, AMC papers.

9. Ibid., 19 March 1888, AMC papers.

10. Ibid., 6 March 1886, AMC papers.

11. MHC to Barbara Replogle, 21 March 1885, Martha H. Cannon papers, HDC.

12. Ibid., 1 May 1885, MHC papers.

13. Ibid.

14. At his sentencing, Angus expressed his own views: “I have used the utmost of my power to honor my God, my family and my country. In eating with my children day by day, and showing an impartiality in meeting with them around the board, with the mother who was wont to wait upon them, I was unconscious of any crime” (Deseret News, 13 May 1885).

15. Ibid., 28 Jan. 1885.

16. Abraham H. Cannon Diary, 22, 24: Jan. 1885, HDC.

17. MHC to AMC, 23 Sept. 1886, AMC papers.

18. Angus M. Cannon Diary, 23 March 1886, Angus M. Cannon collection, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; hereafter BYU.

19. Shari Siebers Crall, “‘Something More': A Biography of Martha Hughes Cannon,” honor’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1985, 33.

20. MHC to AMC, 20 April 1886, AMC papers.

21. Ibid., 6 June 1886, AMC papers.

22. Emily Wells Grant to Heber J. Grant, 17 May [1886], Heber J. Grant Papers, HDC. During her time in England, Mattie, like other plural wives, used several aliases to escape detection, generally preferring Maria Munn. Angus used the alias Arthur Munn. Neither was a particularly creative alias, nor is it likely that this would have fooled anyone seriously trying to discover their identities.

23. MHC to AMC, 4 May 1886, AMC papers.

24. Angus M. Cannon Diary, 20 May 1886, BYU.

25. MHC to AMC, 20, 29 May 1886, AMC papers.

26. Ibid.

27. Ibid., 21 Nov. 1886, AMC papers.

28. Emily Wells Grant to Heber J. Grant, 27 Oct. 1886, HJG papers. In referring to “Mrs. Hull,” Emily means Anna Ballmer Schettler Meyer, a plural wife of Fredrick A. E. Meyer. Anna and her daughter Annie were also on the underground in England. For additional information on the Hulls/Meyers, see the “Prominent Characters” list.

29. Angus M. Cannon Diary, 5 July 1886, BYU.

30. MHG to AMC, 20 May 1886, AMC papers.

31. Ibid., 30 july 1886, AMC papers.

32. MHC to Barbara Replogle, 18 Sept. 1884, MHC papers.

33. Ibid., 1 May 1885, MHC papers.

34. Ibid., 3 March 1888, MHC papers.

35. MHC to AMC, 20 May 1886, AMC papers.

36. Ibid., 29 May 1886, AMC papers.

37. Ibid., 9 July 1886, AMC papers.

38. MHC to Barbara Replogle, 6 Aug. 1887, MHC papers.

39. MHC to AMC, a, Sept. 1886, AMC papers.

40. Ibid., 18 Oct. 1886, AMC papers.

41. Ibid., 3 Nov. 1887, AMC papers.

42. Ibid., 6 Oct. 1887, AMC papers.

43. AMC to MHC, 16 Nov. 1887, AMC papers.

44. MHC to AMC, 2 Dec. 1887, AMC papers.

45. More than 1,250 Mormon immigrants crossed between Liverpool and New York City on this steamer. A ship of the Guion line, the Arizona was built in 1879 by John Elder & Co. of Glasgow, Scotland. The ship could carry a total of 350 passengers. In 1898 she was acquired by the United States as a troopship in the Spanish-American War and World War I before being scrapped in 1926. See Conway B. Sonne, Ships, Saints and Mariners: A Maritime Encyclopedia of the Mormon Migration, 1830-1890 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987), 16-17.

46. AMC to MHC, 5 Feb. 1888, AMC papers.

47. MHC to Barbara Replogle, 10 Aug. 1888, MHC papers.

48. For additional information, see Jean B. White, “Utah State Elections,1895-1899,” Ph.D. diss., University of Utah, 1968, 110-79, and “Gentle Persuaders: Utah’s First Women Legislators,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38 (Winter 1970): 31-49.

49. Patriarchs in the LDS church are lay officials who give special blessings to members that contain advice and prophecies regarding the recipient’s life. For information on Angus’s life, see Donald Q. Cannon, “Angus M. Cannon: Pioneer, President, Patriarch,” in Donald Q. Cannon and David J. Whittaker, eds., Supporting Saints.’ Life Stories of Nineteenth Century Mormons (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1985), 369-401.

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