Letters from Exile
Constance L. Lieber and John Sillito, editors
Voyage to England
March – December 1886
How are you physically? Better I trust. 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 & disgusted with it. Polygamy in these days reminds me of Bishop Hunter’s1 polygamy in the days of Nauvoo. He remarked, “Polygamy in the days of Nauvoo—law, law, law!! Don’t talk about it. Law! law! law! Don’t talk about it.”
But this is what I want to say. There is a little running about I must do before I leave the country and I must cart my babe with me wherever I go—that’s a fixed thing. Livery horses I find are not the safest things in the world with babies. Men’s superior? judgment to the contrary. Can you get my horse from the Point right away—or as soon as you can. Please get him ready for use and I will not turn him back again like I did before. I could not help that. G’s [unidentified] said they wanted him and when [p.4]he came they changed their mind because another of their horse came home then.
With best love
A note to my father’s will reach me—M—
March 25, ’86
If other negotiations have not already been made, I would prefer Bro. Phil to Myers2 as a companion—you see I too, am addicted to “changeableness.” First and foremost do not expose your health in precipitating arrangements for this contemplated “trip”, for dearer to me than everything else on earth—as also to your other loved ones, is your good health, for I have a presentiment of a destiny before you, that perhaps you little dream of. Such men as yourself are strongly needed in this hurricane of Zion’s Onward March. And it will require all the health and vigor you can possibly foster to meet the emergencies—do not waste it needlessly; and here let me state, and pardon me for so doing as you will not believe me—but you are failing physically—hence the necessity of the above precaution. Some time you will see it—and men never do at the incipiency. I am feeling better. I wish we could look at the divine part of these things only, it would avoid much psychological disturbance— and be better all around, but with so much earthiness in our nature (mine) this is not always easily accomplished. “To err is human to forgive divine.” You recollect I had not reached this point when you left, I mean the forgiving part—but it is a question in my mind whether there was any real thing to forgive, probably only an imaginary wrong on my part.3 Loron4 is waiting
[p.5]Your sister in the covenant S. Munn [Martha Hughes Cannon]
Dear Munn [Angus M. Cannon]:
“The gallant ship is under weigh
To bear us off to sea.
And yonder floats the streamers gay
That says she waits for “we”
The seamen dip the ready oar
As rippling waves oft tell
They bear us swiftly from the shore
Our native land farewell.”
Everything is lovely, and the goose hangs high.”
Sweet Elizabeth5 has not even got the “snuffles”, and now lies rolling on the floor, has kicked off her stockings and is licking your photo. The way she crowed when I gave it her, I do believe she thought it had some connection with her pa. Have had a splendid time—now I must put on babe’s things and off we go. Tell ma all right.
Much love—Maria [Martha Hughes Cannon].
Say don’t ever mention that poetry I showed you at Woolleys. It would injure H[iram B. Clawson]6 and when in distress, he was one of the best friends I had on earth.
[p.6]Nearing Queenston; Eng.
Apl. 29, 86
How are you? Everything is lovely with us; I have had very little seasickness and little E[lizabeth] none at all. She is growing more fleshy since we boarded the vessel; and my health has improved wonderfully—the level of the sea is certainly the place for me.7 My peevishness appears to have left me and I begin to feel myself once more. Are you not glad! Providing the malady does not return when I reach the mountains again I hear you ejaculate. I did not run about in New York much, on account of a desire to be “cautious.” However I visited Grant’s tomb at Riverside Park; the casket stands in a vault which is built on a knoll that commands a fine view of the Hudson, one of the finest sites on its banks so they tell me. I thought as I gazed on the flower-strewn bier that if the Spirits of the departed are permitted to return and hover around the sepulcher, surely in this case it delights to linger in so lovely a place. On Sunday we, Phil and I, went over to Brooklyn to hear Booker at Plymouth. His text was that portion of Scripture where Jesus was informed by a messenger that his mother and brethren were without, waiting to see him, and He replied “who is my mother? Who are my brethren—They that do the will of my Father” etc. He said to some this answer would appear harsh, but to those who understand the meaning of the higher order of relationship there is no austerity couched in the reply. There is a relationship that soars above the grovelling intercourse of this world. The brutes commingle together, and in many instances select their mates. People sometimes live in juxtaposition without any mutual interpretation etc etc—The steward is putting out lights
May 1st ’86
Our dear old ship8 landed at this point this morning. I got quite attached to her. Had a most delightful voyage, and little Elizabeth has grown an inch all over I do believe since I left Utah. I start for Birmingham in probably a couple of days and will write you from that point. Now I am hurried as usual to get this off with the next boat, but just accept a bushel of kisses, and remember that I think heaps of you. I am feeling splendid. The old natural feeling is returning to my head, and I thank God for the change. I know this trip will do me a world of good. How are you and yours? Write and tell me.
No. 61 1/2 Great Brook Street
Dear Munn: —
Have reached our destination at last. Can’t say that I am particularly pleased though. “On the fly” is decidedly more agreeable to a temperament like mine; but of course there is a limit to all procedures. I am thankful to meet my relatives, and my poor dear Uncle is quite overcome in meeting me, it is all so unexpected to them. But it distresses me to see them so very poor. Uncle is a bright active man but has no chance whatever in this over populated stereotyped country. I do hope that the Gospel will reach him. He is very proud, and we had no idea he was in such poor circumstances—in fact I know from Mother’s remarks, she had quite an opposite opinion. Well Old Sweetheart I don’t [p.8]want to depress you with doleful stories as I imagine you hay your hands full where you are. If according to your theory on can draw comfort by contrasting their own circumstances with those of inferior grades, than of a surety I ought to be comforted Besides I have met some other “undergrounders” a jugfull more miserable than your exiled “Maria”, One of them in fact feeling particularly “Cussed”. Ah, don’t misery like company though?
Mrs. Martha9 Munn
No 61 1/2 Great Brook St,
I have told my relatives that I married a widower.
Say! Shall I address on Envelope enclosed to “Jack” Mr Arthur Munn. I notice the way I am doing is a “give away”
61 1/2 Great Brook St
May 20, 86
My Dear Husband:—
There! now I hear you ejaculate, that is a very “uncautious” heading for these perilous times, but then the thing was running through my mind, and down it came on the paper, and as it looks rather nice to me, and will probably sound rather nice to you—I risk the business. Was glad to hear from you, and to hear that all as far as you knew were well; and I trust happy. I often think of what my dear old Doctor A[nderson]10 once said in regard to happiness, “that he who was the happiest man was the smartest man”, on the principle that it took considerable shrewdness to so engineer things as to produce happiness on this mundane Sphere. Tell friend Jos. E.11 that it’s a thundering lie, no put [p.9]it milder than that; tell him that his hypothesis in regard to “women being purely local creatures” is incorrect, or else I am a departure from the genuine feminine standard; that I was never so thoroughly miserable in all my life as when I was so thoroughly “localized” that the more I “spread out” after the manner of men, quoting still further from our friend, the happier I am. And yet I am not a bit “manish” I wouldn’t be a man for all creation. Glad the sisters are doing a good work at the capital.12 Bro. Wells13 told me the same, he having received several lengthy epistles from Emmeline14 giving a full account of their negotiations there; or as the “General” [Wells] puts it “her work”, of course the Dr.15 is only a sort of “hanger on”, the Editor [Emmeline Wells] is “fully equal to the entire task singlehanded.” Taking all into consideration I fully believe that the outcome of their trip will result in good, and feel quite proud that our sisters are able to assist in these matters. Don’t tell Williams my remarks about Emmeline, or true to the common failing he will tell his Dr.16 and like everything else in nature the thing will perform a cycle, or in other [p.10]words “Go the rounds”, getting back finally to the point from whence it originated. “Ever changing but nothing lost in the laboratory of nature” quoting the heading of an oration I heard delivered some time ago—and it was a beautiful thing, the orator commenced with the inorganic world, passing to the organic, he ascended the different gradations until he came to man, showing that everything is lost in the “finale.” “The silent dropping of water”, he said “wears away the hardest rock, the water itself evaporated and goes to form the clouds, these condense and in the form of rain percolate the soil, and at various points gushes forth in living fountains; having performed its cycle of changes, is returned to its original condition; furnishing the beverage that General Sam Carey says God designed man to drink. “A beverage that is brewed in the heavens, and filtered, through the everlasting hills—pure cold water.” The plant throwing its rootlets into the soil and appropriating the solid elements necessary to its existence, and expanding its leaflets in the genial sunshine and absorbing the gaseous elements essential to its being; has its starting point, its zenith and its decay. The solid particles are finally returned to mother earth from whence they were taken, the gaseous to the great atmospheric reservoir from whence they were elaborated. The cycle is complete ascending to man and to nations, they too perform their cycle. Man having his infancy, his youth, his highest point of physical and mental development, here on earth—his decline—and following the decomposition of the corporeal frame; here too the solid portion returns to earth, the gaseous to air. But here remarked the orator, there is something more, the spirit, the soul, the immortal part; the casket is consigned to earth, but the gem wings its way to its God there to await and obey His mandates. And here the speaker could go no farther; beyond this, to him all was swallowed up in the “mysterious”. Thank God for the Gospel which makes the “mysterious mystery” dissolve before the light of truth. Referring back to Williams [Charles W. Penrose] again I’ll warrant you he much prefers basking in the light of “Medical Eyes” to doing “Shank’s pony” in Smoky “Brulmigbrum”17 and other sections of Old England. Ah! these matrimonial engagements must be delightful experiences to you men. Tell Williams while he is engaged in the [p.11]business—(Matrimonial) to go and hang Seymour18 and then go marry Albid (“all things are fair in love and war”) as that lady has told me the next time she married, it would be for money—unless she could get Williams, and she would have him money or no money. What a charmer he is—I like him myself. But don’t for a moment think that I have any hankering whatever, to see you shuffle off the mortal, for ’tis not so for I assure you, taking the great plan into consideration a quarter section, aye! even less, is preferable to none at all of your precious self.19 In addition I myself am becoming so thoroughly dilapidated, physically, mentally, spiritually, and yes—morally; (for with the decline of the other forces, this too must correspondingly suffer) that I fear I could not get even so much as a tithe’s interest in another royal male. Besides I am like Hamlet in this one particular, would rather “endure the ill I have, than fly to that I know not ot”. Outside the matrimonial question however, I am anything but “Hamletonian.” I would much prefer the novelty of new woes than to “grin & bear” the monotony of old ones. There now don’t you feel flattered! But anyhow I like you, “Yes I believe I do.” In reading the latter sentence you must assume a very plaintive tone of voice. Now all the above is what Uncle Thomas would term “twaddle,” and I fancy you groaningly wading through it in order to come across something referring more particularly to the “getting on” of myself and precious little charge. Bless her darling sweet face, she has been quite ill ever since a few days after my arrival here. None but myself knows the anxiety I have had but thank God she has taken a turn for the better now. She stood the trip remarkably well, but has gradually failed since I have been here, until now she is my little faded flower, and it has almost broken my heart to look at her little wasted face—but as I said thank God she is getting better. She has had symptoms of sewer poisoning.20 There [p.12]are some filthy places around here and the house that I am living in is small and crowded. This of course is not good for babe, and I shall make a change. I thought at first that her indisposition was due to the reaction following the long journey, and was hoping day after day for a change for the better. My uncle is really not in as bad circumstances as would at first appear. He appears to earn considerable means, but it is the disposition that is made of it that gives them a “from hand-to-mouth” appearance at home; away from home they dress so grandly that you would think them worth their thousands. I learn that this is Birmingham style—live like dogs or paupers at home, and put on “heaps of dog” or appearance away from home. Uncle is a brilliant fellow, is interested in me, and I have an idea that the Gospel is beginning to make him think. Extremes have met in the case of he and his wife, for she is one of the most ignorant women I ever met. “A blooming lass,” says Uncle, “when I married her, and I thought I could refine her,” but he has signally failed. Aunt swears and plays drum on the children’s heads from morning until night. Keeps up a perpetual bedlam, and drinks her “half-a-pint-of-four-penny.” “I take my half-a-pint-of-four-penny a day and that wont hurt no un” says she. I notice the “little yellow jug” brings a goodly number of half-pints during the day. In regard to my little treasure, Aunt says, “All that ails the little wench is that she needs hardening,” and so she authorized her “kids” as she calls them to undertake the process, resulting in the little thing clinging to my neck and screaming herself into a fit nearly every time they come near her. I shall never forgive myself for allowing her out of my sight if any thing should happen; it would have been a kill instead of a harden, had I not interfered. This is Aunt’s remark now: “The little pale-faced madame has been thoroughly spoiled, and you will have enough to put up with before you get through with her.” Now it is your fault that I [have] written all this for you told me to go into the minutia of things. I have no idea that you’ll have time to read it.
[new page, continuation of letter]
Near Stratford on Avon
May 29 ’86
Babe was taken worse after taking her to service last Sunday eve so I did not tarry but brought her to the Country immediately—and she is improving wonderfully the last two days. Aunt had a cataleptic fit, and one of her little girls fell down stairs and injured her head. Since I wrote the other letter, Uncle is inclined to investigate the Gospel and Satan is making himself manifest in various ways.
I boarded the 5:10 a.m. train at Snowhill Station—babe, valise and perambulator with me. It was an hour and a half’s ride to Claverdon Station, babe screamed all the way, and fell asleep just as I reached there. The station looks like a little English cottage nestled up by a small hill. It is vine clad, and beautiful flower beds and hedges all around it. I was the only passenger that alighted at this point, and I inquired the distance and way to Mr. Joseph Twynan’s—who Uncle Thomas had told me was a distant relative of ours. “About a mile and a half,” was the response. Babe was asleep in her little carriage, and her little thin tear-stained face looked sorrowful enough. With my outfit properly arranged I started along the country lane; now for the first time did I realize to the full extent the beauty of the “green fields and hedge-row of England.” On either side of me were the hedges with a beautiful admixture of “Holly” and “May” along by the hedge, pulled “Marguerites”, and felt like crying. Had the precious drops come I think they would have relieved the pressure about my head and would have been the sort that Dr. Seymour [B. Young] says women shed at weddings: “tears of joy.” The change was so great leaving Smokey Birmingham, and hot hell behind and emerging into this world of loveliness, I felt that I should like to linger there forever with my sleeping beauty baby by my side. Were I a Victor Hugo I should draw some striking antithesis here. The contrast was as great to me I presume, as was that to Jean ValJean during the French Revolution, when the battle raged in the streets of Paris and one of the great sewer traps opened and let him and his dying wounded friend “Maria” through, closing with a spring after they had passed “from the roar and din of battle, to utter silence; from the glitter and glare [p.14]of sun a sabre, to midnight darkness; from the tumult and strife of the living, to the chamber of death.” I don’t know which situation ValJean preferred, if a brave warrior, the surface of our sphere was probably a proper place for him, in the heat of battle—if a coward, the trap door was a happy termination of the business—for he finally got out all right. But if superstitious, bah! how must he have felt when Marias gasped his last breath. I don’t like the name Marias—in other words it is Maria dropping the final “s” and perhaps this very moment you are basking in the smiles of your young Maria.21 Well bask and be happy—but remember that your blessed neck is at stake or in jeopardy if you ever tell that I am jealous. I’m getting “cured” by degrees. I said young Maria because Uncle Tom has been figuring out dates and says I am thirty-three instead of twenty-nine. Aunt the “boozer” says I look thirty-six if I look a day, and as for myself I feel forty. Well I loitered along the grassy land loathe to leave it. Elizabeth Rachel awoke and her eyes stood out like balls when she saw all the “pretty sings”—and the little thing looked more happy than she had for weeks, at this point I met a little English maiden, and enquired how far it was to Jos. Twynans, “a few steps, the white cottage, along the land at the top of the hill,” was the response. I was sorry that I was so near my destination, as I was tired of humanity for a time, and preferred to tarry and commune with nature. I took babe from her carriage and she plucked with her own little hands the “forget-me-nots” that I send you. The Pansies are for Emma Finch [unidentified], as she is passionately fond of them. You must use your own discretion as to how you give them [to] her and what you say. If you think it unwise do not trouble about them.
I ascended the hill and entered the cottage gate and was received most kindly by the good hearted honest people here, and they think me the bravest woman in the world to come from Birmingham to this point alone, a distance of thirty miles, ha! ha! “And ‘ow did you cross the great water?” they asked. I replied that a party of us came over together, and were well protected. The old gentleman Twynan is a widower, owns the cottage he lives in, and his youngest son Jesse, with his young wife live with him. The old gentleman’s second wife (both wives are now dead) [p.15]was an Evans and an own sister to my grandfather, on mother’s side. His son Jesse here, is my second cousin, as also is his wife Emma, as they were second cousins before they were married. They are delighted to meet their relatives from the great new world and we are having some jolly times tracing out relationships. I shall get quite a genealogical record before I leave here—thank the Lord that is what I’m after. These people say that Uncle Tom and his wife are after the Birmingham sharper style and are quite alarmed to think I left my thirty pounds in their charge, so I will go there Sunday and get it and place [it] in bank. I think it all right, but its best to be safe
Monday May 31st
Just ready to start for Birmingham. Babe is getting along nicely. I have secured a place here to board at three and a half a week—or 14 shillings. I like these relatives much better than those in Birm[ingham] and shall stay the summer. Tell Ma we are well. Read such portions of this letter as you think will interest her, and accept much love from Myself and babe. Will write nice in a day or two.
Near—”Stratford on Avon”
June 6 ’86
A lengthy letter I forwarded to you the other day, and as I finished it somewhat abruptly, I thought I would pen this to let you know that I have returned from Birmingham all right with the bank notes, and our darling is picking up nicely—but she is a delicate little flower, and it almost frightens me into the belief that perhaps she will be taken from me. Pray earnestly, dear, that she may be spared me. My health is improving rapidly. My head gets more natural in feeling every day. Thank God for the change. Bro[ther] Richard’s blessing is beginning to be realized.22 I wish [p.16]I knew exactly how you are—if not feeling well I should not make the following communication: I believe we are going to have twins. Positively I am enlarging more rapidly in a certain locality than my improvement in health would account for. But still the thing is not quite settled in my mind yet—as the people in this locality are subject to “Big Necks” (Goitre) and perhaps the thing has taken a different turn with me and sought a lower strata—however time will tell. You spoke, before I left, of coming to join me; now unless the above condition is realized don’t come, for I assure you, you will be sorry if you do. England is horrid to me; or rather the mode of living among the lower classes is dreadful. We in Utah live like Kings as compared with the people here. At some future time—when I think you will not be bored—I’ll give you an insight into the manner of getting along in these rural districts, and yet this is heaven as compared with the beggary and crime of the cities. Give me America especially that portion called “Deseret.” Were I not an exile, I would only stay on the continent of Europe sufficiently long to do the sights in the more prominent localities, and then ho! for the “Land of the free and home of the brave”, and raptures!! my royal lord also. Now dear if I am “on the road to glory” again, the thing occurred between two and three months ago, if other things have not pressed too heavily on your memory, you probably recollect. Women keep track of these things better than men however. A slight sanguinous discharge occurred just before I left Utah you recollect, but slight as it was, it was sufficient to make us both sanguine in the assurance that all was right. In some cases a slight discharge will occur after conception has taken place and women are often deceived in it. It is not a real menstruation, but often occurs in congested necks of Uteri. In the case under discussion no return of the period has taken place since the time mentioned above, which is another sign. What degenerate beings we are, instead of rejoicing at the prospect of bringing another living soul into the world we women are generally worried about it. I tell you I would like a baker’s dozen, providing they were all here. ‘Tis getting the precious creatures through the bony canals that troubles me. I do not mind the little attentions they require after they are here. Oh! my precious [p.17] one (Elizabeth Rachel) ’tis one of the greatest pleasures of my life to attend to her little wants. Now dear this is what I want to say. If an embryo is developing by means of the nourishment it gets from me, it will be mature about the first of January ’87—and I give you a cordial invitation to be present on the occasion. Or if you cannot come to me, I’ll probably develop a spirit similar to that exhibited by your young Maria to the effect that I’ll feel like “tagging” you around, and I’m splendid on the “hike”— fond of “gadding.” Won’t you be in a pickle, if both we luminaries “Stars of the sea” (“Star of the sea” is the meaning of the word Maria) are on the docket and both due about the same time and one on each side of the “Herring Pond” [Atlantic Ocean]—and both of us of a sort of rebellious temperament.23 By the way now I think of it “rebellious” is another portion of the definition of Maria— “Bitter, rebellious, star of the sea” that’s the whole of it. I’ll dwell no longer on this subject or it will produce the same effect on me that Joseph F.24 said the Federal Officials of Utah would produce on Hell when they presented themselves at its gates—that is “make it vomit itself sick.”
Now I have changed my mind. Does it surprise you? If I am really reveling in the bliss (?) of approaching maternity, I’ll cross to the U.S. side before Christmas, for if a son I wish him to be an eligible candidate for the Presidency. Then it occurs to me—if rendered incapable of scrambling for myself & youngsters we would what the people here call “clam” (starve). No one here half eats but drink like fish. You have no idea to what excess they carry it, and constantly guzzling so many malt preparations down, they do not require so much food, nor such good quality. But we “word of wisdom”25 people come and slim. I am paying a fair price for board and lodgings and am fed mainly on rusty bacon and “bread & scrape” and not enough of that. They stare thunderstruck at me the way I “go for it.” Sometimes it is bread with butter scraped mighty thin over it, sometimes lard and sometimes “dripping” is substituted. Ask Williams how he liked “bread [p.18]and scrape.” But maybe he fell among more liberal scrapers than hereabouts. It is the way these people have been brought up & they don’t know any other way.
June – 8 -’86
Have just returned from the town of Warwick, one of the most quaint, and ancient-looking little places you can imagine. Some of the structures are so crude that you would scarcely think that intelligent civilized beings had planned them for habitations. Look like mush but of course something more substantial as they have stood the batterings of ages. Small dark windows, doors that a respectable American horse would turn up his nose at, and block thatched roofs. Went there to deposit some money in [the] savings bank. Am scared almost to death to have any means about me, they tell me such horrible stories about theft and injury. I am now located at Norton, a town about two miles from Wolverton where my second cousins live. My cousin Emma is about to be confined, and when I went there she gave me her bedroom; and I did not feel justified in staying longer as I know she expects the last of this month, and ought to be getting things in apple-pie order. The cottage is a small one and they have no spare room. They were very kind to me, and I gave them one pound or a sovereign when I left. Cousin Jesse is a handsome fellow as fine a physique as I ever saw—and here he is wasting his time in working hard and only getting their ten shillings per week. Lodgings are hard to procure hereabouts, the cottages are all so small, and I heard there was a party who could spare a room at Norton so I engaged it without seeing it first—and positively you would not believe me should I attempt to describe it. In fact it is beyond my capacity at description—a row of tumble-down ruins, one end of it inhabited by the family I [am] living with (the family consisting of husband and wife), three rooms or sort of division one below two above, and the getting there up rickety creaking old stairs. Elizabeth thinks it a sort of music, of Birmingham organ grinders, and nods her head and chimes in as we go up and down la-la-la-!! la-la—is her favorite jabber. She is getting along nicely, is an old fashioned little thing. “‘Er as an old ed on er, er as” say the people hereabouts. I don’t like this town nor the people in it, [p.19]have only staid [sic] one night, and then did not sleep. The whole business looks decidedly low to me. Now “mine host” is remarking to some neighbors—and they are all smoking, the air is stenched: “This ba a young lady that ba cum all the way from Ameriki.” “Aye! it must a cost a biggish bit o money.” “Aye I’ll bet a ‘bob’ no less than thirty pawnds.” “Wy that ba ‘slathers.'” So the conversation runs. Elevating isn’t it? About as much so as my letters. My “gift of gab” is rapidly returning— one of the greatest proofs to me that my head is getting stronger. Oh! I begin to feel like I used to when I was a rollicking college girl. Health is everything in this life—jostling with the world is fun when one has good health to back them. 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. I started to tell you about the town of Warwick. It reminds me of dreams I have had and pictures I have seen. We were too late to get into the grand old castle, so I shall go again. The town was fairly lousy with red-coats, and for the first time did I get a good view of British soldiers. It is a sort of special parading time and the militia from surrounding sections have congregated there. Many of the soldiers were thronging the thoroughfares with bonnie lassies on their arms and at their sides. Their sisters, wives and sweet-hearts, I remarked. “Not a bit on’t,” replied my country cousin. “They ba the gals of the town they ba”—and sure enough we had not gone many yards when tall Jesse was accosted, or motioned to by one of them, and all this in broad day-light and in Pious old England. Oh! Well, “when in Rome—do as the Romans do.” Providing it is not too much beyond bounds. So I was hauled around to various saloons by my unsophisticated country cousins. In one of them I got into conversation with one of the bugle men of the army and he was bemoaning his fate saying, “Tis music, music, music, from early morn ’till late at night. The soldiers can’t scratch their backs now-a-days without music, and while they are eating we are blowing, & then we have to fill in with scraps.” It occurred to me that the people of England in general, in regard to drink were the same as the soldiers with music. Can’t go to the “Old Lades” without first taking a drink to help them out. Ask any of the married portion of the Woolley family what the “Old Lades” is if you should chance to see them, & give them my love.
[p.20]There is not the slightest opportunity of me practicing my profession here. The people are too poor to buy their medicines, let alone pay a Physician. However I will be as economical as I know how to be. I would like to visit Paris. Excursions go from here [to] there for fifty dollars. What say you? May I? You see I am using your money, so I must consult with you. Will not want to go for several months yet, and have sufficient to keep me that length of time. Every time you make a turn here it costs money, and I have had to purchase clothing for both myself & baby, as we had nothing only our travelling suit each.26 I promised to give my cousins a Utah silk handkerchief, so if convenient will you send four by mail or any way you think best. Get the cheapest quality. Address “Mrs. Maria Munn care of Mr. Jesse Twynan, Wolverton, Near Stratford On Avon, Warwickshire, England. How is your health, pet? I shall be so glad to hear from home again; have only had that one letter, directed to Liverpool. What a terrible life you are leading hiding around, but I tell you, you would feel worse if you were here, so if you require an outing for the good of your health, go to a more genial clime than this. It has rained ever since I have been here. Tell Mother I will write her a long letter in a day or two—Maria
July 9th ’86
My Dear Lover:—
Yours, bearing dates May 27th and June 19th, reached me in due time. The latter arrived yesterday; they were forwarded from Birmingham to this point. I did not answer the one of May immediately, as I then had two letters on the way to you, and thought I would not burden you with too many communications. I am glad to learn that “thee and thine” are as favorably situated as you are, but still wish that matters were much better. As for [p.21]”me & mine,” you say the portion on that side of the “pond” are well, thank God for that, while the remaining pair here are as comfortable as heat and teething will allow. It remained quite cold here until about a week ago, when the heat burst upon us suddenly, with all the force of midsummer. Consequently my head feels somewhat queer again, while babe is bothered with her teeth. One of the lower front teeth is through, while its fellow and the two upper fronts are ready to break the skin. She gives me a “nip” occasionally forcibly reminding me that she already has one little “cracker.” Thank our Kind Heavenly Father that it is as well with us as it is. Positively I have nothing to complain of now, but feel thankful every hour that at last I have found a quiet resting place. It appeared for a time that I had most certainly been turned over to the buffetings of His Satanic Majesty, and that he was “giving it to me” good; it took all the Strength of which I was possessed to meet emergencies.
“I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clock was striking the hour
The moon rose over the city
Behind the dark Church tower.
How often, Oh! how often
I wished that the ebbing tide,
Would bear me away on its bosom
O’er the ocean wide and wild;
For my heart was hot and restless
And my life was full of care
And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.
But now it has fallen from me,
It lies buried in the Sea
And only the Sorrows of others,
Casts a Shadow over me.”27
You say I “abound in quotations.” Any one can “quote.” It requires something greater to create, barrenness of thought is, in most cases, the cause for resorting to the above method. I entered into some of the details of my little experiences in my previous [p.22]communications, because you asked me to do so dearest, but if the rehearsal makes you sad I shall cease to do it, for you have sufficient to bear now, without this additional annoyance. 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. Had I foreseen what “now is” I should never have taken the step to enthrall you, but I did it and have proven anything but a “Mascot” to you ever since. I trust the tables will turn in the “sweet bye and bye”, and that I will be able to add some small comfort to your life as a “counteractent.” (After the fashion of Jos[eph] F. [Smith], I am going to coin words too) to the much discomfort I have put you too for I like you, first class. You speak of a desire to see me back in my “native hills.” No, thanks! that’s just what “Old Nick” has been aiming at—to have me make a fizzle of the business, and return and jeopardize you more thoroughly. No sir, I have put my hand to the plough share, and I am going to plough right through thick and thin; and like Macbeth I exclaim, “Come wind, come rack! at least I’ll die with harness on my back!!” Right here, “bye the bye” let me state that that twin scare was all a farce, it has dissolved into adipose blubber-fat. Now I imagine you breathe freely again on that point. I had flattered myself, that unlike most women who had given birth to a child, I was not going to have a “pod” below; but remain as slender and genteel as in my maidenhood. “Alas! poor Yorick” the thing is developing itself, by a deposition of fatty material taking place in the loose tissue caused by the stretching process. Think what a diagnostician I am, can’t differentiate between adipose, and what Old Prof. Dunster28 would term a “fecundated Product.”29 I think I’ll have to go to college again—what say you? So now dear, I’ll not spend Christmas in “Yankee Land” as thought, providing the above condition had been realized, but remain on this continent this coming winter and next summer, at least—with this proviso—that God is willing. For I have learned with considerable meaning, that man may plan one way, while God has another. His way is the path I wish to tread, if I may only [p.23]have the privilege of knowing, and I shall submit with thankfulness of heart to His divine behests. I believe with Draper that very little in this life depends on mere “human volition,” that in spite of all our voluntary movements we are silently and resistlessly borne to a predetermined shore; or to use your favorite quotation: “There is a destiny that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will.” Of course you didn’t mean [Thomas] Huxley’s application of the sentence30 when you so gushingly made use of it in my presence at the time when you had secured your newly fledged — — — –31 She of the orange blossoms did you?
Your apostrophe to the flowers—(daisy and rose) is beautiful; of course our little treasure is a “daisy”, “she’s a darling, she’s a dumpling, she’s a duck” with slight tendencies towards a little mule, although I can’t imagine where she gets the latter propensity from? Your allusion to the rose is what Blair the Rhetorician, would term a “squinting construction”—looks more ways than one. And then you tell me you are a “blockhead” at composition; according to my way of thinking, you are a pretty sharp fellow in that line. However, I’ll not further tax your ingenuity by getting jealous, and have you imagine the necessity of framing obscure sentences, possibly in the vain hope that I might interpret, or misinterpret them into a few slightly flattering allusions to myself; on the principle perhaps, that things are prized in proportion to the difficulty experienced in obtaining them. So you make me “grub” my sweets from a sort of “camera obscura” in which you strand them. All right, old fellow—I’ll return good for evil, some day, by giving you, yours. Easy. Some of your guarded expressions remind me of the fellow—not a Mormon—who was courting two girls at the same time, and was afraid that one would show the other her letters. You don’t suspect me, do you? If so, I’ll convert your epistles into what “Alfred Swinborne Cottle”—the hero of that love story you gave me to read “Love vs. Science” termed “oxide of sentiment”— in other words, subject them to Old Diogenes “first principle”—fire! Shall I?
Mrs. Jos[eph] E.32 next month—ah!! and so the work goes on— They’re triumphs. I sometimes wonder however, how many [p.24]children would be born into the world, if the desire for offspring alone was the only incentive to the act preceding conception. 99 out of every 100 of the children born are what I would term “come by chances,” that is so far as their mortal parents are concerned—especially the mother. God, however, in His divine plan marches them into existence, irrespective of the desires of their earthly parents. Don’t misunderstand me and think that I refer to our women as opposed to the propagation of the species, or procreation—not so—for they are models in the opposite direction; doing all in their power, when they find the germ is vivified, to nurture it to maturity, strongly contrasting with the criminal practices of their Gentile Sisters. But what I mean is this—even our Sisters when they (many of them) find themselves “caught,” they wish in their hearts that it had been a “miss” instead of a “hit,” (I speak from experience) and wonder if this feeling won’t have something to do in the curtailment of the reward for “bringing forth;” much on the same principle that we, who simply tolerate polygamy because we can’t help ourselves, instead of glorifying God that we are among the privileged few, will come short. In the language of Shakespeare, it is too much like having “Greatness thrust upon us.”
Since last writing you I have visited the birthplace, place of residence of 19 years, and last resting place of the immortal poet [Shakespeare]. The town of Stratford-On-Avon is a beautiful little place, with its avenues of beech and lime trees, and the rich foliage of the English and Scotch Larch. The architecture is a wonderful commingling of the antique and the modern—a study for an artist. Most delightful of all, however is the Shakespearean Atmosphere which pervades the Whole. In visiting the haunts of this great delineator of human character, one seems to drink in the inspiration of the surroundings: the cottage in which he was born, in Henely Street, built after the old English Cottage Style; remarkable for its antiquity and wonderful state of preservation, after being subjected to the ravages of time and tourists. Everywhere—in every nook and corner is to be seen the disfigurement caused by the carving and scratching of names—a most abominable practice it appears to me, but even the renowned Sir Walter Scott could not resist the temptation, for there in true Scottonian flourish is his name cut with a diamond on one of the small window panes; said by the keeper of the house to have been done when he visited the place, at the time when he was writing [p.25]”Kennelworth” and residing at Lemington. Lemington is a fashionable resort about six miles from this place (Wolverton) and is where much of the aristocracy of England congregate. Next was the Shakespearean Museum, in apartments connected with the cottage. Everything in the collection intimately associated with the great Master: His signet ring, deeds of property, chair, desk, early editions of his writings. I noticed the second edition of “The Merchant of Venice” among them. Letters written and received by him, paintings by masters of himself, Ann Hathaway and of other relatives and friends, sections of the mulberry tree shading the window at which he used to sit and write and gain his inspiration etc. I sat in Shakespeare’s chair which is a customary act of tourists, and just then Elizabeth, in unmistakable signs declared that she wanted a “ikkle dop of titty,” so I gave her some to the amusement of a party of six from Aston, who were visiting the place at the time, and one of the ladies remarked that the child would in all probability develop Shakespearean instincts after going through so remarkable a process. Next was his place of residence of 19 years at “New Place,” the grounds are beautifully kept, and free to the public on certain days, happened so the day I was there. Nothing but portions of the foundation of the house in which he lived remains, and they are protected by a covering of wire gauze—the well and mulberry tree are considered objects of great interest. The original mulberry tree under which the poet sat perished long ago, and the one now there is said to be reared from its seed. The house now on the grounds, but built subsequent to Shakespeare’s time, contains additional relics interesting to Shakespearean students but as babe was getting heavy, I did not go in. Neither did I go through the splendid theatre and library (Shakespearean Memorial) that is now nearing completion. Last, was the last resting place in the chancel of the ancient church said to be one of England’s oldest. Did not get in the church this time, but shall go again as it is not very far from here. I came to go in this way. The lady of the house, with the rickety stairs was going home to Campden Glostershire, among the “Cotswold” hills to spend “Witsuntide,” so I either had to go with her or stay home with her husband, so I preferred the former. Campden is about 35 miles from Norton where I was staying. If I had not already “gabbed” so much I should describe some of the beautiful scenery surrounding that place. A number of us paid a shilling apiece and hired a “wagonette” and spent one whole day [p.26]riding around the country—visited ruins of buildings that Cromwell stormed, during his campaign, and right on one of the highest points of the hills where you can see over into Wales is a tall tower with solid stone columns, ancient windows and loop holes; but of all the people that I enquired of, not one could tell me by whom it was built or for what purpose, looks as if it might have been built by an army to watch the movements of an approaching enemy. ‘Tis called by the villagers the “Broadway Monument.”
When the “News” said that “dense ignorance reigned in the rural districts of England” it was right. Thanks for the Semiweekly—it is a real treat to me; but please tell Eddie to change the address to Mrs. M. Munn, Wolverton Near Stratford On Avon, England—as Uncle Tom has to forward them and I don’t wish to trouble him—and please dear, address my letters to this place. I staid five days in Gloustershire and learned thoroughly the meaning of “penny shows,” “Club Parades,” and “Boozing.” I got on one of the wooden horses of the Whirley gigs and Elizabeth with me, she was delighted out of her wits nearly, and fairly yelled when I took her off. Curiosity lead me into one of the penny shows and all the persuasion of the rustics couldn’t induce me to enter a second, until towards the close of the last day of festivity; when they told me “a new one had come”—and in listening to the verbal advertisements, the haranguer said “One of the most interesting objects in our exhibition is the life-sized bust, in wax, of Sir Garnet Woolsley.” In I goes—for Uncle Tom in looking at your photo had said it was the exact counterpart of Sir Garnet. When cousin Jesse saw it, he said the same, before I mentioned what Uncle had said—so I anticipated a real treat—sure enough there is resemblance, but darling he is not half as nice looking to me, as you are and I wrote and told Uncle so. When I returned to Norton, I felt stronger than ever, that I must get away from that barracks. Every morning the rooms were stenched with a fearful odor proceeding from the man of the house. He has been a soldier in the Indian Army and I had my suspicions, and most horrible of all, he insisted on frequently kissing little Elizabeth. Every time he did it, it made the cold chills run all over me. How to get away puzzled me, as the pair are of the low “chuck me in the gutter,” order, and as neither will work, when they can avoid it, the weekly payments I was making them counted—and I feared they would be revengeful if I spoke of leaving. Small amounts of money are considered such sums among this class of people. I prayed [p.27]earnestly to the Lord to open my way of escape—and all of a sudden they took a notion to go to London, and told me I must get another boarding place. Some acquaintances of his were going to engage in mowing in a park near London, and his wife made up her mind to go along. I did not wait but started out at once and after engaging in considerable “tramping” secured the place where I now am. There is no way of riding about these villages, and the people here think nothing of a walk of six and seven miles at a stretch. How I thank the Lord that He heard my prayer— for the people I am living with now are respectable and I am comfortable and am so thankful for the rest. As soon as I had made the change, word came that they did not require his services, so they have not gone to London. I have since learned that this same man has been laid up with the “bad disorder”, “Syphilis” three times, and joined the Indian Army in order to get away because he had two girls in the “family way.” This accounts for the bad smell I referred to. He is a regular rogue and only about thirty 3 or 4 now. Wasn’t that a nice box for me to get into?, and yet these people are the most ignorant of the ignorant except in matters of low trickery. Thank the Lord again I say for the light of the Gospel; for take the most illiterate of our people and they are intellectual as compared with the people I have come in contact with in these parts.
You say you are glad that Uncle Tom takes an interest in me—as I had written you to that effect. He is a “Keen” fellow to say the least—that is in regard to minor financial speculations, that is so far as my observation goes. I tell you it takes a person to come to England to get sharpened up a little—talk about “Yankee shrewdness”! We look for that, and there is a frankness, and “good-naturedness” associated with it that makes it tolerable; but the low cunning of some of the unsophisticated-looking English “Blokes” surpasses comprehension—although I do not class Uncle among the latter for he has a keen sharp look. I have reasons for believing that he was more interested in my thirty pounds, than in me, and as he had asked me to loan him five pounds, and the remainder of the 30 had got into his hands for safe keeping, I had to play a little “sharp practice” to get it back in consequence of which, however, he appears a little “huffed.” Anyhow I got it, and am glad of my experience and often find myself “chuckling” over it. Now don’t tell Mother—she’ll feel bad as they treated me real well at first thinking I had come from a land of gold, and that they [p.28]would make a “soft thing” out of me. Now don’t tell anybody for it’s too ridiculous to think of. I’m a perfect bat, and my confidence in humanity is wonderfully elastic. There dear forgive me, for I was not going to refer to my little experiences any more, for fear it might trouble you—and again—you do not rehearse yours to me—and why don’t you dear? Who in the world does sympathize with you, if your wives are not permitted to do so? I showed a fearful weakness at one time, on a particular subject, and I imagine you do not feel quite sure of me yet—but you will some day. So Emma and Mamie have gone off—was you the bridegroom? Or do you simply “sigh to think what might have been?” Although the former, being the case, would not surprise me much; I would not stop short of the half dozen real live ones, if I were you. I imagine you give a grim smile, and mentally ejaculate — “Yes and if her advice were carried out, it would be followed by a few human expressions on her part.”33
Now I’ll stop—’tis too late for the mail and this letter will not start until Monday. Thanks for your suggestions about Wales. I shall be delighted to go—after I have rested. I am what the people hereabout calls “Knocked up”—(tired out) after tramping about. Being on my feet too much does not agree with me yet.
Now sweet one in regards to means, I have sufficient to last me this year out, and possibly a little into next. Of course it is all spend here and I am beginning to get “fidgety” about earning something for myself—for I know you are close rum—but see no prospect of it yet. In regard to the “buggy” of course take it, but this I think a better suggestion. Sell it and use the other one for driving purposes, as it is stronger and will stand the racket much better. I had the phaeton repaired two or three times the short time I drove it. It is not strong. Now get George to sell it and save the means to buy me a new cart when I return, and you may have my buggy and welcome, also the harness. I think you will find the buggy in tolerable good running order. You see what I am fishing for—viz—a new outfit when I get back, anything short of this would not match “Roscoe” but I do not intend that it shall cost anything more than what we can make out of the old gear.34 [p.29] Tis not my intention to be extravagent in my demands upon you, as I believe ‘”Economy” to be the watchword of the hour, and I am sorry now that I am obliged to be a drain upon you—situated as you are. Oh! darling it makes me furious when I think of the cusses who are subjecting you to all this inconvenience. How is your health?—tell straight. When are you going to Mexico?35 Do not trouble about me and Elizabeth; we are going to come out O.K. in the long run. However please make our health a special matter of prayer—as I would like to get along a little faster—but still thank God that it is as well with us as it is. I am sorry that your other loved ones are enfeebled in health, and soon hope to hear of better things for you all. Please get a copy of the matter that Ann Duncanson36 wishes me to see too, as this is somewhat unintelligible. No I do not wish anything from my trunk, but would like the Woolley’s to take care of my clothing until I return. In regard to the two hundred dollars I owe Duncanson’s—Ann and I made arrangements that it was to stand as it is as long as possible, or until I return and pay it myself, as in case of Elizabeth’s death, Ann would get it for her grandchildren. Otherwise, if it goes into the general funds, Ann will only get her living allowed her, should she outlive Elizabeth. I shall have to trouble you to keep up the interest however; it was settled up to the 7th of last May. Ann told me if I would retain it she would assist with the interest. But Elizabeth must not know anything about what I have mentioned. I don’t remember whether or not the $100 you paid for me was credited on the Promissory note, if not please see to it. I left a book at Woolley’s entitled, “An Analysis of Government.” It was one that Emmeline B. Wells loaned me and I do not remember whether I asked you to return it. If not please do so. I am sorry to [p.30]trouble you darling— hiding about as you are compelled to do. How I wish I could liberate you, as it was me who got you into this trouble.
You say civilization is a failure—from some standpoints yes—but I take [Hubert Howe] Bancroft’s view of it, that it is merely a relative, not an absolute term, “looking back a thousand years, we are civilized; looking forward for the same length of time we are savages,” just so. Now my own loved one imagine yourself kissed, hugged, and a piece taken out of your ear, for were I near you right now I would bite you. Elizabeth is sleeping and I ought to be. Regards to all you dare and a sweet good-night, Maria
Near Stratford On Avon
July 30 ’86
Yours containing letter of introduction to Mrs. Brass [unidentified] and silk kerchief reached me [in] due time; as I had just before posted you a somewhat lengthy communication, I have delayed a little in answering—or writing again, as yours, of course, are answers to mine. Thank Bro W[oolley] kindly for the letter, shall make use of it if necessary, but let me ease your mind by telling you I am comfortable & happy among the great Oak and Elms—and expect to stay here until I feel thoroughly rested. Elizabeth R[achel] is doing nicely. I slapped her the other day for biting me & it was three days before she would touch it (titty) in the day time; when half asleep at night, I could, however, sneak it into her mouth. Now don’t you worry about me any more, for I tell you I am going to have smooth sailing from now on. “My lines have fallen” just where God wanted them to fall—and not without profit. Of course the “little mother” joined in sending violets, otherwise they would not have been wafted on their message of love. No I have never referred to W[illiams—Charles W. Penrose] & the Dr. [Romania B. Pratt Penrose]—only to you, and don’t you tell him too much about my affairs, of course the Dr. will hear & mentally “smile.” I tell you notwithstanding we both are considered tolerably good saints, there is an internal antipa-[p.31]thy 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. Remember what I tell you—I won’t need means until about Christmas & then send it to Liverpool, think I will run up there about then, however will instruct you further. Don’t trouble about any more silk handkerchiefs—won’t need them. Thanks for the one—I wear it myself & think of you.
I wish you were in Mexico, alone, or a portion of your family with you, or all that are on that continent—and that your finances were such that you could be making arrangements to have us all there in due time, for I see no prospect for any peace for you in the vicinity of the Dickson37 gang. My own impressions are that this thing is going to “string out” for considerable time yet. Mexico needs the Polygamists. Utah is on a firm footing & you fellows had better launch out. Whatever you do, don’t let them catch you. Even if you have to flee and leave all we women behind; we’ll follow you up in due time. Get the enclosed to Rachel [Woolley] somehow & as you can’t get about well, don’t you think I had better enclose Mother’s & other letters to Hiram38 & let him deliver them, as he can get about in [the] day. What say you? Excuse haste as I wish to post. Yours lovingly, Maria.
August 16, 1886
“Like sweet music pealing,
Far o’er the blue sea
Oft comes o’er me stealing
Sweet memories of thee“
Your pleasant communication of July 30th, reached me yesterday— and to think I have been the cause of so much anxiety to you provokes me. I am like our friend Mary E. W[oolley] at the northern farm in some respects, that is “write just as I happen [p.32]to feel at the time,” to your much discomfort I fear at times. The only consolation I find in the matter as it now appears to me, is that I have done your bidding, that is entered into details as to my feelings and surroundings—but the picture brightens my loved one, and I shall have pleasanter things to tell you after this. By the way in referring to Sister Mary W[oolley], I have received a very kind & friendly letter from her, showing such a goodly feeling that pleases me, as I feared I had been such an intolerable burden to her, that she would scarcely forget it,39 and when I think of Clara’s40 generosity, to say nothing of your own forethought & feeling I think what an unworthy one I am to be the recipient of so much kindness. Thank Clara for me & tell her I shall appreciate the kind offer as much as if I were using the means. How we poor women are misunderstood!! Simply because I offered a suggestion in reference to your sentiment of the “Rose”—”ridicule” you call it—the purport of the hint being this: that if you really thought me roselike, you might have bluntly told me so, instead of weaving the idea in such a labyrinth of uncertainty, as to make me in doubt as to whether you really meant it after all. Here you go on in a reckless manner and speak of “wife” “husband” etc. Now dear, no woman in the world appreciates those terms more than I do, but is it safe? Of course I may make use of the pleasant appellations as often as it pleases my fancy, for there is no law against women “holding out.“41 But dearest please refrain until we meet, then whisper it in my ear, and read in my eyes how I love to hear it. Please do not think me criticizing—and do not let all our discussion about the “Rose” discourage you, for I like your sentiments, they are beautiful. You have a poetic nature, and would be quite romantic with half an opportunity. Womanlike, a little jeal-[p.33]ousy crept in to suggest maybe you didn’t mean it, only consoling me a little. “It’s no advantage to be born a woman, still one gets used to it,” wrote George Eliot on one occasion. “Yes, as the eels do to skinning” remarked a London lady, “which being interpreted, means never” remarked her friend. I don’t however concur with those who think that we never become reconciled to those peculiar sorrows and trials which are the heritage of women. I myself, in the language of Phil Robinson,42 have “sounded the heights and depths of human emotion” and have now paddled off into “the shallows of contentment,” and feel quite happy—but enough “twaddle” in the phraseology of Uncle Tom. Elizabeth Rachel is doing nicely, has four teeth, creeps all over the place, and pulls her self up by chairs. I was obliged to lance her upper teeth in order to save my nipple. I was afraid it would be minus one of these days. My own health seems to be taking a turn to get on a solid footing. There have been short periods since I have been here when I have felt quite exhilarated, only to be followed by a corresponding depression—which is a marked symptom of uterine trouble “up & down.” I was on the eve of consulting with an able physician in our adjoining parish in reference to treatment, but if I continue to improve, shall not do so. My head is a great deal better, when I let reading alone—which I have done, and am now busying myself with sewing—making babe & myself some winter clothing. Don’t have any fears regarding our “clamming”—as I am not one of that kind, as long as I can get about and have means to pay for. I only suggested the idea in case that Twin operation took place, and my opinion of English people, and English living, that time was not good. Among the peasantry the living is poor, while the drinking is fat, or as much as their means will allow for the latter, and more. I was afraid if laid up, that they would give me poor rations. Now laugh wasn’t that crossing the bridge before reaching it, and worrying you into the bargain? I anticipated your suggestion about “keeping something on hand,” and have ordered a quart of milk daily for babe and I, and it comes good. Baby is getting fat in the midst of teething. I appreciate your efforts to secure dear father [James [p.34]Patton Paul, Mattie’s step-father] work, as having been in regular employment for 12 or 14 yrs, and thrown out suddenly & unexpectedly, they felt it keenly, although I looked for the change, on account of father’s years. However I have no idea of seeing either of my parents coming to want, as I know it is the feeling of their children who are able, to assist them when necessary. And while I am glad to see you interested in securing dear father work, as I know he will be much more happy if employed. Still, do not allow their circumstances to distress you, as I know, although you heroically conceal it, that you have enough of your own to bear. I am glad to learn that Lewis [one of Angus’s sons] is going to the B[righam] Y[oung] Academy, as no doubt the spiritual influences are of a superior order there. I was much amused with Williams & the Dr’s discussion in reference to “organized & unorganized matter,” & any sympathies were rather with the latter, but don’t tell W. Am glad you allow a margin on the stories you hear about [Ellen B.] Ferguson43 for I veritably believe she is making an effort to do better since she joined our people than she ever did before. The fact of the matter is, she is a smart woman, & that is a great fault in the eyes of some people. As a rule smart people are cranks on some points, & we look for them to “get off the handle” now & then. Glad H[iram] B. C[lawson] is doing a good work in the negotiation line. Give him the love of a “Little Sister” as he used to style me while under his protecting wing—and tell him to shield as thoroughly from the buffetings of the “Board”—Mrs. Whipple—but this advice is scarcely necessary if my surmises are correct. Remember me kindly to Clara, [and] the Srs. Duncanson’s. I will write the old ladies a letter if you say so, and tell Sister [Eliza R.] Snow44 that I love her and that nothing ever received from loving friend was appreciated more than her kind “God bless you.” You are charitable in your remarks about Emmeline [B. Wells] as is your practice in speaking of God’s children, whatever their failings. I learn from it a lesson. Human actions, good & bad—especially the bad, are exaggerated in my mind, and I love to dissect, examine and hold them up to view—[p.35] to my own detriment I fear at times, and certainly no benefit to the individuals thus treated.
Well dear what can I say to please you. I can’t describe anything or anybody, for I haven’t been anywhere lately, the realm of the imagination, or the domain of minor philosophy would be the next resort, but neither of us have time for a trip of this sort now. Glad you are “fat & sleek”—that’s what I like. The 24th programme45 was “Apropos” to the times. The papers have not reached me yet. If all goes well in a little over 12 months from now I expect to have visitations from one of those flitting angels that “come & go & are seen only by the faithful.” I can also truthfully say that I am truly glad that I have a partner to help me keep the wings on your back, for the wonderful feat of converting a man into an angel, on terra firma, is more honor than one little woman could well hold up under; and although the two “stars” are somewhat unequally yoked, one of great, one of lesser magnitude, or one big-tall, the other short—still I fancy they will “gibe” first class. Now you see I can’t let a letter go without giving you a “dig” about the things that worried me. Yes it did worry me—for at the time, and under the circumstances which it took place. The very act itself, caused me to imagine a diminution on your part of love for me. I know now it was only imagination—and convalescing women after childbirth are super-sensitive, and think they must be dealt with very gently.
“Now it has fallen from me
It lies buried in the sea
And only the sorrows of others
Cast a shadow over me—”
[p.36]I love you—you are my champion & if you took 40 others, I’d still love you, & my greatest desire is to make you a fine loving wife. Remember me nicely to George46 XXXX
Look all the time for a letter from dear mother have only 1
Aug 29th ’86
My Own Loved One:—
“Thou who are quick to do the right
And swift the wrong to flee,
And if thou were not half so bright
Thou art all the world to me”
How is that for “thou?” I believe I am something like the woman, who said “the longer her husband was away the better she liked him.” Don’t misinterpret it. Having answered your letter of July 30, somewhat hurriedly, I will pen a few additional lines now. I suppose you also perceive that I read the 24th of July programme hastily also—as I caught the idea that it referred to the Presidency of the Stake as “angels” flitting hither & thither and “seen only by the faithful”, and was eager to soothe myself with the unction that I had been one of the primary causes in bringing about the metamorphosis in One. You’ll pardon the jest darling. My mind reverts to a remark of the “News.” that “any fool can ridicule.” I notice that the programme says the visits of the brethren are “like those of angels” etc. The papers have arrived. Uncle T[om]. retains them lengthily; wouldn’t care if he would read them, but he won’t. Glad you have changed the address. Have read some of the effusions of the G[rand]. A[rmy of the]. R[epublic]. “Let the heathen rage.” We’ll have ample work to worship God. How are thee and thine? Remember me kindly to those who know of my whereabouts. You may know I am overcoming my jealousy for I remember them all in my petitions to God. Elizabeth is a little “limp” again. More teeth ahead—noth-[p.37]ing serious. I expect this up and down movement in health, so long as the present process is going on. I am decidedly better, walking—with moderation, does not annoy me as formerly. Parties at Liverpool, informed one going by the name of Mrs. “Burch” “undergrounder” [unidentified] that I was in Birmingham giving her my No. as I left it there in case a letter from you should be directed to that point, at that time. I have several times received letters from her urging me to go to London & “do” the sights with her, which as often I excused myself, deeming babe’s & my own physical condition sufficient grounds to keep me out of the large city during the heat. Later came another letter from the same party stating that a second one47 was there in the “depths of the blues” and was all anxious to see me, and then a letter from the distressed one, she is the particular friend of the party we thought to accompany me—a year ago the 17th of last Mar. The gentleman has been here and stayed two months so the lady writes me. Now she writes that if I will go and stay a week she will pay my expenses. I have written her and she seems to feel better, is waiting for word from home & has decided upon a plan which if thought advisable, will return her to the Rocky Mts. this fall. Parties from Liverpool have been in London recently & tell her that I am as “cheerful & jolly as ever”. They only saw me when I landed in the Smokey City, and carry the impression that I like the business; they didn’t know my feelings in the grassy lane the latter part of May, but it was not anything associated with underground work that produced them taking the work “all in all” I don’t mind it. It’s all in the programme. Nor was “the world a sucked orange” to me even then, as I sat in my “voiceless woe.” I felt the influence of, rather than perceived, a glimmering of something in the future, I knew not what, that bade me hope. Perhaps it was the foreshadowing of your “inspiration” that we “should yet have many, many happy days in each other’s society.” Notwithstanding I then thought or fancied you cared but little for me—a sort of practical love—a most maddening thing to one who places a high estimate on genuine affection, affinity, congeniality etc. Now grimly smile and resort to Jos. E. [Taylor]’s philosophy and conclude that “woman is a creature of impulse” as distinguished from her stronger brother in whom reason predominates. She a sort of mercurial [p.38]compound, he the surrounding media causing her to rise and fall alternately—reflecting his smiles or his frowns. But I’m getting aside from what I started out to tell you, & one from the above would think perhaps that you had sort of “snubbed” me, but no, you have been a jolly good fellow—and it was all my own “miserabilization” as Mrs. Parsons of Hospital fame, used to style any unfortunate proceeding. Pet, its money I’m after, have received another letter from London since beginning this, and if I don’t go there, the lady will be here, and as there is not sufficient in the way of accommodation I think I had better go, besides there is a cheap excursion there on Monday which will allow a visit of five days. I enclose a bill. I would not think of staying there for any length of time as from what I can judge, I am better off in the rural districts, from a health standpoint at least, financial also, probably. Now dear, I made an estimate some time ago regarding money matters, & stated I had sufficient to do me until about Christmas, at my present rate of expenditure; but this trip being a little departure from the original programme the means won’t “spin out until the holidays,” as I shall want to see all I can while in London as perhaps I won’t have another opportunity. I know I shall enjoy the trip. So when you get this, please forward me a check to Liverpool so as to insure my not getting short— and I can instruct them from that point as to how I shall obtain it. Fifty dollars or thereabouts will do for the present. I’m sorry I have to call on you, for I know you have considerable outlay, but I’ll pay you back every cent, interest and all, in the “sweet bye & bye”. As you rather infer that I am a sort of Mascot (in a fashion) so I will do all in my power to prove a “lucky button” to you after all. Tell my dearest mother I’ll go wild if she don’t write to me, I have only had one solitary letter from her since I left home, and it is now five months lacking a few days. I have written to her a number of times as you know. Remember me kindly [to] those of your family who know & Srs. Duncanson, tell them I will write them a letter, if you think it safe. Have written to Mother respecting items pertaining to kindred in Wales & look for a reply—tell her to hurry. Darling I’m afraid I did not thank you for the handkerchiefs—they are very nice, and I will make good use of them. Now don’t forget that I love you hard—the excursion starts in the morning & I must lay Elizabeth’s things ready—good night & sweet kisses to the one that I love best of all,
Please give the enclosed to mother—she will see that Mary gets hers. We are doing nicely. My health is much better than it was. Mrs. Hull48 begins to think that maybe it is not so again what she mistook for “quickening,” she says she “believes [it] was only wind.” I have examined her since she made the above statement & find the “enlargement” somewhat flabby—more like adipose. She has become robust since coming here, won’t this relieve Hull?
Sept. 4 ’86
My Own Dear Lover:—
I wish I could call you by your first name as none other in the world is more beautiful or musical to me. However must wait. Returned from London last night. The train we came on did not come direct to our station—we found out too late, so we had to get off at Leamington about 9 miles from here & either take a vehicle to this point or wait for the late train which would have thrown us until about midnight. It was chilly & damp and babies & selves tired, so we resorted to the former—a closed carriage, & got here nicely at a reasonable hour. Elizabeth delighted beyond measure to get back to the rural cottage in the country, and me to find a letter awaiting me from you, bearing date Aug 14. You say you like “bites” all right, please prepare yourself for an attack when we return. Dear Mother shall not express sadness if long letters from her little wayward daughter will dispell it, as my head is much better now, and writing does not hurt it as formerly. A letter from her bearing date Aug. 15 reached me this morning, which I was very glad to receive, it is the second from her since I left home, but she promised not to delay so long again. If you ever refer again to a possible (?) feeling in my parents, as making you ashamed, on account of some imaginary deprivation [p.40]you fear you have subjected them too, you and I shall fight; and as I fear it would be a sort of “when Greek met Greek” business, we had better not precipitate matters in that direction. 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. As to the Profession, the “interruption” you speak of has given me time & leisure to reflect and therefore to “choose the better part,” that is to “practice what I know” allowing impericism to rush on in its reckless and what I would term illegitimate course. Do not misunderstand, & think I am beginning to depreciate the profession, not so, for I think it one of the noblest in the world—when rightly followed. It was a perversion of the practice that Christ referred to. I will explain myself more thoroughly at some future time. I rejoice with you, that God is making Himself manifest in your behalf in assisting you to so nobly magnify your calling, a judge in Israel49 is not an irresponsible position, and I say God be praised for the manner in which you have been aided. How is your health my loved one & that of your family? My health is most markedly improved—as I am able to judge from the racket I went through in London. Fell into the error of most sightseers, too much in too short time. However I had a most enjoyable time, and when a little more rested will tell you all about it. Did not escape falling into the hands of the Philistines however—these a family going by the name of [Latter-day] Saints; [named] Cross [unidentified], he a saddler by trade, they had got our friend (of Logan memory) [Mrs. Hull] tightly within their clutches and was just roping the “shiners” sovereigns out of her—and fancied she was too meagerly versed in London sharp practice to perceive it. In this they were mistaken, but her little delicate baby claiming all her attention she deputized me to settle her bill, and get her [p.41]away from there. When they found she was going they were simply furious & refused to settle with me, stating the initiary arrangements were made with her, and the settlement should be also. Their object was to throw her into an excitement, on the supposition that two or three pounds would be thrown into their “itching palms” as a “peace offering.” I however made short work of it by stating, that the lady was too ill to make the settlement, and had authorized me to do so—which I was willing to do as soon as they signed the receipt. If they preferred leaving the matter until some future occasion, the matter rested with themselves, and as we left on the 3:30 train, there was no time to parlay words. They came to terms, & then didn’t I get it—”bold adventuress …. most damnably independent,” “a brazen insultor” are a few of the epithets indulged in, while the gentleman of the house said if “I was a specimen of Utah women, they had had enough! and wasn’t going to travel seven thousand miles to come in contact with such a gang.” Somehow it didn’t affect me a particle, I was eating a mutton chop while the above was set forth, and chewed it complacently. As a send off, just as we were entering the hack, they called us “miserable exiles.” Now this is a place, from what I can learn that many of our people put up at, Williams can tell you of the gracious smiles & kind greetings he received there. From what they state they created a charming impression in him. As the Lord lives, they are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and our people must be careful how they indulge in confidences. The postman cometh so I must close, & Elizabeth is worrying on my lap. We are all comfortable and happy now. I enjoyed my trip first class. Remember me kindly to loved friends—and the deepest love I ever experienced for yourself. Will answer dear Mothers letter tomorrow. Bye bye. Many, many kind thoughts & imaginary kisses.
From the enclosed you see I still choose you for my carrier, and will not press Hiram into the service if it does not burden you. Have written you a series of short notes lately which I do [p.42]not desire you to notice separately. Do not think I will be offended if you do not write to me often as I am certain that the multiplicity of your labors leaves you brief time for letter writing. The High Council work alone is enormous. You say I will probably hear of Seymour [B. Young]’s whereabouts. Have not heard yet, but can imagine. Can also fancy the delight of the lady—perhaps.50 You say “above other places you would desire a mission to Europe.” I can picture circumstances that would justify a desire of that kind, for instance, supposing your services at home could be readily dispensed with or that your place could be easily & competently filled by another and that the “harvest was ripe and the laborers few” on this continent. To the contrary, I think there are few men free to take your place, & still fewer in possession of the necessary experience & qualifications. Again matters here are reverse from the lines in the hymn. The laborers are many & the harvest is slim. Also were you in immediate danger of your liberty (such as it is) and it was necessary for you to “slope” the U.S., then Europe would be as good as any other place. None of the above conditions existing, dispell the thought. I know of a desire of this kind that was foolishly carried out, and which ended disastrously. The parties participating could rehearse some woeful experiences, did they wish. I can realize the necessity of your taking a rest. You are working hard, but a shorter excursion than crossing the ocean would answer equally well, & better. As for me I have no desire to see you here pet, for the simple reason that you would not be here 24 hours before you would catch the “blues”; it is a wonderfully “blues” producing country, at least that is the effect it has upon (“Miserable exiles” as the good Latter-day Saint of No. 22 Mount Pleasant, Coldbath Square, London styles them.) It’s bad enough to have women around you that have the malady, a man down with them would be simply intolerable. Besides the thing is catching.
Now dearest—I must not take up your time with jests. I only intended to write a few lines to thank you to carry or send [p.43]the enclosed. All other things being favorable, I would have no desire for you to spend the means to come & see me. As the time won’t be long now, and I want all the pleasure of meeting saved until the last. Our friend of Logan recollection is with me, & I think feels somewhat better in spirit. Elizabeth & I are all right, and send you our united love. Mrs. Hull, the above mentioned lady, also sends kind love.
Yours forever, Maria
Trusting you are well and happy I hastily pen a few lines to repeat the request I made just before leaving for London, in reference to means. Simply duplicating the statement for fear the first might miscarry in which case I would be thrown short of money. London expenses running up somewhat higher than they do here, the amount on hand will not hold out until Christmas, so I wrote you to forward about fifty dollars on receipt of my letter of I believe Aug. 29—which I trust carried O.K. Elizabeth is cutting her teeth very well, four through, four additional ones swelling the gums. Yesterday was her birthday, and Mrs Hull & babe, myself & Elizabeth Rachel hired a trap & drove to spend the day among the ruins of Kennelworth Castle, what a history connected with, & what romance & tragedy clusters around the ancient pile—Have you read Scott’s Kennelworth? The distance there & back to this point is 25 miles. It was a gala day for us all. Mrs. Hull anxiously awaits a letter from her lover, perhaps summonsing her back to the City of the Lake. He is supposed to have reached that point by this time & if matters look tolerably safe will send for her—upon the arrival of which news steam cannot carry her quick enough. If it is thought unwise for her to return yet; she will stay by me—providing I will move to some point less lonesome than this, which was my intention before winter thoroughly set in. The country air is doing her babe good which contents her for the time being. Hunting moderate priced lodging places in England isn’t the most desirable occupation—as related by some of our women who are perambulating the country. One a Mrs. B. who arrived a month or so later than myself sails on the 16 of [p.44]next, thoroughly disgusted with Eng. so she states. People are somewhat loathe to accommodate women with babies especially when the latter have the diarrhea. If I am alone I will write to Mrs. Brass in London & see what arrangements I can make with her for the winter. If Mrs. Hull remains we will secure a place together; that is rooms & board and selves in some town probably Leamington near Warwick which is a nice little place. I am of the opinion that the folks at Liverpool have the best. Better lodgings, that is a good sized room in the office and better food for a much lower price than we have been able to secure elsewhere. I look back and picture those girls as always having things pretty easy. Still they are far from happy under the present circumstances. Stating to me when I saw them that they cried half their time.51 We women are figity things any way of course. It reminds me of when we were at London Station. One of the station men told me what time our train would leave. Shortly after noticing that a number of trains were preparing to leave somewhere near the same time I began to enquire which was ours when the same man observed me & stepping up remarked “I told you when your train was due, & what’s the use of your figiting around that way for.” Yes Sir, you told me when due, but not what train, & I propose “figiting around” until I find out—with that he laughed & said if we would look after the babies he would take care of the satchels & help us to board when the train was ready which [he] did very nicely. Now pet, excuse this blotting, pen is poor this time. You sometimes ask me to overlook mistakes. Do likewise with me if I use words inappropriately, as I don’t believe there is a dictionary in the whole village. I notice that the D[eputy]. M[arshall]’s are doing the “vigorous” the other side of Jordan [River]—endeavoring to discover luminous bodies “Evening Stars”, or a Star—Perhaps—or probably trying to surprise the cuckoos in their nest. It is needless for me to say look out. I trust you are sharp enough for [p.45]that.52 Mrs. H[ull] sends love, so does your set orb. Don’t shine any more have twinkled out.
Please give enclosed letter to Clara—
My Own Loved One:—
Returning last eve from one of those not altogether pleasant campaigns of hunting a new boarding place, I was pleased to find your letter of the 2d inst. awaiting me. Its startling contents I was prepared for, as the items in the “News” though guarded in expression, were sufficient to give me an insight as to what was transpiring, though why you sought to couple my name with the proceeding, is not just clear to me, as I am thoroughly assured it cut no figure whatever in the matter.53 The “Big fish” you well know was the desired prey, and if, to cover up whose tracks you introduced the “small fry” appears a little incongruous to me. Besides you must remember that I have played my part in that little game, and its hardly fair to “lug” me into other people’s circuses, if only in name. I am thankful however that they did not find the “certain parties” they were in quest of, and would add, by all means “stand by your post“, so long as you are certain God desires it. No one would be more ready to second such a stand, than myself, knowing your feelings on the subject; but to learn of your being [p.46]caught would be a great shock to my feelings, as I can painfully realize how little justice or mercy would be shown you. However faith in God is the requisite for these times, and He certainly does exert a watchful care over you, or you could not play for so long a time, the game of “Box & Cox” with the deputies without colliding. I am gratified to learn of Bro. Geo. Q. Cannon’s relief of mind in having his bond settled; ’tis a matter the brethren should have seen to earlier, if it has been a source of anxiety to him; and also pleased to hear that you made glad the heart of your sister by sending her a comfortable buggy, and that the one you are using answers your purpose. The harness, however, I fear you will find as delicately constituted as the phaeton, so look to it that it don’t leave you in the lurch some dark night. Thanks for your promise to get me an outfit. One year from next Spring, if I foresee things aright, will be the time I anticipate taking my little daughter [on] a beautiful drive in it, while I joyously sing:
“I breathe once more my native air,
And hail each happy, happy scene,
That rises round me everywhere
As though I left but yestereen.
Oh! how I love you Utah dear.
When roaming on a foreign strand,
In fancy still my heart was here
Home of my youth, my native land.”
I can hardly wait when I think of it. I can picture you, my loved one, battling in the foremost ranks of Israel, contending inch by inch for the right, while I am having equally as hard a struggle with Self. I would a thousand times “rather fight in the van where danger is the thickest, than lurk in the shadows of obscure monotony.” God knew what would try me most, and so says “pass under the rod.” But don’t read this to anybody—I am too proud to hang my sorrow upon my sleeve for the unthinking world to gaze upon and misconstrue. Do not misunderstand me and think that I regret my experience, to the contrary, I am learning my most valuable lessons from it as dear Sister [Eliza R.] Snow predicted. Please give her my kindest love and best wishes. She is my model, and while I never expect to attain to her goodness, I shall still be found striving for it. The genuine pleasures of life are as few as the oases in the desert; ’tis this that [p.47]distinguishes earth from heaven, where in the latter place, I imagine them to be continuous. I revel with all the delight peculiar to susceptible natures while “sounding the heights of human emotion” while in the “depths” I find profounder knowledge. I thank a kind Providence for the joys I have experienced, and those that I still possess, while I do not fret for those that elude my grasp.
“Pleasures are like poppies spread
You seize the flower—its bloom is shed,
Or like the snow flake in the river,
A moment white—then lost forever
Or like the Boreahs race that flit ere you can point their place
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form—vanishing amid the storm.”54
Of course the quotation refers to the transient pleasures of life, while there are lasting pleasures pertaining to the eternities & known only to the Saints. ‘Tis these eternal principles that I have probably too casually studied, taking a somewhat realistic view of the matter, and looking upon life as the machinery that had considerable to do with the two great realms, the past & future. I have busied myself principally with its concerns—fancying—perhaps wrongly so—that too much dwelling on our future stage of existence savors of age. And now that I have almost reached my thirtieth year, I naturally avoid any subject having an atmosphere of “decline” about it. Varied as is humanity, we are all God’s children. & ’tis this very element that makes His creations so beautiful. And all kinds of people go to make up the Kingdom of God as well as a world—from the idealist to the realist, from the devout “Obediah” who wore the knees of his breeches out praying one severe winter, to his practical little wife, who kept the wolf from the door by industriously plying the cambric needle. But enough of this kind of philosophy—our little daughter is “proclaiming her presence.” Glad to hear of the success of your son Lewis, at the Academy & trust he will yet attain greater results. Rejoice with Sarah & Mina in the reunion with Abram.55 I [p.48]experienced a similar delight once—not with Abram. You vividly portray the “signs of the times” & none but the blind in spirit can fail to see them. Sorry you had such an “Egyptian darkness” sort of a trip to the north. Joseph56 might have brought the book & so saved you. Should have liked to “bunked” with you for the night in the desirable “now”, and also listened to your animated description or rehearsal of the “topics of the times.” Sitting up until one o’clock in the morning, I don’t think would make my back & head ache like it used to. Glad to hear of J. & C’s success & of the lovely Lisadore.57 Hope Clara enjoys herself in those rooms better than I did ungrateful “wench” that I am—”wench” means “girl” here in rural England. I think that Old fool Dyer58 will have to employ more than 50 aides to find our brethren. Tell my lovely mother I should very much like another letter from her & one from Sister Melle [unidentified], and please give my love to your Clara, & tell her to write me all the gossip. Kind regards to all Woolleys. Glad that Mary and John [Woolley] are comfortable in their little home. If I have written unnaturally as E[liza] R. S[now] remarked then I have felt unnatural, for I write as I feel. Mrs. Hull sends kind love & I send oceans of it, if you can imagine such a thing while Elizabeth won’t stand it another minute. Take precious care of your precious self for my sake— Maria
Yours of the 9th inst. has just reached me. The sad news it contained was “fareheralded” in the News.59 As each paper ar-[p.49]rived I would nervously tear off the wrapper, fearing to see something betokening danger to yourself, but had matters come to the worst in regard to the deputies capturing you, it would not have depressed me more, than in reading of what took place at the Sunday service, like all who heard, I wept. Surely if human suffering & sacrifice atones for sin, then he who stood up and confessed not only to thousands, but to the world, will be forgiven. The effort required to thus confess, notwithstanding the act that occasioned it, exhibited a courage that none but those in possession of a high type of manhood could put forth. I would not palliate wrong doing, but I know that there is an eternal justice that will be meted out to all. The same act, apparently, may be committed by two individuals and yet the mode of chastisement vastly different in the two cases. ‘Tis the intent preceding the act that God also takes into consideration in these cases. I can see a wide difference between adultery as committed by one like Albert Carrington,60 and a young man of hitherto unblemished character, and who had twice asked for the woman he loved; and it appears to me that it is only a matter of time and self abnegation that is essential to a total forgiveness & restoration to fellowship, assisted by the prayers & supplications of the Saints. While thousands weep for father and son, let them not fail to extend the same charity and sympathy to mother and daughter,61 least they fall into the error that is a burning shame to the face of Christianity, where the “mis-step” of the brother receives no severer appellation than “wild oats,” which is soon forgotten, while his sister is branded for life and bears the burden of her misfortune alone. If I judge aright, as you have not told me, then the mother needs doubly supporting, for in the circumstances that have transpired [p.50]she mourns the wreck of happiness (for the time being) of her only earthly treasures. I remember long years ago, writing in my diary of “how my heart ached for her” as she stood grief stricken by the flower-strewn bier of her lovely daughter Emma,62 but to use your words in the tabernacle, her “feelings on that occasion must have been heavenly as compared with those of the present time.” I am young in experience, but can realize something of a mothers feelings. May peace & comfort come into her heart. John Q. [Cannon] by following the advice of his noble father, the sublimity of which stands unsurpassed, has gained the sympathy of the people. The rest remains with himself.
You speak beautifully of how “you should prize visiting the places of historic renown” that this venerable land affords; also the “grassy lanes” & listening to the “sweet songsters, & breathing the fragrance of the many modest & regal flowers.” Yes, dear there is pleasure and profit in it, a certain kind of profit—but you would soon tire of it. Accustomed to jostle in the busy world, and dealing constantly with the affairs of men—you would, if long contained, find it monotonous. Besides when separated from home & friends, the country has a sort of God-forsaken feeling about it. Do not think me inappreciative, of all that is to be learned in this time-honored country. To the contrary, I lose no opportunity to learn, see & enjoy all that my strength & pocket will permit. You say you “would carry Elizabeth were you here.” That would be a comfort as I have ascended some of the highest towers & descended into some of the darkest dungeons of England with the little bunch of living, breathing humanity in my arms, and found it genuine hard work, at least it made my back ache fearfully. I shall have to tell you of my latest experience in a dungeon with a handsome young man for a guide. It was down such a series of dark steps that I almost felt frightened—strange I should feel thus with so handsome & gallant a companion. Last Saturday (24) at noon I started for Leamington, a town about nine miles from here to meet a lady who had promised to make me a dress, reaching Warwick I remembered she had stated she would not be in until half-past 8 pm so I decided to visit Warwick Castle. I had left Elizabeth in good hands and so felt free for a time. [p.51]This ancient hill, Warwick Castle, is said to be “the finest monument of ancient and chivalrous splendour which remains uninjured by time” and many writers have sung its praises63 … But my old Duck, I won’t weary you. The above, however, is but a smattering of the valuable things in this hoary castle. The grounds surrounding the castle, cover a thousand acres and are beautifully kept. The greenhouse is interesting on account of its containing the celebrated “Warwick Vase” models of which are to be seen in all the prominent museums throughout the Kingdom. It is a wonderfully preserved, and magnificent specimen of Grecian Art, and was discovered in a lake, near Adrain’s Villa, at Tivoli and was purchased from Sir Wm Hamilton Ambassador to the court of Naples. It is of white marble & will hold 161 gals. We finally ascended “Guy’s Tower” 130 ft above the level of the ground and 150 above that of the river. The sight that here met our gaze I shall never forget. Nor can I describe it. “Entrancing” somewhere approaches the idea. I was in Paradise, the landscape was enchanting, the breeze at this elevation stiff and bracing. My eyes feasted my heart danced; then I turned to the west, and my thoughts wandered far away to you. A sort of dreamy spell had come over me; arousing myself I was alone—the party gone. I wended my way down the warm stone steps, the merry voices of the tourists were hushed, and I heard nothing but the echo of my own foot fall. Reaching the inner court again, I approached a guide and remarked that I should like to visit the dungeons; he pointed out a path and said at the end I should find a guide who would conduct me to them, ’twas here I met the handsome young man as mentioned at the beginning of this letter. As we proceeded & it got darker & deeper (the stairs) I began to question in my mind whether it was “the properest thing to do” to go down there alone with this fine fellow—but coming to the conclusion that when once in a scrape, there is as much danger in attempting to turn back as in facing the thing—I proceeded. But such cogitations were folly in the extreme, for he was a gentleman in every respect and took particular pains to point out the inscriptions on the wall by aid of the feeble light. However I felt easier when I breathed once more the atmosphere of the upper world. After thus “doing” the Castle, it threw me late for Leamington, [p.52]and consequently late for the return train, reaching the depot at 6 p.m. I was informed that there would be no train for Claverdon until halfpast nine o’clock. Claverdon station is about a mile and a half from Wolverton, a very long mile & a half I should call it, but there is no nearer station. I learned that there would be a train for “Hatten” at a quarter to seven, so I decided to take it & walk the distance of five miles to Wolverton. I thought then I would get home sooner than if I waited for the 9:30 which would have thrown me until nearly eleven p.m. before I reached home. My breasts were already “tingling” warning me that Lizzie wanted “titty.” I reached Hatten soon after seven; the night was black as ink, the drizzle had already set in. I approached a station boy and spoke in an undertone asking him to please’ tell me which lane to follow for Wolverton. There were a number of the British Red Coats about the platform, and I [did] not care for them to hear my enquiry, least some of them should conceive the idea to follow, & “skeer” me a bit. The boy looked somewhat astonished at me, and said “they don’t go by the lanes for a long way to Wolverton, but through the fields, but you’ll have to take a lantern to find the styles and get around the pits.” Pits are sinks in the ground and filled with drainage water—some are quite deep & what we would call ponds. The boy’s answer did not seem very encouraging. So I approached one of the railroad men, and asked him which would be the best way for me to reach Wolverton, he said “Why you don’t mean to go there to-night, you will never find the way in the world.” I replied I must, as I had a young baby at home. He said “it was the longer route by the lanes, but the only way for me to go, then there was danger of my missing the road, as the houses were few & far between.” I started—and wended my way along the black lane, anticipating every moment to meet with some real or imaginary danger. Nearing one of the crossroads I observed a dark figure, which proved to be a woman & enquiring which way to turn, she said it was a very lonesome part of the road which I was about to traverse as it passed through a dark wood, a much shorter cut would be through the fields. She said she was looking for her husband to come home, and would take me through the worst part & put me on the right path again. It was so dark that we could see but a short distance ahead of us but she was familiar with the road or path, so we went over Styles through fields & around pits, then she directed & left me. I had only two pence in change with me, but she seemed quite satisfied [p.53]with it. The lady told me the only danger might be “poachers” who prowl about that section with nets to entangle their game, some or most of them are after the “rough” or “tough” style. I hurried on & gained the road and was soon at the “Red Horses,” an inn from which point I knew my way thoroughly, as we pass this point in going to my former lodging place of the “rickety Stairs.” I was soon within a mile from the cottage where I live, when I observed a second dark figure—these were the only persons I saw during the tramp, it being a stormy night not many pedestrians abroad. This proved to be “Grand-pa” as I call him, Jesse Twyman’s father, my mother’s uncle by marriage. The old gentleman is upwards of 70 years—of most primitive address & simple manners, and I had learned to look upon him as one of the most unobtrusive, sedate & quiet old gentlemen in the world, interested in nothing further than his daily labor in the fields. As I approached, I recognized him & remarked “Good evening Grandpa, What brings you out to-night? …. Well ba that you,” with that he stepped up and gave me one of the soundest huggings & kissings I ever had in my life. When released & standing a moment to recover breath—if the old “schooner” didn’t repeat the process. When disenthralled I asked, what’s the matter? “Why Jesse ba hurt & I am going to borrow some oil to rub his back—a heavy bag fell on him—else I would tak thee home.” Thank you, goodnight & I hurried on. I was surprised to say the least. I do not go to Twynam’s very often as I have discovered that Emma is of a strangely jealous disposition especially has this shown itself since her child has been born, and she can’t bear her husband to notice with favor any other child. He however had taken quite a liking to Elizabeth before his own was born, and any approach to caressing bestowed upon her by him since, would almost make “Pem”—or Emma frantic, so much so that she could not hide her displeasure. Particularly did she also dislike to have him interested in asking me questions about America, etc. So to avoid trouble I seldom go and then only when I know Jesse is at his work. He is a good, honest country boy, and no doubt thinks it strange that I do not call more often, but his spouse will probably frame some excuse, I am sorry for this, as I feel I could assist her in various ways. Then the thing appears so ridiculous too—but so it is. Well I reached home all right, but tired and highly amused with my experiences with grand-pa. I have not told Mrs. Hull yet about it, but will read her this portion of the letter & see her hurt [p.54]herself laughing— she has seen the old gentleman. I think he must have been seized with a temporary fit of insanity, his embrace was terrific. How is this for detailing—don’t attempt to wade through it until you are cornered & have nothing else to do. I did not explain in my last why I was looking up another boarding place. The floors of this cottage are brick except where I sleep up stairs but there is no fire up there, so every time I let the little girl out of my arms she catches cold, in spite of the extra bundling I subject her little bottom to, then she don’t like to be hampered about the legs, as she is a regular cricket for getting around. Then as the cold weather is approaching the bedclothing is somewhat meager—so I thought I would either have to purchase a piece of carpet & more bed clothes or secure another boarding place with better accommodations. It did very nicely during the summer time. Elizabeth rather enjoyed the cool brick sensation to her lower extremities then. Mrs. Hull is similarly situated in an adjoining cottage, but her little baby is improving so wonderfully in health since coming here, I think she is becoming reconciled to every other condition. Then her child is young yet & does not get on to the floor. At first she wanted to get me right away from here, she thought it decidedly dreary etc & tried to get me to consent to cross the ocean this fall, but I fancy I am converting her & so we stay. Another thought, we have secured coal and have arranged to have fires in our own rooms & so do nicely for the present. I have been in this house over three months now. The people are poor, honest sort of folk & have taken quite a fancy to our little daughter—that they can know nothing of. Recollect these things, and do not place me at a disadvantage.
Old Nick [Satan] is doing his best from the “doings” in Zion. I have received a hint of much “goings on there,” that receives no stronger deprecatory term than “Queer,” for the present—but so sure as the Lord lives, these “smearings” will be brought to the surface & receive the appellation more appropriate to them—damnable!!
Now good One, peace be with you commend me to my dear parents & tell mother when convenient, to write me. Also remember me to such kind friends that know of my banishment
I am as ever,
Your “Lone Star.”
[p.55]”The star that sets, will rise again!
But the star that falls, is lost forever”
Please class me among the set orbs.
[Enclosed with previous letter]
Oct. 1 — 86
Having failed to hail the postman, so as to secure stamps, [I] have delayed in mailing your letter. How are you by this time? The ordeal you passed through in the tabernacle was surely the most trying one of your life.64 Elizabeth is a little delicate but nothing serious. Mrs. Hull is just made happy with a lovely letter from her “Bow” as he styles himself. She has one of the sweetest little blue-eyed girls in the world and sends her kind love to you.
Draper, the author, in alluding to the ineffective part that “human volition” plays in the “finale” of human affairs would have his sentence understood thus: that “in spite of all our voluntary movements” (to the contrary) “we are silently and resistlessly borne to a predetermined shore.” You make use of the quotation as “appropos” to your transactions in a particular matter, but pardon me if I fail to see the “fitness” of the application. It appears to me that your “voluntary motions,” on that occasion, and what you are pleased to view as your “predetermined shore” worked harmoniously, or were directed in the same line, and had it not been for the “human volition” put forth by yourself, the thing would not have happened. Believe me when I add, that I would have no desire now, to change the matter were it in my power to do so; and I know this desire or feeling would be strengthened could I view the eternal outcome of the transaction. I have now reached a point where I shall forever cease to refer to the subject, as to allude to it in any manner, shape or form whatever, betrays a weakness on my part that is altogether unbecoming. At least it detracts from ones dignity.65
[p.56]Pet you say you have read portions of my letters to persons, that to me are illustrious both for intellect and goodness, and I blush and wonder what I said.66 Remember you know me so much better than they. You know my greatest crime and have seen me in my weakest moments, besides our relationship will make you disposed to charity in my behalf. Besides certain circumstances transpired before I left home, the influence of which has no doubt more or less tinged my letters, although I know not what I have written. Circumstances remember.
My Own Loved One:
Your precious letter of the 26th ult. has just arrived and I feel annoyed with myself to think I have not answered the preceding one of the 22 ult; doubly so as it contained the receipt for the “check”, of which I should have informed you. Here let me thank you in Elizabeth’s behalf for the amount, as matters of that sort are to be placed to her account. Myself being a lady of independent means—ahem!! Will be, so soon as I get through with this game of “hide & seek.” You understand the “Q”[uestion]. More grand jury business for me when I return. On which occasion I will swear by all that is staple, that I have not, in any manner shape or conceivable form whatever; been “held out,” “associated with”, looked upon as such—or experienced the delight thereof, imagined the condition—or even dreamed it, or any other infernal twist they like to connect with the term “wife.” Which will be God’s truth for I feel like anything else under the sun. & when the time comes, if you think proper, I will sustain your dignity in the matter by stating that it was no fault of yours that the relationship was not sustained, or continued; and no penalty can be attached to a breach that was merely contemplated, without opportunity to consummate.
How is Charles? I trust his injuries are not serious, in the paper that arrived yesterday, I noticed an account of the accident. [p.57]It makes me anxious to hear of your indisposition, for I know you do not complain upon slight matters. ‘Tis needless for me to add take care of yourself. You understand the importance of such a course. When I read of your night campaigns—how thankful I am to think that I am not situated within a radius of 12 or more miles of your rendezvous, and have you imagine it to be your duty to traipse out to see me once a fortnight, more or less, in all kinds of weather. Better ten oceans roll between us than thus jeopardize your health, when so many are dependent upon you. I imagine you smile and say “she would change her mind were I within said radius.” Not so. If you only knew how little I appreciate the society of men, when I know that a supposed sense of duty is the incentive. Bah! it makes me feel qualmish to think of it. My taste requires something more spicy than that; I’d rather “clam” all the rest of my days so far as the association of the sterner sex is concerned, than have such wishy-washy stuff palmed off on me. Mere dabbling at the fountain of pleasure has no charm for me. But I must change my tone or else consign this letter to the same fate as the two preceding ones, and here confess, that I wrote two different times in answer to yours of the 22 ult., but in each my vocabulary had taken such a disagreeable turn—that I feared if you read it, you would imagine the necessity of going to the expense of coming over here to doctor my mind, and tone up my spiritual system, which I most emphatically assure you would only be labor lost. I was about to say “Love’s labor lost,” in order to lug in a quotation from Shakespeare, but I doubt whether the first word in the quotation, or sentence, would be “appropos” here, or in this connection rather. There is only one cure for this malady when it seizes me, that is time. Good Old Father Time he is the great Healer. The remonstrance of friends when these symptoms lay hold on me, only makes me cussedly worse. You must forgive me dearest, but I do have quite a fight with myself at times. I do not wish to kick over the traces, for that would be disaster, nor have I any inclination to simmer down into an imbecilic resignation. I only wish to look the matter square in the face & have strength to meet it. As for the good time coming, “when the cruel war is over” and the “clouds roll by,” that you often assure me of, ’tis my firm belief that it is a long way off. I have no doubt as to the “finale” of this crusade, ending in triumph to the faithful, but tis also my belief that many women will sink under it, while others will rebel. Of course it will be equally hard for men, but when a woman once [p.58]gives herself up to wifehood & 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. I think Sir Walter Scott thoroughly understood this principle in woman, in the delineation of the character of “Amy” in his “Kennelworth.” Of course I am only one of hundreds who are like situated, only many of them worse, I fear. But the knowledge that it is God’s plan to prove them is the only thing that saves them from despair—almost madness I fear. How does this sound for fortitude? But I console myself with the reflection that I have as much, & more I trust, than some other women I know of. These however are my real sentiments or feelings, that now I am in the work I hope for strength to do it well, and knowing as I do that it is God’s design, it is a shame for me to murmur. And prominent in the midst of it all is the love I bear you; and taking it all together—I swallow the dose of contending emotions, and endeavor to imagine, if I do not actually experience a sedative effect.
I have been a little busy lately. Mrs. Hull’s husband spoke of a plan that he was about to communicate to her, that would take her across the ocean this fall. Strange to say, she asked my advice in the matter & would have been inclined to remain with me, had I sanctioned it. I accordingly told her, she was in the hands of her lord & master now, & should do his bidding. Besides, I told her, I had no doubt that he would thoroughly weigh the matter, and know what he was about before making a move. So, having crossed the ocean with a young babe, I was somewhat acquainted with the essentials in the way of clothing etc. for a trip of that kind. So, pink flannel shirts were suggested. Colored diapers, two long grey flannel nightgowns, red flannel petticoats, two little turkey red dresses, one long brown woolen Mother Hubbard coat, a little woolen bonnet & little blue mitts. Nothing white for travelling babies. My 15 white “dickies” were as black as the stove after being eleven days on the ocean. They were dried every night in what was termed the “drying room” on board. I did not see into it, but imagined it to be full of pots & pans and detached portions of stove pipes from the looks of my baby-gear when it came out. I had the honor of doing the purchasing for the little lady, and also cut the articles out, and crocheted the little hood, and am about to engage on the little leggings & mitts. You [p.59]see, I tell you all this to impress upon you what an industrious little domestic body I am. You know it is a principle in human nature to bolster up one’s weak points. I can get around a little better than Mrs. H. as Elizabeth is older & can be left. In return, Mrs. H. is knitting me two good pair of woolen stockings for winter. Dear Mother is a good knitter & used to do all my stockings but I never learned how to knit. Mrs. H. tried to persuade me into the notion of crossing at the same time, but I did not feel inclined to do so. Two or three days ago she remarked to me that the more she thought of it, the less she felt inclined to go. She thinks a great deal of F,67 and although impatient at times, I know she would go through a great deal, rather than get him into trouble, that is if she knew just what to do. She then proposed the following plan: “that if I would go with her to more elaborate departments, in a town or city, that whatever it cost over & above my present expenses, that she would pay it, and we remain on this side, this winter at least, irrespective of the “plan” whatever it might be. I thanked her and told her, I could not do that. Besides, in order to relieve the mind of her husband, I had thought of changing my present location shortly. In one of his letters to her, [Hull] had made a statement of this kind: “that he was glad she had come into the country with me; that he believed it would do her & babe good; but for her to be very cautious about her financial matters, that friends were very nice so long as they knew one had plenty of money—to be on her guard, that he was only giving her a friendly warning.” I did not make any remark at the time, as I thought she would soon be crossing to America and I would not make her feel badly. Since I spoke to her as above, she has felt horrid, and to-day she has written her lover a stunning letter, telling him that “I had subjected myself to be slandered by the “Crosses” [the LDS family living in London] through getting her away from there, had saved the life of her child, and done her other service that money could not purchase, and that I had taken the above sentence in his letter as being meant for me (which of course it was) and was going to leave her, and that he must write me an apology for what he had done.” When I learned what she had done, I asked her not to send it, but I believe she has. She also tells me that she owes me money, and when I looked sur-[p.60]prised she made the following statement: that if it had not been for me, she would not now be so well fixed. That my advice to her prior to Bro. S-s death68 had secured her, her all, which if I can judge is a goodly sum. I was surprised at this, as I had no idea that anything of the kind had ever entered her head. I suppose she refers to the time when Bro. S. was becoming a little irritable & whimsical, and she, not feeling just well at the time, was a little short with him, when he in his childishness complained to me that she was unfeeling towards him. I saw he did not have long to live & took this opportunity of telling her also that she should lose no opportunity to show her devotion, which was quite unnecessary, as no woman (as every one knows who are acquainted with the matter) could do more than she did when she realized his true condition. I have assured her that I am not in need of means, that we are able to sail our own ship, so far as financial matters are concerned—don’t you think so dearest? But how I wish I could assist instead of take from you. Let us wait. In regard to the Cross family they are still talking outrageously about me, and I was on the point of addressing them a letter telling them to stop or I should take measures for redress, but fearing least I should make myself known, I desisted for the present. More light has recently been thrown on matters pertaining to them & while it does not in the least palliate their wicked sayings, still it shows that they have had cause for disappointment. In the first place, I firmly believe that they have helped our people as you stated. I have also heard an elder corroborate your statement. Although when the old lady frequently remarked that they had spent hundreds of pounds for the benefit of the church, I then firmly believed she was lying, although I know now that I was mistaken. Williams [Charles Penrose] speaks about her being “proud.” I can respect an honest pride, but this woman is as soft as mush. She told me “she was like Eliza R. Snow, having the gift of discernment, and although women came to England with assumed names, she knew who they all were, and who their husbands were.” She was, however, in some doubt as to my pedigree, but from enlightenment, as I suspect she may have obtained, in an indirect way [p.61]before I came to London, or went rather; she suspected me to be the wife of Angus M. Cannon, and after wheedling, hinting, and pumping, as I suppose she thought to no purpose, she bluntly said to me “Now are you not the wife of Angus M. Cannon” when I emphatically replied no I am not, which of course was the truth. Towards the close of my sojourn there I think they thought I was [Hiram] Clawson’s wife, which did not enhance me in their favor as they hate the whole Clawson tribe, all through some proceedings of “Leo’s” I understand. The severe sensure [sic] they were applying to the family made me take their part which I think made them imagine, for the time being that I am Clawson’s wife. I shall have a laugh with Hiram when I return about the matter. How is my “dear President” as I used to style him—give him the kind love of the “Little sister” and tell him that after I have visited St. Bartholomew’s,” “Guy’s”, and St. Thomas’s, I will write him a long letter about Hospitals, which I trust will be interesting, as he is working in that line. By the way how is the hospital working anyway. I am dying to hear all about it. If you wasn’t “the man that’s always in a hurry” and too pious to gossip, I’d say give us, give us gossip by all means. I’d rather hear it than [a] gospel sermon just now. You have no idea what being cooped up in rural England means, or what a keen relish it gives one for news from home—especially when one’s correspondence is limited, and one feels a sort of unsureness about themselves and everything connected with them, lying betimes to make sure [of] their footing—for people rural as they are will ask questions. I was “doing” it tolerable well here—stating that a consultation of physicians had recommended me staying abroad for the period of two years for the benefit of my head trouble. When here comes Anna & by George, if she has not made a number of “slips” that I positively believe has set even the goslings here to thinking that we American women are a little “queer”. But to return to the subject of the Cross’s. Now yawn, close your eyes, and conclude to finish it some other time. Mrs. Hull tells me, but not until we had reached here, that Mrs. Cross had formed a plan to which she thought Mrs. H had thoroughly agreed to. I knew nothing of it at the time we were in London. It was this: “that Mrs. Hull was to return to America and leave the baby with Mrs. Cross, as she is experienced in the line, having raised a large family. Sixty pounds was to be paid in advance for the childs care for one year; a few extra pounds for Angie, the daughter, who would assist in the matter of [p.62]taking it out etc—and a little additional money for clothing, for as the child grew older, it would require more stylise gear.” Mrs. Hull says that Mrs. Cross thought that this plan was settled upon—until I went there. When they no doubt regard me as the thief who stole their fat pigeon from them. I would have been a first rate woman, had Mrs. H. remained with them a little longer & then returned to America leaving the babe behind. The 60 pounds would have been spent on the little thing’s funeral, for it was rapidly going down hill, one of the most pitiable little objects I ever saw. As for the mother, I never saw such a change in a woman in my life. My heart ached for her the moment I saw her, although I tried to hide my surprise—and the absent mindedness that she exhibited made me anxious about her. She has been here about six w[ee]ks now & is herself again, & her little darling Blue Eyes is fat & pretty. Good air & pure milk works wonderful changes in mothers as well as babies. I do not regret for a moment the part I took in getting her away from those people. It was an absolute duty, even if she had not plead & cried for me to do it. Knowing as I did the condition of her child, I should do exactly the same again under similar circumstances, with this modification however, that instead of keeping a still tongue in my head and quietly munching my mutton chop while they were flinging baneful epithets at me with their cheap beer- limbered tongues, I should emphatically tell them what I thought of them. But mad as I have been, for the ill treatment they have heaped upon me, still I can forgive & feel sorry for them, & add by all means, pray for them.
I received a telegram ten days ago—signed by R. W. Sloan,69 telling me to meet him at Stratford as he had important business to communicate. He had been to Crosses, had heard all they had to say, had seen the Wells and found out in some way, who I was, and where I was. The important business was this, a number of the brethren were getting up a lecture in London, to protest against the injustice that our people are receiving at the hands of the government of the U.S. Phil Robinson was backing them, and had engaged St. George’s Hall for them to speak in, and they wanted me to go and make a speech also. I refused, and never in all my life did I listen to such a line of persuasive argument that “Rob” put forth. My first objection was, that it might [p.63]jeopardize you, the second was that I was unprepared, and you should have heard him endeavor to argue my objections away. Said that Bro. [Daniel H.] Wells had consented for me to speak, and showed me the letter that he had received that morning … giving his consent. It was then Friday, and the lecture was to come off the following Tuesday evening. After R had exhausted his eloquence in showing what an opportunity it would be for me to distinguish (extinguish) myself the like might never be afforded again etc. He then took another Q. [uestion] & said it was my imperative duty to assist in presenting our views and grievances before the world and that I had been counseled to do so. I told him that a reluctant consent was far different from being counseled to do a thing. When he said I was stubborn, perverse etc., that D. H. had only taken time to weigh the matter thoroughly, he finally said that he, Rob, counseled me to do it. Came back to Wolverton with me, stayed up late that night and wrote some pretty good things that he wished me to interlard my own matter with. Made it a matter of prayer, and arose the next morning convinced that it was all right, and that I was to go back to London with him. The thing might have been all right had I been free, as I could have probably committed to memory what he had written in the specified time, and I will here state that he is a pretty sharp fellow, and can write some pretty good things. I also made it a matter of prayer. when I saw him so persistent & knew that I was not to go by the influence that followed it. The following morning he finally desisted when he saw it was liable to terminate in war between us, and finally wound up by saying that “he wished to goodness that he had no connection whatever, with the damned thing as he did not know how he would return and face Phil. Robinson after his wild goose chase.” Rob seems well up in the Gospel phraseology at present, but I also notice a changeableness of character in following his conversation. He knows my connection with you, although I did not tell him & will probably call on you when he returns. I told him to state the Cross affair as nearly as he understood it to you, as he remarked that they were saying such nasty things about me that he would not like to repeat them to me. I also noticed, or thought I observed, a little favoritism on his part for their daughter Alma whom I believe is a worthy young lady. I only judged [this] from his conversation to me. After the lecture I received a letter stating that it was a financial failure, and that Phil who had backed it was out over L20 (twenty pounds)—that [p.64]he was glad I did not go as there was a “Tribune Reporter” there, but endeavored to flatter me by saying that I might have saved that thing from its imbecilic tone etc. Said it was noticed in five of the morning dailies, and an equal number of evening papers— and that one of them was extremely fair. He enclosed the cutting that I send with this,70 & as he does not state, I was wondering if this was the “fair” notice. Rob tried to get me to go to London while he is there, stating that Phil Robinson would like to interview me—I have no desire in that direction.
Now, darling, see I thought I was secure in my rural retreat but see how I am being found out—and all through going to London. I meant what I said when I told Mrs. Hull that I was going to make a change—and I had made up my mind to let no one know from whence I came or whither I goeth. But when I see how fearful she is least I go and leave her, I am undecided and wonder if I had not better spirit her away with me, where I can sort of help her—a somewhat of a responsibility too, as I have to be accountable for every bellyache the baby has. But my Own Loved one should any harm come to you through any blundering on my part, that would be “the hardest blow of all,” and yet I sometimes feel that if we make sufficient sacrifice now, that that will be spared us. Of course caution is the watchword which I have tried to observe but some things have been “thrust upon me.” Forgive me for “thrusting” all this upon you. I know if I were there and could put my arms around your neck, and kiss you, you would forgive me on the spot. Every word that I have written is truth, but do not attempt to read it all to mother, tell her the main points, such as you think might interest her. Do you know I believe she is a bit jealous because I write you long letters. This occurs from the fact that I can impose a lot of rubbish upon you that would not interest her in the least. I wonder if the letter you took her was the one containing the advice about her kidneys. In her last letter she states that she is suffering with that trouble and [p.65]has not received any advice from me yet, although I answered her letter immediately. If she has not got it by this time, then one of my letters to you has “miscarried.” Please let me hear—
Morning, Oct. 19
My Own Sweetheart:—
I scribbled away last night until I was stiff, part of the time with Elizabeth wiggling on my lap & trying with all the energy she possessed to grab my pen as it flew and then I continued long after she shut her “peepers” & was put to bed—This morning I received a second letter from Rob Sloan who says the Cross family are “letting up in their talk about me” which I am glad to hear. Although from what he says I think they know who I am. M. B. Shipp71 [is] in London & took part in the lecture.
In glancing over your letter again (every word of which I highly prize), I see that you fancy that “dark forbodings” are shrouding my mind—and which you think you could remove were you here. I am sorry, dearest, if I have written anything to make you feel thus, and sincerely ask you to forgive me—for never in all my life have I had more faith and confidence in the workings of the Almighty than now. I know that this is His work, and I know that what we are now passing through is for our benefit. I do not regret the step I have taken. Of course I feel a little downcast at times an instance of which you may evidence or see at the beginning of this letter. I can’t at all times “wrap my cloak of virtue round myself, and smile at fate’s caprice,” but like Bro. Nicholson in the “Pen,”72 I sometimes cry out that I don’t like it.” Do not worry about me one particle. I am not losing faith, but plainly see the necessity of acquiring more everyday that I live and I feel assured that the Lord will not forsake me until you and I meet again, which I look forward to as one of the most joyous periods [p.66]of my life. I, as well as yourself, know that “we were created for each other” only I have been a little more mulish in acknowledging it. Of course I should be overjoyed in meeting you before the termination of my exile, but am perfectly willing to forego the gratification—as I know full well you have not the means to squander on such pastime—more especially since I have become an expensive addition to your charges. I think it won’t cost me quite so much hereafter, as I now have sufficient clothing to put me through until I get home & E[lizabeth] will need very little in addition to what she has. Out of the first that I had—in addition to clothing, I bought a trunk & also a perambulator for E as I was not able to carry her about & she goes wild if she can’t get out. But when I get to work I will return every cent I have had from you. Does that make you mad? I remember you telling me once that a woman loved a man more when he supported her.
I wrote to mother and said if there was any rent money coming to me,73 for her to send it to me by Christmas, as I would like to get a few presents for the girls as things of that character are cheap here—I further added that it was not my intention to use your means for matters of that kind as I knew your circumstances would not permit. But mother has forgotten all about it I presume, as she has said nothing. It is mail time & I must fly to get it off. Accept my kindest love & a kiss from us both—many kisses. I love you more than ever and will be a good girl until my time is up, when I will endeavor to make you realize all that I feel towards you. I would make but a poor little companion for you now, I have to wear that pessary all the time, and I can’t get around on my feet as well as I would like. I believe nothing but faith & good works will cure me of that ailment. I am looking pretty well and feel so at times & positively have nothing serious to complain of now by-bye—from your Devoted,
Be sure and burn every scrap of this—Oh! wouldn’t I love to squeeze you now!! I would not exchange my interest in you for all that this world contains—There how does that sound?
[p.67]My Dear Arthur [Angus M. Cannon]:—
Please give the accompanying letter to your mother, & oblige Maria—mailed yours last Eve, but Postman was gone—so you will get these [at the] same time. Give Clara my kind love; I am sorry she is so poorly, think also that the change will do her good. Wrote her a letter, but she need not trouble to answer, when she is poorly, and [I know] also that she is busy in getting settled in her new quarters. But after awhile when she feels better I should be very glad to hear from her. When you hear from her, let me know how she is. I am afraid she does not take good care of herself, and unless she has thorough treatment and favors herself with rest, she will drag out a miserable time of it. If I understand her trouble, it is something that does not kill, but makes one feel very uncomfortable. I wish it could be so arranged that you could apply the compound tincture of iodine in the manner in which you are acquainted, that continued every five (5) days—with thorough syringing with hot, not warm water, three times a day with cotton thoroughly soaked in glycerine, applied at night. Kept there until morning—[it] would cure her, if kept up for about twelve months, and not neglected. Mark my word—I wish it could be tried. There is not a particle of danger connected with the treatment, & you understand how to do it well.
You speak about taking cold after one of your visits to the country, and it worries me. Could you not go one night, stay all night, and come to the City the following night if need be? It’s bad enough to face the night air after being “housed” all day, and it is absolutely dangerous where there is but slight bronchial trouble to go from a warm bed into the chilliness of night, and as I judge on horseback, still worse will it be as winter sets in. Oh! darling do as I wish you in this, stay all night and the following day, and two and three nights & days, rather than face storms that are going to shorten your days. Do not misunderstand me and think I am trying to frighten you about your health—but of course I am anxious. And I am only one whose happiness in this life would be wrecked if anything serious should happen to you. Slacken up a little in regard to your city business, and take more time to rest when away, and choose fine nights to return in. You will think I was not so solicitous about your health when I was the recipient of similar visits. But, loved one if I was a giddy thoughtless girl [p.68]then, I have had time to reflect, and repent since, and am willing to make various sacrifices to prove that the repentance is sincere. Remember ’tis not an attempt to curtail anyones right to your society, but if my advice is followed it will give them more, and you at the same time run no risk to health. Darling, ’tis all selfishness after all, for I love you & don’t want you to get sick for various reasons. Again don’t worry about my “forebodings”, for if I ever had any they are gone!!! From one who has always loved you— in haste— Maria
November 1st 1886.
My Dear Companion—
One pleasant letter reached me Friday Oct. 29, another this morning. The former one contains a sentence something like his: “From what I have written, I fear you will think I have taken eave of my senses.” Hardly that! to the contrary I look upon your poetry as an ingenious balancing of what you please to term your planetary bodies [plural wives], so as to give one no ascendency over the other. That’s right, a species of patriarchal sharp practice, quite legitimate in the kind of engineering we are engaged in. Your association with the Muses, however, did distract your mind a wee bit. I observe you date your letter “Sept.” when I think it was Oct. Also that you speak of the cash transaction at Pres[ident’s] O[ffice] bearing date “17 inst” when I think you meant to put it “17 ult., as it being the 11th when you wrote, it could not have been “17 inst” when the matter was seen to.74 Pardon me for reminding you of those slight delinquencies. I am apt in noting dates, and as quick to forget again.
Just why you styled me a “distant sun” is not quite clear to me, for if I understand astronomical phraseology aright “distant suns” have no affect whatever upon terrestrial bodies—that is, cut no figure in affecting their destiny. I do not think however that you meant this application of it, as I am quite sure that even at this distance, I occasionally create a slight ripple in your atmosphere, helping to remove the idea of “Myth” from my existence, [p.69]if myth & existence are not antagonistic terms. Equally certain am I, that if the direction of my orbit became suddenly changed, assuming a westerly course, that it would create consternation in your system of “near,” “large” “smiling”, “bright,” “serene” “constant,” and “glorious” (Pardon if I have ommited some of the adjectives) constellations; again dispelling the idea of “gnashed”, that some people seem pleased to associate with my present career.
You speak of the Hull-plus-Hull plan. I do not know what it is, as I have not asked the lady, but was thinking as I read your remarks, that if Mr. H. was H[iram] B. C[lawson] & myself Mrs. H. we might live in the “Plural” state, in the realm of the crusaders and battle the ingenuity of a Dickson (!) a feat that has scarcely been accomplished so far. I refer to recent cases I have heard to remark “that none guilty, whatever face they put to the affair, if caught, escape the result of his keen penetration.”
I sincerely trust the change will do C[lara] good, although had she stayed at home and you adopted the line of treatment I recommended in a preceding letter, I believe she would have got along more rapidly. I also trust that you will do better with the present arrangement with your stock. You assure me I am your “only correspondent” a sort of “pat-me-on-the-back” sentence, but who in the world my boy would want your epistles when they can have you? It reminds me of the rustic whose lady-love handed him her photo, when he pitched it aside and catching her in a huge embrace remarked “no art, if you please, when living, breathing smiling nature is within a fellers grasp.” In your last, Oct 16, I had to smile when I noticed you had applied the Obediah-allusion to yourself, when truthfully no such thing was intended. We over here would be in a bad fix if you did nothing in our behalf but damage the knees of your trousers. By the way I have received ten pounds from Liverpool by registered letter—the remaining ten I sent word for them to retain until I send for it as I did not care to deposit it in the Warwick Bank, as I had done with previous sums as I do not know how long I will remain here, & it would cause a running back & forth to see to it. I have not a doubt, but what we will get settled all right for the winter. Of course there are numerous comfortable places in Old England, the trouble however is the looking one up at a moderate price. Out here was pleasant in the summer—nearly all our time was [p.70]spent out of doors, but it is a different thing altogether now that we are “housed.” It has been raining nearly every day for two weeks. E[lizabeth]. goes wild when she can’t get out, so when it don’t patter too hard I bundle her up & give her a run down the lane. Going down the lane we pass a farm house & two or three cottages; at the former, there is a dog, turkeys and chickens—the sight of which E. never tires of but crows & “goos” at them with a wonderful degree of commotion. Up the lane there is nothing to be seen but the continuous sombre green hedges; and mournfully sighing oaks & elms, as the wind does havoc in “deleafing” their branches. My little charge is sick of this lane, and if I now attempt to go up it she kicks & screams most terrifically and finally conquers me by turning perfectly stiff.
You speak, darling, of Mary & John [Woolley] in their snug little home etc. I have no doubt that they see some of happiness, still I would not exchange places with them. As to bye-gone “suitors,” that matter may rest, as I am not simply satisfied, but also proud of my choice.75 The experience that I am gaining now is something that I needed, although I must confess that I do not bear it as gracefully as I should like as you perceive from my writing, but am in hopes of doing so before I get through. Now for something that I wish you to pay special attention to and I fear when I mention it you will think me a chronic grunter. My womb is all out of gear again—a cold that I have taken has all settled there and makes me feel somewhat blue. Was getting nicely in this respect until I went to London, and following, walked from Hatten which I think I have told you of. Altogether I was on my feet too much and I have not felt so well since & cold has made me worse. What I wish is that you will exercise faith in my behalf. I want to get well and then I don’t mind anything else, hunting boarding places or what not. Do not think it anything serious, only that grunting aching, dragging miserable, feeling that I was in hopes of being free from ere this. My head is very much improved as is evidenced from my longing for Cooks again. I am [p.71]looking well as Rob will tell you; only when I get backsets in this matter then I look “peaked” as Mrs. Hull calls it. Now dearest don’t feel disgusted with me & think me a whiner. I want you to exercise special faith in this matter and I will also do all I can myself. Elizabeth looks pale but is cutting her eyeteeth nicely. Mrs. H. and little one are doing splendidly both getting quite fat. Do not worry about us I know all will come out O.K. in the long run, but I firmly believe that matters will be worse yet. If the purification of Zion is the main object of the present Crusade then we will have a “Shaker“. I am so thankful when I hear that our heroic leaders are reported well, think how our own petty trials pale, (or I refer merely to my own, for darling I believe you have such that you let me know not of) when we compare them with such as Geo. Q. Cannon and others are passing through. It makes my heart ache to think of it—but as a friend remarked “the diamond is not made a perfect gem without friction, neither can we be made perfect without suffering.” You say your “life has been a chapter of trials and the most exciting vicissitudes allotted to a mortal here.” I believe it dearest—”and the end is not yet.” I would like to compare notes with you however during a period of four years of my life, that was my campaigning in the East of which I have told you nothing. “Exciting vicissitudes” does not express it. “Hair-breath escapes” more “appropos.” Now that I have learned more of human nature, and look back at the great immoral malestrom that engulfs the larger portion of humanity, on the brink of which I was frequently permitted to stand & gaze; I know now of a surety that a powerful guardian angel protected me, and I glorify God when I think of it—and am willing and glad to submit to His divine behests, whatever degree of human sacrifice it may entail. The labyrinthine paths I trod during those four years of my girlish career—where sin was presented in almost every conceivable form—flattery, fascination, allurement, and sometimes threatening—each appearing on the “bill of fare” as related to human action. Nothing but a kind Providence could have given to me the “Will-o-the-wisp” sort of a nature that I then exhibited, to see, to ponder, and then to be spirited away in time to avoid danger. Do not think I speak of these things in a boastful spirit, not so, for I have learned how frail a thing is human strength. Your speaking of “exciting vicissitudes”, brought up a panorama before me, that would appear more appropriate to the realm of fiction, than to “chapters from real life“. Of trials I can speak less [p.72]understandingly. During those four years of startling events, for one young & inexperienced, [I] find it appeared to be my destiny to be in a constant whirl. I can recall not a single trial—bouyant in spirit & strong in health, the startling events, rather than otherwise, pleased me, as in each new episode I learned some useful lesson. Truthfully, my life has been singularly free from trials, but as I have 23 years before me, before I reach your experience, or age, rather, I will, I trust have learned some profound lessons in that time. While I have not been wafted on “flowery beds of ease” (Thank God!) still my lot has fallen in many pleasant places, and I am lead to exclaim: “Life is lovely, life is glorious, and its aim is high—every breath should lift us nearer; nearer to the sky, and the life that’s nobly given, for a purpose great and high, wears a laurel wreath in heaven, ’tis a glorious thing to die.” Now Pet just see when a body has nothing to talk about, how they sit down & clatter, clatter about themselves, & still I continue. You will think my present statement of having escaped trials a strange contradiction to the whinings of previous letters, but please put them down as emanations springing from a mind sympathizing strongly with a dilapidated womb and you will have the straight of it. Now, if aided by your faith, I get over this trouble—if I know myself right—you won’t hear much more simpering. And yet, I sometimes think the Lord brings physical trouble upon me, or lets me bring it on myself, in order to keep me from running my nose into a hornet’s nest. Please give the enclosed to my dear one, and believe me your true little lady love. Mrs. H. sends kind love says she can see you before her plainer than her “Fred.” I think she intends to do whatever I do in the present campaigning, and [it is] mean in me to say it, as I fear she would not like it. Imagine all the pleasant things that it is useless to put here, & believe me your own Maria.
Nov. 15 ’86
My “Old Duck”
Yours of the 22 ult. arrived last Tuesday. “You wondered how you could interest me.” Nothing could please me more than a copy of your patriarchal blessing—and what more can you ask [p.73]than such promises as it contains? I gave it to Mrs. H. to read and remarked that the blessings promised to your children made me glad to think I had a daughter by you, and that I also felt inclined to bear a son, notwithstanding my old doctor tells me “that on no account must I become pregnant again.” Mrs. H. blushed and said “well I have just written to mine & told him, I believed Annie would like a little broder” (brother). How is that for exiles who have had various experiences? It reminds me of dear brother [Daniel H.] Wells. I saw him once, when he chuckled, shrugged his shoulders & said “Isn’t it nice to have babies?” When I as enthusiastically replied, “Yes of course it is.” “I tell you,” he said, “the desire for offspring in woman is intense—a glorious thing!! Would like to have two or three more myself’ (young women). I shan’t tell you my mental observation about then.
$1100 reward,76 and so the tempest increases & ’tis my firm opinion the Zenith is not reached yet. I only trust the Lord will protect his chosen ones—but He permits nothing but what is for the good of his Saints. You speak of J & J’s new houses.77 Have read a letter from Mary and she tells me how snug and comfortable they are and I think my young brother, with his pretty companion, have done remarkably well. I am gratified to learn of the prosperity of each, and trust you deem me not so selfish as to envy others the comforts of this life, because I myself am deprived of a home. It has taken just such an experience as I have gone through with in order to make me appreciate a home—heretofore I desired none. I dreaded its responsibility & yet as I look back I was shouldering a greater responsibility all the while.
I trust your dream of John’s barn did not assume a “fleshly minded” course. If so, then art thou so far as I am concerned, in the same box as was “the Love of Abelard,” for I have given thee what I couldst, & then must “dream the rest.” You tell me to imagine an embrace equal to that of the gallant of 70 [Grandpa Twyan]. I can imagine it—but to experience it, then you will have to improve on previous efforts as exhibited to me—for I tell you, [p.74]you nowhere reached the mark. But then you have such excellent opportunities to “practice up”, during your nightly campaigns. If the things were legitimate, I would do likewise—even here in Old Germany. I believe I could find a subject on which to practice—under 70 too. Will close. Do not feel O.K. physically. Nothing serious only a grunting condition. Mrs. H. is so kind & doing much to help me—much love & good wishes—Lone Star
When you write, after receiving this, address it to Liverpool, as we expect to move & I don’t know just what our address will be. Have written to Mrs. Hampton on the island to see what arrangements we can make with her. You remember Williams [Charles W. Penrose] gave you the address at the same time he gave the letter of introduction to Mrs. Brass. Have not written to the latter yet, as there are two of us now & I am a little slow to impose too much responsibility on any one. Be careful how you speak to Williams about me as it will of a surety be rehearsed to the Dr [Romania Pratt Penrose]—something that I don’t feel inclined to tolerate.
In regard to “heights & depths,” I did experience something of the “heights of human emotion” as I stood on the summit of Guy’s Tower & turned my eyes to the West. Something akin to depths as I descended to the dungeons—a little nervous at least—& if contentment, as you suggest, was to be found in the arms of an old codger of 70, then I have mistaken ideas on that subject. But a purer, holier joy awaited me—reaching the cottage there sat our babe, by the old fashioned fireplace—bare footed & nightgown on—& when she caught a glimpse of her mother, her eyes shone like diamonds—and when she put her little arms around my neck, her downy cheeks against mine, and said “Mam ma ma” my joy was complete.
Say something nice to Mrs. H[ull]. in your next. She has been very kind to me since I have been somewhat under the weather. I think I have told mother what ailed me—so you may hear from her. I am sorry to burden loved ones with my ailments, but I want your faith & prayers. Besides I have made it a rule to relate to you things just as they occur—as near the natural as I am capable of penning—without giving a too sombre or yet too glowing account of our situation. Burn this when you read it.
[p.75]It is my firm opinion that Mrs. H. should not be left alone in a strange country. It seems to me that her lover should have known that. She has not had sufficient experience with the world and its people for that—notwithstanding I think her a capable woman in other matters; sharpers can “gull” her. I think after all, it is well for us to be together for the time being. She can help me with babe and E[lizabeth]. likes her Aunty real well—and then perhaps I can assist her in something. But, pet, I bore you so now bye bye—and I only want to get strong in the “lower regions” & I warrant you I don’t do much “pensive” business in my little room. You spoke of Mrs. Burch as “being on the go.” I like that myself—monotony to me is killing. I believe that is half what ails me now. The Dr. insisted on me keeping off my feet which of course keeps me in. I’ll warrant you, Mrs. B. won’t stop until she reaches that charmer of hers. She sailed for America a month ago about. Why blame we women when you men are such magnets that draw us to you in spite of ourselves—x x x
My Own Loved One—
Your precious letter of the 4th inst. arrived yesterday (Sat). I call it precious, because every word you write is dear to me and you sometimes fear you will weary me with what you term prosiness & redundancy. If you just knew my real feelings on that subject, you would alter your opinion and I am real glad that you are situated similar to the senator, that is, have no time to “prune” your matter, for I like it fresh from your first conceptions. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a cultured literary lady, one of the teachers in the National School [of Oratory], Phila[delphia]. She did a great deal of writing, and was speaking of her correspondents. “I have one in New Jersey,” she remarked “so unlike the others, not a bit bookish, a business man, thoroughly practical; his letters are ungarnished, unadorned, yet they have such an original unique ring about them, and even his mistakes are such happy ones that altogether they quite please me.” I learned later that she became engaged to the said gentleman. It was a case of “coming events casts their shadows before”—just as the thing I am about to relate to you did. You remember in my last I told you [p.76]that Mrs. H. said “Annie would like a little broder—”& if she don’t in less than six months, then it will be because it is a little sister. I have repeatedly accused the lady of her condition when she denied it for all that was legal. But now she begins to fear that “may be it is so,” and I think she is right. Now, pet, give us some advice. She has written to Hull to consult with you. She says he will be soured out of his wits. I smiled. You see begotten & born here has nothing to do with matters there, but! (I would like to have something in the form of an exclamation if it wouldn’t be slang). Here I was grunting for all that was blue & we were busy planning to get on the ground floor somewhere. She was going to do all the lifting & lugging with Elizabeth, so that I could get thoroughly strong about the loins & be in a good condition to do the engineering, in crossing the ocean with our two little girls, as having crossed once with a babe she thinks I understand it better. Of course we did not mean to cross until the proper time had arrived. Now the discovery of her condition throws my trouble into the shade, and we now plan what is to be done with her: whether it will be best to have the babe here or cross over first. Now give the matter due consideration & let us know. I am better than I was, and know that I will be all right when the right time comes. Positively, physical ailments [are] the most efficient humbling agent that can be used in my case; so of course, ’tis all right. At any rate I have no thought of despairing.
I know as my life grows older
And my eyes have clearer sight
That under each rank wrong somewhere
There lies the root of Right.
That each sorrow has its purpose
By the sorrowing oft unguessed
But as sure as the sun brings morning
Whatever is—is best.
I know that each sinful action
As sure as the night brings shade
Is sometime, somewhere punished
Though the hour be long delayed
I know that the soul is aided
Sometimes by the heart’s unrest
And to grow means often to suffer
[p.77]But whatever is—is best.
I know there are no errors
In the great Eternal Plan
And all things work together,
For the final good of man
And I know when my soul speeds onward—
In the great Eternal quest
I shall say as I look Earthward
Whatever is—is best.”
You say you “like the jingle of quotations”—none of mine are strictly “verbatim”, they are matchings of “pastime” readings of “long ago” that come to me partly forgotten, and the words that I [am] sometimes forced to substitute, I fear, are sad burlesques on the original. You enter into some of the details of some of the current gossip—and notwithstanding all news from home is interesting, and also that I have asked in one of my letters for gossip, still do not think me slighted if I do not get what would perhaps be better if not committed to paper. I had formed an opinion in the case you related—as I suppose many have done—and was lead to think that the rule laid down, for such offences is the safest for both parties to follow. There is a principle known to science called the “diffusion of gases”, wherein gases of vastly different density may be brought in contact with one another, and without any external motion being communicated to them, the tendency is for them to thoroughly blend; the lower strata will seek the higher, & vice versa until every particle of the one has traversed the track of the other, & finally an equilibrium established. It seems to me that a similar motion is imparted or belongs to influences. Acts or deeds may be buried as deep as the ingenuity of man is capable of hiding them, but their influence goes forth, penetrates & pervades, until like murder the thing “will out,” sooner or later. None but yourself can understand with what consideration I view the circumstances of this case,78 as my mind reverts to the period when I so thoughtlessly trifled with your affections, and now feel that had I been the cause of your downfall, I should never have known another happy moment in this [p.78]life. As it is, I thank God for preserving us from so terrible a fate; and am willing & anxious to traverse any path to which He points. Darling I will make this short, as I wish to enclose two kerchiefs— which you will favor me by presenting to the ladies, whose names are indicated on each. I purchased them at the “Crystal Palace” for a Christmas memento, but you may give such explanation as you think best. Of course with Clara nothing need be concealed. I searched diligently for two others bearing names whose initials would be S. & A.79—but found none. Mrs. H. purchased a beautiful one with the name Elizabeth80 on, & gave me to send to some one I am very fond of—will get you to give it [to] her next time. One bearing the name of “Arthur” seemed a sad reflection, substitute for a name I love so well.
Now to be frank—from what I can judge—if Mrs. H. could get home privately and be situated as J. E’s C[lara] is, I think it would be the best all around—and involve less risk than getting home with two babies—as someone would have to be employed to travel with her, & then some one to take the babe when she gets there. It seems to me the second baby will have to be kept private even if born here, as Dickson will be so furious that he would put Hull up anyway—but you understanding matters there, will be best able to judge. I am willing to do all in my power to aid in the matter, whatever is decided upon. I have told her that if she has it here I will see her safely through & if she stays any time out we can all cross the ocean together. If she goes to the mountains, of course some one else will have to attend. I correspond with my old roommate in Illinois81 and she urges me to go to her home & stay as long as I like. She knows that my tour is of a private character, without knowing the exact nature of it,82 and I have not a particle of fear from her, if there was no other danger attending my residence in the U.S. If it is decided for Mrs. H. to cross this fall, [p.79]I would go also if at all safe—and stay with Barbara [Replogle], who is one of the wisest headed girls in the world. She is decidedly literary, has lots of books and I could improve my time. But my own loved one, I won’t make any move, however pleasant to myself, if it would in the least jeopardize you—your liberty is the first consideration. And darling if you only knew how precious you are to us, you would take the best care in the world of your self, in that way you can serve us best. Your blessing predicts a long life, which gives me much happiness. I say “us” above, for I know that one wife’s feelings is but a reflection of those of others. Guess what I said to Mrs. H. when we decided upon her condition? She says she will tell Hull, so he can tell you so I think I had better say it myself. I told her it would not do to let her get ahead of me in that kind of a way, that I should have to send for you and have a little one also. It would be a good way to put in the time (3 yrs) and have something to show for—when she remarked, “If this one is born in April next, then maybe I could have another before the 3 yrs are up.” Knowing I could not beat that, I was silent, but thought of what D. H. W[ells] said, “A glorious thing! A glorious thing!” At the same time wondering if Dickson would not feel a bit discouraged if he knew half what was going on. Now you & Hull may think we women have nothing else to do but sit over here and plan “babies.” Scratch your heads & see how many gray hairs have been added since reading the above & tell me what you think of it all. Lovingly— Maria
Burn this immediately. I do not wish to shirk any responsibility—and shall willingly do all that is required of me. But you know something of Mrs. H.’s disposition, and the poor woman I fear will be worse in this condition (irascible) (excitable,) & I know, taking all in all, it will be something to see her through. Still if required, I will try & do my part well. Pardon this hurried scribble—
Direct the answer to this to Liverpool, as we will be away from here—
Nov 30 ’86
[p.80]Have not heard from you since last I wrote, but wished to send enclosed which I will trouble you to deliver. I fear my last letter will trouble you, as I had been ailing for some little time, and now hasten to tell you how much better I am and know I will be all right before I get back again. I also told you about our friend’s condition; and at the time of writing felt that the responsibility was almost more than I could undertake, but am getting so much better, that I feel I can do it. In talking the matter over I see she looks to me to see her through. So we have arranged this way that unless you men arrange differently, we would secure more comfortable quarters and board ourselves, me to take the two youngsters in the perambulator, and do the shopping etc, as she will soon want to keep indoors, hire our washing and ironing done. This will bring my expenses higher than heretofore, so she is to pay over and above what I have been paying, so that it will cost me just the same, my services being valued at the difference. This will not cripple her in the least, as she is well fixed, better than I thought, was lugging nearly a thousand dollars about with her when I first met her. You fear we won’t agree? I can manage that and the training will be excellent. I roomed with Mrs. Barney 3 months once and my experience for 3 years in Salt Lake was something. I’ll be well prepared for “polyg” when I once get down to it — if ever.
Dec. 6— 86 —
My Own Loved One!—
I cannot call you Arthur, because it does not have the genuine sound to me. Yours of Nov. 18, arrived this morning, and I was so glad when I peered from my window and saw the many stamped envelope in the post-man’s hand. I knew there was a treat for me. Only on one consideration will I consent to shorter letters, & that is that you write me once a week if only a few lines, which will be all I’ll send this time as it is within 25 min-[p.81][utes]. of collecting mail, & I want the cards to reach you by Christmas. Dearest, I see by your letter that I have written a great deal of foolishness, some of which I fear has grieved you, for which I ask sincerely for your pardon. The only palliation I can now offer is that it will give you a clearer idea of the mercurial tendency of my disposition & know better how to deal with me. I have invariably written to you just as I felt at the time, knowing you would like that style better than any attempt at disguise. The “suppressed grief” you speak of is imagination on your part. I whine it all out to you. My health is better, and I see the necessity of taking better care of myself. We will move from here soon, direct your letters to Liverpool. Life moves on in happier measures, and it don’t seem long before “I’ll return to my country & you love.” I sighed to think how soon I am forgotten when I read of Hiram [Clawson]’s abstraction. Read & give him the enclosed Xmas card. It may revive his flickering recollection of one of “Auld lang Syne.”
& my own loved one—
“Emblem fair to you I send
Token of affection true.
Showing where my feelings tend
Like the magnet unto you.
Worlds may pass away & perish
Every feeling die away
But the constant love I cherish
Never never shall decay.“
Dear Bro. Mac:
The “Herald” of the 25th ult. has just arrived.83 I shall[p.82] not attempt to describe my feelings upon reading of the arrest of our mutual friend Bro. Angus. I wished I had been urgent in my request to have him visit us, that it had been made a month before, & that he had complied. It would not have cost the sorrow that this affair has, nor ten thousand either. I trust he will not let them get him behind the bars again; it will exhibit more true courage ingenuity & shrewdness to “give them the slip”, than to submit like a “whipped dog” to their cowardly lash, even if it does put a few paltry thousands into their pockets, and he has served the people too long & faithfully for them to question liquidating the debt. “Cohabitation”, in this case I think simply a bait at which Dickson would like Cannon to bite, and while he is doing penance for his indulgence, the former gent expects to see little Hughes go flying home to her nest, when he will set his will to grinding again, and present “Polygamy” or “Perjury”, Sir Angus & lady Mattie—as you prefer. Proud Angus would not let one of the fair sex suffer ignominy for his sake, and so they have him for a long period, god forbid!!
See Bro. Cannon at once and tell him if there is anything in the wide world I can do to aid him, I am his to command. Earnestly pray God to preserve His Servants from the hands of their enemies, I am your Bro in the Gospel
2. Bro. Phil” may be William G. Phillips, who arrived on the SS Wyoming (the ship Mattie arrived on) and was assigned as a missionary to the London Conference. “Myers” is Frederick Meyer, whose wife “Anna Hull” was also in England in exile.
3. Angus married his fifth wife, Maria Bennion, on 11 March 1886, just as Mattie was making preparations to go into exile. Jealousy over this marriage was probably the cause of the disagreement referred to here.
5. Elizabeth Rachel Cannon, oldest child of Martha Hughes and Angus Munn Cannon, was born on 13 September 1885 at the Grantsville, Utah, home of Samuel Woolley. Elizabeth was seven months old when she and her mother went into exile.
6. Mattie often refers to “Hiram” and “H.B.C.” It is likely this is Hiram B. Clawson, a close friend. Clawson was a businessman, bishop, clerk to the president of the Mormon church, and active in promoting the Deseret Hospital.
7. Mattie’s theory that living at the “level of the sea” is healthier than at higher altitudes is a constant theme. In a letter to Barbara Replogle, dated 24 December 1883, she described an attack of brain fever caused by moving to Utah from Michigan. Many letters to Angus reflect her concern that her health depends to a degree on altitude and the sea air. Mattie moved permanently to California late in life.
8. The ship was the SS Wyoming, as reported in the 10 May 1886 issue of the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. The Wyoming was built in 1870 and during the next twenty years made thirty-eight voyages from Liverpool to New York, carrying a total of some 10,000 Latter-day Saints. The Wyoming had a tonnage of 3,700, with “an iron hull, two masts [and] one funnel.” See Conway B. Sonne, Ships, Saints and Mariners: A Maritime Encyclopedia of Mormon Migration, 1830-1890 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987), 202.
10. W. F. Anderson was a member of the visiting board of the newly organized Deseret Hospital in 1882. The 5 January 1883 Deseret News reported that Anderson “spends several hours daily at the Hospital. His ability and long experience place him among the foremost physicians in the West.”
12. Four prominent Mormon women, Emmeline B. Wells, Ellen B. Ferguson, Emily S. Richards, and Josephine R. West, were in Washington, D.C., “seeking redress for wrongs, in the names of over 2,000 ladies who assembled at Salt Lake City in mass meeting, March 6, 1886, [Mattie may have been present at this meeting] representing the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the whole Territory.” Wells further reported: “Our mission to Washington at this present time is to present memorials which we brought ourselves, being properly accredited, for the President, the Senate and the House.” She said they would do “all in our power to correct the evil and sensational reports that are being daily disseminated among the people of the east from the pulpit and by the press.” See Deseret Evening News, 7 May 1886.
13. Daniel H. Wells, 1814-91, was prominent in Mormon history, holding the rank of general in the Nauvoo Legion created in 1841 by the Nauvoo City Council and later serving in the Utah territorial militia. At times Wells is referred to as the “General.” He was married to Emmeline B. Wells.
15. Emmeline B. Wells, wife of Daniel H. Wells, was editor of the Women’s Exponent, hence the next reference to her as the “Editor.” Mattie had worked at the newspaper prior to going to medical school in 1878. Romania B. Pratt Penrose was on the Board of Directors of the Deseret Hospital and was also the visiting ear and eye surgeon. She was married to Charles W. Penrose.
16. “Williams” is Mattie’s name for Charles William Penrose, who was married to Romania B. Pratt. One senses some jealousy when Mattie refers to Emmeline B. Wells and Romania B. Pratt Penrose. Although she worked with these women for many years, and was herself a prominent Mormon spokeswoman, Mattie never developed feelings of friendship with them.
18. Seymour B. Young was a physician on the visiting board of the Deseret Hospital. It is unclear who Mattie means by “Albid,” but she was probably referring to Young’s second wife, Abbie Corilla Wells, whom he married on 28 April 1884. Romania Pratt Penrose had married Charles W. Penrose within the year on 11 March 1886. Mattie alternately spells his name “Seymoure” and “Seymore.” We have standardized it to his own spelling, “Seymour.”
20. Ruth J. Abram, ed., Send Us a Lady Physician: Women Doctors in America, 1835-1920 (New York: Norton, 1985), 28, explains that although physicians realized that most infections had specific causes, many old ideas lingered. Mattie was echoing the evolving medical thought of her time when she wrote that sewer poisoning caused Elizabeth’s illness.
22. Mormons believe in the biblical practice of laying on of hands for healing the sick. Mattie apparently received a blessing from a Brother Richards before her journey. This may have been Apostle Franklin D. Richards, who participated in the dedicatory services of the Deseret Hospital.
26. Mattie’s daughter, Elizabeth Cannon McCrimmon, later recorded that while Mattie was waiting at the railroad station for the train, word came that she had been recognized, so she and her infant daughter had to be hurried away to another stop and never recovered their luggage.
29. Mattie does not seem very secure in diagnosing her own pregnancy. Perhaps her desire to feel a part of her husband’s life (by bearing another child) and the new sensation of having time on her hands affected her impartiality as a physician.
33. This is another subtle dig at Angus about his recent marriage to Maria Bennion. In fact, Angus married his sixth and last wife, Joanna Danielson, on 21 March 1887, probably unbeknown to Mattie or any of his other wives.
34. On 2 October 1884, Mattie wrote to Barbara Replogle: “I have a fine horse and buggy-buggy was two hundred and fifty dollars but by paying down for it they let me have it for two thirty-five ($235) Harness ($45) … “Roscoe was Mattie’s horse.
35. When anti-polygamy persecution had made all attempts at family life a shambles, polygamists settled in Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Canada. Several colonies also formed in Mexico in the mid-1880s. Although polygamy was against the law in Mexico, it was not actively persecuted. Angus had no intention of going to Mexico, but Mattie apparently hoped that he could escape further arrests by going there. A detailed discussion of Mormon colonization and polygamy can be found in Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1986), 125-26.
39. Probably Mary Crandall Woolley, who was married to John Ensign Woolley, son of John Wickersham Woolley. Mattie and her infant daughter stayed in hiding at the home of John W. Woolley and his wife Julia while they prepared to go into exile.
41. William M. Bromley explained in his diary the opinion of Judge Zane, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah: “no matter if a Mormon did not live with a plural wife, if he attended the Church at which she worshipped at the same time that she did, or if he spoke to her on the street or elsewhere, he was guilty of “holding her out” which constituted the offense of Unlawful Cohabitation, unless he had put her away, and given her a bill of divorcement. This no man of honor could do, therefore hundreds were imprisoned and tried.”
42. Phil Robinson, editor of the “Court and Society Review” in London, had visited Utah and may have met Mattie, as the letters seem to indicate they are familiar with each other. Robinson was often quoted in the Millennial Star, the periodical of the Latter-day Saint mission in London, which Mattie certainly read.
45. Pioneer Day celebrations are held each 24 July in Utah, commemorating the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The 1886 program was held in the Tabernacle, which, according to the Deseret News, stood draped in mourning for church officials who could not attend because they were in exile. The mottos displayed were “In God we put our trust” and “Under the everlasting covenant, God must & will be glorified.” Where the First Presidency would have been seated, the inscription read, “The First Presidency: In Exile for Conscience’s Sake.” For the twelve apostles and counselors, “Those not here are in jeopardy, in prison, and in foreign lands, because they prefer to obey God rather than man.” Where the presidency of the Salt Lake City Stake (Angus Cannon and counselors) would be seated, it read, “Having tasted of the vengeance of their enemies, and felt their cruel disregard of law, their labors and visits are like the Angles’, seen only by those who have faith.”
49. Angus was president of the Salt Lake City Stake, an ecclesiastical division of the Mormon church normally governing six to ten wards or congregations. The Salt Lake City Stake was uncommonly large in the 1880s and comprised Salt Lake, Tooele, Davis, Morgan, Summit, and Wasatch counties. The stake president is the presiding high priest of the stake, and his duties included visiting wards, installing officers, holding courts, and conducting weekly meetings in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for all members within the stake. Normally the bishop of a ward is designated a “judge in Israel” and is responsible for overseeing the administration of ecclesiastical laws and the penalties (decided through church courts) for breaking such laws.
50. It is unclear where Seymour B. Young is at this point. He had not remarried, so “the lady” must be one of his current wives, Ann Elizabeth Riter (m. 1867) or Abbie Corilla Wells (m. 1884). Abbie Wells’s father, Daniel, was president of the British Mission at this time. Perhaps Abbie was in England to avoid persecution and Seymour B. Young was going to visit her. Thus Mattie would have opportunity to “hear of it.”
51. Emily Wells Grant, daughter of British Mission president Daniel H. Wells and plural wife of Heber J. Grant, also in England in exile, commented in a 27 October 1886 letter to her husband: “Mrs. Munn seldom writes to her friends at home. I guess it is a whim of hers: enquiries have been made as to her whereabouts how she is situated &c. by Bro. Munn. She and Mrs. Hull are 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. They will remain all winter.” Emily Wells Grant to Heber J. Grant, 27 October 1886, Heber J. Grant Papers, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; hereafter HDC.
52. Mattie’s reference to deputy marshals “doing the vigorous” on the other side of Jordan River (referring to the location of Cannon’s farm) is explained in two of Angus’s diary entries: “Thursday, Aug. 16/86. I met Bro. Jos. Mousley as I left Bro. Hunter, who said he was sent to say at 5 o’clock that morning 4 U.S. Dep. Marshals surrounded my Bluff Dale Farm house and searched it, for Mr. Cannon. When Albert Holt, one of the farmers, attempted to go to stables to see to horses, one of these men drew a pistol on him… Two then stood guard over people of farm and two searched stables and outhouses… Friday Aug. 27/86. I was called upon by Bro. Joshua Terry… to tell me to look out as 10 Marshals have ten warrants to arrest me on sight.” Also, Angus had previously referred to his wives using astronomical metaphors. See Mattie’s letter of 1 Nov. 1886.
53. Although a warrant had been issued for Angus’s arrest (see Salt Lake Herald, 6 Sept. 1886), Angus could not be found nor could his wives be located. Mattie believed she had been drug through the courts sufficiently during Angus’s 1885 trial and should not be brought up again this time. Possibly she thought the wife on trial should have been Maria Bennion.
55. Mattie is referring to Abraham H. Cannon, a nephew of Angus, whose two wives were Sarah Ann Jenkins (m. 11378) and his cousin Wilhelmina Mousley Cannon (Angus’s daughter by his second wife, Ann Amanda Mousley) whom he married in 1879.
59. Mattie is referring to the excommunication for adultery of John Q. Cannon, a counselor in the presiding bishopric of the Mormon church and son of Angus’s brother George Q. Cannon. From the diary of Angus Cannon, 5 September 1886: “Upon meeting my brother we were alone when he said … as he exhibited the greatest emotion: ‘A great calamity has befallen our house.’ I enquired its nature when he explained that his son John Q. who is 2d Councilor to Presiding Bp. Preston of our Church, had written him a letter acknowledging that he had fallen into transgression and committed himself. I could only say: So good and so able— yet so weak! I am moved to the depths of my soul for this man, one of the most brilliant of my father’s house. My brother said he had sent for his son, as it was his wish to have him go before the assembled people that afternoon and confess his wrong doing in the Tabernacle, and that should he do so, it was my duty as President of Stake to be present and propose to the Saints to cut him off from the Church… I thought it appeared to be in so dealing in keeping with the ancient law that the nearest of kin should cast the first stone.”
60. According to the 10 November 1885 Deseret Evening News, Albert Carrington, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, was excommunicated for the “crimes of lewd and lascivious conduct and adultery.”
66. Angus sometimes read portions of Mattie’s letters to Eliza R. Snow and to John Taylor, president of the Mormon church, who, according to Angus’s diary for 12 July 1886, “was pleased with the brilliancy of thought exhibited by writer.”
68. Anna’s first husband was Paul A. Schettler. Mattie was apparently Schettler’s physician during his last illness. The Daily Herald, 30 May 1884, reported that she “moved her office to the house of Paul A. Schettler.” He died 3 November 1884.
70. The report, entitled “Mormons in London” and found in the 13 October 1886 issue of the London Standard, notes: “A number of Mormon Elders and missionaries from the Territory of Utah last evening held a meeting in St. George’s Hall, Langham-place, for the purpose of protesting against the ‘persecution’ of the Mormon community by the United States Government… only a small number of persons were present… Mr. Phil Robinson took the chair, and stated that the Mormons had come over here to defend themselves against the charges of irreligion, immorality, and disloyalty brought against them by the United States Government.”
72. John Nicholson (1830-1909) served time in the Utah penitentiary for polygamy. Nicholson joined the LDS church in 1861, became editor of the Deseret News in 1884, and later served as chief recorder and clerk of the church’s semi-annual General Conferences and as vice-president of the church’s Genealogical Society.
75. According to her daughter, Elizabeth McCrimmon, Mattie was engaged to a Salt Lake businessman before she went to Michigan to medical school. While away at school, a young man, “Liolin,” felt he had to leave school because Mattie could not return his affections. Another man she met in the East, John Hillary, followed her to Salt Lake City. Angus must be referring to these young men and perhaps others.
77. Mattie is likely referring to her half-brother, Joshua Hughes Paul, to his wife, Annie Marie Pettegrew, and to their new home (they were married 14 June 1883). She may also be referring to John and Mary Woolley. The latter had recently written to Mattie describing their houses.
82. Although Mattie assures Angus that she has not told Barbara anything of her situation, her letters to Barbara indicate that Barbara knew roughly why Mattie was “on the fly.” On 9 September 1886, Mattie wrote, “Thanks for keeping my secret—still do so.” By 8 October 1887 she was writing more openly, “My time will soon be up— my time of exile I mean.”
83. The Salt Lake Herald, 25 November 1886, reports that Angus, whom deputies had been anxious to detain for some months, had been arrested about three miles south of Salt Lake City. He was charged with cohabitation with Sarah Cannon and Mattie Hughes as his wives. Bail was set at $10,000. Mattie’s unusual greeting and closing may have been prompted by the arrest.