Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and David M. Whitchurch, "Letters," in My Dear Sister: Letters Between Joseph F. Smith and His Sister Martha Ann Smith Harris, ed. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and David M. Whitchurch (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 185–264.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 3 January 1870

jan 3rdJoseph F. to Martha Ann, 3 January 1870 (p. 1)

Salt Lake City

Dec. Jan. 3rd. 1869[1]

My Dear Sister:—

Martha Ann:—

Christmas and New Years day are passed, for ever to be numbered among the things that have been or more properly speaking, the “days gon by”. And I do not know that we are better or worse or even much wiser, however I hope we may proffit by the experiences of the past, and not grow older without some advancement in the great lesson of life.

Your letter of the 26th ult. came to hand several days after it was written. I was pleased to hear from you, that you were in such good spirits and possessing such good health in the family

Julina and babies[2] are well, altho’ the babies have had the chicken pox Josephine very lightly—but Mary S. more severely—they are both better now and look and feel and do well. Little baby is a perfect little dumplin, as fat and sollid as she can well be. and so good that she gets imposed upon very much. Sarah[3] has been very much indisposed for three or four [p. 2] days, but is—I am thankful to say, now much better. She is writing to you. She was surprised to learn that you had written to her for she had received no communication, and began to be anxious to know whether you had received a little parcel which she had sent to you, I think by “Alex”, or “Elleck”.[4]

Aunt Thompson and My Mary Jane[5] are well, the latter is teaching School. Mary Catherine and Edward[6] are among her pupils. The girls[7] have talked some of going, but I presume they will reach no farther. I have not seen John[8] since the day after his arrival. he found all well.

I am glad your pig did so well. I will make you a “New Years” gift of my shair. we do not need it. I killed old “cherry”[9] this fall so we have plenty of beef. I intend to kill my pig in a short time. We have thus far plenty to eat—& wear, and we are very comfortable and no reason why we should not be happy and I think we are. And I know we would be if our Dear kindred were all as comfortable as we are. Our ward party comes off tomorrow night in the Social Hall.[10] I wish you could enjoy a visit there with us. Martha Ann I wish you a “happy new year”—and Millions of happy—blissful years to come!! God grant them happy is my prayer— give my love to William[11]—and all friends—not forgetting the little folks—& yourself. more anon— Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 18 January 1870

S. Lake City

Jan. 18th. 1870[12]

My Dear Sister:—

Martha Ann:—

Your’s of 16th.inst. came to hand this morning and I hasten to write you a few words in answer while I have a few moments to spare.[13] I am now in the Legislative Hall.[14] I do not go home to dinner as it is too far and the days are two short. The meeting of the Legislative body will resume in 3/4 of an hour.

The girls are both very well, and so are the babies[15]— Edward has got the Mumps, and of course I suppose the babies will have their turn at it next, and that probably soon, they got over the Chicken pox very comfortably, and both—and Edward[16] too, are growing like weeds. Edward is also going to school; to Mary Jane[17] who teaches at her own house, but I am sor<r>y to say he cannot come so near writing a letter as “Willie”[18] has done, why did he not write to Edward, and that would show him how he should study to keep up with his cousins? I am real pleased to see ‘Willie’ make so good an attempt at writing, it is almost as good as I could do when I started on my mission to the Sandwich Islands. [p. 2] I hope he will continue to improve. I will send him two or three pens in this, and as soon as I can get a chance I will send him some more, and a pen- holder, and you must tell him to be a good boy and learn all he can. In relation to the ham, you will do nothing of the kind, but you will keep it and use it for your self, now remember this is premtory![19] we shall be pleased to see you any time. I went to Ogden on Sunday last by rail and returned the same evening. I took dinner at Aunt Fieldings or more Properly—at William Burtons, they are all well.[20] You will see the account of our trip in the Des. News[21] which I will send you with this.

The snort of the Iron horse[22] wakes up the echos of the hills and resounds through the broad-ways of our once isolated city, vibrating through the very dwellings and bed-chambers irreverant of the slumbering quiet <of> eve or early dawn!! A grand institution, well worthy of a visit when you can make it convenient. Aunt Thompson and Mary Jane and Robert[23] are all very well, and all the folks would send you love did they know I was writing— Please give my love to all enquiring friends— May God bless you and your little ones is the ever ernest prayer of Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 29 March 1870

City, Mar. 29th. 1870

Dear Sister, Martha Ann:—

I thought I would write you few words this morning as I have not written for some time. I am happy to inform you that our health is good, that is the health of my family. Sarah[24] has just recovered from one of her bad spells,[25] which however has not been so sever nor so protracted as usuel, and has this morning commenced to do the house-work. Julina[26] has had her hands full for some time past—thro’ Sarah’s being unwell. Tell Aunt Thompson, that Mary Jane[27] is about as usual. Edward[28] has stayed with her almost night and day since she left, and you know he is a very good boy for company, and is handy about chores &c. also there has not a day passed but Julina or I have called on her, so that we think she is getting along first rate considering she is such a “Mama’s” girl and so apt to get home-sick if she is away. If she has any wants she has only to make them known and if in our power they shall be supplied. She had a nice little childrens party on Friday evening, for her school children. Julina and I were there,[29] she was afraid the party [p. 2] would have a bad effect upon her, and that she would be sick after it. I administered to her, by her request, and the next day she felt better than the day before. She has dismissed school for a week, which I think would will give her a little rest and do her good. President Young and party will reach home about the 17th. of April, all being well.[30] A mass meeting will be held in the Old Tabernacle[31] next Thursday[32] to show reasons for resisting the execution of the “Cullom Bill” should it become a law.[33]

Things begin to assume rather a fearful aspect. Congress seems bent on offering us one of two alternatives viz. to deny God & Revelaton and our religion in toto, or to become serfs and meniels to petty tyrants, whormungers, drunkerds & Cuts throats sent to rule over us and despoil our goods and bring us under abject slavery & bondage, such as the negro of the South never experienced in the palmiest days of slavery!

I think the Government will find that Americans whether American born or Naturalized, after drinking at the fount of liberty caused to flow by the fathers of our Country and for which they staked their “lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors,”[34] so long as the Latter Day saints have, that they wold rather [p. 3] die free than live bound or in jeopardy. For my part I am ready for the worst in my own mind. But, I do not know as there is any cause for fear or necessity for trouble, “God and one good man is a great Majority.”[35] I would have no trouble in my mind, were it not for the fact, that I do not believe As a people we have lived as near to God as we should have done. And it may be the Lord has a scourge prepared for us on this account. But what ever is, or will be, will be for the best, for His saints for God is at the helm. We are engaged in His work, He must defend it—we cannot, of ourselves. But He has offered us freedom and deliverence from our enimies, seperated us from them, And said “Now try me, and see if I will not Bless you, multiply you, & your substance until there is not room to contain your blessings!”[36] but we have invited in the stranger & the wicked, we have drunk and sworn with them, and patronized them until we were lik potaoes in a sack. now we may have to endure the consequences. God only can deliver us from our enimies. No more at present, you must excuse haist & scribbling. All send love to you. we are glad to hear you are well & improving— from Joseph [p. 4]

N. B. Mary Jane was taken worse the day I wrote this so I did not send it—but telegraphed for Aunt Thompson to come home by stage.

This is Thursday Mar. 31—we are expecting Aunt Thompson [illegible strike-through] today—we got Sister Smoots[37] tilegram last night— Aunt Zina[38] sat up with Mary Jane last night—Julina and Sarah the night before—she has a bad cough—I hope she will soon recover— your brother Joseph F.——

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 31 March 1870

City Mar. 3rd. ’70[39]

My Dear Sister,

Martha Ann:—

We are all together (i. e.) Aunt Thompson, Mary Jane[40] and the rest of us, we are some of us grunting[41] and some of us very well. Aunt Thompson is not very strong—she feels the effects of her journey home, under the circumstances I will have to charge Bp. Smoot[42] with an ungenerous act, when he drove past her on the way, but perhaps it is a small account which will be overballanced by generosity in other quarters.

Mary Jane is quite unwell, but is, I think improving. Robert[43] is also quite unwell, Sarah[44] has had another bad spell but is now much better and will soon be all right again. Julina, and Babies, Myself and Edward[45] are all well. My Darling little girls and their good “Mama,”[46] enjoy excellent health, and I am very thankful for it, I assure you. I hope you and your family will see no more sickness for some time to come. I think you have had your share. No more at present I have broken up two pens since I commenced writing this and the third deserves to be broken—for it is <of> no account— from your affectionate brother J. F.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 25 June 1870

City June 25—1870.[47]

My Dear Sister Martha Ann.

Yours of date da forgotten, because I left it at home—has come to hand—not however till this morning. I was pleased to hear from you, that you found all well, and that you were able to do your work. You left quite a number of things as usual which we will send first opportunity, it is said “two moves are equal to a burn”,[48] reconing from these premisies I calculate about four of your visits would equal two moves—hense “four visits—equal to one fire”! I do not see how you get along after a short visit—but never mind—I am glad you can visit once in a while. for generally, I hope, what you forget and leave falls into good hands, and may stand a chance to be returned, as I am proud to say you keep good company!! We have been most lonely without our one sweet cottage flower—faded and gon.[49] My feelings are not yet settled— I am dull, stuped—inert, my ambition seems gon—for the present—and my heart sick! O! for a lease of life for my children! O! when will the Millenium come—and will I be worthy to stand? for then the children of Zion shall “live to the age of a trea”,[50] and there shall be no “death”, but the natural sleep—the rest of [p. 2] weary age! I am infidel to the belief that it is the “Will of God”, that children—perfect—in body and mind—or complete in organism—should die! my heart and reason tells me no. God is not the author of death, among His Saints—God wills not the defeat of His own great, mighty purpose and plan.[51] But true to the prediction of the Prophet—or the truth—foretold by him. There is One—aye Millions under the control of the great “father of lies”—the “Prince of darkness”—“the Enemy of G[] Christ,” “The foe of truth”, “the spoiler of peace”, “the worker of death”—who will “leave no stone unturned to destroy the children of the saints”—so said Joseph Smith the Prophet.[52] and in this way can I account for the death of children—like mine—perfect in form and being—bright, pure and heavenly—I have need of such—the Kingdom of God has need of such—they are spirits from God—“of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”—[53] Earth—and man—are better for them—and are purified by the possession of them! I am not one to complain of “rest to the weary”— I regret not the “going down to the grave like a shock of corn fully ripe”—but children should, live—ripen—fill the measure of earth—& when weary with age—rest—! this is my doctrine—God help me to see it eternally established among the Saints—is the prayer of your Brother Joseph[54]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 5 July 1870

City, July 5—1870

Dear Sister Martha Ann

I hasten to drop you a few lines to let you know that we are all well. Hyrum[55] is enjoying himself hugely[56] he went to the menagerie,[57] and to the Sunday School, in the morning & to meeting in the after noon, with Edward,[58] then with the Sunday Shool children (with Edward) went with the Prosession to the Tabernacle on the 4th.[59] then amused himself in the evening shooting cannons and pistols which I loaded for the boys to celebrate the great day of National Independence and to conclude with went with Julina Sarah, Aunt Thompson, Edward, Robert[60] and myself to see the Fireworks at night, all of which he enjoyed very much with the rest of us bigger children. This afternoon we had company[61] and this evening the boys have been eating nuts and rasens, and have now just gon to bed. I asked him if he wanted to see his mother, he said “yes,” do you want to go home? “no”, he would like to see you but does not want to come home. We are all well, but lazier than “Jacks Mule”[62]—the girls will have to get somebody to chew for [p. 2] them soon if they keep on. I got Hyrum linnen for a duster today, which will soon be made laziness permitting— The weather is extremly hot. The grasshoppers have made us another visit, done considerable damage to our trees, and some other vegitation but left us the next day—I never saw them so thick before. I will not lengthen out this any more tonight, as it is late, and Sarah and I were at the Ball in the Theatre last night till 12 o’clock i.e. before we got to bed. The girls send you love and want you to write. Give our kind regards to all enquiring friends and excuse scribbling, for I have written with poor pen and poor ink, and am a poor writer at that God Bless you all is the prayer of your affectionate Brother

Joseph F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 August 1870

City, Aug. 6th. 1870[63]

Martha Ann

My Dear Sister:—

Mary Jane and Aunt Thompson[64] having written to you, I thought I would say a few words, and enclose it with theirs. I am pleased to be able to say that we are all measurably well. Sarah’s brother Joseph,[65] has returned from his mission from Eng. land, arriving to day in the City.

The weather is very oppressive, and the atmosphere sultry and merky, as tho’ impregnated with smoke. Much as it was on the days memorable as the 27th, of June 1844. And the 21st. and 22nd of Sept. 1852—the day of fathers death, and the death and burial of Mother,[66] I recollect them distinctly. It is two months to day since my own sweet babe[67] joined her grand father and mother in the spirit world, leaving in my hearts affections a void and broken space that time nor earth can ever fill. I mourn the earthly loss of the brightest, purest, dearest, treasure God ever gave me. the one, I prized and cherished most, within the great circle of that greatest gift of God “Eternal Life”, [p. 2] which is incomparable, being “All in All,” and yet as if to compensate in some degree, for my bereavement, fresh sweetness and beauty, increasing inteligence, and love daily developes in my precious, cheerful, merry little “rose bud”, left me to bloom and blossom in my cottage “alone.” O! in the midst of sorrow, I can say, I thank God for my three sweet, perfect little gifts, “one on earth and two in heaven”,[68] the centre of my love, my own sweet “Jode”.[69] The fountain of my tears has never closed when I have permitted them to flow, but I complain only of my own weakness and ignorence. but I should not trouble you with these thoughts. And I hardly know why I have done so, but enough. I hope this will find you in good health and your dear little family, and William. Samuel is expecting an increase at his house this week, he predicts that it will be a “boy.”[70]

Sarah’s health has been better of late and still improves. she is in extacies over her brother’s return.[71] Rhoda[72] was at our house today, her children are not very well just now. William Burton was down today[73] I saw him just a moment, said all the folks were well. Robert is getting along nicely. David is expected down daily—wants to take M. Jane up home with him,[74] with kind love to all, I am as ever your affectionate brother Joseph F.——

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 18 August 1870

City, Aug. 18th. 1870[75]

My Dear Sister Martha Ann

Yours of Aug. 7th. came duly to hand, and I do not know or remember whether I answered it or not, but fearing I did not I now sit down to do so. The warm weather seems to affect almost every body—but I am sorry to hear of the illness of the babies, I hope long ere this they have recovered. You should try to take care of your ow[8.5 x 1.7 cm horizontal tear along fold] ch depends upon it [3.8 x 1.75 cm tear along fold] only the health of baby[76] but the proper care of all the rest of the children, but I am aware that where so large a family, and so many inconveniences as you have, requires all the energy you can summon or obtain to carry you through. I am glad to hear that the boys can earn something to assist their father and mother and their little brothers and sisters. I hope they will always be industrious, good boys and earn and save all they can for themselves and the family. Sorry to hear of the accident[77] to William’s horse, which has thrown him back so long.

The Lord says he will have a “tried people”,[78] all that [p. 2] is dross must sooner or later be consumed, for only the “gold” will remain.[79] I hope for the sake of parantage as well as for our own sake, and the sake of our children, we may be proven to be the pure mettal. I must say that Mormonism, or the Gospel in all its parts grows brighter and brighter with me, & this will inevitably be the case the more it is rubbed, and the Devil and all his imps seem bent on polishing us <it> up. There is one consolation, that is, the wicked can do nothing against, but for the cause of truth. My family are well, [4.5 x 1.9 cm tear along fold]y has had several [8.7 x 1.9 cm horizontal tear along fold]s of diarhea but nothing serious. Julina[80] is very careful, “burnt child dreads the fire”, we dread sickness or even the slightest illness of baby.[81] O! may God spare here for my sake. Aunt Thompson and Mary Jane, Robert, and all, have gon to Bear Lake with David.[82] have been gon about a week, bro. John[83] is also in Rich County, or in the land of the “Monsters”.[84] Julina and Sary[85] would send love if they knew I was writing. I have written this in a great hurry, I want to write to Aunt Thompson, and also to Julina’s Mother,[86] & tomorrow I am going to Coalville,[87] from Yours truly Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 27 October 1870


City, Oct. 27, 1870[88]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann.

Yours of 18th inst. came to hand this morning. the mail must have slept on the way to this city, as your letter was more than a week coming. I am sorry to hear that the children are or have been sick I hope and trust they are or soon will be better. I am happy to tell you that our little Mary[89] is much better than she has been for some time. She was very sick, so much so that I almost got alarmed. but by faith and the assistence of Dr. Meek[90] she is getting quite well again.

The pears came all safe & sound and were very delicious, I gave one to the President.[91] please give my kind regards to bro. & sis. Mecham,[92] and all the family & kindly neighbors. I thank bro. Mecham very kindly [p. 2] the pears, and for many acts of kindness. I do not see John very often, and I have not been at his house for several months. I have no affiliation for John’s wife nor her Mother,[93] nor their Spirit I am sorry to say. The last I heard from Lovina[94] she was very sick I should rather think she was better than worse, or we should have heard form her. Lorin[95] was here at Conference,[96] Jerusha[97] also gave us a call, but did not stop long. She staid over night however at Johns. I have got so now, I do not urge my kindred to visit, or stop with me, they know they are welcome, and they can do as they please. I can therefore judge from their actions the Society they choose. The atmosphere of my house is very different from that of Johns I acknowledge but it is not for the worse! Joseph F.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 December 1870

City Dec. 7.th. 1870.

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann

Your very kind letter of nearly a month ago came to hand last evening—it having been advertized in the papers.[98] Splendid Post Office regulations ours! And dutiful & intelligent clerks to attend to business. Mary Jane[99] has written I do not know what— I have not time to write much. I am in a hurry. Julina, Sarah, Rose bud, Edward[100] and myself are all well, for which I am thankful, baby has got two double teeth through & is complaining some of others on their way.[101]

Edna,[102] Julina’s Sister is with us, she has had a severe attack of pluricy,[103] but is now nearly well again. John[104] is away from home, William Pierce[105] was in town yesterday, said the folks were all well. I have not heard from Lovina[106] for some time. Has the Bishop[107] done any thing about a house for you?[108] let me know. I must close— God bless you all the girls send love, kind love to all friends.

from your affectionate brother in haste J. F. S.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, [After 1870?]

[After 1870?][109]

uired as to your curcomstances, I told him[110] you were living in the little house,[111] &c— that you had built another room &c—and that you liked the place, So he said that he would deed it to you. He then asked me about your [illegible strikeout] <condition> — [end of fragment] We got home all right, and found babies not very well but they are all right now. Give my love to all friends, and accept the same yourself— Your Brother in haste — Jos. F. Smith. [end of fragment]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 January 1871

City, Jan. 26, 1871[112]

Dear Sister:—

Yours of Jan. 8— and 19th. are both before me,[113] I have just re-read them to see what questions I had to answer. I saw William[114] the day I received your last[115] he had the buck-skins you mentioned and was going to the office to send them to you. He took them to Worley himself.[116]

The reason the girls[117] do not write, is that they would rather cook a week or make a suit of close than write half an hour. In one sence this is a high recommendation, but in the real sence, it is a disgrace! for I wish they would use their pen more. I did not suppose you would think that I would invite you to some body els’ wedding. You must be obtuse, let every body do his own inviting!

I am much obliged for Lucy’s “photo”, it is very good.[118] we have no good likeness of our little bundle of mischief and roguery,[119] or I would send you one with pleasure, I may even send one of such as we have, she has been very sick for a week, cutting four double teeth at once! and her mother[120] has not been very well which may have augmented the baby’s troubles. but they were both much better this morning. Sarah[121] continues in excellent health, but has charge of Sister Rhoda’s little boy,[122] who is so full of mischief that with Mary, Sarah’s nerves are fearfully [p. 2][123] wrought up once in a while. Rhoda and her husband[124] have both been very sick for some time, the former with gathered brest,[125] the latter with plura-pneumonia. and very ill. Aunt Thompson[126] and family are all usually—or rather un-usually well at present. they were very much pleased with little Lucy’s likeness. indeed so were we all, I do not hear any more about house and lot &c. for you. I hope the Bp.[127] in the multiplicity of his onerous duties and cares will yet be able to seccure you a comfortable home, if the one you have does not suit you. I think with, sore heads &c. toothache gathered finger and the like you must have been excrusiatingly comfortable for some time past. You need more room and fresh air. that will prevent or cure those irruptions on the children. that is, with wholesome food.

Edna is taking care of her sister, (A. Davis’ wife) and family,[128] they are all sick and have been all winter with chills and fever. Edward[129] is not going home but Edna gives him lessens each day, and he is getting so that he reads pretty well. by the way tell Maggie[130] not to dispond, for if that young gentleman does not walk up to the mark, “here am I, Staunch & true,”[131] and I am very[132]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 23 February 1871

City Feb. 23.rd. ’71

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann

Yours of 15th—is received, for which accept thanks. Always pleased to hear from you you deserve credit for being a faithful correspondent. I never get a linee or scarcely a word from Jerusha or Sarah.[133] Julina and Mary[134] made a visit to Coalville[135] a couple of weeks ago, and had an excellent time. we found Sarah and family enjoying excellent health—Sarah is much better than for years past, and showes it in her looks. Charlie[136] is doing pretty well, at carpentering and they all appear comfortable.

Alice[137] is the prettiest, best-behaved [p. 2] and most beloved of any young lady in Coalville. All speak well of her, and admire her as a modist womanly young lady. but her health is not very good. I proffered to send her to school if they would let her come to town. but I do not think they want to part with her company. The other children were well.

We have all been suffering with the prevailing distemper of the city. terrific colds. Except Edward,[138] he has escaped so far. And Sarah[139] has not suffered much. Julina and Mary S. are just recovering (we hope) rapidly— Edna[140] is well again, and as for myself, this is the third day that I have been confined to the house. but I am much better and shall be ready to go to work in the morning.[141] Our little Leonora,[142] is gro<w>ing like a wead—[p. 3] but she sufferes very much with the colic. otherwise she is perfectly healthy. Sarah enjoys her little charge, as such as she, only can. it would do you good to see her take such solid comfort, yet she takes it to heart sadly when it cryes with the colic. She is not as pretty a baby as Ella[143] was, but will grow prettier, no doubt.— we are perfectly satisfied at all events. She has the making of an inteligent woman, that is the best of all.

Aunt Thompson & Mary Jane[144] are also suffering with bad colds—or, the epidemic. I am sorry to learn that you are or have been suffering with colds, but I am in hopes you will all be well again ere this reaches you.

I send inclosed photographs of Mary S. and Edward,[145] such as they are. You must excuse [p. 4] this scribbling for I am <in> very bad trim for writing. rather tremulous. my pants are at least four inches larger arround the waist than they were four days ago!

Edna is living at Melissa Janes.[146] left me allready you see!! our little “Mayõ[147] is always all sunshine whether it rains or storms, or fair! she just now found her way into the sugar sack and the first thing we knew here she came with a lump half the size of her head! she will make mischief out of lawful play.

I must conclude. The girls send love to you and all the children and all friends.

Always remember me kindly to bro. & sis. Mecham.[148] John[149] just called, got a letter from you but had not had time to read it— God bless you all Joseph F.

Mary Gray[150] has twins—girls—8 lbs each— Melissa Jane has a girl[151]— Sister Evans had three girls[152]— Polly—has a girl[153]— Rhoda has a girl.[154] of course Sarah has a girl— Julina hopes to have a girl (some day—) & perhaps you may hear of me having one some day—no more room.[155]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 21 April 1871

S. L. City, April 21st 1871

My Dear Sister Martha Ann,

I believe I have not answered your two last letters to me, not because I have not thought of you, but because I have been pressed somewhat with other matters,[156] and therefore neglected to write. I heard from you at Conference,[157] and at several times from those, who were up from Provo. I am sorry you have had to suffer so much with sickness, but I trust you are all better. bro. Dusenberry,[158] told me he was living near you, & that he thought you were intending to move again. I enquired if you had succeeded in getting a better place, but he did not know. I am fearful that you do not have sufficient air in that little tucked up place, which may be the cause of your ill health.[159] Air is esential to health, as much so as wholsome food. I hope the boys are learning well, and that they will be good to their mother & little sisters,[160] and take care of the lot or garden, and raise some vegetables and fruit for themselves and the family. Edward is a good boy—he works like a little man in the garden, digging the ground helping to plant peas beans, radishes, turnips, and other seads. he gathers up the rocks and wheels them off in the wheel-barrow, and is a real good boy.

Besides he helps the folks all the time, draws their water, cuts the wood, makes the fires, cleans out the stoves, brings in the coal and does all the chores, and errends for the folks. I know Willie, Jodie and Hyrum[161] can be just as good as Edward and can anticipate every <want> [p. 2] of their mother and save her hundreds of steps and a great deal of hard work, and care. Edward never runs away to play with the boys—unless he gets permission, and we are always willing he should have time to play when he has done his work, and been a good boy.

We are all well, for which I am thankful, some of us have slight colds but nothing serious. Sister Ann Cluff[162] and children are stopping with us for a little while on a visit. They are well. I never hear from William J.[163] What is he doing? I have bought Aunt Fieldings[164] portion of city lot—which enlarges my front eight rods more, I have paid $30000 towards it out of my own pocket, and have borrowed $10000 more towards it— I am still owing $20000 which I shall also have to borrow until I can raise it by selling some other property. I had to draw my int<e>rest out of the Cooperative store,[165] which amounted to $20000 which I very much regretted, but I could not afford to let some body else buy—for I needed it. I am writing some articles for the Juvenile Instructor, headed “Recollections”.[166] giving some sketches of our Journey from Nauvvo—to the valley. I thought I would draw your attention to them as they may be interesting to you, and the children.

Aunt Thompson and Mary Jane, (and theirbaby”)[167] are very well. and as good as ever—there are not many better folks than they with all their peculiarities.

The girls would all send love if they knew I was writing if you should write to Edna[168] she would correspond with you. May God Bless You all, with kind love I am ever Joseph F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 May 1871

City, May, 26—1871[169]

My Beloved Sister Martha Ann.

I am in the mood of corresponding this afternoon. I have written to Geo. Nebeker on the Sandwich Island,[170] to William Cluff in England,[171] and now I will scribble you a few lines in haste, you must excuse them for I am in a hurry— I must write still another to a native on the Islands in answer to one from him,[172] and then I shall be thro’ with letter writing till I get some more to answer. I am pleased that the President[173] called to see you while in Provo. I wish you had a comfortable home. You had better take the deed of the place, if you can get no better one, and then try to enlarge your dwelling or build anew when ever you can. or if <you> should have it to exchange for or towords another and better place it would not be amiss.

My family are all tolerably well just now, little Mary S[174] has been very sick for some time but is [30.5 x 1.6 cm cut along bottom] [p. 2] they are determined to help me out of debt by economy &c. My little Leonora,[175] is a pretty, fat—good—black-eyed little baby, and hitherto, with the exception of colic once in a while, is as healthy as a child could be. And Sarah[176] was never happier in her life. Little Mary S. with her long hair, way down on her shoulders—and her little prattle is the life of our home. God Bless the babies! I will renew your subscription to the Juvenile;[177] and will have it sent at once. I had forgotten that the year was up. Aunt Thompson, Mary Jane and Robert[178] are all well, but they write to you so I need not particularise. The Lord is blessing us on every hand. we have a fair amount of health, our share of peace, contentment and happiness. We try to live our Religion and do right, and we are blessed. we will have a new milch cow[179] in a few days all being well, and I hope will be able to [29.2 x 1.3 cm cut along bottom] and [29.2 x 1.3 cm cut along bottom][180]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 14 September 1871

City Sept. 14. 1871

My dear Sister

Martha Ann, Yours of the 9th inst came duly to hand, but for hurry and bustle I should have answered it immediately. Julina[181] got some concentrated lie[182] in her eye and she is suffering considerably with it, but it is not dangerous. Sarah is well, “Nonie”[183] is cutting teeth and rather fretful of nights, has four through and others coming. Mamie[184] has been very poorley ever since you saw her except a few days at Sodah Springs,[185] until now. We all feel and believe she has now taken a turn for the better, & begins to look very different, tho’ she is still almost a little skelaton. Edna has been sick for six weeks or more, perhaps you might guess the cause,[186] if you were a Yankey, even a Succor even might. poor girl I never saw any one who had to suffer so much, withall she has been very much troubled with pluricy[187] in her left [p. 2] side, an old complaint with her.

Our early peach crop is gon, and the late crop has now come on so that the girls are very busy drying fruit, I am in hopes you will have some fruit this year, for winter use. I was very sorry to hear of little Lucy’s[188] illness I hope she is all right ere this.

Julina spent two weeks at black-rock[189]—Salt Lake—with Mamie, and Mary Jane & Robt[190] one, for their health but mamie did not seeme to be improved by it—except the first week.[191]

Aunt Thompson[192] and family are all well. and they are all as full of care and business as ever. There is a vast amount of sickness among children, and the Tiphoid fever is almost epedemic, among grown persons. several have died of it lately[193]— I am very busy—or should be—so you will please excuse this brief note— I will try to do better next time. God Bless you always Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 21 November 1871

City Nov. 21—1871[194]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann.

I now take a moment or two to answer your kind letter of Sept. 30th which came duly to hand, and I have carried it in my pocket ever since. Am always glad to hear from you, but sorry when any of the children are sick. It has been a long time since receiving your letter, in it you mentioned the baby’s being sick,[195] I trust she soon got better, and that you are all well now. I made enquiry about your shawl but could learn nothing. I think there are some little things that you left, but I am not sure what they are. I do not know but I shall make a visit to Provo sometime soon, & then I can bring them down, unless some of you come up here first. Our health’s are very good at presant—except colds from which none of us are free. Little Mary S.[196] is much better than she has been since last May, begins to look plump and fat, and [p. 2] is as lively as a cricket. Leonora[197] is cutting four teeth & is fretful, but is pretty as a picture and and dearer than life.

Since Aunt Thompson left for Canada[198] Mary Jane[199] has rented the only room left and turned herself out of doors to cook and up stairs to sleep, she has said nothing to me about it, nor I to her, but I thought it the most absurd, but I had no need to tell you oft it—so keep it to yourself. The weather is very wintery, hard frosts; &c. All is peace in the city, excepting the incroachments of “civilization”, & the District Court, an institution that deserves damnation, more than Belzibub its father, because it is a nondescript—notwithstanding its paternal origin![200] Tell sister Jaques[201] that I have 182$ received from bro. Staines,[202] for her, & will send it first <good> chance.[203] Give my love to the children, & to William[204] if at home, and to any Enquiring friends. May God bless you my Dear Sister, giving you strength sufficient for your day is my prayer, Jos F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 12 December 1871

Page 1—S.L. City

Dec. 12th 1871

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann,

Yours of 20th inst. came to hand duly. and found us all measurably well—we are a little troubled with colds nothing more. I am sorry to hear of William’s[205] illness, not only on his own account but yours also. It would seem that you had more than your share of troubles in this life, and I wish it could be otherwise, were it in my power I would certainly releave you, and that gladly.

I am gratified however to hear that you have a little more room,[206] may you enjoy even that little fully—[p. 2] (2) I ment to have made a visit to Provo—but the weather and roads came on so bad that I think I shall postpone <it> until some more favorable time. Dec. 14th 1871[207]—I got this far with this note the other evening and was obliged to quit for more pressing duties.[208] I have sent my team away for the winter, in care of Willard Richards,[209] as I could not afford to keep them. Edward[210] not being able to work it—and besides I want him to go to school this winter is possible. We are all about as well as usual. Uncle Sam’s[211] minion’s made another onslaught yesterday by arresting three or four of the special police, on the charge of the murder of Dr. Robinson. one of them, J. L. Blythe,[212] who by the way[213]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 3 May 1872

Salt Lake City

May 3rd 1872[214]

My Dear Sister Martha Ann

Your letter of Apr. 3rd came duly to hand, and you will see by the dates that it is just one month today since it was written and I have carried it in my pocket ever since awaiting a favorable opportunity to answer.

I am happy to say that we are all usually well with slight colds among the babies. we are getting quite a respectable show of them now, and in greater variety than heretofore. We have three babies—God Bless them for ever, they are bright, hansome, and good.[215] The beauty—of course since we had to part with our little black-eyed Josephine,[216] is our little black eyed Leonora. Still they are all pretty—and beloved. our little boy[217] has manifested so far the Sweet disposition of our “dode”,[218] and if his eyes were black, and hair darker he would remind me of her looks. but he is blue eyed, and light, and grows like a “wead.” he is large beside of the rest of the babies, Bathshebas, Sarah’s—(John’s, Sarah) and even Susan’s.[219]

Edna is here at Geo. A.’s,[220] Sarah[221] has gon to the store & will be here soon, and Julina[222] is attending Retrenchment Meeting[223] after which she will also be here, it is “Aunt” Bathsheba’s 50th Birth day,[224] and so the Girls are out on a visit. Our Sarah spent six week at Skull Valley,[225] I [p. 2] I went for her and returned just a week ago yesterday.[226] The City begins to look beautiful, trees beginning to get green and all in blossom, but the roads are already dusty, notwithstanding the recent storms. I hope the health of yourselfe and little family are<is> all well and good.

Prest. Young and all the prisoners are enjoying their liberty again, and McKean[227] is enjoying his much merrited scorn, contempt, and degredation. He is down and everybody is now ready to give him a Kick![228] but it serves him right it is in answer to prayer.

Aunt Thompson and her Children[229] are usually well. They are stopping at our house this after noon to take care of Mamie[230] who is suffering with a severe cold & cough, & we thought we dare not risk the exposure of a visit up here. You know it was from here[231] we carried home our sweet little Josephine to bid her that long farewell, it has made us cautious. I was pleased to learn from some friends from Provo that little Lucy[232] was better— How is William?[233] and where is he & what doing? give my love to all friends. The Girls[234] all join in love to you—all. You must excuse this hastily written letter— Ever Truly Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 17 May 1872

City May 17th 1872

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann,

Yours of 13th inst. came duly to hand and I take the present opportunity to write you a few words in a hurried manner, as I am at city council.

I was not requested to go to provo so I remained at home I might have gon, if I had been requested. But I have plenty to do at home, and more than I can do, except I had more to do with but I have no cause to complain, nor would I for a slight one.

The health of the family is again very good, our [p. 2] our precious little black eyed “Nonie”[235] is teathing and some what puney but, but she is doing nicely, she has been weaned from her mother and has taken to nursing Edna.[236] But I am rather glad of it, for she has plenty of milk, and if she does not wean easily by-and bye we will let her pass the summer. I am fearful for the children this summer, our experience last we have not forgotten, with our little Mary S.[237] She is now hearty and well. The Girls are very busy sewing rags for another carpet. and they do seem to work harder and more hours than any body else that I know. and I cannot prevent it, some way they seem to be overwhelmed with work all the time. I ofton say “what will you do when you get as many to do for each as MarthaAnn has”? but it is no use—I believe the Lord has blessed us with more than we can well take care of—and yet I know of nothing that we can well do without, and we are all the time desiring, and seeming to need more. One of John Sharp’s[238] daughters[239] died recently of what the Docters call spotted fever, a very virulent and fatal desease. it is said no one recovers from it, who takes it.[240]

I am pleased to hear that your little ones are so well. [p. 3] and that you are getting your little home so comfortable I was very sorry to hear that William[241] had had another bad spell, tell him for a friend & a brother, and one who has more than one tie of sympathy and friendship, that when he quits wholly and entirely the use of Ardent,[242] or Stimulous drink, and will take proper rest and excercise, he will be a well man once more, and not till then.[243] And I know what I say, and I do not mince it. That he drank while here, some little time ago, I do know, and it grieved me. Now I say this, perhaps at the expense of friendship, but I have said it, with an earnest solicitude

for William and his precious family—of wife & little ones. and I only speak of what I know, but I have been worried about him. God Bless you all, yours ever true Joseph.[244]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 14 June 1872

jun14thJoseph F. to Martha Ann, 14 June 1872 (p. 4 and 1)

jun 14th page 2Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 14 June 1872 (p. 2 and 3)

S. L. City June 14th 1872

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann.

Yours of May 25—th came duly to hand, I am always pleased to hear from you, especially so when I can learn of your welfare. It is rather strange but I never hear from either Jerusha or Sarah,[245] there seems to be a strange indifference, almost coldness, in the brests of them both towards me, and I may say the rest of the family, for I daresay I hear from them almost as often as any one of the family. who would have thought that our family could have grown up to become strangers, to each other. Lovina[246] never calls except thro’ a sort of courticy, but Lorin[247] is sociable and friendly. But that I am not surprised at—by the way, President Young has bought Lovina a very good home at farmington[248] at a cost of over three housand dollars. Leonard Rice’s[249] place. House, city lots, pasture & farm. [p. 2] I cannot but feel grateful to, and say God Bless President Young, at the same time either of the other girl’s were quite as worthy. Not but what President Young would as readily assist either of them as soon as he would her if it was in his power. He has certainly dealt kindly and liberally with our Father’s house, and with Samuel.[250] He has proven himself a father to the fatherless in our cases at least—and he has been no less liberal to many others, aye many![251] the demands on his bounty are numirous, and he seldom sends away empty. He has sent Aunt Catherine,[252] some $40000 in cash to help her build a house, and make herself comfortable. I hope we will never for get his kindness, it would be ungrateful.

My family are all well, for which I am very thankful, our little blackeyed Leonora[253] is cutting her double teeth and is just being weaned, she is therefore a little fretful, but we hope—yes believe she will get along all right. Mamie[254] is growing like a weed, she is taller than [p. 3] Josephine[255] was when she died, altho’ not quite so old. her health is good. our little Hyrum Mack[256] is growing nicely, and is a sweet little fellow, fat—blue-eyed and good. Today is mary Jane’s birth day she is 34, tomorrow is Aunt Thompsons.[257] I do not know her age. I just happened to think—she was born in 1807 which makes her 65—today morrow, and if she had nobody’s troubles but her own to bear she would be good for many years— (you must excuse my writing my pen is very bad) Julina[258] is 24 this month. I forget the day.[259] it is two years on the 6th of this month since our one best beloved little angel Josephine left us, it will not be long till we shall go to meet those that have gon behind the veil! “where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest”![260] O! glorious release, yet I want to finish my work here before I go, and tho’ it were a century it would be short! My health is good, and my spirits tolerable.

George A.[261] who has been east for about a month, and Geo. Q. Cannon, who has been at [p. 4] Washington several months & Capt. Hooper are expected home tomorrow.[262]

The weather is very hot and dry & the Kanyon streems are decreasing. I hope we shall have rain before long.

I sympathise with you my dear sister—I would to God that William would see and stop the folly of his past course in regard to that one terrible thing.[263] it is the curse of Millions, and it has desolated tens of thousands of homes, it would ruin an Angel, it would defuse and <impovish> a millionair, it ruins health, happiness and honor. it degrades, destroys and damn’s it votaries—broadcast over the whole earth. But it is still worse for those who have drunk at the fountain of God’s spirit. who have labored in the vineyard of souls, and reaped the blessings of the Priesthood in the House of God. O! may he think of this before it is too late! Look at Furguson,[264] Nixon, & Macintosh, remember the fate of J. R. Long,[265] James Meyers, and __ Luce,[266] all the same. Look at O. K. Whitney,[267] & others. O! God deliver me & my kindred from their fates! Yours in love & eternal fraternaty— Jos. F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 July 1872

City, July 26th 72[268]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann

President Young[269] [rest of page missing]

[p.2] Gave directions to David McKenzie[270] to notify Bp. Smoot[271] accordingly; [rest of page missing]

two pieces of a letter

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 18 January 1873

Salt Lake City

Jan. 18th 1873.[272]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann


Your letter of Nov. 24th is before me and has never been answered. I was glad to hear from you as I always am. And now, although I have no news, I thought I would send you a few lines. We are now all in the enjoyment of tolerable health. the children have all had a seige of the epedemic influenza, cold or pneumonia that has been going the rounds of late, but fortunately they have all escaped any serious results. And those of us that are older have not entirely escaped. we have all had our turn; except myself and now I feel as though mine had come, or was coming.

Julina[273] and I were at a Ball at the City Hall last night in honor of the Fire Brigade.[274] And the night before we spent a few hours at our own ward School House,[275] which has just been built. a very fine stone building with galary, Entrance Hall, Vestry and upper room over Vestry, connected to main Hall by a draw partition, nearly the whole width, a very neet and useful arrangement. the whole building will cost not less than $12,00000/100

William[276] called on us and stopped over night. I was pleased to have him as it seemed a little more friendly than usual, of late. But he would not stop to eat with us having promised to breakfast at Mary Janes.[277] [p. 2][278] There is no reason why he should not make his home with us when he is in the city, as we have pleanty of room and beds. speaking of that, I will say the girls have just got each a new fether bed. so that now we have two spare ones for our friends when they come to see us. for which I am very thankful for I like to make my friends and especially my Kindred comfortable when they favor us with a call. we can now do this, and they can share with us in the other blessings which we enjoy. I have sold my wagon, harness, and remaining horse for $22000/100 and I have put the money into the Coôp. so that now I have a small interest, once more, in that Institution.[279] I am out of imployment just now, there being nothing for me to do in the office.[280] this makes me feel uneasy, as always, you know the expence goes on. whether there is much, little or nothing coming in. The girls are earning more than I am now. Sarah[281] is dress making, and we are boarding sister E. Pratt[282] and son, School teachers in our ward. Edward[283] is going to School and is doing well. Aunt Fielding[284] has sold her farm on Mill creek for $100000/100 cash down, the money will do her much more good at interest, than the farm would in her possession. Mary Jane has not been very well of late, but is much better now. The girls all joine in love to you and all the family.

God bless you and yours and continue to open your way and strew blessings upon your wearisom path is my constant prayer Jos. Fielding S.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 28 April 1873

Salt Lake City

April 28th 1873.

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann:—

I am now in city council and I thought I would drop you a few lines. We are all well, except Edna,[285] she is very sick. Was taken sick on tuesday last, flooding,[286] and has been suffering very much since, but I think she is now some better. But we have had our hands full for two or three days I assure, <you> with five babies and only two mothers,[287] babies more or less cross—some teathing &c. &c. But I have no fears that we shall not live through it. We have to have our little troubles once in a while, to remind us of our infirmities and helplessness. For if our course through life was all pleasant, we should loose, the best portion, for we should not know how to apreciate the good, for however good,—if not apreciated, there can be no enjoyment. Mary Jane and Robert[288] are well. I hope these few lines [illegible strike-through] hastily scribbled may find you and all the family well, give my love to all good friends not forgetting William[289] & the Children,[290] and your self— May God bless you all— from your affectionate brother— Jos. F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 1 July 1873

S. L. City

1st July 1873

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann,

I find in my pocket your letter of Apr. 3th 1873— I do not know whether I have ever answered it or not—but I thought on a venture it would do no harm to write a few lines by way of acknowledgement— I am in city council and will have to do two things at once—as I must listen to business as I write—

My family are all usually well— Some of the Children have colds, and our little Joseph Richards[291]—is fretful and I think beginning to cut teeth.

Aunt Thompson[292] and some of her English friends took Supper with us this evening. She is looking very well—looks but little older and must have enjoyed her visit very well.[293]

I returned form Cache Valley[294] [p. 2] Yesterday morning— Somewhat tired as I had been travelling most of the night without sleep— Geo. A.[295] looks well and, except a rheumatic pain, in his right arm, is feeling first rate.

My health is not quite as good as I could wish—and for several days I have had something like the blues[296] on a small scale— Sarah Ann Whitney Kimball[297] is very low with sickness—I have been twice to lay hands on her. We are in hopes she will get well. I saw Aunt Lucy[298] this morning, and had a long talk with her— She talks of building a boarding house in Provo. I advised her to be very cautious about getting in debt—and paying interest on money.

Give my love to William[299] and the little ones—and all friends and excuse haste and scribbling, Affectionately Joseph

Joseph F. to William and Martha Ann, 10 November 1873

letterJoseph F. to William and Martha Ann, 10 November 1873

S. L. City

Nov. 10. 1873—

William and Marth—

Next Thursday is my thirty-fifth birth day,[300] I am trying to get the family together on that day at my house— I desire your presence.[301]

If William cannot come with his team, please take the train & come immediately.[302] I do not want to be disappointed. If you want R. R. tickets—telegraph to me & I will send them.

We are all well— I will tell you the rest when I see you, try & get here on Wednesday[303] if you can—but on Thursday sure—

Your affectionate brother

Jos F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 27 February 1874

S. L. City

Feb. 27. 1874[304]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann:

I have heard that your children have got the whooping cough, I am sorry to hear it, and I hope they will mend all right with the coming warm weather—if it ever does come! It does seem as though you were bound to pay the penelty of all your sins—in this world—and life. Certainly if suffering and trials are entitled to reward, you will have nearly as good and great an one as your mother[305] before you, and if you continue a little longer you will fill up your cup as full as hers—provided you continue as faithful.

I wrote to President Smith,[306] St. George, and asked him to autherise Bp. Smoot[307] to furnish you with such necessaries as you may require. inclosed you will find his telegram to me on the subject. You can keep it, and if necessary present—or shew it to Bp. Smoot. My [p. 2] I do not want you to go without, any thing you need, if it can be had by asking for it. and the way is open for you, I think, to get what you need. I want also to advise you in regard to one thing—never promise any thing you cannot fulfill. as I have noticed that whenever any one showed you a kindness you would surely pledge yourself to return the measure in full. now, I have no objections to any one showing or expressing thanks, and gratitude for kindness, but I donot like to see you feel obliged to make promises you cannot fulfill. never do it.

My family are all well. excepting slight colds, and little Dannie[308] is not altogether recovered from her sick spell—but is improving.

I expect to start tomorrow—Saturday—morning for the East.[309] When this reaches you I shall be on my way.[310] I hope you will find time to write to me once in a while, and also to the folks at home, and I hope they will write to you often as I will keep them posted.

Please give my kind love to Sister (Harris—) Smoot,[311] to the Bishop,[312] and all his Excellent family, I am Your Brother. Jos. F. Smith. God Bless You.

Martha Ann to Joseph F., 31 May 1874

letterMartha Ann to Joseph F., 31 May 1874 (p. 1)

handwrittenMartha Ann to Joseph F., 31 May 1874 (p. 2 and 4)


Martha Ann to Joseph F., 31 May 1874 (p. 4)

Recd June 20. 1874

Ansd July 15."[313]

Provo City[314] May the 31 1874

My Dear brother and [illegible strike-through]

Joseph it is a long time sence I have writen to you but is not becaus I have haveforgoton you. no I could never forget my brother who has been so kind to me as you have been I have been waiting untill my head got a little stronger be fore I dare to write to you and even now I fear to make the attempt when the body is weak we are all weak from head to foot I have had a great deal to contend with sence I last saw you both in body and mind[315] but the Lord has sustained me threw it all and I am sill in the land of the living and able to write once more to my truest most faithfull friend that I have had sence the death of my dear Mother[316] you have never forsaken me you have been more than a brother to me you have filled as near as could bee the plase of a Father I do feel greatfull to you for all you have done and may the God we try to sirve reward you for I never can more than bee greatfull. I have had threw my sickness while laying in my bed of suffering time to thnk and reflect I wish I could write you one tenth of the thaughts that has passed threw my mind perhaps it might interest you and then it might not. Sence this new order[317] has been made known I have thaught still more and have had great caus to think for we all do not think alike nor see things in the same light I had never thaught that thare would bee [p. 2] so great a test of our fidelity to our religeon as as this new order will brng to light it is the deviding line beteen those that is faithful and those that are wavering they have got to do one thing or the other and it is a sore trial for many, they feel as though they cannot bare it and some as though they will not. My heart is sad whin I think that any one should hesetate for one moment to step forward at the command of those that are plased over us to lead and guide our footstepps why not have faith in our father in heaven and put our trust in him that he will not for sake us if we will try to do his will. O when I think of the care and the responcibillity that is restng upon parrents the anxiety of mind we are bound more or less to have as our children grows older we do not know how they will indure wheather they will bee faithfull or not and what could bee so sore a grief as to see them fall away from the true path and let go of the rod of iron that leds to life etirnel thare are many that are having this trial now but I hope and prey that those that are in darkness may see thir foley and turn in the right path. I could say much on this subject but I can not fooley explain my fears and ancious thoughts on paper it would not do but O my brother prey for me and myne that we <may> not bee waid in the balance and found wantng that his call we may all obey like Abraham of old not knowing our way but faith make us bold [p. 3] we have a good guide and trust in all dangers the Lord will povde but I fear I will wery you on this subgect so I will turn to something else.

When I think you are so far from me & that great & mghty osion betwen us[318] I can hardly think it posable. yit it is verly so I but I know you are trying to do good you are on the Lord business and I feel that he will preserve your presous life to return <to> those that loves you I was thankfull that your dear little ones all recoverd <from> thir sickness, & ware all well when last I herd from them and that was last Thursday I got a letter from Mary Jane[319] I have had one from Julina[320] sence you left one from Edna[321] I was much obligd to them fer writng to me. I have not answrd them yet but I will soon. you ware all so kind to my littl boy while he was wih you I will nevr forget it I thank you and them aso. & may the Father of the good reward you all is my prayr. he has seen fit to intrusted another littl darling to my care[322] may he strengthen me for the task and gve me wisdom that I may perfor<m> my duty to <my> children in th[◊◊]ne honer to him I hope they will bee obiedent & an honner to thir friends. The children are all gittng over thir hoopng but Joneys[323] still remaines very bad espesly when he takes cold he has had a gathering in his head & it has broken and [illegible strike-through] it is gittng better now. [illegible strike-through] he is quite fleshey now and look well, & begins to talk he is as sweet as he can bee or at least I think so. [p. 4]

William[324] is at home not dong very much his health is just midlng. Willey & Joseph runs the teem Hyrm and Mary gows to school I want to send franklin soon.[325]

I have named my baby Mersey Ann[326] I can not git yoused to it very easy but I hope I will some time she is another cry baby like Joney[327] was I have had a hard time of it with her and no help sence she was fore weeks old but I am gaining my srengh now nicely. We have drove some considrable provision from the tithe<n>g oface it has been a great help to us I do not think I will prolong this letter I fear you will hardly have paicence with [illegible strike-through] all ready our orcherd is lookng prosperous & our garden. William and the chldren join me in love to you May the Lord bless you is the prayr of your loving sister

Martha A Harris

pleas write when you can spare time

pleas over look mistakes I would write it over and try and beter it if I had time but I have not I will try and do better next time

Martha Ann to Joseph F., 20 June 1874

letter 1Martha Ann to Joseph F., 20 June 1874 (p. 1)

letter 2Martha Ann to Joseph F., 20 June 1874 (p. 2)

Recd July 26. 1874

Ansd Aug. 5.[328]

Provo City June the 20th 1874[329]

My Dear brother brother Joseph

as brother John Nuttele[330] was going to start on his mishon to morrow I thaught I would write you a few lines and send with h him we are all some better than we have been but still have bad coalds yet. Johney[331] hoopng caught still hangs on him when he takes cold he had a high feever last week for fore days Mother <Smoot>[332] thinks it was the Scarlet feever I hope this may find you well.

Sarah E[333] pased threw hear last fryday week she looked poor and thin but the children look well and sweet as ever I have not hird from any of them sence do not know wheather they have gon home or not I am looking for them every day I shall feel bad if she does not call when she goes back

The Scarlet feever is all round in provo some children have died with some are still very low yet. Wwe are gittng along very sloly do not irn much with the teem the boys have been for wod to days now William[334] is not very well can not stand much work he has got his lucern[335] planted and it is up nice over on the other lots our garden is looking well now we have got potatos nearly large enough for use we have had one ness of pees [p. 2]

I have not got much news to write this tme I hope you will find tme to write to me before long for the girls[336] manages to keep thir news from you all to them selvs and I feel a little jeelous I supose they are like me do not git time to write ofton they do not realise that I am anctous to hear from you I hope you will bee able to read this for I have writen in such a hurry for fear the baby[337] would wake she is so fretfull. Fyd<a>y morning brother nottele has just called I have got up irly to finnish this letter the baby has had a hot feever all night she has got in a nice sweet now I have not had much rest with hir. Johny has caughed all night by spells but has not had any feever. I hope they will soon bee better. now I will close praying the Lord to keep us all from harm and give his holy spirrit to give us pacience and strength at all times for our day.

William and the children join me in love to you allso brother and sister Meechem[338] and Mother Smoot and that famely so good by from your affectionate sister Martha A Harris

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 July 1874

pages 1 and 2Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 July 1874 (p. 1 and 2)

pages 3 and 4Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 July 1874 (p. 3 and 4)

42, Islington, Liverpool[339]

July 15th 1874

Martha Ann

My own Dear Sister

Your long and welcome letter of May 31.st reached me June 20. I would have written sooner but I have been very busy.

I often think of my poor dear sister and her almost helpless little family, and breathe but one earnest prayer, O! Lord Bless them, and provide for their every need. I am afraid I should not write tonight for I am a little lonely, and sober in my feelings. Sometimes we cannot help feeling so. I think the reason is I have just had a visit from a poor brother,[340] who about six weeks ago called on me to borrow 5/— (five shillings) to release his effects from bondage, I lent him the money. And last evening he called again with a little girl not quite so large as [p. 2] your little Mary,[341] and I thought he was crazy, he seemed to want to tell me something and could not—but gave me his address and went away. I never saw a more writched looking object. I sent one of the boys to his house to find out what was the matter, and they found the wife and four little children all smaller than Mary, & she said they had had nothing to eat for several days but a little bread & water, her husband was out of work—and sick, and he had only eaten a piece of dry bread the size of her two fingers that morning. You may immagin my feelings. We sent them something to eat, and gave him a job to mend some shoes—he is a shoe maker. Tonight he and the little girl came again, with the shoes we paid him for mending them & gave him enough to buy bread, and I sent my clothes for them to wash, so that <they> shall have something to do. They appear to be a nice family. The woman keeps herself & children clean which is a rair thing [p. 3] for the poor in this country. This man has been in the church since 1844, but was for 10 years consumptive,[342] and could not lie down in bed. I asked him if he drank, smoked or chewed, he sayed “no, and never did.” I sent him and the little one away happy tonight, and thanked God that my children had food, rayment and a shelter. And in comparison to this even my sister and her little ones were rich, and had friends, but it made me sad and gloomy for all that, and I have not got over it yet. I cannot bear to see suffering and poverty, I see sights which grieves me every time I go out in the streets, and feel more and more thankful for my Mountain home. This Land is cursed from beginning to end with drunkenness and its consequent wretchedness, and degredation. If there is one boon I ask it is that I and mine may escape that blasting, withering [p. 4] curse. I would a thousand times rather die, any torcherous death.

Well my sister, cheer up. I had a present of a pair of Kid gloves,[343] they were too small for me I have sent them to you, if too large exchange them for some to suit or sell them, they are Dents best Kid.[344] I also sent you ½ a doz. German silver forks, which I hope you will receive all right. I also sent the girls ½ doz. each. The girls[345] will send them<yours> to you. I am in excellent health as you will see by my Photo, which I inclose, it is the last one of a dozzen I had taken while in Denmark.[346] That is to say bro. C. G. Larsen[347] had them taken. When I came to England I got a free passage[348] all the way, and saved my money, so I am going to send it back to y my folks—and I am going to send you a small present, as soon as I can but I cannot tell you now what is will be

Give my love to all the Folks. Tell William[349] he has no truer friend than I. except You & his mother.[350] Remember me to all Most Truly Jos. F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 5 August 1874

42 Islington L’pool

Aug. 5th 1874

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann

Brothers Nuttall, John Henry and McKenzie,[351] arrived here on Sunday July 26, in more than usual good health. Bro. Nuttall was looking better than I expected to see him, and thought he had improved in health since his departure from home. I hope this climate will agree with him for he is a usful man. He brought me your welcom letter of June 26th I was pleased to hear from you and of any good news from home.

I wrote to you some little time ago and I hope that and this will find you and the family all well. I am very sorry to hear of so much sickness among the children at home, I hope your little Pets are are all well. You so far have been very fortunate with your children, God grant that you may continue to be so to the end. There is nothing to me [p. 2] so painful and hard to bear as sickness and deaths of children I trust that I have suffered my share of bereavment. I want my children to lay me away next.

I do not mean by this that I am tired of life and want to go—by any means, but that my children may live and grow up to be usful and in the end to bury me if I am to buried—as was the custom of old. I do not believe in the doctrine that the Lord designes for Parents to bury their children but children their parents. But we are so near the latter days, we may not have to sleep but a few moments, or an instant, until the great change from death to life, when I hope we shall be worthy “to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed with glory, immortality, and eternal lives,”[352] according to the promises which have been sealed upon our heads, by that divine authority which God [p. 3] has restored to the earth. The scriptures say “blessed and holy is he, that hath part in the first resurrection, for on such the second death hath no power”[353]— I desire to be numbered with that throng, for then I shall enjoy my rewards, my family—and the “gift of the endless lives”. “which is the greatest gift of God”.[354] How little indeed do people realize or even know of this great gift and blessing.

We may know many things, the worth and value of which we do not realize, and therefore pass lightly by. But a day of rec<k>oning will come, and an awakening, who then will have oil in their lamps?[355] but I need not preach to you, I hope you are not one of the forgetful, you certainly have enough cares and duties, indeed yours is a thorney path in this world as mothers[356] was, your patience and endurence are almost if not quite equal to hers. I only wish you had her education and her bold and firm decision, from which when once the [p. 4] the aim was fixed, in truth & right—neither prayers, nor tears, nor sympathy could move it. I wish I had these qualities myself, as she had them. We would both be better off. We will hope for the best and and do what we can to bring it about. I send this enclosed to Aunt Thompson,[357] as I have been writing to her. She or Julina[358] will forword it to you

I hope you will remember me very kindly to Bros. and Sisters Mecham, and Jones.[359] To Aunt Lucy Kimball[360] and family, George Gee Sophina and their Mother.[361] To Bp. Smoot[362] and family, bro. S. S. Jones[363] and family and to all friends.

When you write tell me if you need anything, to make you or the children comfortable. I charge you not to allow yourself or family to suffer for fear of telling your true condition. I am not there to see for myself. Give my kindest wishes for his welfare to William[364] & kiss the babies for Uncle Joseph. with prayers for your prosperity I am Joseph F.

Martha Ann to Joseph F., 15 August 1874

Recd Sep. 7. 1874

Ansd " —"" —"[365]

Provo City Aug the 15th 1874

Joseph F

My dear and much beloved brother I recieved your long looked for and very welcom letter <of the 18th July> with the greatest pleasure and from the botom of my heart I thanked my heavenly fathar for the blessing of haveing so good and kind a brother your good kind littery helps to sustain me in my deapest hours of triels for I have all ways known you was a true friend to me and may god grant that I may ever proove my sellf worthy of that blessed friendship my I thank you most sincerly for every kind word you utter in your letter I have needed every scrap of comfort that I could get and have caught at [illegible strike-through] <it.> Like a drown[◊◊]ing man for I felt if it ware not for som aid I shoud sink I have had so much to contend with first on one side and then on the other one would say why do you put up whith what you do I would not. and other sais you are a fool and so on I could not tell you half I have had to contend with it is very easy to talk but not so easy to perform I feel like leaving it all in the hands of the Lord and when he sees I have born enough he will ease my burdon and all will come out right in the end if I do my dutey in all things & bare all things with so with paciense which I hope I may bee inabled to do. the Lord has been good to me [p. 2] after all he has so far spar<e>d the lifes of my little ones they are all alive and in the enjoyment good health and that is saying a good deal whare thare are so many and we are not like that poor famely you mension[366] we have enough to eat such as it it is it plain but healthy and good prospects ahead we had traided our old cow of for a nice new chicks <one> onely fore years old we have raised some potatos will have too nice pigs to kill in the winter and a small one to keep over we had eleven small pigs which we payd some of our small debts with that helped us some Willey[367] has been runing the teem all summer he has irnt enough to git us some clothng he just got home from the City[368] yesterday he went with a load of fraight Willey is a very good boy to work and so is Joseph[369] when they have a steady job Joseph is hired out to a man to help him harvest he gits wheet for his pay. Willey saw that new boy of yours[370] he sais it is a great big fellow they ware all doing well you will soon have as many boys as me we are even in children now I am so glad for your sake for I know you love them all so dearly & I hope you may all ways have plenty to make them comfortable and suply all thir little wants and I know you will have for you diserve [p. 3] all the Lord can gve you my dear brother you spoke of sending me some presents I hope you will not rob your [illegible strike-through] self and famely for my sake what can I <say> to you for so much kindness in rembering me how will I evr repay it all I know now other way than to prey the Lord to bless you with fore fold and to greatfulley remember you both me and mine

Sarah[371] called when she went home with those <too> sweet little black eyed darlings[372] just as prity as they can be the baby was not very well. I got the picture all right I was so pleased with it I have not seen you look so well for years as you do in that I am much obliged to you for it. Our little Johns[373] caugh still hangs on him but it does not keep him from beeing mischevous I had <to> stot writing just now to go and look after him he had found the creem jare and was in to it with his arm to his elbow and such a sight as he was I know you would have laughed to see him he is just as fat as he can well bee and so heavy I can hardly lift him he begins to talk and he ticles the children so. the baby is growing nicely she is a sober thaughtfull little thing and very small the smallest of any of my children at her age.[374] [p. 4]

Well this is the last page I fear I will tire you out so I must bring my letter to a close. Brother Sammeul Jones[375] wished me to kindly remember to you also brother & sister Meechem[376] he is in very poor health very feeble this summer not able to do much the baby is frettng and I have got a large ieroning to do. William[377] and the children join me in love to you may the Lord bless you is the prayr of your affectonate sister

Martha A Harris

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874

42 Islington Liverpool Eng.

Sept. 7th 1874

My Dear Sister Martha Ann

I am happy to let you know I am in receipt of your favor of Aug. 15.th which has just come to hand. I am always pleased to hear from you, but more especially so when I can learn of your welfare from your own hand. I am in good health, and perhaps would have been in better spirits had I received, this morning, my usual quota of letters from my own dear home.[378] I only hope all is well with my family. I have never missed before receiving a line from some one of them with the Sunday mail.

I generally get my mail matter from home on Sunday. but some times, the mail is a little late in chich case it lays over until monday, for there is but one delivery on the Sabath. I certainly am a little disappointed this morning, but I shall rest in the assurence that all is well, till I hear.[379]

On last Wednesday we sent off our 5th company;[380] it numbered 553 souls. not all of them by any means good Latter day Saints. Some of our people at home are sending for some of the meanest specimens of humanity, drunken apostates, some of them, on account [p. 2] of relationship. Some could not do worse if they should send for his Satanic Majesty’s lowest imps, and would be gainers by odds to send for beelzebub himself.[381] Perhaps this <is> stretching the thing a little, but I have been so anoyed at such downright folly if not wickedness, that if <I> should go to a little extreme in my expressions on the subject, it might be pardonable. I am pleased to hear that Willie[382] is such a help, as also Jodie I hope they, and Hyrum, Frankie and Johnnie[383] will all grow up to be industrious, prudend and icomomical, and honorable men. And take good care of their mother, and sisters. You certainly have been blessed with boys, and I hope they will be an honor to you and themselves, following every good example and shunning all the bad. How great the responsibility that rests upon the parents, of children who are depending upon them for their characters which to them is the bread of life or of death. May God bless you <with> good fruit for your toil. and abundently reward all your labors and sufferings.

I would like to know that William[384] felt and realized these things as I do; that would be my crowning happiness respecting him and you. O! that it may be so ere it is too late. The inclosed bit is from a dress pattern of 14 yards,[385] which I have sent you by bro. Charles Sansom,[386] who will leave it at my house for you. give my love to bro. Smoot[387] and all the family and accept the same richly, I am Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874

42 Islington Eng.

Sept. 7. 1874

My Dear Sister

Since writing the foregoing I thought I would drop a few lines to bro. S. S. Jones,[388] and I wish you would enclose it in an envelope, and send it to him as soon as you can. There is one other person in Provo, I feel a sympathy for, it is bro. Stubbs.[389]

He was a true friend to me when I was in Provo,[390] and I cannot forget a kindness, I have heard that he was not feeling exactly right but I hope for his sake and his families, it is not sow. I want you, when you see him, to give him my best compliments, and wish him, for me to hold fast for ever his possition and priveleges in the gospel. I respect him sincerely for his kindness to me, and I want to see him prosper and stand firm in the kingdom of God. I do not [p. 2] forget my good friends bro. and sister Mecham,[391] give them my kind regards and best wishes. May the Lord bless them with long life and plenty. and finally crown them with everlasting life and rewards. Another of my best and dearest Provo, Friends is bro. Madsen, the fisherman,[392] he was a true friend to me in my temporary exile or sojourne at Provo. and I shall ever remember him with respect. give him my my very best wishes & regards.

I also remember the kindness of my cousin George Gee,[393] while I was there. I think of these things now that I am absent from my home again, and feel my dependence upon the Lord, he being my only friend except those who are as friendless, among strangers as myself. God bless the good every where is the prayer of your bro. Joseph

Martha Ann to Joseph F., 8 September 1874

pages 1 and 2 septemberMartha Ann to Joseph F., 8 September 1874 (p. 1)

page 2 septemberMartha Ann to Joseph F., 8 September 1874 (p. 2)

Provo City Sep 8.<8th 1874>

Nicholas Muhlesteen.

Christion Shony. & John Liethy.[394]

My Dear brother Joseph

the three above named bretheren called on me the other day to know whether I would interseed for them to you and give them an interduction to you allso, by letter what thir object is I know not they have been very kind to me in sending me choise bits of fruit severel times I am [p. 2] not much acquainted <with> any of them but as far as I know they are good Saints humbol and ready to do good they wished me to give you the best recomend I [illegible strike-through] could what is writen in the inclosed I donot know, you will see. they wished me to send it to you I hope you will git it all right I can not write much in this for it will bee to heavy you may look for another letter from me right away I recieved a letter from Edna[395] yesterday, they ware all well but Mary Jane[396] she was quite sick but gitting some better. [6.1 x 0.6 cm fold along bottom] this will find you well from your sister

Martha A Harris[397]

pleas excuse my awkward stile I hope you will git time to answer thir letter if not they will feel very bad[398]

Martha Ann to Joseph F., 10 November 1874

Recd Nov. 10. 1874

Ansd Dec. 8."[399]

Provo City Octtober the 5th 1874

My dear good kind jenerous noble hearted brother, Joseph. what can I say to you for all your kindness to me, my poor way of expressing my self does not do my feelings justice I have recieved too of your dear welcome letters but have not answerd them yet becaus it has been such buisy times wth fruit drying and cross sick babyes my my mind has been to confused and my nirves to harrowd up to wrte or collect my thaughts I am very near tierd out with all my work that I have to perform Joney[400] has been cuttng teeth allso the baby[401] they have been very fretfull. [illegible erasure] but they are gittng better now [illegible erasure]

Sunday the 17th

sence I wrote the above I have travled one hundred and eighty miles and am home again finding all right I went to the City[402] partly on a visit and partly on buisness I got thare to your house on fry day [p. 2] week evning found Sarah[403] at home all alone with the children Julina and Edna[404] ware gon to the house[405] I stoped at your house untill Saturday enving and John[406] came after me and took me to his house he then went and got a pass for thre to Ogdon[407] we started at six <o clock> on sunday morning got to sarahs[408] just as they ware asking the blessing on thir breakfast I got to see all the folks had a nice visit and started home at six in the evning and got hom at eight or <at> Aunt Thompson[409] I went over to your house found the girls all in bed but they let me in I stayd thare all night and started home on monday morning at seven o clock got home at a quarter to ten. I was so tierd out that I had to go to bed the rest of the day I have been very buisy ever sence I got the gloves <and forks> all right for which my dear <brother> pleas except of my warmest thanks[410] [p. 3] how I would love to return the complement in some way or another you are so kind to me I fear you are robing your self for my sake I was sorry the dresses got lost for it is such a loss for you[411] I got the letter with the <peas> in it I thaught it was so nice the gloves fit me nicely they came very accptable for I did not have a pare of any kind I will make me a pare of common ones to save them I shall not forget your kindess to me and may the Lord bless you for it intill every desire of your heart shall bee granted unto you for I know you would have no evle desir. Wiliam[412] has been to the canyon and got to loads of logs [illegible strike-through] and made lumber for his grainery he is gitting on real well with it has got the adobes baught and paid for and allso the shingles. we will have a little more room when we git that done. Williey[413] has been [p. 4] going [illegible erasure] with the thrashng mashene[414] he got a job when he could that has helped us considrable Joseph[415] and William runs the teem and irn what they can we all try to help a litle I want to git Willy in school as soon as posable Joseph will have to lirn at home this winter Wiliams health is good now he is not very strong though can not stand it to work very stady We have dryed considrable fruit enough to do us and some to sell the boys talk of going to canyon this week for wood one of the horses have been very lame for severrel weeks that has throon them behind considrable he is still very lame I hope he will soon git better we have had to hire a horse for some <time> which quite an expence. the weather has been very faverable for canyon work but thir wagon is not stronge enough for canyon work they have to hire one or borrow when they go we have had sevrrel deaths in provo of late brother Jonson the Bishop has lost his second wife[416] she died in child bed and left 4 small children allso Bishop Scot[417] of the second ward of earica[◊]l[◊]s[418] in the arm. I have not seen brother Stubs[419] yet but I will call on him as soon as posable I hope you will bee able to read this scrool pleas excuse all mistakes and bad wrtng I will write again before long William and the children join me in love

from your ever greatfull and loving sister Martha A Harris this is the third letter I have begon to you and I have not wrote this [illegible word] now[420]

Joseph F. To Martha Ann, 6 November 1874

42 Islington Liverpool Eng.

Nov. 6. 1874

My Dear Sister Martha Ann,

Your favor of Provo. Sep. 8th enclosing a letter from N. Muhlesteen C. Sheeny, & J. Leihty,[421] came to hand Oct. 6. one month today, as you will see by dates. I have answere[0.5 x 1.3 cm triangular tear along fold] theirs, and will enclose it for you to forward. You can read it if you wish, and then close it in an envelope and seal and forward it. I have to be economical, as I do so much corrisponding my postage is prodigeous.[422] Your letter was over weight, as it was. Always in such cases they charge us double postage, besides the amount already paid, so be a little more careful in the future.

I would not mention it, only I have so many such circomstances to meet, and “many mickles macks a muckle”. as the scotch say.[423] I am so grieved and disappointed about the loss [p. 2] of your dress and those of the girls’, at New York, that I feel bad whenever I think of it. Still I cling to the hope that you will yet get them.[424] At all events I sincerely hope so. Yours cost £2.14.10 or about $1500/100 in green backs,[425] and I do not want you to loose it. I sent you ½ a doz. german silver forks I hope you got them all right. I heard about your visit to the City and Ogden, both from the girls, Charlie Griffin, and from John.[426] the first time either of them have written to me since I left home.

I will send enclosed a letter to aunt Lucy[427] in answer to hers to me, please forward it. John informs m[0.6 x 0.3 cm tear along fold] that William[428] is much, much better, I am more than thankful. You must excuse this short bit, I go to London in the morning, or tomorrow some time, & must answer several letters. My health is good. and the Lord is blessing me in my labors, God bless You & Yours Kind love to Bp. Smoot[429] & family bro. L. J. N. Joins.[430]


Martha Ann to Joseph F., 16 Novemer 1874

Provo City november the 16th 1874

My Dear brother Joseph

I wrote a few lines inclosed in a letter of brothor Mulisteen[431] we have not recieved any answr yet they are ancious to know wheather you got it or not[432] I hope you are well I want to hear from you very much we are all better than we have been I have had a bad spell of the chills and a gatherd thumb[433] on my right thumb or I should have writen to you before now I can not hardly youse it now I have <not> herd from your famely for ovr a w<e>ek they ware all well then I have writen once sence conference. but have not rcieved any <letter> from you sence [p. 2] the one with the peas of the dress patrin in it I was I was glad to hear from Julina[434] that they ware found all right[435] I went to see Aunt Jane Gee[436] yester day she was very sick they hardly know wheth[◊] she will git well or not she is very low in deed I feel[] so sorry for her poor womern she seems to suffer so much I hope she will soon git better.

I wrote a few lines in brother Mulisteen letter and gave you an introduction and a rcomend pleas wrte to them in answ<e>r for theiy seem very ancious to hear from you I will close hopng you will excuse this short note for I am in a hurry for he is waitng. ever your sister M A Harris

I will soon write again pleas write when you can[437]

Martha Ann to Joseph F., 24 November 1874

envelope front

envelope backMartha Ann to Joseph F., 24 November 1874 (envelope front and back)

Recd Dec. 14. 1874

Ansd Feb. 9. 1875[438]

Provo City Nov the 24 1874[439]

My Dear brother Joseph

Joseph Albert[440] just came in from his work with his fase all over smiles & handed me your letter of nov the 6th I commenced one to you last evning but did not finnish it so I will begin another one. it contained your dear potogrape I could not supress the tears that would gush forth with grattude and thankfullness for so kind and good a brother the constant expresion of my heart is may the Lord bless him and all that pertains to him I cannot express half I feel to the donor of so much kindness I thank you for sending it to me I think it is splendid I am so thankfull to see you look [p. 2] so well I think it is better than the othher one you sent me I got a letter to day all so a from Aunt Thompson[441] saying that they had got the dress patrons all right I was so pleased to hear it she said they ware all well at home both them and your famely I wish you could see your little Alvin[442] bless his little heart he is such a great fine noble little fellow and seemed to know every word you said to him I quite fell in love with him. your children are all sweet and prity and that dear little Donny[443] she said her papa was in Liverpool she is so cuning I love them all they are very dear to me I hardly know how you can [p. 3] stand away so long from them I juge yous by my own feelings but your are keeping the comandments of God to love him first and obey his comandments I know it must bee hard to tare your self from your famely who are so dear to you but he will reward you for all your sacrefises. I got the forks you sent to me and all so the gloves they fit me nicely they are to nice I fear for my suroundngs but I can keep them perhaps I will have better some time I live in hopes at any rate that it will be better some day with me and mine my dear brother I hope you have not curtailed your [p. 4] self from comforts to send them to me Sarah[444] sint me that butifull nect tie you sent me I thnk it is lovly I shall never forget no never. may I ever proove worthy and greatfull. William[445] is doing real well he has not drank any for five months he works all he is abole he sais he will try and wrte to you be fore long it is hard work to git him to writng he has got the griainery built and coverd with shingls and the flore layed it lack the doors yet and then it will bee done I am so glad to have it now we can take care of what we have it will be a valuable little place I can put lots of things in it and make[446] more room in my little house we are crowded now that the children are [◊◊]ng lar[◊]e [p. 5]

William talks of building a bed room for the boys next sumer he has subscribed for the juvnile instructer[447] for the children and we have got the children all shod round and hope soon to git them all clothng for the winter it has pinched us some to build the grainery for provisions we have drawn some from the thything offase William is workng thare to pay for it all he can Willey[448] is going to school and is lirnng nicely Joseph and Hyrm[449] are rinng the teem they have plenty to do and when I compare oo our situation to what it was a year ago I see thare is a great change [p. 6] for the better. I told brother Stubbes[450] what you wrote he said some one had been mischef makng that he hoped he was all right he said he was nevr a very religous man told me to give his kind regards to you and thank your for your intrest in his welfare I allso saw bro Matson[451] and gave your respects to him he told me thare was not a man living that he loved more than you he thanked you kindly for remembering him also his sun[452] wished to be rememberd to you. Brother meechem[453] is not very well I read your note to them and they both shed tears they ware so thankfull they they both thank you for your kind blessing.[454] poor Aunt Jane she is very low I I sent to know [p. 7] how she was and she sent me word her time had come[455] it made me feel quite sad I can asure you Gorge[456] sais he is going to write to you he feels bad poor boy about his Mother you and I konow how to simpathse with him for we know what it is to lose a Mother but was thare evr a Mother like ours[457] I feel greatfull that we had such a Mother as we had you said you wished I had her abelites and her education I cincerly wish I ha but I have not I know it to my sorrow neather have I her firmness I would gve any thing that I posess if was half as smart as our dear Mother was yet Mother never had such things to contend with as I have or I do not know how she would have born them [p. 8]

Magey Smoot just called to tell me that this was the last day of grace with her as she gows to bee married to morrow to Wilson Dosenbery[458] I hope she will bee hapy. Mah Mother and Dieana[459] sends thir kind love to you with thanks for your kindness in rem<em>berng theim

I was sorry <to hear> the letter they sent was so heavy I never thaugh of thir writng any thing any thing of that kind to you or I would not have had any thing to do with it[460] I think you gave them a splendid answer any how.[461] I did not like to refuse their request they was afraid you did not git it so I had to write again to you last week. I have had a gatherd thumb[462] for some time it is not well yet I must close for the present I remain as ever your greatfull sister Martha Harris

I hope this will not bee to heavy I will write again before long William and the children join me in love pleas give our respects to [illegible word] Nuttel[463]

please<when you> write to us again give the boys a word of advise not to asocate with bad swaring boys they will lison to you better than they to me[464]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 8 December 1874

42 Islington Liverpool Eng.

Dec. 8th 1874

Martha Ann Harris

My Dear Sister:—

Your kind favors of Oct.17th and Nov.16th are both received, the first Nov. 10.th and the other Dec. 7th I wrote Nov. 6th enclosing a letter to bro. N. Muhlestein and others,[465] which you will long ere this have received. Since my last writing I have been to London, Brighton, Birmingham, and other places attending public meetings, and I have been rather busy.

My health is good, as a general thing, much better than when at home, indeed my labors here have been of a less wearing kind, upon my lungs than they were at home. Nothing can be more trying to weak lungs or throat weaknesses, or bronchial affections than such work as has to be done in the E. H.[466] and more especially in the font room,[467] from such labors I have been free since leaving home, and I am much relieved and better for it, as my Photograph will show, and for which I am very thankful. I even have not the opportunity of doing as much preaching here as I had at home, altho’ my mission is for the purpose of preaching the gospel. So that really I am having a rest from toil, and am improving under it in health, for all of which—so far as I know how to be—I am very grateful. I have more than this to be grateful for, for since my departure from home, my family have been blessed even as I have, and so far have got along very comfortably, and happily. This to me personally is the [p. 2] greatest source of my comfort and happiness in my separation from them, and in my sojournings in strange lands, among strangers. If the Lord will only preserve my family,—my little ones, from harm, continue <unto> them shelter, comfortable beds, food and raiment, then I can face the wold with a brave heart, and faithfully try to do my duty in the Kingdom of God. But should affliction come, as in the past, I should meet it with the best grace, fortitude and manliness I could. My family is to me as the “apple of my eye”,[468] and no affliction could be so great, nor hard to bear, as affliction upon them. God grant them preservation, and peace, and I am happy. yet I feel keenly for all my Fathers[469] House—and were it in my power would shield them from every power of darkness, from the consequence of every folly or sin, and from all enemies both without and within. I do not feel selfish, I do not live for self—but “for those who love me, for those who’r kind and true, For the heaven, that smiles above me, And the good that I can do.” as the poet says.[470] When I have finished this work, completed this object, fulfilled this mission satisfactorily, I am done with this world and am ready to go hence. ¶ I was pleased to learn from your last that you were all some better, that William[471] was getting along so well. Sorry Aunt Jane Gee[472] was suffering so, please give my kind love and regards to them all. I hope she is better. Am pleased the dress patterns were found for your sake as well as for my own, I hope you will receive yours safely and will enjoy it. I only wish it had been a better one. I hope to see you wear it some day, have it made nice. I would be proud to see you clothed in the best rayment, with all neatness, equal to any. had I the power you should be. I am Your Brother.

Joseph F.

P.S. please forward the enclosed by one of the boys to bro—Muhlestein or any one of them.[473] You can read it if you wish[474]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 9 February 1875

42 Islington Liverpool Eng.

Feb. 9. 1875[475]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann.

Your welcome letters came duly to hand. That of Nov. 24. on Dec. 14th and that of Jan. 13 & 17, on yesterday. (Feb. 8th) I should have answered yours of Nov. 24th long ere this but I must plead, that I have been a little busy and a little neglectful hence my delay—but it is to be hoped “it is better late than never”.

I was extremely sorry for the sickness of Sarah.[476] and some surprised at the news of the sudden death of sister Griffin,[477] but poor old soul, she has gone to rest, peace be to her ashes. When I called at charlies, a week before leaving home, I wondered if I should ever see her again, in this world. and I never will. [p. 2]

I received a letter from Charlie to day, dated Jan. 19.th in which he gives me the particulars. I am thankful that Sarah escaped, & that Alice[478] was there to wait upon her. The Lord preserve my Kindred from sickness and death until they have finished a good work on the earth. and I would that the way might be opened up for greater temporal prosperity for them, inasmuch as they would continue true and faithful to their covenants, but I would rather, continue poor always than deny the faith for prosperity. and I have just as good wishes for my Kindred. I have often thought, it would be a good idea for Willie[479] to get a situation in the Factory[480] and learn a trade. Or if he prefers it, some other business, as I think a good trade will one day be almost [p. 3] if not entirely indispensible to our children. I think Willie is not very strong, Factory work is not generally hard work, tho’ continuous and confining. but get the children as soon as possible into some steady employment, if possible, and let them grow up to steady and industrious habits. for their own sakes, as well as for yours.

This whiffling about, at something and nothing, without any definite idea of business or labor; much valuable time is frittered away, and bad habits of shiftlessness and irrisponsibllity are contracted, in youth which is the ruin of manhood.

It is getting so dark I cannot see my lines. Please tell sisters Smoot and Mecham,[481] that my Photos all went like hot cakes,[482] and I have none left. should I get any more I will remember them with pleasure.

I am pleased to hear Aunt Jane[483] is [p. 4] better. I will drop her just a line in this for you to hand to her.

Make your dress neat and nice. and, enjoy it the best you can. I am glad it reached you in safety at last. I think it should be well lined. but make it to suit yourself; I am abundently suited that you have it, I only wish it had been more, and better, but poor missionaries cannot always do what they would like. I think there can be but one expression, respecting “T’s” choice, if indeed it was a choice.[484] I have heard nothing but surprise in regard to it. but I hope she is happy. Please remember me kindly to Bp. Smoot[485] and family, especially to sister Harris,[486] I was pleased that the Bp. had the benefit of a short respite from care and laborious responsibilities. I know it did him good. Kind regards to William,[487] and all the dear little ones—not forgetting neighbors and friends I am yours affectionately Jos. F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 31 March 1875

mar 31 1875Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 31 March 1875 (p. 1 and 2)

mar 31 3 and 4Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 31 March 1875 (p. 3 and 4)

42 Islington Liverpool

Mar. 31. 1875[488]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann.

Your very welcome letter of Feb. 20. came to hand Mar. 15.

I was and am very sorry you had been so poorly. And I hope you are all right again long ere this. I feel extreme sympathy for you in your afflicted condition. I think you are paying the debt of your sins as you go along. or in otherwords you must be among those whos “sins go before unto Judgement.”[489]

I am very thankful you have had the courage and strength to bear it so far, and I sincerely hope these qualities will prove more than equal to your trials at last.

I owe gratitude to your kind neighbors for their attentions towards, and sympathy for you during your illness. [p. 2]

Please remember me kindly to them one and all without my calling their names. I will mention however, Sister Smoot (Harris)[490] bro. & sister Mecham,[491] and all your good neighbors and friends.

My last letter would reach you soon after you mailed your last—or rather yours of Feb. 20. th. to me. I have a great deal of writing to do for the star,[492] and in answer to correspondants. I am glad Mary and the boys[493] were so attentive and dutiful to their mother. May they continue so, and to grow more so.

You must be careful of Mary[494] and keep her <from> the influences of bad associat[0.9 x 0.91 cm tear][495] you cannot be too careful. Your little ones are in greater danger of evil companionship, and perhaps more susceptible of the effects of bad influences, than they would be under more favorable circumstances.

Notwithstanding poverty and social inequality in consequence, studiously [p. 3] carefully, and by prayer endeavor to instill into the minds of your children principles of the highest honor, and the purest truth, and virtue. While you teach them not <to> covet that which is not their own, nor to envy the rich, teach them that it is honor, truth, virtue, industry, temperence and economy that make sterling men and women. Not dress fine houses nor gold and silver. These go a great way in the eyes of the world, and are valued highly, but we “are not of the world”[496] and we should not losee sight of the fact that it is our duty to inaugurate and maintain, a higher a nobler a more God-like standard in the world.

I do not mind how much life or activity children possess, the more the better, in the bounds of reason. but they should be taught, should know, and should observe good manners, courtesy to strangers—and to all, for good manners begin, and centres—at home from <which> [p. 4] hallowed circle the genial influence must radiate, like the light from the Sun, any thing but this in the shape of good breeding is a counter feit.

Such things[497] as you mention as having occurred at South Willow Creek,[498] are of almost daily occurrence in this country. But that does not lessen the horror of such abominable wickedness. Two m[0.6 x 1.3 cm tear][499] were hanged in this town on Monday, one for murdering a little girl six years old, he murdered the innocent little child to conceal his other brutalities, another for murdering his mistress.[500] And there are several more whose cases are still pending.[501] How I rejoice at the hanging of such villains by the neck! If some vigilant committee[502] would pay their earnest respects to McKean, Baskin, Maxwell & Co.[503] what a sweet savor would go up to heaven, and what rottenness and corruption <down> to hell! Excuse my bile.[504]

Be good to yourself and family. God bless you. Kind love to all, Your brother Jos. F.


Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 May 1875

may 15Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 May 1875 (p. 5)

May[505] 15th. 75[506]

My Dear Sister;

Martha Ann:

Your kind favor of Apr. 2d. and 8th came to hand Apr. 29th. and found me enjoying my usual health, and many other blessings. I wish you could say as much for yourself. I hope your health will improve, but while you and all the children are clustered up in one small room to sleep, I cannot see how you can have health, nor how you can live long.

There should not more than two persons [p. 2] sleep in in your small bed room at a time—indeed it would be better for only one person; but to have your whole family crowded into it to sleep it is almost as sure a destruction of health and life as strychnine itself. There is one consolation, you can spread out more in the summer. And I hope William[507] can put up an addition this summer with all those boys to help him which will relieve you from the necessity of crowding so closely to gether to sleep.

All hands of them could make adobes enough in a week to build a mansion almost. one mason and one good carpenter would be all the help necessary to [p. 3] hire, against which there would be the time and labor of William and all of the boys who can work, and even Frankie,[508] could help his Papa build a house. Lumber, nails, glass, locks and paint, would not be much for your present necessity. and all the rest adobes, rocks, sand, clay, and labor, you have in your own hands. You remember the adobe hole in front of the old house on the farm.[509]

How much money did it cost Mother[510] to build the old farm house?[511] we hauled the rocks, sand, clay, made the adobes out of the very door yard, cut logs in the cañons, made the lumber and shingles on shares—hauled them—and did all the labor, except making the sash[512] and [p. 4] doors, and laying up the walls. We even put on the roof and hung the doors fitted in the sash, put in the glass and paid for hired help in labor—teaming, and the products of the farm, no money! “Where there’s a will there’s a way”![513]

I sent you by bro. L. John Nuttall[514] a dress piece—14 yards—like the enclosed bit for a good strong summer dress for you. It is half wool and half cotton. and is said to wear well. I do not think you will admire the color very much but it will wash, and is strong.

I go to London to day, all being well, attend Conference[515] tomorrow, and then go to Denmark. I shall return to England in about 15 or 20 days. Remember me kindly to bro. and sister Mecham,[516] and [p. 5][517] all the good neighbors. And remember me specially to sister (Harris) Smoot and to the Bishop[518] and all the rest of the family.

Bro. Nuttall is taking them a hired girl or two, and I hope they will give satisfaction. Also remember me to Bro. Stubbs and family, To bro. S. S. Jones, Aunt Jane,[519] George Gee, and family, and to Aunt Lucy.[520] I was very sorry to hear that Lydia was about to marry a gentile.[521] Nothing would grieve me more, after spending my whole life, as President Kimball did—for the Cause of God and the restored Gospel, than to have one of my own children marry out into the world.[522] In fact I look upon the marriage of a Latter day saint with a gentile according to the gentile forms of marriage—and there [p. 6] can be no other form for such unions, as fashionable or legalized prostitution <cohabitation> and their children as bastards, for the Latter day saint should know better than to do so, it is not Marriage at all—in the eye of God who has spoken and revealed himself and his truth from the heavens in our own time, sin against light, (when the whole light is sinned against) is the sin against the Holy Ghost. but there are degrees of light and degrees of sin, as there are degrees of punishment and reward.

Praying God to bless you and yours and all who are kind to you, and that William[523] may be able to rise up in the dignity of manhood for his family’s sake— I am your affectionate Brother Joseph F.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1875

sept 7 pg 1Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1875 (p. 1)

page 2Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1875 (p. 2)

42, Islington, Liverpool,[524]

Sept. 7th. 1875[525]

My Dear Sister,

Martha Ann:—

I have been very neglectful in not answering your letter of July 3d June 9. which reached me July 3d. but I have been busy as well—so you must excuse me. and when you answer this, direct to P.O. Box 321. Salt Lake City. I received yesterday a letter from Pres. B. Young. releasing me to return home Sept. 15th from this port—with our company that sails at that time. Bro. Carrington[526] being on the way to relieve me.

I am very thankful for it, although I was not looking for it so soon.

The sad new of the death of President George A. Smith[527] fell upon [p. 2] us like an avelanch, notwithstanding we had rather feared the worst from the continued bad news.

My health is excellent—and has been good all the time I have been here, notwithstanding my release is partly owing to “failling health”—as stated in the Presidents letter.[528] but it is all right. I got to visit Aunt Matthews and her daughter Mrs. Mercy Ann Young,[529] and two other Cousins, daughters of Uncle John Fielding.[530] The latter are living in London. I was in hopes I would get to see Uncle James[531] & family but I am fearful that I will not have time now.

I must be brief—so you will excuse this scribble. Remember me kindly to all our Provo friends, Not forgetting Bp. Smoot & family, bro. Nuttall &c. & &[◊].[532]

I am your affichonate brother in haste

Jos. F. Smith

Please forward the enclosed to bro. Nuttall[533]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 November 1875

Salt Lake City

Nov. 26th 1875

My Dear Sister,

Martha Ann:

I learned with deep[◊◊] regret day before yesterday of the accident which befell Hyrum[534] (I suppose) in the factory the day before. I was in hopes to have learned the particulars ere this, but seeing nothing more than the notice which appeared in the Herald[535] I thought I would drop you a line expressive of my sympathy, and that of the girls,[536] for you under your trying misfortune, and also to express the hope that the injurie[◊] to Hyrums hand [illegible word] so severe as at first feared.

I have just returned from the funeral of Uncle Elias’ last twin baby, which died yesterday and was buried today by the side of his little twin brother this makes three children buried for them.[537]

Nearly [◊◊]y body is suffering from terrible cold [illegible word] “epizootic”,[538] probably to speak more c[◊◊]tly influenza. I am [p. 2] sorry to say that Sarah is considera[1.3 x 4 cm tear] “under the weather” with that or some other ailment just now. The children are so far all well, and my own health is excellent. Aunt Thompson[539] is also sick with the “bad cold.” Julina and Edna[540] are well, and as cross as ever, which, when translated, means that they are charmingly good natured.

I hope you reached home in safety and found all well on your arrival.

Remember us kindly to all our friends you may chance to meet in Provo. and try to take care of yourself, do not [1 x 0.3 cm fold]orry over what is unavoidable, continue to look on the bright side of life—if it has but a shadow of the brightness, and trust in the providence of God.

Praying for your comfort and prosperity, and with kindly regards to William[541] and all the children in which the family joine, I am your friend and brother Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 27 February 1876

Sunday Morning

Salt Lake City

February 27th 1876[542]

My Dear Sister Martha Ann

Your very Welcom favor bearing date of Feb. 23 Came duly to hand. I glad to hear from you, It is true that it has been a long time since I wrote to you, but notwithstanding all this I have not forgoten you neither do I forget any of my conections or friends although is may seen so by my negligence, I am glad to learn that you and yours are in the Enjoyment of a Moderate degree of good health as your found us. We all have a turn of very bad colds combined with sore throats with a slight lever. [p. 2] The children have been the worst in that respect. and Hellen[543] is all most worn out with hara most and care of the children.

but we are now all out of danger and the children are playing abbout as well as usual. as regpards my health is as good as I can expect until the weather gets better, I have been very lame this winter with my knee. but it is much better now and I feel very well only a Cold which makes me cough some but I shall be all right when warm weather comes Libby’s[544] baby (Manny) is well and harty all right now and Libby has [p. 3] another baby born on Valintyne’s day (14th Feb.) all doing well. (a girl)

I recieved a letter from Charley[545] yesterday all was well up there,[546] Hyrum[547] was up to Jerusha’s about three weeks ago all were well there And all were well at Levina’s[548] on Hyrum’s return, Joseph’s folks[549] are also well although the children have had the Scalet fever

As regard the Crow you may have to pick with me that is all right I can stand you off any time. so pitch in. for I would rather fight a little than write a letter. Well Martha ann I realize your feelings [p. 4] in regards to being away off seperated from the rest of the family. I know what it is to be from home and and how one feels when they are homesick and a little cry for those who com cry gives a relief to the mind and makes one feel better after we get over it. Well, I could write oftener but I don’t that is all the reason I have to offer, Well My sister when our long financiel lone takes a turn and we (if we ever should) get hold of something to make our selves comfortable and have enough to make a show a few ruffles, frills, Gold and diamond rings fine horses with Eymppages Etc. Etc. then we shall have all the new friends we want and more too

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 11 July 1876

S. L. City July 11. 1876[550]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann

Yours of Mar. 5th is still before me. I thought I would answer it even now. I am always glad to hear from you but sometimes it is not convenient for me to answer at the time of receiving a letter and then it is laid away until a more convenient time, and thus days—weeks and months pass by before that convenient time comes.

I have no news to write except that we are all well once more, and corrispondingly happy. Our little Heber John[551] is a fine boy, his mother is congratulating herself this morning, that this is her last day in bed.

She has done well so far, and the baby is strong and healthy, and has a large nose.

Julina[552] expects to continue arround for a day or two longer, when we all look for an improvement on her part. She will probably [p. 2] be some worse before she is much better.

Sister Smoot can give you an account of Edna,[553] as she saw her yesterday.

Bro. Taylor[554] informed me yesterday that a two days’ meeting will be held at Provo on Saturday and Sunday next,[555] and I am expected to be there, so I shall get to see you soon, all being well. It may be rather an awkward time for me on Julina account.

I suppose Aunt Thompson[556] was somewhat disappointed in the naming of our new boy yester day, for as usual, she had a “name” selected for him.

Samuel H. B.[557] received a letter from Uncle William Smith[558] yesterday. I heard it read.

He was 65 years old last mar.,[559] he writes a very good hand. and seems friendly.

The weather is delightful since the late showers, but the worms are destroying the fruit and there is a blight upon the trees, and vermin of multifarius kinds abound.

Inclosed find $1.25 on the Provo Factory,[560] which you will please use at your discretion.

I am as ever your brother Joseph F.——

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 25 August 1877

42 Islington Liverpool England[561]

Aug. 25th 1877[562]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann

Your welcome favor of July 31st came duly to hand. I was glad to hear from you, as I always am. We are all well here, and getting along the best we can, so far from home, and family and the people of God. There are a great many indifferent and inimical[563] people among us at home, I am well aware, but there we at least expect the majority we meet are friendly to us.

Here to meet a friend is so rare that when we do we are surprised, as much as delighted. For some cause the world of mankind are filled with not only unfriendly feelings towards us, but with actual hatered and enmity, and yet not one of the whole world can give a valid reason for such a condition of mind. The spirit of Christ was “peace on earth, and good will to man”,[564] these enlightened (?) nations loudly profess their love for him, and their faith in his doctrine, yet they hate their neighbor without a cause, and their hearts are filled with enmity toward their fellow creatures for no other reason than because they are called “Mormons”. I am convinced there is something in a name. yet it is not the name, for if we were called Angels and professed and practiced the precepts and doctrins of the scriptures and of truth as we do, it would be all the same. This generation cannot endure sound doctrine, their ears are turned unto fables, they fall a ready and willing prey to delusions and doctrines of Devils, having [p. 2] their consciences seared as with a hot iron.[565] The pivilege and blessing of friends and neighbors are denied us here, therefore our hearts are where our treasures are,[566] in Heaven and at home. I wish you were as strong and healthy as I am, and as well or better clad. I am neither sick nor pale nor ragged, so your dream must have come from a late supper, over fatigue or some other disorder of your own stomache or immagination. The Lord will take care of me, wherein I lack the ability myself, so long as I am true to my covenants, never fear. He has done it so far, and I’ll trust him for the future. I was sorry to hear that the boys had such bad luck with their farming operations. They must not be discouraged with trifles. Remember the motto—“try—try again”.[567]

Sarah[568] gets along very well. She thinks it will not take her long to get ready to start, when the time comes to go home, nor do I.

I do not wonder at the girls not writing, they scarcely get time to write to me. They have everything to do themselves, which is no small task with so many little folks to care for all the time, cows to feed and milk and house work to do, and no man at home to lighten their cares. I donot see how they could get time to visit much, very far from home. I hope the way will open for you to be comfortable this winter and that you will lack nothing necessary to this end.

I suppose Owen and Willie Smoot will return home this fall, but not before October.[569] I want to keep them as long as I can. They are good boys—and I dislike to part with them.

Remember me kindly to Pres. Smoot[570] and family, to William[571] and all the Children, in which request Sarah joines.[572] May God bless you all. And believe me ever your affectionate brother Joseph F.——

P.S. five cents is all that is needed to send a letter not over 2 oz. to England[573]

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 29 November 1877

City, Nov. 29, 1877[574]

My Dear Sister

Marth Ann

Provo. Utah Co—

Your favor of 17th inst came to hand yesterday. It must have been waiting for me sometime somewhere. It did not find us all well, our little Joseph F.[575] had been suffering for several days with a high-intermittent fever and sore throat, with a sevier coald. Yesterday we were very much alarmed about him, but today the little cheerful lively soul is playing around as merrily as ever—but somewhat weak and tottering.

We are all happy tonight however [p. 2] at the cheering prospects of his final recovery, and of the future good health of all the rest. as well as he. We have enjoyed this thanksgiving day at the House of the Lord,[576] and at home. and have had a general good time, without thanksgiving dinner, holiday, or friends to see us.

It has been like Sunday.

I saw bro. Smoot[577] and L. John Nuttall[578] yesterday after getting your letter, and bro. Smoot promised me to take a day on his return home to make a thorough search for the deed of your property in Provo.[579] I think it will be found, if not, I will see what else can be done. Still [p. 3] I would like you to enquire for it, and continue to importune until you see it cannot be found. I am informed the deed is made out for both pieces of land in one. As soon as you get it, have it recorded and then have the deed deposited in some safe place, where it cannot be lost or destroyed.

I am glad to hear William[580] is building a barn. I hope he will be eminantly successful in his enterprise, and that he will come out square at the finish of it. A good barn is the next thing to a good house—indeed, where a team is the main dependence for a family, a good barn should receive the first consideration, and the good house the secondary. for the good barn will save more in proportion than the house, and will therefore do more towards assisting to build a house, than a house would do towards building a barn. Still I think you need both. I wish I had it in my power to help you in them.

Aunt Thompson[581] has received a letter from Cousin Mary Lupton[582]—(I think is her name) now residing in London, asking for means to help her and her daughter to emigrate to Utah, She is the daughter of Uncle John Fielding if I recollect rightly. The are in very poor circumstances. I do not know what will be done for her yet. My family are all well. I am glad to hear your baby[583] is better. You must excuse this scribble—I have, hastily scratched it off while waiting for the children to get ready to go out with me—with love Jos F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 April 1878


From Salt Lake Apr. 6th 1878[584]

To Mrs. M. A. Harris


Edna’s baby[585] died this morning funeral tomorrow

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 22 April 1878

handwritten page april 22Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 22 April 1878 (p. 1), copy found in Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks under that date.

page aril 22Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 22 April 1878 (p. 2), copy found in Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks under that date.

Salt Lake City

Apr. 22. 1878[586]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann,

Your kind and welcome favor came duly to hand— I read and passed it over to Edna,[587] and have not seen it since. We miss our sweet little “red” headed boy, so affectionate and tender hearted and so much beloved.[588] Why I lose so many of my children is a mystery to us all, they have all seemed, and were strong and healthy children, the two boys even more so than any we have had, yet it has pleased Father to suffer them to be taken from us.[589] Lung fever[590] seemes to be my dreaded and malignant foe, as my precious cherubs—Josephine, Heber,[591] and Alfred have all fallen a prey to its merciless ravages. Yet I realise that they are not lost, but saved, not even lost to me, for so long as I keep my covenants they are mine, tho’ gone home to Father and Mother above.[592] God helping me, I mean to live for my privileges and rights, that I may lose nothing, but gain—and regain All [p. 2]

I hope I may be spared to rear those I have left me, in the nerture and admonition of the Lord.[593] and I feel as though my cherished—host above are to me as an anker behind the veil, and but for my duties and obligations to those remaining with me, I would not care how soon my time might come. I am melancholly this morning, I feel half-here and half there, and the poorest half remains. But all is right.

Donnie[594] has the whooping cough very severely, Mamie[595] also has it but much lighter—the rest of the children are well. The “Girls”[596] are also in good health.

The object of my writing this morning was to let you know that I have obtained a deed for your homestead in Provo from the Executors of Pres. Youngs will, and have sent it to you by the hand of Pres. A. O. Smoot, who will see that it is duly recorded[597]—and on this point I want you to see that it is done, have William[598] see it on the Record, so that you will know it is there. It will not matter who keeps the Deed so it is recorded. And if bro. Smoot[599] has a better or safer place to keep it than you have and you wish him to keep it—it will be all right. And probably safer than in your own hands—about this however suit yourself— Ever affectionately Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 14 August 1878

S. L. City Aug. 14th 1878[600]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann,

Your letter without date came safely hand, on my return from the cañon where we had been several days with the children, servis-berrying,[601] and to get a breath of cool, fresh air. We got about two bushels of berries, and had a good time. The family are all well, for which I am very thankful, I am fearful of the fruit season, and the prevalent summer complaints which generally accompany the same. There is considerable sickness of that kind all ’round us, but I hope we shall escape. I am sorry the grass-hoppers have troubled you this season, and I am surprised at it, as I had not heard of there being any in that section of the country.

With regard to Mrs. Cunninghams[602] brother, I can only say, if she has not male relative in the Church, she could send her brothers name, date [p. 2] of birth, and place of brrth, with father and Mothers (maiden) name, to Elder John D. T. McAllister[603] at St. George, with the request that he get some one to be baptized, ordained &c.[604] for him,when the Temple is again opened.[605] It is now closed for the present. When it will be opened again I do not know. If she knows of any woman dead—(or other wise) who would have been married to him when living, if dead, her name &c—could also be sent with his, to to recieve such ordinances as would prepare them to be sealed &c. if living the woman would have to attend to the matter in person. We are not performing any ordinances for the dead in the Endowment House hence the necessity of applying to those in charge of the Temple.[606] If she did not want to send particulars to the temple, she ought to make a full Record of her desires and carefully preserve the same, or hand it to some one to do the work, for her brother, when opportunity affords. We are all well the Girls[607] are hard at work—all the time. The weather is very [p. 3] oppressively hot—and uncomfortable.

Our new girl[608] is a very-verry little doll—and as sweet as she is little, and as good as she can be Sarah and baby are both well and happy.

Our plumbs and peaches are now getting ripe, our appricots are all gon, Apples nearly all destroyed by worms; I think however we will have a few good apples—this fall.

Aunt Thompson[609] and family are all usually well. Annie Luptons little boy[610] is suffering with the summer complaint,[611] Mary-Jane and Robert[612] are well—so far as I know.

Willie[613] called to see us on the 4th of July, but only stopped a few minutes, I think he stopped at Johns.[614] While he was here I was very busy answering letters, and had not much chance to visit with him. I hope he will be successful in his work in the cañon, and will get out of there before winter.[615] The life one leads in such places is invariably a rough one, not very elevating to the general moral character. I hope Willie will keep straight. I think he will—

With kind love, in which the Girls[616] joine, and praying God to bless you all, I am Your Brother Joseph

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 23 October 1878

S.L. City

Oct. 23d 1878[617]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann-

Yours of the 20th came to hand this evening. I was very glad to hear from you and to learn you were all well— at least as usual. Sorry to hear Williams[618] health continues feeble— I hope Willie[619] will succeed well in his labors in the canyon,[620] but would like to hear of his getting some good employment down in the valley. as coald weather will make can.yon labor very disagreeable, + it may be dangerous. I hate to see you in debt and having [◊◊] [p.2] pay interest on borrowed money. for my part I cannot afford it. Like yourselves we have too many little feet to shoe— backs to clothe and mouths to feed, to pay interest on money. No man can prosper who has it to do to any extend. and I sincerely trust that with the help of the boys and continued health you will soon be bey[◊◊]d that evil. We are all well, for which I am very thankful I assure you. Aunt T— and M. J.[621] are also usually well. Aunt T[622] is fast growing old now. The girls[623] joine in kind love to you and all. give my kind regards to Joseph Albert[624]. I wish him a long prosperous and happy <life> and a most honorable career. Excuse haste. I have been very busy today— + it is now late— Ever Truly your affectionate Brother Joseph.

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 22 April 1879

S. L. City

Apr. 22d 1879[625]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann—

Yours of the 20th inst. came to hand last evening. I was somewhat surprised at the manner of your letter, and am left—after perusing it—as much in ignorence as before as to the nature of your trouble or the cause of your heaviness of heart.

I do not know when I shall be at Provo again, perhaps at the next stake conference[626]—but I cannot tell.[627] I hope there is nothing very serious the matter. For my own part I—and my family are very much troubled just at this time. Our little Rhoda—Sarahs baby,[628] is a very sick child—we fear she has lung fever[629]—that terrible monster which has already carried off three [p. 2] of our precious little ones—and we are all very much alarmed about the safety of our darling little Rhoda. I hope we will have your earnest faith and prayers for her safety.

Willie[630] started for home on Friday last but got only to Richard Maxfields, and yesterday he was in the city again. William[631] was here—Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights but was not here last night, we look for him again to night.

Tell me your troubles—by letter—if not otherwise convenient—and if I can do any thing for you I will do my best. Dont borrow trouble! This is good counsel altho’ coming from a poor source—

My God bless you and your family— I was at Ogden on Sunday— All were well— Ever faithfully your affectionate brother— Jos. F. Smith

Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 July 1879

S. L. City

July 7, 1879—[632]

My Dear Sister

Martha Ann,

It has become my painful duty to inform you, that we have this day laid away—in the great city of the dead upon the hill[633]—another of my precious little pets.[634]

This time—as heretofore, the victim of the “fell monster” was a shining, beautiful star in my little constellation, the luster of whose presence has been removed for ever from our dreary pathway, and sorrowing circle to cheer and gladden the purer circle and brighter pathway of a holier sphere.

Did they need her more than we? was her presence to them more welcome? were they, without her, as lonely as we are now? could she make them more happy than she did us?

If so, then they are welcome to her, but oh! who can answer the burning quearies [p. 2] of our stricken souls—and who can stop the aching void occasioned by her absence from us? This we know—their claim was stronger than ours— We could not keep her—for oh! how we struggled to do so, and yet we could not! how we prayed—and plead—and wept and plead again and again, and our prayers did not prevail and our petitions returned unto us void!

When I think of my beautius, lovely babes whose remains we have deposited in yonder silent, slumbering city—of the dead, my heart in anguish asks why should I lose all the diamonds from my crown of posterity in this life?

God knows best! indeed he only knows, for I do not, nor can I tell. I can think of some reasons why—but others volunterily spring up which overbalance them, so I am left to queary still. In grief we send our love—and I remain your bro— Jos. F.[635]


[1] The date is 3 January 1870 as noted in Joseph F.’s journal: “Wrote to Martha Ann. Sarah enclosed a note.” Joseph F., journal, 3 January 1870. Additionally, internal evidence suggests the same date since it refers to “Mary S[ophronia],” who was born 7 October 1869. Joseph crossed out “Dec.” and wrote “Jan.” and most likely simply forgot to correct the year. In January 1870 Joseph F. was thirty-one, and Martha Ann was twenty-eight.

[2] Julina Lambson’s babies are Mercy Josephine Smith and Mary Sophronia Smith.

[3] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[4] Unknown individual.

[5] Mercy Rachel Fielding and Mary Jane Thompson.

[6] Mary Catherine is an unknown individual. Edward Arthur Smith is the adopted son of Joseph F.

[7] Joseph F.’s wives.

[8] John Smith.

[9] Joseph F. mentioned, “Butchered my old cow ‘Cherry’ today. She is good beef. It seems as tho’ I had lossed a member of my family or an old friend. She was about 17 years old. I raised her.” Joseph F., journal, 8 December 1869. A few days later, Joseph F. wrote, “At home cutting up and salting beef.” Joseph F., journal, 11 December 1869.

[10] For more information on the social hall, see Martha Ann to Joseph F., 12 March 1861, herein, note 84.

[11] William Jasper Harris.

[12] Many of these letters do not refer to major historical events. For example, five days before Joseph F. wrote this letter, Salt Lake City witnessed a national news event as thousands of Latter-day Saint women gathered in the Old Tabernacle in a mass “Indignation Meeting” to protest the passage of the Cullom Bill in the United States House of Representatives. One historian notes, “If the Senate concurred, the government would soon have the power to confiscate Mormon property, deprive wives of immunity as witnesses, and imprison their husbands.” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835–1870 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017), xi. The bill did not pass the Senate in large part owing to Latter-day Saint women’s mobilizing to oppose the law.

[13] Joseph F. noted receipt of Martha Ann’s letter: “I recd a letter from Martha A and answered it.” Joseph F., journal, 19 January 1870.

[14] Joseph F. served in the territorial legislature from 1865 to 1874. He was an active supporter of the locally organized and Church-sanctioned People’s Party after it was formed in 1870 in response to the anti–Latter-day Saint Liberal Party.

[15] Julina Lambson and Sarah Ellen Richards. Joseph F. and Julina had two living children at this time.

[16] Edward Arthur Smith.

[17] Mary Jane Thompson.

[18] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[19] Most likely, the word is peremptory, which means “not open to appeal or challenge, leaving no opportunity for refusal.”

[20] Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s aunt Hannah Greenwood was apparently living with her daughter and son-in-law, Rachel Fielding and William Burton, in Ogden at this time.

[21] According to the Deseret News, the purpose of this trip was to hold a funeral for Bishop Chauncey W. West. See “Obsequies of Bishop C. W. West,” Deseret News, 19 January 1870, 553.

[22] The term iron horse referred to a train. Joseph F. is commenting about a new railroad line from Salt Lake City to Ogden, Utah. Even before the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed on 10 May 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah, Church leaders began a railroad line from Salt Lake City that would connect it to Ogden, Utah, and the national rail system. That line was completed in January 1870, the same month this letter was written. See Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 270–75.

[23] Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor, son of David Taylor and Mercy Rachel Fielding, and first cousin to Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[24] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[25] Referring to a variety of medical conditions that impair a person’s physical activity.

[26] Julina Lambson.

[27] Mercy Rachel Fielding and Mary Jane Thompson.

[28] Edward Arthur Smith.

[29] Joseph F. recorded, “At childrens party at Mary Janes. Played a game of checkers with Willard and beat him.” Joseph F., journal, 25 March 1870.

[30] Brigham Young, along with a party of other Saints, had been on a two-month preaching tour of the southern settlements in Utah Territory. See “Return of President Young,” Deseret News, 20 April 1870, 125.

[31] The Old Tabernacle stood at the present-day site of the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It was constructed in 1852 and razed in 1877. See C. Mark Hamilton, “Temple Square,” in Utah History Encyclopedia, ed. Allan Kent Powell (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 1994), 547.

[32] Joseph F. prepared the resolution presented at the meeting. See Joseph F., journal, 29 March 1870; see also Deseret News, 31 March 1870, for full report.

[33] The Cullom Bill was one of several antipolygamy bills proposed to the federal government during the 1860s and 1870s. It was introduced in 1867 in an attempt to enforce the prior Morrill Act, which outlawed plural marriage, disincorporated the Church, and placed restrictions on the Church’s ability to own property. Though the Cullom Bill did not pass, many of its provisions later became law in Utah Territory. See Jessie L. Embry, “Polygamy,” in Utah History Encyclopedia, 428–30.

[34] Joseph F. here quotes from the conclusion of the Declaration of Independence: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

[35] This was a common saying of the time; for example, see Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 18:234.

[36] Compare Malachi 3:10.

[37] Likely Margaret Thompson McMeans.

[38] Zina Diantha Huntington.

[39] This letter should probably be dated 31 March 1870. Joseph F.’s journal for 31 March 1870 reads, “Aunt Thompson got home from Provo, nearly worn out. Bp. Smoot passed her on the way, altho’ he had a light (load two men & a little girl) in a good strong two seated carriage. I hold this against him as an ungenerous act.” The similarity between this passage and the content of the letter suggests that the letter was misdated.

[40] Mercy Rachel Fielding and Mary Jane Thompson.

[41] A term referring to abnormal, short, deep, hoarse sounds in exhalation that often accompany severe chest pain. The sound occurs because the glottis briefly stops the flow of air, halting the movement of the lungs and their surrounding or supporting structures. Grunting is most often heard in a person who has pneumonia, pulmonary edema, or fractured or bruised ribs.

[42] Abraham O. Smoot.

[43] Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor.

[44] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[45] The children referred to are Mercy Josephine Smith (age two), Mary Sophronia Smith (six months), and Edward Arthur Smith (eleven).

[46] Likely refers to Julina since Sarah did not have any living children at this time (her daughter Sarah Ellen died on 11 February 1869).

[47] Because Salt Lake City was the economic, political, and religious capital of the Utah Territory and the Latter-day Saint core area, it was simply known as the “City” and was often referred to as such in talks, letters, and diaries of the period.

[48] A variant of the more common expression “Two moves are equal to a fire,” popular in the British Isles.

[49] Mercy Josephine, Joseph F. and Julina’s oldest daughter, died on 6 June 1870, about three weeks before this letter. She was not quite three years old at the time of her death. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 August 1870, 3 May 1872, and 14 June 1872, herein.

[50] See Doctrine and Covenants 101:30; compare Isaiah 65:20–22.

[51] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 July 1902, herein, about the death of her seventeen-month-old granddaughter.

[52] Joseph Smith Jr. See biographical register, “Smith, Joseph, Jr.” Following his death in 1844, many people recounted Joseph Smith Jr.’s words and acts. Without extant contemporary sources, the collected memories of those who knew him present a challenge to historians as they attempt to reconstruct his life. In some cases the only evidence is a reminiscence. To ascertain what people close to Joseph Smith Jr. knew about certain topics or events, Joseph F. made it a point to collect affidavits. The subject of children who die was one such topic that interested him, and it appears here that he was quoting what he had heard someone say on that topic, for which there is no known contemporary source.

[53] Matthew 6:11.

[54] A few weeks later, Joseph F. was still struggling with Josephine’s death: “It is one month yesterday since my little loved cherished darling Josephine died. O! that I could have saved her to grow up to womanhood. I miss her every day and I am lonely. My heart is sad. God forgive my weakness if it is wrong to love my little one as I love them & especially my first darling babe.” Joseph F., journal, 7 July 1870.

[55] Hyrum Smith Harris.

[56] It appears that Martha Ann’s son Hyrum was staying with Joseph F.’s family.

[57] A nineteenth-century American menagerie was usually a traveling exhibition of caged exotic animals, similar to a circus.

[58] Edward Arthur Smith.

[59] The Fourth of July celebration in Salt Lake City, as reported in the Deseret News, commenced with a thirteen-gun salute at daybreak, which signaled an unfurling of flags from all public and many private buildings in the city. At 8:00 a.m. a three-gun salute called children to their schoolhouses and civil officers to City Hall and on to the Lion House, where they were met by Presidents Joseph F. and Daniel H. Wells. From there everyone proceeded to the Tabernacle, where “Hail Columbia” was played by a brass band and a “National Hymn” was sung, after which George Q. Cannon delivered an oration. This was followed by the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” remarks by George A. Smith, music by the Tenth Ward, toasts and sentiments read by the marshal, a patriotic hymn, and closing remarks by President Brigham Young. See “The Celebration,” Deseret News, 6 July 1870, 258.

[60] Julina Lambson, Sarah Ellen Richards, Mercy Rachel Fielding, Edward Smith (son of Joseph F.), and Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor (grandson of Mercy Rachel Fielding).

[61] George Nebeker and family; see Joseph F., journal, 5 July 1870. Nebeker had been called, along with Francis S. Hammond, to preside over the Sandwich Islands Mission after Joseph F. was released in 1864. See R. Lanier Britsch, Unto the Islands of the Sea: A History of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1986), 126. See also biographical register, “Nebeker, George.”

[62] Jack mules are the offspring of a female horse (mare) and a male donkey (jack) and are often characterized as being stubborn or lazy. Unlike horses, mules will not allow an owner to work them to death or put them in danger.

[63] Joseph F. noted, “I wrote to my Sister Martha Ann, Provo” (Joseph F., journal, 6 August 1870). He also recorded during the month, “I wrote to Martha Ann” (Joseph F., journal, 18 August 1870, herein) and “I got letters from Aunt Thompson & Martha Ann” (Joseph F., journal, 23 August 1870). Martha Ann’s letter is not extant.

[64] Mary Jane Thompson and Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[65] Sarah Ellen Richards; Joseph Smith Richards was Joseph F.’s brother-in-law. See biographical register, “Richards, Joseph Smith.”

[66] 27 June 1844 was the day Joseph Smith Jr. and Hyrum Smith were martyred at Carthage Jail. 21 and 22 September 1852, as Joseph F. indicates, were the death and burial dates of Mary Fielding Smith, Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s mother. See biographical register, “Smith, Hyrum.”

[67] Mercy Josephine Smith.

[68] The two children in heaven that Joseph F. makes reference to are Mercy Josephine (born 14 August 1867, died 6 June 1870, daughter of Julina Lambson) and Sarah Ellen (born 5 February 1869, died 11 February 1869, daughter of Sarah Ellen Richards Smith).

[69] “Jode” may be another nickname for Mercy Josephine Smith, Joseph F.’s recently deceased daughter, or it may be a simple spelling error. In other letters she is referred to as “Dode.” See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 25 June 1870, herein.

[70] Joseph Bailey Smith would be born to Mary Catherine and Samuel Harrison Bailey Smith on 9 August 1870. See biographical register, “Smith, Joseph Bailey.”

[71] Sarah Ellen Richards, as mentioned in note 3 previously.

[72] Likely refers to Rhoda Ann Jennetta Richards, sister of Joseph F.’s wife Sarah Ellen Richards. See biographical register, “Richards, Rhoda Ann Jennetta.”

[73] William Burton, husband to Joseph F.’s cousins, lived in Ogden, Utah, at this time.

[74] Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor and his parents, David Taylor and Mary Jane Thompson.

[75] Joseph F. noted, “I wrote to Martha Ann and Aunt Thompson.” Joseph F., journal, 18 August 1870.

[76] Lucy Smith Harris, born 10 March 1870. See biographical register, “Harris, Lucy Smith.”

[77] Accidents involving horses were ubiquitous in the nineteenth century; for example, see Martha Ann to Joseph F., 5 October 1874, herein.

[78] Zechariah 13:9.

[79] Joseph F. may be referring to a statement by Joseph Smith Jr.: “And now beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath said that he would have a tried people, that he would purge them as gold, now we think that this time he has chosen his own crucible, wherein we have been tried.” This statement is an excerpt from the letter that Joseph Smith Jr. wrote on 20 March 1839 from Liberty Jail. Parts of the same letter later became Doctrine and Covenants 121–23. See also “History of Joseph Smith,” Deseret News, 26 January 1854, 222; Job 23:10; Zechariah 13:9; and Doctrine and Covenants 136:31.

[80] Julina Lambson.

[81] Mary Sophronia Smith was Julilna Lambson’s only child living at this time.

[82] Mercy Rachel Fielding, Mary Jane Thompson, Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor, and David Taylor. In his journal for 18 August 1870, Joseph F. noted that they had “gon to Bear Lake on a visit.”

[83] John Smith.

[84] Rich County in northern Utah had become known as the “land of monsters” because of a legend about a sea monster in Bear Lake, popularly known as the “Bear Lake Monster.” This legend was popularized by Joseph C. Rich in an article he published, “Correspondence: Monsters of Bear Lake,” Deseret Evening News, 5 August 1868, 204, evening edition. See also Bonnie Thompson, Folklore in the Bear Lake Valley (Salt Lake City, UT: Granite, 1972), 35–48.

[85] Probably a nickname for Sarah Ellen Richards.

[86] Melissa Jane Bigler was the mother of Julina Lambson. See biographical register, “Bigler, Melissa Jane.”

[87] Joseph F. traveled to Coalville, Summit County, Utah Territory (forty miles east of Salt Lake City), for the weekend in order to attend and speak at meetings there; he also visited several family members and fellow Saints. See Joseph F., journal, 19–21 August 1870.

[88] Joseph F. noted, “I wrote to John Boyden, and to Martha Ann this evening, having received a letter from her this morning.” Joseph F., journal, 27 October 1870.

[89] Mary Sophronia Smith.

[90] Likely Dr. Priddy Meeks, a practitioner of Thomsonian herbal medicine and founder of the Society of Health in Salt Lake City. See biographical register, “Meeks, Dr. Priddy.”

[91] Brigham Young.

[92] Likely refers to Edward Mecham and his wife Sophia Barrows, neighbors of William and Martha Ann according to the 1870 US Census. There were also several other Mecham families living in Provo at this time; Joseph F. possibly refers to one of them here. See biographical register, “Mecham, Edward” and “Barrows, Sophia.”

[93] John Smith, Hellen Maria Fisher, and Evaline McLean. See biographical register, “McLean Evaline.” Hellen and her mother were opposed to plural marriage, and though John was married to Nancy Melissa Lemmon as a second wife, he was apparently ambivalent toward plural marriage. Their attitude toward plural marriage, which Joseph F. attributes to Hellen’s mother, is probably what he refers to here as “their Spirit.” See Irene M. Bates and E. Gary Smith, Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996), 127.

[94] Lovina Smith.

[95] Lovina Smith’s husband, Lorin Walker. See biographical register, “Walker, Lorin.”

[96] The 40th Semiannual General Conference was held on 6–9 October 1870 in Salt Lake City.

[97] Jerusha Smith.

[98] A letter for “JF Smith” was advertised in the local Salt Lake newspaper in November 1870; see “List of Letters,” Deseret News, 2 November 1870, 10. Joseph F. noted in his journal, “I received a letter from Martha Ann, which had been advertised.” Joseph F., journal, 7 December 1870. If letters were not claimed from the local post office within a certain amount of time, they were advertised in the newspaper under the heading “List of Letters,” with the explanation that if they were not claimed within one month of being advertised, they would be sent to the Dead Letter Office in Washington, DC. Located on the second floor of the General Post Office building in the nation’s capital on F Street, the Dead Letter Office received 4,152,460 letters in 1870. See Louis Baggar, “The Dead-Letter Office,” Appletons’ Journal: A Magazine of General Literature 10, no. 243 (8 November 1873): 594.

[99] Mary Jane Thompson.

[100] Julina Lambson, Sarah Ellen Richards, Mary Sophronia “Rosebud” Smith, and Edward Arthur Smith.

[101] Mary Sophronia, born on 7 October 1869, was twenty-six months old.

[102] Edna Lambson became Joseph F.’s fourth wife on 1 January 1871. See biographical register, “Lambson, Edna.”

[103] Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining of the lungs with symptoms of sharp chest pain and coughing. Joseph F. noted in his journal, “Edna is much better.” Joseph F., journal, 7 December 1870.

[104] Likely John Smith.

[105] William Pierce, son of Jerusha Smith and William Pierce, was born on 26 May 1868. He was a nephew of Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[106] Lovina Smith, Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s older half sister.

[107] It is uncertain which bishop Joseph F. is referring to in this letter. A. O. Smoot, the Utah Stake president and city mayor, was also assigned as the Regional Presiding Bishop for Utah Valley, responsible for the temporal affairs and economic development in Utah County. Martha Ann’s local ward bishop was John Peter Rasmus [Johannesen] Johnson, who was serving as the Provo First Ward bishop at the time.

[108] On 26 November, Joseph F. noted, “Came to Provo . . . visited Martha Ann, found her and family well, but not very comfortably situation. . . . Spent the evening at my sister Marth’s.” Joseph F., journal, 26 November 1870. On the following day, Joseph F. reported a conversation he had with Brigham Young in Provo when they were attending a stake conference together in Utah Valley: “The President told me . . . that my sister Martha Ann should have comfortable place provided for her in Provo.” Joseph F., journal, 27 November 1870. Finally, on 28 November, Joseph F. recorded, “Prest. Young gave me a hundred dollar order for M.A. I took it to her.”

[109] The top half of this letter has been lost, so there is no date or greeting. However, the salutation reveals that this is a letter from Joseph F. to Martha Ann. This letter was most likely written after Joseph F.’s discussion in the late fall of 1870 with Brigham Young regarding property for Martha Ann. See Joseph F., journal, 27 November 1870. Property was finally deeded to Martha on 25 April 1878 after the settlement of Brigham Young’s estate.

[110] Most likely Brigham Young.

[111] The “little” adobe house was located at 214 South 300 West, Provo.

[112] Joseph F. was thirty-two, and Martha Ann was twenty-nine. “At the H.O. all day wrote to Geo. A. sent him W. W. Cluff’s letter. Wrote to Mary Straw, and my sister Martha Ann. . . . Warm pleasant weather.” Joseph F., journal, 26 January 1871.

[113] Joseph F. received several letters from Martha Ann between 7 December 1870 and 26 January 1871. See, for example, Joseph F., journal, 16 December 1870, for a nonextant letter he received during this period.

[114] William Jasper Harris.

[115] Joseph F. noted on 23 January that he received a “letter from Martha Ann.” Joseph F., journal, 23 January 1871.

[116] Unknown individual. Two men living in Salt Lake City could be the person mentioned: Kleber Worley (1800–75) and John Mansfield Worley (1836–1913). Although less likely, another person living in Logan, Cache County, Utah, may be the one mentioned by Joseph F.: Henry Worley (1827–1914).

[117] Joseph F.’s daughters or wives, or both.

[118] Lucy Smith Harris was born to William Jasper Harris and Martha Ann on 7 October 1869.

[119] Joseph F. and Julina Lambert’s daughter, Mary Sophronia Smith, was born on 7 October 1869.

[120] Julina Lambson.

[121] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[122] Probably Benjamin Franklin Knowlton Jr., who was about four years old at the time. Joseph F., journal, 9 January 1871: “Sarah & I went to the Theatre & took little Frank Knowlton.” See biographical register, “Knowlton, Benjamin Franklin, Jr.”

[123] Indecipherable markings at the top of the page.

[124] Probably refers to Rhoda Ann Jennetta Richards and her husband, Benjamin Knowlton. See biographical register, “Knowlton, Benjamin Franklin.”

[125] Mastitis, an inflammation of the breast, is often due to bacterial infection in the mammary gland that makes it difficult and painful to nurse a baby.

[126] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[127] Likely Bishop Abraham O. Smoot.

[128] Melissa Jane Lambson, wife of Albert Westley Davis, was Edna Lambson’s sister. Melissa and Albert had two children at this time, and Melissa was about two weeks away from delivering their third. See biographical register, “Lambson, Melissa Jane” and “Davis, Albert Westley.”

[129] Edward Arthur Smith.

[130] May refer to Margaret West Smith, Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s second cousin. See biographical register, “Smith, Margaret West.”

[131] Apparently a popular phrase, “staunch and true” has the same meaning as “firm and steadfast” or “loyal and true.” Mark Twain used the phrase to describe the Latter-day Saints in 1872: “Then for years the enormous migration across the plains to California poured through the land of the Mormons, and yet the church remained staunch and true to its lord and master. Neither hunger, thirst, poverty, grief, hatred, contempt, nor persecution could drive the Mormons from their faith or their allegiance; and even the thirst for gold, which gleaned the flower of the youth and strength of many nations, was not able to entice them! That was the final test. An experiment that could survive that was an experiment with some substance to it somewhere.” Mark Twain, Roughing It (Hartford, CN: American Publishing Co., 1872), 573; emphasis added.

[132] The rest of this letter is missing.

[133] Jerusha and Sarah Smith.

[134] Julina Lambson and Mary Sophronia Smith.

[135] Coalville, Summit County, Utah, about forty-five miles northeast of Salt Lake City.

[136] Charles Emerson Griffin, husband of Sarah Smith. They were living in Coalville at the time of this letter.

[137] Alice Lovina Griffin, daughter of Sarah Smith and Charles Griffin, was fourteen years old at this time.

[138] Edward Arthur Smith.

[139] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[140] Edna Lambson.

[141] Joseph F. was still employed in the Historian’s Office and as a recorder in the Endowment House.

[142] Leonora Smith, the second and at that time the only living daughter of Sarah Ellen Richards, was born on 30 January 1871. See biographical register, “Smith, Leonora.”

[143] Sarah Ellen Smith, who died on 11 February 1869, six days after her birth.

[144] Mercy Rachel Fielding and Mary Jane Thompson.

[145] See Edward’s photograph in the decade introduction for this chapter (p. [add page no. here]).

[146] Melissa Jane Lambson. Edna likely visited to help with the birth of Edna May Davis, Melissa’s third child, born on 15 February 1871. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 January 1871, herein.

[147] Apparently a nickname for Mary Sophronia, who was seventeen months old.

[148] Edward Mecham and Sophia Barrows. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 27 October 1870, herein, note 92.

[149] John Smith.

[150] Mary Elizabeth Russell gave birth to Sarah Ellen Russell Gray and Jennie Isabell Gray on 14 February 1871. See biographical register, “Russell, Mary Elizabeth,” “Gray, Sarah Ellen Russell,” and “Gray, Jennie Isabell.”

[151] Melissa Jane Lambson, sister-in-law to Joseph F., gave birth to Edna May Davis on 15 February 1871. See biographical register, “Davis, Edna May.”

[152] Mary Elizabeth Jones Evans had triplets—Cora, Eva, and Ruth—on 21 February 1871. Tragically, they died and were buried on the same day they were born. Only four of Mary Evans’s eleven children lived to adulthood. See biographical register, “Jones, Mary Elizabeth.”

[153] Possibly refers to Pauline Richards, older sister of Joseph F.’s wife Sarah Ellen Richards. Her daughter Cora Doremus was born on 26 May 1870. See biographical register, “Richards, Pauline” and “Doremus, Cora.”

[154] Rhoda Ann Jennetta Richards, half sister to Sarah Ellen Richards, gave birth to Harriet Knowlton on 23 November 1870. See biographical register, “Knowlton, Harriet.”

[155] The list of names, beginning with Mary Gray, is written vertically in the top margin of page 1. Joseph F. appears to be writing in jest, as Julina does have a young daughter, just not a new baby girl like so many other women at that time.

[156] During the previous four weeks, Joseph F. worked in the Historian’s Office and at the Endowment House; attended the School of the Prophets and ZCMI stockholders meetings; spoke in several meetings, including at the recent general conference, at the Nineteenth Ward’s Sabbath meeting, and at a funeral; wrote a lengthy article for the Juvenile Instructor; attended another funeral and various other meetings, including a ceremony connected with the Salt Lake railroad line; observed a medical operation; set apart a missionary and administered to several sick people; and attended to various family duties, including babysitting, going to the theater with different wives on separate nights, working in the garden, building a beehive, and cleaning up his yard. See Joseph F., journal, 21 March–21 April 1871.

[157] The 41st Annual General Conference was held on 6–9 April 1871 in Salt Lake City.

[158] Warren N. Dusenberry and Wilson H. Dusenberry were both prominent educators in Provo at the time; Joseph F. may be referring to either of them here. See biographical register, “Dusenberry, Warren Newton” and “Dusenberry, Wilson Howard.”

[159] William and Martha Ann lived in a two-room adobe house on the corner of 200 South and 300 West in Provo. See Carole Call King, “History of Martha Ann Smith Harris, 1841–1923” (unpublished manuscript in editors’ possession), 3.

[160] At this time, Martha Ann had four boys and two girls.

[161] William Jasper Harris Jr., Joseph Albert Harris, and Hyrum Smith Harris.

[162] Ann Whipple was the wife of William Wallace Cluff, who was presiding over the Scandinavian Mission at this time. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 May 1871, herein. See also biographical register, “Whipple, Ann.”

[163] William Jasper Harris.

[164] Hannah Greenwood.

[165] Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Incorporation (ZCMI). See Martha Sonntag Bradley, ZCMI: America’s First Department Store (Salt Lake City, UT: ZCMI, 1991).

[166] Joseph F.’s “Recollections” was published in the 1871 Juvenile Instructor, pp. 37, 87, 91, 98–99.

[167] Mercy Rachel Fielding and Mary Jane Thompson. The phrase “theirbaby’” likely refers to Mary Jane’s son Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor. At the time of this letter, Robert would have been about ten.

[168] Edna Lambson.

[169] Joseph F. “met with bro. Eli Bell, recently returned from the Sandwich Island” on this day, which may explain why Joseph F. wrote letters to a Hawaiian Saint and a missionary assigned to the Hawaiian Mission. Joseph F., journal, 26 May 1871.

[170] George Nebeker.

[171] William Wallace Cluff served as president of the Scandinavian Mission during 1870–71 and may have spent some time in, or could have been contacted via, England. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 21 April 1871, herein, note 163.

[172] Joseph F. noted, “wrot to G. Keoeoe, a native Elder at Laie. Oahu.” Joseph F., journal, 26 May 1871.

[173] Probably refers to Brigham Young.

[174] Mary Sophronia Smith.

[175] Leonora Smith.

[176] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[177] The Juvenile Instructor was published beginning in 1866 by George Q. Cannon and Sons for the benefit of the Sunday School children and youth of the Church.

[178] Mercy Rachel Fielding, Mary Jane Thompson, and Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor.

[179] Joseph F. had his old milk cow, Cherry, slaughtered earlier; see Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 3 January [1870], herein.

[180] The rest of this letter is missing.

[181] Julina Lambson.

[182] Lye is a highly corrosive alkali leached from hardwood. It is an essential ingredient for making certain types of soap. Both wet lye and dry lye are highly caustic and may cause chemical burns, permanent scarring, and blindness.

[183] Sarah Ellen Richards and Leonora Smith.

[184] Possibly Mary Sophronia Smith.

[185] Soda Springs is located in present-day Caribou County in southeastern Idaho. The site was a well-known stop for native peoples, trappers, and Oregon Trail emigrants who enjoyed bathing in the natural mineral springs that bubble out of the earth there. Later, Brigham Young established a permanent settlement, including a summer home for his use, at Soda Springs in 1870; the settlement was modeled on the plat of Zion grid system. Joseph F. noted, “Saturday Aug. 6, 1870. a.m. at office copying & p.m. at School [of the Prophets]. Prest. Spoke of making a settlement at Soda Springs.” Joseph F., journal, 6 August 1870.

[186] Joseph F.’s wife Edna Lambson was about three months pregnant; Hyrum Mack Smith would be born on 21 March 1872.

[187] Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is an inflammation of the pleura, the thin layers of tissue covering the chest walls and lungs.

[188] Lucy Smith Harris.

[189] Black Rock was one of Utah’s earliest swimming resorts, located on the east side of the Great Salt Lake. See David Eugene Miller, “The Great Salt Lake: Its History and Economic Development” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1947), 241.

[190] Mary Jane Thompson and Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor.

[191] A Salt Lake newspaper reported some theatrical and musical entertainment at this time. See “Pic-Nic at Black Rock,” Deseret News, 6 September 1871, 353.

[192] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[193] A local newspaper reported that “considerable sickness prevails in the city and vicinity . . . with some cases of typhoid fever.” See “Sickness,” Deseret News, 13 September 1871, 369.

[194] Joseph F.’s journal for this period ends on 1 November 1871 and begins again on 1 January 1872, making his letters written during this time important sources for reconstructing this period of his life.

[195] Lucy Smith Harris was the youngest of Martha Ann’s children at this time.

[196] Mary Sophronia.

[197] Leonora Smith.

[198] Mercy Rachel Fielding lived in eastern Canada before joining the Church. She returned there in 1871 to visit her relatives. From there, she traveled to England the following year to visit other relatives.

[199] Mary Jane Thompson.

[200] There was significant anti–plural marriage sentiment in local and federal courts at the time.

[201] Most likely Louisa Adelada Phillips Jacques, a resident of Provo. See biographical register, “Phillips, Louisa Adelada.”

[202] Possibly William Carter Staines, an assistant to Brigham Young; see 1870 US Census. See also biographical register, “Staines, William Carter.” The funds had come to Joseph F. through J. P. R. Johnson. See Joseph F., journal, 13 December 1871.

[203] Joseph F. sent the amount a few weeks later. See Joseph F., journal, 13 December 1871.

[204] William Jasper Harris.

[205] William Jasper Harris.

[206] Martha Ann was living in Provo at this time. Six months earlier, Joseph F. had written to Martha, “I am pleased that the President called to see you while in Provo. I wish you had a comfortable home. You had better take the deed of the place, if you can get no better one, and then try to enlarge your dwelling or build anew when ever you can. or if <you> should have it to exchange for or towords another and better place it would not be amiss.” Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 May 1871, herein. It appears that Martha Ann had taken his advice and added to the adobe home by this time.

[207] Joseph F. wrote four people on this date, “Geo. A., John Hopkins, Knute Peterson and Martha Ann.” Joseph F., journal, 14 December 1871.

[208] In addition to his work at the Endowment House and Historian’s Office and attending sessions of the School of the Prophets during this period, Joseph F. was also erecting a barn on his property. See Joseph F., journal, 12 December 1871.

[209] Willard Brigham Richards, son of Sarah Longstroth and Willard Richards and brother to Joseph F.’s wife Sarah Ellen Richards. Richards had worked as a rancher in Skull Valley, Utah, for several years by this time and was in charge of the Utah Livestock Company ranch. Skull Valley is located approximately seventy miles northwest of Salt Lake City. See biographical register, “Richards, Willard Brigham.”

[210] Edward Arthur Smith.

[211] Based on the initials US, “Uncle Sam” is still a common national personification of the United States government. Its usage traces to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

[212] Between 13 December and 19 December 1871, four Latter-day Saints were arrested in connection with the murder of Dr. J. King Robinson, who was killed in October 1866. These four suspects—James Toms, John L. Blythe, Alexander Burt, and Brigham Y. Hampton—were convicted on the testimony of Charles W. Baker. One month later, Baker confessed to having fabricated his testimony. Surprisingly, the innocent men remained in custody until 30 April 1872. For more information, see Edward William Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City, UT: Star Printing, 1886), 573–74; see also “Another of Those Indictments,” Deseret News, 20 December 1871, 533; and Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News Press, 1899), 86–88. See also biographical register, “Robinson, John King” and “Blyth, John Law.”

[213] The rest of this letter is missing.

[214] Joseph F. was thirty-three, and Martha Ann was thirty.

[215] Joseph F.’s three surviving infants at this time were Mary Sophronia, Leonora, and Hyrum Mack.

[216] Mercy Josephine Smith. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 25 June 1870, herein.

[217] Hyrum Mack Smith was born to Edna Lambson on 21 March 1872. See biographical register, “Smith, Hyrum Mack.”

[218] Mercy Josephine Smith.

[219] Likely refers to Bathsheba Smith, second cousin to Joseph F. and Martha Ann. She gave birth to Margaret May Merrill on 5 February 1872. Sarah Farr, second cousin to Joseph F. and Martha Ann and wife of John Henry Smith, gave birth to Lorin Farr Smith on 22 April 1872. Susan Elizabeth West, wife of George A. Smith, Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s first cousin once removed, gave birth to Emma Pearl Smith on 19 April 1871. See biographical register, “Smith, Bathsheba Kate,” “Merrill, Margaret May,” “Farr, Sarah,” “Smith, John Henry,” “Smith, Lorin Farr,” “West, Susan Elizabeth,” and “Smith, Emma Pearl.”

[220] Edna Lambson and George A. Smith, who is Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s first cousin once removed.

[221] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[222] Julina Lambson.

[223] The Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association was originally organized by Brigham Young as a retrenchment society for his daughters. It eventually became a Churchwide organization for young women. Alice Ann Kimball was its treasurer in 1905 and a board member beginning in 1806. See Susan Young Gates, History of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News Press, 1911), 294–98. See also Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 3 May 1872, herein.

[224] Bathsheba Wilson Bigler, wife of George A. Smith, was born on 3 May 1822. Joseph F. attended a “supper in honor of Aunt Bathsheba’s birthday. All the girls present. Their mother, and several others.” Joseph F., journal, 3 May 1871. See biographical register, “Bigler, Bathsheba Wilson.”

[225] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 12 December 1871, herein.

[226] Joseph F.’s wife Sarah and their two-year-old daughter Leonora apparently stayed at Hooper Ranch in Skull Valley, Utah. Joseph F. traveled to Skull Valley to escort them home between 23 and 25 April 1872. See Joseph F., journal, 23–25 April 1872.

[227] Chief Justice of the Utah Territorial Supreme Court James B. McKean. He placed Brigham Young under house arrest for four months for violation of the law against the practice of plural marriage. Brigham was released in mid-April when the US Supreme Court ruled that Justice McKean had allowed juries to be drawn illegally. At this time many Saints who had been tried by McKean in the eighteen months preceding this ruling were released. See Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 371–73. See also Jenson, Church Chronology, April 1872. McKean is mentioned in another letter; see Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 May 1875, herein. See also biographical register, “McKean, James B.”

[228] As noted in the Deseret News, McKean and his “political intriguers and anti-Mormon religious sects” were denounced by the San Francisco Newsletter, the Cincinnati Commercial, and the Louisville Courier Journal for “twist[ing] and distort[ing] the law to carry out their own purposes,” thus “prov[ing] themselves to be even more fanatical than the Mormons.” These papers reportedly celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn some of McKean’s decisions as proof that the country “will be governed by law, and not by passions and prejudices.” See “That Decision,” Deseret News, 1 May 1872, 171. While the Saints had reason to be pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision, it should be recognized that Judge McKean was responding to national pressure to end plural marriage. In 1871 US president Ulysses S. Grant believed that Utah was a barbarous territory with little regard for the laws of the United States. When President Grant appointed McKean to Utah’s judiciary, McKean believed it was a calling from God to eradicate plural marriage. See Edwin Brown Firmage and Richard Collin Mangrum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 138–41.

[229] Mercy Rachel Fielding and her daughter, Mary Jane Thompson. Joseph F. may also be including Mary Jane’s son, Robert Taylor, since Mercy Rachel had only one child of her own.

[230] Mary Sophronia Smith.

[231] Joseph F. is writing from George A. Smith’s house.

[232] Lucy Smith Harris.

[233] William Jasper Harris.

[234] A reference to Joseph F.’s wives, Julina Lambson (married 1866), Sarah Ellen Richards (married 1868), and Edna Lambson (married 1872).

[235] Leonora Smith was fifteen months old at this time.

[236] Edna Lambson.

[237] Mary Sophronia Smith. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 26 May 1871 and 14 September 1871, herein.

[238] John Sharp was bishop of the Twentieth Ward in Salt Lake City and was superintendent of the Utah Central Railroad. See biographical register, “Sharp, John.”

[239] Most likely Cecilia Sharp, who “died at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, and her age was 11 years 5 months and 20 days.” “Funeral,” Deseret Evening News, 18 May 1872, 3. See biographical register, “Sharp, Cecilia.”

[240] Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-borne rickettsial illness characterized by widespread rash and fever.

[241] William Jasper Harris.

[242] Ardent drink was usually identified with strong distilled alcoholic liquors such as whiskey, brandy, or gin.

[243] In the 1860s and 1870s, Church leaders encouraged the Saints to obey the Word of Wisdom, but its “observance was not mandatory and Brigham Young never made it a test of fellowship.” See Paul H. Peterson, “An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1971), 68.

[244] Written upside down in the top margin of page 3.

[245] Jerusha and Sarah Smith.

[246] Lovina Smith.

[247] Lorin Walker.

[248] Farmington, Davis County, Utah, about seventeen miles north of Salt Lake City.

[249] Leonard Gurley Rice was still in Farmington in 1880, according to the US census records. See biographical register, “Rice, Leonard Gurley.”

[250] Samuel Harrison Bailey Smith.

[251] The word many is written twice as large as the other words on the page.

[252] Katherine Smith was the younger sister of Hyrum and Joseph Smith Jr. When the Saints moved west, she remained in Illinois with her family, where she was living at the time of this letter. See biographical register, “Smith, Katherine.”

[253] Leonora Smith.

[254] Mary Sophronia Smith.

[255] Mercy Josephine Smith.

[256] Hyrum Mack Smith.

[257] Mary Jane Thompson and Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[258] Julina Lambson.

[259] Julina Lambson was born on 18 June 1849.

[260] A line from H. H. Milman’s popular funeral hymn “Brother, Thou Art Gone Before Us,” published in 1830.

[261] George Albert Smith.

[262] George Q. Cannon and William Henry Hooper were in Washington, DC, petitioning for Utah’s statehood, a measure that failed at that time. They would return to Ogden on 16 June to be greeted by a great crowd that rode with them by train to Salt Lake City. See Joseph F., journal, 16 June 1872. See biographical register, “Cannon, George Quayle” and “Hooper, William Henry.”

[263] Likely a reference to William’s use of alcohol. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 17 May 1872, herein.

[264] Possibly refers to James Ferguson, a prominent member of the Church who died young because of excessive drinking. See biographical register, “Ferguson, James.”

[265] John Varah Long, known as a heavy drinker, was found dead in a ditch in Salt Lake City on 14 April 1869. The news report of his death ended, “How sad a finish to a life that might have been so useful.” “Found Dead,” Deseret News, 21 April 1869, 132. See biographical register, “Long, James Varah.”

[266] Stephen Luce died in April 1872 after falling into a water sec (a drainage ditch generally lined in stone that could hold a significant amount of water, especially during the spring runoff) on the corner of Third South and Third East. The newspaper reports that he “was about seventy-two years of age, a resident of the 10th ward, and occasionally of rather intemperate habits.” See “Coroner’s Inquest,” Salt Lake (UT) Herald, 30 April 1872, 3.

[267] Orson Kimball Whitney. His obituary states, “His worst enemy was strong drink and it finally overcame his iron constitution.” See “A Pioneer Passed Away,” Ogden Daily Herald, 2 August 1884, [3]. See biographical register, “Whitney, Orson Kimball.”

[268] On Friday, 26 July, Joseph F. “Went up town this morning with Sarah” to make some purchases amounting to $21.33. See Joseph F., journal, 26 July 1872.

[269] Brigham Young was the President of the Church and was particularly busy during the summer of 1872. He had been arrested in March 1872; closed the School of the Prophets on 3 August, shortly after Joseph F. had written this letter to his sister Martha Ann; met Leopold Bierwirth, a New York merchant who kept a diary of his travels from New York to San Francisco, with a detailed account of his visit to Salt Lake City and Brigham Young; and reorganized the school on 4 November 1872, limiting it to about 234 leaders.

[270] David McKenzie was a private secretary to Brigham Young and manager of the Salt Lake Theatre.

[271] Most likely a reference to A. O. Smoot, who had been a bishop in Salt Lake City.

[272] Joseph F. was thirty-four, and Martha Ann was thirty-one.

[273] Julina Lambson.

[274] This was followed one week later by a police reunion ball. Both balls were reported in the local newspaper. See “Police Re-Union,” Deseret News, 29 January 1873, 793.

[275] Though Utah had not established a public, tax-supported school system at this time, there were public schools in most towns and in each ward of the larger cities. See Thomas G. Alexander, Utah: The Right Place (Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2003), 183.

[276] William Jasper Harris.

[277] Mary Jane Thompson.

[278] There are scribbles written in a dark black ink at the top of the page. There is also what appears to be a child’s drawing of a bird in the middle of the letter.

[279] Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution.

[280] Church Historian’s Office.

[281] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[282] Likely Eleanor Jane McComb, wife of Parley P. Pratt, and her son Albert McLean, who is listed in the 1870 US Census as a schoolteacher. This person could also be any number of the Pratt relatives. See biographical register, “McComb, Eleanor Jane” and “McLean, Albert.”

[283] Edward Arthur Smith.

[284] Likely Hannah Greenwood, wife of Joseph Fielding and aunt of Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[285] Edna Lambson.

[286] A nineteenth-century term for uterine hemorrhage.

[287] Joseph F. had three wives at this point, each with one or two children; his reference to “only two mothers” likely refers to the fact that only two of his wives were doing all the mothering for the five young children because of Edna’s illness.

[288] Mary Jane Thompson and Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor.

[289] William Jasper Harris.

[290] Martha Ann had seven children at the time of this letter.

[291] Joseph Richards Smith was born to Sarah Ellen Richards on 22 February 1873. See biographical register, “Smith, Joseph Richards.”

[292] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[293] Mercy Rachel Fielding had just returned from a trip to England that day.

[294] Cache Valley was an important agricultural valley in Utah and Idaho, about seventy miles northeast of Salt Lake City, with several important Latter-day Saint settlements, including Logan, Cache County, Utah.

[295] George Albert Smith.

[296] Most likely a reference to his feelings.

[297] Sarah Ann Whitney was a plural wife of Joseph Smith Jr. and subsequently married Heber C. Kimball. See biographical register, “Whitney, Sarah Ann.”

[298] Possibly refers to Lucy Walker, a plural wife of Joseph Smith Jr. who later married Heber C. Kimball. Joseph F. and Martha Ann also had an aunt Lucy Smith, sister of Hyrum and Joseph Smith Jr., who was living in Colchester, Illinois. See biographical register, “Walker, Lucy.”

[299] William Jasper Harris.

[300] Joseph F. celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday on Thursday, 13 November 1873.

[301] This was an important gathering of the Hyrum Smith family, including other extended Smith family members. Joseph F. noted on Thursday, 13 November, “that for the first time in over 27 years my fathers children were once more all together, at my house. . . . We spent the day and evening together in a very pleasant visit and reunion, feasting on the good things that we could afford, having an excellent good time. In evening we had Songs and recitations, and dissolved about 9.30 pm. All from a distance remaining with us for the night.” Joseph F., journal, 13 November 1873.

[302] The Utah Southern Railroad ran from Salt Lake City through Utah Valley and southward.

[303] Joseph F. wrote on Wednesday, 12 November, “William & Martha Ann arrived from Provo by the 7 p.m. train.” Joseph F., journal, 12 November 1873.

[304] Joseph F. was thirty-five, and Martha Ann was thirty-two.

[305] Mary Fielding Smith.

[306] George A. Smith was in St. George, Utah, at this time.

[307] Abraham O. Smoot.

[308] Donnette Smith was born to Julina on 17 September 1872. See biographical register, “Smith, Donnette.”

[309] The eastern United States were often referred to as the “States” or the “East” by residents in Utah Territory during this period.

[310] During the 43rd Semiannual General Conference held in October 1873, Joseph F. was called to preside over the European Mission; see “General Conference,” Deseret News, 6 October 1873, [2]. He left Salt Lake City on 28 February 1874, arriving in Liverpool on 21 March.

[311] Likely refers to Emily Hill.

[312] Bishop Abraham O. Smoot.

[313] Written sideways in the top left margin of page 1.

[314] Provo, in Utah County, Utah, was the county seat and an important Latter-day Saint community located forty-five miles south of Salt Lake City. Martha Ann lived there from 1867 until her death in 1923.

[315] Martha Ann and William were busy raising their eight children, the youngest born March 1874. In addition, Martha Ann was apparently quite ill before writing this letter.

[316] Mary Fielding.

[317] During the 1870s, Brigham Young instituted several United Orders based on revelations and earlier orders instituted by Joseph Smith Jr. These were related to the cooperative movement instituted in 1869. See Leonard J. Arrington, Feramorz Y. Fox, and Dean L. May, Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation among the Mormons (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1976). The United Order had been emphasized during the 44th Annual General Conference, held 7–8 May 1874 in Salt Lake City. For Brigham Young’s address, see “Forty-fourth Annual Conference,” Deseret News, 13 May 1874, 225.

[318] Joseph F. was presiding over the European Mission at this time.

[319] Mary Jane Thompson.

[320] Julina Lambson.

[321] Edna Lambson.

[322] Mercy Ann Harris was born 30 March 1874.

[323] John Fielding Harris was almost two years old at this time. See biographical register, “Harris, John Fielding.”

[324] William Jasper Harris.

[325] William Jasper Harris Jr. was fourteen years old, Joseph Albert Harris twelve, Hyrum Smith Harris ten, Mary Emily Harris eight, and Franklin Hill Harris six. See biographical register, “Harris, William Jasper, Jr.,” “Harris, Joseph Albert,” “Harris, Hyrum Smith,” “Harris, Mary Emily,” and “Harris, Franklin Hill.”

[326] Mercy Ann Harris was born on 30 March 1874. See biographical register, “Harris, Mercy Ann.”

[327] John Fielding Harris was born on 28 June 1872.

[328] Written sideways in the top left margin of page 1.

[329] Martha Ann addressed the envelope, “Mr. Joseph F. Smith 42 Islington Liverpool England.” On the reverse, Joseph F. wrote, “Rcd. July 26. 1874 & Ans Aug 5. Martha Ann.”

[330] Leonard John Nuttall served a mission in England from 1874 to 1875. See biographical register, “Nuttall, Leonard John.”

[331] John Fielding Harris.

[332] Likely Emily Harris or Margaret Thompson McMeans.

[333] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[334] William Jasper Harris.

[335] Alfalfa.

[336] At the time of this letter, Joseph F. was married to three wives, whom he affectionately called his “girls.”

[337] Mercy Ann Harris.

[338] Edward Mecham and Sophia Barrows.

[339] Written on letterhead from the Latter-day Saints’ European Printing, Publishing and Emigration Office. “42 Islington Street, Liverpool, England” was the address of mission headquarters in the British Isles and Europe.

[340] The man’s last name was Taylor. See Joseph F., journal, 14 July 1874.

[341] Mary Emily Harris was eight at the time of this letter.

[342] Consumption was a nineteenth-century term for either any general disease or sometimes specifically for tuberculosis.

[343] Made from young goat (kid) leather.

[344] Founded by John Dent in 1777, Dents is a company in England still world-renowned for its leather gloves.

[345] Joseph F.’s three wives, whom he affectionately referred to as the “girls.”

[346] Joseph F. wrote on Tuesday, 26 May 1874, “I went with bro. Larsen & Wells to Mr. Olsens, Ostergade [a neighborhood in Copenhagen], and had my likeness taken” (Joseph F., journal, 26 May 1876). Later he noted, “I called at Mr. Olsens, and sat again for a picture, the first not being good” (Joseph F., journal, 27 May 1874). Finally, he recorded on 29 May, “I also go my Photos. 1 doz. And one large one cost 4 Rd, & 4 Rd” (Joseph F., journal, 29 May 1874). During his presidency, Joseph F. traveled from England to Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, and France.

[347] Christian Greis Larsen was a Danish convert who was presiding over the Scandinavian Mission at this time. See biographical register, “Larsen, Christian Greis.”

[348] Although it is uncertain how Joseph F. obtained “free passage” back to England, it may have been a courtesy extended by the passenger shipping line because of the large number of Latter-day Saint passengers who used its services.

[349] William Jasper Harris.

[350] Emily Hill.

[351] Leonard J. Nuttall. See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 20 June 1874, herein. John Henry Smith, a second cousin to Joseph F. and Martha Ann, served in the European Mission from July 1874 to July 1875, during which time he traveled significantly with Joseph F. David McKenzie served in Great Britain from 1874 to 1876. See biographical register, “McKenzie, David.”

[352] One of the promises received in the temple sealing; the phrase was quoted publicly by Joseph F. on several occasions. See, for example, Journal of Discourses, 19:258 and 22:353.

[353] See Revelation 20:6.

[354] See Doctrine and Covenants 14:7; 132:22, 24, 55.

[355] See Matthew 25:1–13.

[356] Mary Fielding.

[357] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[358] Julina Lambson.

[359] Likely Edward Mecham and his family, and possibly Joseph Jones and his wife, Emma Buxton. The 1870 US Census lists Joseph and Emma as neighbors of Martha Ann. See biographical register, “Jones, Joseph C.” and “Buxton, Emma.”

[360] Lucy Walker, wife of Heber C. Kimball.

[361] George Washington Gee II was married to Sophina Alcesta Fuller. “Their Mother” likely refers to Mary Jane Smith, mother of George Gee and first cousin once removed to Joseph F. and Martha Ann. See biographical register, “Fuller, Sophina Alcesta” and “Smith, Mary Jane.”

[362] Abraham O. Smoot served as a bishop in Provo at this time.

[363] Samuel Stephen Jones was a prominent Provo businessman. See biographical register, “Jones, Samuel Stephen.”

[364] William Jasper Harris.

[365] Written sideways in the top left corner of page 1.

[366] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 July 1874, herein.

[367] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[368] Salt Lake City.

[369] Joseph Albert Harris.

[370] Edna gave birth to Alvin Fielding Smith on 19 July 1874. Joseph F. noted that he had received a letter from home informing him that “Edna had had a boy.” “This makes me 8 children,” he continued, “two deceased. 3 boys and three girls living.” Joseph F., journal, 27 August 1874. A few days later, he wrote, “Good news. my boy is named Alvin Fielding. god bless him, and may his name be held in honorable and everlasting remembrance with the rest of my sons.” Joseph F., journal, 1 September 1874. See biographical register, “Smith, Alvin Fielding.”

[371] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[372] Leonora Smith and Joseph Richards Smith.

[373] John Fielding Harris.

[374] Mercy Ann Harris, Martha Ann and William’s eighth child, was born on 30 March 1874. See biographical register, “Harris, Mercy Ann.”

[375] Samuel Stephen Jones.

[376] Edward Mecham and Sophia Barrows.

[377] William Jasper Harris.

[378] Joseph F. wrote in his journal later in the evening, “Monday Sep. 7. 1874 Got letters from my Sister Martha Ann, Jos. S. Richard & Lorin Farr. None from home. Some fears of Sickness, but no all Shall be well. I wrot to Martha Ann. . . . Evening I got a long letter from Edna and answered it, filling one Sheet of letter paper. She reports all tolerably well. God bless my family.” Joseph F., journal, 7 September 1874.

[379] Joseph F. noted that he received some additional letters the following day: “This morning received another letter from Edna and one from Sarah.” Joseph F., journal, 8 September 1874.

[380] The ship Wyoming sailed from Liverpool on Wednesday, 2 September 1874, and arrived in New York on 27 October 1874. There were 553 Latter-day Saint immigrants onboard—320 from the British Isles, 224 from other European countries, and 9 returning missionaries—under the leadership of John C. Graham. The majority of the group continued on to Utah Territory by train, arriving there on 23 September. While aboard the Wyoming, John C. Graham wrote to Joseph F. on 13 September, describing the seasickness experienced by most passengers on board but also indicating that “the utmost good order and behavior have prevailed. A willing acquiescence has been accorded by the Saints to all the requirements of those in charge of the company, the result of which has been that the most perfect harmony has prevailed.” See Mormon Immigration Index, “Wyoming,” September 1874; and Joseph F., journal, 19 August–10 September 1874.

[381] First mentioned in 2 Kings 1:2–3, 6, 16, Beelzebub had become one of the names for the devil. See Mark 3:22; Matthew 10:25; 12:24, 27; Luke 11:15, 18–19.

[382] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[383] Joseph Albert Harris, Hyrum Smith Harris, Franklin Hill Harris, and John Fielding Harris.

[384] William Jasper Harris.

[385] Joseph F. indicated that he had included in this parcel “32 yds dress goods. for M. A. Harris 14 yds. do.” Joseph F., journal, 2 September 1874.

[386] Charles Sansom served a mission in England from 1873 to 1874, apparently returning on the Wyoming. In his autobiography and journal, Charles Sansom noted that during this passage he lost track of one of his bags that contained, among other things, “a parcel belonging to President Joseph F. Smith.” Fortunately, however, William C. Staines, who was in the following company, found the bag and forwarded it to Charles, who then apparently delivered it successfully to Joseph F.’s family. See Mormon Immigration Index, “Wyoming,” September 1874. See also biographical register, “Sansom, Charles.”

[387] A. O. Smoot.

[388] Samuel Stephen Jones.

[389] This is likely Peter Stubbs, a resident of Provo, according to the 1870 US Census. Peter lived in the same ward as Martha Ann at this time. Another possibility is Richard Stubbs, Peter’s brother who lived in the neighboring ward in Provo. See biographical register, “Stubbs, Peter.”

[390] Joseph F. spent a short time living in Provo during part of 1868–69. He was sent there, along with Wilford Woodruff and Abraham O. Smoot, by Brigham Young. They were instructed to stay there long enough to be elected to the city council and to correct the lawlessness that largely prevailed in Provo at the time. In addition to performing public service, Joseph F. worked in a cabinet shop during his time in Provo. See “Shining Lights,” The Contributor: Representing the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Associations of the Latter-day Saints 16, no. 3 (January 1895): 172.

[391] Edward Mecham and Sophia Barrows.

[392] Peter Madsen, a Danish migrant and pioneer fisherman, lived in the Provo Third Ward at this time. He began commercial fishing in Utah Lake in 1854. See biographical register, “Madsen, Peter.” See also Martha Ann to Joseph F., 24 November 1874, herein.

[393] George Washington Gee II was second cousin to Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[394] Nicholas Muhlestein, Christian Schoeni, and John Liechty, convert immigrants from Switzerland, wanted their families to be sealed to Joseph F. according to the law of adoption. See Nicholas Muhlestein, Christian Shoeni, and John Liechty to Joseph F., 25 August and 13 November 1874. This practice was later discontinued by Wilford Woodruff in 1894. See Gordon Irving, “The Law of Adoption: One Phase of the Development of the Mormon Concept of Salvation,” BYU Studies 14, no. 3 (Spring 1974): 291–314. See also Richard E. Bennett, “‘Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept’: Reflections on the 1877 Commencement of the Performance of Endowments and Sealings for the Dead,” BYU Studies 44, no. 3 (2005): 62–66; Richard E. Bennett, “Which Is the Wisest Course?”: The Transformation in Mormon Temple Consciousness, 1870–1898,” BYU Studies Quarterly 52, no. 2 (2013): 4–43; and biographical register, “Muhlestein, Nicholas,” “Schoeni, Christian,” and “Liechty, John.”

[395] Edna Lambson.

[396] Mary Jane Thompson.

[397] Written sideways in the right margin of page 2.

[398] Written upside down in the top margin of page 2.

[399] Written sideways in the top left margin of page 1.

[400] John Fielding Harris.

[401] Mercy Ann Harris was born on 30 March 1874.

[402] Salt Lake City.

[403] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[404] Julina Lambson and Edna Lambson.

[405] Most likely the “Homestead,” Joseph F.’s home located at 333 West First North (now 200 North), Salt Lake City.

[406] Likely John Smith.

[407] Train ticket to Ogden, Weber County, about thirty-eight miles north of Salt Lake City.

[408] Sarah Smith.

[409] Mercy Rachel Thompson.

[410] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 15 July 1874, herein. Joseph F. notes in his journal on 2 September 1874 that he sent items home from England with people who were sailing to America aboard the Wyoming: “I sent the following things. by J. C. Gram. For John. 1 doz. Knives, ivory handles, carver fork & steel. 1 doz. Best plated forks. and an overcoat. for Mary J. Taylor. An umbrella. for my folks, 9 yds. of b. b. velvet. by C. Sansom, for my folks, 32 yds dress goods for M. A. Harry’s 14 yds. do. By. R. W. Heyborne for my folks, 1 doz. knives self tips, & 1 doz. best plated forks. and pair of clogs (4/6) for J. Cottam. By. Anna M. Thorp. For my folks 1 doz. knives & ½ doz. best plated forks. for M. J. T. a suit of clothes (for R. B. Taylor).”

[411] Charles Sansom apparently lost his luggage containing gifts from Joseph F., but it was later found and returned by William C. Staines, who was in the following company. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 November 1874; and Martha Ann to Joseph F., 16 November 1874, herein.

[412] William Jasper Harris.

[413] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[414] A threshing machine is used to separate grain from stalks and husks.

[415] Joseph Albert Harris.

[416] Maren Poulsen, wife of Bishop John Peter Rasmus Johnson, died on 5 October 1874 in Provo. See biographical register, “Poulsen, Maren” and “Johnson, John Peter Rasmus.”

[417] Andrew Hunter Scott, bishop of the Provo Second Ward, died on 11 October 1874 in Provo. See biographical register, “Scott, Andrew Hunter.”

[418] Possibly erysipelas, a bacterial skin infection often accompanied by fever, chills, and nausea that sometimes leads to gangrene and necrosis and can, in severe cases, be fatal. See Robert Hooper, Lexicon Medicum; or Medical Dictionary (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1841), 337–38.

[419] Likely Peter Stubbs. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874 (second letter), herein, note 390.

[420] Written upside down in the top margin of page 4.

[421] Nicholas Muhlestein, Christian Schoeni, and John Liechty. See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 8 September 1874, herein, note 1.

[422] The 1874–75 journals reveal the “prodigeious” number of letters that Joseph F. wrote and received during his mission. See, for example, Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1875, herein, note 526.

[423] A Scottish saying, though garbled from its original form (“Many a mickle makes a muckle”), meaning “Many small amounts accumulate to make a large amount.”

[424] See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 16 November 1874, herein.

[425] US paper currency notes were first issued during the American Civil War beginning in 1862. They became known as “greenbacks” because the backs were printed in green.

[426] “The girls” most likely refers to Joseph F.’s three wives. The other two people mentioned are Charles Emerson Griffin and John Smith. Charles wrote to Joseph F. on 13 October 1874: “John, Hellen Martha Ann and their Babies came up here day before yesterday morning stayed through the day and went back in the evening.” John wrote to Joseph F. on 15 October 1874: “Martha Ann came down last Friday the 9th and Hellen and myself went with her up to Ogdon on sunday and she went home on monday herself and family were all well and william was doing better much better.”

[427] Lucy Walker.

[428] William Jasper Harris.

[429] Abraham O. Smoot.

[430] Leonard J. Nuttall.

[431] Nicholas Muhlestein.

[432] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 November 1874, herein.

[433] Gathered refers to having a purulent infection. Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “gather.”

[434] Julina Lambson.

[435] This may be in reference to the missing dresses Joseph F. sent home. See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 5 October 1874; and Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 November 1874, herein.

[436] Mary Jane Smith, mother of George Washington Gee II. See biographical register, “Gee, George Washington, II.”

[437] Written upside down in the top margin of page 2.

[438] Written sideways in the top left margin of page 1.

[439] Martha Ann addressed the envelope, “Mr Joseph F Smith 42 Islington Liverpool England.” It is postmarked “PROVO CITY UT” and also “NEW YORK DEC 5.” Joseph F. wrote, “M. A. Harris—Recd Dec. 14 1874. Ansd Feb. 9. 1874.” On the reverse, Joseph F. wrote, “M. A. Harris Recd Dec. 14 1874. Ansd Feb. 9.”

[440] Joseph Albert Harris.

[441] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[442] Alvin Fielding Smith, born to Edna on 19 July 1874.

[443] Donnette Smith, born to Julina on 17 September 1872.

[444] Sarah Ellen Richards.

[445] William Jasper Harris.

[446] The following sentence is written sideways in the margin between page 4 and page 1.

[447] A monthly periodical for children and youth, the Juvenile Instructor was a private publication from 1866 until 1901, when it was purchased by the Church and became the official publication of the Sunday School organization.

[448] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[449] Joseph Albert Harris and Hyrum Smith Harris.

[450] Likely Peter Stubbs. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874 (second letter), herein, note 390.

[451] Possibly Henning Madsen.

[452] Peter Henning Madsen. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874, herein.

[453] Edward Mecham. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874, herein.

[454] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 7 September 1874, herein.

[455] Mary Jane Smith lived until March 1878.

[456] George Washington Gee II, son of Mary Jane Smith and George Washington Gee, is second cousin to Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[457] Mary Fielding Smith.

[458] Margaret Thompson Smoot, sister-in-law to Martha Ann, married Wilson Howard Dusenberry on 25 November 1874. See biographical register, “Smoot, Margaret Thompson.”

[459] Emily Hill and Diana Eldredge, wives of Abraham O. Smoot.

[460] Martha Ann here refers to the letter she forwarded to Joseph F. from Nicholas Muhlestein, John Liechty, and Christian Schoeni. It was apparently too heavy, and Joseph F. had to pay the extra postage. See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 8 September 1874; and Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 November 1874, herein.

[461] Joseph F.’s reply is not extant, but a subsequent letter sent to Joseph F. from Nicolas, John, and Christian indicates that they received a positive response to their request. See Nicholas Muhlestein, John Liechty, and Christian Schoeni to Joseph F., 29 December 1874.

[462] See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 16 November 1874, herein.

[463] Likely refers to Leonard J. Nuttall or possibly his wife Elizabeth Clarkson. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 5 August 1874, herein. See also biographical register, “Clarkson, Elizabeth.” Written upside down in the top margin and left side of page 8.

[464] Written upside down in the top margin of page 5.

[465] John Liechty and Christian Schoeni.

[466] Endowment House. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 13 July 1869, herein, note 366.

[467] Baptismal font room, located in the Endowment House.

[468] Proverbs 7:2.

[469] Hyrum Smith.

[470] This poem has been attributed to George Linnaeus Banks under various titles, first appearing as “Life” in the London Family Herald in 1848. See J. F. Cosgrove, “Answers from Readers,” New York Times, 21 March 1920. See also The Columbia World of Quotations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), no. 5531.

[471] William Jasper Harris.

[472] Mary Jane Smith.

[473] See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 8 September 1874; Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 6 November 1874; and Martha Ann to Joseph F., 24 November 1874, herein.

[474] Written upside down in the top margin of page 2.

[475] Joseph F. was thirty-six, and Martha Ann was thirty-three.

[476] Sarah Smith, half sister to Martha Ann and Joseph F.

[477] Abigail Varney, mother-in-law to Sarah Smith, died 5 January 1875 in Ogden, Utah.

[478] Alice Lovina Griffin.

[479] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[480] Most likely the Provo Woolen Mills, built between 1870 and 1872. It was a significant manufacturing enterprise in Utah Valley, employing around 150 people during this early period. See Sharon S. Arnold, “The First Large Factory in Utah,” Beehive History 6 (1980): 22–23.

[481] Likely Margaret Thompson McMeans and Sophia Barrows.

[482] A popular idiom beginning in America about 1839 indicating that an item was in great demand and easily disposed of like pancakes at a church or community fair, where they were sold as fast as the cooks could make them.

[483] Mary Jane Smith. See Martha Ann to Joseph F., 24 November 1874, herein.

[484] This may be in reference to the marriage between Margaret Thompson Smoot and Wilson Howard Dusenberry, mentioned by Martha Ann in Martha Ann to Joseph F., 24 November 1874, herein.

[485] Abraham O. Smoot.

[486] Emily Hill.

[487] William Jasper Harris.

[488] This is the first letter for which the original is extant, and a copy preserved in a letterpress copybook is also extant. See Joseph F., letterpress copybook, 7 January–20 July 1875, 246–47. This letterpress copybook is labeled “Private Letter Book No. 2. B.” (see p. [insert the page no. where images 8 and 9 are placed]).

[489] See 1 Timothy 5:24.

[490] Emily Hill.

[491] Edward Mecham and Sophia Barrows.

[492] The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star was a Church-run publication printed in England. The mission president in England typically served as its editor. See Stanley A. Peterson, “Millennial Star,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 2:906. One of Joseph F.’s articles appeared in the following issue of the Star as well as in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph. See “Mormonism Defended by Joseph F. Smith,” Millennial Star, 6 April 1875.

[493] Martha Ann had three daughters and five sons at the time of this letter. Mary Emily Harris was the oldest girl.

[494] Mary Emily Harris was nine years old at this time.

[495] The original letter has a tear at this point. However, the letterpress copybook preserves a complete copy of the letter, allowing for a complete transcription at this point, “associates.”

[496] John 17:16.

[497] An unknown incident.

[498] Ebenezar Brown came to South Willow Creek, a tributary stream of the Jordan River, in 1849 to graze cattle, and during the following year he established his family in the area. Additional settlers arrived, and by 1850 about twenty families had built homes along South Willow Creek. Four years later in 1854, a post office was established named Draperville after the local bishop, William Draper. The name was shortened to Draper thereafter.

[499] The original letter has a tear at this point. However, the letterpress copybook preserves a complete copy of the letter, allowing for a complete transcription at this point: “Two men were hanged.”

[500] There were thirty-seven executions in England in 1875, many of them reported in newspapers throughout England and the United States. A Liverpool newspaper reported the execution of Richard Coates, age twenty-one, for the murder of “six year old girl [Alice Boughen] on Monday [29 March].” See “The Purfleet Murder,” Liverpool Mercury, 30 March 1875, [6]. See also the report under the same title on 29 March 1875, [7], for more details about the crime. The paper reports other executions at this time, but not for a man who killed his mistress. See, for example, “Stafford Murder,” Liverpool Mercury, 31 March 1875, 6; and “Executions and Murders,” The Times [London], 31 March 1875, 10.

[501] The Liverpool paper reported that Robert Searle was awaiting execution for a murder in Hull, England, at the time. See “Two of the Visiting Justices of York Castle,” Liverpool Mercury, 27 March 1875, [7].

[502] Vigilance Committees were organized in many states and territories in the western United States before and after the Civil War to maintain law and order and administer summary justice when citizens believed governmental law enforcement was unable to protect people. These committees attempted to provide safety, security, and stability. See Roger D. McGrath, Gunfighters, Highwaymen and Vigilantes (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984).

[503] Utah chief justice James B. McKean, attorney Robert N. Baskin, and territorial marshal George R. Maxwell, influential leaders in the anti–Latter-day Saint Liberal Party. See also biographical register, “Baskin, Robert N.” and “Maxwell, George R.”

[504] A word that means anger or irritability.

[505] Written on official Church letterhead, 42 Islington, Liverpool.

[506] The blue plain envelope is addressed to “Mrs. Martha A. Harris Provo, Utah Co. Utah Territory, U.S.A.” with the word America in the upper left corner. The letter has a Liverpool postmark, “15 MY 75.” There are three “Penny Red” stamps that depict Queen Victoria, with cancellation marks across each one. A watermark on the right side of the stamp reveals the printing plate number, “175.” The red color made it easier to see a black cancellation mark. There is an additional New York City postmark located in the center of the letter.

[507] William Jasper Harris.

[508] Franklin Hill Harris was only seven at the time of this letter.

[509] Mary Fielding Smith built an adobe cabin in 1850 on the forty-acre farm shortly after she arrived in Utah. Given the lack of trees in the Salt Lake Valley, adobe was a popular building material. Bricks were fashioned by combining sand, clay, water, and a fibrous material and then drying them in the sun. Apparently a pit was dug at the Smith property as a source for the clay or sand used to make the adobe bricks.

[510] Mary Fielding.

[511] This house was located at what is now 2700 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City.

[512] The sash is the frame that holds the glass in a window.

[513] An English proverb that means a way can be found to accomplish a task if someone has desire to do so despite any obstacles.

[514] L. John Nuttall was serving as a missionary in the British Mission and returned home on 4 June 1875. See biographical register, “Nuttall, Leonard John.”

[515] Joseph F. presided at the London Conference held in the Horn’s Assembly Rooms, Kennington Park Road, on Sunday, 16 May 1875. See London Conference,” Millennial Star, 31 May 1855, 337–40; and “London Conference,” Millennial Star, 7 June 1875, 353–57.

[516] Edward Mecham and Sophia Barrows.

[517] Pages 1–4 were located in Joseph F.’s letter book in the CHL. Pages 5 and 6 come from the letters found by Carole Call King. See introductory material.

[518] Emily Harris and her husband, Bishop Abraham O. Smoot.

[519] Mary Jane Smith, mother of George Washington Gee II.

[520] Likely Lucy Walker, wife of Heber C. Kimball. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 1 July 1873, herein, note 299.

[521] In nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint usage, Gentile was a person who was not a Latter-day Saint. The term could be used pejoratively, or it could be used fondly to describe a friendly person who was not a Latter-day Saint.

[522] Though the marriage was apparently delayed, Lydia Holmes Kimball, daughter of Heber C. Kimball and Lucy Walker, married Frances Xavier Loughery, who was not a Latter-day Saint, on 12 June 1875. See biographical register, “Kimball, Lydia Holmes.”

[523] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[524] Written on official letterhead of the Latter-day Saints’ European Printing, Publishing, and Emigration Office.

[525] Joseph F. noted, “I wrote to the following named persons. F. M. Lymn, B. H. Watts, James Payne, John Woodhouse, C. E. Griffin, Peter Sinclair, The Capital Publishing Company, Julina & Sarah, J. U. Stucki, Fred Theurer, Mercy. R. Thompson, Jesse N. Smith, Martha Ann Harris, L. John Nuttall, S. H. B. Smith, H. H. Cluff, N. C. Tlygare & H. J. Richards, very busy today.” Joseph F., journal, 7 September 1875.

[526] Albert Carrington presided over the European Mission three separate times during his life: 1871–73, 1875–77, and 1880–82. He departed Utah Territory for England with his wife and son on 25 August 1875. See “Local and Other Matters: Departure,” Deseret News, 1 September 1875, 488. See also biographical register, “Carrington, Albert.”

[527] George A. Smith, counselor in the First Presidency, died 1 September 1875 after an illness of several months, which had begun as a cold contracted during one of his several trips from St. George to Salt Lake City. Joseph F. filled pages of his journal with thoughts on the occasion, of which the following, from 2 September 1875, is a sampling: “This evening I received a cable dispatch from Elder W. C. Staines, saying. ‘President Geo. A. Smith died yesterday.’ I cannot tell with what terrible weight this melancholy intelligence fell upon my soul. . . . The world has lost a bright light, and an honest man The Saints a wise and faithful counseller, a Prophet, Seer and Revelator. and as true a friend as Christ the Lord. As for myself, I feel as though he were my own father, and my greatest Earthly benefactor.”

[528] Joseph F., journal, 6 September 1875: “[Brigham Young] had been informed that my health was impaired and it was thought best for me to return home and recruit. I am happy to say my health is and has been good, equal to what it is at home. Nevertheless I am thankful for the privilege of going to my family.”

[529] Ann Fielding (the sister of Mary Fielding Smith) and her daughter Mercy Ann Matthews. See biographical register, “Fielding, Ann” and “Matthews, Mercy Ann.”

[530] John Osborn Fielding, brother of Mary Fielding Smith, had four daughters. Dorothy Rachel Fielding lived with her husband and children in London by at least 1881, according to the England census. She is likely one of the daughters referred to here. Joseph F. is also likely referring to Mary Fielding in 1878. See biographical register, “Fielding, John Osborn,” “Fielding, Dorothy Rachel,” and “Fielding, Mary” (cousin of Joseph F. and Martha Ann).

[531] James Ibbotson Fielding, brother of Mary Fielding Smith. See biographical register, “Fielding, Rev. James Ibbotson.”

[532] Abraham O. Smoot and Leonard J. Nuttall. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 5 August 1874, herein.

[533] Written upside down in the top margin of page 2.

[534] Hyrum Smith Harris.

[535] The Salt Lake Daily Herald reported the following on 24 November 1875: “Accident. Yesterday morning a boy about 13 years of age, a son of Wm. Harris, of Provo, at work in the Provo woolen factory, had his hand badly mangled by being caught in the cogs of a carding machine. The wounds were dressed, and all hopes are entertained that no very serious consequences may ensue.”

[536] “The girls” refers to Joseph F.’s three wives.

[537] Thomas King Smith and Edward Hunter Smith were born to Amy Jane King and Elias Smith on 5 August 1875. Thomas died on 12 August and Edward on 25 November 1875. They had previously lost another son, Albert William Smith. See biographical register, “Smith, Thomas King” and “Smith, Edward Hunter.”

[538] Also known as Canadian horse disease. The illness was signaled by a dry cough, labored breathing, and mucus discharge from the nostrils. See “The Epizootic and How to Treat It,” Deseret News, 6 November 1872, 597.

[539] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[540] Joseph F.’s wives Julina Lambson and Edna Lambson.

[541] William Jasper Harris.

[542] Joseph F. was thirty-seven, and Martha Ann was thirty-four.

[543] Perhaps referring to Sarah Ellen Smith or to Joseph F. and Martha Ann’s half sister Hellen Maria Fisher.

[544] Possibly Libby Raymond. She and her husband, William M. Raymond, lived at 144 North 200 West in Salt Lake City, very near Joseph F’s home in 1880. They do not appear in any other records except the 1880 census and 1873 and 1874 city directories. See biographical register, “Raymond, Libby.”

[545] Charles Emerson Griffin, brother-in-law to Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[546] Weber County, Utah.

[547] Maybe Hyrum Mack Smith or Hyrum Fisher Smith, nephew of Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[548] Lovina Smith Walker.

[549] Presumably the Fishers.

[550] From Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks; original not extant. Joseph F. was thirty-seven, and Martha Ann was thirty-four.

[551] Heber John Smith was born to Sarah Ellen Richards on 3 July 1876.

[552] Julina Lambson.

[553] Likely Edna Lambson.

[554] Likely John Taylor. See biographical register, “Taylor, John.”

[555] See “Provo Meetings,” Deseret News, 19 July 1876, 392.

[556] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[557] Samuel Harrison Bailey Smith.

[558] William Smith, uncle of Joseph F. and Martha Ann, had been excommunicated from the Church in 1845. He eventually joined the RLDS Church in 1878. See biographical register, “Smith, William.”

[559] William Smith was born on 13 March 1811.

[560] The Provo Woolen Mills.

[561] Joseph F. was called to preside a second time over the European Mission, with Elders Alma L. Smith and Charles W. Nibley as counselors during the 47th Annual General Conference on 7 April 1877. Joseph F. took his wife Sarah and their four-year-old son, Joseph Richards, with him, arriving in Liverpool on 27 May 1877. This mission was cut short, however, when Brigham Young died on 29 August 1877.

[562] Joseph F. was thirty-eight, and Martha Ann was thirty-six.

[563] In this context, inimical refers to an unfriendly or hostile person.

[564] Luke 2:14.

[565] See 1 Timothy 4:1–2; 2 Timothy 4:3–4.

[566] See Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34.

[567] Published as early as 1840 in Thomas H. Palmer’s Teacher’s Manual but popularized by Edward Hickson’s “Moral Song” published in 1857. See Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings (New York: Random House, 1996), 154.

[568] Likely Sarah Ellen Richards.

[569] Abraham Owen Smoot Jr., son of Abraham O. Smoot and Diana Eldredge, and William Cochran Adkinson, adopted son of Abraham O. Smoot and son of Margaret Thompson McMeans. They were serving in the European Mission at this time. See biographical register, “Smoot, Abraham Owen, Jr.” and “Adkinson, William Cochran.”

[570] Brigham Young asked Abraham O. Smoot to move from Salt Lake City to Provo in 1868 to serve as stake president over all of Utah Valley. Martha Ann’s mother-in-law, Emily Hill Harris Smoot, A. O. Smoot’s plural wife, was the first Smoot family member to relocate to Provo from Salt Lake City in 1868. Martha Ann and family arrived in Provo about the same time.

[571] William Jasper Harris.

[572] Joseph F.’s wife, Sarah Ellen Richards.

[573] Written upside down in the top margin of page 2.

[574] Joseph F. was thirty-nine, and Martha Ann was thirty-six.

[575] Joseph Fielding Smith was born to Joseph F. and Julina Lambson on 19 July 1876. See biographical register, “Smith, Joseph Fielding, Jr.”

[576] Joseph F. worked in the Endowment House. See L. John Nuttall, diary, 29 November 1877, BYU.

[577] Abraham O. Smoot.

[578] L. John Nuttall. See biographical register, “Nuttall, Leonard John.”

[579] See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 22 April 1878, herein.

[580] William Jasper Harris.

[581] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[582] Mary Fielding, first cousin of Joseph F. and Martha Ann.

[583] Zina Christine Harris was eighteen months old at the time of this letter. See biographical register, “Harris, Zina Christine.”

[584] Joseph F. was thirty-nine, and Martha Ann was thirty-six.

[585] Alfred Jason Smith (13 December 1876–6 April 1878).

[586] From Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks; original not extant. Joseph F. was thirty-nine, and Martha Ann was thirty-six.

[587] Edna Lambson.

[588] Alfred Jason Smith was born to Edna on 13 December 1876 and died on 6 April 1878. He was Joseph F.’s third child to die in infancy. See biographical register, “Smith, Alfred Jason.”

[589] Shortly before his death in 1918, Joseph F. reflected, “I struggled along with hard knocks in early life, and believe, perhaps, my wives and I were responsible to some degree, for the loss of some of our children, who were the most beautiful and perfect children that were ever born, because we did not have the nourishment nor the convenience nor the comforts that were necessary to take care of them and to preserve their lives.” “Minutes of a Meeting Held at the Bee Hive House, 1918 November 10.”

[590] Pneumonia.

[591] Mercy Josephine Smith died on 6 June 1870 (see Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 25 June 1870, herein), and Heber John Smith died on 3 March 1877.

[592] Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith or possibly a reference to heavenly parents. See Eliza R. Snow, “My Father in Heaven,” later titled “Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother,” now used as the lyrics in the popular Latter-day Saint hymn “O My Father ,” Hymns (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985), no. 292.

[593] Ephesians 6:4, Enos 1:1.

[594] Donnette Smith was five years old at this time.

[595] Mary Sophronia Smith was eight years old at this time.

[596] “The girls” refers to Joseph F.’s three wives: Julina Lambson, Sarah Ellen Richards, and Edna Lambson.

[597] This was accomplished a few days later; see 25 April 1878, Transfer of deed of lot 6, block 41 (214 S. 300 W.) from Est. of Brigham Young to Martha A. Smith Harris, Utah County Deed Record, Book G, 602, Utah County Administration Building, Recorders Office, Provo, Utah County, Utah.

[598] William Jasper Harris.

[599] A. O. Smoot.

[600] From Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks; original not extant.

[601] Serviceberries have a flavor similar to that of blueberries and were harvested for pies and jams.

[602] Mary Hopper Cunningham was the “postmistress” in Provo at this time. See Utah Directory and Gazetteer for 1879–1880 (Salt Lake City: H. L. A. Culmer & Co. Publishers, 1879), 212. See biographical register, “Hopper, Mary.”

[603] John Daniel Thompson McAllister was a counselor in the St. George Temple presidency at the time. See biographical register, “McAllister, John Daniel Thompson.”

[604] These ordinances are preformed vicariously with someone standing in the place of the deceased person.

[605] The St. George Temple is located in St. George, Washington County, Utah. Opened in 1877, this was the only fully functional temple operating at the time. The Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake Temples were under construction. Vicarious work for the dead was first performed in the St. George Temple on 11 January 1877. See Bennett, “Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept,” 39–67.

[606] Built as a temporary structure for sacred temple ordinances, the Endowment House, located on the Temple Block in Salt Lake City, was reserved for living ordinances, the exception being baptisms for the dead.

[607] This is a reference to Joseph F.’s wives.

[608] Rhoda Ann Smith was born to Sarah Ellen Richards on 20 July 1878. See biographical register, “Smith, Rhoda Ann.”

[609] Mercy Rachel Fielding.

[610] Ann Jane Lupton, daughter of Mary Fielding Lupton, is the first cousin once removed of Joseph F. and Martha Ann. See Joseph F. to Martha Ann, 29 November 1877, herein. She had two sons at this time: Harry Heward, two years old, and Joseph Fielding Heward, one month old. See biographical register, “Lupton, Ann Jane,” “Heward, Harry,” and “Heward, Joseph Fielding.”

[611] “Summer complaint,” also known as cholera infantum, is an often deadly illness characterized by severe diarrhea.

[612] Mary Jane Thompson and Robert Blashel Thompson Taylor.

[613] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[614] Likely John Smith.

[615] The work referred to here is probably mining or lumbering. Mining in particular was generally viewed in a negative light by some Church leaders.

[616] Joseph F.’s wives: Julina Lambson, Sarah Ellen Richards, and Edna Lambson.

[617] From Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks; original not extant.

[618] William Jasper Harris.

[619] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[620] Latter-day Saint settlers exploited the nearby canyons for food, wood, and stone.

[621] Mary Jane Thompson.

[622] Mercy Rachel Fielding was seventy-one years old.

[623] Joseph F.’s wives, Julina Lambson, Sarah Ellen Richards, and Edna Lambson.

[624] Martha Ann’s son Joseph Albert Harris.

[625] From Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks; original not extant. Joseph F. was forty, and Martha Ann was thirty-seven.

[626] In addition to the Church’s general conferences held in April and October, local conferences were also held in the individual stakes (geographical units composed of several individual congregations) on a regular basis with general officers of the Church, such as Apostles, attending, presiding, and speaking at these gatherings.

[627] The Utah Stake held a quarterly conference 31 May and 1 June 1879, but Joseph F. was not present; see “Utah Stake Conference,” Deseret News, 11 June 1879, 291. Another quarterly conference was held on 30–31 August 1879, but Joseph F. was not present; see “Local and Other Matters: Utah Stake Conference,” Deseret News, 10 September 1879, 1. He finally attended the Utah Stake quarterly conference held on 29 November 1879; see “Utah Stake Conference,” Deseret News, 17 December 1879, 722.

[628] Rhoda Ann Smith is Sarah Ellen Richards’s youngest child.

[629] Pneumonia.

[630] William Jasper Harris Jr.

[631] William Jasper Harris.

[632] From Joseph F.’s letterpress copybooks; original not extant. Joseph F. was forty, and Martha Ann was thirty-eight.

[633] Now comprising about 120 acres, the Salt Lake City Cemetery is located on the east bench between “N” and “U” streets and 4th Avenue and 11th Avenue. At the time of this letter it comprised 20 acres.

[634] Rhoda Ann Smith died on 6 July 1879 “of pleuro-pneumonia, after a painful illness of eight days, at the residence of the parents, 16th Ward of this city [Salt Lake City], Rhoda Ann, infant daughter of Joseph F. and Sarah E. Smith, aged 11 months and 17 days.” “Died,” Deseret News, 16 July 1879, 384.

[635] Martha Ann responded to this letter, but the letter is not extant: “I received letters from my Sister Martha A. Harris and Bp. Niels Aagaard of Levan.” Joseph F., journal, 10 July 1879.