[This is a copy of a letter given to Nell Young Emmett, 3215 N.E. 16th Ave., Portland 12, Oregon. April 11, 1954 Rachel Snow Kingsbury Olive S. Williams]
Copenhagen [Copenhagen, Denmark], October 1, 1851
My ever dear and affectionate wife with a heart full of love and overflowing with tears of gratitude and joy I seat my self today to answer your thrice welcome letter of July 31st, which came to hand yesterday, lacking one day of two months from Great Salt Lake City.
Truly do I feel to repeat your expression of gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the safe and speedy conveyance of our letters both ways, and I have not failed to give him thanks and desire with earnest supplication this blessing from his hand ever since I came to this land, and who thought when I left that we should be able to communicate with each other so rapidly! How great are the blessings of the Lord over us in all things, and how marvelous are his dealings with those who love him! Oh how merciful and watchful he has been toward me upon this mission. Surely my beloved are all our light afflictions and trials only kind lessons of wisdom and experience, or gentle corrections from an affectionate parent. I was sorry to learn of your ill health but glad that you were improving; and now do be entreated of me Artimesia [Artimesia Beman Snow 1819-1882] , and pause and reflect: dont make yourself believe that because I am absent it is necessary for you to make a slave of yourself, out doors or in, or wet or dry, cold or hot, loading anxieties and cares upon you -- roll them off and make yourself contented and dont hurry through this world, I want you to live to be a blessing and comfort unto me for many years and do honor to your father's house for many years. Perhaps you may say, councelor [counselor]. Council [counsel] thyself; to which I reply, I do and I find that I have all my life been a fool, and I am trying to improve myself both temporally and spiritually. My health is now very good. I have recently found effectual relief from the piles that have troubled me more or less for nearly a year occasioned by a damp climate and sedentary habits, by the use of pure cold water injections.
My letters from the valley have all been exceedingly welcome and interesting but yours particularly have seemed to anticipate my wants and combine items, delicious to my soul.
How much should I have rejoiced to have been with you on the 24th July, and with Mother's children and their families at her dinner after the arrival of Zerubbabel [Zerubbable Snow] ; Oh that my Mother [Lucina Streeter Snow] might see the rest of her children in that peaceful valley [Salt Lake Valley] before her death.
And what shall I say of your family. I have often thought of and prayed for them particularly since the death of Louisa and Mary. I do feel that letters from you to them written with much prayer and faith will exert an influence upon them now that you are left alone and I am gone and your parents and sisters have maintained the faith until death, bear a faithful testimony, that your garments may be clean.
I was particularly gratified with the item in your letter embracing Pres. Young's [President Brigham Young] remarks about my returning home next summer [Summer 1852]. I have waited with patience but not without anxiety for some such expression indicative of the feelings of the Presidency [First Presidency of the Church], not wishing to act contrary to their feelings, but my own spirit and feelings for the last two months have been deciding in favor of home next summer if the Presidency were willing.
I feel that I shall now labor throughout the winter with joy and satisfaction, and take an early start in the spring [Spring 1852] if I receive no counter orders from headquarters, but I shall calculate to have a letter at Independence [Independence, Missouri] to go by the first opening of spring to you, informing you of my movements, and shall expect letters from you all lodged in the office at Kanesville [Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa] for me next spring.
I think of going via Canada and Wisconsin and see Shipley [Shipley Snow] and Lucina [Lucina Snow]. If so I shall sail to Boston [Boston, Massachusetts] and take the Vermont Rail Road [Railroad] to Stanstead and thence up Lake Ontario, and if I thought they would receive me with any degree of warmth I should like to call upon your folks in York State [New York]. I shall endeavor to correspond with them beforehand. I had mailed a letter to brother Willard [Willard Snow] but a short time before the arrival of yours, in which I wrote the news of [my] mission but I thought it very possible if I wrote you immediately that it might reach Independence [Independence, Missouri] in time for the first November [Nov 1851] mail which will probably be the last to reach the Valley [Salt Lake Valley] before spring [Spring 1852].
I was much pleased with my dear little daughter Sarah's little letter, it was good writing and composition, considering her age and circumstances.
If my little Artimesia has not grown to be a mischievous little girl I am very glad. I did not learn that Sarah had been baptized or that she prayed and read the Bible and Book of Mormon.
Since I wrote to Willard [Willard Snow] the work has been moving steadily. A recent letter from Iceland informs me that the brethren had been much persecuted there but many were believing. I have recently sent two elders to Norway; the captain of the vessel which they sailed with who has his home there has been baptized, and many [are] believing religious liberty is dawning over Norway. Brother Forsgren was laboring upon the island of Folster in Denmark and doing well a short time ago. Do tell his wife and friends to write to him if he has any there, for he has received but one letter since he left home. He will probably remain in this country another year. His letters should be directed to the [Millennial] Star office. My first paper has gone to press and I have a little hymn book and Doctrine and Covenants to work at this winter.
Brother Dykes has left for England. I hear that Elder Tyler [John Taylor] will be in Germany within 24 hours ride of me in about a week from now to commence operations in the German.
From your ever true and faithful husband and companion in the new covenant. Minerva [Minerva White Snow] and Elizabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow]; a thousand blessings upon your heads. Time flies! We'll soon meet.
E. Snow [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888]