Great Salt Lake City July 27 1856

My Dear and affectionate Husband -- It is sunday [Sunday] evening and I have seated myself while the rest of the family are in bed and all is still and quiet to converse in this silent language with one who is always present in my mind and who is near and dear to my heart I must in the first place inform you of our welfare and prosperity thus far in your absence. you will of course learn before this reaches you that I have a fine daughter she will be six weeks old tomorrow and as fine a child as you could wish to see I suppose as it is a girl I must name her so I shall call her Florence unless you can find one to suit you better I named her for Aunt Elisabeth Florence of Salem {Massachusetts] she was an aunt of Mothers that I was named for If you could only step in tonight and take a look at her while she is sleeping so sweetly I am sure you could not help kissing her first she looks verry [very] much like libby [Libby] only she has blue eyes instead of black I feel to thank the Lord for her and for his goodness to me in raising me up onse [once] more and for the health I now enjoy I got along well and went down stairs when my babe was three weeks old my breast troubled me some and I dried up the milk but since I have got about I have brought it back again and can use it now I am now geting [getting] to be some help around the house and it does seem good to get about again Minerva gave birth to a daughter on the 9 [ 9 July 1856] she is doing well she has been riding out today her babe is well she calls her Susan. Artimesia has been quite unwell yesterday and today. the children are all well the oldest ones and Br Olsens family have been berrying in little cottonwood kanyon [Little Cottonwood Canyon] they were gone two days and returned last night with a fine lot of berries and the children all made their breakfast off berries this morning they are very plenty this season and the mountains are alive with people gathering them the weather is very warm and dry we had a light shower on the 20 [20 Jul 1856] but hardly enough to lay the dust it is said fields of corn are drying up for want of water Br Olsen cut the wheat on the city lot last week and has had it ground there was just eight bushels and three peks [pecks] by weight provision still seems to be scarce although begars [beggars] are not quite as plenty as they have been there has been frost this month both north and south it has injured a great many vines and some corn Br Shirtliff [Shurtliff] has lost two acres of pumpkins and squash vines and it has injured his corn some. the last time he was here he brought some vinigar [vinegar] molasses and sugar he had made from the milk weed blossoms they arene [are] very nice the sugar looked like [alusorn ?] the molasses was far better than beet molasses he said he could make money by making vinigar [vinegar] to sell and he was going to work at it. Br Williams has returned from green river [Green River] he was sick when he got home but is better now. Sally has a daughter three weeks old she is quite poorly I believe all the rest of your family are well. Mother is at work as usual she has been talking of coming up here to spin for us but I think she is not able to spin this hot weather Jacob married him a wife two weeks ago he says he took the westons [Westons ?] course as you recommended he has taken the youngest daughter Mary says she is the rough matereal [material] to make a wife there is another he is going to take this fall. [Treras ?] family are well they received a letter from him today he had not left Cason valley [Carson Valley ?] I suppose you are aware that he took him another wife before he left she called on us a few days ago she appears to be a pleasent [pleasant] and agreeable woman Mary has never enjoyed herself so well since she has been in the valley she works in her garden day after day she says if we were all to go back to Jackson County she should not want to go she feels as though she had a home for the first time since she was married there is to be a ball for the members of the Philosophical Society and there is [are] twenty four ladies chosen to superintend the tables Mary is one of the number. Melissa expects the Dr [Doctor] in a few weeks Emma is looking for her folks daily Br Noble was down and took breakfast with us this morning he has rather a hard time to get along with his family Mary Ann has left again and he has no one but Anna to keep house for him he seems to be almost discouraged. I presume you would like to know how my folks are getting along they are all well Bryant and Harriott are going over on the Island to live Br [Brigham] Young says when he visits it he wants a place to go to where he can be comfortable I think they have abandoned the idea of keeping their cattle in Cash [Cache] valley Susan has a son two weeks old she is well and loving her house work Martha is still living at Sister Scofields she is to be married as soon as there is a place prepared for her to live she will also go to the Island she came and stayed with me two weeks while I was sick I do not know how we should have done without her Sister Johnson was also very kind while Minerva was sick she came down every morning for a week and waited upon her we received a letter from Br Benjamin in the last Mail he is in Wales he seems to feel well and is doing well he would like to see home onse [once] more but is willing to stay as long as he is wanted I cannot think of any more news to write that would be interesting to you we have good preaching from the stand I have not been to meting [meeting] since you left but we can read the sermons in the Deseret News and I presume you read them also perhaps you would like to know how the twenty fourth [24th of July] was celebrated there was no celebration in the city. Br [Brigham] Young with a select company visited the Lake in big cottonwood Kanyon [Big Cottonwood Canyon] there was there was [were] swings and rafts and a dansing [dancing] floor prepared for the occasion and they enjoyed themselves very much although the graiter [greater] part of them did not go prepared for cold weather and they suffered some from cold at night Bryant brought home some fire wood from the lake they were frose [frozen] hard in the morning when he put them up. he took me over to stay with Susan while they were gone and I enjoyed myself well as it had been so long sinse [since] I had been away from home. Artimesia wished me to say (for fear Brother Shirtliff [Shurtliff] would not write) that he went to see Br [Brigham] Young about that hay land Br [Brigham] Young told him we could not spare the mules and he [that ?] Br Allen must leave the land so I suppose it will remain as it is untill [until] you return. It is late and I can hardly keep my eyes open but I must tell you what little libby [Libby] says I called her to me before she went to sleep and asked her what I should tell her pa for her. she said "tell papa I ant [ain't] naughty" she remembers seeing you on a horse for the last time. when I ask her where her pape [papa] is she says he is lost on the horse she thinks a great deal of her little sister dear Erastus [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888] I must bid you good night. how I wish I could see you tonight

from your own Elisabeth

July 30 Wendesday [Wednesday] evening

Dear Erastus [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888] as the mail does [goes] tomorrow I take my pen again to let you know how we are getting along we are all so well as usual except Artimesia she was delivered of a child yesterday morning at half past twelve but it was dead Sister Johnson thinks it must have been dead as much as a month she is much more comfortable than would be expected she had some pain at first before I was called up but she says it was born without pain consequently it has not taken away her strength as much as it otherwise would have done after it was over I went to bed feeling very low spirited and nervous but I soon fell asleep and dreamed you were at home with us in the morning I told Minerva my dream and she had dreamed the same Artimesia said she heard a noise at the back door and she felt in a moment that you was [were] at the door and she felt almost afraid to open her eyes for fear she should see you standing by her bed we all felt that your spirit was with us that night excuse my not writing more tonight for I have been to work hard today [sic] and am very tired.

[around the sides of the letter]

the mail contractor has arrived today he said the mail would be in by eleven oclock [o'clock] it has not yet arrived

I do always remember you in my prayers and I do pray the Lord to bless you and preserve you to return home to us onse [once] more but the time seems long to look ahead I hear my babe crying down stairs and must close write often goodbuy [goodbye]

we have just received a letter from your sister Lydia but have not time to read it for fear I shall be too late to get this into the mail Br Neilsen just called and requested me to say to you if you had not sent his Phosphorus he would like to have you send him one pound by the first Mail that leaves

it is now almost time for the Mail to close and I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of June 25 I am sorry to hear of your poor [health ?] and trust when this reaches you it will find you in good health a [and] spirits I rejoice to learn that you have a good home take good care of yourself