New York City Jan 4th 1857 [Sunday 1857-01-04]
My Beloved and effectionate [affectionate] family
I mentioned in my last letter which I sent by the Steamer of the 20th Dec [Saturday 1856-12-20]. that I was to meet Bro. Shipley [Shipley Wilson Snow] & his wife [Jean Hunter Snow] from Stanstead C.E. I left here on Monday 22nd [1856-12-22] in the Steamer 'Connecticut." We were weather bound on Long Island sound about 15 hours by a heavy snow storm accompanied by strong wind. We landed at Allens Point Conn [Allyns Point, Connecticut] whence I took cars [railroad] to Worcester [Massachusetts ?] and Woonsocket [Rhode Island] where I arrived on the 24th and found Bro. Mason [Levi Mason Snow] & his wife [Lydia Aldrich Snow] and two little girls and Brother Shipley [Shipley Wilson Snow] & his wife [Jean Hunter Snow]. Who welcomed me very cordially. Brother M. [Levi Mason Snow] enjoys poor health and though tall he weighs only about 140 lbs. He is however improving. Brother Shipley [Shipley Wilson Snow] is healthy and looks young & fresh but his wife [Jean Hunter Snow] is feeble, and the irregularities of which she is a victim entails physical disabilities and serious regrets. She is a mild but spirited woman of motherly feelings & fond of children but has not the good fortune to possess any of her own.
I visited Uncles Nahum and George Streeter who live on Woonsocket Hill where they have lived many years. The formers children are all married but one daughter and one son. They live near by.
I also visited with Aunts Lydia Morrison & Lily Jeffries who still live on the Globe side of the river [http://www.woonsocket.org/village.htm#globe] . Aunt Hannah Wilkinson and family on the old farm. Cousin Hannah was sick at home is Still unmarried. I visited Aunt Belinda [Belinda Streeter Arnold 1800-1883] at Pawtucket [Pawtucket, Rhode Island] where also her sons cousins Olney and Alex Arnold were employed in the Peoples Bank. Also her daughter Fanny Hathaway and family whom Artimesia will remember. The little girl she had in forty one when we were there in 1841 is with her and a fine young Woman. Uncle Van Ranselliers Widow [Charles Van Rensselaer Snow 1821-1879] is also at Pawtucket [Pawtucket, Rhode Island] living with her son Valney who is married.
Bro. Mason [Levi Mason Snow 1803-1869] was at first quite nervous about Polygamy and fearfull [fearful] that some of our relatives might feel themselves disgraced and perchance offer me some indignity. He however recovered very much from that over sensitiveness before I left him. bro. Shipley [Shipley Wilson Snow 1816-1906] and wife and Mason[Levi Mason Snow 1803-1869] accompanied me in my visits among all our friends.
A little coldness was sometimes observable in reference to my religion and some squeamishness on the subject of Polygamy which was everywhere uppermost in conversation, but I had no difficulty in vindicating that or any other item of our religion in whatever shape or hearing it was considered whether socially, morrally [morally], Politically or scripturally. And I was not only treated with respectfull [respectful] courtesy but in most instances among my relitives [relatives], with cordial friendship; most particularly with Aunt Belinda and her children. Bro. Shipley [Shipley Wilson Snow] readily acceded to every proposition made and position assumed by me in reference to the truth and general spirits and influence of Mormonism as a whole, and Polygamy in particular when carried out in the true spirit and design of it as set forth by me; but he frequently remarked, and with much truth too, that when thus religiously carried out, it imposed cares, responsibilities, and burdens upon a man which would rarely be compensated by any [?] ---- advantages in this short life, not to mention the self denial and other causes of trial to Mormons feelings.
This is a very sensible worldly view of the subject. With us however the subject has a wider range, and its results over leap the bounds of time and lay hold on countless ages of Eternity, and its cares and sacrifices are regarded as the toils and labour [labor] of seed time, which are to be repaid with a rich harvest of effection [affection] and its endless increase of inteligence [intelligence] and lovely life, and its opening glories and outspreading dominions worlds without end.
Bro. S. [Shipley Wilson Snow 1816-1906] told me however on parting with him that he intended to see me again. that he should try to gather up his business and be prepared to take refuge with us. bro. M. [Levi Mason Snow 1803-1869] partly promised the same but his energy is scarcely equal to the task. I spent one week in Rhode Island and on my return to New York I called on Mr. Paine at Northbridge [Massachusetts] and Wm [William] Wade and family at Longmeadows Mass. [Massachusetts] Mr. Paines wife and mother were glad to see me and very sociable but the rest were cold and indeiferant [indifferent]. Anna takes the "Mormon." Wade works in a Button factory and is poor as ever, though I Judge he provides very well for his family, and treats them well after the order of the Gentiles, but he said he had ceased to pray or care anything about Mormonism.
He cannot aford [afford] to take "The Mormon" not even for Susan to read. The impressions made upon her mind by the Gospel are not utterly effaced and she expresses a hope of sometime meeting with saints again. She evidently feels that she has left the fold of God to get a husband. ---- satisfaction in visiting with them, but I perceived -- cold indifference was painfull [painful] to Susan and she wept when I bid them adieu. She told me she had lately written to Minerva [Minerva White Snow 1822-1896] and was very glad to read Minervas letter written last fall to Anna. Susan has five children. Bro. John Taylor lives very much at home here in Williamsburg which is one of the subburbs [suburbs] of New York. Elder P. P. Pratt [Parley P. Pratt], G. A. S. [George A. Smith] and W. I. Appleby and myself have visited with him in one of his upper rooms in a Prayer circle with much satisfaction.
Washington City D.C. [Washington DC] January 15th /57 [Thursday 15 Jan 1857]
Bro. G.A. Smith [George A. Smith] and myself left N. York [New York City] on the 9th inst. [instant – Friday 9 Jan 1857] Spent last Sunday [11 Jan 1857] with the Saints in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] and come here Monday morning [12 Jan 1857].
Mother McMurin was very glad to see us and is anxious to go back to Utah next summer. She is with one of her daughters in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania].
I came here to make one more effort to obtain the payment of my Government Drafts. I expect to leave in a few days for Janesville, Wisconsin where I expect to make a short visit with my sister Lucina [Lucina Snow Warner 1805-1861] and then return to St. Louis [Missouri]. No Utah mail has arrived across the plains since the one which left there Oct. 2nd [Thursday 2 Oct 1856] in which Minervas [Minerva White Snow 1822-1896] letter of Sept. 29th [Monday 29 Sep 1856] came to hand. Bro. Birchisel [Bernheisal] and G.A. S. [George A. Smith] received letters yesterday via California dated as late as November 5th [Wednesday 5 Nov 1856] I hope to find that the last Steamer has also brought me letters from home. It is very gratifying for me to hear from you and I feel somewhat anxious though I have ceased to allow myself to be over anxious about my family or my business, for I found if I did not controll [control] my mind and feelings, my days would soon be numbered and finished!
It is in this view of the matter that I concluded to spend so much of the present winter in the East. I thought it better to let the World Mag. [World Magazine] and business and debts take care of themselves while I relax my exertions and recruit my wanted faculties and rest my nervous system.
I have experienced much benefit from the change and have fleshed up very much since I came East, though this increase of flesh outstrips my strength and energies both physical and mental. I weighed a few days ago 188 1/2 pounds. about 20 pounds more than I ever remember to have weighed before. I feel in every respect fifty per cent [50%] better than I did last fall. I wish you all to fast occasionly [occasionally] & pray always, both for yourselves and me, that we may be kept from the evil and restored to each others society again. I had a very pleasant interview with Artimesia [Artimesia Beman Snow 1819-1882] and her little children last Monday night in a dream.
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and last night I saw Minerva [Minerva White Snow 1822-1896] . I Pray for you continaully [continually] and resign you to the care of our Heavenly Father.
The Winter set in early in the States and has been rather severe over the whole country East of the Rocky Mts [Mountains]. I hope your stores arrived safe and that you have them in use with your [?] and a plenty of fuel, and the kitchen plastered. I should like to know how Bro. Shurtliff succeeded with his crops and
What is the fate of your stock? How much hay had you off the 5 acre lot? Did the grape seed come up that I saved on it? If you choose to do it you can dispense with Bro. Olsen altogether and let out your garden on shares and make your team pay for hauling your wood and then hire it cut and other work
done which you might need. or hire a man by the month a while in the fall. I leave Artimesia [Artimesia Beman Snow 1819-1882] to decide this question as she may think best & easiest for herself and the family. My love to all. Effectionately [affectionately] yours. E. Snow [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888]