Post Box 3957 New York City Feb 6th 1861 [New York City, New York Wednesday 1861-02-06]

Mr. Alvah P. Beman Holyoke Falls N. Y. [Holyoke Falls, New York]

My Dear Brother in Law It is with much satisfaction that I have the priviledge [privilege] of replying to a frank and open hearted letter from your hand, dated Jan. 30th [1861-01-30] which has inspired me with renewed hope and seems like the day Star appearing above the horizen [horizon] announcing the approach of an effulgent morn after a long night of darkness. It is I believe the first word or line of inteligence [intelligence] or fraternal greeting which has reached us from our kindred in Western New York since I visited there thirteen [13] years ago [1848 ?]. It affords me sincere pleasure to learn that my own beloved and faithful Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882] has a relative yet living upon Earth in whose breast lingers a spark of effection [affection] which peradventure may yet be kindled into a living flame. If as you say, you have had a great anxiety to hear from us and our family etc. We can assure you that such anxiety has been reciprocal and should have spared neither from [?] Money to have greeted you in person long before this ? We [have ?] not known that our mountain home, the city of our choice was set upon a hill and so could not be hid if in your eyes and that mails were as free to you as to us. As it is I have often urged Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882] to write to her Brothers & Sisters and if she has not already done so since I left home, I trust she will on the receipt of your letter which I shall immediately enclose to her. Be assured that the long suspension of intercourse has been painful to her as well as [?] You delicately refer to “those dear Parents long since passed away” and to the “lovely circle of Brothers & Sisters gathered around their former home.” Permit me to remark that, if you fondly cherish their memory now they are dead and gone, and cluster with tenacity around the home they so joyfully sacrificed in obedience to the councils [counsels] of the Lord, there was another circle of loving sisters and brothers in Law who devotedly honors them where they yet lived, proving it by heeding their wise councils [counsels] and instructions yielding to their sweet exhortations and entreaties, following them “through evil as well as through good apart” and who said to them in the language of Truth, “where thou goest will I go. Thy people shall be my people and thy God my God.” Nor did they falter mid [amid] persecutions and aflictions [afflictions], “but took Joyfully the spoiling of their goods, choosing rather to suffer afliction [affliction] with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season having respect unto the recompence [recompense] of the soul” Mary & Louisa whose last history you desire to learn more in detail, were as gentle lovely and pure spirits as are [?] Sojourn in Mortality. I like their Parents lived respected and beloved and died lamented by all who had the pleasure of associating with them. And we who so [?] Them as did they which they lived, contemplated with painfull [painful] solicitude those influences of surrounding society and early tradition which seemed to have impelled the circle of Brothers & Sisters in western New York to turn upon them it appeared to us a cold shoulder in the hour of our distress. Who all the world seemed ready to swallow us up. I have tried in vain to forget that heaviness and sorrow of heart with which I [?] Turned away from [?] Thirteen [13] years ago. Pardon me my Dear friends for the freedom with which I have indulged in these strictures and reminicenses [reminiscences] of the past. I realize full well that the God of this world blinded your eyes that you should not believe and obey the Truth, but peradventure in the day when the Lord shall mete out unto this Nation the full measure which they have measured unto his people, and with famine fire and sword shall plead with her strong ones, you and your children may come to see and understand that God [?] His servant Joseph [Joseph Smith 1805-1844] laid the foundation of his Kingdom upon Earth no more to be thrown down, nor left to another people” and that he will establish his Zion and gather his people Israel, and visit upon great Babylon his fierce anger according to that which is written. Then the Gospel revealed in the Book of Mormon in its ancient simplicity and fullness, will be precious unto you as unto us, and the history and conduct of your Parents and sisters will become source of congratulations and thanksgiving with you. Then all sorrow for you shall be turned into Joy and friends at first shall be friends at last. I consider while I thus write that you cannot now see as I see, nor feel as I feel, but God is able if you desire it to cause the scales of darkness and unbelief to fall from your eyes and light up your souls with the marvelous light of his truth.

I find I have freely written quite a lengthy letter which I scarcely do hope will be interesting to you and have as yet said little or anything of the history and present condition of our family and friends. Leaving the inutia [minutia ?] of our history for future correspondence or personal interviews, I will briefly State that my family have all resided in Salt Lake City Utah Territory [Salt Lake City, Utah] since I moved there in eighteen hundred and fifty eight [1858] with the exception of a few months in the summer of 1858 when our families and effects were all moved southwards preparatory to giving our city and Territory to the flames before the Army of the United States. Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882] has borne me seven sons and three daughters of whom the two eldest sons and the youngest daughter have died. The oldest daughter Sarah Lucina who was about three years old when we visited you in 1843 is now married and living in Centerville [Centerville, Davis, Utah] 12 miles out of Salt Lake city [Salt Lake City, Utah] and is herself a mother. The others are all living at home and are named respectively in their order, Mahonri, Artimesia, Erastus, Franklin, Moroni, and Orson, the last an infant of ten months. They are all healthy, attending school (excepting the last two named) and as we think promising children. Our 2nd son, then a babe, died through exposure in our long and dreary Pilgrimage from Nauvoo in 1846. The oldest from a disease in the head in February 1850 [1840-02], while I was on a mission to Europe. The daughter who was born occasioned by a fright the mother received near her time [?] Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882] has seen much hard service as you can well imagine with the cares of her family, when you understand that much of my time has been spent abroad in public duties. She has nevertheless borne the burdens of life with commendable cheerfullness [cheerfulness] and fortitude, sustained as she has even been by the Grace of God and a lively faith. She is quite fleshly, her general health has been very good until a year ago last [?] When she had a low Typhoid or nervous fever which was sever upon her and she has not since recovered her former strength. My latest news from her are to Dec 17th [1860-12-17] when she appeared to be slowly but steadily gaining strength. Mary and Louise [?] Died in 1857 while I was in the Kingdom of Denmark. Mary had been afflicted with dropsy near two years and several times had the water drawn from her untill [until] she was forced to succumb to the obstinate disease. She left Two sons and one daughter who as with their father in law is married again and lives near me in Salt Lake City [Salt Lake City, Utah]. Louisa has a cancer on her left breast which has been slowly growing about eight years. She was confined to the house only a few months at the last.

Patient but great sufferrer [sufferer]. The light Joy and power of the Holy Spirit seemed increased [?] As she contracted her disabilities. She has every other changes which [?] To six [?] Of devoted friends could bestow. I also begin to feel the effects of long and arduous labours [labors]. I have taken six voyages at Sea / during the last ten years. I left home & country 29th September [29 September] and if God grant Peace to this distracted nation, I may perhaps conclude to stay another year and send for Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882] to come down and make you a visit ? Permit. My address will be the same as before and I shall [?] To reply to any further communications. [?] Friend E. Snow [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888]