St. George [St. George, Utah] July 10 1887 [Sunday 10 Jul 1887]

Dear Father,

Erastus [Erastus Beman Snow, b. 1853] requests that I answer your letter, I do not see much that needs answering, but will say, I did not intend him to read the letters to you, in fact I said he need not as I knew just about what sympathy it would give me. I have observed that your sympathy has always run on the other side, a woman only had to be a second wife for you to show her an extra ammount [amount], although I have heard you say once that the trials of the first were by far the greater. You have spoken plainly to me, I am not offended. Please do not get offended if I do the same. I do not wish to offend. I love and respect you too much for that, but I dare to think you not infallible with the rest of humanity. I have observed your course in your family. I am not alone in calling it unequal to your first wife. I have no reason to believe you will be just to me, if you are allowed to dictate our affairs. I think the bible [Bible] says “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.” You speak of Father Abraham. I have studied his life more perhaps than you give me credit for. I find his course to have been very different from yours, as near as I can understand it. So for obeying my husband, experience has taught me that I must know right from wrong myself. I am not a slave, but a counselor and friend to my husband. I am told in the temple to obey in reason. I do not believe in blind obedience to human beings as liable to err as myself. Enough has happened to me, not as much as has hapened [happened] to lots of good wives, nor do I intend it shall, if I can help it. I can see them on all sides alone and neglected, some, turned out of house and home, as well as robed [robbed] of their husband. Although they have been industrious, careful, faithful. I think E.B. [Erastus Beman Snow, b. 1853] will tell you I have been all he could wish in a wife, he has said so. I have taught school. I have worked beyond my strength. I have denied myself even necessaries, almost, and that when all around me were having plenty, to help him get a start. Is it strange I should think I have some rights in our family which can not be claimed by another? It is no proposition of his to take A. S. [Ann Stafford Snow, b. 1867] to Mexico. It is yours and I know you had no regard for my feelings in doing such a cruel thing. I realize but too well how groundless I am to prevent it. I do think I have a right to plead my case and resist intrusions on my rights. I think it very hard that even that is necessary.

As far as her being maintained I have heard you say when you were urging E. B. [Erastus Beman Snow 1853-1900] into it, that “it was a poor woman who could not maintain herself.”

I feel I have all I can stand if she remains where she is. This is new business for me and a greater trial than to many others. I have asked no appologies [apologies], but, like a burnt child, I do not want to put my hand in the fire again. I am thankful for my husband, and that he is worthy to go on a mission. I have not allowed myself to hold hard feelings against you for urging this on to us, and I feel that the weakness of man makes it a double trial to woman. I thought my letter would reach Juarez [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico - http://www.mormoncoloniesinmexico.com/] as soon as E. B. [Erastus Beman Snow, b. 1853]. He did not tell me to write before. I felt bad because he did not. I thought he did not care to hear. no one here has heard complaints from me either. I am obliged for your fatherly feelings and believe me to be sincerely yours, Elida [Elida Crosby Snow, b. 1854]

[Published in Erastus Snow: The Life of a Missionary and Pioneer for the Early Mormon Church, by Andrew Karl Larsen, The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1971, p 762-763]