Letter from Phebe Whittemore Carter Woodruff, 2 July 1840 [LE-260]

Document Transcript

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Montrose Lee County

My Dear Willford

It is with peculiar feelings that that
I sit down to write to you at this time. I have not heared from you
for nearly 5 months untill now, and I have been left to wonder at it, some
times thinking that you might be in prison, or where you could not write
I have felt more than common lonely of late, for what reason I do not know
but your letter came to hand the 24th of June bearing date of April 24 which
was cordially received. I was pleased to hear of your health and prosperity in
the ministry but sorry to hear that you had not received any of my letters,
this is the 5 one that I have written you since you left N.Y. one of and they
were writen verry ful I told you how things were with me in
them. I directed three of them to Preston, Lankenshire, England,
another to W. Woodruff in care of Alfred Cord[on] [page torn] [c]lub buildings, Navigation
rode Buurslem Staffordshire England according to the directions in
your letter written from Jan. 29. and this ^I^ shall direct to Liverpool in care
of John Taylor hopeing that you will be more likely to get it. I sent one
by brother Hyde and Page when they started on their mission to the
Jews. I have received three from you since you arrived in England
one dated Jan. 12th another 29th then this last one April 24. I do hope
that you will get them ^mine^ for I wrote much that you would like to
know about my situation, house, cow, sickness, moveing from Lovely street
to father Clarks, &c, &c, which if you have not heard might be inter
esting to you. as it is quite a task for me to write now haveing two
little one around ^one^ and poor health (yet I have taken the utmost pains
to write to you since you left home) I will give you a brief sketch
of these things. You left me in Montrose, I kept about the house 2 weeks after,
then was taken with the chills and fever went out to sister Smoots stayed
there about 10 weeks was confined to my bed the most of the time for days & days

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could not sit up to have my bed made, I was brought verry low in consequence
of my situation little Sarah Emma was verry sick at the same time both of our
lives were nearly dispaired of but through the mercy of God I got some better
so that as soon as my house was called done I went into it, it had no door
window or loft in it, and it was a hard matter for me to get it done any way they
seamed unwilling to do it, I had no shelter for the cow and was much trou
bled to get wood, my house was verry open I was alone the most of the time,
but could not sit up only a part of the time. I often felt that I was alone,
a stranger in a strange land sick and ill provided for with my little Sarah clin
ging around me as though she had no other friend to look to for protection &
not knowing how it might turn with me would often cause me peculiar feelings,
but I would often look back and ask myself the question did I leave my fathers
house for the sake of honour, ease, or popularity, I think I did not but for the word of
God then I would try to be reconciled to my situation but I found it to be verry
hard work in the situation that I then was in— once I had a kind Willford to cheer
me in my lonely hours, but then I had none. I lived in my house about 2
months and quite as long as I wished in the situation that it was then in. Father
learned the situation that I was in he invited me to go to his house
and spend the winter with ^then^ Sarah and my cow and calfe, and when I felt able
to sew some for his family I accepted the invitation and am here now, in the
spring he asked me to stay untill fall I have concluded to do so as they are building
houses for the wives of the 12 in Commerce I shall probably voo move there in
the fall I have flattered myself that I should have my Willford to help me move
then, as I have moved 4 times since you left. Father John Smith lives in
my house now in Lovely street it was fitted up for for his family. Tell brother George
that his father and family are well have lately received a letter from him
and sent an answer to it— I wrote a little in it to you as I was there on a visit.
I have just returned f[ro]m a visit to Commerce and that neighbourhood the first
one I have made [sin]ce you left home— I was gone 3 weeks Brother Petty has
returned from the South and settled in Commerce brother Stephen Luce and
brother Outerkirk lives there likewise brother Albert Smith and Ephraim Luce lives
on the west side of the river. The brethren have a got a big field as they call it
in brother Smoots neighbourhood it contains about 300 acres of land he
(Smoot) has lately gone out on a mission for six months, brother Webster
from Connecticut has gone with him he has been here and spent a week with
me and brought me a letter from Mother Woodruff they were weell and
mentioned haveing received a letter from you— I shall write to them as soon
as I finish this- I found brother Webster to be a fine man. I suppose you knew
that he and Eunice were engaged to each other - he told me all about it when he
was here. Sarah Milliken expects to be married soon to a man out of the church
he has lately joined the universal church so you can see how much faith ^he has^ in mormon
ism. Arthur Milliken and Lucy Smith have lately been married Ilus
is married and still lives in N.Y., I have received a letter from father
and mother Carter and she said that she expected to loose Shuah soon they were
well, they want you to come there when you return home - sister Mary fails.
Sister Rhoda Scammans has got a young daughter 13 days older than our little,
Willford Owen, which I suppose you have heard of long since for I wrote a
letter to you before I was confined but reserved a space in it to give you the news
and kept it by me untill after my confinement then immediately had it finis
hed and sent it to the office I there gave you an account of my situa
tion but lest you have not received it I will say that I may had a
fine son on the 22nd of March whome I call Willford for his long absent
father he was taken with the hooping cough when 5 weeks old but has got over it
now and grows finely it is said that he resembles his mother much.
Sarah Emma grows f^i^nely is backward about talking but says many words
calls poor, pa,pa, & prety pa pa many times in a day, she calls the babe pretty
boy and pretty Willo, she runs out of doors to play much of the time, and is as busy as
you ever saw a little one, she and Willford wrote to their papa in the letter that I sent

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by brother Hyde - they are much company - for me wish you could see
them a while I kiss them every day for their pa. My dear Willford did
you know that 11 long months has passed away and you have not said one word
about comeing home in your letters - is seames almost an age, do tell me
something about it in your next letter - may the will of the Lord be done
but I hope that it will be to send you home this fall is not pray the Lord
that I may have patience and grace to bear it for it is all that I can be most
more than I can bear, to think of spending another cold long winter with
out you - If you could send the children some red flannel for winter
it would be verry acceptable - and my every day clothes are getting quite poor
as I have been out of health ever since you left home but am quite smart now
have not had a chill for 3 weeks - will you not bring your son a cap when
you come home, however I suppose that you do not have much meanes to do with
we are poor but how can we help, it if it could be your privilege to stay at home
and we both labour hard I should think litely of it for the sake of your society - but
to be poor and alone to[o] is rather hard. and no prospect of its being different
is rather discourageing is it not Willford. - Brother Joseph says that it is the
elders privilege to spend half of their time with their families will you not
remember that Willford. If you do not I shall be apt to remind you of it. -
I suppose that you will remember it much as you did staying at home 3
yeares after we were married - I think if you do not stay at home home a while
the next time you come we will put on the big pot and all go for I am quite
tired of liveing alone - perhapes you may think that I have got to scolding but
you knowe me and therefore must not mind small things. Brother Taylor has
sent for sister Taylor to come to him in Liverpool without delay but brother
Joseph thought it not wisdom for her to go therefore she has given it up. I
heard [page torn] br he said that he and Hiram should go to England next season [page torn]
gathe[r] [page torn] the saints and the work would be finised there also that t[page torn]
wou[ld] [page torn] [b]egin to behead the saints within 2 years in England, [page torn]
Joseph [page torn] [h]as been advanceing new things to the church and publick [page torn]
late says that this earth was the largest ^panat [planet]^ that ever was made and that there
has been parts taken from it several times and at the time the 10 tribes
were lost there was a part taken from it and that that they would all come
back and be joined to it again and that would be the realing to & fro like
a drunken man &c &c There has been some strange things taking place here of late
2 weeks since there was 2 horses seen to cross the Missisipi river one red and
the other white, the red one landed about opposite Josep’s house the other went
father down, it was seen by 4 persons in a boat crossing the river they were
so near that they could see the water slop under their feet and distinguish the
colour of the cloths that the rider's had on - when the red horse moved his tail
there would be fire fly from it. and Joseph Sidney and Hiram ^have^ gone
to Quincy to hold a debate with the Governor and a presbeterian minister
have not heard the result. I suppose that you have learned the defeat of the
brethren at Washington from the papers as brother Robinson to^ld^ me he sent
them to you. I hear that 10 of the 70 are about starting for England, I should
think you would need assistance according to your preaching places; brother
Hale I hear is one of the number and I think if Bates Nobles was to go somewhere
on a mission it would do him good. - It is not so sickly in Montrose
or Commerce yet as last season. Please give my respects to the brethren
and tell them that went with you that I have lately seen sister Taylor
Young Kimbal Pratt Hyde Clark Turley & Hadlock. they were well & their
families. Dear Willford I want to see you so much but I believe that I can say upon
serious reflection that I have not wished you back once untill you have filled your
mission although I have had many trials since you left but I find God to be my
friend, I feel your absence to be a greate privation and sacrifice for me to make but
I hope and trust that you will be the means of doing much good and fill you mis
sion in the love and fear of God as soon as possible and come home to me and our
little ones as soon as possible with the smiles of heaven resting on you. Phebe W. Woodruff

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Brother and sister Smoot send their respects to you - Phebe W Woodruff sends hers
to you and the brethren that went from Americ likewise all the saints in Eng. The family
where I live are verry kind to me I am comfortable for provision now. - My cow has lately
come in and she is so ugly about milking that I cant do much with her - shall I sell
the calf in the fall or change it for a heifer - I have two calves now 2 hens and 8 chickens
and 2 children and a small garden - I think you would excuse this bad writing and
disconnected sentences if you would see how I have to write - with one child in my
armes and another at my elbow, crying to be taken up - I hope that you will not
expose this letter for I feel quite ashamed of it - a part of it was written from the impulse
of a - moment write often for I feel verry anxious to hear from you often likewise
all the church are anxious to hear your letters red - I shall write to you often
I hope you will ever remember me in your prayres - be assured that I do the same
If I could see you I would tell you many things that I cannot write.
May the Lord bless, save, protect and return you home is the prayr of your
Good by dear Willford be faith ful
and the Lord will take care of you.

Sister Stephenson widow of Joseph Step^h^enson formerly from England who left
there for Giberalter and left Giberalter for the U.S. desires you if you go to
Lecestershire to enquire for William or Edward Stephenson brothers of her husband
and give them her respects and tell them that she and her family are well - one of them
is a farmer and the other a miller - and a Please to acquaint them with this work
When you write please to writ a line to brother George Robinson and drect direct your letters
to him in Commerce or Nauvoo as the name of Commerce is changed to Nauvoo with P.W. in
small letters on the outside somewhare so that he may know who to send it to and I shall
get it free from postage without its being opened - G. R. gives all the Quorum that privilege
Dear papa come home for I want to kiss you, I want you to see my little baby Sarah Emma
You see that Sarah has written one line to you with her own hand and little Willford is going
to write
Dear pa pa I want to see you; ma, te tells me about you Willford
If you could get me a wrought muslin cape conveniently to wear on my neck I should be
much pleased

Sister Taylor wishes you to let brother Taylor know that brother Joseph thinks
in it is not wisdom for her to come she has therefore given it up - she has written
herself but fears that her letter will not arive there. W. Benbow has arrived here but I have
not seen him yet. Some of the 70st. are thinking of comeing

Montrose I.T.
July 2nd. 5
Paid 25
Mr. Willford Woodruff
No. 42 43 Norfolk str.
Paid D [for British penny] 5


In care of John Taylor
Please forward this

[stamp in red ink]

[stamp in black ink]

Phebe July 2d 1840
Answered Aug 21st 1840