Lee County Iowa Territory, Sept. 6th^Oct 6th^ 1840
My Dear Companion
To day I came down to the Hawly settle ment and there I received a letter from you which I had long looked for, it
afforded the pleaseing of your health inteligence of your health and prosperity in
the gospel and many kind words to the children— the former I was much pleased
to hear but the latter even those to Sarah Emma were like daggers to my heart think
ing She was torn from my embrace and laid in the silent grave when she could not
receive a kiss for her pa, or a fathers blessing but just previous to the departure
of her spirit from her body, she left a kiss with me for her pa, pa, whome ^she^ called many times
in day— the little dear was not permitted to see you after you left her in her little
carriage at brother hawly’s door. I often think of her traveling from Maine with
us though that toilsome journey and of her suffering with me in my cold house in
Lovely street when we were both sick, and suffered much for want of wood &
fire I could not sit up all day and was verry feeble and alone she was sick &
had to crawl about on the cold floor alone these things grieve me, but she has gone,
her deposition was to lovely to long remaine long on the earth her spirit to pure to mingle
with the spirits of the earth a more affectionate kind and lovely disposition never
inhabited a human brest than she possessed & I was anxious for the time to come that
I could teach her the things of the kingdom of God.
Ah! Sarah’s gone—DearBabe—Her journey’s ore!
She breathe'd— she wept.— but she shall weep no more.
How short her time by providence assigned!
About 2 years she was on earth confine'd!
Angelic bands her spirit did convey,
To happier realmes in everlasting day:
Our lovely child has first arrived at home,
to see the splendor of the eternal throne.
And shout us welcome to the promised land.
Our Sarah—LovelyBabe—Her infant frame,
No more shall feel the smart of mortal pain,
She only sleeps! Though motionless she lies.
Her sacred dust, refined, again shall rise,
to shine in bliss most exquisitly bright,
Surpassing far the sun’s refulgent light.
And is she dead? O no! She entered life
the moment she escaped this world of strife:
She’s now from earth removed, her soul expands,
And by the throne in holy rapture stands;
Expanding still, she drinks the blissful streames,
And basks unsully' delighted, in unsully’d beames;
Now hears with wonder the melodious strain,
And joins to celebrate Mesiah’s name;
Her mind illumined now with glad surprise,
Sees happier worlds, unseen from mortal eyes.
She now perhaps ^from^ Zion’s hight sublime
Looks down and views the simple things of time;
Or, if permited, to the earth descends,
And gladly mingles with her earthly friends;
Although unsee her happy spirit near,
May hear the sigh, and see the falling tear,
May with concern behold maternal grief,
And fondly wish to sooth and give relief.
On the 15th I received another letter
dated july 8th, which also bore
pleasing inteligence of your
health and prosperity and
also of the brethren with you.
The friends flock around to hear
your letters and seam much inter
ested in them. I send them to Joseph to read as he wants to
see them. Perhapse you may
think that I have forgotten to
tell you anything about our little Willford Owen, O no, for he is now
in my lap pulling & scratching
round so that I can hardly write.
he has just ^torn^ up the almenack before
I saw what he was doing, he grows
finely considering the sickness he has
had, has been sick much of the time
since he was born, he has the chills &
fever now. He is now reaching
and trying to get my pen I will
give it him and see what he
will write. [In Wilford Jr.’s handwriting] Dear pa pa do come
home and see me I want to see you
Dear wants to see you to, she often
cries about it. W. O. Woodruff.
Thus he has written some to his
pa pa himself theysay the it is
said that fools and children tell
the truth— Enough of this.—
I have thought of not writing to you
any more for two reasons one is
I fear that you will not get them
and another is I heard that our letters
were oppened before you get them by a set of men, but I trust your good sense will
cause you not to have my weak letters exposed for they are designed for no eye but yours.
I have received all the letters you mentioned haveing written and they have affor
ded me much satisfaction, & sometimes I get quite lonely and disconsolat then the reception of
a letter cheers me up and I live hopeing that the time will come that you may be retu
rned home once more, this is the 8th letter I have sent you since you have been in Eng. and paid the postage on them to N.Y. I regret verry much that you do not get
more of them. My health is comfortably good— I was verry glad yours was so
good. We hear that brother P. P. Pratt has taken his family to Eng. But brother Joseph does
not approve of it I hear. When I commenced this letter I thought I would keep
a little kind of a journal untill after the conference on the 2nd of Oct. I attended the con
ference though from the beginning I will give you some items of it as my mem
ory serves me and in my next letter will coppy the minutes as you do not get the papers
should have done so now but Brother R Thompson had not got them made out
yet— The [illegible] conference commence was appointed the 2[nd] of Oct but in consequence
of bad weather they did not meet 3rd to-day there was a large assembly many brethren
"Letter from Phebe Whittemore Carter Woodruff, 6 October 1840," p. 1, The Wilford Woodruff Papers, accessed June 25, 2022, https://wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/documents/dbbbb430-5a1a-464d-97c3-fcfe2faf2612/page/3b8ce28c-4dbf-4347-a2d2-f9dbbb1cc6fe