Monday, May 9, 2011

Ann Harris Hamilton Glade, Part 1 of 6


Ann was the fifth and last child born to James and Mary Watson McNair Hamilton on Easter Sunday 13 April, 1873. They were living in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Glasgow, Scotland, between 1890-1900.

Her mother, Mary, was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but James was a devout member. Mary always invited the missionaries over and was very hospitable to the church members. Their first three children Mary, Elizabeth and John were baptized all on the same day in the public baths on March 12, 1880. James and wife Mary didn’t seriously object to their baptism in the public baths because they were especially rented and prepared for the sacred ordinance. However, Annie’s baptism was different. A special memory for Annie was two weeks before she turned 9 years old James, her father, took Annie on a walk along the river bank of the River Clyde. He explained to her the purpose of baptism and its importance. Then they met with other members ready for that ordinance. She was baptized in the river Clyde and confirmed by R. R. Irvine on 1 April, 1882. Her mother felt a little indifferent about Annie’s baptism as Mother Mary was now the only member of the family not baptized. She said, “It seemed cruel for her husband to have the “baby” of the family (youngest child) baptized in the cold water of the river when the other members were given the advantages incident to the bath house.”

The family left Liverpool, England and came to America in May 1884 on the S. S. Arizona. James was in charge of a company of saints who were emigrating. The voyage was rough and many were ill. The sight of New York City must have been very welcome.[1] James’ mother, Ann Harris Hamilton McQueen and step-father, Alexander McQueen came to America in 1860 and settled in Evanston, Wyoming. James and his family spent a week with his mother Ann and family before finally arriving in Salt Lake City on June 7, 1884.

In Salt Lake City, Brother and Sister White offered to share their hospitality until they found a place to live. They had known the Whites in Glasgow. They rented a home on the north-east corner of sixth Avenue and C Street. James worked at Z.C.M.I. The two oldest girls worked at the Walker House Hotel. James’ lameness made it difficult to walk for long distances. Consequently, they moved closer to his work on South Temple Street.

 Emmeline B. Wells

It was while living at this residence that Annie became acquainted with [Emmeline] B. Wells [2], the editor of the “Woman’s Exponent.” Sister Wells cultivated a fondness for Annie. It was here that Annie was given a position in the Exponent office assisting in mailing the magazines and delivering the script to be printed at the Deseret News Office. When Sister Wells was absent or out of town, she left Annie in charge. The following is a copy of one of her letters:
San Francisco, California
April 22, 1887.
My dear little Annie:
          Do all in your power for me in the office. I send you this reprint for copy for the first of May. Take it right up to the girls. Give my love to Miss Esther and Miss Jessie. I have not a minute to write letters, but if you and the girls, Esther and Jessie, do your best for me now in my great trouble, I shall never forget it. Remember me to your father, mother and sisters, and try to see to everything you can. Louie [3], whom you always loved so much, is dangerously ill, and I cannot leave her now. She speaks of you in terms of sincere affection. She is the most patient and amiable sufferer I have ever seen. Pray for us.

          In the greatest haste as I have never a moment scarcely night or day to take up my pen.

          Be a good girl and heaven bless you.

Affectionately,
Aunt Em.
P.S. Let Mrs. Cannon know all you do, write down every day for her to see.
E.B.W.

Annie cherished the memory of the association she had with “Aunt Em.” To Annie, Aunt Em embodied kindness, sympathy and love. She was ever diligent in the work for the betterment of her people. Because of this work, Annie was able to attend a private school conducted by Miss Cook. This was located on South Temple Street where now stands Z.C.M.I. After John Hamilton’s death in 1887, Annie, like the other children, had to work and earn as much as possible. It was because of this that Annie left Aunt Em’s office.

To be continued...

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[1] According to Fritz Zaugg, another Latter-day Saint on the ship, the travelers did not see the Statue of Liberty (it had not yet been built) but they did see the newly finished Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world at that time.
In a little over 8 days we had made the trip from Liverpool to New York. About 1 p.m. the ship anchored about a mile from shore. We passed the remain[ing] night on deck, no one was seasick any more. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge with its crown of gas lights. It had just been dedicated. It was a beautiful sight and a wonder. I don't remember seeing the Statue of Liberty. It was a wonderful thing to anticipate putting my feet on this wonderful and great land of America. (From Mormon Migration.)
[2] Emmeline B. Wells (1828-1921) was a major figure in the history of the state of Utah. Her accomplishments are too lengthy and her life to interesting to summarize here, but as mentioned in this biography, she was the editor of the Women's Exponent, the publication of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a major proponent of women's suffrage, and president of the Relief Society from 1910-1921. For a brief description of her stature in the community, read this beautiful story about an incident in her later life: "Two Presidents Meet, 1919."

[3] Emmeline's daughter Louisa Martha Wells Cannon died after a sad scandal and not long after this letter was written. See the article by Kenneth L. Cannon II, "The Tragic Matter of Louie Wells and John Q. Cannon" in The Journal of Mormon History, Spring 2009 (35:2), p 126-190.

Historical photo of Glasgow, Scotland, from the collections of The Library of Congress. Photo of Emmeline B. Wells from Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. This history was written by Melissa Glade Behunin.

    ReplyDelete