Monday, October 31, 2011

George Jarvis and the Second Opium War

British troops capture Canton Commissioner Ye Mingchen, 1858.

As I have worked through the history of the Jarvis family (Tanner line) I have noticed that the histories that children and grandchildren left of George and Ann Prior Jarvis do not tend to be accurate in every detail. For example, the book, The Essence of Faith, contains a number of stories, particularly those about the early lives of George and Ann Jarvis, that are recognized by most readers as historical fiction, and which are contradicted by the original documents about the lives of the Jarvis family including birth and marriage records.

George Jarvis. He lost one of his eyes during his time as a sailor.

As with most family histories, the errors are probably due to children and grandchildren forgetting precise details of stories that they heard. (Although most people agree that the one about Ann being a niece of Queen Victoria was made up of whole cloth.)

So when I started working on Ann Prior Jarvis's autobiography, I assumed that she had the same sort of memory problems about her early life. This was reinforced when I took a quick look at the history of the Second Opium War, since George was in China at the time. She mentions "the massacre of the Urirepeans [European] sailers. The last Chinese war had begun with Eng[land]." I started reading histories and timelines of the war online and could find nothing to confirm that there were any European deaths early in the war.

But I kept looking, thanks to the library collection on Google Books, and I eventually confirmed her account.

A Very Brief Background of the First Opium War (1839-42)

The Qing Dynasty came into power in the 17th century and it was at the height of its powers in the 18th Century. In the 18th Century, the British Empire was trying to open all of China to British merchants. In particular, it wanted to legalize the opium trade; use Chinese slave laborers for its many plantations, mines, and railways around the world; end piracy; and open the entire country to British trade, not just selected ports.

China in 1844. From Wikipedia.

But British and French and American imperialist goals began to create more and more friction with the Qing Dynasty. These foreign countries came seeking tea, porcelain, spices, and silk. China would only take silver in payment, and this was very expensive to the British trade.

Finally, the merchants realized they could import Indian opium into China and thereby even out the trade deficit. China wanted to eliminate the sale of opium in its country and otherwise protect its autonomy and culture, and in 1839, the Chinese Emperor appointed a new governor in Canton (Guangzhou), its major foreign port. Governor Lin Zexu arrested more than 1,700 opium dealers, confiscated tens of thousands of opium pipes, and destroyed more than 2.6 million pounds of opium held by foreign merchants.

A statue of Lin Zexu in New York's China Town. He is now seen as a national hero for his role in resisting European imperialism, drug abuse, and illicit trade.

The British government demanded reparation for the loss of the opium, and began the First Opium War. Britain defeated the Chinese and occupied Shanghai and forced the Chinese to accept the Treaty of Nanking, which required reparations, an unequal trade structure, and the loss of Hong Kong to Great Britain.

It was a war without any ethical justification. A young William Gladstone, speaking in Parliament, called the war "unjust and iniquitous."

A Very Brief Background of the Second Opium War (1856-60)

In the 1850s, the British wished to renegotiate the Treaty of Nanking and expand its powers in China. French and American trade treaties were also due for renegotiation. The Chinese government rejected increased demands.

On October 8, 1856, officials of the Qing Dynasty boarded the Chinese ship, Arrow, and arrested its crew. The Arrow had been registered in Hong Kong and was flying the British flag but was suspected of piracy and smuggling and its registration had expired. British officials demanded that the crew be released. The crew was released, but the British still bombarded and destroyed Qing forts and boats.

The incident started what was known as the Second Opium War, or Second Anglo-Chinese War, or Arrow War.

 Chinese officers lower the British flag on the Arrow.

One of the major players in the Second Opium War was named Ye Mingchen. He was a government official in Canton (Guangzhou). As the British bombed Canton, Ye offered a bounty of $100 for British heads.
Ye's generous bounty on Europeans may have prompted an atrocity on December 29th. The Chinese crew of the steamship Thistle, which carried mail from Hong Kong to Canton, mutinied en route and beheaded all eleven European passengers, with the help of Chinese soldiers who had disguised themselves as passengers. The Thistle was set ablaze and found drifting in Canton harbor with the headless victims in the hold. The heads had been taken so the crew could collect Ye's bounty, which had risen to $100 per head. (Hanes, William Travis, and Frank Sanello. 2002. The Opium Wars: the addiction of one empire and the corruption of another. Naperville, Ill: Sourcebooks, p. 184.)
China lost the first part of the war in 1858 and was forced to sign the Treaties of Tientsin and the Treaty of Aigun. China lost the second part of the war in 1860 and signed the Convention of Peking. China was forced to accept the opium trade and make other concessions including opening further ports to Western trade, allowing the practice of Christianity in China, and allowing Britain to transport Chinese citizens under indentured servitude to America.

Hong Kong in 1843.

George Jarvis and the Opium War

When George Jarvis was in Hong Kong and China, the tensions were rising, and as he left to England, the crew was killed on of one of the steamers that could have been his place of employment.
When Br Jarvis went away the chief engineer said he would have him stay with him on the steamboat that was to run from Shan[ghai] to Hong Cong [sic] and he thought he would get enough money to emigrate us … As soon as he reached his destination the chief enginee[r] discharged him and kept another man on. Br Jarvis wanted to know if he did not please him. He said yes George but you are a married man I think you had better go back to Eng[land]. B Jarvis was vexed as he knew he would not have enough money to emigrate so he tried to get on other steamboats ... everything was against his wishes to stay in China so he went on top of a mountain to ask the Lord what to do. The impression was go home so he started for Eng[land] and the first port they stop[p]ed at they heard of the massacre of the Urirepeans [European] sailers [sic]. The last Chinese war had begun with Eng[land]. Had he stayed there he might have been one of the slain but the Lord had worked on the heart of a man that was fond of him ... and against the wishes of all he had to come home. When he returned we had barely enoug[h] money to pay our pas[s]age to Boston ...
And that situates George Jarvis's experience within the greater history of mid-19th century British imperialism. It also, along with other facts and themes which I have found to be accurate, confirms the validity of Ann Prior Jarvis's accounts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mary Isabell Pettit and Henry Green Marriage

Many thanks to cousin Emily who sent an image of Mary Isabell Pettit and Henry Green's marriage certificate.

The certificate says:

Cut this off and Give to Parties Married.

Marriage Certificate.

Territory of Utah,
County of Cache.

This Certifies that

Henry Green of Salt Lake City in the Territory of Utah, and
Mary Isabella Pettit of Salt Lake City in the Territory of Utah, were
by me joined together in Holy Matrimony according to Law and
the rites of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. at Logan
in said County, on the 9th day of December, in the year of Our Lord
One Thousand Eight Hundred and ninety-one.

In the presence of
John E Roueche
Eli Bell

M. W. Merrill
Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


The witnesses, John Edward Roueche (1861-1928) and Eli Bell (1834-1895), were both from Logan. Marriner W. Merrill (1832-1906) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the President of the Logan Temple.

John E. Roueche. Picture from

Marriner W. Merrill. Picture from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Sad Anniversary

It has been a year since the death of my niece Allison. It has been a hard year for her family. As Ann Prior Jarvis wrote in her autobiography, "Oh the agony of mind when we part from those we love."

Here is a link to a blog post my brother wrote at the time ("On the Death of Allison"), a post he put up today ("Remembering Allison"), and here are some thoughts from my sister ("Heavy Hearts").

We are, as ever, grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the promise of the resurrection and that families can be together forever after death.
The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. And now...this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets—And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God. (Alma 40:23-25.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eliza Mary Litson Glade

This is an entry for the Daughters of Utah Pioneers publication Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude (Salt Lake City, Utah, 1998). It is one of the many documents from my grandmother's files.

Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude

Eliza Mary Litson Glade

Born 7 Mar 1846 St. Andrews, Glamorganshire, Wales
Died 7 Jan 1920 Salt Lake City, Utah

Pioneer Arrived Great Salt Lake City 3 Oct 1863

Down and Back Wagon train — Capt. John H. Woolley Co.

Submitted by Beverly Glade Wessman and Florence Glade Wells


Born 7 Mar 1846 St. Andrews, Glamorganshire, Wales
Died 7 Jan 1920 Salt Lake City, Utah
Parents Richard Litson and Frances Ann Matthews
Pioneer Arrived 3 Oct 1863 by Wagon Train in John H. Woolley Company
Spouse James Glade
Married ? Oct 1863 Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
His Death 3 Dec 1882 Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

[James Glade's] First Wife: Mary Dyer born 30 Apr 1836 Burrington, Somerset, England
Married: 25 Dec 1855 Bethany CHapel, Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales
Died: ? July 1861 near Florence, Douglas, Nebraska
1. William Franklin Glade b. 16 Mar 1857 Cardiff, Gla., Wales; d. 4 April 1858 Cardiff
2. Mary Jane Glade b. 29 Dec 1859 Cardiff, Gla., Wales; d. 20 Dec 1916 So. Cottonwood, Utah

Second Wife: Eliza Mary Litson
Md. James Glade ___ Oct 1863 Great Salt Lake City, Ter. Utah
1. James Richard Glade 20 Oct. 1864 Salt Lake City, Utah
2. Frances Ann Elizabeth Glade 24 July 1866 Salt Lake City, Utah
3. William John Glade 15 May 1868 Salt Lake City, Utah
4. Eliza Mary Glade 30 April 1870 Salt Lake City, Utah
5. Jennetta Georgeina Glade 5 Dec 1872 Salt Lake City, Utah
6. Joseph Robert Glade 30 May 1875 Salt Lake City, Utah
7. Grace Katchlaina Glade 3 Jan 1878 Salt Lake City, Utah
8. George Litson GLade 9 Dec 1879 Salt Lake City, Utah

Third Wife: Isabell Love Glade born 13 Nov 1845 Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Married: 28 June 1869 Salt Lake City, Utah Died 5 Mar 1921 Salt Lake City
1. Annie Isabell Glade 11 Mar 1870 Salt Lake City, Utah
2. James David Glade 3 Mar 1871 Salt Lake City, Utah
3. Margaret Elizabeth Glade 23 May 1876 Salt Lake City, Utah
4. Alice Addelinda Glade 11 Oct 1879 Salt Lake City, Utah
5. Orson Henry Glade 21 Oct 1881 Salt Lake City, Utah


Two young sisters, Eliza Mary Litson age seventeen and Joan Jennetta Litson age fifteen bid goodbye to their parents and two brothers, friends, and the land of their nativity near Cardiff, Wales. The spirit of Gathering to Zion was uppermost in the minds of the saints, it having been preached continuously to them by the Elders. Their parents, Richard and Frances Ann, were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in October, 1852. Eliza Mary, being the eldest child, was baptized at age eight on 8 May, 1854. The next two children were baptized when they turned eight years old. The parents of Eliza Mary and Joan Jennetta were very anxious to emigrate. Saving enough money was a challenge, so by 1863 they deemed it wise to send their two daughters to Zion lest they be deprived of certain blessings if they waited for the entire (four children) to emigrate. One hundred and eleven saints from Wales went to London where 882 saints boarded the ship Amazon and left for America on 4 June, 1863. After landing in New York and processing through the Castle Gardens Immigration Depot, the Amazon Saints went by rail on 18 Jul, 1863 and river steamer to Florence, Nebraska.

The church had sent teams and wagons from Utah to Florence to help the saints migrate. Brigham Young had sent a driver named James Glade with one of the wagons. He made the acquaintance of the Litson sisters and invited them to use his wagon for their luggage. The two young girls walked most of the long distance across the plains, which was considered a great honor. In a letter home to their parents they wrote, "When you come bring with you some light shoes for crossing the Plains. They are much better for travelling in fine weather than having heavy ones. We have the boots that Brother Peard made for us. They are nearly as good as they were when we left home. Bring with you everything that you have that is worth bringing, especially clothing. You will find thread very useful here. All are very dear in this country, but above all, bring yourselves as quick as you can." They were very happy to reach their destination on 3 October, 1863. From London to the valley of the Great Salt Lake had taken four months.

James' first wife, Mary Dyer, had died two years earlier a half day's journey from Florence. He and his nineteen month old daughter Mary Jane finished their journey after burying Mary in an unmarked grave. This with the sisters was James' third trip across the plains. He fell in love with Eliza Mary, and shortly after they arrived in Salt Lake City she consented to be his wife and a mother to Mary Jane. The exact day of their marriage is not known, but James wrote on 30 Oct., 1863 to Eliza's parents, explaining the distance in corresponding was so great that he and Eliza were married, with the consent of his Bishop. James had a good job as a pastry cook at the town's leading hotel, The Salt Lake House. In one of her early letters to her parents she wrote, "I'm progressing in the ways of Zion. I make my own soap and candles, I can spin and knit, and I am becoming independent." Their next home was at 6th South and 2nd East in the 13th Ward. In 1868 and 1869 they lived on 5th South between East Temple and 1st East, which was in the Eighth Ward. During all of these years they saved enough money to buy one-fourth of a block on the northwest corner of Pine Street (now C Street) and Mountain Avenue (now 7th Avenue). This property was known as the dry north bench above the canal and the mud wall along Fourth Avenue. The fine two-story home at 331 C Street was finished in 1869. At first they had to carry water from the canal to their home, and this continued for many years. They used a barrel to catch rain water. A well was dug, but the steep slope of the hill caved it in. They tried again successfully, and they were happy the day they could pump water into their kitchen. Water was very precious.

James Glade and Eliza Litson Glade wedding photo

Eliza Mary liked gardening. They grew vegetables, fruit trees and grape vines, after they had enough water. Woodbine covered their east and south porch. Lilac bushes lined both sides of their path from the house to the front path. They had primroses, and the east kitchen window had a fuschia plant. Eliza fed chickens, rabbits at one time, and a cow was fed and milked. They had a goat until he ate the laundry off the clothesline. She enjoyed the work outdoors. She was a good cook and always wore a long calico apron. Her granddaughters remember getting a start of yeast from their grandmother to make their bread. She was a good seamstress, which she learned from her mother as a young girl. She was quiet, uncomplaining and hard working.

Eliza and James had eight children, four boys and four girls. On Nov. 18, 1878 a diptheria [sic] epidemic took the life of Joseph Robert, age 3-1/2. Six days later six year-old Jennetta died in the morning. A few hours later baby Grace, 11 months old, died; she was laid to rest in the arms of her sister and was buried that afternoon. Baby Francis Ann had died eleven years earlier. They are all buried in the Glade plot in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

With the consent of Eliza Mary, James married Isabell Love on 28 June, 1869. They had five children; one died in infancy. The two wives lived in the same home. The Glade family was considered an ideal polygamous family. James sat at the head of the table; each wife sat on a side of the table and her youngest child sat next to her; the other children sat on their mother's side of the table. James treated each wife the same; the day he married Isabell, he bought them each an umbrella, one green and the other blue. He promised Isabell a home of her own, but it never materialized; he attempted three business ventures and lost money in each one. People whom he trusted used his money and his work for their own benefit, before he found they were unscrupulous.

Auntie Liz and Auntie Bell in front of Glade home at 331 C Street.

Eliza was called "Auntie Liz" and Isabell was called "Auntie Bell" by each other's children. Eliza was quiet, and Isabell was outspoken. They were different but worked well together. They planned quilts and cut the pieces of material, sewed them together and made wonderful quilts. James belonged to the Nauvoo Legion Band. They loved to hear the band practice in the summer on their porch.

As a baker-confectioner, James worked long hours, and due to the persecutions to polygamous families, he had to be gone from his family often. One time he was working in Ogden for a hotel; upon returning to Salt Lake City he died in his home at age fifty-one on the 3rd of December, 1882. His funeral was held in their Victorian Parlor.

Front row, left to right: James Richard Glade, Eliza Mary Litson Glade, Eliza Mary Glade Johnson. Back row, left to right: William John Glade, George Litson Glade.

Eliza Mary loved her home and family. She never wavered in the faith of the gospel of her God. She remained a firm believer in the religion she had embraced in far-off Wales. She experienced the hardships and privations of pioneer life, but she chose the best of all careers—that of a true woman, wife and mother. She gave her all for her family; they in turn loved and cared for her. She lived thirty-seven years after James died, and died 7 Jan. 1920 at the age of 73.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Notable Relatives: Mildred Tanner Pettit

Next in the Notable Relatives series is the composer Mildred Tanner Pettit.

Laura Mildred Tanner was a great granddaughter of John Tanner and Elizabeth Beswick Tanner. In 1921 she married William Alfred Pettit, the son of Edwin Pettit and Rebecca Hood Hill Pettit.

Mildred Tanner Pettit's short biography in Our Latter-Day Hymns mentions that she taught school for several years before marrying William Pettit when he finished medical school.

After some time in Salt Lake City, where she served on the Primary General Board and was heavily involved in musical programs for that organization, she and her husband left for Philadelphia. While there she was able to get advanced musical training. After about a year, Will and Mildred moved to Southern California, where they spent the rest of their lives. She was very active in the community, as noted in her obituary, recently added to the memorial site FindAGrave.

Will served as president of the Pasadena Stake. He wrote the book Pettit Peregrinations, which contains a wealth of information about the Edwin and Rebecca Hood Hill Pettit family.

Mildred continued to be very involved in composing church music. Here are some posts about some of her music. ("Christmas Carol") ("The Holy Child") ("Visiting a Primary Meeting, 1933") (Recordings of some of her lesser-known tunes here.)

In a story that's been frequently told, Naomi Randall wrote the words for the children's song "I Am a Child of God," and sent them to Pasadena to have Mildred Pettit write the music.

I will include a post later about a visit with Will and Mildred Pettit written one of my great aunts.

Here is a recording of the song which is known and loved by many members of the Church around the world.

Picture of Mildred Tanner Pettit from Friend, October 1984, p. 14.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Welcome and Affectionate Letter: Mary Pettit to Henry Green

As has been mentioned before, Henry and Mary called each other "Harry" and "May." This is a letter Mary wrote two days after Henry gave her a letter as she mentioned in her diary entry on December 31, 1890. The watch shown above was given by Henry to Mary on her birthday in 1890.

Salt Lake City
January 2nd, 1891

Dear Harry

It is with pleasure, which I cannot express on paper, or with words, that I attempt to respond to your welcome and affectionate letter. It causes me to reflect and call back many incidents that are sweet to be remembered. We have spent a great deal of time together and have found out each others dispositions to a great extent. In reviewing the past year I do so with pride and joy and satisfaction. We have not been so energetic and done as much good as we might have done, but in the future we must do better.

We have much to be thankful for, and are greatly indebted to God for the blessings which have been poured out upon us. He had dealt with us kindly, we have dealt with each other kindly, but have we always dealt with others kindly? I am afraid not, as we must learn to do. I can truly say I have not had an unkind feeling toward you, if I did speak unkindly. Another year has passed with out angry words, and I hope at the end of the many years we will pass together, we can say as truthfully as we do now. That we have not caused each other sorrow through our angry words or passions. The past year has been as a dream. But one that will not be forgotten by me. It has been one of the times in life which can in many years to come be looked back to, with fond remembrance. O if it could only be thus always as the years roll by. But as we cause it, so it will be. We have tried to make each other happy and in this we have succeeded. But have we tried to make our selves equally useful. If we love, honor, and respect others, we will certainly receive the same.

One great object we have in view, is to be worthy to meet our Maker, and to do this we must keep ourselves pure and unspotted from the sins of the world, and to live honest, true, upright and virtuous lives, and set examples that are worthy of imitation.

Let our love for each other lead us to this end. The love for each other lead us to this end. The love you have expressed towards me has been of a true and pure nature, and has proven to me twas from a true and noble heart, one which any woman who once posessed it, could only feel that with out it, life would be a burden. It has caused me to place all the confidence in you, whch is possible for woman to place in man. And that confidence has caused me to do and say many things which I could not otherwise have done.

I sincerely hope we will always feel as we do now in this respect.

That our affections will not be blighted in our early life.

Our love did not grow in an hour, a month, or a year. It began with attraction, lead to intrest expanded in to respect and deepened in to tenderness. It illuminates the darkest pathway and has blended to hearts together in inseperable unity. Such love I think is true love, and that we must cherish. We have all ready entered up on the new year, which may prove to be a very eventful one with us. May God helps us to fit and prepare our selves. And when we take up on ourselves the greatest and most important step in life we will be prepared for it. For I realize that it is a great responsibility. If we should enter up on an other year as we have this, may our expectations and anticipations be as bright before us as they are today. And that I will be worthy to bear the honored name of wife and prove my self to you to be all that is required.

I feel that I am rather leangthy in expressing my thoughts. Wishing that this may be a happy and prosperous New Year for you, and that you may live to enjoy many of them. May we continue in the good cause which we have commenced remember our prayers and not neglect our duties. Again Harry I wish you a Happy New Year and that God will ever be with you through life.

I remain
Fondly and Affectionately Yours
May Pettit

Henry and Mary married on December 9, 1891. They lived together happily until Mary died suddenly in April 1905 following the birth of their sixth child.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 16

16 December – Tuesday
I arose early not very much rested from my work yesterday. Had a terrific head ache which lasted all day. I went up town and bought some Christmas presents.

17 December – Wednesday
I have busyed my self with the house work and not made much progress either. Evening came and brought with it much happiness. Harry came as usual. Told us of Ada & Archie wedding and some other little incident which grieved me for a time but I freely forgive him.

18 December – Thursday
I have been home all day. Have been copying some of the minutes of our meetings which are rather scarce. I went to the school house but there was no meeting. Harry met me and we went for a long walk. Our conversation during the walk gave us both something to think of.

19 December – Friday
I arose earlier than usual finished my part of the morning work early and proceeded to work on my fancy work.

20 December – Saturday
This has been rather a busy day sewing and preparing for Christmas.

21 December – Sunday
I went to Sunday School but was very late. H walked home with me. We intended going to meeting but didn’t go. Harry came late. Grandpa and Mary came. I got supper ready and after that was over we went to meeting. Bro. Talmage & Bro. Binder spoke.

22 December – Monday
Have been washing and ironing all day.

23 December – Tuesday
Tonight I am feeling a little blue. [It] seems from the conversation this morning they are tired of me staying at home. Some day twill be different I think. Harry has been down but only a few minutes.

24 December – Wednesday
Today has been a busy one. Ma has been up town and I have been cooking most all day. This Kings Eve. Harry has been here we have spent a pleasant evening. He has given me a beautiful present just what I need. It is an album for my photographs.

25 December – Thursday
Xmas Day. Bright clear and beautiful. No snow on the ground no clouds in the sky. The morning was almost like spring but a little cold. After the children had their stockings emptied and presents distributed they settled down quite happy and content. We were all at home 14 in number and had a sumptous dinner. H. came we went (?) and about eight oclock Emma, Lilly, Harry & myself went to the wedding reception of Mr. and Mrs. A. Freebairn where we stayed untill after midnight. All seemed to enjoy themselves. Came home about 2(?) oclock.

26 December – Friday
Today I have felt a little dumpish. Grandpa came and had supper with us. Harry came but unexpectedly remained just a few min.

27 December – Saturday
The day has past as Saturday always does.

28 December – Sunday
This morning I arose about eight oclock. Went to school and afternoon meeting after which we went over to Mrs. Greens. Had supper went to meeting and then in company with others went to call on Archie and Ada. Spent a very enjoyable evening. Came home about half past nine. All had gone to bed. We sat talking untill our allotted time had expired. H went home.

29 December – Monday
The morning was still clear and I decided to wash while the fine weather lasted commenced about nine and finished about three oclock.

30 December – Tuesday
I have been up town and just got home before a heavy shower came. It only lasted a little while. I have written a letter to Alice. Harry called as he came from work.

31 December – Wednesday
I have been cooking a little for tomorrow. Worked a little on my table scarf. Harry came and we spent the remainder of the year together and let it die peacefully. As the hour was late we thought twas best to part. H. gave me a letter to read.

That was the end of the diary. Tomorrow's post will be a beautiful letter Mary wrote Henry several days later.

Picture of the Salt Lake Temple in winter from Used under a Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 15

1 December – Monday
Have both washed and ironed and mended today. Have just got through. It is eight oclock. I shall soon go to bed I am so tired.

2 December – Tuesday
Today I have not been so ambitious as yesterday. Night came and I could not see anything I had done. Went to Conjoint meeting. [In 1890 a Conjoint meeting was likely a meeting held jointly by the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association and Young Men's Mutual Improvement Associations. See here.] We had a very good and instructive time. Went with Ma up to Mrs. Leakers and spent the afternoon.

3 December – Wednesday
Have been helping Ma cut carpet rags most all day. Harry came and spent the evening. It was late when he left. We were so interested in our conversation we didn’t notice the time pass.

4 December – Thursday
Have been sewing and mending. Went up town for the afternoon. In the evening done some little fancy work. Retired rather early.

5 December – Friday
This morning was rather cold and chilly. I got up about six oclock and had breakfast ready after seven. After the morning work was done I sewed the rest of the day.

6 December – Saturday
I have been busying myself baking, scrubbing, sweeping, etc. I went with Minnie Hawking and got my dress from there I went up town with Daisy. It was late when we got home.

7 December – Sunday
I felt so tired this morning I didn’t rise untill eight. I went to school at ten. Harry walked home with me. We went to the Tabernacle. Met Mr. and Mrs. [Arnold and Annie Caroline Parratt] Shanks. Went down with them to see the newly married people Mr. & Mrs. [Edward and Evaline Maria Parratt] Swenson [married 20 November 1890]. We stayed untill about nine oclock. Spent a very pleasant evening. We spent the remainder of the evening in talking over affairs that concerned ourselves alone.

8 December – Monday
Wash day.

9 December – Tuesday
I have been ironing all morning. H came down and stayed one minute at noon. I have not felt at all well today. In the evening I went to the gate. H came while there. We only stayed a few moments. H went home and I came in.

10 December – Wednesday
The weather is beautiful. I have had a very sleepless night but I feel better today. Mrs. Leaker, Nettie and her two children have been down and spent the day. Supper over and work done the children in bed and quietness reigns. Harry came but twas late. The rest of the family retired one by one and we were left alone. A little later I was left alone.

11 December – Thursday
I have finished my table scarf been up town went to meeting but there was none. We went for a walk it being early and such a lovely night. I came in at half past nine and went to bed. And laid thinking of what I had been saying during my walk untill I was lost in sleep.

12 December – Friday
I have been helping ma sew and mend and doing some baking. Wrote a letter to Uncle Alfred [Pettit].

13 December – Saturday
Helping with the housework which took all day.

14 December – Sunday
I went to Sunday School came home got dinner and went to practice. May Easterbrook came but didn’t stay long. Harry came we stayed in the parlor singing, talking, etc. Had supper and then went to meeting.

15 December – Monday
I spent all day washing and ironing and was completely worn out when night came went to bed at about eight oclock but was too tired to sleep but very little all night.

To be continued...

Picture of the rag scraps used for carpets (see December 3) from Used under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, October 17, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 14

And now back to Mary Pettit's diary, which we should finish this week. Thanks once again to my daughter for typing it up—she is using it for one of her Personal Progress projects. And as I have noted before, we are providing the text as previously typed from the original, complete with original spellings.

16 November – Sunday
I didn’t go to school this morning. After dinner Harry came and we went to the tabernacle. Br. Geo. Q. Cannon and President Woodruf spoke. The Fifth Ward administered the Sacrament. We had a very good meeting and unusualy interesting to me. Also attended evening services in the ward. We sat unusualy late and the time passed rapidly.

17 November – Monday
My day at the store has been very quiet when I came home Aunt Mary [Pettit Seeley] was here. Had had a very pleasant trip visiting friends. We all felt tired and retired early.

18 November – Tuesday
I came home and sewed untill late in the evening.

19 November – Wednesday
Nothing out of the usual run of things today. Harry came down and spent the evening.

20 November – Thursday
Have been a little busy today. When I came home Uncle David [Seeley] had arived home from his visit to Sanpete and feels so sick and miserable has decided to start home tomorrow. I played and sang a little for them and then went to meeting. Harry met me after and we took a walk and I told him of Ma and my conversation about going to the temple. We were of the same mind.

21 November – Friday
I went to work as usual and commenced my work as usual but not feeling in the best of health or spirits. Mrs. C. asked me to do work which I refused to do and came home. Aunt Mary and Uncle David was packing up to go home. I got a nice hot dinner and left the rest of the work. They left to catch the 4 oclock train. We were all sorry to see them go but had enjoyed this visit.

22 November – Saturday
Have been busy all day at house work.

23 November – Sunday
I went to school and took great interest in the lesson. Harry walked home with me. About two oclock he came down and we went up to Netties. Came back in time for meeting. Bro. Pierce spoke. We had a very interesting sermon.

24 November – Monday
Today I have been washing and did not finish untill dark.

25 November – Tuesday
I arose earlier than usual. Prepared a scanty breakfast and after partaking of the same commenced ironing finished at noon. Spent the rest of the day mending and sewing carpet. Harry called for a few minutes in the evening.

26 November – Wednesday
Have finished making over my brown dress. It being Wednesday I spent the evening as I have done for over two years past.

27 November – Thursday
This is Thanksgiving Day. I have not done much of anything. After dinner (which was a pleasant affair all of the family being present) I read “Called Back”. Harry came and we went to the Theatre to see the play which I had been reading. Liked it very much. It was late when we got home.

28 November – Friday
I have made my black skirt and almost finished it.

29 November – Saturday
Have been busy at the house work nearly all day. Went uptown about four oclock. Got home about dark.

30 November – Sunday
Have been to school today. Harry, Dasie, Nellie and myself [Daisy and Nellie were Mary's two younger living sisters] went to the ice house and seen them making the ice on our way from school. We came just in time to go to meeting. So we went. After meeting we did not go home but over to Mrs. [Lucy Marsden] Greens to supper. Afterwards took a walk then came home.

To be continued...

The book Mary mentions, Called Away, was written by British novelist Frederick John Fargus under the pseudonym "Hugh Conway." It is a minor work.

Picture of the autumn leaves from, available under a Creative Commons license.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Family Heritage Recipes

For years my four sisters and I have been editing and reediting a family cookbook. It has some recipes from our grandmothers and great grandmothers and some from even further back in our family history. Recently one of my sisters decided to put the cookbook into a family blog and invited the others in the family to join in the project. It is off to a great start:

Heritage Recipes

When I have a bit of time, I will be adding Family History Notes like we have in the printed cookbook.

The pancake recipe is one that most or all of us use from great-grandma Lucile Green Glade. (Most of us could probably make it in our sleep, and some of us may have done that a time or two!) Here it is, as originally written years ago by my mother on a recipe card.

1¼ cups flour (white or whole wheat)
1 Tb. baking powder
1 Tb. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tb. vegetable oil

Sift dry ingredients. Add liquids. Stir until moist. Leave small lumps. Cook.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mary Pettit Green's Watch

Mary Pettit kept a diary in 1890 which detailed her courtship with Henry Green. On her birthday, July 9, she noted the following:
9 July – Wednesday
This has been another hot day. I arose early went to work. The day passed slowly. I walked home with Harry. He came down later in the evening and found me ironing. H. gave me a present of the handsomest watch I ever seen. I felt that words could not express my thanks for the same. We sat on the porch untill late.
And here are some pictures of the beautiful watch which a descendant of Mary Pettit Green photographed the other day. Many thanks to her for taking the pictures and sending them so we can see why Mary was still feeling delighted the next day:
10 July – Thursday
This morning I feel so happy and lazy that I don’t feel like going to work but I went never the less....

Mary I. Pettit
S. L. City
July 9—90

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Conferences Past and Present, General and Otherwise

Conference. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we currently use the word to mean a set of formal meetings where the membership of the church is addressed by the leadership of the church as well as a set of non-public meetings for consultation and discussion among the church leadership.

At the founding of the church in 1830, the word was also commonly used in American Christian communities to mean an official group of church leadership or of church leadership and church members. See Doctrine and Covenants 20:61:
The several elders composing this church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time as said conferences shall direct or appoint...
The first use of conference in this verse is the event; the second use of the word is the group of people, see verse 62:
And said conferences are to do whatever church business is necessary to be done at the time.
In another meaning of the word, the Missions of the Church were divided into Conferences:
On the 6th of July some of the brethren of the Georgia Conference met at Haywood Valley with the President of the Mission and had an enjoyable time in their council meetings. [History of the Southern States Mission, Part 30: Out of Jail and Catawba Members of the Church]
Appointment.—Elder H.C. Overson is appointed to labor as traveling Elder in the London Conference.  [Henry Overson Missionary Journal: Introduction]
15 August 1859 I was Babtised by Elder Lars Peter Christensan and confirmed by Hans C S Hogsted as a Member of the Church of Jesus Crist of L.D. Saint in Taars Branch Vensyssel Conference Danmark.... [Ove C. Oveson from Tanner 26: Jens Christensen]
Each conference had a president:
Counsel was given to Conference Presidents, and traveling Elders throughout the Mission, urging them to branch out and endeavor to open new fields of labor that had not yet been visited. [History of the Southern States Mission, Part 15: Mission Calls and New Persecutions]
We currently use the term "zone" and "zone leader" instead of "conference" and "conference president."

The word conference is most often used to mean meetings of the leadership and membership of the church:
August 6, 7 and 8 a conference was held at Haywood Valley, Ga., at which all the Elders laboring nearby were present, besides a great many Saints and friends. A Female Relief Society was organized to assist in the great work, and a request was formulated urging the Church Authorities to furnish more help. A total membership of 272 souls, with ten traveling Elders was also reported. [History of the Southern States Mission, Part 3]
The Saints on Two Mile worked very hard to get everything arranged for a successful conference. The meeting house was nicely scrubbed inside and out. Preparations were in progress for its decoration and all seemed well. But the old spirit of prejudice and hatred that ever has existed against the work is not dead, even here where there are friends on every side. During the night of Wednesday, Aug. 8, some enemy was mean enough to set fire to the building, and in a few hours it was reduced to a heap of ashes. No clue is had of the perpetrator of the deed. The Saints naturally felt a little discouraged, and many of our opponents expressed themselves disgusted with the act. A very prominent man of the county has said that he will donate ten dollars for the erection of another house.... The burning of the church did not stop the preparations for conference. [Burned the Church: William Glade in the Southern States Mission, Part 3]
The twice-yearly conferences of the entire church were usually held in church headquarters.
Tanner remained there for four years until he was called on a mission to New England in April Conference 1844. Stopping in Nauvoo on his way, he encountered Joseph Smith on the street and handed him the $2,000 temple loan note of January 1835. "The Prophet asked him what he wanted done with the note. Elder Tanner replied, 'Brother Joseph, you are welcome to it.' The Prophet then laid his right hand heavily on Elder Tanner’s shoulder, saying, 'God bless you, Father Tanner; your children shall never beg bread.'" [Tanner 16: John Tanner]
At October Conference 1861, President Young called for volunteers to go to Dixie. Our George was one of the first to volunteer. [Tanner 30: George Jarvis]
At the October Conference, 1875, Salt Lake City, Utah, Elders George Teasdale, D.P. Bainey, Joseph Standing, John Morgan, John D. H. McCallister, David H. Perry and John Winder were called to labor in the Southern States Mission, all of whom reported to Elder Boyle, and at the first meeting elected him to preside over them.
The April 1877 General Conference was held in St. George, Utah, at which time the temple was publicly dedicated. (I just corrected the Wikipedia entry "General Conference (LDS Church)" to reflect this detail.)

The Church currently holds two General Conferences each year: the Annual General Conference the first weekend in April and the Semiannual General Conference usually the first weekend in October. The conferences are broadcast and translated to many different languages. You can watch the conference on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 12:00 and then from 2:00 to 4:00 mountain daylight time at this weekend. You can also follow the events on Twitter at #ldsconf.

Charles R. Savage postcard of the Salt Lake Temple in the 1890s from