By Helen Mar Whitney, Charles M. Hatch, Todd M. Compton
Quantity 6, lifestyles Writings of Frontier ladies sequence, ed. Maureen Ursenbach Beecher Mormon tradition has produced in the course of its heritage an strange variety of traditionally worthwhile own writings. Few such diaries, journals, and memoirs released have supplied as wealthy and good rounded a window into their authors' lives and worlds because the diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney. since it presents an extraordinary account of the generally skilled occasions and difficulties confronted through widows, her checklist has relevance a ways past Mormon heritage although. As Helen Kimball were a polygamous spouse of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. She consequently married Horace Whitney. Her little ones integrated the famous Mormon writer, spiritual authority, and flesh presser Orson F. Whitney. She herself used to be a number one lady in her church and society and a author recognized specially for her safety of plural marriage. Upon Horace's dying, she begun protecting a diary. In it, she recorded her fiscal, actual, and mental struggles to fulfill the demanding situations of widowhood. Her writing was once introspective and revelatory. She additionally commented at the altering society round her, as Salt Lake urban within the final many years of the 19th century underwent quick transformation, modernizing and beginning up from its pioneer beginnings. She remained a well-connected member of an elite workforce of best Latter-day Saint ladies, and fashionable Utah and Mormon old figures look usually in her day-by-day entries. in particular, even though, her diary is an strange list of problems confronted in lots of instances and locations by way of girls, of all sessions, whose husbands died and left them with out enough capability to hold at the kinds of lives to which they'd been accustomed.
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Extra resources for A Widow's Tale: The 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney (Life Writings of Frontier Women, Vol. 6) (Life Writings Frontier Women)
However, it is likely that she was not extravagant or irresponsible with money, but simply never adjusted to the weight of widowhood, with its practical demands for paying household expenses and inexorable taxes. The Plural Widow: Polygamy in Helen Mar’s Diaries Helen Mar’s diaries are an important document for the history of Mormon polygamy, both as a record looking back on early plural marriages in Nauvoo and as a record of the fading away of sanctioned polygamy among the Mormons. The diaries show the impact of plural marriage on widows, not only Helen Mar but related plural wives, notably the widows of Heber C.
In another vivid dream, enemies surround Helen’s house, ﬁring at it, and Helen’s “liberal” sister-in-law, Mary Kimball, tries to get Helen to desert her home and religion (December 27, 1884). These dreams reﬂecting the historical climate often shade into another type, apocalyptic dreams in which there are signs in the heavens (April 7, 1885, November 10, 1885); noises of destruction from the east, the “States,” where Gentiles live (May 12, 1886); and Mormons are triumphant while Gentile persecutors are laid low.
Important dreams, “true” dreams, had a numinous aspect for her: they came from God; they gave warnings, and foretold the future, though sometimes obliquely, to be understood only in retrospect. They offer views of her unconscious, with its guilts, sorrows, anxieties, joys, and burden of deep loss, images of her innermost fears and hopes. They reﬂect familial and social tensions she lived with daily, including the “raid” with its legal prosecution of polygamists and prominent Mormons. For Helen, dreams were doors into a transhuman world—offering exalted pre-experiences of heaven, meetings with beloved visitors from the other side, and terrifying struggles with malevolent spirits of pure evil.