To Ellen Pratt McGary
Ellen Spencer Clawson

[i]  This letter is from "'Dear Ellen': A Utah-California Correspondence, 1856-57," edited by S. George Ellsworth and published in Western Humanities Review, 13 (1959). Ellen Spencer Clawson, daughter of Orson Spencer and first wife of Hiram B. Clawson, was, as was her friend Ellen Pratt McGary, an intelligent and talented young woman. In the letter Ellen Clawson describes her feelings concerning the marriage of her husband to Alice Young, daughter of Brigham Young and Mary Ann Angell. Hiram B. Clawson was later to marry Emily Young, President Young's daughter by Emily Partridge. The correspondent, Ellen Pratt McGary, was the recent (and only) wife of William McGary, of San Bernardino, California. Ellen P. McGary's life was not as happy as that of Ellen S. Clawson, who was married to a successful and prominent citizen. Three of her four children died in infancy. She and William separated, and she married again. In her last years she and William were reunited. She was a teacher for much of her life.

[1]  Great Salt Lake City, Nov 4th 56

Dear Ellen
Your letter commenced with a wedding so mine shall be 'ditto.' Just ten days ago Hiram brought home a new wife, no more or less than Miss Alice Young, the governor's daughter. Our house is all in confusion, being remodelled to make room for her, and it also being my week to superintend the housework, I was afraid I should not be able to answer your letter this mail. But I thought you would be disappointed if I did not, and I wanted to be the first one to tell the news (for I expect it will be news) and as they have just gone out riding on horse back and I am alone, I feel as though it would do me good to write, for my heart is rather heavy. I never thought I could care again if Hiram got a dosen wives, but it seems as though my affections return with double force, now that I feel as if I had lost him but I expect he thinks as much of me as ever, only in a different way-you know a new wife is a new thing, and I know it is impossible for him to feel any different towards her just at present, still it make[s] my heart ache to think I have not the same love, but I console myself with thinking it will subside into affection, the same as it is with me, for you know the honey-moon cannot always last at least if you dont know it now you will sometime perhaps.

[2]   I think perhaps Margaret feels worse than I do for she was the last, and I suppose thought he would never get another, the same as I did, and "misery loves company" you know. "Well" Hiram is kinder than ever, if possible, to us, and I do know one thing certain, there never was a better husband in this world, and I know he means to do right, and I want to help him to do so[,] all that lays in my power, I do not want him to think so much more of me, that he cannot treat the rest as he aught, although it is womans nature to be jealous.

[3]   But excuse me for dwelling on this subject so long, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" and I forgot myself. I happened to be out in the buggy the day before your letter came to hand, and called on "Sister Hutchinson for some books of mine. I was in a great hurry and had no time to talk with her, she lives nearly a mile from here, and to tell you the truth I am not quite as able to walk as usual, so I dont know when I shall see her again, to try for your likeness, but I will "do my endeavor" when I do see her. "Well" there is "lots" more I want to say but Catharine has come, with Hiram and Alice, and it is getting so dark, and supper time and all, that I shall have to close in a hurry, with Kate's love and Ellen C Clawson

[4]  Ill try to do better nxtime E

[5]  I must take time to tell you that Hiram is representative for Salt Lake County and takes his new wife to Filmore this winter, to be gone two months. "Brig" and "Kate" are going too E.C.C.

[An Ellen Pratt McGary letter, written at this point, is not preserved].

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