Mormon Literature Sampler:

The Hascall-Pomeroy Correspondence*

Irene Hascall Pomeroy

To    Miss Ophelia M. Andrews
        North New Salem
        Franklin Co., Mass.

Postmarked: Nauvoo Ills. Sept 21 [1845]

[July 4, 1845]

Beloved Cousin It is independence day.1 We celebrated that day in the east but we think now the independence of the United States is too near gone to raise the flag of liberty, if not of the whole community, of the mormon people. If we could be in each others society today I think we would enjoy independence in the superlative degree. If we were at New Salem I think we would ramble through the woods and over the hills and dales of some of the rocky pastures; or perhaps we might open our Commonplace Book or write a piece of poetry or composition. What fine times! All this is passed; perhaps forever.

If you would step into Nauvoo, enter at the lower landing, pass up Main St then Munson St until you came to a one story and half brick house very pleasantly situated between two others of similar description. Step into the front entry open the door on the right (without knocking) there you would see Irene; it is not yet three months since we parted but it seems a long long while. I am very happy and contented but have not forgotten old friends. Well after we have talked over things which have transpired since our separation we would "take a walk." Where would we go; to view the great and beautiful temple. O now I think! We would go down to the beautiful Mississippi and take a pleasure ride; we think some of going this afternoon. Will you join us? If not otherwise engaged, I think you would gladly.

Sabbath morning Sep, 21st I think you must excuse me this once for delaying so long this letter as I never did before. I never before commenced a letter without finishing it immediately. I would think tomorrow perhaps there will be a better opportunity. It is, has been so very warm it was as much as a Yankee would like to do to keep from "roasting." I have been engaged in domestic affairs this morning; but thought I must omit some things until I could finish this letter as the mail goes out this afternoon. I have delayed sending it of late on account of the persecution which has been raging against the "Mormons" in the neighboring villages.2 I presume you have seen the accounts in the daily papers. I believe in most instances their lives have been spared but they have burned their houses their barns filled with grain and drove those out that were sick and not able to get out without help exposed to the hot sun. Such cruelty! The mob said they were going to drive every Mormon from the state. They could [not] raise force enough to attack the City so they took the adjoining towns. One hundred and twenty teams were sent from here to Lima3 to rescue the people and bring them with their goods and grain to Nauvoo from the bands of such a band of ruthless Mobbers. They were so enraged at the Sheriff4 because he took measures to stop them from burning and destroying that he was obliged to come to Nauvoo procure one or two hundred armed horsemen to protect himself and family to Nauvoo for safety. He has removed his family here as the only safe place; but the mobbers under force of the law have been compelled to disperse though not until several of them were killed. I think I have written as much of this as will be interesting to you.

I have been quite well and healthy ever since I have been here; husband was sick when we first came but he is now quite well. How I wish you could make me a visit, what happy times we would have. I made a visit last week to Cousin Cate's on [the] prairie. She has a fine son born 11th Sep. She calls his name John. Mr Woodbury's family all have the fever and ague or chill fever but are none of them very sick. Mr. Aikin's family are well I believe generally. Mrs send love to Grandma Andrews in particular and all other friends. All the people from New Salem are generally well. Mr Ponds family all well. Abby sends love and Lizzy. Abby wishes she could see you a little while but shall [she?] has changed like all others although she is not married but still there is a little Abby left yet. I have not and will not I think at present if ever.

Emeline is well is teaching school has thirty or forty schollars [at] dollar and half per week. She is same as she used to be though not quite.

I received a letter from Mother the fourteenth. She wrote Mirancy was going back. Perhaps you will go to. I would [like] to have you take a trip up the Mississippi and make me a visit. I shall be too late for the mail if I write much longer and I want to write a line for Mother. I hope when you write me you will finish your letter the same month certain. Write all news. I hope you get along with your school pleasantly and other matters. Love to all. Love to you and Uncle Oliver especially.

[No signature but in the handwriting of Irene]

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*Irene Hascall Pomeroy (1825-61), Ursulia B. Hascall (1791-1875). [These] letters are taken from the Hascall-Pomeroy correspondence. The mother (Ursulia) and daughter (Irene) were baptized in 1842. Irene and her husband arrived in Nauvoo in 1845 and were followed the next year by Ursulia and her son Thales. Ursulia's husband, Ashbel Green Hascall, went with Samuel Brannan on the ship Brooklyn. He died before reaching Salt Lake City. Irene, the mother of eight children, suffered a burned hand and subsequent amputation. She died at thirty-six at the home of her friend, Emeline B. Wells. Ursulia reared the children until Francis, Irene's husband, became well located in Paris, Idaho. Ursulia remained in Paris until her death in 1875. The letters represented in this book were selected from the twenty-four written between 1845-1850 and published in the Utah Historical Quarterly, 25 (1957). Footnotes are those supplied in that publication.

1. In a letter dated July 26, 1845, Irene states that she had begun a letter to Ophelia. This is probably the one started on July 4.

2. Anti-Mormon violence was resumed in September, 1845, which led to the exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo early in 1846.

3. The Morley Settlement where much of the anti-Mormon activity took place was located in Lima Township, Adams County, about 25 miles south of Nauvoo.

4. Jacob Backenstos, sheriff of Hancock County, obtained for himself a secure place in Mormon history by his defense of law and order in these troubled times.

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