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Wells, Emmeline B. (Emmeline Blanche), 1828-1921

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1828-1921

Biographical History

Emmeline B. Wells (1828-1921) was a women's rights advocate, the fifth president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the chief editor of the journal Women's Exponent.

Emmeline B. Wells was born on February 29, 1828, at Petersham, Massachusetts to parents David Woodward and Deiadama Hare. When she was four years old her father died, which meant she and her siblings were raised mainly by their mother. In 1842, she joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a child, Wells was very well-educated and began teaching in her early teenage years. She married James Harris at age fifteen, they had one son who died shortly after his birth, but Harris deserted Wells. Wells then married Bishop Newel K. Whitney in 1849 and they had two children. When he died in 1850, Wells raised her children on her own in the Salt Lake Valley, where they had immigrated to in 1848. In 1852, she married Daniel Wells and had three more children. She continued teaching while in Utah and she also became involved in civic affairs such as suffrage and women's rights. Wells was the chief editor of the women's rights journal Women's Exponent. She was also friends with famous suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and in 1899 she was invited by the International Council of Women to speak at its London meeting as a United States representative. Wells served as the general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1910 to 1921. She died on April 25, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Citation

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, via WWW, March 19, 2014 (born on February 29, 1828, at Petersham, Massachusetts; parents David Woodward and Deiadama Hare; four years old her father died; raised mainly by their mother; very well-educated; began teaching in her early teenage years; m. James Harris at age fifteen; one son who died shortly after his birth; after sixteen years of marriage, Harris deserted Wells; remarried to Bishop Newel K. Whitney in 1845 and they had two children; Wells was left to raise her children on her own in Salt Lake Valley, where they had immigrated to in 1848; 1852, she married Daniel Wells and had three more children; continued teaching while in Utah; involved in civic affairs such as suffrage and women's rights; chief editor of the women's rights journal the Women's Exponent; friends with famous suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; 1899 she was invited by the International Council of Women to speak at its London meeting as a United States representative; general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1910 to 1921; died on April 25, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah)

Found in 22 Collections and/or Records:

Elvira Stevens Barney book papers

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 263
Scope and Contents Materials that were found in a book held by the Latter-day Saint Church Historical Department. Collection includes a greeting card, love letter, copy of a quote, and a short printed biography (photocopy).
Dates: 1892-1907

Ida Smoot Dusenberry papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 1432
Scope and Contents Collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, newspaper clippings and mementos relating mainly to her personal and family history. Includes funeral guest register and transcript of funeral.
Dates: 1881-1955

Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon papers, approximately 1877-1963

 Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Series 1
Scope and Contents Papers are from the lives of Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon. They include short biographies, a pedigree chart, and a medal of service. Materials dated 1877 to 1963.
Dates: approximately 1877-1963

Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon photographs, approximately 1877-1963

 Series
Identifier: MSS 2344
Scope and Contents Contains photographs from the collection of Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Cannon Wells. Photographs are of family members, some unidentified. Also contains scrapbooks of photographs and clippings, and loose ephemera from scrapbooks. Date dapproximately 1877 to 1963.
Dates: approximately 1877-1963

Emmeline B. Wells and family photographs, approximately 1877-1963

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents Contains photographs and engravings of Emmeline B. Wells and other family members. Dated approximately 1877-1963.
Dates: approximately 1877-1963

Emmeline B. Wells letter to Mary A. White, 1895 January 14

 Item — Folder: 3
Identifier: MSS SC 48 Item 15
Scope and Contents Letter from Emmeline B. Wells, to Mary A. White, President of the Beaver County Woman's Suffrage Association. Letter is written on letterhead for the National Woman's Relief Society, for which Wells was secretary at the time. Contents of the letter include resolving an issue with dues, presumably for the Relief Society, and advice from Wells to White on current issues related to the suffrage movement, including the danger of siding with a specific political party and being wary of women who are...
Dates: 1895 January 14

Emmeline B. Wells papers, 1904

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Series 1 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents From the Series: Papers are from the lives of Emmeline B. Wells and Annie Wells Cannon. They include short biographies, a pedigree chart, and a medal of service. Materials dated 1877 to 1963.
Dates: 1904

Loose scrapbook material, 1880-1941

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Sub-Series 5
Scope and Contents Contains loose scrapbook material, such as clippings, photographs, postcards, and other ephemera. Dated 1880 to 1941.
Dates: 1880-1941

Miscellaneous items, 1897-1930

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 2344 Sub-Series 4
Scope and Contents Contains scrapbook tited "The Ideal Scrapbook," with clippings, photographs, and other ephemera. Dated approximately 1897 to 1930.
Dates: 1897-1930

What it Means to be a Mormon transcription

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 8345
Scope and Contents Collection contains the handwritten transcription of Adam S. Bennion's book, What it Means to be a Mormon, pages 171-173, which tells the story of Emmeline B. Wells' conversion and early history, including when she first met the prophet Joseph Smith. The transcriber is unknown. Dated approximately 1920.
Dates: approximately 1920