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Emmeline B. Wells letter

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 659
Handwritten and signed letter thanking a Miss Grey for sending a transcript of Relief Society minutes.


  • 1887


Conditions Governing Access

Originals restricted. Photocopy available for public use.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Emmeline B. Wells letter must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.


2 folders (0.1 linear ft.)

Biographical / Historical

Emmeline Blanche Woodward 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.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Existence and Location of Copies

Photocopy of original available in folder 2.
Register of Emmeline B. Wells letter
Leslie Evens
2011 December 9
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017 March 27: o   Updated “Extent” with new number of folders. o   Updated “Conditions Governing Access” note. Added “Existence and Location of Copies” note to Collection level; Added instance for folder 2; Ryan K. Lee

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States