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Emmeline B. Wells poem to Hellen Mar Whitney

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 2054

Scope and Contents

Contains a handwritten poem written by Emmeline B. Wells to her step-daughter-in-law, Helen Mar Whitney, dated October 17, 1847, consuling her over the death of a newborn earlier that year in Winter Quarters, Nebraska.


  • 1847 October 17


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Emmeline B. Wells poem to Hellen Mar Whitney must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical Note

Emmeline B. Wells (1828-1921) was General Relief Society President of the Mormon Church, editor of the "Women's Exponent," and an advocate of women's suffrage in the 19th and 20th centuries in Utah.

Biographical History

Helen Mar Whitney (1828-1896) was a Mormon pioneer and plural wife of Joseph Smith.

Helen Mar Whitney was born on August 20, 1828 to Heber C. and Vilate Kimball, in Mendon, New York. Helen's parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1832 and moved to Kirtland, Ohio the following year. Helen's father, Heber, was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a governing body of the church in 1835 and overtime became one of the most prominant leaders of the church. Helen was baptized a member of the church in 1837. The next year the family moved to Far West, Missouri, only to be forced out of the state the year after that. The family then settled in what would become Nauvoo, Illinois.

In 1843 Helen's father arranged for her to marry to Joseph Smith Jr. as a plural wife. After Smith's death in 1844, Helen married Horace Whitney in 1846. Later that year, Helen left Nauvoo with the majority of the Latter-day Saints and spent nearly two years in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. In 1848 she and her family left for the Salt Lake Valley where she spent the rest of her life.

In her later years, Helen was known mostly for her experiences with polygamy, which she frequently recounted in lectures, pamphlets, and articles. Hellen and Horace Whitney had eleven children together, though only six lived to adulthood. Her most prominant child was Orson F. Whitney, a noted author in the Mormon community who was called to be an apostle in 1906. Helen Mar Whitney died on November 13, 1896.


2 p.

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by W. Whitney Smith in 1984.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; W. Whitney Smith; 1984.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Register of Emmeline B. Wells poem
Benjamin Sipes
2010 September 22
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States