A Widow's Tale: The 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball by Helen Mar Whitney, Charles M. Hatch, Todd M. Compton
By Helen Mar Whitney, Charles M. Hatch, Todd M. Compton
Quantity 6, lifestyles Writings of Frontier ladies sequence, ed. Maureen Ursenbach Beecher Mormon tradition has produced in the course of its heritage an strange variety of traditionally worthy own writings. Few such diaries, journals, and memoirs released have supplied as wealthy and good rounded a window into their authors' lives and worlds because the diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney. since it presents a unprecedented account of the commonly skilled events and difficulties confronted by way of widows, her checklist has relevance a long way past Mormon historical past although. As Helen Kimball were a polygamous spouse of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. She thus married Horace Whitney. Her kids incorporated the famous Mormon writer, non secular authority, and flesh presser Orson F. Whitney. She herself used to be a number one lady in her church and society and a author identified particularly for her security of plural marriage. Upon Horace's loss of life, she started retaining a diary. In it, she recorded her fiscal, actual, and mental struggles to satisfy the demanding situations of widowhood. Her writing used to be introspective and revelatory. She additionally commented at the altering society round her, as Salt Lake urban within the final many years of the 19th century underwent quick transformation, modernizing and beginning up from its pioneer beginnings. She remained a well-connected member of an elite workforce of best Latter-day Saint girls, and renowned Utah and Mormon historic figures seem usually in her day-by-day entries. certainly, even though, her diary is an strange checklist of problems confronted in lots of occasions and areas via ladies, of all sessions, whose husbands died and left them with no adequate ability to hold at the sorts of lives to which that they had been accustomed.
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Extra resources for A Widow's Tale: The 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney (Life Writings of Frontier Women, Vol. 6) (Life Writings Frontier Women)
Occasionally, Helen could not help resenting Mary’s greater ﬁnancial stability, as when Mary attended the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Senior plural widows sometimes had the advantage of grown children who had established themselves in remunerative jobs and spacious homes. However, Helen’s only living son, Orson, had limited income as a journalist, poet, and historian. After he married a plural wife in 1888, he himself had to struggle to provide for two families with his ﬁnite resources. Helen had good or close relationships with Mary Cravath Whitney, some Smith widows, some Kimball plural wives, and her Kimball half siblings.
Once she called them “strokes” (April 13, 1893). ” That day, she visited the Woman’s Exponent ofﬁce, and while there, “I had an awful bad spell, they were frightened. Em [Wells] held camphire to my nose. As soon as I could I told her, I never used any thing. She was frightened, she said I looked so white. ” On the following day, she had two “faint” spells, but on the 29th, the spells returned in full strength. “Feel sad & sick from the same,” she wrote. 50 There is at least one example, July 1, 1890, of Helen waking up with a deathly spell after dreaming of Horace.
So Dr. Dogge inclined to the cardial diagnosis. His conﬁdent analysis, and his opinion that the spells were not dangerous, perhaps helped Helen live with them through the remaining years of her life. 24 A Widow’s Tale “From the Other World”: Helen Mar’s Dreams Helen Mar’s dream life, as recorded in her diaries, opens a unique and fascinating window into her interior life—her widowhood; her aspirations, tensions, and spiritual perspectives; her feelings of loss and dread. One dream that showed her feelings about widowhood was recorded on May 12, 1885: “Dreamed of having a dead child & ^was^ required to sever its limbs from the body—took a knife to do it, the horror of it caused me to throw the knife from me & cover my face with my hands, in anguish at the thought of so cruel an act.