A letter from Eliza R. Snow to Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney and Vilate Murray Kimball, July 30, 1846.

Eliza R. Snow was a prominent female leader and poet among the Nauvoo Mormons. She addressed this letter to her friends and “Sisters and Mothers” in the “Camp of Israel.” Mormons often likened their migration to that of Jews seeking a promised land in Israel, as chronicled in the Bible’s book of Exodus. Snow wrote from Garden Grove, Iowa, one of the makeshift towns the Mormons established in 1846 while they were scattered between Nauvoo, Illinois and Council Bluffs, Nebraska.


Mrs. Whitney & Mrs. Kimball

June 30th, 1826

Dear Sister & Mother,

I do not like to let the present opportunity pass without jogging your memories that I am at a distance from you, lest you might forget me. Father Morley expects to start for your camp in an hour or two & I shall have time to write you but a few lines. I feel truly thankful to our Father in heaven for the good news I have heard from you from time to time & the prosperity which has attended you. I pray that you may continually be blest and forwarded on to the place appointed. I long for your society, which I think I have learn’d to appreciate, for I assure you I estimate it very highly yet under existing circumstances I have [section torn] moment regretted that br. M. gave up his means, for the assistance of others. I shall avail myself of the first opportunity that presents for me to come but there is no prospect at present, and while any exertion on my part would be unavailing I am perfectly at ease, thinking that when the Lord sees best for me to come, he will open the way; his will is my pleasure whenever I understand it. I am now living with my brother, about a mile above Mount Pisgah he has been very sick, since you left is better.

The last intelligence Sir Markham had from br. M., he was engaged with Col. Backington in the defense of the City what the result will be the Lord only knows. ____ I have received a letter from S. M. Kimball, she intends writing to her Mother Kimball soon. ____ Please give my respects to Prest. Young & wife tell him I remember his promise daily. My love to the girls, particularly Sarah Ana, & Helen. I have had a chat with S. about Joseph in my sleep.

Will Sir Kimball please say to Whiting that his people here are all well and in good spirits – his mother is ever glad that he went on – was rejoic’d to hear that he is contented and often expresses a desire that he may be faithful & be very useful. My letter is called for.

With every sentiment of esteem,
Eliza R. Snow

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Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Whitney &
Mrs. Vilate Kimball

Camp of Israel