Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 19, 1885

Smith, Brother and Sister [Uriah]

Healdsburg, Calif.

March 23, 1885

Portions of this letter are published in 5MR 175.

Elder [Uriah] Smith and Wife:

Much respected brother and sister: last evening I returned from St. Helena [to] your letter and one from Sister Hall at Sanitarium, which contained a draft for Sister Klase of $2,200. I was glad to read your letter. It made me have courage to feel that you miss the articles. But be assured it is by no design of mine that you do not have them. I have placed in Eliza’s hands articles for some time ahead, but there has been high pressure here to do some work in completing books that have been contemplated some time. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 1

There has been every exertion made to prepare a sketch of life and travels to go into Volume 4. Marian is doing this. The testimonies have been waiting some time to be published, and Eliza, who has prepared these articles, was called below to Oakland to help M. K. White to read proof sheet. That is quite an important work as you well know. She left Marian to prepare articles for the paper, and Marian was driving upon Life Sketches; so among all the work, you have not received the articles you should have had; and I knew not but that you had them until I saw none in the paper. Be assured that it was not for the money I wrote them. But Eliza has employed nearly all her time for both papers. They have, during the pressure, prepared seventeen articles from Vol. 4 so as to devote the time to work mentioned. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 2

I have had difficulty of head and more especially of my eyes since I returned from the Eastern meetings. Have been utterly unable to use my eyes because of constant pain in the back of the ball and temples. I would not submit my eyes to be treated by any doctor. I knew they needed rest, complete rest, but these books to be prepared have forced me to use them. By binding up the left eye, I have used the right eye considerably. My general health is good. My throat and lungs, heart, and head have been bad, but I am improving. [I] write now a little every day under the pressure. We are getting out Testimony No. 32—about completed. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 3

I do not mean there shall be a break in the articles again if I can prevent it. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 4

The two hundred came in good, for I had to provide for a bathroom to bring water into my house; and it cost me something near three hundred dollars for windmill and tank house and pipes and everything relating to it, when I expected it would cost me only one hundred. But you know this is how matters generally turn out in regard to improvements. But I am glad of the two hundred just now. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 5

If I should relate to you the experience I have had in regard to money matters since I returned home, you would laugh, I know. I can laugh now, but I assure you in the pinch it was no laughing matter. I did expect on my books to receive enough to get me free from financial embarrassment; but no, all that I received was five hundred dollars above actual expenses, not counting in my time or family expenses. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 6

Now, Brother Smith, I think that my brethren should have considered my case, my continual expense, and worked for my interest in regard to the profits of Vol. 4. The profits of the first edition I ought to have had, then the second edition be put in the hands of the canvassers, and let those who handled the book share the profits; but to set my profits only fifteen cents on a copy from the commencement is a mistake and very hard for me. I was so surprised when this was done without my counsel or consent, I felt discouraged. I was needing entire freedom and rest from my journey, but did not get it. Sister Klase was much exposed in the sanitarium while the building was finishing; doors were constantly swinging and the draught was bringing difficulties on her lungs of a serious character. She coughed all through the journey and was asked to make a batch of bread [for] the boarding house at Oakland; and in the condition her lungs were in, it was the worst thing she could do. She was before this very much troubled with her left lung. She bled at the lungs, and then they sent her to me at Healdsburg. Just as she was feeling strong again, Elmer fell from the top of the tankhouse and broke his leg in a very bad place. We have taken care of them both for three months, so you see not much rest for me. I should say the mother had the principle care of Elmer. That is all she could do. We have done the rest. Sister Klase was worried. I told her I would not charge her one cent for their board. Board here in Healdsburg is five dollars per week. This is done by me as freely as if Sister Klase were my own sister, for she is precious as gold. I think Elmer a worthless boy, but no discount on the mother. Bro. and Sr. Lockwood were with us for about two months. They were no burden to me, but a help in many ways. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 7

But the books do not help me to hardly meet my expenses of publishing them. I told Willie I should have to dismiss my help, lessen my family expenses, cease my writing in a great measure, for it was impossible to carry a heavy burden of debt as I am carrying. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 8

My eyes will not admit of my reading this over, for I must write to Eld. Canright, so excuse mistakes. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 9

Sister Smith, please write me. 4LtMs, Lt 19, 1885, par. 10