The Fannie Bolton Story


Letter 103, 1895, pp. 1, 2. (To Marian Davis, November 12, 1895.)

I have given nothing into Fannie’s hands, and never expect to give her another chance to seek to betray me and turn traitor. I have had enough of “talent” and “ability” to last me a life time. I told you her heart was not in the work. She does not blend with the work. She is superficial, given to excitement and to exhibiting Fannie Bolton. But she will do this no longer at the expense of my health and my life. I have held on to her two years too long. She has to a large degree inspired you with ideas of her great talent, and you have received it, but it has been no strength to you.... FBS 49.2

Fannie, poor soul, does not know herself. I have talked with her, and told her that I must know of what she complains in the work she has had to do. She must tell me the real cause for all this disaffection, but all she could say was that sometimes I left sentences incomplete. I reminded her, that I was often interrupted in my writing, and sometimes in the middle of a sentence, and that when I resumed the work I would go right on, not noticing the incomplete sentence. But I had told her that when this occurred she might either hand the matter to me or else strike it out and go on. Doing as much writing as I do, it is not surprising if there are many sentences left unfinished. FBS 49.3

I said to Fannie, “Your exhibitions of weeping ‘bitter tears’ over my imperfect writings are not inspired of God. When Sister Prescott urged you to tell her what caused you to weep so, you communicated to her your grievances, saying that my penmanship was terrible and that you had to write the matter all over that I presented to you, and that you were discouraged; for you really made the books and the articles that came forth in my name.” FBS 49.4

She felt very much ashamed, but she begged of me to try her again. I said decidedly, “No.” I send you a copy of a short letter I have written to her, and a letter I wrote to you, but which was not sent. FBS 49.5