A copy of a letter written to Caroline Pratt Van Cott by her aunt Jane Blasdell March 30, 1885.  Jane Blasdell was a sister of Sarah Barber Pratt, wife of Anson Pratt.

Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mar. 30, 1885

My dear Niece:

Your letter came to hand in due time.  I was pleased to hear from you and your family and much surprised at your being the wife of a man with so many other wives.

Your sister in writing to me never mentioned it, neither did I ask her any questions in regard to it, though, I often thought and talk about it with my children.

We heard of such things being done there and read of it in our newspapers, but then they would be denied.

Now that I have it from you, I believe it to be true.  I do think it an awful thing, that men under the cloak of religion and in the name of God should claim the right to act.

I do not blame you, my dear niece, nor those poor unfortunate girls, who are lured by those wicked men into polygamous marriages.  I do pity them from the bottom of my heart for they as wives have to bear.

When in the Garden of Eden, God said “It is not good for man to live alone”, and therefore made a woman to be a wife unto him.  He gave him not two, three, or more wives, but one.  According to the word of God and His teachings it is wrong.

If you read the Bible, you see it is so.

Had your Mother lived, you would never have married in that way, she would not have allowed it.  I am glad she did not live, till it came to the worst.  Perhaps you are not aware that your mother was opposed to the faith.

Excepting Marian, you were all too young to understand about the religion, but your father dragged your Mother on and on until she died.  Your sister Marian, took a cold, which finally led to her death, as she never recovered.  It settled in her legs in the form of erysipelas, they ulcered. 

My father sent for her and she was brought here at great expense to him.  I had her in my house and had my doctor attend her but he could not help her.  By his advice, she was taken to a hospital as he said she could not be cured without it.  She was brought to our house and buried from there, after relapse.

My Mother as long as she lived, worried about you children and one of us knew where you were until Mrs. Barber wrote us that you were in Salt Lake City.

I hope you will excuse me for expressing myself, so plainly in regard to the Mormon Religion, but you asked me the questions and I have answered them.

Enclosed you will find some hair of Marian’s, cut when she was two years old.  I have no other relics.  I will send you pictures of my grandchildren and my oldest son’s wife.

This leaves me in poor health.  I have been slightly ailing all winter otherwise we have much to be thankful for.

I wish to remind you of your sister Jane’s present to me, for which I am very thankful, things made by her own hands.

All send our love, I believe there is nothing more at present, I wish to say and so close.

Your affectionate Aunt,
Jane Blasdell

P.S.—Jane is buried in Greenwood Cemetare, Brooklyn, Long Island.

[courtesy of Carol J. Larson, transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Mar. 2007]

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