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‘Mormon Land’: Newly released diaries reveal the legacy of an early LDS writer and her fight for women’s rights

(Photo courtesy of the Church History Library) Emmeline B. Wells traveled to Washington, D.C., in January 1879 to attend the annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association. In her diary entry of Jan. 14, Wells noted, “This morn. went to Photo-gallery had pictures taken.” The photograph was taken at the Charles M. Bell studio in Washington.

A few weeks after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published the sermons of Eliza R. Snow comes the online release of additional diaries by a lesser known, but no less influential, female leader in the faith’s history.

Emmeline B. Wells packed a lot into her 93 years of life. She was a three-time wife, mother of five daughters, a writer, editor, longtime Relief Society record-keeper, Relief Society general president, and, perhaps above all, a zealous advocate for suffrage and women’s rights.

Her diaries reveal much about her efforts to, in her words, “advance women in moral and spiritual as well as educational work.”

On this week’s podcast, Cherry Silver, a co-editor of the online publication, and Kate Holbrook, the managing historian for the church’s History Department, discuss the project, Wells’ life and her writings.

Listen here:

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