Life Writings of Frontier Women, Volume 5, edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher
Winner of the 1995 Life Writing Award, Association for Mormon Letters and the 1995 Best Book Award, Mormon History Association
Perhaps the most famous woman in Mormon history, Eliza Roxcy Snow was a person of high standing and many accomplishments. She married Joseph Smith secretly in 1842 and wed Brigham Young after Smith's death. She was also the sister of Lorenzo Snow, fifth president of the LDS Church. Best known as "Zion's poetess," her prominence also earned her the appellations of "priestess," and "prophetess." Capable of producing a poem for virtually any special occasion, she came to be considered the first lady of Mormon letters, having written, by her own count, nine published volumes. Her leadership among Mormon women is demonstrated by her positions as president of the Relief Society (the church's organization for women), president of the Deseret Hospital Association, and organizer of the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association, the children's Primary Association, and the Woman's Commission Store.
Compiled in this volume are her autobiographical writings, including "Sketch of My Life," originally written for inclusion in Edward W. Tullidge's The Women of Mormondom, published in 1877, and revised for Hubert Howe Bancroft's proposed series of histories of the western territories; her Nauvoo journal and notebook, which are the earliest but most recently discovered of her extant chronicles; and her trail diaries, covering February 1846 to May 1847 and June 1847 to September 1849. Together they provide valuable insights into both mid-nineteenth century Mormon society and Eliza R. Snow's life, revealing much about a public woman who tried to guard her privacy.