Letter From David Udall to William King
Nephi, 20 Mar 1863
Dear Father, I take my pen to communicate to you the mournful intelligence the death of your daughter Eliza my beloved wife of my youth. I remember how faithful, affectionate and kind she has been to me. She died March 15 of an inflammation, she was six months pregnant. In 1857 she miscarried, it injured her constitution very much. In 1860 she had an inflammation on her lungs and she has never been strong since – she has been sick off and on ever since. She has said to me very often, “My dear, I think I shall not live to give this child birth.” She was not able to do any work for a good while before she died. I have said to her many times, “My dear I don't wish you to work. I am able to hire you a servant,” but she would work as long as she could.
The loss of her is a heavy blow on me. I always loved her as I loved myself, but the Lord gave her to me and the Lord has taken her from me, blessed be his name for ever. She prayed to the Lord to live that she might raise up her children and enjoy the society of her husband, but not my will but thy will be done Lord. She always lived her religion rejoicing in Mormonism. She died happy, she thanked the Lord that she had come here with me and that she had become a Mormon. She has told me many times how she loved her brothers and sisters how kind they was to her when she was in trouble, and how she wishes they would become Mormons that she might enjoy their society here and hereafter. She was always very fond of me because I was faithful and kind to her. She was married to me for time and eternity which gave her much joy, and she waits for me with a smile and I know that I shall enjoy her society again. She has left me 4 beautiful children, 2 boys and 2 girls. I am very fond of them. She charged me before she died to take great care of her children; she loved her children very much. She was very much respected here for her honesty and kindness and virtue and faithfulness to her religion. There was over 100 people followed her to her grave. She appeared to us with a smile with her veil robes, garment, and fig leaf apron and just as she lay in the coffin was just as she received her endowments in house of the Lord. She raised her veil and smiled and sent me and children a kiss with the wave of hand and disappeared until I shall see her again in the next world. I will send you a lock of her hair.
Please to write to me soon; you can please to send a copy of this letter to my father so that if he does not get the one I have sent him he may get a copy of this please to ask him to send me Eliza’s likeness if its possible, I will give anything to get it so that her children may see how she looked when young. Dear father I am glad you received the little money I sent you. I wish I had some more to send you; we get very little money here. Our riches consist of land, houses, cattle, horses, sheep and so forth. I shall always feel to respect you and your sons and daughters for Eliza’s sake and the kindness you have shone by giving her to me for my dear wife. Give my love to all of your family. I should like to hear from Sarah or any of Eliza’s brothers or sisters. I will send you the likeness of Eliza’s children as soon as I can. I was very much grieved to learn of the death of her brother and mother. She has wished many times that she could see some of you but now she is gone to rest where she can see her mother and brother and all her relations. Please to excuse the imperfect letter from your affectionate son
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