<March 22> Extract of a letter from Elder E[li] P. Maginn, , Massachusetts
“I am on a visit to assist Elder in his successful and extended field of labor in this branch. Sixty five have been obedient to the faith of the gospel, and hundreds of others “almost persuaded.” In near 40 have obeyed through the faithful labors of Elder . I have been absent from Peterboro’ two weeks, have preached three or four times in , , Marblehead, Chelsea, &c and purpose returning to Peterboro next Sunday, where I have been laboring with good success; thirty six have obeyed since last fall, at New Salem, Massachusetts, thirty five to forty obeyed since August last, Leverett, eighteen or twenty, Gilsum, New Hampshire twenty to thirty. I have preached from one to three times almost every day, and cannot fill one to twenty of the calls for preaching; there is the greatest excitement in this Country that I ever beheld during my travels, since I left ; a period of near three years in which I have travelled through Eighteen States and British Provinces.”
23 March 1842 • Wednesday
<23> Wednesday 23. In Council with , and others at my .
24 March 1842 • Thursday
<24> Thursday 24. I attended by request the “Female Relief Society,” whose object is, the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow, and the Orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes, Its organization was completed this day—
“Mrs. takes the Presidential Chair, Mrs. and Mrs. Sarah M. [Kingsley] Cleveland are her Counsellors; Miss Elvira Cole is Treasuress, and our well known and talented Poetess, Miss — Secretary— There was a very numerous attendance at the organization of the Society and also at their subsequent meetings of some of our most intelligent, humane, philanthropic and respectable ladies; and we are well assured from a knowledge of those pure principles of benevolence that flow spontaneously from their humane and philanthropic bosoms, that with the resources they will have at command they will fly to the relief of the Stranger, they will pour in oil and wine to the wounded heart of the distressed; they will dry up the tear of the Orphan, and make the widow’s heart to rejoice. Our Ladies have always been signalized for their acts of benevolence and kindness; but the cruel usage that they have received from the Barbarians of , has hitherto prevented their extending the hand of Charity in a conspicuous manner; yet in the midst of their persecutions, when the bread has been torn from their helpless offspring by their cruel oppressors, they have always been ready to open their doors to the weary traveller, to divide their scanty pittance with the hungry; and from their robbed and impoverished wardrobes, to divide with the more needy and destitute; and now that they are living in a more genial soil, and among a less barbarous people, and possess facilities that they have not heretofore enjoyed, we feel convinced that with their concentrated efforts the condition of the suffering poor, of the stranger and the fatherless will be ameliorated. We had the privilege of being present at their organization, and were much pleased with their modus operandi, and the good order that prevailed; They are strictly parliamentary in their proceedings” [p. 1302]