The Fulcher/Smith Correspondence collection is a wonderful glimpse into the lives of two early Latter-day Saint pioneers. Mary Eade Fulcher was born January 28, 1829 in Carlton Colville of Suffolk England, a small town lying near the eastern coast on England. Mary was raised a member of the Church of England, however of Mary her grand-daughter wrote “Mary’s heart had been touched when she heard the Mormon missionaries teach the gospel.”
A decade before Mary’s eventual conversion to Mormonism, Brigham Young had issued the call for all the saints to organize and head west. A missionary by the name of R. Bently, in an attempt to convince her to head Young’s call, wrote “I feel the more, the necessity of your exerting yourself to try and get away this year, seeing you have so near enough money.” Elder Bently then prompted her to “sell your bed, and I think that will bring you enough so that you can get through. There are thousands of people that go through without a bed, who are not so strong and vigorous as you are and they do first rate.”
On May 12, 1862 Mary boarded the William Tapscott, and set sail for the United States. After arrival, Mary traversed the plains of the west by foot and eventually settled in Farmington, Utah. There she married Elkanah Andrew Smith of Oxford County, Maine. She became his second wife and together they would have three lovely daughters.
Mary’s three daughters Catherine, Mary, and Esther later married and relocated to Idaho. Because of their generosity, Special Collections now houses Mary Eade Fulcher’s correspondence to and from her family and loved ones. To access digital copies of the correspondance follow this link: https://content.byui.edu/items/dcdba6b9-8085-4cc5-824c-b7878ceb2277/1/