Leroli C. Snow provides late account of Emma Hale Smith pushing Eliza R. Snow down the stairs.

Academic / Technical Report
Leroli C. Snow

Leroli C. Snow, Notes, in possession of Cynthia Snow Banner, reprinted in Linda King Newell, Valeen Tippetts Avery, Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, "Emma and Eliza and the Stairs," BYU Studies 22:1 (1982): 90

BYU Studies
Ben E. Rich, Eliza R. Snow, Emma Hale Smith, W. Aird Macdonald, Joseph Smith, Jr., Leroli C. Snow, Charles C. Rich
Reading Public

Charles C. Rich called at the Mansion House, Nauvoo, to go with the Prophet on some appointment they had together. As he waited in the main lobby or parlor he saw the Prophet and Emma come out of a room upstairs and walk together toward the stairway which apparently came down center. Almost at the same time, a door opposite opened and dainty, little, dark haired Eliza R. Snow (she was “heavy with child”) came out and walked toward the center stairway. When joseph saw her, he turned and kissed Emma goodbye, and she remained standing at the bannister. Joseph then walked on to the stairway, where he tenderly kissed Eliza, and then came on down stairs toward Brother Rich. Just as he reached the bottom step, there was a commotion on the stairway, and both Joseph and Brother Rich turned quickly to see Eliza come tumbling down the stairs. Emma had pushed her, in a fit of rage and jealousy; she stood at the top of the stairs glowering, her countenance a picture of hell. Joseph quickly picked up the little lady, and with her in his arms, he turned and looked up at Emma, who then burst into tears and ran to her room. Joseph carried the hurt and bruised Eliza up the stairs and to her room. “Her hip was injured and that is why she always afterward favored that leg,” said Charles C. Rich. “She lost the unborn babe.”

. . . .In his notes Leroi Snow attributes this account to Charles C. Rich, giving as source a letter from W. Aird Macdonald dated 11 August 1944. That letter has not yet been found, but from Macdonald's son we learn that his father, who would not have known Apostle Rich, did serve a mission in 1906-1908 under the presidency of Ben E. Rich, Charles Rich's son. If that is the connection the account is at best fourth-hand; in any case the event is separated from the writing by a century

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