Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complet

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:04 am


Christ alleged to be a Polygamist. The Men to save the Women. Making "Tabernacles" for little Spirits. The Story of certain Ladies who were Deceived. They Discover a Mystery. Their Fate. Orson Hyde's False Prophecy. Throwing Mud at Apostates. Death preferred to Polygamy. Frightful Intermarriages. Married his Mother-in-law. A Man who Married his Wife's Grandmother, Mother, and All. Marrying a Half-Sister. Marrying Nieces and Sisters. How Emigrant Girls were Married Off. Frightful Story of a Poor Young Girl. Polygamy and Madness. One Woman's Love too Little. How English Girls were Deceived. How Claude Spenser committed a Damnable Wrong. A Girl who was Martyred for her Religion. How the Bereaved Husband Acted. A Man with thirty-three Children. "They never cost him a Cent." A Many-Wived Saint. Mixed-up Condition of Marital Affairs.


THE "Reformation" was productive of nothing but evil. The most revolting and blasphemous doctrines were taught, and between Blood-Atonement, Massacres of the Gentiles, and the worst phases of Polygamous Marriage, there was nothing good in the Territory. The whole system of Mormon religion was a mass of revolting crime and wickedness. Bigotry was at flood-tide, and fanaticism ruled reason. The very thought of it brings a shudder. The most horrible things were taught from the pulpit, and decency was outraged every time a Mormon leader opened his mouth to speak.

They were all maniacs on the subject of Celestial Marriage, and the lengths to which they carried their advocacy of it did not stop with mere absurdities; it became the most fearful profanity. There was not a pure character in all the Bible history which their dirty hands did not besmear, and their foul tongues blacken. Not content with bringing up "Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob," and David and Solomon, as their examples in the practice of polygamy, Brigham Young, in one of his sermons, delivered during the intensest heat of the excitement, declared that "Jesus Christ was a practical polygamist; Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were his plural wives, and Mary Magdalen was another. Also, the bridal feast at Cana of Galilee, where Jesus turned the water into wine, was on the occasion of one of his own marriages.

They appealed to women through their maternal as well as through their religious natures. Not only did they teach them that they could never be saved except by the intervention of some man, who should take upon himself the duty of resurrecting them at the last day, but they were also told that floating through space were thousands of infant spirits, who were waiting for bodies; that into every child that was born one of these spirits entered, and was thereby saved; but if they had no bodies given them, their wails of despair would ring through all eternity; and that it was, in order to insure their future happiness, necessary that as many of them as possible should be given bodies by Mormon parents. If a woman refused to marry into polygamy, or, being married, to allow her husband to take other wives, these spirits would rise up in judgment against her, because she had, by her act, kept them in darkness.

No one dared to neglect the counsel of the priesthood. Whoever ventured to do so was charged at once with apostasy. Men and women alike were ruled by the arbitrary will of one man. There is no despotic monarchy in the world where the word of the sovereign is so absolute as in Utah. And never, in the whole history of Mormonism, has the despotic rule been so arbitrary as it was during the period of, and for a short time after, the Reformation.

It was a terribly trying time for women -- a time that they have never forgotten. More misery was crowded into a few months than they had endured before in a lifetime, and the misery that began then will be life-long. No one outside of Utah and Mormonism can understand it in the least, because nowhere else is there a possibility of such wretchedness to exist. Only women living in a polygamous community, under the rule of a religion whose fundamental principle is the plural-wife system, can fully take in the utter helplessness and hopelessness of the situation a situation from which escape, at that time at least, was next to impossible.

If they did escape, the tongue of calumny pursued them relentlessly, and the vilest reports that the tongues and hearts of vile men could devise were spread concerning them.

In 1856, during the Reformation, and when converts were pouring into Zion almost from every quarter of the earth, were several lovely and refined ladies, who had been drawn thither by the seeming earnestness and deep religious fervor of the Mormon people whom they had seen. Especial pains had been taken to bring these ladies into the church, for they were a much finer type of women than are generally found among the later converts, and nothing was ever told them of the existence of the plurality system. Among the converts were a Miss Potter, Mrs. Brownhead and three daughters, and Miss Stayner, who were filled with enthusiasm concerning their new faith, and came to Zion most zealous Saints.

But when, on their arrival, they discovered that polygamy was in open practice, they were distressed beyond measure, and sought immediate refuge in the military camp. They were women, all of them, of fine social standing, and had left happy and luxurious homes to come to Zion, impelled by a sense of religious duty. The beastly god which the Mormons so devoutly worshipped had never been even alluded to in their presence.

As a matter of course, their flight enkindled Mormon wrath, and for a while it burned fiercely. They heaped every term of opprobrium upon them that they could think of, and defamed them in every possible way. There was nothing too gross or too indecent for them to say concerning them; and in addition to this wholesale defamation of their characters, they were properly cursed, according to the Mormon liturgy, and all manner of evil was prophesied concerning them. Orson Hyde was inspired one Sunday, in the Tabernacle, to foretell their fate, and he prophesied that they would perish miserably on the way to California, where they had gone under the protection of Colonel Steptoe and his command. It was, no doubt, a great disappointment to the Apostle that, in spite of his prophecies, they arrived safely in California, were married to men of wealth and position, and are now happy wives and mothers, with no thought of Mormondom to mar their happiness, except an occasional burst of thankful feeling that they succeeded in escaping from it. It may be a satisfaction for my readers to know — it is certainly for me to tell—that he not only proved a false prophet, but was publicly punished by one of the officers for the scandalous reports he had put in circulation regarding these ladies.

Calumny and scandal are among the readiest of the Mormon weapons, and its leaders are specially skilled in their use, as every person who has ever thwarted Brigham Young, or one of his satellites, knows to his or her sorrow. They not only lie themselves, but they hire others to do it for them. Occasionally, in this game of mud-throwing, they get bespattered, but not until they have bedaubed their victim very thoroughly. It is no wonder that suicides have been so common among the Mormon women: if they left "Zion," it must be at the sacrifice either of life or reputation, and in the hopeless apathetic state into which they were sunk, it was easier to die than to struggle.

One woman, who arrived from England during the "Reformation," and who was to be rushed into polygamy, actually killed herself rather than become a plural wife: she had been given to a Mr. Goodsall, and was living in his family, awaiting the time when she was to be sealed; and one morning, but a few days before the time appointed for the ceremony, she was found with her throat cut, a razor lying by her side. She saw nothing but wretchedness before her, and put an end to her life rather than follow priestly "counsels." It was better so than to face the misery life would bring.

Even the laws of consanguinity were not respected at that terrible time, and relatives intermarried in a manner that would shock even the most lax-moralled community. Uncles and nieces were married; one man would marry several sisters; and it was a very common thing for a mother and daughter to have the same husband. In one family, at least three generations were represented among the wives — grandmother, mother, and daughter; and a case actually occurred in Salt Lake City where a man married his half sister, and that, too, with the full knowledge and approval of Brigham Young. The man stood high in the Mormon Church, and George D. Watt was quoted all through the Territory as a good Saint. He certainly availed himself of his privileges to the fullest extent. He has since apostatized.

Bishop Smith, of Brigham City, married two of his own nieces. Bishop Johnson, of Springville, outdid his brother bishop, and married six. The first one was the daughter of an elder brother; the other five were sisters, and daughters of Lorenzo Johnson. He first married the eldest one, Mary, who was only fifteen at the time; then he asked that all the others might be given to him, to be sealed to him when they should grow up. The youngest one was only two years old at the time that her father promised her to her uncle, and she was only about thirteen when she was sealed to him.

All this is sanctioned by the President; else, of course, it would not occur; and he does not hesitate to say that he sees no reason why persons who are nearly related should not marry; they certainly ought to think more of each other than of strangers; and all that he can see that stands in the way of such marriages being of very frequent occurrence is popular prejudice. He has said that he, as far as he is personally concerned, would not enter upon such a relationship, but prejudice alone, and not principle, would restrain him.

There are very many families where two or more sisters are plural wives to one man. This is the case in Brigham's own family. Among his first plural wives were Clara Decker and Lucy Decker; and two of his daughters, Luna and Fanny, are the wives of George Thatcher; two, Mary and Caroline, were married to Mark Croxall, and two, Alice and Emily, to Hiram Clawson.

Among the early emigrants were two Scotch girls, sisters, named McDonald. They had been but a few days in Salt Lake City, when a Mr. Uriah Brower, a would-be patriarch, presented himself before them with an offer of marriage. One of the girls favored the suit, but the other was more capricious, and not so easily suited with the prospect of a polygamous life. She hated the man for proposing marriage, herself for being an object of his patriarchal passion, and was annoyed at her sister for her willingness to accept him. She had yet to learn that women are by no means free agents in Utah, and have very little voice in the settlement of their own affairs; their destinies are [not] in their own hands, but are entirely at the mercy of some man's caprice, or the commands of the priesthood.

Her lover was determined; and seeing that it was absolutely of no use for her to go on saying "No," since she must succumb, sooner or later, she gave an indifferent consent, and was sealed to him at the same time with her sister. She was miserably unhappy, and the very next day she applied for a divorce from him, saying she could not, and would not, remain his wife. She obtained the divorce; but, having no parents and no home, she was forced to live wherever she could, and she found existence anything but an easy or pleasant task. In a short time another good brother, seeking to enlarge his kingdom, offered to take her; and she, poor girl! not knowing what else to do, and almost desperate in her loneliness and desolation, consented to marry a second time in polygamy.

Her new husband already had three wives, and she was placed in the same house with them. Her situation then was worse than even before. Being the last comer, all the rest turned against her, and she had to endure the hatred of them all. She was ill-treated in every way, but for a long time bore all the wrongs which were inflicted upon her in silence. After the birth of her child, she determined to leave at all hazards; so again applying for a divorce from her second husband, which was as easily obtained as her first one had been, she took her child and went away to earn a living for herself and him. She went out to service; she did washing and cleaning; indeed, she left no stone unturned to obtain an honest livelihood, and bring up her child properly.

After a time her first husband presented himself, and told her that as he had married her "for time and for eternity," he should hold her to the first marriage contract; that he could do so, since her second husband was no higher in the priesthood than he. He insisted on her returning to him; and the poor woman, seeing no way of escape, was sealed again to him, and was taken to his home, a miserable, comfortless place, where he had five wives already living in poverty and the most terrible degradation. Huddled together like so many animals, they respected neither the laws of decency nor morality. Hannah was there but a short time before she became hopelessly insane. She is living still, but the light of reason has gone out for ever, quenched by the horrors of a system which she always loathed. Her sister, Margaret, still drags on a miserable, hopeless existence, not much better off than the poor, unfortunate maniac. She is a moral and physical wreck, and owes her depraved condition to the cause that made her sister a mental ruin.

The Happy Home of a Polygamist.

Life opened brightly enough for these girls in their home among the Scottish hills, but the curse of Mormonism found them out, and then there was nothing but wretchedness and despair for them.

Incidents like these have multiplied from the beginning until now; and yet, in the face of all this misery, the world is assured that Mormon women are comfortable and content; that they find no fault with polygamy; indeed, that they prefer the system rather than dislike it; and the world, against all reason and common sense, believes what it is told.

I cannot refrain from adding to these examples of the little account commonly made of human liberty, the language of downright persecution which breaks out from the press of this country, whenever it feels called on to notice the remarkable phenomenon of Mormonism. Much might be said on the unexpected and instructive fact, that an alleged new revelation, and a religion, founded on it, the product of palpable imposture, not even supported by the prestige of extraordinary qualities in its founder, is believed by hundreds of thousands, and has been made the foundation of a society, in the age of newspapers, railways, and the electric telegraph. What here concerns us is, that this religion, like other and better religions, has its martyrs; that its prophet and founder was, for his teaching, put to death by a mob; that others of its adherents lost their lives by the same lawless violence; that they were forcibly expelled, in a body, from the country in which they first grew up; while, now that they have been chased into a solitary recess in the midst of a desert, many in this country openly declare that it would be right (only that it is not convenient) to send an expedition against them, and compel them by force to conform to the opinions of other people. The article of the Mormonite doctrine which is the chief provocative to the antipathy which thus breaks through the ordinary restraints of religious tolerance, is its sanction of polygamy; which, though permitted to Mahomedans, and Hindoos, and Chinese, seems to excite unquenchable animosity when practised by persons who speak English, and profess to be a kind of Christians. No one has a deeper disapprobation than I have of this Mormon institution; both for other reasons, and because, far from being in any way countenanced by the principle of liberty, it is a direct infraction of that principle, being a mere riveting of the chains of one half of the community, and an emancipation of the other from reciprocity of obligation towards them. Still, it must be remembered that this relation is as much voluntary on the part of the women concerned in it, and who may be deemed the sufferers by it, as is the case with any other form of the marriage institution; and however surprising this fact may appear, it has its explanation in the common ideas and customs of the world, which teaching women to think marriage the one thing needful, make it intelligible that many a woman should prefer being one of several wives, to not being a wife at all.

-- On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill

Elder Orson Spencer, now dead, one of the strong pillars of Mormonism, whose letters and theological works are much quoted among the Saints, while on his first mission to England became the guest of a gentleman of considerable property and good social position, and the father of two interesting daughters, both of whom were recent converts to the Mormon faith. The young ladies were finely educated, possessed of more than ordinary talents, and had always been tenderly attached to each other.

When the young missionary from Zion became an inmate of their father's house, they, with all the zeal of new and enthusiastic converts, vied with each other in showing him every hospitable attention, for the sake of the glorious gospel which they supposed he came to preach, and before very long the elder of the sisters found herself becoming deeply interested in him for his own sake.

The interest was apparently mutual; it ripened into love. Mr. Spencer made a formal proposal to the father for the daughter's hand, and very soon after the lovers were married. The young wife was perfectly happy; she was devoted to her husband, and it seemed to her that life could hereafter hold nothing but happiness for her, she rested so securely in her husband's love, that his care would compass her about, and his strength sustain her, all through her days. She was living her first romance, and sweet enough she found it. Ah, if the hard reality had not been so soon to follow it! But Mormon marriage soon kills all the romance of a woman's nature, and either kills her at the same time, or leaves her hopeless, apathetic, her finer nature crushed within her, bearing life because she must, and not because it holds anything for her of love, or care, or sweet tenderness of any kind. It is oftener this way than the other; alas, for the poor victims that such is the case!

Mr. Spencer had lived among a people who teach and practice the doctrine of a plurality of wives. His own father had brought home eight brides to grace his domestic circle, four of them in one day. The high-priest of his religion, the man to whom he had always listened as the mouthpiece of God, not only preached that it was the privilege and duty of every Saint to wed many wives, but practiced what he preached.

No wonder, then, that the disciple believed he should be living beneath his privileges if he contented himself with the love of one woman. His sister-in-law was a remarkably pretty girl, and fervent in her devotion to the new faith she had espoused. In time, perhaps, if caution was exercised in the manner of teaching, she might be won to a cordial belief in the doctrine of plural marriage -- a doctrine which the missionary Saints, with damnable wisdom, had not proclaimed openly in England at that date.

This young brother, imitating the prudent course of his colleagues, preached only those truths which he thought would be received most readily. Such portions of the gospel as might be considered hard doctrine by the new converts he left to be learned by them after their arrival in Zion. His growing admiration for his charming sister-in-law he kept to himself; but when the time arrived for his return home with his wife, he had succeeded in making arrangements for her sister to accompany them. In the meantime, however, another young lady, also a new convert, had attracted his favorable notice, and as she was to form one of a large company who were about to start for America, he kindly, and disinterestedly, of course, offered to take her under his own care.

During the voyage across the ocean, and the hurried journey through the States, nothing worthy of note occurred. True, Mr. Spencer was very attentive to the young ladies who were travelling under his protection; but his young wife loved him too well, and believed in him too implicitly, to have any thought that he was actuated by other motives than brotherly affection and Christian kindness. At the Missouri River, where the emigrants took leave of civilization, and commenced their long journey over the plains, the members of the little party were thrown more closely together than before; and now even the all-confiding wife could not fail to see that her husband demeaned himself as a lover towards the two girls,-- her sister and her friend, -- and that they by no means discouraged his attentions.

Her reproachful questioning regarding his conduct brought out an explanation of the doctrines of plurality, and an avowal of his intention to marry the girls as soon as they reached Salt Lake. He said that they had both embraced the great truths of their religion fully, and were willing and anxious to be sealed to him as their savior for time and eternity. The poor wife, with all her faith in her husband, her sister, and her religion, shattered at one blow, but, alas for her, with a heart throbbing with a love that could not die, never rallied from the shock she received when her doom was thus pronounced by the lips of the one dearest to her.

Day after day, as they continued their toilsome journey, her strength declined, and it was evident, even to the eyes of strangers, that she was dying. Her husband, however, saw nothing, was troubled with no anxieties. He was too much absorbed in his love for the two girls, whose souls he proposed to save, to have any time or thought to spare for his dying wife. The days lengthened into weeks, and still the lamp of life burned lower, while the love that had outlived faith and hope was yet strong enough to torture her with vain longings to hear again the tender words that were never spoken now, and to lean, in her mortal weakness, on the arm that she, so short a time ago, had fondly hoped would be her support, even down to the brink of death. It is easy to say of love unworthily bestowed,

"I would pluck it from my bosom,
Though my heart were at the root;"

but many a wronged and forsaken wife could tell you that these are only idle words.


Many may wonder if the dying girl's sister had no compunction, no remorse for the part she was playing in this tragedy. None; for so completely was she carried away by the fanaticism with which she had been inspired, that she actually believed she was doing God service in trampling on the holiest feelings of her own nature, and inflicting upon her sister the most cruel wrong that one woman can suffer at the hands of another.

The weary journey was ended at length, and the wanderers reached the Valley which was henceforth to be their home. The wife lived only just to enter the city, of which she once fondly dreamed as a heaven upon earth. From the Zion of her earthly hopes she passed on to the true Zion, where the mercy and love of a God kinder than the one she had been taught to worship healed every earth-wound, and brought infinite peace to the broken heart.

Just two weeks from the day of her death there was a double bridal in Salt Lake City. The bereaved and sorrowing husband was united in marriage to the equally afflicted sister and her friend, the young lady who accompanied them from England. I have often wondered if there was a ghost present at that bridal, and if the white, dead face of the wronged and murdered wife did not look in sad reproach at them all as they took upon themselves the vows that bound them together, not only for time, but for eternity.

In a party from England which followed this other company very shortly, was a family named Right, who had, among other children, two lovely daughters. Such girls as they -- bright, refined, and pleasing in manner and disposition -- could not remain long without lovers in a place where marriageable men were so plentiful as in the Mormon Zion. They were very intimate with Brigham Young's family, and it was not long before the elder became the plural wife of David Candland, a prominent Mormon elder, and a confidential friend of the Prophet. He had had many wives, but only two were living at the time of his marriage with Miss Right. He had thirty-three children, who, he boasted, had never cost him a cent, and the pretty young wife was installed as "mother" over his not very promising brood. He was, as he was pleased to term himself, an "aristocrat," and would not descend to the performance of menial labor; but, as the family must live somehow, the wives have to get along as best they can, but they live in the depths of poverty and degradation, while he enjoys prophetic favor, stands high in the church, and is a Beau Brummel in dress. He has recently commenced the study of law, probably at the Prophet's instigation.

The other sister became the fourth wife of Mr. Charles Bassett, at that time a prominent merchant in Salt Lake. The third wife was cast aside to make room for her, and for some time she was the favored one, indulged in every whim, and petted and flattered until her head was nearly turned. But, as has happened with other favorite wives, her reign was short, and she was compelled to stand on one side and see another take her place. Mr. Bassett, when he tired of his fourth victim, married his niece and adopted daughter— a mere girl, only fourteen years old. She is the present favorite, and everything that she can possibly desire is lavished upon her— nothing is too fine or too expensive for her; and, in the mean time, the woman whose place she took— and who was herself the usurper of another woman's kingdom— goes out to work to support herself and her children. Her eldest daughter— a girl just in her teens, not much older than her father's new wife — has been compelled to go out to service.

This is the fate (and not an uncommon one) of two young girls who supposed they were marrying two of the best men in the "kingdom." These men were popular preachers, as regular as the Pharisee in attending to all their religious duties, and loud and earnest in their defence of the glorious institution of polygamy, which "institution" they so brightly adorn.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:49 am


Incestuous Intermarriages. A Widow and her Daughters married to the same Man. "Marrying my Pa." The "U. S." Government Conniving at Mormon Iniquities. Beastly Conduct of Delegate George Q. Cannon. Polygamists legislating for Bigamists. Mother and Daughter fighting for the same Man! It is Wicked to Live with an Old Wife. A Young lover Ninety Years Old! A Bride Eleven Years Old. Brides of Thirteen and Fourteen Years! I receive an "Offer" when Twelve Years Old! Old Ladies at a Discount: Young Women at a Premium. Respect for the Silver Crown of Age. Heber gives his Opinion. "Why is She making such a Fuss?" Seeing One's Husband Once a Year. The Rascality of Orson Hyde towards his Wife. When Rival Wives make Friends. A Very Funny Story about an Apostle and his Wife. Rights of the First Wife: Brigham Young in a Fix. He treats an Early Wife to a Dance. Amelia in the Shade. The Prophet becomes Frisky. Poor, neglected Emmeline. How Polygamy was once Denied. A Mistake which a French Lady Made. Milk for Babes.  


THE marriage of mother and daughter to one man was of so common an occurrence that it ceased to be regarded as anything out of the ordinary course of events.

I had some schoolmates, two sisters, whose mother was married to a Mr. McDonald, and when she gave herself to him, it was with the express understanding that the daughters should be sealed to him as soon as they were of a proper age. The little girls knew of the arrangement, and used to talk very openly of "marrying Pa," and in very much the same way they would speak of their intention to take tea with a friend.

That mother must have taken a great deal of comfort with her children! Fancy her feelings; knowing that she was bringing up her daughters as wives for her own husband!

Wives and mothers, living outside of polygamy, can anything be more revolting to your ideas of womanly purity, more thoroughly opposed to all the sweet tenderness of the maternal instinct, than cases like this? And yet, horror-stricken as you are by them, they are by no means exceptional, but are of frequent occurrence. And it is in your own country that these outrages against all womanhood occur, under your own government, upheld by your own chosen legislators— tacitly, at least — since in this time, as in the days of Christ's actual presence on earth, those who are not for are against. And if your government and its rulers refuse to do, or even fail to do without refusing, anything to eradicate this foul blot upon national purity and honor, why, they are in so far encouraging its presence, and rendering it daily more difficult of eradication.

For the tide of evil that set so strongly in those terrible days of 1856 has never been stayed. It still rolls on with all the added filth and abomination which it has gathered in its course, until it is one reeking mass of the foulest impurities.

Incest, murder, suicide, mania and bestiality are the chief "beauties" of this infamous system, which are so glowingly alluded to by its eloquent expounders and defenders.

And George Q. Cannon, one of its ablest apostles, himself a practical polygamist, being the husband of four living wives, three of whom he grossly neglects, goes to Washington from Utah as Congressional Delegate from that Territory, and helps to make the laws which send George Smith, of Massachusetts, to State Prison for three years for the crime of having two wives! Is it that bigamy is a punishable offence, and polygamy is not? If so, George Smith has only to take two more wives and he can, perhaps, enjoy the confidence of the government and the protection of its laws as fully as the Apostolic George Q.

Apostle George Q. Cannon, Member of Congress. [Has four wives and thirteen children]

If the gentleman in Memphis, Tennessee, who has recently been indicted for marrying his deceased wife's niece had only married six of his own nieces, he might now be enjoying his liberty and his youthful brides' society, with all the freedom which is accorded to Bishop Johnson, of Utah that is, if he, too, had lived among the Saints in Utah.

The relation between mother and daughter, when one becomes the rival of the other, is by no means the pleasantest in the world, and it is usually the case that the mother has much the worse time. She sees herself neglected for a younger and fairer woman by the man in whose service she has expended both youth and beauty, and sees the daughter whom she has so carefully and tenderly nurtured, and who should now be her stay, and her comfort, and the pride of her maternal heart, usurping her place in her husband's affection and in her home, and striking a blow at her happiness that is fatal. She can turn neither to husband nor daughter for comfort, and the religion which should be her stay is but a mockery, since it brings all the misery and desolation into her wrecked life.

The leaders of her religion teach openly that it is not right for husbands to live with their wives after they are advanced in years; and they also teach that a man is marriageable until he is a hundred years old.
This has always been a strong point with them, and in urging polygamy, in the "Reformation" times, they used to to choose for their husbands men of experience, who would have the power of resurrecting them, rather than a young man whose position in the church was not fixed. They carried the practice of this doctrine to the same extreme that they carried everything else. One enthusiastic elder secured for a wife a girl of eleven years, and brides of thirteen and fourteen were often seen, especially in Southern Utah, where the excitement was most intense, and rose almost to frenzy. I was about twelve years of age, and my father had several offers for me from different church dignitaries; but however easily he might be beguiled himself info the snares set by the lecherous leaders of Mormonism and polygamy, he had no idea of making his little girl a victim; and though I was duly advised by teachers and catechists to marry into polygamy when I was a little older, I gave very little heed to the advice, and set about making my own romance, just as girls everywhere do, in my imagination.

It is painful to one used to the finer courtesies of life to see how age is neglected in Utah, and the want of respect that is shown towards it, especially towards women, who have passed out of the sunshine years of life, and are entering the shadow. When I came East, one of the strangest things to me was the deference that was paid to age, it was so unlike anything I had been used to; and when I saw an old couple clinging together, with no dread shadow of polygamy between them, with only the prospect of death to part them, I have been thrilled through and through with the sweetest, strangest emotion. I could scarcely believe my own senses; it seemed impossible that in this world such devotion could exist, and I could only wonder and weep, and thank God that, in the world that I had been taught to look upon as so wicked and depraved, there was such a thing as love, and devotion, and thoughtful care for women, and that every added wrinkle or silver hair brought more tender care and tenderer devotion. In the light of affection like this, well-tried and long-enduring, the hateful form of polygamy would rise up before me more monstrous, more hideous, more revolting than ever.

Think, in contrast to this, of a woman who has lived with her husband during all the years of her fresh and mature womanhood, being left alone, when she becomes deserted by the husband whom she has loved so well and so long, at the command of the priesthood! Heber Kimball used to say, when he knew of a woman grieving over the neglect of her husband, "What is she making such a fuss for? She has no business with a husband." Who can blame the disciples when the leader sets the example? Brigham Young's first living wife, his only real and legal wife, a woman of his own age, is entirely neglected by him, and long ago ceased to be his wife but in name.


Sometimes these old and middle-aged ladies do not see their husbands once a year, and yet they may not live half a mile apart. A few years since, at a large party at the Social Hall in Salt Lake City, Orson Hyde, one of the twelve apostles, met the wife of his youth, the mother of many of his children. He had escorted some of his younger wives there, and she came with a friend. It chanced that they were seated near each other at the table, and were compelled to speak; they shook hands, exchanged a very commonplace greeting, and that was all that passed between them. Neither is this an isolated case; it very often occurs that an elderly lady attends a party with friends, and meets her husband there with one or more younger wives; and sometimes both she and they have to watch their mutual husband while he plays the agreeable to some young girl who has taken captive his wandering fancy, and whom he intends to make the next addition to his kingdom.

It is then that wives, who have heretofore been rivals, join their forces against a common enemy; and the young woman who is engaging the attentions of the already much-married but still marriageable beau, is sure to suffer at the hands of the new allies, who have so recently struck hands in a common cause. She, of course, knows this instinctively, and she revenges herself by "drawing" on her admirer by every art in her power, until he becomes so marked in his devotion that the entire company know, as well as the wives themselves, what his intentions are; and, in addition to the pique caused by his neglect, they have to endure the congratulations of friends upon the approaching alliance. In cases like this, the first wife does not feel so much pain as the younger one, and the whilom favorite, who, no matter how she has snubbed her before, comes now to seek her sympathy. She would be something more than human, if, with the sadness of her heart was not mingled a little feeling of pleasure that she was getting her revenge in seeing the jealousy and suffering of her late rival.

To return to the encounter between Hyde and his wife. There is a little romance attached to their separation which I have just been reminded of. When Joseph Smith first taught polygamy, and gave the wives as well as the husbands opportunity to make new choice of life-partners, Mrs. Hyde, at that time a young and quite prepossessing woman, became one of the Prophet's numerous fancies, and he took great pains to teach her most thoroughly the principles of the new celestial doctrines. It was rumored, at the time, that she was an apt and willing pupil. Hyde was away on a mission at the time, and when he returned, he, in turn, imbibed the teachings of polygamy also, and prepared to extend his kingdom indefinitely. In the mean time it was hinted to him that Smith had had his first wife sealed to himself in his absence, as a wife for eternity. Inconsistent as it may seem, Hyde was in a furious passion. Like many other men, he thought it no harm for him to win the affection of another man's wife, and make her his "celestial" spouse; but he did not propose having his rights interfered with even by the holy Prophet whose teachings he so implicitly followed, and he swore that if this was true he would never live with her again. But he did live with her for several years after the exodus from Nauvoo and the settlement of Utah. Finally, the old affair was revived, and I think Brigham himself informed his apostle that she was his wife only for time, but Joseph's for eternity; and as she was no longer young, and other wives were plentiful, he left her to care for herself as best she could.

Although the Mormons have from the very commencement been very fond of parties, and of amusements generally, they are much more enjoyed by the men than by the women, although both attend. Occasionally some very curious scenes are witnessed, which, after all, are not at all amusing to the persons most nearly concerned. For instance: a man takes two wives to a ball, and, if he be a lover of peace, he is at his wits' ends how to preserve it. He must treat each one alike, as nearly as possible; dance with each one an equal number of times, and see that each one is equally well served at supper. The beginning of sorrow comes with the vexed question, which he shall dance with first. That, however, is quite easily settled, since custom, or, rather, Mormon etiquette, demands that he shall give the older wife the preference. It may be she is not the favorite; but that does not matter: on this one point etiquette is rigid, and even the Prophet himself dare not defy it.

He had invited Amelia, the present favorite, and Emmeline, whose place in the priestly heart Amelia had taken, to attend a ball with him. It was a very strange thing to do, for generally, when Amelia went with him, he devoted himself exclusively to her. But on this occasion he had brought Emmeline along, too. Early in the evening, one of the committee of management came bustling up, with a "Brother Brigham, won't you dance?"

Brigham in a Quandary.

"Well, I suppose so," was the reply. Then he hesitated for a moment. There sat both Emmeline and Amelia, the former looking quietly unconscious, yet wondering very much, as she afterwards told me, "what Brother Brigham would do," and enjoying his dilemma immensely, while the latter looked very stately and dignified, and also threatening. There stood the Prophet, inclination pulling him one way, etiquette and duty the other. He hesitated a moment longer; then, walking up to Emmeline, said, ungraciously and gruffly, "Come along and dance;" and, without offering her his arm, walked on to the floor, leaving her to follow.

As is the custom at balls which Brigham and Amelia grace with their presence, one of his satellites instantly begged for the honor of Amelia's hand in the dance, and led her at once as vis-a-vis to her husband. During the entire dance he did not address one word to Emmeline, and was evidently made very wretched by the demeanor of Amelia, who snubbed him most decidedly, and would take no notice of all his attempts to win her back to good humor.

At the end of the dance he led Emmeline to her seat as hastily as possible, left her without a word, and endeavored, with all the art which he possessed, to propitiate his angry favorite. Presently, the ubiquitous manager was at his elbow again:

"Another cotillon, Brother Brigham; will you dance again?"

"With pleasure," answered the delighted President. Then, turning quickly to Amelia, he offered his arm in the most impressive manner, saying, --

"Now I will dance with my wife;" and led her off in triumph, as pleased as any young fellow at the opportunity of showing his devotion to her. He was vivacity itself during the dance, and finally succeeded in coaxing a smile from the capricious tyrant of his heart. As deeply hurt as Emmeline was by his rude boorishness of manner towards herself, and the insult conveyed to her by the remark to Amelia, which she overheard, she could not help being pleased at seeing the punishment he was receiving at the hands of the outraged favorite.

A system that engenders feelings like this can surely not be called, with any degree of propriety, a heavenly system, and religion is outraged every time its name is used in connection with it. It panders to the baser passions of men, and crushes the graces of Christian faith and charity out of every woman's heart. It engenders malice, and strife, and envyings, and hatred, and backbiting, and all that is worst in the masculine or feminine heart. It makes men selfish and mean, and women wretched and degraded. It takes from one the dignity and poise which come from absolute self-control, and from the other the sweet, refined, womanly assurance which comes from self-respect. Talk of its "celestial" origin! It is the devil's own device for rendering men and women both less godlike and pure. And the cunning of his device is shown in the religious mask which he puts upon its frightful face, and the Christian robes with which he hides its horrible deformity.

It began by deception, it has been fostered by lies.

When the first rumor of its existence as a religious ordinance among the American Saints was first exciting Europe, and the American missionaries were assuring their converts that the rumor was false, and was started by their enemies to injure them and their cause, the most eloquent and remarkable denial of it was made by the Apostle John Taylor, at Boulogne-sur-Mer, where there was at that time quite a large and successful mission.

The Apostle Taylor was the husband of five wives, all living in Salt Lake; yet that slight matter did not hinder him from most emphatically repudiating the charge brought against the church. He quoted from the Book of Mormon, dwelling particularly on the passage that expressly commands that a man shall have but one wife; then mentions the Bible command that a man shall take a wife and cleave to her only; and made the sermon so strong and so convincing that no further proof was asked by those who heard him. His manner was impressive. He was sorrowful, he was indignant, he was reproachful; he was eloquent, and fervent, and almost inspired, thought those who heard him. He was logical and convincing in what he said. In short, he was a consummate hypocrite, lying in the name of God to a confiding people, with a smooth tongue and an unblushing face.
He employed a French lady -- one of his converts, and a most charming and cultured person -- to translate the sermon for him into her own language. He then had it published, and distributed largely through the country. Very many were kept from apostatizing by this tract, and a large number announced their intention of at once gathering to Zion. Among them was the lady who had translated the sermon for Taylor, and who, influenced by the spirit of the discourse, and the seeming earnestness of the missionary, had become more zealous than ever in her devotion to her new and ardently beloved faith.

APOSTLE JOHN TAYLOR. [Husband of Six Wives.]

Imagine, if you can, her horror, on reaching Utah, at the social state of affairs which found her there, and discovered that she not only had been grossly deceived, but, in her ignorance, had helped to deceive so many others; for it was through the influence of her translation of Taylor's denial that nearly all the party with whom she emigrated had come.

She apostatized at once, but she was conscience-stricken at the part she had so unwittingly played, and could not be comforted. A more remorseful, grief-stricken woman was never seen, and she felt all the more deeply the harm that had been wrought, when she saw how powerless she was to undo it. No effort of hers could ever bring these unhappy people from the infamous community in which they found themselves, and a part of which they were destined to become. For with them, the men especially, as with all others who remain under the baleful influence long, the end was certain. They first endured, and then embraced; pity was left out altogether, although God knows there is no condition that calls for pity as does that of the polygamous wife. The lady herself left Utah, but her people were forced to remain. I wonder how those poor wives, decoyed into a strange country by priestly promises, and deceived by priestly lying, could bear ever again to look in the face, or listen to the voice, of the man who had so wickedly misled them.

When the missionaries were asked why they denied so stoutly the existence of the system, when it must be sooner or later discovered that they were falsifying, they excused themselves by saying that the people could not then stand such strong doctrine, and they must give them only what they could safely take; that in good time the Lord would open their hearts to receive his truth, -- the "good time" which the brethren referred to being after they had left their own country, crossed the United States, and put themselves outside the pale of civilization, and were literally in the power of the church. When they had gone so far that retreat was impossible, then they would tell them the truth, knowing that they could not choose but listen.

As long as they possibly could they denied it in the missions abroad, but, by-and-by, it became so notorious that it must be acknowledged; and in the face of all the denial, all the asseverations that there was no such institution, and, according to the laws of God and man there could be no such institution, the Millennial Star suddenly published the "Revelation," having given no warning of what it was about to do.

The excitement among the Mormons through Europe, in England especially, was intense, and it took all the eloquence and sophistry of the entire missionary board to prevent a general apostasy. Hundreds did leave the church, and many more were on the point of doing so. But the ingenuity of the Mormon Elders, which seems never to fail them, came to their rescue. They explained that this "Revelation" forced no one into polygamy; it only established it as a church institution that might be availed of by anyone who chose to enter the "Celestial Kingdom," but that it was entirely optional. In fact, the same arguments that were used to win single and special converts were used to convince the masses; and, strange as it may seem, all this sophistry had actual weight, and many worthy and sensible men and women stayed by the church who would have abandoned it in disgust, had they known the truth as it was forced upon them afterwards. But, as I said a little while since, the system begun in deception and fraud fattened on lies and treachery. May it meet with a speedy death, brought on by a surfeit of its favorite food.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:34 am


Saying "Yes" under Difficulties. A Woman who Meant to have her Way. Two Company: Three None. Building Wagons by Inspiration. My Father despatched to Chicago. He gets rid of his New Wives. My Brother sent to the Sandwich Islands. My Mother tells her own Story. She Returns to Salt Lake City to see my Father. Wifely Considerations. She finds two other Ladies at her Husband's Bedside. He likes a good deal of Wives about Him! A Heart dead to Love. Brigham "asks no odds of Uncle Sam or the Devil." He proclaims Martial Law. Fiery Speeches in the Tabernacle. Preparing for War. Government Troops Arrive. The Saints quit Salt Lake City. The Church Distillery. Brigham shamelessly Robs my Father. He fills his own Pockets. My Father, being without Funds, takes his Sixth Wife.

Mormons Burning a Government Train.

SOME time before our family bereavement by the loss of Louise, my mother and I went to Skull Valley, about seventy miles from Salt Lake City, where my brothers were keeping a herd-ground.

We had intended to go by ourselves; but one of the young wives, who was very much attached to my mother, begged to be allowed to go. She appealed first to my father, and he, in turn, referred her to my mother.

I shall never forget the look of desperation on my mother's face, the hunted look in her eyes, as she came to me after the request had been made and before she had given her answer. She told me of the new proposal, and added, in a bitterer tone than I had ever heard her use before, --

"Why can't she see and understand that I want to make my escape from this confusion and trouble, and go away alone?"

But she could not see, and as she was kind and affectionate, and my mother was quite well aware of her regard for her, she could do nothing but say "yes," although it was a great cross for her to be obliged to do so.

Here was the end of all her sweet dreaming. She had thought to go quietly away, taking me with her, and we two living with "the boys" at the herd-ground. To be sure, there was only a log-cabin there; but what did that matter? She would rest in her children's love, which at least was her very own; and with them about her, she would forget, as far as possible, the horrible system that had brought so much unhappiness to her. Fond as she was of my father, it was much easier for her to be separated from him in this way, than it was to be under the same roof, and see him bestowing attentions, that used to be hers exclusively, on others. Dear as the husband was, yet she took very little comfort with a fifth part of him; and she longed to get away where she could live in memory the old happy days over again, and, with her children's arms about her, forget the suffering the later years had brought, ignoring all but the very present, and close her eyes to the future, which promised but little better, after all, since what was her greatest cross here was to follow her into the hereafter.

I wonder sometimes, knowing as I do now what she suffered, and realizing it as I could not then, that she did not cry out in the bitterness of her sorrow, as one Mormon woman whom I know did, "O, if I could only believe that death was an eternal sleep, I think I should be better able to endure; but to think that we have got to live on eternally under this curse of polygamy, almost drives me mad." Or like another, equally desperate and miserable, "I would kill myself if I thought death would end my misery; but as long as I must suffer, it might as well be here as anywhere. O for the anticipation of one hour of peace and rest!"

Ever since my father's return from his mission my mother had begged to be allowed to go away, to have a home by herself; but somehow my father could not bring himself to let her go until now. She was the balance-wheel in the domestic machinery, and things seemed to go smoothly when she was round about. She was always prepared for any emergency; and both my father and the other wives instinctively turned to her when anything was wrong. She was so strong, so helpful, so self-reliant, and so patient, that she seemed, some way, the protector of us all. I think, if my father had not seen her so very much in earnest, and so determined to go at all hazards, that his consent would not have been won; but finding it useless to oppose her, he gave a reluctant consent.

Then there was a little season of quiet joy between us two; for we did not dare make any very open demonstrations, for fear of hurting the feelings of those whom we were going to leave behind us. Our joy was short-lived, however, for it was decided to take a third with us; and though we liked her, yet she would be what the children call a "spoil-sport;" and we didn't want any one outside of our very selves.

So we went, we three, leaving the others in Salt Lake City, where they did not remain long after we left, but, to my mother's great annoyance, followed soon after to Skull Valley.

Very soon after our removal, Brigham conceived the idea of establishing an express company, and called on my father to go to Chicago and superintend the construction of wagons and carriages for this purpose. They were to be built after plans which Brigham himself had drawn from "inspiration," and he insisted that the designs should be closely and faithfully followed; so he sent my father to see that this was done, he being a practical wagon-builder.

Like the labor he had been engaged in for the four previous years, we expected that this would be called "mission" work, and he was not to receive a penny for his services; they were to be given for the good of the "kingdom." This would make the fifth year he had spent away from us, working for the "church," we receiving none of the benefits of his labors. He had no time, of course, to devote to his family, or to labor for its support; he must give his strength, and his time, and his labor to Brigham Young. During the three months that he had been at home, he had added as many wives to the family-circle; but there were no added means with which to care for them; so that now, when he was called to go away and leave them for an indefinite length of time, it was considered expedient to send the whole family to us, to remain during his absence.

More log-rooms were added to the cabin, and down came the whole flock, so that we were all together again. My mother has said, since then, that she never, in her whole life, felt so rebellious as she did then. She had become so entirely disgusted with polygamy, that even the fact that it was an important adjunct to the religion to which she was so devoted, did not reconcile her to it one bit. She hated it; she hated everybody connected with it; and she did not care if she never saw her husband again in the world. She would not pray for his safe return, for she said she did not desire it, and she would not add heartless prayer to her list of hypocrisies.

She kept all this rebellion within her own heart, and I am sure that none of the wives knew at all the depth and intensity of her feelings at that time. An added sorrow to my mother came, when, about the same time that my father went to Chicago, my eldest brother was sent on a mission to the Sandwich Islands. She mourned his departure deeply, and even I could not comfort her. He was sent for five years, that was the time designated in his order, and my mother was so broken in health and spirits that she did not believe she should be alive when he returned. He was, however, immediately recalled on account of the opening of the Mormon War, with all other missionaries away from home.

In the autumn we heard that my father was coming home ill; he had got leave of absence" from the head of the church, and was coming home to be taken care of. As soon as we heard the news, my mother suggested to Elizabeth that she should return to Salt Lake City, and prepare for his reception at the home there. She went at once, and my mother was going on quietly with her many duties, when a messenger arrived in haste from the city for my mother, to convey her to the husband who was calling for her.

I think I shall let her give the incident in her own words:

"At first I declined going; so rebellious was I, and so bitter, that I actually felt that I could not go. There was a momentary feeling of triumph, that, in sickness or in trouble, my husband turned to me, his one true wife, for relief and comfort; that, however he might regard his younger wives while well and comparatively prosperous, he had no thought for them now; yet this feeling failed to move me, —as instantly, choking it almost before it became a definite thought, came the bitter impulse—'Let him alone; leave him to suffer: you have not been spared; why should you be more merciful than he has been? Let him feel what it is to need, and long for, and even starve for some one's love and care, and yet have it denied him in all his longing and his need;' and for a moment I was actually glad that I had the power to inflict this pain.

"'Let one of the other wives go,' I replied to the messenger's repeated and more urgent request. 'I don't see how I can leave.'

"'But you must,' was the imperative reply of the man; 'your husband is very sick, and has sent for you, and I shall take no one else.'

"In a moment I relented. I felt ashamed of my selfish heartlessness; something of the old-time feeling came over me, and, with a sudden revulsion of emotion, such as only women ever feel, I was as anxious now to go to him as I had before been indifferent. After all, he was my husband, -- mine as he could never be anyone's else. I had a claim on him that none of the rest had, and he had a claim on me too. It seemed now as though I could not get to him quickly enough. I made my preparations in feverish haste, with fingers that trembled with nervous impatience, and in a short time was on my way.

"The journey seemed so long and tedious! and yet we made it very quickly; but to me, whose heart outran the very swiftest conveyance, it was inexpressibly tiresome. I expect I wearied the patience of my driver by requesting him constantly to 'go faster,' and perpetually asking if we were not almost there. I pictured to myself the pleasure of having my husband, for a little while even, all my own again. I would make the most of it. I would forget, by his sick bed, that there had ever been the slightest shadow between us. Polygamy should, in that sick chamber, be as though it never had existed. He had sent for me; he had chosen me out of all the rest to be the companion of his sick hours. In his sick-room, at least, my sway should be absolute, and I would not give up one bit of my authority to anyone else. There, at least, as in the days of long ago, he should be 'mine, —mine only;' but, alas! he could never again be 'for ever mine.' In spite of my impatience, I was more really happy than I had been for years. I felt more like myself than I had since that fatal day in Nauvoo, when, after long and prayerful consultation, we decided that duty and right demanded that we should enter polygamy, and made the choice of the first plural wife. I was coming to my own again, and my life was positively glorified by the thought. His illness, rather than distressing, gladdened me. I should have, of course, the exclusive care of him, and he should miss nothing of the old love and tenderness in my regard for him. For the time, at least, we should be all in all to each other.


"We arrived at last, and I hurried to the sick-room of my husband, with my heart full of tenderness for him, my eyes brimming over with loving tears. But, in my dreamings, I had forgotten, or had ignored the fact, that others had the same right to minister to him, to care for him, to remain with and watch over him, that I had; and when I entered the room, the tenderness was driven from my heart, the tears from my eyes, and I stood there a polygamic wife, in presence of three of my husband's other wives, who had the same privileges of his room that I had, and who were doing their utmost to make the invalid comfortable.

"I was a good nurse, and, on account of my experience, the others deferred to my opinions and advice, but insisted upon sharing my labors. My husband made no objections; indeed, I daresay he would have been contented had the whole five of us been dancing attendance on him. I worked faithfully and hard in the sick-room, but very mechanically, and, in a dazed, bewildered sort of way. All the heart had gone out of my work. Feeling seemed entirely dead. I hadn't the slightest emotion for the man who lay before me there, and I was as indifferent to his fate as though he had been an entire stranger.

"I don't think it was heartlessness; I know it was not. It was because my heart had been tortured into numbness, and I no longer had any power to feel. If he had died, I do not think I should have shed a tear. The fountain of tears was absolutely frozen, and not one would have flowed had he lain before me cold, and mute, and motionless. I should have been as rigid as the white face set in death, on which my dry eyes would have looked vacantly and wonderingly, as on some strange, unaccustomed features.

"I did not wish that he might die; I was simply indifferent. With the last flickering light that burned up so brightly for a little while, until it entered the sick-chamber and was met by the chilling breath of the ghostly presence of polygamy, my life's romance went out for ever. The life or death of one man could not change the face of the world to me. Where I had thought I was strong, I was weak; my dream was broken; life was henceforth a dead level of mere existence. My only thought was to get away. I took my daughter, as soon as I could with decency leave, and went on a visit to some relatives in Southern Utah, saying farewell to my domestic circle, without one regret."

Yet even this separation was of short duration, for just about that time came the famous "move to the South," which every Salt Lake City resident will remember -- many of them to their sorrow.

In 1857 there was a prospect of United States troops being sent to the Territory, and Brigham determined to resist them. In a public speech on the 24th of July, the day celebrated by the Mormon Church as the anniversary of their first entrance into the Valley, he said, "God is with us, and I ask no odds of Uncle Sam or the devil."

On June 12, 1857, Stephen Douglas, who was getting hammered as the defender of slavery and polygamy in the territories, also called for military action to reassert federal authority in Utah. Douglas declared that 90% of the Mormons were foreigners, aliens who rejected U.S. citizenship. The Mormons, he said, considered Brigham Young and his regime superior to the federal government, which they hoped in the long run to subvert. The Mormons were goading the Indians into warlike acts, even as the Danites crushed internal dissent. Douglas denounced the Mormon power, declaring: "Should such a state of things actually exist as we are led to infer from the reports, and such information that comes in an official shape, the knife must be applied to this pestiferous, disgusting cancer which is gnawing into the very vitals of the body politics. It must be cut out by the roots, seared over by the red hot iron of stern and unflinching law." Douglas wanted to abolish the Utah Territory altogether by repealing the 1850 act of Congress which had created it. This was because the Mormons were "alien enemies and outlaws, unfit to be citizens of the Territory, and even more unfit to be citizens of a state. Douglas warned that "to protect them further in their treasonable, disgusting, and bestial practices would be a disgrace to the country -- a disgrace to humanity -- a disgrace to civilization, and a disgrace to the spirit of the age." Douglas wanted Brigham Young and his retainers to answer for any crimes they have committed in courts in Iowa, Missouri, or California. (Hirshson, p. 168)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.


When it was ascertained beyond a doubt that the United States troops were on the way, he counselled every warlike preparation to be be made. Business was suspended; an adobe wall was built back of the city for protection against Johnson's army; the elders on missions were ordered home at once, and all the people turned their attention to the task of repelling the invasion. "For," said Brigham, "they SHALL NOT enter the Valley." He issued a proclamation, forbidding all armed forces from entering the Territory, and martial law was also proclaimed.

This is also what Brigham Young was writing in his own private diary, where he recorded on August 11, 1857: "Fixed my detirmination not to let any troops enter this territory... And unless the Government assumes a more pacific attitude, to declare emigration by the overland route Stopt. And make every preparation to give the U.S. a Sound drubbing. I do not feel to be imposed upon any more." (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 139) According to an eyewitness, on August 16, 1857, Young had stated in a speech in the temple that Utah was now a separate and independent territory, owing no allegiance or obedience to any laws but their own. Mormon bigwig George Brown Bailey later write that "This people came out and declared their independency of the United States from this very time... The Presidency put it to the people wither they would maintain it to the last and was carried by unanimous vote of uplifted hands and a shout of Yea which made the place echo." (Journal of George and Elizabeth Bailey, August 22, 1857, online at stayfamily.org.) ...

When U.S. Army Captain Stewart Van Vliet arrived in Salt Lake City to attempt to negotiated with the Mormon regime, Brigham Young greeted him with a tirade full of threats against the federal government:

"'The intention of the Government is to destroy us & this we are determin[ed] they shall not do. If the government of the United States [persists] in sending Armies to destroy us in the name of the Lord we shall Conquer them ... And even should an Armey of 50,000 men get into this valley, when they got here they would find nothing but a Barren waste. [Washington] must stop all emigration across this Continent for they Cannot tread in safety. The Indians will kill all that attempt it...If the Government Calls for volunteers in Calafornia & the people turn out to come to destroy us they will find their own buildings in flames before they get far from home & so throughout the United States." (Scott G. Kennedy, ed., William Woodruff's Journal, vol. 5, pp. 96-97.)

Nauvoo Legion officer John L. Dunyan was making similar threats in the same timeframe, telling a Mississippi traveler that, if the U.S. Army tried to march into Mormon territory,

"every city, town and village in the States of California, Missouri and Iowa should be burned immediately -- that they had men to do this who were not known to be Mormons!" (The Mormon Rebellion, Bigler & Bagley, p. 147)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The latter part of the winter the Mormons received a visit from Colonel Thomas S. Kane, of Philadelphia. He had before this proved his friendship for the Saints, and was respected and listened to accordingly. It is supposed the colonel convinced Brigham that he was not yet strong enough to conquer the United States, and advised a change of tactics. At all events, directly after his departure, Brigham began to talk of going south; he said he did not know where he should go; perhaps to the desert -- "wherever the Lord should direct."

Satisfied that it would be better not to fight, I suppose he thought when the snow melted it would be impossible to keep the army out; therefore he issued orders to the Saints to pack up and take their flight. They obeyed the command, some going only thirty miles, others going three hundred; in fact, they were scattered along all through the southern settlements. In direct contradiction to his assertions made in the Tabernacle, everything was left standing -- not even a tree or a stack of hay being burned. This move south brought our family together again under one roof, and we remained together until the church was recalled.

After the departure of the Saints from Salt Lake, the troops passed through; but they interfered with nothing: no spirit of retaliation was shown for all they had endured through the past winter.

Nearly the entire summer was spent in the move south, and in August, Brigham notified the people that he was going back, but that "others might do as they pleased." All that could do so returned to their homes at once; others went when circumstances would permit; having been living from March until August in tents, wagons, or in the open air, they were glad to return. The people were poor, and dependent on their labor for sustenance, and could not well afford the time for this flitting; yet they obeyed Brigham implicitly, asking no questions and hazarding no objections.

With the return to the city our family was again divided. My mother was urged to go to Payson, and re-open her school, which she had relinquished on my father's return from Europe. She decided to do so, and the people furnished a dwelling-house for her, and she and I commenced living our old cosy life again. We had occasional visits from different members of our family, and the first summer that we were there, one of the younger wives, while on a visit, increased our already somewhat numerous family by giving birth to a daughter, and, in addition to her school duties, my mother performed the several offices of cook, housekeeper, and nurse, until she was able to return home.

Mormons selling Provisions to United States Troops.

In the mean time, affairs in Salt Lake City had assumed their usual quiet. The troops were camped about forty miles from Salt Lake, in Cedar Valley. They called the station Camp Floyd. While they remained in the Territory, some of the Saints, wishing to dispose of their produce, sold a large quantity to the troops, and were well paid for it. Brigham heard of it, and the very next Sunday forbade their selling any more, and cursed all those who had had dealings with our enemies, as he called those men who had respected the honor of their government and spared the people who had so injured them.

It was not long before it was whispered that Brigham had agents in Camp Floyd selling tithing flour and lumber; taking large contracts, and obtaining large prices. But in the meanwhile he did not relax his severity towards his people. The bishops were ordered to withdraw the hand of fellowship from every person in their wards who traded at Camp Floyd. It was a sure sign of apostasy to be seen there at all, on any errand whatever; yet the church teams started from the tithing-office, loaded with flour, in the night, and it was known that Brigham received large sums of money from the government in payment.

In this, as in everything else, he was determined to have the monopoly. If there was any money to be made, he must make it. He could not endure to see a dollar go into another man's pocket. I believe the sight was positive pain to him. This incarnation of selfish greed is made absolutely miserable by the prosperity of another, and he takes speedy measures to put a stop to it, as he did in the case of Moon and Badly, the distillers, whom he sent to the south on missions, and also in the affair with Mr. Howard, whose distillery he took possession of in the same manner, after having declared that it ought to be burned down, and the machinery destroyed.

After Howard was well out of the way (in England, I think) , Brigham started the distillery again in the "church's" interest, which, as he represents the church, meant himself. And over the door he placed as a sign the All-seeing eye, with the inscription, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD. ZION'S CO-OPERATIVE MERCANTILE INSTITUTION. WHOLESALE LIQUOR-DEALERS AND RECTIFIERS." His whiskey was not nearly so good as Howard's, but he got as much money for it; so what did he care about the quality?

More fortunate than either Mr. Moon or Mr. Badly, Mr. Howard returned from his mission; but he has ever since been an enemy to the Prophet, who, by the way, still runs the distillery.

Mention having been made of the President's "Improved Carriages," I think they deserve a more extended notice, coming, as they do, under the head of Brigham's sublime failures. He had purchased the contract for carrying the mails from Independence, Missouri, to Salt Lake City; so he decided to run an express between these two points, to be called "B. Young's Express," for the purpose of carrying passengers, freight, and the mails. He wanted the assistance of my father in preparing the train, and although the latter was very much averse to leaving his family again so soon after his return to them from his four years in England, yet he was, of course, overcome by the pressing eloquence of his leader.

It was very necessary that he should enter at once into some lucrative business, as his family was large, increased recently by the Prophet's orders; and when he informed Brigham of the necessity of instant and remunerative labor, he was informed that this would be the most profitable undertaking in which he could engage, and gave him to understand that he would be well remunerated for his services.

It is by this time a well-established fact among the Saints -- taking his word for it merely -- that Brigham Young knows how to do everything. Therefore no one will be surprised to learn that he understood all about wagon and carriage building, and nothing could be more natural than that he should produce plans representing the manner in which the carriages should be built. These designs, with the most minute instructions, covering several sheets of foolscap, were laid before my father, and he ventured to suggest that there might be some slight alterations which would be for the better; but he was met with the sharp and abusive reply, that "there must not, on any consideration, be the least variation from this plan." Brigham insisted that it should be adhered to in every particular. He became very much elated, and made use of all his magniloquence in describing the ease and comfort with which passengers might cross the plains in one of his carriages, saying, "They will be just as comfortable as though they were at home in their own parlors."

Father said no more, but pocketed the plans, and started East with them, quite certain what the result would be. When he arrived in Chicago he presented the Prophet's model to every carriage-maker in the city, and they only laughed very heartily over it. They said they had never seen anything like it, which was true enough, as it bore not the slightest resemblance to anything on the earth, or in the heavens above, or the waters beneath. It was most decidedly "unique and only." They all declined to undertake the work, knowing that it must prove a failure. Finally, however, a Mr. Schuttler, being anxious to secure the Utah trade, consented to try two of them, on condition that my father should render constant assistance, not feeling exactly safe to proceed in so important an undertaking without the aid of a Mormon who was supposed to know more about it than himself. The orders were to build fourteen carriages, besides a train of wagons. Schuttler's wagons being ordered by the Prophet, of course there was no difficulty about them.

When the two carriages were ready for transportation, they entirely filled a railway car. If my father had followed directions, and had the entire fourteen made, he must have chartered seven cars to convey them to the frontiers. These nondescript affairs were the amusement of all the passengers on the train. As they found no passengers at the frontiers, except "Uncle Sam's troops," the carriages were filled with freight; and I believe the wreck of one of them reached Salt Lake City the following year, after peace had been made with the government. The Prophet was satisfied with the two, and ordered no more built; his "revelation" had proved a great failure, and owing to the rebellion, the mail contract was taken from him. He laid the entire failure to the United States troops, although it would puzzle a person of less acute perceptions than he to discover how the one had anything to do with the other. When a "revelation" fails, there must be some excuse, some reason for it, and President Young is never at fault for one; whether a valid one or not, it seems to make little difference.

Those who were so fortunate as to see one of those carriages in its entirety, say that no one could form any idea of them without seeing them, and that the only way to get an adequate idea of the size would be to take the dimensions of a "Prairie Schooner," and multiply them by five.

The wagons proved a success, as they were loaded with freight for Salt Lake merchants, for which they paid twenty-five cents a pound; and those wagons that came through with my father brought no less than five thousand two hundred and fifty dollars' worth of freight for the Prophet.


It is a poor plan that does not enrich him; he seems, in some way or other, to make money out of his very failures.

After my fathers recovery from his illness he presented his accounts for the Prophet's inspection, and expected an immediate settlement, and his promised pay; instead of which, he was quietly informed that his services were to be a gratuity to the church, and at the same time he was presented by the Prophet with a bill from the express company for bringing his trunk of clothing through.

While in Chicago, he had sent two hundred and fifty pounds of freight home for the family's use, and they would not let my mother have it until she had paid the full freight-charges. The clerks told her that "this was President Young's order, and they dared not disobey." Mother afterwards said that she believed the clerks saw the injustice of the whole proceeding, yet were powerless to do otherwise than according to their orders.

A man that had literally worn himself out in the service of Brigham Young could not be permitted to send a few of the necessaries of life to his family, nor even a trunk of linen, used on a journey for this man, without paying freight, and that when they came in wagons which he had helped to build, and that gratuitously, for the aggrandizement of the church, or, to be more exact, of the man who was constantly crying, "Give, give," and was yet never satisfied. A man of our acquaintance, who had been similarly swindled, said, in referring to the subject, "Brigham Young would rob the King of heaven of His crown-jewels if he had the opportunity."

It was the unfortunate termination of this "business arrangement" with the Prophet that decided my mother to resume teaching again; but when my father was again in business, he was so urgent that my mother should return to Salt Lake, that, a little while before my sixteenth birthday, we went there again to live.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:26 am


No Physic among the Saints. I am taken Sick. Heber C. Kimball recommends "Endowments." How Brigham Murdered his little Granddaughter. The Prophet wants a Doctor. Being "administered" To. I am Re-baptized. Receive my Endowments. How Saintly Sins are Washed Away. Undignified Conduct of Elders. The Order of Melchisedec. How I was "Confirmed." To become a Celestial Queen. I go down to the Endowment-House. The Mysterious Ceremonies Described. The Veil at last Lifted. The Secrets of the Endowment-House Exposed. I enter the Bath. Miss Snow Washes Me. She Anoints Me All Over. I dress in a Bed-gown. The "Peculiar Garment" of the Saints. What the Mormon Girls do about It. "Going through" without a Husband. "A Great Shouting for Sarah!"  


WHEN I was about sixteen years old, I was very ill, and my mother, her fears for the life and welfare of her only daughter always on the alert, became very anxious, and, indeed, almost ill herself in her concern for me.

According to Mormon custom, I was "administered to" by the anointing and laying on of hands, but all to no avail. Bishop Taft, the one who had baptized me in my childhood, Isaac Groo, the Bishop's counsellor, and Elder Samuel Hardy labored earnestly and long, and "wrestled in prayer" over me, all to no avail. I grew worse, rather than better, and my family feared I should fall into pulmonary consumption.

The idea of employing a regular physician seemed never to occur to any of them. Indeed, at that time it was considered the surest sign of a weakening of faith to resort to medical aid, and no Mormon in good standing would ever entertain the suggestion for a moment. Latterly, however, a great deal of this nonsense has been done away with, under the subtle Gentile influence that is working throughout Utah, in Salt Lake City more especially, and some of the young Saints are actually studying for the medical profession. Brigham used to denounce physicians in the most wholesale manner in the Tabernacle, and declare that they should never enter heaven, but that he would himself close the doors against them.

He was so bitter at that time that he would allow none of his family to employ medical aid in any emergency. A little granddaughter of his, a child of one of his daughters, took some poison that her mother had prepared to exterminate rats with. Brigham was sent for, and when he arrived he found a physician there, preparing to administer to the child in the usual manner. He rudely turned him out of doors, saying that he would care for the child himself; that no doctor should be allowed to worry her; and his "care," as usual, consisted of the laying on of hands -- not a very energetic or efficacious mode of treating a poisoning case. The agonized parents dared not interfere, and in a few moments their child died before their very eyes, in the most terrible agony and distress, an innocent victim to the Prophet's egotism and bigotry. That was Brigham Young well. Brigham Young ill is another person. In his variableness of opinion he reminds one very forcibly of the dignitary treated of in the somewhat profane epigram, —

"The devil was sick;
The devil a monk would be:
The devil got well;
The devil a monk was he."

Whenever he has any ailment, a doctor is summoned at once; and during his illness, a little over a year since, he employed at least half a dozen, keeping them in constant consultation, so great was his terror, and so absolute his horror of fatal consequences.

But when I was so ill, the Prophet was in the best of health, and was indulging in the bitterest invectives against physicians and all who employed them; and my mother, great and all-pervading as her affection was for me, and anxiously troubled as she was concerning my restoration to health, would have been shocked and grieved beyond measure, had any one proposed to her to seek medical advice concerning my condition. I was "in the hands of the Lord," and I was to be left there, for Him to do with me as He would.

When it was found that being "administered to" did no good in my case, Heber C. Kimball advised that I receive my "Endowments," promising that then I should surely be fully restored to health. This was considered as a very great favor, since, outside of Brigham Young's and one or two other official families, no young persons are given their Endowments. My mother was overjoyed, and considered the bestowal of this honor a special interposition of Providence on my behalf. As a matter of course, I shared her feelings most fully. I had always been taught to anticipate the time when I should receive my Endowments as the most important epoch of my religious life, when I should be taken fully into the bosom of the church.

It was necessary, in order to receive these rites, that I should be re-baptized. Remembering my childish experience, and the terror which I suffered, I must confess that I dreaded, in my weakened state of health, that portion of the ceremony, and I grew quite nervous over it before the day arrived on which that rite was to be performed. I was reassured on one point, however. The pond experience was not to be repeated, but I was to be baptized in the Twelfth Ward font, which made it seem much less formidable, and divested it of half its terror.


On the day appointed I was taken to the Twelfth Ward meeting-house by my mother, where we met Isaac Groo, who was to baptize me. I was half frightened, and wholly awed, and very nervous; but my ardent desire for the reestablishment of my health gave me a sort of bravery and endurance, so that I was quite calm, and behaved myself very well, considering the unnaturally excited state which I was in.

The ordinance of baptism, as administered by the Mormons, does not differ very materially from that of the Baptist churches. It is always by immersion. Nothing else is ever considered efficacious. It must be a literal "watery burial," and a resurrection therefrom. The officiating elder, with his candidate for the rite, repairs to some place which has been previously appointed, and where there is a sufficient quantity of water to immerse the entire person. Not the least portion of the body must be left above the purifying fluid, else it could not be termed a "perfect burial with Christ." In the early days it was necessary to perform this ordinance in the open air, in some river or pond; but lately fonts have been built in most ward meeting-houses, so that it can all be done under cover, and there is less danger of suffering ill results from exposure.

The elder officiating takes the candidate by the hand and leads him or her, -- as the case may be -- down into the water, until a sufficient depth is attained; he then raises his hand, and, calling the person by name, commences the ceremony as follows: " Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen." He then plunges the candidate under the water, bringing him forth into the newness of life, and fully prepared to enter upon a series of ordinances, all of which are attended with covenants calculated to bind the person more strongly to the church.

Following the baptism comes the confirmation, or the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. It is usually administered directly after the first rite, and at the same place; but I was so ill and weak that I was taken directly home, and the elders came there to confirm me. They were Bishop Taft and Isaac Groo, and they certainly gave me every cause to be thankful to them for the prodigality of their promises. I certainly never have had occasion to be grateful on account of their fulfilment.

In the Church of Latter-Day Saints the "Melchisedec" and "Aaronic" priesthood are authorized to perform the ordinance of baptism, but the latter has no power to administer in spiritual things. Hence only a priest after the holy order of the Son of God, or the order of Melchisedec, can perform the ordinance of confirmation, or laying on of hands for imparting the Holy Ghost, which is to lead the newborn Saint into all truth, and teach him the things to come; thus protect him from all falsehood and imposition, and placing him in the most perfect state of progression which, if real, would be a state of the highest felicity and most assured salvation.


Two or three elders lay their hands upon the head of the person to be confirmed, one of whom acts as a mouthpiece for the rest, and pronounces the blessings and promises, generally exhausting his full list of mercies upon him whom they are receiving into full Sainthood. There are two essentials in this ordinance which are never omitted -- "I confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," and, "I also confer upon you the Gift of the Holy Ghost."

Oftentimes the elder becomes so thoroughly filled with inspiration that he cannot cease his blessing until he has sealed the young Saint up to eternal life, with a perfect assurance that he shall "inherit all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with a fulness of the holy priesthood after the order of an endless life;" thus placing him beyond the possibility of falling from grace or missing the celestial gate: though he may wander from the fold and become bewildered in fogs and darkness, yet in the consummation of his mission to earth he will find his way back to the fold of Christ; and as it is supposed that the Word of God, spoken by the mouth of His servant, cannot fail, will inherit thrones, principalities, and dominions, be made King and Priest unto God and His Christ, and reign upon the earth.

The person, having reached this high plane in the kingdom of God on the earth, is considered properly prepared to receive the higher and holier ordinances, which are to be kept entirely secret, and are accompanied by the strongest and most binding covenants, which cannot be broken without incurring the severest penalties.

I was promised everything that I could wish; indeed, I was quite overcome by the magnitude and number of special blessings that was promised me. First of all, as that was my most earnest desire, I was to have perfect health bestowed upon me at once. I was to go on "from grace to glory," in full saintship, and my last days were to be better than my first. I am glad to say that this portion of the blessing promises to be fulfilled, although by no means in the manner that was intended when the blessing was bestowed. I, of course, could not be a King or Priest, but I should be a "Celestial Queen," with all the glory, emoluments, and perquisites which attend that very exalted, but somewhat mythical, position. Having thus settled my future to their evident satisfaction, they left me fully prepared to receive my Endowments.

I was now all eagerness to receive my Endowments. If the first step could have so sudden and marked an effect on me, what would not the greatest, the most important step of all, do for me! My faith in it and its virtues was almost sublime. I could scarcely wait for the next day to come -- the day that had been appointed for me to enter into the full fellowship of the church, the full glory of the Lord, and the eternal heirship to heavenly things.

The morning came, however, and, with a heart filled with hopeful anticipation, I took my way to the Endowment-House [carrying a lunch and my Temple-robes, which had to be specially prepared for this occasion], where, in the absence of a regular Temple, the rites were performed. I expected something solemn and awful; something elevating to the spirit, and ennobling to the mind. How I was disappointed, everyone who has entered the Endowment-House with feelings similar to my own will understand. In place of the awe which I expected to find the rites endowed with, they were ridiculous and farcical in the extreme.


I have heard persons speak of the solemnity of their feelings on the occasion of taking their Endowments, but, with all respect to their truthfulness, I am always incredulous in the extreme. I think either their imagination must have got the better of their common sense, or they could have had very little of the latter commodity to begin with, else they would have seen through the very thin tissue of absurdities which they are obliged to witness with unmoved features, for to laugh in the Endowment-House would be the most fearful sacrilege. For my own part, I was in a most uncomfortable frame of mind. I wanted to laugh; everything seemed so ridiculous; and yet all the while I was conscience-stricken at my own levity. I thought it must be my own wicked heart, and not the rites themselves, and I was constantly upbraiding myself for lack of spiritual grace; and yet I could not alter my feelings in the least. The only thing that in any degree overcame my disposition to laugh, was the horror at the oaths which I was obliged to take. They were fairly blood-curdling, they were so awful; and even now a shudder runs through my whole frame as I recall them.

The Endowment rites are nothing more nor less than a drama, founded partially upon the Bible, but more upon Milton's Paradise Lost. It represents the Creation, the Fall, and the final Restoration of Man to his first glory. To speak in stage parlance, the "different lines of business" are taken by the leaders of the church, who always sustain the same characters. The following is a list of the dramatis personae at the time that I took my Endowments:

ELOHIM, or Head God: Brigham Young.
JEHOVAH: Heber C. Kimball.
JESUS: Daniel H. Wells.
MICHAEL, or Adam: W. C. Staines.
SATAN: W. W. Phelps.
APOSTLE JOHN: Erastus Snow.
WASHER: Dr. Sprague.
CLERK: David O. Calder.
EVE: Miss Eliza R. Snow.
TIMOTHY BROADBRIM, a Quaker: Wilfred Woodruff.
DEACON SMITH, a Methodist: Orson Hyde.
PARSON PEABODY, a Presbyterian: Franklin D. Richards.
ELDER SMOOTH-TONGUE, a Baptist: Phineas H. Young.
FATHER BONIFACE, a Catholic: George A. Smith.

When I entered the Endowment-House, I was made, first of all, to take off my shoes, for the place was too holy to be desecrated by outside dust. Having done this, I gave my name and age, the names of my parents, and date of baptism and confirmation, to the officiating clerk, who entered them all in a large book. Several other persons of both sexes were present, and after all had been similarly catechized, and their answers noted, we were asked to produce our bottles of oil, for we had been instructed, among other things, to bring with us a bottle of the best olive-oil: these were taken from us; our bundles of clothing were handed to us again, and we were told to "pass on."

We entered a large bath-room, which was separated in the middle by a heavy curtain, for the purpose of dividing the men from the women. The men passed to one side of the curtain, the women to the other. In our room were several large tubs filled with water, and Miss Eliza R. Snow and two or three other women were in attendance. I was received by Miss Snow, who placed me in one of the tubs, and washed me from my head to my feet, repeating certain formulae to the effect that I was washed clean from the blood of this generation, and if I remained firm in the faith, should never be harmed by any of the ills that beset the world, and which soon were to be showered in terrible profusion upon the earth. Plagues, pestilence and famine should cover the earth, and be let loose in its every corner, but I should be passed by unscathed, if I was true to my religion -- the only revealed religion of God. After I had been wiped dry, she proceeded to anoint me with olive-oil. As she did so, she repeated, solemnly, --

"Sister, I anoint your head, that it may be prepared for that crown of glory awaiting you as a faithful Saint, and the fruitful wife of a priest of the Lord; your forehead, that your brain may be quick of discernment; your eyes, that they may be quick to perceive the truth, and to avoid the snares of the enemy; your ears, that they may be quick to hear the word of the Lord; your mouth, that you may with wisdom speak the words of eternal life, and show forth the praise of the immortal gods; your tongue, to pronounce the true name which will admit you hereafter behind the veil, and by which you will be known in the celestial kingdom. I anoint your arms to labor in the cause of righteousness, and your hands to be strong in building up the kingdom of God by all manner of profitable works. I anoint your breasts, that you may prove a fruitful vine to nourish a strong race of swift witnesses, earnest in the defence of Zion; your body, to present it an acceptable tabernacle when you come to pass behind the veil; your loins, that you may bring forth a numerous race to crown you with eternal glory, and strengthen the heavenly kingdom of your husband, your master, and crown in the Lord. I anoint your knees, on which to prostrate yourself, and humbly receive the truth from God's holy priesthood; your feet, to run swiftly in the ways of righteousness, and stand firm upon the appointed places. And now I pronounce your body an acceptable temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit."

As may be imagined, I was literally besmeared with oil from my head to my feet. I breathed it, smelled it, tasted it; it ran into my eyes, and made them smart fearfully, and dripped in any but an agreeable manner from my hair. I was fairly saturated with it; was cognizant of nothing else; and I was so nauseated from it that I could scarcely go on with the ceremonies. I got a distaste for it then that I have never got over, and to this day even the sight of it makes me ill.

After the washing and anointing, I was given a garment which I was told to put on, and charged, after once assuming it, that I must never leave it off. When it became necessary to change, I must take off one side, then put the fresh one in its place; then I could drop the soiled one altogether, and get the fresh one on as soon as possible. So long as I wore it, I was free from danger, and even from death. Disease should not assail me, and neither shot nor the assassin's knife should have power to harm me; all should be turned one side. Every good Mormon wears this garment, and is very superstitious about allowing it off. It is said that Smith never would have been killed had it not been that he left off this charmed garment when he went to Carthage. Had he allowed it to remain on, the balls of the murderers would have been utterly powerless to harm him.

There is nothing elegant about this garment; on the contrary, it is quite ugly, and the young Saints who assume it dislike it terribly for its plainness and awkwardness. In shape, it is like a child's sleeping-robe, with the waist and drawers combined, and reaches from the neck to the feet. It is of white, bleached muslin, and untrimmed. Latterly, some of the younger daughters of Brigham Young, and other young ladies of the Mormon bon ton, have instituted a reform, and, to the horror of the older ones, who are not given over to the "pomps and vanities," &c., have had their garments cut shorter, low in the neck, and short-sleeved, and elaborately trimmed. Of course the majority of the people, who have known of this innovation, have been terribly scandalized; but all to no avail. Mormon girls, like girls of the world, object to making guys of themselves; and neither "counsel" nor ridicule can affect them when once their minds are made up on the subject of dress. They will suffer for that what they will not for their religion.

Mine, of course, was made after the true orthodox fashion. Over it I wore a white night-gown and skirt, and on my feet white stockings and white linen shoes. My Temple robe was the last to be donned. It is a long, loose, flowing robe of homespun linen, falling to the ankle, and at the top plaited into a band, which passes over the right shoulder, and is fastened under the left arm; it was girdled by a white linen belt: the cap, which accompanies it, is a simple square of linen, or muslin, gathered in one corner to fit the head; the remainder falls down over the back of the head, like a veil.

While all this washing and robing was going on on one side of the curtain, the same things were being done on the opposite side. I suppose we could hear the murmur of voices and the splash of water; but everything was quiet and subdued, and the most perfect order reigned.

When we were all ready, a name was secretly given to each one of us, which was the name by which we were to be known in the celestial world, and which was to be told only to the man who should take us through the veil. If a woman was married, her husband took her through; if not, some brother kindly performed the office for her, and he was rewarded for his kindness by having the young Saint's celestial name whispered confidingly in his ear. I was not married; so Elder Samuel Richards took me through, and I told him my name,-- and, by the way, he was the only person who ever knew it until after my apostasy, as I never told it to either of my husbands.

It is believed that as the husband has to "resurrect" his wife by her Endowment name, so it is rather necessary that he should know it. Consequently, when he is sealed to her, she is permitted to whisper her name to him through the veil, and after that it must be spoken no more between them until he shall call her by it on the morning of the final resurrection. If the Mormon doctrine were true, there would be a mighty shouting for "Sarah" at that time, as every person whose name I have heard was always called the same. It was the name that was given me, and I have known many others who received it. It certainly will make the husband's work at that time much lighter, since he need call but once to summon his entire family.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:54 pm


In the Endowment-House. How the "Kings and Priests"appeared in their Shirts. The Poor Fellows "feel Bad!" The "Gods" hold a Conversazione. Michael is sent down to Earth. The "Tree of Life." How Raisins grew instead of Apples. Not good to be Alone. The Rib abstracted and little Eve made. The Devil dressed in "Tights." John D. Lee once a Devil. Eve's Flirtation. She eats Forbidden Fruit. Tempts her Husband. Fig-leaves come into Fashion. We hide in Holes and Corners. The Devil is Cursed and we are Lectured. The Second Degree. Story of a Pugnacious Woman. The Terrible Oaths of the Endowment-House. Pains and Penalties. Signs and Grips. "Good-bye!" Brother Heber gives me Advice.

The Devil of the Endowment-House.

AFTER our names had been given us, Miss Snow announced that we were ready, in answer to a question from the other side of the curtain. We were arranged in a row facing it, when it was suddenly withdrawn, and we were standing face to face with the men. The sight that met our eyes was very funny, and I had all I could do to keep my features decently straight. I looked out from under my eyelids, for I did not dare give a good, square, honest look; it would have been altogether too much for my gravity; but from my stolen looks I found that the men, over their new garment of protection, wore a shirt only. On their feet were white socks and white linen shoes. The cap was of white linen, in shape exactly like those worn by stonemasons, and tied by a knot in front. They were certainly no more beautiful in appearance than we women, and, as is generally the case in embarrassing circumstances, were much less at their ease.

We were all conducted into another room, where we were seated opposite each other. We remained quiet for a few moments, getting used to the situation and our clothes, I suppose. Suddenly the silence was broken by voices in conversation. The persons who were carrying it on were concealed; but by listening intently we discovered that it was Elohim in conversation with Jehovah, and he was describing the creation of the world. His description was taken mainly from the first chapter of Genesis. The Gods then decide to visit the earth and see the works of their hands. This they do, and seem quite satisfied with the results of their labors; but they decide that it is necessary to place a ruler over the brute creation, since they must be governed and brought under the control of a superior order of intelligence.

The Gods continue their discussions, and Michael the Archangel is called and given control of "the earth and all that therein is." The brute creation is to be subject to him; the fruits of the earth shall yield abundantly for his sustenance. Of all these he is free to partake, with one single exception: he shall not eat of the fruit of a tree which stands in the middle of the garden.

This tree is represented by a small evergreen, on the branches of which are tied apples, raisins, oranges, or bunches of grapes, as may happen. The fruit on the occasion of my passing through was raisins.

Michael -- or Adam, as he is now called -- finds his new abode rather a lonesome place, in spite of its beauty; and even the knowledge of his power over all about him does not prevent him from longing for companionship. The Gods, too, decide that it is not good for him to be alone; and as there is nothing on earth that is sufficiently near an equality with him to be admitted to an intimate friendship, it is determined to give him a companion created specially for him. A profound slumber falls upon him, and we were all told at that time to feign sleep also, which we did. Elohim and Jehovah then make their first visible appearance, and go through the form of taking a rib from Adam's side, and on the instant appears Eve, in the person of Miss Eliza R. Snow.

At this point we were told to wake up, and instantly every Adam present appropriated to himself an Eve, and, led by the chief Adam and his bride, we all marched about, looking at our new kingdom and marking all its beauties. It was then that Adam became separated from Eve, and wandered off by himself, very much after the fashion of husbands of the present day; and while he was away, Satan entered and commenced a desperate flirtation with the coy and guileless Eve. The Garden of Eden is represented by painted scenery and furnishings.

Apostle Willard Woodruff. ["Timothy Broadbrim."]

It requires some imagination to invest this place with all the beauty that is supposed to have belonged to the original garden; but as it is the best Eden that can be provided, we, like all the rest of the Saints, were obliged to be content with it. Satan was for many years represented by W. W. Phelps, who has recently died. Much to his own surprise and great chagrin, he saw his end approaching; for he had always claimed to be immortal, and on a seal-ring which he wore while in the Endowment-House was inscribed the blasphemous legend,

"The Lord and I
Shall never die."

I do not know who has succeeded him; but I know that in the Temple at Nauvoo, John D. Lee used frequently to assume the character, and I have heard old Mormons say that "he made a first-rate devil." I think no one who has watched his career will doubt that. Since, however, Brigham has recently cut him off from the church, it is hardly probable that he will ever again be able to make his appearance in his old character at the Endowment-House.

Satan was dressed in a tight-fitting suit of black, slashed with pink, pointed shoes, helmet, and a hideous mask. His costume, with the exception of the mask, resembled very closely the dress always worn by the stage Mephistopheles. I think he must have had different costumes, since it has been described several times, and the descriptions have varied in every case.

Eve seemed decidedly pleased with his attentions, and prattled on to him in artless gaiety. He, in turn, showed her the tree of the forbidden fruit, and tempted her to taste it. She did taste it, and finding it pleasant, offered it to Adam, who, by the time the mischief was done, returned to look after his wife. It required but little coaxing on her part to induce him to take the fruit, and he also found it agreeable. At this juncture they seemed to discover their condition of supposed nudity, and instantly they produced white linen aprons, with fig-leaves stitched upon them, and proceeded to put them on. All the rest of us did the same.

The pattern of this apron; by the way, was said to have been given to Joseph Smith by revelation. It was a square of white linen, measuring about eighteen inches, on which were to be sewn nine fig-leaves cut from green silk. Those who first took their Endowments had their aprons made after this model; but there were afterwards many inventions sought out for improving the Lord's pattern, one of which was to paint them. Over these painted aprons fancy fairly ran riot. The borders would be whatever color the person making them might choose, and were red, yellow, or blue, as the caprice dictated, with white centres filled with green leaves. The shape of these leaves was as varied as the people who wore the aprons. Some resembled the oak leaf, some the fig, a part the burdock, and others were like nothing else that ever was seen under the sun. A company going through their Endowments thirty years since, presented, it is said, a decidedly fantastic appearance. After trying every conceivable mode of making the aprons, they have settled down to the "revealed pattern" as the best every way.

After the aprons were on, the voice of Elohim was heard calling Adam; but he was afraid, and hid himself with Eve. All the rest of us were supposed to follow their example, and there was a most undignified scurrying behind sofas, chairs, or any other article of furniture that was convenient. It was like nothing so much as the old game of "hide-and-seek," and it was a rare piece of fun to see men and women scudding in every direction about the room. It was like a good old-fashioned frolic to me, and I actually laughed aloud, much to my discomfiture and Heber Kimball's horror, who reproved me afterwards, and told me it was very wrong. "For," said he, "these things are sacred, and make me feel as solemn as the grave, and I can scarce refrain from shedding tears every time I see them."

I was properly penitent, but I know I thought at the time how very easily Brother Heber was moved.

The devil was then cursed, and he fell upon his hands and knees, and wriggled and hissed in as snake-like a manner as possible; we were all brought out from our several hiding-places, the curse was pronounced upon us, which doomed us to leave the beautiful garden, and earn our bread by the sweat of our brows. We were then driven into another room, which was called the world; and then we had taken our "First Degree."


1. Listening to Elohim and Jehovah.

2. Appropriating an Eve

3. Satan tempting Eve.

4. Tasting the forbidden fruit.

5. In the Garden of Eden.

6. Putting on the fig leaf.

7. Hiding from Elohim.

8. Satan before Elohim.

9. Cursed and driven from the Garden of Eden.

We found the world a very bewildering place. We were drawn hither and thither, and tossed about by every conflicting wave of circumstance. Our friend, the devil, did not leave, but was our constant visitor, urging us to new deeds of sin. We were waited upon by representatives of the different sects, each descanting upon his peculiar plan of salvation, and its advantage over all the rest. The Quaker advocated his non-resistance doctrine. The Methodist gave a graphic, but not very refined description of the future torments of those who did not take his road to heaven. The Presbyterian gave his belief in foreordination and election in the very terse lines,

"You can if you can't;
If you will you won't;
You'll be damned if you do;
You'll be damned if you don't."

The Baptist expatiated upon the virtues of immersion and close communion, and insisted upon predestination as the principal basis of religion; the Catholic called for observances of fasts and prayers to the Virgin Mary. Each grew more clamorous in recommending his special creed, and the discussion waxed fast and furious, even the peaceful Quaker shouting his "good will to men" with a red face, an angry voice, and excited manner, when Satan entered, filled with delight at the disturbance, and urging them on to renewed contention.

Then the apostles began to visit the earth, and comfort its afflicted tenants with plans of the true, revealed religion that was to be their salvation. They put the devil to flight, and the representatives of the "false religions" cowered and shrank away before the truth which they brought.

We were then given certain signs, pass-words, and grips, arranged in a circle, and told to kneel; the women were also required to cover their faces with their veils; then we were bidden to raise our right hands heavenward, and take the oath of implicit obedience and inviolable secrecy. The women promised entire subjection to their husbands' will; the men that they would take no woman as a wife without the express permission of the priesthood. We all promised that we would never question the commands of our authorities in the church, but would grant them instant obedience; we swore also to entertain an everlasting enmity to the United States government, and to disregard its laws so far as possible; we swore that we would use every exertion to avenge the death of our Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum upon the Gentile race, by whose means they were brought to their unhappy fate, and to teach our children to foster this spirit of revenge also; and last of all, we swore never to reveal the mysteries of the Endowment House.

The breaking of this latter oath was to be followed by the most horrible penalties; torture of the most excruciating kind was to be inflicted upon anyone who should disregard this oath — his bowels should be torn from him while he was yet alive; his throat should then be cut from ear to ear; his heart and his tongue cut out; and in the world to come he should inherit eternal damnation. There should be, nor could be, no chance of salvation for him.

These promised penalties are by no means mere forms of words, given merely to add impressiveness to the ceremony. The "Blood-Atonement" shows that they are carried out, and hundreds of cases could be cited in addition to those already given, to prove that the Endowment-House penalties are by no means dead letters in the Mormon Church law. The cutting of every Gentile and apostate throat, and the "sending to hell across lots," that have been so openly and emphatically urged from the stand by Brigham Young and others, is only a public expression of the mysteries of the Endowment oaths.

Brother Heber endeavored to add weight and emphasis to this horrible rite by delivering a discourse to us on the duty of keeping quiet, even to our husbands or wives, on the subject; from the time we left the room we were in, the transactions therein must not be mentioned, or even hinted at, to anyone. He then entered upon a dissertation of the glories of the Celestial Kingdom, and fairly outdid himself in coarseness and vulgarity. It was then announced to us that the talk finished the ceremony of the "Second Degree," and we were told to enter the next room, for the purpose of having the "Third Degree" of the Order of Melchisedec Priesthood conferred upon us.

In this room a portion of the scenes of the last were repeated: the devil encouraged the ministers of the conflicting denominations to visit the new inhabitants of earth, and urge their religions on them once more. The apostles stop the proposed visit, and explain still further the doctrines of the true faith; they organize a new church, which is, of course, the "Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints." Our Temple robes were changed; resting afterwards upon the left shoulder and fastening under the right arm which was a sign that we were now received into the true church, and subject to the will of its leaders. Another grip was taught to us, and we then received the "Third Degree," and were ready to "pass through the veil."

The men, of course, went through first, and they were permitted then to take us women through.

The room we were in was divided by a muslin partition, in which was a door; in this door was a hole just large enough to pass the hand through, and over this hole was a curtain of muslin. The persons who were behind this muslin partition -- which was supposed to represent "the veil" -- were invisible to us, although they could see us distinctly.

A man approached the door as if seeking admittance, and the Apostle Peter, appearing at the opening, asked who was there and what was wanted. He was told that some one wished to enter. The applicant was told to come near, and, as he approached, hands came through the opening in the door, and cut a mysterious mark on each breast of the man's garment, another over the abdomen, still another over the right knee. The garments of all the applicants were treated in the same mysterious manner, and the women were told to copy them in their own when they went home. It was also commanded them that whenever other garments were made, these marks must be placed on them.

After the garments had been cut, the applicant for admission gave the last grip which had been taught them, through the slit in the partition, and whispered his or her new name to those behind who were waiting to hear it, and was then permitted to go "behind the veil." The women were then taken through, the married ones by their husbands; I, as I have before said, by Elder Samuel Richards, brother of Apostle Franklin D. Richards, of Hand-Cart memory. Several remained to be sealed, but as I had not that ceremony to go through, I was permitted to go away.

I was perfectly exhausted by what I had passed through, and quite dissatisfied. It was so different from what I expected that I was saddened and disappointed by it all. My feelings of the morning had undergone a most radical change. I was no longer buoyed up by the enthusiasm of religious fervor; that had died away, and I was as hopeless and apathetic as I had before been eager and buoyant.

I was too tired to go home at once; so I went to Heber Kimball's to rest. When he returned from the Endowment-House he found me there, and he asked how I felt since I left the House; if I had found peace and help. I told him no; that I felt worse, if possible, than ever. It was then that he reproved me for the levity which he had seen me show, and told me he feared I did not take my Endowments in the right spirit. I began to think that that might be the case, and that the fault lay with me and my understanding, and possibly the ordinance was not such a farcical proceeding as it had seemed to me; and I took the reproof so humbly and with such good grace, that Brother Heber grew absolutely hopeful for me.

"Apostle" Heber C. Kimball.

It is claimed that the mysterious rites were taken from Masonry, and that the Endowments are a direct outgrowth of the secret society. Brigham Young delights, I know, to speak of it as "Celestial Masonry," but I am very sure all good Masons would repudiate it and its teachings.

In regard to the oaths of secrecy which I took at that time, I do not consider that I am doing anything wrong in breaking them; I am sure I shall in no way be held accountable for so doing. I took them because I felt that I must. I did not know what I was promising until after the oath was given me, while I listened with uplifted hand. I was bound to secrecy, but I feel that right and justice demand that I shall break these bonds. I consider it a duty to expose, as far as I possibly can, the wickedness, cruelty, blasphemy, and disloyalty of the leaders of the deluded Mormon people.

All Mormons who have received their Endowments are buried in their robes -- caps, shoes, apron, and all. It is held necessary in order to insure their entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. One of the authorities in the church was once asked what would become of the Mormon children who should die before they were old enough to receive their Endowments, and consequently were buried without the robes.

He replied that their parents, or whoever had the power of resurrecting them, must prepare the clothing, and when their dead came out of their graves they were to clothe them with the sacred robes.

A few years since a man named Baptiste was discovered robbing the dead of their garments, and as a matter of course the greatest excitement prevailed. He was immediately "made away with," his house searched, and a large number of robes discovered. Some said that he was put on a little island in the lake, and left to perish. Others said that Porter Rockwell looked after his interests. But certain it is that he "disappeared," and was never seen again. The garments were identified, and the friends of the dead began taking up the bodies and replacing the robes. Brigham ordered them to desist, telling them that "under the circumstances their friends would be taken care of in the resurrection;" so most of the robes were never restored.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:07 am


The Prophet Casts his Eye on Me. He Objects to my Beaux. "A Low Set Anyway." I Didn't Want to Marry the Prophet. He Considers Himself an Irresistible Lover. My First Drive with the Prophet. I Join the Theatrical Corps. How We "Got Up" our Parts. How "Fun Hall" was Built. The Prophet Erects a Theatre out of Temple Funds. How Julia Deane, the Actress, Fascinated the Prophet. How Brigham Cheated the Actors in his Theatre. The Girls Grumble over their Scanty Fare. They want Something Good to Eat. My New Beau. Love at First Sight. I am Engaged to My First Husband.

My First Appearance in Brigham's Theatre.

SOON after I took my Endowments, Brigham Young showed his consciousness of my existence. He had always seen me frequently, but had regarded me and treated me as a child. He seemed suddenly to realize that I had grown to be a young lady, and the first intimation he gave of it was by interfering with my beaux.

Like most girls of my age, I was very fond of gay society; liked honest admiration and attention; and I should like to know what girl of seventeen does not, whether she be Mormon or Gentile?

I was at that time quite intimate with Emmeline Free's children, and I knew nearly all of the rest of Brigham Young's children; but Emmeline's were nearer my own age, and circumstances had thrown us more together. Emmeline had a younger brother, Finley Free, who was at one time a great friend of mine; indeed, as many boys and girls before us have done, I suppose we fancied we were in love with each other. Finley was a jolly fellow, full of fun, and we agreed capitally. Emmeline used to throw us together in every possible way, for, I suppose, like most women of a somewhat romantic turn of mind, she was fond of match-making, and having no other convenient couple at hand, she amused herself with us.

Brigham saw me often at Emmeline's, and twice at the theatre, always with Finley Free. He was always very pleasant to me, and I quite liked him, until one day he went to my mother, and told her that he wished her to stop my going about with Finley Free; that I ought not to have anything to do with "those Frees;" they were "a low set anyway," and didn't amount to anything, either the boys or girls -- a rather peculiar remark for him to make, when his favorite wife at that time -- for that was before the reign of Amelia opened -- was one of those selfsame Frees of whom he spoke so contemptuously to my mother.

Of course I didn't like this interference at all, and I considered myself quite a martyr to the Mormon priestly rule. I expressed my opinion of the Prophet very freely, and, I have no doubt, very foolishly, and I spoke of him in a manner that fairly horrified my mother, who considered me nearly as profane and blasphemous as if I had found fault with the overrulings of Providence. The Mormon people bow as humbly, and say as resignedly, "Thy will, not mine, be done," before a fiat of Brigham Young's as they do before a mysterious dispensation of the Lord's; and I honestly believe they would dare question the justice of God sooner than that of Brigham Young. The latter holds them so completely, body and soul, that they shrink before his displeasure in absolute terror, and regard religiously his every slightest wish.

All the girls of my acquaintance knew of the trouble, and, naturally enough, all sympathized with me; and a more rebellious set of mortals was never seen. We indulged in the most incendiary talk, and turned the torrent of our wrath especially against polygamy. One girl suggested that, as the old men always interfered with the girls' "fun," it was more than likely that it was because they wanted them for themselves; and ended by turning to me, and saying, "Perhaps Brother Brigham means to marry you himself."

"But he won't," said I, angrily; "I wouldn't have him if he asked me a thousand times, hateful old thing."

My spirit was warmly applauded by my auditors, and we all entered into a solemn compact, then and there, never, never, to enter polygamy. How fortunate it was that our futures were unrevealed to us! I look back now to that time, and then think of the girls as they are to-day, — most of them polygamous wives, —hating the bondage in which they are held, yet wearing their galling fetters with a hopeless sort of patience, that is, after all, only silent endurance; for it would avail nothing if they should cry out in despair and desperation; they would only be treated with greater neglect, insulted oftener and more openly, or else held up to public ridicule by their religious leader, to whom the unhappy husbands of these complaining wives —women who dared to be wretched when Mormonism declared they should not— had related their domestic grievances.

It may seem rather strange that such a simple affair as a school-girl's indignation-meeting should be reported to the Prophet. But it was; and, among other things, my unlucky speech was repeated to him. Most men would have laughed at it as mere girlish nonsense and folly, and never have thought of it again, much less spoken of it; but not so Brigham Young. No affair is too trivial to fail to be of interest to him; and, besides, in this speech of mine -- girl as I was -- his vanity was sorely hurt. If he has one weakness above all his other weaknesses, it is his vanity regarding the power he possesses over my sex; and to have his fascinations called in question was a sore hurt for his pride.

What cowards we all are, to be sure! I was as brave as you please in making my declaration of independence to my mates, with whom, at that particular period, I was something of a heroine; but when called upon to defend that declaration, I am ashamed to say, I left it to take care of itself, and employed myself in stammering out excuses for its existence.



I was going home one day, and was walking leisurely along, when the presidential carriage, with the President himself as the sole occupant, stopped at the edge of the sidewalk. Brother Brigham gave me a very kindly greeting, and said, "You are some distance from home; get in and ride with me; I will carry you there."

I knew the invitation was equivalent to a command; so I got reluctantly into the carriage, feeling very small indeed, and hating myself that I did not refuse. As we rode along, he suddenly burst out with, "I heard you said you wouldn't marry me if I wanted you to ever so much."

I was so surprised that it nearly took away my breath. I managed to stammer out a very incoherent, lame reply, and grew every minute more embarrassed. He said no more to me on the subject, but was very pleasant, and took me home to my mother, who was quite surprised to see me appearing in that style. I think Brigham's mind was made up from that time that I should one day be his wife; not, I think, from any particular affection which he cherished for me, but to punish me for my foolish speech, and to show me that his will was stronger than mine, and that he did not choose to be set at defiance even by so insignificant a person as myself.

The autumn in which I was eighteen years of age, he sent for me to come to the theatre as a member of the company, for he wished to make an actress of me. At the same time he told my mother that he thought I had better stay at the "Lion House," which is where the larger part of the family live, as our own house was so far away from the theatre that it would be extremely inconvenient for me to live there, as I would be obliged to be back and forth from the theatre every evening, and often through the day. He wished me to enter upon my new duties at once, and as I had no thought of disobeying him, I went immediately on receiving the summons. I did not see why I should be sent for, as I had no particular talent or taste for the stage, and I knew absolutely nothing about the art of acting. I never had the slightest training or preparation for it, but plunged into it, entirely ignorant of what I was undertaking. I did "juvenile business," with an occasional "soubrette" part as a variation; but in the latter line I was not nearly so successful. Several of Brigham's daughters were acting at the time. The most prominent were Alice, who did "leading" business, and Zina, who was "leading juvenile."

At that time the theatre was a church affair. All the actors and actresses were Mormons, with the exception of an occasional "star," and all of them played without salaries. They were selected from the first families in the city by the owner of the theatre, who, of course, was Brigham Young, and spent literally all their time in studying, rehearsing, and preparing wardrobes, which they furnished themselves. The honor of being selected by Brother Brigham to amuse him and assist him was supposed to be sufficient remuneration.

The theatre, by the way, has been, and still is, a prolific source of revenue to the Prophet. Theatricals have always been largely patronized by the Saints, and rank with dancing as an amusement. They were introduced into Nauvoo by Joseph Smith, and as soon as possible after the arrival in Salt Lake Valley they were commenced. The actors were all amateurs, and the playing, no doubt, was something quite extraordinary; but it was a recreation, and fortunately the audiences were not critical. Dramatic effects are very much liked by this people, and they would reduce everything to a play, if possible. They certainly make it a part of religious service; for what is the "Endowment," if it is not a drama, and a very silly one at that?

The first Utah theatricals were held in a building called "Social Hall," but after a time the Prophet became impressed that another building was required. So, taking "Amusements" as a text, he delivered a sermon on the proposed new building. He said he should christen it "Fun Hall," as he thought that would be the most appropriate name that could be given it. "It is," he said, "to be a place where the Saints can meet together and have all the fun they desire. And no Gentiles shall ever desecrate its sacred stage with their tragedies. It is built exclusively for ourselves and our own holy fun."

This was good news to a people who were already becoming very weary with the exactions of their priesthood. Now, the Prophet said, it was the will of the Lord that we should have a little relaxation from the constant, wearing toil, which was beginning to be almost unendurable.
The Prophet further enlightened us how it was to be built. "We can borrow some of the 'Temple fund,' for present use," he explained; "but that will be a matter of but small moment, since we can so soon replace it." So "Fun Hall" was built with the tithing, and any Saint could have access to the amusements given there by paying whatever entrance fee Brigham demanded. It did not retain its name after it was finished, but was called "Brigham's Theatre."

Brigham's Theatre.

As soon as it was completed it was dedicated, after the usual Mormon fashion. The choir sang, and the singing was followed by earnest and lengthy prayer from some good brother, -- I have forgotten which one, -- after which Brigham rose, and said,

"Through the help of the Lord, we have been able to build this theatre. I know that it is as good a building as any of the kind that was ever built, and I am not going to have it defiled like the Gentile theatres. I will not have a Gentile on this stage. Neither will I have tragedies played. I've said that before, and I mean it. I won't have our women and children coming here to be frightened so they can't sleep at night. I'll have a Saints' theatre, for the Saints, and we'll see what we can do ourselves."

Yet, in flat contradiction to all this bombast, it was not three months before tragedies were represented on that stage, and, the very first winter, a Gentile actor was engaged, who played there through the entire season. Gentile players and Gentile plays have been continued up to this day, and let me assure you there is no more appreciative admirer of the actresses who visit Salt Lake than Brigham Young. He has fallen a victim to the charms of several, but he never was so impressed as he was with Julia Deane Hayne. He was madly in love with her, and, for a while, Amelia's position seemed a little precarious. He bestowed every attention upon the lady, had her portrait painted on his sleigh, and made her an actual offer of marriage, which she refused on the spot, without even taking time for consideration. His regard for her never ceased, and I have heard, on what seemed very good authority, -- although I cannot vouch for its truth, -- that after he heard of her death he had one of his wives baptized for her, and then sealed to him for her; so he is sure, he thinks, of possessing her in the next world, although he could not induce her to look kindly upon him here. No doubt she will be properly grateful when she finds out that he has taken care of her future welfare, and has assured her salvation, and fixed her position in the next world.

Julia Deane Hayne.

Lydia Thompson

Dickie Lingard

Carlotta Leclercq

Since the theatre was first opened, all or nearly all the "stars" have played there, on their way to California. We have had all the actors and actresses, from Forrest and Le Clerq to Lydia Thompson and Dickie Lingard, and the entertainments have varied from tragedy to a "variety show." We have had as musical entertainments everything from opera to negro minstrelsy. We have had Gentiles in the stock company; and some of our Mormon girls, who have made success in their profession, have slipped away to other places, renounced Mormonism, and are making fine positions for themselves in the outside world. A Miss Alexander, especially, who was one of our most promising actresses, became a very great favorite in California, where she played for some time.

The theatre has been a source of wealth to Brigham. Built by money extorted from the people for the avowed purpose of erecting a Temple to God, it, of course, was no expense to him, personally; and yet, although built by the church money, he has appropriated it as private property, and he pockets every dollar that is made at the theatre, and devotes it exclusively to his own use. For a long time his actors, except the Gentile ones, whom he was obliged to pay, cost him nothing, and as everyone furnished his or her wardrobe, the owner of the theatre was put to very little expense in carrying it on.

Now he has to pay even his Mormon players. He tried a short time ago to return to the old system again, but he failed utterly, as the actors would not listen to such a proposition for a moment, and he did not dare to press it, lest he should lose some of the best members of his company. The younger Mormons are not afraid to leave Utah, and the church; and, thrown as they constantly are with people from the outside world, -- the "Babylon," which they have been taught to dread and look upon with fear and horror, as a place full of all kinds of lying abominations, and wickedness of every sort, -- they have many opportunities of learning of that same world and what it offers. This Gentile intercourse is doing more than anything else to break the tyrannical yoke of a corrupt priesthood, and liberalize the minds of the Utah people.

In the days of my own dramatic experiences, the Gentile element by no means predominated, and we all worked for the good of the Prophet. I was never enthusiastic over my profession, and never made a brilliant success in it, though I was something of a favorite, and had very pleasant things said of me, not only in the Salt Lake, but even in the California papers, by some persons who had seen me act. Whatever it was that kept me from being an absolute failure I never knew. It certainly was not because I had prepared for my profession, for I had not; and I only went through the parts assigned to me as I fancied they should be given, and I never attempted any stage tricks or mannerisms. If I had, my doom would have been sealed. I fancy that my adherence to nature, and a constant refraining from striving for effect, had a great deal to do with my popularity; for I was liked, even though I was no artist, and it is not egotism for me to say it. I was glad to be liked, and I am glad still, and I knew that the liking was genuine and honest, and I returned it, too. My public was like a party of friends, and I was always on the best of terms with them, and grateful to them for giving me so much encouragement.

Then the company were all my friends. It was almost like a family; and I do not believe there was ever a theatre where there was less of envyings, and jealousies, and strifes, than there was among us. I look back to those days as among my pleasantest recollections; for, in addition to my happy theatrical life, I then first realized the romance of love.

As had been proposed by Brigham when he summoned me to the theatre, I spent most of the time at the Lion House with the family. Most of them I had known from my earliest childhood; so I was not among strange people, but rather among good friends. I went home every Sunday, and once or twice during every week, and called it living at home; but I visited in the Prophet's family.

They lived there in the most frugal manner. There was enough on the table, but the fare was not so varied as might have been, and the younger ones, especially, used to get very tired of the constant repetition of dishes. We usually knew just what we should find on the table; for, whatever else was absent, bread and butter and dried peach-sauce were always there. It got rather monotonous after a while; and I must confess I used to enjoy rushing off to my mother and getting something good to eat, and "the girls" used to enjoy going with me, when I would take them. They grumbled as much as they dared over the home fare; but they did it very quietly among themselves, as they did not dare to have their complaints reach their father's ears, for he would not endure grumbling from them any better than he would endure it from any of his people.

But it was a very funny sight, if one could only have seen it as I did, to watch the girls when the bell rang for tea or for breakfast. They would all jump up from whatever they happened to be doing, and, striking various attitudes, would exclaim, "Bread and butter and peach-sauce." Sometimes the tone assumed would be tragical in the extreme; sometimes it would be pathetic, sometimes despairing, sometimes expostulatory; and the attitudes would all agree with the tone. Then all the way down the long hall that led to the dining-room, as long as they could without being perceived and reproved by any of the elder members of the family, they would march along, and chant, in subdued tones, in a doleful sort of wail, "bread and butter and peach-sauce." I once suggested that it sounded like a dirge.

"Don't we wish it were!" answered one, quickly; "but in that case, my dear, we should put more spirit into our performance."

I little thought, in those days, that I should ever be in a position to "wail" in earnest over the Prophet's parsimony -- in those days when I "assisted" his daughters at their daily performances. I think I should have put more heart into my wailing, and sorrowed quite as much for my own sake as for the lack of luxuries on the prophetic table. But the fun that we got out of it, and the knowledge that we should be disapproved of if our grumblings were known, gave a relish even to the monotonous fare, and we endured it as we could not if we had not the memory of the frolic to assist us. Nothing is hard to endure if you can in some way make a jest of it, not even "bread and butter," and the dryest of dried peach-sauce.

It was while I was acting that I met my first husband, Mr. James L. Dee. He was an Englishman, a very handsome fellow, and a very great favorite with all the girls. It was one of those romantic affairs called "love at first sight," and I surrendered at discretion, without attempting to resist the hold which the new fancy took on me. We met accidentally at the house of a mutual friend, and the chance meeting soon ripened into a friendship, and that into a nearer relation. My whole life was brightened by the new, sweet glory that had swept in in such a torrent upon me. It took on a new look, and even the most common things were invested with a strange, novel interest. Nothing seemed natural. Everything in my life had deepened and broadened in the light of my new experience. Commonplace people grew interesting, commonplace events stirring. The whole world was tinted with the rose-color of my romance. I was very happy. My friends did not approve of my lover at all, and they all advised me not to encourage his attentions. They saw that he was in no way my equal; but I was so blinded that I would not see what they pointed out to me. There was disparity in disposition and in temperament, all of which promised, to those who could see and understand the matter, unhappiness if we came into a closer relationship.

But what girl of eighteen ever thinks seriously of these things? I was, I suppose, no more unwise than all girls of that age are, nor any more unreasonable. I had a touch of romance in my nature, and I did what so many women do who are in love. I made an ideal; then I set myself to find some living person to invest with all the virtues and graces, mental, moral, and physical, of my imaginary hero. I found the person, and straightway set myself to worship. But he was a very different person from the one of my creation; the one was brave, gentle, noble, kind, and steadfast; the other well, time will show what he was.

But all the winter, after I went on to the stage, I was loving this imaginary being, and calling it James Dee.
I grew ambitious, and I acted better all the time. I think, perhaps, if I had remained on the stage, and had not lost my ideal, I should have accomplished something in my profession. Love does make a woman ambitious. If she never had before, in all her life, a desire to be, to do, to excel, she has it now. She wants to do something to make herself the better worth his taking. There is such a sweet humility about a woman's love! She is always depreciating herself, always growing shy and timid in the light of the superior wisdom which she insists that her lover must possess.

It is very sweet to worship in this way, but it is disastrous. It is bad for both lover and beloved. But girls, in their first romance, don't take this into account.

My parents did not forbid my engagement, although they plainly told me they did not approve of it; and after they found that I was determined, they gave a reluctant consent, but they counselled silence on the subject, hoping that I might see something in my lover which should induce me to change my mind. They were wise enough, not to tell me the reason, but I knew it intuitively, and the very knowledge that they were hoping that I might give him up made me only the more determined to cling to my lover in spite of them all. And I did. I never wavered in my devotion for a moment. I gave him the truest love a woman can give a man; the entire wealth of my affection I lavished on him; and he repaid it as men of his class, selfish, overbearing, and domineering, usually repay it — in neglect and abuse when once I was in his power.

But he showed none of that domineering spirit in the days of our early acquaintance; he deferred |to me in the slightest matter; he professed to love me very tenderly, and I believe he did love me as well as he was capable of loving anything, or anybody, outside of himself. At all events, I found nothing to miss in his care for me, and affection towards me, and for the few months preceding my marriage, everything in my life was tinted with the softest rose glow.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:47 am


My First Marriage. Wedded to James Dee. Marriage Rites in the Endowment-House. The way in which Plural Wives are Taken. Brigham sends for Me to help in the Theatre. Repenting of Matrimony. I get tired of it in a Month. Cruel Conduct of my Husband. He flirts considerably with the Young Girls. I am greatly Disgusted and furiously Jealous. He threatens to take another Wife. The Ownership of Women in Utah. How Newspaper Reporters are humbugged by Brigham. How Visitors to Salt Lake are Watched. The Prophet's Spies. How People are misled about Utah Affairs. The Miseries of the Women Overlooked.

A Life of Unhappiness.

I WAS married in the Endowment-House, on the 4th of April, 1863.

As persons are not allowed to enter the inner rooms of that mysterious place for the purpose of going through any of the rites or ordinances of the church in their customary dress, we, of course, wore our Temple-robes during the ceremony. We carried our robes with us, and dressed there, not appearing outside in our sacred clothing.

I must confess I no longer regarded the Endowment-House with the awe which I had felt previous to my first visit there, and the whole manner in which everything was done was so very stagey, that, I failed to be impressed at all on this my second visit, although the object of my present visit naturally made me feel more solemn than I otherwise should.

The marriage service, which is not long, was performed by Brigham Young. We first gave our names, ages, native town, county, state, and country, to the Elder John Lyon, who acts as scribe in the Endowment-House, and he carefully recorded them, as he does those of every couple who come to be sealed. We then went before Brigham Young, who was waiting for us, and the following ceremony made us man and wife:

"Do you, Brother James Dee, take Sister Ann-Eliza Webb by the right hand, to receive her unto yourself, to be your lawful and wedded wife, and you to be her lawful and wedded husband, for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfil all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony, in the new and everlasting covenant, doing this in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free will and accord?"


"Do you, Sister Ann-Eliza Webb, take Brother James Dee by the right hand, and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, for time and for all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfil all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony in the new and everlasting covenant, doing this in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses, of your own free will and accord?"


"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of the holy priesthood, I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife, for time and for all eternity. And I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection, with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, clothed with glory, immortality, and everlasting lives; and I seal upon you the blessings of thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers, and exaltations, together with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And I say unto you, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in your prosperity in the day of the Lord Jesus. All these blessings, together with all other blessings pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, I seal upon your heads, through your faithfulness unto the end, by the authority of the holy priesthood, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

The scribe then entered the date of the marriage, together with the names of my mother and the one or two friends who accompanied us.

When the marriage is a polygamous one, the above service is prefaced in the following manner. The wife stands on the left of her husband, the bride at her left hand. The President then puts this question to the wife: --

Are you willing to give this woman to your husband, to be his lawful and wedded wife for time and for all eternity? If you are, you will manifest it by placing her right hand within the right hand of your husband." The right hands of the bridegroom and bride being thus joined, the wife takes her husband by the left arm, as if in the attitude for walking, and the ceremony then proceeds in the manner which I have quoted.

Mine was not a polygamous marriage. I had married a man with no wife, and who assured me that I should be the only one, and I was correspondingly happy. I had seen so much wretchedness about me, and so much unhappiness in my father's family, where polygamy showed only its best side, that I was glad to escape it. To be the only one who had right to my husband's care seemed so blissful! and I was sure that very many women were envying me because I was so fortunate. I acted the evening of my marriage, and the news of it having got out, I was greeted, when I made my appearance, with the most tumultuous applause. Cheer after cheer arose, and it was some minutes before I could speak my lines. Every time I appeared, there was a repetition of this scene, and I was fairly embarrassed, so persistent was the applause. There was the more excitement, probably, because I had kept my approaching marriage a secret, and but very few, even of my personal friends, knew anything about it. I had stolen a march on the public, and not having the opportunity for congratulating me on my engagement, they made up for it by congratulations on my marriage. For once I was the central figure on the stage, and all my superiors gave way to me with a graceful good nature.

I remained in the theatre a month after my marriage, during which time I learned that I had made a fatal mistake in my marriage. I was forced to see, what my friends had tried to show me before, and the honeymoon was not over before I bitterly regretted my headstrong wilfulness. I loved my husband, but he made me terribly unhappy. He was accustomed to indulge in furious fits of anger, which fairly frightened me, during which he would talk shamefully to me, and threaten me with all kinds of ill treatment. I learned, too, that though I was bound to him, he still considered himself, and was considered, an unmarried man, as far as his right to marry again was concerned; and he soon became quite a noted gallant among the young girls, bestowing on them the attentions that he had given me in our unmarried days, and treating me in the indifferent, matter-of-fact manner, tinged with a "help-it-if-you-can" air, which most Mormon men assume towards their helpless wives. Whenever he wished particularly to torture me, he would threaten to take another wife, and name over the girls whom he said he particularly fancied.

I had one friend, of whom I was very fond. He became jealous of my affection for her, and in order to win me from her, and to break up our friendship, he pretended very great interest in her. He would leave me to go home by myself from the theatre, and would go off with her and remain a long time; then, on his return, would tell me what he said was the conversation between them, in which he would represent her as making the most ardent love to him, until, at last, I fairly came to hate her. I would not see her if I possibly could help it, and I was anything but cordial to her when we did meet. I believe now that my husband lied to me wickedly and deliberately; and yet, such was the effect of all his influence on me, that to this day I cannot see my old friend that a feeling of the most intense bitterness does not rise up in my heart against her. I never could get back the old feeling of affection for her, even though I felt that I was wronging her by my unjust treatment; but polygamy does not tend to make one woman just towards another. Suspicions, jealousies, heartburnings, strifes of all kinds are engendered by this system, and it serves to lower the moral tone of women as well as of men. Both are sufferers alike in this respect, although possibly in a different degree. The women have all through the more conscience in the matter, though they grow bitter, and spiteful, and revengeful, while "bearing the cross."

I know I did, although I was only threatened by my husband; and I presume I annoyed him greatly by my tears and reproaches. A woman in Mormonism has need enough for tears, but it is little use for her to shed them; they only bring upon her the ridicule of all the Mormon men, from her husband at home to Brigham in the Tabernacle. This is the sympathy the "Head of the Church" gives her in public. Said he, in one of his most famous sermons:—

"It is said that women are tied down and abused; that they are misused, and have not the liberty they ought to have; that many of them are wading through a perfect flood of tears, because of the conduct of some men, together with their own folly.

"I wish my own women to understand that what I am going to say is for them as well as for others, and I want those who are here to tell their sisters, yes, all the women of this community, and then write it back to the States, and do as you please with it. I am going to give you from this time to the sixth day of October next for reflection, that you may determine whether you wish to stay with your husbands or not; and then I am going to set every woman at liberty, and say to them, 'Now, go your way -- my women with the rest -- go your way.' And my wives have got to do one of two things: either round up their shoulders to endure the afflictions of this world, and live their religion, or they may leave, for I will not have them about me. I will go into heaven alone, rather than have scratching and fighting around me. I will set all at liberty. 'What! your first wife, too?' Yes, I will liberate you all. I know what my women will say. They will say, 'You can have as many women as you please, Brigham.' But I want to go somewhere, and do something, to get rid of the whiners."

Following his Prophet's lead comes Jedediah Grant, in this fashion:

"We have women here who like anything but the Celestial Law of God; and if they could break asunder the cable of the Church of Christ, there is scarcely a mother in Israel but would do it this day."

This in a tone of the sternest reproof, as though to hate a system which makes them the most abject slaves, under a most terrible master, was a crime. When women go to Brigham Young (as now and then one is foolish enough to do, before she gets thoroughly to know her Prophet and his peculiarities of temper and manner), and tell him of their unhappiness, and ask his advice, he whines, and pretends to cry, and mimics them, until they are fairly outraged by his heartless treatment, and their indignation or grief gets the supremacy over their other trouble. Then he tells them to go home, and make the best of things, and not make everlasting fools of themselves; or something else equally refined and consoling. They may consider themselves fortunate, indeed, if he does not refer to the interview in his next Sunday's sermon, and tell the names of the unhappy women, with coarse jests and unfeeling comments, which render them doubly wretched, since their husbands, incensed at them for complaining, and knowing that they are perfectly safe from priestly indignation or rebuke, make them feel the weight of their displeasure by grosser neglect or more brutal treatment.

The entire ownership of women is nowhere more fully assumed by their husbands than it is in Utah. A woman is obliged to submit to every exaction from him, to grant every request, obey every demand. In return, she need expect nothing, not even support. "You are mine, body and soul, but you have no right to claim anything from me more than what I choose to give you," is the attitude of every man in polygamy towards his wives. A "blessed" system, surely! It is no wonder that Brigham talks about the women's "rounding up their shoulders" to bear it, and one certainly fails to feel the surprise which "Jeddy" probably imagined he would arouse when he announced that the "mothers in Israel," unhappy and desolate, would break "the cable of the church" asunder if they could. This fanatical follower of Brigham Young never spoke a truer word in his life, whether he spake by inspiration or not. There was not a woman, then, who would not have broken her chains if she could, let the whole Mormon Church call these fetters what they might, and there is not a woman among them to-day who would not slip her fetters if she knew how. It is all very well for the Mormon leaders and their sympathizers in the Gentile world to say that the women are contented, and even happy, in polygamy; the one knows he speaks what is not true; the other tells the tale as it is told to him, refusing to use his eyes, his ears, or his common sense.

Newspaper correspondents visit Salt Lake City, and when they arrive they are brimming over with disgust and indignation towards this system and the people who follow it; but, by-and-by, a change comes over them; their readers are informed that the Mormons are a thriving, industrious people, their men brave, hospitable, shrewd, and hard-working; the women quiet and peaceful, evidently well reconciled to their peculiar marital relations; that Brigham Young is not such a bad fellow, after all, and his sons are jolly, freehanded, generous men, with plenty of keenness, and a great deal of knowledge of the world; and then the people who read their letters wonder at the changed tone, and find themselves thinking more leniently of this people and its peculiar social system than ever before, and they say, "If all this is true, why need we meddle?" But it is not true, not one word of it, and these same men who are writing these letters know it; but, in some way, they get to working in the Prophet's interests before they leave the Territory. He manages to get hold of them if they are of any ability, and able to influence the public, and if they are easily influenced themselves they soon see things as he intends they shall see then. I suppose his manner of influencing them differs, but I think it will be readily understood.

The truth is simply this: the Mormon people are absolutely afraid to have the outside world come too close to them; they let them see just so much, but not one bit more. The leaders act as showmen, also as mouthpieces, and the mass of the people are but a cunningly manipulated lot of marionettes, who perform certain antics for a curious public, while the shrewd wire-puller sits behind, and orders every movement, and makes every speech. There has been, until very recently, no such thing as getting at the absolute truth concerning these people; but lately, since the Gentile element has been so largely increased in Utah, and in Salt Lake City especially, it has been useless for the Saints to attempt to hide their real condition.

A Mormon wife-beater is as mercilessly exposed through the columns of the Gentile papers as the Gentile offender of the same class, and the nefarious dealings of Mormon officials are publicly reproved in a manner that does not tend to make them comfortable in the least. The miseries caused by this cursed system are fully ventilated, and the true condition of things revealed. When flippant newspaper correspondents, after a visit to the valley of the Saints, go away and write in terms of ridicule of the Mormon women, calling them fearfully ugly in looks, they little know what bitter, hard, cruel experiences have carved the deep lines round the eyes and mouths, and made the faces grow repulsive and grim, and taken from them all the softness, and tenderness, and grace which glorify a happy woman's face, even if she be ever so plain of feature. If these men, who write so carelessly, could only see the interior of the lives that they are touching with such a rough, rude hand, they might be, perhaps, a little more sympathetic in tone. It is no wonder that the women of Utah are not beautiful; there is nothing in all their lives to glorify or beautify their faces, to add at all to their mental or physical charm or grace. They are pretty enough as children; as young girls they can compare favorably with any girls I have seen in the East; but just so soon as they reach womanhood the curse of polygamy is forced upon them, and from that moment their lives are changed, and they grow hard or die — one of the two— in their struggles to become inured to this unnatural life. This system either kills its victims outright, or crushes out every bit of hope and ambition from them, leaving them aimless and apathetic, dragging out existence without the least ray of present happiness or future anticipation to lighten it.

I was taught from my earliest childhood that there was nothing good outside of the Mormon Church; that the Gentile men were bad to the core, possessing neither honor nor manly virtues of any kind, and that every Gentile woman was so vile as to be utterly unworthy of mention; that goodness was unknown among them, and that certain destruction awaited them and those who associated with them. My mother mourned over her friends and relatives outside of Mormonism as lost souls, and she prayed almost literally "without ceasing" that they might be shown the true way before it was too late. She could not govern her natural affection. She must love them; they were her very own, and were very dear to her; but I really think, especially in the days of the intense religious excitement, that she almost hated herself for loving them so truly and so well. She wrote them the most pathetic letters of entreaty, filled with alternate pleadings and arguments, begging them to come to Zion, and "make sure of their souls' salvation." They, in turn, pitied her delusion, but had no hope that she would ever escape from it; they little knew that the child, whose future they were deploring, would one day be the means of leading that mother out of the bondage in which she was held, through many tears and much tribulation, to the light of a brighter, more comforting faith.

Conscience and an almost superstitious belief in her religious leaders made her cling to her religion long after reason taught her that it was a delusion, and made her accept as a sole means of salvation a practice which her whole soul revolted against. It is well that the Mormon leaders call it a "cross." It is simply that, and the hopelessness of it renders it the more difficult to bear. There is no prospect of laying it down, and, unlike the cross of the old legend, it never becomes flower-wreathed. It grows heavier as the days go on, until it bows its bearer down to the very ground.

I learned the misery of even a monogamic marriage under polygamic laws; and, though I never expressed myself so openly on the subject, I yet felt an intense sympathy with a friend of mine, who, when told that her husband thought of taking another wife, replied, with the fire flashing from her black eyes, "If he does, I'll kill him!" It is not at all likely she would have kept her word; she would probably have settled down, as so many women like her have done, into a sullen sort of rebellion, which is not easy to subdue; but she has never been tried; her husband seems as indifferent to the charms of the marriageable young ladies about her as she could desire: yet she never feels entirely safe. How can she, when she knows her husband is constantly admonished that he is not "living up to his privileges." The sword above her head is suspended by a hair; it is a miracle if it does not fall at last. I know every pang of anxiety, every heart-throb of sick expectation, for I had that selfsame torture for two years, without a moment's cessation. I do not know how I bore it; but I suppose I was only being schooled for what came afterwards.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:42 pm


My early married Life. We go to live with my Mother. Incompatibility of Temper. How my Mother had opposed our Marriage. My Husband does not Admire Her. He goes after the Girls. I don't like it at All. I become extremely angry with Him. He is advised to "increase his Kingdom." How Promises to Wives are broken by Mormon Men. How Women are Snubbed and Undervalued. I become anxious and Watchful. How Heber comforted his Wives. My Husband subjects me to personal Violence. He is afraid of Results. My first Baby is Born. Zina Young marries into Polygamy. Contrast between Mormon and Gentile Husbands. "The Bull never cares for the Calves." My Husband nearly strangles Me. I leave him, and go to my Parents. Brigham gives me some good Advice. I obtain a Divorce. I rejoice at being free Again.


WHEN I was first married, we went to live in the house with my mother, greatly to her delight, as she could not bear a separation from me. We had always been together so closely, more like sisters than like mother and daughter, and both of us dreaded very much to have this sweet relationship broken. I had been her comfort when every other stay had failed her; her hope when she was almost utterly hopeless. She had lived in me and for me, and my happiness and welfare had been her constant thought. She had opposed my marriage as a duty, and because she thought she saw only misery for me in the relation; not for a want of sympathy for me, for it really hurt her more to oppose me than it did me to persist in spite of her opposition. I had been her companion in all her wanderings, and the confidante alike of her sorrows and joys, and it was hard for her to think of parting from me, even though I might be not very far away; still our interests were naturally somewhat divided when I came to give the first place in my heart to another.

My husband owned a house, but it was rented; so until it was vacated we had a part of my mother's house, where we kept house quite cosily, and should have been very happy, had not my husband's temper and desire to torment me made life almost unbearable. I tried, as far as I could, to hide my unhappiness from my mother; but I did not succeed. Her motherly eyes were too keen, her maternal instinct too unerring, to be deceived by my silence, although she respected my reticence, and said nothing to me; but she showed her sympathy in a hundred nameless ways. My husband knew of her opposition to our marriage, and he did not like what he termed her interference; though why a mother cannot look after her daughter's interest without being accused of interfering is even now a mystery to me, especially when, seeing that her advice is not regarded, she withdraws all "interference," and makes the best of the matter that she can. But some persons never forget, and my husband was one of those; and it used sometimes to seem to me as though, in his treatment of me, he was revenging himself for the opposition shown to him by my friends.

I used to hear of his attentions to other girls, and I was furious, while I knew I was powerless. My visitors -- many of whom came only when they had anything to tell -- used to tell me that they saw James at the theatre with this young lady, or met him going home with that, or that he passed them walking with another, until I was madly jealous of every girl of my acquaintance. I no longer took pleasure in their society, for I saw in each one a probable rival, and a possible addition to our household. It was no consolation to me to remember that my husband had promised me never to take another wife; I had learned what the promise of a man living under polygamic laws amounts to. It is given as a sort of sedative, and if it soothes temporarily, that is all that is required of it. It is considered no sin to break a promise of this kind; indeed, it would rather seem that it is accounted sin for him to keep it; and I knew that my husband was, as well as other men, occasionally reminded that it was his duty to make his kingdom larger as speedily as possible, by taking another wife, or more than one if he liked.

We had many very stormy interviews on this subject; he used to discuss my callers, and especially the pretty girls, as most Mormon men discuss women, with reference to their "points," as jockeys would talk of horses, or importers of fine stock. Polygamy does not tend to enhance the value of womanly dignity and grace, and very little respect for them is either expressed or felt by one brought up under its baneful influence.

It is strange how quickly men, in a polygamous community, lose that chivalrous courtesy which characterizes men elsewhere. It seemed so strange to me to see the deference shown to my sex when I left Utah, and came, for the first time in my life, among people living under monogamic laws. I was particularly struck by the tenderness and consideration which men showed towards their wives and children; and I wondered to see the women, claiming, with a confidence that assured me they were used to it, and considered that it belonged to them, their husbands' attention and care. It was strange, too, to see the deference shown to a woman by the young men and boys; and when once, in a car, I saw a manly little fellow, about twelve or thirteen years of age, rise with a rare grace, and give his seat to an old lady, the tears sprang to my eyes, such an unaccustomed sight was it. I contrasted that boy with the youth of Utah, and I felt with a new indignation flashing through all my veins, and a new sorrow tugging at my heart, the curse that polygamy was to the young men, as well as to the young girls, who are growing up under the teachings of that baneful system. It is horrible! It fouls and poisons the stream at its very source (and it adds mud and filth as it crawls along its slimy way), sending up its noxious vapors, until it has bred a most pestilent moral malaria, which nothing but the cool, clear air of religious liberty and education shall ever dispel and purify.

Why cannot men and women, outside of this terrible system, see the horrors of it, and work for its overthrow? My soul cries out in very agony sometimes, 'Is there no help for this great evil?' Everywhere the world seems so dead to it! the enormity does not seem to manifest itself unto them. They speak lightly of Mormonism, as of something to ridicule or laugh at, rather than to condemn. God knows there is nothing laughable or ridiculous in it to its victims. It is the most pathetic, tragic earnestness and reality.

I am not imagining situations, and growing pathetic over creations of my own fancy. I know what I say, for I have suffered it. There is not a pang, not a throb of anguish which I have depicted that I have not felt myself.

My health, which was never very good, gave way under the terrible mental and physical strain to which I was subjected, and I was in danger of becoming a confirmed invalid. My physical condition did not make my husband more tender or thoughtful, but he seemed to consider it a wrong towards himself, and took an aggrieved tone because of it. He had worthy examples, to be sure; for Brigham himself grumbles loudly when one of his wives falls ill, even if it is from overwork for his welfare, and complains that "he never marries a woman that she doesn't get sick to shirk work." Heber C. Kimball, on being called once to see one of his wives who had broken her arm, accosted her, on his entrance to her room, with, "Why didn't you break your neck at once, and done with it?" And it is a notorious fact that two of Orson Pratt's wives have died of neglect during illness. Since the men high in authority set the example, what could you expect of the followers?

Although my husband had often threatened me with personal violence, in addition to the insults and persecution he was constantly subjecting me to, he never offered any until about a month before my baby was born. He made some request of me which I was totally unable to grant, and in his fury at what he termed my stubbornness and rebellion, he struck me violently, and I fell insensible before him.

Then he was frightened for once; he raised me up, carried me to my bed, and used every exertion to bring me to myself. He was afraid the blow was fatal, and he was remorseful enough. When, at last, I regained my senses, he begged my forgiveness, poured out a torrent of self-reproaches, and for a little while was more like my old lover, the man whom I had cared for so tenderly, than he had been since our marriage. I very quickly forgave him: it was so sweet to feel the old tenderness again, that I could in a moment forget all that had passed between, and I readily agreed not to let my family know of this last outrage. He knew, as well as I, that my father and brothers would take me from him, and he really did not wish to lose me; and as for me, he was my husband, and the father of my unborn child, and for the sake of the little life which I held in trust, I could not bear to go away from him. I had hoped, O, so fondly! that the child would bring us nearer, and I could not give up the hope; and when he stood before me so penitent, and so tender, I was ready to feel that he had always been the same.


But I was doomed to disappointment; after the birth of my child, it seemed as though the fits of passion were more frequent and of longer duration. He neglected me, and was scarcely at home at all. He did not care for my baby, seeming to consider it a rival, and my love for it seemed to anger him. But what a comfort the baby was to me! How I loved it! All the tide of my affection, that had been so rudely repelled, turned towards it, and I felt that all the interest of my life was centred therein. Like all Mormon women, robbed of a husband's love and care, I should live in and for my child. I knew very well that as far as regaining my husband's real affection was concerned -- if, indeed, I had ever possessed it, -- the future was hopeless; so I expected nothing from it further, and resigned myself to the inevitable more quietly than I could have believed I ever should have done; but my child made resignation more easy.

The little fellow was very bright and winning, and I used to imagine that he understood my feelings, and sympathized with me in his baby way. The little hands straying over my face and neck were full of sweet comfort; the blue eyes raised to mine in baby confidence were full of love; the little mouth which I covered with kisses never failed to smile back at me, and I even forgot to cry under the sweet, restful influence which the dimpled, rosy little bit of humanity brought into my heart.

But this exquisite happiness was of short duration; for, after a few months, my baby grew very ill; and God only knows how I suffered then. I watched over him day and night, and my devotion to him angered my husband beyond measure. He had no sympathy with or for me in those days of trial; and in addition to seeing my baby pining away, until it seemed that it must some day drift out of my clinging arms into the great unknown, unexplored sea beyond, I had to endure the constant abuse from the man who should at that time have been my stay and my comfort. But what Mormon mother ever gets the tender care from her baby's father that other happier mothers get? No time or place is so sacred that polygamy does not obtrude its ugly presence.
A mother may not mourn for her child without feeling the heartless intrusion, as the following little instance will show.

A man named Thomas Williams emigrated from England with his wife and children, all eager to reach "Zion," the promised land of the Saint's inheritance. He was a very devout Mormon, and was easily induced to accept polygamy. He took for his second wife Zina Young, a daughter of Brigham and Zina Huntington, an enthusiastic, conscientious believer in polygamy, and a genuinely good, generous girl, of the most kindly impulses, but, unfortunately, wrongly trained, as all girls are under this system.

His first wife never had believed in the plural-wife system, and was never reconciled to her husband's second marriage. She mourned bitterly about it; and, very naturally, her feelings towards her rival were not kindly or pleasant. The husband knew this perfectly well; and yet, when her little baby died, and she was almost mad with grief, he insisted on bringing the second wife to the funeral as one of the family. The mother was almost beside herself at what she considered this insult to her dead child, and she declared that Zina should not come. Her husband, of course, overruled her; for when, in polygamy, does a wife ever have her own way? But Mrs. Williams refused to recognize her, and would not allow her to sit in the room with her and the child.

I was spared this torture, for there was no second wife to measure my misery, and God was good, and spared my child. He repaid all my anxious care, and put the child into my arms well and comparatively strong, at the same time that he intrusted another helpless one to my care. I had lost, at that time, much of my faith in my religion. I think I should have lost my belief in God Himself, had my baby been taken from me. But He knew how much I could bear, and he spared me this last bitter sorrow.

I had been at first jealous of the little new-comer for the other baby's sake, who was only a little over a year old when the second one came; but I soon found that I had love enough in my heart for the two. My boys! How fond, and proud, and even happy I was with them!

The measure of my love seemed to be the measure of their father's indifference, and even hate. He used to either take no notice of them at all, which I infinitely preferred, or he would handle them so roughly that the little things would shriek with pain and terror, and I would be almost frantic with fear lest he should kill them in his mad frolics, which usually ended in a fit of temper because they cried at his rude treatment.

As I was on my way East, I witnessed a little scene that called up painfully the contrast between this father's indifference and another father's care. In one car was a lady with two children; one a little girl about eight years old, and a cunning baby boy, who was just beginning to lisp in that wonderful baby prattle that is so sweet to hear. As we stopped at a station, a gentleman came in, his face beaming with pleasure and expectation. The moment the children saw him, the little girl cried out with joy, "O, my dear papa has come!" and simultaneously mother and child clasped their arms about his neck and kissed him. The baby threw up his arms, and crowed out, "Papa, papa!" and as he took the little fellow in his arms, and fairly rained kisses over the rosy, delighted little face, the tears sprang to my eyes, and I had fairly to hide my face, for my cheeks were moist, and my mouth would quiver, as I thought of the father's love, of which my children were robbed -- of which all children in Utah are robbed -- by a fiendish system, given by a corrupt priesthood under the guise of a "Revelation" from God.

What a sarcasm on the infinite, tender, all-pervading love of the Divine Father!

Such a scene as this would be simply impossible in Utah, among that community whose religious leader says, in his peculiarly refined style and expression, when his lack of fatherly attention to his children is noticed and commented upon, "Well, the bull never takes any care of his calves," and whose chief apostles allow their children to grow up without support or training from them, since they are too busy in extolling the beauties of polygamy to the new converts, to give even decent attention to the children whom they have summoned into the world under this "glorious institution."

Two weeks before baby was born, I was sitting one morning with the elder boy on my lap, my husband being in the room, when one of my father's wives' children, a little fellow about three years old, came toddling in. Mr. Dee, happening to want something, asked the child to get it for him. The article in question was on a shelf, out of the child's reach, and to get it he would have to stand on a chair, and even then his tiny fingers could but just touch it. There was a heavy jar on the shelf, which I feared he might pull down upon himself, and I remonstrated against his trying to get it. I offered to reach it myself, but my husband instantly turned and forbade my leaving my chair, saying that the child should bring him what he desired.

"But he must not," I cried, in an agony of terror.

"I tell you he shall," was my husband's answer.

The child stood looking from one to the other, half crying with fear, and yet scarcely daring to disobey the command that had been given to him.


"Louis, fetch it to me instantly," commanded he again.

"Louis, you shall not," said I, half rising from my chair.

In an instant, my husband, maddened with fury that I should dare to contradict him, seized me by the throat, and threw me back into the chair. The screams of the terrified child brought my mother into the room at once. She snatched the baby from my arms, which I still held clasped convulsively, while my husband's fingers were tightening about my throat. I was dizzy with pain, and almost suffocated from the grip; but my maternal instinct was stronger than the pain, and I never relaxed my hold on my child.

My mother called my father, and he came and rescued me from the infuriated man who held me, and carried me into my mother's room. Until that time they had known nothing of the treatment which I received from my husband. They knew that I was unhappy, but so was every woman; so I was by no means isolated in my misery. But I had managed to keep from them all knowledge of the violent treatment I had received at his hands. Their indignation at finding it out was beyond all bounds; for when once it was known, my tongue was loosened, and I poured into the sympathizing ears of mother and father the whole story of my wrongs. I left nothing untold, and it was such a relief to let loose the torrent of misery that had been so long pent up in my heart!

My parents and brothers decided at once that I must leave him; and indeed, I was afraid, both for myself and for my children, to return to him again. He tried to see me in every possible way, but was refused admittance to my mother's rooms. The door of communication that led between her rooms and those I had previously occupied was securely locked, and he was bidden by my father to vacate the rooms as speedily as possible. He then demanded to see me; he tried threats, entreaties, every means that he could devise, but I was carefully guarded, and he could gain access neither to me nor the children.

He was loud in his threats to take the children from me, and I was in terrible fear lest he should in some way gain possession of them. I knew that it would not be love for them which would impel him, but a desire to strike me where it would wound me most; and he knew that he could reach me in no other way so surely as through my children. Since he had become convinced that I would never return to him, that of my own free will I gave him up for ever, he seemed possessed by a spirit of fury, and vowed all manner of vengeance on me.

In order to get me out of his power, my parents determined that I should be divorced from him without delay, and, like conscientious church people, they consulted President Young. He and George Q. Cannon, who was also in our confidence, both took very active measures in my behalf. There were two ways in which I could procure a divorce -- one from Brigham, which was considered valid in the church, but I suppose would not stand the test of law; the other from the Probate Court. Brigham strongly advised the latter, as, in case my husband should ever apostatize, he could not take my children from me. He behaved, all through the affair, in such a kind, friendly manner that my confidence in him was fully secured. I had at that time no thought of what the future would bring, and certainly never dreamed of any closer relationship with him. My whole thought was to get free from my husband, and to have my children so securely that he could not take them from me. They were my only thought, my only care.

I say this because, since I have renounced Mormonism, Brigham Young and his followers have said that I left my first husband on purpose to become his wife -- a statement which no one better knows to be false, than Brigham himself. He it was who counselled me to go to the regular courts, rather than depend on his divorcement, which he knew would not stand out of Mormondom, and he and his apostle Cannon rendered me the most valuable and untiring assistance, which I accepted gladly, as I would have accepted aid from any quarter in this extremity.

I was divorced in 1865, and the decree stands to-day in the Court Records of Utah. Since the memory of my Mormon friends seems so treacherous, I will copy the records here as they stand. They may also convince some doubters who seem to place Brigham Young's denial before my complaint, and pin their faith to him, while regarding me doubtfully as a possible adventuress.

"Probate County Docket. [Page 5.]

"Great Salt Lake County. —Ann Eliza Dee vs. James L. Dee.

"In Divorce.

"1865. December 9th. — Petition filed; summons and notice issued, returnable on 23d inst., at 10 P. M.

"December 23d. — Case called; returns made and decree made dissolving bonds of matrimony, and giving to plaintiff the custody and control of her children. Costs taxed to defendant.

"1866. March 3d. —Court ordered execution against defendant for costs of suit.

"March 8th. — Execution issued for $20.50, returnable in 20 days.

"March 28th. —Execution returned; no property found; clerk's fees paid by C. G. Webb, in meat.

[Page 516.]

"Records of Probate Court, Great Salt Lake County.

"1865. Dec. 23d. — Ten o'clock, A. M. Court opened. Records of 16th and 20th insts. read and signed.

"The case of Ann Eliza Dee vs. James L. Dee, in divorce, was called up. This case came up for hearing upon the petition of Ann Eliza Dee, formerly Ann Eliza Webb, and upon the investigation thereof ex parte., the defendant, James L. Dee, failing to appear, C. G. Webb and Ann Vine being sworn and examined, the allegations in the plaintiff's petition were taken as confessed, and thereupon, after hearing the evidence and being fully advised in the premises, it was ordered and decreed by the court that the bonds of matrimony heretofore existing between the said parties be, and the same are hereby, for ever dissolved. That said Ann Eliza shall have and retain the custody and control of her two infant children, James Edward and Lorenzo Dee, during their minority, and that defendant pay costs of suit.

(Signed,) "E. SMITH,
"Judge of Probate Court."

If anyone doubts my copy, they can examine the records for themselves.

My Christmas that year was a merrier one than I had seen for several years. My children were mine, -- my very, very own; and no one could take them from me. I clasped them in my arms. I kissed them again and again in an ecstasy of affection. Henceforth I was father, mother, all to them; no one would dispute with me for their affection, no one claim their love. I was supremely, selfishly happy. True, my romance had died; my idol, with its feet of clay, was broken; but maternal love took the place of the girl's romance, and the little souls which had been given into my charge were more beautiful than any idol which I had been able to build for myself. I was saddened by all my disappointments, quieted by all my trials, subdued in spirit by the constant exercise of patience. I had lost my girlish gaiety and vivacity, but I had gained the poise and assurance of womanhood, and was, I hoped, better fitted to be a good mother to my children, which, at that time, was the only ambition I had, and my only interest for the entire future was in them. I dreamed for them, I planned for them, lived in them; and I am only regretful that anything ever divided my interest with them.

But after the one shadow was lifted, before the other fell, I was royally happy, -- happier than I ever was in my life before, circled about as I was by clinging baby arms, and held by tiny baby hands.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:26 am


After my Divorce from Dee. "Is Polygamy good to Eat?" Curious Experiences among the Saints. A Man who thought his Heart was Broken. How Two Wives Rebelled. The Husband in a Fix. He Runs Away from Home. Dismisses his Plural Wife. Being "Sealed " to Old Women for Eternity. Nancy Chamberlain's Story. Who is to be Brigham's Queen in Heaven? An Old Wife Dresses up as a Ghost. How Brother Shaw Replenished his Exchequer. The Battles between my Father's Wives. My Mother Enjoys his Troubles. The Story of a Turkey. A First Wife Asserts Her Rights. My Life at South Cottonwood. I Receive Offers of Marriage.

"Grandma what is Polygamy?"

AFTER my divorce, I went with my mother to live at my father's farm in South Cottonwood.

Here, I think, I was happier than I had ever before been in my life. My health was much improved, and what with the care of my children and the portion of the household duties which I assumed to assist my mother, my days were well filled. My boys were growing healthy, hearty, rollicking fellows, and they returned my care with all the love which the most jealous heart could desire.

How thankful I was that they were not girls! I knew too well the troubles of my sex in polygamy to wish to bring one girl into the world, who, under the system, would be sure to endure such certain suffering. I made up my mind to teach my boys to shun it, even if it was a vital part of my religion. I was willing to accept all else that Mormonism taught, and to teach its underlying principles to my boys; but that I could teach them was right.

Young as they were, they realized something of polygamy from hearing it constantly talked of; for when any two women meet, it is the chief topic of their conversation, and they knew enough to discover that it was something that was decidedly unpleasant; but what it was, they, of course, had not the slightest idea. Still, with the curiosity natural to children, they were determined to come to the truth of it some way or other.

One day, my youngest boy, then a little over three years old, astonished my mother by asking, very abruptly,

"Grandma, do you like polygamy?"

"Not at all," was the reply, wondering what would come next.

"Is polygamy good to eat?" was the next inquiry of this youthful investigator.

My mother thought that it was not very palatable; at least she had not found it so, and as far as her observation went, she had not seen anyone who relished it particularly.

The men had their "crosses" in polygamy as well as the women, and I must confess that I was wicked enough to enjoy their small "miseries," they seemed so insignificant beside their wives'; but as is the case generally, I fancy, they bore them with much less patience. The chief masculine troubles seem to be, that they cannot, with all their trying, make their plural wives agree and dwell together in the "sweet unity" which is so delightful and so essential to entire family happiness, and that they cannot make the wives, or wife, they already have, welcome with any great show of cordiality the proposal to add another to the family circle.

Not very long before my apostasy, while visiting at the house of a friend, I was introduced to a man, who, my friend afterwards told me, was almost heart-broken at the dreadful conduct of his wife. My sympathies went out at once to the sufferer, and I inquired what indiscretion, or crime, his wife had been guilty of. "O," said my friend, "she is determined that he shall not take another wife, and fights against it all the time, and he has just buried two children; and, all together, he is completely bowed down by grief."

This was before I had dared to give my honest opinion, and I was silent; but my heart ached for the poor mother whose babies were dead, and whose husband, not content with her love, was denouncing her to his friends because she was unwilling to have polygamy added to her other burdens.

A man in Utah, whom I knew very well, married a young widow for a second wife, his first strongly disapproving of the principles of polygamy. She had by no means a submissive spirit, and she sought revenge by the only means in her power -- by tormenting her husband in all possible ways.

He, like all good Mormon brethren, intended to build up a "celestial kingdom" after the "divinely ordained plan," and he wished his wives to live together. There was no use talking, he said; they must agree well enough for that, as he did not intend to build another house. So he commenced this plan; but he found, after a few days, that whatever it might be in the future, it was far from "celestial" here. There was no such thing as peace in the house. His Prophet had often told him that if he could not rule his earthly kingdom, he never would be fit to be a king in the world to come; and as he was very ambitious for royal honors, he was in terrible grief and perplexity. But how to govern two unruly women was quite beyond him. His first wife was a very independent woman, with a habit of speaking her mind quite freely; and the second had a fiery temper, which she did not hesitate to display when she considered occasion demanded.


In a few weeks he found that he must separate them; so he divided the house, giving each one her apartments -- the first wife receiving the principal share, as she had several children. But he had not bettered matters, it seemed. He had intended dividing his time equally between the two; but the first wife was so opposed to this arrangement that he offered to give her two thirds of his time, which, strange as it may seem, did not satisfy her, and made the second wife very angry, until, between them both, the poor man was driven almost to his wits' ends.

They had a peculiar way of finding out each other's secrets; and when the husband was visiting one, the other would apply her ear to the key-hole of her rival's apartments. On certain occasions, when the first wife was too much engaged to attend to the key-hole herself, she would place her little daughter -- a child not more than six years old -- there, and bid her tell her what she heard. Imagine the effect on the child. It seems impossible that any woman, however jealous or curious, would take this means to satisfy her curiosity. Of course the child told the mother the most ridiculous things, which she affected to believe, and told to her husband on his next visit to her; in consequence of which some of the bitterest quarrels ensued.

As soon as possible the husband built a second house, a few rods from the other, and removed the last wife thither, hoping then for a little respite. But he was hoping against hope; for the trouble would never be quieted while the cause remained, and the two women could never come within speaking distance without a fearful quarrel, which often ended in personal violence, blows being exchanged, hair pulled, and dresses torn in the struggle.

Every experiment was in vain. After running away from home once himself, and coming back on account of his children, whom he really loved, he found himself obliged to send Number Two away, when quiet was again restored, although it was secured at the expense of his "kingdom."

The fault was not with either of the women; each one was good enough by herself; but it was in the accursed system, which brought, as it always does, the very worst passions to the surface, and made of each woman —who, alone, would have been a comfort to her husband — a fiend, and a constant torment to him.

Some of the Mormon brethren are so anxious to increase their kingdom that they frequently have very old ladies sealed to them. As they are all to be rejuvenated in the resurrection, and as the sealing is done for "eternity" alone, it will be all right in the future, and the discrepancies in age will go for nothing. Even Brigham Young himself has not hesitated to avail himself of his privileges in this peculiar direction, if Nancy Chamberlain's story can be believed. Nancy Chamberlain is a very old, half-crazed woman, known, I fancy, to every Mormon in the Territory, who solemnly declares that she was sealed to Brigham in Nauvoo, and that she had the promise of being promoted to the place of first wife. She lived in his family for a long time, but she grew old, and infirm, and useless, and he turned her out of the house some years ago; and now she lives as best she may, going about from house to house, and doing light work to pay for her support.

She considers it her duty every little while to go and "free her mind," as she calls it, to Brigham's wives, telling them that they may usurp her place and defraud her of her rights in this world, but she shall be Brigham's queen in heaven. She is an eccentric old woman, but there is no doubt, I think, about her having been sealed to the Prophet. He has a great many old ladies that he expects to resurrect, and assign them to their true position in the eternal world.

These old ladies are sometimes as exacting as their younger sisters, and the husband has all he can do to pacify them and keep them quiet; but not all of them have my mother's experience and that of my old acquaintance, Mr. Ramsay. He was a very devout follower of Brigham's, and, when he was about forty years of age, he was sealed to an old lady eighty years of age, who had no husband, and consequently no hope of salvation, until he very kindly became her savior. He had three wives already, but that was a trifle not worth mentioning to a man expecting to people a world some time in the future; so, as this woman -- who was called Catherine -- would count one on the list, she was taken, and brought into the house with his other wives.

The first of these women, who had always been a slave to her husband and his wives, was now called upon to take the sole charge of this last selection, which she did willingly enough. But it was a difficult matter to please Catherine. No woman could do more to keep the peace than Mrs. Ramsay, who was one of the sweetest tempered, kindest hearted women in the world, yet in this case it seemed to require superhuman exertions. Catherine complained of her food, her clothing, and her situation generally; but the principal cause of complaint was, that Mr. Ramsay was not sufficiently attentive to her.

"I am your wife," she used to say, in a querulous, piping voice;" I have rights and privileges equal to any other wife, and you must and shall spend one fourth of your time with me."

This not being Mr. Ramsay's view of the case precisely, he would reply,

"It is true you were sealed to me, but it was not for time, but for eternity; and I cannot give you any part of my time here. I am willing that you should be taken care of in my family, and that should satisfy you."

But that did not satisfy her, and she determined to make him all the trouble she could. One of her first freaks was to personate a ghost; and, robing herself in white, she visited different apartments of the house while the family slept, more particularly where the husband was. Failing to bring him to terms by this mode of action, she tried something more desperate, and actually set the house on fire; it was soon discovered, however, and not much harm was done. Mr. Ramsay had been very patient with her, and viewed all her pranks in as charitable a light as possible, saying, "it was somebody's duty to exert themselves in her behalf, for she was surely worth saving; and as for her queer actions, she was nothing but a child anyway; so the best thing was not to mind them." Yet this last act of hers made him consider her a very dangerous person, and he advised her to seek a home elsewhere, which she was very soon forced to do, as he went to the southern part of the Territory with his other wives, and left her behind.

She consoled herself by thinking that although she had no husband on earth, she was provided for hereafter, and was very complacent over the reflection, which seemed to afford her wonderful consolation. Mr. Ramsay must be acquitted of having married the old lady for money, as she was very poor, and he gained nothing at all by his marriage. It was really an act of kindness on his part, and real conscientious regard for her future.

Not so unselfish was Brother Shaw, a Mormon whose poverty might be estimated by the fact that he had been twenty years in Brigham's service as a laborer. His impecuniosity was no bar to his entering the Celestial Kingdom, and setting up a realm of his own, over which he should be ruler. He had already married two wives, when a very old lady, possessed of considerable property, arrived in Zion, and Brother Shaw decided that she needed salvation at his hands, and proposed marriage to her.

She saw through him at once, but fearing for her salvation, she accepted the proposal, and was "sealed." This was her first offer in Zion, but she feared, at her time of life, she might never have another; so she allowed herself to be installed as third wife in the Shaw family. Her money was found very useful for the support of the entire family, and was spent very freely until it was all gone, when she, like the rest, was obliged to live in great destitution. She certainly has paid handsomely for her "exaltation."

In a family where all were so peacefully inclined as in our own, "trying" occasions are rare; but they would occur sometimes, and I think my mother took a little malicious pleasure in seeing my father bothered about something that had occurred to make "plurality" a trial. He tried as hard as possible to be just, and had always been very particular in dividing everything equally between his wives. One must have no more than the other. There must be the most perfect exactness in everything. I believe he thinks he has dealt out the most even-handed justice, although he used occasionally to be accused of a partiality for his third wife, especially by those comforting persons who liked to talk to the other wives about him.

One year he had a turkey presented to him two or three days before Christmas. He was away from home on receiving it, and he returned quite late at night to my mother's house with his gift. He was in a dilemma. Here he was with a turkey on his hands, and not feeling rich enough to buy the requisite number in addition to give one to each wife. He could not decide at which house to have the fowl roasted. He would have liked to have had the table of each wife graced with just such a bird, but that was out of the question, and it was equally impossible for all to dine together that day. He was unable to solve the problem; so he concluded to leave it for accident to decide.

On arriving home he placed the turkey quite out of sight, as he supposed, and retired.

My mother, in her rounds of morning work, discovered a suspicious-looking bundle, and, although a little curious concerning it, did not open it, but carried it to my father, with the wrapper on, at the same time asking him what it was.

"It is a turkey," was his reply.

As he said nothing else, she hastily returned it to its place, concluding that she had stumbled on positive proof of his partiality for some other member of his family; and remembering all he had said about equal justice, she resolved that she would find out all about the affair, and, if her suspicions were correct, would not submit with patience, but would "speak her mind," if the heavens fell. She opened the battle by saying, --

"I think it very strange indeed that you should purchase a turkey for only one table, and leave the others destitute; and I also think it a very unjust proceeding on your part; if one portion of the family is to have a Christmas turkey, the others should receive the same attention."

"Hold on, my dear," interrupted my father;" not so fast, if you please. You shouldn't jump at conclusions in such a hasty manner. I didn't buy the turkey; it was given me by a friend."

"O," said my mother, quite mollified, "is that so?" And she was preparing to be quite amiable, when, unfortunately, she happened to recollect that he had asked her at breakfast if she had not better have some chickens killed for Christmas, and she returned to the charge with renewed vigor.

"What are you going to do with it?" demanded she.

"Why, you may have it if you wish," said he; "I am sure I don't know what else to do with it."

Although she was quite prepared to wage warfare for her rights to the very last, my mother really was not prepared for such willing surrender, and, determined not to be outdone in generosity, she replied, --

"O, I really do not care about it. I have chickens, you know, and I like them equally well; in fact, I think I prefer them. But," she continued, with a beautiful stroke of diplomacy, "I would like to decide which of the other wives shall have the turkey, if you will allow me, since you have given me the privilege of refusing it."

My father was glad enough to leave the disposition of the turkey with her, as he did not really know any better what to do with it than before, and if she decided for him, all responsibility would be off his shoulders. So he said, with very great cordiality of tone, --

"All right. I have given it to you, you know. You shall make what disposition you please of it."

"Thank you," said she, with equal graciousness of manner; "I should like Elizabeth to have it. She deserves it, and needs it, too, and would be very grateful for it; and then, too, you see, she, being next to me, would claim it by right of seniority."

"Wisely said," was my father's rejoinder, delighted to have it settled so amicably. So he carried the turkey to Elizabeth as his Christmas offering, and she received it, as my mother thought she would, gladly and thankfully.

Our Christmas dinner, with the chickens, and my mother's delectable puddings and pies, was a success, and we didn't even miss the turkey, though we did have a good laugh over it, and my mother was jubilant, because she had kept it from gracing the tables of the younger wives, since, according to her ideas of justice, if any partiality was to be shown, it should be given in the order of "seniority." I have no doubt that the other tables were well set, in some way or other, but we none of us saw the bills of fare. "Father's turkey" was for a long time the standing jest at home.

Old Farm-House at Cottonwood.

During this time at South Cottonwood, while I was teaching my children, helping my mother, and getting all these peeps into the inside experiences of polygamy, my own life running along in the smoothest channels it had ever known, a great change was preparing for me. I had no thought nor premonition of it, as I went blithely about my daily duties, happy and content in the quiet life which I was leading in my mother's companionship, and in my darling children's love. I dreamed of nothing beyond this peaceful life; I wished for nothing else. Such a sweet restfulness had taken possession of me, and I pictured myself growing old in this quiet spot, with my strong, brave boys near me to make my rough path smooth, and to help my faltering footsteps over the stony places with their strong arms that would encircle and hold me then, as I encircled them now. The improvement of my health was a source of great joy to me. I never was so well in my life. The color had come back to my cheek, the sparkle to my eye, the smile to my lips, the elasticity to my step, and something of the old life to my spirits, although I had suffered too much to have them quite as light as they were in the old frolicsome days when I had gone merry-making with my old companions, had won friends in the theatre, and had wailed "with the girls" over the monotonous fare of the Prophetic table. I was a child with my children, and it would be difficult to tell which of us got the most scoldings and pettings from the fond grandmamma.

She was happy, too, at having me with her again; and though she sorrowed at my sorrow, she could not regret anything that brought me back to her, so long as it did not make me utterly unhappy; and she recognized as well as I the fact, that my life was fuller and freer without my husband than with him, and that my children were better off, and stood far better chances of becoming the men that both she and I wished them to become, under my guidance alone, than under the influence of such a father as theirs. They would never have felt a strong, steady, guiding hand, but would have been, as their mother had been before them, the victim of alternate passion and rough good nature, that was easily shaken.

I had very many offers of marriage. A moderately prepossessing woman in Utah is sure not to be long without them; and I knew that I was that, at least, but I could not be brought to look with favor upon any of my suitors. I did not care to try matrimony again, I had vowed that I would not become a plural wife, and, with my past experience, I was afraid to try even a monogamic alliance again; for I knew that in Utah the step from monogamy to polygamy is very short, and very easily taken. My answer was the same to one and all —"I have my children; I shall live for them alone; they are my only loves."

Some of them appealed to my father and mother to use their influence to make me change my mind; but they refused to interfere, saying that I probably knew my own mind, and, if I did not wish to marry, that was quite enough.

I usually had my own way; and when I knew that any of my persistent suitors had turned to my parents for sympathy and assistance, I laughed to myself to think how little of either they would receive. To tell the truth, they— especially my mother—were no more anxious for me to marry than I myself; and I knew that so long as they had a home, my children and I should share it. I was not allowed to feel that we were in any way a burden, and, to tell the truth, I did honestly try to do all in my power to assist my mother, and make life easier for her to bear.

"I shall never, never leave you," I used to say, as I would nestle at her feet, and lay my head in her lap in the old childish fashion — a habit that I could not bring myself to abandon, even though I was a mother myself, with two bouncing boys to curl down in my own lap in the same loving way, begging for caresses.

"God willing, we will never be parted, my darling."

"Never! never!" cried I, with loving enthusiasm, as I felt her hand on my head, resting in tender benediction there. I kissed the hand that had grown hard with toil for me and for others; and together we sat with no premonition of the future that was so near, and that was to change the whole current of both our after lives.

Brigham Young and some of the apostles were coming to South Cottonwood to hold a meeting. But what was that to me? How did it affect me when he came or went? I had no part nor lot in his movements. Life was nothing to me beyond my mother and children; and all the Prophetic coming and going would not cause a ripple on the surface of my placid life.

So I thought, as I lay cradled in my mother's arms that summer evening in the old farm-house at Cottonwood; and the stars, as they looked down upon me there, revealed nothing more to me.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:04 am


How Brigham Travels through the Territory. Triumphant Receptions Everywhere. Trying to Establish the "Order of Enoch." How the Prophet Insulted his Faithful Followers. "Rheumatism" in the Temper. Grand Doings in the Settlements. We go to meet the Prophet. How the Saints were Lectured in the Bowery. How Brigham gave Howard a Piece of Land. Howard Insulted by the Prophet. Overlooking the Prophet's Lies. Van Etten becomes Brigham's "Friend." He Helps Him to Steal a Hundred Sheep. He makes a Big Haul, and Escapes to Canada. The Prophet Ogles Me during Service-Time. We Take a Walk Home Together. He Compliments My Good Looks. Makes Love to Me. Matrimonial Advice. Brigham Wishes Me to Become His Wife.

Brigham on his Travels.

ON Brigham Young's arrival at South Cottonwood, he was very warmly welcomed, all the people turning out to join in the demonstrations.

This is the usual custom; consequently his travels through the Territory are a perfect ovation. He is generally accompanied by some members of his family; perhaps one or more of his wives, and one of his sons. It has lately always been Brigham, Jr., his intended successor, who is taken along, to be initiated into the proper method of doing things; one or more of his counsellors; some of the apostles, and whoever else he may choose to invite to join his party. They go in carriages, and form in themselves quite a procession.

He is met outside of every settlement which he visits by a company of cavalry; and a little farther on, just outside the entrance to the town, he is met by another procession,— sometimes of the children alone, but oftener, in the large settlements, where they are ambitious to "do the thing up in shape," of the entire population who are able to turn out, men, women, and children, headed by a brass band, all ranged along to give greeting to the Prophet. They are arranged in different sections, each section having its appropriate banner. The elderly and middle-aged men are all together under the banner "Fathers in Israel." The women of the same ages are ranged under their banner, Mothers in Israel." The young men are proud enough of the inscription which theirs carries, "Defenders of Zion;" and the young girls are fresh and lovely under their banner, "The Daughters of Zion, —Virtue;" while the little wee bits, that are placed last of all, are "The Hope of Israel." Other banners bear the inscriptions, "Hail to the Prophet;" "Welcome to our President;" "God bless Brigham Young;" "The Lion of the Lord;" and others of a similar nature are seen along the line of the procession.

As the President and his escort pass down the long line, the band plays, the people cheer, men wave their hats, women their handkerchiefs, and the young girls and children toss bunches of flowers; and their Prophet -- if he chances to be in a good humor -- bows and smiles to them as he passes; and everything is gay, and bright, and merry, and the people are very happy because of the success of their Prophet's reception.

Now and then their gaiety has a dash of cold water from the object of all the display, and they see all their preparations go for nothing, and are made to feel that all their labor has been in vain, as happened not long ago in Salt Lake City. Brigham had been on a long trip through Southern Utah, endeavoring to establish the "United Order of Enoch," with but indifferent success, it must be confessed, in consequence of which he was in anything but good humor with his "rebellious people."

On his return he was met at the station by thousands of his people, who had gathered in unusual numbers, and with unusual display, to meet him. As he stepped from the car, cheers arose from the mass of people, the band played, and "all eyes were turned on him, anxiously watching for a recognition. What was their surprise and chagrin to see him step from the car to his carriage, enter it, close the door, and drive away without the slightest notice of their presence, seemingly oblivious to everything about him!

The Saints returned to their homes feeling exceedingly hurt and grieved, but the next Sabbath their Prophet endeavored to soothe their outraged feelings and smooth matters over with them, in the following "explanation:" --

"Brethren and sisters, you may have felt hurt at my not recognizing your greeting on my arrival. If so, I am sorry; but I had just had an attack of rheumatiz in my left foot."

The apology was accepted; there was nothing else to be done. The Prophet had made what he considered the proper amende, though some of the brethren were so irreverent as to remark afterwards that they "guessed the 'rheumatiz' was in his temper," on account of his failure to gull the people with his last "effort for their spiritual" -- and his temporal -- "advancement."

Usually he is in high good humor, and beams on his followers with the most patronizing and reassuring of smiles, accepting all the homage as though it were his by "divine right." Royalty itself could assume no more the manner of receiving only what it is entitled to, than this ex-glazier, who used to work for "six bits" a day, and who begged the farmer for whom he had done two half days' work to give him a new coat, since his old one was too "rusty" to go on a preaching tour in, and the "spirit" had suddenly called him from the haying field to a Methodist meeting in the neighboring town.

While on his journeys, he is always taken to the best house in the place, and everything is done for his comfort; his followers are taken by other residents of the town, a dance is given in the evening, which takes the place of the usual "reception" elsewhere; he is serenaded by the bands and parties of singers, and all night the militia keep sentry about his headquarters. Altogether it is quite a gay thing to go visiting the settlements, and no one likes it better than the Prophet himself. It is the grand event of the year to the Saints, and they make such extensive preparations for the occasion, that many of them have to "live very close," as they express it, for months afterwards.

As a matter of course, I helped "welcome the President" to Cottonwood; so did all the family; and, as we were all old friends, we were glad to see him personally, as well as spiritually, my mother especially being overjoyed, for there was always the warmest friendship between them; indeed, their friendship dated back to the days before they went to Kirtland. At Nauvoo they had been next door neighbors, and he used to be very fond of playing with the "baby." Since then he had helped the "baby" to escape from a domestic thraldom which was harder than she could endure, and she was grateful to him accordingly. I think neither mother nor daughter would have joined so heartily in the welcome, had they known what misery the visit was to bring.

The Sunday services are always largely attended, and as no house is sufficiently capacious to hold all who assemble to listen to the Prophet, the meetings are held in the "Bowery," which is a sort of improvised tabernacle, with open sides, and roofed over with branches of trees. He usually makes this the occasion for reprimanding the people for their sins, dwelling particularly on the extravagance of women in dress, and the habit, among some of the men, of whiskey-drinking. He came out very strong this time, and the poor Cottonwood Saints were exposed to a merciless fusillade from the Prophet's tongue. He was more than usually denunciatory and scathing, and he made this the occasion for abusing Mr. Howard, the owner of the distillery. After he had got well warmed up, he said Howard had not a cent in the world which he had not given him, and added, "I even gave the poor, mean scapegrace the very land he lives on."

BRIGHAM Preaching at South Cottonwood.

This was more than Howard could bear, even from his Prophet, and he jumped to his feet, excitedly shouting, --

"It isn't so, and you know it isn't. I bought the land of you, and gave you twelve hundred dollars for it."

"You lie!" roared Brigham; "I gave it to you."

"Yes, for twelve hundred dollars," was Howard's reply.

"I never got a cent for it," screamed Brigham.

"You're the liar, and you know it," retorted Howard.

I don't know how long this Sabbath-day quarrel would have lasted, had not Brigham happened to think it was a little out of order, and also to discover that Howard, who was in a great rage by this time, was bound to have the last word. He stopped the dispute, and, turning to the congregation, said, --

"Is there no one who will remove that man from this place?"

Instantly ten or fifteen men started to their feet, and rushed towards the offender; but a man named Van Etten, being much nearer to him than any of the others, reached him first, and led him out of meeting; so there was no opportunity for any of the others to exercise their zeal in the Prophet's behalf. At the close of the services, Brigham publicly thanked Brother Van Etten, and called him "the only friend in the congregation."

The following Sabbath, the party were at Willow Creek holding meeting, and as what he was pleased to term "Howard's insult" was rankling in his memory, he could not refrain from referring to it in his sermon, which he did in the following truthful manner: --

"I was never so insulted in my life as I was at Cottonwood last Sabbath. I called seven or eight times for some of the brethren to lead Howard out, and not a man responded but Brother Van Etten. I know how it is; you and they are all bought with Howard's whiskey."

Now, the news of the encounter had reached Willow Creek before the Prophet and his party, and nearly every one present knew that Brigham had only called once for his opponent to be taken away, and that his call had been promptly responded to. But they attributed his misstatement to the Prophet's bad memory. They knew, too, that none of them were bought with Howard's whiskey; but perhaps Brigham thought they were, and it was only "one of his slight mistakes;" so they let it go for what it was worth, and the Prophet felt better after venting his ill-temper.

It was soon after this that Howard was sent on the mission that has been referred to in a previous chapter. Van Etten's fortune was made from that moment. The Prophet's heart was full of blessings for him, and found vent in the following benediction: --

"The Lord will bless you, Brother Van Etten, for so nobly coming forward in my defence. You are the only man out of several thousand that paid any attention to the insults I received. I want you to understand that from this time I am your friend."  

The Cottonwood Saints were very much surprised at Brigham's warmth, for Van Etten was well known as a worthless, dissipated character, and if Brother Brigham found any good in him, it was more than anyone else had succeeded in doing.

The Prophet and Van Etten were ever after bosom friends; let the latter do what he would, Brigham would shield him from all difficulty. One instance of this protection of his protege came directly under my notice. Van Etten stole a hundred sheep from my brother, who prosecuted him for it. When the trial came on, the evidence was as clear as possible against him; yet Brigham controlled the whole affair, and his "friend" was released. All who knew the facts concerning the case were astonished that even Brigham should do such a very unjust thing as to clear him; but at that time the Saints did not dare to criticise the Prophet's actions as they do now, and all they said was, "There probably is something good about Van Etten that Brigham has discovered which we were unable to see."

Finally, the Prophet's intimate friend took several thousand head of sheep to herd for different parties, and a short time after, the owners heard that he had left the country; they went instantly to look after their sheep, but not a trace of them could they find. Van Etten, sheep and all, were gone, and they never returned again to the "Valley of Ephraim." It was afterwards found that he was in Canada; he also was in debt nine thousand dollars at the co-operative store -- Brigham's pet institution. I never heard Brigham say whether he missed his friend or not; in fact, he never mentioned him after this last escapade.

I had noticed, during the morning service, that memorable Sunday at Cottonwood, that Brigham looked often at me; but I thought nothing more of it than that mine was a very familiar face, and consequently he was drawn towards it for that reason. Still there were others in the congregation that he knew; so mine was not the only face he looked at for recognition. I began to be a little uneasy under his scrutiny. I thought that possibly there was something about my appearance that displeased him. Possibly he did not approve of my dress. I knew he considered himself perfectly at liberty to criticise any sister's dress when he felt so inclined, arid I did not know but I was to be the subject of his next outbreak. That he was not looking at me indifferently or carelessly I knew very well, from the bent brows and keen gaze that I felt was making the most complete scrutiny, and I wished he would look somewhere else. I fidgeted about in my seat, I looked at my little boy who was sitting beside me, and pretended to arrange some article of his clothing. I did everything but to jump up and run away, and I even wanted to do that, to get out of the reach of those sharp eyes, and that steady, unflinching gaze. I am sure he saw my discomfort; but he was pitiless, and all the while the speaking was going on he scarcely turned his eyes from me a moment. I tried to be unconscious, to, look in every direction except his, but the steady eyes would always bring mine back again in spite of myself. I felt his power then as I never had felt it before, and I began to understand a little how it was that he compelled so many people to do his will, against their own inclinations. I learned the lesson better still subsequently.

After the services he came up to me and greeted me very cordially. I was surprised, for he had been so ruffled over the Howard matter that I did not expect he would regain his spirits so easily.

"Are you well?" said he.

"As you see," I replied, laughing, and looking up at him.

"May I walk home with you?"

"If you wish; I should be much pleased," said I. I was pleased, too, for I knew that in bringing him home with me I should be conferring the greatest happiness on my mother. He took my little boy's hand, and led him along, and as he looked down at him, he said, --

"A pretty child. What are you going to do with him?"

"Make a good man of him, if possible," was my reply.

"A better one than his father proved to be, I trust."

"God grant it, else he will not be much of a comfort to me," said I, the tears starting to my eyes.

"You are very much improved since you left Mr. Dee," said he; "do you know it? You are a very pretty woman."

"Thank you," said I, laughing, yet embarrassed at this wholesale fashion of complimenting; "if you can only tell me I am a good woman, I should like that, too."

"Yes, you are that, I believe, and a good mother; and you were a good wife, only that foolish fellow didn't have the sense to half appreciate you."

"Thank you again. I don't know that I can take all you tell me, since I am not sure that I deserve such high praise."

"You are your mother's girl; there can be but one conclusion to draw from that. But tell me about yourself; are you happy?"

"Very," said I, earnestly. "I never was happier in my life."

"What makes you specially happy just now?"

"O, my children, my mother, my quiet life, after all the trial and weary struggling to make the best out of the very worst."

"Then you don't regret your divorce?"

"Indeed I do not; and now, Brother Young, let me thank you for your kindness in helping me to regain my freedom, and above all to keep my children. You must be content with gratitude, for I can repay you in no other way."

He looked at me a moment; a peculiar smile flitted across his face; he opened his lips as if to say something; closed them again; looked at me more scrutinizingly than ever; turned away, and was silent for a moment. Then he asked me, quite abruptly,

"I suppose you have had offers of marriage since your separation from Mr. Dee."

"Yes, many," I replied, answering his question very frankly, as I did not suspect that he had any motive in questioning me, except a friendly interest; and I was as honest in my confidences to him as I should have been with my father.

"Do you feel inclined to accept any of them?" was his next question.

"No, not in the slightest degree; none of them move me in the least."

"And you haven't a preference for any of the suitors?"

"I assure you, no."

"Never had the slightest inclination to say 'yes' to any offer that has been made?"

"Not a bit of inclination; all my lovers have had a rival affection to contend with."

"For whom?" was the question, quick and sudden, as if intending to take me by surprise by its abruptness.

I laid my hand on my boy's head. "For him, and for the other dear child that God gave me; I can have no room for other love while I have them to care for. They fill my heart exclusively, and I am so glad and happy because of it, that I should be jealous if I saw the least hint of regard for anyone creeping in. I couldn't love anybody else; I wouldn't."

"Then you think you will never be induced to marry?"

"Never in my life," I said, vehemently.

Brigham laughed a little, and replied, "I have heard a very great many girls talk that way before."

"Yes, but I am not a girl; I am a woman; a woman, too, with hard, bitter experiences; a woman who has lost faith in mankind, and hasn't much faith in matrimony; a mother, too, who will not give her children a rival."

"No, but you might give them a protector."

"They don't need it; my love is sufficient protection. Besides, they are boys, and will be my protectors in a few years. So, you see, I do not need to marry for protection for myself or them."

"But supposing it were shown to be a duty."

"It can't be. I should not recognize a duty of that kind. I consider myself old enough, and sufficiently experienced, to judge of my duties without any assistance."

He bent his eyes on me again with a keen, questioning look, and said, very kindly, "Child, child, I fear you are very headstrong. Don't let your will run away with you."

"No danger," I replied; it is not crossed often enough to make it very assertive."

"A spoiled child, eh?"

"Possibly. My will seems to be everybody's way at home."

"Well, my child, I want to give you a little advice. I have known you all your life, and have had an interest in you from your birth. Indeed, you seem like one of my own family, you were always in and out so much with my children; and I am going to speak to you as I would to one of my girls. You will probably marry again, some time, though you say now you won't."

"No," I interrupted; "I shall not marry. I mean what I say when I tell you so."

"Yes, I know it; but you will; now mark my words, and see if you don't."  

"Well, don't feel so sure that you send somebody after me," said I, slyly hitting him for his known propensity for "counselling" the brethren to take certain sisters as plural wives.

"You needn't be afraid of my sending anybody. I promise you I won't do that," was his answer.

"Good; then I shall not be obliged to say 'no' to them, and so, perhaps, hurt your feelings as well as mortify them," said I.

"Still, I believe that you will marry again some time. It is in the nature of things that you should. Women of your age, and your looks, don't stay single all their lives; not a bit of it. Now, my advice is this: when you do marry, select some man older than yourself. It doesn't make so much difference whether you're in love with him, if you can respect him and look up to him for counsel. Respect is better than romance, any day. You've tried the one, now give the other a chance. You didn't succeed so well with the other experiment that you care to try that over again, I know. You had your own way, too, if I remember rightly. It wasn't such a smooth one as you thought it was going to be. I knew you was doing the wrong thing when I saw the man. I could have told you so, but you didn't ask my advice. Now I'm giving it to you without asking, for I don't want you to make another mistake. So, when you choose again, remember what I say, and get a husband whom you can look to for good advice."

We had reached home by that time, and I thanked him for his interest, and promised to heed his advice if I found it necessary; but I was sure I should not, for I was firm in my determination not to marry.

I had no idea at all of Brigham's real object in thus sounding me, and drawing me out. It never occurred to me that he could want me for himself. I should just as soon have thought of receiving an offer of marriage from my own father, or to have heard that he (Brigham) was going to marry one of his own daughters. Then I knew, too, that there had been a great deal said in the outside world respecting the practice of polygamy among the Saints, and I thought, from conversations I had heard, that the United States Congress had taken some action in the matter, and that he, being the Head of the Church, was watched pretty closely by government officials. Then he was so old, much older than my father, that the thought, had it presented itself, would have been scouted as absurd. I repeated the conversation to my mother, who seemed amused by it, but did not give any more serious thought to it than I had done.

Brigham was uncommonly jovial that day, and made himself particularly agreeable. He was unusually gracious to my father, revived old memories, and joked with my mother; petted and praised the children, and was very paternal in his manner to me. He showed himself, altogether, in his very best light, and made his visit very pleasant.

During the afternoon service he studied me in the same way that he had in the morning; and several times, when I caught his eye, he looked quite amused. I supposed he was thinking of our conversation at noon, and was much more at my ease than I had been in the early part of the day during the first service.

After service in the afternoon, Brigham told my father that he wished to see him on important business. They were closeted together for two hours, talking very earnestly. I supposed it had to do with church matters, as my father was one of the leading men in South Cottonwood, and had been so long a prominent member of the Mormon Church that it was by no means strange that Brigham had so much to say to him. I thought, possibly, they might be discussing the Howard affai ; but beyond that I thought nothing. I certainly had no idea that I was the subject under discussion; that my future was being planned for me without any regard to my will in the matter. Had I known it, I should by no means have gone about my duties with such a light heart, nor frolicked so gaily with my children.

At the end of the two hours my mother was called into the room, and the discussion was resumed. After a short time all came out. Brigham went away, bidding us all goodbye with much cordiality, and with an added impressiveness in his manner towards me.

When he had gone, my father told me the subject of their long conversation.

Brigham Young had proposed to him for me as a wife.
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