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.

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

Postby admin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:32 pm

Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy
by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife
With Introductory Notes by John B. Gough and Mary A. Livermore




As for Joseph Smith's successor, Brigham Young, who led the Saints to Salt Lake City, he practiced polygamy openly, calling it the Order of Jacob. Brigham Young is estimated to have had 55 wives. He married one of these when she was 15, and three others when they were 16, according to published accounts. Ann Eliza Webb was forced to marry Brigham Young in April 1868 when she was a 24 year-old divorcee and he was 66. Ann Eliza Young was then able to secure a divorce from the Prophet in 1875, after which she devoted herself to writing and speaking against the horrors of polygamy. Her autobiography, Wife No. 19, is an entertaining and shocking account of the dismal lives of polygamous wives. This book is the basis of Irving Wallace's 1961 biography, The Twenty-Seventh Wife (1961), and of David Ebersdorff's novel, The Nineteenth Wife (2008), which has been made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. In reality, Ann Eliza Webb underestimated the depravity of Brigham Young: she was in fact his wife number 52.

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

The divorce was granted in January 1875 and Brigham Young was ordered to pay a $500 per month allowance and $3000 in court fees. When Young initially refused, he was found in contempt of court and sentenced to a day in jail and a $25 fine. The alimony award was later set aside on the grounds that the marriage was polygamous and therefore legally invalid; the polygamous nature of the marriage also exposed them to potential indictments for unlawful cohabitation.

-- Ann Eliza Young, by Wikipedia

The system of the subjection of women here [Utah] finds its limit, and she touches the lowest depths of degradation.

-- Susan B. Anthony, letter from Utah, 1871


INTRODUCTORY NOTE, by Mrs. Mary A. Livermore
CHAPTER I. THE DAYS OF MY CHILDHOOD. WHY I EVER WAS A MORMON. An Important Question. Born in Mormonism. Telling my own Story. Joseph Smith's Mission. He preaches a New Dispensation. My Parents Introduced to the Reader. The Days before Polygamy. My Mother's Childhood. Learning under Difficulties. First Thoughts of Mormonism. Received into the Church. Persecution for the Faith. Forsaking all for the New Religion. First Acquaintance with the Apostle Brigham. His Ambitious Intrigues. His Poverty. His Mission-work. Deceptive Appearances. My Mother's Marriage. A Brief Dream of Happiness. That Sweet Word " Home." The Prophet Smith turns Banker. The " Kirtland Safety Society Bank." The Prophet and Sidney Rigdon Flee. A Moment of Hesitation. Another "Zion" Appointed. Losing All for the Church. Privation and Distress. Sidney Rigdon and his "Declaration of Independence." He Excites an Immense Sensation. Mobs Assemble and Fights Ensue. Lively Times among the Saints. The Outrages of the Danites
CHAPTER II. FOUNDING THE NEW RELIGION. ASSASSINATION OF JOSEPH SMITH. The Saints expelled from Missouri. They cross the Mississippi into Illinois. Forming a New Settlement. Arrival in Quincy. A Kind Reception. The City of "Nauvoo" Founded. A New Temple Begun. Great Success of the Foreign Missions. The Saints flock from Europe. Thousands assemble in Nauvoo. The Prophet Joseph applies for a City Charter. Nauvoo Incorporated. The Saints Petition the National Government. The Prophet visits Washington. His Interview with President Van Buren. He Coquets with Politics. He Stands on the Edge of the Precipice. The Saints in Danger. The Prophet Smith nominated for President. He tries to find the "Golden Way." Mormon Missionaries preach Politics. The Prophet looks towards the Pacific Coast. The Blind Obedience of the Saints. The Real Devotion of their Faith. Gentile Opinions. How Boggs was Shot in the Head. The Spiritual-Wife Doctrine. Dr. William Law Protests. Terrible Charges against the Prophet. The "Nauvoo Expositor." The Prophet Surrenders. He is Murdered in Jail.
CHAPTER III. THE "REVELATION ON CELESTIAL MARRIAGE." TROUBLE AMONG THE SAINTS. The Announcement of Polygamy. "Celestial Marriage." Joseph "sets himself Right." Mrs. Smith is very Rebellious. Mrs. Smith's Adopted Daughter. The Prophet too fond of Fanny. Mrs. Smith takes her in Hand. Marital Storms. Oliver Cowdery called In. He goes and " Does Likewise." Joseph first Preaches Polygamy. The Saints Rebel. The Revelation given in Secret. Eleven "Adopted Daughters" sealed to the Prophet. A Domestic Squall in the Prophet's House. Nancy Rigdon Insulted by Joseph. Sidney's Zeal Grows Cold. How Celestial Marriage was Introduced. Mr. Noble begins to Build Up his Kingdom. The first Plural Marriage. False Position of the Second Wife. John C. Bennett. His Profligacy and Crimes. He Apostatizes and Writes a Book. Joseph Defends Himself. Apostasy of an Apostle's Wife. The Prophet in Difficulties. The Revelation on "Celestial Marriage."
CHAPTER IV. AFTER JOSEPH'S DEATH. BRIGHAM YOUNG ELECTED PROPHET. Kindness of the Gentiles. Strangers in a Strange Land. My Parents join the Saints in Nauvoo. They Purchase Land in the City. Are shamefully Defrauded. Joseph's Unfaithful Friends. My Parents left almost Destitute. I am Born in the Midst of Troubles. The Saints Bewildered. Who should Succeed Joseph? Sidney Rigdon's Claims to the Presidency. He returns to Nauvoo. Has Dreams and Visions. He Promises to " Pull Little Vic's Nose." The Apostles hear of the Prophet's Murder. They hasten to Nauvoo. Brigham begins his Successful Intrigues. He Settles Sidney Rigdon. An Extraordinary Trial. Brigham's Idea of Free Voting. Women's Suffrage in Utah. Why Brigham gave the Franchise to the Women. My own Experience as a Voter. Brigham Dictates what I'm to Do. I obey Quietly. How Sidney Rigdon was Deposed. Brigham Rules the Church.
CHAPTER V. MY FATHER'S PLURAL-WIFE. CHILDHOOD IN POLYGAMY. Childhood in Mormondom. A striking Contrast. The Sorrows of my Earliest Years. How my Mother received Polygamy. Submitting to the Rod. Clinging to Love and Home. Resigning all for Religion. Strange ways of glorifying God. The Reward of Faithfulness. The Prophet Joseph imparts a New Religious Mystery. The Breaking-up of a Home. Fears of Rebellion. The Struggle of Faith against Nature. Seeking Rest, but finding None. Brigham's “Counsels." A New Wife Selected. My Parents enter into Polygamy. The New Bride, Elizabeth. The Marriage Ceremony. My Mother Sealed. She is to become a Queen. Domestic Arrangements in Polygamy. Bearing the Cross. A First Wife's Sorrows. "Where does Polygamy Hurt?" The Mormon Husband; his Position and Privileges.
CHAPTER VI. FORSAKING DEAR ZION. WE FIND A NEW HOME IN THE FAR WEST. A New Home in the Far West. Dangerous Neighbors. Some very Unpleasant Stories. Seeking a New Home. Preparing to Depart. Life at Winter-Quarters. A Lively Time in the Temple. "Little Dancin’ Missy." Bound for Salt Lake Valley. Life by the Way. Songs of the Saints. A False Prophecy. "The Upper California." Saintly Profanity. A Soul-stirring Melody. The Saints Excited. Beside the Camp-Fires. The Journey Ending. Entering Zion. The Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
CHAPTER VII. OUR WELCOME TO "ZION." UTAH IN EARLY DAYS. Our Welcome to Zion. Housekeeping under Difficulties. Our First Home in Utah. The Second Wife's Baby. The Young Mother. A very Delicate Position. Doctors at a Discount. Brigham's Wife turns Midwife. An Obedient Woman. Taking Care of the Baby. Practising Economy. The Path of the Crickets. Too much Cracked Wheat. Building the First Mill. Brother Brigham Speechifies. Tea at Five Dollars per Pound. Californian Gold Discovered. Building up Zion. Brigham's "Dress Reform." A Rather Queer Costume. The Women "Assert" Themselves. Clara Decker Rebels. How the Prophet treats his Wives. I ask for some Furs, and am Snubbed. How the Prophet doled out his Silk. Eliza Snow and Fanny's Finery. The Prophet Snubs Eliza. He Combats the "Grecian Bend." Dancing among the Saints. Polygamy Denied. How the Saints received It. A Nice Little Family Arrangement.
CHAPTER VIII. TROUBLES UNDER THE NEW SYSTEM. The Sorrows of My Uncle. "It's a Hopeless Fix." A Woman's Argument about Polygamy. My Mother "labors" with a First Wife. Wife No. 2 "Walks Off." Marrying a Widow and her Two Daughters. Mrs. Webb becomes a Wife No. 2. Wife No. 1 throws Brickbats into the Nuptial Chamber. She clears the Field of Extra Wives. "Building up the Kingdom." The Atrocious Villainies of Orson Pratt. How he has Seduced Innocent Girls. Brigham's Nephew Rebels. Trouble in the Prophet's Family. Forgetting a Wife's Face. A Woman who liked Polygamy
CHAPTER IX. THE HARDSHIPS AND PERILS OF LIFE IN A NEW COUNTRY. "Killed by the Indians." How Apostates Disappeared. A Suspicious Fact. How Brigham "took care" of the People's Property. The Mormon Battalion. Brigham Pockets the Soldiers' Pay. How Proselytes were Made. Scapegraces sent on Mission. My Father goes to Europe. How Missionaries' wives are Left. Collecting funds for the Missionaries. Brigham Embezzles the Money. The "Church Train." Joseph A. Young as a Missionary. His Misdoings in St. Louis. What Brother Brown said of Him. The Perpetual Emigration Fund. How the Money was Raised. Cheating the Confiding Saints. How Brigham Manages the Missionaries' Property. The "Church" makes Whiskey for the Saints. The Missionaries bring home new Wives. How English Girls are Deceived. My First Baptism.
CHAPTER X. THE UTAH "REFORMATION." "A REIGN OF TERROR." THE BLOOD-ATONEMENT PREACHED. The Beginning of the Reformation. The Payson Saints Stirred Up. What the Wicked "Saints" had been Doing Secretly. The Old Lady who stole a Radish. Confessing the sins of Others. A System of Espionage. Brigham bids them "Go Ahead!" The Story of Brother Jeddy's Mule. The Saints receive a terrible Drubbing. Great Excitement in Mormondom. How the Saints were Catechized. Indelicate Questions are put to Everybody. My Mother and Myself Confess. The Labors of the Home Missionaries. Making Restitution. Everybody is Re-baptized. "Cut off Below their Ears" The "Blood-Atonement " Preached. Murder recommended in the Tabernacle. Cutting their Neighbors' throats for Love. A "Reign of Terror" in Utah. Fearful Outrages Committed. Murdered "by the Indians''? Brigham advises the Assassination of Hatten. Murder of Almon Babbitt, Dr. Robinson, the Parrishes, and Others. Bloodshed the Order of the Day
CHAPTER XI. "DIVINE EMIGRATION." THE PROPHET AND THE HANDCART SCHEME. Early Emigration to Utah. The Prophet Meditates Economy. The "Divine Plan" Invented. How it was Revealed to the Saints. They Prepare to "Gather to Zion." How the Hand-Carts were Built. The Sufferings of the Emigrants. On Board Ship. An Apostolic Quarrel. Base Conduct of the Apostle Taylor. The Saints arrive in Iowa City. How the Summer-time was Wasted. Beginning a Terrible Journey. Suffering by the Way. "Going Cheap." They reach Council Bluffs. Levi Savage Behaves Bravely. Lying Prophecy of the Apostle Richards. How the Emigrants were Deceived. Brigham Young sends Help to Them. Two Apostles are Denounced. The Prophet in a Fix. He lays His own Sins on the Backs of Others. Preparing to Receive the Emigrants.
CHAPTER XII. BRIGHAM'S HAND-CART SCHEME, CONTINUED. FAILURE OF THE "DIVINE PLAN." Arrival of the First Train. Fearful Sufferings of the Emigrants. Women and Girls toiling at the Carts. The Prophet's "Experiment." Burying the Dead. Greater Mortality among the Men. Arrival of Assistance. Hand-Cart Songs. Scenes in the Camp of the Emigrants. How every Prophecy of the Elders was Falsified. How the Tennant Family were Shamelessly Robbed. One of the Vilest Swindles of the Prophet. Mr. Tennant's Unhappy Death. His Wife Views the "Splendid Property" Bought from Brigham. Brigham Cheats her out of her Last Dollar. She is reduced to Abject Poverty. The Apostle Taylor Hastens to Zion. Richards and Spencer are made Scape-goats. Brigham evades all Responsibility. Utter Failure of the "Divine Plan."
CHAPTER XIII. THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS' MASSACRE. "VENGEANCE IS MINE: I WILL REPAY." The Results of the Reformation. The Story of a Fiendish Deed. The People's Mouths Closed. How the Dreadful Crime was Hushed Up. Judge Cradlebaugh's Efforts to Unravel the Mystery. Who were the Guilty Ones? The Emigrants on the Way to Utah. The People Forbidden to sell them Food. They Arrive at Salt Lake City. Ordered to Break Camp. In need of Supplies. Who was Accountable ? Why the Mormons hated the Emigrants. The Story of Parley P. Pratt. How he Seduced McLean's Wife. Their Journey to Cedar City. Hungry and Weary, but still Pressing On. They Reach the Mountain Meadows. Attacked by “the Indians." The Emigrants Besieged. Dying of Thirst. Two little Girls shot by the Mormons. An Appeal for Help. The Last Hope of the Besieged. Waiting for Death.
CHAPTER XIV. BETRAYED AND MURDERED. TRIAL OF JOHN D. LEE. The "White Flag of Peace." Friends in the Distance. A Cruel Deception. Mormon Fiends plan their Destruction. John D. Lee's Crocodile Tears. "Lay down your Arms, and Depart in Peace." A Horrible Suspicion. The Massacre. The Scene of Blood. No Mercy for Women and Children. Robbed and Outraged. Murdered by Lee's Own Hand. The Field of Slaughter. Dividing the Property of the Murdered Ones. Brigham Young Demands his Share. Haunted by Spectres. John D. Lee's Trial. Instigated by Brigham. No Justice in Utah. Lee's Confession made to Shield the False Prophet. Eight Mormon and Four Gentile Jurors. What was to be Expected?
CHAPTER XV. THE BLOOD-ATONEMENT. THE DESTROYING ANGELS. DANITES AND THEIR DEEDS. Sweet, Saintly Sentiments. "He ought to have his Throat cut." Too many Gentiles About. The Spirit of "Blood-Atonement" Still Cherished. Present Position of Apostates. How they used to be "Cut Off." "Cutting Men off below the Ears." How "Accidents" happened to People who "Knew too Much." How Mr. Langford expressed his Opinion too Freely. Mormon Friends kindly advise him to "Shut Up." "Be on your Guard!" Poetry among the Saints: a Popular Song. Human Sacrifices Proposed! How Saints were taught to Atone for their Sins. "Somebody" ready to shed their Blood. "The Destroying Angels:" who they were, and what they did. Saints told to do their own "Dirty Work." People who "ought to be Used up." Murdering by Proxy! Brigham Young proved to be the Vilest of Assassins. Hideous Crimes of Porter Rockwell and Bill Hickman. How Rockwell tried to Murder Governor Boggs. Hickman Confesses his Atrocious Crimes. Six Men Robbed of $25,000, and then "Used Up." Another Frightful Assassination. A Council of Mormon Murderers. The "Church" orders the Assassination of the Aikin Party.
CHAPTER XVI. FRIGHTFUL DEEDS OF BLOOD. - MORMONISM IN ITS TRUE LIGHT. The Yates Murder. Brigham and the Leading Mormons Arrested for the Crime. Mr. Yates accused of being a Spy. He is Arrested, and his Goods Seized. Bill Hickman takes possession of the Prisoner's Body. Brigham Embezzles his Gold. Another Saint steals his Watch. Hickman carries him to Jones's Camp. He is Murdered there while Asleep. Hickman asks Brigham for a Share of the Spoil. The Prophet refuses; sticks to every Cent. Hickman's "faith" in Mormonism is Shaken. His fellow-murderer Apostatizes Outright. How Bill was finally "paid in Wives." He tries a little matter of Seventeen. Fiendish Outrage at San Pete. Bishop Snow contrives the Damnable Deed. The fate of his Victims. A Mysterious Marriage. The Feather-beds and the Prophet. Mrs. Lewis comes to Live with Me.
CHAPTER XVII. TROUBLES IN OUR OWN FAMILY. LOUISE COMES UPON THE SCENE. Increase of Polygamy. Marrying going on Day and Night. "Taking a Wife and Buying a Cow." A Faithful Husband in a Fix. How Men get "Married on the Sly." How Wives were Driven Crazy by their Wrongs. My Father Marries Considerably. He "Goes in" for the Hand-Cart Girls. Marries a Couple to Begin with. Takes a Third the same Month. Rapid Increase of his "Kingdom." How the Girls Chose Husbands. Instructing the New Wives in our Family. Louise doesn't want to Work. My Father goes on Mission Again. Louise Flirts and Rebels. She is Scolded and Repents. Goes to Bed and Weeps. Bestows her Goods on the Family. "Lizzie" Interviews Her. She Poisons Herself. Is a "Long Time Dying." She gets a Strong Dose of Cayenne. Is sent on her Travels. The Last we Heard of Her.
CHAPTER XVIII. INCREASE OF POLYGAMY. MIXED-UP CONDITION OF MATRIMONIAL AFFAIRS. 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.
CHAPTER XIX. THE MYSTERIES OF POLYGAMY. WHAT THE WIVES COULD TELL. 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.
CHAPTER XX. BRIGHAM BUILDS WAGONS BY "NSPIRATION." THE CHURCH SETS UP A WHISKEY-STORE. 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.
CHAPTER XXI. GOING THROUGH THE "ENDOWMENT-HOUSE." I TAKE THE MYSTERIOUS BATHS. 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!"
CHAPTER XXII. WE CARRY ON THE ENDOWMENT DRAMA. I AM FULLY INITIATED. 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.
CHAPTER XXIII. THE PROPHET MAKES LOVE TO ME. I HAVE OTHER VIEWS. 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.
CHAPTER XXIV. MY FIRST MARRIAGE. A LIFE'S MISTAKE. 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.
CHAPTER XXV. EARLY MARRIED LIFE. MY HUSBAND AND MY MOTHER! 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.
CHAPTER XXVI. AFTER MY DIVORCE. AFFAIRS AT HOME. 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.
CHAPTER XXVII. A WALK WITH THE PROPHET. HE MAKES LOVE TO ME. 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.
CHAPTER XXVIII. HOW BRIGHAM YOUNG FORCED ME TO MARRY HIM. Brigham's Offer of Marriage. I think the Prophet too Old. My Parents are Delighted with the Honor. They Try to Persuade Me. I am Very Obstinate. Arguing the Matter. How Brigham Found Means to Influence Me. My Brothers get into Trouble. The Prophet and the Telegraph-Poles. He takes a Nice Little Contract. Then Sells it to his Son. Bishop Sharp makes a few Dollars out of It. My Brother Engages in the Work. He Becomes Involved in Debts and Difficulties. Brigham Threatens to Cut Him Off for Dishonesty. My Mother Tries to Excuse Him. Hemmed In on All Sides, I Determine to Make One Last Appeal. I fail, and Consent to Marry Him.
CHAPTER XXIX. MY MARRIAGE WITH BRIGHAM YOUNG. HOW THE OTHER WIVES RECEIVED ME. The Prophet Rejoices at my Yielding. My Family Restored to Favor. The Webbs Reconstructed. My Prophet-Lover Comes to See Me. He Goes Courting "on the Sly," for Fear of Amelia. We are Married Secretly in the Endowment-House. I am Sent Home Again. Brigham Establishes me in the City. Limited Plates and Dishes. We Want a Little More Food. The Prophet's "Ration-Day." How the Other Wives Received Me. Mrs. Amelia Doesn't Like Me. How the Wives' of the Prophet Worry and Scold Him. The Prophet Breaks his Word. My Father Remembers the Thousand Dollars.
CHAPTER XXX. THE PROPHET'S FAMILY CIRCLE. HIS WIVES AND CHILDREN. The Prophet Marries his First and Legal Wife. How she lives, and how Brigham has treated Her. The Prophet's Eldest Son. The Story of his Life. His Wives and Families. Mary and Maggie. The Favorite Wife, Clara. Young "Briggy" and his Expectations. What the Saints think of Him. His Domestic Joys. How he visited me when Sick, and Scolded the old Gentleman. Brigham and "Briggy"make love to Lizzie. Briggy Wins. "John W." He neglects his "Kingdom." "Won by the Third Wife." The Story of Lucy C. The Prophet's Daughters. Alice and Luna. Miss Alice's Flirtations. Sweet Language between Father and Daughter. Tragic Death of Alice Clawson.
CHAPTER XXXI. THE WIVES OF THE PROPHET. BROTHER BRIGHAM'S DOMESTIC TROUBLES. The Wives of the Prophet. Lucy Decker. A Mysterious Disappearance. Lucy's Boys. Brigham's Wife, Clara. Her Busy Household Work. About the Girls. Harriet Cook. She Expresses Unpleasant Opinions. Brigham is frightened of Her. He Keeps out of the Way. Amelia and the Sweetmeats. How one of Brigham's Daughters Scandalized the Saints. How Mrs. Twiss Manages the Prophet's House. The Work a Woman can Do. Martha Bowker and her silent Work. Sweet and saintly Doings of the Prophet. Concerning Harriet Barney. The Wife who “Served Seven Years" for a Husband. Another English Wife of the Prophet. The "Young Widow of Nauvoo."
CHAPTER XXXII. THE PROPHET'S FAVORITE WIFE. HOW HE CONDUCTED HIS LOVE AFFAIRS. The Prophet's Favorite Wife, Amelia. How Brigham made Love in the Name of the Lord. How he won an Unwilling Bride. A Lady with a Sweet Temper. How she Kicked a Sewing-Machine down the Prophet's Stairs. She has a new House built for Her. Rather Expensive Habits. Her Pleasant Chances for the Future. Mary Van Cott Cobb. A Former Love of the Prophet's. Miss Eliza-Roxy Snow. The Mormon Poetess. Joseph Smith's Poetic Widow. Versification of the Saints. Mrs. Augusta Cobb. Emily Partridge.
CHAPTER XXXIII. THE DEAD WIVES OF THE PROPHET. HE NEVER WAS KNOWN TO SHED A TEAR. The Discarded Favorite. The Story of Emmeline Free. A Stupendous Humbug. A "Free" Opinion of Mormonism. Amelia comes upon the Scene. How Brigham Insulted Emmeline Free. Brigham is Ashamed of his Cowardice. I tell him a little of my Mind. Joseph Expresses his Opinion. Apologizes for his Father. Death of Emmeline Free. The Story of Clara Chase. The Prophet's Maniac Wife. Ellen Rockwood, and the Cause of her Neglect. A Wife who was visited once in Six Months. Margaret Alley. How the Prophet treated his Dead Wife. He steals her Children's Property. How he Scandalized another Wife, and sent her Home. He "Never shed a tear at a Wife's Death."
CHAPTER XXXIV. THE PROPHET AT HOME. HOW HE LOOKS, LIVES, AND ACTS. MORMON PHILANTHROPY AND EDUCATION. Brigham at Forty-five and at Seventy-five. Slipping the Yoke. The Salt Lake Tribune. Books on Mormonism. Prophetic Philanthropy. The New Temple. Paying the Workmen. The Tabernacle. Advantages of the Presidency. Free Schools and Liberal Education. Sharp Practice. The Rich and the Poor. Unconscious Sarcasm. Looking into the Future. The Spectacles of Ignorance. Personal Habits. The Prophet's Barber. Dinner at the Lion House. The Good Provider. Helping Herself. Prophetic Cunning. Evening Devotions. A Gift in Prayer. Advice to the Deity. Fatherless Children. The Bee Hive. Monogamist vs. Polygamist.
CHAPTER XXXV. BRIGHAM AS A FARMER. MY NEW HOUSE. TAKING BOARDERS. One Year after Marriage. Life at the Farm. House-keeping Extraordinary. Bread and Milk Dinners. Brigham Tries to Catch us Napping. Hours of Labor. Dejection. My New House. Parlor Stairs. "Wells Wanted." My Mother receives Notice to Quit. My Elder Brother Pays her Board. Failing Faith. Taking Boarders. The Prophet's Contemptible Meanness. Brigham's Neglect. Rev. Mr. Stratton. I open my Heart. The New Religion. Woman's Sphere. First Glimpses of the Outer World. Forming Resolutions.
CHAPTER XXXVI. BREAKING THE YOKE. I LEAVE MY HOME. The Workings of Destiny. A Noble Lawyer. A Small Stove and a Large Family. Last Interview with Brigham. A Startling Proposal. Sickness and Gentile Care. Brigham's Police. A Moral Thunderbolt. My Third Baptism. A Religious Farce. I Decide to Escape. A Memorable Day. Removing in Forty Minutes. The Walker House. Among the Gentiles. A Perilous Situation. New Hopes. Interviewed by Reporters. Unwelcome Notoriety. A Touching Letter. A Visit from my Father. The Paper War. Overshooting the Mark. Sueing for a Divorce. A Tempting Offer, $15,000 and my Freedom. The Prophet Astonished.
CHAPTER XXXVII. THE DIVORCE SUIT. PROCEEDINGS IN COURT. BRIGHAM'S AFFIDAVIT. I bring an Action against the Prophet. My "Complaint" against Him. What the "Complaint" Stated. My Birth and Early Life. My Marriage with the Prophet. Exile to Brigham's Farm. Cause of Action for Divorce. The Question of Alimony. My Own Affidavit. Corroborative Testimony. Opinion of Judge McKean. Brigham Young's Reply and Affidavit. The Prophet states the Value of his Property. Wonderful Difference of Opinion. Proceedings in Court. Judge McKean Sums Up. Order for Allowance and Alimony. Judge McKean Removed. His Order Quashed by the New Judge.--The latest Proceedings.
CHAPTER XXXVIII. MY ESCAPE FROM SALT LAKE CITY. MY PUBLIC CAREER. Thoughts of the Future. The Gentile Papers. A Private Audience at the Walker House. Hopes and Fears. I Resolve to Take the Platform. Sneers and Ridicule. Brigham is made Acquainted with my Plans. Packing under Difficulties. My Perilous Escape from Utah. A Noble Woman. Arrival at Laramie. Denver. My First Public Lecture. A Grand Success. Brigham at Work. A Scandalous Article in the Chicago Times. A Mean Lawyer. Lecture at Boston. Kindness of the Members of Boston Press. Opposed by George Q. Cannon. Washington Lecture a Success. First Glimpses of the True Faith. Conversion to Christianity.
CHAPTER XXXIX. CHURCH GOVERNMENT. MORMON APOSTLES. - THE ORDER OF ENOCH. Mormon Administration. The Earthly Trinity. Filling Vacancies. Mormon Apostles. Polygamy made Profitable. The Seventy. Two-Dollar Blessings. Astounding Promises. Bishops and Spies. The 'Order of Enoch. All things in Common. An Apostolic Row. How Enoch Works. A Stupid Telegram. Logic Extraordinary. A Gigantic Swindle. Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution. Brigham's Revelations. The Saints Laugh in their Sleeves. "It pays to be a Mormon." Beginning to see through It. The Apostate President
THE CONDITION OF MORMON WOMEN. HIGH AND LOW LIFE IN POLYGAMY. Increasing Light. The Equality of the Sexes. Exaggeration Impossible. Likely Saviours. The Present Condition of Mormon Women. The Prospects for the Future. Polygamy Bad for Rich and Poor. A Happy Family. The Happiness Marred. Sealed for Time Only. Building on Another Man's Foundation. The New Wife. How the Old One Fared. The Husband's Death a Relief. As a Calkins's English Mission. What Came of It. How to Get Rich. Two Sermons from One Text. Dividing the Spoil. No Woman Happy in Polygamy.
CHAPTER XLI. MY RETURN TO UTAH. SECRET OF BRIGHAM'S POWER. UTAH'S FUTURE. I Return to Utah. Reception at the Walker House. Greeting old Friends. My Love for the Place. Six Lectures in the Territory. Brigham's Daughters make Faces at me. My Father and Mother in the Audience. The Half not told. Multitudes Pleading for Freedom. Eastern Newspaper Reports. Indiscretion. The Poland Bill. Increase of Polygamy. The Secrets of Brigham's Power. The Pulpit and Press on Mormonism. The Salt Lake City Tribune. A Word to the Sufferers. Calls for Help. The Future of Utah.


• Portrait of Ann Eliza Young (Steel), Frontispiece.
• Turned out of Doors,
• Preaching the New Religion
• Joseph Smith, the Founder of Mormonism
• The Night of Terror,
• Nauvoo Temple
• Burning of the Newspaper Office
• Assassination of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum
• Emma Smith, "The Elect Lady"
• The Indignant Wife
• The First Plural Marriage
• Arrival at Quincy, Illinois
• Sidney Rigdon
• My First Vote
• My Father's First Plural Marriage
• "Do you think I have no Trials?"
• Winter Quarters
• A Blessing from Brigham
• Singing the Rallying Song
• The Journey to Zion -- Crossing the Plains
• Brigham Imitating the "Grecian Bend"
• Anointing the Sick with Oil
• The Deseret Costume
• Brigham Refuses my Request
• The Ball in the Bowery
• The Dissatisfied Wife
• The Apostle Orson Pratt, "The Champion of Polygamy"
• Joseph Young, Brother of Brigham, and President of the Seventies
• Brigham's Brotherly Love
• Discouraging Apostasy
• Brigham Seizing Cattle for the Church
• Apostle Lorenzo Snow
• Apostle C. C. Rich
• Apostle A. Carrington
• Apostle Joseph F. Smith
• Apostle Erastus Snow
• Joseph A. Young Preparing for Missionary Work
• E. Hunter, Presiding Bishop Mormon Church
• Doing Missionary Work
• Awakening the Saints
• "Scene during Reformation"
• Dealing with a Weak Brother
• Brutal Assault upon Mrs. Jarvis
• Blood Atonement. Scene during Reformation
• The Emigrants' Landing-Place, "Castle Gardens, New York"
• Apostle Franklin D. Richards, "Husband of Ten Wives"
• Mormon Emigrants on Shipboard
• The Hand-Cart Train
• "Some will Push, and some will Pull"
• Relief in Sight
• Arrival of "Hand-Cart Companies" at Salt Lake City
• "Vengeance is Mine."
• Parley P. Pratt
• Assassination of Parley P. Pratt
• John D. Lee (Has nineteen wives and sixty-four children)
• The Murder of Two Little Girls
• Murdered by Lee's Own Hand
• Murdering the Women and Children
• The Mountain Meadows Massacre,
• Scene after the Massacre
• Using up an Apostate
• Brigham's “Destroying Angel," "Port" Rockwell
• Murder of the Aiken Party
• Brigham Young's Farm-House
• Bill Hickman, Brigham's "Destroying Angel"
• Brigham Wooing Widow Lewis
• Only a Wife out of the Way
• Life a Burden
• Bird's-Eye View of Salt Lake City
• The New Addition
• Scene in Polygamy. Greeting the Favorite
• The Maniac Wife
• The Happy Home of a Polygamist
• Broken-Hearted
• Orson Hyde and Forgotten Wife
• Apostle George Q. Cannon, Member of Congress (Has four Wives and thirteen Children)
• Apostle Orson Hyde
• Brigham in a Quandary
• Apostle John Taylor (Husband of Six Wives)
• Mormons Burning a Government Train
• A Good Deal of Wives. Too much Attention
• Remains of Adobe Defences
• Mormons Selling Provisions to United States Troops
• Brigham's Folly, "The Prairie Schooner"
• Taking my Endowments Behind the Curtain
• Mormon Baptism
• Mormon Confirmation
• The Endowment House
• The Devil of the Endowment House
• Apostle Willard Woodruff ("Timothy Broadbrim")
• Receiving the Endowments
• Apostle Heber C. Kimball
• My First Appearance in Brigham's Theatre
• My First Ride with Brigham
• Brigham's Theatre
• A Life of Unhappiness
• Family Jars
• My Baby Boy
• Strangled by my Husband
• "Grandma, what is Polygamy?"
• No Peace with Polygamy
• Old Farm- House at Cottonwood
• Brigham on his Travels
• Brigham Preaching at South Cottonwood
• Breaking the News
• Chauncey G. Webb ("My Father")
• Eliza C. Webb ("My Mother")
• Brigham's Stormy Interview with my Mother
• Amelia tries to Keep Me Out
• Amelia's Display of Temper
• Insulted by her Father
• Joseph A. Young
• Maggie Young (Joseph A.'s Discarded Wife)
• "Briggy" (The Prophet's Successor)
• John W. Young,
• Lucy Rebellious
• Kissing Libbie Good Night
• Mrs. Alice Young Clawson (Brigham's Eldest Daughter)
• Emmeline Serving Brigham and Amelia
• Clara Decker (Wife of Brigham)
• The Lion House (Brigham Young's Residence)
• The Lion House and Brigham's Offices
• Brigham Looks Amazed
• Amelia Folsom (Brigham's Favorite Wife)
• Miss Eliza R. Snow (Mormon Poetess)
• Zina D. Huntington (Wife of Brigham)
• Zina Williams (Brigham's Daughter)
• A Little Conversation with Brigham
• Waiting for Brigham to Keep his Promise
• The Disgraced Wife
• Dinner at the Lion House
• Brigham Young (Full Page Portrait)
• Mormon Temple (now Building)
• Interior of Tabernacle on Sundays
• Family Prayers at Bee Hive House
• Toiling for Brigham
• Relating my Story to Mr. and Mrs. Stratton
• Alone at the Hotel
• Carrying my Furniture to the Auction Room
• Excitement in Salt Lake City
• Brigham Fined and Imprisoned for Contempt of Court
• Flight at Night
• Escape from Salt Lake City
• View of Salt Lake City, showing Tabernacle
• The Co-operative Store
• George A. Smith, First Counsellor
• Daniel H. Wells, Second Counsellor
• The Old Mormon Tabernacle
• Mormon Tithing Store, and Office of Deseret News
• View of Brigham's Canal
• Polygamy in High and Low Life
• Driven from Home
• Receiving my Friends at the Walker House
• Reception at Salt Lake City
• "Not Afraid of the Poland Bill"

I had seen women neglected, or, worse than that, cruelly wronged, every attribute of womanhood outraged and insulted. I now saw other women, holding the same relation, cared for tenderly, cherished, protected, loved, and honored. I had been taught to believe that my sex was inferior to the other; that the curse pronounced upon the race in the Garden of Eden was woman's curse alone, and that it was to man that she must look for salvation. No road lay open for her to the throne of grace; no gate of eternal life swinging wide to the knockings of her weary hands; no loving Father listened to the wails of sorrow and supplication wrung by a worse than death-agony from her broken heart. Heaven was inaccessible to her, except as she might win it through some man's will. I found, to my surprise, that woman was made the companion and not the subject of man. She was the sharer alike of his joys and his sorrows. Morally, she was a free agent. Her husband's God was her God as well, and she could seek Him for herself, asking no mortal intercession. Motherhood took on a new sacredness, and the fatherly care and tenderness, brooding over a family, strengthening and defending it, seemed sadly sweet to me, used as I was to see children ignored by their fathers.

Seeing this, I began to comprehend a little why it was so difficult to make the state of affairs in Utah understood. The contrast was so very great that, unless it was seen, it could not be realized, even ever so faintly. I feel sometimes, both in speaking to audiences, and in private conversations, the thrill of shocked surprise which runs through my listeners' veins as I relate some particular atrocity, or narrate some fearful wrong, which has been suffered either by myself or some person known to me; but even then I know the enormity of the system which permits such things to be possible is but vaguely understood.

I am accused sometimes of exaggeration. In reply to that accusation I would say, that is simply impossible, I could not exaggerate, since language is inadequate to even half unveil the horrors. There are events of daily occurrence which decency and womanly modesty forbid my even hinting at. No one can, even if they would, quite tear the covering away from the foul, loathsome object, called "Celestial Marriage," reeking as it is with filth and moral poison; rotten to the very core; a leprous spot on the body politic; a defilement to our fair fame as a nation. I am compelled to silence on points that would make what I have already said seem tame in comparison. Not a word of all my story is exaggerated or embellished. The difficulty has been rather to suppress and tone down.

Women are the greatest sufferers. The moral natures of the men must necessarily suffer also; but to them comes no such agony of soul as comes to women. Their sensibilities are blunted; their spiritual natures deadened; their animal natures quickened; they lose manliness, and descend to the level of brutes; and these dull-witted, intellectually-dwarfed moral corpses, the women are told, are their only saviours.

What wonder that they, too, become dull and apathetic? Who wonders at the immovable mouths, expressionless eyes, and gray, hopeless faces, which tourists mark always as the characteristics of the Mormon women? What does life offer to make them otherwise than dull and hopeless? Or what even does eternity promise? A continuation merely of the sufferings which have already crushed the womanhood out of them. A cheering prospect, is it not? Yet it is what every poor Mormon woman has to look forward to. Just that, and nothing more.


In the early days of the church, the duty was strongly enjoined of consecrating all the possessions to the Lord; and this was not to be a figurative, but a real consecration; in which all the possessions were to be catalogued and consecrated in legal form, and the transaction authenticated by witnesses. The custodian of this property was to be a "Trustee in Trust," the community into which the faithful Saint thus entered was to be called "The United Order of Enoch," and the property was to be held for the benefit of this community.

The Saints did not take kindly to the Order, and it existed in theory merely. Within a year or two Brigham has been making the most arduous efforts to bring his followers into this community, meeting, however, with very little better success than its founders. When he first proposed its re-establishment, it was decidedly opposed in the Tabernacle, by the apostles Orson Pratt, John Taylor, and George Q. Cannon, and a regular quarrel took place; the Prophet and his dissenting followers parting, each with a firm determination not to yield to the other side. The next week the four went north on a preaching tour, and labored harmoniously together in the attempt to build up the Order.

Whoever joins this community gives all his earthly possessions into the keeping of Brigham Young. His children, too, are required to sign away all claim or title to the property; if any are too young to write, the pen is given them, and their hands guided by their elders, and they are thus deprived of their rightful patrimony; and in return for all this, the family is to be furnished with what food and clothing the officers think they require.

As Brigham and his co-workers journeyed northward, he telegraphed to the bishops of the various settlements through which he would pass, informing them what time he would visit them, and requesting them to call special meetings of the residents of their wards before his arrival, and read to them the following telegram: "I am coming north, organizing branches of the Order of Enoch; how many of you are willing to join the Order without knowing anything about it?"

In the little town of Fillmore seventy-five men responded to the call for a meeting, and, strange as it may seem, fifty of those men voted to join the "Order." They fully understood that all on becoming members were required to deed their property to the "Trustee in Trust," otherwise, "Brigham Young, his heirs, executors, and assigns," yet they decided, with full knowledge of this, to make a blind investment of all their "worldly gear," and upon the arrival of the religious Autocrat, one half of the remaining twenty-five accepted the situation, and signed their names to an agreement binding themselves to obey "Enoch's" requirements. The following were the unanswerable arguments which Brigham used to secure their conversion: "I want you to understand that the car (meaning Enoch) is rolling on. The set time of the Lord has come, and no man can stay its progress. If you do not want to be run over, jump on, or get out of the way. I do not want a part of your property, I want it all. If there are any of you who cannot abide the requirements of the Lord, I do not want you to come near me, or to speak to me. I feel as far above you as the heavens are above the earth."

Those who became members of this branch of Enoch worked well, determined to make it a success. All labored together for the interest of the Order, and were credited a certain sum, I think fifteen cents an hour. They were economical, hoping to make the books show a balance in their favor, after deducting expenses of sustaining their families. But there were so many sinecures, and so much mismanagement, that after the lapse of one single summer an investigation of affairs became necessary, and the fact became known that their divinely directed labors had not paid the running expenses of the institution. Many who had expected that the records would exhibit a balance in their favor, awoke to the disagreeable fact that they, as co-partners in the United Order, the grand scheme that was to reconcile "the irrepressible conflict between capital and labor," must discount the sum stipulated as payment for their services. And they are at present in debt for the commonest necessaries of life consumed during their short-lived experiment.

A similar condition of affairs exists wherever this gigantic swindle has been in operation. And while Brigham has been gloating over his ill-gotten gains, he has bound these poor victims more firmly to himself by the terrible bondage of debt. The wildest dissatisfaction exists, and in nearly every county the Order may be regarded as dead, and beyond even the power of Brigham Young to restore.

The Tithing System is a direct outgrowth of "Enoch." When Joseph saw that the people did not take kindly to his community plan, he found it necessary to adopt some other means of raising a permanent fund for the church, and Orson Pratt proposed that every member should every year be obliged to pay one tenth of his income, out of which the church should be supported. This plan met with the approval of the officers, and it has been continued ever since. Every town has its tithing-house, which is in charge of the local bishop. He takes charge of all the goods that are brought in, usually paying himself a handsome commission, and sees, when any quantity has been gathered, that it is transported to the large tithing-house in Salt Lake City.

This tithing-house is under the direct control of Brigham Young, and he, his counsellors and clerks, have the first choice of all the goods that are brought in; the remaining stores are dealt out as payment to the poor men who are employed by Brigham as laborers. I have seen the tithing-store beseiged by a crowd of tired, care-worn women, wives of these men, waiting for their turn to be served. Sometimes a poor woman will stand all day waiting for a sack of flour, a basket of potatoes, or a quart of molasses. Let the day be ever so cold or stormy, there she must wait, until the clerks see fit to attend to her wants.

Everything is received here in payment for tithing: hay, grain, vegetables, butter, cheese, wool, or any other product. If a man has not money, he must give one tenth of what he has. It matters little whether he can afford it; the church demands it, and "the church" gets it.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:55 pm


I Dedicate this Book to you, as I consecrate my life to your cause.

As long as God gives me life I shall pray and plead for your deliverance from the worse than Egyptian bondage in which you are held.

Despised, maligned, and wronged; kept in gross ignorance of the great world, its pure creeds, its high aims, its generous motives, you have been made to believe that the noblest nation of the earth was truly represented by the horde of miscreants who drove you from State to State, in early years, murdering your sons and assassinating your leaders.

Hence, you shrink from those whom God will soon lead to your deliverance, from those to whom I daily present your claims to a hearing and liberation, and who listen with responsive and sympathetic hearts.  

But He will not long permit you to be so wickedly deceived; nor will the People permit you to be so cruelly enslaved.

Hope and pray! Come out of the house of bondage! Kind hearts beat for you! Open hands will welcome you! Do not fear that while God lives you shall suffer uncared for in the wilderness! This Christian realm is not "Babylon," but THE PROMISED LAND!

Courage! The night of oppression is nearly ended, and the sun of liberty is rising in the heavens for you.

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

Postby admin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:58 pm


SINCE Mrs. Young's pleasant visit to us, I have thought much of the important mission to which she has devoted herself, and I wish to say, and I do it most cordially, that having been reared and educated in Mormonism, from her experience and the sufferings she has endured, she is fully competent to expose the whole system, and show to the public the true side of it, as no other person can or will. I need not assure her of my entire confidence in her sincerity and ability to carry out the work to which she has devoted herself, and the talents God has given her. I believe she has been called to this mission, and by her experience and intense sympathy with the sufferings of her sex, has been wonderfully qualified, and prepared for the work.

The sympathy of our entire household is with her, and we earnestly pray that she may be enabled to overcome all opposition, and that God may give her abundant success, and that the blessing of many ready to perish may rest upon her.

WORCESTER, MASS., July, 1875.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:03 pm


I HAVE read the advance sheets of Mrs. Ann-Eliza Young's book with painful interest, which has deepened into disgust and pity. Disgust at the hypocrisy, brutality, and diabolism of the Mormon leaders; pity for the wasted, joyless, sacrificial lives of the poor women who immolate themselves on the shrine of Mormonism, in the holy name of Religion.

Born and reared in the midst of these deluded people, removed from all counteracting influences, it was inevitable that Mrs. Young should accept their beliefs, and be drawn into their practices. And it must have required heroic resolution in her to break away from the Mormon Church, even when her vision was unsealed to its rottenness, knowing as she did that she would be compelled to flee from home, leaving a beloved mother and precious children in the hands of the enemy. I congratulate her on her complete emancipation, on her reunion with her beloved, whose obvious peril weighed so heavily on her filial and maternal heart, and on the possession of ability to give to the world an expose of the Mormon horror, such as it has never before received. My sympathies are entirely with her in the work to which she has consecrated herself. With her awakened conscience, she could not do otherwise than seek the disintegration of the Utah community, whose foundations are laid in the degradation of woman. May she have the largest success compatible with human effort.

MELROSE, MASS., Oct. 1875.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:07 pm


SHOULD this book meet your eyes, I wish you most distinctly to, understand that my quarrel is not with you. On the contrary, the warmest and tenderest feelings of my heart are strongly enlisted in your favor. As a rule, you have been uniformly kind to me. Some of you I have dearly loved. I have respected and honored you all. My love and respect have never failed, but have rather increased with separation. I think of you often with the sincerest sympathy for your helpless condition, bound to a false religion, and fettered by a despotic system; and I wish from the depths of my heart that I could bring you, body and soul, out from the cruel bondage, and help you to find the freedom, rest, and peace which have become so sweet to me since my eyes have been opened to the light of a true and comforting faith.

Since I have left Utah, I know that some of you have censured me severely, and have joined in personal denunciations. But I know that you are actuated by a mistaken zeal for the cause which you feel yourselves bound to sustain. You, no doubt, regard my course with horror. I look upon your lives with pity.

I have taken the liberty of describing your characters and situations. I was not prompted by the slightest animosity toward you, but because the public are interested in you, and curious concerning you, and I felt that I could give to the world a true story of your lives, and, at the same time, do you justice, and let you be seen as you are in my eyes, which are not dimmed by prejudice.

I was driven to the course I am pursuing by sheer desperation, as some of you, with whom I have exchanged confidences, well know. The motives which have been attributed to me, and the charges that have been made against me, are as utterly false and foreign to my nature as darkness is to light. You, at least, should not misjudge me. You should know me better, and you do. Even your bitter prejudice, and your disapprobation of the step I have taken, cannot make you believe me other than I am. You know that apostasy from Mormonism does not necessarily degrade a person, and sink them at once to the lowest depths of infamy.

If, as is taught, and as I suppose you believe, I have lost the light of the gospel, and departed from "the faith once delivered to the saints," am I not rather deserving your compassion than your censure? Your own hearts and consciences must answer that.

The women of Utah should know that I shall vindicate their rights, and defend their characters, at all times and in all places. Their sorrow has been my sorrow; their cause is my cause still. My heart goes out to them all, but more especially to you. You have been my companions and my sisters in tribulation. Now our paths diverge. I go on the way that I have chosen alone, while you stay sorrowing together. I wish I had the power to influence you to throw off the fetters which bind you, and to walk triumphantly forth into the glories of a faith, whose foundation is in God the compassionate Father, whose principles are those of a tender mercy, whose ruling spirit is love. Alas! I cannot do it; but I pray that the good Father in His infinite mercy may open your eyes to His glory, and lead you forth His children to do His blessed will.

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

Postby admin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:46 pm


An Important Question. Born in Mormonism. Telling my own Story. Joseph Smith's Mission. He preaches a New Dispensation. My Parents Introduced to the Reader. The Days before Polygamy. My Mother's Childhood. Learning under Difficulties. First Thoughts of Mormonism. Received into the Church. Persecution for the Faith. Forsaking all for the New Religion. First Acquaintance with the Apostle Brigham. His Ambitious Intrigues. His Poverty. His Mission-work. Deceptive Appearances. My Mother's Marriage. A Brief Dream of Happiness. That Sweet Word " Home." The Prophet Smith turns Banker. The " Kirtland Safety Society Bank." The Prophet and Sidney Rigdon Flee. A Moment of Hesitation. Another "Zion" Appointed. Losing All for the Church. Privation and Distress. Sidney Rigdon and his "Declaration of Independence." He Excites an Immense Sensation. Mobs Assemble and Fights Ensue. Lively Times among the Saints. The Outrages of the Danites


DURING the somewhat public career which I have led since my apostasy from the Mormon Church, I have often been asked why I ever became a Mormon. Indeed, I have scarcely entered a town where this question has not been put by some one, almost on the instant of my arrival. It is the first query of the newspaper reporter, and the anxious inquiry of the clergymen, who with one accord, without regard to creed or sect, have bidden me welcome into the light of Christian faith, from out the dark bondage of fanaticism and bigotry; and I have often answered it at the hospitable table of some entertainer, who has kindly given me shelter during a lecture engagement.

Curiosity, interest, desire to gratify a wondering public by some personal items concerning me, are the different motives which prompt the question; but surprise is almost without exception betrayed when I tell them that I was born in the faith. Sometimes I think that the people of the outside world consider it impossible that a person can be born in Mormonism; they regard every Mormon as a deluded proselyte to a false faith.

It is with a desire to impress upon the world what Mormonism really is; to show the pitiable condition of its women, held in a system of bondage that is more cruel than African slavery ever was, since it claims to hold body and soul alike; to arouse compassion for its children and youth, born and growing up in an atmosphere of social impurity; and, above all, to awaken an interest in the hearts of the American people that shall at length deepen into indignation, that I venture to undertake the task of writing this book. I have consecrated myself to the work, not merely for my own sake, but for the sake of all the unhappy women of Utah, who, unlike myself, are either too powerless or too timid to break the fetters which bind them.

I intend to give a truthful picture of Mormon life; to veil nothing which should be revealed, even though the recital should be painful to me at times, coming so close, as it necessarily must, to my inmost life, awakening memories which I would fain permit to remain slumbering, and opening old wounds which I had fondly hoped were healed. Neither shall I intentionally tinge any occurrence with the slightest coloring of romance; the real is so vivid and so strange that I need have no recourse to the imaginary.

All the events which I shall relate will be some of my own personal experiences, or the experience of those so closely connected with me that they have fallen directly under my observation, and for whose truth I can vouch without hesitation. To tell the story as it ought to be told, I must begin at the very beginning of my life; for I have always been so closely connected with these people that I could not easily take up the narrative at any intermediate point.

I was born at Nauvoo, Illinois, on the 13th of September, 1844, and was the youngest child and only surviving daughter of a family of five children.

My father and mother were most devout Mormons, and were among the very earliest of Joseph Smith's converts. They have, indeed, been closely identified with the Church of the Latter-Day Saints almost from its first establishment. They have followed it in all its wanderings, have been identified with its every movement, and their fortunes have risen or fallen as the Church has been prosperous or distressed. They were enthusiastic adherents of Joseph Smith, and devoted personal friends of Brigham Young, until he, by his own treacherous acts, betrayed their friendship, and himself broke every link that had united them to him, even that of religious sympathy, which among this people is the most difficult to sunder.

My father, Chauncey G. Webb, was born in 1812, in Hanover, Chatauqua County, N. Y. He first heard the Mormon doctrine preached in 1833, only a very short time after Joseph Smith had given the Book of Mormon to the world, and had announced himself as another Messiah, chosen by "the Lord" to restore true religion to the world, to whom also had been revealed all the glories of "the kingdom" that should yet be established on the earth, and over which he was to be, by command from the Lord, both temporal and spiritual ruler.

They -- the old folks -- embraced the new faith immediately, and prepared for removal to Kirtland, Ohio, which was to be the nucleus of the new church, the "Zion" given by revelation to Joseph Smith as the gathering-place of the Saints. They were naturally anxious to gather all their children into the fold, and they urged my father, with tearful, prayerful entreaties, to accompany them to the city of refuge prepared for the faithful followers of the Lord and His prophet Smith.

Like many young people, he had at that time but little sympathy with religion. He had given but very little thought to the peculiar beliefs of the different churches. This world held so much of interest to him, that he had considered but very little the mysteries of the future, and the world to come. Of a practical, and even to some extent sceptical turn of mind, he was inclined to take things as they came to him, and was not easily influenced by the marvellous or supernatural. If left to himself, he might, probably, never have embraced Mormonism; but he yielded to the entreaties of his parents, and joined the Mormon Church more as an expression of filial regard than of deep religiouis conviction. The Saints were at that Time an humble, spiritual-minded, God-fearing, law-abiding people, holding their new belief with sincerity and enthusiasm, and proving their position, to their own satisfaction at least, from the Bible. They had not then developed the spirit of intolerance which has since characterized them, and though they were touched with religious fanaticism, they were honest in their very bigotry. The Mormon Church, in its earliest days, cannot be fairly judged by the Mormon Church of the present time, which retains none of its early simplicity, and which seems to have lost sight entirely of the fundamental principles on which it was built. My father, although not entering fully into the spirit of his new religion at that early period of his saintly experience, yet found nothing of the insincerity which he claimed to have met in other beliefs; and having embraced the new faith, he was prepared to hold to it, and to cast his lot with it. So he went with his parents to Kirtland, in 1834, where he found the first romance of his life in the person of Eliza Churchill, my mother, then a young girl of seventeen, just blossoming into fairest womanhood.

Never was there a greater mental or spiritual contrast between two persons. My mother was a religious enthusiast, almost a mystic. She believed implicitly in personal revelation, and never doubted but that the Mormon faith came directly from "the Lord." She "saw visions and dreamed dreams," and at times it would have taken but little persuasion to have made her believe herself inspired. It was a religious nature like hers, dreamy, devoted, and mystical, that, in other conditions and amid other surroundings, had given to France a Joan of Arc. It must have been the attraction of opposite natures that brought together in so close a relationship the practical, shrewd, somewhat sceptical man, and the devoted, enthusiastic, religious girl. It was probably the very contrast that made the young man feel such tenderness and care for the homeless orphan girl, and made her cling to him, trusting her helplessness to his strength.

Her early life had by no means been so sheltered as his, and to her the thought of tender care and protecting watchfulness, through all the rest of her days, was unutterably sweet and restful. If her dream could only have been realized! But polygamy cursed her life, as it has that of every Mormon woman, and shattered her hopes before she had but a taste of their realization.

She was born at Union Springs, Cayuga County, N. Y., on the 4th of May, 1817, but only lived there until she was two years old, when her parents removed to Livingston County, in the same state. When she was four years old her mother died, leaving three little children, the youngest a mere baby. Her father, finding it impossible to obtain any one to take care of the three as they should be cared for, was obliged, much against his will, to separate them, and put them in the charge of different persons, until such time as he was in a situation to make a home for them together. But that was destined never to be, and these children were never reunited, although they have never lost sight of one another; and to this day the hearts of the Gentile and Mormon sisters yearn towards each other, and the more fortunate one suffers in sympathy with her sister's sufferings.

My mother was given into the care of a family of the name of Brown, with whom she staid twelve-years. Her life with them was rendered most unhappy by the treatment which she received, and from lack of sympathy. Ambitious, and craving knowledge most ardently, she was denied all means of procuring a proper education, and was reduced to the position of a mere drudge. But her perceptions were keen, her memory retentive, and in spite of all drawbacks she managed to learn something; enough, indeed, to lay the foundation for the knowledge which she afterwards acquired, and which stood her in good stead as a means of support for herself and her children, after the arrival of the Saints in Utah. Whatever came in her way in the shape of reading-matter she eagerly devoured, whether it was the torn bit of an old newspaper, the inevitable "Farmer's Almanac," or some odd volume of history, biography, or fiction, which had found its way mysteriously to the New York farm-house of other days; but above all, the Bible and Methodist hymn-books. These she had read and re-read until she could repeat large portions of them from memory. Wesley's beautiful hymns, with their earnest, fervid tone, were her special favorites among these religious songs, and her young heart glowed as she listened to the poetic inspirations of Isaiah and those other prophecies, which she believed, although she could not understand.

When she was fifteen years of age, she united with the Methodist Church ; and it was while she was in the first flush of her religious experience that the Mormon missionaries came to Avon, the town in which she lived, preaching their new doctrines. My mother had very naturally a great deal of curiosity concerning this new religion, which was railed at as a delusion, and its prophet and founder, Joseph Smith, who was called a hypocrite, a false teacher, a blasphemer, and every other opprobrious name that could be heaped upon him, in the bitterness of religious persecution. But she was forbidden to attend their meetings, and it was many months before she was able to listen to one of the sermons. During this time she had grown somewhat into sympathy with these people, and had come to feel an interest in them greater than she would have felt had she not met with such persistent, and, what seemed to her, unreasonable opposition to her often expressed wish to hear them and judge of their sincerity and truth for herself.


After a time, however, she found an opportunity of attending a two days' meeting, without the knowledge of her friends; and she listened eagerly to Joseph Young as he expounded the new doctrine and dwelt upon the glories of the "kingdom" which was to be speedily set up upon the earth. Predisposed as she already was in its favor, it is not strange that she was readily convinced of its divine origin, and accepted it at once as the true religion. Before the meeting was over, she was numbered among Elder Joseph Young's converts, and was received into the Mormon Church, being baptized by the apostolic hands of his brother Brigham.

When it became known that she had become a convert to the obnoxious faith, she was the object of bitter persecution. The family with whom she lived were especially intolerant, and in their anger resorted to every expedient to force her to give up her new faith. They confined her in a cellar for several days, kept her upon bread and water, and subjected her to other severities of a like nature. All this opposition did not move her one particle. She remained firm in her chosen faith, and was steadfast and true to her convictions of right. All this severity of treatment she rather gloried in. Was it not worth while to suffer persecution, and be treated with contumely and contempt, for the sake of the church that had been specially called by the Lord to "build up the waste places of Zion"? Would not her reward be the greater by and by? So filled was she with the new enthusiasm that nothing had power even to render her unhappy; as she says, she triumphed in persecution and rejoiced in suffering.

When her persecutors found that neither arguments nor threats could move her, they turned her out of doors, considering that they were doing only their duty, since it would be a sin to harbor a Mormon. The thought of her extreme youth and her unprotected situation did not move them in the slightest degree. Their doors were shut against her, as their hearts had always been.

Instinctively she turned towards the people with whom she had so lately connected herself, and for whose sake she had left home and friends; they received her kindly and hospitably, and she went with them to Kirtland, where my father found her when he arrived a few months later.

It was at this time that the friendship began between my mother and Brigham Young, which lasted so many years -- a faithful friendship on her part, met, as a matter of course, by unkindness and treachery on his side. At that time he was young and zealous, and seemingly sincere. He was one of the most successful of the early Mormon Missionaries, and was considered specially gifted. He was an ardent supporter and personal friend of Joseph Smith, and young as he was, had attained a high position in the Church of the Saints, being the second of the twelve apostles, all of whom were chosen by the Prophet Smith himself.

Some have considered that his zeal was assumed, and that beyond the ambition of attaining a high position he had no personal regard for Mormonism. It is believed by many of the old Mormons that he always entertained the hope of becoming Joseph's successor, and standing at the head of the church. He has no natural religious nature; indeed, he is at times a positive sceptic. He has made the church a stepping-stone to temporal prosperity, and the Mormon people have been the pliant tools with which he has carved his fortune.

In those days he was struggling with poverty, going on missions, as the apostles of old were commanded to do, and as all these new apostles did, in their first days of apostleship, "without purse or scrip;" and to my mother the "Apostle" Brigham was invested with all the attributes which belong to an earnest nature, intensified by deep religious faith. In short, he was, as she regarded him, a creature of her imagination, and utterly unlike his real self as she came at length to know him.

The year following my father's arrival in Kirtland, and his first meeting with my mother, they were married. The first few months of their married life were peculiarly happy, and they prospered beyond their most sanguine expectations. My father was a wheelwright by trade, and directly on reaching Kirtland built a wagon manufactory, and started in business for himself. He was eminently successful in his undertaking, and made money sufficiently fast to suit his own ideas and ambitions. He built a cosy little house, and carried my mother to it; and there, for the first time since she was a little child, she knew what it was to have a home -- a genuine home! not a mere resting-place, where she felt herself an intruder, but a place in which she was mistress, over which love and she held absolute and undisputed sway.

It was during that happy period, the only happy time in her whole life, that she fitted herself to teach. She was an indefatigable student, and she made the most and the best of her time. At that time she studied to satisfy her intense craving for knowledge, and as a pleasant recreation, with no thought that she might some day have to turn her studies to practical account. She had not then been introduced to the doctrine of "plural wives," and its attendant "glories," which, being defined, meant miseries arid torture. And the definition has never been altered, and never will be, until women's natures are most radically changed.


As I said before, my father was prospering in worldly affairs, and when it was "revealed" to Joseph Smith that in addition to the profession of "Prophet," he should add that of banker, he assisted Smith in founding the "Kirtland Safety Society Bank," by promising to deposit all his money therein; in short, giving Smith all that he possessed outside of his house and shop towards completing the amount necessary for a capital on which to start the new enterprise. When the bank failed, which it did very shortly after its establishment, my father, of course, lost every cent which he had invested. He was intensely disgusted with the whole proceeding, which, if it had happened in the Gentile world, would have been termed swindling, and Smith would not have been easily let off by the mere calling of names. Many Gentiles, who had suffered by the failure, were not so lenient as Smith's followers, and demanded that the Prophet should answer to the complaint of swindling before the United States court. But, as usual, he eluded the officers of justice, and all attempts to arrest him were unavailing.

The poor Saints, although losing, many of them, all their hard-earned savings, were still loyal to their leader, and excused him on the ground that "he had lost the Spirit" for the time, and the revelation was not of divine origin; although he was unconscious of that fact, and received it in good faith. My father, however, not so ready to excuse what seemed to him an act of premeditated dishonesty, and having very little faith in "revelation" at any time, was very bitter in his denunciations; and it was only by my mother's influence, who still clung fondly to her faith, that he did not then renounce Mormonism. Although she has never openly acknowledged it, I think that my mother has since often regretted her steadfast adherence to the church at that time. Her loyalty and persistence brought upon her the unhappiness of her life, and finally plunged her into such utter misery as only polygamous wives can experience. Her religion, that was to be so much to her, brought her not one ray of comfort, but in after years blighted her domestic life, and laid upon her a cross almost too heavy to be borne. But I must do her the justice to say, that through it all she has never complained, but has endured her sufferings in silence, and met her woes with patience.

This unfortunate revelation of the Prophet's, together with other somewhat questionable business transactions, and the consequent growing prejudice of the people of Ohio against him and his followers, made it necessary for the Saints to seek some other place, where they might build their "Zion." It was certain that the Lord did not favor Ohio; and about that time he "revealed" to Joseph that the place he had selected in which to establish His temporal kingdom was Missouri. This was to be the Mormon Canaan, the land which they the chosen people of the Lord should enter and possess. To be sure, He had revealed the very same thing concerning Kirtland; it was there that he declared "He had established His name for the salvation of the nations." But according to the Prophet's later explanation, Satan was striving to break up the kingdom, and the spirit of "apostate mobocracy" raged and grew hotter, until Smith and his confederate, Sidney Rigdon, were obliged "to flee from its deadly influence, as did the apostles and prophets of old;" and "as Jesus had commanded his followers, when persecuted in one city, to flee to another," so these two worthies left the "chosen city of the Lord" most unceremoniously, under cover of darkness, pursued by officers of the law, and never returned to it again. But from Missouri Smith sent messages and exhortations to those of the Saints who still remained faithful, "to gather quickly to Zion."

Very many members of the church apostatized at that time, and the numbers of the faithful "chosen" were decidedly lessened. Among those who remained unshaken was my mother, who in her almost fanatical blindness, accepted the Prophet's explanations, and was still willing to be led by his revelations. My father was held by his affection for her rather than by any conviction of the "divine leading" of Smith, whom, indeed, he distrusted almost entirely; and it was in compliance with my mother's ardent wish to follow her prophet, and to establish herself and family in Zion amidst the Saints, that my father finally decided to emigrate with the remnant of the church to Missouri.

He settled in Daviess County, about thirty miles from Far-West, where the body of the Saints were located, and was again tasting the sweets of prosperity and domestic comfort, when the Missouri war broke out, and he was obliged to remove his family, in the greatest haste, to Far-West for their safety, leaving house and property to be confiscated by an angry mob.

This was the second time, since casting his lot with the Saints, that all my father's possessions had been suddenly swept away, and this last would have discouraged him sadly had it not made him so indignant to see the injustice which was shown by Gentiles to the Mormons; and he assisted in guarding the lives of the Mormon people, and the remnant of property which was left to them, until such time as they could find another home.

During this time my mother's sufferings were intense. Many of the houses had been burned by mobs, and she, and many other women in as severe straits as herself, were compelled to live as best they could, exposed to the wind and rain, and without any proper shelter, during almost the entire winter, with two little children, one a baby only a few months old, the other about two years old. In addition to all the discomforts of the situation, she was always in constant terror of an attack by the infuriated mobs, who were waging a genuine war of extermination with the suffering Saints. As is always the case with a religious war, the feeling was intensely bitter. The Gentiles had no charity for the Mormons, and would neither tolerate their faith nor them. The Mormons returned the hatred of the Gentiles with interest, and considering themselves the chosen of the Lord, selected by Him to the exclusion of all the rest of the world, of course argued that whatever they did could by no possibility be wrong, and they returned their ill-treatment with interest.

Although there had been, always, a strong prejudice against the Mormons in Missouri, as in other states where they had lived, it was not until after Sidney Rigdon made his famous incendiary speech, at the commencement of the foundation of the new Temple at Far-West, on the 4th of July, 1838, that the feeling broke into anything like aggressive hostilities.

Rigdon had embraced Mormonism in 1830, and had been ever since that time an ardent Saint. He was a Campbellite preacher in Ohio at the time of his conversion, which was accomplished under the teachings of Parley P. Pratt, a man who played quite an important part in the early Mormon history. Rigdon was a very fluent speaker, much revered by the Saints on account of his eloquence, which, it must be confessed, was decidedly of the "buncombe" order. For a long time he was the intimate friend and chief counsellor of Joseph Smith, was connected with him in the Kirtland Bank swindle, and escaped with him to Missouri.

It had been revealed to the Prophet Smith that another temple must be built to the Lord in the new Zion, since the one at Kirtland had been desecrated by falling into Gentile hands, and Rigdon was chosen to make the speech on the occasion of laying the first foundation-stone of this sacred edifice.

The "Champion of Liberty," as Rigdon was called by his admirers, was more bombastic and more denunciatory than usual. He surpassed himself in invective, and maddened the already prejudiced Missourians, who were only waiting for some excuse to quarrel with their unwelcome neighbors. Among other absurd things, he said:

"We take God and all the holy angels to witness, that we warn all men to come on us no more for ever. The man or set of men that attempts it, does so at the expense of their lives. The mob that comes to disturb us we will follow until the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us. We will carry the war into their own homes and families. No man shall come into our streets to threaten us with mobs; if he does, he shall atone for it before he leaves the place. We this day proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and determination that can never be broken. No, never! No, never!! No, never!!!"

This speech fired the excitable nature of the Saints, and they were aroused to a high pitch of warlike enthusiasm. Already, in imagination, they saw Missouri conquered, and the church in possession of the entire state. There could be no doubt of the final result, for this was the Promised Land into which they had been led by the hand of the Lord.

With the superstition which characterizes this people, they turned every accident or occurrence into some sign from Heaven, and it was always interpreted to promise success to them and confusion to their enemies. On this day of celebration the Mormons had erected a liberty-pole in honor of the occasion; in the afternoon it was struck by lightning, shivered to atoms, and fell, its flag trailing in the dust. There was rejoicing among the Mormons; that was certainly an omen of the speedy downfall of their enemies. It seems now as though if it must be considered an omen of anything that it was prophetic of the uprooting and scattering of this people, so soon was it followed by their expulsion from the state.

The feeling of bitterness between the two contending factions grew more intense daily, and each party was eagerly watching for some acts of violence from the other. The next month, at the election, the war commenced in earnest. A man named William Peniston was candidate for the legislature. The Mormons objected to him on the ground that he had headed a mob against them in Clay County. The Missourians, aware of this objection, endeavored to prevent the Mormons from voting, and a fight ensued, in which the latter proclaimed themselves victorious. Gallatin, the court town of Daviess County, was soon after burned by the Mormons. Then commenced robbing, plundering, and outrages of every kind by both parties. It was a season of the wildest confusion, and both sides were blinded with passion, and lost sight of reason, toleration, and, above all, Christian forbearance. It was a positive reign of terror. Houses, barns, and haystacks were burned, men shot, and all manner of depredations committed.


It is impossible for me to say which party was the principal aggressor; probably there was equal blame on both sides; but I have been informed that Joseph taught his followers that it was right, and "commanded of the Lord," for them to take anything they could find which belonged to their enemies, in retaliation for the wrongs which they had suffered at their hands. I can the more easily believe this to be true, because the spirit of the Mormon Church has always been that of retaliation. The stern old Mosaic law, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is in full force among them, and is not only advised by the leaders, but insisted upon by them. Indeed, they have added to its severity, until now it stands, "A life for an offence, real or suspected, of any kind." In support of this they refer to the Israelites "borrowing" jewelry from the Egyptians before they took their flight from Egypt; and they quote, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof;" and as they claim to be the Lord's particularly favored children, -- in fact, his only acknowledged ones, they seem to consider this text peculiarly applicable to the situation, and all the excuse they need to give for any irregularities in the way of appropriating other people's property. They are merely coming into their inheritance.

At all events, the people were not slow to obey the command of the Lord and the counsel of Joseph, and they displayed their spirit of obedience by laying hold of every kind of property which came within their reach. In the midst of these troubles, Joseph came out to Daviess County to a town called "Adam-ondi-Ahman," named, of course, by revelation, and meaning, when translated, "The valley of God in which Adam blessed his children;" said to be the identical spot where Adam and Eve first sought refuge after their expulsion from Eden. Upon his arrival, he called the people together, and harangued them after this mild and conciliatory fashion:" Go ahead! Do all you can to harass the enemy. I never felt more of the spirit of God at any time than since we commenced this stealing and house-burning." My parents were living at Adam-ondi-Ahman at that time, and were present when Joseph delivered this peculiarly saint-like address.

About this time the Danite bands were first organized, for the purpose of plundering and harassing the people of the surrounding country. I have been told this by a person who heard the oaths administered at a meeting of the band in Daviess County. They were instructed to go out on the borders of the Settlements, and take the spoils from the "ungodly Gentiles;" for was it not written, "The riches of the Gentiles shall be consecrated to the people of the house of Israel?"  

Joseph Smith always denied that he had in any way authorized the formation of the Danite bands; and, in fact, in public he repeatedly repudiated both them and their deeds of violence. At the time of which I speak, however, Thomas B. Marsh, who was then the president of the "twelve apostles," together with Orson Hyde, who now occupies that post, apostatized. Both subsequently returned to the bosom of the church, making the most abject submission. Poor Marsh died, crushed and broken-hearted. Hyde's heart was of tougher composition, and he still lives; but Brigham will never forget or forgive his apostasy.

While both Marsh and Hyde were separated from the church, they made solemn affidavits against Joseph and the Mormons in general, accusing them of the grossest crimes and outrages, as well as of abetting the Danites and their deeds. The cowardly Apostles afterwards declared that these affidavits were made under the influence of fear.
That is very probable, but at the same time there can be no real doubt that there was a larger amount of truth in what they affirmed than jealous Mormons would be disposed to admit.

The outrages committed by these Danites, and others like them, caused the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri. Joseph and about fifty of his followers were taken prisoners, and between his arrest and imprisonment, and the final exodus from the state, there was great suffering among the Mormon people.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:48 am


The Saints expelled from Missouri. They cross the Mississippi into Illinois. Forming a New Settlement. Arrival in Quincy. A Kind Reception. The City of "Nauvoo" Founded. A New Temple Begun. Great Success of the Foreign Missions. The Saints flock from Europe. Thousands assemble in Nauvoo. The Prophet Joseph applies for a City Charter. Nauvoo Incorporated. The Saints Petition the National Government. The Prophet visits Washington. His Interview with President Van Buren. He Coquets with Politics. He Stands on the Edge of the Precipice. The Saints in Danger. The Prophet Smith nominated for President. He tries to find the "Golden Way." Mormon Missionaries preach Politics. The Prophet looks towards the Pacific Coast. The Blind Obedience of the Saints. The Real Devotion of their Faith. Gentile Opinions. How Boggs was Shot in the Head. The Spiritual-Wife Doctrine. Dr. William Law Protests. Terrible Charges against the Prophet. The "Nauvoo Expositor." The Prophet Surrenders. He is Murdered in Jail.


AFTER this, crime succeeded crime, and the state of affairs grew worse daily. The Mormons were getting decidedly the worst of the warfare, and their opponents showed them no mercy. At the massacre at Haun's Mills, for instance, men, women, and children were shot down in cold blood by a company of the Missouri militia, the houses plundered and burned, and the clothing even stripped from the dead bodies.

There had been inhuman murders in other places, men and women alike falling victims to the fury of the mobs; there had been a battle fought at Crooked River, and several skirmishes between the Mormons and Missourians, exaggerated reports of which had spread through the country like wildfire. The whole state was in arms against the Mormons. The governor issued an order of expulsion, thinking it the surest way to quell the disturbance, which had almost grown beyond him, and gave the Saints three months in which to leave the state. Every Mormon was to be out of the state at the end of that time, except those who were in prison. Of them the governor said, "Their fate is fixed; the die is cast; their doom is sealed."

As on the occasion of the removal from Ohio, there was considerable apostasy in the church. Many persons grew discouraged, and their faith wavered. In following Smith they had been led from difficulty into danger, had suffered persecution and poverty, and were now driven from their homes to seek refuge in some more hospitable spot. Every man's hand seemed turned against them, and they had grown tired of perpetual warfare. If God had ever called, He had surely deserted them now, and there was no use in their longer undergoing trial and suffering.

Those who remained firm were still strong in the faith; stronger, if possible, than ever. Joseph was their Prophet, and they clung to him and his revelations with unshaken confidence. "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake," was a favorite and comforting quotation at that time. They were cheered by frequent letters from Joseph, written in prison, as they journeyed towards Illinois, which was the next point towards which they turned their feet, already weary with wandering. On receiving the order of expulsion, the Saints pledged themselves never to cease their exertions until every one of their faith was out of the state; and to accomplish this within the time required, they worked unceasingly, through sickness, poverty, and privation.

My mother has often described to me this enforced journey. She was always deeply moved, and never spoke of it that the hot tears did not rush to her eyes, and her voice quiver with indignation. The journey was taken in the dead of winter. Many of the women and children were already ill from exposure, yet they were obliged to leave the state with the rest; and although everything was done for their comfort that could well be done, yet their sufferings were most intense. They were robbed of their horses, and were obliged to make their escape with ox-teams, crossing those twenty-mile prairies, facing cold, wintry winds without even a cover to the wagons. My mother held her two infants close in her arms during all the long, tedious journey, to keep them from perishing. She had but one dress to wear, as she had to leave Daviess County in great haste, taking only her children with her; and on her arrival in Illinois she was entirely destitute, her clothing being literally torn in pieces. In the spring of 1839 all were safely landed across the Mississippi River, where they were joined in April, soon after their arrival, by Joseph and his fellow-prisoners, who had "miraculously," as Joseph said, made their escape from their enemies.

The joy of the Saints was very great at his arrival. The waning courage was restored, wavering faith was strengthened, and they were all ready to enter the next scheme which his prophetic soul should propose, and to follow blindly and unquestioningly the next "revelation."

The feeling of the Mormon people towards the Missourians is very bitter to this day, and they have never lost an opportunity in all these years of injuring them whenever it became possible. The memory of the indignities heaped upon them, and the sufferings to which they were subjected, is still most vivid. Even my mother, notwithstanding the fact of her having apostatized, and having now no interest or faith in the Mormon Church, can never forgive the Missourians. She says, "If the Mormons were the greatest fanatics on the earth, the Missourians cannot be justified in the course which they pursued. There is no doubt they were exasperated by the actions of the Mormons, and suffered loss of property, and even life, at the hands of the Danite bands; but they need not, in the cruel spirit of revenge, punish the innocent women and children, for it was on these that the blow fell the hardest. It was they, who had no part in bringing on the trouble, who were to suffer in retribution for the misdeeds of others."

Notwithstanding all that had taken place in Missouri, some of the more enthusiastic Saints believed that it was the promised land, and that some time they should come in and possess it. Indeed, that belief has prevailed among some of the older Mormons until within a very short time. Brigham has preached it and promised it; but now he says very little about it, and when he does he is wise to add, "if the Lord shall will it so." The present indications are, that the Lord will not "will it so," and all the Saints have contentedly accepted Utah as "Zion," in the face of "revelation."

In giving, thus briefly, a sketch of the "Missouri war," I tell the story as I have always heard it, since I was a child, from my parents, who were in the midst of it, and who were rendered homeless and poor by it. Although always hearing it from the Mormon side, I must, to do the narrators justice, say they have never attempted to hide any part of the provocation which the Saints gave; and they now hold Joseph responsible for it, by his, to say the least, unwise teachings.

It is not very long since I was talking with a person who was with the Mormons in Missouri and Illinois. He said that Joseph not only advised his people publicly to plunder from the Gentiles, but privately ordered them to do so. At one time he was himself sent by the Prophet to steal lumber for coffins. He went with a party of men down the river, loaded a raft with lumber from a Gentile saw-mill, and brought it up to the "City of the Saints." Another man, now a bishop in the Mormon Church, told my mother that he was deputed by Joseph to go and take some cattle, and drive them to the city. As he was entering the town on his return from his successful marauding trip, he was called into a house, where there were sick persons, to anoint and pray for them in connection with another elder. On meeting this elder afterwards, he remarked, "I have often wondered that the Lord listened to our prayers in behalf of the sick under such circumstances. The elder replied, quietly, "I had not been stealing."

Had such teachings been given by the Gentiles, and followed by their people, it would have been sin. But with the Mormons it was always "the will of the Lord," and in His name they committed the crimes that produced disaster and disgrace among the people of Missouri, and finally resulted in their own expulsion from that state. Thus it was that at length we find them driven out by violence from among a people who at first had received them with the utmost friendliness, and forced to seek refuge on the farther shore of the Mississippi, despite the promise which Joseph had so often given them, "in the name of the Lord," that Missouri should be the abiding-place of the Saints.

Joseph, however, still continued to assert that the Saints "should return again and build up the waste places of Zion," and pointed out Missouri as the spot which was to be the "central stake" from which he was eventually to rule all America; but the fact remained that the people must have homes until such good time as they might be allowed to "come again to their own."

They had landed at Quincy, Illinois, and had been very kindly received by the residents. On their arrival they at once commenced searching for a place to settle, and build another stake;" and the place finally selected by the Prophet was situated on the Mississippi River, about forty miles from Quincy. It was first called Commerce; but this name being considered altogether too matter-of-fact and practical, it was named, by inspiration, NAUVOO, which, being translated from the "Reformed Egyptian," the language in which all revelations were first given, means "The Beautiful."

The new city grew rapidly ; another Temple was commenced by command of the Lord, and the people were adjured not to cease work upon it until it was finished; all the Saints were commanded to gather there as soon as it was practicable. Missionaries were sent to Europe, and converts flocked from thence to Zion. Never were missions crowned with greater success than those that were established in Europe by the Mormon Church. The elders went first to England, from there to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France, and they even attempted Italy, but with so little success that the mission there was speedily abandoned. Indeed, the southern countries of Europe did not seem to have taken kindly to the new doctrine of the Saints, and evinced but slight interest in the establishment of a "spiritual kingdom on the earth," and paid no heed whatever to Joseph's revelations. But hundreds of converts were made among the English and Scandinavian people, and they all evinced a strong desire to "gather to Zion," and considered no sacrifice too great to be made to facilitate their emigration. Most of them were from the poorer classes, but some among them were persons of considerable wealth, and many were from the comfortable middle class of farmers and trades people.

The people of Illinois were inclined to be very friendly with the Mormon people, and to make up by sympathy and kindness for the treatment which the Saints had received in Missouri. But, as has invariably been the case, the Mormons, by their own acts, managed to turn these friends into enemies, and to embroil themselves in more quarrels.

The people in the surrounding towns found them troublesome, and most undesirable neighbors; for in spite of their kindly reception, Joseph did not cease his injunctions to "get all you can from the wicked Gentiles," and the consequence was perpetual trouble and constant complaint.
Early on his arrival at Nauvoo, Joseph applied to the Illinois legislature for a city charter, which was granted at once. This charter was extremely liberal, and by its ambiguous wording deceived the legislature, they considering it straightforward and honorable, while really it gave Joseph unlimited power in the government of the city, without regard to state or national laws, and rendered it impossible that he could be held prisoner, even if arrested. He had the right to release himself: the charter provided for that.

Before the establishment of the city it was "revealed" to Joseph that his people must importune at the feet of all in authority for a redress of their wrongs in Missouri. They commenced with the justices of the peace; from them they went to the state officers; finally to the President himself. They prepared very carefully, and, as far as possible, very accurately, a statement of the losses of the Saints in Missouri, and Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Elias Higbee went to Washington with it, to endeavor to seek redress through the agency of Congress.

Marlin Van Buren, who was President at that time, received them with that peculiar suavity of manner for which he was specially noted, that impressiveness which expressed so much and meant so little, and listened to them with the most courteous patience. But his answer was: "Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you." The party returned to Nauvoo disappointed, but in no wise discouraged, and exceedingly indignant with the government and the entire American people, whom they considered their enemies from that moment. From the lowest officer to the highest, they considered that they had failed to meet with the slightest sympathy, and there was no desire shown to make any amends to these people. Joseph and the elders indulged in more incendiary talk than ever; but this was now devoted entirely against the government.

"In the name of the Lord God of Israel," prophesied Joseph, "unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in Missouri, in a few years the government will be entirely overthrown." And again: "They all turned a deaf ear to our entreaties, and now the Lord will come out in swift fury and vex the nation."

The troubles in Illinois culminated, as they had in Missouri, in political difficulties. The people of Illinois were growing exceedingly tired of their new citizens, whom they had welcomed so warmly, since their kindness had been returned with so much ingratitude by the Mormons; but the political leaders of the state endeavored to curry favor with Joseph, and obtain his influence, since it had been discovered that the Mormon vote was solid. Whigs and Democrats had each tried to secure them, but Smith had his own purpose to serve, and he used either Whigs or Democrats as best suited him. Neither party could rely on him or his promises, and consequently both became exceedingly hostile towards him, and were equally zealous in endeavoring to limit his power. He was, indeed, rendered perfectly independent of the state laws by the charter which the governor so readily signed, without being aware what a blunder he was committing; and the exertions of the Illinoisians were directed towards getting this charter repealed. Anti-Mormon organizations were formed for the purpose of inducing the legislature to cancel the charter, disband the Nauvoo Legion, a military organization, of which Joseph was commander-in-chief, and, if possible, to eventually get rid of the Mormons altogether. The feeling ran quite as high as it had done in Missouri, although there were no such deeds of violence as that state witnessed. It remained, for some time at least, a political rather than a personal warfare, and Joseph seemed for many months to maintain his position in spite of every exertion of his enemies; and, in fact, got decidedly the best of them in every way.

Joseph's political career was, to say the least, an intricate and an ambitious one. He aimed at the very highest position which the country could give him. He inaugurated a legislature at Nauvoo, in opposition to that of the state; but he took good care that it should be kept from the knowledge of all persons outside of the city, and this same legislature did, in its way, the most remarkable work. One of its acts was to nominate Joseph for the Presidency of the United States.

Clay and Calhoun were at that time rival candidates for the Presidency, and Joseph wrote to both of them, asking them what course they would pursue towards the Mormons in case they were elected. Neither of them answered in a manner to please him; they were altogether too indefinite, refusing in any way to commit themselves to the Mormon cause; and he gave them both a severe castigation, and withdrew his support and countenance from both parties; and with him, of course, went the whole body of the Mormons.

He published his own views on the national policy in a pamphlet, and announced himself as Presidential Candidate. His followers confidently believed that he would be elected. They had no idea that he could fail to attain whatever he attempted. Missionaries were sent all over the United States, proselyting and electioneering, and the Saints certainly worked faithfully to further their Prophet's ambition.

In the legislative assembly he had those friends and allies in training who were to form his cabinet when he should reach the White House. Of this assembly, Brigham Young was an important, active, and favorite member, and Joseph prophesied wonderful things of him. It is said that he even named him as his successor as leader of the Mormon people. But I think that that story is a little more than doubtful.

In the midst of all this seeking after political influence, Joseph Smith must, I think, have had some idea of the hopelessness of it all, and some presentiment at least that his failure must be followed by another exodus of the Mormon people, for as early as 1842 he began to talk of the superior advantages of the Pacific valley as a settlement, and the "Lord's finger" seemed turning slowly but surely in that direction, and it was not long before the Prophet sent a company of men to explore that, then, almost unknown country, and not long after he began prophesying that in five years' time the Saints would be located "away from the influence of mobs."

The Saints, as usual, received the prediction in good faith, and were ready to follow him wherever he should lead, notwithstanding that doing so meant giving up home, and property, and becoming poor, exiled wanderers. The devotion of this deluded, persecuted people to their false Prophet was almost sublime. In answer to his "Leave all and follow me," came the self-sacrificing words, "Whither thou goest we will go; thy God shall be our God."

Mistaken, deceived, deluded as they were, the great body of this people deserve some charitable regard, since they obeyed the dictates of their consciences, and were willing to suffer martyrdom for their religion. The great body of them are not answerable for most of the crimes committed by the command of the leaders, since they were ignorant of them, and their hatred of the Gentiles is not so greatly to be wondered at, since they suffered the persecution without even knowing that there was the slightest cause for it, except their objectionable belief. I feel that I must pay this tribute to the Mormon people. Naturally, they were a law-abiding, peace-loving, intensely religious people; their peculiar natures, touched a little with fanaticism, having that mental organization that not only accepts the supernatural, but demands it, made it the more easy for them to become the victims of a man like Joseph Smith.

The belief that they were the very chosen of God; that He revealed Himself to them through their Prophet; that He took special note of their in-comings and out-goings; that He led their way in all their wanderings, sometimes in thorny paths, sometimes through pleasant places, -- made them positively heroic in their devotion. I hold that their earnestness and singleness of purpose ought to win them a certain degree of respect, mingled with the intensest pity that they could become the dupes of such unscrupulous, overbearing, unprincipled men as their leaders have proved themselves to be. They have been blinded by fanaticism, and led by false representations. Kept in a community by themselves, forbidden any intercourse with the outside world, they have known nothing outside of Mormonism except what their rulers have chosen to tell them, and that has never been the truth. They have believed that every man's hand was against them; that they were literally "persecuted for righteousness' sake;" and they have been taught that the Lord commanded them to hate all persons not of their belief, and that it was an act pleasing to Him whenever a Gentile was put out of the way. Without being murderers at heart, they have been taught that murder is a part of their religion, a vital portion of their worship.
I shall explain that belief more fully presently, when I come to speak of the "Blood-Atonement."

The Gentiles have had very little opportunity, until lately, of mingling at all with this people; and they have, quite as naturally on their part, judged the Mormons to be a blood-thirsty, cruel, dishonest, and licentious people, who not only did not merit toleration, even, but ought, indeed, to be utterly exterminated. No good could possibly come out of Nazareth, they thought; and a person avowing himself a Mormon has not been so much an object of hatred as of loathing and contempt.

Mind you, I am not upholding the Mormon faith; I consider it the falsest, most hypocritical, and most cruel belief under the sun. Although its founder arrogated to it the title of the "Church of Jesus Christ," there is nothing Christ-like in its teachings or in its practice. Its leaders have been, and still are, supremely selfish, caring only for their personal aggrandizement, disloyal to the government under which they live, treacherous to their friends, revengeful to their foes; insincere, believing nothing which they teach, and tyrannical and grasping in the extreme, taking everything that their lustful eyes may desire, and greedy, grasping hands can clutch, no matter at whose expense it may be taken, or what suffering the appropriation may cause. But the people themselves have no part in the treachery, revengefulness, hypocrisy, or cupidity of their leaders, and should be judged from an entirely different standpoint.

In 1842 Governor Boggs, of Missouri, was shot at and wounded severely in the head. This act was suspected to have been done at the instigation of Joseph, and the feeling against him grew stronger than ever. It was with considerable difficulty that his followers prevented his seizure and forcible abduction into Missouri. He was very nearly in the power of his enemies several times; but the devices of the Missourians were nothing compared to the wiles and cunning of the crafty Prophet and his officers. The governor of Illinois attempted to arrest him, but found the warrant of apprehension set aside by the charter which he himself had signed. In fact, it was found that the law was powerless to touch the Prophet, and he could afford to set it at defiance. With that charter to uphold him, and the "Nauvoo Legion" to defend him, he, for a time, completely baffled his enemies.

About this time an added reason was found for hating and dreading the Mormon people and their influence. The "Spiritual-Wife" doctrine was hinted at just at this juncture, and this created even a greater disturbance than the political difficulties had done, since this caused a large apostasy, and divided the church against itself. The accusations that some of the apostates brought against Smith were damaging in the extreme.

One of his chief accusers was a man named William Law, who had been his earnest friend and one of his counsellors. The Prophet had had no stauncher friend or warmer defender than Law, and he was also highly esteemed by all the Mormon people, as well as by Smith himself. He strongly disapproved of some of Joseph's acts, and finally felt obliged to withdraw from him altogether.

After his apostasy, he, with some other disaffected Mormons, among whom were his brother, Wilson Law, Dr. Forster, William Marks, and the Higbee brothers, all men of standing and influence among the Saints, commenced to hold meetings in a grove on Sundays. This grove was a mile from the place where the Mormons held their regular services; yet parties of the Saints were accustomed to go to the other meeting to hear what was said and report to the Prophet. So he was kept well informed of the movements of the apostates, and their attitude towards him and the church.

At one of these meetings, William Law electrified and almost stunned his listeners by testifying that the Prophet had made dishonorable proposals to his wife, Mrs. Law, making the request under cover of his asserted "Revelation," that the Lord had commanded that he should take spiritual wives, to add to his glory. He also stated that Smith made his visit to his wife in the middle of the night, when he knew her husband to be absent. Mrs. Law was present, and her husband called upon her to testify as to whether he had made the statement correctly. She corroborated all that he had said, and added that Joseph had asked her to give him half her love; she was at liberty to keep the other half for her husband. The Higbees testified, at the same meeting, to having frequently seen Joseph's horse standing for a long time before the door of certain improper resorts. This statement was certainly untrue, and was probably made under a mistake. The greatest excitement prevailed after this meeting, and the feeling ran very high between the contending factions of the church. Joseph and his adherents, on their part, charged some of the apostates with gross immorality, and they retaliated by saying they had only followed the teachings of Smith. Criminations and recriminations were hurled furiously at each other by the two parties.


Law and some of his associates started a paper called the "Nauvoo Expositor" which they intended to devote to the criticism of Smith's policy, and the denunciation of his character. As may be imagined, it was not a very long-lived sheet, only one number being issued. Enraged by its plain speech, Joseph and some of his followers destroyed the building, broke the machinery, and threw away the type, in their strenuous endeavors to suppress "the freedom of the press."

Affairs had reached such a crisis, that to allay the excitement and to explain some of his "peculiar" moral weaknesses, the Prophet found it necessary to produce the famous "Revelation," giving the most unbridled license to all the worst passions of their nature. This "Revelation" was intended to silence the noisy clamorings of the Saints; for who of them would venture to question the convincing "Thus saith the Lord."

It was only given to the faithful in Zion. Its existence was denied loudly, if in any way a whisper of it reached the outside world, and the missionaries were cautioned to keep utter silence upon the subject. Among the Saints it was received most reluctantly. The women, especially, felt that a cross was being laid upon them greater than they could bear, and many openly rebelled. They felt that some great trouble was come upon them, but they did not then know the intense bitterness of it, nor what the moral results would be.
The majority of them did not believe that they would suffer personally from it; but, alas! they little knew how easy it would be to convince a man that positive wrong would become moral right, when all legal restrictions were removed, or when the conscience could be so easily soothed by the opiate of "Revelation."

Joseph's career, after producing his "Celestial Marriage" cheat, and palming it off on his followers with the blasphemous "Thus saith the Lord," was very short. He was induced to surrender himself to the authorities, and with his brother Hyrum, the Apostle John Taylor, and the Apostle Willard Richards, was placed in the Carthage jail.

It was feared by the Mormons, and by some of the Gentiles, that attempts would be made to massacre him in prison; but Governor Ford, under whose protection he was, seemed to apprehend no danger, and placed no extra guards about the prison. He himself went from Carthage to Nauvoo, to see personally into the condition of affairs there, and also to assert his authority, but took no measures for a redoubled care and watch over the prisoners. While he was away the jail was attacked, and the Prophet and his brother Hyrum assassinated. Their companions escaped with wounds.

The history of Joseph Smith is one of the most remarkable on record. From an ignorant, superstitious farmer's boy, he became "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator," founder of a new religion, which was to make his name known, not only in his own country, but over the world; made by "Divine appointment" "God's Vice-gerent upon the earth, and Religious Dictator to the whole world." So much for his spiritual titles. He was no less fortunate in earthly honors; being President of the "Council of Fifty," chief of the legislature of Nauvoo, and Mayor of the city; and at last he aspired to the Presidency of the United States a position, it is needless to say, which he did not attain.


It is safe to believe that no one man can wear all these "honors" without growing somewhat dizzy under them; and it is no wonder that the Prophet Smith overreached himself at last, and fell a victim to his overweening ambition and stupendous self-esteem, which probably made him believe that he could accomplish impossibilities.
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

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The Announcement of Polygamy. "Celestial Marriage." Joseph "sets himself Right." Mrs. Smith is very Rebellious. Mrs. Smith's Adopted Daughter. The Prophet too fond of Fanny. Mrs. Smith takes her in Hand. Marital Storms. Oliver Cowdery called In. He goes and " Does Likewise." Joseph first Preaches Polygamy. The Saints Rebel. The Revelation given in Secret. Eleven "Adopted Daughters" sealed to the Prophet. A Domestic Squall in the Prophet's House. Nancy Rigdon Insulted by Joseph. Sidney's Zeal Grows Cold. How Celestial Marriage was Introduced. Mr. Noble begins to Build Up his Kingdom. The first Plural Marriage. False Position of the Second Wife. John C. Bennett. His Profligacy and Crimes. He Apostatizes and Writes a Book. Joseph Defends Himself. Apostasy of an Apostle's Wife. The Prophet in Difficulties. The Revelation on "Celestial Marriage."


AFTER the Revelation on Celestial Marriage was publicly announced, in 1852, it was stated that Joseph Smith first produced it in 1843; but there were, no doubt, hints of this new doctrine at a much earlier date. It is generally believed, and in fact well known by many of the old Nauvoo Mormons, that he had it in contemplation at a much earlier date; certain indiscretions rendering it necessary that he should find an excuse of some kind for acts that were scarcely consistent with his position as "Vicegerent upon earth," and set himself right, not only with his followers, but with Mrs. Emma Smith, his wife, who objected very decidedly to some of his prophetic eccentricities.

Mrs. Smith had an adopted daughter, a very pretty, pleasing young girl, about seventeen years old. She was extremely fond of her; no own mother could be more devoted, and their affection for each other was a constant object of remark, so absorbing and genuine did it seem. Consequently it was with a shocked surprise that the people heard that sister Emma had turned Fanny out of the house in the night.

This sudden movement was incomprehensible, since Emma was known to be a just woman, not given to freaks or caprices, and it was felt that she certainly must have had some very good reason for her action. By degrees it became whispered about that Joseph's love for his adopted daughter was by no means a paternal affection, and his wife, discovering the fact, at once took measures to place the girl beyond his reach. Angered at finding the two persons whom most she loved playing such a treacherous part towards her, she by no means spared her reproaches, and, finally, the storm became so furious, that Joseph was obliged to send, at midnight, for Oliver Cowdery, his scribe, to come and endeavor to settle matters between them. For once he was at his wits' end; he could face an angry mob, but a wronged woman made a coward of him at once.

The scribe was a worthy servant of his master. He was at that time residing with a certain young woman, and at the same time he had a wife living. He had taken kindly to Joseph's teachings, although he by no means coveted publicity in the affair; and after seeing Mrs. Smith's indignation he dreaded exceedingly lest Mrs. Cowdery should discover that he was practising his new religious duties with another woman.

The worthy couple the Prophet and his scribe were sorely perplexed what to do with the girl, since Emma refused decidedly to allow her to remain in her house; but after some consultation, my mother offered to take her until she could be sent to her relatives. Although her parents were living, they considered it the highest honor to have their daughter adopted into the Prophet's family, and her mother has always claimed that she was sealed to Joseph at that time.

The first public announcement Joseph ever made of his belief in the plurality of wives was at Nauvoo, in 1840. In a sermon one Sunday he declared that it was perfectly right in the sight of the Lord for a man to have as many wives as he pleased, if he could evade the laws of the land. Said he:

"People of polygamous nations will be converted to the church, and will desire to, gather with the Saints to Zion; and what will they do with their wives? We must have polygamy among us as an established institution, and then they can bring all their wives, with, them."

He referred to the Bible to sustain his position, and grew very eloquent on the subject. He seemed determined not only to maintain the doctrine to his own satisfaction, but to convince his people of its truth and its desirability.

As may readily be imagined, it caused the greatest excitement and indignation in the church; and many threatened to abandon the faith. The women most especially were aroused, and they declared they never would accept a doctrine so hateful. It was the first open rebellion against any of the Prophet's teachings by his most devoted followers, and he was wise enough to see his mistake, and to rectify it. Evidently, as he said to certain followers, it was "too soon for the Lord to reveal Himself upon this subject."

The following Sabbath he arose and said he wished to retract what he had said the Sabbath before; he was at that time only trying the Saints, to see what they could bear.

The Revelation at first was made known only to a few of Joseph's most intimate friends, and they were solemnly bound to keep its existence a secret; but in some way it became known very generally that there was such a Revelation, although it was not given to the world until 1852. It is on this ground that Smith's sons endeavor to palm the Revelation on to Brigham, and deny that their father ever intended to have polygamy become a church institution. The elder Mormons, who were at Nauvoo, among whom are my parents, know better than this, however, and also know the exact time when the "Revelation" was first talked of. If Smith was not a polygamist, his sons must allow that he was a libertine, or an advocate of free-love principles. It makes little difference which; the results are the same.

The wife of the Prophet took no more kindly to this new doctrine of Celestial Marriage than did the rest of the Mormon women, and no woman of them all allowed her objections to become so widely known as Mrs. Smith. She new her husband's nature too well to believe in the Divine origin of the system, and she fought it persistently during his lifetime.

At one time he had eleven young ladies living in his family as adopted daughters, to whom he had been sealed without the knowledge of his wife. She for some time supposed that his object in having them there was purely a charitable one. To be sure, some of them had parents living; yet there was some plausible reason always given for having them under his roof, which none of the Saints dared to question, although many of them, especially those who were growing disaffected, were dissatisfied with his reasons, and suspicious of his motives. Very little was said about it openly, until his wife saw something which aroused her suspicions, and she remonstrated with Joseph for having the girls there; but with no effect. The girls should remain -- on that point he was decided.

Unlike many of the Mormon women, Mrs. Smith was not one to accept a cross of this kind submissively. She by no means bowed her head, broke her heart, and silenced her lips, and allowed her husband to pursue his licentious course without opposition. When Joseph would not send away the girls, she said very quietly, but with a determination which showed she was making no idle threat, --

"Either those girls leave this house to-night, or I do."


"Very well," replied her husband, in a passion at having his authority questioned; "you may go, then, for I intend them to stay."

Without another word she left the house. No sooner had she gone than he began to consider the consequences of her departure directly it should be known, and she would keep neither it nor the cause which provoked her to the step a secret. The publicity of the affair was more than he dared meet. He was not yet ready to encounter the storm it would raise. Great as was his influence over his people, he did not dare risk his popularity by such a bold movement as this. Consequently he followed his wife, and prevailed upon her to return, by promising to dismiss the girls, which he did the next morning. This was her second triumph over his practice of the divine ordinance.

Emma Smith was, as may be supposed from the above-narrated incidents, the energetic, strong-minded woman, possessing a great influence over Joseph, whose superior she was, both menially and socially, when he married her. She was fond and proud of her husband during the first years of his success; but when there was any disagreement between them, she generally got the better of him, being less passionate in temper, and more quietly decided in manner. She forced her husband to respect her and her opinions, although he was notoriously unfaithful to her during all their married life.

Several young girls left the church in consequence of the dishonorable proposals which the Prophet made to them. One of these was a daughter of William Marks, another a daughter of Sidney Rigdon. Both these men -- Rigdon especially -- had been his warm friends and supporters; but this insult offered to their daughters exasperated them beyond measure, and both withdrew from him. Marks joined William Law and his apostate circle, and was as bitter in his denunciation as Law himself. Rigdon removed from Nauvoo, but still avowed himself a "true Mormon," while he repudiated Joseph and his teachings. Other young girls made affidavits to his offers of "Celestial Marriage," and their statements were published in many of the leading papers all over the country, creating the most intense excitement.

Joseph not only paid his addresses to the young and unmarried women, but he sought "spiritual alliance" with many married ladies who happened to strike his fancy. He taught them all that all former marriages were null and void, and that they were at perfect liberty lo make another choice of a husband. The marriage covenants were not binding, because they were ratified only by Gentile laws. These laws the Lord did not recognize; consequently all the women were free.

Again, he would appeal to their religious sentiments, and their strong desire to enter into the celestial kingdom. He used often to argue in this manner while endeavoring to convince some wavering or unwilling victim: "Now, my dear sister, it is true that your husband is a good man, a very good man, but you and he are by no means kindred spirits, and he will never be able to save you in the celestial kingdom; it has been revealed by the Spirit that you ought to belong to me."

This sophistry, strange as it may seem, had its weight, and scarcely ever failed of its desired results. Many a woman, with a kind, good husband, who loved her and trusted her, and a family of children, would suffer herself to be sealed to Joseph, at the same time living with the husband whom she was wronging so deeply, he believing fondly that her love was all his own.

One woman said to me not very long since, while giving me some of her experiences in polygamy: "The greatest trial I ever endured in my life was living with my husband and deceiving him, by receiving Joseph's attentions whenever he chose to come to me."

This woman, and others, whose experience has been very similar, are among the very best women in the church; they are as pure-minded and virtuous women as any in the world. They were seduced under the guise of religion, taught that the Lord commanded it, and they submitted as to a cross laid upon them by the divine will. Believing implicitly in the Prophet, they never dreamed of questioning the truth of his revelations, and would have considered themselves on the verge of apostasy, which to a Mormon is a most dangerous and horrible state, from which there is no possible salvation, had they refused to submit to him and to receive his "divine" doctrines.

Some of these women have since said they did not know who was the father of their children; this is not to be wondered at, for after Joseph's declaration annulling all Gentile marriages, the greatest promiscuity was practised; and, indeed, all sense of morality seemed to have been lost by a portion at least of the church. Shocking as all this may appear, women that were sealed to Joseph at that time are more highly respected than any others. It is said, as the highest meed of praise which can be given, that they never repudiated any of the Prophet's teachings, but submitted to all his requirements without a murmur, and eventually they will be exalted to a high position in the celestial kingdom.

Among the earliest converts to the doctrine of plural wives was a Mr. Noble, who, more impressible, or, according to Joseph, "more faithful" than any others, opened his heart very readily to receive the teachings of the Prophet, and was willing to reduce the teachings to practice. Joseph had paid his addresses to Mr. Noble's sister-in-law, a very worthy woman, and had succeeded in overcoming her scruples so far that she had consented to be sealed to him.


He then advised Noble to seek a second wife for himself, and to commence at once to "build up his kingdom." He was not slow in following his Prophet's advice, and together the two men, with their chosen celestial brides, repaired one night to the banks of the Mississippi River, where Joseph sealed Noble to his first plural wife, and in return Noble performed the same office for the Prophet and his sister. These were the first plural marriages that ever took place in the Mormon Church, and they were obliged to be very secretly performed, and kept hidden afterwards.

The young girl that Mr. Noble married went to live with his first wife, and, as a matter of course, this arrangement produced the greatest misery to both. Outwardly they were compelled to keep a semblance of regard; but they hated each other with an intensity of hatred that cannot possibly be felt outside of polygamy. The first wife pined gradually away, until she was a mere shadow of her former self. Life for her was utterly wrecked. Compelled to share her home, her husband's affections, and his attentions with another woman, and to keep the strictest silence through it all, it is no wonder that the poor woman longed eagerly for death as a release from all her woes.

The condition of the second wife was, if possible, less enviable. A son having been born to her after her marriage to Noble, she was compelled to see herself pointed out as an object of pity, and her child branded as illegitimate. She was in a cruelly false position before the world, and she was powerless to justify herself; her lips were sealed, and she, too, must suffer in silence. Her parents were heart-broken at their daughter's shame. They were living in one of the eastern states, but they came instantly to Nauvoo to take their child home. She was compelled to turn a deaf ear to all their entreaties to return with them, and she could not tell them her secret. Her mother was nearly distracted when she was obliged to return home without her daughter, heart-broken and disconsolate, and bowed down with shame at her supposed dishonor. She remained at Nauvoo, and the burden of her life becoming greater than she could bear, became insane, -- a common fate of polygamous wives, by the way, -- and remained a maniac until her death. Her son, now a man grown, and living in Utah, was the first child born in polygamy. She was an innocent, engaging young girl, and a great favorite until this sad affair occurred; her sensitive spirit could not endure the torture of existence, and she died -- the first martyr to polygamy.

The first wife died soon after, literally broken-hearted. The husband has had many wives since then; indeed, he has been an indefatigable disciple of the Celestial Marriage system; but his many wives have died one by one, until he has been left alone. He is living still, and is pointed out and referred to with praise as the first man brave enough to respond to the call of Joseph Smith and become a polygamist.

One of the first persons to be initiated into the plural-wife doctrine, if not indeed Joseph's confederate in producing it, was Dr. John C. Bennett, at that time Mayor of the city, Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion, and a very great friend of Joseph. It is said that the pupil fairly outran the teacher, and his success as special pleader for the system of Celestial Marriage was so decided that he incurred the displeasure of the Prophet, and they quarreled violently. He taught the doctrine to some ladies whom Smith had intended to convert himself, and thus coming directly in contact with the Prophet and his schemes, a rupture was caused between the worthy co-workers.

Bennett apostatized, left Nauvoo, and wrote a book called "Mormonism Exposed," in which he fully ventilated the doctrine of spiritual wives which Joseph was about to introduce into the church, and accused the Prophet of the grossest immoralities. This expose created a wide-spread feeling of indignation, and, to save himself and his people, Joseph was obliged to deny all Bennett's statements; and several of the leading men and women denied them also, although they knew perfectly well that the greater portion of them was true. It is probable that the book would have had a much wider influence had not Bennett's character been so well known. He was a notorious profligate, and was pronounced by Gentiles who had known him before he embraced Mormonism to be "the greatest villain unhung."

Joseph's only method of defending himself from Bennett's attacks was to assail him in return. The raven was taunting the crow for being a blackamoor. He coupled Bennett's name with that of a lady of high standing in the Mormon community, in the most disgraceful manner, and published the scandal to a large congregation of the Saints, causing the utmost consternation and dismay. The lady in question had always been considered above reproach; never before had suspicion touched her name by even a breath, and the accusation which Joseph brought against her seemed too horrible to believe. But the Saints could more easily credit the scandal than they could believe for one instant that their Prophet could be guilty of misrepresentation; and the general conclusion was, that the lady had fallen from her virtuous estate, broken her marriage vows, and become a creature unworthy of countenance or sympathy.

Her husband was away from home when the trouble first commenced, but returning while the excitement was at its height, his indignation and rage at the position in which his wife was placed knew no bounds. He realized the situation at once, and saw that his wife was suffering from the Prophet's jealous anger, and was simply being used as a means of revenge and retaliation on his enemy Bennett. This has been the Mormon leaders' manner of doing things from the beginning; they believe most implicitly in vicarious suffering, and it is with them always the innocent and helpless who are punished for the wrong-doings of the more powerful.

The husband of this unfortunate lady came at once to the rescue of his injured wife's reputation. He "bearded the lion in his den," and defended his wife's character in public, hurling the lie at his leader's head, and incurring anathemas in return. He did not mind them, however, but still maintained his wife's honor in the face of everything. He was nearly insane with grief and rage, but he behaved nobly through the whole affair. He was greatly attached to the church, and could not make up his mind to forsake it, and he grieved over this action of his Prophet, but yet found an excuse for him on the ground that he had "lost the Spirit," and had been taken possession of by evil influences for a while. He loved his wife, and considered her terribly wronged and sinned against, and he tried by all the tenderness in his power to heal the cruel hurt which she had received. His own regard for and belief in her turned the tide of public opinion again in her favor, and she has been, if possible, more highly esteemed than ever since that unfortunate accusation. In course of time her husband, who is none other than Orson Pratt, one of the twelve apostles, took several plural wives, and became so warm in his advocacy of the system that he is called "the defender of polygamy." Mrs. Pratt has since apostatized, and is working nobly against Mormonism and its peculiar system. No woman is more highly regarded by Gentiles and Mormons than she. Her husband even, although she has steadfastly refused to live in polygamy with him, and has fought it from its first introduction, still has a high regard for her, although he looks upon her as lost beyond redemption. She is now an elderly woman, but her energy has not abated one whit, and she declares she will never relax her exertions towards putting down polygamy while she lives. If her husband is its "defender," she may be called its "denouncer;" and her work is the most certain of being crowned with ultimate success.

The days that preceded the Revelation were exciting ones in the church. Apostasy prevailed to an alarming extent, and the numbers of the faithful were sadly depleted, and many more threatened to leave the church, who were finally prevailed upon to remain. So intense was the feeling that in the summer of 1843 the Prophet, moved by pressure on every side, dissatisfaction within the church and hatred and indignation without, heightened by Bennett's expose and the corroborating accounts given by apostates, was compelled to intrench himself behind a divine "revelation" to shield himself from public odium and restore the wavering confidence of his people.

It had always been a practice of Joseph, whenever he met with any difficulty, to receive a "Revelation," which immediately put everything straight. On the present occasion he was equal to the emergency, and received that celebrated "Revelation" which then and since has constituted the sole authority in the Mormon Church for the practice of polygamy. It was at first only communicated to a chosen few, and it was not until long after polygamy had been practised more or less openly in Utah that Brigham Young delivered it to the world in 1852. It was then published in the "Seer" and also in the "Millennial Star" under the title of



Given to Joseph Smith, the Seer, in Nauvoo, July 12th, 1843.

Of all the extraordinary "revelations" given by Joseph Smith during his eventful career, this is, perhaps, the most remarkable. It certainly produced a deeper and more lasting influence upon his deluded followers than all his other effusions put together, although its language is as ungrammatical as its tendency is immoral. The opening clause is peculiarly absurd. The Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and countless "revelations" had denounced polygamy, and stated how offensive the conduct of some of the patriarchs in this respect had been to "the Lord." Yet here Joseph is made to ask that same "Lord" how he "justified" the very principle that Joseph had all along proclaimed that "the Lord" held to be "an abomination"! The Prophet's sons of course point to this fact, and say that it was impossible for their father to be guilty of such an unparalleled contradiction. The clause reads thus:

"Verily, thus saith the Lord, unto you, my servant Joseph, that, inasmuch as you have enquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter: Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those that have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for, behold, I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant, and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing and the conditions thereof, as was instituted from before the foundations of the world; and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God."

Having made this very pleasant announcement, the Revelation goes on to declare that all contracts matrimonial or other were null and void unless ratified by the Prophet:

2d. "And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise of him who is anointed both as well for time and for all eternity, and that, too, most holy, by revelation and commandment, through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power, -- and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of the priesthood are conferred, -- are of no efficacy, virtue or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead."

The third clause is simply a reiteration of the sentiments contained in the preceding; but the fourth announces one of the most peculiar tenets of Mormon theology. The reader will see that in it the assertion is distinctly made that if a man and woman are married by civil contract or according to the usage of any of the ordinary sects, although they may be among the most faithful members of the Mormon Church in every other respect, yet, after death, they shall not enjoy exaltation in heaven, they shall not become gods, shall not marry or have children, shall have no kingdom or priesthood, but shall simply be as the angels, servants and messengers of the Saints. It reads thus: --

4th. "Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage is not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world; therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding and an eternal weight of glory; for these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God for ever and ever."

Thus far the Revelation sets forth the uncomfortable fate of those who do not strictly conform to the teachings of the Prophet in matrimonial affairs. We now come to the other side of the question: the rewards which are to crown the faithful. The reader will observe that the strictest obedience is required to be paid to "him who is anointed," and who carries the keys.

6th. "And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting-covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood, and it shall be said unto them, Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection, and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities and powers, dominions, all heights and depths, then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood. And if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time and through all eternity, and shall be of full force when they are out of the world, and they shall pass by the angels and the gods which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds for ever and ever.

7th. "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them; then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them."

This is the reward of the faithful. The Revelation, however, was intended to be comprehensive and final; it was to meet every case, and there was to be no appeal from its decisions. The married couple being united in strict accordance with the Revelation, they are now assured of salvation and exaltation in the world to come, provided they commit no unpardonable sin. In the following paragraph that sin is defined, but the reader must bear in mind that the blood of Gentiles is not "innocent" blood; the shedding of it, therefore, is no crime:

9th. "Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, -- yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation, but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.

10th. "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder, wherein ye shed innocent blood and assent unto my death after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in no wise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord."

In the italicized words, "but they shall be destroyed in the flesh," is foreshadowed that terrible doctrine the Blood-Atonement; of which I shall presently speak more. It was not long before the Saints were taught openly that it was their duty to "destroy in the flesh" all upon whom the leaders of the church frowned.

We come now to the examples which were held up for the Saints to follow: --

12th. "Abraham received promises concerning his seed and of the fruit of his loins, -- from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph, -- which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars, or if ye were to count the sand upon the sea-shore ye could not number them. This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law are the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein He glorifieth himself. Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promises of my Father which he made unto Abraham.

13th. "God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law, and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily, I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless it was written, Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.

14th. "Abraham received concubines, and they bare him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him and he abode in my law. As Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded, and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones; and are not angels, but Gods. David also received many wives and concubines, as also Solomon, and Moses my servant; as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin, save in those things which they received not of me.

15th. "David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan my servant, and others of the prophets, who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me, save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world; for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord."

The audacity of Joseph Smith in stating as a Revelation from God, that "David's wives and concubines were given him of me by the hand of Nathan . . . in none of these things did he sin against me," is scarcely conceivable, when it is remembered that in the "divinely inspired" Book of Mormon it is written, "David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord." "The Lord," however, whom Joseph served, seems to have been as inconsistent in this as in many other matters. But in case of difficulty, Joseph was specially commissioned "to restore all things." Celestial Marriage was more exactly defined; and that the whole concern should run more smoothly, the keys of the kingdom on earth and in heaven were handed over to the Prophet.

16th. "I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things; ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you, according to my word; and as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery, and shall be destroyed. If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery; and if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow, and hath committed adultery; and if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent, and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her, and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery, but hath been faithful, for he shall be made ruler over many; for I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.

17th. "And verily, verily I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth, shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name, and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.

18th. "And again verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless; and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God."

After all this preamble, -- the keys committed to Joseph, the relation of husbands and wives under the new dispensation defined, "Celestial Marriage" instituted, and a great many other matters discussed, we come to what was, no doubt, prominent in the Prophet's mind all the while he was dictating the Revelation to Elder Clayton, -- namely, how to manage "the Elect Lady," Mrs. Emma Smith. Accordingly she is made the subject of a special address. She is told to "receive all that have been given to my servant Joseph." She is forbidden to leave the Prophet, as she had threatened to do if he carried out his "celestial" system, and certain other very useful hints are given for her guidance if she would remain in peace. One particular passage is said to refer to a matrimonial scene in which a threat was held out that the life of the Elect Lady should be terminated by poison. She is here commanded to "stay herself, and partake not" of that which Joseph had offered her. It is, however, only right to add that the Mormon exponents of the Revelation say that this passage refers to an offer which Joseph had made to sacrifice his own personal feelings, and to accede to a divorce between Emma and himself. In these few lines more is disclosed of the Prophet's domestic life and difficulties than he probably was aware of. I give these paragraphs in full, that the reader may judge for himself.

20th. "Verily I say unto you, a commandment I give unto mine handmaid Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself, and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham; and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice; and let mine handmaid Emma Smith receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God; for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph, that he shall be made ruler over many things, for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.

21st. "And I command mine handmaid Emma Smith to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment, she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law; but if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he has said; and I will bless him and multiply him, and give unto him an hundred fold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses, and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice."

The concluding clauses speak for themselves. The reader will see that in the twenty-third the Prophet is completely set free from all responsibility, and left at liberty, without let or hinderance, to follow the dictates of his own sweet will. In the two concluding paragraphs the wildest licentiousness is permitted, in the name of "the Lord," to the masculine portion of humanity, -- if believers in Joseph, -- and the weaker sex are sternly warned of the penalties of doubt and disobedience.

23d. "Now as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law, and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands, for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.

24th. "And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood: If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given unto him. For he cannot commit adultery with that which belongeth unto him, and to none else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him; and they are given unto him therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world; and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that He may be glorified.

25th. "And again, verily, verily I say unto you, if any man have a wife who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things; then shall she believe, and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God, for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I the Lord his God will give unto him, because she did not believe, and administer unto him, according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor, and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law; verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen."

When Joseph released all other wives from their marriage contracts, of course Emma was also released. It is said she thought of making another choice, and would have done so, but the Revelation came in time to prevent it. Joseph offered to make the sacrifice, but the Lord told Emma to "abide and cleave to my servant Joseph," who had been cunning enough to insert these clauses in his "Revelation," so as to hold her more closely. It is said that she was shown the first copy of it, and burned it; if so, there must have been another in existence, for the one that Brigham Young gave in 1852 as Joseph's revelation was identical with that given a few of the chosen Saints in 1843.

I have entered somewhat more into detail regarding the early history of Mormonism than I intended in the beginning; but I have considered it necessary to do so, in order to show to my readers more fully the doctrines I have been taught from my infancy, and to give them some idea of the Mormon stand-point. They can easily see how things may become distorted when looked at from such a one-sided position.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:59 am


Kindness of the Gentiles. Strangers in a Strange Land. My Parents join the Saints in Nauvoo. They Purchase Land in the City. Are shamefully Defrauded. Joseph's Unfaithful Friends. My Parents left almost Destitute. I am Born in the Midst of Troubles. The Saints Bewildered. Who should Succeed Joseph? Sidney Rigdon's Claims to the Presidency. He returns to Nauvoo. Has Dreams and Visions. He Promises to " Pull Little Vic's Nose." The Apostles hear of the Prophet's Murder. They hasten to Nauvoo. Brigham begins his Successful Intrigues. He Settles Sidney Rigdon. An Extraordinary Trial. Brigham's Idea of Free Voting. Women's Suffrage in Utah. Why Brigham gave the Franchise to the Women. My own Experience as a Voter. Brigham Dictates what I'm to Do. I obey Quietly. How Sidney Rigdon was Deposed. Brigham Rules the Church.


UPON the arrival of the Saints in Illinois they made Quincy their first stopping-place, and thence the majority of them went at once to Nauvoo, the new gathering-place.

My parents did not accompany them, but remained in Quincy two months. They reached that city in a state of almost utter destitution, with barely clothing enough to render them decent, certainly not enough to make them comfortable. Their reception by the residents of the city, indeed by the people of Illinois generally, was very cordial, and my mother often says she shall never forget the kindness she received at their hands. Literally, she "was a stranger and they took her in, hungry and they fed her, naked and they clothed her." And not only her, but her little ones.

My mother was energetic and willing, and she found work in plenty, and managed to get together some of the comforts and necessaries of life, when, after a two months' sojourn amid these hospitable people, they removed to Payson, where my father built a carriage manufactory and once more commenced business. After three years of remunerative labor, during which time he had got his business fairly established, he concluded to leave it and join the Saints at Nauvoo; he and my mother both -- the latter more especially -- desiring to be once more in Zion with the "chosen people." My father had purchased five acre-lots in the City of Nauvoo, and felt that he had a material as well as a spiritual hold upon Zion. The deeds were properly executed, and after making sure that everything was right during a visit to the city, he made instant preparations to move his family thither.

When he returned with his family and prepared to take possession of his property, he found it claimed by Dr. Foster, a friend and favorite of Joseph Smith, who pretended to have made a verbal contract for the land two years before. This, of course, brought the property into a dispute which could only be settled by the church authorities, Joseph himself presiding. As a matter of course, there was but one decision, and what that would be my father knew very nearly as well before it was given as he did afterwards. Joseph would not decide against his friend; the rest, seeing how his mind was made up, dared not; and the land was declared to belong to Foster, who, by the way, such were his regard and gratitude for his leader, apostatized not very long afterwards, attached himself to Law and his party, and finally removed from Nauvoo, denouncing the religion and its Prophet, and, indeed, carried his enmity so far that he joined those miscreants to whose violence may be attributed the death of Joseph Smith.

My father was again stripped of his property, by the treachery and unjust ruling of the very man whom he had so faithfully served. He had enough money remaining, however, to purchase other lots, and on the land thus obtained he built two very comfortable houses, in one of which I was born, as I before said, on the 13th of September, 1844, at the most tempestuous and most critical period in all Mormon history.

Joseph Smith had been assassinated the previous July, and his death, sudden and violent as it was, had almost paralyzed the people, who were thus left without a leader, and who were ill fitted to govern themselves, since they had for so long a time given up their wills to the Prophet, following his instructions as obediently as the most tractable children do their parents' behests. They had for so many years depended upon him to guide them that they were unfitted almost to think for themselves. Life was a hopeless muddle, and they saw no way of making it clearer. Then their former friends had turned to enemies, and they began to fear that they should be driven from their pleasant homes in Illinois, as they had been from Missouri. And with all the disturbance outside the church, there were heresy and schism among themselves.

The question who should be the leader in Joseph's place was exercising the church. The "First Presidency" was composed of Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and Sidney Rigdon. Hyrum Smith was killed in prison with his brother, and Rigdon, although he had not apostatized, had grown cool in the faith, left Nauvoo, and was living at Pittsburg, Pa., enjoying life outside of Mormondom, and seemingly finding much pleasure in Gentile society. After the Missouri episode his enthusiasm was very much chilled, and he indulged in fewer rhodomontades against the government. When Joseph made his advances to his daughter Nancy, Rigdon was very much offended, and left Nauvoo at once. As soon, however, as he heard of Joseph's death he made all haste to return and secure for himself the "office" of Prophet, Seer, and Revelator," to which he claimed he had been ordained. He was not received with enthusiasm by the Saints, and he very soon discovered that whoever might step into the dead Prophet's shoes, he, for a certainty, would not be allowed to wear them. There was nothing then remaining for him to do but to assume that Joseph's mantle of prophecy had fallen upon his shoulders; consequently, he revelled in visions and dreams of the wildest and most fanatical kind. His prophecies were the most wonderful that ever were heard, and were so very incoherent and inconsistent that serious doubts of his sanity were entertained. There were to be tremendous battles; blood was to flow until the horses waded in it up to their very bridles. All the powers of the earth were to assail the Saints, but Rigdon was to lead the faithful to certain victory. All the strength of earth was to bow before this little band of people and their consecrated leader, and he was, as a final act of triumph as he returned from the battle of Armageddon, to call in England and "pull the nose of little Vic."


What the young queen, then in the full flush of popularity, had done to raise this modern Bombastes' ire, remains to this day a mystery. It is needless to say that the battles have never been fought, nor has her majesty's nose been maltreated by Rigdon or any other crazy Mormon fanatic.

At the time of the assassination of Joseph Smith nearly all the apostles were away on a mission. On hearing the evil tidings from Zion, they hastened there without delay, and Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, and Heber C. Kimball arrived soon after Rigdon made his appearance, and while he was in the midst of his "revelations." From the moment of their arrival his chances were smaller than ever, although he still maintained, but in not so public a manner as at first, that he held "the keys of David," and that he intended to persist in the maintenance of his claims, even if obliged to do so forcibly.

The man for the situation appeared at this juncture in Brigham Young. Ambitious himself for the position which Rigdon so earnestly coveted, fortune seemed to have placed him exactly in the situation to attain it. He was -- so it happened by the merest chance -- the senior apostle, and that gave him authority. Thomas Marsh, who was at one time the senior, had apostatized; Patten, the second apostle, had been killed by the mob, and this made the third apostle the first or senior of the "twelve." The third happened to be Brigham Young; so that, after all, it was a mere chance that placed him where he is. Both the Pratts were far superior to him in intellect; and they and Orson Hyde were far ahead of him in mental attainments, such as they were. He was a very plain man, entirely uneducated, and had been noted for nothing except his fidelity to the Prophet and the church and his hard-working disposition. But he was shrewd enough to see his opportunity and to seize it, and yet to do it in such a manner that neither his associates nor the church itself had the least suspicion of his real plan.

The first move was to have Rigdon's case settled. He was summoned for public trial before the High Council, and eight of the apostles appeared as witnesses. Brigham Young played a very important part in this trial; he opened proceedings by accusing Rigdon of a determination to rule the church or ruin it, and followed up the accusation by declaring that he should do neither. All the events of his life were passed in review, and although he was not present, being detained, it was said, by illness, the case was by no means deferred, and he was tried without an opportunity of defending himself. At the motion of Brigham, he was "cut off from the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord; and all the people said, Amen."  

There were about ten persons who ventured to vote in favor of Rigdon, and they were immediately "suspended" from the church for their temerity. This is the way in which persons are served even now who venture to disagree with Brigham Young. There is absolutely no such thing known among the Mormons as a free expression of opinion.
Whether it be on religious or political subjects, the decision of the people is governed by the wishes of the President. The manner of voting in public assemblies is never varied. Brigham prefaces all ceremonies of the kind by an address, in which he manages to let the people know exactly how he feels upon the subject under discussion, and they understand that they are to feel exactly the same way; and as there is no question of choice, they make themselves fancy they do believe exactly as he does. If they have any question of doubt, they stifle it very quickly, and, if they are very good Mormons, take themselves to task for their wickedness in entertaining a thought contrary to the opinion of their Prophet. After the address, Brigham calls for a show of uplifted hands, and requests every one to vote. The "contrary minds" are then called; but such is the singular unity of this people that there is never a "contrary" mind among them. To make this ceremony of voting more humorous, the Prophet, in requesting all the people to vote, wittily adds, "in one way or the other." This piece of pleasantry on Brigham's part is quite appreciated by the Mormons, and the "one way" receives all the saintly votes, to the utter exclusion of "the other." Let any one attempt to take the Presidential joke au serieux, and it becomes anything but pleasant for him. He is looked upon with suspicion, regarded as an enemy of the church and its ruler, and if he escape serious persecution he may be considered especially fortunate.

In politics there is about the same freedom of opinion, or of its expression, rather. Although a semblance of independent action is kept up, since the people are not publicly told which way they must vote, yet the bishops and ward-teachers manage to make it understood very decidedly what is expected of "the Faithful" at the elections. The expectations, it is perhaps needless to state, are always realized.

I have often heard ladies in the East say that they considered Utah way in advance of the age in one respect at least; that there the equality of the sexes was so far regarded that the ballot was in the women's hands, and that there they had received the right of suffrage. And I know that for this one act Brigham Young is commended by some of the leaders of the Woman Suffrage party, and he is viewed by them with a lenient eye, in spite of all his other acts of gross injustice. If these same radical reformers only understood the reason that the franchise was extended to Utah women, and the peculiar "freedom" and intelligence with which they are allowed to exercise this privilege, I think they would not be so scathing in their denunciations of the Poland bill. To the men and women engaged in this reform there seems to be no possibility that there can be cases where positive harm would ensue when the ballot was given to women; they evidently believe that with universal suffrage will be ushered in the millennium.

It may have that effect in other portions of the States, but in polygamous Utah, ruled over by a treacherous tyrant, this very right, which they claim will loosen the legal and political shackles by which women are bound, and render them absolutely free, only binds the chains the tighter and makes them greater slaves than ever. And the most hateful part is, that they are helping to tighten their own bonds, and are doing it, too, under compulsion.

The reason of this wonderful act of "justice" on Brigham Young's part can easily be given. When the Union Pacific Railroad was completed, and the influx of miners and other outsiders from the Gentile world began to flood the Territory and make homes for themselves in the very midst of Mormondom, the chiefs of the Mormon hierarchy grew very fearful and apprehensive lest the power should pass from their grasp into Gentile hands by the gradual change of population. By adopting female suffrage they would treble their voting power at once. There was no longer any hesitation; the measure was adopted, and so general and generous was it, that in Utah to-day every person of the female sex, from the babe in the arms to the oldest, bed-ridden, imbecile crone, has the right of elective franchise, and is compelled to use it.

To illustrate the intelligence with which women vote, and the freedom of opinion in political matters which is allowed them, I think I can do no better than give my own first experience in exercising the prerogative of a free woman.

It was the first election-day that occurred after the right of suffrage had been, not granted, but commanded. I was standing in front of my husband's office, talking with a friend, when he came out. His first question, put before he had offered either myself or my friend any greeting, was, --

"Have you voted to-day?"

"No, Brother Young, I have not."

"Then I suppose you intend doing so at once."

"Not at all," I replied; "I have no intention of voting at all."

"And why not?" he asked, somewhat angrily.

"Because I have not yet become sufficiently acquainted with the political situation to understand what it is best to do, and I prefer not to vote ignorantly."

"But I wish you to vote," was his peremptory reply.
"Excuse me, please, Brother Young," pleaded I; "I don't know who or what to vote for, and I really had much rather not." I was quite in earnest. I did not know anything then of politics, and I must confess I had no interest in them.

"Get into the carriage," commanded he, so sternly that I knew I must obey, and further parley would be useless. "I want you to vote, and at once. Mr. Rossitur will take you to the polls and tell you how to vote."


Mr. Rossitur, to whose care I was committed, was Brigham's coachman, and was to be my political instructor. All the information I gained will never harm nor help me very materially. I was driven to the polls, a ticket was handed me, and hustled along without the opportunity of examining it, and to this day I am in blissful ignorance of what or who I cast my only vote for. I know, however, that among other officers they were electing a delegate to Congress, and I suppose I must have voted for George Q. Cannon. There is an encouraging and inspiring picture for the advocates of female suffrage, who are jubilant over the triumph of their cause in Utah. A polygamous wife of the President of the church conveyed to the polls by her husband's coachman, and compelled to cast the vote he gives her without an opportunity of exercising her judgment or her choice, and ignorant even of what she is doing. By all means let us have the suffrage in Utah, in spite of Judge Poland.

After the Council had disposed of Sidney Rigdon to its satisfaction, and "all the people" had signified theirs by saying "Amen," he turned about and prepared to fight them. His resistance, however, was short and feeble, He returned to Pittsburg, and attempted to resurrect the "Latter-Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate," a Mormon publication that had died some years before. His attempt was futile, and he gave up the contest with his failure to revive that sheet, and Mormonism has known little or nothing of him since.

In the mean time the Twelve Apostles were to rule over the church until such time as a change in the Presidency should seem necessary. This was Brigham's first step, and the rest came easily and naturally enough. To all intents and purposes he was as much the ruler of the Mormons as he is now, although he did not then arrogate so much to himself. He knew very well that it would not do to declare himself too suddenly; so he quietly worked and waited until he found himself in the position which he now holds -- a position which has never been contested by his followers.

He was always a hard worker, quite successful in making converts, and the steady determination of his character, which amounted to decided obstinacy, united with a scheming cunning, helped him very much at this period of his life.

He was shrewd enough not to attempt, as Rigdon had done, to play the prophet; he knew very well that in that role he would not meet success. He announced that no one should take Joseph's place, and to this day he maintains to those who remember what he said then, and contrast his past assertions with his present position as head of the church -- "No one can take the place of Joseph; he is in his place as the spiritual head of the church, and will always be there, through time and eternity."

"I am no prophet and revelator, as Joseph was," he used to say to the Saints: "but Joseph left revelations enough for you to follow for twenty years; in the mean time, the Lord will reveal Himself to those among you whom He may choose so to honor, and there is no reason why you should not all have revelations."

But, revelations or not, one thing he insisted upon: that was, that the Saints were to "build the kingdom up for Joseph," and that he kept constantly before them. He next proceeded to make the church self-sustaining in a pecuniary sense. Each member was to tithe himself or herself one tenth of all their property, and place it in the hands of the "Twelve" for the use of the church. This tithing fund Brigham had absolute control of -- a control that he has taken pains never to lose. He instituted other "reforms" in the church, and everything he proposed the people acquiesced in with a surprising readiness. They yielded to him, seemingly, without being aware that they were yielding, and he had his own way without opposition, while the poor deluded Saints thought he was carrying out their ideas, in part at least. They came under Brigham's yoke without knowing when they bent their necks to receive it, and in less than six months after the Prophet's death his mastery over the church was as assured as it is to-day.  
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Re: Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Com

Postby admin » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:46 am


Childhood in Mormondom. A striking Contrast. The Sorrows of my Earliest Years. How my Mother received Polygamy. Submitting to the Rod. Clinging to Love and Home. Resigning all for Religion. Strange ways of glorifying God. The Reward of Faithfulness. The Prophet Joseph imparts a New Religious Mystery. The Breaking-up of a Home. Fears of Rebellion. The Struggle of Faith against Nature. Seeking Rest, but finding None. Brigham's “Counsels." A New Wife Selected. My Parents enter into Polygamy. The New Bride, Elizabeth. The Marriage Ceremony. My Mother Sealed. She is to become a Queen. Domestic Arrangements in Polygamy. Bearing the Cross. A First Wife's Sorrows. "Where does Polygamy Hurt?" The Mormon Husband; his Position and Privileges.


I OFTEN wonder if there is a child in Mormondom, born under the blight of polygamy, who knows what it is to have a happy, joyous childhood, rendered more happy and more joyous by the smiling, calm content of the mother in whose arms its tiny infant form lies cradled. I fear the cases are as rare as happy women are.

True, childhood always has a certain careless happiness of its own, that even the saddest surroundings cannot wholly repress; but even this happiness is embittered by the tearful eyes that gaze into trustful baby ones, and the lips that quiver with pain, as they try to smile back into laughing baby faces.

In the happy homes which I have visited since I broke the chains that bound me, and came forth a free woman, unshackled in thought and untrammelled in action, although a wanderer on the face of the earth, with no abiding-place where to stay my weary feet, I have been compelled to contrast the difference between childhood in a monogamic country and in a polygamous one; and when I have seen the mother's face grow almost divine in its radiant content as she smiled down into the face of the little one sheltered so closely in her heart, I have felt my heart throb and ache with jealous anguish for the little ones in Utah, and above all for their weary-hearted mothers, to whom maternity brings no such joy, and added love, and tender care.

I was consecrated to sorrow by the Baptism of my mother's tears upon my baby brow. I never remember on her face one such look as I see daily upon mothers' faces now. My baby hands wiped away tears, my baby fingers stroked a cheek furrowed by them, and my baby eyes never saw beyond the mist in hers. I came to her when the greatest misery of her life was about to fall upon her; and that misery came to her, as it came to all the women then, under the guise of religion -- something that must be endured "for Christ's sake." And as her religion had brought her nothing but persecution and sacrifice, she submitted to this new trial as to everything that had preceded it, and received polygamy as a cross laid upon her, but which strength would be given her to bear.

She had never questioned any of Joseph Smith's "revelations," and she did not dare do so now, although this one came to her like a sudden and heavy blow, hurting heart and soul, and rendering the thought of life unendurable. Hitherto, although her sufferings had been severe, and her privations many, yet through them all she had been sustained by her husband's love. That was hers, and together they had shared poverty and tasted plenty. Their sufferings had brought them closer together, and whether in plenty or poverty, they had been happy in each other and in their children, and had made a home, and a cheerful one, wherever they had been, one in which the spirit of love ruled supreme. Now, her religion told her that she was selfish and wicked to try and keep this home and husband. The one must be broken and desolated, the other shared with some one else. "The Lord commanded it." What a blasphemy and satire on Him who is the God of Love, that He should make His children unhappy, and wreck all hopes of peace and content, for His glory! It seems as though this one act of Smith's alone should have opened the eyes of this deluded people, and shown them that their false Prophet was not taught of God, as he pretended, and they so fondly believed, but that he was impelled by the demons of covetousness and lust. But their eyes were blinded, and they could not see; their reason was inthralled, and they did not know it was bound; their wills were obedient to his, and he held them soul and body, and played with them as though they were so many puppets, helpless and lifeless out of his hands.

Being accounted among the specially "faithful," my parents were among the first to whom polygamy was taught by Joseph Smith himself, and my father was commanded by him to "live up to his privileges," and to take another wife.

At first, the thought of taking a second wife to share his home with the one whom he had first loved, who had been the object of his youthful dreams and of his manhood's devotion; who had stood by him, through every reverse, with the courage, and consideration, and love which only a strong-natured, tender-hearted, earnest-souled woman could show under such circumstances; who was, in every sense, a helpmeet, and, above all, the mother of his children, -- was hateful to him. It took a long time, too, to overcome his aversion to the new system. He and my mother had many a long, tearful talk over it; and although they received the doctrine, believing that it must be right, they could not for some time make up their minds to put it in practice. In the mean time Joseph was assassinated, and for a little time they were left to each other in peace. But Brigham Young was bound to carry out Joseph's revelations, and this one relating to the plural wife system was strongly, though secretly, urged upon the Saints. Both my father and mother were visited by Brigham, and "counselled" in regard to the matter. My mother has often said that the "Revelation" was the most hateful thing in the world to her, and she dreaded and abhorred it, but she was afraid to opposite it, lest she should be found "fighting against the Lord." The thought that she might be obliged to live in a polygamous relation with another woman filled her with horror and fear; but she was assured by her religious leader, that the feeling was merely the effect of her early training, which she would soon outgrow under the benign influences of the gospel. For several months she struggled with herself over this subject, before she could think patiently of it for even a minute. She wanted to have it made easy and plain to her, for she could not bear to repudiate any of her beloved Prophet's teachings. She agonized over it day and night; she prayed incessantly to be given the true "spirit" of submission; if it was God's will, she wanted strength to endure it; and she believed she should have it, for surely the kind and loving Father would not impose upon his children burdens greater than they could bear. She had not learned, as she has since, that the God of the Mormon belief was not the heavenly Father whose love the Saviour taught, but a jealous God, a cruel, avenging Spirit, who demanded blood-offerings to appease his awakened wrath. He was not the tender Parent, all-wise, all-powerful; and all-loving, whom she reverenced and adored. There was little use in looking towards her people's God for help or comfort. Retribution, and justice untempered by mercy, were all He had for His subjects, not children.

During all these months of wavering doubt and untold misery, my father never attempted to influence my mother's decision in the least; she had her battle to fight, and he his; the end was inevitable for both; but for all this the contest was no less severe. Brigham's "counselling" began to assume the form of commands, which at last grew so imperative that they were obliged to be obeyed. My mother did not rebel; she looked upon it as duty, and she was determined to "do it silently and uncomplainingly, if not willingly" and cheerfully. My parents consulted together regarding the choice of the new wife, and fixed upon the person with surprising unanimity. They were each anxious to help and comfort the other in this as they had been in every other emergency of their lives. My father wished, if he must take another wife, to choose one who should be agreeable to my mother, or rather as agreeable as one woman could be to another under such circumstances; and my mother was, for her part, equally determined not to oppose him in his selection. But opposition was not necessary, as his choice fell upon the very person whom my mother would have selected, had the task rested with her alone.

A short time after my birth, a Miss Elizabeth Taft came, with a younger sister, to live in our house. She was a very pleasant, cheery, affectionate person, and all the family became very much attached to her. Father, mother, children, all quoted "Elizabeth," and she became almost a part of our very selves. She was thoughtful of my mother, and tender to us little ones, petting us and indulging us in our childish whims, and we, in return, loved her very dearly. She was a good woman in its highest interpretation, and devotedly religious. Naturally enough, seeing her so constantly, both my parents thought of her as the new wife. If they must enter polygamy, they knew they could do no better than to take her into the family, if she could be induced to consider the subject in the same light. My father made proposals to her, and my mother seconded them. The thought of living in a polygamic relation with any one was very unpleasant to her, as indeed it is to every true woman; but she desired to live her religion, and believing this to be a part of it, accepted my father's proposal, and became his first plural wife when I was about a year old.

Her parents were in Michigan at the time, and Elizabeth wished to wait until their arrival; but Brigham, who, as a matter of course, was interested in the affair, counselled the marriage to proceed, and of course it was considered right and prudent to obey his counsel; and as he was hurrying forward the endowments in the Nauvoo Temple, preparatory to leaving for the West, the parties most nearly concerned in the matter thought it best to hasten the nuptials.

My mother was to be "sealed" at the same time, as, according to Joseph's Revelation, her former marriage, having been performed in the Gentile form, was not binding. The place of sealing was the Temple; and there, one midwinter day, in the beginning of the year 1846, my mother was sealed to my father for "time and for all eternity," after which she gave him Elizabeth as his wife according to the Mormon marriage formula. It was with a steady voice and calm composure that she pronounced the words that gave another woman a share in her husband's love; but it was none the less with a heavy, breaking heart. Think of it, wives, who are happy in undivided homes, and in your husbands' unshared love! What if your religion commanded you to give another woman to your husband as a wife; who was to have an equal right with you to his attention and his love; who should bear his name, and be a mother to his children; that all this should be done "in the name of the Lord," and without shrinking or complaint on your part. Take this home to yourself, and you will be able to appreciate as never before the horrors of Mormonism.

It was in January that my father obeyed the "counsel" of his Prophet and leader, and in March his new wife's parents returned, and were shocked and grieved beyond measure to find their daughter married into polygamy; yet, being strong in the faith, and much attached to their church and their religion, submitted without a murmur, like the good Saints they were.

My mother was so quiet and uncomplaining in the position which she had voluntarily assumed, that she was praised by the officious brethren and sisters for submitting with such good grace, and was told by them that great glory awaited her as a reward, and also, as she had so readily made the great sacrifice, she would always be recognized as the first wife, which, among the Mormons, is considered an exceeding great honor. One of the sisters, who was a strong advocate of the new "Celestial" system, said to her:

"You will stand at the head of your husband's kingdom as a queen; no one can ever take your place from you, but you will be honored to stand by his side through the endless ages of eternity." It was by such nonsensical talk and absurd promises as these that the Mormon leaders tried to make polygamy attractive to the women who were already married, and render them more willing to enter it. Such absurdities may have weight with some women, but they did not affect my mother, nor render the cross she had assumed any more easy to bear. Her husband's undivided love during time was better than royal honors in eternity.

The new wife lived in the family, and to outward appearance everything was unchanged. Only a few of the "very faithful " knew of the new arrangement; it was deemed best to keep it a secret from the majority of the people, to whom polygamy was not a fixed fact, and who were wavering slightly in the faith on account of it. The time had not yet come to promulgate the doctrine freely, and many left Nauvoo for the West quite ignorant that the system really existed in their midst. I think many of them never would have crossed those endless plains, and sought shelter under the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, had they known what unhappiness awaited them. But unchanged as our family circle was to those outside it, within was unhappiness and bitterness of spirit. It was much harder to endure, even, than my mother had anticipated. Terrible as was the thought, the reality was much more horrible. She thought she had counted the cost; she found she had, in her ignorance, been unable to estimate it. Every hour of her life her heart was torn by some new agony. She was compelled to see many of the tender, wifely little offices, trifles in themselves, that she had been accustomed to perform, done by other hands, and she herself always turned off with the excuse, "You see, dear, you have the children to attend to, and I did not wish to give you trouble." Trouble! as though anything done for him, with a heart full of love, could be accounted as such! That hurt her almost as much as to see another doing what it had always been her delight to do.

As is the custom of men in polygamy, my father fell more easily into the new arrangement, and even found a certain comfort and content in it, and he wondered very much that my mother could not be happy as well. Indeed, he was a little impatient, after a while, that she would not say she was content and satisfied in the new relation.

"I don't understand it," he would say; "you were willing at first. What is the difficulty now? Don't you think Elizabeth a good, true girl?"

"Yes, indeed," was always the reply; for my mother was too just a woman to do even a rival a wrong.

"Don't you believe in polygamy, then?" he would ask, determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.

"Yes, I suppose so. I wish to live my religion," was the dreary reply.

"Well, what is to be done about it?" was the next anxious question.

"O, I don't know," my mother would say, in bitter despair; "but I can't endure this life."

"And yet you entered it voluntarily. I don't understand you; you are strangely inconsistent."

Her remonstrance and his comfort never went beyond this point. There was nothing more to be said. She had protested with unutterable anguish against the life that she felt was false and in direct contradiction to every law of moral right, although she was told to look upon it as "divine;" and the only answer she could get was, "You are inconsistent; you entered the relation voluntarily." The very truth of this reply silenced her, but it did not make her burdens any lighter or easier to bear.

She saw that patient endurance was all that was required of her, and all she could give. Her husband was hers no longer; she herself had given another woman the same right to his care that she had; and now she turned to all that was left her in life that she could call her own -- her children. Had it not been for us she would have prayed to die. I was the baby, and she has said that at that time I was the strongest tie which held her to life. If it had not been for me, lying helpless in her arms, she would have taken her life into her own hands, and put an end to it then and there. But she could not endure the thought of leaving me, her only daughter, -- her baby girl, -- alone and unshielded by a mother's care. My brothers, who were quite large boys at that time, she thought would not miss her, nor need her so much; and many a time she has knelt with me clasped fast in her arms, the tears falling on my wondering face, and prayed frantically that we both might die. The thought that she had brought a girl into the world to suffer as she was now suffering, to find her whole life's happiness made a wreck by the religion which should be a stay and a comfort, drove her almost wild. She had buried one little girl, and I have often heard her thank God that He had taken her to Himself before life became a terrible bitterness and burden. She often says, in referring to her sufferings at that time, and the desperate state she was in, she wonders she did not commit suicide; what kept her from it she cannot tell to this day, unless the thought that these polygamous relations did not end with time, but were carried on through all eternity."

She had to keep a double guard on her tongue and on her actions. She did not like to vex her husband, and neither did she wish to grieve the young wife, whose position was no pleasanter than her own. Besides, a husband in polygamy is very sensitive regarding the treatment of the last wife by those who have preceded her, and she knew that no act of hers would escape her husband's notice, even had she been inclined to ill-treat her rival.


Once, very mildly and kindly, she tried to tell some of her troubles to Elizabeth, and begged her not to add to her sorrow by bestowing so many marks of affection on my father in her presence. The young wife turned on her quickly, and demanded, bitterly,

"Do you think I have no trials?"

"God forgive me, and help us both; I know you have," was my mother's quick and sympathetic answer.

After all, what could she say or do? She had influenced the girl quite as much as my father had, believing she was only doing what was right, and that the act, hard as it was, would bring its own blessing with it. Instead, it brought what polygamy always does bring -- the curse of a wrecked home and a life's unhappiness.

A gentleman visiting Salt Lake City for the first time once asked me where polygamy hurt the most.

"It hurts all over, body and soul, mind and heart," was my reply. "I can't tell a spot that it does not hurt."

"It is even worse than I thought," he replied, with a shudder.

The reply which I gave then I would give again. Never, until a woman ceases to love her husband, can polygamy cease to be anything but a series of cruel stings, alike to pride and conscience.

I have tried to portray a little something of the misery that fell upon our family by the introduction of polygamy into it, but I have utterly failed to give an adequate idea of it. No pen can possibly depict the heart-breaking sufferings that are endured by women in this relation, and no one can imagine or understand them who has not experienced them. And yet, in spite of all this unhappiness, we were accounted a model family, and were pointed out as the best exponents of the system. "They are so united!" was the admiring verdict. This was due a great deal to my mother's exertions and her conscientiousness. Having taken this new mode of life as a religious duty, she was determined not to be found wanting in readiness to perform whatever it required of her. A happy, contented spirit she could not give; but she could show patience, long-suffering, and a calm, though by no means cheerful, face and manner.

Then, my father was very just in the treatment of his wives. One did not fare better than the other in any respect. If he purchased an article of wearing apparel for one, he got its counterpart for the other; in every particular they shared alike. His position was by no means an enviable one; still it was preferable to that of either of his wives. Men, as I said before, always get the best of it in polygamy, and always become more easily reconciled to it than do the women. At meetings and all social assemblies, my gather appeared with both wives, and they deferred to each other in the most charming way, both of them being too sensible and too proud to show the slightest feeling where it might be commented on. Then, too, in spite of the natural bitterness of feeling between them, there was a mutual respect and regard between them, and each was too just to lay her troubles at the door of the other. Had these two women, with their generous natures and firm principles, met on any other ground, they would not only have "got along" amiably and quietly as they did, but they would have been warm, earnest friends, and the respectful regard would have grown into positive affection. As it was, they had nothing but kind words for each other, my mother, especially, pitying the young wife as she did herself. Elizabeth was still kind to us children, and gained the love which she has held ever since, and which she fully deserved. Still the introduction of polygamy into our midst was not a pleasant thing, and we little ones, even, felt instinctively its baleful influence.

But we were to be diverted from the contemplation of its miseries by a new and absorbing excitement. The Mormon people were again compelled to move, leaving their beautiful new city in the "defiled hands" of the Gentiles; and in the very midst of our first family trouble and unhappiness came the command to seek another Zion, since this could no longer be a shelter for the Saints.
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