Friday, February 8, 2013

List of Joseph Smith's Wives

Death Masks of Joseph and Hyrum Smith
These brothers died in a shootout when an irate crowd, enraged by their destruction of a printing press that published an article critical of Mormonism, attacked the building in which Joseph and Hyrum were awaiting trial.


List of Joseph Smith's wives

Many historians claim that Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805–1844), the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, taught and practiced polygamy during his ministry, and married multiple women during his lifetime. Smith, and the leading quorums of his church, publicly denied he taught or practiced it.[1][2][3]
The first publication of a list of women alleged to be Smith's plural wives was in 1887, by assistant LDS church historian Andrew Jenson. It included 27 women besides Emma Smith.[4]Currently, historians disagree as to the number of plural wives which Smith had and their names. Various scholars and historians, including Fawn Brodie, George D. Smith,[5] and Todd Compton, have tried to identify the women who married Smith.[6] The discrepancy is created by the lack of documents to support some of the alleged marriages. As Compton has stated, for many of these marriages, "absolutely nothing is known of [the] marriage after the ceremony."[7]
Smith's son Joseph Smith III, lawful widow Emma Smith, and most members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS, now called Community of Christ) attempted for years to refute the evidence of plural marriages. They pointed to the historical record that Joseph Smith publicly opposed the practice of polygamy.[3][8][9]



[edit]List of wives

Plural wife - maiden name (married name)Marriage DateAge[10]Recognized byMarital status at time of sealingNotes
Emma Hale (Smith)
Emma Hale Smith Bidamon.jpg
Jan. 17, 182722yesyesyesn/aThe only woman to be legally wed to Joseph Smith, Jr. and whom he claimed publicly was his only spouse.[14] Continued church activity within the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.[15] Throughout life and on her deathbed denied Joseph Smith, Jr. had plural wives.[16]Claimed that the very first time she ever became aware of a polygamy revelation being attributed to Joseph Smith was when she read about it inOrson Pratt's booklet The Seer in 1853.[17]
Fanny AlgerEarly 183316yesnonoSingleAccording to George D. Smith, Alger's marriage to Smith was attested to by several people, including Emma SmithWarren ParishOliver Cowdery, and Heber C. Kimball.[18] Compton cites Mosiah Hancock's handwritten report of his father Levi's account of the marriage ceremony of Smith and Alger, and records his father's account of negotiations between Levi and Smith in procuring their respective wives. Compton also notes that nineteenth-century Mormons in Utah, including Benjamin Johnson, Heber C. Kimball and Andrew Jenson, and former Mormons Chauncey Webb and Ann Eliza Webb Young, regarded the Smith-Alger relationship as a marriage.[19] Historian Lawrence Foster asserts a claim that later Mormons may have falsely assumed there was a marriage where there was only a sexual relationship: he views the marriage of Alger to Joseph Smith as "debatable supposition" rather than "established fact".[20]
Lucinda Pendleton Morgan HarrisEst. 183837yesyesyesMarriedHistorians Richard Lloyd Anderson and Scott H. Faulring dismiss this claim as being based on "no solid evidence".[21] Compton Lnotes the following evidence: she is the third woman on Andrew Jenson's 1887 list of Joseph Smith's plural wives; Compton writes that "Sarah Pratt reported that while in Nauvoo Lucinda had admitted a long-standing relationship with Smith"; and that there is an "early Nauvoo temple proxy sealing to Smith...." This marriage was polyandrous, as Lucinda lived with her then husband George Washington Harris until about 1853. Compton believes the marriage occurred around 1838, when Smith was living with Lucinda and her husband.[22]
Louisa Beaman
Louisa Beman.jpg
Apr. 5, 184126yesyesyesSingle(February 7, 1815 - May 16, 1850). Though Mormon history and press indicate Beaman was not baptized until May 11, 1843,[23][24] she had migrated with Mormons to Nauvoo in 1839 or 1840.[25] She has been called the "first plural wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith." [26] After Smith's death, Beaman remarried, becoming the ninth wife of Brigham Young. They had five children together, all of whom predeceased Beaman, who died young at age 35.[27][28] Listed as a Smith plural wife by Joseph F. Smith,[29] who noted 1869 affidavit of Beaman's brother-in-law Joseph B. Noble, stating he officiated at the wedding,[30][31] William Clayton said Smith told him in February 1843 that Beaman was one of his plural wives.[32] This would have been prior to her baptism.
Zina Diantha Huntington (Jacobs)
Zina D. H. Young.JPG
Oct. 27, 184120yesyesyesMarriedHusband was Henry Bailey Jacobs, who was aware of Zina's plural marriage to Smith. Jacobs wrote, "[W]hatever the Prophet did was right, without making the wisdom of God's authorities bend to the reasoning of any man." (Compton 1997, pp. 81–82) Sister of Presendia Huntington. After Smith's death, married Brigham Young while husband Jacobs was on mission to England.
Presendia Lathrop Huntington (Buell)Dec. 11, 184131yesyesyesMarried(7 September 1810 in WatertownNew York - 1 February 1892 in Salt Lake CityUtah) Sister of Zina. After Smith's death, married Heber C. Kimball.
Agnes Moulton Coolbrith
Agnes Moulton Coolbrith.jpg
Jan. 6, 184231yesyesyesSingleWidow of Smith's brother Don Carlos. (1808–1876). After Don Carlos died in 1841, Coolbrith married Joseph in 1842.[33] Coolbrith was the mother ofIna Coolbrith, who became the first poet laureate of California.
Sylvia Porter Sessions Lyon
Sylvia Porter Sessions Lyon Clark .jpg
Feb. 8, 184223yesyesyesMarriedDaughter of David Sessions and Patty Bartlett Sessions, who married Joseph Smith one month after her daughter's marriage to him. On her deathbed, Sylvia informed her daughter Josephine Lyons that she was Smith's daughter:
"Just prior to my mothers death in 1882 she called me to her bedside … to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and from all others but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith." (Newell & Avery 1994, pp. 44, Compton 1997, pp. 183)
Mary Elizabeth Rollins LightnerJan. 17, 184223yesyesyesMarried(9 April 1818 in LimaNew York–17 December 1913 in MinersvilleUtah) Claimed that Smith had a private conversation with her in 1831 when she was twelve years old,[34][35]
[At age 12 in 1831], [Smith] told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife. … In 1834 he was commanded to take me for a Wife … [In 1842 I] went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham Young performed the sealing … for time, and all Eternity. I did just as Joseph told me to do[.]
After Smith's death, she remarried, becoming the 24th plural wife of Brigham Young. They married in 1845 and she bore him no children. Mary Elizabeth and her sister Caroline were instrumental in salvaging printed pages of the Book of Commandments when the printing press was destroyed by a mob on 20 July 1833.[36]
Patty Bartlett (Sessions)
Patty Bartlett Sessions.jpg
Mar. 9, 184247yesyesyesMarried(4 February 1795 in BethelMaine - 14 December 1893 in BountifulUtah). Her daughter Sylvia Porter Sessions Lyon, who had married Smith one month before, was present at Session's wedding to Smith.[37]
Marinda Nancy Johnson (Hyde)
Marinda Nancy Johnson Hyde.jpg
Apr. 184227 (16)[38]yesyesyesMarried(28 June 1815 in PomfretVermont - 24 March 1886 in Salt Lake CityUtah). Jon Krakauer wrote in Under the Banner of Heaven,[38]
"In the summer of 1831 the Johnson family took Joseph and Emma Smith into their home as boarders, and soon thereafter the prophet purportedly bedded young Marinda. Unfortunately, the liaison did not go unnoticed, and a gang of indignant Ohioans—including a number of Mormons—resolved to castrate Joseph so that he would be disinclined to commit such acts of depravity in the future."
Elizabeth Davis (Brackenbury Durfee)
Elizabeth Davis Brackenbury Durfee.jpg
Bef. Jun. 184250yesyesyesMarried(11 March 1791 in RiverheadNew York - 16 December 1876 in White CloudKansas)
According to Anderson and Faulring, this claim is based on Bennett and "an ambiguous statement attributed to Sarah Pratt by the hostile journalist Wyl."[21]
Sally A. Fuller1842 ?noyesno ?
Sarah Maryetta Kingsley (Howe Cleveland)Bef. Jun. 29, 184253yesyesyesMarried(1788 - 20 April 1856 in PlymouthIllinois)
Anderson and Faulring state that this is "only a guess" based on a claim "without any supporting data".[21]
Delcena Johnson (Sherman)
Delcena Diadamia Johnson Sherman.jpg
Bef. Jul. 184237yesyesyesSingle(19 November 1806 in WestfieldVermont - 21 October 1854 in Salt Lake CityUtah; widow of Lyman R. Sherman)
Eliza Roxcy Snow
Eliza Roxcy Snow photograph.PNG
Jun. 29, 184238yesyesyesSingleSister of Lorenzo Snow. Organized a petition in Summer 1842, with a thousand female signatures, denying Smith a polygamist.[39] As Secretary of the Ladies' Relief Society published a certificate in October 1842 denouncing polygamy.[40] William Clayton said Smith told him in February 1843 that Snow was one of his plural wives.[41] She was married to Brigham Young from 1844 until his death in 1877.
Sarah Ann WhitneyJul. 27, 184217yesyesyesSingleDaughter of Newel and Elizabeth Whitney. Joseph C. Kingsbury said he was "well aware" of this marriage.[42] William Clayton listed her as one of Smith's wives married during the early May 1843 period.[41] She was married to Heber C. Kimball from March 17, 1845 to June 22, 1868.
Martha McBride (Knight)
Martha McBride.jpg
Aug. 184237yesyesyesSingleWidow of Vinson Knight; later sealed to Heber C. Kimball.
Sarah Bapson1842yes ? ?
Ruth D. Vose (Sayers)Feb. 184334yesyesyesMarried
Flora Ann WoodworthSpring 184316yesyesyesSingleWilliam Clayton listed her as one of Smith's wives married during the early May 1843 period.[41]
Emily Dow Partridge
Emily Dow Partridge Smith Young.jpg
Mar. 4, 184319yesyesyesSingleDaughter of Edward Partridge and sister of Eliza. After Smith's death, she married Brigham Young. William Clayton listed her as one of Smith's wives married during the early May 1843 period.[41]
Eliza Maria Partridge
Eliza Maria Partridge.jpg
Mar.8, 184322yesyesyesSingleDaughter of Edward Partridge and sister of Emily. Eliza married after Smith's death, to Amasa M. Lyman, who was already husband to Eliza's older sister, Caroline. William Clayton listed her as one of Smith's wives married during the early May 1843 period.[41]
Almera Woodward Johnson
Almera Woodard Johnson Smith Barton.jpg
Apr. 184330yesyesyesSingle(12 October 1812 in WestfieldVermont - 4 March 1896 in ParowanUtah)
Lucy WalkerMay 1, 1843[43]17yesyesyesSingleWrote about her plural marriage to Smith,[35][44]
"In the year 1842 President Joseph Smith sought an interview with me, and said, ‘I have a message for you, I have been commanded of God to take another wife, and you are the woman.' … He asked me if I believed him to be a Prophet of God. … He fully Explained to me the principle of plural or celestial marriage … that it would prove an everlasting blessing to my father's house. … [Joseph encouraged her to pray] 'that the grave would kindly receive me that I might find rest on the bosom of my dear [recently deceased] mother … Why Should I be chosen from among thy daughters, Father I am only a child in years and experience.' And thus I prayed in the agony of my soul. … [The marriage] was not a love matter—at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice to establish that grand and glorious principle that God had revealed to the world."
Sarah LawrenceMay 184317yesyesyesSingle(13 May 1826 in Pickering Township, OntarioCanada - 1872) Sister of Maria.
Maria LawrenceMay 184319yesyesyesSingle(b. December 18, 1823, Pickering TownshipOntario - d.? Nauvoo, Illinois) Sister of Sarah. After Smith's death, Lawrence married Brigham Young, becoming his sixteenth plural wife. They divorced in 1845, but remarried the following year.[28]
Helen Mar KimballMay 184314yesyesyesSingleDaughter of Heber C. Kimball. At aged 14, Helen Mar Kimball wrote,[35]
"[My father] asked me if I would be sealed to Joseph … [Smith] said to me, ‘If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father's household & all of your kindred.[‘] This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. … [After the marriage] I felt quite sore over it … and thought myself an abused child, and that it was pardonable if I did murmur."
William Clayton listed her as one of Smith's wives married during the early May 1843 period.[41]
Hannah Ells184329yesyes ?Single(4 March 1813 in Newcastle upon TyneEngland - 1844 in NauvooIllinois)
Elvira Annie Cowles (Holmes)Jun. 1, 184329yesyesyesMarried(23 November 1813 in UnadillaNew York - 10 March 1871 in FarmingtonUtah)
Rhoda Richards
Rhoda Richards Smith Young.jpg
Jun. 12, 184358yesyesyesSingle(8 August 1784 in FraminghamMassachusetts - 17 January 1879 in Salt Lake CityUtah) 1st cousin of Brigham Young whom she married after Smith's death.
Desdemona Fullmer
Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer Smith.jpg
Jul. 184332yesyesyesSingle(6 October 1809 in Huntington, Pennsylvania - 9 February 1886 in Salt Lake CityUtah). William Clayton said Smith told him in February 1843 that Fullmer was one of his plural wives.[41]
Olive Grey FrostSummer 184327yesyesyesSingle(24 July 1816 in BethelMaine - 6 October 1845 in NauvooIllinois) After Smith's death, Frost would remarry, becoming the eighteenth plural wife of Brigham Young. They married in 1844, and she bore him no children.
Mary Ann Frost (Pratt)Summer 184334noyesDivorced(14 January 1809 in GrotonVermont - 24 August 1891 in Pleasant Grove, Utah) Sister of Olive Grey Frost. First married to Nathan Stearns in 1831 but he died about 18 months later. Baptized into LDS Church in 1835 by David W. Patten. Married Parley Parker Pratt on 14 May 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio. Moved to Missouri and Nauvoo with Pratt. Went on mission trip with Pratt to England in 1840. Returned from England without Pratt and was divorced soon after Pratt's return. Emigrated with the Harmon Cutler Company to Utah Territory in 1852. She was accompanied by her daughter Olivia Pratt (b. 1841) and son Moroni Llewellyn Pratt (b. 1844). They settled in Pleasant Grove, Utah.[45]
Melissa LottSep. 20, 184319yesyesyesSingleDaughter of early Mormon leader Cornelius P. Lott, who managed Smith's farm in Nauvoo.
Nancy Mariah Winchester1842 or 184314yesyesyesSingleDaughter of Stephen Winchester Sr. of Vershire, Vermont, who was a member of the Danite militia and the Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife Nancy Case of Argyle, N.Y. Anderson and Faulring write that this claim is based on "unsupported information".[21]
Fanny Young (Murray)Nov. 2, 184356yesyesyesSingle(8 November 1787 in HopkintonMassachusetts - 11 June 1859)
Mary HoustonBefore 1844noyes ? ?
Sarah ScottBefore 1844noyes ? ?
Olive AndrewsBefore 1844noyes ? ?
Jane TippetsBefore 1844noyes ? ?
Sophia SanburnBefore 1844noyes ? ?
Phoebe Watrous (Woodworth)Before 1844 ?noyes ? ?
Vienna JaquesBefore 1844 ?noyes ? ?

[edit]Allegations of children born to alleged polygamous wives

Research by LDS researcher Ugo A. Perego has shown that a number of children of Smith's alleged polygamous relationships were not his genetic offspring. The following table lists some of the children born to Smith's alleged polygamous wives as well as those ruled out by genetic testing:[46][47][48]
ChildDate of birthMotherFatherDNA testing statusDNA testing resultNotes
Oliver Buell1838 – 39Presendia Huntington BuellNorman BuellComplete (November 2007)Negative[48]Historian Fawn Brodie speculated that Buell was a polygamous son of Joseph Smith.[49]
John Reed HancockApril 19, 1841Clarissa Reed HancockLevi HancockComplete (July 2011)Negative [50]Only anecdotal evidence that Clarissa Reed Hancock was a plural wife of Joseph Smith.[46][51]
Mosiah HancockApril 9, 1834Clarissa Reed HancockLevi HancockComplete (November 2007)Negative[48]Only anecdotal evidence that Clarissa Reed Hancock was a plural wife of Joseph Smith.[46][51]
Frank Henry HydeJanuary 23, 1845, 1846?Marinda Johnson HydeOrson HydeIncomplete?
Orson Washington HydeNovember 9, 1843Marinda Johnson HydeOrson HydeNot possible (died in infancy)n/a
Zebulon JacobsJanuary 2, 1842Zina Huntington JacobsHenry JacobsComplete (May 2005)Negative[47]
Algernon LightnerMarch 22, 1842Mary Elizabeth Rollins LightnerAdam LightnerNot possible (died in infancy)n/a
Josephine Rosetta LyonFebruary 8, 1844Sylvia Porter Sessions LyonWindsor LyonIncomplete?Mother told her on deathbed that Josephine was Smith's daughter.[52]
Moroni PrattDecember 7, 1844Mary Ann Frost PrattParley P. PrattComplete (May 2005)Negative[47]

[edit]Temple Lot case

The Temple Lot Case, legally Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. Church of Christ, in 1894 included analysis of testimony about Joseph Smith, Jr. and his plural wives. In his ruling, Judge John F. Philips was recorded as disagreeing with assertions about whether some of the women listed above had been legally married to Smith. Nonetheless, reliable historians since his time have disagreed with his conclusions. There is no historical consensus that gives his ruling more weight than the historians' conclusions about wives as cited above.[53][54]

[edit]See also


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