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Mormon Polygamy
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1830 Apr 6

Church organized

Book of Mormon, Jacob 2

23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.


Polygamy against the law

Polygamy is against the law in New York ( by 1830 ) , Ohio ( by 1830 ), Illinois ( 1833 ) and Missouri ( by 1838 ) - all states where the Mormons lived and practiced polygamy.   Polygamy was illegal from 1862 onward in Utah and other US territories, as well as being illegal in Canada and Mexico when the Mormons were marrying plural wives there

1831 Jul 17

Polygamy revealed

Plural marriage is allowed by a revelation which is never canonized or officially published ( Quinn, Origins, p 617 )  Missionaries were sent to Missouri.  In the 1850s, the claim is that they were told to marry the Indians, thus inferring polygamy.  There is some evidence of this from a non-Mormon contemporary source, as well as implied evidence from section 101 of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.  However, there is no evidence that the instructions, if ever given, were acted upon.  Note that, at the time, it was not unusual for frontiersmen to “marry” Indian women while they were staying in the Indian lands, and then abandon them when they returned to their homes.

1833 or 1835

Fanny Alger

The Prophet Joseph Smith marries his first plural wife, Fanny Alger, a young girl who was a maid in his home.  The evidence for an actual marriage ceremony is not overly strong, and historians are divided on whether a real marriage actually took place.  The evidence for some kind of sexual relationship is very strong.  See Todd Compton’s In Sacred Loneliness for details – Todd believes that there was a marriage.  In 1836, Fanny leaves with her family heading west.  She is married soon thereafter to a non-Mormon.  She attends a few meetings when visiting her parents later in life, but is otherwise unheard from again in Mormon circles.

Aug 17

1835 Doctrine and Covenants  Section 101 - Article on Marriage

"According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies; therefore we believe that all marriages in this Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints should be solemnized in a public meeting or feast prepared for that purpose, and that the solemnization should be performed by a Presiding High Priest, High Priest, Bishop, Elder or Priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this Church from marrying out of the Church, ... The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages solemnized in his branch. All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this Church should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. (History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.18, p.247).

Rumors of “fornication and polygamy” are what prompted this statement on marriage, an attempt to squash these rumors and innuendo.  By this time, Joseph Smith either had a sexual relationship, or married, Fanny Alger.  Joseph Smith was out of town when this section was sustained, but he started using this section as his marriage guide from September onward.  The Article on Marriage was section 101 of the 1835 edition of the D&C. The Community of Christ (formerly RLDS church) has this section in their Doctrine and Covenants to this day. The LDS church kept it in the Nauvoo editions 1844, 1845 and 1846 and in four editions of the Doctrine and Covenants published in England from 1852 to 1869.  This “monogamy” section of the D&C stayed as canonized scripture until 1876 Edition of the D&C, just before the death of Brigham Young, when section 132 was inserted.

1841 Apr 5

Joseph Smith marries Louisa Beaman

In Illinois, Joseph marries Louisa Beaman, his second or third wife ( depending upon how one counts Fanny Alger ).  Note that it is likely that he had married others of his plural wives before Beaman, but no positive dates exist for possible earlier marriages  ( Compton, Sacred, and Quinn Origins p 632 ).  An 1833 Illinois state law provided a two year imprisonment and a $1000 fine for the married man who married a second wife, and one year imprisonment and $500 fine for the unmarried women who knowingly entered into a marriage with an already married man.  Illinois statues defined the resulting sexual cohabitation as a continuing offense with six months in prison and $200 fine, with the next continuing offense at twice that punishment, the third offense at three times that punishment, etc.  ( Revised Laws of Illinois  pp 198 – 199 )

1841 Oct 27

Joseph Smith marries poly-andrously

Joseph Smith marries Zina D. Huntington Jacobs, who was married the Henry Jacobs at the time.  This is the first of 11 women whom he marries polyandrously.  After Joseph’s death, she marries Brigham Young while still actively married to Henry Jacobs, an active member of the church.

1842 May 25

John Bennett disfellow-shipped

John Bennett was disfellowshipped.  He then publishes the first expose of polygamy.  On 18 June 1842, he is excommunicated.

1843 Aug 12

Polygamy announced internally

Polygamy was announced in the Nauvoo High Council, read by Hyrum Smith.  No wording exists.  This is supposedly what was read to Emma shortly thereafter.  It was supposedly received on July 27, 1842.  ( Quinn, Origins p 635 )  As a result, Austin A. Cowles resigned from the High Council.  ( Dayne, More Wives Than One, p 33 )  On Apr 27, 1845 Cowles is run out of the city of Nauvoo by the Whistling and Whittling Brigade.

1844 Feb 2

Polygamous child

The first known polygamous child, George Omner Noble, is born to Joseph B. Noble and Sarah Alley.  They were previous married by Joseph Smith in a known polygamous marriage.  ( Quinn, Origins, p 642 ).

1844 Apr

Laws excom-municated

William Law, his wife, and his brother were excommunicated, mostly because they disagreed over polygamy and Joseph Smith’s increasing power.  ( Dayne, More Wives Than One, p 33 )

1844 May 23

Law files suit

William Law filed suit in Hancock County Illinois against Joseph Smith for living in adultery with Maria Lawrence, one of Joseph Smith’s plural wives.  Maria is also his foster daughter.

1844 June 7

Nauvoo Expositor

William Law publishes the Nauvoo Expositor.  This starts into motion the events leading to the death of Joseph Smith.  The Expositor announced to the world that the Mormons were living polygamy.  The Nauvoo City Council, led by Mayor Joseph Smith, declared the press a nuisance, and ordered it destroyed.  Destroying a press was perfectly legal at the time.  The Mormon press had been destroyed in Independence on July 20 1833, and its editor tarred and feathered.  An abolitionist press was destroyed in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Elijah Parish Lovejoy had five presses destroyed, and lost his life defending the last one in Alton, Illinois, all because of his anti-slavery writings in the newspaper he published.  What the Mormons did not understand, however, was that the destruction of Lovejoy’s presses about 150 miles from Nauvoo and the martyrdom of Lovejoy had ignited a firestorm of praise of a free and independent press that led rather quickly to an amendment to the United States Constitution which guaranteed freedom of the press.

1844 June 27

Joseph Smith martyred

Joseph Smith was killed in Carthage Illinois in June.  By this time, he had wed approximately 33 wives ( Per Todd Compton’s In Sacred Loneliness.  Other authors have different counts, but Todd’s count is generally accepted by today’s historians ).  At least 27 others in the Mormon hierarchy had also married multiple women ( Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841 – 44, Gary James Bergera, Dialogue volume 38, no 3, Fall 2005, p46 ).  This polygamy was exposed by the Nauvoo Expositor, which published only one edition.  Joseph and the city council ordered the press destroyed, and the resulting furor resulted in his imprisonment and death from a mob attack.  The church was deeply divided.  In August, the church members had a vote and elected the Quorum of the Twelve as the interim leaders of the church, but many had already left the area in many different splinter groups.  In 1846, a group of the Mormons left Nauvoo and went to Utah – the descendents of these people are what we call the Mormons today.

Approximately 29 other Mormon men were living polygamy when Joseph died.  ( Daynes, More Wives Than One, p 32 )


Mormons abandon Nauvoo

The Mormons abandon Nauvoo early in 1846.  By this time, 153 men had entered into polygamy, marrying 587 wives.  ( Dayne, More Wives Than One, p 35.  These or similar numbers are cited in dozens of sources ).

1849 Mar 5

1st petition for statehood as the State of Deseret

State of Deseret is formed.  The petition was rejected by Congress in 1850.  The state boundaries were too large and most of that large area was unoccupied at that time. ("A Constitution for Utah", Stanley S. Ivins, Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 25 1957 p. 95.   See also Quinn Origins p 747 )

1850 Sep 9

Territory of Utah formed

A geographically smaller Territory of Utah was approved with Brigham Young as Territorial Governor. (Ivins, p. 95.  See also Quinn, Origins, p 748)

1851 Fall

Polygamy meets the law

In Mills County Iowa, Frederick W. Cox was summoned to the court, and told he could not keep his plural wives ( he was openly living with them ).  He gave the freedom of religion first amendment defense.  He refused to give them up, and moved the two younger plural wives out of the county into Pottawatamie County in early 1852, while he stayed with his first wife in Mills County.  He was not bothered after that by the authorities – apparently they were happy with the compromise.  Contrary to belief, a few non-Mormons knew that the Mormons were living in polygamy, though it had not been announced.  ( Dayne, More Wives Than One, p 38 ).

1852 Aug 29

Mormon Polygamy is publicly announced

The revelation on celestial marriage was first made public. It was read during a conference held in Great Salt Lake City, and Apostle Orson Pratt delivered the first public discourse on the “principle”. (Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology, August 29, 1852, Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p.53, Orson Pratt.).  This is the first time that the specific wording of the revelation now known as D&C Section 132 was known.  Note that a document was read in August of 1843 to the Nauvoo High Council, but the wording of that document has not survived.  Most Mormons assume that the two documents were identical, but there is little basis for that assumption even though we know from surviving evidence that the ideas appear to be similar.


The Seer published

Orson Pratt published "The Seer" in Washington DC.  It contained the revelation on plural marriage now known as Section 132 of the D&C. "It is hoped the president-elect, the honorable members of congress, the heads of the various departments of the national government, the high-minded governors and legislative assemblies of the several states and territories, the ministers of every religious denomination, and all the inhabitants of the great republic will patronize this periodical." ("The Seer", Orson Pratt, January 1852 issue, p.7, see also Doctrine & Covenants section 132. 1st published 1876 SLC.)

1856 March 17

2nd bid for statehood

The 2nd proposal for Statehood for the State of Deseret was rejected due to growing anti-Mormon sentiment and complaints that unbelievers were said to be mistreated and that the Territorial Government was a shadow or puppet government for the real power or theocratic dictatorship directed by leaders of the Mormon Church ( the latter charge is surely true ).  President James Buchanan sends a military army to replace Brigham Young with Alfred Cummings. (Ivins, p.95.)   Johnson’s Army was the largest piece-time military effort to ever be sent to squash a civil rebellion, and thus dangerously depleted Union troops just prior to the nation’s most-encompassing military conflict, the US Civil War.


Republican Party platform – Slavery and polygamy are the twin relics of barbarism

Included in the new Republican Party platform as its 3rd resolution is “That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign powers over the Territories of the United States for their government; and that in the exercise of this power, it is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism--Polygamy, and Slavery.”   ( see http://hometown.aol.com/jfepperson/r1856.html  and "The Mormons and the Law: The Polygamy Cases", Orma Lindord, Utah Law Review, p. 312.)

1862 Jan 20

3rd bid for statehood

In just 2 days the 3rd State of Deseret constitution was written in a bid for statehood, in anticipation of the breaking up of the Union because of a possible civil war. (Ivins, p. 96.  See also Quinn, Extensions, p 760 )  It should be noted that slavery was legal in Utah due to a law passed by the Utah legislature.  Utah had this option as a result of the Compromise of 1850, which brought California into the Union as a free state while allowing Utah and New Mexico territories the option of deciding the issue by "popular sovereignty."  A few Mormon pioneers from the South had brought African-American slaves with them when they migrated west. Some freed their slaves in Utah; others who went on to California had to emancipate them there.  It should be noted that many of the Utah Mormons with slaves were called to the San Bernadino California area, which meant their slaves were automatically free.

1862 March 3

Utah ratified the 3rd bid for statehood – again rejected by the US Congress

An election in Utah ratified this 3rd bid for statehood and elected Brigham Young as Territorial Governor even though Congress had just 4 years earlier replaced Brigham Young.

The US Congress rejected this bid - nonetheless, for 8 years this "phantom" State of Deseret continued to meet after the Territorial legislature adjourned.  At the direction of the The Council of 50, this shadow government would meet and vote on and pass the same bills for the renegade Theocratic state of Deseret.

Other historians have asserted that the shadow Government met first, followed by the territorial legislature where nonmembers sat in amazement as the territorial legislature quickly and efficiently proposed and made law with almost total unanimity. (Ivins, p. 96. "Quest for Empire and the Council of 50", Klaus J. Hansen,)

1862 July 8

Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law

Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law.  Note that the Mormons hated Lincoln ( and the Republicans ), and denounced Lincoln in the harshest terms.  The Morrill Anti-Bigamy law is summarized:

·         First basic federal legislation by the Congress of the United States that was designed "to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the Territories of the United States".   Note that most ( all? ) states already outlawed polygamy, so the law was an attempt to extend this rule to territories

·         Bigamy punishable by a $500 fine and imprisonment not exceeding five years.

·         All acts passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah "pertaining to polygamy and spiritual marriage" were annulled.

·         A limit of $50,000 of real property that a religious or charitable organization could hold in a territory of the United States.

·         Any amount exceeding the value of $50,000 was to be forfeited and escheated to the United States.

However, there were several factors stopping the full enforcement of this legislation

·         No officers were appointed to enforce the law and no funds for enforcement were allotted.  In addition, as long as the Mormons were the effective law enforcement, the law could not be enforced.

·         Although President Lincoln had signed the bill, he adopted the policy of leaving the Mormons alone. When T. B. H. Stenhouse, then a Mormon in good standing, asked President Lincoln what course he intended to pursue with reference to the Mormons, Lincoln replied, "Stenhouse, when I was a boy on the farm in Illinois there was a great deal of timber on the farms which we had to clear away. Occasionally we would come to a log which had fallen down. It was too hard to split, too wet to burn and too heavy to move, so we plowed around it. That's what I intend to do with the Mormons. You go back and tell Brigham Young that if he will let me alone, I will let him alone." (Quoted in Gustive 0. Larson, The "Americanization" of Utah for Statehood, San Marino, California: Huntington Library, 1971, p. 60.)

·         For the church’s take on this period and polygamy laws, see http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/ChrchHstryInst32502000/Chapters/ChrchHstryInst32502000_36.pdf

Note that the first marriage in defiance of this law was on 24 Jan 1862 when Brigham Young marries the first of his six plural wives he married after the Morrill Act was passed.  ( Quinn, Extensions, p 762 )


Wade Bill

Wade bill had provisions to diminish the power of local Government. (Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 22nd Editions enlarged, 25th Edition, 1972 Published by the Deseret book Company for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, p. 442.)   This bill was not passed

1869 May 10

Trans-continental railroad completed

Promontory Utah: the completion of the Transcontinental railroad made Utah less isolated. (Smith, p. 441.)   With the completion is the railroad, more non-Mormons moved into Utah, thus placing polygamy in the bulls-eye of a very large easy-to-hit target.


Cragin Bill

·         Gave the US-appointed Utah Territorial Governor authority to select all local officials.

·         All juries to be selected by the appointed US Marshall in the Territory.

·         Church to be denied from making rules and regulations respecting fellowship of its members.

·         Governor was to be appointed trustee-in-trust of or the financial head of the Church, and make a full annual report of all the Church's money. (Smith, p. 442.)

This bill was not passed, and was replaced by the Collum Bill

1870 Jan

Godbeites and The Tribune

By the late 1860s, some Latter-day Saints began to think that it made sense to engage in a little mutually beneficial commerce with the non-Mormon world while God seemed to be taking his time mulling over its destruction. They were businessmen who favored integration into the nation. Their leader was William Godbe.   Godbe was a good Mormon who mixed in the highest circles of the church. At first his ideas of ending Mormon economic isolation were tolerated. But a break came - Brigham demanded obedience to his project for economic self-sufficiency. Presented with a crisis of faith, Godbe chose Babylon, though he preferred to think of it as the United States of America.


Excommunicated in 1871, Godbe and like-minded confederates opened a rival newspaper to the LDS Church's Deseret News. It was called The Mormon Tribune, but was soon renamed The Salt Lake Tribune. Initially, The Tribune wasn't anti-Mormon. It trumpeted the virtues of capitalism and integration into the economic life of the nation. But things soon turned nasty. When three Kansans took control of the paper in 1873, the gloves came off.   Delighting in poking the dominant culture with a sharp stick, The Tribune never met a polygamy story it didn't like. But its special venom was reserved for Brigham Young.


By the time Young died in 1877, The Tribune showed honest regret: regret that he had died before he could be hanged.  Reporting on Young's death, the paper wrote, "He was illiterate, and he has made frequent boast that he never saw the inside of a schoolhouse. His habit of mind was singularly illogical, and his public addresses the greatest farrago of nonsense that ever was put in print. He prided himself on being a great financier, and yet all of his commercial speculations have been conspicuous failures. He was blarophant and pretended to be in daily intercourse with the Almighty, and yet he was groveling in his ideas and the system of religion he formulated was well nigh Satanic."


This being America, The Tribune was free to print material insulting to a revered prophet (it was also apparently free to make up words like "blarophant").   ( The above taken from a column by Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune February 2006 )


The newspaper became the organ of the Liberal (non-Mormon) Party for 20 years. (Smith, p. 446.)   The Tribune has remained an honest voice in Salt Lake City to this day, though their criticism of the church has been largely muted.

1870 Feb 12

Woman suffrage – Utah women get the vote !

Utah's women were given the right to vote by the Utah Territorial Legislature, following the lead of their sister-state Wyoming. Due to timing of election dates women in Utah were the first in the nation to exercise this new power when Sereph Young votes on Feb 14, 1870.

"The Church gave to its women the first exclusively women's organization in all the world; and it was representatives of this organization in mass-meeting assembled to enter their vigorous protest against the pending federal legislation which was intended to affect them seriously in their lives. Note that the Relief Society President used to be a life-long office. Not all Mormon women were members of the Relief Society; you had to be admitted by a vote.

Easterners concerned with breaking up the Mormon political control wrongly thought by giving women the right to vote they would throw off the tyrannical shackles of patriarchal polygamy and join with local nonmembers in removing Church influence in politics. (Smith, p. 445.)  Instead, the Church had correctly assessed that giving the women the right to vote, while their husbands were disenfranchised, would keep the church in control of the territory (as opposed to ceding control to the non-members in Utah.)

Utah women had the right to vote, but not the right to hold office.  Female suffrage was ended in Utah by the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887.


Cullom Bill

Drafted by Robert N. Baskin of Salt Lake City.  It was even more restrictive than the Cragin bill. (Smith, p. 443.)   Mormon women had a large rally against the bill.  This bill was defeated.

1871 Oct 3

Brigham Young indicted

Brigham Young was indicted for adultery.  He was under house arrest from January to April 1872.  ( B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History 5:394 – 415 ).  The charges were dismissed ( Quinn, Extensions p 767 ).

1872 Feb 20

4th try for statehood

Territorial legislature calls for the 4th convention to draft a new constitution. They elected one non-Mormon Senator and one non-Mormon Congressman who made an ardent plea for statehood, but still it failed in the U.S. Congress. The document contained a concession that was an attempt to "swap polygamy for statehood". (Ivins, p. 97, Deseret Evening News, January 16th 1879.)

1874 June 23

Poland Act

Poland Act repealed certain Utah statutes and transferred duties of Territorial Marshal and Attorney General to Federal offices. These were key positions that had buffered attempts to prosecute polygamists. (Smith, p. 456.)   Specifically, the Poland Act

·         Dismantled the Utah judicial system by giving this power to the non-Mormon controlled US district courts

·         Jury lists were to be drawn equally between Mormons and non-Mormons

1874 Oct  arrest. 1875 Apr convic-tion

George Reynolds tried and convicted

Brigham Young's secretary, George Reynolds, an acknowledged polygamist with two wives, became a voluntary defendant in a test case to determine the constitutionality of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law of 1862.  He was found guilty.   Reynolds was sentenced to pay a $500 fine and eventually spent two years in prison ( 1879 – 1881 ).

This case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. (Larson, pp. 78-79.) where the conviction was upheld in 1879.

1877 Aug 29

Brigham Young dies

Brigham Young dies in his home in SLC

1878 July 7

Joseph F Smith damns those who do not live polygamy

"I understand the law of celestial marriage to mean that every man in this Church, who has the ability to obey and practice it in righteousness and will not, shall be damned, I say I understand it to mean this and nothing less, and I testify in the name of Jesus that it does mean that." (Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, p.31, Joseph F. Smith)

1879 Jan 6

Reynolds Decision – the US Supreme Court upholds the anti-polygamy legislation

In the first constitutional challenge to interpret the First Amendment to the Constitution, the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision of the territorial court and declared that the United State federal government had the right to determine whether monogamy or polygamy should be the law of social life under its jurisdiction.

The Morrill act of 1862 was declared valid and plural marriages were clearly breaking the law of the land. (Larson, pp. 78-79.)

See http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=98&invol=145 for the full text of the groundbreaking decision.

George Q. Cannon, Utah's delegate to Congress, spoke out for the Mormons in a published review of the Supreme Court decision in which he appealed for a rehearing of the Reynolds case. Comparing Reynolds' polygamous relations, including acceptance of family responsibility, with the prevalence of unpunished sex debauchery, he concluded:   “Our crime has been: We married women instead of seducing them; we reared children instead of destroying them; we desired to exclude from the land prostitution, bastardy and infanticide. If George Reynolds is to be punished, let the world know the facts . . . . Let it be published to the four corners of the earth that in this land of liberty, the most blessed and glorious upon which the sun shines, the law is swiftly invoked to punish religion, but justice goes limping and blindfolded in pursuit of crime.” (Larson, p. 79.)

1880 Jan 26

Wilford Woodruff revelation on polygamy

A Revelation given to Wilford Woodruff in the wilderness of San Francisco Mountain in Arizona. "Thus saith the Lord unto my servant Wilford Woodruff. ... My Purpose shall be fulfilled upon this Nation, and No power shall stay my hand. ... And I say again wo unto that Nation or House or people, who seek to hinder my People from obeying the Patriarchal Law of Abraham which leadeth to Celestial Glory which has been revealed unto my Saints through the Mouth of my servant Joseph for whosoever doeth these things shall be damned Saith the Lord of Hosts and shall be broken up & washed away ... No power can stay my hand. ... Thus Saith the Lord unto you my servants the Apostles who dwell in the flesh fear ye not your Enemies. ... your Enemies shall not prevail over you. ..." (Staker, pp. 140--146 and Scott Kenney, "Wilford Wood ruff's Journal 7 {28 Dec 18880} : 615-21)

1881 Jan 19

2nd Wilford Woodruff revelation on polygamy

Wilford Woodruff submitted a revelation to church president John Taylor and the Twelve promising the Apocalypse and God's interventions into the affairs of the saints.  Woodruff was asked to draw up the list of enemies and to write the prayer of damnation , which he did, which contained 400 names of the enemies of the church. The First Presidency and Twelve met together for this reverse prayer in the temple and "we all performed the ordinance of washing our feet against Our Enemies And the Enemies of the Kingdom of God according to the Commandment of God unto us." (Susan Staker, "Waiting for World's End" p. XVII.)

1882 Mar 22

Edmunds Anti-polygamy Law

Edmunds Act was an amendment to strengthen the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law of 1862:

·         All elective offices in Utah Territory were declared vacant and a board of five members, known as the Utah Commission, was to be appointed by the US President to assume temporarily all duties pertaining to elections.

·         Disfranchised polygamists and declared them ineligible for public office.

·         Declared polygamy a felony, with penalty of not more than five years imprisonment and / or a $500 fine.

·         Defined polygamous living, which it termed "unlawful cohabitation", as a misdemeanor punishable by six months imprisonment and/or a $300 fine.

·         Polygamists, whether in practice or merely in belief, were disqualified for jury service.

·         The board would issue certificates of election to those eligible for that office and those lawfully elected.

·         Gave to the Utah Commission power to deprive citizens of their civil rights without a trial, which is not found in any other such federal legislation of this country or in its jurisprudence, according to Larson in "The Americanization of Utah for Statehood". (Larson, pp. 95-96.)

1882 April 10

5th bid for statehood

Just 19 days after the Edmunds Act was approved, the Utah Territorial Legislature called for the 5th bid for statehood.  It also failed, due in part to a new political party in Utah called the Liberal Party.  This predominantly non-Mormon party opposed statehood, as they felt that the shackles of the local theocracy had not yet been removed from all the people of Utah. (Ivins, p. 98 ).


Test Oath

Bigamy / Polygamy "Test Oath" for qualification to vote.  Over time, this effectively threatened to disenfranchise all Mormons in Utah and later in Idaho.

1882 Aug 23

Rudger Clawson convicted

Rudger Clawson became the first polygamist to be tried under the Edmunds Law.

·         Jury of twelve Gentiles.   Note that, according to the census of 1880, there were 120,283 Mormons, 14,136 Gentiles, and 6,988 apostates in Utah.

·         Lydia Spencer, Clawson's polygamous wife, refused to be sworn as a witness and was committed to the penitentiary.

·         There was an ex post facto application of the law to his marriage performed before 1862.  

·         Rudger Clawson was sentenced to three years and six months in the penitentiary and was fined $500 on the first count, polygamy, and six months & $300 on the second count of unlawful cohabitation. (Larson, p. 109-110.).  This was a very harsh punishment for this crime.

1882 Sept 16

Hoar Amendment

Hoar amendment to the Edmonds Act.  The non-Mormon Governor of the Territory of Utah was authorized to appoint any vacancies of office that were not filled by the election of August 1882 in consequence of the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act, and filled the vacancies with his own appointees.

1882 Oct 13

Taylor revelation demanding leaders live polygamy was published in D&C

First Presidency and the Twelve met to receive the revelation of God to President Taylor, in which the duties of the Priesthood and of the Saints were set forth.

In this revelation appears the call of President George Teasdale of the Juab Stake, and President Heber J. Grant of the Tooele Stake to the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Seymour B. Young was called to fill the vacancy in the First Council of Seventies and requested to keep the whole law of God as a preparation for his new calling and labors.   The exact words of the revelation about Seymour B. Young was “You may appoint Seymour B. Young [ who was a monogamist ] to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies, if he will conform to my law; for it is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my Priesthood.”

This revelation required all priesthood officers to start living plural marriage if they were not yet doing so, that is to "conform to my law" of polygamy. -This new section of the Doctrine and Covenants was not printed in any English edition, as none were printed in English until after the Manifesto, but this 1882 revelation was canonized in the mission field, away from Utah politics, in five editions (Swedish, German, and Danish) of the Doctrine and Covenants printed in Salt Lake City and Europe. (Salt Lake City, 1882 Revelation Given Through President John Taylor At Salt Lake City, Utah Territory ... Salt Slake City, 1882, Abraham H. Cannon, Journal 5 Apr. 1884; A. C. Lambert, The published editions of the Book of DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, In All Languages, 1833-1950 N.p.:By the author 1950, D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy, Extensions of Power 1997, p. 181.)

Concerning the Patriarchal Order of Marriage, President Taylor said: "If we do not embrace that principle soon, the keys will be turned against us. If we do not keep the same law that our Heavenly Father has kept, we cannot go with Him. A man obeying a lower law is not qualified to preside over those who keep a higher law." In harmony with the remarks of President Taylor Elder Woodruff observed: "The reason why the Church and Kingdom of God cannot advance without the Patriarchal Order of Marriage is that it belongs to this dispensation just as baptism for the dead does, or any law or ordinance that belongs to a dispensation. Without it the Church cannot progress. The leading men of Israel who are presiding over stakes will have to obey the law of Abraham, or they will have to resign." (Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff His Life and Labors, p.542.)

1884 April

President Taylor tells monogamists to resign

At a special priesthood meeting at the April conference, President John Taylor asked all monogamists serving in ward Bishoprics or Stake Presidencies either to make preparations to marry a plural wife or to offer their resignation from Church office, and he called out the names of monogamous Stake Presidents.  Stake President William W. Cluff resigns on April 22, 1884 rather than take a plural wife.

1884 - 1887

Punishment made harsher for disobeying civil law

Segregation strategy allowed each day that a polygamist spent with this wife or support thereof, was considered a separate offense and liable for individual punishment. (Smith, p. 488.)

1885 to 1890


1885 to 1890 was marked by intensive "polyg hunts" for "cohabs." The Mormon community in the West was terrorized by harsh enforcement of these laws. "Hunting cohabs" became a lucrative employment. Men and women were paid to find offenders of the Edmunds Act. Some assumed the role of peddlers or of tramps and wandered among the Mormons digging up information. Children going to or returning from school were stopped and asked about the relations of their mother and father. At night, prowlers peeked into Mormon homes to determine if men were violating the law. Sometimes men broke into Mormon homes without search warrants, and if men did not surrender, they were fired upon.   The complaints or accusations brought against the Mormons were invariably based on second-hand information, but this was accepted in many courts.

1885 Feb 1

President Taylor joins underground

President John Taylor went into the "underground..," and for a number of years Church leaders directed the affairs of the Church from "hiding places known only to a few trusted individuals.," (Smith. p. 470.)   President John Taylor died in the Mormon underground. Both his counselors, President Joseph F. Smith and President George Q. Cannon, also went into hiding. President Smith fled to Hawaii and did not return until 1889. Cannon spent nine months in the Utah penitentiary and many other Latter-day Saints lived in the underground or spent months in jail ( >1300 went to jail ). (Larson, pp. 210 211.)

1885 Feb 3

Idaho Test Oath

Idaho's Test Oath Law "practically disfranchised all Mormons simply because of membership in the Church" and was "sustained by the supreme court of the territory four years later." ( USSC Feb 3, 1890 ).  Approximately 2,000 eligible Idaho voters were denied the opportunity of voting and holding office. (Larson, pp. 112-113.)

1886 Jan 1

Wilford Woodruff diary

Wilford Woodruff records in his diary "But we still maintain that God Reigns & will until He puts all Enemies under his feet, and He will fight the battles of his saints and He will bring Judgment upon our Enemies & destroy them in our own due time." One year later, Wilford Woodruff writes in his journal, from inside the St. George temple, where he was hiding from U.S. marshals pursuing his arrest on polygamy charges, "This New years Day [1887] find scores of the Leading Men of the Church in prison and the Presidency and Twelve & many others in Exile for obeying the Law of God ... But the God of Israel Still reigns and He will protect the Righteous and Defend his kingdom and fulfill his promises." (Staker, p. XV.)

1886 Sept 27

John Taylor revelation – fundamen-talist Mormons say this was their start

In the Centerville, Utah, home of Lorin C. Woolley with others present, Joseph Smith supposedly appeared during a revelation to President John Taylor, in which the keys to sanctioning of plural marriages was extended to this select group, rather than held exclusively under the direction of the President of the Church. This disputed revelation is the basis of authority claimed by many fundamentalists groups. (Samuel Woolley Taylor, "Family Kingdom", 1974, pp. 174-178.)  Note that, almost 100 years later, part of this revelation was quoted in LDS General Conference.

1887 March 3

Edmunds-Tucker Act

Edmunds-Tucker Act passed as a supplement the Edmunds Act.  Edmunds-Tucker became law without the signature of US President Cleveland. This new law included the following provisions:

·         A wife or wives were forced to testify against their husbands.

·         Witnesses did not have to be subpoenaed to appear in court.

·         Definite laws and punishments regarding immoralities were set forth.

·         All marriages performed were to be recorded with a probate court.

·         Probate judges were to be appointed by the President of the United States.

·         Woman suffrage was abolished (to restrict the Mormon elective franchise).

·         A test oath was reintroduced into Utah's elective process: voting, serving on juries, or holding public office were conditional upon signing the oath pledging obedience to and support of all anti-polygamy laws.

·         Utah Commission was to continue in charge of elections and was empowered to administer the qualifying oath.

·         The Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company was dissolved (in an effort to curtail the influx of foreign converts who added to Mormon voting strength.)

·         The Nauvoo Legion was abolished and all local military laws repealed.

·         To establish a "free public school education," a commissioner to be appointed by the Utah Supreme Court replaced the office of territorial superintendent of schools.

·         "To accomplish the destruction of Mormon political and economic power in Utah, the Church was disincorporated and its property escheated to the United States." The confiscated Church property was to be used for the benefit of the common schools of the territory.

By June, 1888, the government had confiscated from the Church property valued in excess of $800,000. The government had seized by this date most of the real property of the Church and then rented back to the Church part of this property.   The Church rented the Historian's office and the General Tithing office for $300 per month and the Gardo House for $70. These rentals were raised to $500 per month for the Tithing and Historian's offices and $450 for the Gardo House.   The Church farm was also leased to the Church. The President's office was placed in the charge of two marshals and Temple block was leased to the Church for $1.00 per month.

Most of the Church property had been transferred into the hands of trusted individuals and local organizations and it was estimated that the Church had about three million dollars worth of property when the Edmunds-Tucker Act was being discussed in Congress.

Prior to the issuance of the Manifesto, there were approximately 1,300 men who had been convicted in Utah for violating the anti-polygamy laws and a few others had been imprisoned in Idaho and Arizona. (There were 327 convictions before the end of 1887, 334 in 1888, and 346 in 1889.)

It is as difficult to measure the real magnitude of the effect of the anti-polygamy acts upon the Mormons, as it is to measure the effects of a minority that "lived" the law of plural marriage on the majority that only supported it. (Larson, p. 216.)

1887 June 30

6th bid for statehood

The 6th constitutional convention was called to head off the effects of the recently passed Edmunds-Tucker act. The proposed State constitution contained an article that declared that: "Bigamy and polygamy being considered incompatible with a republican form of government, each of them is hereby forbidden and declared a misdemeanor." Another article provided that the anti-polygamy section could not be amended without the approval of Congress and the President of the United States. The new Constitution was ratified by a vote of 12,887 to 485. It was not viewed as a sincere move toward the suppression of polygamy, thus Congress also rejected this bid. (Ivins, pp. 98-99.)

1887 July 22

Mormons respond to statehood bid

The Mormon people were not publicly notified that they should accept this latest constitution, but they were privately given to understand that they could vote for its ratification without compromising their religious principles. In response to inquiries from his family, Apostle Erastus Snow, then in Mexico where settlements were being established as cities of refuge for polygamists, wrote:   “Yes, I accept the self imposed conditions of Statehood. We can live under the prohibition clauses, same as we can in Mexico. Our celestial or spiritual unions will be purely religious and not civil contracts under State or national laws--and the Constitution has no cohabitation clause, and any who, living in the State of Utah, desire to marry other wives can bring them for me to marry in Mexico cheaper than to pay the fine imposed by the new Constitution. Please convey to E. G. W. and R. C. L. my congratulations on the happy wording of the prohibition and I hope all my Sons will vote for the Constitution. And I shall be happy to minister to Gordon and Robert when they get ready to come over here with their sweethearts.”   (Letter from Erastus Snow to his wife, Elizabeth. Edwin Gordon Woolley and Robert C. Lund, convention delegates from Washington County. Ivins, p. 99)

1887 July 25

President John Taylor dies

President John Taylor died in hiding in Kaysville Utah.  The Quorum of the Twelve becomes the new church president for close to two years.

1887 July 30

Church property confiscated

United States Attorney General files suit and confiscates the property of the church as well as that of the Perpetual Immigration Fund Corporation.

1887 Dec 12

Rudger Clawson pardoned

Rudger Clawson pardoned by US President Grover Cleveland, cutting 4 months and 20 days off his 3 1/2 year sentence. (Smith, p. 488.)

1888 May 17

Manti temple dedicated

Dedication of the Manti Temple. (Smith, p. 492.)   At the dedication, Q12 senior apostle and soon to be church President Wilford Woodruff said “We are not going to stop the practice of plural marriage until the coming of the Son of Man.”

1888 Oct 17

All Mormons disenfranchised in Idaho

Idaho Supreme Court rules that under Idaho law ALL Mormons were disenfranchised because the Church president had made no statement abandoning polygamy.  The Q12 gives all Idaho saints permission to withdraw from membership. 

1888 Dec 20

Manifesto test draft

A document worded to relieve political pressure, similar to the later to be released Manifesto, is presented to the interim leadership of the Church. It was eventually rejected, because it was thought that it should be worded as a revelation from the President of the church for it to be credible. Wilford Woodruff, who was in the midst of a 2 year struggle with the Quorum of the Twelve to get his choice of George Q. Cannon approved as a member of the 1st Presidency, rejected any statement and affirmed his belief that "The Lord never will give a revelation to abandon plural marriage," noting that "we cannot deny principle." (Edward Leo Lyman, "Political Deliverance. p. 106. and Quinn, "Extensions", p. 48.)

1889 April 7

Woodruff becomes church President

Woodruff is sustained as church President after a long fight about his 1st counselor, George Q. Cannon.  Joseph F. Smith is his second counselor.

1889 Oct 20

President Woodruff says church not performing plural marriage. 

The Salt Lake Tribune quoted President Woodruff as saying, "I have refused to give any recommendations for the performance of plural marriages since I have been President ... and have instructed that they should not be solemnized." (Woodruff had only been sustained President for 6 months before making this statement. "Mormon Polygamy a History", Richard S. Van Wagoner, 1986, p. 138.)  President Woodruff authorized the destruction of the Endowment House because the new temples could perform marriages and he needed those doing the demolition to become Mormon voters to vote against the anti-Mormon party in the upcoming city elections.

1889 Oct 27

President Woodruff says church will obey the law

Woodruff's attitude toward the law prohibiting polygamy, printed in the Salt Lake Herald, "We mean to obey it. We have not thought of evading or ignoring it. We recognize the laws as binding upon us." He repeated that he had not sanctioned any marriages since becoming president. (Van Wagoner, p. 138.)

1889 Nov 24

Woodruff receives revelation of defiance

Wilford Woodruff, as church president, receives revelation, which continued the defiant discourse with the church's enemies.  He says that Jesus Christ himself promised protection for the church's practice of polygamy: "I, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, am in your midst ... Awake, O. Israel, and have faith in God and His promises, and he will not forsake you. I the Lord will deliver my Saints from the domination of the wicked, in my own due time and way." (Stacker, p. XVII.)

1889 Dec 23

Mormons observe day of fasting

Mormons observe a church-wide day of fasting and prayer, seeking God's intervention on their behalf. Church leaders issue an appeal to the nation for greater understanding and tolerance. President Woodruff was "viewed by some of his colleagues as a better fisherman than administrator ..." (Van Wagoner, 1986, pp. 138-139.)

1890 Feb 3

US SC sustains Idaho Test Oath

United States Supreme Court Sustains the Idaho Voting "Test Oath", denying Idaho Mormons the right to vote or hold office it they admitted to merely believing in plural marriage.

1890 Feb 10

Anti-Mormon party wins SLC election

The anti-Mormon party wins the Salt Lake City municipal election.  This is a devastating blow to the Mormons who want to rule themselves.

1890 April

Strubble bill proposed

Strubble bill proposed that followed along the lines of the Idaho Test Oath.  Robert N. Baskin declared that the object of the bill was "to wrest from the hands of the Priesthood the political power which it has wrongfully usurped and shamefully abused."   Secretary of State James G. Blain used his influence to defeat the bill, but insisted that the church do something to relieve the situations (Smith, p. 493.)

1890 May

US Supreme Court sustains Edmunds-Tucker

The United States Supreme Court sustains Edmunds-Tucker Bill, increasing the threat of total disfranchisement for all Mormons, wherein the Church would be dissolved and its property confiscated. The Court held that "Congress may not only abrogate laws of the Territorial Legislature but it may itself legislate directly for the local government. Congress had a full and perfect right to repeal its [LDS] charter and abrogate its corporate existence." ( United States Reports, Vol. 136, pp. 1-68. The late corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vs. United States, Nos. 1030, 1054.)

Desperately the Church officials contacted Washington sources of the Cullom-Strubble Bill. George Q. Cannon, counselor in the Church Presidency, Utah's delegate to Congress in the 1870's and a declared Republican, directed the Saints' defense as delegate John T. Caine and others strove to hold up the impending blow. Cannon appealed through his son Frank J. to his Republican friend, Secretary James G. Blaine. Assuring the Secretary that Utah was not hopelessly Democratic, young Cannon suggested that Blaine's support now would greatly strengthen the Republican position in the Mormon community. As the Secretary rose to terminate the interview, he said "We may succeed this time in preventing your disfranchisement; but nothing permanent can be done until you get into line." The senior Cannon upon receiving the report said, "President Woodruff has been praying . . . he thinks he sees some light. You are authorized to say that something will be done." (Gustive O. Larson Federal Government efforts to 'Americanize' Utah", Utah Law Review, 19?? pp. 228-229 and "Under the Prophet in Utah", Frank J, Cannon and Harvey J. O' Higgins, Boston 1911, pp. 87-91)

1890 June 10

Brigham Young Jr. marries 6th wife

Brigham Young Jr. marries 6th wife, Helen E. Armstrong.  In August of 1901 he marries his 7th wife, whose name has been made unavailable. Note that 6th wife was married less then four months before the Manifesto, in which Woodruff makes the ( false ) claim that no new marriages were being allowed by the church.  Brigham Young Jr. was President of the Quorum of the 12 for 3 years and in line to become the next president when he died in 1903.  Note that Brigham Young Jr. would have become LDS church president in 1901 if he had not been demoted on 5 April 1900 ( he was demoted for, among other things, his continual preaching of polygamy and taking of new wives).

1890 July 15

Anti-Mormon party wins SLC school election

In another devastating blow to Mormon independence, on July 15, the anti-Mormon party wins the Salt Lake City school elections.  This was part of a string of disasters.  On July 1, the US Senate introduced a bill to ban Mormons from homesteading in Wyoming.  On July 29, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that polygamous children could not inherit their father’s estates, and on August 5, the anti-Mormon party won almost every county office in Salt Lake and Weber Counties.

1890 Aug 3

President Woodruff goes on trip to make a deal

President Woodruff and several others began a 2,400-mile trip to visit the Saints in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. The eighty-three year old leader was able to see firsthand the terrible circumstances of polygamous Saints. Shortly after returning, Woodruff and George Q. Cannon left SLC for to meet with Republican Party power brokers, who had recently come to power with the election of Benjamin Harrison. They conferred with Judge Morris M Estee, Republican National Chairman, along with occasional church agent Isaac Trumbo, U.S. Senator Leland Stanford, and Henry Biglow of the San Francisco Examiner and several others. (Van Wagoner, p. 141.)

1890 Aug

Utah Commission report

Report of the Utah Commission to the Secretary of Interior expressed regret that an expected Church declaration "in favor of abandonment of polygamy had not been forthcoming.” It added, "it is believed that 41 persons have entered into polygamous relations in 1889." (Annual Report of the Utah Comm., Aug. 22, 1890.).  Note that the Utah Commission did not state precisely where these marriages occurred.  We now know that over 30 such marriages did occur, most in Mexico.  ( Quinn, LDS p 46 ).  Note that the Utah Commission did not state where these marriages occurred.  ( Quinn, LDS, p 46 ).  It should also be noted the Marriner Merrill, apostle and Logan Temple President, married a plural wife in Logan in July 1889.  ( Quinn, LDS p 46 )

1890 Sept 3

First Presidency make deal

On Sept 3, 1890, the complete First Presidency left Utah so that they could not be subpoenaed to testify in a court case that would have meant the federal government would have taken the four Mormon temples either completed or nearly completed.  They went to San Francisco to meet with Estee and make a deal.


1890 Sept 12

Cannon comments on writing Manifesto

George Q. Cannon, to Republican Party National Chairman Judge Morris M. Estee's promise of support for statehood if the church would make a statement to set polygamy aside, wrote back his concern about the "difficulty there was in writing such a document - the danger there would be that we would either say too much or too little." (Van Wagoner, p. 141, and "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904." Dialogue 18, Spring 1985 p. 43.)

1890 Sept 24

Manifesto is issued as a press release

Wilford Woodruff met with councilor Joseph F. Smith and three members of the Council of the Twelve, presenting papers containing what Woodruff felt were the solution to the church’s current problems.   Wilford Woodruff drew upon the previously discarded documents concerning polygamy, both generated within the outside the church, and delivered a 510 word document.  George Reynolds, Charles Penrose and John Winder were instructed to “take the document and arrange it for publication, to be submitted to us after they had prepared it.”  When it was read later that day, President Cannon suggested “several emendations, which were adopted.”  Only three apostles were present – Franklin D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, and Marriner W. Merrill.  After a few small additional changes, George Reynolds sent the telegram for publishing in the eastern national newspapers.  Apostle Lorenzo Snow was aware of the Manifesto, but was out of town.  He was Wilford Woodruff’s son in law.  He had previously told the leadership that he was in favor of a Manifesto-like declaration. None of the other eight apostles knew of the press release since they were away from Salt Lake City at the time.  The final document contained 356 words.  ( Quinn, LDS, p 44 & 45 )

Abraham H. Cannon Journal entry of 30 September 1890 and October 1st indicated that some of the Apostles were unconvinced of the inspiration of the press release.  During a quorum meeting Apostle John Henry Smith said "I cannot feel to say that the Manifesto is quite right or wrong." (Van Wagoner, pp. 142-143).  Cannon might have been trying to clear his name and his father's before Washington political types. Ironically it was George Q. Cannon that took the lead in drafting sanction letters for Woodruff that would be taken by members to the colonies to get additional wives after the Manifesto of 1890.

"To Whom it may concern:

"Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, allege that plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year, also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have taught, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy--"

"I, therefore, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory."

"One case has been reported, in which the parties allege that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the Spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay."

"Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intentions to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise."

"There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land."

"Wilford Woodruff"

"President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Historians have shown that many plural marriages, including those involving members of the First President and Quorum of the Twelve, were solemnized  after the Manifesto ( see below ).

The following might prove instructive

·         The week before the press release, Woodruff flees attempts to have him testify in court, and meets with Republican Party leader in San Francisco, to attempt to influence Republican Party members not to dissolve the corporation of the church in exchange for Mormon support of Republicans in the upcoming election.  Upon his return, Woodruff only consults four Apostles about his proposed repudiation of plural marriage, including Lorenzo Snow ( Wilford Woodruff’s son-in-law ) and Franklin D. Richards, whom were very loyal to Woodruff, and his recent appointee, Marriner W. Merrill. Woodruff did consult one Apostle that was NOT an ally in his attempts to organize the first presidency, Moses Thacher. Thacher was not expected to oppose the 1890 Manifesto since Thacher had preached for four years that the Millennium would occur within the year. (Quinn, "Extensions", p. 48.)

·         The rest of the Twelve read the Manifesto in the newspapers as they returned to SLC for the upcoming General Conference. If Woodruff wanted to take the matter to vote before going to press, he only would have had to wait a few days. (Quinn, "Extensions", p. 48,)

·         An administrative irony involved in Wilford Woodruff's publishing the 1890 Manifesto was that he asked three non-apostles (including one non-general authority, a councilor in a local stake presidency, who was a newspaper editor) to do pre-publication revision of this crucial document about which the majority of the Twelve knew noting. (Quinn, "Extensions", p. 48.)

·         Woodruff Journal entry justifies the creation of the Manifesto to be for the "temporal salvation of the Church". It laments the efforts of the United States to stop this religious practice of the Church, but does not mention the more important goal that the government had of removing political control from the church.

·         The Manifesto claims that Wilford Woodruff intended to use all his influence to persuade the members to obey the law of the land. The United States Supreme court had confirmed the laws forbidding plural marriage constitutional in 1879, some 11 1/2 years previous.  The church had defiantly broken the law for almost 30 years ( almost 60 years if one includes Joseph Smith’s first plural wife ), forcing the hand of the government to make stronger laws to do all they could to get the Mormons to obey the law and break up their political control of the Territory.

·         Continuing plural marriages claimed by the Utah Commission and denied by the text of the Manifesto have since been documented to show that the charges by the Utah Commission were true. (Van Wagoner, p. 146.)   However, there had been, as far as we can determine, few if any plural marriages in Utah between September of 1889 and the Manifesto.

·         Wilford Woodruff Journal entry, included in Essentials in Church History, and his later talk in Cache Valley Utah contain known errors.  We know that only 4 of the 12 had been shown the Manifesto by Woodruff before the press release was issued. A vote to accept the Manifesto in Conference was not decided until October 2nd and then not until after 3 days of lengthy debate.

·         It was over a year before Woodruff makes strong claims that the Manifesto was received by revelation, such as his address in Cache Valley on November 1, 1891. Woodruff was not able, just days after a revelation, to convince quorum members that it was a good idea it was not presented to them as THE revelation, indicates that the Logan talks of inspiration to release "a" Manifesto are more accurate.

·         The Manifesto is offered as "advice" to "refrain" from any marriage forbidden by the "law of the land". It was quickly noted by non-Mormons that the Manifesto did not void the command or law of God concerning plural marriage.

·         God is not mentioned inside the document as being the source of the advice.

·         It defiantly leaves open the possibility of contracting marriages in places where it is NOT against the law of the land, and many Mormons incorrectly assumed polygamy was not against the law of the land in Canada or Mexico.  In reality, such infractions of the law in those two countries were ignored by the government authorities in return for the economic benefit that the Mormons provided.

·         The press release does not address if the Manifesto voided the restoration of all things, or the restoration of the "law of Abraham" and it's associated penalty of being cut off from the Celestial kingdom, meaning those that have the law revealed to them, but do not obey it, as in D&C section 132 and other Wilford Woodruff and John Taylor revelations.

·         It clearly leaves open the prospect of public resumption of sanctioning of plural marriages if Utah can become a State and somehow enact laws that would protect the polygamous marriage system.

·         It does NOT address cohabitation with existing plural wives, which was just as much against the law as was the performance of marriages and carried the reality of ongoing prosecution. Unlawful Cohabitation was the most recent significant law to be up held as constitutional.

·         Woodruff had a strong belief that the world would end in 1890. Joseph Smith said; "I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old.", therefore, giving up any new marriages for a few months here or there was not a significant sacrifice, if one had the belief in the impending end of the world, within the coming year. (History of the Church, Vol.5, Ch.17, p.336)

·         The government received the Manifesto with caution, believing it be a trick to secure statehood after which the practice of polygamy could be resumed. The Republican majority of the Utah Commission and President Harrison warned against hasty steps towards Utah's admission to the Union. (Larson. "Federal" pp. 228-229)

·         The absence of the signatures of the First Presidency counselors George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith on the Manifesto also concerned some Saints. Others wondered why the document began with the unusual "to Whom It May Concern" rather than the authoritative "Thus Saith the Lord" usually associated with revelatory pronouncements. (Van Wagoner, p. 145.)

·         In 1893, as a result of the Manifesto and after years of antagonism to Mormon polygamy, the Salt Lake Tribune, which had been the organ of the Liberal ( anti-Mormon ) party, came out in favor of statehood, thus ending any opposition to statehood from inside the state. Utah was a state 3 years after that.

·         More important than implications of the wording of the Manifesto, is its application. There were sanctioned plural marriages from the beginning of June 1890 until the revelations during the Smoot trial that exposed the contrast between words and deeds. Marriages after the Manifesto and children born of plural wives after the Manifesto were not exempted by the amnesty for marriages before November 1,1890. President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed an amnesty to polygamists for past offenses, and the Utah Commission removed the restrictions against the voters of the territory. To understanding the Manifesto, one must examine the walk verses the talk. (Smith, p. 496.)

·         The precedence and practice of living polygamy privately or secretly while denying it publicly had been the only modus operandi under which Joseph Smith introduced and lived polygamy for 11 or so years ( 1833 – 1844 ). Brigham Young directed the church by following Joseph's example of duplicity as far as private practice verses public denial, for 8 years ( 1844 – 1852 ). It was thought to have been an easy move for Wilford Woodruff to return to the secret sanctioning of plural marriages as it had been done with his own initial plural wives and 20 years of practice by the church after this date. 

1890 Sept 27

Tribune pans the Manifesto

The Tribune declared that the "Manifesto was not intended to be accepted as a command by the President of the Church, but as a little bit of harmless dodging to deceive the people of the East." (Van Wagoner, p. 145.)

1890  Sept 30 – Oct 2

Apostles discuss the Manifesto press release

The apostles return, and immediately voice their opinion.  Four apostles support the Manifesto only because it applied to the United States only.   Three apostles fully support the Manifesto.  Two are totally opposed to it.  By October 2, all 12 say what Woodruff issued as a press release is OK with them ( Quinn, LDS, p 47 )

Oct 1890

Manifesto presented in General Conference

During General Conference the first week of October, 1890, the question of whether to put the Manifesto to a vote was resolved by a telegram from Caine, who reported that the Secretary of Interior had informed him he could NOT recognize the official declaration unless it was formally accepted by the LDS General Conference. Consequently, the church leaders decided to present it immediately. (Lyman, p. 138.)  Vote on the Manifesto was NOT unanimous as reported in the Deseret News and in certain church histories. The number of negative votes was not counted and has been ignored by most books on Church History.   The vote followed three days of debate at the conference.

Those that the Manifesto affected most would neither be in attendance nor wish to be of public notice as Marshals were still searching them out as conference time. In the past, conference had been a favorite time for bounty hunters to locate polygamous lawbreakers all gathered in one place.

1890 Oct 10

John Taylor marries 3rd wife

1890 October 10:  John Whitaker Taylor married 3rd wife, Janet Maria Woolley.  1901, August 29: married 4th wife, Eliza Roxie Welling, and on the same day married 5th wife, Rhoda Welling (a half sister to Eliza).  1909 June 23: married 6th wife, Ellen G. Sandberg.  JW Taylor, son of President John Taylor, bore children of plural wives in 1893, 1902, 1903, 1907, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1916

1890 Dec 11

Plural marriages continue

1890 Dec 11: Anson Bowen Call, married 2nd wife, Harriet Cazier.  1898 Mar 11: married 3rd wife, Dora Pratt.  1903 Jan 12: married 4th wife, Julia Sarah Abegg. He was Bishop of Colonial Dublan for 30 years and Patriarch for 10.  His son, Eran, is currently a new GA as of Oct 1997).  262 post-Manifesto plural marriages have been recorded, including among the top leadership of the church.

1891 June

No more cohabitation

Presidents Wilford Woodruff and George Cannon state that they do not authorize polygamous marriages, nor cohabitation.  ( Quinn, LDS, p 49 ).

1891 Aug

President Smith says Manifesto not revelation

Responding to Heber J. Grant’s question if he regarded the Manifesto as a revelation, “President Smith answered emphatically no.”  ( Quinn, LDS, p 82, quoting the First Presidency office journal ).  President Smith’s wives bore him 11 children in Salt Lake City and two in Idaho after 1890.  ( Quinn, LDS, p 83 ).

1891 Oct 6

First Presidency testifies plural marriages had ceased, and that cohabitation was discontinued.

Church authorities and lay members, familiar with the private sanctioning of plural marriages, were probably very surprised when they read the testimony of their leaders before the Master in Chancery, as Woodruff, Cannon and Smith all testified that not only had polygamy ceased, but cohabitation had discontinued and that the Manifesto also applied to Mexico and Canada. ( Quinn, LDS, p 50 ) Woodruff pointedly stated that the Manifesto applied both within as outside of the United States, in an attempt to get the government to return the church's confiscated property. (Van Wagoner, p. 154.)

1891 Nov 12

Woodruff has it both ways

President Woodruff publicly declares that violating the Manifesto by living with polygamous was not allowed, and would result in excommunication.  Privately, he tells the Quorum that any man who abandons his plural wives will be dismissed from the church. 

1896 Jan 4

Utah becomes a state

President Cleveland issues Utah statehood proclamation at 10 a.m. Two days later formal inaugural ceremonies held in Salt Lake City, and Utah's 47-year struggle for statehood was at an end with the successful 7th attempt. (Ivins, p. 116 Note that 15 of the 25 pages of the article are dedicated to the final statehood convention, which lasted 66 days and was much longer than other conventions. The first 10 pages document failed statehood attempts and its relationship to opposition to plural marriage, yet of the 15 pages of minutia on wrangling about setting up the constitution, the specific statute forever prohibiting plural marriage is not discussed.)

Article 3 Section 1: The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this State:  First: -- Perfect toleration of religious sentiment is guaranteed. No inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; but polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited. (Utah Constitution art. III sec. 1)

1896 June thru 1904

Leadership continues to take plural wives

1896 June thru 1904:  Apostle Abraham H. Cannon marries 4th wife, Lilian Hamlin.

Five Cannon men take additional plural wives after the 1st Manifesto

1897 Sept, President Wilford Woodruff, possibly marries 11th wife, Lydia Mountford.  Note that the evidence for this is weak, and historians are split on whether this was a marriage or not.  For the best list of Wilford Woodruff’s wives see Todd Compton’s web site at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/7207/WWfamilies.htm

1898 Oct 25: Apostle George Teasdale, married 5th wife, Marion E. Scholes.  1900 May 17: married 6th wife, Letita Thomas.  Marriage to Marion performed "upon the high seas" by Apostle Anthon Henrik Lund

1899: Apostle Matthias Foss Cowley married 3rd wife, Harriet Bennion.  1905 September 16: married 4th wife, Lenora Taylor.  Marriage performed by John A. Woolf.   Apostle Cowley was disfellowshiped, but never excommunicated.  He was restored to full fellowship in 1936, and had children from plural wives in 1893, 1902 and 1916. 

1901 Jan: Apostle Abraham Owen Woodruff, son of Wilford Woodruff, married 2nd wife, Eliza Avery Clark.

1901: Apostle Marriner Wood Merrill married 8th wife, Hilda M. Erickson.  Marriage performed by Matthias F. Cowley.

1904 August 4:  Rudger Clawson married 3rd wife, Pearl Udal, who bore no children.

Note the following

·         In 1890 there were 2451 Mormon plural families in the US, not counting those in Canada or Mexico. (B. Caron Hardy, "Solemn Covenant, the Mormon Polygamous Passage" University of Illinois Press, 1992, p. 390)

·         262 Authorized post-Manifesto Mormon polygamist marriages have been documented. "... they were in most instances stalwarts of the faith ... more than half served as church missionaries, or had been called as branch presidents, bishops, stake presidents or other high officers. This further evidenced not only the dearness of the principle but the permission of its continued practice emanated from the highest councils of the church. (Hardy, pp. 391 - 392.)

1898 Sept 2

Wilford Woodruff dies

Wilford Woodruff dies.

1898 Oct 29

Snow opposes plural marriage

President Cannon says “Prest Snow had decided that Plural marriages must cease throughout the entire Church and that was absolute and affected Mexico as well as elsewhere”  ( Quinn, LDS, p 68 quoting Juarez Stake High Council Minutes ).  President Snow almost always opposed plural marriages, but administratively it was very tough to stop.

1899 Oct 7

Snow has baby by polygamous wife

An anti-Mormon filed a legal complaint against President Snow for unlawful cohabitation with Minnie J. Snow due to the birth of their child.  Minnie was a plural wife of President Snow.  ( Quinn, LDS, p 69 )

1899 end

B H Roberts petition

More than seven million Americans signed a petition asking the U. S. House of Representatives to exclude B. H. Roberts from his elected seat because he was a polygamist. 

1900 Jan 8

Snow issues his Manifesto

“the Church has positively abandoned the practice of polygamy, or the solemnization of plural marriages, in this and every other State;  and … no member or officer thereof has any authority whatever to perform such plural marriages or enter into such relations.  Nor does the Church advise or encourage unlawful cohabitation on the part of any of its members.

“If, therefore, any member disobeys the law, either as to polygamy or unlawful cohabitation, he must bear his own burden, or in other words be answerable to the tribunals of the land for his own action pertaining thereto.”

In 1911, the 1st Presidency put this on equal footing with the 1890 and 1904 Manifestos.  ( Quinn, LDS p 70-71 )


4 apostles take plural wives

In the year 1901, four apostles take plural wives, and one more tried to do so.  Those apostles are Brigham Young Jr., Abraham Owen Woodruff ( son of President Wilford Woodruff ), Marriner W. Merrill and John W. Taylor ( son of President John Taylor ).  All of these claim permission of the church President.  However, Snow told the Quorum of the 12 on 11 July 1901 that there were to be no more plural marriages.  ( Quinn, LDS, p 72 & 73 ).

1901 Oct

President Snow dies

President Snow dies

1904 April 6

2nd Manifesto

President Smith issued the following:

"Now I am going to present a matter to you that is unusual and I do it because of a conviction which I feel that is the proper thing to do. I have taken the liberty of having written down which I would like to have conveyed to your ears, that I may not be misunderstood or misquoted. I present this to the conference for your action:


"Inasmuch as there are numerous reports in circulation that plural marriages have been entered into contrary to the official declaration of President Woodruff, of September 26, 1890 commonly called the Manifesto, which was issued by President Woodruff and adopted by the Church at its general conference, October, 6, 1890, which forbade any marriages violative of the law of the land; I Joseph F. Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hereby affirm and declare that no such marriages have been solemnized with the sanction, consent or knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and”

"I hereby announce that all such marriages are prohibited, and if any officer or member of the Church shall assume to solemnize or enter into any such marriage he will be deemed in transgression against the Church and will be liable to be dealt with, according to the rules and regulations thereof and excommunicated therefrom. “


"President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

(Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, General Conference Report, April 6, 1904 pp. 74, 75.)


The following comments might help in understanding this 2nd Manifesto

·         This statement was very similar in wording to the 1st Manifesto, which also did not stop the sanctioning of plural marriages.

·         It also was a response to accusations, rather than a change of policy.   However, the noose of policy change was getting tighter and tighter

·         It contained the 'loop hole' language of "which forbade any marriages violative of the law of the land; ... no such marriages ... all such marriages are prohibited".

·         It did NOT address cohabitation, which was illegal in Utah.

·         "Such" marriages were not solemnized with the sanction, consent or knowledge of the Church, however, even though common church members may not all have had knowledge of such marriages.  He does not state if Smith or Wilford Woodruff, or George Q. Cannon etc. had acknowledged, consented or sanctioned any of the 250 plus marriages published in the Salt Lake Tribune.

·         The penalty for taking additional wives after the 1st Manifesto, applies to "all such marriages", i.e. those that were known to common members of the church.

·         The Salt Lake Harold printed the 1st Manifesto with the date of issuance of the Manifesto of the 24th, The Deseret Evening News, Charles W. Penrose Editor, gives the date as Thursday September 25th as does the AP report in the Canton Repository, Canton, Ohio, September 25, 1890, p.2., col.2., but the 2nd Manifesto places the 1st Manifesto on the 26th

·         The 1st Manifesto was NOT unanimously sustained in general conference, nor was it on a Monday

·         The 2nd Manifesto was voted on during conference on a Wednesday.

1905 Oct

Apostles Taylor and Cowley resign

Taylor and Cowley continued to advocate polygamy.  At the conclusion of the October 1905 meetings, Apostles Taylor and Cowley resigned.  However, the resignations were not made public.  Finally, on April 9, 1906, the resignations were announced.  David O McKay was one of the new apostles appointed, and was the first apostle in over 60 years who was not tainted by polygamy.

Misunderstandings about Mormon polygamy:

 There are a number of apparently mistaken beliefs concerning polygamy that are commonly held by contemporary members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (a.k.a. the LDS or Mormon church):


bulletJoseph Smith

 ·         Many Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was married to only one wife, Emma. In fact, he married 33 or more women

 ·         Many Mormons believe that his second and subsequent wives were sealed to Joseph Smith after his death. In fact, he married them between 1833 and the year of his death, 1844.

·         Many believe that his second and subsequent wives were elderly who were widows and needed protection. In fact, most of his plural wives were young.  The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball who was 14 at the time.

bulletIt is commonly believed that polygamy was necessary at the time because there was "an abundance of women who wouldn't otherwise be able to be married, [and] old women [were] marrying into polygamy for financial support purposes..."  This is not correct.


bulletIt is also widely believed that "only the first wife [was] having sexual relations with the husband," and that additional spouses were "spiritual wives" who remained celibate.  This is refuted by voluminous genealogical records.


bulletIt is also believed that "such a small percentage practiced it means that polygamy really was an insignificant part of Mormon history and doctrine." In fact, at its height, between 20 – 25% of the Mormons were living polygamy.  This would be about 10% of the Mormon men.  Among the leadership, the percentage was much higher.  Polygamy was a core practice of the LDS Church between 1841 and 1890 ( give or take ).


bulletIt is believed that there were no plural marriages after 1890.  In fact, there were 262 plural marriages after 1890.


bulletIt is typically believed that plural marriages were not against the law in Utah until just before the Manifesto ( and it states this in some manuals ).  It is also typically believed that plural marriages were not against the law until this time, and that they were not against the law in Mexico and Canada.  All of these are false.


bulletIt is commonly believed that polyandry never happened.  It did with Joseph Smith for 11 of his wives, and at least once with Brigham Young.


 Plural Wives of Joseph Smith


Polygyny is the marriage of one man and two or more women. Polyandry is the marriage of one woman to more than one man.  Polygamy can refer to either polyandry or polygyny.  Most refer to plural marriages among Mormons as polygamy.   Polyandry was limited to only a few wives of Joseph Smith, and one of Brigham Young’s.   Mormon polygamy was limited to polygyny after about 1845 or so.   

The plural wives of Joseph Smith, Jr. were the result of a form of polygyny practiced in the early days of the church.  Joseph Smith called this form of polygyny plural marriage and may have began practicing it perhaps as early as 1833.  Plural marriage may have been a source of tension in Smith's first marriage; however his first wife, Emma Hale Smith, did witness several of Joseph Smith's marriages.

There is disagreement as to the precise number of wives Smith had: Fawn Brodie lists 48, D. Michael Quinn 46, and George D. Smith 43. It is important to note that a great number of additional marriages to Joseph Smith occurred after his death, with the wife being sealed to Joseph via a proxy that stood in for him. 

One historian, Todd M. Compton, documented at least thirty-three plural marriages or sealings to Joseph Smith during Smith's lifetime. It is without question that Joseph had multiple wives; but, as Compton states multiple times in his work, "Absolutely nothing is known of this marriage after the ceremony"—that is, it is unclear how many of the women had sexual relations with Joseph Smith. There are allegations that Smith had at least one child born to a plural wife, but this remains unproven.

Compton enumerates Smith's wives as:

  1. Emma Hale
  2. Fanny Alger
  3. Lucinda Pendleton
  4. Louisa Beaman
  5. Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs (sister of Presendia,later married Brigham Young)
  6. Presendia Lathrop Huntington (sister of Zina)
  7. Agnes Moulton Coolbrith (widow of Smith's brother Don Carlos)
  8. Sylvia Porter Sessions (whose daughter Josephine Rosetta Lyon was told she was the daughter of Joseph Smith)
  9. Mary Elizabeth Rollins
  10. Patty Bartlett
  11. Marinda Nancy Johnson
  12. Elizabeth Davis
  13. Sarah Maryetta Kingsley
  14. Delcena Johnson
  15. Eliza Roxcy Snow
  16. Sarah Ann Whitney
  17. Martha McBride
  18. Ruth Vose
  19. Flora Ann Woodworth
  20. Emily Dow Partridge (sister of Eliza)
  21. Eliza Maria Partridge (sister of Emily)
  22. Almera Woodward Johnson
  23. Lucy Walker
  24. Sarah Lawrence (sister of Maria)
  25. Maria Lawrence (sister of Sarah)
  26. Helen Mar Kimball
  27. Hannah Ells
  28. Elvira Annie Cowles
  29. Rhoda Richards (who was also, roughly, Brigham Young's 22nd wife)
  30. Desdemona Fullmer
  31. Olive Grey Frost
  32. Melissa Lott
  33. Nancy Maria Winchester
  34. Fanny Young



bulletAnnual Report of the Utah Comm., Aug. 22, 1890.
bulletBergera, Gary James.  Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamnists, 1841 – 1844, Dialogue, volume 38 no 3, Fall 2005, pp 1 – 74.
bulletCannon, Frank J. "Under the Prophet in Utah" subtitled "Polygamy after the Manifesto & Church Interference in Politics", By Frank J. Cannon, formerly a United States Senator from Utah, 1911, co-authored by Harvey J. O'Higgins, Boston.
bulletCannon, Journal 5 Apr. 1884; A. C. Lambert, _The Published Editions of the Book of DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, In All Languages, 1833-1950_. Published by the author 1950; D
bulletCanton Repository, Canton, Ohio, September 25, 1890, page 2, col. 2.
bulletChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, General Conference Report, April 6, 1904 pp. 74 - 75. The second Manifesto, places the 1st Manifesto as on the 26th 1890
bulletCompton, Todd.  “In Sacred Loneliness”
bulletCowley, Matthias F. "Wilford Woodruff His Life and Labors", p.542.
bulletDaynes, Kathryn M.  “More Wives Than One”, ( University of Illinois Press, 2001 ).
bulletDeseret Evening News, January 16th 1879.
bulletDeseret Evening News. Charles W. Penrose Editor, gives the date as Thursday, September 25, 1890.
bulletFlake, Kathleen.  “The Politics of American Religious Identity – the Seating of Senator Reed Smoot”
bulletGordon, Sarah Barringer.  The Mormon Question – Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth Century America.
bulletHansen, Klaus J. _Quest for Empire and the Council of 50_.
bulletHardy, B. Carmon. _Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage_. (Urban: University of Illinois Press, 1992). Page 390.
bulletHistory of the Church, Vol. 5, Ch. 17, p.336
bulletIvins, Stanley S. "A Constitution for Utah", Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 25 1957 p. 95.
bulletJenson, Andrew. Church Chronology, Sunday, August 29, 1852; Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p.53, Orson Pratt.
bulletKenney, Scott. "Wilford Woodruff's Journal 7 {28 Dec 1880} : 615-21 [1888 (sp.)]
bulletLarson, Gustive O. "Federal Government efforts to 'Americanize' Utah", Utah Historical Quarterly 19?? pp. 228-229
bulletLarson, Gustive O. _The 'Americanization' of Utah for Statehood_. (San Marino, California: Huntington Library, 1971). Page 60.
bulletLyman, Edward Leo. _Political Deliverance_. Page 106.
bulletPratt, Orson. "The Seer", January 1852, page 7; see also Doctrine & Covenants section 132, which was first included in the 1876 edition.
bulletQuinn, D. Michael, “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890 – 1904.  Dialogue,
bulletQuinn, D. Michael, “The Mormon Hierarchy, Extensions of Power”. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997).
bulletQuinn, D. Michael, _The Mormon Hierarchy, Origins of Power_. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997)
bulletSalt Lake Herald printed the Manifesto with the date of issuance of the Manifesto being the 24th.
bulletSmith, Joseph Fielding. _Essentials in Church History_. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; 22nd Edition enlarged, 25th Edition, 1972).
bulletSmith, Joseph Fielding. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20
bulletSmith, Joseph. Contributor 5:259
bulletSnow, Erastus. Letter from Snow, to his wife, Elizabeth. Edwin Gordon Wolley and Robert C. Lund, convention delegates from Washington County. Ivins, p. 99
bulletStaker, Susan. "Waiting for World's End" p. XVII.
bulletTaylor, Samuel Woolley. "Family Kingdom", 1974, pp. 174-178.
bulletUnited States Reports, Vol. 136, pp. 1-68. _The Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vs. United States, Nos. 1030, 1054_.
bulletVan Wagoner, Richard S. "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904." Dialogue 18, Spring 1985 p. 43.
bulletVan Wagoner, Richard S. _Mormon Polygamy: A History_. (Salt Lake City: Sigmature Books, 1986).

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