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Fanny Stenhouse

  • In the Mormon Church the feelings or sufferings of women are seldom considered. If an order is given to any man to take a journey or perform any given task, his wife or wives are not to be thought of. They are his property just as much as his horses, mules, or oxen; and if one wife should die, it is of little consequence if he has others, and if he has not he can easily get them; and if he is not young or fascinating enough to win his way with the young ladies, he has only to keep on good terms with Brigham Young, or even with his bishop, and every difficulty will be smoothed away, and they will be 'counselled' to marry him ...

  • ... I discovered several never-failing signs by which one might know when a man wished to take another wife. He would suddenly 'awaken to a sense of his duties'; he would have serious misgiving as to whether the Lord would pardon his neglect in not living up to his privileges; he would become very religious, and would attend to his meetings ... which seemed just then to be very numerous, and in various other ways he would show his anxiety to live up to his religion.

  • The idea that some day another wife would be added to our household was ever present in my mind, but, somehow, when the fact was placed before me in so many unmistakable words, my heart sank within me, and I shrank from the realization that our home was at last to be desecrated by the foul presence of Polygamy.

Fanny Stenhouse, U.S. writer

(1829 - 1904)