Expose' of Polygamy
A Lady's Life Among the Mormons
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Utah State University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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I first want to thank Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, formerly the general editor of the Life Writings of Frontier Women series from Utah State University Press, who is responsible for the birth of this book. One day when she and I met for a catch-up lunch, she suggested the possibility of a...
Introduction: Reckoning with Fanny Stenhouse
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The name Fanny Stenhouse may bring to the mind of someone vaguely familiar with it associations such as Fanny Stenhouse = anti-Mormon, antipolygamy crusader, lurid exposé author. Her reputation or, in some minds, notoriety is largely based on her massive...
Exposé of Polygamy in Utah: A Lady’s Life among the Mormons
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To the Reader
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In presenting this little volume to the public, I trust I may be excused if I give utterance to a few words by way of preface. This I think especially needful, as very probably what I have written will fall into the hands of many who are but imperfectly acquainted with Mormon doctrines and...
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I was once a Mormon woman, and for over twenty years I have lived among Mormons. Their faith was once mine as truly as any words can express; their thoughts were the same as mine; their hopes were my hopes; their religious opinions were in sympathy with my own. But that...
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On visiting my birthplace, in the summer of 1849,1 I went to the house of my brother-in-law, who was an “apostate” Mormon. During my stay in his house, he spoke to me about the Mormons in not very flattering terms. At the same time, he told me that my father, mother, and, in...
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I had been married about four months when my husband was called to go on a mission to Italy. What terrible news this was to me, for I was to be left behind! In my grief I exclaimed, “Ah! why could they not have selected some one else?” Then I remembered how that, in my first joy and...
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After about a year’s absence, Mr. S. returned to England, and we were invited to attend a conference of the Saints, which was to be held in London, in June, 1851. During this conference, the “Apostle” Snow expressed his great indignation at the manner in which I had been...
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Mr. S. returned from England, and, after a while, began in conversation to introduce—gently and enigmatically, I thought—the subject of Polygamy, at the same time telling me that he “did not know” that it was true, but that he had heard that there had been a revelation given about...
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We returned to England in November, 1854, with the intention of leaving for Utah in the following spring. Until the period of emigration arrived, we went to reside in the house of the President of the London Conference,1 and it was at that time that I first began seriously to doubt...
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Mr. M., the Mormon President in London, was constantly in receipt of letters from Salt Lake during the time of our residence in his house; and I observed that he acted in a very mysterious manner with them. He would read them to my husband when he thought that they...
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About the middle of November, 1855, we sailed from Liverpool, with several hundred Mormons, for New York, where we landed on the last day of the year.1 Before we left England, Mr. Stenhouse concluded that...
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I was now in the chief city of “Zion”—the dwelling-place of the Prophet and the principal Saints, which every good Mormon longed so earnestly to see. I had suffered very much, as I anticipated the time when we should arrive in Utah, and my fears of the future had long...
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The practice of Polygamy in some instances results in alliances which among all civilized peoples would be considered equally unnatural, immoral, and opposed to the dictates of religion. It is quite a common thing in Utah for a man to marry two, and...
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Soon after my arrival in Salt Lake City, I visited a family where there were fi ve wives, three of whom I met on my first visit. They were all three intelligent women; but it pained me very much to see the sorrow depicted on the face of the first wife. She appeared to me to be suffering intensely...
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One day my husband came home, apparently very much pleased about something, and said to me, “What do you think?—we have the privilege of receiving our ‘Endowments’* next Saturday.” This, he added, was really a great favor, as many had been there a much longer time and had...
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Upon our arrival in Utah, I longed to see the converts who had preceded us from Switzerland. But it was some time before I had the mingled pleasure and pain that that meeting afforded me. One day a countryman called to see us. It was Mr...
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I was now expecting soon to be called upon to undergo the most fearful ordeal that any woman can possibly be required to pass through— that of giving my husband another wife. The thought of doing this was even worse than death. It would have been fearful to have followed my...
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Mr. Stenhouse has been a member of the church since 1845. He had, to the very best of his ability, lectured, preached, written, and published in Great Britain, and various parts of the Continent, as well as in the United States, in support of the Mormon faith. He was a most...
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I have watched the whole system of Polygamy closely, and have tried earnestly to discover wherein it was productive of any good; but in not one single instance could I find, after the most diligent observation, any but the very worst results. On the contrary, it was the same story again...
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As I have written so much of the troubles of the sisters, perhaps it will be as well to give the reader an idea of the trials and difficulties which the brethren had to contend with when they first attempted the introduction of Polygamy. To do this, I shall give the correspondence of...
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The dominant principle of Mormonism is marriage, and the theory that men and women are not perfect without each other. The man is not perfect without the woman, nor is the woman without the man, in the Lord. Every man and every woman must be married some time or other...
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In every conversation upon Polygamy in Utah, the first question usually asked is, “How are the women managed? do they all live together—or how?” There is no fixed principle regulating men in the management of their families. Every one is at liberty to do as he thinks best; and, with the...
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For many years there were very few Gentiles in Utah. Most of these were merchants and their clerks, and teamsters. There were also two or three Federal officials. Although they were but few, their influence was always dreaded by the Mormon leaders; and the Tabernacle and Meeting...
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Epilogue: The 1872 Exposé of Polygamy Compared with the 1874 “Tell It All”
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Stenhouse’s “pamphlet,” Exposé of Polygamy: A Lady’s Life among the Mormons, had twenty chapters and 221 pages. When it reappeared two years later with the new title of “Tell It All”: The Story of a Life’s Experience in Mormonism, it had forty-three chapters, a larger page size, and 623 pages...
Appendix: List of Editions
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Page Count: 198
Publication Year: 2008