on the cover:
Victorians loved to hear stories about the secret lives of Mormon women. Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Joaquin Miller, A. Conan Doyle, and others fed the public’s curiosity with tale after tale. Naive Manchester shopgirls seduced by lecherous missionaries, illiterate Liverpudlian fishwives shanghaied into domestic slavery in Utah—these were the stories that shaped public opinion. What was the truth behind these stereotypes?
Writes Rebecca Bartholomew: “These women made mistakes. But if they were not angels, neither were they fools. They are likable. Their lives had meaning. They demonstrated that virtue has unlikely habitats and could even sprout in that spiritual chamber of horrors, that Eden betrayed, that white sepulchre, Mormondom.””Bartholomew proves again her talents as an insightful researcher and writer.” —Martha Sonntag Bradley, author, Kidnapped from That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists
“Bartholomew is mature in her judgment, thoughtful, well-informed, and perceptive.” —Leonard J. Arrington, author, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints”
Audacious Women takes us one leap further towards understanding Mormon history, women’s history, and the history of the American West, and breathes life into a believable and praiseworthy past.” —Maureen Ursenback Beecher, author, Eliza and Her Sisters; co-author, Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society
about the author: Rebecca Bartholomew is a graduate of the University of Utah and a former history instructor at Salt Lake Community College. Her previous works include Rescue of the 1856 Handcart Companies; Brigham Young’s Forest Farm Home; and “The Thirteenth Apostle: Suza Young Gates” in Sister Saints. She is currently a technical editor in Salt Lake City.
Early British Mormon Immigrants
Salt Lake City
dedication: To John
Cover design: Rebecca Jacoby
Cover photo: John and Sophia Thomas Phillips, parents of Elizabeth Phillips Thomas and third great-grandparents of the author
Audacious Women was printed on acid-free paper and was composed, printed, and bound in the United States.
©1995 Signature Books. All rights reserved.
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Audacious Women : early British Mormon immigrants /
Rebecca Cornwall Bartholomew.
Includes index. ISBN 1-56085-066-3
1. Mormon women—Great Britain—History—19th century. 2. Mormon women—Utah—
History—19th century. 3. Utah—Emigration and immigration. 4. Great Britain—emigration and
immigration. 5. Immigrants—Utah—History—19th century. 6. British—Utah—History—
19th century. 7. Utah—Church History—19th century. I. Title.
Introduction [see below]
A Note on Sources [see below]
Conclusion [see below]
Bibliography [see below]
Index [not included here]
01 – The Stereotypes
02 – Who Were They?
03 – The Conversion Experience
04 – The Branches
05 – Women Organize
06 – Plural Marriage
07 – Emigration
08 – America and the Great Plains
09 – Monogamous Lives in Zion
10 – The Polygamous Minority
[p.vii]In 1975, while employed as a research historian for the Mormon Trust Foundation in Salt Lake City, I was assigned to search out contacts between Brigham Young and the British/American literati of his day. While noting what William Hepworth Dixon, Samuel Bowles, Mark Twain, Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Solomon Carvalho, Richard Burton, General Philip DeTrobriand, and others had to say about the great colonizer, I encountered an obscure novel entitled John Brent. Its author, Theodore Winthrop, a Yale graduate, won recognition for his fiction and travel accounts about the time he won immortality as the first Northern officer to be killed in the Civil War.
John Brent is the story of a puritanic minister’s son who finds himself while crossing the Great Plains. He also finds his true love. She happens to be a Mormon lass until rescued from this disgrace by the hero, who knows sham religion when he sees it.1
Winthrop’s opinion of Mormonism did not surprise me—most of his generation considered Mormonism synonymous with polygamy, as heinous a crime against the Victorian (hence God’s) mind as slavery. What did surprise me was the novel’s priggishness. After all, here was an antebellum author sophisticated enough to take a stab at realism and even local color—yet by and large John Brent is drivel. 2
Perhaps I took overweening offense because the poor immi-[p.viii]grants who people Winthrop’s story and act as foil to his delicate-skinned heroine happen to be my ancestors—refugees from the coal mines and factories of Wales and England. And he described them in phrases not likely to set a descendant burbling and cooing: “a withered set of beings,” “hardly men if man means strength,” “hardly women if woman means beauty.” Their leaders are greasy, self-serving, even murderous. In the company of women whose sensitivities aspire to those of oxen, his heroine is lonely, and it is only through high chivalry that the hero is able to forbear the other creatures long enough to rescue her.
Blaaggh, I thought. If Winthrop’s superciliousness toward the (albeit Mormon) tired and poor was representative, no wonder God spoke so scathingly of the Victorians in his revelations to Joseph Smith. To these rebukes he might have added a little literary criticism. It didn’t placate me to realize that, as the genre went, Winthrop’s anti-Mormonism was bland, or to later learn that Winthrop’s literary knife had scored targets besides Mormons.
Then in 1985 another research assignment sent me to Latter-day Saint church archives looking for histories of British Mormon women. Other than a few notable sources, and the valuable if sometimes vague writings of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, I found that the collection of women’s biographies, diaries, letters, and autobiographies was extremely limited compared to men’s, even though women have always comprised more than 50 percent of Mormon church membership and in spite of recent efforts in gathering and writing Mormon women’s history.
Nineteenth-century Mormon church records in Britain were kept by men, which may explain why they dealt 96 percent with men. Only one women’s Relief Society minute book survived to reach church archives, and Welsh women did not keep diaries at all, not even in Cymric. I have since been told that they could read the Bible but could not write. Whether it is strictly true that they could not write, most did not. Their husbands meanwhile authored voluminous personal notes, autobiographies, poetry, astrological [p.ix]studies, patriotic hymns, treatises on mathematics, and letters to editors.3
The less I found, the hungrier I became. Were these women the fishwives portrayed by Winthrop? Were they, as depicted in other works, even worse: dupes, low-lifes? A few stories handed down by my grandmother and great-aunt, both members of the Salt Lake Cambrian Society, left more questions than answers, and both women by then had passed away so that I could not ply them for details.
Once in a search mode, however, I found that new sources presented themselves. A whole body of private histories exists, written by family genealogists (many of them women), with as many life stories of matriarchs as of patriarchs. Most of these are thoroughly researched, some are documented, and copies of many have been donated to the Family History Library of the LDS church in Salt Lake City. Yet many of these exhibit the same tendency as more professional histories to brush over a woman’s early life in Britain. So the problem remained of a still hazy picture of pre-immigration Latter-day Saint women.
Hence this study. It is a search for my mothers. If at times I despair of portraying anything real about them beyond their births, marriages, and deaths, perhaps it is because even today, with the modern reality before us, my generation can’t agree on [p.x]the identity of women. As in the 1800s, twentieth-century literature has favored extremes: either we Mormon women are repressed, depressed, and demeaned—brainwashed sacrifices to an outmoded patriarchal system—or we must be the last of the fortunates, protected, honored, and fulfilled by men raised to more virtuous manhood through the doctrines of the priesthood.
Both extremes rankle. Yet the simplism must be acknowledged and dealt with, for in a hundred years this polarism in Mormon-watching has not changed much. Samuel Bowles, Horace Greeley, Maria Ward, Kate Field, and others who visited Zion—either to study the “Mormon Question” or as an important stop on a Western tour—encountered here, and then exhibited in their works, the same duality of voice and attitude. Some visitors more adeptly grappled with the conflict than others who, perhaps unable to reconcile contradictory, emotionally pungent impressions, went home to fabricate an entirely new, personal reality which presumably made sense to themselves. They then published their reality as Mormonism Unveiled or The Truth About the Mormons or another such ambitious title. 4
All this is pertinent to a study of British Mormon women because, by and large, what happened in Utah happened to participants and observers throughout the missions. Utah was populated by immigrants, and more importantly, British Mormons were closely attuned to church headquarters. It might accurately be stated that as Utah went, so went the British Mission. Church policy was centrist, with mission leaders fully in accord with the prophet. Since church doctrine stressed The Gathering, most converts probably began planning emigration before they were baptized. Also, the strain of dwelling in an unsympathetic society made Utah seem even more attractive. That British Mormons [p.xi]looked to Utah in most matters was one fact wholly grasped by outsiders.
And there are further reasons why it is difficult to find and study the British church as a separate unit. As Mormonism was an American church, and after 1847 even more isolated than in Ohio and Illinois, British observers often obtained their information about it from the American press. Thus a London editor who wished to visit the Whitechapel branch would have already read the body of American-originated literature and formed a number of impressions. Perhaps there were times (such as the public acknowledgement in Salt Lake City of polygamy) when some British Saints wished they were less closely linked in the public mind to Utah–but logic, loyalty, and faith bound them as relentlessly as did public opinion.
There were distinct differences between the Utah and British churches, however. One was that no such faction as the Godbeites developed in the English church, although a number of the dissenters, including William Godbe himself, were of British origin.5 I will propose in a later chapter that this was not due to the embattled situation of Mormons in the mission field, but rather to the simple fact that devoted converts—among whom schisms rise—emigrated.
Another difference was the absence of female self-observation and support groups in the British church. In the mainstream of Utah culture there arose the new Relief Society, later the Women’s Exponent magazine, and a whole network of suffragists, feminists, and commentators. In Britain the Millennial Star was written, edited, and published by male missionaries. Only rarely did a woman venture comment via editorial letter, and then very self-consciously. Not a single Relief Society germinated until 1869, and even then the societies were sporadically conceived and short-lived. As a result, relatively few women’s records, minutes, founders’ portraits, and diaries were produced, although many were [p.xii]written retrospectively in Utah. Thus a century later the mass of contemporary wordage favors the anti-Mormon press as one’s chief source of printed information about British Mormon women.
So this book begins with impressions not by the women themselves or by mission writers, but by non-Mormons, mostly hostile writers. One of my conclusions is that the private lives of these women did not fit one pattern but revealed nearly as many styles of education, family roles, and interests as there were personalities. Unfortunately, images of these women created by nineteenth-century writers were far more limited in range and color.
Scope of the Study
The original concept of this study was to find one hundred quality records of women who were involved with Mormonism in the first fifty years of the British Mission, 1838-88. By quality I wanted “Type A” records: contemporary documents created by a directly-involved party. It could be a diary, letter, birth or marriage certificate, newspaper report, etc., so long as it was immediate to the events described. Such records would contain fewer of the mental editings caused by time and distance. When I could not see an original source itself, I used a published article based upon the source. But I have tried not to repeat work already well-covered by other writers, which is why stories about some prominent early Mormon women such as Ruth May Fox and Martha Hughes Cannon are not recounted here.
Type B sources are further removed from the actual events but still close to the women’s lives, including autobiographies written by the women or their husbands or biographies by a spouse or another contemporary after the fact—often years after and usually late in life. Some of these are more reliable than others, as when the writer referred to an earlier diary or letters.
A third class of sources, Type C, are far more numerous and include biographies written by children or descendants even further removed. These are mainly found in encyclopedias compiled by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP), early LDS biographical collections, and family histories. While DUP publications have been a splendid help, most are undocumented. I have [p.xiii]tried to use these only when I could verify the information through a second source.
While I had hoped to find one hundred Type A records, this proved too formidable. Eventually I had to settle for thirty-four. Type B sources proved even scarcer: sixteen. The remaining fifty are Type C. Some day, given greater resources, I propose to contact descendants of each of the fifty women in an effort to uncover further information, perhaps copies of diaries, letters, and other vital records which may still be held by the families.
Most of the primary source records are in the women’s collection of the Utah State Historical Society in Salt Lake City. These were inventoried and registered in 1985 by Linda Thatcher. Many would never have come to exist but for the efforts of Works Progress Administration writers hired for make-work projects by the federal government during the Great Depression. These writers interviewed female pioneers still living throughout the state and made carbon typescripts of their interviews.
A second major repository is the library of the LDS church historical department. During Church Historian Leonard Arrington’s tenure, a massive effort was made to itemize and register all documents held in archives, in the process of which a women’s register was created. I believe Maureen Ursenbach Beecher was a leader in this effort. I encountered some of these sources during my eight years with the Mormon Trust Foundation.
A few sources are held by Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library (Provo, Utah), the University of Utah’s Marriott Library Special Collections (Salt Lake City), and Utah State University’s library (Logan).
While I felt underprivileged by not being able to work in Great Britain, probably the best place anyway for my project was the LDS genealogical library (since renamed the Family History Library), which contains a world-class collection of genealogical reference works, background texts on British history, family histories, and, best of all, what were once called “family group sheets.” Before computerization, these genealogical charts were submitted by family researchers as hard copies and compiled in notebooks. They are now on microfilm and microfiche. These records are now being [p.xiv]entered on computer as the library’s Ancestral File. I was able to find family group records giving documented vital statistics on thirty-one of my women, not as many as I’d hoped but a helpful number especially since these sheets name sources. However, I discovered that records in the computerized Ancestral File are not as reliable as information on those earlier, hand-written family group sheets.
Although its limitations are mine alone, I am grateful to those who have assisted this study. Leonard J. Arrington and the Mormon Trust Foundation supported several chapters through a grant. Linda Thatcher of the Utah State Historical Society went beyond her duties in helping me root out sources on Victorian women and women’s studies. Rodello Hunter provided continual encouragement and an interested ear through rough drafts. Carol Kowallis Onyon donated hours of research along with an astute sensitivity to telling detail. Ron Dennis of Brigham Young University shared his considerable insights into Welsh history and culture. My husband helped with research besides fixing dinner, washing dishes, and spending hundreds of evenings entertaining himself while I persisted at the computer. I am grateful to these people, and if ever I am able I will repay them in some way.
I am painfully aware of the limitations of this work, which I will not enumerate, as the reader will discover them soon enough. They are due partly to my limited gifts and partly to not enough time and money. Because of them, at times I despaired of the project but finally decided to wrap it up and submit it before I grow old.
[p.xv]A Note on Sources
For most of the one hundred women surveyed for this study I was able to locate only two sources each, usually a brief biography or autobiography and a genealogical record. Because of this, it seemed to me that repeating full bibliographical citations in the footnotes on the women as they appear from chapter to chapter was unnecessarily cumbersome.
Instead I decided to list the sources on each woman in a alphabetically-organized bibliography at the end of the book. I use parentheses in the text to reference this bibliography. If the woman is not named in the text, her name follows in parentheses in lieu of a footnote. However, when a woman is named in connection with a piece of information or quotation, I use neither footnote nor parenthetical reference because the source is self-evident.
When citing all other sources, I use standard footnotes.
1. Eugene T. Woolf, Theodore Winthrop: Portrait of an American Author (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1981), gives the most thorough and appreciative assessment of Winthrop as both a writer and a character.
2. Most readers of Winthrop’s day did not consider him drivel. Woolf discusses the Philip Sydneyian “cult of the gentleman” to which Winthrop subscribed. Poesy, action, Christian conduct, and chivalry were its codes, and with such an outlook Mormon polygamy must have been as remote to Winthrop’s understanding as Martian law.
3. Ronald D. Dennis, in his study of the Mormon Welsh emigration, states: “Most of the Welsh, including women, were literate, thanks to the “circulating schools” from the previous century. These schools consisted of brief training in reading skills from various nonconformist ministers who traveled the countryside out of an intense desire to get people to read the Bible … Little attention was given to writing … … Consequently, many of the Welsh could read or quote the scriptures, while at the same time being totally incapable of writing their names” (The Call to Zion: The Story of the First Welsh Emigration [Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1987], 19).
4. The title “Mormonism Unveiled” was used by several writers over the decades, including Eber D. Howe for his original, virulent history of the fledgling sect (Mormonism Unvailed [sic] [Painesville, Ohio: by the author, 1834]); John D. Lee’s confessions as purportedly told to his journalist/lawyer (Mormonism Unveiled [St. Louis: Byran, Brand, & Co., 1877]); and Orvilla S. Belisle’s romance (Mormonism Unveiled [London: Charles Clark, 1855]).
[p.249]After all is read and considered, were the stereotypes true, the Victorian image of “suffering Mormon womanhood” valid? Were they dupes in the beginning, docile victims in the end? With some exceptions, the quality of women’s lives in Zion seems not to have deteriorated from what they had experienced in Great Britain but rather improved in important ways. In Utah they had new opportunities to own land, enter careers, and raise children under the precepts of Mormonism. Church could be an annoyance and hindrance to economic stability, but just as often church society was a buffer against privation. Most saw tithing and mission calls as prepayments on heaven’s blessings—”fire insurance,” if you will. They viewed obstacles through the eyes of faith rather than materialism. A woman’s first weeks in Mormondom were frequently a honeymoon. Then reality set in. This was not Nirvana nor did most expect it to be. There was no escaping the real world of working, paying bills, fighting insects, surviving natural disasters, starting and settling family squabbles, coexisting with neighbors, and enduring selective government policies. Zion had its unscrupulous men: those who took more than they gave, borrowed and did not repay, landowners and agents who sold useless farmland. But women’s disappointments usually centered on dead-beat husbands rather than on church leaders. There were no harsh words for Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, bishops, or stake presidents, except from Fanny Stenhouse. Not that victims can be counted on always to recognize the sources of their abuse, but, aside from the patriarchal realities of the time, women seemed to have as great a shot at happiness in a caring Mormon setting as in an indifferent Old World environment.
For two of every three British immigrants, their lives were what today’s middle-class would call hard physical circumstances, yet usually not as stark as in the factories and sweatshops of [p.250]Manchester and London. Infant mortality was high. Six out of seven women experienced the death of a child. Only one in five enjoyed a traditional, one-spouse-’til-death marriage. One in five ended a marriage by divorce or separation.
For those of fortunate estate in Britain, Zion often proved an upender and leveler. If a sister arrived with cash in her purse, within a short time she was likely to find herself no richer than her neighbors either through her generosity, illness, sharpsters, or a church directive. One imagines Brigham Young eyeing families for signs of prosperity and calling on them to make a sacrifice. The oblation might take the form of adopting another wife, filling a proselyting mission, or colonizing an outlying corner of the Great Basin.
A couple had the option of saying no, and some did, but not many. Gentiles looked at Young’s power, his comparatively grand homes and properties, and called him a hypocrite. With at least twenty-seven wives and fifty-six children, he did not skimp in the family arena. He employed twice as many as he wed or adopted. True, he never left the territory to proselyte, did not relive the hardships of colonizing yet another satellite community, and at his death his funds were inextricably mixed with church’s funds. But he came to see the church as his family and himself an indulgent father. With that view came both the benefits and pitfalls of paternalism. There was a level of security and love, but he expected obedience and respect in return. Many immigrants believed they needed the kind of direction and support the system provided. Others chafed under its regimentation.
The greatest social and economic leveler was not Brigham Young but the frontier. This was especially true in the early decades, although subsistence farming would always be precarious. Even today visitors from the Midwest, where farmsteads are immaculately white- and red-washed, wonder why Utah farms look so down-in-the-mouth. The answer is that Minnesota farmers do not have to irrigate.
Utah farmers deal alternately with drought and flooding along with grasshoppers and rocky soil. When they might have been painting their barns they had to build reservoirs, grade and line [p.251]canals, repair reservoirs, dredge ditches, shore up reservoirs, take water turns, and rebuild reservoirs. Later, when open channels gave way to enclosed, pressurized watering systems, the workload shrunk to morning, noon, and middle-of-the-night pipe rearranging.
Immigrants like Jean Rio Baker, who dreamed of becoming a Jeffersonian gentlewoman farmer, came to a place better suited to sheep ranching and mining. The more prosperous families engaged in the latter, or merchandising, rather than agriculture. The Great Basin was not a bread basket.
Thus, most everyone in Utah had problems. If an immigrant came expecting to be “at ease in Zion,” she was soon disabused of her hopes. Many understood this and were not surprised at the drudgery required to grow roses in the desert. Like Elizabeth Lewis, they wanted to build the City of God where no one blasphemed, profaned the Lord’s day, or found fault with the prophets of God. Material success was less important than spiritual citizenship.
But what of the spiritual kingdom? How did the women fare in this respect? If speeches from the Tabernacle are an indication, the priesthood brethren derived spiritual identity from “wearing the pants” in the church and flexing leaderly muscles against women. For all their protests of estrangement from Victorian society, they shared the era’s most basic attitudes, particularly in their strict definition of sex roles. He was considered a poor priesthood holder who could not control his wives or who allowed a woman to make family or church decisions. One expression of this ethic was the quashing of the Polysophical Society.
Was there a dark side to Mormon patriarchy and polygamy? Of course. As one non-British pioneer woman put it, “The ordinance is from the Lord; but it would damn thousands.”1 In a system that ratified female subservience, women were bound to suffer. For starters, the thoughtlessness in relationships with pre-[p.252]sent wives and inconsideration in selecting new ones seemed driven by the idea that polygamy was a male right rather than a sacred dispensation. Husbands’ callous disregard for wives shows that men who shunned the very idea of dishonorable treatment of a fellow did not necessarily extend these scruples to women and children.
Very early, a theology developed to rationalize plural marriage. In 1852 Orson Spencer was already saying that monogamy was “unnatural,” implying that either reproductive facts or masculine libido or both justified more than one sex partner for men. There developed a preoccupation with the doctrine of celestial marriage. It became a primary, indeed paramount, principle of Mormonism. It also evolved into an overweening measure of a man’s fitness on either side of the veil.
Perhaps not everyone bought into this attitude; then again, maybe monogamists did not have the means or clout to take a place among the dominant members of society. Among our women, the percentage is two to one for monogamy. Although polygamy was the norm for Utah’s elite, it was not the lifestyle of choice among common Mormons even during its heydey. On the occasion of the Manifesto, Susa Young Gates, Brigham Young’s daughter, chided the sisters for their complacency toward the Principle. One guesses most of her readers did not beat their bosoms in self-reproach.
For every woman who expressed disillusionment with the Mormon system, two others saw things more favorably, often without losing a sense of realism. Rebecca Elizabeth Howell Mace phrased this when she heard that a friend, Dr. Harris, had joined the church: “I told him I was pleased to hear it, but I told him he would find many stumbling blocks to overcome, but the actions of men does not change the truth of the Gospel.” She meant by men’s actions the actions of individuals. But her choice of words leads to the point that overbearing men were known to exercise their authority unreasonably.
It should be recognized that Victorian attitudes toward masculinity and feminity were embraced by Mormon women as well as men. There is the ironic fact that under the Mormon system of [p.253]male dominance and plural wives, females assumed unusual freedoms. The mechanism of this phenomenon should be further explored, as well as why Mormon society has not continued in the vanguard of feminism but has actually fallen behind in recent generations. The catalyst could have been necessity; that, through sharing one man, women were left to make their own economic way and in so doing learned independence. Perhaps polygamy was not the catalyst at all, and a group of extraordinary women and men were simply social innovators. Keener examination of the Shipp family could provide some clues to this question.
If polygamy took on other purposes than religious and procreative, it proved to be a viable form of marriage for hundreds of Mormon families. Kimball Young, interviewing in the 1920s surviving wives and children from these early polygamous families, concluded that 50 percent of the families had been successful. Other studies of Mormon polygamy are rife with positive judgments by survivors of the great experiment.
There were, if not apparent then at least available, escape routes from polygamy and its desert society. Some women left Zion altogether, moving to California, returning east, or back to Britain. Others stayed but left the church or retreated from it emotionally or married a non-Mormon.
Marriage was fairly fluid in pioneer Mormondom, getting into and out of it relatively easy. Even the monogamist majority did not enjoy the one-partner standard fitting the popular perception of the Victorian days. My grandmother used to say that divorce was not an option for women of the “old” days. The histories do not bear this out. I suppose the attitude of my grandmother’s generation evolved later. Fanny Stenhouse, perhaps showing her French Catholic influence but making a valid observation, complained that divorces were granted too casually in Utah. Very possibly the increased demand for wives stimulated by plural marriage made it feasible for early Mormon women to leave unhappy situations.
Divorce was not the norm, but spouses who did not get along lived apart or obtained a dissolution of marriage from Brigham Young. The prophet did not condone this—indeed, forbade at least one of his own daughters to separate (although she quickly ob-[p.254]tained her divorce after Young died) —but apparently considered it worse to lock a woman into a relationship she did not want. Fourteen percent of our histories report divorce or separation.
We see evidence that some of our women became more independent as they grew older, daring to express views not in strict accord with church doctrine. But for every such woman there was another who is described as gathering her grandchildren around her to tell exciting and faith-promoting incidents from her spiritual trek for the gospel’s sake.
It is tempting to conclude that a woman’s attitude toward Zion depended on her experience with it. But this theory does not hold true. Many who endured the hardest conditions were the most stalwart in their loyalty. What they lost materially, they felt they had sacrificed for their own and their descendants’ ultimate betterment.
Despite the tendency of the Mormon frontier toward leveling, the rich becoming poorer and the poor improving their situations, there appears to be surprising diversity in the women’s lives in other areas. There were career women like Maggie Shipp and homebodies like Bella Murdoch. Some became interested in social causes, others in arts and letters. In short, there is a story in the records for every reader.
One can find, among my one hundred women’s histories, confirmation somewhere for nearly any stereotype. But in every woman’s history is also a resounding repudiation of the composite stereotype. No one woman even comes close to resembling the rude, mean, thieving, superstitious, perverted, abused, abandoned, verminal subhuman of the Eastern and European presses. It was probably inevitable that these women would inspire curiosity and contempt from their conventional contemporaries—just as Utah’s modern fundamentalists baffle today’s Mormons. We don’t understand them. We have difficulty imagining a woman choosing to remain in such an arrangement. Mormonism has in many ways turned from its past, until the polygamous, isolationist, millennialist ethic of the pioneers now seems a peculiar code of a peculiar people living in a peculiar time.
If the stereotypes are not valid, how should these women be [p.255]defined? Perhaps by comparing them to today’s Mormon women. If there are affinities, devotion to Mormonism would be the most obvious. Another is the ideal of dedication to children and husband over material, career, and personal development.
Miscellany of circumstance is a third similarity. After several generations as predominantly white, middle-class, and American, Mormonism has again become a meeting ground for people of many origins, expectations, situations, and viewpoints. Today’s worldwide church is no more homogeneous than was pioneer Utah. The pilgrims’ progress from preparation to initiation to sturdy devoteeship is once again the primary and sometimes only shared experience between Mormon women.
As to differences, it could be ventured that twentieth-century, college-educated sisters are not as trusting as the Victorians were but are more sophisticated toward, even skeptical of, institutional authority. Yet some observers would claim just the contrary, that modern Mormons are overly socialized, placidly conforming to church, husband, and other authority.
One could also speculate that Mormon women of the 1990s, while generally supportive of priesthood authority, are more sensitive to women’s issues and less accepting of female subordination. Yet it would be hard to find less subservient females than those early contributors to the Woman’s Exponent, the Polysophical Society, and the Relief Society in pioneer Utah.
Another point of departure between generations is in physical circumstance. It may be impossible for us to comprehend the isolation, direct dependence on nature, and need for self-sufficiency of the pioneer experience. Recently the writer spent two years in central Utah in a pioneer adobe cottage without heat, hot water, or bathroom. While exhilarating, this adventure was also sometimes frightening. We might wake up to rain leaking all around our bed and know that morning would bring another 18-hour day of hard labor. There were times when we wondered, trying to survive as outsiders in a deprived economy, whether we would literally lose all but the clothes on our backs.
But there was at all times a buffer between us and starvation. Little more than an hour away was the city with plentiful supplies [p.256]and our leased-out suburban house. Still, we wanted in the worst way to succeed. It took many months for us to buckle under our failure to grow enough food at 6,000 feet altitude in dry, rocky soil, the exasperation of trying to get ahead without a tractor or a water share. Thus we began to understand, in small degree, the ruthlessness of those pioneers’ lives. They had no buffers but their own hands and God.
So if it is untenable to compare ourselves to them, and if they were not the lowly creatures of the literature, who were they? Statistics and generalizations do not adequately define them. Perhaps the best measure is the intangible one. Twentieth-century readers may be too steeped in materialism to put much stock in romantic notions such as, “It’s not in whether you win or lose but how you fight that counts.” Our great-great-grandmothers put stock in character development. What did Zion produce in the way of feminine saintliness?
Jean Rio Baker gave up home, business, friends, family and country for the privilege of years of frustration. Yet, instead of wasting herself in bitterness, she turned philosophic, grew closer to her Creator, and tried to enjoy the trip. Elizabeth McCune could have lived in any home on any continent she wished, associating with only the privileged in great luxury. She chose instead a relatively modest cottage among common neighbors with service through church committees.
The Shipp family had its contentions and disaffections, but they managed to turn these problems to good. The contribution of this curious but remarkable family has only begun to be estimated. The Murdoch trio—Ann, John, and Bella—lived in one house in general love and harmony for several decades. The Murdoch children grew up with little idea of the forbearance exercised daily by the adults in their lives.
Could any good thing come out of Skull Valley? Yet Mary Jane Ewer Palmer wove a selfless, productive life out of the sparsest of materials. She created happiness from her work and her farm and from matters of the heart and spirit. She worried only that her children had medical care and that she had not given enough of herself.
[p.257]Susan and John Barker maintained humor and affection for each other not only through the tribulations of homesteading, illness, supporting nine children, and doing duty to church and community, but through two additional wives and the wives’ children. They did not despair, did not divorce, did not give up the fight.
Elizabeth P. Davis became thrifty so that she could afford to be generous. Says her historian, she would patch and mend to save a dollar to give to the needy of the church. During the immigrant season, it was usual for her to provide one hundred meals a week to newcomers. On one occasion a friend arrived in the valley “almost fainting” from having lived on roots for three weeks with a baby nursing blood from her breast. Elizabeth gave the girl bread and tea and “the best she had in the house … joyfully.” Moreover, Elizabeth enjoyed her martyrdom: she loved to attend dancing parties at Social Hall in Salt Lake City, meeting with Welsh people from the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth wards to share her merry smile and enjoy old Welsh tunes. She also loved a good joke, such as the one about the old Welshman who summed up his reasons for divorcing his wife with this: “And look you, she cleans the bottom shelf first.”
One must even admire Fanny Stenhouse. She longed for the uncommon pampering of an upper-class English matron, with a husband who came home to one hearth and one set of toddlers. Instead, as the outfall of Thomas’s religious zeal, she had to support her family through thick complications and keep her marriage together through thin incentives. Orthodox Mormonism may judge her harshly. She violated a code which considers doctrinal heresy worse than personal treachery if only the latter is selective and directed toward the unimportant. From the perspective of a hundred-plus years her sins seem mild. And tarnished though her exposé may be–the product of an anguish and, yes, self-interest she herself may not have plumbed–Fanny emerged a decisive woman.
Perhaps my assessment is polyannish. But these are the views the women took of themselves, and they thought they looked from the perspective of eternity. Who is to say they were wrong? A great [p.258]advantage to studying history is the opportunity to see how things came out in the wash. The distance of years makes it possible to follow these women’s selections, occasional revisions, then pursuance of their dreams despite heartaches and discouragements. We can identify some of the long-term consequences of their choices, not all of them comforting, as in the proliferation to this day of polygamous cults throughout the American West. But here the waters get muddy. It will take closer, more skillful study than the present one to determine whether polygamy established a pattern of emotional exploitation of women and unviable burdens of guilt and resentment on orthodox daughters such as Fannie Palmer Gleave.
Although some of the women’s choices are difficult to countenance, on the whole their lives do not shine across the years as doltish or fishwifish. Even those who entered plural marriage do not appear to have greatly lamented it or to have suffered much beyond what a monogamous wife did. In fact, polygamous family life seems to have had perquisites not enjoyed by the monogamous.
It is a pleasant thing to discover that these women were after all much like ourselves, with choices to make, dichotomies to endure, consequences from which to learn. They made mistakes, as did their leaders, and one would not wish to deny this and shut out the fascination and lessons of the women’s stories. But if the women were not angels, neither were they fools. They are likable. They’re worthy of emulation. Their lives had meaning. They demonstrated that virtue has unlikely habitats, could even sprout in a place scorned by the Other Victorians as the least promising for the nurture of goodness: that spiritual chamber of horrors, that Eden betrayed, that whited sepulchre, Mormondom.
Aland, Ellen Sarah Harding. Biography in Edith P. Haddock et al., comps., History of the Bear Lake Pioneers (Bear Lake County, ID: Daughters of Utah Pioneers [hereafter DUP], 1968), 1-2 (hereafter Bear Lake).
Allred, Clara Alice Robinson. Grant Borg, “Interview with Mrs. CARA — Spring City, Utah, Sanpete County” Federal Writer’s Project (hereafter FWP), 2/9/1939, carbon of typescript (hereafter ts), 5 pp., Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City (hereafter USHS).Family group sheet under name of Reuben Warren Allred, LDS Church Family History Library, Salt Lake City (hereafter FHL).
Allred, Isabella Wade. Elvera Manful, “Pioneer Personal History: Mrs. IWA.” FWP history revised 3/9/1937, carbon of ts, 6 pp., USHS. Written from an autobiography.
Archbold, Elizabeth. Biography in Kate B. Carter, Comp., Our Pioneer Heritage (Salt Lake City: DUP, 1961), 4:57 (hereafter Our Pioneer Heritage).
Ashley, Sarah Jane Neat. AlDean Ashley Roberts, “George Ashley and SJNA,” in Bear Lake, 26-28.
Ashworth, Eliza Dorsey. “History of EDA written by great granddaughter Sadie Leffler Russon. Information by Mother, Europha Brian and Lola T. Wells,” ts, 4 pp., USHS. Family group sheet under name of Benjamin Ashworth, FHL.
Astle, Felicia Raynor. Norma H. Eastley, “Francis Astle and FRA,” in Bear Lake, 28-31, with photographs.
Baker (Pearce), Jean Rio Griffiths. “Diary of JRBP, obtained from Phyllis Hess, great-granddaughter, May 1952,” photocopy of ts, 68 pp, USHS.
Baker’s diary has been widely excerpted. It was serialized [p.260]in part in the Logan Herald Journal in 1937; published almost in its entirety in Emma Nielsen Mortensen, Two Mormon Pioneers: History of Alva Benson, Diary of Jean Rio Baker (Hyrum, UT: Downs Printing, 1986); again in An Enduring Legacy (Salt Lake City: DUP, 1987), 10:193-240; and more recently in Kenneth W. Godfrey et al., Women’s Voices: An Untold History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982), 203-21. Her story is also the subject of a video program shown to visitors to Temple Square.
In spite of this wide exposure, I have included the diary because most versions omit her final pages, which shed a different meaning on her life than that suggested by the early entries.
Ballard, Margaret McNeil. Biography of MMB written by family, 1919, USHS. Autobiography of MMB cited by M. Russell Ballard in “MMB’s Legacy of Faith,” Ensign 19 (July 1989): 16-19, and by Jessie L. Embry, Mormon Polygamous Families: Life in the Principle (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987).
Barker, Emily Ann Parsons. Biography of EAPB, manuscript (hereafter ms), USHS. Family group sheet under name of John Henry Barker, FHL.
Barker, Susan Dermott. “Letters of John H. Barker” in Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:77. This is one of the important exceptions to my rule of using verified DUP histories; no family group sheet could be found on the Barkers (although one was found for a son and his family), nor does the couple appear in the computerized Ancestral File.
Bell, Ann Fish. Eric Andersen, “AFB (1812-1872), A True Pioneer Story,” in Pioneer 39 (Nov./Dec. 1992): 29 (magazine of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers).
Benbow, Jane Holmes. One of the founders of Mormonism in Great Britain, Jane Benbow is mentioned in B. H. Roberts’s History of the Church and barely noted in her husband John’s [p.261]Ancestral File record. She died during the exodus from Nauvoo n 1846. Her husband remarried, and Jane, his first wife, has been forgotten.
Bennett, Margaret Ann McPhail Caldwell. Elvera Manful, “Biography of MAMCB,” FWP, 1939, carbon of ts, 11 pp, USHS. Family group sheet under name of William Calwell (cottonworker), FHL.
Blackburn, Virtue Leah Crompton. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:41.
Blyth, Margaret Mitchell. “Journal of John L. Blyth, 1878-,” photocopy of holograph, 50 pp., USHS. “History of MMB, 1948,” ts, 7 pp, USHS. Elizabeth Mitchell Boyce Pearl, “History of John Law Blyth for DUP Vilate Kimball Camp,” photocopy of holograph, 13 pp, USHS. Family group sheet under the name of John Law Blythe, FHL.
Brian, Martha Elizabeth Ashworth. “MEAB: History compiled by Euphora Brian Leffler Kinghorn, dtr., et al, Read at DUP meeting, Idaho Falls, spring 1940. Lined portions added from oral information by daughters and granddaughter.” Photocopy of ts, 5 pp., USHS. Based partly on a journal started by MEAB in 1897. Family group sheet under the name of Daniel Gross Brian, FHL.
Brown, Lizzie Weaver. Elvera Manful, “Personal Pioneer History: Mrs. LWB,” FWP carbon of ts, 6 pp., 3/9/1937, USHS. Family group sheet under the name of Moroni Franklin Brown, FHL.
Buckley, Mary Nixon Bate. “Autobiography of MNBB written in 1881, placed in temple cornerstone and returned to daughter in 1931,” photocopy of holograph,” 16 pp, USHS. Family group sheet under name of Richard Bate, FHL.
Bullock, Henrietta Rushton. “Travels of the Pioneer Camp of [p.262]Israel from Winter Quarters in Search of a Stake of Zion kept by Thomas Bullock, Clerk of the Pioneer Camp,” original ts taken from diary, 10 pp., USHS. This journal is another source that has been widely cited, since Thomas was camp clerk to Brigham Young in 1847 and chief clerk in the church offices in Salt Lake City until after Young’s death.
Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
Clair Phillips, “Brief History of Thomas Bullock,” Pioneer 39 (May-June 1992):18-19.
“Thomas Bullock, Pioneer,” descendant-written history of the couple found in Our Pioneer Heritage, 8:229-356.
Cannon, Ann Quayle. Biography of AQC in Kate B. Carter, comp., Heartthrobs of the West (Salt Lake City: DUP, 1947), 3:76 (hereafter Heartthrobs). Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
Cannon, Martha Hughes. Elizabeth C. McCrimmin, “Dr. MHC, First Woman Senator in America,” ts, 20 pp., USHS. Biography of MHC in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:382.
Jean Bickmore White, “Dr. MHC: Doctor, Wife, Legislator, Exile,” in Vicky Burgess-Olson, ed., Sister Saints (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1978), 383-98.
Chisolm, Mary Stuart. Journal of Matthew Rowan, ts, LDS church archives.
Claridge, Charlotte Joy. George S. Ellsworth, Samuel Claridge: Pioneering the Outposts of Zion (Logan, UT: the author, 1987). Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
Clark, Martha Cumming. Frederick James Clark, “The Life Story of MCC,” photocopy of ts, 9 pp., USHS.
Coon, Mary Worthington. “A sketch of the lives of Eliza Ann Clark Worthington Horrocks and her Daughters, MWC. As told to her (Mary’s) Daughter Mary Eliza (Mamie) Coon Thomas,” ts, 2 pp, Thomas family papers in possession of author. “An Account of MWC by Herself,” ts, 2 pp., ibid.
LeNora T. Foster, “Resume of the Early Life of MWC,” in [p.263]William Kent Goble and Gayle Goble Ord, comps., Heritage of the Abraham Coon Family (Salt Lake City, 1989), 90-91. Family group sheet under the name of James David Coon, FHL. Copies of vital records in possession of author.
Davies, Rachel Maria Davies. John Johnson Davies, “Historical Sketch of My Life,” ts, 10-plus pp., Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah. John Davies prefaced his autobiography with these words: “I am a very poor speller/ And also very poor writer/ I know but little about grammer/ Then please excuse all my blunders.” But he bequeathed a playful, lyrical writing style and a delightful description of the emigration. Also excerpted in Our Pioneer Heritage, 1:29-32. Family group sheet under the name of John Johnson Davies, FHL.
Dixon, Jane Davis. Sarah Lewis, daughter, “Biography of JDD,” USHS.
Dunford, Leah Bailey. Lillie Dunford Mecham, “Isaac Dunford and LBD,” Bear Lake, 187-97. Personal papers, Susa Young Gates Collection, USHS. Gates was Brigham Young’s 56th child; she became such a prolific Mormon writer and organizer that she was sometimes called “the Thirteenth Apostle.” LBD was Gates’s mother-in-law, largely raising Gates’s two eldest children born during her disastrous teenage marriage.
Dunkley, Margaret Wright. In Leonard J. Arrington and Susan Arrington Madsen, Mothers of the Prophets (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987), 198.
Evans, Margaret Powell. Biography from DUP files in Heartthrobs, 1:35-36. Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
Evans, Priscilla Merriman. Autobiography of PME, lithograph of ts, 13 pages, USHS. Abridged version in Our Pioneer Heritage, 9:8. [p.264]Family group sheet under the name of Thomas David Evans, FHL.
Ferguson, Ellen Brooke. Blanche E. Rose, “Early Mormon Medical Practice,” Utah Historical Quarterly 10 (1942): 14-33. Ann Gardner Stone, “Dr. EBF: Nineteenth-Century Renaissance Women,” in Burgess-Olson, ed., Sister Saints, 325-40. “Pioneer Midwives,” in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:379.
Fielding, Hannah Greenwood. Diary of Joseph Fielding, photocopy of ts prepared by the Joseph Fielding Smith Family Association, June 1963, c. 50 pp., LDS Church Archives. The notation at the top reads “Journal, Preston, 1839-1840,” but it begins in September 1937. Computer Ancestral File, FHL. HGF’s computer number is AFN 1MOL-6T. Her sister-wife Mary Ann Peake Fielding’s number is AFN 2F53-5Q.
Fox, Ruth May (Polly). Autobiography of RMF, holograph, LDS Church Archives. Biography of RMF in Heartthrobs, 3:80. Entry in Andrew Jensen, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: the author, 1901), 4 vols. In Godfrey, Women’s Voices, pp. 373-86. Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
Gadd, Eliza Chapman. In Heartthrobs, 3:150.
Garner, Janet Sprunt Warner. “Life History of JSWG completed July 16, 1935 by L.P.,” ms, USHS.
Gerrard, Elizabeth Tripp. Obituary in Millennial Star 30 (1868):320.
Gibson, Janet Aicol. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:22.
Giles, Veronica Murdoch Caldow. Life sketch in The James and Mary Murray Murdoch Family History (Provo, UT: Family Organization, 1982), 761.
Grist, Elicia Allsley. Listed with family in Mini Margetts Card File, British emigration index compiled by an early LDS Ge-[p.265]nealogical Library (now FHL) employee from ship and emigration office records. Computer Ancestral File, FHL. Letter to the Millennial Star 21 (1861): 2-7.
Information on EAG has been hard to find. Initially I could not find a family group record on the Grist family, but by summer 1992 she and husband John Knapp Grist had been entered in the computerized Ancestral File.
Handley, Elizabeth Clark. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:477.
Family group sheet under the name of George Handley, FHL.
Hardie, Janet Downing. “Midwives of Pioneer Utah,” Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6: 409.
Hart, Emily Ellingham. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hart, “James H. Hart,” in Bear Lake, 238-42. Includes excerpts from his short, otherwise unpublished diary.
Heath, Harriet. In Mini Margetts Card File, FHL.
Heggie, Jane Strachan. Biography of Andrew Walter Heggie in Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:42.
Heywood, Martha Spence. Maureen Ursenbach, “Three Women and the Life of the Mind,” Utah Historical Quarterly 43 (1975): 27- 40. Mentioned in Jill Mulvay Derr, “Zion’s Schoolmarms,” chapter in Claudia Bushman, ed., Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah (Cambridge, MA: Emmeline Press Ltd., 1976), pp. 66-87. Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
Hirst, Harriet Tarry. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:73.
Horne, Mary Isabella. Preston Nibley, Faith-Promoting Stories, 67-70. Leon Hartschorn, Remarkable Stories from the Lives of LDS Women (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973).
[p.266]Horrocks, Eliza Ann Clarke Worthington. “A sketch of the lives of EACWH and her Daughters, MWC. As told to her (Mary’s) Daughter Mary Eliza (Mamie) Coon Thomas,” ts, 2 pp, Thomas family papers in possession of author. “An Account of MWC by Herself,” ts, 2 pp., ibid.
LeNora T. Foster, “Resume of the Early Life of MWC,” in William Kent Goble and Gayle Goble Ord, comps., Heritage of the Abraham Coon Family (Salt Lake City, 1989), 90-91. Family group sheet under the name of James David Coon, FHL. Copies of vital records in possession of author.
Jeremy, Sarah Evans. Florence L. Parry, “SEJ,” in Heartthrobs, 11:8-9. Ronald Dennis, The Call to Zion: The History of the First Welsh Mormon Emigration (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1987), 30.
Job (Miles), Hannah. Bliss J. Brimley, The Book of Thomas Job (Pleasant Grove, UT, 1988). This is one of the most thorough and professional of the families histories read for this study. Letter of Hannah Job Miles to her former husband dated 22 June 1876, ibid., 202. Family group sheet, FHL.
Killian, Rachel Powell. Maria K. Buchanan, “History of RPK.” 1932. Ts, USHS.
King, Hannah Tapfield. Journals of HTK with forward by Bertha Eames Loosli, ts, 145 pages, USHS. Mrs. King must have kept several journals at a time, for there are overlapping entries, gaps, and fragmented entries.
HTK writings in the Woman’s Exponent, including 2 (1 Sept. 1873):50, 4 (1 Apr. 1876):161, 4 (1 May 1876):178, 7 (1 Apr. 1879):22, and 7 (1 Dec. 1878):98. Maureen Ursenbach, “Three Women and the Life of the Mind,” Utah Historical Quarterly 43 (1975): 27-40. Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
In Edward W. Tullidge, History of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City, 1886), 797. [p.267]In Augusta Joyce Crocheron, Representative Women of Deseret (Salt Lake City, 1884), 92-94.
Kingsford, Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson. “Leaves from the Life of EHJK,” autobiography, copy of ts, 6 pp., in Thomas family papers in author’s possession. Jensen, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:528-31.
Knight, Lydia Goldthwait. Hartschorn, Remarkable Stories.
Laidlaw, Jane Fergeson Graham. Biography, USHS. Family Group Sheet under name of Francis Laidlaw, FHL.
Lapish, Hannah Settle. Autobiography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:39.
Lewis, Elizabeth. “A Letter of Mrs. Lewis to J. Davis” from Salt Lake Valley, 10 April 1850, in Dennis, Call to Zion, Appendix E. Also letters labeled, “Manti 1851,” ibid., 224.
McCune, Elizabeth Ann Claridge. Susa Young Gates, Memorial to EACM (Salt Lake City: the author, 1924). Computer Ancestral File, FHL. Hartschorn, Remarkable Stories.
McKay, Ellen (or Helen) Oman. Computer Ancestral File, FHL.
McKay, Jennette Eveline Evans. Leonard J. Arrington and Susan Arrington Madsen, Mothers of the Prophets (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978), 138.
McKenzie, Margaret Campbell. In Ensign 8 (Oct. 1978).
McMillan, Mary Murdoch Main Todd. In The James and Mary Murray Murdoch Family History (Provo, UT: Family Organization, 1982) 762.
Maughan, Mary Ann (Weston). Autobiography of MAWM, holograph, 3 vols., and ts, USHS, written forty-six years after emigrating but probably from diaries or earlier histories.
[p.268]Murdoch, Ann Steel. In Journal of John Murdoch, quoted by David Lennox in Murdoch family history, 765. Biography of ASM, ibid, 204. Family Group Sheet in same volume.
Murdoch, Janet Lennox. Brief biography in Murdoch family history, 766-67. Family group sheet in same.
Murdoch, Mary Murray (Wee Granny). In Murdoch family history, 52-58. Family group sheet in same.
Oakey, Mary. Mentioned in James S. Brown Journal in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:24.
Pack, Jessie Belle Stirling. Autobiography/biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:31.
Palmer, Mary Jane Ewer. Fannie Palmer Gleave, daughter, “History of MJEP, Pioneer of 1866,” photocopy of ts, 16 pp, USHS. Family group sheet under the name of James Palmer, FHL.
Parry, Harriet Parry. Granddaughter (written “from Henry’s notes,”), History of HPP, USHS.
Piercy, Angelina. Lynn Watkins Jorgensen, “The First London Mormons: 1840-1845: “What Am I and my Brethren Here For?” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1988.
Poulter, Alice Maw. History of AMP, 1857, USHS.
Poulter, Mary Elizabeth Jackson. Family group sheet in Thomas family papers, author’s collection.
Powell, Mary. Alfred Cordon Journals, LDS Church Archives.
John Powell Autobiography, Special Collections, Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Also cited in John Cotterill, “Midland Saints: The Mormon Mission in the West Midlands, 1937-77,” Ph.D. diss., University of Keele, 1985. John Powell, “A Summary of the Religious Side of My Life,” LDS Church Archives.
[p.269]Price, Caroline Blakey. “Martin’s 5th Handcart Company of 1856,” Journal of Edward Martin, LDS Church Archives. Deseret News 28:448.
Price, Ruth Williams. Diary of John Price cited in “John E. Price of Llandilofan,” in Heartthrobs, 11:45.
Redman, Ellen Balfour. Mentioned in Wilford Woodruff Journal as cited in London Branch Manuscript History entries beginning 10 Jan. 1840, LDS Church Archives.
Reese, Emma David. Hannah Reese Phillips, biography of EDR based on autobiography, in Heartthrobs, 11:37-38.
Ritchie, Mary Emma. Diary of MER, 18 April – 9 June 1868. Ts, USHS. The diary recounts her tour of England, visits to Anglican churches, shoppings, museum tours, social calls. Apparently MER was not Mormon, and her diary describing essentially an affluent American lass’s coming-of-age tour contrasts vividly with the experiences of most Mormon girls and women. Her experience more closely resembled that of Eliza R. Snow’s on her privileged world tour.
Roberts, Ann Everington. Hartschorn, Remarkable Stories. Also in Edward Tullidge, Heroines of Mormondom (Salt Lake City, 2d vol. in Noble Women’s Lives Series, 1884). Adah Roberts Naylor, Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1934, 3-8.
Rosser, Ann Sophia Jones. Tribute in Millenial Star 78 (1916): 278.
Shipp, Mary Elizabeth Hilstead. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:378. Ellis R. Shipp, M.D., Her Diary (Salt Lake City, 1962). Family group sheet under the name of Milford Bard Shipp, FHL. Ancestral File, FHL.
Smith, Mary Fielding. Don Corbett, MFS: Daughter of Britain (Salt Lake City, n.d.). Hartschorn, Remarkable Stories.
[p.270]Spencer, Martha Knight. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:192.
Staines, Priscilla Mogridge. Tullidge, Heroines of Mormondom, 285-91.
Stanford, Jane Carol Barker (Jenny). Letters from her brother, John Barker, in Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:4. Family group sheet on John’s son, FHL.
Steadman, Elizabeth Wilkins. Letters to her mother dated 22 April, 24 June, September 1862, February 1863, and spring 1864, in Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:34. Family group sheet under the name of George Steadman (farmer), FHL.
Stenhouse, Fanny Warn. T. B. H. Stenhouse (Mrs.), Tell It All: The Tyranny of Mormonism or An Englishwoman in Utah (Reprinted as a Traveller’s Classic, London: Praeger Press, 1971). Family group sheet and Computer Ancestral File under the name of Thomas Brown Holmes Stenhouse, FHL. T. B. H.’s second wife is listed, but only a few details are given on his first wife Fanny.
Ronald W. Walker, “The Stenhouses and the Making of a Mormon Image,” Journal of Mormon History 1 (1974): 51-72. Jensen, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:385. Heartthrobs, 1:44, 184.
Swarts, Jane McKinnon. In Heartthrobs, 3.
Taylor, Ann Faulkner. Biography in Our Pioneer Heritage, 4:69.
Taylor, Caroline Rogers. Obituary in Millennial Star 35:656, cited in London Conference Manuscript History, entry for 7 Sept. 1873, LDS church archives. Mini Margetts Card File.
Thomas, Elizabeth Phillips. Photograph or cover in Thomas Family papers, author’s posession.
Thomas, Mary Roberts. Notes on census records in Thomas family papers, author’s possesion. Family group sheet, FHL.
[p.271]Tuckfield, Maria Ann. “History of MAT, my mother,” carbon of ts, 2 pp., USHS.
Warner, Mary Ann Chapple. Elvera Manful, “Pioneer Personal History of MACW,” carbon of ts, 10 pp., FWP history, USHS.
Weaver, Ann Watkins. Mentioned in Elvera Manful, “Personal Pioneer History: Mrs. Lizzie Weaver Brown,” FWP carbon of ts, 6 pp., 3/9/1937. Family group sheet under the name of William Weaver, Sr., FHL.
Wells, Sarah Hattersley. Lola T. Wells, “Biography of SHW,” ts, 3 pp., USHS.
Wilson, Sarah Elizabeth Isom. “Brief Biography of SEIW and Morris Wilson. Copied by Martin C. Graff at Ogden, UT, Nov. 12, 1936,” carbon of ts, 5 pp., FWP Historical Records Survey, USHS.
Windley, Mary Foster. In Bear Lake, 883. Family group sheet under the name of John Windley (merchant), FHL.
Wood, Alice Horrocks. Mary Comfort Carver Bartlett, granddaughter, “Biography of AHW, with list of children given by Ruth Carver, great-granddaughter,” photocopy of ts, 4 pp., USHS.
“Leaves from the Life of Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson Kingsford,” Thomas family papers, author’s possession. Notes on marriage and baptismal records, ibid.
Woodmansee, Emily Hill. Mentioned as twenty-year-old member of Willie County, in Andrew Jenson notes entitled “Capt. Jas G. Willie’s 4th Handcart Co of 1856,” ms, LDS church archives. Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, 1892-98), 4:593. Photograph in Solomon F. Kimball, “Belated Emigrants of 1856,” Improvement Era 12, nos. 1-4.
Woolley, Ellen Wilding. Leonard J. Arrington, From Quaker to [p.272]Latter-day Saint: Bishop Edwin D. Woolley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1986).
Catharine E. Woolley Diary, reprinted in J. Cecil Alter, “In the Beginning: Diaries of Mormon Pioneers,” Salt Lake Telegram, 8 Jan.-2 Mar. 1938. Preston W. Parkinson, The Utah Woolley Family (Salt Lake City, 1967). “Reminiscences of Mrs. F. D. Richards,” ts of handwritten manuscript, Bancroft Library.
Wylie, Elizabeth. In The James and Mary Murray Murdoch Family History (Provo, UT: Family Organization, 1982), 204 and 713.
Not among the 100 Finest but of Interest
Barton, Ellen Birchall. In Our Pioneer History, 4:33.
Bennett, Elizabeth Wood. In Our Pioneer History, 4:67, history of Ann Wood Day.
Burgess, Isabella Lambert Winner. In Our Pioneer History, 6:399.
Chapelle, Ursula. In Heartthrobs, 3:135.
Corbett, Caroline Lloyd. In Our Pioneer History, 6:26.
Cottam, Ellen Bridget Gallagher. In Our Pioneer History, 6:481.
Davis, Elizabeth P. In Heartthrobs, 11:33-34.
Davis, Margaret R. (Thomas). Biography by Regina G. Erickson in Heartthrobs, 11:13-14.
Jenkins, Anna Evans. Esther Jenkins Carpenter, “The Welsh Widow,” in Heartthrobs, 11:47-48.
Mace, Rebecca Howell. Original holograph, LDS church archives. Godfrey, Women’s Voices, 252, 387 with photograph.
Mills, Frances Farr. In Our Pioneer History, 6:484.
Morgan, Margaret Griffith. In Our Pioneer History, 4:61.
[p.273]Price, Rachel Jones. Biography by Ona Rees Anderson in Heartthrobs, 11:18-20.
Rees, Mary William. In Heartthrobs, 11:16-18.
Ross, Sarah Elizabeth Smyth. In Our Pioneer History, 4:32.
Rosza, Patience. PR (Archer), “Recollections of Past Days,” ts, Lee Library, as cited in Rebecca Cornwall Bartholomew and Leonard J. Arrington, Rescue of the Handcart Pioneers (Provo, UT: Redd Center for Western Studies, 1980). See also Our Pioneer History, 14:263.
Spense, Margery Lisk. In Our Pioneer History, 6:489.
Stephens, Jane. In Heartthrobs, 1:152.
Talton, Mary Johnson. In Heartthrobs, 3:83.