Hi and welcome (or welcome back)!
If you are just joining us, I suggest you at least go back and start on pt. 10: “Here Come the ‘Brides’“. Even better, begin at the beginning, “Joe and the Magic Hat Stone“. Hell, if you want all the appropriate context, start with “The Religious Wrong (pt. 1:The Puritanical Years)“.
My guest stars this episode include Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt, for ye of limited years), Vera Ellen, the gang from HIMYM and Tony Bellus. Also, a quick cameo by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (blink and you’ll miss them.)
IT’S BEAVER SEASON! (Because, why not?)
(1/11/1843) Joe gets charges dropped, on a technicality, in the Gov. Boggs assignation attempt.
For several months, Joe has been on a bit of a lady-less “lam”, other than an occasional piece of Emma, Sarah Ann or Mrs Sayers. (You’ll meet her next paragraph.) As a result, poor “Lil’ Joe” is limp from lack of exercise. (I think the medical term is “Lakanooki”, but I could be wrong.)
(2/1843) Ruth D. Vose (Sayers) 34 (married)
Joe stayed with the Sayers for a week while we was dodging the law. Rose is “Tall and erect in fingure; [sic] a countenance always beaming with human kindness…She was a woman of brilliant conversational powers…” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” p. 386, Signature Books (1997)
Like his other polyandrous pairings, Mrs Sayers stays under her real husband’s roof to “keep up appearances”.
(Early1843) Hanna Ells 29 (single)
MILLINERY AND DRESS MAKING Miss H.S. Ells begs leave to respectively inform the ladies of Nauvoo and its vicinity, that she intends carrying on the above business in all its varied branches and further states that she has had several years experience in one of the most fashionable French establishments in Philadelphia. Times and Seasons, Sept. 30, 1841
According to Andrew Jenson, an official LDS historian, Hanna and Joe get hitched sometime in early 1843, but he couldn’t tie down a specific date.
Other than accounts of Joe’s frequent visits with his “wife”, there’s not a lot of information on Hanna. Probably because she only lives about a year longer than Joe. We don’t even know the day of her death. The only thing we know is that Eliza Snow (wife #14) was with her when she passed away.
Mr Jenson wrote this about her: “[she was] a lady of culture and refinement-somewhat tall in stature. Those who were acquainted with her speak of her as a good and noble woman.” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” p. 386, Signature Books (1997)
(3/4/1843) Flora Ann Woodworth 16 (single)
Some of you may recall that back in “The Year of the Doctor“, I told you about the time Big D dropped by with a bunch of instructions for Joe in building his boarding house as well as who was to build it. (I still think they should have called it “The El Hotel”.)
This begs the question as to why B.D. would give a shit about who builds Nauvoo House. It isn’t even church property, it’s Joe’s.
The design and construction requires frequent consultations between Joe and the architect, Lucien Woodworth. By a happy coincidence, Lucien just happens to have a cute little 16yo daughter, named Flora.
Do I really need to go into prurient detail?
Emma finds out about this one in August. She notices that Flora is sporting Joe’s gold watch. According to Joe’s secretary, Wm Clayton, “President Joseph told me that he had difficulty with E[mma] yesterday. She rode up to Woodworths with him and called while he came to the Temple. When he returned she was demanding the gold watch of F[lora]. He reproved her for her evil treatment. On their return home. He had to use harsh measure to put a stop to her abuse but finally succeeded. Newell & Avery: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p 159, University of Illinois Press (1994) (What did he do? Knock her around a bit?)
There seems to be an interesting side effect of all this secret coupling: Sometimes a fella just doesn’t seem to know who to court. For instance, there is Orange (I’m not a fruit!) Wight. Orange is a strapping young man, just back from his mission and in the market for some female. The one he picks is Flora.
While walking with Flora one day, Joe drives by and stops to give the couple a ride back to Flora’s house. Once there, Flora’s ma takes him into another room and explains “the facts-of-life” to him. “Sister Woodworth gave me all the information nessary [sic] so I knew Joseph blelieve and practiced Poligamy [sic]…Now as a matter of corse [sic] I at once…left [Flora] and looked for a companion in other places and where I could be more sure.” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” p. 386, Signature Books (1997)
Btw, the Nauvoo house isn’t completed by the time Joe joins the heavenly choir. It does however, make a good 1st resting place when he and Hyrum are buried in the basement. Later, Emma and her new husband name it “The Riverside Mansion”. (So much for D&C 124:24.)
(2/21/1843) Joe tells workers building the temple to stop gossiping about his adulterous affairs. However, that catsup is long out of the bottle.
(2/1842) Marinda Johnson (Hyde) (Smith) has a baby that may or may not be Joe’s. Unfortunately, that can’t be proven one way or another because the baby dies. One thing’s for certain, it ain’t hubby Orson’s. He’s been in Jerusalem getting it ready so the Jews could come home (in a hundred years).
(3/4/1843) Emily Dow Partridge 19 (single)
Joe seals the deal by telling Emily “the Lord had commanded [him] to enter into plural marriage and had given me to him and although I had got badly frightened he knew I would yet have him…” Emily continues the story “Well I was married there and then. Joseph went home his way and I going my way alone. A strange way of getting married wasen’t [sic] it?” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” p. 386, Signature Books (1997)
Although not being able to consummate their “marriage” that evening, according to Emily’s later testimony, they made up for it the following evening when she “roomed” with Joe and had “carnal intercourse” with him. Temple Lot case complete transcript, 364, 367, 384
(3/8//1843) Eliza Maria Partridge 22 (single)
Yes, once again, it’s “Sister Time“! Eliza and Emily are the second sister sexual tag team in Joe’s stable. This set, unlike Zina Huntington (Jacobs) and Presendia Huntington (Buell), is single, so Joe doesn’t have to share. In a month, he’ll “marry” Almera Johnson (Delcena’s sister to make it three sets, shortly after he’ll make it four with the Lawrence sisters and the 2nd Frost sister will make it five. Six incest sets if you count his mother-daughter tandem of Patty Bartlett (Sessions) and Sylvia Sessions (Lyon).
I’ll have more to tell about Emily and Eliza and Emma when we get to May.
After Joe takes a dirt nap, Elliza marries Amasa Lyman, who’s married to another sister, Caroline. (Sister sex LIVES!)
While we’re on the subject of sisters:
(4/2/1843) Almera Woodward Johnson 30 (single)
Joe digs into his bag of scams and pulls out a favorite. This time, he has Hyrum and Willie Clayton tell Almera’s bro, Benjamin, the one about the angel with a sword telling him he has to “storm the cotton gin” with more women not named Emma or die. (I still think the angel was just telling him to “get screwed!”)
Benjamin buys it??? (Like I said before, Joe trains ’em well.) Joe & Almera get “married” with Willie Clayton presiding.
Almera continues to live with her brother, but Joe comes calling when he’s in the mood. As bro Benjamin explains “The Prphet [sic] again Came and at my house occupied the Same Room & Bed with my Sister that the month previous he had occupied with the Daughter of the Late Bishop Partridge…” Newell & Avery: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p 146 University of Illinois Press (1994) Not sure if he’s referring to Emily or Eliza, since Joe bagged both of them.
(4/12/1843) Olive Grey Frost 27 (single)
Olive’s sister, Mary Ann, is Parley Pratt’s wife. (Not the one that gets him killed, that will be wife #9.) Olive is already friends with a couple of Joe’s bed buddies and is, by all accounts, quite pleased with being a “booty call.”
(4/27/1843) Willie Clayton joins the “M.M.M.S.” (Mormonite Multiple Mate Society). Joe “marries” him to his wife’s sister. What is it with Mormonite men that seems to draw them to “sister sex” so often?
(5/1/1843) Helen Mar Kimbal 14 (single)
Back in “Here Come the Brides“, (Feb. 17,1842 to be exact) Joe’s Nauvoo city council ok’d 14-year-old girls for branding and boning.
Joe decides to take them up on their generous offering. One of his “Apostles”, Heber Kimball, has a daughter named Helen that looks ripe, so Joe informs him that she would make a great addition to his stable.
Remember, Joe is oooonly 38. Why would any “right-minded” person think he was “robbing the cradle”?
Hit it Tony!
Heber tells her the “facts-of-life” (as Joe sees ’em). “Without any preliminaries [my Father] asked me if I would believe him if he told me that it was right for married men to take other wives…” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” pp 497-8, Signature Books (1997)
At first, she’s against anything to do with the idea. The next morning Joe drops by. He gives her 24 hours to make up her mind, and to sweeten the deal, he tells her “If you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father’s household and all of your kindred.” Richard S. Van Waggoner: Mormon Polygamy: A History, p. 53, Signature books (1989) In other words: make “the beast with two backs” with Joe and your whole family lives forever as members of the elite. (Such a deal! Cheap at twice the price!)
Daddy Hebe is also adding to his own stable, (He’ll end up with 39 “wives”, himself.) Like Emma, Mrs Hebe #1 is not a happy camper with all this sexual sharing. For that matter, Helen isn’t all that joyful either. “I had, in hours of temptation when seeing the trials of my mother, felt to rebel. I hated polygamy in my heart.” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” p. 510, Signature Books (1997)
Helen becomes sick for several months, because, of course, she hates polygamy. Eventually she accepts polygamy and recovers. (Well, that’s what the church would have you believe anyway.)
Although good for wetting his wick, Joe doesn’t want her around Emma and the mansion. Not even to his weekly parties that her brother and friends all attend. Joe throws weekly parties for teens? Hmmmm.
Btw, by this point in time, Joe has a bar in the mansion. Yes, the “Word of Wisdom” is still being preached, but as we’ve seen since “Marching to Zion & Fancying Fanny’s Fanny“, what’s good for the flock can be ignored by the fleecer. This is especially true when it comes to drinking, smoking and fornication.
(5/1/1843) Lucy Walker 17 (single)
The Walker family moved to Nauvoo in 1841, but Lucy’s mother came down with malaria and died within a few months. (The swamp hadn’t been drained yet.) Then, Lucy’s father’s health started to deteriorate.
Not to worry, Joe came up with a solution. Mr Walker needed a change of scene, so Joe sent him on a two-year mission. And since 15-year-old Lucy couldn’t accompany her father (even though his other nine kids did), Joe graciously moved her into his mansion. (What a guy!)
“In the year 1842 President Joseph Smith sought an interview with me, and said, ‘I have a message for you, I have been commanded of God to take another wife, and you are the woman…It is a command of God to you. I will give you untill [sic] to-morrow [sic’er] to decide this matter” Todd Compton: “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” p. 463, Signature Books (1997)
Things get put on the back burner for a few months. as Joe has “urgent business elsewhere” (The Missouri murder conspiracy warrant is soooo inconvenient.)
Finally, on May 1st, Joe “marries” Lucy while Emma is in St. Louis buying supplies for their hotel. According to Lucy, “Emma Smith was not present and she did not consent to the marriage; she did not know anything about it at all.” Newell & Avery: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p. 139 University of Illinois Press (1994)
(5/1843) Sylvia Sessions (Lyon) (Smith) gives birth to Josephine. On her deathbed, Slyvia tells Josephine that she’s Joe’s daughter. Newell & Avery: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, p 44 University of Illinois Press (1994) No DNA evidence one way or another on this one.
Unfortunately it isn’t the Disney version.
Until next time, as Nelson Muntz so eloquently puts it: “Smell ya later!”
p.s.: If my ramblings don’t revolt you, check out my FaceBook page (“Grouchy’s Grumbles”) you might just enjoy it. Better yet, you might “like” it. I’d love it if you did.It’s free (and worth every cent) and almost completely painless (other than the usual bad jokes).