The Beauties of Polgyamy.
The following was related by the wife of a noted United States explorer to a Gentile lady of this city, who will vouch for its genuineness: while traveling in Southern Utah, we came to a small set-tlement where we were detained a day or two by inclement weather. We found shelter in the humble, but neat and hospital home of a monogamist saint, whose family hated polygamy, and through whose influence we were per-mitted a glance at some of the beastli-ness that characterizes the peculiar in-stitution. Only a short distance from the dwelling of my friendly entertain-ers there stood a miserable adobe hut, I could not conscientiously call it a house, where lived a saint with three wives, all of whom had families. My hostess made some neighborly errand an excuse for paying them a visit and permitted me to accompany her, but before going she made me acquainted with the rela-tionship existing between the three women who were living with and had borne children to the same man.
The first and second women were sisters, the latter had been a widow with one child when she married her sister's husband. When this child had grown to be about 16 years old her stepfather had also married her, but after a few months she left and was sealed to another man as plural wife, by whom she had two children. Then he died and she returned to her first husband, bringing her children with her, the eldest of whom at the time I am speaking of, was a girl about 15 years old, and my informant stated for a fact, that the old wretch had thoughts of marrying her too.
When we entered the hut the scene that met our eyes totally beggars de-scription. Imagine one low, smoky, filthy room serving as living room and sleeping apartment for three women and their offspring, some of the latter almost grown up, the majority of the latter be-ing little children. I could never have dreamed of such dirt, squalor and rags existing in a Christian country. I had seen nothing equal to it even among, the Digger Indians, in fact the latter were quite civilized in comparison. But the worst of my story is yet to come.
The young girl of whom my hostess had spoken as a probable bride of her grandfather, was sitting in a corner sobbing and crying. Upon inquiring the cause of her distress we were told quite frankly that her grandfather had given her a severe castigation for speaking dis-respectfully of polygamy, and declaring that she would never become the wife of her mother's and grandmother's hus-band. When we left I could not restrain my indignation and I said, "what a lovely religion this is to make such beasts out of human creatures."
" It is not religion, but the lack of it, that makes them beasts," quietly re-joined my hostess, "and you will find many cases as bad as this one if you travel far in Utah."
But the sequel is still more horrible. About a year afterward we had occasion to pass through that particular settle-ment again, and for a day we were the guests of our former hostess. She told me that the young girl was really sealed to her grandfather, being literally forced into it by her own mother and grandmother, under circumstances so revolting that delicacy forbids me from repeating them even to one of my own sex. Even in that polygamic community the excitement was so great that talk was had of lynching the degraded trio, the man and the two elder women, but the feeling soon passed over and was eventually forgotten or only remembered as an episode of this peculiar religion.—From the Salt Lake Anti-Polygamy Standard.
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