A Peep Within the Veil of Social Life in Utah—Concubines of Brig-ham Young and the Twelve Mor-mon Apostles—Personal Sketches of the Members of Brigham's Harem—Life under Polygamy declared by Young to be "a Wearisome Burden.”
[From the Boston Journal.]
In the Orient there is one institution which has long been established—concubinage. The modern Turk, the Arab, Hindoo, Feegian, and King of Ashantee all follow the footsteps of their fathers. They keep concubines by the score. The harem never has flourished under the Christian civilization of Europe, but, it has been transplanted from the Orient to Salt Lake City by the prophet and apostles of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, and is thriving with great vigor. In the city of the Sultan and everywhere else in the East it is established in lust, but in the saintly city of Utah it is held to be ordained of God for the welfare of the human race and the glory of God through time and eternity.
THE APOSTLES AND THEIR CONCUBINES.
The prophet, in imitation of the Lord Jesus Christ, has ordained twelve apostles to assist him in his ministry. In this church of the Latter Day Saints, he who will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven is he who has the most concubines in this life. The apostles, therefore, imitating their proph-et, add to their number of concubines as they feel able, that their glory may be great in the eternal world. Do you ask whether the idea uppermost in the mind of the Oriental, the gratification of pas-sion, may not also be an inducement with an apostle to take a concubine—a half dozen? Those sober-minded men of Salt Lake will assure you that they seek only to do the will of God. Each added concu-bine will be a jewel in the immortal crown, and over each new born child there is joy in heaven, for it is a soul released from its prison house and started on its way to glory.
All of the Apostles are married, and all have two or more concubines, in addition to their one lawful wife. They rank as follows:
1st Apostle Orson Hyde has three concubines.
2d Apostle Orson Pratt has three concubines.
3d Apostle John Taylor has six concubines.
4th Apostle Wilford Woodruff has two concubines.
5th Apostle G. A. Smith has four concubines.
6th Apostle Amasa, Lyman has four concubines.
7th Apostle Ezra Benson has three concubines.
8th Apostle Charles Rich has six concubines.
9th Apostle Lorenzo Snow has three concubines.
10th Apostle Erastus Snow has two concubines.
11th Apostle Franklin Richards has three concu-bines.
12th Apostle G. Q. Cannon has two concubines.
Daniel Wells, who is associated with Brigham in the presidency of the church, has a large number of concubines. Heber Kimball, who was also a member of the presidency, but who died last summer, had a large harem. He was not much liked by the saints—was coarse, brutal, and used obscene language in the pulpit, abused his concubines, worked them hard, gave them little to eat, pulled their hair and gave them to understand that he was master of the situ-ation. I am informed that some of them are not inconsolable now that he has gone, and that they hope for a period of rest before joining him in glory. It is not stated as a fact, but only as acurrent report.
THE PROPHET'S HAREM.
A few steps up Main street from our hotel, a turn to the right and we see the prophet's harem. The grounds occupied by Brigham are enclosed by a high wall, laid in cemet. An eagle with spreading wings, clutching a bee-hive in his talons, is mounted over the gateway—emblematic of Brigham and the church. The main entrance faces south. The grounds are well laid out, and there is an abundance of apples, pear and peach trees. Grape vines climb the walls and hang on trellises. At the southwest cornerof the grounds is the tithing office, where a tenth part of all that is produced in the territory passes into Brigham's hands. In rear of the tithing office are extensive sheds, where the saints find shelter while paying their tithing. Here also are several small buildings where Brigham's servants live—those employed about the premises. A few steps east of the tithing office is the three-storied building, stand-ing end to the road, large enough and long enough, for a factory boarding house. It has a steep shingled roof, with ten gabled windows on each side. On the balcony over the door is a crouching lion. This is the harem. A covered passage leads from the ground floor to another building east in which is the general business office of Brigham Young, and from which telegraph wires run to every hamlet in the territory. Another passage leads to the private of-fice of Brigham—back of which is his private bed room, where his concubines wait upon him—Amelia to-day—Emeline to-morrow, Lucy the day after. Brigham's lawfully wedded wife was Mary Ann An-gell—a native of New York—the mother of five chil-dren—Joseph, or ''Joe" as he is called at Salt Lake, Brigham A., John, Alice and Luna. She married the prophet while he was a young man, before he was a prophet, and with him accepted the revela-tions of Joseph Smith. She lives in a large stone building in the rear of the harem. Brigham does not often visit her now.
The number of concubines in the harem is not known to the Gentile world. One report makes the number seventy, another gives only thirty. It is probable that the larger number includes those who are sealed to Brigham for eternity and not for time.
His first concubine is Lucy Decker. She is the lawful wife of Isaac Seely, mother of two children; but Brigham could make her a queen in heaven, and so, bidding good bye to Isaac, she became first con-cubine, and has added eight children to the pro-phet's household.
Her younger sister, Clara Decker, also aspired to be a heavenly queen, and beame his second concu-bine, and is the mother of four children.
The third is Harriet Cook, mother of one turbulent boy, who does pretty much as he pleases, as so does the mother. When in her tantrums she does not hesitate to send Brigham to the realm of evil spirits.
Lucy Bigelow is said to be one of the most lady-like of all the concubines. Mrs. Waits, wife of one of the United States Judges of the Territory, who saw all of the ladies of the harem, describes her as of middling stature, dark brown hair, blue eyes, aquiline nose, and a pretty mouth. She is pleasant and affable.
Miss Twiss has sandy hair, round features, blue eyes, low forehead, freckled face, but as she has no children, is not of much account in the eyes of the prophet. She looks after his clothes, sews buttons on his shirts, and acts the part of a housewife.
Martha Bowker is another of the same sort, quiet, neat in dress, motherless, and therefore of little ac-count.
Harriet Barney, like Lucy Decker, left her hus-band and three children to become a concubine that she might have exaltation in Heaven, but has not been honored in the harem, not having added any children to the household.
Eliza Burgess is the only English woman in the harem, small of stature, black eyes, quick tempered, but mother of several children.
Ellen Rockwood, daughter of the jail-keeper, is another of the unfortunate women—not having had children. Mrs. Hampton, whose first husband died at Nau-voo, afterward married a man by the name of Cole, who left her at Nauvoo and went to California. Brigham, hearing of his departure, sent for his wife, who obeyed the summons and became a concubine, lived in the harem eight years, then was cast out by Brigham. She now lives at Ogden City with her son, Nephi Hampton.
Mary Bigelow is another castaway. She lived in the harem several years, but Brigham became tired of her and sent her away. Margaret Pierce is another who, not having added to the glory of the prophet by being a mother, is of little account, though still in the harem.
Emiline Free, as described by Mrs. Waite, is the "light, of the harem," tall, graceful, mild, violet eyes, fair hair, inclined to curl. She was a lively young lady and Brigham fell in love with her. Her father and mother were opposed to polygamy, but Emiline had ambitious projects, accepted his pro-posal, and became the favorite of the harem. The favor shown her brought on a row. The other con-cubines carried this jealousy to such a pitch that, the prophet had a private passage constructed from his bed-room to Emeline's room, so that his visits to her and her's to him could be made without observation. She has contributed greatly to his glory in the future world by presenting him with eight children in this.
The poetess of the church is Eliza Snow, said to be finite intellectual. In one of the poems published in Brigham's paper, the Desert News, she thus exalts the Mormon religion:
''We have the ancient order,
To us by prophets given;
And here we have the pattern
As things exist in heaven.”
From which we are to understand that there are harems in heaven! So the Turk believes.
Zina Huntington also writes poetry and acts as a sort of governness to the numerous children of the prophet. Zina came to Salt Lake with her lawfully wedded husband, Dr. Jacobs. Brigham liked her; sent the doctor on a missionary tour to England; took his wife into the harem, and became the spir-itual father of her children—made her his temporal concubine that he might exalt her to be a queen in heaven! The doctor returned from his mission, apostatized, and went to California, where he now resides.
Amelia Partridge has added four children to the prophets household. She is said to be of a sweet disposition and is not jealous when the prophet turns his attention to the other concubines.
Mrs. Augusta Cobb was formerly a Bostonian, became converted to Mormonism eighteen years ago, left her home and accepted a position in the harem.
Mr. Smith, a devout Mormon, wished to be sealed to Brigham for eternity, but the prophet did not care to make her a heavenly queen. He sealed her to Joseph Smith for eternity and to himself for time.
One "poor unfortunate," Clara Chase, became a maniac, and has gone to where the wicked cease from troubling. Amelia Folsom, a native of Portsmouth, N. H., is the mistress of the harem. She entered it on the 29th of January, 1863. She is about 19, and the prophet 63. She has things pretty much her own way—private box at the theatre, carriage of her own, silks, satins, a piano, parlor elegantly furnished. If the prophet slights her, she pays him in his own coin.
Such is an outline of this saintly household—thirty women or more, and seventy or eighty children. Unless human nature is vastly different in Utah from what it is in other places, there must be many family jars. The outward appearance is of a peaceable and orderly community, but if there is a fraction of truth in common report, it is one of the saddest communi-ties in the world. Brigham comprehends the fact that life under polygamy is a wearisome burden, and has taken measures to amuse the members of his church.
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