WHAT BRIGHAM YOUNG THINKS OF ANN ELIZA.
“How many wives and children have you now?" I asked the Prophet after a few moments of preliminary conversa-tion.
"I think I have fifteen now that I am taking care of. I've had forty-five chil-dren, and I dont know how many grand-children there are?' turning to his double son-in-law.
Mr. Clawson didn't know.
"Don't you count Ann Eliza among your wives?" I asked.
"No," replied Brigham with a twinkle; "Since Ann Eliza ran off, and the courts have declared that she was only my mis-tress, why I don't count her."
"Do you mind telling why Ann Eliza left you?" I asked.
"No. This woman has lied about me so much that I am willing to let out the facts. My marriage with Ann Eliza was a foolish thing. It was a thing that I allowed her parents to persuade me in-to. I did it for her good."
“How was it?" I asked.
"Well, Ann Eliza was a pretty Wid-ow—silly and vain. She was born close to my door. Her father was Chauncy G. Webb. I baptized her when she was 16 years old. She married a man by the name of D—, D—, D-, let's see Hiram," mused the Prophet as he scratched his head, “who was that fellow Ann Eliza married?"
Mr. Clawson said he wasn't of much account, and he couldn't recall his name.
Well, anyway," continued Brigham," He had sense enough to run away from Ann Eliza, and he left her and her two boys to shirk for themselves. Then she went home to her father and mother, who were farming down at Cottonwood, and too poor to take care of her. One day I was down at Cottonwood holding a meeting, and I asked Webb and his wife why Ann Eliza didn't get married again."
"You ain't waiting for me to ask her, are you?" said I.
"I didn't mean anything by it, but Webb and his wife caught at the straw, and never let up on me until I married her. They importuned me, said Ann Eliza must have a solid man to lean against or she would go to ruin, and then, like a fool, I married her. Why, I, an old man, didn't want anything of Ann Eliza, any more than I did from the Sultan of Turkey, She was an elephant, silly, vain and unfaithful, I gave her that white cottage you see down there on the corner, but she acted very badly. She even drove her own mother away, so as to keep the company of different men. One man, who was afterwards baptized into our church, made oath that he had done wrong with Ann Eliza many times. His name was, H—, H—, H—, let's see, what what was his name, John?" asked the prophet, addressing his son, John W.
"It was Bob Houghton, and his affi-davit is on file in the next room," re-plied Brigham's son, stepping into the next room and producing it.
“Did Ann Eliza work for you?” I asked.
"Work for me! Why bless your soul, Eli! Why the clear little fraud never did a thing for me in her life but cheat and make a fool of me. The very day she ran away with a Boston fellow, who was traveling for a furniture house, she went and traded out over a hundred dollars at the co-operative store. Judge Hogan and some of the Methodist people here filled her head with lectures, and the lit-tle silly woman has been running around ever since reading her school-girl com-position about Mormonism, when her whole stock in trade is the fact that she was Brigham Young's nineteenth wife—or as the courts have decided, Brigham Young's nineteenth mistress.—Salt Lake Letter to the N. Y. Times.
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