Question: How many Mormon women refused offers of plural marriage?

Table of Contents

Question: How many Mormon women refused offers of plural marriage?

It is difficult to know how many women refused plural marriage—if they said nothing, then we may have no way of knowing if they refused. Some cited in LDS sources include:

  • Sarah Granger Kimball
  • Rachel Ivins (Grant)
  • Lydia Moon
  • Cordelia C. Morley (Cox)
  • Esther M. Johnson
  • Nancy Rigdon - daughter of Sidney Rigdon
  • Sarah Pratt - wife of Orson Pratt[1]

Anti-Mormon sources list several other possibilities, but it is hard to know how far to trust them. As Compton notes, "Some...are fairly well documented; others are sensationalist and badly documented." These include:

  • Jane Silverthorne (Law) - wife of William Law
  • Leonora Cannon (Taylor) - wife of John Taylor
  • Melissa Schindle
  • Emeline White
  • Mrs. Robert Foster
  • Pamela Michael
  • Mrs. Caroline Grant Smith
  • Lucy Smith Milligan (or Miliken)
  • Lavina Smith
  • Miss Marks - daughter of William Marks
  • Athalia Rigdon[2]
  • Eliza Winters

Notes

  1. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Vol. 2, 121n26. See also 1:274–275; 2:31–32, 120–121; 3:230–234.
  2. Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 634–635. ( Index of claims ) We have here omitted Eliza Winters, a claim not supportable by the evidence.