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Title Volume 20, Number 3, Fall 1987
Subject Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Description Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
Website http://dialoguejournal.com
Publisher Dialogue Foundation, 202 West 300 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
Scanning Vendor Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Contributors Newell, Linda King ; Newell, L. Jackson
Date 1987
Type Text
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Language eng
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Title Page 57
Identifier V20N03-1147_Page 57.jpg
Source Dialogue: Vol 20 No 3
Article Title Determining and Defining "Wife": The Brigham Young Households
Description Determining and Defining 'Wife': The Brigham Young Households Jeffery Ogden Johnson Utah satirist Al Church, among other suggestions on how to survive as a gentile in Utah, offered this tip: "Ask guides at the Beehive House how many wives Brigham Young had. (Of my last four tours, the answer has averaged 21.)" (1981, 17). The volunteer guides at the Beehive House have no corner on the confusion market. Ann Eliza Webb, a disgruntled wife suing Brigham Young for divorce and hefty alimony, defrayed her expenses by writing a mildly scandalous potboiler called Wife Number Nineteen (1876) in which she claimed (incorrectly) to be the last and (also incorrectly) the nineteenth. She was actually number fifty-two. Stanley Hirshson's major biography of Brigham Young, The Lion of the Lord, gives the number of wives as seventy (1969, 184—223). The research that produced this number is unfortunately no more accurate than that in the rest of the book. In 1940, the Young family produced a widely used pamphlet, "Brigham Young's Wives, Children and Grandchildren" (Sanborn 1940) that gives the number as twenty-seven, a number popularized by Irving Wallace in his The Twenty-seventh Wife (1961), a fictionalized biography of Ann Eliza Webb Young. Leonard J. Arrington's award-winning biography, Brigham Young: American Moses (1985, 420-21), divides the wives into three groups: (1) the sixteen wives who had children by Brigham Young, (2) nine others whom "Brigham Young held out to be wives" but who had no children by him, and (3) "some thirty women" who were sealed to him for eternity only, but whom he does not name. This paper has three purposes: to identify the number of wives, to suggest some reasons for the ambiguities of the term wife, and to document the wives Brigham Young married over the course of his life. (See Table 1 at the end of this paper.) JEFFERY OGDEN JOHNSON is manager of the Reference Bureau for the Utah State Archives. This paper was delivered at the annual meeting of the Mormon History Association, May 1986, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Creator Johnson, Jeffery Ogden
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