Talk:List of Joseph Smith's wives

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Major restructuring proposal[edit]

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A major restructuring proposal for all polygamy articles related to Mormonism has been made at Talk:Joseph Smith, Jr. and polygamy#Series and Restructuring proposal. Please visit and give your two cents. --Descartes1979 (talk) 04:39, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Temple Lot Case "Discrediting" Smith's Wives[edit]

A Sniper has been appending the the text "Discredited by Judge Philips in the Temple Lot Case." This claim is not supported by either the reliable sources Newell 1994 or Marquardt 2005. Furthermore, citing court testimony and the opinion of the presiding judge is acceptable, but certainly not to make the historical judgment "discredited." Rather, it is Joseph Smith III's personal opinions about his father that have been discredited by the historians cited in this article. Frankly, given the weight of this historical evidence and the received opinion of professional historians, all this editing denying Smith's polygamy is properly characterized as a fringe theory mostly promulgated by some RLDS members (a strict minority, I believe) and some Smith family descendants. I'm inclined to delete these POV, unsupported conclusions from A Sniper, but will wait to hear what others have to say. Écrasez l'infâme (talk) 17:30, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

The silence spoke volumes. Whatever the Judge stated in that case was worth mentioning. That isn't fringe - that's just history. Best, A Sniper (talk) 06:25, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Agree both that it is worth mentioning and that "discredited" is not neutral. As to whether the no-polygamy theory is a fringe theory, I think it's probably is under the standards of WP:FRINGE, since all those who currently accept the theory are adherents, and no notable modern independent researchers I'm aware of accept the idea, unless somebody can point me to one. But despite being a fringe theory, it probably deserves brief mention, but no-polygamy theorists should not be place on an equal footing with established and notable mainstream historians. The old 19th century Temple Lot Suit ought to receive brief mention in its own section, but not in a point-by-point comparison with mainstream modern scholars such as Brodie, Quinn, and Compton. COGDEN 04:10, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, this wasn't about fringe theories - that was the user's argument. The Judge in the Temple Lot case, like the Kirtland Temple case, was not an adherent to anything other than legal procedure. The Judge rebuking testimony is relevant historically. I do agree with you that discredited is iffy - I am the one who placed it there, but my meaning wasn't meant to be anything other than NPOV, from a legal sense. No matter how many plural wives JSJr. had, according to scholars Brodie, Quinn and Compton and others, the Judge in the TL case still wrote at length about the lack of credibility of some on the stand before him. Best, A Sniper (talk) 04:25, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Temple Lot case - content here is OR - ORIGINAL RESEARCH, and prohibited on Wikipedia. The court testimony and judge's decision are primary sources and cannot be used by an editor to make a point directly in this article. If valid, third-party historians refer to this material to make judgments/assertions about the various wives, it is their work, with citations, that needs to be cited. Even so, there needs to be discussion about the Temple Lot case in a separate section of the article, with content on historians' assessments, context, what the case was about, etc. Just because no one added an opinion on this two years ago does not make it correct use of material.Parkwells (talk) 19:11, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
And just becuase you deem this as OR doesn't make it so either. Best, A Sniper (talk) 20:47, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Suppression of facts from reliable sources discussing Smith's abortion of his polygamous children[edit]

A Sniper has deleted the following text, based upon the reviewed work of authoritative historians, comparing it to a "National Enquirer article." A Sniper's emotional response to these facts notwithstanding, these are verifiable facts from reliable sources, and a brief representation of these facts should appear in this article:

The question of Smith's progeny from his polygamous marriages has been raised since his death. Y-DNA genetic testing for non-male is not possible, complicating the search for Smith's descendants from polygamous marriages. Also, Smith purportedly had Dr. John C. Bennett perform abortions for his polygamous wives to conceal the relationship.[1][2][3][4]

(refs here, with links to the original sources). I will listen to what others have to say before editing again. Écrasez l'infâme (talk) 19:10, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I have been thinking about this lately, and actually wonder if it might be a good idea to re-create the article "Joseph Smith, Jr. and polygamy" but focus in on his personal practice of it to include things like this, that don't fit well in this list article or the new Origin of Latter Day Saint polygamy article. I agree that the information is important, but it doesn't seem to have a good home anymore. Or possibly, change the name of this article and widen its scope. Thoughts?--Descartes1979 (talk) 20:16, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
The list of wives and the description of JS's personal practices really would need separate articles. I think that re-creating "Joseph Smith, Jr. and polygamy" with a tightly defined focus on his own personal practice of the principle would be useful. I think that a "Brigham Young and polygamy" article along these same lines would also be helpful. -- (talk) 20:25, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

D Michael Quinn[edit]

What's the point of this column? It's all questions marks except for Emma. --JeffryJohnston (talk) 01:26, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Someone needs to get a hold of that book and fill the column in. They are question marks because no one has taken the time to go through his book yet. --Descartes1979 (talk) 02:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
(I don't have a copy myself or I would do it. Though I hope to get a copy soon.) --Descartes1979 (talk) 02:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I've got the book, and the list on page 587. I'm not totally sure we should be using this, though, since it is just a list, and not an analysis. But in any case, here's the list:
Emma hale 1827 (8 ch, 1 sb); Fanny Alger 1833, separated 1836 (possibly 1 ch); Lucinda Pendleton (Morgan, Harris) bet. 1838-42; Louisa Be[a]man 1840/1; Zinda D. Huntington (Jacobs) 1840/1 (possibly 1 ch); Prescendi L. Huntington (Buell) 1840/1 (possibly 2 ch); *Elizabeth Davis (Brackenbury, Durgee) 1841/2; Sarah M. Kingsley (Howe, Cleveland) 1841/2; *Sarah Bapson 1841/2; *Agnes M. Coolbrigh (Smith) 1842; Sylvia P. Sessions (Lyon) 1842 (1 ch); Mary E. Rollins (Lightner) 1842, separated five months later to live elsewhere with legal husband; Patty Bartlett (Sessions) 1842; *Marinda Nancy Johnson (Hyde, Richards) 1842; Delcena D. Johnson (Sherman) 1842; Eliza R. Snow 1842 (possibly 1 sb); Sarah A. Whitney 1842; Martha McBride (Knight) 1842; Desdemona W. Fullmer 1842; *Mary Heron (Snider) 1842/3; *Sarah Scott (Mulholland) 1842/3; *Hannah A. Dubois (Dibble) 1842/43 (possibly 1 ch); Emily D. Partridge 1843, separated at his request five months later; Eliza M. Partridge 1843, separated at his request five months later; Lucy Walker 1843; Helen M. Kimball 1843; Elvira A. Cowles (Holmes) [p. 588] 1843; Flora A. Woodworth 1843; Rhoda Richards 1843; Olive Grey Frost 1843 (1 ch); Hannah S. Ells 1843; Melissa Lott 1843; Almera W. Johnson 1843; Maria Lawrence 1843; Sarah Lawrence 1843; Fanny Young (Carr, Murray) 1843; Nancy M. Winchester 1843/4; Ruth D. Vose (Sayers) 1844; Sally A. Fuller bet. 1841-44; *Mary Houston bet. 1841-44; *Sarah Schuyler (Buckwalter) bet. 1841-44; *Olive Andrews bet. 1841-44; *Jane tippets bet. 1841-44; *Aphia W. Sanburn (Yale) bet. 1841-44; *Phebe Watrous (Woodworth) bet. 1841-44; *Vienna Jacques (Shearer) bet. 1841-44; *Lydia Kenyon (Carter) bet. 1841-44
The asterisk (*) "indicates a wife not recognized in traditional histories, even though there is evidence of at least one of the following: the ceremony, sexual cohabitation, or a formal divorce.... The reference to 'ch' is to the number of children born to a union,..." (p. 533) COGDEN 04:30, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


I noted Juden's edit of Beaman. I agree that the word 'bewildering' wasn't necessary; merely a reflection of Bennett's accusation vs. her actual date of becoming a Mormon. Anyway, what is there now is what I believe to be NPOV - it states that the allegations of Beaman being a polygamous wife of JSJr. are based on a) Bennett's exposé, and b) information found in Joseph F. Smith's testimony and book, which includes Noble's affidavit from 25 years after JSJr.'s death. Best, A Sniper (talk) 23:24, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Your inclusion of "bewildered" was the least of the problems with your edit. Excluding evidence that appears in the cited sources is in fact a severe violation of our NPOV policy. I have restored the information, and expect you to discuss any objections to it here and achieve agreement on any proposed change before making it, rather than in edit summaries after the fact. - Juden (talk) 01:51, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I haven't removed ANYTHING - if your 'evidence' is formed from info in Bennett's book, that is hardly evidence. The Noble and Snow info (i.e. Noble's affidavit) is from decades later in Utah. Court testimoney? What court? Where? When? Yes, Bennett made allegations in an exposé, and THAT IS MENTIONED. Yes, Joseph F. Smith mentioned an affidavit that Noble did in 1869, and THAT IS MENTIONED. What you're doing is reaching your own conclusion that there was court testimony by these men in the 1840s. Prove it. A Sniper (talk) 04:36, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Of course you've removed SOMETHING! No, I am not reporting any "conclusions": I am reporting what Compton wrote. Please stop elevating your own original research over cited material. - Juden (talk) 04:45, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
What 'original research'? I am only after documentation. If you have references, please insert them, as you've done. I'm most interested in a citation for when Noble made his statement about JSJr. & Beaman sleeping together (and what the exact quote is), and when Snow made his statements. Best, A Sniper (talk) 08:10, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Other authors?[edit]

Has anyone read Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History? I haven't but I understand that it contains a discussion of at least most of Smith's wives (perhaps not recognizing a few identified by Compton or Smith). Should we include his opinions as to the list of wives? Also, D. Michael Quinn has a list that is longer than Compton's. I think that Richard Bushman mainly defers to Compton's list, so we can probably forgo his opinion on the subject. I'm not sure what Dan Vogel does in his biography, but maybe he has a list too. And there might be a few other authors as well worth including. Maybe we need a somewhat different table format to accommodate more authors and more flexibility. COGDEN 07:37, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Edits I reverted[edit]

[5]The edits on the children either repeated the fact that Ugo A. Perego found a negative result, or claimed a negative result without any source. The introduction was written in a pov manner and had no attribution. I also removed some apparently pov material cited to a self-published book and to a book with no page number given. Dougweller (talk) 17:35, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Missing alleged wife? Name correction.[edit]

The record for Sylvia Porter Sessions Lyon includes "Daughter of David Sessions and Patty Bartlett Sessions, who married Joseph Smith one month after her daughter's marriage to him. On her deathbed, Sylvia informed her daughter Josephine Lyons that she was Smith's daughter..."

There is no mention of Josephine Lyons as an alleged plural wife to Joseph Smith.

Also, is the family name Lyons (given as Josephine's) or Lyon (given as Sylvia's)? (talk) 21:03, 25 July 2012 (UTC)


Louisa Beaman was recently changed to a stub, where it previously had been a redirect to List of Joseph Smith's wives. As there really isn't much there that isn't/can't be said on Beaman's entry at ..List of Joseph Smith's wives.., I don't see a reason why we should have a stand alone article for her. -- (talk) 20:14, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Merge - I agree there isn't a reason why we should have a stand alone article for her.--ARTEST4ECHO (talk/contribs) 15:53, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Do not Merge. I do not agree that there should be a merge. This article can be fleshed out. It currently has additional information than the information in the List of Joseph Smith's wives article. There is more to Louisa Beaman than being a wife. She lived in Palmyra at the time Joseph Smith got the gold plates. At one point he hid those plates in her family's home. We need this "stub" as a catalyst for contributors to this important article. Loveonearth (talk) 18:05, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Separate topics so separate articles. Maybe if literally the only thing she was known for was a relationship to JS, then maybe-- but that's not the case here-- subject is notable beyond her role as a wife to JS. (e.g. She was also a wife to Brigham Young, for example). --HectorMoffet (talk) 22:03, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Merge - I have always thought that merely being someone's partner shouldn't merit a stand-alone article...especially when so much time has gone by and nothing has been added. Best, A Sniper (talk) 06:29, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Merge. Agree that there's nothing much that merits a separate article. The names of the plural wives should redirect to this article, unless they are independently notable for another reason. Beaman is not. Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:14, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Done. -- (talk) 18:45, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Sarah Ann Whitney merge[edit]

Being a child of someone that is notable, or being the spouse of someone that is notable, doesn't then make an individual notable too (see: wp:Notability (people) & wp:NOTINHERITED). See nothing in the Sarah Ann Whitney article indicating that she is notable. I suggest that the bulk of the article be merged here, with the information about her later marriage to Heber C. Kimball move to that article. -- (talk) 18:35, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Go for it. Sounds like a great idea to me. Thanks for discussing your idea first, though. --Jgstokes (talk) 06:22, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Minor Issue: "Quorum"[edit]

This is a minor issue, but it might matter for non-Mormon readers. Currently the first sentence says, "During his lifetime, Smith and the leading quorums of his church publicly denied he taught or practiced it." This is an uncommon use of the word "quorum" and it is possible that only Mormons will understand the sentence easily. Perhaps "council", "committee", or "other leadership" would be more appropriate. Otherwise, the word should be a link to an explanation.Rscragun (talk) 21:04, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Quorums is the correct usage, and we have an article describing the Latter Day Saint usage of the term, so added the wikilink to it. -- (talk) 00:11, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Wyl 1886, pp. 60–61
    • ^ Newell 1994, pp. 111, link
    • ^ Smith 1971, pp. 113, "Bennett was also charged [by Smith] with performing abortions, or “embryo infanticide,” a charge that was likely true. Hyrum Smith alleged Bennett seduced women with the promise "that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant." Zeruiah Goddard claimed Bennett told Sarah Pratt "that he could cause abortion with perfect safety to the mother at any stage of pregnancy, and that he frequently destroyed and removed infants before their time to prevent exposure of the parties, and that he had instruments for that purpose." … Bennett had a long instrument that was made "of steel and was crooked at one end" that he used for inducing abortions."
    • ^ Sarah Pratt recounted a discussion with Smith's son Joseph Smith III (by Emma),

    "I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened. (Wyl 1886, pp. 60–61)