Orson Pratt’s Plurality.
His Lawful Wife Fixes Some Points That Have Been Raised.
In Sunday’s Tribune we copied some circulars Elder William Jarman is circulating in England to make … the missionary labors there of Elders Wells and Penrose. In one of these circulars Mr. Jarman makes a reference to the late Apostle Orson Pratt, which is thus corrected by Mrs. Pratt of this city:
Mrs. Pratt’s Letter.
Editor Tribune: Allow me to correct Mr. Jarman’s statement in your Sunday’s issue. Orson Pratt never had twenty wives; he never had but ten that he called wives. He never palmed himself off as a single man. Eliza Crooks perfectly understood that he had five women in Utah that he called wives. She married him knowing exactly what her position would be on her arrival here. She told me this after she came. She never had any children in England, but had four in Utah, and died with childbed fever, leaving the youngest two or three weeks old. She was not deceived, but was a firm believer in Mormonism and polygamy. She was as well provided for as any other portion of his family. All were poor, for his constant labors abroad for the Church, which he (unfortunately) believed it was his duty to attend to, prevented him attending to home duties as he should have done. He expected the Mormon God to do what he should have done himself. He did not do it, and thus his family were the sufferers.
Orson Pratt was not a bad man. He was as strictly honest as he could be, with his firmly fixed, fanatical belief in Mormonism. He was honest in his adherence to this terrible delusion, which I have had so much cause to regret. I am the wife of his youth; he is the father of my children, and I know what I have said to be true.
Sarah M. Pratt.
First, and only lawful wife of Orson Pratt.
Salt Lake City, May 21, 1885.
[Salt Lake Tribune, May 24, 1885]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]