The Woman’s Story—Mrs. McLean

The papers were recently full of the account of the murder of the Mormon Elder, Pratt, by Mr. McLean, on the alleged charge that he had seduced Mrs. McLean.  It was gloatingly told and enlarged upon—rolled as a sweet morsel in the mouth of Scandal.  Not a word against the outrage was anywhere spoken.  The whole details were given approvingly—boastingly—rejoicingly.  McLean is almost canonized as a hero for the deed.  Pratt is treated as would be the death of a beast of prey.  Mrs. McLean is looked upon as is the denizen of a brothel.  And thus was the affair passed off.

But Mrs. McLean, smarting under a tyranny next to death, has appeared before the public with her statement.  It will be found in another place, under the head of “The Story of a Woman’s Wrongs.”

This statement has been quite generally published, by the leading papers of the country, but everywhere with a sneer, a cold voice of insult and bitter insinuation.

She has everywhere been pointed at as an example of to what infatuation will lead a woman.

But would that the falsely educated, bigoted, and vindictive, who are so ready to denounce without investigation, could see how really they are infatuated, far, far worse than the poor suffering victim of their hatred and animosity.

Not one word can be said in favor of the polygamy of Mormonism .  It is contrary to justice, reason, and the law of nature, but it is no more than any other gross monopoly.  And it is a great deal better that a dozen women should live with one man, as his wives, members of his family, loving their children and being as good mothers to them as possible than is the licensed brothelism of the Christian cities of New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and even Chicago and a million times better than the open, shameless, ravishing all over the land of slavery.

Let every earnest, true woman read Mrs. McLean’s story, and then ask her own soul which was the greater wrong?  Beaten, oppressed, driven from home, and persecuted in the most tender ties of womanhood and motherhood—where is the instinctive woman who will turn cold from her and with smiling complacency upon McLean?

It may be necessary for us to repeat emphatically, to prevent misconstruction, that we totally repudiate all affinity with anything of Mormonism of which we have any knowledge.  But we have an abiding faith in womanhood; and we enter earnest protest against the gross wrong done to Mrs. McLean.  We ask the women of the country to read her statement.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 13, 1857, 20]
[Chicago Weekly Ledger, June 13, 1857]

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