Polygamy (Joseph Smith Era)

441 Primary Sources

Date
Summary
Aug 1829 - Jan 1830

Jacob in BoM condemns polygamy except when God commands it to "raise up seed."

1830

Jacob, in the Book of Mormon, condemns polygamy except when God commands it to "raise up seed."

1830

Webster's Dictionary's definition of "affair" (1830).

1830

Webster Dictionary's definition of "scrape" (1830).

1830

1830 U.S. Census lists Samuel Alger in Cuyahoga County, OH.

Jun 1830

Joseph's revelation, now Moses 1 in PoGP, received June 1830, beginning the Bible revision project (Joseph Smith Translation).

Dec 10, 1830 - Mar 7, 1831

JST Genesis 16:1–6 depicts Abraham as a polygamist, with Sarai as his wife and Hagar as his concubine.

May 7, 1831

Joseph's revelation from 1831 affirms marriage is ordained of God.

Dec 3, 1832

Joseph records William McLellin's 1832 excommunication.

1834 - 1907

M. Hancock provides his birthdate in his autobiography.

Aug 1835

1835 D&C declares that the Church believes in monogamy.

Nov 24, 1835

Joseph records officiating at the marriage of the Knights in November 1835.

Apr 3, 1836

J. Smith and O. Cowdery receive the sealing keys in April 1836.

Apr 3, 1836

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery have a vision in the Kirtland temple; Elijah bestows the sealing keys.

Nov 14, 1836

Marriage record of Solomon Custer and Fanny Alger in November 1836.

May 1837

Daniel S. Miles writes in LDS periodcial that members of the Seventy who practice polygamy will be disfellowshipped.

Sep 1837

W Cowdery's Defense of Joseph and the Rigdon family against rumors in Milton and Palmyra areas.

Nov 6, 1837

Joseph informs the council that "a matter" involving Cowdery had not been "satisfactorily settled."

1838 - 1839

Joseph identifies January 18, 1827 as his marriage date to Emma Hale.

1838 - 1839

Joseph's 1838 history narrating the appearance of Moroni, who quoted biblical prophecies on the restoration of sealing keys.

1838 - 1839

Joseph recounts being tarred and feathered in Hiram, OH in 1832.

1838 - 1839

Joseph's 1838 history identifies April 6, 1830 as the founding date of the Church of Christ.

1838 - 1847

Whitmer on Kirtland secret combinations and plurality of wives.

Jan 21, 1838

Cowdery calls Joseph's relation with Alger a "dirty, nasty, filthy scrape/affair."

Feb 15, 1838

Letter from Marsh with multiple testimonies regarding Joseph's and Alger's relationship.

Apr 12, 1838

Council minutes on the relationship between Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger.

May 11, 1838

Joseph records William McLellin's 1838 trial and excommunication.

Jul 1838

Joseph, as editor of Elders' Journal affirms in 1838 that Mormons do not believe in polygamy.

Jul 1838

Elders' Journal says Mormons do not "believe in having more wives than one."

Dec 16, 1838

Joseph disavows the claim that the LDS have a "community of wives."

1839 - 1841

Joseph reported that he was born on December 23, 1805.

Apr 3, 1840

Rigdon refers to "a real drunken scrape" involving Cowdery and Granger.

Jul 17, 1840 - Jul 28, 1840

Joseph issues mission call to George Washington Harris in July 1840.

Oct 23, 1840

Record book shows Alger (Custer) attending a Church conference in 1840.

Sep 22, 1841

Nauvoo City Council Minutes note return of George W. Harris from his mission.

Oct 15, 1841

Times and Seasons republishes an anonymous non-LDS editorial; affirms the LDS do not condone polygamy or fornication.

Dec 1, 1841

Joseph disavows "The Peacemaker" and Udney H. Jacob.

Dec 2, 1841

Joseph's revelation for Marinda Nancy Johnson; possibly alludes to encouraging her to accept plural marriage.

1842

John C. Bennett identifies seven plural wives married to Joseph by mid-1842.

1842

John C. Bennett accuses Joseph of sending men on missions to "cloister" their wives.

1842

John C. Bennett publishes exposé of Joseph and alleges the practice of having "spiritual wives" among the LDS in Nauvoo.

1842

Udney H. Jacob publishes a tract arguing for plural marriage.

Jan 6, 1842

Brigham writes in his journal in Masonic code about one of Joseph's sealings.

Jan 17, 1842

Joseph's Journal records Henry B. Jacobs being called on a mission in January 1842.

Mar 10, 1842

John C. Bennett issues a jury summons and includes David Sessions as a juror.

Mar 15, 1842

Book of Abraham narrates that Abraham was instructed to lie about his wife Sarai.

Mar 26, 1842

Joseph records John Snider's mission call to England.

Apr 1842

Purported Joseph Smith letter to Nancy Rigdon that offers oblique justification for plural marriage.

May 4, 1842

Joseph's Journal entry for May 4, 1842 describing first endowment ceremony.

May 11, 1842

Joseph gives notice of John C. Bennett's excommuncation.

Jun 15, 1842

Public notice of John C. Bennett's excommuncation published in the Times and Seasons.

Jul 2, 1842

John C. Bennett alleges JS sent men "preaching" and then married their wives.

Jul 14, 1842

Orson Pratt writes apparent suicide note after discovering a scandal involving his wife Sarah Pratt, John C. Bennett, and Joseph.

Aug 18, 1842

Joseph writes letter to the Whitneys asking them to visit him while he was in hiding.

Sep 13, 1842

Brewer claims that Joseph had "unlawful intercourse" with "a young orphan girl."

Oct 1, 1842

Nauvoo Relief Society condemns John C. Bennett in official proclamation.

1843 - 1897

William Holmes Walker recounts his sister Lucy's marriage to Joseph.

Jan 23, 1843

Joseph records John Snider's return from Utah.

Mar 3, 1843

Oliver Olney publishes anti-Mormon book in 1843 that briefly touches on polygamy in Nauvoo.

Mar 10, 1843 - Jul 14, 1843

Joseph's Journal entry written by Thomas Bullock dates Joseph's marriage to Marinda Nancy Johnson as occuring in April 1842.

Mar 15, 1843

Times and Seasons editor disavows the claim that the LDS advocate "a plurality of wives."

Mar 23, 1843

Joseph writes a blessing to plural wife Sarah Ann Whitney.

May 16, 1843

Joseph gives teaches on the nature of eternal marriage and sealing to Benjamin F. Johnson in 1843.

May 19, 1843 - Jul 12, 1843

Jonathan Harriman Holmes business ledger indicating his work between May–July 1843.

May 28, 1843

Joseph's journal entry indicating he was "married" on May 28, 1843.

Jul 12, 1843

William Clayton records Emma Hale Smith's reaction to D&C 132 revelation.

Jul 12, 1843

Joseph c. Kingsbury manuscript copy of D&C 132.

Jul 12, 1843

Joseph Smith records a revelation in D&C 132 that lays out the concept of plural marriage.

Sep 20, 1843

Lott family Bible records marriage date for Malissa Lott's marriage to Joseph.

Feb 7, 1844

Satirical poem in Warsaw Message criticizes and mocks Joseph and plural marriage.

Apr 26, 1844

Joseph's journal records the arrest, trial, and fine of Augustine Spencer for $100 due to an assault on his brother, Orson Spencer.

May 9, 1844

Foster (through his lawyers Emmons and Higbee) files a lawsuit against Joseph Smith and Coolidge, alleging false imprisonment and injury as a result of an arrest on April 6th, 1844.

May 9, 1844

Hancock County court document records Charles Ambrose Foster's lawsuit against Joseph for false imprisonment and injury, asking for $1000 in damages.

May 10, 1844

Editors of the Nauvoo Expositor issue a prospectus for the paper.

May 21, 1844

Joseph and Joseph W. Coolidge state that Charles Ambrose Foster's lawsuit against them has no merit.

May 26, 1844

Joseph denies being guilty of adultery and having seven wives.

Jun 7, 1844

Extracts of the NE attacking JS.

Jun 7, 1844

Joseph initiates court action to obtain a debt of $22.75 from Sylvester Emmons.

Jun 10, 1844

Joseph orders the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 10, 1844

Richards records the hours-long debate of the Nauvoo City Council concerning the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 10, 1844

Nauvoo City Council ordered Joseph Smith to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor as a nuisance.

Jun 10, 1844

Nauvoo City Council orders Mayor Joseph Smith to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 10, 1844

Joseph Smith orders acting General Dunham of the Nauvoo Legion to be prepared to assist Marshall Greene in destroying the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 11, 1844

Joseph calls for all citizens of Nauvoo to curtail such speech as might inflame passions and raise up mobs.

Jun 11, 1844

TS calls for violence after the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 12, 1844

The Nauvoo Neighbor reports on and defends the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 12, 1844

John Taylor defends the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor as legal and necessary.

Jun 12, 1844

Joseph Smith details his arrest for the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, and his trial, and discharge that same day in Nauvoo.

Jun 13, 1844

Those arrested for destroying the Nauvoo Expositor proclaim they are innocent of the charges brought against them.

Jun 13, 1844

Willard Richards records that justices of the Nauvoo Municipal Court dismissed the charges against those that destroyed the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 14, 1844

Joseph writes a letter to Governor Thomas Ford explaining his view of the events surrounding the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 15, 1844

Samuel James and Porter Rockwell went to visit Governor Ford to deliver papers and letters related to the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 17, 1844

Willard Richards gives a detailed summary of the Nauvoo City Council's legal deliberations concerning the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 22, 1844

Governor Ford writes to the Nauvoo City Council condemning the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor and outlining the steps he intends to take.

Jun 26, 1844

Foster gives his account of the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor in a letter to the editor of the NY Daily Herald.

1845 - 1846

Oliver B. Huntington describes Norman Buell's disaffection from the Church.

Feb 1845

William Clayton includes a summary of the events leading the Martyrdom in the Council of Fifty minutes.

Feb 24, 1845 - Jul 3, 1845

Joseph Smith manuscript history describing the first time the endowment ceremony was given.

May 24, 1845

Parley P. Pratt denounces John C. Bennett and his "Spiritual Wife" teachings.

Jun 11, 1845

Warsaw Signal alleges Marinda Nancy Johnson was sealed to Joseph as a "spiritual wife" was Orson Hyde was on his mission.

Jul 1, 1845

Parley P. Pratt condemns "Spiritual Wifery" and contrasts it with authorized marriages performed by the Church.

1846

Joseph H. Jackson alleges Joseph proposed marriage to his sister Lucy Smith Millikin.

1846 - 1901

Zina D. Young recalls her conversion to the doctrine of "celestial marriag."

Jan 28, 1847

Deed from Joseph to Jonathan Harriman Holmes for land in Nauvoo.

1848

Catherine Lewis alleges Helen Mar Kimball confided to her that she felt deceived by Joseph.

Nov 5, 1848

Pottawattamie High Council minutes mentions Oliver Cowdery's rebaptism.

Nov 11, 1848

Orson Hyde writes to Wilford Woodruff about Oliver Cowdery's rebaptism.

Nov 16, 1848

R. Miller mentions O. Cowdery's rebaptism by Hyde in November 1848 in a letter to H. Sabey.

1850 - 1899

Emily D. P. Young recalls her marriage to Joseph Smith and Emma's knowledge of plural marriage.

1850 - 1887

Eliza R. Snow explains to Joseph F. Smith the context of the 1842 Relief Society declaration.

1850

John Taylor denies charges of practicing "polygamy."

Aug 21, 1850

1850 U.S. Census lists "Francis Custer" as 31 years old.

Sep 2, 1850

Joseph E. Johnson alleges during disciplinary council that Joseph "frigged" his mother-in-law Mary Heron.

1852

J. W. Gunnison writes about and criticizes Mormon polygamy.

1852

William Hall alleges that Joseph demanded Marinda Nancy Johnson as "ransom" to let Orson Hyde back into the Q12.

Aug 29, 1852

O. Pratt officially introduces polygamy to the public.

1853

Joseph Lee Robinson recalls JS telling him about an angel with a sword commanding he restore plural marriage.

Jun 27, 1854

John Taylor recalls being introduced to plural marriage along with Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball in the summer of 1841.

Oct 6, 1854

Orson Hyde says plural marriage was kept secret to protect the Saints practicing it.

Jul 4, 1855

John L. Smith recounts visit with Sarah Kingsley Cleveland and John Cleveland.

Jul 14, 1855

Brigham recalls being introduced to plural marriage by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo.

Jun 18, 1856

The Republican Party Platform of 1856 lists polygamy as one of the "twin relics of barbarism."

1859

Butler writes that McLellin robbed the Smith home while Joseph was in prison.

1860 - 1880

Andrew Jenson provides biographies of Windsor Palmer Lyon and Sylvia Lyons.

1860 - 1871

Holbrook recounts Johnson dying in the Smith home in 1833.

Jun 1860

Patty Bartlett Sessions recalls her and David Sessions's conversion to the Church.

Jun 12, 1860

1860 U.S. Census lists "Fanny Ouster" as 42 years old.

Aug 12, 1861

Phelps reproduces purported JS revelation dated July 17, 1831 foretelling a time when church elders would take "wives of the Lamanites and Nephites."

Aug 12, 1861

W.W. Phelps writes to Brigham about Joseph's 1831 revelation on polygamy.

Dec 17, 1864

Millennial Star reviews McLellin's excommunication and hostilities toward the Saints.

Dec 31, 1864

Luke Johnson provides account of the tarring and feathering of Joseph in 1832.

1869

Joseph B. Noble provides affidavit stating that he sealed Joseph to Louisa Beaman.

Jan 22, 1869

F.D. Richards records that Joseph Noble "performed the first sealing ceremony in this Dispensation" between Joseph and Louisa Beaman.

May 1, 1869

Zina D. Young swears affidavit affirming her marriage to Joseph Smith.

May 1, 1869

Ruth D. Vose swears affidavit affirming she was married to Joseph as a plural wife in February 1843.

May 1, 1869

Rhoda Richards swears affidavit affirming her marriage to Joseph.

May 1, 1869

Emily D. P. Young swears affidavit saying that she was married to Joseph.

May 1, 1869

Marinda Nancy Johnson affirms in affidavit she was sealed as a plural wife to Joseph in May 1843.

May 1, 1869

Emily D. P. Young swears second affidavit affirming a second sealing date to Joseph.

May 1, 1869

Presendia Lathrop Huntington Buell swears affidavit about her marriage to Joseph Smith.

May 20, 1869

Malissa Lott swears affidavit affirming her marriage to Joseph Smith.

Jun 7, 1869

Eliza R. Snow swears affidavit about her marriage to Joseph.

Jun 17, 1869

Desdemona Fullmer swears affidavit affirming her marriage to Joseph.

Jun 19, 1869

Sarah Ann Whitney swears affidavit about her marriage to Joseph Smith.

Jun 26, 1869

Joseph B. Noble swears affidavit affirming he "married or sealed" Joseph to Louisa Beaman on April 5, 1841.

Jun 26, 1869

Noble states that JS taught him about plural marriage in the fall of 1840; says JS was commanded to practice it by an angel.

Jun 26, 1869

Noble states that JS taught him about plural marriage in the fall of 1840; says JS was commanded to practice it by an angel.

Jul 1, 1869

Eliza Partridge swears affidavit affirming her marriage to Joseph.

Jul 1, 1869

Lucy Ann Decker Young swears affidavit affirming her 1842 sealing to Brigham.

Jul 1, 1869

Eliza Partridge swears affidavit affirming she was resealed to Joseph Smith.

Jul 8, 1869

Martha McBride swears affidavit about her marriage to Joseph Smith.

Jul 12, 1869

Augusta Adams Young swears affidavit giving date of Joseph's marriage to Fanny Young.

Aug 28, 1869

Elvira Annie Cowles swears affidavit affirming her marriage to Joseph.

Aug 28, 1869

John Benbow gives testimony that Joseph visited plural wife Hannah Ells at his (Benbow's) house.

Aug 28, 1869

Lorenzo Snow recalls conversation with Joseph about plural marriage; says Joseph said he was commanded by an angel with a sword to practice it.

Oct 7, 1869

Orson Pratt says that Joseph said polygamy was "a true principle" in 1831.

Oct 9, 1869

George A. Smith recalls being introduced to plural marriage in the summer of 1841.

1870 - 1913

Lightner claims Joseph was commanded Joseph to practice polygamy in July 1834.

Mar 4, 1870

Benjamin F. Johnson remembers Joseph telling him and his (Johnson's) mother about plural marriage; said an angel commanded him to practice it; that he slept with sister Almera "as man and wife."

Jul 1872

McLellin describes the Smith/Alger relationship to Joseph Smith III.

Jul 26, 1872

Charles Lowell Walker records Brigham Young sermon; Brigham alleges Joseph and Oliver Cowdery learned about polygamy while translating the Book of Mormon and that Oliver took a plural wife.

Sep 26, 1872

Eliza R. Snow bears testimony of plural marriage in Relief Society meeting.

1873

Stenhouse claims W.W. Phelps taught that Joseph learned polygamy from the Egyptian papyrus.

Feb 16, 1874

William Clayton swears affidavit giving details about firsthand knowledge of plural wives married to Joseph.

Feb 16, 1874

William Clayton claims Joseph allowed Emma Smith to destroy the original manuscript to "pacify" her.

Feb 16, 1874

William Clayton recounts the writing of the revelation on plural marriage.

Jun 23, 1874

Brigham Young remembers being introduced to plural marriage in 1841 when he returned from his mission.

Oct 14, 1874

Deseret News prints Samuel Alger's obituary.

1875

Ann Eliza Young alleges Orson Hyde became upset when he learned Joseph had married Marinda Nancy Johnson while on his mission.

Oct 6, 1875

McLellin is quoted in the SLT about Joseph and Alger's sealing.

Jan 1876 - Dec 1889

Albert Smith records serving a mission from September 12, 1842 to August 22, 1843.

1876

First canonical edition of D&C 132 in the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Apr 24, 1876

E. Webb recounts the Joseph/Alger sealing.

May 4, 1876

E. Webb refers to Joseph's and Alger's relationship as similar to a "sealing."

1876

A.E. Young provides an overview of the Joseph/Alger relationship.

1877

John Doyle Lee mentions unsourced "report" that Joseph was sealed to Marinda Nancy Johnson "for an eternal state" with Orson Hyde's knowledge.

1877

Marinda Nancy Johnson provides account of Joseph being tarred and feathered in 1832.

1877

Eliza Partridge recalls her introduction and conversion to plural marriage.

Mar 23, 1877

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner swears affidavit affirming her plural marriage to Joseph Smith.

May 30, 1877

Eliza R. Snow writes letter to Daniel Munns, denies "carnal" nature of her marriage of Joseph Smith.

Dec 16, 1878

Orson Pratt quotes Lyman Johnson as saying that Smith knew about plural marriage in 1831.

Oct 1, 1879

Emma Hale Smith gives testimony denying Joseph Smith practiced polygamy.

Oct 1, 1879

Emma Hale Smith denies that Joseph practiced polygamy.

1880

Thomas Gregg criticizes practicing polygamy in "the system of Mormonism."

1880 - 1888

Lucy Walker recounts her introduction to plural marriage.

1880

Marinda Nancy Johnson recalls Joseph Smith introducing her to plural marriage.

Jun 17, 1880

1880 U.S. Census lists "Fanny W Custer" as 63 years old.

Sep 28, 1880

Eliza R. Snow recalls Joseph telling her an angel with a sword commanded him to practice plural marriage.

Jan 12, 1881

Zina D. Young reported in Deseret News as saying how Joseph told her he was commanded by an angel to practice plural marriage.

Mar 30, 1881

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney recalls her introduction to plural marriage and sealing to Joseph Smith in late autobiography.

Mar 30, 1881

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney recalls her introduction to plural marriage and sealing to Joseph Smith in late autobiography.

Apr 1, 1881

Presendia Lathrop Huntington Buell briefly mentions her sealing to Joseph and feelings on plural marriage.

Apr 1881

Anti-polygamy periodical recounts the Joseph/Alger relationship.

Aug 15, 1881

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney gives seconhand account of her father being introduced to plural marriage in July 1841.

Nov 1, 1881

Helen Mar Kimball recalls hearing Joseph say plural marriage would be a test of faith.

1882

Helen Mar Kimball recalls hearing that Joseph preached on plural marriage publicly in 1841.

1882

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney published book defending plural marriage and Joseph Smith as a prophet.

1882

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney published book defending plural marriage and Joseph Smith as a prophet.

1882

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney relates Joseph's account of an angel appearing to him and commanding him to practice plural marriage.

Aug 1, 1882

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney gives account of her introduction to plural marriage and sealing to Joseph.

Aug 2, 1882

Unknown author from The Hagerstown Exponent claims that Custer and Alger are practicing spiritualism.

1883

Susa Young Gates quotes Joseph Smith in 1835 claiming to have authority to marry others.

Apr 27, 1883

Littlefield states that Joseph "understood and believed" plural marriage in Kirtland.

Jun 17, 1883

Minutes from St. George Utah Stake conference; Erastus Snow recounts incidents relating to origins of plural marriage, including Joseph being commanded by an angel to practice it.

Jun 17, 1883

Charles Lowell Walker reports on sermon by Erastus Snow; says Snow remembered Joseph telling him an angel commanded plural marriage.

Aug 1, 1883

Almera Johnson swears affidavit affirming her status as a plural wife of Joseph.

1884

Sarah M. Kimball says Joseph taught her about plural marriage in 1842 and propositioned her to become a plural wife, but she turned him down.

1884

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney publishes book defending plural marriage.

1884

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney says that plural marriage was revealed to Joseph in 1831; was commanded by an angel to practice it.

1884

Eliza Snow recounts a conversation between Lorenzo Snow and Joseph about plural marriage and the angel with a sword.

1884

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney says that plural marriage was revealed to Joseph in 1831; was commanded by an angel to practice it.

1884

Eliza Snow recounts a conversation between Lorenzo Snow and Joseph about plural marriage and the angel with a sword.

Feb 12, 1884 - Mar 8, 1885

Clark Braden alleges JSoseph was tarred and feathered in 1832 for being "too intimate" with Marinda Nancy Johnson.

Feb 12, 1884 - Mar 8, 1884

Braden says that Joseph "practiced polygamy in Kirtland," "committed fornication," and seduced "an orphan girl."

Apr 1, 1884

Emily D. P. Young recounts her conversion to plural marriage.

Apr 1, 1884

Emily D. P. Young says that Emma Smith knew about plural marriage and was "bitter" and "unpleasant" about it.

1885

E.R. Snow says that she lived with the Smiths in the "Spring of 1836."

Jan 1885

Hawley recalls John Alger saying Alger was "seald" to Joseph.

Apr 13, 1885

Eliza R. Snow recounts her conversion to plural marriage.

1885

Holbrook reports that Alger was a "spiritual wife" of Joseph's.

1886

Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal recounts Helen Mar Kimball's marriage to Joseph.

1886

Wilhelm Wyl claims that Emma Smith threw Eliza Partridge down the stairs; assaulted Eliza R. Snow with a broomstick.

Jun 2, 1886

Joseph F. Smith denies the practice of "polygamy"; uses semantics to distinguish what Joseph practiced.

1886

C. Webb describes the Fanny Alger/Joseph relationship as a sealing and states that Fanny Alger was pregnant.

1886

Alexander claims that "plurality of wives" was practiced in Kirtland.

1887

Andrew Jenson provides biographical summary of Ruth D. Vose and her husband Edward Sayers.

1887

Rhoda Richards bears testimony of her sealing to Joseph and her faith in him as a prophet.

1887

Eliza R. Snow lists Fanny Alger and others as one of "Joseph Smith's Plural wives."

May 1887

Mary Ann Frost Pratt recalls the conversion of her sister Olive Frost to plural marriage and her marriage to Joseph.

May 1887

Andrew Jenson article on Joseph's plural marriage; identifies 27 women as plural wives.

May 1887

Joseph learned about plural marriage in 1831; Alger is listed as "one of the first plural wives sealed to" Joseph.

Aug 18, 1887

Newspaper interviews Eliza R. Snow about plural marriage; she mentions the angel with a sword commanding Joseph to practice polygamy.

Aug 18, 1887

Newspaper interviews Eliza R. Snow about plural marriage; she mentions the angel with a sword commanding Joseph to practice polygamy.

1887

E.R. Snow identifies Alger as "one of the first wives Joseph married."

1888

Orson F. Whitney reprints account of James Lawson retelling how JS sealed Heber C. Kimball to Vilate Kimball after a test of faith.

1888

Orson F. Whitney recalls the circumstances surrounding his mother Helen Mar Kimball Whitney's marriage to Joseph.

1888

Martin Harris quoted about Joseph's "improper proposals" to Alger.

Jun 25, 1888

Daniel H. Wells mentions Albert Smith's reaction to Joseph's marriage to Esther Dutcher.

Oct 1888

Lucy Walker gives firsthand account of her introduction to plural marriage.

1889

Reprinted obituary of Fanny Alger.

Sep 22, 1889

Winchester talks about Joseph's "licentious conduct" during the Kirtland period.

Dec 5, 1889

Newspaper reporting Fanny Alger's (Custer) death in 1889.

1890

Bancroft reports hearsay accounts of Joseph being influenced by his Bible revision project to restore plural marriage.

Oct 6, 1890

Official text of Wilford Woodruff's 1890 manifesto ending plural marriage.

Oct 6, 1890

Official Declaration 1 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1890

John Alger is excommunicated in 1890 after the Polygamy Manifesto.

1892

Joseph B. Noble testifies he saw Joseph in bed with Louisa Beaman.

1892

Lucy Walker says Joseph would have made plural marriage public had he lived long enough.

1892

Malissa Lott affirms she "roomed" with Joseph Smith "as his wife."

1892

Lucy Walker recounts introduction to plural marriage; bears testimony of its divine origin.

1892

Emily D. P. Young affirms she had "carnal intercourse" with Joseph Smith.

1892

Emily D. P. Young testifies that Emma Hale Smith consented to plural marriage, but became bitter soon after.

1892

Lucy Walker recalls that Joseph saying he learned the "principle of plural marriage" in 1831.

1892

W. Woodruff discontinues plural marriage, naming revelation and opposition as the reason.

1892

Lucy Walker affirms she lived with Joseph as a wife.

1892

Cyrus Wheelock affirms in deposition his understanding that plural marriage was eventually meant to become public.

1892

Lorenzo Snow testifies in Temple Lot Case; says Joseph told him an angel with a sword commanded he practice plural marriage.

Aug 4, 1893

Malissa Lott affirms she was JS's wife "in very deed."

Jan 12, 1895

Zina D. Young recalls hearing from Joseph how an angel with a drawn sword commanded him to practice plural marriage.

Jan 12, 1895

Zina D. Young recalls hearing from Joseph how an angel with a drawn sword commanded him to practice plural marriage.

1896

Levi Hancock marries Clarissa Reed.

1896

L. Hancock recalls that Joseph told him to take Alger to Missouri.

Apr 5, 1896

Walker quotes statements from Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith regarding an angel commanding Joseph to practice plural marriage.

Jan 27, 1899

Emily D. P. Young writes letter explaining her marriage to Joseph and testimony of plural marriage.

Apr 4, 1899

Alger sealed by proxy to Joseph Smith in 1899.

Dec 24, 1899

Newspaper report of Lucy Walker's public testimony of Joseph and polygamy.

Nov 21, 1901

Obituary for Martha McBride identifies August 1842 as month she was sealed to Joseph.

1902

Maria Jane Johnston Woodward recalls private conversation with Emma; says Emma affirmed plural marriage was a true principle but felt jealous over it.

Feb 8, 1902

Lightner recalls Joseph saying an angel with a sword commanded him to practice polygamy.

Feb 8, 1902

Lightner recalls Joseph saying an angel with a sword commanded him to practice polygamy.

Oct 1902

Joseph F. Smith, as editor, discusses Joseph's plural wives in the Improvement Era.

Oct 26, 1902

Joseph E. Robinson preserves mention of Olive Frost having a child by Joseph Smith.

Dec 7, 1902

Lucy Walker swears affidvait to being a plural wife of Joseph Smith and bears her testimony of plural marriage.

Apr 1903 - Oct 1911

Benjamin Johnson recalls being told that Joseph and Fanny were "spied upon & found together"; calls Fanny Joseph's "first plural wife."

Apr 1903

Johnson recalls Hyrum Smith telling him that an angel had commanded him to practice plural marriage.

May 12, 1903

Benjamin F. Johnson recalls Joseph brought plural wives to his (Johnson's) home to live with.

Sep 11, 1903

Joseph A. Kelting recalls conversation with Joseph Smith about plural marriage; says Joseph was worried about legal problems with the practice.

1904

Joseph F. Smith issues "Second Manifesto" discontinuing plural marriage.

Mar 9, 1904

Benjamin F. Johnson recalls that his sister and Eliza Partridge stayed with Joseph at his (Johnson's) house in 1843.

Apr 20, 1904

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recounts her introduction to plural marriage; affirms JS told her an angel appeared to him and commanded him to begin the practice.

Apr 20, 1904

Lightner says that Joseph was commanded by an angel in 1834 to practice plural marriage.

Apr 20, 1904

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recounts her introduction to plural marriage; affirms JS told her an angel appeared to him and commanded him to begin the practice.

Apr 20, 1904

Lightner says that Joseph was commanded by an angel in 1834 to practice plural marriage.

1905

Joseph Fielding Smith makes semantic distinction between "polygamy" and celestial marriage.

1905

Joseph Fielding Smith publishes work documenting Joseph Smith's plural wives known by 1905.

1905

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recalls Joseph telling her an angel appeared to him 3 times between 1834 and 1842 commanding him to practice plural marriage.

Mar 10, 1905

M. Hancock recounts the marriage of Alger and Joseph.

Apr 14, 1905

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recalls being introduced to plural marriage; affirms that Joseph told her an angel appeared to him multiple times to command he practice it.

Apr 14, 1905

Lightner quotes Joseph saying that an angel commanded him between 1834 and 1842 to practice polygamy; if not, the angel would slay him.

Apr 14, 1905

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recalls being introduced to plural marriage; affirms that Joseph told her an angel appeared to him multiple times to command he practice it.

Jun 1905 - Sep 1905

Lightner says Joseph was commanded to begin plural marriage in 1834 [?] and was threatened by an angel.

Dec 1905

Lucy Walker publishes her testimony of Joseph's prophetic qualities.

1908

Jason W. Briggs interviews Emma Hale Smith who denies Joseph taught "polygamy."

1909

B. H. Roberts makes unsourced claim that the Bible revision project influenced Joseph as early as 1831 to consider the restoration of plural marriage.

1909

B.H. Roberts states that the revelation on plural marriage was received in 1831.

1909

B. H. Roberts provides contextual commentary to the "Happiness Letter".

1911

Late anonymous biography of Sarah Kingsley Cleveland indicates her husband was a non-Mormon.

1912

Osborn J. P. Widtsoe writes that Joseph was receiving "revelations" of plural/eternal marriage as early as 1831.

Apr 1, 1912

Revelation to Joseph from July 27, 1842 outlining how to perform plural marriage sealings.

Feb 24, 1915

Josephine Lyon recalls Sylvia Lyons saying on her deathbed she is the daughter of Joseph's.

Oct 23, 1918

J. C. Chrestensen recalls Emma Hale Smith denying that Joseph practiced polygamy.

1923

Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl write commentary on D&C 132.

1923

Johnson remembers Hyrum Smith relating how Joseph had been commanded by an angel to practice plural marriage.

Jul 1926

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recalls how her husband Adam Lightner was never baptized.

Nov 1940

John A. Widstoe writes on the Manifesto, mentions that Joseph Smith introduced plural marriage.

1943

Published version of William Walker's reminiscience and journal on his introduction to the practice of polygamy.

Mar 1943

John A. Widstoe writes on why plural marriage was practiced in the early Church.

Apr 9, 1945

Irvin F. Fisher, Sylvia Lyons's grandson, recounts history of her sealing to Joseph.

Nov 1946

John A. Widstoe writes on Joseph introducing plural marriage.

1947

John A. Widstoe discusses Joseph Smith and the origins of plural marriage.

1951

John A. Widstoe discusses plural marriage in his biography of Joseph Smith.

1958

Bruce R. McConkie includes entry in first edition of Mormon Doctrine on the "Article on Marriage" and mentions JS's polygamy.

1958

Bruce R. McConkie gives entry for plural marriage in first edition of Mormon Doctrine.

1965

B. H. Roberts writes on the history Joseph and plural marriage for an official Church history publication.

1971

Fawn M. Brodie lists 48 plural wives of Joseph's, including women sealed to Joseph posthumously.

Feb 1977

Davis Bitton discusses plural marriage and mentions its origins with Joseph Smith.

Dec 1978

D. Michael Quinn discusses Joseph's sealing to Sarah Ann Whitney in the Ensign.

Jun 1979

Dean Jessee discusses Joseph's marriages to Emily and Eliza Partridge in the June 1979 Ensign.

1981

Stanley B. Kimball writes on Helen Mar Kimball Whitney's relationship with Joseph.

1982

Leroli C. Snow provides late account of Emma Hale Smith pushing Eliza R. Snow down the stairs.

1984

Linda King Newell summarizes Emma Smith's history with and feelings toward plural marriage.

1984

Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery discuss Emma Smtih's polygamy denials in her "last testimony."

1986

Richard S. Van Wagoner writes on the scandal involving Sarah Pratt, Orson Pratt, Joseph, and John C. Bennett.

1989

Richard S. Van Wagoner summarizes 1832 tar and feathering of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigon.

Jan 1989

William G. Hartley writes on Joseph introducing plural marriage to the Knight family.

1991

Lawrence Foster discusses Emma Smith's polygamy denial interview.

1992

Danel W. Bachman and Ronald K. Esplin write on the history of plural marriage in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

Aug 1992

Gracia N. Jones writes about Emma Smith; mentions Emma's struggles with plural marriage.

1994

D. Michael Quinn discusses the "Happiness Letter" and its supposed purpose.

1994

Martha Sonntag Bradley and Mary Brown Firmage Woodward write about Zina Huntington's relationships with Henry Jacobs and Joseph Smith.

1994

George D. Smith publishes early report on the demography of Nauvoo polygamy.

1996

Church book on LDS history refers to Joseph Smith beginning plural marriage.

1996

Todd Compton reviews Brodie's work on plural marriage; discusses advances made in scholarship on Joseph's polygamy.

1997

Andrew F. Smith recounts the details of John C. Bennett's excommunication in 1842.

1997

Todd Compton speculates that Fanny Alger may have miscarried.

1997

Todd Compton summarizes the Fanny Alger family background.

1997

Todd Compton reviews Fanny Alger's departure from Ohio.

1997

Todd Compton argues Lucinda Pendleton was married to Joseph in 1838.

1997

Todd Compton writes on Joseph's proposal to Lucy Walker.

1997

Todd Compton identifies 33 women as Joseph Smith's wives with an additional 8 as possibilities; comments on sexual relations of polyandrous marriages.

1997

Compton writes on Joseph's relationship with Alger; argues it was the first plural marriage.

1997

Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel introduce Helen Mar Kimball's writings; briefly discuss her marriage to Joseph.

1997

Todd Compton reviews women who rejected plural marriage proposals from Joseph.

1997

Todd M. Compton discusses Joseph's tar and feathering incident of 1832.

1998

Todd Compton responds to Tanners; reiterates his view that Joseph probably did not have sex with Helen Mar Kimball.

2000

S. Faulring provides an overview of O. Cowdery's rebaptism in November 1848.

2002

Gary James Bergera identifies May 28, 1843 as sealing date for Joseph and Emma Hale Smith.

2002 - 2003

Gary James Bergera reviews the likely authorship of "Buckeye's Laments" poems published in 1844; concludes probably Wilson or William Law composed them.

2002

Yael Shemesh reviews examples of prophets lying in the Bible and discusses the ethics of these actions.

2003

Church Institute manual discusses the history of plural marriage.

2003

Charles M. Hatch and Todd M. Compton discuss the possibility of sexuality in Joseph's marriage with Helen Mar Kimball.

2004

BYU RSC publication of JST manuscripts; volume editors provide timeline of JST translation.

2005

Ugo Perego et al., reports on how DNA study rules out 2 possible Smith descendants; casts strong doubt on third.

2005

Richard Lyman Bushman explains the possible background for the 1835 "Article of Marriage."

2005

Gregory L. Smith addresses criticisms of Church leaders lying about plural marriage.

2005

Richard Lyman Bushman discusses the "Happiness Letter" and its supposed intent relating to plural marriage.

2005

Ugo Perego et al. discuss the reconstruction of Joseph's Y chromosome and determine genetically that he is not the biological father of various children (Moroni Pratt, Zebulon Jacobs, Orrison Smith).

2005

Bushman writes on Joseph's relationship with Fanny Alger and plural marriage generally; believes it was probably Joseph's first plural marriage in mid-1830s which he resumed in 1841.

2005

Richard Lyman Bushman writes that Joseph and Emma Hale Smith were sealed on May 28, 1843.

2007

Church manual on Joseph Smith summarizes how he introduced plural marriage.

2008

DNA study confirms that Oliver N. Buell and Mosiah Hancock were not Joseph's sons.

2008

Ugo Perego et al. determine through genetic testing that neither Oliver N. Buell or Mosiah L. Hancock are biological children of Joseph's.

2008

George D. Smith gives table of Nauvoo polygamist demographics from 1841–1846.

2008

Brian C. Hales reviews Joseph's sealing to Sylvia Sessions. Concludes they were sealed in late 1842–early 1843 and most likely did not have sexual relations.

Mar 7, 2008

Study finds that marriage age gaps rose between 1850 and 1880; gaps ranged from 4 to 7 years on average.

Sep 9, 2008

Mark Staker argues that Alger lived with the Smiths between 1834 and 1836.

2009

Brian C. Hales concludes that the story of Emma Smith pushing Eliza Snow down the stairs is likely "folklore."

2009

Brian C. Hales reviews evidence for claims that Oliver Cowdery practiced plural marriage; concludes he most likely did not.

2010

Don Bradley dates the discovery of the Smith-Alger marriage between April-September 1836.

2010

The ages of Joseph's plural wives are compared to other regions of 19th-century America.

2010

Don Bradley concludes that the Alger/Smith relationship was Smith's first polygamous marriage.

2010

Todd Compton reviews demographic evidence for early marriage among 19th century Mormons.

2010

Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith review demograpgic evidence for the age of Joseph's younger wives.

2010

Brian C. Hales discusses polyandry in Joseph Smith's plural marriages.

2010

Ugo Perego summarizes the genetic studies done on Joseph's alleged paternity of various children.

2011

J. Spencer Fluhman reviews evidence for sexuality in Joseph's marriage to Helen Mar Kimball.

2011

Gary James Bergera writes on Joseph's polygamy denials and sexual relationships in polyandrous marriages.

2012

John Turner writers on the origins of plural marriage in Nauvoo and discusses Brigham Young's participation.

2013

Current canonical (2013) edition of D&C 132.

2013

Brian C. Hales discusses Joseph Smith's polyandry; concludes he did not practice "sexual polyandry" but merely "ceremonial polyandry."

2013

Brian C. Hales reviews the sources pertaining to Joseph Smith being tarred and feathered in 1832.

2013

Brian C. Hales catalogues primary sources on Joseph's plural wives.

2013

Brian C. Hales reviews the evidence for women who rejected plural marriage proposals from Joseph.

2013

Brian C. Hales summarizes the Orson/Sarah Pratt, Joseph, and John C. Bennett scandal.

2013

Brian C. Hales gives overview of known polygamists other than Joseph by 1844.

2013

Brian C. Hales reviews historical sources pertaining to Emma's reaction to plural marriage.

2013

Hales provides appendix listing plural wives of Joseph; identifies 35 women as wives.

2013

Brian C. Hales gives overview of evidence for sexuality in some of Joseph's plural marriages.

2013

Brian C. Hales summarizes Joseph's marriage proposal to Lucy Walker, disputes that he was coercive or forced her to marry him.

2013

Brian C. Hales writes on the ultimatum Joseph gave to Lucy Walker.

2013

Brian C. Hales reviews details of Joseph's marriage to Helen Mar Kimball; concludes sex was most likely not involved in the marriage.

2014

Scott Bradshaw reviews the legality of Joseph's plural marriages under Illinois state law; concludes he most like was not breaking any laws.

2015

Brian and Laura Hales argue that the Alger/Smith marriage took place in 1835-36.

2015

Brian C. Hales and Laura H. Hales give overview and chart of Joseph's plural wives.

2016

Massachusetts statistics indicate 15-20% of women were married before age 20 in the 1840s.

2016

Brian C. Hales and Laura H. Hales review the early Mormon practice of plural marriage.

2016

Gerrit Dirkmaat writes article disputing Joseph's authorship of the "Happiness Letter."

2016

Nicholas L. Syrett gives history of "child bride" marriage in the United States; also discusses Mormon examples.

Mar 7, 2016

Andrea Radke-Moss summarizes her research on Eliza R. Snow's sexual assault.

Mar 17, 2016

Peggy Fletcher Stack reports on findings of Andrea Radke-Moss relating to Eliza R. Snow's sexual assault.

2017

Alice Merrill Horne hears the story of Eliza R. Snow's gang rape at Missouri.

2017

Brian C. Hales reviews and responds to claims that Joseph did not practice plural marriage.

2018

John W. Welch reconstructs Book of Mormon translation timeline; places translation of Jacob between June 24–25, 1829.

2018

W. Smith explains the evolution of the meaning of "celestial marriage."

2018

Shira Weiss discusses the ethics of prophets lying or using deception in the Hebrew Bible.

2018

Richard E. Bennett characterizes Helen Mar Kimball's marriage to Joseph as a "dynastic sealing."

2018

John S. Dinger reviews legal cases involving sexuality with Joseph; including May 1844 adultery indictment.

2018

Brian C. Hales Journal of Mormon History article exploring Joseph's denials of practicing polygamy.

2018

Saints vol. 1 includes details of Joseph's and others practicing plural marriage in the early history of the Church.

2019

Craig Foster provides data on regional marriage ages between 1850-1880.

2019

DNA study rules out Josephine Lyon as Joseph Smith's daughter.

2019

Ugo Perego reports on how DNA results rule out Josephine Lyon as Joseph Smith's daughter.

2019

Ugo Perego summarizes genetic work on Josephine Lyon to determine her relationship to Joseph; concludes she is most likely not his biological daughter.

2019

Craig Foster reviews demographic evidence related to early marriages among 19th century Mormon polygamists.

Jun 1, 2019

Ugo A. Perego et al. publish results of forensic genetic testing on Joseph's relationship with Josephine Lyon; determine most likely she is not Joseph's biological daughter.

2020

Benjamin E. Park writes favoring Louisa Beaman as Joseph's first plural wife.

2021

Kent P. Jackson reproduces JST Genesis 16 in parallel column with KJV Genesis 16.

2021

FamilySearch lists Fanny Alger's birthdate as September 30, 1817.

2022

JSP biographical summary of Sarah Ann Whitney.

2022

The Joseph Smith Papers provides historical context to the statement on marriage in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.

2022

2013 canonical version of section 49 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

2022

Biographical summary of George Harris.

2022

Biographical summary of John Snider.

2022

FamilySearch provides biography of Mary Heron.

2022

The Joseph Smith Papers gives biographical summary of Elizabeth Davis.

2022

Joseph Smith Papers lays out biographical summary of Jonathan Holmes.

2022

FamilySearch online geneaology website provides family history and biography of Marinda Nancy Johnson.

2022

JSPP gives biographical summary of Sarah Kingsley.

2022

Joseph Smith Papers gives historical background to the Happiness Letter; throws caution on Joseph's authorship.

2022

FamilySearch biography and family history for John Johnson, father of Marinda Johnson and brother of Eliphaz (Eli) Johnson.

2022

JSPP summarizes the publication history of the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

2022

Matthew McBride gives historical context to Shaker teachings and D&C 49.

2022

FamilySearch provides biography of Esther Dutcher Smith.

2022

Joseph Smith Papers gives biographical summary of Lucinda Pendleton.

2022

Biographical summary of Jabez Durfee.

2022

Biographical summary of Nancy Winchester.

2022

Scholars at BYU Studies identify May 28, 1843 as sealing date for Joseph and Emma Hale Smith.

2022

Church's essay lists Fanny Alger's birthyear as 1816.

2022

The Joseph Smith Papers identifies May 28, 1843 as sealing date for Joseph and Emma Hale Smith.

2022

Find a Grave Website lists Fanny Alger's birthdate as September 30, 1816.

2022

The Hales list Fanny Alger's birth date as September 20, 1816.

2022

Joseph Smith Papers Website list 1818 as Fanny Alger's birthyear.

2022

The Joseph Smith Papers identifies May 28, 1843 as sealing date for Joseph and Emma Hale Smith.

2022

JSPP website gives day-by-day chronology of Joseph's life in 1841/42; lists known dates for plural marriages with women during this period.

2022

Church History Topics essay describes the family of Joseph and Emma Smith.

2022

Brian C. Hales gives biographical overview of Sylvia Lyons.

2022

Brian C. Hales summarizes evidence for Emma Hale Smith's views on plural marriage.

2022

UV Mormon Studies website biography of Orson Hyde and his plural wives.

2022

JSPP biographical summary for Oliver Olney.

2022

Todd Compton provides summary of the women he considers to be Joseph's plural wives.

2022

Todd Compton writes in 2022 that he does not believe Joseph's marriage with Helen Mar Kimball was consummated.

2022

The Joseph Smith Papers summarizes the case of State of Illinois v. Joseph Smith for allegedly violating anti-adultery laws.