Monday, June 9, 2014

Eliza Roxcy Snow (Smith) Young - wife #15

Eliza Snow (January 21, 1804 - December 5, 1887) was one messed up lady. She was known as a poet from her early years so maybe we should say she was more of a trouble artist type. Some say she lived a life of celibacy, some say she was raped by persecutors of the Church, some say she had sex with both her husbands, some say she was pregnant at one point with Joseph Smith's child. However mysterious her sex life may be, her poetry and autobiographic writings reveal someone who needed some serious help. To put it mildly, she was dramatic as fuck and completely full of herself. I'm amazed anyone wanted to be around her.

Eliza seems to have had a taste for Primitive Church movements. She first joined Alexander Campbell's Christian primitivist movement and then the Mormons. She moved to Kirtland, where she stayed with Joseph and Emma, even after being given her own lot. She moved with the saints to Missouri and then Nauvoo, where Joseph gave her an appointment in the newly organized Relief Society and told her about plural marriage. She was disgusted by the idea for all of a couple of months, and then she married Joseph.

Joseph eventually invited Eliza to live with him and Emma in Nauvoo for what Eliza hoped would be a permanent stay. She took up teaching the Smith children.

Living conditions soon got out of hand. About six months in Emma found out that Eliza was a sister wife, freaked out (Eliza says she kept her cool), and sent her down a flight of stairs (some say with a broom, other say by her hair). Eliza's fall might have prematurely ended a pregnancy, either way, it ended her stay with the Smiths.

It still hurts like like before, doesn't it Emma? 
Maybe worse because Joe didn't learn the first time?
Maybe worse now that it's a self-righteous bitch your own age?

Eliza was a staunch and dishonest defender of polygamy. The same year she married Joseph she sent around a petition in Nauvoo collecting signatures from a thousand women denying Joseph's involvement in polygamy. Later that year she produced a Relief Society document denouncing the practice. 

When Joseph died Eliza stayed close to power; she married Brigham Young (yet another reason why Emma would have no interest in moving out to Utah). Eliza never had any children of her own but she raised or help raise many by other women. She fought for women's suffrage and refused to be powerless. Today she is one of the most celebrated women in the LDS Church.

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