Friday, June 6, 2014

Patty Bartlett Sessions (Smith) Perry - wife #10

Patty Bartlett (February 4, 1795 - December 14, 1893) grew up in a non-religious home. At age seventeen she married 22-year-old David Sessions  and had seven children with him: Peregrine, Silvanus, Sylvia, Anna, David, another Anna, and Amanda). David made a living as a farmer, miller, and landlord while Patty learned midwifery. She delivered over 3900 babies in her lifetime.

Patty first encountered the Mormons in 1833 and joined in 1834 after getting David's permission. They soon moved to Far West, Missouri and then on to Nauvoo, where Patty would be sealed to Joseph Smith (almost 11 years her younger) just one month after her daughter Sylvia, who was also in attendance. Willard Richards officiated the ceremony.

After the marriage Patty continued to live with David and accepted the task of training younger women for polygamy. She eventually grew to hate plural marriage as she herself had to learn to share David with another woman named Rosilla. David sent Rosilla out of the house after tension between her and Patty mounted. Rosilla eventually left David.

The Sessions moved to Utah, where David took another wife, 19-year-old Harriott, at which point Patty was essentially left on her own.

After David died Patty married John Perry, but unfortunately for Patty, John also married Harriott, once again leaving Patty alone.

I cannot for the life of me see how the benefits of polygamy might outweigh the pain of rejection Patty must have felt throughout her life. Younger women were constantly being favored over her. Her daughter and sister wife Sylvia was likely getting significant one on one time in the sack with Joseph, her second sister wife stressed her marriage to David, and her third sister wife diverted both David and John from spending much time with her.

Who knows? Maybe Patty wasn't a very pleasant person. She could have been a joyless, demanding, complaining, bore. I also believe it's possible that the polygamous relationships she lived were not inspired. More likely they were occasions where men seized the opportunity to revamp their libido, though in the case of Joseph I suspect it might have had more to do with easing Patty's concerns for Sylvia. Then again, maybe Joseph was interested in being a cougar's cub.

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