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Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Plural wives/Fanny Alger
< Joseph Smith | Polygamy | Plural wives(Redirected from Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Fanny Alger and William McLellin)
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Fanny AlgerWhat do we know about Joseph Smith's first plural wife, Fanny Alger, whom he came to know in early 1833 when she stayed at the Smith home as a house-assistant of sorts to Emma (such work was common for young women at the time). There are no first-hand accounts of their relationship (from Joseph or Fanny), nor are there second-hand accounts (from Emma or Fanny's family). All that we do have is third hand accounts, most of them recorded many years after the events.
Unfortunately, this lack of reliable and extensive historical detail leaves much room for critics to claim that Joseph Smith had an affair with Fanny and then later invented plural marriage as way to justify his actions. The problem is we don't know the details of the relationship or exactly of what it consisted, and so are left to assume that Joseph acted honorably (as believers) or dishonorably (as critics).
There is some historical evidence that Joseph Smith knew as early as 1831 that plural marriage would be restored, so it is perfectly legitimate to argue that Joseph's relationship with Fanny Alger was such a case. Mosiah Hancock (a Mormon) reported a wedding ceremony; and apostate Mormons Ann Eliza Webb Young and her father Chauncery both referred to Fanny's relationship as a "sealing." Ann Eliza also reported that Fanny's family was very proud of Fanny's relationship with Joseph, which makes little sense if it was simply a tawdry affair. Those closest to them saw the marriage as exactly that—a marriage.
Jump to Subtopic:
- Question: What do we know about Joseph Smith's first plural wife Fanny Alger?
- Question: Did Joseph Smith marry Fanny Alger as his first plural wife in 1833?
- Question: How could Joseph and Fanny have been married in 1831 if the sealing power had not yet been restored?
- Question: Did some of Joseph Smith's associates believe that Joseph Smith had an affair with Fanny Alger?
- Question: Did Emma Smith discover her husband Joseph with Fanny Alger in a barn?
- Question: Did Fanny Alger have a child by Joseph Smith?