Since Meg is not willing to have this discussion on her blog, I’ll let her have the last word on mine. I will once again simply ask her to show documentary support for any of her assertions. Even one.
As I’ve said, I don’t have any problem with the documentary evidence she provides, but most of her theory rests on fantasy and naked assertion. I spent way too much time dealing with her posts, unpacking her tale of fantasy and dishonesty, and I have shown repeatedly that she makes things up out of whole cloth (seduction victims, death-bed conversations, an investigation into said seductions), engages in tortured denials of clear evidence (meat commerce, no one actually saw Joseph having sex when he went to bed with his wives), and outright lies (pretending that Joseph’s proposal to Emily Partridge wasn’t an actual proposal when Emily said it was). (Part of me thinks she has not actually read my responses to her, as she’s given no indication she understands my arguments or is willing to address them.) I would say I’m embarrassed for her, but I can’t feel bad for someone who engages in willful deception. She should be ashamed of herself. In fact, I am a little ashamed of myself for having paid any attention to her.
Oh, well. At least she’s amused.
I was amused by John’s analysis of my narrative (the pingback to Runtu’s Rincon). We had also corresponded a fair amount privately in the past few days.
He is unable to actually unpack and examine the facts, but attacks me for putting forward a different narrative to facts he believes can only fit the Fawn Brodie framework for Joseph’s life.
While he roundly accuses me of fantasy and making things up, he never did respond with the supposed “facts” he claims I am ignoring (despite many calls for him to do so).
Everyone is familiar with the fact that the Mountain Saints tried mightily from the 1850s through the 1890s to portray Joseph not only as having taught polygamy but also having been an active sexual participant in his plural marriages. This surged in the late 1860s, when Joseph’s sons first visited Utah to try to convert their father’s followers back to a monogamist version of Mormonism. At this point we see Andrew Jensen and Joseph F. Smith collecting information regarding the women who had married Joseph Smith, and from these collections we get indications that women were his wife in deed and that Emma knew about certain of the marriages. But there is nothing in the affidavits that explicitly and unequivocally could be interpreted as actual confessions that sex occurred.
It is in the 1890s during the Temple Lot trial that men and women testify with the intent of portraying Joseph as a practicing polygamist. We hear of times he shared rooms with women, even shared beds with women. But the only one of these testimonies that actually appears to indicate sex is when Emily Partridge was asked if she had carnal intercourse with Joseph, and she answers “Yes, sir.”
What other answer could she possibly have given, if she didn’t want to derail the Church’s entire position? Saying, “No, not carnal intercourse. But we were in the same bed…” would have completely negated all she had said leading up to that point and called all the other testimony into question.
Emily had spent decades as the wife of Brigham Young. Sarah Lawrence had gone on record claiming no sex occurred in her case, Maria Lawrence was dead, and Eliza Partridge was dead. Eliza Snow was dead. Emily was the only one of the women “known” to be Joseph’s plural wife during his lifetime left. If she had said she hadn’t had carnal intercourse with Joseph, the entire thing the Saints had spent decades focusing on as the core of their religion would be put in question.
I’ll just leave it with the possibility that Emily Dow Partridge [Smith Young] had an overwhelming motive to lie, if in fact she hadn’t had carnal intercourse with Joseph. Therefore I can’t accept as simple fact that she had sex with Joseph merely because she answered “Yes, sir” to that question.