I will confess that this time I have the question. I am eager to ensure that my historical writing includes female perspectives and experiences rather than simply charting the course of Joseph Smith’s thought. In my current treatment of early polygamy for a larger cultural history project, I currently have a great deal of primary evidence that polygamy was seen as an index of power, both in life and more importantly in death. This sense of power and afterlife gravitas is quite clear from the writings of the men involved.
I’m wondering who knows about contemporary accounts that demonstrate the women feeling empowered by it, that they somehow participated in the afterlife gravitas, or was it for them primarily the security of a patriarchal association that could persist indefinitely (which would be the argument from silence on the basis of my current findings)? I personally am most interested in proto-polygamy (Daynes’s apt phrase for polygamy before ca 1852), but I think all phases of polygamy would be interesting to the broader community. (Incidentally, I am still awaiting my copy of the Hardy compilation, which may contain much information–has anyone read it yet?)
And, please, no polemics. If people are urgently in need of another polygamy argument, we can discuss the possibility of another post to accommodate such needs.
As a reminder, your research questions are welcome at research at bycommonconsent dot com.