Hell on Earth, Part 7

This entry is part 24 of 50 in the series 2011A

On such interesting occasions wedding dresses, bonnets, ribbons, and such. things are of small Moment. Such trifles get scattered in fragments to the winds, while the dark glossy hair of the one and the golden locks of the other are handled most unmercifully, that is the hands of the dark-haired victim hitches to meddle with the golden locks and vice versa. And the one with the longest finger nails prides herself in doing the best scratching. Second round won by the bride, time 8 min. 32 seconds. With a brace of them, and both claiming the protection of their dear husband, what could I do. This. “duck of a husband” was nonplussed, and now that No. 1 had witnessed defeat. She was surprised that her husband and protector failed to help her-and give the bride a good thrashing, and demands that he shall protect her from the assaults of that “insolent hussy.”

The bride insists that No. I shall not interfere with her marriage rights demands the protection of her husband and is particular to state how the “deceitful old cat” lured her into marrying. her husband. Finally we reached Ho… I was about to say “home,” the Poet says:-

“ Home, home, sweet, sweet home, Be it ever so humble there is no place like home.”

But the Polygamist can never sing that. If the author of those beautiful: lines had married two wives and taken them to his ‘home, he could have never composed the like. He might have given us something about a “Hell upon Earth,” and depicted the fearful scenes of a Polygamic harem about as. follows:-

It’s here on this earth we do re-a-lize Hell,
Where women, as devils, do constantly dwell,
Because we here marry so many dear wives,
Who rage, vex, and pester us out of our lives.
Hell, Hell, chief chief Hell,
Be it ever so wealthy, It is nothing but Hell.

My Home, in Utah, as well as every other Polygamic home, must hereafter be called “Hell upon Earth.” We arrived in our “Hell at home” about 6 p.m., just in time to sit down to our wedding dinner, but my appetite was gone. In the Endowment House I had been crammed with so much of that “meat the world knows not of,” and from what I have described I may be credited when I say all I now needed was peace and quiet and a good hot bath. I managed to get the latter but never the former two. I washed off the” Holy oil,” during which time it seemed as if all hell was let loose, and ten thousand thunders, earthquakes, and dynamiters were busy tearing things.

In the early morn when I left that “Home, Sweet Home,” there hung on the walls such mottoes as “God bless our peaceful home.” “There is no place like home,” &c., while peace and plenty filled it. Now it seemed that all the devils in existence had left the infernal regions, and gathered from the various parts of the earth where they had been going to and fro, and wandering up and down, and had now gathered together and made my house their rendezvous. I wept like a child, and why I was kept from committing suicide I am only beginning to learn-

“ There is a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will.”

A faint gleam of light seems to show that I had to go through all this Hell upon Earth business so that I might be enabled to expose the whole matter in such a way as to convince the world of its abominable evils and thus effectually bring about its speedy overthrow. If not, I ask, “Why was lured into it and made to suffer so? And why when so often tempted to commit suicide was I frustrated?

I had been “ counseled “ to furnish a separate room for each wife, and devote one week to each alternately, the parlor’ kitchen, and dining room to be used in common by the whole family. The wife that was to be a widow, as it were for the week, had to superintend the ‘domestic arrangements, or in military parlance be “orderly for the week.” In the conjugal bliss she would be exempt from domestic duty and the week widow become the “orderly,” and so on one week. But in my Domicile things went contrary-they do in all these Polygamic families. I would that mine were an exceptional case, but having traveled over Utah Territory, and boarded and lodged in the various Polygamic establishments there, I am compelled to speak the truth and say, I found no happy Polygamic families through the length and breadth, of the land. How could there be? The whole thing is so diametrically opposed to human nature. We find in the case of Polygamy, as in every other case where Nature is perverted or abused, Dame Nature comes back on us with severe penalties.

Within the first 24 hours of my “blessed Honeymoon,” the furniture of my “Home Sweet Home,” my “Hell upon Earth” appeared as if shaken and torn by a violent explosion and to cut a long story short, I never experienced any of the bliss of this “week about” business. No. 1 at all times insisted upon bossing the household arrangements and would never allow the man-her dear husband-who had violated his British marriage oath and taken another wife to his bosom, to be on the same close relation as before, she being a wife only in name and nothing more, and there was therefore an end to all chances of any “pledges of affection.” In vain did I endeavour to persuade her to “live her religion” and try to “bear the cross,” for every time I appealed to her I was met with torrents of abuse, while my bride was always mentioned in words not fit to appear here.

I went to business mornings with a heavy heart and returned evenings with a far heavier one. A man after the toils of the day and worry of business seeks the quiet retreat of his peaceful home-his castle-removed as it were from the battles of life, to recuperate his strength and fortify himself for the morrow. Here the gentle sympathies of his help meet should soothe his oft distracted brow. Here he should find that comfort and consolation not to be found in the outside world which builds him up and fortifies him, enabling him the better to do battle with the stern realities of life. But now, it was no use for me to seek consolation, peace, quiet or rest in my house-my Hell-before reaching it of an evening wife No. 1 or 2 would be sure to meet me and prepare me somewhat for the big storm raging in my hell.

If it was No. 1 who had so affectionately come to-meet her tired lord, and lovingly cheer his few remaining steps homeward, she would wring her fist in his face and say “ Now William I’m your lawful wife, married you in England “-I would try to break the sentence by saying -” Yes my dear, who says you ain’t.” Then I was treated with an outline what had passed between “my wives” during the day, and if I tried to hurry along so as to get into hell and witness the worst of it as quickly as possible she would pull me back-say she had come to meet me on purpose to let me know how things were, and like Sarah of old insisted that I must “Cast out the bondwoman. ‘ How vainly did I try to convince her that it was our “Holy Religion,”-that she should have thought of this before, and looked before she leaped, and consented to the union.

If it was wife No. 2 who met me, she would storm thus, “Now William, I married you according to our religion, by and with the willing consent your other wife. Had she refused her consent I would not have married you, yet the nasty old cat keeps calling me * * * (this must be left blank) I think I have given enough to show how matters stood. It was useless for me to ask No. 2 to put herself in the place of No. 1 for a moment and consider had she been my wife for years and the mother of my children, and then have to submit to another – how very trying it must be, &c. The fact is Polygamy makes women perfect devils, and there is only one way to manage them, and that is the mode adopted by Nigger drivers in Slavery-The Horse Whip. That being out of my line I was not a successful Polygamist. There are other ways of managing these hells which I also refused to adopt.

It soon became known that “Brother Jarman was in for it,’ and served -him right, for a man in his position to be so niggardly and try to get along with TWO WIVES when he ought to have at least a dozen.” One night on going home and neither wife having met me as usual my bosom thrilled with joy. Thinks I, now hostilities have ceased-the war is over-I shall yet have a Home on Earth. When I entered my house I soon found my mistake out.

There were two men “ Teachers “ waiting to see me: They had heard the tremendous “ rows “ going on in that unfortunate domicile that day and had -called to teach my “ women “ their “duty,” and had remained to “ teach “ me in regard to my “ duty “ which was about thus:-As I had failed to learn the “Horsewhip Drill” I had better look out a half dozen good stout girls who would hang together-hold the balance of power in my household and bring these two viragos into subjection.

Both men were strangers to me, so I said to the one who was “ mouthpiece “ “Excuse me Sir, but are you a Polygamist?”

“Oh yes,” he replied.

“How many wives have you? “ I asked,

“Four “ said he.

“May I ask, can you keep peace in your family?”

He answered “I wish I could but it seems impossible.”

I said to the other Teacher “and pray Sir, how many wives have you? “

“Only three” was the modest reply.

“Be kind enough dear Sir to tell me how matters stand in your home; can you keep your wives in subjection?”

He replied “I am sorry to say it is utterly impossible.”

I arose, opened the door, and said, “Gentlemen go home and learn how to rule your own households, and then come and teach me. At present you are not the teachers I require, I have no use for you. According to your own confessions, you are the wrong men in the wrong place, please withdraw, and when you can come and intelligently advise me what to do, I shall be very glad to see you, Good Night!” This was my first visible sign of apostasy: I had refused to listen to those “In Authority.”

Next morning early a brother “High Priest” called, said he wanted to chat with me, and as it was particular perhaps I would walk with him around the foot hills. So we took a morning walk. We had not proceeded far when he introduced his particular business thus: “Brother Jarman, you made a mistake.” I readily confessed I had. He continued, “I mean in marrying ONLY Two: a man of your caliber should have married at least a dozen. Besides your two are strong-minded English women, and they’ll always be fighting and scratching unless you do as I am about to tell you.”

Says I, “For God’s sake-for my children’s sake-for my wives’ sake-do tell me, if you can, how to have peace in my home.”

Says he, “Will you do as I tell you?”

I said, “If I possibly can, I shall be only too glad to do whatever lays in my power to secure what I so ardently desire-peace in the family.”

Says he, “There are various ways of regulating these Polygamy affairs.” [I knew he was a man of experience in that line, so I resolved to let him go a-head, and let me into the light of “the various ways” without interruption]. “In the first place you have two very excellent women, and you ought to think yourself in luck for having secured them.” (“Ill” luck thinks I) “But you are a poor judge of human nature in women, and made this mistake. You married two only and each one is fit to be a boss; the one will never yield to- the other. Had you picked out for a second some meek, quiet disposed girl, the first wife could have just whipped her into line, and made her do as she leased: or had your first been of such a temperament that the second could have brow beaten her into subjection, all would have been well. Instead of that you have two natural born bosses. Now my advice to you is this. There is a large importation of Danish girls to arrive in a day or two. You go down and pick out twelve, they are generally very quiet and harmless, and submit to anything. Marry the dozen and take home the lot. Give six to one wife and six to the other, as servants like, to help them in their domestic affairs. You’ll find they’ll just whip those Danish girls around, and have their work cut out in bossing them, and you’ll have a jolly time.”

Here I had to interpose a question. “But my dear brother, I don’t know the Danish language, neither do my wives.?

“D… the difference,” said the Priest. “We have Danish Priests that will tell those you “look out” to go with you and do as you tell them. You get a Danish Dictionary and you’ll get along all right. Should any difficulty occur, just call for the Danish Priest, and he’ll soon straighten things out, you bet.

I thought surely here is a nice scheme, but it looked to me like “hopping out of the frying pan into the fire,” but I did not say so. I was in the “pursuit of knowledge under difficulties.” He further said, “There is still another way out of your trouble. If you don’t like to marry so many, you just look out one real good vixen like woman, some regular virago, marry her and bring her on the scene, and if she don’t regulate matters, nothing will. I tell you I tried that game, and it worked like a charm. This virago of mine has a daughter a regular ‘chip off the old block.’ She’s only just turned fifteen, but lord, she’s a snorter.

“She’s just a hitching and a dying to have a regular go in at it, and this brings me to my particular business with you this morning. This daughter (sweet fifteen in Utah), I’m speaking of has taken a fancy to you, and she deeply sympathizes with you. Only last night when she heard of how your wives were a “cutting up,” she says to me, ‘Dad I feel for that dear man, he don’t deserve such treatment as he gets. Why only last week when I called, there was roast, bake, and boil and plenty of everything. Yet that thousand dollars worth of furniture he bought when he married ’em was just fit to light fires without much chopping.’ Well Brother Jarman, I need not tell you all she said, but to the point, she is willing to help you out, and I promised her to see you and talk the matter over, and if you say the word come right along and take her through the Endowment House, marry her, take her home, and I’ll guarantee she’ll settle matters in short order. You’re welcome to her my brother, and she wishes to become Mrs. Jarman. No. 3 right off, so say the word and the ‘jig’s up.”

Now what could I do. Here was an extraordinary offer of marriage, how could I refuse, or be at all uncivil, especially to a brother Priest. So I said, “Then you are willing to give me your daughter, and that under such circumstances?”

“Oh yes,” he replied, “and she is perfectly willing to marry you at once, and I do actually believe she was born to help you out of your difficulty-she’s cut out for the very purpose.”

I thanked him very kindly, said that “the proposition having come upon me so suddenly I must beg time to reflect upon it, and if I concluded to marry another, I certainly would give his daughter the first chance.”

She never got that chance, I preferred to remain in the frying-pan and frizzle. That was hot enough for me, I also vowed if I could get forgiveness for marrying two wives at once, I would never do it again. Those who have read “The Infernal Conference, or Dialogues of Devils,” by the Rev. John Macgowan, V. D. M., will see vast depths in every line I have written, which those who, have not so read fail to see. Space prevents my introducing -” Dialogues of Devils.” Milner & Co., London.

Time dragged heavily along, life was a weary burden. One terrible night when things were worse than ever I took my Colt’s Navy Revolver and went up behind the grave yard, determined to put an end to this “Hell upon Earth” and try the other. I felt it could not be worse, and probably it might prove somewhat better than the Hell I was now in. I pulled the trigger three times with the muzzle in my right ear but without effect, it did not discharge. ‘When placing it the fourth time, a feeling I cannot describe came over me, and the thought I had not kissed my dear little children “good bye,” made me determined to go home kiss my innocent darlings for the last time-and make sure work of it. When I got home the sight of my own flesh and blood laying there sweetly sleeping, unconscious of their Father’s or Mother’s deep sorrow and trouble, deterred me from committing the rash act, though driven to desperation. Be it here understood that though I and my wife should have had better sense, I blame, not her, but the vile system, and all who uphold it. It was a trouble to her as well as to myself, although she has got bravely over it, as you will see, I have not, nor do I ever expect to.

On another occasion when my trials seemed too heavy for poor human nature to bear, I kissed my dear little ones “good bye,” and this time determined not to be frustrated, took a razor, again went to the grave yard wall, a lonely place, fully resolved to launch myself into Eternity, I was so tired of Time, it dragged so slow, every day seemed years and that of wretchedness. Arriving on the spot I knelt and offered a short prayer that the Father of Mercies would have mercy upon me; and remember that my frame which was but dust, was too heavily burdened to proceed further on the journey of life that here I ended it, and trusted to Divine mercy for a better life hereafter.

I felt perfectly resigned. Intending to cut my throat while upon my bended knees, I searched in my pocket for the razor, but it was not there. It had worked its way through a small hole in the pocket and was lost. I felt awfully disappointed. I went home feeling very sad, but here one of my little ones having been taken ill, was crying for “Papa.” The tears which now blot this manuscript, thank God, will not appear in print. When I think that my children have all been torn from me by the accursed system of Polygamy, and are now 7000 miles away and are being dragged up in that awful Sodom, I pray for the curse of the Almighty to rest upon America until she rids herself of that accursed Institution. And may England’s Government wither and her Glory depart, and may England become a hiss and a by word among the nations so long as she allows Mormon Missionaries to pollute her soil and drag away so many victims to undergo the same as myself and thousands of Britishers have endured and are still suffering.

I suppose I am not the only father that possessed a PET child among his pets. This sick child was my pet and oh how earnestly I wished that sickness to prove fatal, that I might bury it and then speedily join it beyond. However it recovered and lives in Salt Lake City to day, a Mormon-a far greater trouble to me than if I had buried it.

As more of my hell and what I suffered appears in future Chapters, I will now show how things are in other families.

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