Not one of them rejoices in the possession of a second spouse

The Mormons arrived in Canada during the summer of 1887.  Many of them were polygamists escaping the law.  In fact Charles Card, leader of the expedition escaped while under arrest before fleeing to Canada.  So it is interesting to see what appears to be a public relations effort by the settlers in Canada.

From the Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper there was an article on January 13, 1888 which gave one of the first impressions of the new settlement in what would soon be called Cardston.  It is fascinating to see how the article drives home the industriousness of the settlers as well as their division of American males and British females.

The Mormons at Fort MacLeod

Mr. Macdonald of Fort MacLeod, in an interview with a reporter of the Winnipeg Free Press, spoke well of the Mormon colony which as founded on Lee’s Creek, twenty miles south of MacLeod last June.  The Mormons drove across the Continent from Utah last spring looking for the site of a colony and setted at Lee’s Creek.  Although it was late in the season when they arrived they went to work at once.  They put up so much hay that they are now supplying the Mounted Police;and they were not there more than a few weeks before they had a thousand pounds of butter for sale.  They brought cattle along with them, when they came.  They made a road to the woods and have built themselves comfortable houses.  They are a hard working people, and the inhabitants of that section are ready to welcome as many more of them as will come.

The men of the community are mainly American, while the women are British.  All of the Mormons in the settlement are monogamists; not one of them rejoices in the possession of a second spouse.  They number about seventy, but as they are very well pleased with their location in their number will doubtlessly receive many additions.

This was followed up a couple of months later (in March) by a much sterner note:


One would guess the second impression worried not a few of the Canadian newspaper readers.


3 Responses to Not one of them rejoices in the possession of a second spouse

  1. Jon W says:

    The irony of course is that most of them very much did have a second spouse.

  2. BruceC says:

    Yes, I thought that was the point of going north.

  3. Jon W says:

    Pretty much. I know Charles Card thought he was going to be back in Cache Creek relatively soon after they left.

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