One at a Time, Dears.
A Mormon patriarch is welcomed home by his wives.
Inspectors at Ellis Island sometimes suspected that immigrant
women destined for the West were coming to join polygamous
The media recently reported that Utah’s State Senate had passed a bill to decriminalize polygamy.* Should the legislation be voted and signed into law, the practice of taking multiple wives would be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. The story reminded of an old Life Magazine cartoon. In “Married Life in Utah” (1906), illustrator Bayard Jones depicts a Mormon patriarch being greeted by several wives on his return from a trip. The traditional Mormon practice of plural marriages earned the ire of Congress in the 19th century. Lawmakers passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which President Lincoln signed into law in 1862.