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One of strangest trends in recent plural marriage publications by cultural Mormons has been to regress back to Fawn Brodie’s portrayal of Joseph Smith’s first plural marriage with Fanny Alger as an adulterous affair.
Suffice it to say, the distorted version of Joseph Smith as a womanizer has really taking a beating and I have recently uncovered some additional information that will further vindicate the Prophet on that score, but that will have to wait for another post.The other major paradigm debate regards Fanny’s age at the marriage and on this I part ways with Compton’s analysis.Even if it is granted she was 16 at her ceremony, I can find regions of the country contemporaneous with Joseph Smith where men married a higher percentage of females aged 16 or less with greater frequency than Joseph Smith did.But, first let me present my unprofessional transcription of Mosiah Hancock holograph that I followed Compton’s lead and checked up on in the LDS archives: When my Father had started on his first mission to preach this gospel He felt that perhaps he had done wrong in not telling the Prophet that he had made arrangements to marry Temperance Jane Miller of New Lyme — When Father returned from his mission he spoke to the Prophet concerning the matter.The Prophet said — “Never mind Brother Levi about that for the Lord has one prepared for you that will  be a Blessing to you forever.At that time Clarissa Reed — was working at the Prophets. The Prophet had the highest respect for her feelings.
She had thought that perhaps she might be one of the Prophet’s wives as herself and Sister Emma were on the best of terms.My Father and Mother understanding each other were inspired by the Spirit of the Lord to respect his word through the Prophet. ] Father’s Brother in Law and [said] “Samuel, the Prophet Joseph loves your daughter Fanny and wishes her for a wife, what say you?— Therefore Brother Joseph said “Brother Levi, I want to make a bargain with you. ” — Uncle Sam says — “Go and talk to the old woman about it, t’will be as she says” Father goes to his sister and said “Clarissy, Brother Joseph the Prophet of the most high God loves Fanny and wishes her for a wife, what say you?” Said she “Go and talk to Fanny, it will be all right with me.” — Father goes to Fanny and said “Fanny, Brother Joseph the Prophet loves you and wishes you for a wife, will you be his wife? — Father takes Fanny to Joseph and said “Brother Joseph, I have been successful in my mission.” Father gave her to Joseph repeating the ceremony as Joseph repeated to him.Clarissa Reed being in poor health, Father takes her to her folks in Rome — The reason of mother’s poor health was that she worked hard at the Prophets.He had many visitors at this time and it used to be frequently the case that many of these worthies ?