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there. The religion of Mohammed allows four wives, but the permission
is rarely exercised except by the rich.
In Christian countries polygamy was never tolerated, the tenets of the
Church forbidding it, though Charlemagne had two wives, and Sigbert
and Chilperich also had a plurality. John of Leyden, an Anabaptist
leader, was the husband of seventeen wives, and he held that it was
his moral right to marry as many as he chose.
In England the punishment of polygamy was originally in the hands of
the ecclesiastics. It was considered a capital crime by Edward I., but
it did not come entirely under the control of the temporal power until
a statute of James I. made it a felony, punishable by death. George
III. made it punishable by imprisonment or transportation for seven
It is the offspring of licentiousness, and its advocates merely wish
to give legal color to licentious habits. Every student of history
will find that as soon as a nation became morally depraved, polygamy
was practiced, and that monogamy was the rule in all countries truly
Polygamy has, of late years, been most shamefully revived and
outrageously practiced in face of law by the Mormons. They claim it as
a religious duty, and defend the system by claiming that unmarried
women can in the future life reach only the position of angels who
occupy in the Mormon theocratic system a very subordinate rank, being
simply ministering servants to those more worthy, thus proclaiming
that it is a virtual necessity of the male to practice the vilest
immorality in order to advance the female to the highest place in
Mormonism is a religion founded by Joseph Smith, who was born in
Sharon, E. V., Dec. 23rd, 1805, and killed at Carthage, Ill., June
It is a most singular fact that a sect like the Mormons could have
been established in a country peopled with such law-abiding people as
of the United States, and maintain a system of marriage, antagonistic
to the law and religion of the land. Neither could they have done so
if they had not possessed two great virtues, temperance and industry.
It is to be hoped that the legal process now instituted for its
abolition will effectually remove the blot from the national
The "Oneida Communists" are essentially polygamic, although they have
no marriage system. They do not marry, and ignore all marriage codes.
Cohabitation is under no restrictions between the sexes. Marriage is
also not observed among the "Shakers."
MONOGAMY--WHAT IT IS.
This is the conjugal union of a male with one female only. We have
seen that monogamy was coequal with civilization, and that most
probably the majority of the males had but one wife, even among
polygamic nations. Universal polygamy is practically impossible, the
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