Joseph rode out today with Flora W[oodworth]. 1
Now although in my 20th year [I] would not be 20 until 29 November, 1843, I concluded to look about and try to pick up one or more of the young ladies before they were all gone. So I commenced keeping company with Flora Woodworth, daughter of Lucian Woodworth (called the Pagan Prophet).
I was walking along the street with Flora near the Prophet’s residence when he, Joseph, drove, up in his carriage, stopped and spoke to I and Flora and asked us to get in the carriage and ride with him. He opened the door for us and when we were seated opposite to him he told the driver to drive on. We went to the [Nauvoo] temple lot and many other places during the afternoon and then he drove to the Woodworth house and we got out and went in. After we got in the house Sister Woodworth took me in another room and told me that Flora was one of Joseph’s wives. I was aware or believed that Eliza R. Snow and the two Partridge girls were his wives but was not informed about Flora. But now Sister Woodworth gave me all the information necessary, so I knew Joseph believed and practiced polygamy.
Now while in the coach with Joseph he ask me a great many questions about my mission and about the other elders in my travels, more particular about the Grants and Apostle John E. Page. Page had charge of the Pennsylvania mission and I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with him part of the winter and with my father who was on a mission in New York State. While in conversation in the carriage I told the Prophet that a man by the name Brank was coming to Nauvoo. He looked troubled for a moment and said he had trouble enough with that man; Brank was an apostate. Then his countenance changed to one of inspiration and he said, “Orange, he will not come” and he never did come. That was a prophecy which seeing him and hearing the words I can never forget. It was proof to me that he was inspired.
Now as a matter of course I at once, after giving Flora a mild lecture, left her and looked for a companion in other places and where I could be more sure. I was now called on a mission to go up the river five or six hundred miles to make lumber for the Nauvoo house and temple. There was a number of families to go among which were one of the Bird family and the Hadfield family. Sister Bird wanted a girl to go with her as one of the family. I told her I knew of a girl that I thought I could induce to go. She was over in Iowa, across the river. I went over in a skiff, found the girl and she agreed to go at once. She was a daughter of Gideon Carter, that was killed in the Crooked River battle in Missouri. She had neither father or mother, so I thought maybe I had the right one this time.2
George D. Smith
President Joseph told me that he had difficulty with Emma yesterday. She rode up to Woodworths with him and called while he came to the Temple. When he returned she was demanding the gold watch of Flora [Woodworth]. He reproved her for her evil treatment. On their return home she abused him much and also when he got home. He had to use harsh measures to put a stop to her abuse but finally succeeded. 3
The name of the Prophet’s plural wives [included] . . . Flora Woodward [sic] to whom he is said to have given a gold locket or watch which was stamped under foot by Emma. 4
- William Clayton Journal, May 2, 1843
- Orange L. Wight, 1823-1907, Autobiography.
- George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 119.
- Seymour B. Young, Journal, April 2, 1912, CHL, restricted; excerpt copied in D. Michael Quinn Papers—Addition—Uncat WA MS 244 (Accession:19990209–c), Box 1—Card file—Topic: Polygamy, Joseph Smith’s.