Apr 16, 2013 - Sale 2310

Sale 2310 - Lot 192

Price Realized: $ 3,600
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
" I GAVE MY CONSENT FOR MR. JARMAN TO TAKE EMILY AS HIS SECOND WIFE" (MORMONS.) Archive of Maria Bidgood Jarman Ford, first wife of an apostate Mormon polygamist. 47 items, including: 26 letters from son Albert while on mission in England, 1894-95 * 4 letters and documents relating to her divorce from Albert Jarman, 1883-87 * and 8 related family letters, 1895-1923; various sizes and conditions, some worn. Vp, 1883-1923, bulk 1883-95

Additional Details

Maria Bidgood (1832-1924) lived an interesting life, emigrating from England and marrying a scoundrel named William Jarman who converted to the Latter-Day Saints solely to justify his polygamy. In 1869, she divorced Jarman, who then embarked on a public career of denouncing the Mormon faith. Maria supported their three children as a milliner, later remarried to another Mormon, and actively defended her religion.
Many of the letters and documents in this collection relate to the unhappy story of Maria's first marriage, which she recounted after the divorce. As a young couple, they headed west, accompanied by a servant: "Emily Richards, who was my apprentice, was with child at the time of being baptised. Mr. Jarman only embraced Mormonism to cover up his shame. . . . I told him if she ask my forgiveness I would forgive her. She never asked my forgiveness, but I always treated her as a sister" (letter to George C. Lambert, 1883). According to Maria's deposition, "During all this time, Mr. Jarman and Emily had been growing more intimate, and in the month of December following our arrival in Salt Lake City I gave my consent for Mr. Jarman to take Emily as his second wife. After this he treated me very badly." Maria also saw the need to deny a rumor that had apparently been circulating in Salt Lake City: "I positively deny that I have ever been the wife of Brigham Young" (undated deposition). After their divorce, William returned to England and did some public lectures against his former faith. In 1897, Maria wrote a letter to an English newspaper, the Barnsley Independent, denouncing her ex-husband for his "horrible lies regarding the Mormons," adding that "he was put into a lunatic asylum in Exminster, Devonshire through his drunkenness and whoredoms."
Maria raised her son Albert Jarman (1863-1929) as a Mormon, and in 1894 he went to England for mission work, sending a series of 26 long and informative letters describing his efforts. Maria also remained close with other relatives in England, including a sister named Lydia Cheney who had also joined the Mormons, and wrote in 1893 about her daughter: "I also pray that the Lord will raise a friend to help to get her out to Zion where she can be one with the Saints."