The Lioness of the Lord: The Letters of Augusta Adams Cobb to Her Husband Brigham Young

An archive in Wisconsin contains some 150 letters that Augusta Adams Cobb wrote to Brigham Young from 1844 to the 1860s. Augusta was Brigham’s second plural wife (of 55 total). A boston Brahmin, herbalist, and cultural feminist, Augusta abandoned her wealthy first husband and six of her children to marry Brigham Young in 1843. Her letters are replete with the details of their failing relationship. Separating Brigham the prophet from Brigham the man, Augusta found the man an uncouth, lower-class hypocrite who often unfairly chastised her, played his favorite wives against her, and on occasion even whipped her. Although she bitterly complalined, like singer Patsy Cline, the more he abused her, the more she vowed to winn back his heart. While they never divorced, Augusta did have Brigham seal her for eternity to Joseph Smith and later asked to be sealed to St. Paul and even Jesus Christ.

Connell O’Donovan