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Those who watched their devotion to each other declare that there never were more ardent lovers than these two".The same biography also calls the beginning of their relationship a "time of love feasting", and makes it clear that the two women shared the same bed. Twice in the Children's Friend, Anderson and Felt were referred to as "the David and Jonathan" of the Primary, which, the magazine explained, was a common appellation for the women.
The potential for female homosocial relationships is found among the polygamous "sister- wives" of Milford Shipp. His first wife, Ellis Reynolds Shipp, earned a medical degree at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1878.
Despite the fact that Joseph Smith deified, eternalized, and pluralized heterosexuality through polygamy and temple ritual, early Mormon women found that their bodies, sensuality, and desires were neither tamed nor contained by obedience to the institution of polygamy.
I believe that many women found creative, unique, and intensely meaningful ways to confess and express their desire for other women. Carol Lasser, has documented that Victorian women in America, in order to formalize "Romantic Friendships" with other women, sometimes married brothers, becoming sisters-in-law and sharing a surname.
Otherwise, "in polygamy the wives and children learned to fend for themselves". Dr.
Shipp recorded in her private journal, "How beautiful to contemplate the picture of a family where each one works for the interest, advancement, and well-being of all.