Articles by

D Golding

Rediscovering Fanny Alger Custer

By July 31, 2018


In Mormon history circles, we know Fanny Alger Custer by her birth name, Fanny Alger, and almost exclusively speak of her relationship to Joseph Smith in terms of the early history of plural marriage. She has mattered to Mormon history because of controversy surrounding this relationship, and just as briefly as the relationship may have lasted, so briefly does Fanny make an appearance in the history of the Kirtland period. The question of early Mormon polygamy overshadows the collective concern over Fanny’s life as an early Latter-day Saint woman.

But some sources do allow us to consider her independently of Joseph Smith and even get a sense of a more complete biography. I’m working on a paper that gives priority to Fanny’s perspectives and life details, and then reconsiders her relationship to Mormonism and Joseph Smith in light of those perspectives. Here is a highlight from the longer essay, something stunning from Fanny herself—her own voice.

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The Time Neil Armstrong Searched for Gold Plates

By July 20, 2018


It’s true: Neil Armstrong led an expedition into an Ecuadorian jungle to search for gold plates. The story begins with a Latter-day Saint mission president, an eccentric anthropologist, and an Italian Catholic missionary. It ends with Donny Osmond. And there are aliens in the middle.

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Recent Comments

J Stuart on 2020 Mormon History Association: “Good point, Quincy! There's no reason to send in an all-male panel. There is plenty of time to network with women.”


Hannah on DH and the Woman's: “Thanks for this great post and run-down of topic modeling. Cheers Jeff!”


Alan Clark on 2020 Mormon History Association: “Hey Ben, I have a topic that might go well with yours. Let's talk. newwavealan@hotmail.com”


Ben S on 2020 Mormon History Association: “I’m going to be submitting something related to the Modernist/Fundamentalist controversy (early 20th century), probably centered around either Joseph Fielding Smith/hermeneutics or the LDS Church…”


Quincy D. Newell on 2020 Mormon History Association: “SLC 2019 was great, and I'm looking forward to Rochester 2020! Let's see if we can make 2020 the YEAR WITHOUT A MANEL--thanks for…”


J Stuart on Hark Lay Wales Grave: “This seems like an intentional misreading. Your offense at my raising concerns about the language used to discuss the lives and labor of enslaved people…”

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