This master's thesis project is the first half of a historical novel concerning the involvement of Elvira Field Strang Baker, the first plural wife of James Jesse Strang, with the "Beaver Island Mormons" who followed Strang from Nauvoo shortly after the death of Joseph Smith in 1844. The events portrayed are historical, although fictionalized. This portion of the novel contains a brief introduction to her childhood in Chapter One and follows her involvement with the Strangite movement beginning in April 1847 to the coronation of her husband in. Elvira was the first plural wife of James Jesse Strang who to this day is the only crowned American king. She married Strang in July 1849 and kept her marriage a secret for one year until Strang announced her as his wife during the above-mentioned coronation ceremony. Elvira was a woman ahead of her time. She was educated and had the opportunity to enjoy professional success which was rare for a woman of the mid-eighteenth century. She was a teacher, a trained tailor, an author of articles for her husband's newspapers, and one of his most capable administrators. While this portion of the novel focuses primarily on the early days of Elvira's acquaintance with James, his subsequent courtship, and the early days of their marriage, it also follows Elvira's movement within this unorthodox community that was supposed to be Zion.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sharland, Jill Elena, "The Secret Wife" (2002). Theses and Dissertations. 5101.
Elvira Eliza Field Strang Baker, 1830-1910, Fiction, James Jesse Strang, 1813-1856, Church of Jesus Christ Strangites, Fiction, Mormon women