About Rev James Jesse Strang, Esq
Wikipedia Biographical Summary "...Jesse Strang (March 21, 1813 – July 9, 1856)] was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)..."
In addition to his ecclesiastical calling, Strang served one full term and part of a second as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, and assisted in the organization of Manitou County. He was also at various times an attorney, educator, temperance lecturer, newspaper editor, Baptist minister, correspondent for the New York Tribune, and amateur scientist. His survey of Beaver Island's natural history was published by the Smithsonian Institution, remaining the definitive work on that subject for nearly a century, while his career in the Michigan legislature was praised even by his enemies. However, his polygamous lifestyle and sometimes abrasive personality made him many enemies inside his church and out of it, contributing to his ultimate demise.
Strang's first wife was Mary Perce, whom he married on November 20, 1836, when she was eighteen and he was twenty-three. They were separated in May 1851, though they remained legally married until Strang's death. His second wife, married on July 13, 1849, was nineteen-year-old Elvira Eliza Field (who disguised herself at first as "Charlie J. Douglas," Strang's purported nephew, before revealing her true identity in 1850). Strang's third wife was thirty-one-year-old Betsy McNutt, whom he married on January 19, 1852; his fourth was nineteen-year-old Sarah Adelia Wright, married on July 15, 1855. Ironically, decades after Strang's death, Sarah would divorce her second husband, one Dr. Wing, due to his interest in polygamy. Strang's last wife was eighteen-year-old Phoebe Wright, cousin to Sarah, whom he wed on October 27, 1855, less than one year before his murder.