Date of Award:
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis examines the intersection of plural marriage, as practiced by nineteenth-century Latter-day Saints, and female infertility. It does so by examining the diary of Elizabeth Pickett Tolman. This diary was kept from 1875-1894 and provides an intimate view of the experiences of an infertile first wife who struggled with the principle of plural marriage and pursued multiple medical treatments for her infertility. This study helps to fill in an area that has been largely unresearched by scholars of the history of women’s health and Mormon historians. Elizabeth’s diary shows that while infertility was a unique experience for her because of the reality of plural marriage and the fact that her husband was able to have children by another woman, the way Elizabeth thought about her infertility and the treatment that she sought out align with larger social and medical trends in American history.
LeFevre, Brooke R., "Elizabeth Pickett Tolman: One Woman's Experience with Polygamy and Infertility" (2021). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8251.
Available for download on Tuesday, December 01, 2026
Copyright for this work is retained by the student. If you have any questions regarding the inclusion of this work in the Digital Commons, please email us at .