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Parley Parker Pratt, Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather
The True Story Of The Violent Murder Of Mitt Romney’s Great-Great-Grandfather
History - Politics
Parley Parker Pratt, the great-great-grandfather of Utah Senator Mitt Romney, was a famous Mormon Church evangelist. Pratt's polygamy led to his violent murder in 1857.
Pratt was the architect of how plural marriage was practiced in the Mormon Church. He went on to have a total of 12 wives, with the last union precipitating his violent death.
In 1855, Pratt spent time doing missionary work in San Francisco when he encountered a woman named Eleanor McLean, the woman who would become his 12th and final wife.
McLean was a recent convert to Mormonism, and when Pratt arrived she became close with his family — especially one of his wives, Elizabeth, who McLean cared for when she fell sick.
At the time of her betrothal to Pratt, Eleanor was still married. She claimed her husband, Hector McLean, was abusive, addicted to alcohol, and the Pratt family had rescued her.
Although Eleanor planned to escape Hector by leaving with Pratt to live in Utah once she had reclaimed her children from her husband, Hector caught up to them in Arkansas.
Hector set about taking the children back from Eleanor, and attempted to have Eleanor and Pratt imprisoned. Pratt and Eleanor were both arrested in Arkansas, but later released.
Hector and his supporters later shot and stabbed Pratt repeatedly, who died of his injuries an hour later. In his final minutes, Pratt declared himself a Mormon martyr.