December 1, 2012

Vera Black and her children

caption text:

JAN 13 1956 Mrs. Vera Black of Short Creek, Utah, hugs daughter Elsie, 11, after welfare authorities took charge of her children. Also shown are Lillian, 14, and Emilie, 9. Credit: AP Wirephoto

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6:05am
  
Filed under: vera black 1950s short creek 
November 2, 2012
caption text -

JUN 13 1956, GETS CHILDREN BACK — Mrs. Vera Johnson Black, 41, of Short Creek, Utah, greets nine-year-old daughter Emily as another daughter, 11-year-old Elsie watches. The mother was reunited with these two and five other children by court order after she agreed to teach them that it is unlawful to practice polygamy. Officers said she is the plural wife of an Arizona man but. has agreed not to live with him in order to regain custody of her children. 1956 Credit: AP Wirephoto

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caption text -

JUN 13 1956, GETS CHILDREN BACK — Mrs. Vera Johnson Black, 41, of Short Creek, Utah, greets nine-year-old daughter Emily as another daughter, 11-year-old Elsie watches. The mother was reunited with these two and five other children by court order after she agreed to teach them that it is unlawful to practice polygamy. Officers said she is the plural wife of an Arizona man but. has agreed not to live with him in order to regain custody of her children. 1956 Credit: AP Wirephoto

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2:50pm
  
Filed under: vera black short creek 1950s 
July 2, 2012
Wilford Black, 60, is cared for by his brother at his Short Creek home. Family members claim Wilford had a more functional version of autism before being separated from his mother, Vera Black, after the 1953 raid. More than 50 years ago, Vera Black refused to renounce her religious belief in polygamy - giving in only after Utah prepared to place seven of her children with adoptive families. Utah authorities had zeroed in on Vera a month after the 1953 raid, in which Arizona removed 263 children and their mothers - among them Vera’s two sister wives and their children - from Short Creek. The state charged the Blacks with negligence based on their polygamous marriage. Vera was the second of Leonard’s three wives. She was 36 and had eight children, ages 1 to 17.
photo by Stephanie Sinclair via
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Wilford Black, 60, is cared for by his brother at his Short Creek home. Family members claim Wilford had a more functional version of autism before being separated from his mother, Vera Black, after the 1953 raid. More than 50 years ago, Vera Black refused to renounce her religious belief in polygamy - giving in only after Utah prepared to place seven of her children with adoptive families. Utah authorities had zeroed in on Vera a month after the 1953 raid, in which Arizona removed 263 children and their mothers - among them Vera’s two sister wives and their children - from Short Creek. The state charged the Blacks with negligence based on their polygamous marriage. Vera was the second of Leonard’s three wives. She was 36 and had eight children, ages 1 to 17.

photo by Stephanie Sinclair via

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3:57pm
  
Filed under: vera black autism flds 
March 14, 2012
Vera Black with her children
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Vera Black with her children

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December 13, 2011
Vera Black, 1956

Utah authorities had zeroed in on Vera a month after the 1953 raid, in which Arizona removed 263 children and their mothers - among them Vera’s two sister wives and their children - from Short Creek.
The state charged the Blacks with negligence based on their polygamous marriage. Vera was the second of Leonard’s three wives. She was 36 and had eight children, ages 1 to 17.
During a March 1954 trial, the Blacks acknowledged they had a polygamous marriage but said they had not lived together since the raid. Their attorney told the court the couple had taken no “active steps” to promote plural marriage to their children.
But prosecutors pointed out five of Leonard Black’s six older daughters had married as plural wives or later became plural wives. All were younger than 18 when they married and one was 15 - which, polygamy aside, was legal then.
In her testimony, Vera Black told the judge she did not want her children to “break any laws that are reasonable” and would “let them have their choice” when it came to marriage.
But because the couple steadfastly refused to renounce plural marriage, Washington County Judge David A. Anderson found their home was an “immoral environment” and ordered their children into foster care.
They spent two weeks in state custody and then returned home while their parents appealed. In a unanimous decision, the Utah Supreme Court ruled in May 1955 that polygamy exposed children to sexual immorality.
"The practice of polygamy, unlawful cohabitation and adultery are sufficiently reprehensible, without the innocent lives of children being seared by their evil influence," the court wrote. "There must be no compromise with evil."
The court noted that if the decision was not upheld and “no bars are put in place, the task will be still more difficult for our successors to cope with.”
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case, and in January 1956, the state took custody of seven children. The youngest child was allowed to stay with Vera because he was sick.
Six months later, as the state made plans to place her children in separate adoptive homes, Vera Black reconsidered. In a new hearing, Vera said she still believed in polygamy but would “discourage my children from entering into polygamous marriages as long as the state has laws against it.”
Two days later, Vera was reunited with her children and returned with them to Short Creek.
"I don’t like to go back on some of the things I believe," she told reporters, "but my children are my first responsibility."

(text via) (picture via)

Vera Black, 1956

Utah authorities had zeroed in on Vera a month after the 1953 raid, in which Arizona removed 263 children and their mothers - among them Vera’s two sister wives and their children - from Short Creek.

The state charged the Blacks with negligence based on their polygamous marriage. Vera was the second of Leonard’s three wives. She was 36 and had eight children, ages 1 to 17.

During a March 1954 trial, the Blacks acknowledged they had a polygamous marriage but said they had not lived together since the raid. Their attorney told the court the couple had taken no “active steps” to promote plural marriage to their children.

But prosecutors pointed out five of Leonard Black’s six older daughters had married as plural wives or later became plural wives. All were younger than 18 when they married and one was 15 - which, polygamy aside, was legal then.

In her testimony, Vera Black told the judge she did not want her children to “break any laws that are reasonable” and would “let them have their choice” when it came to marriage.

But because the couple steadfastly refused to renounce plural marriage, Washington County Judge David A. Anderson found their home was an “immoral environment” and ordered their children into foster care.

They spent two weeks in state custody and then returned home while their parents appealed. In a unanimous decision, the Utah Supreme Court ruled in May 1955 that polygamy exposed children to sexual immorality.

"The practice of polygamy, unlawful cohabitation and adultery are sufficiently reprehensible, without the innocent lives of children being seared by their evil influence," the court wrote. "There must be no compromise with evil."

The court noted that if the decision was not upheld and “no bars are put in place, the task will be still more difficult for our successors to cope with.”

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case, and in January 1956, the state took custody of seven children. The youngest child was allowed to stay with Vera because he was sick.

Six months later, as the state made plans to place her children in separate adoptive homes, Vera Black reconsidered. In a new hearing, Vera said she still believed in polygamy but would “discourage my children from entering into polygamous marriages as long as the state has laws against it.”

Two days later, Vera was reunited with her children and returned with them to Short Creek.

"I don’t like to go back on some of the things I believe," she told reporters, "but my children are my first responsibility."

(text via) (picture via)

November 7, 2011
Mrs. Vera Black, member of a polygamist cult in Short Creek, Arizona, comforts her daughters prior to their placing in foster homes. Eight children in all were placed in foster homes after Mrs. Black refused to sign affidavit that she would refrain from teaching them polygamy. She refused on grounds of “conscience and religion.” - from the library of congress via popartmachine

Mrs. Vera Black, member of a polygamist cult in Short Creek, Arizona, comforts her daughters prior to their placing in foster homes. Eight children in all were placed in foster homes after Mrs. Black refused to sign affidavit that she would refrain from teaching them polygamy. She refused on grounds of “conscience and religion.” - from the library of congress via popartmachine

October 19, 2010
vera black was in the short creek raid of 1953 and had her children forcibly removed from her care twice in the next three years
read about her here

vera black was in the short creek raid of 1953 and had her children forcibly removed from her care twice in the next three years

read about her here