published on March 27, 2019
The Raid is On
Elaborations on the Short Creek Women’s Recollections of the 1953 Raid
Through decades of anti-bigamy legislation, the practice of plural marriage was officially outlawed. In the first half of the twentieth century, contemporary polygamists faced raids in the 1930s, 1940s, and the largest of the time, in 1953. The 1953 raid in Short Creek, Arizona, executed by Arizona Governor Howard Pyle, was meant to put down the “insurrection” of “white slavery” in the border town now known as Colorado City. Though there was significant media coverage of the raid and subsequent trials, and there have been academic works on the subject, the experiences of the women while in state custody require further conversation. In this article, transcriptions of those recollections are examined in order to continue the discussion started in Martha Bradley’s seminal work, Kidnapped from that Land, with a focus on the female experience in their own words.