ane James haunts me. Not in the way you’re thinking—I don’t see her ghostly specter on cold evenings, or hear her humming a tune in the other room as I’m trying to sleep. What I mean is that she just won’t let me go. Every time I learn something new about her, it seems that I go down a rabbit hole. It takes me days to return, mentally, to whatever I was doing. James, an African American woman who converted to Mormonism in the early 1840s, moved to Nauvoo after her conversion and worked as a servant in Joseph Smith’s home. After Smith’s death, she worked for Brigham Young. She was in one of the first companies to arrive in the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847, and she remained a faithful Latter-day Saint until her death in 1908.
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