Los Angeles Review of Books - The Mormon Chronicles: A Meditation In Four Parts
Eventually both Romney and my great-grandfather were arrested – Flake on polygamy charges, and Romney on charges of polygamy and some related to false land claims. He beat the polygamy charge by sending two of his three wives into hiding, but not the accusation about having no title to his land, and he was arrested again. Because Romney had no money and my great-grandfather Flake did, Flake posted bail for both of them. The bail was $1,000 each, a considerable sum in the 1880s.
Now we come to the matter I’d like to bring up with Mitt.
Miles P. Romney skipped out on his bail, fleeing across the border into Mexico with his three wives, Hannah, Annie, and Catharine, and their children. He landed in Colonia Juarez where he helped establish a new sanctuary for Mormon polygamists. He left my great-grandfather Flake holding the bag. Flake, on the other hand, was eventually sent to the Yuma Territorial Prison where he served out a six-month sentence for polygamy, after which he returned to Snowflake and his two wives and children and continued to lived happily with them, undisturbed by the law, a revered leader of the community. He later became one of the first Arizona state senators, and died at the age of 94, having produced an extraordinary number of progeny. Romney stayed in Mexico, where Mitt’s father George was born.