Here’s the lead from an article in today’s New York Times: “IN the 1830â€™s, when menâ€™s pants were first tailored with buttons visible down the front of the fly, the Mormon leader Brigham Young discouraged the population from wearing them, calling them ‘fornication pants.’”
I’ve heard statements like this before, and Google shows that it is repeated fairly frequently. Often Brigham is quoted as calling out jeans in general, not just button fly trousers, though as far as I know jeans weren’t really around until the 1850s. Whatever the supposed quote, there is never a source cited, and Google, at least from my cursory review, doesn’t show the quote appearing in any Mormon sources. Does anyone know where this comes from? What exactly did Brigham say, and when did he say it?