When Law Fails: Joseph Smith and the Persecution of the Mormons

February 26th FH 216 at 7:30 PM.

When Law Fails: Joseph Smith and the Persecution of the Mormons.

Richard Bushman, Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University and award winning author, discusses the dilemmas faced by an unpopular religious group when the law can’t, or won’t, protect them. Bushman will draw on the story of the early Mormons who, during the years of 1830-1844, were driven by mob violence from New York, to Ohio, to Missouri, and eventually to Illinois. In 1844 with the assassination of Joseph Smith (Mormon leader, mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, and US presidential candidate) the majority of Mormons moved outside the boundaries of the United States to the then unsettled Salt Lake Valley (present day Utah). The Mormon case raises the question:  How can weak minorities best respond when the law abandons them?

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