Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Philip Barlow

Abstract

For many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first two presidents loom larger in memory and importance than any others. This seems to be the case with scholars of Mormonism as well. Joseph Smith, founder of the church, has been called a "religious genius." His successor, Brigham Young, possessed genius of another kind--he was a masterful organizer. While academic attention has produced a torrent of scholarship on Smith's religious innovations, Young's organizational skills have understandably been obscured by, or incorporated in, the larger theocracy, the public introduction and practice of polygamy, and the conflict between the burgeoning Mormon community and the federal government. Yet, even when Young is mundane activities are glossed over, if not ignored completely. An important example of these omissions is his tours of the Mormon settlements. While the tours have been mentioned incidentally in several works both on Young and Mormonism, no study of any substance has been produced.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on May 23, 2011.

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