Skip to main content

“Quell the Raging Ocean’s Wave”: Thomas L. Kane and the Utah War

Thomas L. Kane
In the Spring 2014 semester, one of my classes was a Utah history course. As with essentially any upper-division history course, I had to write a term paper. I chose to write mine on Thomas L. Kane’s involvement in preventing the Utah War. Kane is arguably the most important and influential non-Mormon in Mormon history. As such, I figured it might be worth re-posting the paper here for public consumption (I have reformatted it so it looks fairly professional).



Unlike most of the historical topics taken up here on my little web space, this is not especially controversial or faith shaking; I’ve made no extended (and boring) argument and analysis of evidence. This is just some good, ole’-fashioned narrative history, folks. I’ve not really added anything substantive to our body of knowledge on Kane and the Utah War (it is just an undergrad term paper, after all). This paper won’t place me in the ranks of the great Kane scholars, or Utah War historians or anything of the sort. But I tell a little piece of what is, I think, a rather interesting story. I opted to leave the works cited pages attached so as to make a convenient list of additional sources one can pursue to get the rest of the story on either Kane or the Utah War. And (I think) it’s an easy read. So if you are even slightly into history, and specifically Mormon/Utah history, then this little piece might interest you.

On a personal note, I would like to formally dedicate the paper to Roger C. Blomquist, who was my teacher for the course, but was let go at the end of the semester. He was a phenomenal teacher who showed great passion for the subject matter, and gladly presented it on a level that the lowly masses could understand, rather than just address academics in increasingly irrelevant “in-house” conversation. We need more professors like him, not less. 

Comments

  1. "Kane is arguably the most important and influential non-Mormon in Mormon history."

    I may be biased since my work with the Joseph Smith Papers was on the Missouri War, but if you ask me Alexander Doniphan was more influential than Kane.

    He just, like, you know, stopped Joseph Smith from being illegally executed in 1838. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I did say "arguably." There are certainly a number of other candidates. But while Doniphan stopped the execution of Joseph Smith and a handful leaders, Kane stopped what potentially would have turned into the slaughter of many, many Saints, with the leaders like Brigham Young being prime targets. Seriously, without Kane's intervention, I don't know that the Church survives.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

“The Dominant Narrative is Not True”: Some Thoughts on Recent Remarks by Richard Bushman

The following is making its rounds on Facebook (from this video):Questioner: In your view do you see room in Mormonism for several narratives of a religious experience or do you think that in order for the Church to remain strong they would have to hold to that dominant narrative?
Richard Bushman: I think that for the Church to remain strong it has to reconstruct its narrative. The dominant narrative is not true; it can’t be sustained. The Church has to absorb all this new information or it will be on very shaky grounds and that's what it is trying to do and it will be a strain for a lot of people, older people especially. But I think it has to change. As I have seen this quote flash across my Facebook news feed and thought about how to make sense of it, I have been reminded of the short essay response questions I would often have on tests or assignments in college or even high school. It would not be uncommon for these questions to be built around a quote from an important schola…

Book of Mormon Day Reading

The Book of Mormon first went up for sale on March 26, 1830, at the E.B. Grandin Bookstore in Palmyra, NY. Tomorrow will mark the 187th anniversary of that occasion. In those intervening years, the book has had a major impact on countless lives—including my own. I love the Book of Mormon, and have a firm testimony of its truth. I can personally tell you that research into all kinds of questions about the book has only served to strengthen my testimony. It is a remarkable book, which will wear you out long before you make a dent in it, as Hugh Nibley said (pretty sure that is a direct quote, but too lazy to double check).

For those who would like to reflect on the Book of Mormon’s coming forth and long term impact in the last (almost) two centuries, I’ve compiled the following list of KnoWhys from Book of Mormon Central.
Moroni’s Visits to Joseph Smith

Why Did Moroni Quote Isaiah 11 to Joseph Smith?Why Did Moroni Deliver the Plates on September 22?

Translation

Why Did the Book of Mormon C…