Forgotten Kingdom: The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847-1896by David L. Bigler
Mormonism's formative years in the West have never been evaluated with the clarity and objectivity David L. Bigler brings to the story of our nation's most unique territory and its proud and peculiar people. Forgotten Kingdom combines an insightful understanding of the theology of early Mormonism with a lifetime of research into federal and LDS church sources to
Mormonism's formative years in the West have never been evaluated with the clarity and objectivity David L. Bigler brings to the story of our nation's most unique territory and its proud and peculiar people. Forgotten Kingdom combines an insightful understanding of the theology of early Mormonism with a lifetime of research into federal and LDS church sources to forge a creative reinterpretation of this fascinating and contentious history.
Early settlement, Indian affairs, the Reformation, handcart migration, and much more are discussed in the early chapters. Forgotten Kingdom objectively evaluates some of the most troublesome puzzles in Mormonism's history and presents some intriguing solutions to many of its mysteries. The bitter political battle between the federal government and the Mormon church is told with special emphasis on the forgotten men and women who lived with its consequences. Meeting the standards of the most demanding scholarship, Forgotten Kingdom tells a story so odd and interesting that it both challenges and entertains. Bigler's gentle wit seldom misses the high irony of a story that has entertained Western observers since Samuel Clemens.
A fascinating cast of little-known Latter-day Saints, including Hannah Tapfield King, Joseph Morris, Jeter Clinton, Sylvanus Collett, George Reynolds, Lydia Spencer Clawson, and George Hill, shows both the diversity of opinion within the faith and the devotion of its people to their institutions.
The Utah War of 1857 was a pivotal episode in Utah's history. This event and those which led up to it are often given scant treatment in previous histories of the period. The reader will find the author's meticulous research and clear prose enlightening on this topic and others.
California, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, and other western lands were impacted by the Mormon theocracy's battle for independence. Nevada became a separate entity because its early settlers rejected theocratic rule and Congress determined to cut Mormon domains back to governable size. This history is not limited to Utah, but reflects a broad view of the history of the Far West.
Patrick E. Connor, Daniel S. Tuttle, Duncan J. McMillan, Charles S. Zane, Robert N. Baskin, Caleb W. West, Clarence E. Allen, and many others are among the forgotten leaders whose role in the Americanization of Mormonism is often overlooked in the traditional histories. Their stories are told in this volume.
Meet the Author
Independent historian David L. Bigler is a Utah native, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and a University of Utah graduate in journalism. He received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Southern Utah State College at Cedar City, now Southern Utah University. He retired as director of public affairs for U.S. Steel in 1986 to devote full time to Mormon and western history. He is a fellow and an honorary life member, Utah State Historical Society; a former director, Utah State Board of History and Friends of University of Utah Libraries; and past president, Oregon-California Trails Association. His books and articles have won awards from the Utah State Historical Society, Westerners International and The Mormon History Association. His books include The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, University of Utah Press, 1990; Forgotten Kingdom: The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847-1896, Arthur H. Clark, 1998; Army of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives, with Will Bagley, Arthur H. Clark, 2000; A Winter with the Mormons: The 1852 Letters of Jotham Goodell, Marriott Library, University of Utah, 2001; Fort Limhi: The Mormon Adventure in Oregon Territory, 1855-1857, Arthur H. Clark, 2003; and, with Will Bagley, Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Arthur H. Clark, 2008. He and his wife, Evah, reside in Roseville, California.
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