moving to site hosted at

No Man Knows My History

One of the early woman academics in the United States was also a scholar and biographer of note. In her well-written work on the early LDS "Mormon" movement, No Man Knows My History, Fawn M. Brodie digs into the depths and torments that possessed Joseph Smith. But even more, she sheds insight and perspective on a seminal controversy in the history of the westward movement. At the heart of that movement was the issue of white relations with American Indians. Was conflict inevitable? Not always.

"Few episodes in American religious history parallel the barbarism of the anti-Mormon persecutions. That the town in which these began should bear the name of Independence only accentuates the tragic irony of the case. Intermittently for thirteen years burnings and pillaging hounded the Mormons wherever they tried to settle in the Mississippi Valley, until it seemed there was something inevitable in the terrorism that bloodied their trail.

"The tenuous shifting area known as the frontier attracted men who though brave and adventurous were often also illiterate, thriftless, and antisocial. Preferring hunting to farming, they packed their wagons and moved on west as soon as neighbors came within gunshot distance. Western Missouri, according to a traveling preacher of the time, had a "a semi-barbarian population constantly pressing on the heels of the retreating savages."

"In ordinary times this class would have sold out to the Mormons and moved on west, but now a barrier hemmed them in. Andrew Jackson in 1830 had fixed the Indian frontier by law, thereby temporarily forbidding them the space for roaming to which they were accustomed, and the vast plains to the west, barren of timber and short of water, did not invite the careless encroachment on Indian territory that had been so common in the central Mississippi Valley.

"The Missourians were irritated by reports of Mormon sermons like those of Oliver Cowdery, who told the Delawares that they "should be restored to all rights and privileges; should cease to fight and kill one another; should become one people; cultivate the earth in peace, in common with the pale faces. . . ." To any frontiersman this was political imbecility.

"Moreover, the Mormons were not luckhunters, eager to move on if new territory opened up or a crop was blistered by frost. They had come to stay till the millennium, buying and building with a kind of desperate haste lest the day of the Lord's coming find their lamps untrimmed. Their very industry counted against them. Professional gamblers, real-estate speculators, and tradesmen, who lived by their wits and swallowed the political emoluments of the county, watched with a dour resentment Mormon cabins springing up and Mormon crops showing green among the tree stumps. "

This account taken from No Man Knows My History. by Fawn M. Brodie. published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. c. 1971. pages 130-131.

Of the Mormon doctrine of plural wives, Gordon Allport, in his The Nature of Prejudice [1954] grants the unsoundness, as social policy, of that doctrine. However, he then proceeds to identify much of the persecution of the early LDS pioneers as a function of bigotry with roots in "a prurience of interest and licentiousness of fantasies" by those obsessed with what they saw as Mormon queerness or nonconformity.

"Opposition to the sect drew nourishment from the conflict that many people had within their own lives."

The Book of Mormon, speaking to Native Americans, states as part of its purpose to reveal to them "what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers."

According to the Book of Mormon, a small band of Israelites under Lehi migrated to the Western Hemisphere about 600 BC. Upon Lehi's death his family divided into two opposing factions, the Lamanates and the Nephites. In course of time, the Lamanites became dark-skinned, the Nephites light-skinned. After numereous wars and alliances, intrigues and conflicts, the Nephites were destroyed.

Ultimately, in Native American past, they received a visit from Jesus Christ, following his resurrection and ascension (3 Nephi), and he preached to them, instructing and encouraging them in the ways of righteousness and glory. Mountainy singer?

LINK: Tanner, Book of Mormon. "The Prophet Joseph Smith called the Book of Mormon "the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion" and said that a person "would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" ... "for it contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ" (D&C 20:8-9).

Links Selections Here are by
Bob Shepherd

Mormon history -- a window into this period of the past

Chief Washakie -- Shoshone leader welcomed Mormon ideals

David Wyman Patten -- the first apostle martyr of the Church see the biography by Lycurgus A. Wilson

Strange correspondences - between Aboriginal American cultures and ancient Hebrew - Shemite tribes

Nansela Matthews, aka Annalee Skarin -- American Mystic A poetic gift, her pen dipped in Heaven

The Puzzle of Annalee Skarin : American Mystic -- excommunicated for rocking the boat?

To be a Woman and a Scholar -- Dorothy Gies McGuigan on Elena Cornaro

First Woman to write in English -- Victor Shepherd on Juliana of Norwich

Gaia and the Gylanic Tradition -- Riane Eisler's The chalice and the blade

Excerpt from intimate history of Jefferson -- by Fawn M. Brodie

Patrick's Shamrock
Honoring the Irish

Simon Bamberger, governor of Utah (1916)
Hosted by