Creating outsiders out of uniquely American Faith

While reading an article from the 1881 New York Times I found this comment.

The two foremost men in the Mormon establishment – President [John] Taylor and George Q. Cannon – are of alien birth. No census of the Mormon following, showing the original nationality of each follower, has ever been published. But it is tolerably certain that such a census would prove that the nationality of the Mormons is divided, numerically considered, into something like this relative representation: Scandinavian, English, Welsh, American.

Along with this they also called foreign converts, “rude half animal people.”1

The contention was made by at least two historians, and one I concur with, is that by isolating the church as strangers and outsiders it made attacking polygamy that much easier. Because if they are not one of us you can tear them a part. Because of course they are not “human”.  It is a popular strategy used as well in the United States when describing the reason for Segregation.  Or that African Americans would be labelled as going backwards because they no longer had “whites” ruling over them.


1. Editorial, “The State of Mormondom,” New York Times, April 12, 1881

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One Response to Creating outsiders out of uniquely American Faith

  1. Christopher says:

    Fascinating find, Jon. Thanks for sharing.

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