BYU STUDIES Volume 48 • Issue 4 • 2009

by BYU Studies

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This special issue features papers presented in a 2008–9 lecture series on Thomas L. Kane, sponsored by BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library.

A son of a prominent Philadelphia judge, Thomas L. Kane came from a family that was well connected to the political and aristocratic powers of east coast America. In 1846 the governor commissioned Kane as a lieutenant colonel in the state militia, and he carried this title until he became a brigadier general during the Civil War.

Although not a member of any organized religion, Kane honorably defended the Mormons on the national stage for nearly four decades and throughout his life remained a confidant of Young and other Latter-day Saint leaders. As one of the most influential friends of the Mormons, Kane holds an unprecedented place in their history, and his patriarchal blessing promises that his name will be held "in honorable remembrance" among the Saints.

For example, after reading newspaper accounts of the Mormons' 1846 forced exile from Illinois, Kane sought out Mormon leaders in Philadelphia and soon headed west. In Nebraska Territory at the camp known as Winter Quarters, he assisted with the call of the Mormon Battalion and began his lifelong friendship with Brigham Young and other notable Latter-day Saints.

This richly illustrated volume examines the relationship Thomas L. Kane and his wife, Elizabeth W. Kane, had with the Mormons from social, political, and religious perspectives.

Contents - Volume 48 Number 4 (2009)


"Preface" by David J. Whittaker

"Thomas L. Kane and Nineteenth-Century American Culture" by Matthew J. Grow

"'He Is Our Friend': Thomas L. Kane and the Mormons in Exodus, 1846-1850" by Richard E. Bennett

"Thomas L. Kane and the Mormon Problem in National Politics" by Thomas G. Alexander

"'Full of Courage': Thomas L. Kane, the Utah War, and BYU's Kane Collection as Lodestone" by William P. MacKinnon

"Tom and Bessie Kane and the Mormons" by Edward A. Geary

"Touring Polygamous Utah with Elizabeth W. Kane, Winter 1872-1873" by Lowell C. "Ben" Bennion, Thomas R. Carter

"'My Dear Friend': The Friendship and Correspondence of Brigham Young and Thomas L. Kane" by David J. Whittaker

Book Reviews

"Liberty to the Downtrodden": Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer by Matthew J. Grow, reviewed by Charles S. Peterson


Thomas L. Kane: A Guide to the Sources David J. Whittaker

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