“The Mormons: A Discourse…” by Thomas L. Kane

In this unique discourse originally delivered to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Thomas L. Kane, a non-Mormon, offers a sympathetic account of the exodus from Nauvoo and early settlement of Utah. We have lots of documents from Mormon pioneers, and lots of anti-Mormon stuff, but this type of thing–by a non-Mormon, for non-Mormons, without being negative–is relatively uncommon, making it particularly interesting. As he met with the saints on the plains, saw Nauvoo, etc. he can narrate first-hand.

Kane, who depending on your households’s Mormon history buff quotient may or may not be a household name, is famous for using his political connections in support of the Church. During the exodus he pulled strings to create the Mormon Battalion and gain permission for the saints to temporarily occupy Indian territory. Later, he was offered the first governorship of the Utah territory (he declined and recommended Brigham Young), played a mediation role in the Utah War, and served as the executor of Brigham Young’s will. So beyond being an interesting observer, he’s significant in his own right.

At a bit under 100 pages, this should be a quick read. Have a look.

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