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The Mormon MenaceViolence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South$
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Patrick Mason

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740024.001.0001

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The Lustful Lout

The Lustful Lout

The Murder of Joseph Standing

(p.21) 2 The Lustful Lout
The Mormon Menace

Patrick Q. Mason (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

On the morning of July 21, 1879, LDS missionaries Joseph Standing and Rudger Clawson were abducted by a posse of a dozen armed men. The vigilantes charged the elders with coming to Georgia “for the purpose of stealing their wives and daughters and taking them to Utah.” In a sudden melee, one of the vigilantes fired into Standing’s face, and the missionary died several hours later. In the aftermath of Standing’s murder, Mormons portrayed themselves as innocent victims of religious intolerance. Native Georgians painted a different picture, denouncing the moral bankruptcy of the Mormon elders and the threat they posed to the Christian morality of southern homes, communities, and women. Standing in particular was depicted in newspapers as a “lustful lout” who had spent his mission defiling the female population of northern Georgia.

Keywords:   Standing, vigilantes, missionaries, Georgia, intolerance, murder

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