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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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Patterns and Context of Southern Anti-Mormon Violence

Patterns and Context of Southern Anti-Mormon Violence

(p.127) 7 Patterns and Context of Southern Anti-Mormon Violence
The Mormon Menace

Patrick Q. Mason (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Anti-Mormon violence represented the most common sort of violence against religious minorities—black Christians excepted—in the postbellum South. Vigilantes targeted hundreds of Latter-day Saints, including some converts and sympathizers but focusing particularly on missionaries. Mormons were whipped, kidnapped, forcibly expelled from towns or even their own homes, and in a few instances killed. Property damage was also extensive, through arson, shootings, and confiscation. Postbellum southern anti-Mormon violence should be understood as a particular set of interactions between Mormons and white southerners, with specific actions and reactions embedded in local, regional, and national contexts. This chapter describes the patterns of southern anti-Mormon violence, examines its geographic and historical setting, and situates it within the long tradition of American vigilantism that retained a special hold in the postbellum South even as it was dying out in the rest of the country.

Keywords:   violence, religious minorities, patterns, context, vigilantism, South

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