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The Whore of Babylon and the Abomination of Abominations: Nineteenth-Century Catholic and Mormon Mutual Perceptions and Religious Identity1

  • Matthew J. Grow (a1)
Abstract

In 1846, Oran Brownson, the older brother of the famed Catholic convert Orestes A. Brownson, penned a letter to his brother recounting a dream Orestes had shared with him much earlier. In the dream, Orestes, Oran, and a third brother, Daniel, were “traveling a road together.” “You first left the road then myself and it remains to be seen whether Daniel will turn out of the road (change his opinion),” Oran wrote. At approximately the same period in which Orestes converted to Catholicism “because no other church possessed proper authority,” Oran joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because he believed that “proper authority rests among the Mormons.” Indeed, in an era characterized by denominational proliferation, democratization, and competition, Catholic and Mormon claims to divine authority proved appealing to some Americans, like the Brownsons, wearied by the diversity and disunity of the Protestant world. Oran cautioned Orestes to not trust polemical literature against Mormonism, but to “get your information from friends and not enemies.” Orestes could have repeated the same warning about Catholicism, given the number and intensity of nineteenth-century attacks on both Catholics and Mormons. Leaving mainstream Christianity to join the most despised religions in nineteenth-century America, the Brownson brothers embarked on spiritual quests that few contemporary Americans would have understood, much less approved.

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2. Converts to both Mormonism and Catholicism regularly cited authority claims as a crucial factor in their conversions. For the Mormon case, see De Pillis's Mario classic article, “The Quest for Religious Authority and the Rise of Mormonism,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (spring 1966): 6888; and the exchange between Bushman Richard L., Cletsch William B., and Pillis De in “The Quest for Authority,” Dialogue: A journal of Mormon Thought 1 (summer 1966): 8297. Marvin Hill has similarly argued that early Mormons sought a refuge from the chaotic pluralism of Jacksonian America; see Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1989). For Catholic converts, see Bochen Christine M., The Journey to Rome: Conversion Literature by Nineteenth-Century American Catholics (New York: Garland, 1988), 377, 383. See also Hatch's Nathan description of this era in The Democratization of American Christianity (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989).

3. Oran Brownson, Dublin, Ohio, to Orestes A. Brownson, Boston, Massachusetts, 5 April 1846, Orestes Brownson Collection, Archives of the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana (hereafter Notre Dame Archives). Oran later left Mormonism for Catholicism after reading some books Orestes had sent him; see Oran Brownson to Orestes A. Brownson, undated [1850s?], Orestes Brownson Collection, Notre Dame Archives. See also Lathrop George Parsons, “Orestes Brownson,” Atlantic Monthly 77 (06 1896): 779, which places Oran's conversion to Catholicism in 1860.

4. This is the approach of the influential works of Givens Terryl L., The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997); and Franchot Jenny, Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

5. I will limit my analysis to the perceptions of Catholics and Mormons in America. For helpful analyses of the public image of Mormonism in European Catholic nations, see Decoo Wilfried, “The Image of Mormonism in French Literature: Part I,” BYU Studies 14 (winter 1974): 157–75; Decoo, “The Image of Mormonism in French Literature: Part II,” BYU Studies 16 (winter 1976): 265–76; and Homer Michael W., “The Church's Image in Italy from the 1840s to 1946: A Bibliographic Essay,” BYU Studies 31 (spring 1991): 83114.

6. Davis David Brion, “Some Themes of Counter-Subversion: An Analysis of Anti-Masonic, Anti-Catholic, and Anti-Mormon Literature,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 47 (09 1960): 205–24.

7. For comparisons of anti-Catholicism and anti-Mormonism besides Davis, see Cannon Mark W., “The Crusades Against the Masons, Catholics, and Mormons: Separate Waves of a Common Current,” BYU Studies 3 (winter 1961): 2340; Bunker Gary L. and Bitton Davis, The Mormon Graphic Image, 1832–1914 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1983), 7586; and Gordon Sarah Barringer, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 11, 33, 70, 206. For anti-Catholicism, see Billington Ray Allen, The Protestant Crusade, 1800–1860: A Study of the Origins of American Nativism (New York: Macmillan, 1938); Higham John, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860–1925 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1955); Franchot, Roads to Rome; Pagliarini Marie Ann, “The Pure American Woman and the Wicked Catholic Priest: An Analysis of Anti-Catholic Literature in Antebellum America,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 9 (winter 1999): 97128; and McGreevy John T., Catholicism and American Freedom: A History (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003). For anti-Mormonism, see Givens, The Viper on the Hearth; Pingree Gregory, “‘The Biggest Whorehouse in the World’: Representations of Plural Marriage in Nineteenth-century America,” Western Humanities Review 50 (fall 1996): 213–32; and Eliason Eric A., “Curious Gentiles and Representational Authority in the City of the Saints,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 11 (summer 2001): 155–90.

8. Bitton and Bunker, Mormon Graphic Image, 7594.

9. Reproduced in Bunker and Bitton, Mormon Graphic Image, 85.

10. Strong Josiah, Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis (New York: Baker and Tayler, 1891; reprint, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963, ed. Herbst Jurgen), 109.

11. Givens, Viper on the Hearth, 48, 104–5, 114–15, 146–47.

12. Revelation 17:5.

13. 1 Nephi, chapters 13 and 14. Two of Joseph Smith's canonized revelations from the early 1830s also refer to the Whore of Babylon; see The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981), 29:21 and 86:3.

14. Dursteler Eric, “Inheriting the ‘Great Apostasy’: The Evolution of Mormon Views on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” Journal of Mormon History 28 (fall 2002): 2359. Dursteler argues that the writings on the “Great Apostasy” by early-twentieth-century Mormon theologians reflected the assumptions of nineteenth-century Protestant historiography.

15. Underwood Grant, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 4257.

16. Winchester Benjamin, A History of the Priesthood from the Beginning of the World to the Present Time (Philadelphia, Penn.: Brown, Bicking, and Guilbert, 1843), 79.

17. [Oliver Cowdery], Editor of the Star, “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” Evening and Morning Star (Kirtland, Ohio) 2 (03 1834): 137–38. See also Fielding Joseph, “What is Babylon,” Times and Seasons (Nauvoo, Illinois) 4 (1 09 1843): 314–16, for another early Mormon association of Catholicism with the Whore of Babylon.

18. Pratt Parley P., Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Salt Lake City, 1874; Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1985), 366, 368. Pratt's manuscript letters, which are partially reproduced in his Autobiography, also indicate his harsh views of Catholicism. See especially Pratt, Ship Dracut, Pacific Ocean, to Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 March 1852, and Pratt to Family, 15 September–21 November 1851, Archives, Family and Church History Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. An analysis of Pratt's mission is Palmer A. Delbert and Grover Mark L., “Hoping to Establish a Presence: Parley P. Pratt's 1851 Mission to Chile,” BYU Studies 38 (1999): 115–38.

19. Pratt, Proclamation! Extraordinaria, para los Americanos Espanoles, or Proclamation Extraordinary! To the Spanish Americans (San Francisco, Calif.: Monson, Haswell, 1852). Pratt's pamphlet, written in both Spanish and English, also included a summary of the Mormon complaints about Catholic doctrine and practice. For similar comments from a missionary in Italy who later became Mormonism's fifth prophet, see Snow Lorenzo, The Italian Mission (London: W. Aubery, 1851), 910, 19.

20. Moses Thatcher, Mexico City, to Wells Junius F., 4 August 1881, “Correspondence,” The Contributor 2 (09 1881): 381. See also Godfrey Kenneth W., “Moses Thatcher and Mormon Beginnings in Mexico,” BYU Studies 38 (1999): 139–55.

21. Tobler Douglas F., “Europe, The Church in,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., ed., Ludlow Daniel H., (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 2:269; Tullis F. Lamond, “California and Chile in 1851 as Experienced by the Mormon Apostle Parley P. Pratt,” Southern California Quarterly 67 (fall 1985): 291307; and Tullis, “Early Mormon Exploration and Missionary Activities in Mexico,” BYU Studies 22 (summer 1982): 289310.

22. Eliza R. Snow, Milan, Italy, to Jane S. Richards, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1 January 1873, in Smith George A., Snow Lorenzo, Schettler Paul A., and Snow Eliza R., Correspondence of Palestine Tourists (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 1875; reprint, New York: Arno, 1977), 106–7. For information on Protestant travel narratives in Catholic Europe, see Franchot, Roads to Rome, 1634.

23. Pratt Orson, “Baptism for the Remission of Sins,” The Seer (Washington, D.C.) 2 (04 1854): 255. For information on Pratt, see England Breck, The Life and Thought of Orson Pratt (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1985).

24. Pratt Orson, “Questions and Answers on Doctrine,” The Seer 2 (01 1854): 205–6.

25. Pratt Orson, “New Revelation,” The Seer 2 (05 1854): 258.

26. Pratt Orson, discourse, 10 July 1859, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool, U.K.: Albert Carrington and others, 18531886), 7:184.

27. Pratt Orson, discourse, 10 March 1872, Journal of Discourses, 14:346.

28. Pratt Orson, A Series of Pamphlets by Orson Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Liverpool, U.K.: Franklin D. Richards, 1851), 177–80. See also “Review of the World,” in Pratt, Prophetic Almanac for 1846, 6–13, reprinted in Watson Elden J., The Orson Pratt Journals (Salt Lake City, Utah: Elden Jay Watson, 1975), 243–46.

29. Taylor John, discourse, 12 June 1853, Journal of Discourses, 1:154. For other instances of the mother of harlots/daughter of harlots imagery, see Smith George A., discourse, 15 November 1868, Journal of Discourses, 12:335; Cannon George Q., discourse, 11 June 1871, Journal of Discourses, 14:167–68; and Taylor John, discourse, 8 October 1882, Journal of Discourses, 23:262–63.

30. Thatcher Moses, “Mormon Polygamy and Christian Monogamy,” The Contributor 3 (06 1882): 263.

31. Cannon George Q., discourse, 6 April 1884, Journal of Discourses, 25:127–28. See also Taylor John, discourse, 19 October 1884, Journal of Discourses, 25:383.

32. Young Brigham, discourse, 6 May 1870, Journal of Discourses, 14:13.

33. Whittaker David J., “Early Mormon Polygamy Defenses,” Journal of Mormon History 11 (1984): 4363; Bitton Davis, “Polygamy Defended: One Side of a Nineteenth-Centui Polemic,” in The Ritualization of Mormon History and Other Essays (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 3453.

34. For a good discussion of the development of religious “enclaves,” which define themselves in opposition to the outside community, see Sivan Emmanuel, “The Enclave Culture,” in Fundamentalisms Comprehended, eds. Martin Marty and Scott Appleby (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 1170. For an insightful (though over stated) argument of how Mormons created an identity in opposition to American culture through a “rhetoric of deviance,” see Moore R. Laurence, Religious Outsiders at the Making of Americans (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 2547.

35. For an earlier exception, see Joseph Rosati, St. Louis, Missouri, to John Timon, 1 March 1832, Dame Notre Archives, published in American Catholic Historical Research 14 (1897): 143–44.

36. Following the 1844 martyrdom of Joseph Smith, a writer for the United States Catholic Magazine had similarly reasoned that “however monstrous the doctrine, and however pernicious the practices of a false religion, adherents will be gathered in from those who are guided more by their distempered imaginations than by the safe teaching of God's holy church.” “The Mormons, or Latter Day Saints,” The United States Catholic Magazine and Monthly Review (June 1845): 354–63.

37. Samuel Mazzuchelli to Archbishop Anthony Blanc, 9 February 1858, Notre Dame Archives; Mazzuchelli stated that he had already sent two articles on Mormonism for the Catholic Standard and would send two others. For a brief biographical sketch of Mazzuchelli, see McGreal Mary Nona, “Mazzuchelli, Samuel Charles,” in American National Biography 24 vols., eds. Garraty John A. and Carnes Mark C. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 14:804–5.

38. Turner J. B., Mormonism in All Ages, or the Rise, Progress and Cause of Mormonism (New York: Platt and Peters, 1842), 8, cited in Homer, “The Church's Image in Italy,” 90, 110.

39. Mazzuchelli Samuel, The Memoirs of Father Samuel Mazzuchelli (Chicago: Priory, 1967), 267–73; initially published as Memoire istoriche ed edificanti d'un missionario apostolico dell'Ordine dei Predicatori fra varie tribu di selvaggi e fra i Cattolici e Protestanti negli Stati-Uniti d'America (Milan: coi tipi della Ditta Boniardi-Pogliani, 1846).

40. Carriker Robert C., Father Peter John De Smet: Jesuit in the West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995), 105, 147–48. For a brief biographical sketch, see Forbes Bruce David, “De Smet, Pierre-Jean,” in American National Biography, eds. Garraty and Carnes, 6:486–87.

41. De Smet, extract from a letter to his nephew Charles, March 1851 (original in French), reprinted in Life, Letters and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S. J., 1801–1873, 4 vols., eds. Chittenden Hiram Martin and Richardson Alfred Talbot (New York: Francis P. Harper, 1905; reprint, New York: Arno, 1969), 4:1406. In reality, De Smet's report merely confirmed the Mormons' decision to settle in the Salt Lake Valley; see Arrington Leonard J., Brigham Young: American Moses (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 129.

42. Carriker, Father Peter John De Smet, 146.

43. De Smet to “Very dear Francis,” 12 December 1857, in Chittenden and Richardson, 4:1407–8.

44. Smet De, New Indian Sketches (New York: D. and J. Sadlier, 1865?), 6785.

45. De Smet to the editor of the Précis Historiques (Brussels), 19 January 1858, in Chittenden and Richardson, 4:1408–15. Besides publication in the Précis Historiques, Smet's De letter was published in his Western Missions and Missionaries: A Series of Letters (New York: James B. Kirker, 1868), 390–97. He primarily relied on Hyde John, Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs (New York: W. P. Fetridge, 1857).

46. For a short discussion of Brownson's anti-Mormonism, see Introvigne Massimo, “Old Wine in New Bottles: The Story behind Fundamentalist Anti-Mormonism,” BYU Studies 35:3 (19951996): 4850. For Hecker and Pratt, see Farina John, ed., Isaac T. Hecker: The Diary, Romantic Religion in Ante-bellum America (New York: Paulist, 1988), 158, 194; and Farina, An American Experience of God: The Spirituality of Isaac Hecker (New York: Paulist, 1981), 3338. For the context of Brownson's liberalism in nineteenth-century Catholicism, see McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom, 4390.

47. Brownson, The Spirit-Rapper: An Autobiography (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), 164–67. The experiences of his narrator may well have reflected Brownson's own life. Just two years older than Joseph Smith, Brownson hailed from the same region (even the same town of Royalton for some years) of rural Vermont as the Smith family. In addition, the prominent English Catholic Lord Acton once wrote of a conversation with Brownson, “When I asked him about the Mormons, he told me that they had once hoped to make a Mormon of him and let him learn all the secrets and the true story.” Altholz Josef L. and Conzemius Victor, “Acton and Brownson: A Letter from America,” Catholic Historical Review (January 1964): 525.

48. Brownson, “Christianity and the Church Identical,” Brownson's Quarterly Review (July 1857), republished in Brownson Henry F., ed., The Works of Orestes A. Brownson, (Detroit, Mich.: T. Nourse, 18821887), 12:7576.

49. For Mill's defense of Mormon freedom of religion, see On Liberty and other Writings, ed. Collini Stefan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 9192.

50. For the conciliatory trends in Brownson's writings, see Carey Patrick W., introduction to Orestes A. Brownson: Selected Writings (New York: Paulist, 1991), 36.

51. Brownson, “Our Lady of Lourdes,” Brownson's Quarterly Review 29 (07 1875): 386.

52. Cowdery Oliver, “Extract from the Columbia Hive,” Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate (Kirtland, Ohio) 1 (04 1835): 107; Oliver Cowdery, Boston, Massachusetts, letter to Warren A. Cowdery, Kirtland, Ohio, 24 August 1836, in Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 3 (October 1836): 386–93.

53. Deseret Evening News, 22 March 1886, citing an article from the New York Katholische Volksblatt.

54. Besides a few articles, the history of Catholicism in Utah has not yet been the subject of a scholarly study. Nevertheless, three useful, though celebratory, studies have been published: Harris W. R., The Catholic Church in Utah, Including an Exposition of Catholic Faith (Salt Lake City, Utah: Intermountain Catholic, 1909); Fries Louis J., One Hundred and Fifty Years of Catholicity in Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah: Intermountain Catholic, 1926); and Mooney Bernice Maher, Salt of the Earth: The History of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, 177–1987 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, 1987).

55. Dwyer Robert J., “Pioneer Bishop: Lawrence Scanlan, 1843–1915,” Utah Historical Quarterly 20 (04 1952): 135–58.

56. Besides the reports republished by the Utah Historical Quarterly (cited below), Scanlan's reports can be found in two sources: the papers of the Société de la Propagation de la Foi (available on microfilm at the University of Notre Dame); and in Jerome C. Stoffel, Editor, “Annual Reports to the Société de la Propagation de la Foi, 1873–1894,” unpublished manuscript at the Catholic Archives of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Portions of Scanlan's reports were occasionally published in the Société's journal. See “Etats-Unis: Utah,” Annales de la Propagation de La Foi (Lyon) 47 (1875): 383–84; Annales 49 (1877): 292–95; Annales 55 (1883): 274–80; Annales 59 (1887): 2427. The Bishop of Colorado, Machebeuf Joseph, also wrote reports on Utah that were published in the late 1860s: “Etats-Unis: Vicariat Apostolique de Colorado et Utah,” Annales 40 (1868): 474–81, and “Utah,” Annales 41 (1869): 320–22.

57. Scanlan, Report to Société de la Propagation de la Foi, 2 November 1888, cited in Mooney, Salt of the Earth, 95.

58. Cited in Roberts Brigham H., A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 1930), 5:493.

59. Scanlan, Report to Société de la Propagation de la Foi, 8 November 1880, reproduced in Francis J. Weber, ed., “Father Lawrence Scanlan's Report of Catholicism in Utah, 1880,” Utah Historical Quarterly 34 (fall 1966): 289; Scanlan, Report to Société de la Propagation de la Foi, 12 October 1876, reproduced in McGloin John Bernard, “Two Early Reports Concerning Roman Catholicism in Utah, 1876–1881,” Utah Historical Quarterly 29 (10 1961): 335–41.

60. Lyon T. Edgar, “Religious Activities and Development in Utah, 1847–1910,” Utah Historical Quarterly 35 (fall 1967): 293306.

61. Salt Lake Tribune, 24 April 1876, cited in Dwyer Robert Joseph, The Gentile Comes to Utah:: A Study in Religious and Social Conflict, 1862–1890 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1941), 159. See pages 156–59 for his description of Scanlan's usually conciliatory tactics.

62. Madsen Brigham D., Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990).

63. Denis Kiely, Report to Société de la Propagation de la Foi, 31 October 1879, reproduced in Francis J. Weber, ed., “Catholicism among the Mormons, 1875–79,” Utah Historical Quarterly 44 (spring 1976): 146–47.

64. Quoted in [Mother Austin Carroll] M. A. C., “Forty Years in the American Wilderness,” American Quarterly Catholic Review 15 (1890): 147.

65. Scanlan, “The Doctrine and Claims of the Roman Catholic Church,” Improvement Era 1 (11 1897). Scanlan wrote an additional article in 1908: “Pope Leo XIII,” Improvement Era 6 (August 1908).

66. “The Right Reverend Laurence Scanlan,” Improvement Era 18 (June 1919).

67. Jay P. Dolan, “Catholic Attitudes toward Protestants,” in Bellah Robert N. and Greenspahn Frederick E., Uncivil Religion: Interreligious Hostility in America (New York: Crossroad, 1987), 7285, quote on 79.

68. Carroll, “Forty Years,” 139. Mother Austin Carroll (1836?–1902), a prominent educator and author of historical works, was a leader of the Sisters of Mercy in New Orleans and Mobile. Besides her articles on Mormonism published in the ACQR, she also wrote an article for an Irish periodical: “A Glance at the Latter-day Saints,” The Irish Monthly 18 (June 1890): 309–19. See Muldrey Mary Hermenia, Abounding in Mercy: Mother Austin Carroll (New Orleans, La.: Habersham, 1988).

69. “The Two Prophets of Mormonism,” Catholic World 26 (November 1877): 227.

70. [Mother Austin Carroll] M.A.C., “About the Utah Saints,” American Quarterly Catholic Review 20 (1895): 492.

71. Carroll, “Forty Years,” 128. See also Clinche Bryan, “The Mormon Question and the United States Government,” American Quarterly Catholic Review 9 (1884): 279; [Mother Austin Carroll] M. A. C., “When Brigham Young Was King,” American Quarterly Catholic Review 15 (1890): 296; and Corcoran James, “Martin Luther and His American Worshippers,” American Quarterly Catholic Review 9 (07 1884): 550–51. Corcoran argued that Luther's permission of polygamy paved the way for Mormon success in Protestant Europe, as it is “only where Luther prepared his way that the Mormon evangelist finds willing ears to hear his message.”

72. Russell Charles Lord of Killowen, Diary of a Visit to the United States of America in the Year 1883 (New York: United States Catholic Historical Society, 1910), 154. In general, Russell, whose diary was only published posthumously, took a much more balanced stance towards the Saints than did the published American authors. See Russell, Diary, 148–55.

73. Weninger Francis Xavier S.J., “Father Weninger on the Pacific Coast,” Woodstock Letters 1 (1872): 184.

74. Carroll, “About the Utah Saints,” 497.

75. Carroll, “Forty Years,” 145; see also Carroll, “When Brigham Young Was King,” 295. After reading this article, Edward Kelly, the priest who almost “converted” Young, wrote to Father Daniel Hudson, editor of Ave Maria, describing himself as the “pioneer missionary of our holy Church among the Mormons” and promised to send Hudson an article about his experience in Utah. See Kelly, Los Angeles, California, to Hudson, Notre Dame, Indiana, 25 February 1890, Notre Dame Archives.

76. Shea John Gilmary, “Puritanism in New England,” American Catholic Quarterly Review 9 (1884): 81.

77. Clinche, “The Mormon Question,” 274, 283–85.

78. Carroll, “About the Utah Saints,” 495. See also “Two Prophets of Mormonism,” 239.

79. Hecker Isaac T., “The Relation of the Rights of Conscience to the Authority of the State Under the Laws of the Republic,” Catholic World 16 (03 1873): 723. See also, “A Plea for Liberty of Conscience,” Catholic World 7 (July 1868): 439: “Mormonism has no rights under our laws, and ought not to be tolerated.”

80. For Irish Catholic attempts to reconcile their memory of the Civil War, see Miller Randall, “Catholic Religion, Irish Ethnicity, and the Civil War,” in Religion and the American Civil War, eds. Miller, Stout Harry S., and Wilson Charles Reagan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 283–86; and Warren Craig A., “‘Oh, God, What a Pity!’: The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg and the Creation of Myth,” Civil War History 47 (09 2001): 193221.

81. Carroll, “About the Utah Saints,” 489.

82. Gibbon John, “The Mormons,” American Quarterly Catholic Review 4 (1879): 665.

83. Carroll, “When Brigham Young Was King,” 289.

84. “Two Prophets of Mormonism,” 249.

85. Gibbon, “The Mormons,” 678–79.

86. Carroll, “About the Utah Saints,” 488.

87. Clinche, “The Mormon Question,” 278–79.

88. Review of Kennedy James Henry, Early Days of Mormonism: Palmyra, Kirtland, and Nauvoo (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1888) in Catholic World 47 (August 1888): 717–18.

89. Gibbons James Cardinal, Our Christian Heritage (Baltimore, Md.: John Murphy, 1889), 484–86. In this popular book, Gibbons echoed the assertions he had made two years earlier in “Some Defects in Our Political and Social Institutions,” North American Review 145 (October 1887): 345–55. An important Church congress held in Baltimore in 1889 endorsed Gibbons' views. See Official Report of the Proceedings of the Catholic Congress, Held at Baltimore, Md., November 11th and 12th, 1889 (Detroit, Mich.: William M. Hughes, 1889), 127–28.

90. See Gordon, The Mormon Question, for the most recent and insightful study of the legal, social, and religious campaign against polygamy.

91. Shipps, “From Satyr to Saint,” in Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 66. Shipps bases her conclusion on an exhaustive survey of Mormon image in the American periodical press beginning in 1860. In so doing, she challenges earlier interpretations, most prominently associated with historian Klaus J. Hansen that the “true target of the anti-polygamy campaign was not polygamy so much as it was the temporal (social, economic, and political) power of the Mormon church hierarchy”; see Shipps, “From Satyr to Saint,” 62, and Hansen, Quest for Empire: The Political Kingdom of God and the Council of Fifty in Mormon History (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1967). Other studies that closely examine the Mormon image in the nineteenth century largely support Shipps' position, including Givens, Viper on the Hearth; Lyman Edward Leo, Political Deliverance: The Mormon Quest for Utah Statehood (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986); and Bunker and Bitton, Mormon Graphic Image, 3435.

92. For biographical information, see O'Donaghue D. J., The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of Irish Writers of English Verse (Dublin: Hodges Figgis, 1912). Richardson published two books of poetry: Marion Muir Richardson Ryan, Border Memories (Denver, 1903) and Shadows of the Sunset, and Other Poems (1918). For brief information on Hudson, whose extensive papers are housed at the University of Notre Dame, see Delaney John J., Dictionary of American Catholic Biography (New York: Doubleday, 1984), 267. For a Mormon response to Richardson's accusations, see “What's Wrong with the ‘Post,’” Deseret Evening News, 28 July 1902.

93. Marion Muir Richardson to Father Daniel Hudson, Notre Dame, Indiana, 19 March 1902, Daniel Hudson Collection, Notre Dame Archives.

94. Richardson to Hudson, Notre Dame, Indiana, 5 September 1898, Hudson Collection, Notre Dame Archives.

95. Richardson to Hudson, 19 March 1902.

96. Richardson to Hudson, 5 September 1898.

97. Richardson to Hudson, Notre Dame, Indiana, 25 March 1900, Hudson Collection, Notre Dame Archives.

98. Richardson, Morrison, Colorado, to Hudson, Notre Dame, Indiana, 17 January 1902, Hudson Collection, Notre Dame Archives.

99. Richardson, Grand County, Utah, to Hudson, Notre Dame, Indiana, 16 December 1899, Hudson Collection, Notre Dame Archives. Besides those already cited, see the letters from Richardson to Hudson dated 11 October 1898, 12 March 1899, 20 November 1899, 27 January 1900, and 26 March 1902.

100. “The Menace of Mormonism,” Ave Maria 50 (March 24, 1900): 370–73.

101. The best treatment of this period is Alexander Thomas, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986). See also Shipps Jan, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1985), 109–49.

102. For the most famous incident, see Walker Ronald W., Wayward Saints: the Godbeites and Brigham Young (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998).

103. For good accounts of the debates between liberals and conservatives, see McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom, and Dolan Jay P., In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).

104. While Philip Gleason's contention of thirty years ago that “Americanization is the grand theme in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States” has been mitigated by the rise of studies emphasizing the distinct experiences of ethnic Catholics, his observation still reflects Catholic historiography. See Gleason, “Coming to Terms with American Catholic History,” Societas 3 (autumn 1973): 305; Moore, Religious Outsiders, 4850.

105. Wallace Les, Rhetoric of Anti-Catholicism: The American Protective Association, 1887–1911 (New York: Garland, 1990), 120–60; and Kinzer Donald L., An Episode in Anti-Catholicism: The American Protective Association (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964).

106. Moore, Religious Outsiders, quote on 59; see also 48–71. On the Americanist controversy, see also Dolan, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), 294320; and Appleby R. Scott, “Church and Age Unite!” The Modernist Impulse in American Catholicism (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992).

107. The Catholic World supported the Americanists, while the American Quarterly Catholic Review was generally conservative, though often refrained from explicitly taking sides. The Ave Maria was generally viewed as independent and supported both sides on particular issues. See McAvoy Thomas T., The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895–1900 (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1957), 7980, 376–77.

108. Givens, Viper on the Hearth, 15. For a perceptive essay on the “narcissism of minor difference,” as applied to the Bosnian War, see Ignatieff Michael, The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1997), 3471.

109. The relationship of Mormons and Catholics has continued to evolve in the twentieth century as both have largely entered the American mainstream. A future study could profitably examine how their rhetorical strategies towards each other have changed as both have gone from despised outsiders to (in the view of many observers) quintessential Americans.

1 I would like to acknowledge the generous assistance of Jim Turner, Patrick Mason, George Marsden, John McGreevy, Jay Dolan, and the anonymous reviewers for this journal, as well as the participants of two settings where earlier versions of this paper were presented: the May 2003 conference of the Mormon History Association and Notre Dame's Colloquium on Religion and History.

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Church History
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  • EISSN: 1755-2613
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