Thomas L. Kane and Nineteenth-Century American Culture



From nearly the moment Thomas L. Kane (fig. 1) walked into Mormon history in 1846, Latter-day Saint leaders promised that his name would long be honored by the Mormons. In part they wanted to bolster Kane’s determination to take the deeply controversial stance of defending the Saints. When Kane announced his decision to travel to the Mormon refugee camps in Iowa in 1846, his family responded with panic. His father, John, saw only potential ruin in involvement with such a disreputable cause. “The case has no bright side,” he lamented, as Tom “is about to deal a blow to his own character as a right minded man, which he will feel through life.” He considered it the “veriest hallucination that ever afflicted an educated mind. It bows me in sorrow. All but this I could bear.”1

The Mormons, however, immediately recognized the value of such a well-connected individual, and they treated Kane as royalty when he arrived. When he spoke in public, the applause was “positively deafening.” Kane told his parents, “I am idolized by my good friends.”2 In September 1846, as Kane prepared to leave the camps, Patriarch John Smith (fig. 2), an uncle of Joseph Smith, promised him in a patriarchal blessing, “Thy name shall be had in honorable remembrance among the Saints to all generations.”3

As Kane defended the Mormons for nearly the next four decades, Latter-day Saint leaders often reiterated this promise. In 1847, Elder Willard Richards rejoiced “that there is one Master Spirit, one noble soul inspired by heaven, in the nineteenth century, who wills that truth shall flow forth, . . . concerning an opprest and a suffering people.”4 Mormons renamed their principal town in Iowa, Council Bluffs, to Kanesville. Following the publication of Kane’s influential 1850 pamphlet, The Mormons, Elder Orson Hyde (fig. 3) told Kane this work “will forever immortalize your name in the records, and in the memory of the Saints.”5 And when Kane arrived in Salt Lake City in 1857 to mediate the Utah War, Brigham Young promised, “Brother Thomas the Lord sent you here and he will not let you die. . . . I want to have your name live with the Saints to all Eternity. You have done a great work and you will do a greater work still.”6

The Saints had little doubt of Kane’s divinely appointed role as their defender. After the Utah War, Eleanor McComb Pratt (fig. 4), widow of the slain Elder Parley P. Pratt, wrote to Kane that he was “inspired by God to stand in the defence of oppressed innocence, and inasmuch as you continue to act obedient to this inspiration I know the God of Israel will bless you and millions will rise up and call you blessed.”7 In 1864, as a symbol of their gratitude, the Saints named a county in southern Utah after Kane.

Nineteenth-century Mormons saw the world in dichotomies: good and evil, pure and corrupt, Saint and Gentile. Their historical narratives emphasized their persecution at the hands of a wicked nation. However, Kane was a reminder that not everyone could be placed into these simple categories; to the nineteenth-century Mormon mind, he was proof that God occasionally used outsiders (or “Gentiles,” as they would have said) to protect Zion and further his work.

Nineteenth-century Americans also thought in dichotomies when they noted the growth of Mormonism, which they considered fraudulent and dangerous to American democracy and to the sanctity of the monogamous family. They had no category in which to place an individual like Kane, who, though not a Mormon, worked on their behalf. This suspicious attitude contributed to the rumors that swirled for decades that Kane had been baptized secretly and worked not as a humanitarian but as a covert Mormon.8

Since Kane’s death in 1883, Mormon leaders have frequently returned to their promise to remember their nineteenth-century champion. In 1939, E. Kent Kane, a grandson of Kane, visited Utah and, along with Church President Heber J. Grant, recreated his grandparents’ 1872 journey from Salt Lake City to St. George with Brigham Young, which Thomas’s wife, Elizabeth, memorialized in her classic book Twelve Mormon Homes.9 In the 1940s, Church President George Albert Smith encouraged E. Kent Kane to write a biography of his grandfather with Church official Frank Evans. Smith instructed, “I feel that the Church should rise to its duty and its opportunity” to recognize “the sacrifices, the devotion, and the great achievements of our distinguished friend who so valiantly served us in our times of greatest need.”10 Although the book was worked on intermittently for decades, it was never finished. Smith also invited E. Kent Kane to be a rare non-Mormon speaker at a session of the Church’s semiannual general conference.11 In the 1950s, Utah philanthropist and history booster Nicholas Morgan commissioned a statue of Kane, which identified him as a “Friend of the Mormons,” for the Utah State Capitol. Morgan also funded the publication of a biography of Kane, Albert Zobell’s Sentinel in the East, which focused on Kane’s involvement with the Latter-day Saints.12

In the early 1970s, the Church purchased a Presbyterian chapel in Kane, Pennsylvania, which Kane had constructed in the late 1870s and where he is buried. In support of the Church’s action, two of Kane’s grandchildren (E. Kent Kane and Sybil Kent Kane) wrote in the local newspaper, the Kane Republican, that Kane “is a man far better known and honored in Utah today than here in Kane, Pa.” Church leader Norman Bowen stated, “It is the desire of the Church to protect and preserve the final resting place of this great man . . . as well as to collect for posterity his papers and effects, for the edification of the public and future generations.”13 The chapel (fig. 5) has since been used as a Mormon meetinghouse and as a historical site commemorating Kane’s assistance to the Saints. The Thomas L. Kane Memorial Chapel, however, has drawn relatively few visitors as a result of its location and is no longer open on a regular basis.

Beginning in 1998, the Mormon History Association has bestowed a Thomas L. Kane Award each year at its annual meeting on “a person outside of the Mormon community who made a significant contribution to Mormon history.”14

Thus, Kane’s legacy has been passed down in memory primarily as a “friend of the Mormons” and as their “sentinel in the East.” Viewing Kane exculsively through a Mormon lens, however, has obscured the rest of his life as well as his motivations for embracing the Mormon cause. Immersing Kane into his own social and cultural contexts, particularly nineteenth-century social reform, illuminates both his life and the lives of other reformers of his era.

Anti-Evangelical, Democratic, Romantic Reform

The sheer volume of documents by and about Kane and the broad range of his interests make the search for thematic unity in his life difficult. Among his many humanitarian causes, Kane championed the end of the death penalty, peace, women’s rights, the establishment of inner-city schools for young children, the abolition of slavery, and liberty for religious minorities. Besides being a reformer, Kane worked as a law clerk, a lawyer, a Civil War general, and a large-scale land developer. In addition, he was a man of both apparent and real paradoxes: a peacemaker who became a general; an antislavery crusader who longed for the chivalrous world of the southern gentry; a cosmopolitan gentleman who spent his last twenty-five years in the rustic Alleghenies; a Jacksonian Democrat who became a Free Soiler and then a Republican; a Presbyterian attracted to Auguste Comté’s “Religion of Humanity” and atheism before settling on an antidenominational Christianity; an abolitionist who feared racial mixing; a diminutive, fragile, often depressed, and feminine-looking man with a pattern of aggressively masculine actions.15

Notwithstanding these contrasts, Kane’s choices have an underlying unity that sheds light on like-minded social reformers who were historically important but who have been largely dismissed by the past generation of historians. In the decades before the Civil War, as the United States embraced a market economy and democratic politics, reform movements swept across the country, aiming to improve nearly every aspect of American society. In 1841, Kane’s friend Ralph Waldo Emerson (fig. 6) captured the spirit of the times: “In the history of the world the doctrine of Reform had never such scope as at the present hour,” as reformers sought to change “Christianity, the laws, commerce, schools, the farm, the laboratory.” In Emerson’s estimation, a reformer “cast aside all evil customs, timidities, and limitations” to fight injustices and to “find or cut a straight road to everything excellent in the earth, and not only go honorably himself, but make it easier for all who follow him.”16

Historians have generally located the roots of nineteenth-century reform in the religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening. Emphasizing the duty of Christians to engage actively in society through revivalism and social reform, Evangelical Protestants became the religious and cultural mainstream of American life in the early and mid-1800s. Hoping to perfect individuals and to create a Christian America, they established interdenominational reform societies, which historians have dubbed the “Benevolent Empire.” Evangelical reformers found further motivation in Whig Party politics and in the Whig philosophy of orderly economic growth, moral and religious reform, deference to elites, and suspicion of cultural and religious diversity. The religious, economic, and intellectual center of this type of reform remained in New England and among Yankee migrants in New York and the Old Northwest even as its influence spread across the nation.17

In contrast, Kane represents reformers driven by Democratic Party ideology, romanticism, and anti-Evangelicalism. The antebellum Democratic Party has often been seen as the party of slaveholders and interpreted as being intensely hostile to reform. However, the party spurred a reform vision inspired by its egalitarian impulses and more inclusive views of religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity.18 Romanticism, with its emphasis on the individual and its belief in human perfectibility, also profoundly shaped the ethos of Kane and similar reformers. He, like other romantics, was suspicious of traditional religion, though many retained a deep religious sensibility. Furthermore, romanticism prompted such reformers to defend those on society’s margins and to declare war against human suffering.19 An obituary insightfully labeled Kane’s philosophy as “liberty to the down-trodden.”20 Kane and other reformers positioned themselves against mainstream Evangelicalism and Evangelical reformers. In these reformers’ views, the Benevolent Empire encouraged clerical meddling in politics and blurred the separation of church and state. Thus, Kane’s reform roots were far from unique; rather, they are emblematic of a larger community of reformers who contributed as much to nineteenth-century reform as did their Whig, Evangelical counterparts.

Raised in a wealthy and socially prominent Philadelphia family, Thomas Kane wrote that he had been “born with the gold spoon in [his] mouth, to station and influence and responsibility,” which required him to be “an earnest missionary of Truth and Progress and Reform.”21 His mother, Jane Duval Leiper, came from a politically powerful and aristocratic Philadelphia family, and his father, John Kintzing Kane, became a nationally known Democratic Party insider and a prominent federal judge. John’s connections with Democratic Presidents James Polk and James Buchanan opened the White House doors to Thomas, enabling him to raise the Mormon Battalion and mediate the Utah War. Thomas’s talented older brother and close confidant, Elisha (fig. 7), with whom he shared a sickly disposition and a voracious ambition, overshadowed him during his life and became an international hero as an Arctic explorer before dying at a tragically young age. Thomas described Elisha as one who “spends his life doing the fine things that ladies love and men envy.”22

As with many of his counterparts, Thomas viewed reform in a transatlantic context. As a young man in the early 1840s, he took two journeys to England and France. During his Parisian adventures, Thomas met (and became a sometime disciple of) the philosopher Auguste Comté, the father of positivism, whose vision of a “Religion of Humanity” fueled Thomas’s humanitarian drive and religious unorthodoxy.23 Thomas’s parents hoped his European journeys would improve his perpetually fragile health. While in Europe, he stated that he had overcome his former “deficiency of vitality,” which had led to “blind fatalism” and to “laziness.” “Such as I am, you will find me active—a doing person,” he pledged to his father.24 He tried to assure his mother that his time in France had converted him to a “wholesome conservatism of ideas” and that he would not come “back to you a destructive, a radical” but rather a “lover of the respectabilities, an abhorrer of social changes.”25 Elizabeth, his future wife, more correctly diagnosed his attitude, suggesting he had told his mother what she had undoubtedly wished to hear. Upon his return, Elizabeth wrote, “he threw himself with youthful heat into numerous reform movements of which the general drift was an introduction of advanced French politics into American.”26

Anti-Evangelicalism and a Religious Quest

Events shortly after his return, as well as family influences, solidified Thomas’s reform trajectory. John Kane, a staunch Presbyterian, supported the Old School faction during the denominational split of the late 1830s and shared with other Old Schoolers a deep suspicion of the Evangelical reform embraced by their New School coreligionists. Furthermore, he was a Mason and a committed Democrat, whereas most Evangelicals voted Whig and Anti-Mason.27 Following Thomas’s 1844 return from Paris, John expressed his exasperation with the “fanaticism” of Evangelical reform, which “has run itself nearly out of breath on Abolition and Temperance: and now it has taken hold of the Bible.”28 Catholic complaints about the use of the Protestant Bible in Philadelphia public schools led to the formation of a nativist party and riots in the streets of Philadelphia between nativists and Catholics. As a member of a local militia, Thomas “stood sentinel with a musket for four nights” to help end the riots. John Kane, who helped organize the citizens’ response to end the riots, wrote that the events gave Thomas—who had come home with “good resolves to mingle with the World around him and be a part of it”—a “fair opportunity of testing the strength both of these resolves and of his bodily frame.”29

Significantly, the Kanes blamed the riots on the clergy. After a visit from the Reverend Cornelius C. Cuyler, the Kanes’ pastor who had been active in the nativist campaign, Thomas mocked him as “St. Cornelius” and lambasted the “profound Theologian” for his criticism of a religiously diverse society: “‘No Church ought to exist contrary to the wishes of the great part of the population of a Country, or to the sense of a Community opposed to its tenets.’” Kane snickered that Cuyler, “a man active in sending Missionaries among all manner of Heathen Majorities,” failed to see the irony.30 The riots deepened Thomas’s distrust of Evangelical reformers and illustrated for him the necessity of religious liberty for minority groups.

Thomas Kane’s own religious unorthodoxy further enabled his commitment to radical reform. As a young man, Kane even had designs to create a “religion suited to the 19th century—a religion containing in itself women—slaves—industrial classes . . . finally a religion of movement.” He, however, “lost [his] noble aspirations” and burned his religious writings.31 In France, he admired Catholicism, saying, “perhaps if I were a Christian I might become a Catholic.”32 To his mother he mocked the long list of frequently condemned Evangelical vices, pledging, “I’ll not drink juleps or cocktails, nor cobblers, nor go to horse races, cockfights or theatres, nor keep a setter dog, sulky & trotter, or mistress, nor chew tobacco, smoke, or snuff, nor play taro cards or billiards, nor marry a chambermaid.” Rising to his own rhetoric, Kane wrote, “I will try to be a good child, a comfort & not a torment to you and Papa and possibly even go to church every Sunday, and say the Sermon was good by pious falsehood, and the long prayer was not long.” He would further pay his “Pew Rents” and support the “diverse respective Bible Tract, Missionary and other Societies, and persecute the Papist Malignants, Jesuits included.”33

Through most of the 1840s and 1850s, Kane’s personal religion blended Comté’s Religion of Humanity with Christian asceticism. As Kane told his fiancée in 1852, he hoped her religion would not be confined within “four walls, but . . . [within] the mighty congregation of Humanity, the one and only Holy Catholic Church which Christ had founded.”34 Kane also continually derided both Evangelical religion and Evangelical reform. One Sunday he heard a “dreadful” noise, which turned out to be “one of the Methodist Meeting Houses where the law permits wicked people to make lunatics nearly as fast as the Hospitals can cure them.”35

Career as a Reformer

Amid this personal religious journey, Kane looked for ways to transform society. In 1845, he engaged in his first organized reform activity, becoming a secretary for the American Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment. By the mid-1840s, a national movement against capital punishment had led to the formation of this group, headed by James Polk’s vice president George M. Dallas, a close friend of the Kane family.36 Joining the crusade against the death penalty gave Kane an important entrée into the wider reform community. Horace Greeley (fig. 8), for instance, who became Kane’s friend and ally, was a vice president of the society. Kane also became involved in the allied projects of peace and prison reform.37

For Thomas Kane, genuine humanitarianism and personal ambition were not mutually exclusive. During his 1846 visit to the Mormon camps, he wrote his parents, “If you haven’t resigned my place with the Anti-Capital P. men, keep it for me, as my life whether of one kind or another must begin when I get into Philadelphia this time.”38 Nor was Thomas a purist who refused to alter his beliefs. In December 1846, as Thomas jockeyed for an army commission in the Mexican-American War, John Kane wrote Elisha, “Would you ever believe it, your philanthropist—philosopher—anti war—anti capital punishment brother, who denies the right of man to take life even for crime, Tom, even Tom Kane, is rabid for a chance of shooting Mexicans.”39

As with many reformers, Thomas extensively used newspapers and pamphlets to promote his causes. In the early 1840s, he organized a “club of young men, to influence the Public Press.” Elizabeth explained, “He wrote much, though anonymously for several years, both in French and English, in newspapers and periodicals.” Along with his associates, Thomas agitated “against all unnecessary Laws, against Capital Punishment, Against Wars, against all unnecessary Imprisonment—for the Rights of Man but Woman first—and the Abolition of Slavery.”40 Thomas was particularly savvy at using his writing to “manufacture public opinion.”41 For instance, he planted in newspapers anonymous or pseudonymous letters, articles (some of which even quoted himself), and editorials; wrote public letters to leading politicians that were widely reprinted; and held well-publicized fundraising meetings.

In the late 1840s, Thomas Kane became enthralled with a new reform—the restriction of slavery. In 1848, he became chairman of the Pennsylvania Free Soil Committee. The Free Soilers arose during the 1848 presidential campaign, dedicated to restricting slavery from the territories acquired in the Mexican-American War. Although the Free Soil Party attracted support from members of the Whig and Liberty Parties, the bulk of its membership comprised Democrats disaffected by their party’s increasingly proslavery stance.42 As the Free Soil movement fizzled in the early 1850s, Kane returned to the Democratic Party but continued his antislavery agitation, affiliating himself with a wing of the party known as the Radical Democracy. These Democratic antislavery activists, most of whom later joined the Republican Party, were motivated by the Jacksonian rhetoric of freedom, the desire to protect the racial purity of the American West, and the romantic hope that abolition would contribute to the global spread of liberty.43 Similar to most abolitionists, Kane was no racial egalitarian; rather, he worried intensely about racial intermarriage.44

Kane directed his antislavery energies in the 1850s against the Fugitive Slave Act. Passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, this legislation denied traditional rights (such as a jury trial) to escaped slaves and forced Northerners, particularly U.S. Commissioners, to participate actively in returning escaped slaves to the South.45 In October 1850, Kane, a twenty-eight-year-old law clerk and U.S. Commissioner, entered his father’s federal courtroom in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to resign his position as a commissioner in a sharply worded letter. Kane’s resignation struck a raw national nerve, earning him the ire of Southerners and the respect of abolitionists. He wrote to his sister, “I have received another complimentary newspaper from the South, in which, with reference to our Fathers pro-slavery Democracy [the Democratic Party]—I am called a renegade to my parents Faith.”46 The Pennsylvania Freeman, an abolitionist paper, praised Kane’s resignation and predicted it would be “honored by every man who can appreciate a noble deed.”47

That apparently did not include Judge Kane, who sentenced Thomas to prison for contempt of court.48 Fortunately for Thomas, an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Robert C. Grier, overruled Judge Kane’s conviction. This clash with his father fed Thomas’s sense of himself as a defender of the downtrodden and as a romantic martyr for conscience sake. Thomas continued to work as his father’s clerk even as Judge Kane’s courtroom became a hotly contested arena in the national debate over fugitive slaves.49 In a series of highly publicized trials, Thomas subverted his father’s strict interpretation of the law by publicly supporting those on trial for assisting fugitives and by privately participating in the Underground Railroad.50 The abolitionist press made public the familial rift: “Who will stand the best with posterity—the father who prostitutes his powers as a Judge to procure the conviction of peaceable citizens . . . or the son who ministered to the wants of those citizens while incarcerated in a loathsome prison?”51

Thomas’s 1853 marriage to his talented sixteen-year-old second cousin Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood also influenced his reform career. They jointly envisioned a society based on gender equality, sought to advance women’s education, and wished to reform the institution of marriage. Shortly after their marriage, Thomas encouraged Elizabeth to enroll in the pioneering Philadelphia-based Female Medical College of Pennsylvania (for which he served as a corporator, the equivalent of a member of the board of trustees) to “help the college by the influence of her social position.”52 He also hoped Elizabeth would become an author to press women’s rights issues through her writing.53 In their early years of marriage, Elizabeth assisted Thomas in his battles against Philadelphia’s urban poverty as he founded and financed a school for Philadelphia’s poor children modeled on the French salles d’asiles (infant schools) and served as a local leader for the House of Refuge movement, which sought to reform juvenile delinquents. The influence of Elizabeth and her Evangelical father, William Wood, also brought Thomas closer to orthodox Christianity, which ultimately led to his conversion to nondenominational Christianity in the late 1850s and early 1860s.54

Kane and the Mormons

Throughout this period, Thomas Kane engaged in a more unusual type of reform—defense of the Latter-day Saints. As amply demonstrated by the other articles in this volume, Kane helped raise the Mormon Battalion, lobbied for the Saints in the halls of Congress, shaped the public image of Mormonism, mediated the Utah War, and advised Brigham Young and other leaders. Kane had a range of motivations for his involvement with the Saints, including a desire for adventure and fame (in part, a sibling rivalry with Elisha), genuine friendship with Young and other Mormons, and a commitment to defend his own honor as well as that of the Saints. Reform, however, was paramount in Kane’s motivation.

While Kane passed in and out of several other reforms, his devotion to the Mormons continued from 1846 until his death in 1883. His Democratic ideology of liberty and his own religious heterodoxy enabled his commitment to religious minorities. In addition, Kane’s antipathy toward Evangelicalism inspired his crusade for the Mormons’ religious liberty. During the second half of the nineteenth century, Evangelical reformers emerged as the leaders of the anti-Mormon political and cultural crusade. In their vision of reform they hoped to protect the nation from Mormon political subversion, shield the monogamous family from Mormon polygamy, and save individuals from the lure of the Latter-day Saints. Even though Kane strongly disagreed with some Latter-day Saint practices (especially plural marriage), he worked to preserve the religious liberty of the Latter-day Saints from the Evangelical reformers.55

According to Elizabeth Kane, Thomas also saw the Mormons as a laboratory for his reform ideas. She wrote that her husband believed the Mormons could create a “new Puritan commonwealth” through “the principle of cooperation carried out on a great scale—by a simple pastoral people.” In this vision, Thomas joined various religious and secular reformers who believed that communal living and economics could create a more just and united society in the nineteenth century. However, Elizabeth continued, her husband’s Mormon pupils “constantly disappointed” him with their implementation of his ideas. Nevertheless, “much of the Mormons’ prosperity, such as their Z.C.M.I. Co-op. Stores, Order of Enoch, and communal ranches, sprang from Kane’s ideas transmuted by Brigham Young’s brain.”56 Indeed, during the 1870s, Thomas strongly supported the Mormon leader’s attempts to establish communal United Orders.57 While Elizabeth overestimated Thomas’s influences on Mormon initiatives, her statement indicated that her husband saw his relationship with the Saints in terms of reform.

Thomas Kane’s connection of reform to the defense of the Saints explains issues in both Mormon history and in reform more broadly. For example, Kane’s immersion in reform circles helps explain the success of his efforts to remake the Mormon image in the late 1840s and early 1850s. After returning from the Mormon camps to Philadelphia in 1846, Kane sought to alter national opinions of Mormonism so Americans could view members of this faith as worthy objects of sympathy and charity rather than as deluded and dangerous fanatics. To create an image of the suffering Saints, he borrowed the tactics of abolitionists and other reformers in graphically depicting Mormons’ woes in published letters, articles, and pamphlets. Kane’s strategy struck a cultural chord, particularly among fellow reformers, because they reflected shifting philosophical notions about the nature of pain. In Western culture, pain had long been viewed as inevitable and redemptive; during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, however, suffering was seen increasingly as unacceptable and even eradicable.58

As a result of Kane’s campaign, it became temporarily fashionable to sympathize with the suffering Saints. After Kane published his signature statement on Mormon suffering in an 1850 pamphlet, The Mormons, he distributed it widely to other reformers. Massachusetts senator and abolitionist Charles Sumner lauded Kane’s “good & glorious work.”59 Wendell Phillips, another leading abolitionist, “devoured” the pamphlet and informed Kane that Ralph Waldo Emerson had expressed interest “in you & your subject.”60 Other reformers such as Horace Greeley, Frederick Douglass, and John Greenleaf Whittier publicly joined in Kane’s campaign.61 Kane’s efforts on behalf of the Mormons both solidified his own growing reputation as a reformer and momentarily transformed the Mormon image (although the image of the suffering Saints quickly evaporated after the Mormons officially announced their practice of plural marriage in 1852).62

Kane’s reform career also illuminates his most famous action—his intervention in the Utah War.63 His involvement in Democratic, anti-Evangelical reform uniquely positioned him to mediate the Utah War crisis. In 1857, when President James Buchanan, a Pennsylvania Democrat with extensive ties to the Kane family, received reports of an allegedly rebellious Utah, the president dispatched the U.S. Army to establish federal supremacy and to replace Governor Brigham Young with a new appointee, Alfred Cumming. As tensions rose on both sides and as events threatened to spiral out of control, Kane convinced Buchanan to allow him to travel to Utah during winter 1857–58 in an unofficial capacity to negotiate peace between the Mormons and the federal civilian officials accompanying the army. Kane perceived the Utah War as a “Holy War” waged on the Mormons by an Evangelical nation, a belief that shaped his sense of mission in protecting the Latter-day Saints’ religious liberty from the intrusions of federal officials and the U.S. Army.64 A romantic sense of defending a downtrodden people also propelled Kane. He wrote in his travel diary, “Others may respect me less for being alone in the defence of a despised and injured people—but I respect myself more.”65 Kane’s mediation in the Utah War ensured that the resolution of the Mormon Question would occur in the courts, the halls of Congress, and the realm of public opinion rather than on the battlefield.66

Transition of Kane’s Reform Philosophy

While Kane began his career in Democratic, anti-Evangelical reform, he was a moving target. He remained neither Democratic nor as intensely anti-Evangelical as he had once been. But his companions in Democratic, anti-Evangelical reform were not stationary either. Indeed, Kane’s political journey represented the larger political movement of the reform wing of the antebellum Democratic Party. As with Kane, many of his companions in Democratic reform passed through the Free Soil movement in the late 1840s, returned to the Democratic Party, and then became Republicans (either in the 1850s, or in Kane’s case, in 1861). Following the Civil War, Kane temporarily abandoned the mainstream Republican Party in 1872 for the dissident Liberal Republican movement before finally returning to the Republican Party. In supporting the Liberal Republicans, Kane not only expressed a preference for his old friend Horace Greeley (the Liberal Republican presidential nominee in 1872) but also manifested his Democratic ideals, as former Democrats were at the foundation of the Liberal Republican revolt.67

In his last twenty years, Kane’s reform ethos changed as well, foreshadowing the spirit of the Progressive Era, with its confidence in social science, experts, and government solutions. In 1869, Pennsylvania Governor John W. Geary appointed Kane as the first president of the Pennsylvania Board of State Charities, a government entity mandated to regulate charitable organizations; this board became the foundation of modern state welfare agencies. Following his religious conversion experiences, Kane also moved closer to Evangelical reformers in some ways. For example, as he developed a community (which he named Kane) in the Allegheny Mountains of northwestern Pennsylvania from the mid-1850s until his death, he embraced temperance and battled to restrict the use of alcohol. Nevertheless, his continued involvement in Mormon issues ensured that Kane always remained deeply skeptical of Evangelical-inspired reform efforts.68

The Romantic Hero and the Honorable Gentleman

Besides his involvement in reform, Kane’s life remains significant because he represents two nineteenth-century cultural types: the romantic hero and the honorable gentleman. An icon in both literature and in the nineteenth-century cultural imagination, the romantic hero exalted individuality, battled social injustices, and rejected religious, political, and social norms.69 According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who published a classic statement on the romantic hero in 1841, “Heroism works in contradiction to the voice of mankind.” Furthermore, a hero was “negligent of expense, of health, of life, of danger, of hatred, of reproach, and knows that his will is higher and more excellent than all actual and all possible antagonists.” In short, the romantic hero marched “to his own music.”70 Deeply influenced by transatlantic romanticism, Kane viewed himself within this context, and the ideal of the romantic hero shaped his actions. An iconoclast, he based his identity on standing against the crowd, on trusting his own conclusions rather than commonly held conventions, and on undertaking dangerous missions (such as during the Utah War and the Civil War) that defied his physical frailty.

The ideal of the romantic hero shaped Kane’s concept of manliness. Reform often carried an unmistakably feminine aura, the result of the high profile of female reformers combined with reformers’ support of women’s rights.71 Kane, who was described by contemporaries as “uncommonly small and feminine” and as “a little, weak, boyish, sickly looking fellow,” combated the image of the effeminate reformer with flamboyantly masculine gestures.72 At an 1850 New York abolitionist meeting, Kane publicly threatened to kill a Tammany Hall captain with a well-earned reputation for violence who attempted to disrupt the meeting.73 An observer praised Kane’s “instinctive manly honor” and described the scene (probably with some exaggeration): “Colonel Kane—a slight and fearless youth—made the notorious leader of the rioters quail.”74 In addition, the reformers’ stance of protecting those who could not do so for themselves was seen by contemporaries as a manly act.75 Kane wrote, “I have done a few manly deeds, and I have been abused for them.” His accomplishments had “all been achieved not with but in despite of the majority of my fellow citizens.”76 Should Mormonism become popular, Kane would no longer be useful to the Saints, as his place would always be “in the ranks of the supporters of causes called desperate and at the head of unthanked and unrewarded pioneers of unpopular Reform.”77

Kane’s view of himself as a romantic hero closely relates to another cultural type: the man of honor, the chivalrous defender of the downtrodden. Honor-based cultures placed great emphasis on an individual’s and on a family’s public reputation; the opposite of honor was shame. In early America, upper-class men could defend their reputation from attacks through dueling. During the 1700s, the culture of honor deeply influenced both northerners and southerners, though the North moved away from this system during the first half of the nineteenth century, a result of both the integration of northerners into a market economy and the growing influence of Protestant Evangelicalism. While historians have generally associated the culture of honor with the South, Kane’s actions demonstrate that the culture of honor retained its influence in the sectional borderlands and among elite northerners like Kane.78 In addition, a man of honor—particularly one born to privilege, as was Kane—defended those lower on the social scale, and he thus related honor to his broader reform agenda. The seemingly odd combination of the sentimental defense of the oppressed, the iconoclasm and brash assertiveness of the romantic hero, and a high sense of honor formed Thomas’s definition of masculinity.

Kane’s immersion in the culture of honor particularly shaped his Civil War career. When he learned of the Southern attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861, Kane immediately recruited a regiment of soldiers from the mountains of northwestern Pennsylvania. Known as the Pennsylvania Bucktails, this regiment became one of the best-known units of the Union Army. During the next two years, before he retired because of injuries, he challenged a superior officer to a duel, rose to the rank of brigadier general, gained a reputation for personal courage, became seriously wounded in two battles, was taken prisoner of war, and played a key role at the battle of Gettysburg. Influenced by both the culture of honor and romanticism, Kane viewed himself as a chivalrous, medieval knight. His ethic of honor and attachment to romantic chivalry impelled not only his duel challenge but also shaped his perceptions of legitimate wartime tactics, his treatment of Confederates during the war, and his desire for rapid reconciliation with the South following the war. In addition, Kane saw the war as the culmination of his antislavery career. The rise of Copperhead sentiment in the North (northern Democrats who opposed the war) and the Republican embrace of emancipation prompted Kane, along with many of his companions in anti-Evangelical Democratic reform, to finally sever his relationship with the Democratic Party and become a Republican.79


Kane and his allies played key roles in the reform movements and debates at the center of American culture in the mid-nineteenth century. During the antebellum era, these reformers were Democrats who defined themselves against Evangelical reform and advocated a romantic humanitarianism that sought to relieve human suffering. Kane’s own reform activities—most prominently, his opposition to slavery and his defense of the Mormons’ religious liberty—sprang from this culture of anti-Evangelical, Democratic, romantic reform. Furthermore, Kane’s life demonstrates the deep cultural influences of the romantic vision of the hero and the idea of honor. Understanding Kane’s involvement in reform thus not only clarifies his relationship with the Latter-day Saints but also illuminates nineteenth-century social reform more broadly.

About the author(s)

Matthew J. Grow received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame. He is an assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Communal Studies at the University of Southern Indiana. This article is adapted from his book, “Liberty to the Downtrodden”: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009). He is currently writing a biography of Parley P. Pratt with Terryl Givens for Oxford University Press.


1. John K. Kane to Elisha K. Kane, May 16, 1846, Elisha K. Kane Papers, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. This and many of the quotes in this article also appear in Matthew J. Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden”: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 50–51.

2. Thomas L. Kane to John K. Kane and Jane Duval Leiper Kane, July 20–23, 1846, Thomas L. Kane Papers, American Philosophical Society.

3. Blessing, John Smith to Thomas L. Kane, September 8, 1846, Thomas L. and Elizabeth W. Kane Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter cited as Perry Special Collections).

4. Willard Richards to Thomas L. Kane, February 16–19, 1847, Perry Special Collections.

5. Orson Hyde to Thomas L. Kane, May 31, 1851, Perry Special Collections.

6. Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1833–1898, Typescript, 9 vols. (Midvale, Utah: Signature Books, 1984), 5:171, entry for February 25, 1858.

7. Eleanor McComb [Pratt] to Thomas L. Kane, May 7, 1858, Perry Special Collections. Pratt had been murdered in Arkansas during the lead-up to the Utah War in May 1857.

8. For a longer discussion of this topic, see William MacKinnon’s essay herein.

9. Descriptions of this visit, as well as E. Kent Kane’s correspondence with Mormon leaders, are in the Kane Collection, Perry Special Collections. For more information on Twelve Mormon Homes, see Lowell C. Bennion and Thomas Carter’s essay herein.

10. George Albert Smith to Israel Frank Evans, October 1, 1947, Israel Frank Evans Collection, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

11. See newspaper clippings and typescript of speech in Kane’s Papers, Perry Special Collections.

12. Nicholas G. Morgan Papers, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah; Albert L. Zobell Jr., Sentinel in the East: A Biography of Thomas L. Kane (Salt Lake City: Nicholas G. Morgan, 1965).

13. “Chance for an Outstanding Civic and Historical Attraction,” Kane Republican, June 19, 1970, Church Information Service, Kane Memorial Chapel Files, 1970–1971, Church History Library.

14. Mormon History Association website, [discontinued after 2011].

15. For an expanded version of my arguments, see Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden.

16. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Man the Reformer,” in The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1855), 1:218.

17. The literature on antebellum reform is vast. For the historiography, see Glenn M. Harden, “‘Men and Women of Their Own Kind’: Historians and Antebellum Reform” (master’s thesis, George Mason University, 2001). Classic older studies that linked Evangelicalism and reform include Gilbert H. Barnes, The Anti-Slavery Impulse, 1830–1844 (New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1933); Whitney Cross, The Burned-Over District (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1950). For studies of the “benevolent empire” and print culture, see Peter J. Wosh, Spreading the Word: The Bible Business in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994); Mark S. Schantz, “Religious Tracts, Evangelical Reform, and the Market Revolution in Antebellum America,” Journal of the Early Republic, 17 (Autumn 1997): 425–66. For Evangelical reform in the South, see John W. Quist, Restless Visionaries: The Social Roots of Antebellum Reform in Alabama and Michigan (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998). For Evangelical reform and politics, see Daniel Walker Howe, The Political Culture of the American Whigs (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979); Richard Carwardine, Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993). While most monographs on antebellum reform have focused on Evangelical reform, broader surveys present a more complicated picture, though still slighting Democratic reformers. See Robert H. Abzug, Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994); Ronald G. Walters, American Reformers, 1815–1860, rev. ed. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1997); Steven Mintz, Moralists and Modernizers: America’s Pre–Civil War Reformers (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).

18. On Democratic reform, see Jonathan Earle, Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824–1854 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004); Yonatan Eyal, The Young America Movement and the Transformation of the Democratic Party, 1828–1861 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Daniel Feller, “A Brother in Arms: Benjamin Tappan and the Antislavery Democracy,” Journal of American History 88 (June 2001): 48–74; Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden.” Two recent influential histories of the early republic emphasize these competing reform traditions. Sean Wilentz focuses on Democratic reformers in The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (New York: Norton, 2005), while Daniel Walker Howe does the same for Evangelical Whig reformers in What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

19. On romanticism and reform, see John L. Thomas, “Romantic Reform in America, 1815–1865,” American Quarterly, 17 (Winter 1965): 656–81; Stewart Winger, Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics (Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2003).

20. “Death of General Thomas L. Kane,” Millennial Star 46 (January 21, 1884): 42–44.

21. Thomas L. Kane to Brigham Young, September 24, 1850, Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library.

22. Thomas L. Kane to Brigham Young, Fall 1850, Perry Special Collections. Edward Geary’s essay herein contains a Kane pedigree chart in the appendix.

23. Robert Patterson Kane to C. Dana, November 25, 1892 (?), Thomas L. Kane Collection, American Philosophical Society; Elizabeth W. Kane, biographical sketches of Thomas L. Kane, Perry Special Collections. For more on Comté’s influence on Kane, see Edward Geary’s essay herein.

24. Thomas L. Kane to John K. Kane, December 29, 1843, Perry Special Collections.

25. Thomas L. Kane to Jane D. Kane, January 23 and 31, February 1, 1844, Perry Special Collections.

26. Elizabeth continued, he “proclaimed himself a Communist; but was the unsparing critic of the Fourierite and other Socialist associated movements of the time; though he gave largely to many of them to assist them in working out their own salvation or damnation.” Elizabeth W. Kane, draft biographical sketch of Thomas L. Kane, December 20, 1873, Perry Special Collections.

27. See John K. Kane, Autobiography of the Honorable John K. Kane, 1795–1858 (Philadelphia: College Offset Press, 1949); Henry Simpson, The Lives of Eminent Philadelphians (Philadelphia: William Brotherhead, 1859), 614. The entry on John K. Kane in Simpson’s Lives was almost certainly written by Thomas, who was thanked by Simpson in the acknowledgments for his assistance with the book.

28. John K. Kane to Elisha K. Kane, March 12, 1844, Perry Special Collections.

29. John K. Kane to Elisha K. Kane, May 14, 1844, Perry Special Collections.

30. Thomas L. Kane to Bessie [Elizabeth Kane Shields, his sister], n.d. [1844], Perry Special Collections.

31. Thomas L. Kane to Elisha K. Kane, June 8 and 11, 1845, Perry Special Collections.

32. Thomas L. Kane to John K. Kane, November 15, 1843, Perry Special Collections.

33. Thomas L. Kane to Jane D. Kane, December 24 and 31, 1843, Perry Special Collections. Some Protestant groups of this era, such as Presbyterians and Episcopalians, rented pews to their congregants as a source of church revenue.

34. Thomas L. Kane to Elizabeth D. Wood, May 8, 1852, Perry Special Collections.

35. Thomas L. Kane to Bessie Kane [his sister], [undated, about 1846?], Kane Family Papers, William L. Clement Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

36. Albert Post, “Early Efforts to Abolish Capital Punishment in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 68 (January 1944): 48–50. See also David Brion Davis, “The Movement to Abolish Capital Punishment in America, 1787–1861,” American Historical Review 63 (1957): 23–46; Stuart Banner, The Death Penalty: An American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002).

37. See Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” 39.

38. Thomas L. Kane to John K. Kane and Jane Duval Leiper Kane, July 20 and 23, 1846, Thomas L. Kane Papers, American Philosophical Society.

39. John K. Kane to Elisha K. Kane, December 25, 1846, Elisha K. Kane Papers, American Philosophical Society; see Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” 41.

40. Kane, draft biographical sketch.

41. Thomas L. Kane to Brigham Young, December 2, 1846, Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library.

42. See Jonathan H. Earle, Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824–1854 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2004). In a revisionist vein, Earle provides evidence for the contention that the impulse for much of antebellum reform—particularly the restriction of slavery—came not from evangelicals and Whigs, but rather from the world of Jacksonian Democracy, which Kane inhabited.

43. See Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” ch. 6.

44. On Kane’s racial thought, see his unpublished manuscript, “The Africanization of America,” Perry Special Collections.

45. On the Fugitive Slave Law, see Stanley W. Campbell, The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850–1860 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968).

46. Thomas L. Kane to Bessie [Elizabeth Kane Shields], November 27, [1850], Perry Special Collections; underlining in original.

47. “Manly,” Pennsylvania Freeman, October 3, 1850, pasted in Elizabeth W. Kane, Journal, March 12, 1855, Perry Special Collections.

48. Often repeated in Kane family lore, this fact is supported by contemporary evidence. See William Wood to Thomas L. Kane, January 23, 1851, Perry Special Collections; Kane, draft biographical sketch. It is unclear whether Thomas actually served time in prison.

49. John Kane presided over two of the most controversial trials involving the Fugitive Slave Act, the 1851 trials resulting from the Christiana riot and the 1855 trial of Philadelphia abolitionist Passmore Williamson. See Thomas P. Slaughter, Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); Nat Brandt with Yanna Kroyt Brandt, In the Shadow of the Civil War: Passmore Williamson and the Rescue of Jane Johnson (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2007); Ralph Lowell Eckert, “Antislavery Martyrdom: The Ordeal of Passmore Williamson,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 100 (October 1976): 521–38.

50. For Kane’s participation in the Underground Railroad, see William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1872; reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1968), 366.

51. “Thanksgiving among the ‘Traitors,’” Pennsylvania Freeman, Decem-ber 4, 1851.

52. Elizabeth W. Kane, draft biographical material of Thomas L. Kane, undated, 8, Perry Special Collections. For more information on Thomas and Elizabeth’s courtship and marriage, see Edward Geary’s essay herein.

53. For the Kanes’ involvement with women’s rights, see Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” ch. 8; Darcee D. Barnes, “A Biographical Study of Elizabeth D. Kane” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 2002). Elizabeth’s most influential writing, her 1874 Twelve Mormon Homes, defended polygamous women even though both of the Kanes deeply opposed plural marriage.

54. See Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” ch. 8.

55. For the largely Evangelical-led nineteenth-century campaigns against Mormonism, see Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Terryl L. Givens, The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997); and Gaines M. Foster, Moral Reconstruction: Christian Lobbyists and the Federal Legislation of Morality, 1865–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).

56. Kane, draft biographical sketch, undated. On nineteenth-century communalism, see Donald E. Pitzer, ed., America’s Communal Utopias (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).

57. Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” 277.

58. Elizabeth B. Clark, “‘The Sacred Rights of the Weak’: Pain, Sympathy, and the Culture of Individual Rights in Antebellum America,” Journal of American History 82 (September 1995): 463–93; Karen Halttunen, “Humanitarianism and the Pornography of Pain in Anglo-American Culture,” American Historical Review 100 (April 1995): 303–34; Margaret Abruzzo, “Polemical Pain: Slavery, Suffering and Sympathy in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Moral Debate” (PhD diss., University of Notre Dame, 2005). Abolitionist literature graphically depicting cruelty to slaves created the “suffering slave” as an important cultural symbol. Kane had undoubtedly read much reform literature, and its influence was readily seen in his construction of Mormon image.

59. Charles Sumner to Thomas L. Kane, December 27, 1850, Perry Special Collections.

60. Wendell Phillips to Thomas L. Kane, November 19, 1851, Perry Special Collections.

61. Frederick Douglass, review of “The Mormons,” North Star, October 3, 1850; John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Mormons and Their City of Refuge,” National Era, August 15, 1850. For Greeley, see “The Mormons in the Wilderness,” New York Daily Tribune, February 17, 1848, and Horace Greeley, to Kane, June 19, 1849, Perry Special Collections.

62. Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” chapter 5.

63. For more on Kane’s involvement in the Utah War, see William MacKinnon’s essay herein.

64. Thomas L. Kane to Brigham Young, July 18, 1858, Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library. For more on the Utah War, see William MacKinnon essay herein.

65. Thomas L. Kane, 1858 Diary, undated entry, Perry Special Collections, underlining in original.

66. On Kane and the Utah War, see Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” chs. 9 and 10; William P. MacKinnon, At Sword’s Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858 (Arthur H. Clark Company, 2008).

67. For Kane’s political journey, see Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” especially chs. 6 and 12.

68. See Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” ch. 12.

69. On the romantic hero, see Peter L. Thorslev Jr., The Byronic Hero: Types and Prototypes (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1962); Walter L. Reed, Meditations on the Hero: A Study of the Romantic Hero in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974); Gerald N. Izenberg, Impossible Individuality: Romanticism, Revolution, and the Origins of Modern Selfhood, 1787–1802 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992); Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, ed. Michael K. Goldberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), xxxiii–xxxiv.

70. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Heroism,” in The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays, First Series (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1865), 2:236–37.

71. On the feminine perception of reform in Kane’s Philadelphia, see Bruce Dorsey, Reforming Men and Women: Gender in the Antebellum City (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2002).

72. Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844–1861, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964), 1:177 (July 11, 1846); Nicholas B. Wainwright, ed., A Philadelphia Perspective: The Diary of Sidney George Fisher, Covering the Years 1834–1871 (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1967), 390 (May 17, 1861).

73. Wendell Phillips Garrison, William Lloyd Garrison (New York: Century Company, 1885–89), 3:292; Thomas L. Kane to Robert Patterson Kane, undated, Robert Patterson Kane Papers, American Philosophical Society.

74. [George William Curtis], “The Late Colonel Kane,” Harper’s Weekly, January 12, 1884, 19.

75. “Manly,” Pennsylvania Freeman, October 3, 1850. For other discussions of reform and masculinity, see Dorsey, Reforming Men and Women; and James Robert Britton, “Reforming America and Its Men: Radical Social Reform and the Ethics of Antebellum Manhood” (PhD diss., University of Miami, 2003).

76. Thomas L. Kane to T. B. H. Stenhouse, draft, [1872], Perry Special Collections.

77. Thomas L. Kane to “My dear friends,” [Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders], September 1850, draft, Perry Special Collections.

78. On the culture of honor, see Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982); Bertram Wyatt-Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s–1890s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Kenneth Greenberg, Honor and Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing as a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Proslavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

79. For more imformation on Kane’s Civil War career, see Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” ch. 11.

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