Colonel Thomas L. Kane and the Mormons, 1846-1883 | BYU Studies

Colonel Thomas L. Kane and the Mormons, 1846-1883

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Colonel Thomas L. Kane and the Mormons, 1846-1883

Author David J. Whittaker,

A son of a prominent Philadelphia judge, Thomas L. Kane came from a family that was well connected to the political and aristocratic powers of east coast America. In 1846 the governor commissioned Kane as a lieutenant colonel in the state militia, and he carried this title until he became a brigadier general during the Civil War.

Although not a member of any organized religion, Kane honorably defended the Mormons on the national stage for nearly four decades and throughout his life remained a confidant of Young and other Latter-day Saint leaders. As one of the most influential friends of the Mormons, Kane holds an unprecedented place in their history, and his patriarchal blessing promises that his name will be held "in honorable remembrance" among the Saints.

For example, after reading newspaper accounts of the Mormons' 1846 forced exile from Illinois, Kane sought out Mormon leaders in Philadelphia and soon headed west. In Nebraska Territory at the camp known as Winter Quarters, he assisted with the call of the Mormon Battalion and began his lifelong friendship with Brigham Young and other notable Latter-day Saints.

This richly illustrated volume examines the relationship Thomas L. Kane and his wife, Elizabeth W. Kane, had with the Mormons from social, political, and religious perspectives.