History of the Church Series | BYU Studies

History of the Church Series

Campaign Pamphlet
September 6, 2017
History of the Church Series
The Campaign and the Kingdom: The Activities of the Electioneers in Joseph Smith's Presidential Campaign
Margaret C. Robertson

This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by Margaret C. Robertson. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history, beginning in New York in the early 19th century and progressing throughout the year to Utah in the 20th century. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Despite all that has been written on the Prophet's candidacy, the electioneers themselves have been almost completely ignored. Some historians have seen the sheer number of electioneers as prima facie evidence that Joseph seriously believed he could become president. In this essay, Robertson does not attempted to prove whether the electioneers deemed their prophet's campaign viable, rather, to examine the available journals and autobiographies of the campaigners in an attempt to illuminate some of the possible reasons for and effects of the campaign. While many of the electioneers gave political addresses and distributed copies of Joseph Smith's platform, in the main, their activities did more to strengthen the Church than to present the Prophet to the nation as a presidential candidate.