The Mormons


The Mormons

Alternative Title

The Mormons a discourse delivered before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 2nd Edition.


This is Thomas L Kane's discourse to the Historical Society of Philadelphia. This is one of his most famous works, and the reader can see how Kane attempted to positively portray the Mormons in the media. Although this text is primarily a recounting of his time spent with the Mormons in their camps, his argument is not lost as he presents how these people are not threats to America, but rather how they are patriots suffering from dismal living conditions. Kane is unique in that he is not a Mormon, but he is one of the first advocates for the church. His unique perspective allows the audience to read about the Mormons from an outsider’s perspective. This discourse is a fundamental work of Kane’s and serves as the core for his advocacy campaign for the Mormons. This work will prove most helpful while profiling Kane. Due to the length of the discourse, the title page, along with the final pages of the first addition are included. In these final pages Kane pulls away from his narrative in order to voice his personal opinions about the Mormons.


Thomas L. Kane


Philadelphia King


March 26, 1850


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I have spoken to you of a people; whose industry had made them rich, and gathered around them all the comforts, and not a few of the luxuries of refined life; expelled by lawless force into the Wilderness; seeking an untried home far away from the scenes which their previous life had endeared to them; moving onward, destitute, hunger-sickened and sinking with disease; bearing along with them their wives and children, the aged, and the poor, and the decrepit; renewing daily on their march , the offices of devotion, the ties of family and friendship and charity; sharing necessities, and braving dangers together, cheerful in the midst of want and trial and preserving until they triumphed. I have told, or tried to tell you, of men, who when menaced by famine, and in the midst of pestilence, with every energy taxed by the urgency of the hour, were building roads an bridges, laying out villages, and planting cornfields, for the stranger who might come after them, their kinsman only by a common humanity, and peradventure a common suffering, – of men, who have renewed their prosperity in the homes they have founded in the desert—and who, in their new built city, walled round by mountains like a fortress, are extending pious round by mountains like a fortress, are extending pious hospitalities to the destitute emigrants from our frontier lines,—of men who, far removed from the restraints of law, obeyed it from choice, or found in the recesses of their religion, something not inconsistent with human laws, but far more controlling; and who are now soliciting from the government of the United States, not indemnity,– for the appeal would be hopeless, and they know it,—but that identity of political institutions and that community of laws with the rest of us, which was confessedly their birthright when they were driven beyond our borders.


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Thomas L. Kane, “The Mormons,” Inbetween Peoples, accessed September 23, 2020,