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A Foreign KingdomMormons and Polygamy in American Political Culture, 1852-1890$
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Christine Talbot

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038082

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038082.001.0001

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“Suffer a Surrender … ? No, Never!”

“Suffer a Surrender … ? No, Never!”

The End of Plural Marriage

(p.147) Chapter 7 “Suffer a Surrender … ? No, Never!”
A Foreign Kingdom

Christine Talbot

University of Illinois Press

This chapter shows how anti-polygamy legislation emerged from a particular imagining of the meaning of America. The Edmunds and Edmunds-Tucker Acts of 1882 and 1887, respectively, mobilized a particular vision of the nation to drive into submission Mormonism's challenge to American political culture. Anti-Mormonism had therefore accomplished its cultural work by constituting Mormons as an un-American threat to the nation and its legal work by taking aim at the citizenship rights of Mormons. Ultimately, the controversy over polygamy helped formulate the multiple meanings of citizenship and national identity as the Mormon question became a location at which the gendered, marital, and religious limits of the body politic were tried.

Keywords:   anti-polygamy legislation, Edmunds Act, Edmunds-Tucker Act, Mormonism, anti-Mormonism, citizenship

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