Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Abstract for the MHA Conference

Today I am presenting a paper for the Mormon History Assocition Conference so I will not be checking my blog. Below is the abstract I submitted for my presentation. I've never done anything like this before. Wish me luck.

In the area of Cane Creek in Lewis County, Tennessee, the descendents of early settlers lived relatively quiet lives during the second half of the nineteenth century. Even the “War of Northern Aggression” could not drive them from their homes. From 1879 to 1884, however, LDS missionaries baptized nearly fifty members of a large extended family. Jim Conder, and eventually his wife and children, were among the converts. But that peace was disturbed by a combination of anti-Mormon literature, rumors of immoral conduct, and fear surrounding the unexpected success of the proselytizing effort. Prominent non-LDS residents demanded action. The conflict eventually erupted into violence and bloodshed.

On August 10th 1884, over a dozen armed and disguised men attacked the home of Jim and Malinda Conder where LDS Church services were about to begin. The Conder boys unsuccessfully defended their guests, firing only a single shot against the vigilantes. When the shooting ended five people were dead and another crippled for life. Among them were three members of the Conder family.

Following the massacre, nearly all of the members of the small congregation left the state for Colorado or elsewhere in the western United States. Only a handful remained who either renounced their membership in the LDS Church or practiced it quietly. Jim and Malinda, however, stayed in Tennessee and remained committed to their faith. Although they abandoned their home on Cane Creek, they eventually settled on nearby Trace Creek where they raised their surviving children.


Amy said...

You are doing such an amazing work on the history of the church in Tennessee and it's wonderful that you're getting some recognition for your work.

Best wishes! Hope everything goes well.

Susan W H said...

Good luck today Bruce. I had planned on being there to hear you. Unfortunately our schedule didn't work out this year.

BruceCrow said...

Thanks to both of you. I think it went well. There were lots of questions and I met people I had only previously by email, and several new people, a few of whom hoped to share stories about those connected to Cane Creek or Tennessee. I had a wonderful time