Mormon History Association

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Mormon History Association
2009 Springfield Illinois Conference
Call for Papers
Mormonism and the Land of Lincoln: Intersections, Crosscurrents, andDispersions

The forty-fourth annual conference of the Mormon History Association will be held May 21-24, 2009, in Springfield, Illinois, at the AbrahamLincoln Hotel located in the historic center of Springfield. It has been nearly two decades since the last MHA conference was held in Illinois.The MHA executive board selected Springfield as the location for the conference to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth ofAbraham Lincoln (1809-1865).

Corresponding with this historical anniversary, the theme of the 2009 conference will be Mormonism and the Land of Lincoln: Intersections, Crosscurrents, and Dispersions, a theme which encourages studies of Mormonism within broad historical contexts. In October 1830, the first Mormons passed through Illinois on their wayto preach to the Indian tribes west of Missouri. During the 1830s Illinois became a major thoroughfare for Mormons traveling between Missouri and Ohio and other points further east, and as early as 1835 the first branches were established in the state. With the expulsion ofthe Latter-day Saints from Missouri in 1839, Nauvoo served as the mainplace of Mormon gathering until 1846. However, by this time, hundreds of Mormons were living in numerous branches established in other counties throughout the state. Significantly, after the main body of the Church departed under Brigham Young, those Saints who chose to remain looked to others for leadership and established Restoration churches and communities which continue to the present.

Place and time connect Mormonism with Lincoln. Significantly, in March 1830, about the time Joseph Smith organized the Church of Christ in NewYork, twenty-one-year-old Abraham Lincoln settled in Illinois, and he then began his political career, first in New Salem and later in Springfield. By 1840, as Nauvoo was rising on the banks of the Mississippi, Lincoln had distinguished himself as a skillful lawyer, a member of the Illinois state legislature, and a leading figure in the state's Whig party. In addition, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives the month before the last Saints still residing in the City of Joseph were expelled following the 'Battle of Nauvoo.'

The 2009 program committee invites interested historians, scholars, and individuals to submit proposals for papers, panel discussions, or presentations for the conference. We especially encourage proposals related to the conference theme. However, proposals on other Mormon topics and themes are also welcome. All proposals must be submitted in electronic format.

Proposals should be directed to: Alexander L. Baugh,Associate Professor, Church History and Doctrine, BYU atalex_baugh AT byu DOT edu. Deadline for submission is October 1, 2008. Notification for acceptance or rejection will be December 15, 2008. Additional instructions for submitting proposals will be available onthe MHA website at


red said…
Thank you very much for this information.


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