Joseph Smith Papers Roundtable: Power Networks: Race, Hostility and Politics

On Friday, September 18, , the Project held the fourth annual Joseph Smith Papers Conference. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the event was held online.
Presentations explore aspects of Joseph Smith’s interrelated worldviews, including race, politics, finance, and theology. Papers engage with themes found in volumes 10 and 11 of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.

W. Paul Reeve, University of Utah

“‘I Dug the Graves’: Isaac Lewis Manning, Joseph Smith, and Racial Connections in Two Latter Day Saint Traditions”

W. Paul Reeve is the Simmons Professor of Mormon Studies in the history department at the University of Utah, where he serves as chair of the Mormon Studies Initiative. Reeve’s book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (Oxford, 2015), received three best book awards. He is project manager and general editor of a digital database, Century of Black Mormons, designed to name and identify all known black Mormons baptized into the faith between 1830 and 1930. The database is live at

, Independent Scholar

“Joseph Smith and Warsaw, Illinois: A Network of Conflict”


Brian Stutzman authored the first history of Warsaw, Illinois. Warsaw was the nemesis of Nauvoo during the 1840s. Stutzman lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he and his wife, Alane, are the parents of four sons. Stutzman has spoken at John Whitmer Historical Association, twice at BYU–Idaho Education Week, and several times at the Warsaw Historical Association. He enjoys teaching Hancock County residents about their past. He holds a degree in economics from Brigham Young University, where he served as president of an honor society. He is very active in local and state politics and enjoys sports, traveling, and church service.

Derek R. Sainsbury, Brigham Young University

“The Cadre for the Kingdom: The Lasting Connections and Networks Forged by Joseph Smith’s Electioneers”

Derek R. Sainsbury holds a PhD in American history from the University of Utah and is the author of Storming the Nation: The Unknown Contributions of Joseph Smith’s Political Missionaries. He has taught for twenty-five years in the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-daySaints. Currently, he is an instructor in Brigham Young University’s religion department.

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