Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900

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University of Illinois Press, 2001 - Religion - 430 pages
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Winner of an Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award The inability of American society to tolerate the peculiar institutions embraced by Mormons was one of the major events in the religious history of nineteenth-century America. Zion in the Courts explores one aspect of this collision between the Mormons and the mainstream: the Mormons' efforts to establish their own court system--one appropriate to the distinctive political, social, and economic practices they envisioned as Zion--and the pressures applied by the federal legal system to bring them to heel.This first paperback edition includes two new introductory pieces in which the authors discuss the Mormon emphasis on settling disputes outside the court, a practice that foreshadows current trends toward arbitration and mediation.
  

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Contents

Early Mormon Legal Experience
1
Zion and the State
3
The Mormon Ecclesiastical Court System
25
Early Trials in New York and Ohio
48
Persecution in Missouri
59
The Illinois Period
80
A Turbulent Coexistence Church and State Relations in Utah
125
The Early Attack on Polygamy
129
Refinements in the Mormon Judiciary
279
Mormon Land Policy and Church Courts
293
Mormon Water Law and Dispute Resolution
314
Domestic Conflict and Church Courts
322
Contract Disputes and Church Courts
337
Tortious Conduct and Church Courts
354
Epilogue
371
Abbreviations
377

The Decisive Attack on Polygamy
160
The War against Mormon Society
210
The Ecclesiastical Court System in the Great Basin
261
Mormon Law Gentile Law
263
Notes
379
Bibliography
399
Index
413
Copyright

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