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Excavating Nauvoo: The Mormons and the Rise of Historical by Benjamin C. Pykles

By Benjamin C. Pykles

This designated research of the excavation and recovery of the town of Nauvoo, Illinois, finds the roots of historic archaeology. within the past due Sixties, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints backed an archaeology software to authentically restoration the town of Nauvoo, which used to be based alongside the Mississippi River within the 1840s by way of the Mormons as they moved west. Non-Mormon students have been additionally attracted to Nauvoo since it was once consultant of a number of western frontier cities during this period. because the archaeology and recovery of Nauvoo improved, besides the fact that, conflicts arose, fairly concerning keep an eye on of the positioning and its interpretation for the public. The box of old archaeology was once simply entering its personal in this interval, with myriad views and doctrines being constructed and proven. The Nauvoo web site was once one of many areas the place the self-discipline used to be cast. This well-researched account weaves jointly a number of viewpoints in studying the various contentious matters surrounding the archaeology and recovery of the town of Nauvoo, Illinois, offering an illuminating photograph of the early days old archaeology.

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Senate, was under investigation in the nation’s capital, as there were still serious suspicions about the lds Church’s continued practice of plural marriage. Over time, the Smoot hearings expanded beyond an inquiry into the life of the senator (who was not a polygamist) into an investigation of the lds Church itself, during which the president of the Church, Joseph F. Smith (Joseph Smith’s nephew), was called on to testify. 26 The enduring suspicion that the Utah church was continuing to practice plural marriage only exacerbated the conflict surrounding the lds’s acquisition and development of Joseph Smith’s birthplace in Vermont.

As such, it would “forever challenge the sympathy and admiration of the thoughtful of mankind; and . . S. ”48 Nauvoo, in the eyes of the government, was representative of a typical antebellum community in the upper Mississippi River Valley, and to restore it would be a way to memorialize the perceived ideals and values of that time and place. Government officials also saw in Nauvoo a way to meet the recreational needs of their constituents. Finally, somewhere in between were individuals like Lane K.

Notably, in both cases government officials turned to the nation’s historic sites to help remedy the diminishing sense of national unity. In both instances federal laws relating to historic preservation were passed (the 1935 Historic Sites Act and the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act) as part of efforts to revitalize public faith in the federal government and restore national pride among American citizens. Regardless of whether or not these acts were successful in fostering renewed nationalism, by establishing federal sanction and support for work on historic sites, including archaeological investigations, both pieces of legislation had a significant impact on the development of historical archaeology in the United States.

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