Date of Graduation

Summer 2018


Master of Arts in History



Committee Chair

Brooks Blevins


Mormon, Native American, Lamanite Mission, Indian Removal, Early Mormonism, Seneca, Wyandot, Shawnee, Delaware

Subject Categories

Cultural History | History of Religion | Indigenous Studies | Mormon Studies | Other History | United States History


In 1830-1831, Mormon missionaries were sent out to proselytize Native Americans—an effort called the “Lamanite Mission.” While this event has been scrutinized multiple times over and in a variety of ways, the Native Americans themselves are most often either considered passive characters in the narrative or ignored completely. However, understanding the circumstances of those Native Americans leading up to the Lamanite Mission, during the era of Indian Removal, can give a deeper understanding of the early Mormon mission which has heretofore been ignored. Understanding Indian Removal not only explains why the Seneca, Wyandot, Shawnee, and Delaware people were located as they were when Mormon missionaries arrived in 1830-1831 but can also give possible explanations as to why those Native Americans reacted to the message of Mormonism as they did. Each of the four Native American groups, while experiencing many of the same trials during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, also underwent their own, unique issues which help to give more detail to the Lamanite Mission and the reaction of Native Americans to the first Mormon missionaries. Finally, by looking at the circumstances of the Native Americans themselves, the issue of ignoring or sidelining the indigenous people in the narrative of the Lamanite Mission can, at least in part, be rectified.


© Kaleb C. Miner

Open Access