Globalizing Flowscapes and the Historical Archaeology of the Mormon Domain
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- Scarlett, T.J. Int J Histor Archaeol (2006) 10: 109. doi:10.1007/s10761-006-0008-0
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Historical archaeology within the Mormon Domain should focus upon the globalizing flowscapes defined by Arjun Appaduri: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes. This perspective moves archaeological scholarship away from attempts to identify a single “Mormon Culture Pattern” and illustrate that pattern's collapse to processes of Americanization and Globalization after Utah achieved statehood. By shifting the focus to the relationships of exchange organized using the flowscapes, the Mormon Domain becomes an ideal venue to explore the roots of globalization's bifurcating tendency to deterritorialize nations and regions by connecting local places with transnational population movements. This intellectual perspective will further align historical archaeology in Utah and the Great Basin with general trends in historical archaeology, New Western History, and New Mormon History.
KEY WORDS:Mormon domainglobalizationflowscapes
Beginning before Utah's statehood, writers of many backgrounds published studies of Mormons and their communities. Many of the earliest works fell into one of two general types: (1) the faith-building, Latter-day Saint version of “mug history” that celebrated the ancestors’ achievements; or (2) the muckraking, anti-Mormon exposé that sought to denigrate them. More constructive academic works emerged over the past sixty years. These studies resonated with broad intellectual trends and had a wide impact upon research in the academy.
The serious scholars that emerged generally sought to identify and delimit elements of the “The Mormon Culture Pattern” that contributed to one of America's distinctive folk-cultures. Most studies also generally described the culture's loss of uniqueness to acculturation. In the last fifteen years, archaeologists in the western United States selectively borrowed academic models that engaged globalization in order to mature their own perspective on the origins of the modern world. Applying models of globalization to the old culture-pattern perspective, however, produced a theoretical setback for archaeologists in the region. The on-going study of Utah's immigrant pottery workers illustrates the compelling need to adjust archaeological approaches to global models of both community and identity in the western United States. Historical archaeologists must shift the emphasis of their narratives from pattern-based, place-bound stories of ethnogenesis and acculturation toward the flowscapes of exchange rooted in the formation of the modern world.
FROM THE “MORMON VILLAGE” TO THE “GLOBAL VILLAGE”
In 1953, sociologist Nelson Lowry described the religious farm village that formed the core of the Mormons’ successful settlement strategy. He asserted that the nucleated and grid-drawn physical structure of Zion's landscape, arose from the community's efforts to build up the utopian Kingdom of God on earth. His work emphasized the unique nature of Utah's villages and towns. Rather than focus on polygamy, which drove much of that period's sociological literature on Mormons, he observed that the landscape structure derived from religious social institutions promoting communalism, nationalism, and cohesion (Lowry, 1952, pp. 36–37).
Leonard Arrington, the Latter-day Saint Church Historian, soon followed Lowry's book with Great Basin Kingdom (1970). His study ambitiously described an economist's view of Utah's settlement and he also focused upon Utah's unique localisms. Arrington divided Utah's economic and social development into four major periods. Like Lowery, he understood that the Latter-day Saint leaders’ experiences during the earlier period between 1830 and 1846 had formed the basis from which they would design Zion's settlement. This formative period and later experiences cemented seven ideals that Arrington believed informed Utah's settlement and development: (1) gathering souls from Babylon to Zion through active mission programs, (2) the formation of nucleated villages, (3) The consecration of private property then returned in stewardship for the religious community, (4) the redemption and beautification of the earth, (5) frugality and economic independence, (6) group unity and cooperation, and (7) equality among members (Arrington, 1970, pp. 24–28).
Church leaders dedicated the years 1847 through 1868 toward “building up the kingdom” and enhancing the distinctiveness of Latter-day Saint communities. The Mormons surveyed and settled the Great Basin region, commenced agricultural reclamation projects and developed craft and industry throughout the region. Following the completion of the railroad in 1869, Arrington wrote, Utah's leaders and Latter-day Saint communities entered a period of retrenchment before foreign economic and social influences until 1884. Communities formed various cooperative structures to preserve economic self-sufficiency. After 1885, the Kingdom was in retreat before the power of the United States government and national economic interests. Arrington set his second two periods apart because they represented a transition toward mainstream America. His periods of development in Utah, like much of this pioneering book, remain “durable” and useful to current scholars (Alexander, 1992, pp. 18–19; Kimball, 1988, p. 2).
Geographers also contributed significant studies and identified Zion's settlements as a hearth of one of America's distinctive folk-cultures. D. W. Meinig first defined the “Mormon Culture Region” in 1965. The Mormons, Meinig (1965, p. 191) wrote, “constitute a highly self-conscious subculture whose chief bond is religion.” The group defined itself with variations in demography, agriculture, and settlement patterns found variously throughout the core, domain, and sphere of settlement (Meinig, 1965, pp. 193, 213–217). Richard Francaviglia (1970, 1978) tied studies of Mormon cultural artifacts into studies of landscape and architecture, although he used subtly different categories of landscape than Meinig. Francaviglia (1970) listed ten features that commonly denoted a Mormon town: wide streets, roadside irrigation ditches, barns and granaries in town, unpainted farm buildings, open fields around town, “Mormon derrick” hay stackers, crude and unpainted fences, I-style houses with the polygamy variety, predominance of brick in buildings, and Latter-day Saint ward chapels.
Meinig and Francaviglia held that the more traits a community exhibited, the more purely Mormon it could be considered. Implicit in Francaviglia's idea was the assertion that as a community lost the physical manifestations of its cultural heritage, its members also lost their distinctive uniqueness to the homogenizing power of globalization. Similarly today, the transformation of local places by international corporate chain stores and cultural identity is often locally expressed as Californication in the western United States.
Working from the culture-area perspective, geographers, historians, economists, and anthropologists often documented the transformation of local peoples and places by the global economic and cultural system. This critical thread wove through the scholarship of those researchers who sought to record and preserve local unique customs, and in these celebrations of tradition they created an illusion of a static cultural system. Literary theorist Marshall McLuhan (1964) first pointed to the cultural threads that accompanied the world's interwoven economic fabric when he proposed that technology had been drawing disparate peoples together into a global village. This global village had been enabled, McLuhan wrote, by widespread literacy, electronic transmission of print media, transportation improvements, and the social disciplines that evolved from mechanical clocks and coinage and specie. These technologies and their social relations ‘imploded’ the planet, uniting widely disparate communities so that information exchange became nearly immediate (McLuhan, 1964, p. 185).
UTAH HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Archaeological study of Latter-day Saint communities engaged with the same themes described above. Excavation-based studies of Mormon history (as contrasted from faith-guided research into North American prehistory) began in earnest in the 1970s. J. C. and Virginia Harrington contracted with the Latter-day Saint Church Historical Department and directed excavation for historic site reconstruction at Nauvoo, Illinois (Pykles, 2005). Several researchers studied Latter-day Saint communities and sites and the subsequent publications produced broad impact on the wider practice of historical archaeology, including those by Dale Berge (1983, 1990), Jim Ayres (1983, 1996), and particularly Mark Leone (1977, 1978, 1979).
Despite the initial popularity of these works in historical archaeology, historical archaeological research attracted seemingly little attention during the late 1980s and 1990s. This change occurred, at least in part, because historical archaeologists became increasingly dissatisfied with the pattern analysis mode at the core of studies of ethnicity, identity, and assimilation. The old literature on Mormon settlement was based largely in this “culture area” concept and comparatively simplistic functional or system-based models of culture that had become intellectually unpopular the field. As historical archaeologists turned away from essentialist constructs, the study of Utah's nineteenth century was largely lost in the shuffle.
Historical studies, by contrast, have flourished over the past twenty years. The New Mormon History and the New Western History brought on a revitalization in which researchers apply interdisciplinary analytical modes to examine questions about communities, families, and individuals in the context of class, ethnicity, and gender. Hundreds of other scholars work within this electrified academic atmosphere and major overviews and historiographic studies appeared in recent years (Bringhurst and Anderson, 2004; Walker et al., 2000). Perhaps because there are so few recent archaeological studies of Utah's historic era, the New Mormon Historians have thus far paid little or no attention to the stories told by archaeologists. These trends have led to an impoverishment of historical archaeology in Utah.
Hence the curious anomaly of the Mormon Village: isolated, stuck off in the lost corners of plateaus and deserts, sometimes a hundred miles or more from a railroad, Mormon towns often contain their quota of world travelers. Their culture is a curious mixture of provincialism, parochialism, and cosmopolitanism (Stegner, 1981, p. 19).
Modern research should turn archaeological study away from the traditional attempts to discover “The Mormon Culture Pattern” with its focus upon bounded community structures. Nor should we continue to conflate periods of economic isolation with cultural isolation. Latter-day Saint settlers built settlements with characteristics of both insular and cosmopolitan frontiers. Jerome Steffen coined these terms to identify the isolated and independent communities of one type of frontier with the economically specialized, internationally connected settlements of the industrial frontier (Steffen, 1980, pp. xii–xiii; also see Hardesty, 1985, pp. 213–214). Investigating the roots of the modern world in Utah shifts our research foci from a mythically isolated and pristine folk culture onto the social relationships through which globalization operated.
CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION
Historical archaeologists in North America had always built the idea of globalization into their discipline, but in 1996 Charles Orser theorized the subject to the center of our field. Orser drew together globalized threads in archaeological research, uniting those threads into metaphorical “nets” representing the weave of interconnected social relationships. Archaeological stories, he asserted, should focus upon social relationships rather than a fuzzy idea of culture. Critics of global perspectives cautiously asserted that archaeologists should focus upon creating “historic ethnographies” with their tremendous power to describe and analyze highly localized histories (Schuyler, 1988). Orser (1996, pp. 58–88) countered these warnings, asserting that archaeologists should accept the centrality of globalization to understanding local events, but doing so required a critically reflective posture which encouraged us to engage our field's four haunts: colonialism, capitalism, Eurocentrism, and modernity.
The economically based world system approach appeared a natural mode of analysis by which to understand the American West (Robbins, 1994, pp. 7–20). It has remained popular with archaeologists, particularly for studies of mining in the Great Basin (discussed in Hardesty, 1986, 1999a,b). In critical assessments, however, the world systems approach showed flaws common to many explanatory frameworks—while it could eloquently describe global-scale processes and interactions, the perspective broke down when archaeologists focused the theory to particular places and sometimes-narrow time scales (Williams, 1992). Centering the focus on the world economy de-emphasized the autonomy of local people. As a remedy, some archaeologists turned to the Marxist mode of production approach championed by Eric Wolf (Reno, 1998). The mode of production linked people in organizational nets for various activities and the different, overlapping modes permitted flexible and heterarchical relationships, softening the core-periphery division of world systems theory.
Following researchers from many other disciplines, historical archaeologists working in the western United States gradually converged upon a broader theory of globalization. Globalization, they believed, must integrate the economic and political with the social, cultural, and ideological connections between people in the modern world (e.g. Hardesty 1999a; Praetzellis and Praetzellis, 2001). Scholars drew from a set of ideas that matured over the previous fifteen years, drawing upon Robertson (1992); Giddens (1979); Harvey (1989); Lash and Urry (1994); and Waters (1995). Globalization was producing, according to theorists, a deterritorialization of places since international economic and ideological systems have uncoupled the articulations between production, consumption, identity, politics and communities (Appadurai, 2002, p. 54; Kearney, 1995, p. 553). In the globalized world, transnational populations, communities, technological systems, and structures of finance minimize the role of the nation-state and connect people into worldwide contexts. Globalization's deterritorializing tendency has a converse effect upon the local place. The increasing volume of travel, migration, and immigration produced unprecedented ethnic mixing. These contacts occurred concurrently with rapid global information exchange. These forces produced highly localized contexts for social conflict and action, adaptation, accommodation, innovation, and resistance. Roland Robertson (1995) used glocalization to refer to the dual nature of this process, subverting the national and regional to the local and global.
THE GLOBALIZED FLOWSCAPES OF THE MORMON DOMAIN
Utah's most remote Mormon settlements and most isolated pottery workers maintained strong and intimate connections to other regions of the world (Scarlett, 2002). In past publications, I have described pottery makers of Utah's towns and cities and the global and local elements of the sociotechnical system they built surrounding earthenware and stoneware manufacture, exchange, and consumption. I described the global and the local as having a dialectical relationship, as the heads and tails of a coin. The dialectic inseparably connects the global and the local in interdependent opposition where one could only be understood in light of the other. The interconnected global and the local, however, do not fit eloquently into a world system framework. Salt Lake City served as center of power, including the ideological, political, and economic administrative organization for a growing global enterprise. While Brigham Young and his allies vied for autonomy in Washington, D.C., and raised money from overseas locales, the church membership remained subject to the legal authority of other Nation-states and Utah's residents lived on the American mining frontier. Zion's capital, while clearly an economic periphery in the world system, became a religious hearth region at the center of a global network where the industrious Latter-day Saint faithful could begin to redeem God's kingdom on Earth.
Appadurai's (2002, pp. 50–54) Five Dimensions of Global Cultural Flow
Ethnoscapes: moving landscapes of people, including immigrants, tourists, guests, refugees, etc
Mediascapes: distributions of information capabilities, particularly electronic in the modern world
Ideoscapes: chains of ideas composed of elements of the enlightenment worldview
Technoscapes: global configurations of technology and the increasing speed at which technological systems can move around the globe
Financescapes: dispositions of capital connecting the world's peoples
Utah's nineteenth century ethnoscapes initiated dramatic streams of immigrants, missionaries, and tourists that spanned the globe. The Latter-Day Saints’ arrival in Utah was preceded by a Diasporic period in Mormon history that set in motion several trajectories of settlement. Brigham Young and the other church leaders had already implemented an aggressive missionization program and had begun to gather the saints to each of the church's headquarters. In each area, including Palmyra, New York; Kirtland, Ohio; Independence, Missouri; and Nauvoo, Illinois; the Mormon-Gentile relations grew increasingly strained until church leaders withdrew to a new location, often because of mob action and periodic violence. While in a period of relative stability in Nauvoo, the Mormons built the one of the largest cities in the United States until the murder of prophet and president Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum and the Latter-day Saint retreat to Utah (Arrington, 1970, p. 17).
This historical experience structured much of Brigham Young's actions during Utah's pioneer period (1846–1869) and largely influenced the ethnoscape's shape. Young ran the exodus from Nauvoo and colonization of the Utah territory in a highly rationalized manner. Even during the evacuation of Nauvoo, leaders tried to balance the stream of immigrants among skilled craftspeople and unskilled workers so that the desert communities could grow to support those that arrived later. The church administration organized immigrant groups hierarchically and provided each captain with a list of supplies that individuals should carry, booked passages filling entire sailing vessels, supplied and led overland travel, and even taught English to those who needed to learn during the journey (Arrington, 1970, pp. 96–112). As the initial settlement matured in 1848, Young immediately began to dispatch similarly balanced mission teams to settle new communities. Church leaders ordered advance survey teams to map the land and report valuable natural resources, particularly water, arable land, and geographic nodes of overland transportation. As communities grew and flourished, Young and his advisors often split new mission groups from the old to form more new settlements.
Monday 24th August 1840 … In the Afternoon called to see the Rev J. Marsland a Methodist Priest in Wesbroomwich … I said the Lord had sent us forth to teach him and All the men of this Generation the plan of Salvation and he had Chosen them from the Plough and Anvil and Potts and various other Ocupations to preach the Gospel without Purse or Scrip as anciently (Richards 1975, p. 4).
Over the following decades, missionaries traveled to dozens of countries, from Hawaii to Denmark and from Chile to Romania. Initially, the missionaries prepared converts to travel to Zion as immigrants.
This discussion clearly showed the church leadership's desire to have immigrant companies of skilled workers. By shaping the ethnoscape, Brigham Young and his staff expected to mitigate the economic dependence upon the world system. Kirk Henrichsen (1988, pp. 11–13) wrote that many potters also emigrated from Scandinavia, particularly from agricultural villages surrounding Sorring on the Jutland Peninsula's northeast. Most American potters made initial contact with Latter-day Saint settlers fleeing persecution rather than missionaries sent to their communities, and he specifically cited the experience of the Roberts family (Henrichsen, 1999, pp. 7–10). The Roberts family became one of Utah's craft dynasties and family members operated potteries throughout the entire state over nearly six decades.
The President then arose and made some remarks upon the necefsity of establishing a Perpetual Emigrating Fund in the Conference, and shewed the vital necefsity of at once raising funds sufficient for the sending out of companies of Wollen, Cotton, Iron, & Pot Manufacturers. That trade might be commenced in the Valley, that the saints might be a separate and independent people (Richards 1975, p. 19).
Two years after fleeing to Utah, some former Staffordshire potters first endeavored to build a factory in 1848. This early pottery was shortly transformed into the Deseret Pottery and supported by the Church using tithing resources and cash reserves. The potters, under Ephriam Tompkinson and later Alfred Cordon, struggled to sustainably manufacture earthenware with local materials. The enterprise collapsed by 1853 when the church withdrew support after a group of Danish immigrants began manufacturing ware independently in a shop nearby. The Danes, including master potter Niels Jensen and his apprentices Frederick Petersen, Fredrick Hansen, and James J. Hansen, worked in Salt Lake City for several years until Jensen's death. The three young apprentices split up after that and the Hansens moved to different towns in Utah's northern settlements where they worked for many years, one as a pottery owner with one employee and the other became part of a type of utopian Co-op.
Potters continued to immigrate throughout the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s and many took up settling missions as directed by Church officials. This pattern began with Ephraim Tompkinson and the Rowley brothers in Fillmore and Horace Roberts in Provo, but eventually included Thomas Davenport in Parowan, the Eardley brothers in Salt Lake City and then James Eardley's later move to St. George, and Wilhelm H. O. Behrman in Brigham City, Arizona. Potters also responded to other push and pull forces besides mission callings. Local communities would occasionally publish advertisements to recruit potters. Many of the operative potters probably settled in communities of their own accord after 1870, and some of the identified potters may have left the faith as Simon Lowell did in 1882 when he divorced; sold his shop; abandoned his family in Panguitch, Utah; and moved to Denver, Colorado.
This settlement pattern gave Brigham Young various levels of control over both the population profile in particular Latter-day Saint communities and geopolitical control of regions of the Intermountain West and Pacific Slope. He originally proposed a State of Deseret that included territory from the Rocky Mountains’ western slope to a Pacific Ocean port at San Bernardino in present day Southern California. While the full extent of that vision was never realized; the highly centralized settlement planning produced a distinct landscape of Mormon settlement that included core settlements between the Rocky and Wasatch Mountains and the eastern Great Basin of North America. Young and the other Latter-day Saint leaders also exerted considerable control over a sphere of influence that eventually ranged from Canada to Mexico and westward along the Mormon Corridor to California.
Individual Mormons often traveled for many reasons during their lives. The aggregated result of missions, church duties, and leisure trips produced a well-traveled population. Publisher George Q. Cannon serves as one example and his experience was not an extreme case. His travels took him to the following locations from his birthplace in Liverpool, England: as an immigrant he moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and Salt Lake City and Fillmore, Utah; as a missionary to San Francisco, California (twice), Hawaii, and throughout the United Kingdom (mission president), and the Eastern and Midwestern United States; as a church representative and lobbyist Washington, D.C., and the Worlds Fair in Chicago, Illinois; he lived in Nevada while in hiding from anti-polygamy raids; and for leisure travel and minor church business in Alaska, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas, and Mexico City, Mexico (Bitton, 1999, pp. 459–461). Such a biographical perspective should de-center the emphasis on single places in the Mormon domain.
Individual Mormons and gentiles encountered each other locally in Utah because gentile travelers often came to visit Utah or pass through on their way between California and the east. Many thousands of people passed through Utah on the way to the California gold fields, the Comstock bonanza, and succeeding boom towns and mining districts. At mid-century, some stopped to winter in Salt Lake City because they did not arrive in time to get through the Sierra Nevada mountain passes before snow sealed them for the winter. These “Winter Saints” often rented rooms with Latter-day Saint families who made a significant profit by trading with them. Those rushing to the gold fields provided a much-needed infusion of cash during Zion's early settlement. Later travelers came following rumors about the exotic Mormon Kingdom making a stop at Ogden or Salt Lake City on their rail trip to San Francisco, taking in the cultural as well as the natural wonders of the American West.
These ethnoscapes included webs of human relationships that surpassed bureaucratic or ecclesiastical support or control. The ethnoscapes included consanguine and affinal familial ties, fictive kinships that arose from baptism and immigration connections, neighbors split when communities split to settle a new mission, and bonds nurtured overseas during the mission time. The relationships spanned across continents and oceans and individuals communicated frequently exchanging letters between visits. In addition, published descriptions and public art inspired travelers to seek out the Mormons, in amusement, horror, or admiration. The human nature of these connections lead into a consideration of mediascapes and the exchange of information in a globalizing world and the ideoscapes surrounding the Latter-day Saint faith.
The mediascape describes the uneven distribution of media among the regions of the world. Both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young understood the importance of control over the mass media. In the nineteenth century, the main media were printed newspapers even after the telegraph initiated the age of electronic communication. Presses in the United States produced more than 3700 newspapers in the mid-nineteenth century and the Latter-day Saint community was maligned or reported as exotic and bizarre in many of them. Smith knew that the church needed its own press for two main tasks. They needed to print the Book of Mormon for members and missionaries and did so for the first time in 1830. Their second need was to create church-controlled outlets through with the Latter-day Saint leadership could represent themselves to the communities in which their members lived (Ekins, 2002, pp. 31–32, 49).
The mediascape was the shifting and dynamic location where inflammatory and apologetic essays inflamed or soothed tensions between Mormons and gentiles in communities. The presses became concrete nodes that manifested this virtual flowscape. When tensions became very high, people attacked these nodes. While the Latter-day Saint church was headquartered in Independence, Missouri, they published The Evening and the Morning Star between 1832 and 1833. As conflict arose in that community, an angry gentile mob destroyed the Latter-day Saint press in 1833. The press was removed to Kirtland, Ohio, and operated from 1833–1834.
When the Latter-day Saint faithful had retreated to Nauvoo, Illinois, a dissenter group published The Nauvoo Expositor. The Expositor's pages so inflamed the community and angered Joseph Smith that the city council (under mayor Smith) ordered the destruction of the presses in June of 1844. The destruction of the opposition paper set into motion the events which led to Joseph and Hyrum Smith's murders and the evacuation to Utah (Ekins, 2002, pp. 32–33).
Brigham Young understood the full power of the newspaper mediascapes. He planned for the Church to own and publish newspapers in key cities throughout the United States and the world which could both promote and defend the Latter-day Saint doctrine, particularly polygamy and theocratic government. He expected the promotion to aid in mission activities and also to defend the church, “through an unrelenting office directed at its many critics” (Ekins, 2002, p. 31). The church called editors to publish papers, which they then founded and operated as independent businesses under ecclesiastical guidance. The major papers included The Evening and the Morning Star in Independence and Kirtland, The Millennial Star in England, Skandinaviens Stjerne in Copenhagen, Etoile Du Deseret in Paris, Zion's Panier in Hamburg, Der Darsteller in Geneva, The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, The Times and Seasons in Illinois, The Nauvoo Wasp (later the Nauvoo Neighbor), The Western Standard in San Francisco, The Prophet (later the Messenger) in New York, and perhaps in early years The California Star. The mediascape also included local town papers throughout the Mormon domain. Independent publishers also printed newspapers such as the Salt Lake Tribune, which could be editorially neutral or anti-Mormon in their reporting (lists of papers appear numerous places, including Arrington (1970, p. 98) and Ekins (2002)).
“HURRAH FOR THE NORTHERN POTTERY!!!” exclaimed the Deseret News headline when Simpson and Lewis announced that they had wares for sale in 1863 (Scarlett, 2002, p. 193). Pottery makers accessed the mediascape irregularly. They accessed two main forms of media, including local newspapers and published business directories. Some of the potters promoted their wares aggressively, including the urban potters in Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden. A few rural potters also regularly published advertisements or purchased business directory listings; James Eardley's Dixie Pottery in St. George serves as the best example. Rural potters, however, generally had less need to publish ads.
Potters and community leaders spread information about domestic industry through advertisements that announced the quality, durability, and beauty of local wares. The information appeared in editorials and news items as well as advertisements, but did not simply announce the ware's availability. The mediascape also served as a location to teach about the venues and methods of trade, to exchange information about business relations, and to reinforce the moral social status of supporting home-industry. Communities understood the mediascape to contain major topographic divisions among Latter-day Saint-approved and anti-Mormon publications; national examples included L. M. McKenney and Company in San Francisco, Lorenzo Stenhouse and Company in New York, and R. L. Polk and Company in Chicago. Latter-day Saint publishers included smaller local presses, like H. J. Hill (1986) of Salt Lake City, who published the Pocket Directory of Business Houses of the Latter-Day Saints; including the trades and professions in 1886. Supporting home industry became a religious and civic duty and the social battles surrounding the morality of consumerism played out in the media.
The church supplemented newspapers by countless broadsides and pamphlets. Each of other official church auxiliary organizations often published their own literature to influence the mediascape. The Sunday Schools Union published the Juvenile Instructor and the Sunday School Union Leaflets series. The Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association respectively published the Improvement Era and The Young Woman's Journal and jointly The Contributor and numerous other handbooks. The Primary Association, for children too young for the YMMIA or YLMIA, published the Children's Friend. These organizations produced educational materials that supplemented regular curriculum with moral, scientific, and arts education. Publishing periodicals and occasional series allowed the church to influence the mediascape so members could draw upon approved resources when engaging everything from current news, scientific discoveries, history, poetry, or classics of literature.
The techno- and financescapes describe the interconnected configurations of technological systems, labor relations, and dispositions of capital inherent in the modern world. These nineteenth century flowscapes directly involved Mormon potters in a number of ways. Immigration overlaps from ethnoscape into technoscape because the movement of workers served as the primary vehicle for the transfer of technological systems during the nineteenth century. Alfred Cordon wrote that he had encouraged the potters to “collect what figure moulds &c they could get and to make what arrangements they could” (Richards, 1975, p. 21). Brigham Young sought immigrants from particular industries and sometimes bought entire factories and had them shipped into Utah along with the converts from the area.
In the technoscape, the potters experienced one of their most tangible and dramatic global flows. The potters of Europe and the eastern United States, particularly the converts in England's Five Towns potting district, lived and worked at the heart of the industrialized world in their industry. The pot banks had been shifting toward increased productive scale, intensified investment of capital, irregular mechanization, and the professionalization and specialization of certain areas of work in the factories. The workplace had become highly segmented by the mid-nineteenth century, and the structure of work varied widely within the production sequence (Whipp, 1990, p. 24). The technoscape and ideoscape overlapped as the trade unions evolved alongside the Potteries Chambers of Commerce and socialist and anti-industrial philosophies spread amongst the workers (Owen, 1901; Scarlett, 2002, pp. 121–146).
In Utah, pottery workers who immigrated often gave up clay work for farming or some other type of hourly labor. Those who continued in potting often had to reinvent their craft using specialized factory knowledge that included an imperfect understanding of the entire process. Archaeological and historical research showed that the technological systems they implemented included throwing clay upon the wheel, casting liquid slip in plaster molds, and machine-press molding in at least one case. Ongoing research seeks to understand how individual potters experimented and adapted their techniques each time they colonized a new location (Scarlett et al., 2005, 2007). They built workplaces which drew upon an array of social relations, including family, apprentices, and male and female adult and child workers. The potters ran shops in diverse locations and conditions that overlap the ethno-, techno-, and financescapes.
The Mormon potters’ financescapes included a number of important distinctions from other nineteenth century workers. The financescape overlapped the ethnoscape in several ways. The potters drew upon several church-organized systems that financed immigration and gathered the saints to Zion in America. Among the most important of these was the Perpetual Immigration Fund, though which an Latter-day Saint convert could borrow money to travel to Utah if he or she agreed to pay back the full amount with some interest. The proceeds could then be used to bring more immigrants. The fund experienced tremendous overall success until the federal government pressure forced the Mormons to dissolve it. The potters of Staffordshire, both Mormon and gentile, formed the Potters’ Joint Stock Emigration Society in the 1840s. While it operated in a similar way, the rationale was quite secular—to remove the surplus of labor which depressed wages in the factory district. They planned to sell shares and buy potential farmland in Illinois, then operate a lottery to select emigrants. Each year's emigrants would pay into the fund for their land and thus finance the expansion of the system. This company failed quickly and the scheme collapsed (Owen, 1901, pp. 72–73).
Upon the Mormon immigrants arrival in Utah, the church authorities supported the initial colonization of a new community through an elaborate and flexible tithing network that connected the individual but disparate saints in Michigan, Norway, and Hawaii with those in Utah's mountain valleys. Obedient Mormons tithe 10% of their cash income, 10% of their time, and 10% of the products of their labor. This tithe was collected at the local level and gathered to the Bishop's Storehouse where local and regional leaders could mitigate poverty and support those in need in their region. The central authorities in Salt Lake City could request specific kinds of supplies or cash reserves for higher order projects or settlement efforts. They arranged and supplied financial and material support and coordinated immigration, but authorities also planned regional economic development, engineered systems of hydraulic management and agricultural improvement, and methods to circumscribe competition (Abruzzi, 1993, 1995; Arrington, 1970; May 1992; Scarlett, 1999, 2002; Scarlett et al., 2005).
The church authorities, while deeply involved in regional planning and development, very rarely became directly involved in the finances of a local pottery. The first exception, the Deseret Pottery, was mentioned above. The second example occurred at Erasmus Snow's utopian community at Brigham City, Utah. In this case, Brigham Young sent Snow to implement one of his experimental communes, variously designed to discover means for local communities to resist the penetration of global capital as the transnational railroad neared completion in 1869. Ferdinand Hansen, a former apprentice of Niels Jensen, consecrated his existing pottery to the church. He transferred ownership to the Brigham City Cooperative Mercantile Association in exchange for stock in the joint-held commune. The continued to work under ecclesiastical oversight and was paid in script from the Cooperative Store, which he could exchange for community-made or imported products. The pottery was one division of a wide array of productive divisions, including a woolen mill, lumber mill, a diary, several leather works, a hat shop, and a broom making division. The commune operated with some success until a series of disasters, problems, and aggressive action by the federal government forced its dissolution in the 1970s (Scarlett et al., 2005).
While the church did not overlap the finance-, techno-, and ideoscapes often by directly operating potteries, authorities still played important roles in the arrangement of commerce in the Mormon domain. The economic redistribution of tithing made up one major element of the financescape, but the sacred pressure to support home industry was equally powerful an influence. By preaching the moral value of supporting home industry, religious leaders successfully circumscribed some competition. They also created a network of retail and co-operative nodes of distribution, which permitted Latter-day Saint potters to redistribute their wares. According to Bedson Eardley's surviving account books for example, he maintained accounts with retailers and customers and also with the General Tithing Office, the General Tithing Store, the main Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Association store, the 6th and 7th Ward Co-Op Stores, the General Bishop's Store, and the 5th Ward Family Store (cited in Scarlett et al., 2005). Church authorities created financescapes infused with meaning from the ideoscape, encouraging local pottery production to flourish.
Arjun Appadurai's (2002, p. 54) evoked the ideoscape as a flow of symbols and images that link to national ideologies and counterideologies connected to the enlightenment worldview, including chains of ideas such as freedom, democracy, welfare, human rights, and sovereignty. Consideration of the Mormon ideoscape in this study focused upon the potters’ involvement in social discourses surrounding agency, obedience, and dissent in Latter-day Saint communities. A discussion of ideoscape should arguably include lengthy treatments of the evolving religious doctrine of the Latter-day Saint Church, including its revelations about the restored priesthood, the redemption of the wilderness, its unique perspective on North and South American prehistory, post-mortem baptism, church hierarchical structure, the purity of the body and dietary restrictions, the creation of sacred toponyms during colonization of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain landscapes, the global demography of Latter-day Saint populations, and so forth. The ideoscape intersects with the mediascape in the consideration of the production and consumption of art, the sacred art depicting biblical or Book of Mormon scenes and the secular but spiritual depictions of the landscapes and vistas of the American West. The ethnoscape and ideoscape intersect as well, particularly in the global demography and growth of the Latter-day Saint faith.
Friday 28 August 1840 … After dinner went with bro Walker through the Iron Works And a Curios Sight it is I have often heard the punishment of the Dam’nd Spoke of by Hireling Preists [sic] but if the Suffer in the Eternal World as those men Suffer here My Prayer is a God in wrath remmember Mercy To see the Bodies of Men quite red through the heat of the Furnaces and Iron which the are working amongst and quite wet with Sweat Working twelve or thirteen hours a day. Talk of Slaves Abroad. Look at the Slaves in England which is a Land of Liberty. When I think of the Suffering of the Men of this Generation at present and Compare them with things that are to come I exclaim O Father in wrath remember Mercy. And hasten that time, when righteousnefs, and peac[e], and Joy, and Liberty, and Love, shall cover the Earth, as the waters cover the Sea. When all shall know him from the least even to the Greatest … Amen (Richards, 1975, p. 5).
Alfred Cordon and his peers participated in anti-modern discussions critical of industrial capitalism, reacting to the horror they felt at the conditions of labor. The Mormon potters agitated for attempts to improve conditions, accepting various roles in Staffordshire's trade and labor unionization movements and joining Utah's utopian experiments that derived from the Consecration Movement and the later United Order.
And whereas:—we have learned of the struggle between capital and labor—resulting in strikes of the workmen, with their consequent distress; and also the oppression of monied monopolies (Arrington, 1970, p. 327).
And whereas:—to accomplish [economic and social independence] and to become truly prosperous, we must be self-sustaining, encouraging home manufacturing, …
And whereas:—we believe that by a proper classification of our labors and energies, with a due regard to the laws of life and health, we will not only increase in earthly possessions, at a more rapid rate, but will also have more leisure time to devote to the cultivation and training of our minds and those of our children in the arts and sciences.
Therefore, be it resolved:—That we, [… the signers …], enter into and form a co-partnership for the purposes and subject to the provisions as herein set forth (Arrington, 1970, p. 328).
Regardless of whether the potter was a master craftsman, a minor industrialist, or a laborer who worked at potting, the ideoscape linked local economic and sacred actions in their lives with trends in global industrialism and politics (cf. Arrington, 1970, p. 63).
In early sermons, the leaders of the Latter-day Saint church sometimes drew upon the potter and his craft as an important representation of obedience and a Christian metaphor for the relations between God and penitent people. Heber C. Kimball, one of the church's Council of Twelve Apostles and Brigham Young's First President, probably served as the inspiration for this metaphor. Parley P. Pratt purportedly called Kimball “an outspoken Apostle, snatched from the potter's trade” (quoted in Nielsen, 1963, p. 43). Kimball had worked as a potter and served as an active missionary in the potteries district. Kimball often spoke in a manner one biographer described as “plain, definite, unpremeditated, eccentric, rough, disjointed, hard, and severe” as well as “sometimes considered vulgar” (Kimball, 1981, p. 269; also 1987). Heber spoke plainly and peppered his comments with course, salty expressions that earned him an international reputation since extemporaneous sermons were often transcribed and printed in Latter-day Saint newspapers around the Mormon Domain (Kimball, 1981, pp. 268–285). His influence spread to other church leaders and influenced their sermons, including Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Jedediah M. Grant, and Wilford Woodruff.
I preached in the afternoon, […and speaking of the lack of commitment in the community, I] compared them to a parcel of old earthen pots that were cracked in burning, for they were mostly apostates that were living there (Whitney, 1880, p. 26).
In this sermon, Kimball drew an analogy and made the apostate Mormons into kiln wasters, pots that cracked and split due to imperfections during firing. God formed these people into obedient Christians, but when God put them under stress (during firing) they cracked and failed. Kimball seems to have dismissed them, much to their displeasure (Whitney, 1880, p. 26).
After the initial settlement of Utah in 1846, the community rapidly grew and diversified (Richards, 1980, p. 62). As the group grew, dissention in the community also increased. The community had long struggled with constant threats of schism and dissention, and major debates occurred after Joseph Smith's death and later during a spiritual reformation in 1856. Church leaders applied the God-as-Potter metaphor to both explain their teachings and reinforce their authority as leaders of the community. In the later part of the decade, Church leaders used the metaphor to defuse community conflict over continued immigration. At its fullest, the God-as-Potter metaphor linked to lifestyle, authority, and diversity.
Like the pottery manufacturing process, God's spiritual potting went through several stages, including clay preparation, vessel forming, and firing. Each part of the process became an analog for part of one's spiritual growth. Preparing the clay—grinding, tempering, and mixing—all took sacred connotations as Kimball developed the metaphor throughout the 1850s (nearly full texts appeared in Scarlett, 2002, pp. 222–232).
Suppose the potter takes a lump of clay, and putting it on the wheel, goes to work to form it into a vessel, and works it out this way, and that way, and the other way, but the clay is refractory and snappish; he still trys [sic] it, but it will break, and snap, and snarl, and thus the potter will work it and work it until he is satisfied he cannot bring it into the shape he wants, and it mars upon the wheel; he takes his tool, then, and cuts it off the wheel, and throws it into the mill to be ground over again, until it becomes passive, (don't you think you will go to hell if you are not passive?) and after it is ground there so many days, and it becomes passive, he takes the same lump, and makes of it a vessel unto honor. Now do you see into that, brethren? I know the potters can (Kimball, 1852; also in Widtsoe, 1925, p. 344).
Because they are not contented with the shape the potter has given them, but straightway put themselves into a shape to please themselves; therefore they are beyond understanding what God designs, and they destroy themselves by the power of their own agency, for this is given to every man and woman, to do just as they please (Kimball, 1854, p. 150).
If a vessel warps, the potter cuts it from the wheel and casts it back into the mill or into water to soak until it returns to its natural raw element (Kimball, 1856, p. 120, 1857, p. 360). This idea applied equally to individuals, religions symbolized by their temple structures, or nations (cf. Kimball, 1855, p. 120, 1857, p. 360; Young 1853b, p. 135).
therefore you have got to be proved, not only by being tempted by the devil, but the [participation in the] Priesthood will try you—it will try you to the core. If one thing won't try you, something else will be adopted, until you are like the passive clay in the hands of the Potter. If the Lord our God does not see fit to let the devil loose upon you, and mob you, He will employ some other means to try you.
Kimball argued that accepting a mission appointment in service to the Priesthood became the critical test, and those who decline or fail would crack and be smashed by the Potter (Kimball, 1854, p. 150, 1856, p. 252).
The Potter takes such broken ware and crushes it under a large stone wheel, mixes the coarse powder with a little clay, and makes it into what they call sagers [sic]… These serve for a protection to the finer articles of ware in the operation of burning … They take these broken dishonored vessels for this purpose, because they are porous and good for nothing else; they are made as vessels of wrath fitted for destruction (Kimball, 1857, p. 360).
The wicked are of use to the Master Potter not only because they serve to protect the vessels of honor but also because “They are a rod in the hands of the Almighty to scourge the righteous, and prepare them … that they may enter into the celestial world” (Kimball, 1854, p. 150). In either application of this image, the wicked as saggers work God's will during the firing of other vessels.
Who is to mould these vessels? Is it God Himself in person, or is it His servants, His potters, or journeymen, in company with those He has placed to oversee the work? The great Master Potter dictates His servants, and it is for them to carry out His purposes, and make vessels according to His designs; and when they have done the work, they deliver it up to the Master for His acceptance; and if their works are not good, He does not accept them; the only works He accepts, are those that are prepared according to the design He gave. God will not be trifled with; neither will His servants; their words have got to be fulfilled, and they are the men that are to mould you, and tell you what shape to move in.
God our Father is the great potter … and brother Brigham is one of His servants, to preside over this pottery here in the flesh.
If it is the course for me to take, it is the course for every other Elder in Israel to take—it does not matter who he is, or where he came from; whether he be an American, an Englishman, Irishman, Frenchman or German, Jew or Gentile; to this you have got to bow, and you have got to bow down like the clay in the hands of the potter, that suffers the potter to mould it according to his pleasure” (Kimball, 1854, p. 150).
The clay metaphor worked very well to describe the vision Young and Kimball held for their community. Kimball (1854, p. 150) said, “you have been gathered from the nations of the earth, from among the kindreds, tongues, and peoples of the world, to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.” As the potter mixes raw clays from many sources, so did the Master Potter for the Latter-day Saint faithful.
[every] year we must have another batch of clay thrown in the mill, as brother Kimball calls it, and this new supply spoils more or less of the clay that is already well tempered, and it is right that it should be so… if 10,000 Saints [were] to emigrate to this point yearly from England, or any other country, and though thousands of the wicked should gather with them, it would not prove, for one moment, that this congregation before me would be obliged to do wrong.
Talk about old clay; I would rather have clay from a new bank than some that we have had clogging the wheels for the last nineteen years. They are a perfect nuisance, and I want them cut off, and the sooner it is done the better.
add the new clay, and work it over an over, and use the wire to draw from the lump any material that would obstruct the potter from preparing a vessel unto honor… though the new clay may be continually thrown into the mill, we will bring it to the same pliability as the old, much sooner than if it was ground alone; for the old clay soon mixes with the new and makes the whole lump passive (Young, 1856b, pp. 17, 20, 25).
Kimball's metaphorical use of potting to represent the community's spiritual endeavors were so well known by the congregation that other speakers throughout the mediascape often referred to them without further explanation or elaboration. Others could invoke Kimball's metaphor in a single sentence that connected to his ideoscape contributions regarding obedience, honor, and trial. “I do not know if I can compare it better than by the potter's business.” said Kimball, “It forms a good comparison” (Kimball, 1854, p. 150).
Church leader's use of the God-as-Potter metaphor seemed to wane as Kimball grew older and following the spiritual reformation of 1856. It is unclear if this change is because Kimball ceased using the metaphor himself or if other church leaders stopped first. In the last years preceding his death in 1868, Kimball sermons became increasingly rare in the ideo- and mediascapes (Kimball, 1981, p. 285; also Kimball, 1987).
Flowscapes provide useful frameworks to discuss the growing rush of globalization in the roots of the modern Utah. The Mormon's cultural flows are worldwide in scope, but were not closed systems or structures of exchange. They need not be understood as symmetrical or unchanging. The ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes overlap and intertwine while symbols, capital, and people flowed back and forth between different local places. The approach also transforms the focus of archaeological research. Scholars should move from attempts to discover a single “Mormon Pattern” in the material culture somehow separate from ethnicity, gender, household family cycle, or the other related sociological categories, toward an entirely different focus. The emphasis rests on connections between people that connect spaces internationally, rather than on stereotypes of local communities ground helplessly under the heel of cultural homogenization and the economic world system.
In her recent presidential address to the Mormon History Association, Martha Sonntag Bradley reminded scholars that people take social actions in space. Human encounters, avoidance, hierarchy, infiltration, and understanding all ‘concretize’ in spatially constituted places. Bradley (2005, pp. 4–7) sought to understand the meaning of Zion in the Latter-day Saint Domain where space informs people about the Mormon definition of good society, the gathering of the faithful unto Zion, and the mechanisms of boundary maintenance and inclusion/exclusion. She reminded the audience that the perspective of space created compelling connections between current community debates and historical events.
An international historical archaeology informed by the different dimensions of cultural flowscapes will complement such an approach. A global perspective helps insulate archaeological stories against past essentialist or functionalist pitfalls, making archaeological stories attractive to colleagues working in the New Mormon and New Western Histories and within historical archaeology generally. By centering our research on the bifurcating effect of glocalization, connecting the local and global in specific spaces, an historical archaeology of the Mormon Domain will invigorate research in the region.
I am indebted to Ronald L. Reno for introducing me to Robertson's glocalization. Conversations with Ron influenced my thoughts on globalization. I continue to benefit from intellectual exchanges with Kirk Henrichsen, who has generously shared his scholarship and research. Graduate students in Michigan Technological University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program critically reviewed versions of this paper, including Stephanie Atwood, Shannon Bennett, Patrick Corcoran, Michael Deegan, Cameron Hartnell, Aaron Kotlensky, Vanessa McLean, Christopher Merritt, James Rudkin, and Scott See. Three reviewers also provided useful and constructive comments: Donald L. Hardesty, Robert L. Schuyler, and Charles E. Orser, Jr, and Dr. Hardesty's work has been a continuing inspiration. Kenyon Kennard continues to provide administrative support the Utah Pottery Project. Mr. Kennard is the Curator of Artifacts at This Is The Place Heritage Park/Deseret Village. Any errors of fact or interpretation remain my own.