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Angela Hudson Wins 2020 Arrington-Prucha Essay Prize

Dr. Angela Hudson has been awarded the 2020 Arrington-Prucha Prize from the Western History Association for her essay “There is no Mormon Trail of Tears:  Roots, Removals, and Reconstructions.” The Arrington-Prucha Prize is awarded to the best essay on the religious history of the American West with a $500 cash prize. The WHA’s announcement is here

“There is no Mormon Trail of Tears” was published in 2019 as a part of the collection Reconstruction and Mormon America edited by Brian Q. Cannon and Clyde A. Milner with the University of Oklahoma Press

Professor Hudson argues that despite superficial similarities and coincidental timing, the mid-19th century removal of Native Americans from their eastern homelands and the exodus of persecuted Mormons are not equivalent, popular narratives notwithstanding. Decoupling these two episodes requires an acknowledgement of Mormon complicity in settler colonial practices and an understanding of Indian removal as an essential pillar of American expansion, not an aberration.