A Forgotten Missionary : Hiram Clark, Mormon Itinerant, British Emigration Organizer, and First President of the L.D.S. Hawaiian Mission, 1795-1853
California State University, Fullerton
This is a contextual biography of Hiram Clark, an early missionary and emigration leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who played a prominent role in Mormonism's phenomenal overseas advance, in Great Britain during the 1840s and in the South Pacific during the 1850s. Despite Clark's prominent position in the progress of the Latter-day Saint religious tradition his story has been largely forgotten. This overlooked status was for the most part due to Hiram Clark's dedicated yet dissolute personality, which caused him to be ignored by providentialist Mormon historians. The neglect is unfortunate, because through Clark's character one can reconcile the seemingly contradictory image of the nineteenth-century Mormons as presented by themselves (selfless dedication to the cause of truth) and by outsiders (religious fanaticism). His life mirrors the rapidly changing and enigmatic nature of early Mormonism.