Spencer W. McBride

Historian of Early America


S&L McBride Family headshots 2016 043.jpg

Spencer W. McBride regularly speaks on historical topics to groups of scholars, as well as to the general public. Listed here is a selection of past and upcoming speaking engagements:


Panel Discussion: "Sons, Heroes, and Prophets: Expressions of Christian Manhood," 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Cleveland, OH, July 19-22, 2018.

"Religious Awakenings and the American Identity," The Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY, July 4, 2018.

"Joseph Smith in the White House," Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT, April 19, 2018.

"The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 7," Benchmark Books, Salt Lake City, UT, April 10, 2018.

"Religion and the Politics of Revolutionary America," Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT, April 5, 2018.

"Was the Constitution the Problem?: The Politics of Religious Intolerance in Nineteenth-Century America," Religious Pluralism and Democracy Conference, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, March 30, 2018.

"To Pray, or Not to Pray, for the King: Anglican Clergymen and Liturgical Politics in the American Revolution," Religion and Politics in Early America Conference, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, St. Louis, MO, March 3, 2018.

"'Our Pecuniary Embarrassments’: Richard M. Young and the Financing of Mormon Redress Efforts, 1839-40," Church History Symposium, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, March 1, 2018.


"Religion and the Politics of Revolutionary America," 6th Annual Friends of the Ramona Library Authors' Day, Ramona, CA, October 28, 2017.

"The Earth Belongs to the Living," Ramona High School, Ramona, CA, October 27, 2017.

"Book Promotion in an Ever-Evolving Social Media Landscape," LDS Publishing Professionals Association Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, September 22, 2017

"Where Do Mormons Fit in American Religious History?" Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, September 20, 2017.

"The Politics of Public Fasting," Church History Library, Salt Lake City, UT, September 14, 2017.

"The Council of Fifty and Joseph Smith's Presidential Ambitions," Benchmark Books, Salt Lake City, UT, September 6, 2017.

"The Retroactive Conversion of Thomas Jefferson: American Nationalism and the Contested Legacy of America's Founding," Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Northridge, CA, August 3-5, 2017.

"'Our Plan of Action is to Impeach the State of Missouri': Mormons, Constitutional Interpretation, and the Legal Plight of Nineteenth-Century American Religious Minorities," 39th Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Philadelphia, PA, July 21-23, 2017.

"Religion and the Politics of Revolutionary America," The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT, May 18, 2017.

"Religion and Political Mobilization in the American Revolution," Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT, April 21, 2017.

"Beyond the 'Christian Nation' Question: Religion and the Founding of the United States," Fraunces Tavern Museum, New York, NY, April 20, 2017.

"'Many Think This is a Hoax': The Newspaper Response to Joseph Smith's 1844 Presidential Campaign," Symposium: Somewhere Between Citizens and Foreigners: Perceptions of Mormons in American Political Culture, Salt Lake City, UT, March 17, 2017.

"Religion and the Ordering of Community in Revolutionary America," Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, March 3, 2017.

"Religion in Revolutionary America," Sons of Utah Pioneers, Bountiful, UT, February 21, 2017.

"Why Did Joseph Smith Run For President?" Institute of Religion, Ogden, UT,  January 31, 2017.

"Looking Beyond the Professoriate," History Graduate Student Association, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, January 29, 2017.

"Joseph Smith and His Papers," Baton Rouge Louisiana Stake, Baton Rouge, LA, January 28, 2017.

"'As Almighty in Its Sphere as Jehovah Is in His': Joseph Smith's Campaign for Religious Liberty and a Stronger Federal Government," Annual Meeting of the American Society of Church History, Denver, CO, January 6, 2017.


"'Stereotyping Scripture': The Book of Mormon, Nineteenth-Century Printing Apparatus, and the Fluidity of Revelation," 2016 Mormon Media Studies Symposium, Brigham Young University - Hawaii, November 4, 2016.

"Summer With the Shakers: Emphasizing Intentional Religious Communitites in K-12 Curriculum," 42nd Annual Conference of the Communal Studies Association, Salt Lake City, UT, October 8, 2016

"Alternative Religious Communities in the Second Great Awakening: Where Do the Shakers Fit in American History?" Siena College, June 20 & 29, 2016

"Joseph Smith's 1844 Presidential Campaign: The Politics of American Religious Inequality," Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University, February 8, 2016 


"When Joseph Smith Met Martin Van Buren: Mormonism and the Politics of Religious Liberty," 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Raleigh, NC, July 18, 2015

"The Shattering of American Idealism: The Misplaced Expectations of the 1839 Mormon Delegation to the Federal Government," 50th Annual Meeting of the Mormon Historical Association, Provo, UT, June 5, 2015

"Clergymen and the Constitution: Religion in the Ratification Debates," Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, April 10, 2015


"Insights from the Joseph Smith Papers," Sons of Utah Pioneers, Bountiful, Utah, September 16, 2014


A Christian President?: The Politics of Anti-Deist Rhetoric in the Elections of 1796 and 1800," 127th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New Orleans, LA, January 2013


"Conflicting Loyalties, Conflicting Conscience: Jacob Duche and the Clergy in the American Revolution," 42nd Annual Conference of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, Baton Rouge, LA, July 2011


"'With United Hearts and Voices': The Courtship of Providence and Patriotism in America's Revolutionary Fast Days," 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Philadelphia, PA, July 2011


"America's First Revolutionary Fast Day: The Politicization of Providential Rhetoric," Conference on National Worship in International Perspective: State Prayers, Fasts, and Thanksgivings Since the Sixteenth Century, Durham University, Durham, England, April 2010

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900.