Coauthor wanted: Mortality in Mormon Nauvoo

I will confess to having too many projects on my desk at one time. I also apologize for distracting readers with this request for collaboration. One project that I would very much like to complete but currently lack time to do it alone, is a study of mortality in Mormon Nauvoo, a detailed analysis of the sexton reports (from the Wasp and Neighbor) for 24 months from summer 1842 to summer 1844. I am half-done with a database of these reports—there are still several months of sexton reports from the Neighbor to enter into an Access database. In addition, a coauthor would need to do some legwork as well on historical diagnoses, sorting through what may have been meant by the various colics and cankers and the like.

I would like to make this collaborator a full coauthor on the paper which would be submitted to a Mormon Studies journal. I would require that said coauthor see the project through to the end, and I would consider coauthorship to be the only compensation (I cannot afford to pay for a research assistant). I have in mind a history undergraduate or graduate student or a premedical or medical student interested in Mormon history but recognize that brightness and good work habits are not restricted to such individuals. Residence in the Salt Lake area is preferred; access to the Nauvoo Neighbor is essential. No statistical experience required.

Bishop and Givens (not Terryl) have done some work on these topics, but neither offered a definitive treatment of these sexton reports, which are wonderful prisms for catching glimpses of the constituent colors of Mormon life.


  1. If a person were interested in this, smb, how should they contact you?

  2. Sounds like a fascinating project, one I’d be interested in. Unfortunately, I, too, am swamped.

    If you are still looking for someone in, oh, 6 months, email me at unacceptableglobalhealth at gmail dot com. In any case, I’ll be interested in the results.

    (I’m a physician living in Provo currently getting an MPH).

  3. Sam I would love to help except for the prerequisites unfortunately will not allow that. As I live in Canada and to my knowledge do not have access to the Nauvoo Neighbor but I will look into that just in case.

  4. As I thought my local university just does not have that on file. Oh well it was a thought anyways, if I can help though please let me know.

  5. I’m currently a student living in SLC. I would be extremely interested in helping with this. Is there a good way to contact you? Also, about how many hours a week do you expect the research will take?

  6. Sam:
    Let’s talk–you can contact me at the email address I left with my comment.

  7. Just back from a quick medical research trip. I will email back those who have expressed interest via the emails left with comments. You can always reach me via BCC administration.

    Thanks all and best of luck to everybody. I think it’s an interesting project.

  8. I’d be interested in this project. I live in Provo and am able to drive to SLC. I also have access to the Nauvoo Neighbor. I’m an anthropology student who has been doing work with Mormon history and I also have an intense interest in medical anthropology. I hope this comment isn’t posted to late. Let me know if you still need help. Thanks.

  9. Jordan, I’ll keep you in mind for other projects. I’ve always got more projects than I have time to complete them.

  10. @ chads:


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