Church, State, and Politics
The Diaries of John Henry Smith
Jean Bickmore White, editor
When John Henry Smith died on October 13, 1911, the Salt Lake Tribune described him as “prominent in all matters that concerned development of the West” and at “front rank in Utah affairs.” Second counselor to his cousin Joseph F. Smith in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, president of the Utah Constitutional Convention in 1895, co-founder of the Utah Republican Party, and an active participant in a dozen business enterprises, John Henry Smith had played an important role in church, state, and politics for nearly forty years.
Jean Bickmoe White has a long-standing interest in Utah political history. She holds an M.A. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Utah, both in political science. While writing her dissertation on Utah politics in the 1890s, she first read John Henry Smith’s extensive journals and letters and recognized their importance in understanding the politics of that period in Utah history. A professor of political science at Weber State University since 1969, she has published articles and book reviews in the Utah Historical Quarterly, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Weber Studies, the Journal of the Mormon History, and the Charles Redd Center Monograph Series. She is a member of the American Political Science Association, and is a member and former council member of the Western Political Science Association. She also serves on the advisory board of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. She lives in Farmington, Utah, with her husband, John Stephen White.