“Four American Prophets Confront Slavery: Joseph Smith, William Miller, Ellen G. White and Mary Baker Eddy”
Bringhurst, Newell G. “Four American Prophets Confront Slavery: Joseph Smith, William Miller, Ellen G. White and Mary Baker Eddy.” The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 26 (2006): 120–41.
Bringhurst, a Mormon historian, compares views on slavery of these leaders of the principal American-born church movements. All had anti-slavery positions but with ambiguities. When in free states, Joseph Smith opposed slavery. In Missouri, he supported slavery. When his movement split, Brigham Young supported slavery, whereas Smith’s son and the Reorganized Mormon movement opposed slavery. Miller and White, Adventist leaders, were opposed to slavery but did not want followers to join abolitionist societies or to enlist in military service even to end slavery. Mary Baker Eddy’s movement began after emancipation, but before the war her family had supported political candidates who opposed abolition. Eddy did not care for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, one of the most influential anti-slavery writings. She did live briefly in the South and claimed to teach and preach abolition, though there is no evidence for this. By the Civil War, she did support President Lincoln and emancipation, and in her later writings, slavery and freedom became potent metaphors to explain her sense of sin and healing. One conclusion from this brief article might be that none of the four was a staunch friend of Black Americans, other than the benefits of abstract spiritual otherworldliness as a salve for earthly misery.