UPDATE indicating items now sold, 7:30 p.m., Eastern time
September 13, 2006, first day of posting

Subsequent updates are dated.



Material for sale - September 2006

A busy season, with too much to do!   So here is a quick list, primarily of material which I have never offered for sale before. No pictures, but I think you can trust the descriptions.

My standard 10% discount to established dealers.



  1. [Bible - Cooperstown, 1828] . . . THE HOLY BIBLE, Containing the Old and New Testaments . . . Cooperstown, (N. Y.): Stereotyped, Printed and Published by H. & E. Phinney, and sold by them at their Book-Store, and by the Booksellers Generally in the United States, 1828.

Quarto, 27 cm. The leather binding measures 11 X 9 X 2½ inches thick. 768 pages + 11 plates (eight in the Old Testament, counting frontispiece - but one relating to Christ and the Christian Church, and three in the New Testament, counting its frontispiece of the Madonna and Child with the boy John the Baptist looking on). Neither the plates nor the two leaves of "Family Record" pages (4 pages, each surrounded by heavy typographic borders and dived into two columns; the first for marriages, the second and third for births, and the fourth for deaths) are included in the pagination. Collated complete, except that approximately 1/3 of the final leaf (pp. 767-8) has been torn away. This is not Bible text, but "An Alphabetical Table of the Proper Names in the Old and New Testaments . . ." Photocopy of the missing portion of the final leaf supplied here from the identical 1829 edition.  


Original calf binding with slight raised bands on the spine. Very strong. Outer board (cover) corners rounded and showing through, upper spine rim uniformly worn down to the height of the pages. Original leather label on spine reading "Holy Bible," but any gilt is now gone from that lettering; some wear and cracking to spine surface. A solid and reasonably presentable copy of this extremely difficult item. The pages are moderately foxed, but for a Bible, quite good. The "Family Record" pages between the Testaments are filled with manuscript records of a Cox family, 1777 - 1870s and beyond.

This is the edition purchased by Oliver Cowdery and owned jointly by him and Joseph Smith, 1829 - used to produce the "Inspired Version" of the Bible. Literature on the subject is extensive. For an excellent illustrated article analyzing Joseph Smith's Bible, see Kent P. Jackson, "Joseph Smith's Cooperstown Bible: The Historical Context of the Bible Used in the Joseph Smith Translation," BYU Studies 40:1 (2001), 41-70. Dr. Jackson explains that this Bible was issued in several variant arrangements in 1828: with and without the Apocrypha, and with various options of the number of illustrations.

The Bible offered here is similar to the Joseph Smith copy in its number of illustrations (unlike the more elaborate option with more illustrations which I have also seen). Unlike the Joseph Smith copy, the one offered here does not include the Apocrypha: it is not missing, but simply was not included in this particular option. Like the Joseph Smith copy, its frontispiece is the illustration of "Hagar in the Wilderness."

For reasons which elude me, this particular Phinney edition - the one Latter-day Saints naturally want - is close to impossible to find. I live less than a two-hour drive from Cooperstown, but this is the first copy I have obtained in fifteen years. If you would like a somewhat better example, and including the Apocrypha, there is one offered for sale (September 9, 2006) by another reputable firm for $5,000. I don't see any others for sale at the moment.




First-hand account in its original printing:
The Speaker of the House visits Brigham Young in Salt Lake City
and suggests that he "very soon have another revelation" banning polygamy.

  1. BROSS, William. "VISITING THE MORMONS." Substantial front-page article addressed to Theodore Tilton, editor of THE INDEPENDENT (newspaper, New York) for Thursday, December 7, 1865 [XVII; whole no. 888].

Folio, 8 pp. (complete issue). Very good; loss of bottom outer corner corner tip throughout (not affecting text).


Written for this newspaper, with exceptional content. Bross was lieutenant governor of Illinois, and Flake [889a] shows a thirty-page pamphlet Address of the Hon. William Bross . . . on the Resources of the Far West . . . (New York, 1866) which discussed Mormon agricultural success in Utah on its pp. 17-18 (the only copy west of Chicago shown at BYU). Now here, the previous year, comes Bross' initial article, original to this newspaper, filling more than 46 column inches at the center of page one. It includes the requisite visits with Brigham Young - here longer and more familiar than those enjoyed by most visitors, because Bross traveled in company with Speaker of the House Schuyler COLFAX and other dignitaries, and they were virtually given the keys to the city of Salt Lake and a personal picnic with leading dignitaries. There is far too much good material to quote here efficiently, but here are three excerpts:


  It is impossible to conceive of any sight more beautiful and refreshing than when the traveler, having trudged his weary way for more than a thousand miles, with only sage-brush to relieve the scene from stark savage desolation, emerges from the deep gorge in the mountains, and for the first time looks down upon Great Salt Lake City. . . . at your feet, with its broad streets and houses embowered in trees, is the far-famed city of "the saints." As you enter it, you observe a pure stream of water sparkling along each side of all the streets, from which each thrifty Mormon, as it babbles along, leads a little thread into his garden, and around among his fruits and flowers, forming a perfect paradise of beauty. Seen in June, as we saw it, Salt Lake is certainly one of the most delightful cities upon the continent.



. . . One does not like to condemn the character of those who overwhelm him with genuine politeness and good-will. But stern duty to our country, and to the Mormons, as well, requires that we should deal decidedly with that monstrous evil which forms a most important, if not an essential, element of their social system. Perhaps no other visitors at Salt Lake ever had such ample opportunities to observe the peculiar workings of Mormonism. The principal men among them took us on a pic-nic to [the Great ?] Salt Lake; Brigham Young and his elders called upon us, and talked with us familiarly for two hours; the call was returned, and when all general topics were exhausted, and we were about to leave, Brigham himself introduced the subject of polygamy, and asked Mr. Speaker what the Government was going to do about it. Mr. Colfax replied that he could only speak for himself, and, as he had heard that the Mormons claimed that polygamy was introduced by direct command from Heaven, he ardently hoped that the President would very soon have another revelation, peremptorily forbidding the system. This opened the discussion, and for more than an hour Brigham and his elders plied all the arguments they could command for their favorite dogma, and Mr. Colfax and his friends replied with all the reasons and the wit they could bring to bear against it. The best of feeling was maintained on both sides; and, as usual, probably both were more than ever determined to adhere to their own peculiar views.



is a man of about medium height, with an immense chest, giving assurance of tremendous vital energy. His head is large, forehead high, round, and broad, his hair and whiskers incline to auburn, and though he is sixty-four years of age, scarcely a gray hair can be seen, and not a wrinkle detected upon his red and expressive face. His nose resembles the hawk's bill, and his lips, firmly closing, with his blue and at times flashing eyes, betoken the great force and indomitable energy which he has always manifested. As some one said of Napoleon, "he is one of the favored few, born to command." He is also one of the shrewdest and most cunning of men, and sensible to the power money gives, and withal possessed of business talents of the highest order. . . .


"We stayed a week in Utah Territory," wrote Schuyler Colfax independently, immediately following this visit,

five days of it at Salt Lake City, and were treated with great hospitality by the Mormons and Gentiles too. Brigham Young exacts the first call from all Gentiles who visit there, but I declined flatly, and he came down to the hotel, with his apostles and bishops, and made a two hours' call on all of us—the first time he ever made the first call there. We returned his call, at his own house. [Ouanda James Hollister, Life of Schuyler Colfax (NY: Funk & Wagnalls, 1886, p. 258), as quoted and cited in Richard N. Holzapfel, Brigham Young, Images of a Mormon Prophet (Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, 2000), p. 39, with portrait of Colfax]




Our Friend . . . will yet have a celestial crown—
. . . There is a kingdom for him—a kingdom of glory.
 —Brigham Young

  1. BUCHANAN, James (1791-1868; President of the United States 1857-61). Partly-printed DOCUMENT SIGNED as President, appointing John F. Kinney as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah Territory. Washington, June 27, 1860.

14 X 15½ inches. One page, verso blank. Partly-printed, engraved in ornate cursive text and accomplished in a fine secretarial hand. Signed at lower right by Buchanan, and at bottom center by the acting Secretary of State, William Henry Trescot. Fine embossed seal. Archival strengthening and repair to folds on the back. Handsome and impressive.


UTAH TERRITORY'S ORIGINAL, HIGHEST FEDERAL JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT which was so welcomed by the Mormons during this period when their judicial jurisdictions were a very hot and bitterly contested subject. Kinney's assignment was granted by a weakened President who was happy to placate the Saints following the embarrassing Utah War, during a time of growing national concern over the South. As soon as Judge Kinney arrived in Utah, he attended the Mormons' General Conference in Salt Lake City, where Brigham Young praised him quite dramatically from the pulpit, as shown further below.

J[ohn]. F[itch]. KINNEY, (1816-1902) was born in central New York State, studied law, and eventually moved to Lee County, Iowa in 1844. He served as secretary of the Iowa State council 1845-6, Lee county prosecuting attorney 1846-7, and as a judge in the Iowa supreme court 1847-54. In January 1854, he was appointed by Pres. Pierce as the chief justice of the Utah Territorial supreme court, in which he served until 1857. He then moved to Nebraska City where he practiced law 1857-60. He was appointed by Pres. Buchanan as the Utah supreme court chief justice once again in 1860, serving a little less than three years of his four year term, residing in Salt Lake City. He was then elected as Utah Territorial Delegate to Congress (Democrat, 1863-5). Upon the conclusion of his term in Washington, he did not run for re-election, but resumed his law practice in Nebraska City. He was then appointed by Pres. Andrew Johnson as a commissioner to visit the Sioux Indians in regard to the Fort Phil Kearney massacre of late 1866. Years later, Pres. Chester Arthur appointed him agent of the Yankton Sioux in Dakota, whom he served from the end of 1884 until he resigned four years later. He moved to San Diego in 1889, and died in Salt Lake City (internment in Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego). —Biog. Directory of the Amer. Congress, 1971, pp. 1238-9.


JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT on the evening of July 10, 1860, Captain A. B. Miller rode into Salt Lake City, having made his way from St. Joseph, Missouri, in ten and a half days. "By the Captain," reported the Deseret News the next morning, "we learn that Judge Kinney has been appointed Chief Justice of Utah . . ." (issue 10:149, clipping in the Journal History, on Selected Collections DVD 2:3). This was considered the most important news of the day. When Kinney arrived in the city by mail stage on the evening of Thursday, October 4 "in excellent health," he found "a cordial welcome from his old friends and acquaintances."

"We welcome the return of the Judge," editorialized the Deseret News, "and trust that the friendly relations heretofore existing between us, will not be impaired by any circumstances that may hereafter arise." (issue 10:252, ibid.) Kinney had arrived just in time for General Conference, and he was present at the Sunday morning session in the Bowery (JH for October 7). The next day, Brigham Young offered particularly fond (and, in the context of Mormon theology, astonishing) public praise of the man . . .

We want to build a temple on this block. Don't you think that hell will howl? What did we tell you, when we laid those foundation walls? We told you that all hell would be on the move. That has transpired, and still they say, "we have not persecuted you," but they are liars. Who among them have stepped forward and said, "let those men alone?" Only a few. Our Friend who came here in the dead of winter, having left his wife sick nigh unto death, is one of those who will yet have a celestial crown—he is on the road to it. When Judge Kinney was in Washington he spoke well of this people. So far as I know, he has never spoken evil of this people, but every time he met an Elder in Washington he received him as a friend, spoke to him kindly, and was not ashamed to walk arm in arm with him in the streets of that city. There is a kingdom for him—a kingdom of glory. When they wanted him to come here as a governor, I am told that he said, "yes, if you send no soldiers there." He has a heart; and I say, God bless him and every other good, honest man, whether he is a 'Mormon' or not. ["REMARKS By President Brignam Young, Bowery, October 8, 1860. Reported by G. D. Watt." Deseret News issue 10:305, ibid.)

So here it is, engrossed on an impressive large piece of heavy paper, with fine embossed seal, "E Pluribus Unum" over the spread-eagle device of peace (olive branch) and war (cluster of arrows) on the eve of the Civil War. The President needs allies in the territories, and he is only too happy to assign the Mormons their former Supreme Court Justice whom they want to see again . . .


President of the United States of America,
To all who shall see these Presents, Greeting:

Know Ye; That reposing special trust and confidence in the Wisdom, Uprightness and Learning of John F. Kinney, of Nebraska Territory, I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint Him to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the Territory of Utah; and do authorize and empower him to execute and fulfil the duties of that Office according to the Constitution and Laws of the said United States, and to Have and to Hold the said office, with all the powers, privileges and emoluments to the same of right appertaining, unto Him, the said John F. Kinney, for the term of four years from the day of the date hereof.

In testimony whereof, I have caused these Letters to be made patent and the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Given under my hand, at the City of Washington, the Twenty-seventh day of June,—in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Sixty, and, of the Independence of the United States of America the Eighty fourth. By the President: James Buchanan

[countersigned by] W[illia]m Henry Trescot, Acting Secretary of State.


It was the sixteenth anniversary of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. This very document would certainly have bumped across the plains in the coach with Judge Kinney, packed with his most important possessions. It bears careful fold marks (avoiding the wax-based paper seal), one of which passes quite unobtrusively through the President's signature.

Concerned that irregularities in his predecessors' appointments to office might eventually invalidate any judicial acts, Judge Kinney urged that the Territorial legislature convene in special session to appoint him to his district. At considerable inconvenience, therefore, this necessary step was taken on November 12 with the approval of the Governor and the Mormons generally. New legislative council members were sworn in on this occasion by Kinney himself, administering the various oaths. Kinney there rubbed shoulders with such figures as John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow and Daniel H. Wells. The legislature in joint session then appointed Kinney to the Third Judicial District, headquartered in Salt Lake City.

While it would not be practical to launch into a history or analysis of Kinney's Utah service here, I note in passing that I once sold an arrest warrant signed by Kinney in regard to a mail robbery on the line east of Ft. Bridger (with U. S. Marshal Isaac L. Gibbs' note on the back, deputizing Orrin Porter ROCKWELL to hunt down the culprits, 1863). More significantly, Kinney is remembered, among other things, for his inadvertent judicial contribution to the Morrisite massacre in 1862. Some said that ". . . Kinney . . . 'did nothing without first checking with Brigham Young,' . . ." (Will Bagley, Blood of the Prophets [Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2002], 251).




  1. CATALOGUE.  DR. BASSETT'S MUSEUM OF ANATOMY, 187 and 189 South Clark St., Chicago, Ills. Price 10 Cents [title on front wrapper]. N.p., n.d. [Chicago, 1878?]

21½ X 12 cm. Original blue printed wrappers. 13, 5, [7] pp., counting final page printed on inside back wrapper. Pagination continues without blanks, thus placing the even numbered pages of the middle five-page section on the rectos of their leaves (as opposed to the usual arrangment in almost all publications, where the odd numbered pages occur on the front of a leaf). Portrait of Brigham Young on verso of back wrapper (the same as his obituary portrait seen in Harper's Weekly of September 15, 1877). Inside front wrapper blank. Modest wear plus some paper loss to top of back wrapper, without affecting text. Quite presentable.


Compare to Flake [2853] which locates only the Yale copy of a longer version of this pamphlet, giving its publication information as "[Chicago, 1879]."

Unique and unrecorded? Thoroughly disgusting, such specimen/wax museum brochures are all but extinct in any copy. I have had two examples (of other publications of this genre) during the past quarter century. The final section of seven pages is entitled, "The SALT LAKE MORMONS, Life-Like Figures in Wax, . . . ," and represents Brigham Young, a number of his wives, and "The Celebrated Danite Chiefs, In Full Costume," including Porter Rockwell, Bill Hickman, and John D. Lee, whose execution on March 23, 1877 is described as having taken place "about a year ago . . ." The paragraph on Ann Eliza Young is particularly long, in small type to accommodate the text.

From bottles of syphilitic body parts and models of medieval torture instruments, to allusions of John D. Lee raping one of his victims at Mountain Meadows, much of the text is lurid and sensationalistic. It would not be reasonable to hope for another copy of this pamphlet to appear on the market in our lifetimes, though all things are possible.




  1. [Children's Christmas at Fort Bridger]  "HOLINESS TO THE LORD ! . . . Bought of Zion's Co=operative Mercantile Institution, . . ." Partly-printed order/receipt form accomplished in manuscript to J. Van. A. Carter, Fort Bridger, "By Express." Salt Lake City, December 22, 1876.

7 X 8½ inches, printed in black with ledger ruling in red and blue. SIGNED as "Paid Dec 29/76" by D[avid]. O. CALDER, prominent Utah businessman whom Brigham Young admired, and who had just been elected as the ZCMI secretary and treasurer (see Jenson, LDS Biog. Ency., 1:773-4, with portrait). The name of the salesman (Brown) and person checking the order (A. J. Cushing) are listed in the appropriate spaces near the top. Verso blank. Very good but for lower torn corner area (without loss; blank area); original folds from mailing.


ZCMI, called "America's First Department Store," had been organized in 1868. The first portion of the famous cast-iron facade had just been completed the year this present receipt was made out to the Carters, who had been sutlers and traders at Fort Bridger since the Utah War. I try to get people to collect something once in awhile besides early editions of the familiar scriptures. Using just a little originality, cannot one find both poignancy and charm in imagining the joy these supplies brought to young hearts on that last Christmas of Brigham Young's lifetime? The goods itemized here include:

1 Doz Ornaments [$]1.35
1 Box Wax Candles .75
½ Doz Tops 1.12
1 Box Marbles 1.30
¼ Doz Alphabet Blocks 1.00
1  "  Animal Images 1.00




  1. [Collecting] . . . A CATALOGUE OF RARE WORKS ON MORMONISM, UTAH, KANSAS AND THE WEST . . . For Sale by Shepard Book Company, "Ye Olde Booke Shoppe," Moxum Hotel building, 408 S. State St., Salt Lake City, Utah, n.d. [190- ?]. [at head: "No. 45"].

22½ cm. 24 pp. Back wrapper promotes two new works for sale which were published by Shepard in 1904, plus an edition of Jarman which they may have had in remainder stock from twenty years earlier. Paper browning, medium wear & stains to outer self-wrappers; a horizontal crease: no worse than I have made it sound.


Hundreds of books and pamphlets for sale. Pratt's Millennium and Other Poems, 1840, $7.50;  1854 Book of Mormon, $2.50 - both in very good condition. The Deseret Book of Mormon part one, in boards, is $10 and "excessively rare" (unlike today), and the full Deseret Book of Mormon, also "excessively rare," is $25. In other words, the little Deseret Book of Mormon "reader" in blue illustrated boards (which is now seen any day of the week on eBay at outrageous prices of $200 or more) was then valued at four times the price of an 1854 Book of Mormon:  an interesting study in relative valuations a century ago.




  1. [Endowment ritual] Curious description of proceedings supposedly transacted in the Nauvoo Temple, reprinted here in the ROCHESTER DAILY ADVERTISER (newspaper, Rochester, New York) for Thursday morning, March 19, 1846 [New Series Vol. XXI].

Folio, [4] pp. (complete issue). Medium browning/staining and edge wear; the two leaves separated from one another.


"Mormon Affairs," page 2 (5½ column inches), is taken from a Buffalo newspaper, which in turn quotes this "CEREMONY OF THE ENDOWMENT" description from the "bitterly" anti-Mormon Warsaw Signal. The details are certainly contorted, but based on "two different sources" who "have let the cat out of the bag, and disclosed all." They have disclosed rather more than they observed, no doubt, of which the following is the most creative portion . . .

There must always be two candidates, a male and female, presented for the endowment, at once. These must pay $1 each as a fee. If a male cannot find a female to take the endowment with him, the heads of the church provide one, and vice versa. The candidates are first taken into a room together, where they are stripped of their clothing, and made to wash each other from head to foot. They are then seperated [sic], and pass into different rooms, where they are oiled with perfumed sweet oil, [etc., etc., continuing with essentially accurate details] . . . This ceremony being ended, the candidates are brought together, still in a state of nuidity [sic], into a room, where they are allowed to remain together, alone, as long as they see proper. They are then invested with their robes and take their departure. The really deluded amongst the Saints consider this ceremony as sacred, and intended as a trial of their virtue.

No kidding. If the ritual had actually been done in that manner, how ever could the citizens of Hancock County have let the Mormons go . . . without first trying their virtue at least a little further?




  1. [Hill Cumorah] Just discovered (at least, to my limited knowledge): Early woodcut illustration of the Hill Cumorah, quite possibly the second depiction now known to exist. I have not seen this before. In an unidentified 1845 Rochester, New York almanac, perhaps The Western Almanac, and Franklin Calendar, which was published beginning in 1844 in Rochester by C. F. Crosman, according to OCLC.

17 cm. 17-[64] pp. Lacking the first sixteen pages. The final sixteen pages are ads for Rochester businesses, the latest of which are dated November 1, 1844. Medium but uniform browning. Numerous simple engravings, including the Presidents of the United States through James K. Polk.


"MORMONISM AND ITS FOUNDER," pp. 42-3. The text is based in part on Barber & Howe (Flake 299), the 1841 publication which contained the earliest-known illustration of the Hill Cumorah.

The illustration seen here is clearly based on Barber & Howe's engraving, but is quite different. The basic shape of the hill is now more rounded and tall, and the fence lines are reversed horizontally. The fences and trees have been completely re-engraved. This is not a historically accurate image, therefore, and it is even more primitive than Barber & Howe's simple rendition. Its lines leave less white space, giving it a rather muddy appearance. It is what it is, but remains a curiosity and a very early relic in the progression of Cumorah illustrations. Not shown or mentioned in Richard N. Holzapfel & Cameron J. Packer's article, "A Story on Canvas, Paper, & Glass: The Early Visual Images of Cumorah" (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 13 [2004], 6-23).

The text relays the standard accusations that the Smith family members were lazy, ignorant types. Additional material, however (which brings this article up to date since Barber & Howe) reports the recent shooting of Joseph and Hyrum in the Carthage, Illinois jail —with indignation: "It is to be hoped that the perpetrators of this foul murder will have meted out to them that punishment which they so richly deserve. They should have a 'short shrift,' and then a strong halter well applied." (p. 43)




  1. JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES By President John Taylor, His Counsellors, the Twelve Apostles and Others . . . VOL. XXV [only]. . . . Liverpool: Printed and Published by John Henry Smith . . . London: Latter-Day Saints' Book Depot . . . , 1884.

Volume 25 only. 20½ cm. viii, 376 pp. Collated complete. Trimmed and oversewn in a modern black buckram (library cloth) binding with simple gilt lettering & ornamentation on the spine. Very good. Occasional discoloration or moderate stains to some leaves, but generally quite fresh and clean. In the trimming, however, the upper margins are often very short, in one instance coming down to touch the page numbers.

SOLD 9/15/06 **$125**

Franklin D. Richards, in the Logan, Utah Tabernacle, May 17, 1884 . . .

   This view of the subject brings me to think and to speak a word in reference to the three Nephites. They wanted to tarry until Jesus came, and that they might He took them into the heavens and endowed them with the power of translation, probably in one of Enoch's temples, and brought them back to the earth. . . .

  It is a good thing to take a glimpse once in a while into, and contemplate the glories of the future. A few years ago, when the wolf stood at our doors, when we had hardly enough of the necessaries of life to keep body and spirit together, we used to sing the song—"There's a good time coming." Behold! that time has come. This is one of those good times that we are celebrating to-day. Le us rejoice in the Lord our God. [pp. 236-7]

I have to imagine that my Cache Valley ancestors were present to hear that sermon. I wonder how Pa (my grandfather, then a toddler) behaved on that Saturday afternoon.


  1. [Missouri]  "The Mormon War Ended !"  Good article in the NEWHAMPSHIRE PATRIOT AND STATE GAZETTE (newspaper, Concord, New Hampshire) for Monday, November 26, 1838 [V:217 New Series].

Folio, [4] pp. complete issue. Some edge wear, not quite affecting the Mormon article. Recipient's name, L. M. Kimball, written in the top margin of the front page.

SOLD 9/15/06 **$125**

Taken from the St. Louis Gazette Extra of November 8, this article fills seven column inches with small type and is fairly dramatic throughout. It reports the surrender of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, George Hinkle, Lyman Wight, "Perley P. Pratt," and Mr. Knight to a force of 3,000 men under Gen. "Atchinson" on October 28. The Haun's Mill massacre is mentioned, along with fears than some 50 Mormons have been "put to death" following "the orders of the Governor . . . directing the expulsion or extermination of the Mormons." It is a case of "great difficulty," involving more than five thousand men, women and children facing starvation. If they leave the state, who will finance the exodus? "Are these 5000 people —without any means, and liberally beggars —to be thrust upon the charities, of Illinois, Iowa, or Wisconsin?"




  1. [Missouri - fiction]  Pro-Mormon short story on the front page of THE AGE (newspaper, Augusta, Maine) for Thursday morning, April 11, 1850 [XX:15].

Folio, [4] pp. (compete issue). Very good.


"John Mills, the Mormon Preacher, HIS FIGHT WITH COL. TURK." (page 1; 22 column inches, the equivalent of a full column of small type in this tall newspaper). A creative and colorful story set in Missouri during the Mormon difficulties of the early 1830s. Like so many literary efforts of those days, this piece is unsigned, and I have no idea who may have written it.

Some years ago, I found this same story in another newspaper (Spirit of the Times, New York, February 9, 1850), and sold it in my Mormon List 60 (March 1998; item 11, $125). This version shows many punctuation or spelling changes, and even a few words substituted with more correct terms or forms. It also credits its source, at the end, as "Sunday Times."

Latter-day Saints sometimes get the mistaken impression that the entire nation sat by unconcerned as the Missouri Mormons were driven from their homes. Quite to the contrary, indignation meetings were held - and angry editorials published - in many cities beginning in the 1830s. This story shares that sense of outrage, and seems to be a most unusual contribution, with the final conflict taking place on ice skates! It is too long to reproduce here, and I would hate to ruin the story for others. But here is enough to give you the general idea . . .

It was a dreadfully cold night in mid-winter, 1833, and although the sky was cloudless, and the full moon shone out in all her splendor, the earth lay in that pearly radiance, chill and dreary as a frozen tomb; . . .

And yet, strange to say, in a large log cabin, within three hundred yards of the Missouri river, then frozen from shore to shore, at least one hundred people had assembled to hold a religious meeting. They were Mormons, you may be sure. No fanatics of an old faith would have turned out such a night; they must be fresh zealots, with some new idea, but at its birth, in their hearts, and flaming like a meteor in their imaginations . . .

The preacher, —the enthusiast, Mills—had advanced to a thrilling head of his eloquent discourse, . . .

Suddenly, three rifles exploded in quick succession before the door, and three sentinels, shaking with terror, rushed into the room, crying out, "The mob! the mob! Save yourselves from Col. Turk's mob!"
. . . . .
The flight of Mills was directed in a straight line for the river, and his marvellous agility . . . soon placed him some distance ahead. . . . he stooped down, and hastily fastened on a pair of skates, which he had carried in his pocket for the last few days, to be ready for any extraordinary emergency . . .

"Has nobody a pair of skates?" shouted Col. Turk, striking his forehead with a gesture of wrath and vexation.
. . . . .
The skates were produced; the eager Col. fastened them on; and then, swearing a dreadful oath that he would bring back the preacher's scalp or leave his own, he began the perilous chase. Oh! there is no daring like the courage inspired by passion for revenge!
. . . . .
And then began a series of rapid and cunning evolutions to secure the advantage in this new mode of combat, the most terrible ever conceived. They marked the smooth surface of the ice with circles, elipses, angles, . . . but eached [sic] seemed a perfect skater and could not find the other at fault, or take him unprepared. They passed repeatedly within three feet of each other, and made quick thrusts which pierced to the bone! And still the cold grew more intense,—and the wrathful wind howled on, . . .

Finally, the Mormon took the desperate resolve to . . .

But the river still rolled on its way to the sea; the stars all shone as bright and beautiful as of old in the morning of creation, when the angels of God chaunted their birth song; and the wrathful wind of winter howled on over the icy . . .


The story is better than this brief sampling can convey, and the surprise ending is dramatic enough, available to whomever first hath the price to give.




  1. "MORMONISM." Anonymous communication sent to and published in the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE AND JOURNAL And Zion's Herald (Methodist newspaper, New York City) for Friday, March 22, 1833 [VII:30].

Folio, 23 X 17 inches. Paged [117]-120 (four pages, complete issue). In very good condition; expected moderate raggedness along back fold, a few faint stains. Clean and very presentable. Recipient's name in upper margin of front page.


Front page article "For the Christian Advocate and Journal" addressed to "Messrs. Editors" and signed in type at the end, "WESTERN TRAVELLER. March 4, 1833." Eight column inches of the the typical small type of the day.

How does one price such a newspaper? After handling literally thousands - not merely hundreds - of early papers, over the years, which described the Mormons, I have identified certain criteria which seem to place perhaps twenty or thirty (out of these thousands which I have owned) in the four-figure category.

First of all, the seasoned scholar knows that whether or not one likes what an article says, is quite irrelevant to its historical value. These early reports from the field demonstrate how the earliest Mormons came across to the first people whom they proselyted (or near whom they settled). And, we should not be so smug as to presume that every shade of interpretation which we place on Church history and doctrine in modern times was actually presented during the beginning years as we have learned it. Even the most negative article can contain some subtle, hidden snippet of information which would not logically have been fabricated - or which may cause us to pursue new paths of research.

Other factors of importance which count here include the fact that this early article is not copied from some other newspaper. An original hand-written letter was presumably sent to this very paper's editor, and here published for the first, perhaps only, time. Condition is the least important factor in valuing a rarity of such significance. In this instance, however, even the condition is desirable.

The writer of this article does not give his location, but he seems to have lived in western New York State. I note with some fascination that he writes only a few weeks before my own ancestors were converted to Mormonism in that region by Amasa Lyman and others proselyting there . . .

    The good people of western New-York had flattered themselves than an imposture so ridiculous in itself, and so clumsily got up, could never gain currency in the prophet's own country. But alas! such miracles will never cease. Within three months past, Mormonism has made rapid advances, even in this goodly land, where Providence seems to have shed down his choicest blessings, and where the lights of science and religion have been diffused into every hamlet. Only four miles from where I now write, a band of forty or fifty has sprung up within a few weeks. Immersions of new converts are almost daily taking place, and the work, whatever it be, is still progressing.
    Among the peculiarities of their creed are the following:—
    1. The book of Mormon is a part of Divine revelation, agreeing with, confirming, and being confirmed by the Bible.
    2. There is a land of promise, called Sion, west of the Mississippi, where the faithful will all be assembled, when God will destroy the Atlantic and middle states.
    3. The miraculous gift of tongues is again restored to the Church, with power to communicate the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands.
    4. Most of their leaders are endowed, not only with the gift of prophecy, but have power to work miracles, heal the sick, &c, &c.
    It is, indeed, melancholy to reflect, that in the nineteenth century, and in a land made luminous by learning and religion, that so dark a cloud should pass over us; refuting our boast of intellectual and moral improvement, and demonstrating the truth, that nothing short of the goodness and power of God, can save frail man from delusion and destruction.

The first half of the article gives a brief history of Mormonism and the "book of golden leaves, written in strange characters, which, when interpreted, was a new revelation to mankind . . . ," with a wry observation that,

On almost every page of the work, the king's English was terribly mangled and murdered, in the hands of the author; and it was quite apparent to the reader, that whatever else Joseph Smith was inspired to do, he was not qualified to make revelations in his own mother tongue.

I have not seen this before, and entertain no hope of obtaining another example.




  1. [Mountain Meadows Massacre]  Original communication in a "Letter from Nevada," sent to and published in THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE (newspaper, New York) for December 19, 1867 [XLII:51; whole no. 2,155].

Folio, paged [401]-408 (eight pages, complete issue). In very good condition.


Ten years after the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a Nevada resident writes this lengthy commentary "For the Christian Advocate." (page 2; nineteen column inches). Like most such articles, it is anonymous, signed in type, "AMERICUS." And as with most such material, it is difficult if not impossible to judge the historical accuracy of its sensational details, taken independently. Only when we assemble as many such reports as possible, and consider them in sequence and context, do they begin to portray an accurate social and public relations picture of that era: how people viewed the Mormons and the Massacre.

The writer portrays the massacred wagon train as "the most superb outfit that ever crossed the plain. . . . Teamsters to this day speak with great admiration of their horses and mules." The following extracts may be some of the more unusual aspects of this particular report . . .

Brigham Young issued his order to his "Destroying Angels." The young man who at that time did that sort of work for Brigham carried the dispatch to have the deed done. The "Destroying Angels," disguised as Indians, made the attack; the party fortified, and were too much for them. In two days the Mormons returned in citizens' dress and asked a truce. Two young ladies, dressed in white, came out to receive their message. . . . the Mormons . . . took the men prisoners to one canyon and butchered them, and the women to another canyon, ravished and then slaughtered them. . . . The hair was cut from the heads of the women and made into lariats for horses. These have been seen. . . . most of the small children were spared. These were sold. One little girl was taken to Salt Lake. In a few weeks she was on the street, saw a woman passing, and said, "There goes a woman with my ma's dress on!" Another little girl was taken by one of the perpetrators to Meadow Valley. A yoke of cattle were passing, and she said, "There go my pa's oxen!" That man took this little girl off and cut her throat, and the name of this man is a household word here. It is a satisfaction to say that this man has not had a quiet night's rest in ten years. The like of him do not visit us; this is not a healthy place. Brigham Young used one of the carriages for years in Salt Lake. Much of the stock is known. . . .

. . .The first monument erected to the memory of the slain has been destroyed. The arms of the United States now protect the second from violent hands. Though none of the villains met their merited punishment, yet a mysterious Providence has followed them in disaster . . .

  It may be asked in view of these facts, Have we Christian rulers in Washington? and how long, O Lord! will the great body of intelligent Christians in the States wink at these things? . . .


The final paragraphs plead for more ministers of the gospel to come to Nevada, where they will be received "with great respect, and well treated and well paid."




  1. NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR MAINTAINING AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS.  Prospectus CIRCULAR and invitation LETTER from this incipient organization. New York, 1911.

Preserving the family by fighting such evils as woman suffrage and Mormonism, this well-heeled group of reactionary men and women produced a well-printed circular on good paper, and sought to engage prominent citizens to represent and support their causes. The following biographical notes come from the New York Public Library's 1935 accession sheet for the papers of the prime movers . . .

Helen Kendrick Johnson, was an author, editor and shared the same anti-feminist views as her husband Rossiter Johnson. She was born Jan. 4, 1844 in Hamilton, NY and was educated at the Oread Institute. H. K. Johnson's edited works include the "American Woman's Journal" (1893-1894), "The Nutshell Series," "Poems and Songs for Young People," and "Woman and the Republic" (authored). She founded the Meridian - a woman's club and "The Guidon", an anti-Suffrage organization for men and women. He [sic] died in 1914 and was survived by her husband Rossiter and her daughter Florence.

Rossiter Johnson, according to the same source,

author, editor and anti-feminist, was born in Rochester, NY Jan. 27, 1840. A graduate of the University of Rochester in 1863, he received an LLD in 1893. Johnson edited works include [sic] the Rochester "Democrat", a Republican newspaper (1863-1864), the ["]Concord," 'New Hampshire "Statesman" (1869-1872) and the "American Encyclopedia" (1879-1880).

Johnson, a strong anti-feminist included among his rnemberships, "The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage" and "The New York State Association Opposed to Women Suffrage". Twice married, first to Helen Kendrick Johnson, an author (1869). They had a daughter Florence. Widowed, he remarried to Mary Agnes Keyes in 1924. Johnson died on Oct. 3, 1931. [accessed September 9, 2006 at http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/spe/rbk/faids/johnsonrhk.pdf ]

The New York Public Library lists only one item in this inventory of the Johnson papers relating to the National Society for Maintaining American Institutions (if I read it right). I thus infer that the Society did not get far off the ground, and that the material offered below is uncommon. I will take the time to transcribe a portion of the circular, because I think it is sociologically instructive . . .


National Society for Maintaining American Institutions. Founded by Helen Kendrick Johnson. President, Miss Mary L. Stebbins . . . [caption title] N.p., n.d., but New York City, ca. 1911.

X 5½ inches. [3] pp. on one folded sheet, final page blank. Well printed on quality paper. Very good condition; neat folds from mailing.


NOT IN FLAKE. Stereotypical reactionary language deplores "the growing indifference to the sanctity of the marriage bond, and the increasing frequency with which the home is disrupted and the family dispersed under the sanction of lax laws in many States of the Union." Separation of church and state is fine, so long as each supports the other. The mentality is predictable. Socialism is a threat, as are working women, voting women, Mormons, and the like . . .

  While we favor every legitimate development of woman's personality, we are opposed to the Woman-Suffrage movement, which proposes a fundamental change in the relationship of the sexes to each other and to government, and displays a marked tendency to identify itself with the forces of social disorder. [p. (2)]

  For obvious reasons, we denounce any institution which, while claiming the privileges and immunities of a religious body, advocates polygamy as a principle of conduct or belief, or usurps the function of the state for its own material aggrandizement.

  We condemn and oppose these various destructive forces as menaces to the stability of the family, the welfare of society, and the permanence of the Republic. [p. (3)]

Their "METHOD OF WORK," p. [3], is arranged in four paragraphs, including an oxymoron "WOMAN'S TRUE RIGHTS AND ANTI-SUFFRAGE DEPARTMENT," and the following:

  III. ANTI-MORMON DEPARTMENT.  The work of this Department will be devoted to arousing our citizens to a realization of the danger to the Republic in permitting to flourish within its confines an institution whose principles, conduct, methods and purpose are abhorrent to national ideals and repugnant to national morality. Mrs. Denison, Chairman.

This "Chairman" is Mrs. Charles H. Denison, listed among the sixteen officers and other directors on the first page. The break-down of these individuals is eight women (two unmarried, among whom one is the president), and eight men, of whom two are lawyers, two Doctors of Divinity, and one a medical doctor. Rossiter Johnson himself (LL.D.) is both the treasurer and a director. His wife and founder Helen lurks in the background as a director.



Jennie Dewey HEATH. Typed Letter Signed as secretary of the National Society for Maintaining American Institutions. New York, December 5, 1911.

11 X 8½ inches. One page, verso blank. Very good. Neat folds from mailing (with the circular, no doubt).

The directors and officers are all listed (rather repetitively, to give the illusion of extensive backing) along the left side of the printed letterhead. The only address on the entire letterhead appears beneath the name of this secretary, Mrs. Julian Heath, at 6 West 91st Street, Telephone 6583 Riverside.

Addressed to Mrs. Charles May, 5 E. 84th Street, New York City. The letter explains that the Executive Committee, at one of their regular meetings, has "decided to ask one hundred prominent men and women to constitute what is to be called a General Council for this organization. The names to be selected are those of men and women who will carry weight in the community and lend strength and influence to the organization." Mrs. Heath refers to "The enclosed prospectus" which shows that the Society "is being organized and conducted by men and women who are conservative and efficient." —unlike, no doubt, those nasty women suffragists and Mormons. "We need the support which your name will give . . ."




  1. [Pioneers] Two intriguing reports of 1847 Mormon pioneers, including the vanguard company which was then on the plains, in the TRI-WEEKLY OHIO STATESMAN (newspaper, Columbus, Ohio) for Wednesday, June 2, 1847 [I:116].

Folio, [4] pp. (complete issue). In very good, bright condition. Pages neatly trimmed where separated near backfold.


Recipient's name (not autograph) in upper margin of front page: "Hon D Tod," (inscription somewhat trimmed at top): presumably David Tod (1805-68), Civil War-era governor of Ohio. He served in the Ohio State Senate 1838-40, and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1844 and 1846. He was appointed as minister to Brazil the year he obtained this newspaper issue, and served until 1851. "His tact and good sense soon cleared away the misunderstandings with that government; but his efforts to stop the African slave trade to Brazil, largely in the hands of Americans, ended in failure because his own government would take no action. Amassing a fortune in the coal and iron business, he was an important figure in the business affairs of Youngstown . . ." —Dict. of Amer. Biography

Page 2, column 2: First, a report "From the Upper Missouri," taken from the St. Louis Republican. Six fur traders who left Ft. Laramie on April 20 have arrived at St. Louis, and bring news of a severe winter, immense quantities of snow, and hardships among both Indians and whites. One short paragraph mentions Brigham Young's company of Mormon pioneers, as follows:

    The advance of the Mormon emigrants, consisting of seventy three wagons, were met 230 miles from Westport, going on very prosperously. They were well armed, and had with them six pieces of artillery.

Such a newspaper report, published in the Midwest while the first Mormon Pioneer company under Brigham Young was still on the plains, enroute to the Great Basin, is not a common find! The second article which follows is longer, and probably dubious. Given its sensational claims, I had better transcribe it in full, and let the reader decide what to think . . .

Startling Rumor—Mormon Murders.

  A gentleman from Burlington, Iowa, brings news of the return of two men who left that place some time since with a company of Oregon emigrants, who report that they were forced to return by a band of Mormons who left Nauvoo last fall. They report that one of the emigrants being sick, was forced to stop at Council Bluffs, that a number of his friends, including the two that have returned, remained with him, designing, as soon as he should recover, to hasten forward and overtake their companions. After resuming the march, and being far beyond the white settlements they were attacked by the Mormons, robbed, and all murdered except the two who bring the sad intelligence, and who barely escaped with their lives. Nothing is known of the fate of those in advance. Several of the persons murdered were taking out considerable sums of money, which was made known to the Mormons by a brace of worthies, now under guard at Burlington, who have acted as runners for the Mormons during the past winter.—St. Louis Revielle [sic], 27th.




  1. [Polygamy] "How Mormonism Works." Article in the ADVOCATE AND GUARDIAN for July 1, 1865 [XXXI:13; Whole No. 721].

Quarto, 29 cm. Paged [151]-162 (twelve pages, complete issue). The engraved, illustrated masthead includes the word "Family" in the title, but in such an arrangement that it is impossible to determine whether that word should precede "Advocate" or "Guardian." The running title at tops of pages is simply "Advocate and Guardian." At head of first column: "Published, Semi-monthly, by the Executive Committee of the American Female Guardian Society, at the House of Industry and Home for the Friendless, 29 E. 29th St. Edited by Mrs. Sarah R. I. Bennett." Very good.


The article on Mormons fills nearly twelve column inches on page 154. It is a description of the physical and mental deterioration or inferiority of Mormons (particularly Mormon children) in Utah, resulting from "the moral and social tendency of polygamy as practiced among the Mormons." The editor introduces this fairly sensationalistic commentary thus: "A writer in the San Francisco Medical Press, (Dr. C. C. Furley, late surgeon in the United States army,) has turned his attention to its physiological bearings, and makes some startling statements in connection therewith. The doctor was for some time stationed at Salt Lake, and had good opportunities for observation . . ." This may be the same Dr. C. C. Furley who went on to become a prominent medical figure in Wichita, Kansas for decades afterward (Internet search, September 7, 2006).

One encounters occasional references by mid-nineteenth century travelers in Utah, commenting on supposed unimpressive personal characteristics of the Mormons whom they observed. The commentary now at hand, however, is the longest, most detailed, and most extreme example which I believe that I have seen. Of particular note, perhaps, is Dr. Furley's insistence that he is not speaking from "mere fancy, or the result of prejudice . . ." He states that he sees low human development or deterioration more profoundly in the children of Utah, than in their parents. These children are well cared for in terms of food, climate and other external factors, he says, so the symptoms he observes must result from the low moral climate of polygamous Mormon life . . .

. . . a physiological inferiority among the people will strike the most casual observer. The commonest form of this, and perhaps the first that develops itself, is a certain feebleness and emaciation of the person, while the countenances of almost all are stamped with a mingled air of imbecility and brutal ferocity. . . . [portion above summarized by the Advocate's editor, the remainder below quoted from Furley]

". . . a general lack of color—the cheeks all being sallow and cadaverous, indicating the absence of good health. The eye is full and lustreless—the mouth almost invariably coarse and vulgar. In fact, the features, the countenance, the whole face, where the divinity of man should shine out, is mean and sensual, to the point of absolute ugliness. . . .

". . . A more feeble and ill-looking race of children I have not met with, even among the vice and squalor of our larger cities. One looks in vain for those signs of constitutional vigor and sturdy health common to the juvenile portion of what may be considered a country town. . . ."

Well, really! At first reading, I suspected that Dr. Furley had made the mistake of conducting his observations during some over-long sacrament meeting in the crowded old Tabernacle. But no, apparently not . . .

". . . They are as gross and as vulgar in all their tastes, thoughts, and styles of expression, as in their bodily appearance. More than half their language is made up of slang phrases; nor do they relish the efforts of their preachers, unless well interlarded with this style of speech. As a consequence, these men indulge in the most trivial, and sometimes in the most vulgar and blasphemous expressions, to the great delight and mental titilation of their hearers."




  1. SMITH, Geo[rge] Albert (1870-1951; ordained apostle 1903, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1945-1951). Kind, expressive TYPED LETTER SIGNED as an apostle, to Willard PECK, a young man in Oregon. Salt Lake City, May 10, 1926.

Approx. 8½ X 11 inches, one page. With the original envelope postmarked from Salt Lake City the following morning. Uniformly tanned. The signature of George Albert Smith is very large (five inches long), in ink which is now brown or dark tan. Against the lightly tanned paper, the effect is a pleasing pastel - not dramatic in contrast, but attractive. One of the horizontal folds of the letter goes directly through the letter S of the signature, but all is clean and quite presentable. (The envelope has a very small stain on the front and some soiling on the back, and retains a large piece of old scrapbook paper on its back.)


Smith has just returned from a trip to New York, and finds on his desk a graduation announcement from the son of a dear friend. He takes time here to dictate a very nice four-paragraph reply, reading in part as follows . . .

         Your father and I were in school together when we were children. I have no friend in the world more dear to me than he is. He has always been a good honorable, faithful man, has been industrious to the last degree, and I congratulate you that you have such a splendid father and mother. Please remember me kindly to them.

         Trusting that this will find you all well and happy, and with every good wish for your success in life, I am,

          Your brother in the Gospel, Geo Albert Smith


"George's love of music and funny stories," explains Merlo J. Pusey,

took him into amateur show business at the age of ten. With the aid of Wilby Dougall and Tom PECK, he conducted minstrel shows in the back yard of the Smith home. If laughs are what count, the shows were worth far more than the pennies the young minstrels collected from neighborhood children. As George grew up, he continued to play his guitar . . . With a few wry gestures and jokes, he could provoke a torrent of giggling.
. . . . .
  At an early age George joined Tom Peck in another enterprise—the delivery of newspapers. Having no alarm clock, George slept with one end of a string tied to one of his toes and the other end dangling out of his window so that Tom could awaken him without disturbing the family. [Builders of the Kingdom (Provo, Utah, BYU Press, 1981), 204-5 (emphasis added)]




  1. [SMITH, Joseph - Martyrdom]  "Death of the Prophet!—Joe and Hiram Smith are dead!"  Short initial report in the UNIVERSALIST WATCHMAN, And Christian Repository (newspaper, Montpelier, Vermont) for July 20, 1844 [16:1].

Small folio, 35 cm. 8 pp. (complete issue). Some wear, not affecting the Mormon article. Some pages separated at the back fold.


Taken from the Quincy, Illinois Herald of June 28, the announcement fills four column inches with garbled news brought to Quincy on the steamboat Boreas, "just in from Warsaw, . . . shocking intelligence from the scene of the Mormon war."

This is the initial report, blaming the shooting deaths of Joseph and Hyrum on confusion initiated by a Mormon trying to force his way past the guards to get into the jail. "Joe and his Mormon fellow prisoners it seems had provided themselves with pistols, and attempted to escape from the window, when a hundred balls entered his body, and he fell a lifeless corpse. . . . Mormons immediately left for Nauvoo to carry the new[s] of the death of the Prophet. It is feared that the Mormons at Nauvoo will be so exasperated as to exterminate the Governor and his small force."




  1. [SMITH, Joseph - Martyrdom trial]  Geo[rge]. W[illia]m THATCHER.  Partly-printed DOCUMENT SIGNED, as his bond and mortgage that he will pay $1,120.50 for 7.47 acres of land "off of the East end of the North East quarter of section three (3) in Township four north Range nine west of the fourth principal meridian in the County of Hancock & State of Illinois  Being 4.85 chains in width (east & west) running from the South line of said quarter section to the Mississippi River." Hancock County, Illinois, March 31, 1858.

32 X 19½ cm. One page, verso blank but for filing note. On light blue paper. Very good. Affixed to the document is a partly-printed recording receipt slip on light blue paper (5½ X 19 cm., verso blank; simple typographic border ornamentation at top and at left) for the Hancock County "Clerk's Office, Carthage, Illinois," signed upon recording "the annexed MORTGAGE and Certificate" on April 2, 1858 by deputy clerk Hawley on behalf of Circuit Court Clerk and county recorder Squire R. Davis. The slip bears a faint embossed official seal.

THE TWO DOCUMENTS, with one autograph signature of George W. Thatcher:  SOLD**$125**

The principal document is also signed by seller John Curts and a witness whose signature is difficult to read. Thatcher's residence at this time is given as St. Louis County, Missouri.



Another document and recording slip of similar dimensions, 3 pp. on light blue paper, signed by J[oseph]. M. [or W.] TRUE, Hancock County, September 14, 1858, selling ten acres of land in a similar location bordering the Mississippi River, to George William THATCHER for $333.62. Also signed by notary Edward E. Lane and with his embossed notary seal. The affixed, partly-printed recording certificate slip (white paper) is signed by S R Davis; faint official seal on the slip. This second document is not signed by Thatcher.

George W. THATCHER was the anti-Mormon clerk of the Hancock County Commissioner's Court who resisted placing any Mormons on the grand jury which was to indict the accused assassins of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, 1844-5. For discussion, see Hill & Oaks, Carthage Conspiracy, pp. 46-7. Defendants Tom Sharp, Jacob Davis and Levi Williams became Freemasons at the end of 1844, and Hill & Oaks consider whether or not they did so in order to curry favor with fellow Masons, among whom was Thatcher, Judge Stephen A. Douglas, and others, p. 66.

This was evidently the same George W. Thatcher who was once a defender of Joseph Smith (History of the Church 5:483, 485). It was Thatcher who, in early 1846, recognized William Miller at Carthage, after Brigham Young had Miller wear his cap and walk out of the temple to get into Young's carriage - a deception which achieved its purpose of getting Miller arrested in Young's place. A great hurrah was raised among Carthage anti-Mormons around Carthage as the procession was arrived. Then, . . .

   The marshal put up at Hamilton's Tavern, and the rumor soon spread through the town that Brigham Young was in the custody of the marshal at Hamilton's. Among others, George W. Thatcher, county commissioner's clerk, who was well acquainted with Miller came into the tavern to see me. The marshal at his request took Miller into a private room. After a little conversation one of the guards came in and the marshal went out. The marshal soon returned and said to Mr. Miller, 'I am informed you are not Mr. Young;' 'Ah!' exclaimed Miller, 'then if I should prove not to be Mr. Young, it would be a worse joke on you than the Turley affair,' he replied, 'I'll be damned if it won't.' [History of the Church 7:550 (Tuesday, 23 December 1844 entry)]




  1. TOWLE, Nancy. VICISSITUDES ILLUSTRATED, in the Experience of Nancy Towle, in Europe and America. Written by herself. With an Appendix of Letters, &C. An Engraving—and Preface by Lorenzo Dow. . . . SECOND EDITION. Portsmouth [New Hampshire]: Printed for the authoress, by John Caldwell, 1833.

14½ cm. 310 pp. Collated complete. Pagination includes the two preliminary leaves with facing engraving of the gravestone of Dr. Philip Towle (the author's brother) and a printed memorial statement enclosed within typographic border (the recto of the first leaf, and the verso of the second leaf, blank). Original brown sheep. Red gilt-lettered leather label on spine; simple gilt double fillets across spine. A very good copy. The front upper corner of the spine cap is chipped away and the board corners somewhat worn. The pages are generally quite clean and white. A reasonably nice, presentable copy. Portion of final blank flyleaf torn away.


Flake [8981, note], first published at Charleston, South Carolina, 1832. The second book (as opposed to periodicals or newspapers) to discuss the Mormons, second edition. A very early printed account of the story of the angel and the plates.

"HISTORY OF MORMONISM," pp. 150-159. Eccentric, charming, and filled with that magical other-worldly view of life which makes the itinerant preacher biographies so intriguing. I can hardly drive down a country highway here without thinking of which early evangelist preached here, or there, or was pelted with fruit - or admired on the preachers' stand at some revival . . .

In October 1831, evangelist Nancy Towle stayed at the Thomas B. Marsh home in Kirtland, Ohio, and recorded portions of her conversations with W. W. Phelps, Martin Harris and Joseph Smith. There was no mention of a First Vision, but only that Joseph Smith "—professes to have seen, and held communion with an Angel from God. That, about four years since [i.e., ago, previously, thus 1827], as he was lying upon his bed,-–(having just been reclaimed from a backslidden state,) the room, of a sudden became light as day. When a beautiful personage, was presented to his view,––who requested, That he (Smith) should go to such a place,-–as he had something wonderful, he wished to reveal." (p. 150)




beloved young friend of JOHN WILKES BOOTH
— in trouble in Utah

  1. United States. War Department.  GENERAL ORDERS, No. 16 [and] . . . No. 20. . . . Washington, D.C., War Department, Adjutant General's Office, December 16, 1858, and September 7, 1859.

Two individual printed General Orders, each approx. 19 cm. (approximately 7½ X 5 inches). Each printed document is two pages on one leaf, with conjugate blank leaf. On cream-colored paper. Light early fold marks; very good.  Scarce: U.S. General Orders from this period seldom become available.

SOLD 9/15/06 ** THE TWO DOCUMENTS:  $750**

Unintentionally amusing transactions among our troops stationed in Utah Territory at the end of the Utah War . . .

From General Orders, No. 16:

. . . At the General Court Martial which convened at Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, pursuant to "Special Orders," No. 96, . . . was arraigned and tried Second Lieutenant Jesse B. Wharton, of the 7th Regiment of Infantry, on the following charges . . .

". . . That he . . . was drunk when on duty with his company at dress parade. This at the camp of part of the 5th column Utah forces, on Big Blue river, K. T., on or about June 28, 1858."

". . . That he . . . was drunk when on duty as officer of the day at the camp of the 5th column Utah forces near Fort Kearney, N. T., on or about July 20, 1858."

". . . That . . . on or about the 19th September, 1858, while on duty with his company as pioneers, being part of the 5th column Utah forces, working the new road between Fort Bridger and Camp Floyd, U. T., did absent himself from his party after having been specially ordered to remain with it . . . , and was found in a state of intoxication by the side of the road, after the passage of the troops. This near Weber river, U[.] T."
. . . . .

  And the Court does, therefore, sentence the said Second Lieutenant Jesse B. Wharton, of the 7th regiment of Infantry, "To be cashiered [i.e., dishonorably discharged]."
. . . . .

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 13, 1858.

  The sentence of the Court is confirmed. But in consideration of the youth of Lieutenant Wharton, and other circumstances in his favor, which have been brought to the attention of the Department, the sentence is mitigated to suspension from rank and pay for twelve months.

     Secretary of War.


Now serving without pay, young Wharton may not have been the most pleasant of comrades in arms, judging from the contents of General Orders, No. 20.   ·· FOR BEST EFFECT, I suggest that you read Specification 1st, below, aloud: slowly and ponderously, articulating carefully and in a mock-formal manner the spirit of the document itself - and taking care to enunciate the punctuation marks: "quote," and "close quote" (or words to that effect) –all this in the privacy of your study until you master the delivery sufficiently to call another collector and read it aloud over the telephone . . .


. . . At the General Court Martial which convened at Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, pursuant to "Special Orders" No. 55, of July 18, 1859, . . . was arraigned and tried Second Lieutenant Charles J. Lynde, of the 5th regiment of Infantry, on the following charges . . .

Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

Specification 1st..."In that; he, 2d Lieutenant Charles J. Lynde, 5th Infantry, was drunk, and engaged in a disgraceful brawl, with 2nd Lieutenant Jesse B. Wharton, 7th Infantry, striking him repeatedly with his fist, and calling him 'A damned son of a bitch'—'A God damned, lying, thieving, son of a bitch'—or words to that effect; all this between 12 and 2 o'clock in the morning of the 4th of July, 1859, in the Mormon settlement of Fairfield, U.T., in the immediate vicinity of Camp Floyd, U.T., and in the immediate presence and hearing of soldiers of the said Camp, and citizens residing in the said town of Fairfield."

Specification 2d..."In this; that the said 2d Lieutenant Charles J. Lynde, 5th Infantry, on being engaged in a brawl with 2d Lieutenant Jesse B. Wharton, 7th Infantry, as stated in the 1st specification; did in order to throw blame upon 2d Lieutenant Jesse B. Wharton, 7th Infantry, and thereby screen himself—report . . . that this was the third time that he had been insulted by the said Lieut. Wharton, or words to that effect; which report was false, and without foundation. He the said Lieut. Lynde having been the aggressor on the occasion. This in the Mormon settlement of Fairfield, U.T., on or about the morning of the 4th of July, 1859."

Disobedience of Orders.

. . . . .
. . . "In this; that 2d Lieut. Charles J. Lynde, 5th Infantry, having been ordered . . . to go immediately to his quarters, did fail to obey the said order, and did continue in the town of Fairfield, U.T., and remain absent from his quarters for one hour, more or less. This at the Mormon settlement of Fairfield, U.T., on or about the morning of the 4th of July, 1859."

. . . . .

   And the Court does therefore sentence the said Second Lieutenant Charles J. Lynde, 5th Infantry, "To be dismissed the service."


. . . In conformity with the 65th Article of War, the proceedings of the General Court Martial in the foregoing case, have been transmitted to the Secretary of War, and by him laid before the PRESIDENT of the United States. The following are the orders thereon:

WASHINGTON, September 5, 1859.

The sentence of the Court, after careful examination, is approved.



Second Lieutenant Charles J. Lynde, 5th Infantry, accordingly ceases to be an officer of the Army from September 5, 1859.

. . . The General Court Martial . . . is dissolved.


Assistant Adjutant General.


"[L]aid before the PRESIDENT of the United States. . ." !  Your tax dollars, at work . . .   Charles J. LYNDE, of Texas, had been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Fifth Regiment of Infantry on June 30, 1855 (Senate Exec. Journal, June 11, 1856, p. 106).

Lieut. WHARTON (born in Maryland, ca. 1834) could be a difficult provoker indeed –of affection or hate. It turns out that he had been a classmate and close friend of John Wilkes Booth. According to Booth's sister,

Jesse Wharton, an old schoolmate from Catonsville, was an ever welcome guest at our house. He was a rarely endowed youth both physically and mentally. I sat listening one day to their astounding stories of schooldays, and Jesse said,

"Do you remember the day, Billy, that you were nearly drowned, sucked under by the current? I tell you," he continued, addressing himself to me, "our hearts stood still that time; we never thought to see this fellow open his big eyes again."

At the moment of speaking thus, Jesse laid his arm affectionately around Wilkes' neck, who laid his cheek down upon his friend's hand as it rested upon his shoulder.

He said, drawing a long breath, "No, Jess, I am not to drown, hang, or burn, although my sister yonder has believed I am a predestined martyr of some sort, ever since the time when she sat the whole night through reading Fox's Book of Martyrs."

This led to comparison of books they had read. There were no novels in those days within easy grasp of young [page 76] people, if indeed there were such publications; all that we knew of were little pamphlets of Boz's bewildering English life, Sir Walter Scott and Bulwer. The two walked away to inspect Wilkes' unpretentious library in his own room. I could smell the tobacco of their pipes and hear their occasional laughter, while I sat wondering what they would both be in the far-off time. They were both so handsome, so gifted, and so light-hearted; for my brother, no visions or dreams were too extravagantly great for me to indulge; to all who knew him, his was a future so full of promise. [Asia Booth Clarke. The Unlocked Book: A Memoir of John Wilkes Booth (New York: G P Putnam's Sons, 1938), 75; copied from http://freepages.military. rootsweb.com/~pa91/ cfwhasch.html (by Harry Ide? Accessed September 7, 2006); not verified against hard copy]

After leaving the service in Utah on August 1, 1859, Wharton mined in Nevada for two years, then returned East to settle his mother's estate. In late 1861, he was arrested (perhaps mistakenly) as a Confederate spy, and died in a federal prison in Washington when he repeatedly provoked a guard to shoot him on April 1, 1862. For extensive details and documentation, see Wharton's biography online (by Harry Ide?) at http://freepages .military.rootsweb.com/~pa91/ cc240001.html#N2a, accessed September 7, 2006.




I did not like to have a barrel of whiskey in the house,
for it might have given the Bishop or some of the leaders an opportunity to injure the house
. . .

  1. [Utah economy and culture, 1860s] Fascinating agent's or colleague's letter to the sutler/merchant at Fort Bridger at the end of 1864. While well-written, much of the content remains obscure to me: The insider nature of this communication invites more research than I wish to do. Someone prepared and equipped to analyze this letter fully will surely be glad of my price below.

L. B. SCOTT.  LETTER of inventory on hand, and news, to Judge W. A. CARTER (at Fort Bridger, Utah Territory). Heber City, Utah Territory, December 31, 1864.

25 X 20 cm. 3 pages on two conjugate leaves; docketed on back: "L. B. Scotts Statement of Grain &c. on hand Jny 1st 1865 - Heber City - "Answered 10th Jny 65" Very good condition; folds from mailing; pin holes from securing in a binding or ledger.


Regarding Judge CARTER . . .

After the Mormon Wars, Fort Bridger . . . was occupied by Albert Sidney Johns[t]on and the U.S. Army. William A. Carter arrived with Johns[t]on in 1858 as the fort's sutler. Describing Carter and his store in his 1869 book the Great West, James F. Rustling wrote: 'Gradually his sutler-store had grown to be a trade-store with the Indians, and passing emigrants; and in 1866 he reported his sales at $100,000 per year, and increasing. He was a shrewd, intelligent man, with a fine library and the best eastern newspapers, who had seen a vast deal of life in many phases on both sides of the continent, and his hospitality was open-handed and generous even for a Virginian. [Swann Galleries (New York) auction catalog 2043 (May 12, 2005), entry 130, offering Carter's original manuscript ledger at Ft. Bridger, 1859-66, for a pittance]

HEBER CITY was part of the Heber Valley settlement southeast of Salt Lake City, which began following the Utah War. By 1862, there were more than 1,000 settlers in that area. Both Heber and the valley's first settlement, Kimball, were named after Heber C. Kimball, the Mormon apostle who had converted many of the local colonists. Samples from the text of the letter here at hand:

Wheat on hand Dec 1st, 64 - 19,700 [lbs.]
    "     Taken in - 23,093
[total:] 42,793 lbs, or 713 Bush[els]:
. . . .
Potatoes on hand . . . 15,983 lbs . . . as soon as Wilkens Will is ready to grind I will have the wheat ground into Flour.
. . . . .

I loaded 14 wagons for Douglas, but they only put about 1500 on a wagon, and had a terrible time getting oats with that much. . . .
. . . . .
[W?]all is very angry about the horses, threatens to put up an opposition house &c. but of course it is all bosh, for he couldn't buy a wagon load of goods to save his life unless he bought on Cr[edit]: and that he can't do: . . .
. . . . .
I sold the Bbl of whiskey! to Kimball for 250 00 it being all that it was worth in my opinion, and I did not like to have a barrel of whiskey in the house, for it might have given the Bishop or some of the leaders an opportunity to injure the house, and I concluded it best to dispose of it. . . . The snow is very deep, about 15 inches, . . .

When ever you wish me to come to Bridger let me know, and I will start over.
. . . . .

Enclosed I also send you the receipt I got from the [Gov & W. Mr ?] for the Oats, you will ch[ar]ge the 2 [?] at Douglas & Co. the Provo Store, with them [ . . . have fun with this, whoever buys it] . . .





  1. [Utah Statehood]   Idaho (Territory) Legislative Assembly.   . . . In the Senate of the United States. January 14, 1889.—Presented by the President pro tempore; referred to the Committee on Territories, and ordered to be printed. MEMORIAL OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE TERRITORY OF IDAHO, PROTESTING AGAINST THE ADMISSION OF UTAH AS A STATE  [caption title; at head: "50th Congress, 2d Session. Senate. Mis. Doc. No. 37"]. [Washington, Government Printing Office, 1889]

22½ cm. 2 pages on one leaf. Uniformly browning; a tear neatly closed at the bottom. Removed from a binding.


Flake 4182 (showing copies at Yale and BYU); Fales & Flake 969. The council and house of representatives of Idaho Territory "most respectfully represent" . . .

 That the proposed admission of the Territory of Utah as a State would be a calamity not only to every loyal Gentile citizen of the Territory, but to the general pubic, and especially to those States and Territories adjacent to Utah. That the admission of Utah would place the government of the State directly in the hands of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church, an organization treasonable in its teachings and practices to the United States Government; . . .
. . . . .

 That all pretenses of an abandonment of bigamy polygamy, and other crimes against the laws of the United States are pretenses only, made for the purpose of deceiving persons unacquainted with the abhorred practices of the Mormon Church . . .

 . . . said church is composed by a large majority of the lowest and most densely ignorant classes of the Old World peasantry who are in no way Americanized, and who have nothing in common with our aims or our republican institutions. They are serfs, and serfs only; slaves to the most tyrannical and despotic organization in existence. . . .

So I guess, if we can read between the lines, the Idaho legislators would prefer that Utah not become a state that year.




  1. THE WAYNE SENT[INEL] . . . Printed and Published every Friday Morning, by E. B. Grandin . . . (newspaper). Palmyra [New York], Friday, January 9, 1829 [VI:16].

Folio, [4] pages (complete issue). Poor condition, ragged and worn, with loss of paper and text to several areas, including the end of the masthead title as shown by my brackets above]. Very scarce anywhere, in any condition.


Several Grandin ads, including a nice little ad worthy of illustration (back page, 1¾ X 2¼ inches), with woodcut of an open book, announcing a "Book Bindery, and Circulating Library" to be conducted by Luther Howard "in this village, at the sign of the Bible." Signed in type by both Howard and Grandin, dated Palmyra, June 26, 1828. Grandin would print the Book of Mormon beginning the year this paper was printed, and Howard would then bind it.

On page 3, column 4, appears the name of MARTIN HARRIS in the "List of Letters, Remaining in the Post-Office, at Palmyra, on the 1st of January, 1829," . Immediately below, in a separate "List of Letters, Remaining in the Post-Office at Williamson, on the 1st of Jan. 1829," appears the name of one ETHAN SMITH.

I had to drive home extremely late one night last year in order to obtain this newspaper. I'm sorry to say I hit a little red fox which failed to look both ways before darting into the road at about 3:00 a.m., a little east of Auburn, New York.

Twenty years ago, I obtained another 1820s Palmyra newspaper. After pricing it, I became concerned that no matter how I offered it for sale, some customer would feel offended that they had not received first offer. I deliberated, agonized - then finally threw up my hands, doubled the price to what I felt sure would be a discouraging $800, and placed the rarity in a catalog . . . and still received multiple orders.




  1. WELLS, S[amuel]. R[obert].  THE ILLUSTRATED ANNUAL OF PHRENOLOGY AND PHYSIOGNOMY FOR 1866.  By S. R. Wells, Editor of the Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated. Containing Forty=two Illustrations. . . .  New York: Fowler and Wells, [1865].

19½ cm. [52] pp., counting illustrated self-wrappers. Back fold and outer wrappers fairly worn & soiled. Internally very good.


Flake [9690] shows only a seven-year compilation of the annuals for 1865-71, published in 1871 (various paginations, perhaps made up from the various issues, plus cover material) – and locates only one copy of that version, in the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. I have not seen this before, and was only able to obtain it from a friend who found it "in the field" here in the East, and who offered it to me directly.

Among the prominent individuals treated in this volume, including Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, the famous phrenologist here devotes three pages to Brigham YOUNG, with an illustration drawn from a recent photograph, ". . . just received, through the politeness of Mr. C. R. Savage, photographic artist of Salt Lake City, Utah . . ."  I find this article to be remarkable. It is all nonsense, of course, attributing myriad qualities to the subject based on his various facial/cranial features. And yet, the attempt here is to be eminently honest and fair, and Brigham is treated very fairly indeed. "Looked at without the name," begins Mr. Wells,

what would be the general impression which this likeness would make on the observer? Would he infer that it represents an essentially good man, or an essentially bad man? Without prejudice, bias, or preconceived opinion, reader, what would be your judgment as to the leading traits of this character? . . .

  The photograph from which we copy is a recent one, and has been exhibited to large numbers of persons who have called at our office on Broadway, and the question has been put to each on handing him the likeness, "What do you think of this?" And the following indicate the general character of the answers we have received: "He looks like a good fatherly sort of a man." "A strong and sensible intellect." "An exceedingly energetic character." "A man with a will and a way of his own." "Kind, but very decided." "A man of ability and resolution" And so on, each inferring what he could from the expression.

  Having met the man, and taken his measure years ago, we are prepared to speak more definitely and in detail of this remarkable personage. [p. 38]

The drawing is taken from an 1864 Savage photograph illustrated as plate 38 in Richard N. Holzapfel's Brigham Young, Images of a Mormon Prophet (Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, 2000). Dr. Holzapfel notes that, "In 1866, while in the East on business, Savage became acquainted with Samuel Robert Wells (1820-75), a businessman in New York. Wells was editor of the long-running American Phrenological Journal. (Holzapfel, p. 234). Brigham's bumps here tell Mr. Wells that the man is one who could have succeeded in many different fields. If he is sensual, he is not inordinately so, and it will be between Brigham and his Maker to decide how he has used his many gifts. In line after line, Wells presents Brigham in the most generous manner one could hope . . .

He would look well after health, wealth, and the comforts of life. He is also profoundly religious, whether in truth or in error, whether a Christian or not.

  As to the number of his wives or children we know nothing except by hearsay, but we have every reason to believe that Brigham Young is today less sensual in his habits than many who profess to live lives of "single blessedness."

  . . . He has all the faculties required to fill any place or post in private or in professional life. God will hold him accountable for the right use of a full measure of talents. His accountability and responsibility will be in exact accordance with his capability, which is much above that of the common run of men. He may be a saint—he is probably a sinner—but he is neither a fool nor a madman. As to the correctness of his judgment there will be two opinions, as there is in regard to all religions. But there is the man. [p. 40]




  1. [Zion's Camp]  Description of "Mormonites" of Zion's Camp passing through east-central Indiana, in the VERMONT FREE PRESS (newspaper, Fayetteville, Vermont) for Saturday, June 14, 1834 [I:2].

Folio, [4] pp. (complete issue). Quite worn, with some stains; an article clipped out of the back leaf. The Mormon article has one short tear without loss.

SOLD 9/14/06 **$200**

In May and June 1834, Joseph Smith and some two hundred followers comprising the bulk of "Zion's Camp" were traveling from Kirtland, Ohio, to western Missouri to support beleaguered Mormons around Jackson County. The main group crossed into Illinois on May 24, for example, and the famous Zelph incident occurred on June 2. The valuable report preserved here was copied and published in this newspaper while Zion's Camp was still on the road. Although the article is given under date of May 24, the passage it describes would actually have taken place nearly a week earlier, at the eastern edge of central Indiana (see History of the Church 2:68-9). It reads in its entirety as follows . . .

Richmond, (Wayne Co. Indiana,) May 24.

  Mormonites. On Monday morning last [May 19, 1834], a caravan of about two hundred Mormonites, with a long train of waggons passed through this place on their way to the 'far west.' There were but few women among them, and the men were generally, if not all, supplied with fire arms. A stout and hardy set of fellows they were, too, and many of them quite intelligent. From their equipments, it has been suspected that they intend joining and defending their brethren in Jackson county, Missouri. They professed to be in search of new lands, whereon to form a settlement, either in Illinois or farther west. We understand that they were from the states of Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania, and had assembled at some point on their route hither.   Palladium.

These informative, Mormon-friendly details provide useful background for the study and description of this colorful episode of Missouri Mormon history. This was not contrived reporting: The Mormon discretionary deception suggested in this article was practiced openly, and appears forthrightly in the History of the Church and in Mormon journals which were kept on this march. Members of the camp sometimes preached along the way without identifying their religion, and Joseph Smith would introduce himself to strangers as "Squire Cook."