John Taylor and Mormon Imprints in Europe, 1840–52

David J. Whittaker

David J. Whittaker, “John Taylor and Mormon Imprints in Europe, 1840–52,” in Champion of Liberty: John Taylor, ed. Mary Jane Woodger (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 111–42.

David J. Whittaker was the curator of Nineteenth-Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library and associate professor of history at Brigham Young University when this was published.

Following Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, John Taylor became the third President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Taylor was the first Church President born outside the United States, and he differed in other ways as well. He had a more formal education and had served as a lay minister in another religion (Methodism). While his predecessors wore homespun clothes, Taylor dressed more formally; he was sometimes playfully referred to as a “dandy” or as “Prince John” by Brigham Young, perhaps because he enjoyed more formal attire, which included a black suit and polished shoes and even a red velvet coat on formal occasions.[1]

Cultural and religious differences notwithstanding, once he took hold of the Church he never let go. He loved his newfound faith, serving in a variety of assignments from the time of his conversion in 1836 until his death in 1887. He was a fearless missionary, a bold editor and author of Latter-day Saint tracts and periodicals, and a man of great courage, almost dying at the hands of the same mob that murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith in June 1844 in Carthage, Illinois.

John Taylor was a complex and colorful man. Following a short biographical sketch, this chapter will focus on his writings and publications during his two European missions.

The Life of John Taylor: An Overview

Taylor was born November 1, 1808, at Milnthorpe, Westmoreland County, England. At age seven, Taylor and the family moved to Liverpool, where he was able to attend school. In 1819 his father inherited a small farm in Hale, returning his family to a rural life. John labored on the family farm and attended school at Bectham. At age fourteen, John returned to Liverpool, where he began an apprenticeship with a cooper. However, the business failed, and he relocated to Penrith, Cumberland, where he lived for the next five years and learned the craft of turning wood on a lathe for furniture making.[2]

At Penrith he had a religious awakening that moved him from the Church of England to the Methodist Church at age sixteen. His Bible study and desire to share the piety of his new faith led him to become a lay preacher, or exhorter, assigned to a nearby congregation. And so he continued until 1830, when the whole Taylor family decided to join other British families seeking a better life by immigrating to Canada.

By 1832 John had settled in Toronto, Canada, where he continued his preaching for the Methodist Church. There he met and married Leonora Cannon, whose own family had come from Liverpool and the Isle of Man. By 1836 he had grown dissatisfied with Methodism, manifested by his forming a study group of “seekers” who shared their dissent from Methodism by listening to Irvingite (Catholic Apostolic Church) preachers. Taylor was clearly leaving what for him had served as a religious halfway house.[3]

In the midst of John’s searching, he met Elder Parley P. Pratt, a former follower of Alexander Campbell in the Disciples of Christ, who had come to Toronto in April 1836. By May, following a period of skepticism combined with deep study and prayer, the Taylors were baptized into the Church. Pratt ordained Taylor an elder, and with his earlier experience as a circuit preacher in Methodism, Taylor was an obvious choice to be the presiding elder of the growing Latter-day Saint congregations in the area.[4]

In March 1837, Taylor journeyed south to Kirtland, Ohio, where he met Joseph Smith for the first time. Smith directed the Taylors to move to Kirtland and then to Far West, Missouri, where the whole Church was then gathering. During this time, Taylor was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, an organizational unit that would come to be the second most powerful leadership unit in the Church.

In northern Missouri, he experienced the forced exodus of his people during the winter of 1838–39, aided by an expulsion order issued by the governor. Such abuse of governmental authority pushed Taylor to begin questioning the appropriate roles of secular or state power, especially in a nation where the right of religious freedom was presumably guaranteed by the Constitution. His first Latter-day Saint publication was an account of these difficult months, published as he was on his way to England with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[5] Returning to his native land, Taylor labored as a missionary in Liverpool, northeastern Ireland, southern Scotland, and the Isle of Man. He published three pamphlets in response to attacks on him while proselyting on the Isle of Man.

Taylor and most of his apostolic colleagues returned in 1841 to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he assisted in governing the growing city and in editing such Church newspapers as the Times and Seasons, the Wasp, and the Nauvoo Neighbor.[6] He was made a member of the Council of Fifty in April 1844, a council in which Joseph Smith gave assignments for the temporal government of the kingdom of God. Taylor took this calling seriously, and his own political stances were directly related to the teachings he received on the Constitution and the future of the latter-day kingdom from Joseph Smith.[7] He played a key role during the final months of Joseph Smith’s life—he assisted with Joseph Smith’s Presidential campaign and on June 27, 1844, was an eyewitness to and victim of the mob action that led to the violent deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Taylor’s account of the tragic event remains a key document from early Church history.[8] For the rest of his life, Taylor carried a ball fired into him during the attack.

In 1846 he assisted his people through another forced exodus, this time into the American West, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.[9] In 1849 he was sent by Brigham Young to preside over Church missionary work in France and Germany, which would include publishing explanations and defenses of his faith, overseeing the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon into French and German, directing the founding of two short-lived Latter-day Saint newspapers, and helping to gather the knowledge and equipment which would be used to begin sugar beet cultivation in Utah. He returned to Utah in 1852.

Back among his people, he served in the Utah Territorial Legislature from 1853 to 1876, acting as Speaker of the House for five sessions. During a period of national criticism and federal action against the Church, he was sent by Brigham Young to New York City from 1855 to 1857, where he established the Mormon, a newspaper defending and advocating the Saints’ position.[10]

On returning home, he served as a probate judge and responded in 1869 in the New York Tribune to vice president Schuylar Colfax’s strong criticisms of plural marriage in a speech Colfax gave in Salt Lake City on October 5, 1869.[11] In 1876, Taylor was appointed territorial superintendent of schools.

As the senior Apostle following the death of Brigham Young in August 1877, John Taylor was sustained as the third President of the Church. He published six books while President,[12] directed Orson Pratt to create a new edition of the Book of Mormon, and canonized the fourth volume of Latter-day Saint scripture—the Pearl of Great Price—in October 1880. In 1879 he encouraged the founding of the Primary organization, an auxiliary program for teaching the children of the Church.

His last years saw the strong legislative and judicial powers of the United States more systematically applied against the practice of plural marriage. The Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887 included criminal prosecutions for polygamy and the legal disincorporation of the Church over which Taylor presided. Taylor, himself a polygamist, went into hiding in 1885 to avoid arrest—he died in July 1887 in his seventy-eighth year while still living in seclusion.[13] While Taylor deserves a modern biography, here we will limit our comments to his two European missions, the first to the British Isles in 1839–41 and the second to France and Germany a decade later. Our focus will be on his publishing activities.

British Mission Publications, 1840–41

Leaving his family in barely adequate housing in Montrose, Iowa (just west across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, Illinois), Taylor began his journey to England on August 8, 1839. His own illness slowed his journey with Wilford Woodruff, a fellow Apostle, but they finally booked passage in New York City. After thirty-one days at sea, they arrived in Liverpool, the city of Taylor’s youth, on January 11, 1840. Taylor visited family members and then preached in the city.[14] He found some success among the many Irish inhabitants, who had fled their own land to seek better health and employment in the Liverpool and Manchester areas. This success led to a call to Taylor in July to formally begin missionary work in Ireland.[15]

Focusing his efforts on Newry, a village north of Dublin, Taylor’s mission to Ireland was mostly disappointing, although he baptized the first convert in Ireland, Thomas Tate. He left the area after ten days and traveled north to Belfast, where he boarded a ship to Glasgow to teach Irish immigrants in Scotland. In this he was more successful.[16]

Returning to Liverpool, he preached sermons in the Music Hall on Bold Street, but increasingly the local clergy objected to his teaching.[17] In September 1840 he went to the Isle of Man, beginning his mission there by calling again on his wife’s relatives in Douglas as he had when arriving in Liverpool.[18] He found much support in Samuel and Ann Pitchforth, a family living in Douglas, who opened their home and their hearts to him. Ann would later join the Church and immigrate with her children to America; unfortunately, she died on the journey west to Utah.[19]

John Taylor spent much of his time in Douglas preaching and responding to anti-Mormon attacks in both oral and written form. Arriving on the Isle of Man on September 17, 1840, he was soon responding to a challenge to debate with a Ranter preacher, Thomas Hamilton, with the local newspapers reporting these activities.[20] His confrontation with Hamilton led to a challenge from J. Curran, another debate covered in the local papers.[21] In one of his responses to Curran, Taylor noted his appreciation for all the publicity that such discussion in the public prints gave to his missionary work, no doubt producing the opposite effect his critics hoped to achieve.

This publicity led Taylor into a more extended discussion with Robert Heys, a Wesleyan Methodist Superintendent Preacher, allowing Taylor to draw upon his earlier work as a Methodist lay preacher. Early in October, no doubt reacting to the growing presence of Elder Taylor in Douglas, Heys published his Address to the Members of the Wesleyan Societies and Congregations in Douglas and its vicinity on the Subject of Mormonism,[22] and Taylor responded with An Answer to Some False Statements and Misrepresentations, which answered Heys’s attack on the origin of the Book of Mormon and challenged Heys to a debate.[23] Taylor’s argument that Heys had quoted contradictory accounts regarding the origin of the Book of Mormon from anti-Mormon literature was used by Parley P. Pratt in one of his own replies to critics.[24] Taylor deemed his responses to Heys important enough to ask Brigham Young to excuse him from attending the October conference. Taylor wrote, “As I have got into the scrap I shall have to fight it through.”[25]

Taylor’s second reply, dated October 29, 1840, Calumny Refuted and the Truth Defended; Being a Reply to the Second Address of the Rev. Robert Heys, was printed twice, once in Douglas and once in Liverpool.[26] In this pamphlet Taylor responded in more detail to Heys’s uncritical rehearsing of anti-Mormon explanations of Latter-day Saint origins that had followed the missionaries from America. He also defended various doctrines Heys had attacked. Taylor’s third reply, dated December 7, 1840, Truth Defined and Methodism Weighed in the Balances and Found Wanting, apparently prepared after he left the Isle of Man, was a patchwork of various early works written by Parley P. Pratt.[27]

John Taylor’s pamphlets hardly quelled the opposition, but all the commotion seemed to benefit the Church, for by February 1841 the Latter-day Saint congregation there had reached seventy.[28] Elder Pratt, meanwhile, kept the readers of the Millennial Star informed of the developments on the Isle of Man, and assured them that “our readers will see that the truth is completely triumphant on the Isle of Man; and that the gainsayers are confounded.”[29] After Taylor’s departure, Samuel Haining, a schoolteacher and author of a popular guidebook to the Isle of Man, published a sixty-six-page attack on the Church entitled Mormonism Weighed in the Balances, and the Latter-day Saint response came from both Elder Taylor and Elder Pratt in articles printed in the Millennial Star.[30] Elder Taylor returned to the Isle of Man in March 1841, staying for about a week. He baptized twelve people into the Church in Douglas.[31]

During this time, Elder Taylor was also assisting the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Publication Committee (Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, and Heber C. Kimball) in the preparation of the first European edition of the Book of Mormon as well as with the printing of the first European hymnal.[32]

Continental Europe Publications, 1850–52

Elder Taylor received another mission call at the Church’s general conference in October 1849. Now a well-seasoned leader, editor, and writer, Taylor was assigned to begin missionary work in France. Church leaders probably sought to take advantage of the 1848 revolutions then sweeping Europe.[33] He left soon after the conference, even though it meant a difficult overland journey as winter approached. But, despite crossing the frozen Mississippi River and other challenges, he and his companion missionaries arrived safely in England. Then, with William Howells, John Pack, and Curtis E. Bolton (the only one who actually knew some French) he traveled to France, coming first to Boulogne, where Howells had previously organized a branch of the Church.[34] Taylor wrote several articles that were published in the Boulogne Interpreter, a newspaper published in both French and English,[35] and Taylor and Bolton had large handbills printed to announce their meetings.[36]

While they were there, Taylor was verbally attacked by several ministers who had followed him from England. Taylor and his associates were then challenged by these men to a public debate. This was accepted, with the three main topics to be (1) the character of Joseph Smith, (2) the validity of the Book of Mormon, and (3) claims to heavenly authority for their preaching and baptizing. On three consecutive nights, Thursday to Saturday (July 11–13), the debate was held—it was reported in the local newspaper, and Curtis Bolton took notes as well. Using his own notes and these other sources, Taylor returned to Liverpool, where in September he had published Three Nights’ Public Discussion . . . at Boulogne-sur-mer, France. At least eleven thousand copies in two printings were issued in English, probably because the discussion had been with English preachers, and its sales could generate funds for their missionary work.[37] What is mainly remembered about this publication is Taylor’s strong denial that the Saints were practicing plural marriage, at least the kind that John C. Bennett had suggested in his 1842 exposé, The History of the Saints; or, an Expose of Joe Smith and Mormonism, and was finding its way into anti-Mormon activities and publications in Europe.[38] Such broad denials of polygamy were common until August 29, 1852, when Brigham Young approved the public announcement as part of a special missionary conference in Salt Lake City.[39] Once Brigham Young approved the public discussion, John Taylor became a strong public defender of the practice; in fact, Taylor’s later assignment to publish the Mormon in New York City was to defend the Church against the public attacks that were sure to increase.

Following the Boulogne debates, Taylor and Bolton traveled to Paris on July 19, 1850, where they would focus their attention for the next several years. While Taylor’s leadership responsibilities took him back to England and out of Paris on occasion, he managed to (1) author three pamphlets that were translated and published in French, (2) author a small book that was published in English, (3) oversee the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon in French, and (4) begin a French-language Latter-day Saint newspaper in Paris. Taylor provided the leadership and direction and helped with the fund-raising to pay the printers, but he knew very little French himself, so the actual work of translation and publishing was entrusted to Curtis Bolton, who also had the assistance of several converts or persons friendly to their cause.

Taylor had apparently begun working on his first French pamphlet in July. Bolton and a Mr. Peclard did the work of translating. Bolton saw it through press and was distributing copies of the sixteen-page work in October 1850. Two additional impressions were issued from the same stereotyped places in 1851 and 1852. Aux amis de la verite relìgieuse (Address to Friends of Religious Truth) was an expansion of his June 25 letter to the Boulogne Interpreter in which he introduced himself and his mission to France.[40] But the core of his pamphlet provided a brief biographical introduction to Joseph Smith and his early visions, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the organization of the Church in April 1830, and a brief history of the Church. It concluded with a summary of Latter-day Saint beliefs, most likely taken from Orson Pratt’s 1840 pamphlet retitled in 1848 Remarkable Visions.[41]

By February 1852, Taylor had decided to extend his European mission, and his establishing a newspaper was part of this commitment. Étoile du Déséret (Star of Deseret) was published in Paris from May 1851 to December 1852. Each issue was sixteen pages. While Taylor was the editor and publisher, Curtis E. Bolton managed the paper and did much of the translation work. But Taylor did prepare articles for the paper; in addition, French translations of material from the Millennial Star in England and the Deseret News in Utah were printed.[42]

Taylor’s next pamphlet, De la Nécessité de Nouvelles Révélations (On the Necessity of New Revelations) had actually appeared first in seven consecutive installments in the Étoile du Déséret (issues of September 1851–March 1852). Because the newspaper was stereotyped, it was easier to print material from its pages as separate works. The thirty-two-page pamphlet probably appeared in mid-July. It was divided into five chapters and followed the content of the first two chapters of Parley P. Pratt’s 1837 Voice of Warning, which was available in many subsequent reprintings.[43]

Taylor had published an article on baptism in the Étoile du Déséret in three parts, November 1851–January 1852. An entry in Curtis Bolton’s journal suggests that on November 15, 1852, he arranged to have one thousand copies of “the article on Baptism” printed in pamphlet form. Entitled Traité sur le Baptême par John Taylor (Treatise on Baptism by John Taylor), the tract came off the press early in 1853.[44]

While carrying out his European mission responsibilities, Taylor had both opportunity to observe and time to reflect upon the democratic revolutions that had swept through Europe beginning in 1848. During his time in France, Taylor wrote The Government of God, which was published in England in August 1852, after Taylor had returned to America.[45] Printed in an edition of five thousand copies, its primary purpose was to raise money to support the French Mission. A short excerpt from chapter 5 had been published in the Latter day Saints’ Millennial Star in Liverpool in March 1851.[46] Taylor, on the eve of his departure from Liverpool, had left the manuscript with James Linforth, who was to see it into print.[47] By the time he wrote this work, he was throughly disgusted with the direction the revolutions of 1848 had taken.[48]

Its twelve chapters remain a classic statement of Latter-day Saint views on the kingdom of God, arguing for its establishment in a world that was governed by “ferment and commotion” and “only produced poverty, distress, misery and confusion.”[49] The kingdoms of men are illegitimate governments that will continue to produce contention and war. He argued that God must authorize and direct his kingdom through modern revelation—in chapter 11 he was clearly drawing upon his pamphlet De la Nécessité de Nouvelles Révélations, which was composed about the same time. His last chapter again returns to Parley P. Pratt’s Voice of Warning by quoting material on the “need for a Latter-day Restoration of all things.” Such a theocratic view was central to nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint beliefs. For Taylor, such a view had surely been reinforced by the rough treatment his people had experienced earlier at the hands of mobs and extralegal militias in Missouri and Illinois, the instructions he received from Joseph Smith as a member of the Council of Fifty, and direct observations of the consequences of the European revolutions that had not brought promised liberal reform but simply more misery to the people.

But there were several compelling reasons that Taylor did not publish The Kingdom of God in Paris. Perhaps the most significant was the conversion of Louis Alphonse Bertrand (his real name was Jean François Elie Flandin, 1808–75) to the faith in December 1850.[50] At the time of his conversion, Bertrand was the political editor of La Populaire, a communistic newspaper in Paris and was working closely with Étienne Cabet, founder of the Icarians, a communitarian group that eventually founded communities in America (his followers actually purchased land in the abandoned Nauvoo). Bertrand left his employment following his conversion, but in a dangerous age that was seeing a backlash to the democratic revolutions, Bertrand and his old friends were being constantly watched by the police. The police, Bolton noted, came several times to their printer and then to their place of residence. Bertrand, in his published autobiography, says he was arrested and even spent some time in jail. Following his conversion, he used several pseudonyms, including Louis A. Bertrand and Alphonse Dupont, especially when his writings appeared in Latter-day Saint publications. Bertrand would return to France as the mission president from 1859 to 1864.

Elder Taylor had given several lectures on “the kingdom of God,” and these had been worked into a transcript for a small book, but the political climate in France, which would push both Bertrand and Taylor into exile, was not ready for Taylor’s political and theocratic views.

The German Mission Publications

Almost from the beginning of his assignment, Taylor considered Germany as part of his mission.[51] In September 1851 he had called George Parker Dykes to a mission in Hamburg. Taylor joined him there on October 29, bringing with him George Viett, a public schoolteacher of languages who had been converted by William Howells in Boulogne. Viett was to assist Dykes in translating the Book of Mormon into German.

Taylor stayed in Germany for about seven weeks (until December 15), but before he left he began a German periodical, Zions Panier (Zion’s Banner). Problems with local government officials and a shortage of funds limited this newspaper to four monthly issues: November 1, 1851, December 1, 1851, January 1, 1852, and February 1, 1852. The first issue was eighteen pages and the next two are sixteen pages, and they mostly contained excerpts from Taylor’s earlier published works. Thus, issue 1 contains a German translation of his French pamphlet, Aux amis de la verite relìgieuse; issue 2 reprints in German of Taylor’s three-part series on the Book of Mormon, published in the Étoile du Déséret, May–July 1851; issue 3 draws upon his essay De la Nécessité de Nouvellas Révélations in Étoile du Déséret (September–October 1851) and several other Taylor items, including parts of his article on the “Melchizedek Priesthood,” published earlier in the Times and Seasons in Nauvoo (December 1, 1842) when he was the editor. It appears that Taylor selected these items and that Dykes saw them through press, with Viett as the translator.[52] In a talk in August 1852, John Taylor said the articles in the periodicals were translated from English versions.[53]

French Book of Mormon

In both France and Germany, Taylor’s largest publishing projects were the translating and printing of the Book of Mormon. In both cases, it required groups of people to work long periods of time to produce the finished work. The French translation appeared in January 1852, the German in May 1852. Having the volume available in French had been a goal of John Taylor from the start of his European mission. Curtis Bolton began the work of translation as soon as he and Taylor reached Paris in mid-July 1850. Taylor indicated in his French pamphlet Aux amis de la verite relìgieuse, published in October 1850, that a French edition of the Book of Mormon was in process.

Curtis Bolton was the central and most stable force for the translation, although he himself had limitations with the language. He was assisted by several others. The first was Jean Baptiste Wilhelm, a lapsed Jesuit priest, according to Bolton. Wilhelm joined the Church in December 1850, several weeks after he began assisting with the translating. He worked for about three and a half months, helping to produce about eighty-five pages in manuscript. But he left the project over disputes with his salary and disappointment over Taylor and Bolton’s refusal to approve a pamphlet he had written. He was finally excommunicated from the Church in December 1851.

A second assistant came in the person of Lazare Augé—a nonmember sent to Bolton in March 1851. Augé worked for 100 francs a month, and by June 20 they had the first draft. By September 8 they had completed a large portion of a second draft, and Bolton had given their printer, Marc Ducloux, fifty pages of the manuscript. The printer began the long process of producing the stereotype plates.

Bolton learned on November 18 that Louis Bertrand had lost his employment. With Augé’s approval, Bolton hired Bertrand to assist in completing the revision, which they did on January 19, 1852. By January 22, the last page of the Book of Mormon was in type, and seven days later Bolton sent 190 copies of Le Livre de Mormon to John Taylor in Liverpool. In February other copies were distributed. The total number printed seems to be 850 copies. In February the printer sent the stereotyped plates to the European mission headquarters in Liverpool. These plates were used to make a second impression in 1854.[54]

Although Taylor had asked Bolton to put his (Taylor’s) name as the translator on the title page, Bolton put his own name on it as well. The French edition was the first printing to have the paragraphs numbered within the volume.[55]

German Book of Mormon

At least two individuals were responsible for the translation of the Book of Mormon into German. George Parker Dykes probably began the work before John Taylor and George Viett joined him in Hamburg on October 29, 1851. Taylor had met Viett in Boulogne in June 1850 and had asked him to consider working on the translation. Viett had done some translating before July 1851 (about forty pages) when he was hired to finish the project.

Taylor, Dykes, and Viett completed the initial translation on April 10, 1852, and a revision by April 16, four months after Taylor had left Hamburg. The stereotyping by Nestler and Melle had probably begun before Taylor left the city. Dykes remained to see the project through, and because he departed on May 25, it is assumed that Das Buch Mormon was off the press by then.[56]

Taylor may have considered publishing both the French and German translations in one volume with the same texts in the two languages facing each other.[57] The Church has two copies of an interleaved French-German Book of Mormon, one originally owned by John Taylor (made up from the second printing of the French [1854] and the first printing of the German) and the other owned by John Taylor’s son George (made up from the first printing in French and the first printing in German). Both copies are assembled so that the same French and German texts face each other. Assembling such a volume, as Peter Crawley suggests, would require much labor in cutting up the printing sheets. The resulting volume was thick and awkward to use. Little wonder few copies were produced. It is possible that such a printing was being planned for use by the Franco-German populations in France and perhaps in neighboring Switzerland, but without further documentation, this is only speculation. It is more likely that these volumes were designed only for personal study by John Taylor.

The stereotype plates for the German edition were sent to the Millennial Star office in 1854. These plates were used for three subsequent impressions.


John Taylor and a few of his associates left good written accounts of these European missions. Taylor returned to Utah by 1852, where he reported on his European mission to a Church conference in Salt Lake City on August 22, 1852.[58]

His leadership was critical for the success of the publishing efforts we have discussed. He had been given a dual mission in France—to preach and publish but also to obtain the knowledge and equipment for what leaders in Utah hoped would be the beginnings of a successful sugar industry. However, Taylor’s involvement in the Deseret Manufacturing Company, including his obtaining five hundred bushels of sugar beet seed in France, his ordering and shipping to Utah $12,500 worth of manufacturing equipment, and the subsequent problems that plagued the transportation of the heavy equipment to Utah, not to mention the further difficulty in establishing a sugar industry in Utah, are not our focus here.[59] But such assignments, combining spiritual and temporal duties as they did, were typical of the founding years of the Church, and they were essential in the pioneering years in the Great Basin.

Through all his life, John Taylor stressed the religious philosophy that the goal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was to establish the kingdom of God once again on the earth, a society that saved souls and created a community for the making of Saints. Taylor never wavered in his advocacy of such a kingdom. He was a constant advocate of freedom in the larger society so that individual agency could be exercised. He wrote his greatest work of this period, The Government of God, in France, where personal freedoms were at risk. An irony of his life was that while he was a strong advocate of religious and political freedom, he died in hiding while being hunted by government authorities who were enforcing laws that were denying what he claimed were his rights of religious freedom.

The print culture of the early Church is a rich resource for students of Latter-day Saint and American history. In 1851, while Taylor was serving in Europe, Charles Dickens wrote that what the Saints “do is mostly excellent, but what they say is mostly nonsense.”[60] Early Latter-day Saint writers provide plenty of evidence that Dickens was wrong, none more so than John Taylor who was an important contributor to this printed record. His writings remain one of his most important legacies.


An earlier version of this chapter was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, July 14, 2006, Koninklijke Bibliotheck, The Hague. The author expresses appreciation for 2002 funding that allowed research on the Isle of Man which came through a faculty professional development grant from the Harold B. Lee Library. The author also expresses his appreciation to Peter Crawley for his bibliographical assistance and expertise.

[1] See Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young, American Moses (New York: Knopf, 1985), 198.

[2] The biographical information has been gathered from a variety of sources, including “John Taylor,” Andrew Jenson, comp., Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: 1901–36), 1:14–19; B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon and Sons, 1892); Samuel Taylor, The Kingdom or Nothing, The Life of John Taylor, Militant Mormon (New York: Macmillan, 1976); and Matthew J. Haslem, John Taylor, Messenger of Salvation (American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2002).

[3] Graham St. John Stott, “John Taylor’s Religious Preparation,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19 (Spring 1986): 123–28.

[4] See Richard E. Bennett, “A Study of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Upper Canada, 1830–1859” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1975).

[5] In August 1839, while in Springfield, Illinois, with Wilford Woodruff (whose journals record the details), Taylor published A short account of the murders, roberies [sic], burnings, thefts, and other outrages committed by the mob and militia of the State of Missouri, upon the Latter-day Saints. The persecutions they have endured for their religion, and their banishment from that state by the authorities thereof. Taylor indicates at the end of this eight-page work that he had originally prepared it for the editor of the St. Louis Gazette, who had refused to print it. The work covers Missouri history during October and November 1838. Apparently 1,500 copies were printed (Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church [Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997, 2005], 1:89 [item no. 58]).

[6] His journal for this period, the original of which remains in private hands, has been professionally edited by Dean C. Jessee and published as “The John Taylor Nauvoo Journal,” BYU Studies 23 (Summer 1983): 1–105. When Taylor urged the discontinuance of the Nauvoo Neighbor, a more secular newspaper, he told a Nauvoo audience that he cared not so much about temporal matters. The conference supported his decision (Times and Seasons, November 1, 1845, 1015, reporting Taylor’s comments about printing at the October general conference).

[7] While outside the scope of this essay, and while the original minute book of the Council of Fifty is currently unavailable to researchers, John Taylor’s understanding of its function and purpose are essential for understanding his political publications, particularly The Government of God (1852). For basic information of the Council of Fifty, see D. Michael Quinn, “The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844 to 1945,” BYU Studies 20 (Winter 1980): 163–97; and Andrew F. Ehat, “‘It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth’: Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God,” BYU Studies 20 (Spring 1980): 253–79. For information on Taylor’s later role as the President of the Church over the meetings of the Council of Fifty, see Joseph F. Smith, “Minutes of the Council of Fifty, 10 April 1880,” typescript, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

[8] Written in New York in 1856 at the insistence and cajoling of the Church historians George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor provided a copy to Richard F. Burton, who first published it in his The City of the Saints (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1861), appendix 3. It next appeared as part of the “Introductory” in Daniel Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War, 1846–47 ([Salt Lake City], 1881), and then in B. H. Roberts, ed., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Period 2: Apostolic Interregnum, 2nd ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1932). For a recent printing, see Witness to the Martyrdom: John Taylor’s Personal Account of the Last Days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, ed. Mark H. Taylor (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999). The larger story is told in Dean C. Jessee, “Return to Carthage: Writing the History of Joseph Smith’s Martyrdom,” Journal of Mormon History 8 (1981): 3–19.

[9] In a discourse given July 6, 1845, Taylor drew on his earlier reading of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, a popular work of Puritan devotional literature, a work he recommended to the Latter-day Saints “when trouble comes upon you” (Times and Seasons, January 15, 1846, 1097–1103).

[10] Taylor published several serial articles on the editorial pages of the Mormon that would become European imprints: (1) “Mormonism a Paradox” was published in the December 15, 1855, issue; (2) “Is Mormonism a Religious Paradox?” from December 22, 1855 to January 26, 1856; and (3) “Is Mormonism a Philosophical Paradox? Or, Is Mormonism Philosophically True?” on February 2 and 16, and March 8, 1856. The Mormon periodical Skandinaviens Stjerne published a translation of Taylor’s first two articles in seven installments in its issues for March 15, June 1, and July 1, 1856, and in September announced to its readers that a pamphlet containing these articles was in press. In fact, the slightly retitled “Is Mormonism a False Faith” appeared in both Danish and Swedish translations: Er Mormonismen en vranglære? (Kjøbenhavn, 1856) and Är Mormonismen en Irrlära (Köpenhamn, 1856). By the end of the nineteenth century these tracts would appear in nine editions in Danish and eleven in Swedish. Taylor’s arguments were that Mormonism was the one true religion and that its basic principles and ordinances were the key to salvation. All of this information was supplied to me by Peter Crawley. This essay also ignores the revelations received by John Taylor that were published only in the 1888 Swedish edition and the of 1893, 1903, and 1920 German editions of the Doctrine and Covenants.

[11] See The Mormon Question. Being a Speech of Vice-President Schuyler Colfax, at Salt Lake City. A Reply by Elder John Taylor; and a letter of Vice-President Colfax published in the “New York Independent.” With Elder Taylor’s Reply (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1870). See the summary in Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 300–310.

[12] These were Succession in the Priesthood (Salt Lake City, 1881); Items on Priesthood, presented to the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, 1881); On Marriage (Salt Lake City, 1882); Discourse delivered by John Taylor (Salt Lake City, 1882); An Examination into and an Elucidation of the Great Principle of the Mediation and Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Salt Lake City, 1882); and Discourse by President John Taylor (Salt Lake City, 1885).

[13] The journals of his private secretaries provide good detail of Taylor’s last years: The Journals of John Mills Whitaker, typescripts, Perry Special Collections, and In the President’s Office: The Diaries of L. John Nuttall, 1879–1892, ed. Jedediah S. Rogers (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2007).

[14] See John Taylor to Leonora Taylor, dated Liverpool, March 16, 1840, excerpts in Times and Seasons, May 1840, 110–11.

[15] For the details of the first apostolic missions to the British Isles, see James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, and David J. Whittaker, Men with a Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837–1841 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992). For some personal details of the beginnings of the Church in Ireland, see “Missionary Sketches,” Juvenile Instructor, October 15, 1870, 166–67. For a shorter account, just focusing on Taylor, see Paul Thomas Smith, “Among Family and Friends: John Taylor, Mission to the British Isles,” Ensign, March 1987, 37–41. More specific sources will be noted as we proceed.

[16] See letter of John Taylor to Leonora Taylor, September 6, 1840, in John Taylor Collection, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

[17] Extracts from John Taylor’s journal, Liverpool, May 5, 1839, detailing his “dialogue” with Rev. John James, a Church of England minister, were published in the Times and Seasons, February 15, 1842, 693–95; see also B. H. Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 88–89.

[18] John Taylor’s September 6, 1840, letter from Liverpool to his wife Leonora informed her that he was planning to travel to the Isle of Man “in a few days” (typescript, John Taylor Papers, Church History Library).

[19] Ann Hughlings Pitchforth (1801–46) was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, to a wealthy wool manufacturer and his wife. Ann took piano lessons when young and became quite proficient. She married Solomon Pitchforth in March 1828, and they had five children, two of whom died in infancy. She would later emigrate to join the Latter-day Saints in the United States, but she died October 26, 1846, and was buried somewhere near Winter Quarters. Taylor boarded at the inn operated by Ann and her husband on the North Quay in Douglas. Her conversion to the Church alienated her from her husband, who eventually moved to Australia. She came to Nauvoo, was invited into the Taylor home, and taught piano lessons for a short time. She received her temple endowment and became John Taylor’s tenth plural wife. Her strong faith is evident in her June 9, 1846, letter from Nauvoo, “To the Saints in the Isle of Man,” Millennial Star, July 15, 1846, 12–15. It is probable that she played the piano and John Taylor sang in the Pitchforth’s Isle of Man home. In this published letter, she refers to her “Jewish unbelieving heart,” but it seems she was speaking figuratively rather than identifying her genealogical heritage. The Lee Library owns a number of original Ann Pitchforth letters, including the letter printed in the Millennial Star (MS 1734), and the April/May 1845 letter to her parents describing her travels to and early activities in Nauvoo. This letter is available in Carol Cornwall Madsen, In Their Own Words, Women and the Story of Nauvoo (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994), 146–54. I have also benefitted from the excellent research of Marcus L. Smith, “The Ann Pitchforth Letters,” (manuscript, June 1995, copy in author’s possession).

[20] The Manx Liberal carried an account of the previous Monday’s debate in its Sunday, October 3, 1840, issue (vol. 5, no. 213, p. 3, col. 5) by a non-Mormon. The Millennial Star reprinted the account from the Manx Liberal (although the Millennial Star dated the issue October 4) in November 1840, 178–80. Taylor later referred to his early debates in a letter to Parley P. Pratt, February 27, 1841, in Millennial Star, March 1841, 276–77. It should be noted that the Manx Sun also contained accounts of Taylor’s activities, as did the Manx Advertizer and Weekly Intelligencer and the Mona’s Herald and General Advertizer for the British Empire.

[21] J. Curran’s first attack “Mormonism, or the Latter-day Saints” first appeared as an October 6, 1840, letter to the editor of the Manx Sun [October 9, 1840, vol. 20, no. 1025, p. 8, cols. 3–4] which was reprinted in the Manx Liberal in its October 10 issue [vol. 5, no. 214, p. 3, col. 4]. Taylor responded on October 14 with his own letter to the editor of the Manx Sun (October 16, 1840, vol. 20, no. 1026, p. 4, col. 3 to p. 5, cols. 1–2), which was also reprinted in the Manx Liberal on October 17, 1840 (vol. 5, no. 215, p. 3, col. 3). Curran continued his attacks in the Manx Sun, concluding with his October 21 letter (October 23, 1840, vol. 20, no. 1027, p. 5, col. 1). Taylor’s initial replies were printed in the Manx Sun, usually within several days of Curran’s attack. One was reprinted in the Millennial Star, November 1840, 180–83. An additional reply, dated October 24, 1840, from Curran appeared in the Manx Liberal, October 31, 1840 (vol. 5, no. 217, p. 4, cols. 1–2), and Taylor responded to this on October 28 as printed in the Manx Sun of October 30, 1840 (vol. 20, no. 1028, p. 8, cols. 2–4), which was reprinted in the Millennial Star, December 1840, 197–202. Taylor himself maintained a scrapbook of these newspaper articles which can be found today in the Church History Library. Curran’s objections to Taylor and his religion focused on belief in new revelation and the Book of Mormon as well as claims of new authority, and the general character of the missionaries who were, he claimed, seeking to cheat people out of their money and homes by keeping secret their real intentions. Taylor responded to each of these charges. Parley P. Pratt, the editor of the Millennial Star, reprinted a number of the items Taylor sent to him from the Isle of Man. A full history and discussion of these matters will require another essay. The Manx National Heritage Library in Douglas has copies of the relevant newspapers, which publications continued to report the activities of members and their critics on the Isle of Man. Alan Franklin, the assistant librarian there, was most helpful to me. A Web site containing all kinds of useful information on the history of the Church on the Isle of Man is

[22] No copy has been located, but John Taylor refers to its contents in his An Answer to Some False Statements and Misrepresentations Made by the Rev. Robert Heys, a pamphlet dated October, 7, 1840, at the end. Heys brought to his own work earlier polemical publications: A Vindication of Truth; a Reply to the Remarks [on the notion of material fire in Hell] of the Confraternity (Wellington, 1823), and A Scriptural Defense of Sprinkling and Pouring, in the Administration of Christian Baptism (London, 1836). Copies of both these works are in the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.

[23] Taylor gives the details in his pamphlet An Answer to some False Statements and Misrepresentations made by the Rev. Robert Heys, Wesleyan Minister, in an address to his society in Douglas and its vicinity, on the subject of Mormonism (Douglas: Printed by Penrice and Wallace, 1840). In this pamphlet he mainly addressed the anti-Mormon attacks on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, “as the public in general are not acquainted with the Book of Mormon” (10). Taylor said he would debate Rev. Heys, and as the English edition of the volume was due out in about six weeks, he would make sure Heys had a copy for their debate.

[24] In his July 23, 1840, letter to Brigham Young (MS in Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library), Taylor, writing from Liverpool, noted the increasing use by Church critics of the Spaulding theory to explain the origins of the Book of Mormon, and specifically ask his leader if he could get a complete copy of E. D. Howe’s anti-Mormon book, first printed in 1834 as Mormonism Unvailed and rebound (but not reprinted) as History of Mormonism in 1840. Taylor also asked for Parley P. Pratt’s tracts replying to anti-Mormon arguments, probably Mormonism Unveiled (1838), and Plain Facts (1840). On the Spaulding theory, see Lester E. Bush Jr., “The Spaulding Theory, Then and Now,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 10 (Autumn 1977): 40–69.

[25] In his October 2 letter to Brigham Young, he noted that he was preaching to larger crowds but that he currently had a “controversy with a Primitive Methodist Preacher.” He said that publications against his message had begun to appear and that he did “not wish to leave the field until my enemies and the enemies of God lay down their arms or til there is a sufficient army to contend with theirs” (See also John Taylor to Brigham Young, October 6, 1840, manuscripts in Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library). Taylor included several anti-Mormon newspaper articles in his October 6 letter along with his replies. Taylor indicated in these letters that he had obtained the use of a large hall (probably the Wellington Hall on Duke Street) and was drawing some six to eight hundred people to his presentations.

[26] The Church History Library has copies of both printings. The tract is dated October 29, 1840, at the end. The Douglas printing was by Penrice and Wallace; the Liverpool printing was by J. Tompkins (see also Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:133–34[Items #84-87]).

[27] Truth Defended and Methodism Weighed in the Balance and Found Wanting: Being a Reply to the Third Address of The Rev. Robert Heys . . . And also an Exposure of the Principles of Methodism (Liverpool: J. Tompkins, 1840). The third reply is dated at the end, Liverpool, December 7, 1840. The last part of this tract, providing a parallel columned comparison of Bible doctrines and the doctrines of Methodism, borrows from Parley P. Pratt’s Voice of Warning (1837) and Plain Facts (1840).

[28] Taylor’s letter to Joseph Smith, February 3, 1841, contains a useful overview of his work on the Isle of Man: Times and Seasons, May 1, 1841, 400–2. The letter of James Blakeslee, June 11, 1841, in Times and Seasons, July 15, 1841, 484, also provides a good summary of the state of the Church on the Isle of Man by February 1841 by a missionary who served there with Taylor and continued after Taylor left the island.

[29] Parley P. Pratt, editorial comments, Millennial Star, November 1840, 192.

[30] Pratt responded in “Mr. Samuel Haining’s Unjust Balances,” Millennial Star, February 1841, 259–60. John Taylor’s response took the form of a detailed letter to the editor, dated February 27, 1841, in Millennial Star, March 1841, 276–80. Taylor’s letter provides a valuable summary of his work in defending the Church on the Isle of Man. Haining was being refuted as late as November 1841 by Latter-day Saint missionaries (see letter of Joseph Fielding to [Parley P. Pratt], May 26, 1841, Isle of Man, in Millennial Star, June 1841, 30–31; and the editorial comments of Pratt in the Millennial Star, December 1841, 113). Fielding’s letter was reprinted in the Times and Seasons, December 15, 1841, 634–35.

[31] Letter of John Taylor to Mr. [John] Green[h]ow, dated March 19, 1841, in John Taylor Collection, Church History Library. An Elder [Robert] Reid, writing from the Isle of Man on November 6, 1841, noted, “I think that all the lies that have been hatched in America, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, have been imported to the Isle of Man. Yet notwithstanding all these things the work of the Lord is advancing, as our congregation is on the increase” (Millennial Star, December 1841, 127–28; extracts published in Times and Seasons, May 2, 1842, 779). See also “Dream [May 10, 1842] of Sister Robinson, of the Isle of Man,” Times and Seasons, June 1, 1843, 213–16, which mentions the work of Rev. Robert Aiken, formerly of the Isle of Man, but now in Liverpool. Aiken, a popular revivalist preacher who had left the Church of England, had earlier encountered missionaries on the mainland. For more on Aiken and the Latter-day Saints, see Allen, Esplin, and Whittaker, Men with a Mission, 329–31. John Greenhow had formerly associated with the Methodists, then with Robert Aiken and Timothy Matthews, per his comments at the Manchester Conference, in Millennial Star, June 1842, 30. Readers of the Millennial Star were given more information on Aiken and Matthews in a March 24, 1841, letter of Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and Willard Richards, April 1841, 289–96, esp. 292–94. Especially useful is Malcolm R. Thorp, “Popular Preaching and Millennial Expectations: The Reverend Robert Aitken and the Christian Society, 1836–40,” in Living and Learning, Essays in Honour of J. F. C. Harrison, ed. Malcolm Chase and Ian Dyck (Aldershot, England: Scolar Press, 1996), 103–17.

[32] References to these activities are in Allen, Esplin, Whittaker, Men with a Mission, 246–52, and in Taylor’s letters to Willard Richards, May 4, 1840, in Willard Richard Papers, Church History Library; to Brigham Young, June 18, 1840, in Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library; to George A. Smith, June 24, 1840, in George A. Smith Papers, Church History Library; and to Brigham Young, July 23, 1840, in Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library.

[33] Useful sources on the 1848 Revolutions include Priscilla Robertson, Revolutions of 1848: A Social History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952); and Jonathan Sperber, The European Revolutions, 1848–1851 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). A valuable overview of Latter-day Saint reactions to these events is Craig Livingston, “Eyes on ‘The Whole European World’: Mormon Observations of the 1848 Revolutions,” Journal of Mormon History 32 (Fall 2005): 78–112.

[34] See Ronald D. Dennis, “William Howells: First Missionary to France,” in Supporting Saints, Life Stories of Nineteenth Century Mormons, ed. Donald Q. Cannon and David J. Whittaker, Specialized Monograph Series, Volume One (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1985), 43–81.

[35] One of Taylor’s articles, dated June 25, 1850, was printed in the Millennial Star, August 1, 1850, 235–37.

[36] While there is no extant copy, Bolton wrote in his journal of their publishing large handbills on July 1, 1850, as cited in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:153.

[37] The bibliographical details are in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:160–63 (item 515). A portrait of John Taylor by Frederick Piercy was inserted in some of the printings.

[38] Boston: Leland and Whiting, 1842. On Bennett and his attacks on Joseph Smith, see Andrew F. Smith, The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 98–128.

[39] For the larger context, see David J. Whittaker, “The Bone in the Throat: Orson Pratt and the Public Announcement of Plural Marriage,” Western Historical Quarterly 18 (July 1987): 293–314.

[40] Bibliographical details are in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:166–67 (item 517, first printing, October 1850); 2:209–10 (item 566, second impression, April 1851); and 2:336–37 (item 712, third impression, about July 1852). A more recent English translation of the pamphlet can be found in Perry Special Collections (Mor Quarto BX 8608 .Ala no. 8556).

[41] On Orson Pratt’s work, see David J. Whittaker, “Orson Pratt’s [An] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions: A Seminal Scottish Imprint in Early Mormon History,” Mormon Historical Studies 5 (Fall 2004): 79–100. Much of the detail of their work in Paris is recorded in “The Reminiscences and Journals of Curtis E. Bolton, 1816–1853,” microfilm copy in Church History Library. A printed version was published as Curtis Edwin Bolton, Pioneer Missionary: History, Descendants and Ancestors, comp. Cleo H. Evans (Fairfax, VA: Mrs. Cleo H. Evans, 1968). I have consulted both. See also Gary Ray Chard, “A History of the French Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1850–1969” (master’s thesis, Utah State University, 1965).

[42] Bibliographical details are in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:216–20 (item 576).

[43] Bibliographical details are in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:337–8 (item 713). An English translation by Spencer Call is in Perry Special Collections.

[44] Paris: C. Bolton, 1853. See also Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:371. An English language translation by Christina Cheney is in Perry Special Collections.

[45] The Millennial Star, July 10, 1852, 320, told readers, “This work is progressing as rapidly as our printer can execute it, and we hope shortly to be able to present it to the public.”

[46] “Extract from a Work by Elder John Taylor About to be Published in France,” Millennial Star, March 15, 1851, 81–83.

[47] Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:347–50 (item 725).

[48] See Taylor’s comments in The Government of God, 24–26. In 1852 Taylor recalled the “spirit” of liberty in France: “You had liberty to speak, but you might be put in prison for doing so. You had liberty to print, but they might burn what you had printed, and put you into confinement for it” (in Journal of Discourses, 1:22). He reported in the same address (26), that as soon as he left Paris the French police had come looking for him.

[49] Taylor, Government of God, 6, 8.

[50] See Richard D. McClellan, “Louis A. Bertrand: One of the Most Singular and Romantic Figures of the Age” (senior honors thesis, BYU, 2000); see also McClellan, “Not Your Average French Communist Mormon: A Short History of Louis A. Bertrand,” Mormon Historical Studies 1 (Fall 2000): 3–24. For Bertrand’s autobiography, see L. A. Bertrand, Mémoires d’un Mormon (Paris, 1862).

[51] In the Fourth General Epistle of the Presidency of the Church, dated Salt Lake City, September 27, 1850, Taylor’s mission to France was noted; but the Apostles were also “expected to continue in their several appointments, according to previous instruction; extending their labors into other countries, as opportunity presents, and as they shall be directed by the Holy Spirit” (Millennial Star, February 15, 1851, 53).

[52] Bibliographical details are in Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:265–68 (item 632).

[53] Discourse of August 22, 1852, Salt Lake City, as reported in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Salt Lake City and Liverpool: 1854–86) 1:25. This whole discourse provides an excellent summary of Taylor’s 1849–52 European Mission.

[54] The details on the French edition are based on Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:285–87 (item 656).

[55] The 1852 French edition of the Book of Mormon was the first printing to have its paragraphs numbered; the third European English edition, published later in 1852 by Franklin D. Richards, followed this format. Orson Pratt would take the next step in the 1879 edition, adding numbering to the verses, as well as chronological notations and geographical references to New World sites.

[56] For details, see Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:322–25 (item 694).

[57] Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 2:235. The LDS Church History Library has copies of two bound volumes of the Book of Mormon, both interleaved with the two languages, French and German. One belonged to John Taylor and the other to his son George J. Taylor. While the content of each is basically the same, the labeling on the spine of each volume is different, suggesting perhaps different dates of preparation. George Taylor would assist his father in the publishing of the Mormon in New York City. Adding to the mystery, although Bertrand was living in Utah (mostly in Tooele) and probably kept up his association with President Taylor, is a handwritten notation in the volume owned by John Taylor on the bottom of page 549 (French text side). The notation is the following, signed by John Taylor, “I finished reading and translating this on the 5th of April 1873. I read it in company with Louis Bertrand.”

[58] In Journal of Discourses, 1:16–28.

[59] For a short history, see Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), 116–20.

[60] “In the Name of the Prophet–Smith,” Household Words, July 19, 1851, 385.