On July 21, 1847, Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow, with one horse between them, paused at the mouth of Emigration Canyon and then made their way into the Great Salt Lake Valley—the first Mormons to walk on the land that would finally provide a permanent home for the Latter-day Saints. One year later Orson Pratt arrived in England to assume the presidency of the British Mission, having been charged to “preach the gospel, print, [and] publish.” And fifteen months after Orson reached England, John Taylor, Curtis E. Bolton, and John Pack were called as missionaries to France at the October 1849 general conference in Salt Lake City, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto were called to Italy, and Erastus Snow and Peter O. Hansen were sent to Denmark; Parley Pratt was assigned to go to the Pacific islands the following spring. These three events—the founding of the Salt Lake settlement, Orson Pratt’s 1848 mission, and the call of the missionaries in October 1849—transformed Mormon book publishing.
Five weeks after they reached the Great Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young and seven of the Twelve began the return trip to Winter Quarters. On September 5, near South Pass, they met another Mormon train en route to the Valley. The next day the apostles selected John Smith, Joseph Smith’s uncle and a member of the westbound train, to be the presiding elder in the Valley; Charles C. Rich and John Young as his counselors; and twelve other men for a high council. Four weeks later these leaders were formally sustained at a Church conference in Great Salt Lake City, and for almost a year they held the responsibility of governing the new colony, together with two apostles, Parley Pratt and John Taylor, who had stayed with the colonists. When Brigham Young returned to the Valley in September 1848, these civil responsibilities passed to the Council of Fifty, and for another year the Council met weekly at Heber C. Kimball’s or W. W. Phelps’s and directed the affairs of the settlement. In December 1848 the Council of Fifty took the first step toward a more formal structure, and during the next seven months it sent John M. Bernhisel to Washington with a petition for a territorial government and Almon W. Babbitt with one for a new state—Deseret. While Congress agonized during the winter and spring of 1849–50 over what to do with the territory acquired as a result of the Mexican War, the provisional state of Deseret held its first legislative session, and on December 2, 1850—seven weeks after the Salt Lake Saints learned of the creation of Utah Territory—it opened its second session. Nine months later, on September 22, 1851, Brigham Young, the governor of the new territory, convened the first territorial legislature (see items 435, 475, 534, 610, 611–12).
With the founding of the Salt Lake colony came a new genre of Mormon printed works: the Utah municipal documents. The Saints had issued a half-dozen municipal pieces in Nauvoo (see, e.g., items 149, 154, 200, 223, 239, 253), but once in Utah, with a colony, a provisional state, and then a territory to govern, the requirement for governmental pieces expanded. Between August 7, 1849, when a printing press reached the Valley, and the end of 1852, the Mormons produced more than thirty-eight such pieces—at least two resulting from the actions of the Council of Fifty, eight associated with the provisional state of Deseret, and more than twenty-eight territorial documents.
For Brigham Young, however, as with his predecessor, the real importance of the press lay in communicating with the Saints. “This people cannot live without intelligence,” he wrote the Nauvoo trustees in 1847, “for it is through obedience to that principle they are to receive their exaltation; and if the intelligence cannot be had, justice has no claim on obedience, and their exaltation must be decreased.”1Two months after the press had been brought into the Valley, it was used to print Second General Epistle of the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from the Great Salt Lake Valley, to the Saints Scattered Throughout the Earth—which included a report of the missionaries called at the October 1849 general conference—and six months later, Third General Epistle of the Presidency (items 439, 478). In June 1850 the Church leaders inaugurated a continuous medium of communication when they began the remarkable pioneer newspaper, the Deseret News—maintaining the pattern established by The Evening and the Morning Star and Upper Missouri Advertiser in Missouri, the Messenger and Advocate and Northern Times in Ohio, the Elders’ Journal in Ohio and Missouri, the Times and Seasons, the Wasp, and Nauvoo Neighbor in Illinois, and the Frontier Guardian in Iowa (items 3, 4, 16, 18, 39, 60, 148, 175, 402, 494).
Prior to Orson Pratt’s arrival in England in 1848, Mormon pamphleteers had published their works in editions of no more than three or five thousand—with two exceptions, the Liverpool Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles (item 285), issued in twenty thousand copies, and Orson Spencer’s broadside Invitation (item 339), eventually distributed in over two hundred thousand copies. Now, in the summer of 1848, Orson Pratt came to England with a new plan: he would apply Spencer’s idea of a broadly circulated advertising piece to tract distribution. During the next thirty months he published sixteen pamphlets, not in editions of a few thousand, but in multiple editions of tens of thousands, and by the time he sailed for America on February 2, 1851, he had printed more than four hundred thousand copies. The mission office sold these tracts to the various conferences to be loaned or handed out free of charge, and the conferences organized “tract societies” among their members with the mandate to circulate the pamphlets in their local areas. As a result of this effort, combined with an enlarged corps of American and local missionaries, about twenty thousand were baptized into the Church during the thirty months of his presidency—twice the average over the two decades 1840–59.
Orson’s mission had other consequences. For the other Mormon writers, large editions quickly became the norm; an edition of three thousand, once the rule, now became the exception. All of the pamphlets mentioned in the European Mission financial records during the period 1848–52, with the exception of one conference report and the possible exception of Lorenzo Snow’s Italian Mission (item 583), were printed in at least 5,000 copies. John Taylor’s Three Nights’ Public Discussion (items 514–15), for example, was published in two editions totaling at least 11,000 copies, William Gibson’s Report of Three Nights’s Public Discussion (item 525) in an edition of 15,000, John Jaques’s Exclusive Salvation (item 593) in 18,000 copies, the second 1851 impression of Lorenzo Snow’s Only Way to be Saved (item 639) in 20,000, the 1851 Pearl of Great Price (item 599) in at least 7,000, and Latter-day Saints in Utah (items 679–80) in 15,000.
The Millenial Star and those publications distributed by the British Mission office were expected to be purchased by the local conferences, but large editions did not always sell out, and during the 1850s huge inventories of the magazine and various tracts accumulated in the Millennial Star office. Moreover, the conferences purchased these publications on credit, and as a result the book debt the conferences owed to the mission grew to £1,300 before Orson Pratt left for America and quintupled over the next seven years. This debt and the inventory of tracts that sat unsold in the mission office were of grave concern to Brigham Young, and in 1858 he instructed Asa Calkin, the new mission president, to avoid publishing anything that would not immediately sell out. Two years later he repeated these instructions to George Q. Cannon, Calkin’s successor, and in 1861 directed Cannon to dispose of the inventory of unbound Stars and tracts and send the basic bound books to Salt Lake City—ensuring that Mormon pamphleteering would be greatly reduced during the remainder of Brigham Young’s life.2
Before the October 1849 general conference, Mormon publishing was confined to North America and the British Isles, except for the two pieces Orson Hyde published in Rotterdam and Frankfurt in 1841 and 1842 (items 117, 160). But with the French, Italian, Scandinavian, and Pacific missions, it was extended to the four corners of the earth.
Peter O. Hansen reached his native Copenhagen on May 11, 1850, five weeks ahead of Erastus Snow, and while Snow tarried in England, Hansen took it upon himself to publish the first Mormon tract in Danish—no copy of which has survived (item 485). When Erastus Snow left Denmark on March 4, 1852, over seven hundred had been baptized in Scandinavia, and the Church in Denmark numbered about six hundred with a few in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. During his mission, Snow published the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and three hymnals in Danish, inaugurated a Danish periodical, Skandinaviens Stjerne, and together with his fellow missionary George Parker Dykes and some of the local converts issued twelve other Danish tracts (see items 574, 667, 565, 627, 668, 617). Just before his departure, he published the first Mormon work in Swedish (item 669).
John Taylor and Curtis E. Bolton arrived in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, on June 18, 1850, accompanied by William Howells, a Welshman, who had previously made three missionary trips to France and had organized a branch of the Church in Boulogne that April. Of the three, only Bolton spoke French, having learned the language when he and his brother lived in France a number of years earlier. In July the three missionaries went to Paris, where Bolton would make his headquarters for the next twenty-nine months. During this period he baptized thirty-one in Paris and thirteen in Le Havre, published the Book of Mormon in French, and put in print twelve numbers of a French periodical Étoile du Déséret, three French tracts by John Taylor, and a French translation of Orson Pratt’s Divine Authority (items 656, 576, 517, 713, 747).
Lorenzo Snow came ashore at Liverpool on April 19, 1850, paused in England for two months, and then left for Italy on June 15 with Joseph Toronto, a native of the Isle of Sardinia, and an English convert Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, reaching Genoa on the 25th. On July 1 he sent Toronto and Stenhouse to the Waldensian valleys in Piedmont and joined them there three weeks later. About the first of August Toronto went to Sicily, and on September 18 Jabez Woodard joined Snow and Stenhouse in Piedmont. The following day, on a mountain outside Torre Pellice, Snow organized a branch of the Church in Italy with four members—himself, Stenhouse, Woodard, and Toronto. Snow assigned Stenhouse to Switzerland at the end of November and put Italy in Woodard’s hands before departing a month later. At Turin, en route to England, in January or early February 1851, he published his Only Way to be Saved in French along with another French pamphlet, La Voix de Joseph (items 558–59). But publishing these works in Italy had proved frustrating for him, so for ten months he remained in London, overseeing the translation and printing of the Book of Mormon in Italian (item 690).
Stenhouse began his Swiss mission in Geneva, where he circulated Lorenzo Snow’s two French tracts extensively. In the spring of 1851 he brought his wife—a native of St. Helier, Jersey, who was fluent in French—to Geneva, and by that summer there were Mormon congregations in Geneva and Lausanne. The following spring he published another French edition of the Only Way to be Saved in Geneva (item 684) and in January 1853 launched a second French periodical, Le Réflecteur (see items 558–59). When he passed the mission presidency to Daniel Tyler in October 1854, about three hundred had been baptized in Switzerland, and there were branches in Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Zurich, and Neuchâtel.
Mormon publishing was spread still further by the decisions of John Taylor and Lorenzo Snow to extend their missionary activities beyond their original fields of labor. The “Fourth General Epistle of the Presidency” noted that “the Apostles are 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.” With this mandate, Taylor headed to Germany, and Snow went to Malta and took on the responsibility for India.
When George Parker Dykes, Erastus Snow’s companion in Denmark, learned that John Taylor was going to Germany, he persuaded Taylor to call him to Hamburg, and on October 11, 1851, he arrived there, eighteen days before Taylor came with George Viett, a German public school teacher of languages whom William Howells had converted in Boulogne. Over the next month and a half, before Taylor left Germany on December 15, he and Dykes secured a printer for the Book of Mormon and founded a German periodical, Zions Panier, and Dykes and Viett advanced their translation of the Book of Mormon into German. Dykes remained in Hamburg until the following May and with Viett’s help issued three more numbers of Zions Panier, finished the translation of the Book of Mormon, and saw the book through the press (see items 632, 694).
Lorenzo Snow and Jabez Woodard reached Malta on February 26, 1852. Before leaving London for the Continent in January, Snow had reprinted his Only Way to be Saved in English and in German, and now on Malta he published French and Italian editions, along with an English version of La Voix de Joseph (items 638, 639, 681–83). Thomas Obray joined Woodard on Malta at the end of May, and together they published three other pieces, all of them unlocated (items 700–2). During his three-month stay on Malta, Snow examined the possibility of establishing a “central book depot” there, a publishing and distribution center that would supply books and tracts to his areas of missionary responsibility. But ultimately he abandoned this idea because printing locally proved more efficient and less expensive.
Snow’s interest in India developed soon after he came to England to publish the Italian Book of Mormon, undoubtedly upon learning of an evangelical Christian group in Calcutta that had expressed an interest in Mormonism and the consequent mission of Joseph Richards to that city. In the spring of 1851 he called William Willes to go to Calcutta, and on September 1, the day before Willes sailed for India, he called Hugh Findlay to Bombay; four months later he sent Joseph Richards back to Calcutta to assist Willes.
William Willes reached Calcutta on Christmas Day and immediately began to give public lectures and circulate the tracts he had brought with him. Within three months he had arranged with a native convert to translate Snow’s Only Way to be Saved, and in October 1852 he brought five hundred copies in Bengali out of press and a thousand copies of an English pamphlet he had compiled, What Is Mormonism? (items 739–40). These two tracts were the precursors of more than twenty Mormon pieces published during the three years 1853–55 in Agra, Bombay, Calcutta, Deli, and Madras by Joseph Richards, Hugh Findlay, and the second contingent of missionaries that came to India in 1853.
Parley Pratt did not get his Pacific mission under way until March 1851, when he left Salt Lake City with John Murdock, who was to labor in Australia under his supervision. In San Francisco he called Charles W. Wandell to assist Murdock, and on September 5, in company with his wife Pheobe and Rufus C. Allen, he departed for Chile, six days before Murdock and Wandell left for Sydney. But his Chilean mission did not prove fruitful, and eight months and two arduous ocean voyages later, he returned to San Francisco. There, still determined to bring the gospel to the Spanish-speaking people in their own language, he published a tract he had composed in Chile, Proclamacion! Extraordinaria—the first Mormon work in Spanish (item 709).
Murdock and Wandell stepped ashore at Sydney on October 31, 1851, and three days later handed the manuscript of Parley Pratt’s Proclamation! To the People of the Coasts and Islands of the Pacific (item 630) to the printer. Before the end of November they had reprinted Orson Pratt’s Remarkable Visions and by the end of January had published a pamphlet songbook of fifty-one hymns (items 631, 655); the following month Wandell issued his History of the Persecutions! in response to a widely circulated anti-Mormon book (item 670). Murdock persevered in Sydney for seven months despite deteriorating health and then, his health gone, handed the responsibility for the mission to Wandell and sailed for America on June 4, 1852. Wandell stayed for another ten months and published a fifth pamphlet (item 711) before leaving for America, having set the stage for the next group of missionaries, who reached Australia a week before his departure and would continue to issue tracts in Sydney and inaugurate a periodical, Zion’s Watchman, in 1853.
Only the continent of Africa was unvisited by this first wave of international missionaries, but it would not remain unvisited for long. At the August 1852 conference, Jesse Haven, William Walker, and Leonard I. Smith were called to South Africa, and eight months later they arrived in Cape Town. Before the close of 1855, in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, they published more than a dozen pieces, and the following year one of their converts, George F. W. Kershaw, issued a tract on the island of Mauritius.
In several other ways the entries in this volume contrast with those in the first volume of the bibliography. While eight independent hymnals in English were published in the various branches of the Church during the ten years 1838–47, only one was published during 1848–52, Wandell and Murdock’s Australian pamphlet songbook. Throughout the latter period the Millennial Star office in Liverpool supplied the Church with hymnals, not just in Great Britain but in Utah and around the world. The first six editions of the British hymnal totaled 13,500 copies, but the seventh and eighth editions, issued by Orson Pratt in 1848 and 1849, were published in 4,000 and 10,000 copies, respectively, and the ninth, issued in 1851 by Franklin D. Richards, in 25,000—ten thousand of which were shipped to Salt Lake City (see items 78, 130, 172, 252, 340, 364, 392, 434, 604)
The handbill advertising Mormon preaching became more widely used during the period 1848–52, particularly in the British Mission. Seventeen such handbills are listed in the first volume. Almost fifty are identified here, most of them unlocated.
New to the bibliography is the local conference report. In 1848 the British Mission comprised twenty-eight geographical “conferences,” and by the end of 1852, forty-five. Beginning in 1849, a number of these conferences published reports in pamphlet form of their quarterly or half-yearly meetings, which usually included a statistical summary of the various branches and a financial statement of the conference—a practice which extended to the mid-1850s.3Thirty-two such reports are listed in this volume, from ten British conferences, in addition to one from St. Louis. The instances in which the size of the edition is known suggest that most of these reports were printed in just a few hundred copies, primarily for use within the conference (see items 421, 537, 563, 581, 629).
New also is the printed party invitation. Beginning in 1850, at least ten of these were printed in Salt Lake City before the close of 1852. Issued on slick cardstock, on small folded sheets, or even on lined stationary, these ephemeral pieces extended an invitation to “pic-nics,” wedding parties, Christmas celebrations, printers’ festivals, or dances for the wives of men away on missions (items 502, 531, 642, 651, 666, 671, 724, 745, 750, 755). They are included in the bibliography because of the glimpses they provide into the Mormon pioneer culture.
One of the entries, item 520, reproduces a manuscript in the LDS Church Archives, “Account of Job Printing done in the News Office,” that lists almost five dozen pieces printed at the Deseret News shop between October 7, 1850, and September 24, 1851—only six of which are extant. Among the many handbills and other ephemera are six concert and “grand exhibition” bills—five unlocated—which mark the beginning of the theater in the Great Salt Lake Valley and identify William Pitt as the Valley’s first theatrical producer (see items 527, 588).
Mormon indifference to the anti-Mormon press, which developed during 1844–47, was largely maintained during the five years 1848–52. Latter-day Saint pamphleteers published twenty-six responses in English to anti-Mormon works during 1840–43, none during 1844–47. And although anti-Mormon tracts proliferated during the period 1848–52, the Mormon responses were relatively few, just thirteen.
Two pieces appear at the end of the volume that set the stage for volume 3. Parley Pratt’s broadside Mormonism! Plurality of Wives! (item 710), written in response to some editorial comments in a review of his Proclamacion! Extraordinaria, although brief, was the first defense of the Mormon practice of plural marriage—preceding the Church’s official acknowledgment of the practice by a month and a half. On August 28–29, 1852, the Church authorities convened a conference in Salt Lake City to call a new set of missionaries and to put Mormon polygamy in the public record. The minutes of this conference were published in a Deseret News extra of September 14 (items 734–35), which included the text of the 1843 revelation to Joseph Smith concerning the practice and Orson Pratt’s discourse in defense of it—the seminal piece in a series of defenses that would the rest of the century.
For more than two years the Mormons were without a working press—between November or December 1846, when the Nauvoo print shop was sold to Samuel Slocumb, and February 1849, when the Frontier Guardian first appeared. But for most of this period they did in fact own a printing press, which sat in Kanesville, Iowa, disassembled and crated, waiting to be carried to the Salt Lake Valley.
About four months after the sale of the Nauvoo shop, at Winter Quarters on March 31, 1847, the Twelve and the officers of the pioneer company met to discuss the trek west, and after this meeting the apostles resolved to send W. W. Phelps east to acquire a new press for the Church. Fifteen and a half years earlier, Phelps had purchased a press for the new Zion in Jackson County; now he was to buy one for the Zion in the tops of the mountains. The next day the Twelve drafted a letter “to the saints in the United States and Canada” and one to the trustees in Nauvoo, introducing Phelps’s mission and urging their assistance.4
Phelps left Winter Quarters in May and by the end of the month was in Nauvoo, where he wrote to Reuben Miller in Wisconsin requesting him to raise $50. He wrote to Miller again on June 11 and then departed Nauvoo for Boston.5This city undoubtedly attracted him, as Wendell J. Ashton has suggested, because Alexander Badlam lived there. A fellow member of the Council of Fifty and Sam Brannan’s brother-in-law, Badlam was a prosperous Church member who had contributed generously to the Saints at Winter Quarters; now Phelps was to call on his generosity again.6From Boston he wrote a letter to William I. Appleby, the presiding elder in the eastern states, asking him to help raise money for the press. Appleby received this letter on July 27 and within a week had collected $61. On August 25 he received a letter from Badlam reporting that “Phelps had procured the printing press &c., in Boston, and had left for Batavia, New York.” Badlam had advanced most of the money for the press, type, and equipment, and Appleby sent him the $61 he had collected.7Phelps reached Winter Quarters on November 12, twelve days after Brigham Young’s return from the Salt Lake Valley, and the next day gave an account of his mission to the apostles. “He obtained A press type & paper,” Wilford Woodruff noted in his journal, “to take over the mountains.”8
But the trip “over the mountains” would have to wait for a year and a half. The following summer Brigham Young again crossed the plains to the Valley and en route wrote to Parley Pratt and John Taylor to “not be disappointed in not seeing the Printing Presses,” as he had used the teams to bring the poor, whose “cry was urgent to go to the mountains.”9About May 7, 1849, in Kanesville, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, and Ezra T. Benson packed three wagons with various pieces of Church equipment, including the press, type, ink, and eight and a half bundles of paper. These wagons had been donated for that purpose at the Church conference in Pottawattamie County a month earlier, and James Graham had supplied five of the seven yoke of oxen. Graham and his two sons drove the wagons out of Kanesville and by May 16 had joined Howard Egan’s train en route to Utah. On August 7 Egan brought his company into Great Salt Lake City. Five weeks later Brigham H. Young unpacked and sorted the type, and on October 20 he struck off the Second General Epistle, the first “book” printed in the Great Basin (item 439).10
Second General Epistle was not the first piece of printing in the Valley, however. When gold was brought into Great Salt Lake City in the fall of 1848, the Mormons were presented with the possibility of a circulating medium, and in early January 1849, after first circulating the gold itself in small packets and then attempting to mint it into coins, they used it to back handwritten notes, in four denominations, and Kirtland Safety Society bank notes, reissued and countersigned by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Newel K. Whitney, and Thomas Bullock. At this point, apparently, it was realized that some script type had been brought into the Valley, and on January 22, 1849, Brigham H. Young and Thomas Bullock used this to set the type for a 50¢ note. The next day they struck off the notes on a small “press” made by Truman O. Angell—the first instance of printing in the Great Basin. On white lined paper, approximately 5.5 x 10 cm., each embossed with the seal of the Twelve Apostles, these notes read: G. S. L. City. Jan. 20. 1849. | No [number in manuscript] 50c | GOOD to [“N. K. Whitney” in Whitney’s autograph] or bearer. | fifty cents on demand. [“Brigham Young” in Young’s autograph] | 50c [“Heber C. Kimball” in Kimball’s autograph] | [“Thos. Bullock Clerk” in Bullock’s autograph]. During the next two months additional notes were printed in $1, $2, $3, and 25¢ denominations. These followed the format of the 50¢ note, except that Clerk was printed rather than handwritten, and the 25¢ note was dated March 28, 1849. Who supplied the type and what became of it or of Angell’s “press” is not known.11
The press Phelps purchased in Boston was a Philadelphia model manufactured by Adam Ramage, its triangular frame constructed from wrought iron bar stock about four inches wide and one inch thick, fastened to the legs and to the rest of the mechanism by bolts, its platen 22 x 16 inches, its legs made from wrought iron straps about four inches wide and a half inch thick.12It is easily disassembled and undoubtedly was when it was shipped to Kanesville and then to Salt Lake City, and it is relatively light and very durable, two important features for a press to be taken “over the mountains.” Whether Phelps bought it new or used is not known.
Nor is it known where it was first set up. The “Historian’s Office Journal” for January 7, 1850, notes that Thomas Bullock was at the Mint with John Kay “rolling bars” of gold, and at 4 p.m. Brigham Young called and “gave instructions about fixing up the new office & shop”; two weeks later, it reports, Bullock “cleaned out the new office & preparing for the Printing Press.” The following day, January 22, Bullock was “in Mint all day” and “B. H. Young [moved] the Printing Press into the office, T[homas] B[ullock] assisting,” and two days later, “TB at Mint, where he dictated a portion of the Constitution [of the State of Deseret], while B. H. Young set the same into Type.”13
The Mint was a small adobe building where John Kay and others attempted to produce coins from the gold brought into the Valley, located on the north side of South Temple between what is now the Church Administration Building at 47 East and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.14For at least seven months it shared its premises with the print shop, and within its walls, on June 15, the first number of the Deseret News came off the press. Then on August 26, 1850, the press was taken to a new location, and the News of August 31 informed its readers of the move:
Removal.—Our type and press have been removed to the State House, where we wish the printers to remain undisturbed, and no admittance. Business relating to the paper, or job work, may be done with Thomas Bullock at the Post Office, or the Editor at his room—1st door south-west of the State House.15
The State House, or Council House, stood across the street from the Mint, on the southwest corner of South Temple and Main streets. It housed the press for fourteen months, and then the press was moved to the second or third floor of the Tithing Store House or Deseret Store, located at the northeast corner of South Temple and Main.16
The move to the Deseret Store was undoubtedly prompted by the shop’s acquisition of a second press. Willard Richards had mentioned in the News a year earlier that he had ordered “an Imperial Press, type, and fixtures, to be brought by the next train” and expected to enlarge the paper. Now, in a prospectus for the second volume, dated October 20, 1851, he announced that “our new office is nearly completed; our new press, type, and stationery have arrived.” What make this second press was is not known; the term “imperial” referred to its size, indicating a platen at least 30 x 21 inches.17
More moves were in store for these presses before they would find a permanent home. In June 1854 the print shop, along with the Post Office, was transferred to the north rooms of the Tithing Office, located on the east side of Main Street just north of the Deseret Store, and eighteen months later it was moved again, back to the Council House. “The printing business of Deseret,” the printer John S. Davis explained in the Deseret News of February 13, 1856,
had been, till some time in December last, carried on in the attic room above the Post Office, where we suffered much from summer heat; but now we are happy to say that we occupy the large and splendid upper room in the Council House.18
When Brigham Young, impelled by the approach of the Utah Expedition, sent the Saints south in the spring of 1858, he sent the presses too, one to Parowan, the other to Fillmore, where it was set up in the northeast room in the basement of the statehouse and used to print eighteen numbers of the News. That September the presses were returned to the Council House.19Finally in March 1862 the print shop was relocated in the second and third floors of the Deseret Store, where it would rest for the remainder of the century.20
Paper shortages characterized the operation—reflected in the erratic appearances and reductions in size of the Deseret News as its editors preserved their stock of newsprint or waited for a new supply from the East. Local papermaking became a possibility in 1851 with the arrival of Thomas Howard, a papermaker from Buckinghamshire, England, who was immediately assigned by Brigham Young to supervise the construction of a paper mill. By the end of the year, he, machinist Thomas Hollis, and Sidney Roberts had such a devise under construction, but this initial effort proved unsuccessful. In 1853 Brigham Young imported a paper mill at a cost of $8,500, which Howard and Hollis set up with some of the machinery that had been brought in to make beet sugar, and with this water-powered mill and rags collected from the local Saints, they produced the first usable local paper in 1854. Three years later the mill was taken down and parts of it sent south for making iron. In 1860 a new mill was brought into the Valley, which produced much of the paper used for the News—during the Civil War, from rags collected around the territory by George Goddard. This mill continued in operation until 1893, when it was destroyed in a fire.21
Besides Brigham H. Young, Thomas Bullock, and Willard Richards—who had charge of the print shop and edited the Deseret News until his death in 1854—several others can be identified who worked in the shop during its early years. Horace K. Whitney was among the first compositors, and George Hales joined the shop as a pressman about the time the News was begun and succeeded Brigham H. Young as territorial public printer in 1852, serving again in 1855–56. Arieh C. Brower and Joseph Cain joined the staff when they returned from California in 1850 and served successive terms as public printer, 1853–54 and 1854–55. Joseph Bull, James Bond, and James McKnight had begun working at the shop by 1852, McKnight serving as public printer, 1856–57. John S. Davis, the founding editor of Udgorn Seion (item 399), joined the printers of Deseret in 1854.22
Orson Hyde’s Kanesville press had its conception in the middle of a political dispute. On June 24, 1848, Hyde left Council Bluffs en route to the East Coast to raise money for a press and at Burlington, Iowa, obtained letters of introduction to some of the Whig leaders in Washington. At Burlington, Almon W. Babbitt, who would persist as Hyde’s political adversary, urged him to throw his support to Lewis Cass, the Democratic presidential candidate, and promised to obtain a press for him if he would promote Cass. Hyde’s response was consistent with the Mormons’ agreement with the Iowa Whigs a month earlier: he would go with Zachary Taylor, “press or no press” (see item 361).23
In Washington, Hyde borrowed $800 in gold and on the return trip purchased a press in Cincinnati from the Cincinnati Type Foundry. By September 17 he had arrived in St. Louis, where, three days later, he issued a prospectus for a new paper, the Frontier Guardian (items 371, 402). On October 15 he reached Council Bluffs and in November began setting up his press on the southwest corner of what would become Hyde Street and Main Street with the help of Oliver Cowdery, who had rejoined the Church that month. Hyde had expected to begin publishing the Guardian in November, but family matters kept his printer, John Gooch, in St. Louis over the winter, and not until February 7, 1849, was he able to issue the first number.24Four months later he wrote optimistically about his operation:
My press now nearly or quite supports itself. The Gold diggers have helped me much in this matter by sending back so many papers to their friends. Though it does not yet afford me much of any profit, yet it is such a satisfaction and pleasure to wield such an engine as the press. I like the business; and though we have some little confusion and bustle, I am pleased with this situation. . . . My whole life, soul and body, day and night, are employed to make this paper have a good influence, and thus far my labors have been blest.25
The fact that a one-year subscription for the Guardian was dropped from $2 to $1 in February 1851 demonstrates that the Kanesville shop was among the few Mormon presses that became self-supporting.
Orson Hyde published the Guardian in Kanesville every other week for slightly more than three years. For sixteen months it was the Church’s only periodical in America. Just who the hands in his shop were is not known, but besides John Gooch they included Daniel Mackintosh, the business manager and assistant editor of the Guardian, and Richard John Moxey Bee, who claimed to have worked at every job in the shop, “from ‘devil’ to pressman, compositor, etc.” Joseph Bull worked there for a few weeks, while he paused in Kanesville en route to Utah, and it is likely that Hyde depended on a certain amount of itinerant labor.26When the First Presidency directed the Pottawattamie Saints to gather to Utah, Orson Hyde prepared to go too, and the Guardian of February 20, 1852, announced that he had sold the paper to Jacob Dawson, a non-Mormon attorney from Fremont County, Iowa, and carried a prospectus for its successor, the Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel. Hyde received $2,000 for the building, lot, and printing equipment, $1,153.92 of which was secured by a note to be paid in twelve months at 10 percent interest. One might conjecture that he used a significant part of the cash portion, $846.08, to repay the $800 he had borrowed in Washington to buy the press. The note, dated March 2, 1852, listed the contents of the shop:
One “Imperial” printing press (Cincinnati make): two news chases, one long book chase, two job chases, fifteen pairs cases, two double stands for cases, one cast-iron roller mold, one imposing stone and frame, five small and two large composing sticks, one inking apparatus, one bank and two tables, five brass galleys, rules and furniture, with all the news and job type belonging to and connected with the said Frontier Guardian office.27
Dawson changed the Sentinel to a weekly and ran it until November 1852, when he sold it to A. C. Ford, a lawyer in Sidney, Iowa, who was also a signer on the note to Orson Hyde. Ford ran the paper for another six months and then closed it because it was not profitable. On June 29, 1853, Almon W. Babbitt’s Kanesville Western Bugle advertised the Guardian press for sale, and it was subsequently purchased by Joseph E. Johnson, Babbitt’s brother-in-law and his successor as owner of the Western Bugle. Over the next three decades, Johnson used the press to print some issues of the Council Bluffs Bugle; the Omaha Arrow, Omaha’s first newspaper; the Iowa Crescent City Oracle; the Wood River, Nebraska, Huntsman’s Echo; the Utah County Farmer’s Oracle; the St. George, Utah, Rio Virgen Times; the St. George Utah Pomologist and Gardner; the Washington County, Utah, Silver Reef Echo; and G. G. R. Sangiovanni’s St. George paper the Cactus. In 1879 he sold the press, and about four years later his son Charles E. Johnson bought it back and eventually housed it in the old Utah State Fair building in Salt Lake City, where it disappeared about 1893.28
At the time he began the Welsh periodical Udgorn Seion in January 1849, John S. Davis was an experienced printer and owned his own press, “an old Caledonian model with secondhand type.” On this press, at his father’s house in Carmarthen, he printed the last two numbers of Prophwyd y Jubili (item 307) and the first two numbers of Udgorn Seion (item 399), before moving his operation to Merthyr Tydfil in March 1849. During the next five years he used his Caledonian press and probably a “Columbian Super Royal press,” which he acquired before leaving Wales, to print Udgorn Seion and about fifty other pieces, including the Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon in Welsh (items 603, 689). In December 1853, a month before he sailed for America, he sold the presses to Dan Jones, who had returned to Wales on his second mission. Jones moved his shop to Swansea the following August or September, and at Swansea he and his successors continued to publish Udgorn Seion until March 1861, when the shop was transferred to the Millennial Star office in Liverpool.29
Other than the pieces from Wales, all of the Mormon works published in the British Mission during the period 1848–52 were printed at commercial shops. In Liverpool, Richard James, at 39, South Castle Street, continued to print the Millennial Star and the majority of the Church’s other pieces. Indeed, more than sixty of the entries for this period bear his imprint, including all of Orson Pratt’s pamphlets, the 1848 Spencer’s Letters, the 1848, 1849, and 1851 hymnals, the 1849 Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the 1852 Voice of Warning.
For about two years, some of the printing in the London Conference was done by a Church member, John Benjamin Franklin, first at 5, Northampton St., King’s Cross, then at 17, Prince’s Road, Norland Square, Notting Hill, and finally at Whetstone, Middlesex (see item 542). Franklin printed seven pamphlets and broadsides, before he was excommunicated in 1852. Whether he actually owned his own press is not known. For larger jobs in London the Mormons turned to William Bowden, first at 16, Princess Street, Red Lion Square, and then at 5, Bedford Street, Bedford Row, Holborn. Bowden printed eight of the entries for this period, including the 1852 Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the Italian Book of Mormon, the 1852 Spencer’s Letters, and John Taylor’s Government of God. Three London entries were printed by W. Aubrey, at 25 Brandon Street, Walworth.
Like Richard James in Liverpool, Frederick E. Bording in Copenhagen was virtually the Church printer in Scandinavia. Although he never joined the Church, Bording printed the Skandinaviens Stjerne and most of the other Mormon works in Danish or Swedish until his death in 1884. Thereafter, his heirs continued to print the Stjerne and other Church pieces well into the twentieth century.
In the other cities Mormon pamphleteers maintained the practice of choosing a printer and then sticking with him. Marc Ducloux, in Paris at rue Saint-Benoît, 7, for example, printed Étoile du Déséret, the French Book of Mormon, and all of the pamphlets Curtis E. Bolton issued while he labored in France—and became Bolton’s close friend. In Hamburg, John Taylor and George Parker Dykes settled on F. H. Nestler and Melle to print the German Book of Mormon and also used them to print Zions Panier. William Willes’s two Calcutta tracts were both printed by N. Robertson and Co., at the Columbian Press, No. 65, Cossitollah. And in Australia, John Murdock and C. W. Wandell used the Sydney printer Albert Mason, at 147, Castlereagh Street South, to print their second and fourth pamphlets, and probably used him for the third and fifth ones as well.
Apart from the second and third general epistles, the Deseret News, the September 14, 1852, Deseret News extra, and a few ephemeral pieces, no “church” works were published in the Great Salt Lake Valley during the first five years the Mormons resided there. Virtually all such books during this period were issued in the missions, and the British Mission office in Liverpool—first at 39, Torbock Street and then after August 1848 at 15, Wilton Street—was the primary distributor. During 1848–52, usually under the name of the mission president, the British Mission published the Millennial Star, two editions of the Book of Mormon, two of the Doctrine and Covenants, four hymnals, two editions of Spencer’s Letters, an edition of General Epistle from the Council of the Twelve Apostles, the Pearl of Great Price, an edition of Parley Pratt’s Voice of Warning, John Taylor’s Government of God, and pamphlets by Orson Spencer, Orson Pratt, James H. Flanigan, John Taylor, William Gibson, John Jaques, Erastus Snow, and Lorenzo Snow, as well as a variety of catalogues and circulars.
While Mormon pamphleteers continued to publish many tracts independently in the outlying branches, they usually turned to the Liverpool office for large editions and in most instances, it appears, were paid royalties for their works. James H. Flanigan, for example, arranged himself for the printing of 300 copies of his Reply to a Sheet in Northampton in April 1849 and then three months later sent the manuscript of his Mormonism Triumphant! to Orson Pratt in Liverpool, who published it in an edition of 6,000 and paid him a royalty of £18 and 500 copies (see items 405, 431). The Millennial Star office published and distributed Erastus Snow’s One Year in Scandinavia and several impressions of Lorenzo Snow’s Only Way to be Saved and paid royalties to each of them (items 600, 639). Franklin D. Richards, the British Mission president, sold 6,416 copies of his Pearl of Great Price to the mission for 9d. a piece—the same price it charged the conference agents. He also published a seventh edition of Parley Pratt’s Voice of Warning and paid him £50 for the rights (items 599, 677). Samuel W. Richards, Franklin’s successor, published an edition of Lorenzo Snow’s Voice of Joseph, paying him a royalty for two impressions, and paid John Taylor 1d. per copy less than the standard wholesale price for virtually the entire edition of his Government of God (items 725, 746).
A second point of distribution was inaugurated in London early in 1851. At the January 5 meeting of the London Conference, Eli B. Kelsey, the conference president, called William Cook to be the conference book agent and to run the book agency from his home and shop at 35, Jewin Street. Kelsey chose this location because it was a “front shop, situated on a corner, with two large show windows,” a five-minute walk from the booksellers on Paternoster Row. By the first of October, the British Mission had leased the Jewin Street premises and had purchased the fixtures and improvements Cook had made there. Also at that time, Thomas C. Armstrong replaced Cook as general book agent, serving until he left for America in 1854. For seven years the London book depot was a major distributor of LDS books, so much so that its address was included on the title pages of many of the books published by the British Mission during that period (see items 604, 618–19, 677, 679–80, 688, 718, 725, 736, 746).30
The system of book agents and subagents, inaugurated in the early part of the decade, was improved and expanded in the later 1840s. Each conference had a general book agent who was responsible for the issues of the Millennial Star and other works sold to the conference by the Liverpool office, invariably on credit. He, in turn, distributed the magazines and books to the branch subagents, who were supposed to sell them to the individual members for cash but often took credit as well.31During the 1850s these layers of book debt mushroomed. In London, for example, the conference owed the Liverpool office £93 in January 1851 and was owed £65 by the branches; at the end of the year it owed the Star office £394 and was owed £236 by the branches and £34 by several other conferences. One year later its debt to Liverpool had grown to £577, and to £677 at the end of 1855, when the branches’ debt stood at £163 and the conferences’ at £81.32While a few conferences were successful in reducing their book debt, overall the total amount owed the mission for books grew from £1,336 in December 1850 to £6,885 in December 1857.33
With agents in forty-five conferences dealing with hundreds of pounds each year, it should not be surprising that there were some instances of malfeasance in the book agencies. But only four such cases appear to have been reported during the period 1848–52. The Manchester, South, Bradford, and Bedfordshire conferences each had a general book agent that appropriated funds for his own use, leaving the local Saints with the burden of making up the loss.34
A number of men including Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, Orson Spencer, John Davis, George Parker Dykes, James H. Flanigan, and Charles W. Wandell made important contributions to the bibliographic record during 1848–52. But the towering figure was Orson Pratt, who stepped out of his brother’s shadow when he went to England in 1848. Not only did he transform the approach to pamphleteering, but he raised the discussion of Mormon theology to a new intellectual level with his sixteen tracts, which methodically and exhaustively defended Mormonism’s basic concepts. He was the quintessential apologist. While his brother was an innovator, he was “a systematizer, and popularizer”; where Parley was a poet writing in metaphors, Orson was a mathematician writing in theorems and proofs.35Three generations of Latter-day Saints learned the Church’s doctrines from his tracts, as did succeeding generations, whose writers drew on his works as their points of departure.