“THE MOST SENSATIONAL EXPOSÉ OF MORMONISM SINCE 1842”: STENHOUSE’S 1873 ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE MORMONS
STENHOUSE, Thomas B.H. The Rocky Mountain Saints: A Full and Complete History of the Mormons, From the First Vision of Joseph Smith to the Last Courtship of Brigham Young… New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1873. Octavo, modern three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt. $1100.
First edition of this comprehensive and critical history of life in Utah under the leadership of Mormon prophet Brigham Young, with steel-engraved frontispiece portrait of Young and numerous illustrations, including 24 full-page wood-engravings.
“Stenhouse was sufficiently prestigious within the Church to be an emissary to the Lincoln administration. He became an associate in the ‘Godbeite Heresy’ of 1869, a rebellion of a group of able and influential Mormons directed in part at the threat to individualism posed by the monopolistic aspects of church polity and the ironclad rule of Brigham Young (who drove the dissidents summarily from the Church). Leaving Utah for the East, Stenhouse published The Rocky Mountain Saints, constituting, together with a work by his wife giving the distaff point of view, the most sensational exposé of Mormonism since John C. Bennett in 1842… Stenhouse saw the Mormon faith as delusion, not hoax or fraud; he was critical of Smith and Young but did not doubt their sincerity… The Rocky Mountain Saints is therefore something of an early landmark in Mormon historical writing, a forerunner of later descriptive and analytical works” (Flanders, 55). Sabin 91222. Flake & Draper 8404. Newspaper clippings affixed to title page and pages 1, 13 and 21.
Occasional light foxing, offsetting from newspaper clippings. A handsome copy in near-fine condition.