31 [Mormon] Young, Brigham. General Epistle from the Council of the Twelve Apostles, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints… [St. Louis, 1848] 8vo, original self
wrappers, 8 pp., green paper strip on spine where removed, uneven trimmed margin on lower margin, not affecting text.
First edition of an extraordinarily rare overland account of Brigham Young’s journey to settle Utah in 1847. No copy has appeared at auction since the Streeter Sale copy in 1968 (Streeter Sale IV: 2284) who said that this was “One of the great documents of Mormon history.” Streeter also chose it for his Americana – Beginnings exhibition, where it was #65. Streeter had purchased his copy in 1928 (forty years before his auction) and at the sale his was purchased by Wright Howes for the Graff collection in Chicago (Graff 715). This overland account of the Saints was signed at Winter Quarters in December, 1847, and sent to St. Louis for publication (early January, 1848). WagnerCamp 160: “The Epistle contains an account of the journey of the pioneer party which left Nauvoo in February, 1846, the enlistment of the Mormon battalion in July, and finally, the journey of the 143 pioneers from April 14, 1847 to arrival in Salt Lake City (July 24, 1847), and the founding of the city.
Young and many of the Pioneers returned to the Missouri in October. The rest of the pamphlet is devoted to an appeal to the Saints to rendezvous at the Missouri by the first of May, 1848.” Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography 346 (illustrated on p. 28 – the first entry in volume 2): “This marks the beginning of Mormonism’s Utah period.” Importantly, this was also the first printed notice announcing the intent to reorganize the First Presidency after the death of Joseph Smith (p. 6; which happened on Dec. 5th, 1847 at Council Bluffs). Very rare, with no copies for sale online.