MORMON STUDIES PRESENTS:
Early Days of Mormonism
(NYC, Scribner's, 1888)
[ Image from Kennedy's Frontispiece ]
go to: Title | Preface | Contents | Appendix
(This set of web-pages is still under construction)
EARLY DAYS OF MORMONISM
PALMYRA, KIRTLAND, AND NAUVOO
J. H. KENNEDY
EDITOR OF THE MAGAZINE OF WESTERN HISTORY
N E W Y O R K
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.
COPYRIGHT, 1888, BY
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.
EDWARD O. JENKINS SONS
[ v ]
P R E F A C E.
AMONG the many books that have been written upon Mormonism, there is not one that purports to be a plain, concise, complete, and unbiased history of the early days of the Mormon Church, where no tinge of personal interest existed, and no theory was to be advanced or defended. The main body of writers upon polygamy and Salt Lake, have only referred incidentally to the days of Palmyra, Kirtland, and Nauvoo, that they might properly introduce and explain the main topics it was their purpose to discuss. In these pages the author has simply told the story of the inception and growth of that remarkable body of misleading and misled men, from the birth of Joseph Smith to his tragic death in Carthage jail, -- a story so full of incident and interest that it becomes worthy of narration by itself, as detached from the final journey across the wilderness, and the founding of Brigham Young's empire in the valley of Salt Lake.
The gathering of material upon which this narrative is based has not been the hurried work of a few weeks or months, but has been carried through years of unusual opportunity. While all available authorities who speak in print have been carefully searched and freely used, their statements have been supplemented or corrected by many personal interviews,
by search of musty records in county court houses, and the examination of files of newspapers published in the days of Joseph Smith. In deference to the modern conclusion that even theological history should not be controversial, no attempt has been made at argument; no statement of fact has been shaded to the color of a personal belief; no open question has been decided perforce against the Mormon creed; and no conclusion has been reached that the facts of the case did not seem to warrant. There has been but one aim in mind: to tell the story as directly and truthfully as it can be told; and to leave the issues that make Mormonism one of the problems of the age, to those who have studied it from the moral, religious, or political point of view.
The universal interest of the American people in all that pertains to Mormonism, and the fact that no such narration as this exists in print, seem to warrant its appearance at this date.
Begin reading with Chapter I
back to top of this page