Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 173

Price Realized: $ 7,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(MORMONS.) George T.M. Davis. An Authentic Account of the Massacre of Joseph Smith. 38 [of 47] pages. Tall 12mo, self-wrappers, stitched; lacking final 5 leaves (present in facsimile), foxing, intermittent dampstaining, numerous short horizontal tears, small holes, and tissue repairs, loss of one word to title page, top corners restored on first 3 leaves. St. Louis, MO: Chambers & Knapp, 1844

Additional Details

The author George Turnbull Moore Davis (1810-1888) was at this point a young lawyer in Alton, IL near Nauvoo. He went to serve in the Mexican War as a colonel, and then worked as a journalist in St. Louis and Louisville. He offers here an unsympathetic history of the Saints, as well as a close examination of the events surrounding Smith's deaths, based on local sources. He admits (on page 27) knowing the names of some of the perpetrators, although he does not divulge them. It was issued just two months after the June 27 killings. The University of Illinois holds a presentation copy dated 28 August, and newspaper advertisements appeared as early as 30 August.

This is one of the scarcer early Mormon-related tracts, with none traced at auction since 1915; not in Graff. Flake 2690; Howes D112 ("b"); Missouri Imprints 399; Sabin 18824. Provenance: purchased by the consignor from Denver dealer Fred Rosenstock.