1857 Mormon Ad & Proclamation

Value (2006) | $10,000 Retail$15,000 Retail

These were, uh, part of a collection that belonged to my great-grandfather that fell into my grandpa's hands. I asked him for this when I was a young man--I said, I like that guy exploding down there. He captured my attention so it fell into my hands, happily. The rest of the collection went up to the University of Utah. This one was in a book, folded in half, that I also inherited from the same collection.

So the Johnson in Johnson & Blake at the top of this textile is your ancestor.

That's my great-grandfather. He was kind of a merchant, and uh, getting the goods together, they came up by rail and up the Missouri River, and then they probably go up to Saint Joseph, Missouri, and then on across the Missouri River out to Utah.

And this piece was actually printed in Iowa.

In Iowa, Crescent City, Iowa. Yeah.

Advertising on textiles in themselves aren't that unusual, but this one is quite scarce. Johnson is the patriarch of a prominent Mormon family in its day, and down here, underneath the graphic is the "Mormon War Goes on and Supplies have arrived at the Universal Emporium." Which would obviously date it to the time of the Utah War and the Great Mormon Rebellion of 1857.


as you know, in 1857, the Mormons were at odds with the United States government, and President Buchanan sent an invading army to invade Brigham Young and the Mormons. So on the eve of 1857, Johnson's army made it as far as Fort Bridger, which was then in Utah territory, not Wyoming, as it is today. And Brigham Young categorically stated that Colonel Johnson and his so-called army would never be allowed to invade Great Salt Lake City. And that's what the invasion proclamation relates to. And also, this very curious advertising textile, it was a very traumatic time in Utah and Mormon history, and by the Spring of 1858, they were able to come to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and Johnson's army marched through the valley and took up quarters in the western part and Brigham Young allowed them safe passage and they eventually worked out the problems. And Utah got statehood some 40 years later in 1896. This Johnson here is also given credit for printing the first newspaper west of the Missouri.

Now that I didn't know.

In Nebraska, out on the plains.

Very interesting.

I've never ever seen an advertising piece trying to market things related to the Mormon War, and especially the unusualness of this textile. But then the proclamation that you have that go with it... This is the so-called Invasion Proclamation of 1857. The citizens of Utah by the then territorial governor, Brigham Young. There are two different variants of it, one of August and one of September of '57. Both are quite scarce. If I had these two items together in my shop, in today's market, I would value the pair at between $10,000 to $15,000.

Oh, well, if I sent a dollar to each of my cousins, they'd all get one.

Appraisal Details

Ken Sanders Rare Books
Salt Lake City, UT
Appraised value (2006)
$10,000 Retail$15,000 Retail
Salt Lake City, UT (June 24, 2006)

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