Slater, Nelson. Fruits of Mormonism, or a Fair and Candid Statement of Facts Illustrative of Mormon Principles, Mormon Policy and Mormon Character, by More than Fort Eyewitnesses, Compiled by N. Slater, A.M. Coloma, Cal., Harmon & Springer 1851. Collation: [i] title, [ii]copyright, 2-4 introduction,  6-93 text,  conclusion. 7" x 5.25". This rare pamphlet is elegantly bound in maroon crushed-grained leather with gilt edges; the ornamental spine features the author and title gold stamped on an inlaid black strip over the maroon spine. The spine is further decorated with two raised bands flanked by gilt ornaments. The front and rear pastedown are of decorative marble paper with ornamental gilt borders. The volume comes in a decorative clamshell case with a maroon leather spine over tan boards. Soft fabric is pasted in the inside covers and the imprint of "The Lakeside Press, Chicago" is in gilt.
This attack on Mormonism and their alleged mishandling of overland travelers on their way to gold fields during the winter of 1850 received much publicity in the San Francisco press. The conclusion of this controversial work explained its purpose: "The foregoing papers present a candid expression of the opinions entertained by the emigrants generally. The emigrants are indignant at the treatment they received from the Mormons the past winter and spring, and feel in duty bound to protest against such conducts towards U.S. citizens while passing through [Salt Lake City and] Utah territory." Seeking revenge, Fruits of Mormonism includes a petition sent by the emigrants to the U.S. Congress "to abolish the present territorial government of Utah and establish a military government in its stead." Included is a long list of names of emigrants who signed the petition. Despite the bitterness of the text, it does provide extensive information on overland travel.
Slater's polemic does have the distinction of being the first and perhaps only 19th c book printed in the gold discovery town of Coloma and it is the first book entered for copyright in CA. The copyright date was October 25, 1851.
References: Cowan I, p.216; Cowan II, p. 501; Graff 3814; Greenwood 301; Howes S-542; Kurutz 585; Streeter 2686; Wagner-Camo-Becker 205; Wheat, Book, 190. Processing and shipping within the continental U.S. $25.00 plus 1.5% replacement cost insurance.
Browning to text leaves.
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