Rare 1863 Printed Report On The Bear River Massacre - Utah - (Mormon)
Item History and Pricing
|Modified Item: No|
Condition:The original front paper printed wrapper is present, while the back wrapper is missing. All text pages are present and tightly bound. The binding has a string-tied spine. There is a vertical crease down the middle of the pamphlet where it has been folded in half, but it isn't tearing or severly worn. S...light discoloration to the covers. A few of the pages have small tears or small chips to the edges. Overall nicely preserved.
This copy has an ink notation on the front that says:
“Compliments of Wm. Manning, Lieutenant Colonel, 14th Infantry”.
This is a remarkable rarity and one that I had not seen in my 28+ years as a full-time bookseller in Northern Utah, the region where this event took place. I cannot find this anywhere bibliographically or any sales records of this imprint. There is no mention of a printer or place a printing, just the date of January 29, 1863, which was the date of the event.
The “Battle of Bear River”, as it was called then, is now known to history as the Bear River Massacre. Colonel Patrick Edward Connor, notorious for his confrontational dealings with Utah, Mormon leaders, and Native Americans, led a detachment of California Volunteers against a Shoshone encampent near the modern-day location Preston, Idaho.
Hundreds of the Shoshone tribe were killed, while a couple of dozen soldiers lost Their lives. This report predictably plays up the heroism and bravery of the soldiers, and includes details of the killed and wounded, including a report of the funeral services for one of the men killed. There is also a transcription of a letter entitled “Commander’s Congratulations to the Troops, by order of Colonel Connor."
Other items printed on these pages include several letters from a special correspondent reporter stationed in Salt Lake City, detailing such things as the return of the wounded to Camp Douglas, reports of the burial of the dead, and detailed descriptions of the fight.
This pamphlet came from the collection of a long-time historian and active collector of Utah and Mormon history. An amazing rarity that will probably be previously unknown to the vast majority of historians and collectors, as it was to me. In checking institutional rare book holdings, it appears that even Utah State University does not have an original of this pamphlet, but a photocopy of the original.
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