By May 20, 2015
Note: today?s post deals with temple ordinances, which can be a sensitive topic. Please tread considerately.
Today?s image, ?Scenes in the Endowment Ceremonies,? allegedly depicts portions of the Mormon ordinance of temple endowment. So far as I can tell, ?Scenes? first appeared in John H Beadle?s Life in Utah: or, The Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism (1870), which—if the title didn?t give it away—takes a dim view of Mormonism. Beadle reused the image in 1882 and again in 1904. 
By April 28, 2015
In the last post we looked at ways Mormonism appeared in the trial of Charles Guiteau, assassin of President Garfield. Today we?ll look outside and after the trial.
By April 21, 2015
Previous installments here and here. Guiteau?s trial for the murder of President Garfield began on November 14, 1881, and ran about ten weeks to January 25, 1882.  Direct and indirect references to Mormonism were scattered throughout the trial.
By April 15, 2015
As noted in the last post, T[homas] DeWitt Talmage, the histrionic, hyperbolic, famous, and famously anti-Mormon preacher of Brooklyn, was not the first or only figure to claim that Garfield?s assassin, Charles Guiteau, was Mormon or that Guiteau was part of a Mormon conspiracy. However, Talmage?s national presence gave his allegations more reach (see image).
By April 8, 2015
In his inaugural address as President of the United States, James A Garfield included about 180 words proposing action against Mormonism (1881 Mar 04).  Four months later (Jul 02), Charles J Guiteau shot Garfield. Guiteau was apprehended at the scene and Garfield died several weeks later (Sep 19). In the next few posts I will look at some ways Garfield?s shooting and rhetoric about Mormonism intersected. (Image )
By March 24, 2015
In my last post I looked at comparisons between Mormons and Thugs in the late nineteenth century. Today I look at Mormon reactions and the broader imperial context.
By March 11, 2015
You might remember the ?Thuggee cult? as the very bad guys in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), though there were some, uh? literary licenses taken with the religious practices. As understood by nineteenth-century Westerners, Thugs murdered hundreds of thousands of people in India from the 1300s to the 1800s—mostly by strangulation in furtherance of highway robbery—in fulfillment of religious duty. Today I sketch some ways Thugs figured in nineteenth-century rhetoric about Mormons. 
By March 3, 2015
For today?s image we begin with an 1863 edition of Don Quixote illustrated by Gustave Doré and engraved by Héliodore Pisan.  Doré?s images are among the most famous and most influential illustrations of Quixote. The frontispiece illustrates how Quixote fixated on stories about knights: ?His fancy grew full of what he used to read about in his books.? 
By February 18, 2015
A few weeks ago we looked at how the Salt Lake Tabernacle was frequently invoked as a symbol for Mormonism in the 1880s and then at descriptions of the Salt Lake Tabernacle as turtle-shaped. This week we combine the two to imagine a symbol that might have been. First, however, we?re going to talk about anti-Catholic crocodiles.
By February 9, 2015
For today?s discussion, the image is ?Situation of the Mormons in Utah? by George Frederick Keller, which appeared in San Francisco?s Wasp on 1879 Feb 01.