Articles by

Edje Jeter

Images: ?Scenes in the Endowment Ceremonies? in Beadle

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. [1] 

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The Garfield Assassination, 4 of 4: Aftermath and Conclusion

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.

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The Garfield Assassination, 3 of 4: Guiteau?s 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. [1] Direct and indirect references to Mormonism were scattered throughout the trial.

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The Garfield Assassination, 2 of 4: DeWitt Talmage

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).

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The Garfield Assassination, 1 of 4: Joy, Prophecy, and Conspiracy

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). [1] 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 [2])

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Mormon Thugs, Part 2 of 2

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.

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Mormon Thugs, Part 1 of 2

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. [1]

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Images: The Hoosier Don Quixote

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. [1] 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.? [2] 

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Mormon Turtles 2: Thomas Nast and the Catholic Crocodile

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.

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Images: The Situation of the Mormons in Utah, with Bleg

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. [1] 

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Recent Comments

J. Stapley on A note on the: “Have you seen anything like on this side of the Atlantic, Steve?”


Steve Fleming on A note on the: “My footnote to patriarchal blessings: Such blessings of parents to children were also a medieval and early modern folk practice. Keith Thomas refers to the practice,…”


J. Stapley on A note on the: “Thanks John. I hadn't thought of that and some googling around suggests that it is a thing. Methodist back to school…”


John Turner on A note on the: “Great post, Jonathan. I wonder how common similar rituals are in other traditions. For instance, I can imagine that many evangelical parents -- and even…”


J. Stapley on A note on the: “A bit of an addendum, now that I have had a chance to research some more. The 1976 General Handbook included a quote from…”


J. Stapley on A note on the: “Thanks for that pointer, Clark. If I've done my math and sleuthing correctly, that would put that story in the late 1960s or early…”

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