The American West
I believe this cartoon was published in the early 1840’s to persuade people to not become Mormons. The Mormons were unpopular during the 1840’s as they had different beliefs to the rest of the settlers. They believed they had found the second part to the bible in America, no one really considered the Mormons a serious religion until Joseph Smith set up a church. People were often jealous of the Mormons as the Mormons believed in working hard to obtain success and money.
Mormons also followed polygamy like the Native Americans, people disrespected them because of this and as the picture shows the man hiding from his many wives, who are fighting and the children, which are crying on the floor. I believe this cartoon was published in the early 1840’s to persuade people to not become Mormons. The cartoon shows an un-ideal life as everyone is making chaos, this would deter people from becoming Mormons as it shows people what is supposed to go on inside the Mormon life.
Because people hated the Mormons for whatever reason, the man is put across as a coward as he is hiding away from what is happening. This cartoon was probably used to create a general impression of the Mormons. I think the Mormons were able to complete their journey across the Great Plains and into the Rockies from what I am shown in the source as the Mormon’s seem to be well supplied and travelling in large groups.
You can tell that the Mormon’s were well supplied and organised because they built log houses to keep warm and safe during the winter, we can also assume that the journey was taking them a long time as the log houses are permanent building which would not have been easy to build or move. I don’t think the Mormon population suffered that badly during the crossing despite losing 700 people to illness or starvation as due to polygamy there was a lot of children who would grow up to continue the Mormon faith. I think so many people died because of starvation because in the photo there is no evidence of food or any sources of food.
The source shows us a scene in which the Mormons seem to be doing quite well as the have shelter, protection and transport as well as this because the Mormons were friendly with the Native Americans they didn’t have the fear of raids. Source C tells us that some Mormons didn’t find Salt Lake as impressive as they first assumed. They said that the land was beautiful, but there were no resources for building and they were relying on the land to be fertile, otherwise they would have no food. Some of the Mormons would think of ideas that could work, they would then work hard to achieve them as this is what they believed in.
Some of the Mormons will have seen prospect in the land and others will have tried to make the most out of what they could see, ‘There is little prospect for log houses, but we can make Spanish bricks’, from the journal of William Clayton from the Mormon Pioneer Band which reached Salt Lake first. I believe that the Mormons were disappointed in the appearance of Salt Lake. However they also believed that there was prospect in the land and surrounding area, so they made the most of what they had and since the rest of the settlers hated them they could start a purely Mormon society.