This beautiful 1899 chromolithograph chronicles the 1300-mile journey of the Mormons from Nauvoo, on the Mississippi River, across the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains to the Great Salt Lake. Filled with images and pictorial vignettes that depict the notable features of the route, the story told by the print manipulates scale in order to emphasize the dramatic aspects of the trek — for example, the crossing of the Great Plains occupies only a small portion on the right of the map.
The route taken by Brigham Young’s party is marked, with each day’s camp indicated. Flanking the route itself are tiny profile views of Chimney Rock, Fort Laramie, Devil’s Gate, Giant Butte, Pulpit Rock and numerous other features of the trail west. Along the bottom of the print is a set of much larger images of scenes and scenery of the journey, including the wagon train crossing a river, a native American village, and the scenery of the Rockies. The print’s narration is said to have been derived from the journals of Orson Pratt and his brother Parley P. Pratt, original members of the “Quorum of Twelve Apostles.”
There are three known versions of this view, including two variants of a large-scale edition and one reduced edition. Most known examples of the large edition were printed on thin paper and folded into a 31-page Guide to the route map of the Mormon pioneers from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake, 1846-1847. The present example, however, was printed on very heavy card stock, issued separately, and clearly intended for presentation and/or display. The small-scale edition measures roughly 8.5 x 29 inches, lacks the legend and vignette in the lower margin, and bears a prominent note that it was “issued by the New Wilson European Hotel, Salt Lake City.” This edition seems to have been issued over several years both as a pocket map and tipped into a guide book.
For its part, the large-scale edition was issued in Salt Lake City, Utah by Millroy & Hayes. OCLC records no other publications under their name, though “Millroy” was likely the J.J. Millroy who in 1897 published Millroy’s Map of Alaska and the Klondyke Gold Fields.