Deseret Alphabet Set. The Book of Mormon, Selections of the Book of Mormon, First Deseret Reader, Second Deseret Reader (four volume set)
Place Published: New York
Publisher: Published for the Deseret University by Russell Bros.
Date Published: 1868 - 1869
Edition: First editions
Book Id: 45283
Four volume set. 443, 116, 36, 72pp. The Book of Mormon is bound in black cloth with title and Salt Lake Temple gilt stamped on the spine. Selections of the book of Mormon is bound 1/4 blue leather over light blue printed and illustrated boards. First Reader is bound in 1/4 brown cloth over light orange printed and illustrated boards. Second Reader is bound in 1/4 black cloth over tan printed and illustrated boards. All volumes are very good with some wear and bumping to the boards and edges. The Book of Mormon shows additional wear to the spine and hinges. Some previous owner's names and notations in neat ink and pencil on the endsheets and pastedowns of each volume, otherwise the pages are clean and unmarked.
These four works were the only books published in the Deseret Alphabet. The print runs for the Book of Mormon are usually cited as five-hundred, making this one of the rarer Book of Mormons. The two readers were based on the McGuffey manuals, and were introduced in public schools of the Territory in 1868.The Deseret Alphabet was introduced in 1854 and was created by Parley P. Pratt, Heber C. Kimball and George D. Watt. Made up of thirty-eight characters( apparently it was and partially based on Pitman shorthand) to correlate with basic sounds in the English language, the Deseret Alphabet was intended to be used to help simplify the principles of the English language. The Deseret News announced in its issue of January 19, 1854, "The Board [of Regents] have held frequent sittings this winter, with the sanguine hope of simplifying the English Language, and especially its orthography. After many fruitless attempts to render the common alphabet of the day subservient to their purpose, they found it expedient to invent an entirely new and original set of characters." Although only a written language, Brigham Young had high hopes for the new language, firmly believing it would unite the many foreign converts that were streaming into Utah from Europe. The creation of the language was one of the more unusual ideas of Brigham Young, and never was fully embraced by the Mormons. The Deseret Alphabet was abandoned shortly after Young's death. Flake/Draper 607, 608. Auerbach I: 1183. Sabin 83050.