Buy Now


THE WONDERLANDS OF THE WILD WEST, With Sketches of The Mormons. By A.B. Carlton. FIRST EDITION. Published in 1891 by the author (no publisher cited). 9” x 6” hardcover with gilt titles. Illustrated with plates. 346 pages.

Condition: GOOD CONDITION. Has some wear but overall good. Exterior as shown in photo, with some rubbing and fraying at spine ends. Corners rubbed. Binding is generally firm, minor split at bottom gutter between pp. vi and vii, with page 7 loosened at the bottom, otherwise holding well. Text is clean and complete, one plate has some pencil markings. Some small edge tears, no loose or missing pages.

Provenance: This very rare antique LDS title is inscribed and signed by Joseph F. Smith, the sixth President of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and the last President to have personally known founder Joseph Smith, who was his uncle. The dated inscription and signature appear on the book’s front endpaper. The book was presented to William Walton Burton, another prominent Mormon of Ogden, Utah. (For more information on both of these important LDS personages, please see the main description below.) I acquired the book from a person in Sandy, Utah.


WONDERLANDS OF THE WILD WEST is a vivid portrait of the Mormons of Utah and the state of Mormonism in the 1880s. It was written by Ambrose Bolivar Carlton, who was appointed U.S. Commissioner for Utah under the provisions of the “Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882.” Carlton, his wife and his younger son lived in Utah for eight years during which time he became closely acquainted with prominent Mormons and the Mormon way of life.

WONDERLANDS OF THE WILD WEST is the sum of Carlton’s observations in Utah. The book celebrates the western landscape and the natural wonders of the Great West, however its primary purpose was to chronicle the Mormon lifestyle and beliefs, including the controversial subject of polygamy. It discusses the Mormon faith, prominent Mormon personages and significant events in Mormon history.

The book is illustrated with a series of portraits of Mormon figures, Indians, and pictures of Western scenery.

This particular 1891 copy of WONDERLANDS OF THE WILD WEST is personally inscribed and signed by Joseph F. Smith, the sixth president of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. His inscription and signature appear on the front endpaper. Joseph F. Smith was the nephew of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and was the last president of the LDS Church to have known Joseph Smith personally. The book contains a full-page portrait of Joseph F. Smith, with a facsimile signature. (Please note, Smith’s signature at the front of the book is not a facsimile. It is authentic and one-of-a-kind.)

Joseph F. Smith was five years old when his father, Hyrum Smith, was martyred and 13, when his mother, Mary Fielding Smith, died. At age 15, Joseph served a mission to the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), the first of several missions he served to Hawaii and Britain. In 1866 he was ordained an Apostle and called to the First Presidency as a counselor to Brigham Young; it was not until the next year that he was set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Smith married five women and had 48 children, 5 of whom were adopted. His family was characterized by close, supportive relationships. After serving as a counselor to four Church Presidents, Smith was sustained as President of the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1901.

Based on his inscription at the front of the book, Joseph F. Smith presented this copy of WONDERLANDS OF THE WILD WEST as a gift to his “friend and brother” William Walton Burton of Ogden, Utah.

William Walton Burton was also a prominent Mormon and early Mormon missionary. According to Burton’s obituary:

William Walton Burton was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, on Marh 23, 1833, where he espoused the faith of the Latter Day Saints, and for that cause immigrated to America during the year 1852. Before leaving England he did extensive missionary and ecclesiastical work for the faith he represented, and was met with a great deal of opposition which he bravely withstood through his loyalty to his religious principles.

Upon his arrival in Salt Lake City in September 1854 he secured a position teaching school, and later he moved to Ogden, where he followed that vocation for several years, He finally became supervisor or principal of schools in that locality, which position he filled with honor and trust for a long period of time. He was also affiliated with civil affairs while in Ogden, being a member of the city council of that place.

During the year of 1886 Mr. Burton came to Star Valley, and the splendid organizations of the Burton Mercantile and Creamery Companies there are mute testimonials of his real worth as a civic improver.

Burton’s residence at Ogden was located on the corner of Monroe Ave and Twenty-Fifth Street.

A memoir by Burton’s granddaughter, posted online, furnishes greater detail about the original owner of this book:

My grandfather William Walton Burton was a polygamist who had married 3 sisters, Rachel, Ellen and Sarah Fielding, daughters of Joseph Fielding. When the U.S. Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Law in March 1887 making polygamy illegal, the U.S. marshals came to Utah with instructions to arrest and imprison all men who had more than one wife. So the men went into hiding and if a marshal was seen word was quickly and secretly passed so that the men could flee. Many times they had to leave in the middle of the night.

Father said often Grandfather would run out on foot, at night, after telling him where to meet, then Father, or one of the other older boys, would saddle two horses, or take the team and wagon, and take a roundabout journey, eventually come to rendezvous or meet Grandfather at the appointed place. Then they would journey into the mountains for several weeks, leaving the families to get along as best they could …

To go on with Grandfather’s trips, it was on one such that he went to Star Valley in Wyoming and having learned that Wyoming’s Governor Warren was protecting the Mormons, because they were home-loving, law-aoffering and made good settlers, decided to move some of his families there. They established a large dairy, a mercantile store and a creamery where they made butter and cheese.

A much more detailed account of William Walton Burton’s life can be found online in “The Saga of the Burton Families” written by Julie Cannon Markham, his great-great granddaughter.

Now that I have told you about Joseph F. Smith, the historic LDS President who signed and presented this book, and William Walton Burton, the prominent Mormon man who received it, I will tell you a bit more about the book itself.

For your convenience, I have summarized the Contents below. Further down the page, you can see the illustrations appearing in its pages. I hope you will take a moment to have a look.

Contents Are:


(1) Introductory Remarks

(2) From Kansas City to the Golden Gate: The Prairies * The Plains * Pike’s Peak * Denver * The Rocky Mountains * Cheyenne * The Mormon Land * Through Nevada * Over the Sierra Nevada Mountains * From Snowy Crags to Marechal Neil Roses * San Francisco * The Golden Gate * The Salt Rocks

(3) Little Cottonwood Canyon

(4) A View of Salt Lake City

(5) The Great Salt Lake

(6) Short Historical Sketch of the Mormons

(7) The Religion of the Mormons * Baptism For the Dead

(8) Polygamy


(1) The Utah Commission

(2) Meeting in the Assembly Hall

(3) A Ward Meeting: Speaking in Tongues, Etc

(4) Funeral Obsequies

(5) Services at the Tabernacle

(6) Interview With an Apostate

(7) The Genesis of Mormonism

(8) The Mormon Exodus from Nauvoo

(9) Remy and Benchley on the Mormons

(10) Cache Valley

(11) Visit to Springville * Celebration of Brigham Young’s Birthday

(12) The Hell-Pots of Midway

(13) A Celestial Pantheist

(14) Grand Ball at Beaver City

(15) The Utah Commission Again

(16) A Swell Affair * Wining and Dining with the Saints

(17) Evolution – Are the Mormons Incorrigible?

(18) Death of John Taylor – Sermons by Apostles Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D. Richards

(19) Pioneer Day – July 24

(20) Silver Lake – At Brighton’s

(21) “Segregation” – The Utah Judiciary, Etc

(22) Forged Sermon of Bishop West at Juab

(23) Mormon Poetry – Eliza R. Snow – Bishop Whitney

(24) Castle Gate – The Black Canyon, Etc: Marshall’s Pass * Grand Canyon of the Arkansas * Manitou, the Garden of the Gods * Solitude

(25) The Mountain Recluse

(26) The Argonauts – Old Characters

(27) Mormon General Conference

(28) “The Mormon Problem”

(29) Riding a Bronco – Booming with a Brass Band

(30) Thanksgiving Proclamation of Brigham Young

(31) The Yosemite – The Big Trees – The Yellowstone National Park

(32) Brigham Young’s Will

(33) Centennial of Washington’s Inauguration

(34) Mines and Mining in Utah


(1) “The Mormon Problem” – The Question of Statehood for Utah

(2) Minority Report of Utah Commission, 1887

(3) Commission Correspondence

(4) Minority Report, 1888

(5) Congressional Legislation on Utah Affairs: The Anti-Polygamy Law of 1862 * The Poland Law of 1874 * The Edmunds Law of 1882 * The Edmunds-Tucker Law of 1887

(6) Report of the Utah Commission, 1887


Declaration (December 1889) of the Presidency of the Mormon Church

President Woodruff’s Manifesto

Misrepresentations of the Report (1891) of the Utah Commission

Views of Chief Justice Zane

Captain Codman on the Anti-Mormon Crusade

Fair Play for the Mormons

History Repeating Itself

The Battle of Louisville


Remember folks, this is a very rare 1891 First Edition, signed by historic LDS President Joseph F. Smith and presented to William W. Burton. This book is 131 years old.


Please be sure to add me to your List of Favorite Sellers!

Don't miss out on any of my latest listings. Click here to sign up for the NEETMOK NEWSLETTER!

Winner pays for media mail shipping in the United States of America.

© 2022 by seller neetmok. NEETMOK BOOKS IS A REGISTERED MEMBER OF ’S VERO PROGRAM. Unauthorized use of Item Description Text or Images is a violation of rules, as posted by : "No Copying Allowed! When you prepare your listings you generally should use only material (text, photographs, etc.) and trademarks/names that you created or own yourself or licensed from the owners." sale page content (i.e., item description text; lists of contents, lists of illustrations/photos; scanned images, etc.) was written/compiled/formatted by seller neetmok and, as intellectual property, is protected by copyright. UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ITEM DESCRIPTION TEXT INCLUDING SUMMARIES OF CONTENTS, ILLUSTRATIONS, ETC., PHOTOS OR OTHER PROPRIETARY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND WILL BE REPORTED TO ’S VERO DEPARTMENT FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION.

Track Page Views With
Auctiva's FREE Counter

Buy Now

Other Related Items: