Leopold Bierwirth’s Impressions of Brigham Young and the Mormons, 1872

Tourists frequently passed through Salt Lake City after the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. Many visitors recorded their impressions of the city and its inhabitants. One visitor, Leopold Bierwirth, a New York City merchant, kept a diary during his 1872 railroad journey from New York to San Francisco. The diary is similar to other travel narratives but contains much more detail and insight than most others. Bierwirth’s observations are particularly valuable because they were written during his visit rather than later. The portion of Bierwirth’s diary reporting his visit to Salt Lake City, including his impressions of Brigham Young, is reproduced below.

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