The Keep-A-Pitchinin or the Mormon Pioneer Was Human



Utah pioneers have not been known for their humor, but Keep-A-Pitchinin, one of the West’s first illustrated journals and humor periodicals, testified to a warmer, more human side than had been seen of the Mormons in Utah. Led by publisher and editor George J. Taylor, eldest son of John Taylor, Keep-A-Pitchinin, was written by distinguished men of talent, usually under pseudonyms. The journal’s consistent victim was the Godbeite “New Movement” that had begun to divide members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah. In addition to working against the Godbeite movement, it also served as a humorous relief when emotions ran high about immediate and local concerns, such as polygamy, the U.S. Census, the Danites, and even a Relief Society work project. The Keep-A-Pitchinin was characterized by satire, sarcasm, puns, and “spelling and grammatical gaucherie,” as were popular in nineteenth-century humor. The periodical gleefully satirized the ultimate downfall of the Godbeites, but declined after the demise of the “New Movement” because the journal no longer had a sustaining purpose.


Purchase this Issue

Share This Article With Someone

Share This Article With Someone