The Best of St. Louis Luminary | BYU Studies

The Best of St. Louis Luminary

The Best of St. Louis Luminary

The Best of St. Louis Luminary

Author Susan E. Black,

Published from November 1854 to December 1855, the St. Louis Luminary was started by Apostle Erastus Snow, the Latter-day Saint leader over the region. The newspaper maintained contact among the members, helped emigrating Saints stay focused on their ultimate destination in the West, and played a significant role in the national discussion of polygamy, which had been publicly announced in 1852.

Snow's goal was to produce a paper "devoted to the exposition of the favorable side of Mormonism," something the "honest inquirer" had longed to read. The newspaper also consisted of a composite of exchanges from other periodicals, and a variety of local businesses--regardless of whether they were owned by Mormons--advertised in it.

Furthermore, hundreds of names published in the columns yield a valuable genealogical database. Its forty-two missionary-agents traveled throughout most of the Midwest soliciting subscribers.

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