(Taken from the BYU library website)


Piercy, Frederick Hawkins, 1830-1891

Route From Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley, Illustrated With Steel Engravings and Wood Cuts From Sketches Made By Frederick Piercy... Edited by James Linforth. Liverpool: Published by Franklin D. Richards, 1855.

Frederick Hawkins Piercy, a talented artist at the youthful age of 23 years set sail on February 5, 1853 on the ship Jersey with a company of 313 emigrants bound for America. His purpose for this trip was not permanent residence in America but rather to document the journey of this half English and half Welsh company of Mormon emigrants and produce an illustrated travel book to encourage British Mormons to emigrate to Utah. The result of Piercy's journey culminated in 1855 with the publication of what ranks (in the view of two prominent scholars of Mormon bibliography) as "the most beautiful book published by the Latter-day Saints."

Route from Liverpool to the Great Salt Lake Valley contains Piercy's detailed narrative of the journey as well as illustrations of an unusually high quality made from his own drawings sketched on the trail. In addition to these illustrations of prominent landmarks between Council Bluff and Salt Lake City, Piercy also made sketches of sites along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Nauvoo including the Nauvoo Temple in ruin and Carthage jail. He also did five portrait sketches. After returning to England in 1854 the sketches were made into high quality steel engravings by Charles Fenn and James Linforth an assistant editor of the Millennial Star did a general editing, added footnotes, a summary of Joseph Smith's history, and a summary of the history of Mormon emigration up to 1855.

The book was originally issued in fifteen parts from July 1854 to September 1855 with each part in a green printed wrapper. Consequently many copies were never properly bound and other copies bound in England and shipped to Utah were damaged in transit. These factors and the high quality steel engravings, which have been reproduced many times over the years in many books chronicling the overland trek, have made the book quite rare and collectible .