The First Mormon
by Donna Hill
Paperback / 550 pages / 1-56085-118-X / $16.95
Based on original sources, including many letters and diaries to which no previous biographer had had access, the book reveals the nineteenth-century religious ferment and fervor that helped to shape Smith’s beliefs. As a teenager, he had his first vision of God. At twenty-four, he published the Book of Mormon and founded his church, but was forever persecuted as he and his followers were forced across the country—from New York to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois—where, when he was thirty-eight, a mob killed him.
This is the incredible story of a charismatic leader, one of the most complex and influential figures in American history—prophet, seer, city planner, banker, real estate agent, businessman, lieutenant general of militia, politician, instrument of divine revelation—a man who believed in God but not in the contending, confusing sects of his day and who, because of his beliefs, died a martyr.
Donna Hill, author of Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, was born in Salt Lake City, earned a master’s degree in Library Science at Columbia University, worked at the New York Public Library, and became an assistant professor and head of the Teachers’ Central Laboratory at Hunter College Library, New York.