Early Days of Mormonism. By J. H. Kennedy. (Reeves and
Turner.)—This book tells the story of Mormonism from its beginning down to the time when Joseph Smith and his brother were murdered in the jail at Carthage. And it also gives an account of the first efforts of Smith's disciples, after his death, to keep together the community which he had founded. To this part belongs the very curious story of the " Mormon Kingdom " on Beaver Island, Lake Michigan. Strang was an elder, though but a recent disciple, and at Smith's death he claimed the succession, backing up his claim with certain writings (on metallic slabs) which he called the " Plates of La,ban." He started his business, so to speak, at a place now called Spring Prairie, in Wisconsin, and then, to be more out of the way, he removed it to Beaver Island, where he proclaimed himself King. This was in flat opposition to the law, but it did not prevent him from being elected to the State Legislature. By his exertions a new county was organised, of which Beaver Island was a part. For a while the kingdom prospered, though the old inhabitants of the island. were strongly opposed to it. Strang passed some excellent laws ; but he made a mistake which was fatal to him. He ordered the women to wear " bloomers." Most of them obeyed, but some refused. He excommunicated their husbands. Three of these men assassinated him ; and his kingdom came to the ground. Mr. Kennedy has evidently taken great pains to tell the story faithfully and, though he does not conceal his dislike of Mormon- ism, fairly. The book appears to be of quite recent date, though
there is a passage on p. 251 which reads as if it had been written in the lifetime of Brigham Young (who died in 1877) :—" Brigham
Young has endeavoured to obtain possession of the remains of the Prophet, that they might be interred beneath the temple at Salt Lake." Almost as much trouble seems to have been taken to hide these remains as we read about in the burial of Attila.