New Release: “Jacob Hamblin,” frontiersman & Indian missionary

The title says it all:

JACOB HAMBLIN,

A NARRATIVE OF HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, AS A FRONTIERSMAN, MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS AND EXPLORER,

DISCLOSING

Interpositions of Providence, Severe Privations, Perilous Situations and Remarkable Escapes.

A convert to the Church during the Nauvoo era, Hamblin’s story is recorded in this the fifth book of the Faith-Promoting Series. Now on Project Gutenberg.

In other news, the MTP internship program kicked off this week! As that consumes resources, the blog may suffer a bit, but rest assured a burst of productivity is under way.

 

Anthon Skanchy

Autobiography of Anthon Skanchy, translated by John A. Widtsoe

Anthon Skanchy (pictured) was the early Norwegian missionary who baptized noted Apostle John A. Widtsoe and his mother into the Church. Skanchy wrote this autobiography in Norwegian, and Widtsoe translated, edited, and published it as Anthon L. Skanchy: A Brief Autobiographical Sketch of the Missionary Labors of a Valiant Soldier for Christ. We’ve recently released it as a free e-book on Project Gutenberg.

Skanchy led an interesting life; he served various missions in his native Norway, and much of the book recounts his mission experiences, including both some remarkable spiritual incidents and some interesting temporal details, such as his employment as a fisherman during parts of his mission. He also worked on the Logan temple and tabernacle and served as a bishop. He eventually took charge of the Scandinavian mission, with a special charge to build mission houses in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Unlike mission homes today that often just house the mission president, these included substantial meeting halls, pictured in the book. It’s a window into an interesting life and, weighing in at 56 pages, a fun Sunday afternoon read. Enjoy.

New Release: “Mother Stories from the Book of Mormon”

President Hinckley was first introduced to the Book of Mormon by his mother reading him this book (source) by William A. Morton, and treasured it in his old age. Weighing in at 158 pages and using simple language, it could make good reading material for small children today as an intermediate between the Book of Mormon picture books and the real thing. And it’s now available as a free e-book on Project Gutenberg. Enjoy.

New Release: “The Hand of Providence” by J. H. Ward

This 1883 book by J. H. Ward is an early Mormon take on world history; it’s now available on Project Gutenberg, complete with more than thirty original illustrations. You may remember J. H. Ward as the author of Gospel Philosophy, a book on science and the gospel that we released and discussed some time ago.

The Church today has a particular understanding of how world history led up to the Restoration; this book shows Ward’s 19th century understanding of that topic, including discussion of Rome, the Middle East, the Reformation, the Americas, etc. I’m not sure to what extent Ward was popularizing existing theories vs. breaking new ground, but either way this is interesting stuff from a historiographical perspective.

“Mormon Settlement in Arizona” by James H. McClintock

This work, by a non-Mormon historian of Arizona, discusses the titular topic and was produced some time ago by Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders. (As longtime readers know, I think very highly of PGDP.) It touches on the Mormon Battalion, pioneer and Forty Years Among the Indians author Daniel W. Jones, noted missionary Jacob Hamblin, and the ancient history of the area, among other things. Give it a look.

The existence of this e-book somehow escaped our notice up until now, but no longer; now it’s on the Available Texts page. On that note, should anyone know of similar works already available on PG or elsewhere, get in touch–we want to get the word out about them.

2015 Mormon Texts Project Summer Internship Program

The Mormon Texts Project is once again offering a summer internship program this year, in which interns will have the opportunity to learn the e-book production process and produce at least one e-book start to finish. Last year the inaugural internship program was a great success, and this year’s program will build on last year’s to offer an even better experience for interns. The 2015 internship syllabus is available here and includes instructions on how to apply.

The internship is a part-time volunteer opportunity intended for students with interests in electronic publishing and/or Mormon history, doctrine, etc. BYU offers history or editing credit hours to MTP interns, and Utah State offers religious studies credit. We’re willing to work with other universities or departments to offer other relevant academic credit, or interns can participate simply for the prestige of working with the premiere organizations for public domain LDS e-books (MTP) and public domain e-books generally (Project Gutenberg). That and a subway token will get you on the subway, folks.

New Release: “Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow”

Eliza R. Snow Smith, the sister of Lorenzo Snow, wrote this exciting biography, recently released on PG, that gives an account of Lorenzo Snow’s life and family. Lorenzo Snow was the fifth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This book starts with information about Lorenzo’s early life, including some of the characteristics he had as a young boy. Being the eldest child, Lorenzo was often left in charge. He gained a sense of responsibility at a young age and Eliza believed that this prepared him “for the position in life he was destined to occupy.”

Later in Lorenzo’s life he served a mission in England. In a letter recorded in this biography, Lorenzo answered the question pertaining to the reason he life on this mission: “I am here because God has spoken, and raised up a Prophet, through whom He has restored the fullness of the everlasting Gospel.”

At the close of his mission, Lorenzo led a company of 250 Saints from England to Nauvoo. On their journey overseas, the steward became very ill. The captain gave up hope and provided a ceremony where all the crewmembers could say goodbye to the steward. Although many thought that it was too late for this man to be healed, Lorenzo gave him a blessing. Eliza writes, “to the joy and astonishment of all, [the steward] was seen walking the deck, praising and glorifying God for his restoration.” After this experience, several of the officers and sailors were baptized.

Throughout this biography, Eliza recites many stories pertaining to Lorenzo’s life. Each of the events recorded all contributed to Lorenzo’s success as a Prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The book (and blog post) were produced by MTP research assistant Mariah Averett, thanks to donor support for her position.