Nauvoo Food Budget ~1844

So, feeding a family of five in Nauvoo, 1844. How much would it cost you? Here is a very rough approximation, assuming you could buy this stuff at market prices, and assuming these were fairly uniform (both false economies).

Butcher: 2lbs per day at 10 cents per pound: $1.40
Barrel of flour, $5.00, lasts about 8 weeks: 0.63
Butter, 2lbs, 31.5 cents per pound: 0.63
Potatoes, .5 bushel: 0.50
Sugar, 4 lbs at 8 cents a pound: 0.32
Coffee and Tea (yes they did use it): 0.25
Milk, 2 cents per day: 0.14
Salt, pepper, vinegar, starch, soap, soda
yeast, cheese, eggs 0.40
Total for the week: abt. $4.27.

Most in Nauvoo had gardens and these would supplement vegetable intake, though mainly the poor ate vegetables. Many had milk cows so milk and butter came at the price of effort and feed stock.

In a city, other living expenses (clothes, housing and other similar expenses) might total about $6.00. So for the week, cost of living was roughly $10.00.

Let’s say you’re a day laborer. What percentage of wages went to retail food in a week: about 80%. By 1860 this was about 75%. By 1900, about 45%. By 1930, 15%. Food got cheaper.

Nauvoo Groceries: May 1, 1844

Your grocer’s stock. Get it while it lasts, people.

Flour, superfine per barrel $4.25
Flour, fine per barrel $4.00
Corn per bushel $0.33
by the load $0.30
Corn Meal $0.374
Oats per bushel $0.25
Potatoes per bushel $0.31 to 0.374
Pork per barrel $7.00 to 8.00
Bacon per lb $0.04 to 0.05
Hams ” ” $0.05
Lard ” ” $0.06
Butter ” ” $0.124
Eggs per dozen $0.05
Mould Candles per lb $0.10
Dried Apples per bushel $1.25
Rice per lb $0.06
Molasses New Orleans per gal $0.37 to 0.40
Honey per lb $0.06
Sugar ” ” $0.06 to 0.10
Maple ” ” $0.124
Coffee ” ” $0.10 to 0.12
Tea ” ” $0.50 to 1.00
Chocolate ” ” $0.25
Cocoa ” ” $0.184
Saleratus ” ” $0.124
Glass per box 8 by 10, $3.25 10 by 12 $4.25
Iron Pittsburgh per cwt from $6.00 to 9.00
Nails Boston per cwt $6.00

Publication Note: Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church Volume 3.

The BYU Religious Studies Center has published the third volume in Peter Crawley’s A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church.

This volume covers the period from 1853-1857 and is the final volume in the series. The book covers those materials printed with one or more pages that bear on some Church matter. Articles in newspapers, maps, prints, banknotes and ephemeral pieces are not included.

These volumes are the most important contributions to early LDS print culture and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Available at

Amazon:

$54.84 (free shipping).
ISBN: 978-0-8425-2810-8

Construction, dust jacket and size match the previous two volumes. Essentially for anyone interested in early Mormon imprints or Mormon history from 1830-1857.

Summer Review: Albert Brisbane — Joseph Smith and Eschatology

Another Oldie.

This post has been sitting around for a while, has something to do with Joseph Smith’s sermons, and in particular funeral sermons, because it poses some questions on the idea of community and eschatology, and I don’t have time to work on it more right now, so here it is.

Mormon communal adventures of the 19th century played out against a range of American civil experimentation. A major difference was the underlying eschatology of Mormonism.

Joseph Smith pushed (via revelations like Doctrine and Covenants 42) the idea of community into the lives of early Mormons, but he also pushed it into the afterlife (an early version of this is D&C 78:6 – later versions were based on sealing). Echoing Swedenborg (by coincidence rather than intent it seems) he infused doctrine with community and family. Read more of this post

Summer Review: Is Reality Consistent With First Order Predicate Calculus?

The whole of science is based on answering yes to that question. But what about religion? At least from Augustine to Aquinas, people hoped the answer was yes. Of course they wouldn’t have used the same terminology.
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Election Day at Gallatin

Here’s a bit of 4th of July thinking. But don’t let it get you down.

The rough and tumble politics of the Jacksonian Era has a distinct Mormon example. Precipitating the Missouri-Mormon War, the election day riot at Gallatin, Missouri, August 6, 1838, placed Daviess County Mormons in the position of defending their vote with a little assertiveness. [1]
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Joseph Smith, Sermons, and Lived Religion

From the late colonial period to the time of Joseph Smith, important forces were at work that changed the nature of preaching. Most sermons in the late colonial period were read. Whether from small briefs carried into a pulpit, scribbled notes on a quarter sheet of foolscap, or carefully fleshed out thoughts in tempered script, preachers expanded from their notes or read word for word, but in general followed a written pre-planned text. There is a paper trail there.[1]

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