History Page


The history of the Deseret Alphabet is like so many other histories of the people and happenings of the time. It has been told in many varieties. I am endeavoring, in these pages, to collect copies of as many written references to the Deseret Alphabet as is possible. I have made quite a collection as you will notice, but I still have more work to do. New items will be added to this collection as quickly as they are obtained. Please contact me if you know of another available reference, or are in possession of another reference that I have not included. I have broadly split the body of documents into two classes. The link, 'Looking Forward', has items that were written about the Deseret Alphabet when it was still in use or development (or shortly after its abandonment). While the link, 'Looking Backwards', has items written long after the alphabet had disappeared from the general consciousness.

1860 Mormon Gold Coin

Here you see a picture of a gold coin minted in Salt Lake City. The Saints were building their own nation - the Nation of Deseret. They developed their own alphabet, they set up their own schools, and even coined and printed their own money. The coin you see on the right has an inscription written around the edge in Deseret letters. I'll let you figure out for yourself what it says. Click here to see a chart that will help you read Deseret more easily. The chart has the Deseret letters arranged according to their shape. Look for the shape of the letter, and the chart will tell you what sound it makes. Be careful, some of the letters have very similar shapes.