Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Salutatory


By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 07, 2008

Welcome to the Keepapitchinin, a new arrival in the Bloggernacle. The original Keepapitchinin was a comic newspaper – the Mad Magazine of its day – published at Salt Lake City sporadically from 1867 to 1871. Its chief editors were talented second-generation Mormons George J. Taylor (son of apostle, later President John Taylor), Joseph C. Rich (son of apostle Charles C. Rich) and Heber John Richards (son of apostle Willard Richards), with occasional help from apostle Orson Pratt and artists Charles R. Savage and George M. Ottinger. Ronald W. Walker’s “The Keep-A-Pitchinin, or, the Mormon Pioneer Was Human,” BYU Studies 14:3 (Spring 1974), 331-344, gives background on that publication.

All participants in the original Keepapitchinin were masked behind pseudonyms; I will take credit or blame for what appears here under my own name. Unlike the original, which made its points through satire, adolescent jokes, and cartoons, this incarnation of the Keepapitchinin will make its points with plain old narrative, chiefly in a historical vein. Regular features will include:

  • Lives of little-known Saints and their associates, of the kind you may recognize from my earlier posts on Times and Seasons
  • Topics in LDS church history and culture
  • Utah history, because I enjoy it. These Utah features will be marked so that those of you who click through from the LDS aggregators and don’t care about Utah won’t feel tricked
  • “On this date” – articles about interesting events occurring on the dates of the posts at some point in the past
  • “From our exchanges” – 19th century newspaper editors traded copies of their own publications and published freely from each others’ papers. This department of the Keepapitchinin will review articles from past and current journals, draw attention to favorite Bloggernacle posts, and otherwise publicize others’ writings
  • Current events, guest posts, and any other ol’ thing that catches my fancy

Comments are solicited. Please remember, though, that I am a believing Mormon writing chiefly for others of my faith, and all comments must respect that orientation. I am the idiosyncratic court of final appeal as to suitability.

My sincerest thanks to J. Stapley of Splendid Sun and By Common Consent, for designing these pages and for handling the technical details of domain names and hosting services and setup – I couldn’t have even got started without him.

I am also appreciative of former colleagues at Mormon Mentality and especially at Times and Seasons for letting me blog with them, for teaching me what works and what doesn’t, in blogging, HTML, and keeping my temper online – but don’t blame them for past failures or the inevitable future slips. They tried!

Welcome to my great adventure.


Contact: Keepapitchinin [at] AOL [dottt] com



  1. Congratulations! Best wishes on your new venture!

    Comment by Amy T — May 7, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  2. Congrats Ardis! This is a wonderful development. I look forward to all your excellent insight.

    Comment by J. Stapley — May 7, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  3. This is great, Ardis.

    Comment by David G. — May 7, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  4. well-begun is half done. looking forward to your posts.

    Comment by smb — May 7, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  5. This is going to be good.

    Comment by Mark IV — May 7, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  6. A great start to a great blogger. I trust that each post will be peer-reviewed and footnoted?

    Comment by Steve Evans — May 7, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  7. I invoke a blessing on this endeavor.

    Comment by gst — May 7, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  8. Congrats, Ardis, this is an exciting development.

    J., have you added this blog to MA? If it’s not there, I’ll forget how to find it or to look at it. But if it is I’ll check it regularly.

    And Ardis, does this mean you will now be blogging exclusively at this location, or will you be splitting time between here and T&S?

    Comment by Kevin Barney — May 7, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  9. Congratulations! Sad to see you leave Times and Seasons; looks like I’ll have to split my time with this blog now.

    Comment by Jacob F — May 7, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

  10. Unlike the original, which made its points through satire, adolescent jokes, and cartoons, this incarnation of the Keepapitchinin will make its points with plain old narrative,

    But Ardis, if only out of respect for the original, I hope there is some adolescent joking around now and then. This is the bloggernacle, after all.

    Comment by Mark IV — May 7, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  11. Congrats, Ardis. I look forward to some great posts. Thanks to J. Stapley for lending his expertise.

    Comment by Jared T. — May 7, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  12. Congratulations.

    Comment by Edje — May 7, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

  13. Wonderful!

    Comment by mmiles — May 7, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

  14. Fantastic. I look forward to your posts, Ardis.

    Comment by Christopher — May 7, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  15. I definitely agree that it should be linked from Mormon Archipelago. Looking forward to future posts.

    Comment by Hunter — May 7, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  16. I like the new digs, Ardis. And the blog plan sounds like a very good one. I know that I’ll be visiting often.

    This is going to be good.

    Yes, it is.

    Comment by Kaimi — May 7, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

  17. Nice you’re going to keep pitching in to the B’nacle, Ardis.

    Comment by Dave — May 7, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  18. Wow! I threw a party and people actually came! Thanks for the welcome, friends.

    I’ll leave the peer reviews to Steve, the footnotes to J., and the adolescent humor to anybody who wants to contribute. Somethin’ tells me we’ll be well supplied …

    Kevin, I’ve gone emeritus at Times and Seasons in order to concentrate on daily posts here. I love T&S, though, and if anybody there ever asks me to work up a post on demand, they can count on me.

    Keepakomin back, please.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 7, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  19. Ardis, special recognition for you and Stapley for finding yet another 19th century periodical to name your blog after.
    I’m anticipating great things!

    Comment by kevinf — May 7, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  20. Kevinf, this is all Ardis.

    Comment by J. Stapley — May 7, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  21. Congrats, Ardis. I’ve already added this to my favorites.

    Comment by Ben — May 7, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  22. I am really looking forward to this, Ardis. I am adding to my favorites. My biggest question is how I’m going to get any work done now–I already spend too much time in the Bloggernacle.

    Comment by CS Eric — May 7, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  23. Well Ardis I will definately be visiting. I enjoy your blogs tremdously so I will be here.
    Cheers on adding another unique title.

    Comment by Jon W. — May 7, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

  24. This seems like a really good idea since you put so much onto Times and Seasons. My mom lets me look at some of the posts you make sometimes, like the one you did on my Jules Verne report. I hope it succeeds, and I like your title.

    Comment by Clarissa — May 7, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  25. So glad to hear from you all — there’s a little relief, too, that you found me — and I’ll do my best to share my fascination with Mormon history with all comers.

    Clarissa, I’m especially tickled to hear from you again. Your Jules Verne report is here:
    for you and others to review your work and all the comments left by readers.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 7, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

  26. I am looking forward to reading your posts. Thanks for all you do to interest people in Mormon history.

    Comment by Jeff Johnson — May 7, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

  27. Ardis,
    This is going to be a treasure trove. I’m looking forward to reading lots of great stuff.

    Comment by SC Taysom — May 7, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  28. Awesome!!!

    Comment by Randy B. — May 7, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  29. Wonderful, Ardis! “On This Date” in history, Thursday, May 7, 1874,

    “The 44th annual conference of the Church was commenced in Salt Lake City. The principal subject dwelt upon by the speakers was the ‘United Order’, which was organized with Brigham Young as president. The conference was continued until the 10th.” (Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology . . . Second Edition . . . [SLC: Printed at the Deseret News, 1899], 91)

    Comment by Rick Grunder — May 7, 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  30. Hey, howdy, hey!

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — May 7, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

  31. Oh Ardis! I’m so excited for you- well, and for us, to see where you take this. Congrats!

    Comment by tracy m — May 7, 2008 @ 8:02 pm

  32. And I just wanted to say how hilariously cool it is to think of Orson Pratt discoursing in the tabernacle for an hour on Sunday on the subject of spirit fluid, then on Monday going into the office of Keepapitchinin to write the 19th century equivalent of knock knock jokes under a pseudonym. I laugh out loud every time I think about it.

    Comment by Mark IV — May 7, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  33. Me, too, Mark. Most of the pseudonyms were open secrets during the lifetime of the newspaper … but Orson Pratt was in such deep cover that his participation wasn’t discovered until Ron Walker went through the unsorted, uncatalogued George J. Taylor papers and found the evidence. Shhhhh!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 7, 2008 @ 9:01 pm

  34. Ardis,

    Way cool. Looking forward to your posts.

    Comment by Guy Murray — May 10, 2008 @ 11:20 am