In 1839, persecuted Mormons fled Missouri, across the Mississippi River, seeking freedom from violence. They hoped to find a safe haven on the banks of the river in an Illinois city that they called Nauvoo, "the city beautiful."
The Mormons did not flourish for long in Nauvoo. In neighboring cities some grew resentful of the prosperity that Joseph Smith and his people were enjoying. Religious misconceptions further fueled hostility toward the Mormons. Would the oft-persecuted Mormons have to flee their city beautiful?
Through poignant writing and photographs of Nauvoo today, Raymond Bial tells the story of the city that many Mormons consider to be the wellspring of their religion.