Brigham Young in Military Uniform ca. 1850


                                                                                                         Portrait by William Warner Major

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Jill C. Major, Author

 

Used by permission of the International Society-Daughters of the Utah Pioneers 

 

Military Portrait of Brigham Young(1801-1877)

"After Joseph Smith's death, The Nauvoo Legion filled the position of Lieutenant General by electing Brigham Young to the premier position in August 1844.  He had served previously for a time as assistant chaplain, an appointment without uniform.  The Illinois Legislature rescinded the Nauvoo City Charter the following January and with it the Nauvoo Legion.  However, in territoral Utah Young once more served as titular head of the militia. He knew of Joseph Smith's military portraits and owned one of them.  That knowledge may have convinced him of the appropriateness of  acquiring  a uniform  and allowing William W. Major to create a small oil portrait (above)...The painting has been dated to around 1850"  (Glen M Leonard,  "Picturing the Nauvoo Legion," BYU Studies, 35, no. 2 (1995): 110-113.