The man that documented the Mormon exodus from the
midwest to the land of Zion, Utah
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of Charles Savage
Charles Roscoe Savage was born in Southampton, England,
in 1832, and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints at the age of 14. Savage emigrated to the United States
during the winter of 1855. It was during his time in New York
he was taught photography. In 1859 he set up a temporary gallery
in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at that time the departure point for
wagon trains headed west across the plains. By 1860 he had enough
money to take him and his small family to Utah. Once in Utah, he
joined in partnership with Marsena Cannon, the early Utah
daguerreotypist and photographer. Cannon would decide to move
to the southern Utah and Savage took on a new partner, artist
George Ottinger.Many of Savage's photographs were reproduced in
Harper's Weekly newspaper during his time in the firm which would
end in 1870.
Savage's most famous photograph was that of the driving of
the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869. Savage
was also the first to photograph what is now known as Zion
National Park. He used his camera to follow the growth of small
Utah towns.Savage's landscapes were sold throughout the World,
and was the most widely known photographers of western landscapes.
Savage passed away in 1909 and at the time of his death
was a very important figure in the Church. He photographed
the first six presidents of the Church. As a member he helped
create Old Folks Day, he sang in the Choir and was a captian in
the Utah Militia.A great majority of his glassplates were destroyed
in two studio fires after his death. His remaining albumen prints are
a must find for many collectors.
1832-Born in England
1855-Moved to the US
1860-Moved to Utah with his family
1861-Joins partnership photographing Utah.
1869-Photographs the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit.
1870-Partnership ends with Cannon, images published in Harper's
1911-Fires destory glasspates.
Richards, Bradley. The Savage View Carl Mantz Publishing. 1998