I recently returned from my vacation to Tahiti. While I was there, I discovered a set of playing cards where each of the cards was a different person from Tahitian history from the reign of Queen Pomare. Iotete, a Tahitian chief who signed a document requesting that the French annex the islands, appears on a blue card wearing a feathered headdress and a red European-style coat. The card also shows him as being heavily tattooed and wearing a grim expression. Another card depicts Constance Gordon-Cumming, a Scottish travel writer who traveled to Tahiti in the 1870s and wrote extensively about her travels. She appears as a young woman, dressed in a stylish red hat and yellow ribbons. Although the Mormon missionaries Addison Pratt, Benjamin F. Grouard, and James Brown had their own corner (complete with facsimiles of their journals) in the Musee de Tahiti, they didn’t make the cut for the playing cards.
Reading the cards made me think about what a Mormon set of cards would like. I know, I know, Bruce R. McConkie, Joseph F. Smith, and a slew of other people are rolling over in their graves. What epic of Mormon history would you focus your cards on? Who would appear? The Tahitian cards are also grouped into 7 families – the Royal Family, the Gods, the Tahitian people, the Sorcerers or Priests, the Foreigners, the Missionaries, and the Chinese. What groups would you set up? Personally, I would focus on Utah in the second half of the nineteenth century. I think there would have to be a category for ex-Mormons, faithful Latter-day Saints, federal officials, Church leaders, Lamanites, and perhaps Gentiles. Ann Eliza and Fanny Stenhouse would definitely have cards in my set, as would Augusta Cobb Young and Susa Young Gates. What do you think? What would your cards look like?
I look forward to reading the comments. And, Deseret Book, there’s a market in this. The Tahitian souvenir shop was selling their cards for 1400 Pacific Franks or about $15.00 a set.