Date: April 29, 2021 01:38PM
Very arguably, the earliest and most famous literary reference to mormons and mormonism is the first Sherlock Holmes detective novel, published in 1887, "A Study in Scarlet."
If you're curious, here's the link to Wikipedia's version:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Study_in_Scarlet
Basically, a non-mormon in Deseret falls in love with a young woman who as a child was rescued in the wilderness by BY and a party of saints heading west. Their rescue was contingent on them accepting mormonism. The young girl's guardian hates the mormons for holding them hostage in that manner and vows he won't let her grow up to marry a mormon.
Years later she falls in love with a non-mormon, but the mormons make her marry a rich mormon and the girl dies of a broken heart. Her true love swears revenge and the mormon widower flees to Europe to escape the non-mormon's vengeance. But the beau tracks him down and kills him and a man aiding the widower, only to be caught by Holmes. But the beau escapes the clutches of Lady Justice by dying of an aortic aneurysm that he'd been dealing with for years, as evidenced by frequent nose-bleeds(?)...
Mormonism was given quite the black eye by this novel!