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19th Century Latter-day Saint Movements & Western Manuscripts: Ohio Period (1831-1838)

Guide to the 19th Century Latter-day Saint Movements & Western Manuscripts Collection at L. Tom Perry Special Collections

Collections on Ohio Period (1831-1838)

The following are selections of manuscript collections located in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections containing information related to the Ohio period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1831-1838).  For additional collections related to this era, contact Ryan Lee, curator of 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts.

  • Newel Kimball Whitney papers, 1817-1910 (Vault MSS 76): Collection contains correspondence, financial and legal documents, church records, military records, manuscript revelations, poetry, journals, and other material by Whitney and his family. The records document the ecclesiastical functions, political activities, and finances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when it was headquartered in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Utah. The bulk of the material is from the Illinois Era (1839-1846). However, among the most important items in the collection are the only extant manuscript copies of more than twenty revelations of Joseph Smith, all but two of which have been published in the Doctrine and Covenants.
  • The journal of bishop Edward Partridge, 1835-1836 (MSS SC 544): Typescript of a journal which describes Partridge's travels to Kirtland, Ohio, and Clay County, Missouri; his Mormon missions to the Eastern and New England states; his participation in the United order of the LDS Church; the dedication of the Kirtland, Ohio Temple and his dealings with the people of Liberty, Missouri.
  • John Murdock journal and autobiography, 1830-1867 (MSS SC 997): Materials include two copies of the typescript of an autobiography covering, 1792-1867, and journals, 1830-1859. Murdock was a Campbellite who joined the Mormon Church in 1830. He lived with Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the Mormon prophet, in 1833 and participated in "Zion's Camp" in 1834. He lived in Kirtland, Ohio; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Lehi, Utah and was in Missouri during the persecution of Mormons in that state.
  • Samuel Harrison Smith diary, 1831-1833 (MSS 1151): Photocopy of a typescript. Smith writes about his experiences as a missionary for the Mormon Church in the Eastern United States and records the establishment of the "School of the Prophets."
  • Jared Carter journal, 1831-1833 (MSS SC 547): Typescript. The journal describes his spiritual and missionary experiences, healing of the sick and his reaction to Alexander Campbell's anti-Mormon literature.
  • William E. McLellin diaries, 1831-1836 (MSS 2201): This collection, containing photocopies and typescripts of the journals of William E. McLellin, has been organized chronologically into folders.
  • Hyrum Smith papers, 1831-1872 (Vault MSS 774): Collection includes diaries, letters, property records, bibles and family records related to Hyrum Smith. Includes diaries of missions taken by Hyrum, reocrds a store Smith kept in Kirtland, Ohio, and early plat map of Kirtland, the 1834 Hyrum Smith family bible, with family record dating up to 1872, and material used by the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. Dated 1831-1872.
  • Kirtland Council minute book, 1832-1837 (MSS SC 2920): Typed copy of the minutes of the Kirtland Council of the Mormon Church between 1832 and 1837. The materials were recorded while the Mormon Church had its headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio. The volume includes records of activities, ordinations, blessings, and one letter from Newell Kimball Whitney. The clerks who recorded the minutes were William W. Phelps, Orson Hyde, Oliver Cowdery, and George W. Robinson. Joseph Smith, first president of the Mormon Church, presided at the meetings. The item was typed from the original by Lyndon W. Cook.
  • History of George Albert Smith in Zion’s Camp photocopy, 1834 (MSS SC 135): Handwritten account of Smith’s experiences while a member of Zion’s camp, including an encounter with spies.
  • Roger Orton letters, 1834 (Vault MSS 136): Handwritten and signed letters, addressed to Calvin Bicknell, dated February 16, 1834, and written from Kirtland, Ohio. The collection is three letters written on a folded sheet of paper. The items were written by Roger and Clarissa Orton. The Ortons write about the Kirtland Temple and the Mormon Church School of the Prophets.
  • William E. McLellin and Orson Hyde meeting minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1835 (MSS 3900): The William E. McLellin and Orson Hyde meeting minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is a typed copy of the proceedings that occurred in meetings of 1835. The minutes specifically record the words of Joseph Smith Jr. regarding authority and missionary work.
  • William Wines Phelps papers, 1835-1865 (Vault MSS 810): Collection contains original correspondence and journal extracts written by William Wines (W.W.) Phelps and his family between 1835 and 1865. He wrote the majority of the letters to his wife, Sally, in Clay County, Missouri, while he was in Kirtland, Ohio with members of the Mormon Church. The collection also contains some original letters from other family members, such as his wife and son, to Phelps. Includes an account by Phelps of the Kirtland Temple dedication in March 1836. Dated 1835-1865.
  • The Kirtland Safety Society Bank will pay on demand to [O. Hyde] or bearer three dollars. Kirtland, Ohio [4 Feb.?] 18[37]. 1837 (Vault MSS 17): February 4, 1837. Engraved bank note. Signed by Joseph Smith Jr., Cashier. Sydney Rigdon, President. At head of title: [1] A number [4043]
  • Oliver Cowdery docket book, 1837 (MSS 4029): Oliver Cowdery's Docket. Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio. June 14, 1837 to September 15, 1837. 370 pages typed and bound. Before cases are presented, the book contains a list of plaintiffs, list of defendants, table of judgments (in dollar amounts), list of individuals posting bail (with dollar amounts), and Causes of Action other than for Debt with page numbers. Most of the cases are about debt. This document covers the period during which Oliver Cowdery acted as Justice of the Peace in Kirtland, Ohio. The docket was later assigned to Frederick G. Williams and was used by Warren A. Cowdery until March 19, 1838. A list of parties to the cases after the Oliver Cowdery period is provided in Appendix A. The texts of a select number of these later cases are provided in Appendix B. (See also George Ranney Justice of the Peace docket book, 1841-1843 (Vault MSS 788))
  • Orson Hyde autobiography and funeral, 1842-1878 (MSS 444): Typewritten copy of an autobiography. Hyde writes about his early life and religious experiences. He tells about his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the many missions he served for that faith. He also recounts his experiences with the first president of the Church, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and his activities in Kirtland, Ohio. Also included is a typewritten copy of the funeral for Hyde in Spring City, Utah on 1 Dec. 1878. A eulogy of him was given by the apostle for the LDS Church, Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898).
  • Nathan Tanner autobiography, 1854 (MSS 836): Photocopy of a handwritten autobiography. Tanner writes about joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1831; participating in Zion's Camp in 1834; life in Kirtland, Ohio; his mission to the Eastern States for the Church; and his life in Far West, Missouri, and in Nauvoo, Illinois. He also tells about his interaction with early leaders of the Church and about troubles with mobs in Missouri and Illinois.
  • Joel H. Johnson autobiography, 1880 (MSS SC 2634): Typewritten autobiography. Johnson was born at Grafton, Massachusetts, and converted to the Mormon Church. He lived with the Mormons in Ohio, Illinois, and Utah. He helped organize "Zion's Camp" and settled in several places in Utah.