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19th Century Mormon & Western Manuscripts: Illinois Period (1839-1846)

Guide to the 19th Century Mormon & Western Manuscripts Collection at L. Tom Perry Special Collections

Collections on Nauvoo Period (1839-1846)

The following are selections of manuscript collections located in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections containing information related to the Nauvoo, Illinois, period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1839-1846).  For additional collections related to this era, contact Ryan Lee, curator of 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts.

  • Thomas Bullock papers, 1808-1991 (Vault MSS 772): Contains materials pertaining to the life and family members of Thomas Bullock. Of most significance to this topic are his journals, which document day to day life in Nauvoo from 1845 to 1846, leading up to and including the Exodus. This journal provides great insight into the last days of the Church in Nauvoo and the organization of the trek west.
  • 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), with papers relating to the steamship Maid of Iowa, the Nauvoo Temple, and other structures in Nauvoo, Illinois.
  • William Huntington diary and autobiography, 1784-1846 (Vault MSS 272): Handwritten diary including a retrospective account of Huntington's life. Huntington writes about his early life, his conversion to the Mormon Church, and his experience as a Mormon in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. He also writes about the death of Joseph Smith, the first president of the Mormon Church, service in the Nauvoo Legion militia organization, and preparations of the Mormons to migrate to the mountains. Huntington made diary entries in 1846. The item was transcribed by O. B. Huntington.
  • Jacob Peart letters and diaries, 1801-1874 (MSS 3814): Account of Jacob Peart (1801-1874), a Mormon immigrant from England. In these records he documents his marriage and family's immigration to Nauvoo in the spring of 1841, the death of his first wife daughters, and subsequent marriage, and leaving the city in 1846. 
  • Ida Blum collection, 1804-1978 (MSS 1891): Collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, speeches, genealogical information, and research notes that Ida Blum created or collected while studying the people of Nauvoo. Materials contain her opinions and observations about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it's members and those that interacted with them. Dated circa 1804-1978.
  • Joseph Smith correspondence, 1833-1844 (MSS SC 2277): Photocopies of handwritten correspondence. The items include a letter to the president of the United States, John Tyler (1790-1862), requesting federal aid from the mobs in Illinois; a note to Smith's wife, Emma Hale Smith (1804-1879); and a receipt for Joseph Smith's coffin.
  • Elmer Ewing collection of Mormon letters, 1835-1884 (MSS 4142): Collection includes photocopies of correspondence collected by Elmer Ewing written by Mormon pioneers. Includes the letters of Temperance Bond Mack, Christeen Golden Kimball, and Nathan Calhoun Cheney describing their travels to Salt Lake City and other events in Mormon history. One letter by Cheney also includes a description of events surrounding the death of Joseph Smith.
  • Nelson Higgins certificates, 1836-1909 (MSS SC 1974): Photocopies of handwritten and printed certificates, applications, correspondence, patriarchal blessings, and miscellaneous items. Most of the materials relate to Nelson's militia activities in Nauvoo, Illinois and in Utah. A few of the materials were signed by the Mormon Church leaders Brigham Young (1801-1877) and Joseph Smith (1805-1844).
  • Joseph Fielding correspondence, 1837-1842 (MSS 670): Photocopies of handwritten letters. Most of the items were written while Fielding was serving as a missionary in England. The letters are to and from family members. Fielding writes about missionary activities and receives information on the Mormons in Missouri and Nauvoo, Illinois.
  • Hyrum Smith property records, 1837-1846 (Vault MSS 774, Series 3): Records mostly related to Hyrum Smith's property in Lee County, Iowa, and Nauvoo, Illnois. Includes maps of his Smith's "additions" to the city, as well as several indentures related to the buying and selling of this property. Also includes some documents related to Smith family property in Kirtland, Ohio, and Far West, Missouri. Includes a tax document for Hyrum's estate and an indenture for his property being sold after his death. Dated 1837-1846.
  • Oliver Granger deed, 1839 (Vault MSS 359): Handwritten deed verifying that Granger will purchase a lot in Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith, first president of the Mormon Church, signed as "accredited agent of Oliver Granger."
  • Times and Seasons, 1839-1846 (M205.1 T48, vol. 1-6): Monthly (Nov. 1839-Oct. 1840) and Semimonthly (Nov. 1, 1840-Feb. 15, 1846) publication published in Commerce, later Nauvoo, Illinois primarily for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Issues bound into 6 volumes.
  • Joseph Smith, Jr. bonds, 1839-1845 (MSS 771): Photocopies of handwritten and signed bonds. Three of the items are signed by Smith, date form 1839 and 1841, and relate to purchases of property in Nauvoo, Illinois. The fourth item is dated 27 Sept. 1845 and deals with Nathaniel Whiting transferring property.
  • Hancock County (Ill.) Circuit Court legal documents, 1839-1860 (MSS 1443): Collection contains about 750 documents relating to some 250 actions arising in justice of the peace or circuit courts in Hancock County, Illinois. Also includes a letter from David Martin concerning part of the collection and indexes to court cases involving Joseph Smith Jr. and the autographs of those who martyred Smith.
  • Lilburn W. Boggs letters received, 1840 July 22 and 24 (MSS SC 2698): Photographs of a handwritten and signed letters addressed to Lilburn W. Boggs and dated 22 and 24 July 1840. One of the items is from Chauncey Durkus denying reports that he has been involved in arresting Mormons in Illinois and taking them back to Missouri. The veracity of his statements was confirmed by the signatures of 37 residents of Lewis County, Missouri. The other item was signed by 11 residents of Lewis County claiming that persons; who went to Nauvoo, Illinois, to recover stolen goods from the Mormons; were taken into custody by Joseph Smith, first president of the Mormon Church, on charges of kidnapping Mormons.
  • Udney Hay Jacob letter, 1840 March 19 (MSS SC 2705): Photocopy of a handwritten and signed letter addressed to Martin Van Buren and dated 19 March 1840. Jacob writes to Van Buren offering to aid him in the presidential election if Van Buren would finance the printing of a manuscript to be used against Joseph Smith and the Mormons.
  • Stephen Elder bill for Joseph Smith, Jr., 1840-1846 (Vault MSS 435): Handwritten bill from Stephen Elder to Joseph Smith, first president of the Mormon Church, for goods sold to Smith in March-July 1840, apparently for sale in Joseph Smith's store. The manuscript includes three entries for tobacco. The item was filed against Smith's estate on 27 May 1846, with a total of $2.89 interest added to the bill.
  • John M. Bernhisel letter, 1841 August 18 (Vault MSS 8): Handwritten and signed letter, dated 18 Aug. 1841, composed in New York, and addressed to Joseph Smith, first president of the Mormon Church. Bernhisel writes concerning the purchase of land in Nauvoo, Illinois.
  • Joseph Smith, Jr. articles of lease, 1841 November 15 (Vault MSS 783): Handwritten lease agreement between Jospeh Smith (1805-1844) and James Adams (d. 1843) and Elezer van Drezer dated 15 Nov. 1841. The manuscript is signed by Joseph Smith. The item leases the right to keep ferries across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, Illinois to Zarahemla, Iowa for twenty years for the sum of $10,500.
  • Joseph Smith affidavit, 1841 (MSS 1021): Photocopy of a handwritten and signed statement. Smith stated that he was "elected Sole Trustee" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for life. The item was notarized in Nauvoo, Illinois, for Hancock County.
  • Nauvoo Masonic Lodge minutes, 1841-1842 (MSS SC 989): Photocopies of handwritten minutes taken at the meetings of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo, Illinois, from October 15, 1841 to May 6, 1842. The documents include rolls of those present. The items were signed by Hyrum Smith and by the secretary, John C. Bennett. Contains two copies. Dated 1841-1842.
  • Hancock County, Illinois summonses, 1841-1847 (MSS SC 759): Handwritten and printed summonses for Joseph Smith, first president of the Mormon Church, and John C. Bennett, and apostle in the Mormon Church. Also included is a receipt from Emma Hale Smith, first wife of Joseph Smith, made out to Thomas Sharp.
  • Hyrum Smith patriarchal blessing for Mary B. Wolsey, 1842 February 2 (Vault MSS 421): Handwritten patriarchal blessing, dated 2 Feb. 1842, and given to Mary B. Wolsey. The item is written down by James Sloan, Smith's clerk. Smith tells Wolsey she has great blessings awaiting her if she is obedient to the Mormon faith.
  • Thomas Carlin certificate for Joseph Smith, Jr., 1842 June 13 (Vault MSS 411): Printed and handwritten certificate, dated 13 June 1842, and signed by Carlin. The item affirms that Joseph Smith, the first president of the Mormon Church, is elected mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois. On the reverse of the manuscript is found a handwritten copy of the oath of office for mayor which is signed by Joseph Smith.
  • Zenos H. Gurley letter to Joseph Smith, Jr., 1842 May 4 (Vault MSS 782): Handwritten and signed letter dated 4 May 1842 and addressed to Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the first president of the Mormon Church. Gurley writes that he was unable to attend a meeting with the Nauvoo Legion militia organization and describes the founding of a branch of the Mormon Church in Wisconsin.
  • George Miller letter, 1842 September 4 (MSS SC 977): Letter to Thomas Reynolds, Governor of Missouri, dated 4 Sept. 1842. The missive is in defense of Joseph Smith (1801-1844) in any implication in the assassination attempt on Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri.
  • Edward R. Ford letter, 1842 September 8 (MSS SC 2703): Photocopy of a handwritten and signed letter dated 8 Sept. 1842, composed in St. Louis, Missouri, and addressed to "His Exelency," probably governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri. Ford describes an attempt to arrest the first president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, and his friend, Orrin Porter Rockwell.
  • Udney Hay Jacob manuscript extracts, 1842 (MSS 478): Typewritten copy of excerpts of a book published in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1842. Jacob writes about the nature of marriage, fornication, and divorce. He states that women are the property of men and condones polygamy. The book was denounced by the first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, as "trash." The historian Faun Brodie suggests that Joseph Smith used the work to see the possible reaction to an announcement on polygamy. The item also includes an introduction written by an unknown author at an unknown date.
  • Nauvoo Legion redeemable script, 1843 July 25 (Vault MSS 716): Printed and signed redeemable script of the Nauvoo Legion for the sum of one dollar. The note is dated July 25, 1843 and is signed by Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the Mormon prophet and Lieutenant General of the Legion.
  • Joseph Smith, Jr. letter, 1843 (MSS 288): Photocopy and photostat copy of a handwritten letter. Smith writes in his capacity as the leader of the "Nauvoo Legion" of the Illinois state militia. He informs Wilson Law to keep the militia in readiness "as may be necessary to compel obedience to the ordinances of said city (i.e. Nauvoo) and secure the peace of the citizens." The item was notarized by W. W. Phelps.
  • Oliver Boardman Huntington papers, 1843-1932 (MSS 162): Collection contains diaries, ephemera, and patriarchal blessings produced by Oliver Boardman Huntington and his son, Oliver B. Huntington. The first volume of Huntington's diary includes mentions of the imprisonment of Joseph Smith, being part of a battalion going to protect Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and their martyrdom. Following their deaths, Huntington mentions making a cane from the box used to bring Joseph Smith's corpse to Nauvoo, and describes administering to by Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young. The second volume includes mention, again, the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, and Huntington's interactions with Emma Smith, Brigham Young, and the "Rigdonites."
  • Robert Lang Campbell journal, 1843 (Vault MSS 496): Robert Lang Campbell (1825-1872) was an early Saint who moved to Nauvoo in March 1845, only to be forced out just over one year later. Campbell was witness to the Battle of Nauvoo in September 1846, and records many details of this battle that finally drove the remaining Saints from Nauvoo, Including this entry on September 21: “Went over to Nauvoo found the mob apparently in high spirits with guard at the northern entrance to the Temple square and their cannon planked 2 or 3 yards from the Temple stairs. I felt indeed I was an outcast and a stranger there.”
  • Declaration of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, 1844 March (MSS SC 457): Handwritten, unsigned declaration stating that Joseph Smith, Jr. gave the Council the keys and powers he held and the responsibility of leading the Latter-day Saint Church.
  • Joseph Smith, Jr. note, 1844 April 24 (Vault MSS 430): Handwritten and signed note dated 24 April 1844. The item states, "Due the bearer Isaac Chase one hundred dollars on demand." The funds might have been a loan for Smith's campaign to be president of the United States.
  • Nauvoo Expositor (M209.05 N22 1844): The Nauvoo Expositor was a newspaper published by apostate members of the Church who were opposed to plural marriage (this practice had been growing in Nauvoo at the time). Their purpose in this edition was to expose Joseph Smith. Edited by Sylvester Emmons. Only one issue published. The press was destroyed by order of the City Council. Purpose: To expose Joseph Smith. June 7, 1844.
  • Joseph Smith letter, 1844 June 17 (Vault MSS 36): Photograph of a handwritten and signed letter, dated 17 June 1844, and addressed to John P. Greene. Smith writes about his concerns on the possibilities of mob actions near Nauvoo, Illinois.
  • Joseph Smith letter, 1844 June 18 (MSS SC 2576): Photographs of a handwritten and signed letter dated 18 June 1844 and addressed to James Strang. Smith responds to Strang's request to establish a stake of the Mormon Church in Wisconsin. Smith said that the inquiry was received negatively by the leaders of the Mormon Church, but later it was accepted more positiviely. Smith then records a vision he had in which he was carried to the Kingdom of Heaven by angels and spoke with God about the request. God told Smith that the stake was to be established in Wisconsin and that it would prosper.
  • Sally Randall letter, 1844 July 1 (MSS 1015): Typed copy of a letter written in Nauvoo, Illinois, on July 1, 1844 and addressed to "Dear Friends." Randall writes about the murder of the first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum.
  • Robert Filmore letter, 1844 July 6 (MSS 1339): Photocopy of a handwritten and signed letter, dated 6 July 1844, and composed in Warren County, Illinois. Filmore writes to "dear children" and tells them about the murder of the first president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, and his brother Hyrum. He also speaks about the Mormon temple in Nauvoo, Illinois.
  • Emma Hale Smith certificate, 1844 July 17 (Vault MSS 432): Printed form with handwritten entries. The item is dated 17 July 1844 and is signed. Emma Smith accepts responsibility for the estate of her husband, Joseph Smith.
  • Mary Fielding Smith certificate​, 1844 August 13 (Vault MSS 433): Printed form with handwritten entries. The item is dated 13 Aug. 1844 and is signed. Mary Smith accepts responsibility for the estate of her husband, Hyrum Smith.
  • Alexander Greig letter, 1844 August (MSS 3077): The letter, from Alexander Greig to a "Mr. Jeffery," is about a trip that Greig took to the west with a friend to see about his setting up a doctor's practice somewhere. He provides a brief, paragraph-long description of Nauvoo, which they passed through. "The People however [despite the Prophet's recent death] seemed perfectly quiet, and tranquil. The city looked rather miserabl[e] a great many small houses clustered together on a small Mississippi bottom many of which required eminently the assistance of paint and white wash. The grand temple loomed up in the distance, presenting a fair contrast with the small unhealthy buildings of the town." Grieg is writing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Mr. Jeffrey is in Canandaigua, New York.
  • Joseph Smith Jr. speeches​, 1844 (MSS SC 762): Typescripts of notes of speeches given by Joseph Smith. The items are dated 22 and 23 June 1844, shortly before Smith was murdered. The notes were taken down by John Erik Forsgren.
  • William Law diary, 1844 (MSS SC 2526): Typewritten copy of a diary. The journal was kept from 1 Jan. to 28 June 1844 when Law was in Nauvoo, Illinois. Law writes about his excommunication from the Mormon Church, a visit from Hyrum Smith (1800-1844), and the operation of the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper. He also and gives his opinion of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and comments on his death.
  • Joseph Smith letters, 1844 (MSS 258): Photocopy of a handwritten letter with a typescript of the item. This letter is dated 27 June 1844 at 8:20 A.M. and was written from Carthage Jail. Also included is a typewritten copy of another letter dated 23 June probably also in the year 1844. Both letters were addressed to Smith's wife, Emma Hale Smith (1804-1879). Smith describes the condition of his incarceration, states that they have no valid case against him, and expresses the belief that he was in little danger.
  • David Bettisworth report, 1844 (MSS SC 677): Holograph. A statement signed by Bettisworth having delivered Joseph Smith, Jr., et al. to R.H. Smith, Justice of the Peace, for trial in Carthage, Illinois.* Noted on the document are constable's fees, and three men, Orrin Porter Rockwell, William Edwards and Samual Bennett, not found after release by writ of habeas corpus. The 18 men listed on the document were those cited on a writ for riot in the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.
  • Nauvoo library and literary institute, 1844 (Vault MSS 1945): Photocopies of handwritten records. The materials list members of the society, contributions made, and resolutions of meetings.
  • Sutcliffe Maudsley portraits, 1844 (Vault MSS 787): Pen-and-ink portraits of the first president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and his brother, Hyrum Smith (1800-1844). The items have been framed for possible display. The portraits may have been cut from something larger. The items were signed at the bottom of each picture and were dated 1844. Collection also includes digital scans of the items on compact disc.
  • Mormon splinter groups collection, 1844-1976 (MSS 1634): Papers, research notes, and correspondence. These items relate to the numerous off-shoots of the two largest Mormon denominations, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church or LDS Church) and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS church) and their leaders. Also included is a photocopy of a letter by the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith (1805-1844).
  • John Brown letter, 1845 April 17 (MSS 3174): One letter (3 pages), dated 17 April 1845, written from Nauvoo, Illinois, by John Brown to his wife, Elizabeth Crosby Brown, who was residing in Athens, Monroe County, Mississippi. The letter informs his wife that he is working on the Nauvoo temple and has been instructed by Brigham Young to stay there and work on it through the fall and winter as well. He says that Brigham Young has declared that a woman cannot perform work for deceased men in the temple but only for women. He wishes her to be with him as soon as possible and suggests she come in July rather than in the fall, even though he was counseled not to get her until then.
  • Wilford Woodruff letter to Susanna Mehetable Rogers Sangiovanni Pickett Keate, 1845 April 22 (Vault MSS 696): Handwritten and signed letter, dated 22 April 1845, addressed to Susannah Sangiovanni. The manuscript accompanied another by Heber C. Kimball (Vault MSS 697). The item gives an intimate look at the feelings and the attitudes of the Mormon leaders during the period after the death of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and before the Mormons were driven from Nauvoo, Illinois starting in 1846.
  • Daniel Webster letter, 1845 February 1 (MSS 604): Photocopy of a handwritten and signed letter dated 1 Feb. 1845 and addressed to Daniel Webster of Boston, Massachusetts. The item was also signed by Willard Richards, William W. Phelps, John Taylor, and other prominent leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Young asks for legal advice concerning the repeal of the Nauvoo City charter by the Illinois state legislature.
  • Preliminary draft of the Sept. 24, 1845 broadside on the Mormons leaving Nauvoo (MSS SC 1550): Photocopy of a handwritten manuscript addressed to a Quincy citizens' committee and written by a council of the Mormon Church at the home of John Taylor. The writers asked that there be a cessation of hostile acts against the Mormons, including the burning of their homes, and expressed the intent of the majority of them to leave the area in the spring of 1846.
  • Heber Chase Kimball diaries, 1845-1846​ (MSS SC 1859): Photocopies of a handwritten diary. Kimball talks about his spiritual and temporal experiences while at Nauvoo, Illinois.
  • R. H. Smith letter to John Saltar, Sr., 1846 October 1 (MSS 8995): Letter from R.H. Smith in Hancock County, Illinois, to his uncle, John Saltar, Sr., in Pemberton, New Jersey. Smith recounts the experiences of Saltar's son, John Saltar, Jr., in the Battle of Nauvoo. The younger Saltar was part of the anti-Mormon forces who attacked the city. Smith provides some details from the anti-Mormon perspective about the battle, including the number of forces involved and the number of casualties on each side. He also notes that no houses were burned, but some had received damage from the cannon that was used on occasion to "dislodge the enemy." The letter also discusses Saltar Jr.'s decision to abandon his wife, Ellen, following the battle. Dated October 1, 1846.
  • Mormon Temple Nauvoo Illinois​, ca. 1846 (MSS 3838): Hand drawing of the Nauvoo Temple with the dimensions 16 x 18 inches. In the left-hand bottom corner, the drawing indicates that it was "presented to Mrs. E. E. Buffington." The right-hand corner is signed by Wetmore.
  • Eliza R. Snow diary, 1846-1849 (MSS SC 3239): Photocopy of a microfilm copy of a handwritten diary. Snow writes about her life in Nauvoo, Illinois, and her migration across Iowa to Council Bluffs. She left Winter Quarters and arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1847. She also describes her life in that city. She also includes many of her poems.
  • Eliza Maria Partridge Lyman diary, 1846-1885 (MSS 1217): Photocopy of a typescript of a diary kept by Patridge. The item begins with a brief autobiography. Lyman writes about being sealed to the first president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, her marriage to Amasa Lyman after Smith's death, her life in Nauvoo, Illinois, her migration to Utah, the excommunication of her husband from the Mormon Church, her life in Fillmore, Utah, and her efforts in favor of the Mormon practice of polygamy.
  • Emma Hale Smith certificate of guardianship, 1847 May 3 (MSS 5941): Handwritten certificate, dated 3 May 1847, establishing Emma's guardianship of the Smith children: Julia, Joseph, Frederick, and Alexander; includes Emma's signature.
  • Parley P. Pratt and Belinda Marden Pratt book of poetry and accounts, 1847 (Vault MSS 725): One notebook with handwritten items in it. It includes poems by Pratt and his wife Belinda Marden Pratt. One poem deals with the martyrdom of the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith (1805-1844). Also included are financial records. Likely produced in Utah, although no locations are identified. Dated 1847.
  • Smith family legal instruments, 1847-1848 (Vault MSS 744): Handwritten and printed legal instruments relating to Emma Hale Smith (1804-1879), wife of the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith (1805-1844). One of the items deals with the payment of taxes owed on certain properties in the county. The other item is a statement of guardianship and real estate inheritances relating to the children of Emma Smith and signed by her.
  • William Smith letter, 1849 (MSS SC 1036): Photocopy of a handwritten letter in which William Smith claims the position of president of the Mormon Church because his brother, Joseph, ordained him to it.
  • Biography of Samuel Miles the son of Samuel and Prudence Marks​, ca. 1852-1881 (MSS 7599): Manuscript autobiography, labeled by the author as a biography, with thirty-two pages of a handwritten life story by Samuel Miles. He mentions several events in Mormon history including the violence in Missouri, his reaction to the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, and the settlement of the cotton mission in St. George, Utah. Also described is the contention between states on the verge of Civil War in 1860, and the Gold Rush at Sutter's Mill. Dated 1852-1881.
  • Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith​, 1855 (MSS SC 1059): Photocopy of holograph account of the murder of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and his brother Hyrum (1800-1844) on June 27, 1844 by Dan Jones. Jones was with the Smiths in the Carthage jail the night before they were killed. He was involved in carrying messages to and from Joseph and in appealing to Illinois officials for greater protection for the two men. Jones relates some comments verbatim made by Joseph that indicate he had a premonition of death, as well as remarks by the mob. He also tells of the reaction of many of the Mormons when they heard of Joseph's death.
  • Lorenzo Brown diary and autobiography, 1856-1899 (MSS 497): Lorenzo Brown (1823-1902) records in his journal the marriage to his wife, Frances Crosby (1817-1895), “for Time and Eternity” by Joseph Smith on March 24, 1844. While the new doctrine of eternal marriage was preached, and practiced on a limited basis, prior to the completion of the temple, as Brown noted, this was “a thing uncommon.” However, this example illustrates the desire and anticipation of the Nauvoo Saints to receive these important ordinances as soon as they were able.
  • Harris & Waters letter to Reed & Company, ca. 1858 (Vault MSS 263): Handwritten and signed letter, dated 18 July 1859, and addressed to Reed & Co. The item was written in Oquawka, Henderson County, Illinois. Harris & Waters write about land titles, the loss of business due to the departure of the Mormons and the selfishness of the Icarian Community, and states that Nauvoo, Illinois, will soon exist no more.
  • W. D. poetry and illustrations, 1871 (MSS SC 1303): Two unbound booklets of handwritten poetry with pen and ink illustrations. One of the booklets is a fully illustrated poem entitled "A Mormon Romance" which satirizes the Mormon practice of polygamy. On the cover of this item is a pen and ink illustration of Nauvoo, Ill. The other item contains poems describing the author's experiences while visiting the Mormon community of Nauvoo, Illinois in 1840 when she was introduced to the Mormon Church, met Brigham Young, and heard a sermon preached. On the cover of this item is a pen and ink illustration of a sermon being preached inside the Mormon temple at Nauvoo taken from the author's original sketch made in 1840 during the sermon.
  • Benjamin F. Johnson papers, 1881-1907 (MSS SC 1912): The collection contains handwritten letters, a reminiscence, and a draft for an obituary. The reminiscence is by Sarah Melissa Johnson and relates to her life growing up in Nauvoo, Illinois. She mentions how her father was called to protect the Prophet Joseph Smith whom they considered to be in danger.
  • The origin of Mormonism and reminiscences of the Mormons in Illinois, 1886 (MSS SC 89): Prepared typescript of a series of ten articles written by J.H. Sherman which appeared in the Ithaca Daily Journal during April and May, 1886. The articles, decidedly anti-Mormon, tell of Joseph Smith's early life, the Solomon Spaulding manuscript from which Smith supposedly got the idea for the Book of Mormon, the organization of the Latter-day Saint Church, the settlement of the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, death of Joseph Smith, mob violence in Illinois, expulsion of the Mormons from Nauvoo, and their subsequent immigration to Utah.
  • Joseph Smith's original temple, 1890 (MSS SC 345): Printed drawing of the Nauvoo, Illinois Latter-day Saint Temple printed by Chester B. Dike.
  • Wandle Mace autobiography, 1890 (Vault MSS 786): Contains the handwritten autobiography of Wandle Mace. Account includes information about Mace's youth in New York City; joining the Mormon Church in the 1830s; moving to Illinois; helping build the Nauvoo Temple; service in the Nauvoo Legion; and, fighting in the Battle of Nauvoo in 1846.
  • Samuel W. Richards sworn oath, 1903 (MSS SC 1056): Oath sworn before Martin S. Lindsay, Notary Public, in Salt Lake City on 11 Dec. 1903. The document affirms that Richards was among 25 young men who were called during the winter of 1843-4 by the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), to explore the mountains in the West for a place where the Mormons could go to avoid persecution. Richards states that the men had weekly meetings to prepare for the trip and the decision to explore the West was made by Joseph Smith and not by his successor Brigham Young (1801-1877).
  • Joseph Smith portraits : a search for the prophet's likeness, 1975-1997 (MSS 2072): Items include research notes and materials regarding the many different representations of Joseph Smith (1805-1844). Contains copies of these likenesses, and also contains information on the different artists who have created them, particularly Sutcliffe Maudsley. A large portion of the material deals with the death mask of Joseph Smith, and its comparison to his portraits. Includes copies of the original death masks of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.