William Clayton diaries and ledger, 1840-1877  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Clayton, William, 1814-1879
William Clayton diaries and ledger
1840-1877 (inclusive)
1 box, (0.25 linear feet)
Collection Number
The William Clayton diaries and ledger consist of copies of Clayton's 1840-1842 journal, ledger and his 1852-1853 diary. Clayton was prominent in the Mormom movement. He was summoned to Joseph Smith's office to assist Willard Richards and subsequently became clerk to Joseph Smith. Later, he followed Brigham Young to the Great Salt Lake Valley and served missions for the his church.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

William Clayton (1814-1879) was born 17 July 1814 at Penwortham, Lancashire, England. When Mormon missionaries first arrived in England in 1837, Clayton was among the first baptized. In March 1838, when Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde returned to America, Clayton became second counselor to Joseph Fielding in the British Mission, a position he held until 1940. Clayton left England for the United States in September, 1840. After a tiring trip of 5,000 miles, 11 weeks, and 10 days, Clayton and company arrived at Commerce, Illinois. On 10 February 1842, Clayton became an assistant clerk for Joseph Smith.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The William Clayton diaries and ledger (1840-1842, 1852-1853 and 1865-1877) contain copies of two volumes of Clayton's diaries and a ledger.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: William Clayton papers, MS 0055, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations: MS 0055.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Journal
This xerox journal transcript (107 pp., bound) covers Clayton's missionary work, meetings counseling, etc. in Manchester. On 17 April he records that Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, Reuben Hadlock, H. Clark and Joseph Fielding arrived from Preston to hold conference.4 Sept 1840, a company of 26 people met at Clayton's home preparing to leave by rail for Liverpool where they would set sail for Zion.Clayton writes in detail about the 207 men, women and children on the ship in North America--the sickness, the deaths, the discomforts, and the problems of the passengers and crew.13 October they landed in New York and changed from the boat North America to a steamer and sailed up the Hudson River to the Albany Basin. Clayton describes the country as viewed from the steamer and the canal boats as they traveled up the river.The journal also highlights his final arrival in Commerce, Illinois. He discusses attending conference from 6-9 April 1841 and records the business conducted and the names of those appointed to various councils. 6 April 1841 he writes that the First Presidency layed the corner stone to the temple. He tells of two revelations concerning the building of the temple and Nauvoo House, and the gathering of people at Zarahemla.
1 2 Diary
(Xerox copy of the original. n.p.) At a special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints held in the tabernacle in Great Salt Lake City, 28 August 1852, Clayton was called to serve a mission to England--"to preach the gospel and sustain the revelation on celecstial marriage given by our beloved Prophet, 12 July 1843.' The diary covers Clayton's journey to England in January 1853 and ends in March 1853.
Digitized ledger
(Digital copy only.) The ledger consists of account information. Also included are written entries by Archer Clayton dated 1875-1877.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mormon Church--England
  • Mormon Church--Missions--England
  • Mormons--Diaries
  • Mormons--Missionary experiences--England
  • Geographical Names :
  • Nauvoo (Ill.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Diaries