Joseph Smith, Jr. collection, 1829-1986  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Collector
Thomas, Elbert D.
Title
Joseph Smith, Jr. collection
Dates
1829-1986 (inclusive)
Quantity
1 folder, (0.25 linear feet)
Collection Number
MS 0386
Summary
The Joseph Smith, Jr. collection (1829-1986) consist of a number of diverse items from several sources which provide useful background information for those interested in knowing more about particular aspects of the life of Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of one of America's most successful religions, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Repository
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
84112-0860
Telephone: 801-581-8863
special@library.utah.edu
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.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844) was born on 23 December 1805, the fourth child of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. The Smiths lived in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, until about 1815 when they moved to Palmyra, New York. It was here Joseph recounted having received a visitation from two heavenly personages (1820) who informed him that he must join none of the currently organized religions as they were wrong and their creeds were an abomination. In 1823 he reported having received another visitation, only this time it was the personage of the angel Moroni, who informed him that God had a work for him to do and revealed the existence of a sacred record, the Book of Mormon.

On 18 January 1827 he married Emma Hale. On 22 September 1827 he received the golden plates on which was written the Book of Mormon. In 1828 he began translating these plates first with the assistance of Martin Harris and later Oliver Cowdery. 15 May 1829 was the date on which Smith and Cowdery were baptized and received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist. Shortly afterwards they were ordained to the Melchisedek Priesthood by Peter, James, and John. In 1830 the Book of Mormon was completed and on 6 April 1830 the Church of Christ was organized. The church grew and prospered. Joseph Smith Jr. moved westward settling in several different places until he finally located in Illinois where he and his followers established the city of Nauvoo. Smith and his adherents experienced great hostility from the populace in all the areas in which they attempted to settle. His life came to an end on 27 June 1844, when he was killed in Carthage Jail, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. His death did not mean the end of his church, however, as it continued to gain new members and carry on under the leadership of Brigham Young.

Following Smith's death, the leadership of the Mormon people was in great dispute. Although the majority of his original followers stayed together under the direction of Brigham Young there were several off-shoot groups, chief among was the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ) to which his wife Emma and their sons Joseph III, Alexander Hale and David Hyrum gave their allegiance.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Joseph Smith, Jr. collection (1829-1986) consist of a number of diverse items from several sources which provide useful background information for those interested in knowing more about particular aspects of the life of Joseph Smith, the founder of one of America's most successful religions, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church).

The first box of materials includes a master's thesis on plural marriage and miscellaneous Smith items. The thesis, "A Study of the Mormon Practice of Plural Marriage Before the Death of Joseph Smith," is an in depth examination by Danel W. Bachman. He has approached this subject from the view point of not only documenting the practice of plural marriage but also examining its social impact both within the LDS Church and also vis-a-vis the organization's relationship with those outside the church.

The miscellaneous Joseph Smith items include accounts of his assassination; limited correspondence about church, financial, and military matters; limited financial documents; a letter from his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, in which she described some details about ancient records which Joseph had been translating; and finally, a paper done in 1941 about Smith's aborted 1844 presidential campaign.

Thomas Tinney gathered information about the life of Michael H. Chandler, who sold Joseph Smith some ancient Egyptian writings on parchment from which Smith based his work, The Book of Abraham. Mr. Tinney prepared four reports citing census and land records and other public documents to trace the whereabouts of Chandler during certain periods in his life and to try to determine what happened to his estate after his death. In searching census reports he was also able to learn some facts about Chandler's posterity.

Almost all items in this collection are photocopies.

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

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Volume
1 1 Danel W. Bachman, "Plural Marriage before the Death of Joseph Smith 1829-1916
Folder
1 1 John L. Cross, assassination account
This is a non-eyewitness account of the assassination of Joseph Smith.
1844
1 2 Robert Gilmore, assassination account
This is a hearsay account of the assassination of Smith.
1844
1 3 T. A. Gilmore, assassination account
This is a photocopy of a pamphlet containing information about the assassinations of Joseph and Hyram Smith.
1844
1 4 Smith correspondence 1834-1844
1 5 Financial items 1830-1845
1 6 Lucy Mack Smith letter [This is a forgery] 1829
1 7 Presidential campaign 1941
1 8 When Mormons Dwell Among Us 1916
Volume
2 1 Thomas Tinney, The Royal Family of Prophet Joseph Smith Jr.
Folder
2 1 Thomas Tinney, Michael Chandler and the Pearl of Great Price 1975
2 2 Thomas Tinney, Michael H. Chandler and the Pearl of Great Price: Part II
2 3 Thomas Tinney, Michael H. Chandler and the Pearl of Greath Price: Part III 1976
2 4 Thomas Tinney, The Second Generation, Compiled Notes on the Posterity of Michael H. Chandler
2 5 Thomas Tinney, Fanny Alger, The First Plural Wife of Joseph Smith 1986
2 6 Misceallaneous materials
Material having to do with Joseph Smith Jr. added from time to time, inlcuding the 1985 Salt Lake Tribune article, "Authenticity Test Continue, 'Martin Harris' Letter Still Fueling Debate" [This is a forgery].

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mormons--Polygamy
  • Polygamy
  • Personal Names :
  • Chandler, Michael H.
  • Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844