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Henry T. Reynolds letter

Fort Stevens, Washington, D.C., 1864

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Henry T. Reynolds letter (MSS SC 438). Reynolds wrote this letter in 1862 during the Civil War while stationed at Fort Good Hope, also known as Fort Wagner, in southeast Washington, D.C., to his uncle, Matthew Taylor, in Washington, Pennsylvania. The letter is written on printed stationary of the Pennsylvania Volunteers and mentions the gunboat USS Pensacola traveling down the Potomac, camp conditions, the death of Matthew Luis and why part of the letter is in pencil. The letter, dated January 13, 1862, was written during the defense of Washington, D.C., the initial duty for which the 85th Pennsylvania Infantry was asked to render.

USS Pensacola, Alexandria, Virginia, 1861

The 85th Pennsylvania Infantry was organized at Uniontown, Pennsylvania beginning October 16, 1861 and mustered in for a three-year enlistment under the command of Colonel Joshua B. Howell. After defending Washington, D.C. until March 1862, this unit was involved in several battles over the next two to three years, including the following: Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Williamsburg, Battle of Seven Pines, Seven Days Battles, Battle of Kinston, Battle of White Hall, Battle of Goldsboro Bridge, Second Battle of Fort Wagner, Second Battle of Charleston Harbor, Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Second Battle of Deep Bottom, Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Battle of Darbytown and New Market Roads, Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road.


Andrew Locy Rogers missionary diary

Andrew Locy Rogers (1854-1943)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Andrew Locy Rogers missionary diary (MSS 6179). The diary documents Rogers’ service in the British Mission, where he served in Ireland and Scotland.  His diary documents his experiences in a series of communities from 1909-1910, and chronicles experiences with mission companions. He describes his interactions with other religious denominations, including the Presbyterian Church and the Young Men’s Christian Association. His diary also includes original poetry and local humor.

Andrew Locy (or Lacey) Rogers was born on December 19th, 1854 in Farmington, Utah, to Thomas Edward Rogers and Aurelia Read Spencer Rogers. Answering the call of President Brigham Young in 1876 for volunteers to help establish a Mormon community in Northern Arizona, Locy relocated immediately. On August 27th, 1879 he married Clara Maria Gleason in Salt Lake City. The couple soon returned to Arizona where they raised a family of ten children. Known as “Uncle Locy” or “Honest Locy” in his hometown of Snowflake, Arizona, Andrew Rogers also served three Mormon missions, one in Arizona as a young man, another to Ireland and Scotland in the British Mission when he was in his mid-fifties (1908-1910), and, one to California when he was in his early seventies (1926-1927). His wife Clara died in 1932. Five years later, in 1937, he married Florence Evelyn Thomas Blaine. Andrew Rogers died November 20, 1943 in St. Johns, Arizona.

Questions asked during the Mormon Reformation

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Questions to be asked the Latter-day Saints (MSS SC 292). This item is a handwritten list of questions made by Andrew S. Gibbons to be asked to LDS Church members during the Mormon Reformation.  This list was likely created between 1856 and 1857 while Gibbons was living in Iron County, Utah.

Brigham Young

According to Wikipedia, “The Mormon Reformation was a period of renewed emphasis on spirituality within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It took place in 1856 and 1857 and was under the direction of President of the Church Brigham Young. During the Reformation, Young sent his counselor Jedediah M. Grant and other church leaders to preach to the people throughout Utah Territory and surrounding Mormon communities with the goal of inspiring them to reject sin and turn towards spiritual things. The most conservative, and even reactionary, elements of LDS Church doctrine dominated the public discussions during the Reformation. As a result of the Reformation, almost all “active” or involved LDS Church members were rebaptized as a symbol of their commitment.” To learn more about this event in 19th Century LDS Church history, visit the article by Paul H. Peterson in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the Wikipedia article, or this site on the Mormon Wiki.

William Harrison Maughan missionary journal

William Harrison Maughan (1834-1905)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: William Harrison Maughan missionary journal (MSS 4109). This journal was kept by Maughan from February 1875 to July 1876 while serving a mission in England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1874 to 1876. It describes Maughan’s sickness in England and his efforts to preach to the people, including family members and other ministers. The journal ends in July 1876 and has some details about Maughan’s return to the United States.

William Harrison Maughan was born on May 7, 1834 in Alston, England, to Peter Maughan and Ruth Harrison. In 1841, when he was approximately seven or eight years old, Maughan immigrated to the United States with his family. They first moved to Kirtland and then Nauvoo seven weeks later. In Nauvoo, Maughan heard the Prophet Joseph Smith speak and it had a lasting impression on him for the rest of his life. Maughn accompanied his father to explore for coal at Rock Island to add to the supply at Nauvoo, Illinois. He and his family left on the trek to Salt Lake City and arrived on September 17, 1850.

Maughan married Barbara Morgan on December 25, 1853, in Tooele, Utah, and they had eleven children together. He also had five other wives: Euphemia Nibley, Rachel Ann Barnes Woodward, Mary Jane Lloyd, Margaret Wilson Nibley, and Elizabeth Brice Hill. On November 12, 1859, Maughan was called as a the bishop of the Wellsville Ward in Cache Valley, Utah, and he kept this office for approximately forty years. On June 25, 1900, he was released as bishop and ordained as a stake patriarch. From May 1875 to July 1876 he served a mission to England and presided over the Birmingham conferences. Like many other polygamists during this time, he was also imprisoned and served a jail sentence for a few months because he had multiple wives.

He died on August 29, 1905, in Wellsville, Utah.

History of the Doctrine and Covenants exhibit

We are pleased to announce a new exhibit in Perry Special Collections that takes the viewer through the history of the Doctrine and Covenants, from handwritten manuscripts to broadsides, to being published in book form in 1835. The highlight of the exhibit is BYU’s only copy of the Book of Commandments, predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants and probably the rarest of all LDS printed items!

Later editions of the Doctrine and Covenants with significant additions or deletions are also displayed, including the 1844 Nauvoo edition (added the section on the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith), the 1876 edition (added 26 additional revelations, including Joseph Smith’s revelation on plural marriage), and the 1921 edition (removed the Lectures on Faith, which had been there since 1835). Also shown is an 1835 letter from Oliver Cowdery to Newel K. Whitney regarding original copies of a revelation, and James E. Talmage’s journal where he documents revisions he was asked to make in 1921 as part of the Doctrine and Covenants Committee.

This exhibit will be on display in the Reading Room in Special Collections from March 29 – April 21. Come see this new exhibit and learn more about the history of this significant book of modern day scripture!

H. H. (Harvey Harris) Cluff diary

H. H. (Harvey Harris) Cluff, 1836-1916

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: H. H. Cluff diary (MSS SC 1946). Collection includes a handwritten diary by Harvey H. Cluff from 1887-1888. Cluff records events relating to his church activities. He talks about church talks, church courts, and reactions to the activities of federal officials who were pursuing Mormons because of the practice of polygamy. Cluff presents copies of letters written by Mormon Church leaders and gives an account of his arrest for polygamy on 30 April 1887.

Harvey Harris Cluff (1836-1916) was born in Kirtland, Ohio, to a family of converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They later moved to Missouri and Illinois, and settled in Utah in 1850. Cluff spent much of the 1850s manufacturing furniture, served in the Nauvoo Legion, and was one of the original trustees of Brigham Young University (1875-1897). He would eventually marry three wives–Margaret Ann Foster, Emily Greening Till, and Sarah Louisa Eggertsen–and they bore him ten children between 1857 and 1889, six of which lived to adulthood.

Cluff spent 1865-1868 on a mission to Great Britain, and after an 1869-1874 mission to Hawaii returned as president of the Hawaiian Mission from 1879-1882. He also later served as a counselor in the presidency of the Utah Stake. Harvey Harris Cluff died in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 19, 1916.

Jennie Anderson Froiseth letters and advertisement

Jennie Anderson Froiseth (1849-1930). Photo credit: Utah State Historical Society.

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Jennie Anderson Froiseth letters and advertisement (MSS 3875). Collection includes four letters by Froiseth written between 1881 and 1882 as part of her work to abolish polygamy. Two of the letters are on the printed stationery of the Anti-Polygamy Standard. Also includes a manuscript advertisement.

Jennie Anderson Froiseth was born in 1849 in Ireland or New York. She was married to a civil engineer named Bernard M. Froiseth and had two children, named Ethel R. (4-years-old in 1880) and Bernard A. (5 months old in 1880). She wrote a book called “The Women of Mormonism: The Story of Polygamy As Told by the Victims Themselves in 1882.” Jennie Anderson Froiseth died in 1930 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edwin L. Sabin papers

Edwin L. Sabin (1870-1954)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Edwin L. Sabin papers (MSS SC 1072b). Collection includes holograph and typed letters received by Sabin. Many of these materials relate to Sabin’s research on Kit Carson, and include answers to Sabin’s inquiries regarding the personality, appearance, and activities of Carson. The information was of use to Sabin in his book “Kit Carson Days (1809-1868)” published in 1914 and in its revised edition of 1935. Also included are letters that relate to Sabin’s efforts to get photographs of the American West. Dated 1885-1924.

Cover of “Kit Carson Days (1809-1868)” by Edwin L. Sabin, Classic Reprint Series, Amazon.com

Biographical Note from “Guide to Edwin L. Sabin papers” at the University of Iowa Special Collections:

Edwin Legrand Sabin was born on December 23, 1870 in Rockford, Illinois. Before he was a year old, his father, the educator Henry Sabin, moved the family to Clinton, Iowa. Edwin Sabin grew up in that river town and graduated from Clinton High School in 1888. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Sabin then went to work as a reporter for various newspapers in Iowa and Illinois. In May 1893, he joined an expedition to the Bahamas organized by Charles C. Nutting, a professor of zoology and curator of the University of Iowa’s natural history museum. Sabin resumed his newspaper work upon his return. While working in Chicago, he met Mary Nicole Nash. They were married on October 7, 1896.

Sabin began publishing poetry and short stories in nationally known magazines around the turn of the century. His work appeared in The Chautauquan, St. Nicholas, Country Life, and many others. In 1902, he wrote his first children’s book. Slowly his attention began to focus on the West, and encouraged by his publisher he turned his talents in that direction. His western historical fiction was highly researched and he was proud of its accuracy. He and his wife moved to La Jolla, California in 1913, so he could be closer to his subject matter.

The years 1913-1931 were fruitful ones for Sabin. His books for boys were being published and received critical acclaim. However, he was hit hard by the Great Depression. He tried to sell his services as a writing consultant and even tried to establish a correspondence school for aspiring writers. These schemes failed, as did his attempts to publish his own work. The public’s taste had changed and his western stories, with strong moral lessons of good and evil, were no longer in vogue. Sabin died on November 24, 1954, completely destitute — a ward of the county.


Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company records

Auto Stages of Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company at Sylvan Lake, Yellowstone Park, 1916. Postcard #16414, Published by J.E. Haynes, Official Photographer, YNP

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company records (MSS 7635). Contains business records of the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company, including profit and loss statements as well as correspondence regarding trips in automobiles through Yellowstone. Materials date from between 1915 and 1916.

The Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company was founded in 1913 by F. J. Haynes. In 1916, the company became the first motorized bus fleet allowed in Yellowstone. At that time, it was co-owned by William Nichols and Shaw & Powell. Their fleet consisted of seven ten-passenger trucks with open bodies, five six-passenger Buicks, one Buick service car, and one GMC Truck. In 1917, the company lost its bid to YPTCo, and Haynes was forced to sell his shares in the company.

Schmid and Topham family collection of Richard Benson, Alvin Benson, and William Richard Smith missionary journals

William Richard Smith (1884-1950)

William Richard Smith (1884-1950)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Schmid and Topham family collection of Richard Benson, Alvin Benson, and William Richard Smith missionary journals (MSS 8535).  Materials include the original missionary journals of Richard Benson, Alvin Benson, and William Richard Smith, collected by Afton Rowley Topham and Nancy Schmid Topham. Dated from 1840 to 1909. Richard Benson’s journals contain information and stories from his first mission to England and second mission to Europe; the first journal goes from 1840 to 1842 and his second journal goes from April 1866 to October 1867. Alvin Benson’s journal documents his mission to California from 1897 to 1898. William Richard Smith’s journals document his mission to Europe from 1906 to 1909. All of the journals include stories about their missions, addresses of friends and contacts, feelings about their missionary work, and notes from sermons and talks given by Church leaders. The collection also includes facsimiles of the diaries printed on photo paper and digitized images on discs. Dated 1840-1909.

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