Joseph Delaplaine correspondence

Joseph Delaplaine (1777-1824)

In honor of the upcoming Independence Day celebration, where we all remember the many patriots who helped found this country we know and love today, L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Joseph Delaplaine correspondence (Vault MSS 450). This collection includes handwritten correspondence, written between 1813-1824, between Joseph Delaplaine and popular American figures of the early nineteenth century. The majority of items concern information for Delaplaine’s book, “Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished Americans.” Includes handwritten autobiographical sketches of Oliver Wolcott Sr. and William Pinkney and letters from prominent political figures such as William Henry Harrison and Richard Mentor Johnson.

Joseph Delaplaine was born in December 20, 1777 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He married Jane Anne Livingston and throughout his life was interested in history, especially that of the United States and the early patriots who shaped it. He wrote and had published a book in 1815, titled Delaplaine’s Repository of the Lives and Portraits of Distinguished American Characters. In this book, Delaplaine wrote on figures such as Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and other American patriots. Joseph Delaplaine died on May 31, 1824 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Margaret Y. Taylor biography

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Margaret Y. Taylor biography (MSS 1153). This is a typewritten biography by an unknown author with handwritten corrections. Margaret Young Taylor (1837-1919) was one of Latter-day Saint Church President John Taylor’s wives and served as vice president of the General Board of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association.

Margaret Young was born in Westport, Connecticut on April 24, 1837, to Ebenezer Russell Young and Margaret Holden Young, the oldest of eight children. In November 1852, she converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She received her education at a young ladies seminary and became a schoolteacher in Westport when she was 18 years old. She met John Taylor while he was serving as president of the Eastern States mission for the LDS Church. On September 27, 1856 she married Taylor as a plural wife. They emigrated to Utah Territory in 1857 where she taught school for two years.

Taylor became secretary of the Salt Lake Stake Relief Society upon its organization. In 1880, when Elmina Shepard Taylor became the first general president of the church’s Young Ladies’ National Mutual Improvement Association, Margaret Taylor was chosen as the first counselor in the presidency. After John Taylor died on 25 July 1887, Margaret Taylor resigned her position and was replaced by Maria Young Dougall.

Taylor died in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 3, 1919. She was the mother of nine of John Taylor’s 34 children.

(From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Young_Taylor)

Remembering Charles Dickens

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the death of beloved Victorian writer Charles Dickens. Dickens passed away at his country home in Kent, Gad’s Hill, on Thursday, June 9, 1870, having suffered a stroke the previous evening. He spent the morning of June 8 working on his last (unfinished) novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Dickens had requested interment in a cemetery near Gad’s Hill, but public sentiment prevailed and Dickens was buried at Westminster Abbey in a private ceremony on the morning of Tuesday, June 14.

Dickens’ friend, prominent journalist George Augustus Sala, published a tribute to Dickens in The Daily Telegraph on June 10, 1870. This essay was quickly expanded and issued as a memorial pamphlet with an account of Dickens’ death and a description of his funeral — note the black mourning border on the title page. Several biographies of Dickens appeared through the end of the 19th century, including a recollection by his eldest daughter Mamie Dickens. These and other important early biographies can be found in the Victorian Collection by searching on the subject term “Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.”

Jackson County, Missouri, tax receipts

A Pioneer Home Engraving, unknown artist, 1881. (History of Jackson County, Missouri, 1881, p. 25.)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Jackson County, Missouri, tax receipts (MSS SC 631).  The collection includes seven individual state and county property tax receipts for various properties owned in Jackson County, Missouri, from 1839 to 1843.

While there are no known connections to Latter-day Saint property in the collections, likely since the Church and its members had abandoned most of their property in this county in the mid 1830s, these receipts still provide context to the people and places in the county around the time the Church was active in the area.

Claudius V. Spencer diary

Claudius Victor Spencer (1824-1910)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Claudius V. Spencer diary (MSS 4042).  This diary records Spencer’s overland journey from Salt Lake City, Utah to Liverpool, England between April 22, 1850 to September 19, 1850, on his way to serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Claudius Victor Spencer was born 2 April 1825 in West Stockibridge, Berkshire, Massachuseetts. His mother, Sophronia, died when he was seven years old. Two years later, his father remarried, giving Claudius a stepbrother named Gilbert who was two and a half years younger. Claudius drove the first team in his father’s wagon company between Winter Quarters, Nebraska, and Salt Lake City in 1847. He served a mission for the Church in the British Mission from 1850-1853. He was given the charge of 350 Saints on the ship Manchester as it sailed from Liverpool to New York in April and May 1861. From June to September 1853, Claudius led a group of 250 saints from Kanesville, Iowa, to Salt Lake. He was a president of the Thirty-Seventh Quorum of Seventy when it was organized and was a stake patriarch at his death.

Claudius Spencer died on January 5, 1910, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Special Collections acquires a copy of the first complete Spanish translation of the Bible

Special Collections recently acquired a copy of the earliest edition of the complete Bible in Spanish, known as “La Biblia del Oso” because of the printer’s mark, an illustration of a bear seeking honey. The Bible was translated into Spanish by Casiodoro de Reina, a former Catholic monk turned Protestant reformer, possibly with collaborators. “La Biblia del Oso” was published in Basel, Switzerland in 1569. Reina’s translation was revised and updated by his student, Cipriano de Valera, in 1602. The Reina-Valera translation of the Bible is still in use by Spanish-speaking Protestant denominations, with various revisions and updates over the centuries. It is the basis for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 2009 Spanish language Bible edition.

The 1569 Reina Bible is now available for use in research consultations and class presentations. Its call number is Vault Collection BS 299 1569.

Lorraine Rowley Thompson collection on Benson family

Richard Benson (1816-1895)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Lorraine Rowley Thompson collection on Benson family (MSS 8555).  This collection contains journals and correspondence related to the Richard and Phoebe Benson family. Includes journals kept by Richard during his Mormon missions to England, and letters he wrote to his wife Phoebe. Includes Phoebe’s correspondence with Richard regarding his second mission to England, and a journal of family history information. Includes two journals of Alvin Benson that he kept during his service in the California Mission and a letter from his uncle, James Kay. Also included are records related to Alexander and Jane Orton, Alvin’s in-laws, and several letters from unidentified relatives. Dated 1842-1965.

Phoebe Forrester Benson (1820-1904)

Richard Benson (1816-1895) was born on March 29, 1816, in Wrightington, England to Thomas Benson and Margaret Marsden. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1837 by Elder Heber C. Kimball. Richard served his first mission in Newcastle, England from approximately 1841 to 1842, where he baptized forty-seven people including his future wife Phoebe Forrester. Phoebe Benson (1820-1904) was born Phoebe Forrester on August 25, 1820, in Crossings, England to Joseph Forester and Elizabeth Forester. She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in October 1840. After his mission Richard traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois to be with the main body of the church. In 1844 he returned to England and married Phoebe on June 20, 1844, in Cheshire, England, and in 1845 they returned to Nauvoo. They traveled with the saints to Salt Lake City in approximately 1850, and they settled in Parowan, Utah, where they had the last of their nine children. They are Thomas, Joseph, Richard Heber, Sarah, Phoebe Madora, William, Elizabeth, Alvin, and James. Then in 1866 Richard was called to serve his second mission in England, which he did from 1866 to 1868. After his mission he became a buisnessman in Parowan, Utah. Richard died on August 2, 1895, in Parowan, Utah. Phoebe Benson died on June 25, 1904, in Parowan, Utah.

Elizabeth Wood Kane writings

Elizabeth Wood Kane (1836-1909)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection:Elizabeth Wood Kane writings (Vault MSS 792, Series 6, Subseries 4).  This is part of the sixth series of the larger Kane family papers (Vault MSS 792), which primarily relate to Thomas and Elizabeth Kane. This subseries contains autobiographical and literary writings by Elizabeth Wood Kane. Most of the documents, including travel accounts, focus on her life and experiences. She writes about her husband Thomas L. Kane serving in the Civil War, her experiences with the Mormons in the West, and also includes family history projects, getting to meet President Ulysses S. Grant, and other family affairs. Highlights among these are writings related to her publication Twelve Mormon Homes, and her unpublished historical accounts of the founding of Kane, Pennsylvania. Materials also include family history writings like the autobiography of her father. Dated 1856-1921.

Elizabeth Denniston Wood was born on May 12, 1836 to William Wood and Harriet Amelia Kane, and was raised in England. Her family emigrated to New York in 1844. In 1853 she married Thomas L. Kane. With her husband and four children, Harriet Amelia Kane (1854-1896); Elisha Kent Kane (1856-1935); Evan O’Neill Kane (1861-1932); and Thomas Leiper Kane, Jr. (1863-1929), Elizabeth founded the town of Kane, Pennsylvania. She worked tirelessly for the prohibition of alcohol both in Kane, and the wider United States. Her 1872 travels with her husband in Utah are recorded in her book “Twelve Mormon Homes.” She obtained a medical degree from the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia in 1883. After her husband’s death later that year, she became more involved in social and philanthropic causes including the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and the Kane Summit Hospital Association. She died peacefully while sleeping May 25, 1909.

Wordsworth 250 celebration postponed

William Wordsworth’s 250th birthday celebrations, planned by libraries and museums throughout the world for April 2020, have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The L. Tom Perry Special Collections plans to mount a belated small case exhibit on Wordsworth and BYU during fall semester.

In the meantime, please explore highlights from the Edward M. Rowe Collection of William Wordsworth through our online exhibit William Wordsworth and the Invention of National Parks or other online resources available at the Rowe Collection Research Guide.

190th anniversary of the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Today is April 6, 2020.  Exactly 190 years ago today, on April 6, 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in Fayette, New York by Joseph Smith. To celebrate this occasion, you can read one of the first printings of the revelation that was received that day, known as “The Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ,” in the The Evening and the Morning Star. Today this revelation is printed in the Doctrine and Covenants as Section 20.

The Evening and the Morning Star was the first newspaper for the Church, printed in William W. Phelps’ printing shop in Independence, Missouri, starting in June 1832.  This same printing shop printed the Book of Commandments one year later, before being destroyed by a mob in July 1833.

Happy anniversary to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

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