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!

Accessing First Vision exhibit during Special Collections closure

Friends of L. Tom Perry Special Collections:  In order to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19, Special Collections is closing to the public for the time being. This means that the First Vision physical exhibit is no longer accessible.  While this is unfortunate, we realize the need to do so to protect the health of you our patrons and our library staff.

However, do not despair!  You can still experience most of the exhibit virtually by visiting the following website:

http://exhibits.lib.byu.edu/first-vision/

Just click on the link above or copy and paste it into your web browser.

Here you can read much of the text and view digital versions of many of the items on display, including Anthony Sweat’s original painting The First Visions and links to the Joseph Smith Papers website for full digital versions and transcriptions of the nine different accounts of The First Vision.

In addition, there are links to videos of each of the lectures that have been held over the last six months in conjunction with this exhibit.  Look for these at the bottom of the website.

We know nothing can replace seeing these artifacts in person. But hopefully this will still allow any and all a chance to learn more about this miraculous event and experience this exhibit in a new and different way.

May you all stay safe, happy, and healthy!

Thomas L. (Leiper) Kane personal papers

Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Thomas L. Kane personal papers (Vault MSS 792, Series 2).  This is the second series of the larger Kane family papers (Vault MSS 792), which primarily relate to Thomas and Elizabeth Kane. This series contains the more personal papers of Thomas Kane,  including papers relating to his youth, a large collection of letters he sent home from England and France, his early correspondence with Elizabeth Wood, and their correspondence following their marriage. It also includes his correspondence with Elizabeth’s father, William Wood, as well as with other Kane family members. Materials date between 1835 to 1886.

Thomas Leiper Kane was born January 27, 1822 in Philadelphia to Judge John Kintzing Kane and Jane Duval Leiper. He attained the bar in 1846, after studying law with his father. He served as clerk in his father’s court until 1850, at which point he resigned due to a moral conflict with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. He went on to become an active member of the Underground Railroad. Kane became interested in the Mormon migration to the West, and was crucial in securing government aid for the movement. His friendship with Brigham Young is credited with the non-violent resolution of the Utah War. At the advent of the Civil War Kane organized a volunteer Union Army regiment known as the “Bucktails” and served as lieutenant-colonel of that outfit. He later was brevetted the rank of major-general for his service at Gettysburg. After his military service he retired to found the town of Kane, Pennsylvania. In 1853 Kane married Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood, and together they had 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). Kane died of pneumonia in Philadelphia on December 26, 1883.

Remembering Dorothy Wordsworth

March is Women’s History Month, and Special Collections is celebrating with a small case exhibit entitled “Remembering Dorothy Wordsworth.” Curated by Dr. Paul Westover of the BYU English Department, the exhibit features original material from the library’s Rowe Collection of William Wordsworth, including editions of Dorothy’s poems, journals, and travel writing (such as her account of ascending Scafell Pike in 1818). Also on view is the work of Dr. Westover’s English 374 students, who created a virtual exhibit about Dorothy in Fall semester 2019.

“Remembering Dorothy Wordsworth” will be on display in the Special Collections reading room throughout the month of March.

John K. (Kintzing) Kane papers

John Kintzing Kane, 1795-1858

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: John K. (Kintzing) Kane papers (Vault MSS 792, Series 1).  This is the first series of the larger Kane family papers (Vault MSS 792), which primarily relate to Thomas L. Kane, son of Judge Kane, and Thomas’ wife Elizabeth. The John K. Kane papers series contains correspondence, biographical materials, and other documents related to early Kane family and business activities, as well as the papers of John K. Kane. It includes both personal papers and materials relating to his work as a judge and political figure. Materials date from between 1773 and 1916.

John Kintzing Kane was born May 16, 1795 in Albany, New York to Elisha Kane and Alida Van Rensselaer, and later moved to Philadelphia early in the 1800s. He graduated from Yale in 1814, and studied law in Philadelphia until he was admitted to the bar April 8, 1817. A supporter of President Andrew Jackson, Kane was appointed by him as a commissioner to settle claims with France at the July 4th, 1831 convention. Kane was appointed Attorney General of the state of Pennsylvania in 1845, but soon resigned to become a U.S. District Court judge. Kane married Jane Duval Leiper on April 20, 1819, and together they had six children, including arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane, and Civil War general Thomas L. Kane. He died in Philadelphia of pneumonia on February 21, 1858.

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