Wilford Woodruff letters
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Wilford Woodruff letters (MSS 8173). This collection includes letters written between Wilford Woodruff and members of his family. Letters are to his wife Emma S. Woodruff and to his children Clara and Blanch. Also included are letters from Emma Woodruff to Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Beebe as well as letters between Emma Woodruff and her daughter Clara. Letters talk about family activities and contain advice from Wilford Woodruff to his family. One letter is written shortly before Woodruff died in San Francisco. Another is written while Wilford Woodruff was in hiding during the polygamy raids of the 1880s. The letters date from 1877 to 1909. Also included are photocopies of the letters which include handwritten transcriptions of them. A handwritten index of the letters is also included.
Wilford Woodruff was born March 1, 1807. He was raised in Connecticut. Woodruff was a miller by trade. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1833 and served two missions before being ordained an Apostle in 1839. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, he completed four additional missions, presided over the temple in St. George, Utah, and served six years as Church Historian. He was sustained as Church President on April 7, 1889. As President of the Church, he dedicated temples in Salt Lake City and Manti, Utah, oversaw the organization of the Genealogical Society, and reemphasized the value of historical record keeping. After much pondering and prayer, he received a revelation that the Latter-day Saints should cease the practice of plural marriage. In 1890, he wrote the Manifesto, testifying that the Church had ceased teaching the practice of plural marriage. Woodruff died in San Francisco on September 2, 1898.