Newel Kimball Whitney papers related to Mormon pioneers

Newel K. Whitney owned a store in Kirtland, Ohio, and was called as Bishop of Ohio in 1831.

Newel K. Whitney (1795-1850) owned a store in Kirtland, Ohio, and was called as Bishop of Ohio in 1831.

L. Tom Perry Special Collections has recently digitized the Newel Kimball Whitney papers (Vault MSS 76).  This collection is a treasure trove of original documents related to the earliest years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Whitney was a personal friend of Joseph Smith, the first bishop of Ohio (1831), and second Presiding Bishop of the Church (1847). Included in his papers are manuscript copies of revelations received by Joseph Smith, correspondence with Church leaders, financial and land records or early Church members, and records pertaining to early Church and Utah military units, including the Nauvoo Legion and Mormon Battalion.

In commemoration of the upcoming Pioneer Day celebration, here are a few items from this collection that may be of interest:

–          Manuscript copy of “The word and will of the Lord given at the Winter Quarters of the Camp of Israel, January 14th 1847”

  • This is the only revelation given to Brigham Young that was published in Doctrine and Covenants (Section 136), and is instructions to the Saints on how to organize and conduct themselves as they trek westward beginning the following spring.
  • For one of the largest collection of original manuscript revelations by Joseph Smith, you can browse the entire series online.

–          Roster of participants in Mormon Battalion

  • Along with many other records of the Mormon militia in Nauvoo, Illinois, and Utah, this collection includes two lists of participants in Company A and Company E of the Mormon Battalion,  including information on their rank, place of origin, birth date, family situation, supplies, and the disposal of their wages, dated July 1846 and August 1846, respectively.

If you have any questions about this collection, feel free to contact Ryan Lee (, curator of 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts.

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