Thomas L. (Leiper) Kane personal papers
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.