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Martha Coray notebook

In honor of the 177th anniversary of the martydom of Joseph Smith at Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844, L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a newly digitized collection: Martha Coray notebook (Vault MSS 230).  Soon after Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed, a young 23-year-old Martha Coray, later joined by her husband Howard, interviewed Lucy Mack Smith with the goal of publishing a history of Joseph Smith. The project was finished in 1845, and subsequently published in various forms and editions. This history is still available today as History of the Prophet Joseph, by His Mother. This notebook includes Coray’s interview notes used in this project.

Martha Jane Knowlton Coray (1821-1881)

Below is a brief description of the contents of the notebook:

Smith family history notes contain John and Clarissa Smith’s account of visit by Joseph Smith Sr. to Smith family members, including his father, Asael Smith, in Lawrence County, New York, in 1830; John Smith’s account of his and Joseph Smith Sr.’s reunion with their mother, Mary Duty Smith, at Kirtland, Ohio, and their subsequent journey eastward to visit Church branches and family members in 1836; Lucy Mack Smith’s account of Samuel Smith’s presentation of a Book of Mormon to John P. Greene’s family in Ontario County, New York in 1830; and George A. Smith’s account of mission with Don Carlos Smith in 1838. Also includes information about Silas Smith, brother of Joseph Smith Sr. Notebook also includes dictation copies of blessings given to Coray and her husband, Howard Coray; sundry notes pertaining to religious history and writing styles; and a list of students, possibly those attending school taught by the Corays in Nauvoo.

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