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Thomas L. Kane personal papers, 1835-1886

Identifier: Vault MSS 792 Series 2

Scope and Contents

Contains the more personal papers of Kane. It includes 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.


  • Majority of material found within 1835-1886


Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Kane family papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883) was a lawyer, abolitionist, Civil War soldier, frontiersman, and Mormon advocate.

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.


5 boxes

Language of Materials



Arranged in six subseries: 1. Travel correspondence. 2. Correspondence from courtship. 3. Correspondence with Elizabeth Wood Kane. 4. Correspondence with William Wood. 5. Correspondence with friends and family. 6. Journals, manuscripts, and other material.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States