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Thomas L. Kane correspondence from early Mormon contacts, 1846-1848

 Sub-Series — Box: 14
Identifier: Vault MSS 792 Series 3 Sub-Series 1

Scope and Contents

Contains letters to and from Thomas L. Kane related to his initial contact with Jesse C. Little and the Mormons. Letters date from 1846 to 1848.


  • Majority of material found within 1846-1848


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.

Biographical History

J. C. Little (1815-1893) was a Mormon pioneer, United States Colonel, and member of the presiding bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jesse Carter Little was born September 26, 1815 in Belmont, Maine to Thomas Little and Relief White. Little was taught by Latter Day Saint missionary and apostle Parley P. Pratt in 1845 and was baptized in 1846. In 1846 he travelled from Washington, D.C. to Nauvoo, Illinois with a message from U.S. President James K. Polk requesting that the Latter Day Saints raise a battalion for the war against Mexico. Little was the liaison for the LDS Church along with Thomas L. Kane when Kane began assisting the church in its relations with the U.S. government. Little led a company of Mormon pioneers from Winter Quarters, Nebraska to Utah, and arrived in the Salt Lake valley on July 22, 1847. On October 6, 1856 he became the second counselor in the presiding bishopric of the LDS Church. He acted in this capacity until 1874. He passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 26, 1893.


2 folders

Language of Materials