Skip to main content

Kane family collection

Identifier: MSS 3190

Scope and Contents

Collection contains materials related to the lives, doings, and family members of Thomas L. Kane and his wife Elizabeth Wood Kane. These include a wide variety of papers, journals, books, pocketbooks, newspaper clippings, botanical pressings, photographs, letters, receipts, and other items. Most materials relate to personal or family matters, but some materials of wider interest are also present. Other significant topics covered are the founding of Kane, Pennsylvania by the Kane family, Kane family genealogy, daily activities of the Kane Summit Hospital, Thomas L. Kane's connections to the Mormon Church and the Utah War, and his service in the Civil War. Materials date from between 1835 and 1931.


  • approximately 1835-1931


Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted; permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. Patrons should use reproductions where available.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

The Kane family was a prominent family of politicians, lawyers, and doctors in Pennsylvania. Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883) was born in Philadelphia to John K. Kane (1795-1858), judge and politician in the city. In 1853 he married Elizabeth Dennistown Wood (1836-1909), and they had four children. Following the Civil War, the Kane family moved to western Pennsylvania to found the town of Kane, Pennsylvania.


15 boxes (7.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The Thomas L. and Elizabeth W. Kane family collection, 1835-1931, contains a series of materials relating primarily to Thomas, Elizabeth, and three of their four children: Harriet Amelia Kane, Elisha Kent Kane, and Evan O'Neill Kane. Among these is an American Civil War pocketbook kept by Thomas L. Kane; an original patriarchal blessing given to Thomas at Council Bluffs by Mormon patriarch John Smith and recorded by Wilford Woodruff; a letter sent from Brigham Young to Thomas when the latter arrived in Utah in 1858 to try and prevent a pending war between the Latter-day Saints and the U.S. government; four folders of letters, receipts, and other material related to the development of Kane, Pennsylvania; ten handwritten and two printed copies of journals kept by Elizabeth; and a two-volume history of the settlement of Kane, Pennsylvania, handwritten by Elizabeth for her grandchildren. The collection also contains thirteen of Harriet's composition exercise books, two of Elisha's letters, and one of Evan's medical ledgers. In addition, it includes 168 photographs, many of Kane family members and some of Kane, Pennsylvania. Four tangible artifacts are also located in the collection: a lock of Thomas L. Kane's beard; a silver creamer belonging to Elizabeth Kane; and two linens, also belonging to Elizabeth and with her initials embroidered on them. A number of printed works were also found in the collection, including a volume of Thomas Kempis', Libri Quatuor De Imitatione Christi, Praecipuo Regni Administro, Dicati, given to Elizabeth by Thomas L. Kane on Elizabeth's sixteenth birthday.


Arranged into eleven series: 1. John Kintzing and Jane Duval Leiper Kane papers. 2. Thomas L. Kane papers. 3. Elizabeth Wood Kane papers. 4. Harriet Amelia Kane papers. 5. Elisha Kent Kane papers. 6. Evan O'Neill Kane papers. 7. Kane family periodical, map, and other material. 8. Kane family notes, cards, and other material 9. Kane family drawing, map, and other material. 10. Elizabeth Wood Kane artifacts. 11. Kane family photographs.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The photographs in this collection are located in cold vault storage. At least 24 hours notice is required for access.

Other Finding Aids

A file and item-level finding aid is available online.

Custodial History

Materials in this collection were purchased at an auction held at the Kane Manor in Kane, Pennsylvania, in September of 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; Kane Manor auction; 2003.


History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon and Western American Manuscripts Collection Development Policy V.B.5.a, 2020)

Existence and Location of Copies

Transcriptions available

Related Materials

See also the Thomas L. Kane papers (Vault MSS 792), Thomas L. Kane autograph (MSS 991), Thomas L. Kane diary (Vault MSS 807), Thomas L. Kane pocket diary and correspondence (Vault MSS 796), Elizabeth Wood Kane portrait (MSS 2957), John Kintzing Kane letter (MSS SC 2474), Brigham Young letter (Vault MSS 144), Jesse C. Little letters received and pamphlets (MSS SC 1124), and Samuel Allis statement (MSS SC 187). Ancestors and descendants of Thomas L. Kane and Elizabeth W. Kane collection (MSS 2212).

Processing Information

Processed; Jana Lloyd; February 2006.

Register of the Kane family collection
Under Revision
Jana Lloyd
February 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States