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George A. Black papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 735

Scope and Contents

Collection contains letters and other documents related to George A. Black and his family. Most of the items relate to Black's tenure as Secretary of Utah Territory, which spanned from 1870 to 1876. He corresponded with several prominent leaders in Utah and Washington, D.C., including Brigham Young, George Q. Cannon, Daniel H. Wells, Ulysses S. Grant, and Benjamin Harrison, and the collection includes documents signed by each. The collection includes certificates for Black's appointment as Secretary of Utah Territory in 1870 and 1871, signed by President Ulysses S. Grant. Also included are some documents related to Black's service in the Union Army in Illinois during the Civil War, dated 1862-1864 and 1913, and some letters and other documents related to Utah Territory Governor John Wilson Shaffer, dated 1870. The collection also includes some documents related to Black's son, John Cecil Black, including some documents for when he may have served as postmaster in Utah, and a letter signed by Herbert Hoover in 1927. Dated 1862-1927.


  • 1862-1927


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

George A. Black (1841-1914) served as Secretary of Utah Territory from 1870 to 1876.

George Adolph Black was born in 1841. By 1862 he was living in Freeport, Illinois. During the Civil War he served in the 45th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. Black would eventually be appointed to work with the territorial government in Utah. He appears to have worked closely with John Wilson Shaffer in 1870. In November 1870 Black was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant to serve as the Secretary of Utah Territory under Governor Vernon H. Vaughan. Vaughan only served four months until February 1871. At this time, Black served as acting governor until July 1871, when George Lemuel Woods was appointed as governor, and Black again served as secretary. Black would continue to serve under two more governors (Samuel B. Axtell and George W. Emery) until 1876. George A. Black died in 1914.


2 folders (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Provenance of collection and when it came to BYU is unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition is unknown.


LDS and Utah and the American West cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013).

Processing Information

Processed; Ryan K. Lee; 2017.

Register of George A. Black papers
Ryan K. Lee
2017 November 27
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.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States