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Newel Kimball Whitney papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 76

Scope and Contents

Collection contains correspondence, financial and legal documents, church records, military records, manuscript revelations, poetry, journals, and other material by Whitney and his family. The records document the ecclesiastical functions, political activities, and finances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when it was headquartered in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Utah. The bulk of the material is from the Illinois Era (1839-1846), with papers relating to the steamship Maid of Iowa, the Nauvoo Temple, and other structures in Nauvoo, Illinois. Also included are records of the Nauvoo Legion (later also called the Utah Militia) and the Mormon Battalion. Among the most important items in the collection are the only extant manuscript copies of more than twenty revelations of Joseph Smith, all but two of which have been published in the Doctrine and Covenants.


  • 1817-1910
  • 1957


Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted; permission to use original materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. Patrons should use microfilm copies.

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

Newel Kimball Whitney (1795-1850) was a American merchant, pioneer, and ecclesiastical leader. He served as the second general bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1831-1850).

Newel Kimball Whitney was born on February 5, 1795 at Marlborough, Windham County, Vermont to Samuel and Susanna Kimball Whitney. Whitney joined the Church in Ohio in 1830, and was a personal friend of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) who founded that faith. He also served as associate justice and treasurer of the provincial state of Deseret (later Utah) in 1849. He married seven times; his wives included Elizabeth Ann Smith (1800-1882, m. 1822), Ann Houston (1821-1848, m. 1846), Elizabeth Almira Pond (1827-1899, m. 1846), Abigail Augusta Pond (m. 1846), Olive M. Bishop (1807-1852, m. 1846), Elizabeth Moore (1826-1858, m. 1846), Henrietta Keyes (1821-1901, m. 1846), and Emmeline Blanche Woodward (1828-1921, m. 1849). Whitney died on September 3, 1850 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


8 boxes (4 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

The materials of the Whitney Collection were acquired by the Harold B. Lee Library between the years 1969 and 1974, from Mrs. Claire C. Groo, Barbara Groo Hansen, and R. Whitney Groo, Jr. Chad Flake, Special Collections Librarian, was the Lee Library official most significantly involved in getting the collection placed at Brigham Young University, although others also contributed in securing these valuable materials. Some documents (both personal and church-related) were preserved through the years by Newel Kimball Whitney in his files. Others appear to have been gathered by him from other sources. Family tradition holds that sometime between 1846 and 1848 Bishop Whitney returned to Nauvoo on a short visit and there gathered documents related to the Latter-day Saints which he took with him to the West.

Sometime after the death of Bishop Whitney, the papers came into the possession of his daughter, Mary Jane, who had married Isaac Groo. Thereafter, the materials were preserved by the Groo family, and documents related to Isaac Groo and others were added to the collection. Some materials, however, were apparently separated from the main body of the collection. A few of these items have been acquired from Rulon Brown of Wells, Nevada, and added to the collection. There is no way of knowing at this date whether the collection contains all the documents which Bishop Whitney had originally in his possession.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Groo family; 1969-1974.


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

Available on microfilm in repository.

Separated Materials

Copies of Mormon scriptural and historical works, some manuscript materials, and other articles were removed from the collection at the time of its accession. A list of these items is available in the repository.

Register of Newel Kimball Whitney papers
Under Revision
Jennifer Kim
2011 September 22
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