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Hyrum Smith papers

 Collection — oversize: 4
Identifier: Vault MSS 774

Scope and Contents

Collection includes diaries, letters, property records, bibles and family records related to Hyrum Smith. Includes diaries of missions taken by Hyrum, the 1834 Hyrum Smith family bible, with family record dating up to 1872, and material used by the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. Dated 1831-1872.


  • 1831-1872


Language of Materials

Materials in English, Latin, and Hebrew.

Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted; permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. Patrons should use photocopies or typescripts.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical History

Hyrum Smith (1800-1844) was an early member and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was martyred at Carthage, Illinois.

Hyrum Smith, the second son of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith and older brother of Joseph Smith, Jr., was born in Tunbridge, Vermont, February 9, 1800. At nineteen he moved with his family to western New York. On November 12, 1826 he married Jerusha Barden. He was baptized by his brother Joseph in Seneca Lake in June 1829 and was one of the Eight Witnesses to see the actual gold plates of the Book of Mormon. Hyrum's wife, Jerusha, died in October of 1837, shortly before Hyrum was called as Joseph Smith's second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church. Hyrum then married Mary Fielding on December 24, 1837.

During the 1830's Hyrum served several short missions for the Church, mostly in Ohio. Hoping for a respite from religious persecution, the main body of the Church moved from Ohio to Missouri in 1838. As the oppression intensified in Missouri, however, Hyrum and his brother Joseph were incarcerated in the jail at Liberty, Missouri for about six months before escaping to western Illinois in April of 1839. Hyrum later helped establish the city of Nauvoo and held several civil and military offices in Nauvoo.

In January of 1841, Hyrum was called to be Patriarch of the Church. The office, being hereditary, was passed to him upon his father's death. He was also called to serve as Associate President of the Church in 1841. In June 1844 he was again imprisoned with Joseph. This imprisonment took place at Carthage, Illinois. On June 27, 1844 Hyrum and Joseph were both killed by a mob that stormed the Carthage jail.


1 oversize box (1.5 linear ft.)

3 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)


Arranged in four series: 1. Hyrum Smith diaries and other writings, (1831-1835). 2. Hyrum Smith correspondence, (1839-1844). 3. Hyrum Smith property records, (1840-1846). 4. Hyrum Smith bibles and family records, (1834, 1872).

Other Finding Aids

Previous finding aid available online.

Custodial History

Collection was donated on March 8, 1991 by Patriarch Emeritus Eldred G. Smith, and his sister Cleone Smith Isom, with other records related to Joseph Smith, Sr. and later Patriarchs of the Church. All materials have remained in the possession of the descendants of Hyrum Smith until their donation to the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library. The account book found in folder seven of box one was donated by Eldred G. Smith following the naming of the Joseph Smith, Sr. Family Room on May 11, 2000. The additional materials added in 2016 were donated by Eldred G. Smith at the same time of the rest of the collection. The materials were found in John Murphy's office in 2015 and transferred to Ryan Lee to be added to the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Eldred G. Smith; 1991.

Donated; Eldred G. Smith, 2000.


History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1930; 19th Century history and settlement of Utah, surrounding states, and the American West in general (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection department policy III, November 2013.)

Related Materials

Collection was originally part of the Joseph Smith Sr. family collection (Vault MSS 775), an umbrella title for the Hyrum Smith, John Smith, Hyrum Fisher Smith, and Hyrum G. Smith collections. It was separated into its own collection in December 2001.

Processing Information

Processed; Leslie Evens, 2011, and Peter Hoyt, manuscript processors, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2013.

Updated record; Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2013.

Additional materials added; Corinne Bird, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2016.

Register of Hyrum Smith papers
Leslie Evens
2011 November 29
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