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Joseph Young affadavit of Haun's Mill massacre

 Item — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 791
Image of Joseph Young affadavit of Haun's Mill massacre
Image of Joseph Young affadavit of Haun's Mill massacre

Scope and Contents

Materials include Joseph Young's original eyewitness account of events that occured during the Haun's Mill massacre on October 30, 1838. His account was witnessed and sealed on June 4, 1839, by John Woods of the Circuit Court in Adams County, Missouri. Young describes the mob, his escape, and the conditions of the victims. Young also writes that he helped bury the dead. The account was later used by the Church as evidence of the sufferings of its members in Missouri. Dated June 4, 1839.


  • 1839 June 4


Conditions Governing Access

Original restricted. Photocopy and typescript are open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Joseph Young affadavit of Haun's Mill massacre must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Young (1797-1881) was the president of the Quorum of Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and the brother of Church prophet Brigham Young.

Joseph Young was born on April 7, 1797, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to parents John Hayden Young and Abagail Nabby Howe. Although he was a preacher for the Methodist Chuch in 1830, he was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by his brother (and future prophet) Brigham Young and was baptized on April 6, 1832. Soon after being baptized, he went on a mission to Upper Canada and New York City. On February 18, 1834, Young and Jane Adeline Bicknell were married in Geneseo, New York. Over the years they had eleven children together. In 1835 Young was called to be one of the members of the Quroum of the Seventy.

Young and his family moved from Kirtland, Ohio, to Independence, Missouri, and stopped at Haun's Mill, in Caldwell County, Missouri. Here, on October 28, 1838, they witnessed the violent massacre at Haun's Mill. Young was able to escape injury or death by hiding in the bushes. Young moved to Nauvoo and there began practicing plural marriage by marrying two more wives on January 16, 1846: Lucinda Allen and Lydia Caroline Hagar. He also married Mary Ann Huntley on February 6, 1846; Sarah Jane Snow on April 7, 1868; and Elizabeth Stevens on November 28, 1868. Eventually Young and his family settled in Salt Lake City in 1850. Young had a total of ten children with his plural wives. In 1870, Young served a mission to the British Isles.

Joseph Young died on July 16, 1881.


2 folders (0.02 linear ft.) : 6 p. ; 32 x 20 cm

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Purchased by Steve A. Kovacich from Earl Pence in 1968 and sold to the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library in December 1996.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; by Brigham Young University from Steve A. Kovacich; December 1996.


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

Existence and Location of Copies

The collection also includes a first generation facsimile and a transcription of the original manuscript. The copies are located in folder 2 of the collection.


A typescript of the Joseph Young affadavit of Haun's Mill massacre has been published in BYU Studies Vol. 38, no. 1 (1999).

Processing Information

Processed; Leslie Evens; 2011.

Revised; Zoë Brimhall; 2015.

Register of Joseph Young affadavit of Haun's Mill massacre
Leslie Evens
2011 November 10
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