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Reynolds, George, 1842-1909

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1842 - 1909

Biographical History

George Reynolds (1842-1909) was a polygamist and church leader in Utah, and is known mostly for being used as a test case for the constitutionality of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862.

George Reynolds was born on January 1, 1842, in Marylebone, England. His parents were George and Julia Ann Tautz Reynolds. As a youth he became acquainted with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized at the age of fourteen. In 1865, Reynolds immigrated to Utah and settled in Salt Lake City. He there became Brigham Young's secretary and would continue to serve as the secretary to the First Presidency for the remainder of his life. He likewise served as a member of the municipal council of Salt Lake City from 1875 to 1879.

In 1874, George Reynolds was chosen by both civil leaders and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a test case for the constitutionality of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862. Reynolds was convicted of bigamy the following year, and his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1879. He was imprisoned briefly in the Nebraska State penitentiary before being transferred to the Utah Territorial penitentiary where he served out the remainder of his sentence of two years. He thus became the first of many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be imprisoned for practicing polygamy.

Reynolds was actively involved in the Sunday School system and served on the Board of the Deseret Sunday School Union. Throughout his life Reynolds was a noted author of Mormon polemics and he frequently wrote for the Deseret News and the Juvenile Instructor. He is best remembered for his works on the Book of Mormon. In April 1890, Reynolds was sustained as a member of the First Council of the Seventies, a position he held until his death on August 9, 1909.

Citation:
Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, v.1, 1901: p. 206-210 (born January 1, 1842 in Marylebone, England; parents were George and Julia Ann Tautz Reynolds; joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of fourteen; came to Utah in 1865; served as a secretary and municipal council of S.L.C.; acted as a test case for Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act; imprisoned in Nebraska and Utah; active in Sunday Schools; author of works on the Book of Mormon; Sustained a member of the First Council of the Seventies in April 1890) Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, v.3, 1920: p. 771 (died on August 9, 1909)

Found in 22 Collections and/or Records:

Utah District Court records of United States vs. George Reynolds

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197231037810]
Identifier: MSS 6286
Abstract

The Utah District Court Records of United States vs. George Reynolds is a microfilm copy of papers and files of United States vs. George Reynolds case on polygamy from 1874.

Dates: 1985

Brigham Young letter to George Reynolds

 Collection — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197233287454]
Identifier: Vault MSS 208
Scope and Contents

Handwritten and signed letter in pencil, dated 5 Nov. 1876, and addressed to George Reynolds, an apostle in the Mormon Church. Young writes from Beaver, Utah, about business matters.

Dates: 1876 November 5

Additional filters:

Type
Collection 19
Archival Object 3
 
Subject
Letters 13
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 5
Civil Procedure and Courts 5
Politics, Government, and Law 5
Polygamy -- Religious aspects -- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 5
∨ more
Polygamy -- Utah 5
Church Government 4
Correspondence 4
Material Types 4
Politicians -- Utah -- Salt Lake City -- Correspondence 4
Certificates 3
Church and state -- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3
Home and Family 3
Mormons -- Correspondence 3
Mormons -- Utah -- Correspondence 3
Polygamy -- Religious aspects -- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- History 3
Social Life and Customs 3
Biographies 2
Colleges and Universities 2
Education 2
Mormon Church -- Apostles 2
Mormons -- Utah -- History 2
Prisons -- Utah -- History 2
Utah -- Economic conditions 2
Anthropology 1
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 1
Authors, American -- Utah -- Biography 1
Autobiographies 1
Book of Mormon 1
Book of Mormon -- Commentaries 1
Business, Industry, Labor, and Commerce 1
Businessmen -- Utah -- Correspondence 1
Church officers -- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- Biography 1
Church officers -- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- Correspondence 1
Education -- Utah -- Provo -- History 1
Great Salt Lake (Utah) -- Discovery and exploration 1
Historical museums 1
Histories (Literary works) 1
Marriage -- Religious aspects -- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1
Microfilms 1
Missions and Missionaries 1
Mormon Church -- Europe -- History 1
Mormon Church -- Missions -- Europe 1
Mormon Church -- Presidents 1
Mormon Church -- Presidents -- Correspondence 1
Mormon Church -- Utah -- Provo -- History 1
Mormon women -- Correspondence 1
Mormons -- England -- Liverpool -- History -- 19th century 1
Mormons -- Europe -- Correspondence 1
Mormons -- Utah -- Provo -- History 1
Museum registration methods 1
Museums -- Utah 1
Notes 1
Polygamy -- Utah -- History 1
Prisoners -- Utah -- Biography -- Sources 1
Railroads 1
Railroads -- Utah -- History 1
Religion 1
Territorial Government 1
Theater -- Utah -- History -- Sources 1
Tithes -- Mormon Church 1
Weber (Utah) 1
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