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Russell family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 6123

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains letters, papers, documents from the Russell family.


  • 1846-1947


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

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

Biographical History

Samuel Russell Sr. (1835-1896), son of Isaac Russell and Mary Walton, was born in Chariton, York, Ontario, Canada. His father converted while living in Canada, and was one of the first Latter-day Saint missionaries in England. In 1861, Samuel traveled across the plains to be with the Saints. He married both Lucy and Henriette Pratt, daughters of Parley Parker Pratt and Hanahette Snively. Due to this, he had to go into hiding for unlawful cohabitation. Among others, Samuel Russell Sr. kept a long correspondence with John Vaughn of Washington, D.C., some of which is included in this collection. After his death, Samuel was buried in the Salt Lake City cemetery of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Biographical/Historical note

Samuel Russell Jr. (1878-1954) was born in Salt Lake City to Samuel Russell Sr. and Henriette Pratt. After receiving a law degree, he went to work for William Henry King's law firm. This proved to be a long lasting working relationship. When King was elected to the US congress in 1917, Russell went with him as his administrative assistant and secretary. After a falling out with King, Russell returned to Salt Lake City where he dedicated much of his time to the research of Latter-day Saint history and served on various historical committees, writing many papers and presenting many speeches. Russell never married.


2 folders (0.15 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The first part of this collection contains select papers from the life of Samuel Russell, Sr. The bulk of these papers are hand copied letters from John M. Vaughn, a frequent correspondent of Samuel Russell who lived in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. The second half of the collection contains the papers of his son, Samuel Russell, Jr. Many of these papers include documents from when Russell Jr. worked as William Henry King's secretary in Washington, D.C., while King served in the US Congress.

Custodial History note

Maintained by Benchmark Books until purchase in February 2008.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchased; Benchmark Books; February 2008.

Appraisal note

19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts. Relates to statehood of Utah, the Washington DC view of the Mormons, and to the Saints crossing the plains.

Related Archival Materials note

See also Samuel Russell photographs of the Timpanogos Club, circa 1900s (MSS P 237; Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections Department, Photograph Collection; Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.).

See also Letters received, 1865-1891 (MSS SC 2159; Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections Department, Archival Manuscript Collection; Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah).

See also Correspondence, 1863-1891 (MSS SC 1317; Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections Department, Archival Manuscript Collection; Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah).

See also Russell family papers, 1822-1954 (MSS 1511; Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections Department, Archival Manuscript Collection; Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah).

See also Senator William H. King and his campaigns against Russian communism, 1917-1933 (F 821 .U92 vol.74 no.2; Harold B. Lee Library, Periodical Department; Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah).

Processing Information note

Processed; Elisabeth Bogart; 2008.

Register of Russell family papers
Elisabeth Bogart
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