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Thomas L. Kane papers, 1840-1908

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3190 Series 2

Scope and Contents

Contains materials related to the life and activites of Kane. These include two bound volumes, a pocketbook, and a variety of papers, botanical pressings, and letters. The bound volumes contain anecdotes and histories in English and French about Thomas's family. The papers mostly concern the relationship between Thomas and the Mormon Church, including a letter from Brigham Young, a patriarchal blessing given to him by John Smith, and a cipher to be used while referring to Mormon leaders over telegraph. Other papers detail business correspondence concerning the town of Kane, Pennsylvania, and the Kane Bank and Trust Company. The pocketbook contains notes and thoughts from Thomas's service in the American Civil War. Materials date between 1846 and 1908.


  • Other: 1840-1908


Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted; permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. Patrons should use reproductions where available.

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 note

Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883) was lawyer, abolitionist, Civil War soldier, frontiersman, and Mormon advocate.

Thomas Leiper Kane was born January 27, 1822 in Philadelphia to Judge John Kintzing Kane and Jane Duval Leiper. He attained the bar in 1846, after studying law with his father. He served as clerk in his father's court until 1850, at which point he resigned due to a moral conflict with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. He went on to become an active member of the Underground Railroad. Kane became interested in the Mormon migration to the West, and was crucial in securing government aid for the movement. His friendship with Brigham Young is credited with the non-violent resolution of the Utah War. At the advent of the Civil War Kane organized a volunteer Union Army regiment known as the "Bucktails" and served as lieutenant-colonel of that outfit. He later was brevetted the rank of major-general for his service at Gettysburg. After his military service he retired to found the town of Kane, Pennsylvania. In 1853 Kane married Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood, and together they had four children: Harriet Amelia Kane (1854-1896); Elisha Kent Kane (1856-1935); Evan O'Neill Kane (1861-1932); and Thomas Leiper Kane, Jr. (1863-1929). Kane died of pneumonia in Philadelphia on December 26, 1883.


10 folders

Language of Materials