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John McEwan diary

 Item — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1051
Image of John McEwan diary
Image of John McEwan diary

Scope and Contents

Materials include a handwritten diary detailing McEwan's experiences from 1843 to 1858. The diary includes brief entries about his travels from Ireland to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1843, and patriarchal blessings for both McEwan and his wife, Amanda. The majority of the journal contains writings on McEwan's experience as a member of the Elk Mountain Mission to negotiate for land with the Ute Indian tribes in southeastern Utah, from May to October 1855, including getting lost in the mountain during his journey back from the area to Provo. McEwan also documents his time as a clerk for a district court living in the territorial capital of Fillmore, Utah, from October 1855 to January 1856, and his service in the Provo Regiment of a militia to assist others stationed in Weber Canyon during the Utah War in May 1858. Also includes records of births, marriages, temple ordinances performed, and other genealogical records dating up to 1889. Dated 1843 to 1889.


  • 1843-1889


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical History

John McEwan (1824-1878) was a Mormon pioneer, court clerk, and postmaster in Utah.

John McEwan was born February 24, 1824 in Bonbride, County Down, Ireland, to Henry McEwan and Jane Thompson. He was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saitns in Ireland on November 13, 1840. In 1843, he emigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, and there met and married Amanda Melvina Higbee on December 23, 1845. They had ten children together. McEwan served as a secretary to Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. He and his family emigrated to Utah in 1848 and were some of the early settlers of Provo. In April 1855, McEwan was called to serve in the Elk Mountain Mission to help establish friendships with the Ute tribes in southeastern Utah and explore the area for settlement. Upon his return from his mission later that year, McEwan was appointed as a district court clerk and moved to work in the Territorial State House in Fillmore, Utah. In May 1858, McEwan volunteered to be a member of the Provo regiment of soldiers called to assist those stationed in Weber Canyon during the Utah War. While in Provo, he also served as president of the 22nd Quorum of Seventies and as postmaster.

John McEwan died on February 27, 1878 in Provo, Utah.


3 folders (0.15 linear ft.) : 1 v., 208 p.

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Mark K. Allen in approximately 1961.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Mark K. Allen; approximately 1961.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy 5.V, August 2007).

Existence and Location of Copies

A photocopy of the John McEwan diary is located in Folder 2 and a transcription is located in Folder 3 of the collection.


Holograph, photocopy, and transcription.

Processing Information

Processed; Rose Frank; 2011.

Register of John McEwan diary
Rose Frank
2011 March 18
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