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Thomas Day collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2071

Scope and Contents note

The Thomas Day collection contains Day's journal (1843-1850), an account book (1843-1846), papers, and correspondence relating to his family, most all of which focuses on his LDS mission to England. He served in Lemington, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire. Within his mission papers is found several of Day's certificates of ordination to priesthood offices as well as several handbills listing lectures given by Elder Day and his companions.


  • 1841-1893


Conditions Governing Access note

Microfilm copies are restricted until 2026 due to the restriction on the contents of folder 12 of the collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Thomas Day collection must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Thomas Day was born September 2, 1814 in Wolverhampton, Stafford, England. He joined the Methodist Church, eventually becoming a preacher within the group, and married a young widow named Ann Andrus Danks. Day joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) on September 2, 1842 and his wife joined ten days later. He served as a traveling LDS missionary in Leamington, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, England between 1843 and 1849. While he was serving as a missionary, Day’s wife and only child died.

Day immigrated to the United States in 1850 on the Josiah Bradlee, having been ordained by Orson Pratt to preside over the emigrating members of the Church. He remarried and settled in Springville, Iowa, until he immigrated to the Salt Lake Valley in 1852. He was present in Salt Lake City at the groundbreaking of the Salt Lake Temple on February 14, 1853. After moving to Utah he served as a missionary to the Salmon River Indian mission in Idaho.

Following the exodus southward from Salt Lake City due to the threat of the approaching U.S. Army in 1858, Day remained in Spanish Fork and assisted in preliminary efforts to lay out orchards in the area. In Spanish Fork he served as Teacher, School Trustee, member of the City Council, Ward Teacher, and Water Master. By 1863 Day had entered into the practice of polygamy and one of his two wives died in that year. He volunteered to move to the Muddy River area in Southern Utah as part of colonizing effort in that region.

Returning from this experience, he settled in St. George with his one wife and six children and found work as a sheepherder in Kanarra. He married a widow in St. George and also became one of the laborers in the newly finished St. George temple. Due to health problems, Day moved to Circle Valley, Piute County, in 1877. Day died in Circleville on January 6, 1893.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

1 microfilm reel (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The Thomas Day collection contains Day's journal (1843-1850), an account book (1843-1846), papers, and correspondence relating to his family, most all of which focuses on his LDS mission to England. He served in Lemington, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire.

Arrangement note

Arranged in three series: 1. Thomas Day papers, 1841-1893; 2. Thomas Day mission papers, circa 1842-1853; and 3. Thomas Day correspondence, 1872-1894.

These series represent an intellectual organization of the materials rather than a physical one. In order to locate items it is suggested that one refer to the finding aid in print available in the repository.

Other Finding Aids note

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Other Finding Aids

Item-level inventory available online.

Custodial History note

Some of the material was obtained by Earl Davis, a grandson of Thomas Day. BYU Special Collections acquired the second group of materials from Vivadell Davis, a descendent of Thomas Day, in August 1986. The restricted letters were obtained from Mrs. Durham Morris in 1976. References to BYU wanting to receive an earlier donation are in the creator file under March 1986.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Acquired; Earl Davis.

Acquired; Mrs. Durham Morris; 1976.

Acquired; Vivadell Davis; August 1986.

Appraisal note

19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Related Archival Materials note

A microfilm copy has been made for the entire collection. However, due to the restrictions on folder 12, by the donor, this microfilm copy will remain restricted until 2026.

Separated Materials note

The following items have been transferred to the print collection in BYU Special Collections. Photocopies have been retained in this manuscript collection. The information in brackets is the call number of the original.

Item 1. Handbill of a Latter-day Saint camp meeting at Hillmorton near Rugby, England on 4 July, 1847. Speakers to be Elder Thomas Smith and Elder Thomas Day. 19 x 12 cm., printed. [094 R84 1847]

Item 2. Broadside of a series of four lectures presented in the Ebenezar Chapel in Rugby, England from 13 January to 3 February 1849. Speakers to be Elder S. Parks, Elder T. Day, Elder A. Cordon, and Elder W. Broadhead. 37 x 25 cm., printed. [094 R84 1849]

Item 3. Broadside Truth Is Mighty and Will Prevail announcing lectures to be given by Elder Thomas Day beginning 31 October 1849. 37 x 26 cm., printed with date, speaker, and place handwritten. [094 R84 1849]

Item 4. Broadside Apostolical Religion Restored announcing sermons to be given 17 November 1844 in Coventry. 28 x 23 cm., printed, laminated. [Vault Mss 274.2 Ap45 1844]

Item 5. Licence For a Hawker Trading on Foot, issued to Thomas Day 23 August 1841 in Birmingham, England. 39 x 25 cm., printed in color, laminated. [Vault Q094 B53 1841]

Item 6. Exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1787 print from The Illustrated London News, 11 May 1861, page 450. 27 x 39 cm., printed, laminated.

Processing Information note

Processed; David J. Whittaker and Mauri Liljenquist; January 1999.

Register of Thomas Day collection
David J. Whittaker and Mauri Liljenquist
January 1999
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.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States