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David J. Whittaker collection of non-Mormon Nauvoo and Illinois area newspaper extracts from 1845

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 7685

Scope and Contents

Contains a volume of typescripts of extracts from non-Mormon newspapers around the Nauvoo, Illinois, area (south-eastern Iowa and various counties throughout Illinois). Articles deal with Mormon topics, primarily expressing the reaction of non-Mormons to the Mormon presence and influence in Illinois and reporting on the physical conflicts between the Mormons and anti-Mormons in 1845. Papers are crudely bound together with string through two punched holes. Arranged in alphabetical order by name of the newspaper, then chronologically. A majority of the articles come from the Warsaw signal, published by Sharp and Gamble. All articles are from 1845.


  • [between 1982 and 2012]


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 the David J. Whittaker collection of non-Mormon Nauvoo and Illinois area newspaper extracts must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

David J. Whittaker (1945-) is a Mormon historian and bibliographer in Utah.

David Jay Whittaker was born in California on October 20, 1945. He received his bachelor's degree (1967) and Ph.D. from Brigham Young University, and a Master's degree from California State University at Northridge. He was a Beinecke Fellow at Yale University, and a Fulbright Fellow at the British Library in London. He was also a professor of history at Brigham Young University (BYU), and was president of the Mormon History Association. Whittaker worked as curator of Western and Mormon manuscripts at Brigham Young University Library in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections until his retirement in 2012. He has authored or co-authored seven books (including bibliographies on various topics in Mormon history) and about fifty scholarly articles, as well as multiple short and highly specialized Mormon history bibliographies. His works have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the Ensign, the Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies, and other notable journals. Currently he is working with the Joseph Smith Papers Project. He is married to the former Linda Struhs, and they are the parents of four children.

Administrative History

The Warsaw signal (1840-1855) was a weekly newspaper based out of Warsaw, Illinois.

The Warsaw signal was first established as the Western world in 1830. The name was then changed to Warsaw signal in 1841 after being purchased my Thomas C. Sharp. The name was then changed to Warsaw message after Sharp sold the newspaper in 1843, but when Sharp rebought it in 1844, the name was changed back to the Warsaw signal. It was bought by James McKee in 1850 and later merged with the Journal of the people in 1855 to become the Express and journal. The Signal was a pro-Whig newspaper. The owner of the newspaper, Thomas C. Sharp, was an opponent of Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saint settlements in Illinois, and the Signal supported the extermination or expulsion of the Mormon people in Illinois.


1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Found as part of the backlog of materials left by David Whittaker upon his retirement. It is unclear how BYU acquired it.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown, October 2010.


LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1, November 2013).

Processing Information

Processed; Alexander Turner, student manuscript processor, and Ryan Lee, curator; 26 June 2017.

Register of David J. Whittaker collection of non-Mormon Nauvoo and Illinois area newspaper extracts
Alexander Turner, student manuscript processor; Ryan Lee, curator
2017 June 20
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