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Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 8911

Scope and Contents

Includes two copies of Thomas Smith Johnson's 1846 autobiography detailing his life from birth to his time in Nauvoo, Ilinois and heading west to the Salt Lake Valley. Materials dated 1846.


  • 1846


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 Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Thomas Smith Johnson (1818-1895) was a Mormon convert from Schenectady, New York who served in various positions of the church including as a missionary in New York and Australia, a team captain of the Benjamin Hawkins Company, and as a Seventy.

Thomas Smith Johnson was born to Isaac Johnson, Jr. and Grace Smith in Schenectady, New York on January 1, 1818. During his childhood, while living in Oneida County with his father, he was indentured to work as an apprentice to carpenter John Kingsbury until he turned 21. While he served in this identure, his father died and he was mistreated by Kingsbury to the point where he was released from his indenture not so far afterwards.

In 1839 after Johnson married his first wife Patience, Johnson was baptized as a member of the Church near Utica, New York. While not well received by members of his local community, he was called immediately after his conversion to preach the gospel in the community. After being released from this calling, he soon moved with wife and his children to Nauvoo--losing a child on the way. During this time in Nauvoo, he was called to return to New York to preach the gospel, and, after Joseph Smith's death in 1844, he left to migrate to the Salt Lake Valley in 1850--serving as a captain of the Benjamin Hawkins company at that time. After nine years living in the valley, he was called to preach the gospel once more--this time serving a three-year mission to Australia. After returning to Utah, his family soon settled in present-day Cache and Weber counties where he would serve as a farmer until his death in 1895.


1 folder (0.01 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by William E. Kuttler, descendant of Thomas Smith Johnson, in August 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; William E. Kuttler; August 2016.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013).

Processing Information

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2016.

Register of Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography
Eric Wolford
2016 September 16
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