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Smith family artifacts

 Collection — oversize: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 775

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of physical artifacts of Hyrum Smith and his son John Smith. These include a walking stick of Hyrum Smith, a walking cane of John Smith purchased while on his mission to Denmark, Hyrum Smith's metal scales, John Smith's pistol and carrying case, Hyrum Smith's razor and case (ownership of this item is dubious; it may have belonged to his grandson, Hyrum Fisher Smith), Hyrum Smith's coin purse and notebook, a knife of uncertain ownership, and six portraits (two of Hyrum Smith, two of John Smith, one of Lucy Mack Smith, and one of Jerusha B. Smith).


  • 1832-1911


Conditions Governing Access

Restricted: paintings, canes, and Bible are currently on display in the Smith Room in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections department. Access may be granted by the Supervisor of Reference Services.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical History

Hyrum Smith, the second son of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith and older brother of Joseph Smith Jr, was born in Tunbridge, Vt. on 9 February 1800. On 12 November 1826 he married Jerusha Barden, who later died in October of 1837. Hyrum was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by his brother Joseph in Seneca Lake in June 1829 and was one of the eight witnesses to see the gold plates of the Book of Mormon. He served as Joseph Smith's second counselor in the First Presidency, and was called to be the Church Patriarch in January of 1841. The office, being hereditary, was passed to him on his father's death. He was also called to be Associate President of the Church in 1841. On 27 June 1844 both he and Joseph were martyred by a mob while incarcerated in Carthage Jail. John Smith, son of Hyrum and Jerusha, was born 22 September 1832 in Kirtland, Ohio. He was sustained as sixth Patriarch of the Church in 1855, replacing his deceased grand-uncle. As Patriarch, John pronounced over 20,000 blessings. He died in Salt Lake City on 6 November 1911.


13 items

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated; Eldred G. Smith and Cleone Isom; 8 March 1991.

Custodial History

All items were kept in the possession of the Smith family until the time of their donation to Brigham Young University.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Related Materials

This collection was originally entitled the Joseph Smith Sr. family collection, and included a wide array of materials from Hyrum Smith and his descendants. In December 2001 these materials were divided into separate collections by provenance as follows: the Hyrum Smith papers (Vault MSS 774), the John Smith papers (Vault MSS 803), the Hyrum Fisher Smith papers (MSS 2362), and the Hyrum Gibbs Smith papers (Vault MSS 804).


The portraits of Hyrum and Jerusha Smith on display in the Joseph Smith, Sr. donor room, that supposedly hung in the Kirtland Temple, date to approximately 1834-1835, and may have been done by a "Webber" of Kirtland. This information is derived from a carte de visite of the portrait of Hyrum that is now at the Church History Library (PH 8004), describing the painting as having been done in Hyrum's 34th year. This item was donated by descendants of George A. and Bathsheba Bigler Smith. See case file for copy of this image and the writing on the verso side, and correspondence with the Church History Department.

Register of Smith family artifacts
Leslie Evens
2011 December 15
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