Scope and Content

Collection contains journals, letterbooks, and other papers of Franklin D. Richards and also papers of his wife Jane S. Richards, his father, Phinehas Richards, and his son Charles C. Richards.

Franklin D. Richards's journals span the years 1844-1899 and record his early missionary travels, experiences in Nauvoo, Illinois, British Mission service, and activities in Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. Journals include information about the Nauvoo, Logan, and Salt Lake Temples, the Historian's Office, the President's Office (particularly during John Taylor's administration), the Council of the Twelve, Church business and property affairs, Weber County politics, anti-polygamy legislation, Utah politics and statehood, and missionary and genealogical work. To augment his journal record, Richards also kept memoranda, minutes, programs, invitations, broadsides, newspaper clippings, telegrams, and selected letters, including correspondence with John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Brigham Young Jr., Joseph F. Smith, Karl G. Maeser, Eliza R. Snow, William Budge, and historian Hubert H. Bancroft. Journal transcripts and extensive biographical materials are also included.

Franklin D. Richards's letterbooks span the years 1866-1869 and 1883-1899 and contain outgoing letters relative to his activities as mission president in England and his historical and genealogical interests. Other papers include transcriptions of letters Richards wrote to his parents in 1839 that contain information about the death of his brother George S. Richards at Haun's Mill, Missouri; Richards's discourses; family blessings; a poem by Eliza R. Snow; and a letter to Karl G. Maeser.

Papers of Jane S. Richards include reminiscences of her early acquaintance with the Church, her conversion, and hardships encountered during the exodus from Nauvoo and settlement in Utah. Also included are her funeral services and a brief history of the Relief Society in Weber Stake.

Papers of Phinehas Richards include an early memorandum book and diaries that document his life in Kirtland, Ohio, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Illinois, immigration west, and activities in Salt Lake City. Also includes his funeral services.

Papers of Charles C. Richards include letterbooks that refer to routine government matters during his service as secretary and acting governor of Utah Territory just prior to statehood; an 1880 diary recording a trip to the eastern states and visit to the Palymyra, New York area; correspondence with John Taylor and George Q. Cannon; and political commissions. Also includes a biographical sketch of Emily T. Richards and funeral services for Josephine R. West and Franklin S. Richards.

Franklin D. Richards served in the Quorum of the Twelve, 1849-1899. He also served as Church historian and recorder from 1889 until his death.

Arrangement of Materials


15 boxes

15 boxes

Linear Feet

Use and Access

Closed to research.

Copyright expired; Franklin D. Richards journal series (boxes 1-6) is on "Selected Collections" DVDs.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], Richards family collection. Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Richards family
Language of the Materials
Access Restrictions
Closed to research.
Alternate Finding Aids
Electronic Version
15 boxes
15 boxes

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