Scope and Content

Collection contains autobiographical writings, correspondence, family papers, and business records that document George A. Smith's early experiences in the Church; missionary labors in the states and in England; exodus west; Pottawattamie County, Iowa conditions; Utah colonizing activities, particularly in Utah, Iron, and Washington counties; and military (Nauvoo Legion) and political involvement. Includes information about Joseph Smith and the extended Smith family, the Historian's Office, missionary work, temples (including Nauvoo, St. George, and Salt Lake), immigration, Indian relations, irrigation and water rights, cooperatives and united orders, plural marriage, and Utah statehood attempts.

Smith's autobiography and journals record his activities in Kirtland, Ohio; Missouri; and Nauvoo, Illinois; travel with Zion's Camp; British Mission (1840-1841); immigration to Utah; Iron Mission (1850-1851); activities in Washington DC (1856-1857); visits to Utah settlements, particularly St. George; and tour of Europe and the Middle East (1872-1873).

Correspondence includes letters from Church leaders Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Amasa M. Lyman, Ezra T. Benson, Charles C. Rich, Erastus Snow, Franklin D. Richards, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young Jr., Albert Carrington, George Teasdale, Daniel H. Wells, Newel K. Whitney, Edward Hunter, Charles W. Penrose, Moses Thatcher, Francis M. Lyman; Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates, John Van Cott, Seymour B. Young, George Reynolds, and Edward Stevenson.

Includes letters from local Church leaders Elias H. Blackburn (Provo), John L. Butler (Spanish Fork), Andrew Cahoon (South Cottonwood), Robert D. Covington (Washington), Henry Eyring (St. George), John B. Fairbanks (Payson), Philo T. Farnsworth (Beaver), Leonard E. Harrington (American Fork), John W. Hess (Farmington), Aaron Johnson (Springville), Hamilton H. Kearnes (Gunnison), Philip Klingensmith (Cedar City), Henry Lunt (Cedar City), Reuben Miller (Millcreek), Isaac Morley (Manti), John R. Murdock (Beaver), James Pace (Payson), Canute Peterson (Ephraim), James H. Rollins (Minersville), Lorenzo W. Roundy (Kannarrah), John Rowberry (Tooele), Albert K. Thurber (Spanish Fork), William M. Wall (Provo), William S. Warren (Parowan), and Anson P. Winsor (Grafton).

Correspondents during Smith's British Mission include missionaries and converts James Blakeslee, Hiram Clark, Alfred Cordon, Theodore Curtis, Reuben Hedlock, Alexander Neibaur, Richard Rushton, Osmond Shaw, Theodore Turley, and George D. Watt. Other letters record missionary work in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany, Hawaii, Texas, Australia, and South Africa; colonizing and Indian missions such as the Las Vegas Mission, Elk Mountain Mission, Salmon River Mission (Idaho), and Muddy Mission (Nevada); and Indian interaction with tribes representing the Ute, Piede, Shoshone, Navajo, and Cherokee, and Indian leaders Walker, Arapene, Washakie, Ammon, Sagwitch, and Black Hawk.

Also includes letters from Utah governors Alfred Cumming, Charles Durkee, and J. Wilson Shaffer; territorial secretaries Amos Reed and Frank Fuller; territorial delegates John M. Bernhisel, William H. Hooper, and John F. Kinney; US district attorney George C. Bates; United States senators John S. Harris (Louisiana), and Joseph S. Fowler (Tennessee); Colonel Edward J. Steptoe; and friendly non-Mormons Thomas L. Kane and George Francis Train.

Also includes letters from those involved in the early Church, such as Martin Harris and W. W. Phelps; Historian's Office clerks Richard Bentley, Thomas Bullock, Robert L. Campbell, Jonathan Grimshaw, Leo Hawkins, John Jaques, and Joan M. Campbell; and others involved in history endeavors, such as Martha Jane Coray and historian Hubert H. Bancroft.

Other correspondents include James Andrus, Almon W. Babbitt, Alexander Badlam, George W. Bean, Alfred N. Billings, Charles Bird, Seth M. Blair, James G. Bleak, Daniel Bonelli, James Brown, John Brown, Isaac Bullock, Joseph Caine, Anson Call, David Candland, Angus M. Cannon, Dominicus Carter, William F. Carter, Hiram B. Clawson, William Clayton, William W. Cluff, W. H. Crawford, Edward Dalton, William H. Dame, Philo Dibble, Robert Beauchamp (Dolling), Thomas S. Dorey, Chapman Duncan, Thomas Durham, Warren N. Dusenberry, George P. Dykes, Henry Eyring, Aaron F. Farr, Henry J. Faust, Nathaniel H. Felt, James Ferguson, Warren Foote, Elijah Fordham, William France, John S. Fullmer, Archibald Gardner, Andrew S. Gibbons, Walter M. Gibson, William S. Godbe, Evan M. Greene, Isaac C. Haight, Jacob Hamblin, Francis A. Hammond, Ephraim K. Hanks, Thales H. Haskell, Abram Hatch, Lorenzo H. Hatch, Joseph L. Heywood, Isaac Higbee, John M. Higbee, Nelson S. Hollingshead, Lehasa Hollister, John M. Horner, Benjamin R. Hulse, Dimick B. Huntington, Thomas W. Jennings, Thomas E. Jeremy, Benjamin F. Johnson, Charles M. Johnson, Joel H. Johnson, Nephi Johnson, Sixtus E. Johnson, Dan Jones, Zadok K. Judd, William H. Kimball, Thomas Kington, John D. Lee, James Lewis, Philip B. Lewis, James A. Little, and Jesse C. Little.

Also includes correspondence from James H. Martineau, Peter Maughn, Alexander F. McDonald, James McFate, James McGaw, David McKenzie, James McKnight, Priddy Meeks, James P. Meik, William H. Miles, Henry W. Miller, John Murdock, John R. Murdock, A. Milton Musser, L. John Nuttall, William B. Pace, Edward Partridge Jr., Calvin C. Pendleton, Samuel Pitchforth, Mildred E. Randall, Samuel W. Richards, Sidney Roberts, Josiah Rogerson, Stephen B. Rose, Lucius N. Scovil, Marion J. Shelton, Andrew L. Siler, Leonard I. Smith, Thomas S. Smith, Abraham O. Smoot, James C. Snow, Henry L. Southworth, William C. Staines, Henry A. Standage, John Steele, Thomas B. H. Stenhouse, William G. Sterritt, Andrew J. Stewart, Preston Thomas, Daniel Tyler, Charles W. Wandell, Junius F. Wells, John A. West, Cyrus H. Wheelock, Chauncy Whiting, Joshua T. Willis, Jonathan C. Wright, and John R. Young.

Family correspondence includes letters exchanged with parents John and Clarissa Smith; brother John L. Smith; wives Bathsheba, Lucy, Zilpha, Sarah Ann, Hannah, and Susan E. Smith; sons George A. Jr., John Henry, and Charles W. Smith; daughters Bathsheba Merrill, Mary Wimmer, Sarah Colton, Grace Cheever, Clarissa Williams, and Margaret Parry; Smith relations, including Don Carlos Smith, Agnes M. Smith (Pickett), Katherine Smith Salisbury, Elias Smith, John C. L. Smith, Silas Smith, Samuel H. B. Smith, Silas S. Smith, Jesse N. Smith, and Joseph Smith III; and extended family of Lymans, Biglers, Callisters, Martins, and Flemings, including Jacob G. Bigler, Henry W. Bigler, Thomas Callister, Alfred B. Lambson, Jesse B. Martin, Oscar F. Lyons, and Clarence Merrill. Also included are some of Bathsheba W. Smith's papers and correspondence, including letters from Jedediah M. Grant, Sarah M. Pratt, Solon Foster, and historian Edward W. Tullidge.

Collection also includes family blessings and genealogy; Richard Lyman family information; biographical sketches of George A. Smith, John Smith, John L. Smith, Asael Smith, Silas Smith, Silas S. Smith, Jesse N. Smith, and Elias Smith; genealogical correspondence with Humphrey Gould; and copies of early Smith family documents.

Also includes George A. Smith's 1841 copy of Doctrine and Covenants Section 124, Iron Mission records, Black Hawk War militia records, George A. Smith's 1869 account of incidents related to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and a few transcripts of his addresses.

Among George A. Smith's business papers are his Parowan postmaster and mill accounts, property deeds, and John Smith's and John C. L. Smith's estate papers. Also in the collection are church, civic, and military certificates, including Nauvoo Masonic Lodge certificate signed by Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo Legion commission signed by Illinois governor Thomas Carlin; and 1872 National Republican Convention materials.

Typescripts of George A. Smith's autobiography and journals are cataloged as MS 2737 box 76, except 1850-1852 journal cataloged as MS 17193 and 1872-1873 journal cataloged as MS 17194.

George A. Smith, a first cousin to Joseph Smith, was a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, a counselor in the First Presidency, and Church historian.

Arrangement of Materials


11 boxes

11 boxes

Linear Feet

Use and Access

Portions closed to research.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], George A. Smith papers. Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Smith, George Albert 1817-1875
Language of the Materials
Access Restrictions
Portions closed to research.
Alternate Finding Aids
Electronic Version
11 boxes
11 boxes

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