Scope and Content

Files kept in Young's office by himself or his clerks during the period he served as president of the Quorum of Twelve (1844-1847) and President of the Church (1847-1877), including files accumulated during his tenure as governor of Utah Territory and ex officio territorial Superintendent of Indian Affairs (1851-1858).

Besides documents relating to Young's church and governmental activities, these files also include records relating to his personal and family affairs and business activities.

Young's files include letterpress copybooks and other retained copies of outgoing letters, general epistles to members of the Church, incoming letters and telegrams, personal and office journals, minutes, texts of speeches, petitions, legal documents, reports, claims, visitors' registers, financial records and other business records, etc. Materials in Young's files document not only general church activities but also local church, community, and individual activities during the Nauvoo, Iowa, and Utah eras of the Church's history, including the overland migration from Iowa to Utah, the migration of LDS converts from Europe, relations with federal and local governments, relations with Native Americans, ecclesiastical court matters, and issues relating to church ordinances such as marriage and divorce.

Brigham Young, born in Vermont in 1801, was an early convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a close associate of Mormon prophet and Church founder Joseph Smith.

One of the first members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, he soon became president of the quorum. After Smith's death in 1844, Young became the de facto head of the Church. In this role he lead the first of the latter-day Saints west from Nauvoo, Illinois, and established the early Mormon communities in the Great Basin. He was chosen as the second president of the Church in 1847 and served until his death in 1877.

He was appointed as Utah's first territorial governor and served from 1851-1857. He was also responsible for many business and commercial ventures as well as public works projects.

His leadership of the Church came at critical time in Mormon history. Brother Brigham maintain Joseph Smith's vision for the Church and possessed the will and the ability to build communities and temples, to carry out missionary work throughout much of the world, and to operate an impressive immigration program for Saints from many lands.

Arrangement of Materials


170 boxes

170 boxes

Organized into 20 records series.

Linear Feet

Use and Access

Portions closed to research.

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], Brigham Young office files. Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

Related Material

Large portions of Brigham Young office files were transcribed by Edyth J. Romney and are housed in twenty-seven boxes cataloged as MS 2736. Presumably these typescripts were prepared before files were put into their current arrangement--in some series, such as letterbooks, there would be no change, but in correspondence and other series, Romney typescripts likely do not match current CR 1234 1 arrangement.

According to register for MS 2736, all or parts of following series now in CR 1234 1 were transcribed by Sister Romney, under direction of Leonard Arrington and Ron Esplin in the History Division before 1982 and possibly thereafter:

LETTERBOOKS, boxes 1-16 (everything except telegram books v. 2-3 and 1877-1879 telegram book). MS 2736 also includes volume containing Sister Romney’s typescripts of indexes to those volumes.


GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, INCOMING, 1844-1851, boxes 18-23. Her transcripts include additional correspondence with thirty-two designated individuals (probably representing individuals in letters from the subseries Church leaders and others and the subseries Family letters).

FEDERAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FILES, box 24. Probably only portions of this series, although not clear from MS 2736 register.

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE FILES, boxes 24-25. Letterbook, governor's messages, and three other folders only.

UTAH DELEGATE FILES, box 25. Inlcudes only part of Bernhisel correspondence plus Kinney correspondence, 1863-1865.


JOURNALS, boxes 26-27. Includes only President's Office journals, 1852-1863, plus journal for October-November 1857 kept by Joseph M. Simmons and a few additional papers.

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Young, Brigham, 1801-1877
Language of the Materials
Access Restrictions
Portions closed to research.
Alternate Finding Aids
Electronic Version
170 boxes
170 boxes

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