“Myself… I Consecrate to the God of Heaven”

Twenty Affidavits of Consecration in Nauvoo, June–July 1842


Twenty affidavits, handwritten in the summer of 1842 by Latter-day Saints determined to follow an apostolic invitation to consecrate themselves and their property to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, invite us to reconsider common perceptions of the law of consecration.1 Many Latter-day Saints believe what Arrington, Fox, and May described as a “folk memory” concerning the law of consecration. It is the belief that the Lord revealed the “higher” law of consecration to Joseph Smith early in Church history and later revoked it because the Saints could not live it. The Lord then revealed the lower law of tithing to replace the higher law. This way of interpreting and relating to Joseph Smith’s revelations seeks to reconcile the past and the present. Arrington, Fox, and May explained this rationale in Building the City of God: “A people failing to live a higher law would be given a lesser law that presumably might prepare them for an eventual restoration of the more perfect order.”2

It is not completely clear when or why this way of explaining the past emerged, but historians have generally taken it for granted. Though some Mormon leaders taught this interpretation as early as 1854, it apparently does not appear in any of Joseph Smith’s writings or teachings before or during the Nauvoo era.3 Twenty consecration affidavits from 1842 published for the first time on the following pages require all to reexamine previous interpretations of the early practice of consecration and the assumptions on which those interpretations have been based. The purpose of this paper is to introduce and facilitate access to these twenty affidavits for further research and interpretation.

Though unique, these affidavits were not the first, nor were they the last, of their kind created for the purpose of consecrating goods, time, or efforts for “the building up of the New Jerusalem.”4 When converts from Colesville, New York, began to migrate to Kirtland, Ohio, early in 1831, Bishop Edward Partridge was charged with obtaining land on which they could settle. Leman Copley offered the Saints his farm in Thompson, Ohio. On May 20, 1831, Partridge inquired of Joseph Smith on the matter, and Joseph received the revelation that is now section 51 of the Doctrine and Covenants.5 The revelation addressed Bishop Partridge’s concern and also included the command that “when he shall appoint a man his portion give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion that he shall hold it of the church, untill he transgresses & is not counted worthy.”6 Though later consecration efforts varied, this revelation became the precedent upon which all consecration affidavits and deeds were created in the future. The first of these were made in about 1832 by Bishop Partridge. There are now currently nine known consecration deeds from that period, and the only one dated is that of Joseph Knight Jr., signed on October 12, 1832.7 Such deeds were likely printed at the Mormon printing press in Independence, Missouri, under the direction of William W. Phelps, and later the necessary information was filled in by Bishop Partridge at the time of consecration. However, this type of consecration deed (printing a standardized form and then filling in the information at the moment of consecration) was apparently not utilized again until the Saints arrived in Utah and Brigham Young began to oversee the implementation of cooperative economic organizations in the West.

Another form of consecration deed was created by Wilford Woodruff on December 31, 1834. On that day he recorded in his journal, “Believing it to be the duty of the latter day Saints to consecrate and dedicate all their properties with themselves unto God in order to become lawful heirs to the C[e]lestial Kingdom of God It was under such a view of the subject that I consecrated before the Bishop of the Church of the latter day Saints in Clay County Dec 31st 1834.” Woodruff then proceeded to copy the affidavit he had given to Bishop Partridge into his personal journal. This affidavit of consecration by Wilford Woodruff is similar to the twenty affidavits below in the sense that it appears Woodruff himself wrote out the affidavit and then listed the goods he was consecrating along with himself.8

Arrington, Fox, and May point out in Building the City of God that it had been long assumed that no other attempts to implement consecration were made after the Missouri period until the late 1870s. Yet they call their readers’ attention “to the fact that Brigham Young in the 1850s did attempt to secure a general consecration to the church of all property.”9 It is therefore evident that there were many attempts to implement the law of consecration before and after 1842. But no mention was made in their volume of these Illinois affidavits.

The twenty affidavits that follow were created during the summer months of June and July 1842, in or around Nauvoo. Each affidavit is written, as far as is evident, in the hand of the individual(s) who signed the document and thereby consecrated goods. The first affidavit created was that of Daniel Stillwell Thomas on June 1, 1842, in Nauvoo. So it is likely that the law of consecration was taught in Nauvoo before June of 1842. The last two of the affidavits to be created were those of Orville Morgan Allen and Samuel W. Henderson, on July 1, 1842. Though these twenty documents are the only known affidavits to have survived to the present day, it is not unlikely that others were created. These affidavits are compelling evidence that Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders taught the law of consecration in Nauvoo and expected the Saints to live it as best they could.

Several historians have analyzed the records of Joseph’s extant teachings and have come to the conclusion that the law of consecration was revoked or rescinded no later than 1838. These affidavits are compelling evidence to the contrary. In the summer months of 1841, Joseph Smith conferred the responsibility of organizing Church finances on the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles after their return from their mission to Great Britain.10 On December 15, 1841, the same quorum published an article in the Church’s periodical, Times and Seasons, calling all Saints to consecrate toward the construction of the Nauvoo Temple. “The Temple is to be built by tything [sic] and consecration, and every one is at liberty to consecrate all they find in their hearts so to do; . . . whether it be money or whatever he may be blessed with.”11 It seems, therefore, that such instructions from the Apostles accorded with Joseph Smith’s desires. Further evidence indicates that he approved of their invitation to the Saints. On June 18, 1842, he addressed the citizens of Nauvoo near the temple site and “prophesied concerning” the merchants of the city and their treatment of the poor. He then “commanded the Twelve to organize the Church more according to the Law of God”—a likely reference to Joseph’s February 9, 1831, revelation that included the law of consecration (D&C 42).12 On June 26, 1842, Brigham Young preached a Sunday sermon “on [the law of] consecration. or union of action in building up the city & providing labor & food for the poor.”13 The very next day Joseph Smith lectured “at length on the importance of uniting the means of the brethren for the purpose of establishing manufactories of all kinds, furnishing labor for the poor &c.”14 These twenty affidavits were apparently created in response to such calls to consecrate in Nauvoo.

After their creation in 1842, these documents remained in the private possession of descendants of Brigham Young and were turned over to the LDS Church Archives in 1998. The twenty affidavits are now housed in the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. Due to the existence of these documents, assumptions that Joseph Smith did not implement the law of consecration after the Saints relocated to Illinois are brought into question. At the same time, Brigham Young’s implementation of United Orders throughout the western United States becomes clearer as we can now see one of his first interactions with the concept of organizing a Zion community among the Saints and probably his first time leading and organizing such an attempt.

The affidavits that follow are listed in alphabetical order along with known creation dates. Each includes a brief biographical note, when such information was available. In some cases, it has proved difficult to decipher exactly who each person was, and, as a result, little, if any, biographical information is listed. The editorial procedures for these affidavits follow the Joseph Smith Papers Project.15

Stephen Joseph Abbott,16 June 28 1842

Nauvoo June 28th 1842

a list of Stephen Abbatts property

1 table 2 Cows 10 sheep 2 shoats

3 axes 2 horses 2 horse harnes 1 two horse

wagon 1 addes 1 hand ax 2 augers Brace and

hith croscut saw Square 1 hand saw

2 back saws several chisels 1 lot of land

½ lot land hansl and lot

Debts due against me two hundred

and fifty dollars

I do hereby declare that I am willng

to submit to the consecration law

and to the wil of God in all things

                 Stephen Abbatt

Albern Allen,17 June 20, 1842

                        June 20. A D 1842

                     a list of Property

                 to land three acres

Lot 31 and Block Six the south end of Lot 31

in Kimbals adtion adition $350
to three cows and one heiffer yerarlin [yearling] 40
to one yoke of two year old S[t]eers & Hogs 23
to crop and Whood and Due me 161
to Beds and Beadden & Furniture & Cloath<i>ng 60
and I <am> oweing take take locks from the Bone 60
[two illegible, erased words] 574
to Come and ◊◊◊ 5

                     I am Willing to

                 do the will of the Lord

                             Albern Allen

Orville Morgan Allen,18 July 1, 1842

July the 1 1842

a list of property Belonging to O M Allen

1 improve on the isleand

5 head of hogs. 4 cows s<t>rayd

1 improvement on lot lot belong to chirch

1 clock 2 axes 1 han saw and some plans with

some other little thing 2 bead s<t>eads 3 beds
light by furnished one rifle gun

One debt d<i>ue me in debuque mines $228 doallars

Some little debts dew me in nauvoo in the way <traed> of

and some dew in the same way

in debt to missouria $25 missouria in d[e]bt

to me one farme A wife and 4 children

poarly clad All at your disposal for th[e]

b[u]ilding up of th[e] kingdom

                 O. M. Allen

John S. Canfield,19 June 29, 1842

Citty of Nauvoo June 29th 1842

Schedule of property

half of one lot with a small log Cabbin

House hold furniture one bed and

Clothing for the same. Wareing apperil

one pair of pantaloons one pair of shooes

one straw hat.

one table and dishes to set the sa<me> for

four persons. two small tin pai<l>s one

s[o]up pan tin flour box two small butter

boxes one lantern one b<a>nd box one

trunk & chest 6 Baskets 3 barrells

one stone churn one stone crock one wash

tub one soap tub 2 tin milk pans

one cradle one small bake pan one small

stew kettle one tin kettle one fire shovel

one flat iron one fri pan ◊◊◊ one iron

one Book of mormon one Bible and testamen<t>

one Book of Covenants 3 hymns Books

melenial [millennial] poems 3 Glass bottles 6 phials

one tunell 5 towels 2 table cloths.

one Calico one Gingham one mull one Silk

dress for my wife Children 2 dreses

each 8 pairs of hose 2 Bonnets

one Crape shawl 2 aprons 2 Capes

and 23 hnkerchiefs 2 Caps 1 pair of

shoo<e>s. Myself Wife and two children

I Consecrat[e] to the God of He[a]ven

and for the Good of his Cause hoping

to keep the faith and endure to the<> end

is the p[r]ayer of your un worthy


                     John S Canfield

[Reverse Side of Affidavit:]

Things forgoten in

the list 3 Chairs 2 axes 2 drawing

k<ni>ive 3 Plains 5 Chissels

$845 cts due from Stephen Markam

$225 cts due to G W Pierce

2 Squares 2 handsaws with all

I possess I freely give to the Lord and

into thy hands for good.





David Clough,20 Date Unknown

David Cloughs property

improvement on lot. no. one in Block no twenty

Eight (28); in Nauvoo $200,00 <Cent>
one forth of lot no (3) in Block no (6) in
Wells addition; — and house – 300,00
     two Cows – 24, 20
     househole furniture –    20,00 
544 00
   10 00 
     Carpenter tools – 554, 00
     owe Eighteen Dallars – $536,00

Samuel W. Henderson,21 July 1, 1842

                 July 1 – 1842

Property of Samuel W Henderson

7 Acres of Land 4 miles east of the Temple

2 Cows and calves parte of a set waggon irons

1 Ax. 1 Spade 1 hoe 1 pare drawen chanes

1 Smawl log Caben 6 Chairs <1 table> 1 bed stid 1 bed and

beding 1 Close basket 2 smawl baskets

Clothing 2 shirts 2 pare pantiloons 1 Casinet

Cote and vest <1 pare boots 1 hat> boy 1 pare pantiloons 2 shirts

Females 2 my wife 2 Dresses 1 bonnet

1 Shawl Chi girls <H> 1 dress and shirt a piece

1 gun 1 barrel 1 bred tra 1 smawl wooden

bole 2 wooden buckets 2 Churns 4 plates

1 dish 1 bole 4 tins 4 nives 3 forkes 5 spoons

1 pot 1 oven and led [lid] 1 skellet and led [lid] 1 meal

bag 1 voliece 1 razour 1 box and bush

Dues $28

Debts $17

5 Children makeing 7 in family

Joseph G. Hovey,22 June 28, 1842

Nauvoo June 28/42

Inventory of Joseph G. Hovey

Residing on Block thirty three belonging to the Church

have not paid but the taxes the House is log rough

12 by 15 the lot fensed three sides


One Cow

2 Soats

Household furniture [flourish]

1 Bed and bedding Childs Crib

1 Set of Chairs

1 table and one cubbuard.

2 trunks

1 Dining Set

Cooking Utencils

1 Fire Set

Five Volums of Books

Waring Apparel 1 dress Coat 2 pare pants

Cloth for one oth[er] Coat

1 Ladies clock [cloak] 4 dresses 1 Large and small Shawl

1 fur cape [flourishes]

Children dresses

Family Consisting of Wife and two Children

                 Joseph G. Hovey

Henry Jacobs,23 June 30, 1842

Nauvoo June 30th         A.D. 1842

Schedule of property I have in posesion

one half Acre of land on it a small house

I have also one cow and calf two yearling<s>

steers one shoat two feather beds and beding

a wife and a boy 15 years old we are clean

ly clad all at the desposal of the Church

N/B I owe fifty Dollars for my lot

                 Henry Jacobs

Levi North,24 June 27, 1842

Nauvoo I,lls June the 27th 1842

A list of of all the property belonging to Levi North

One fourth of a lot & House at $150,00
one Cow & calf a .15,00
Household & Kitchen furniture & clothing .40,00
I have nineten dollars owing to me &
I owe thirteen dollars to individuals 10 to <the> temple
I have a wife 2 Children

Addison Pratt,25 Date Unkown

An invoice of A. Pratts property –


A lot & improvements in Nauvoo bought of

Lyman Wight for $250.,     $150 <paid down> & 100 due, to be paid in

work on the Nauvoo House,     one hundred & eighty dollars

paid to Brigham Young on a lot donated to the building the

Temple by Brother Mathews. A half acre lot with a 2 story <block> hous<e>

& a good framed blacksmith shop &c in the town of Pleasant Garde<n>

Putnum county, Indiana – 160 acres of good land in Clay county, Indiana

near the Cumberland road, Personal property in Nauvoo, 1 cow, 5 years old

1 heffr 3 years old, 1 heiffer 2 years old, One extra light stand- farming tools

worth about 5 <or 8> dollars, An Order on Joseph Smith calling for $70,85 <cts>

to be applied on a town lot in Nauvoo, This order I paid Almon Babit

$75:00 for which he warrented to be good for the same, Due from

Jacob Johnson <seign> $24,00 to he paid in work on the Temple, Due &

There is an incumberance on the 160 acres of land, the circumstances

of which are well known to Bishop G[eorge] Miller, There is 50 cts, due to

to E Robinson esqr for recording a power of attorney given to Bishop G—

Miller to act upon this same, __ I have a wife & 4 children with

beds & bedding & wearing apparrel sufficient for present use to gether

with a scanty supply of kitchen utensils, A particular imvoice of these

will be given in of these if required, ___

This I submit freely, & volunterily, & think I am willing to

to submit to evry order of the Church of Jesus Christ in these last



I am Messrs, yours &c. Addison Pratt.

John Rounolds [Reynolds?],26 Date Unknown

John Rounolds

     to one Side saddle

too[two] Cows and Calves.

one yong year old Cow

one rifle gunn

one note on Kalip Baldon 65

fifty seven dollars

one grass sythe

I am now wiling to give all

that have to the Lord and

for the Biling up the temple

                                                  John Rounold

I am in detd 18 dollars

Augustus Stafford,27 June 29, 1842

Nauvoo Jun 29 1842

                To Prest B Young

This Certifies that I Augustus

Stafford have furnature <goods> household

Furnature including all I posess

amounting to one hundred &

Twenty five Dollars which is at the Dspos
al of the twelve

Elizabeth Stewart,28 Date Unknown

Nauvoo    Hancock Co Ill    bedding & clothing $17 32 1

Cow & calf $15 Elizabeth Stewart a widow

Urban Van Stewart,29 June 27, 1842

A list of proprty belonging to v Urban V Stewart

A house and lot <1/3 of an Acre> worth $250 00 $250 00
1 cow & two pigs worth $16 00 $16 00
bedding & Clothing & house hold furniture $40 00
$306 00

I have A wife & 1 child      this the 27of June 1842

                 Urban V Stewart

[Reverse side of Affidavit:]

Brigham Young Brigham Young

             Joseph Smith

Daniel Stillwell Thomas,30 June 1, 1842

Nauvoo the June first 1842

A Schedule of property

one house on church property

three Beads and furniture

one cow and one Sheep four pigs

one table and four chears

Cooking utentials and cobard ware

one wife and Seven children

                 Daniel S Thomas

Nelson, Lucinda, and Martha Turner,31 Date Unknown

one feather bed & bedding—1 bed stead

4 chairs 1 chest—1 chichin table—1 pail—

1 tin cand—2 tin pains—1 oven & lid—1 frying
pan—1 teacittle—1 stew cittle—1 griddle

1 smoothing iron— 8 plates—4 knives—

4 forks—1 bole— U 3 tins—pepper box &
salt cup—2 flasks—1 old bible—1 hymn
book—2 axes—1 orger


[Reverse side of Affidavit:]

an 3 dollars
5 dollars

1 iron wedge

1 fraw

5 cords of wood


Whitford Gill Wilson,32 Date Unknown

A Schedule of property possessed by Whitfor[d] G. Wilson

First one lot purchased at $500 dollars nothing paid yet

one hewed log house 16 <feet> by 18 one story high

Lot under cultivation_ timber to build a shop 16 by 20

two cows & calves of an average quality

A part of a set of blacksmith tools probably worth 40 dollars

Beding clothing furniture dresser ware &c about 60 dollars worth

Debts due him 40 dollars & fifty cts

Owed by him $5,35 in small debts

Seven children and expect an other soon

Wife & children all dependent on my labo<ur>s.

                 Whitford G. Wilson

Thomas Woolsey,33 June 27, 1842


     Nauvoo Ills     June the 27th 1842

A list of property held by Thomas Woolsey

1 House and lot ⅓ of an acor $200,00
1 waggon & team 120,00
1 cow .15,00
2 Hogs – .5,00
House hold & kitchen furniture <[=clothing> &. . 50,00
3 Months provishion
I owe 2 $24;50
I have 18 50 owing to me
I have a wife 3 children

Ahira Young,34 June 28, 1842

Nauvoo City June 28 1842

A Shedule of Property Belonging to

Ahira Young one Lot Taken of the

Church Nothing Paid on it one Log House

on the Same one Cow & Calf one Sow

& two Pigs one Bed & Beding one Wife

& four Children one Bedsted two Chests

two Chairs & Several other Articals of

house hould furniture Cloathing Scant


Due to Osman Butler Wife

<one> Two hundred & Sevnty 5 Dollars $275.00

All at the Disposal of the Church

                     Ahira Young

Lewis Zeigler,35 c. [June] 26, 1842


11-  Shirts and 2 flannel         do 1 Sham

6     pair of Pants

5     – vests –

3     Cloth Coats two Summer Coats & 2 over Coats

6     Pair of Woollen Stockings and 7 pair of Cotten stockings

2     Silk Pocket handkerchiefs & 1 silk neck handkerchief

2     Stocks

2     Pair of Boots and one Pair of Shoes

2     Pocket Bible<s> 1 book of Mormon 1 dictionary – life of Washington

1     fur hat 1 summer hat – 1 Fur Cap 1 Trunk 1 hat Box

1     Postmanteau 1 Pair of Woolen Mittens 1 do of buckskin gloves 1 Summer pair

4     Pair of Cotton drawers & stuff for 1 Pair

1     Umbrella

The above named Articles comprehend all that I am steward

over excepting Comb Penknife &c – I for my part feel willing to

lay what little is Commited to what is my trust at the Apostle feet

for such I firmly believe them to be and am willing to

submit to their distribution of said mentioned property –

asking the blessing of my heavenly Father to strengthen

their hands abundantly                 Lewis Zeigler

Nauvoo 26th 1842

About the author(s)

Mitchell K. Schaefer is an undergraduate Spanish and history double-major at Brigham Young University and currently works as a research assistant at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. He is coeditor of “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise”: The Papers of Edward Partridge (forthcoming), and editor of William E. McLellin’s Lost Manuscript (2011). He recently presented papers examining communitarian practices among early Mormon converts at the Utah Conference for Undergraduate Research and the annual conference of the Mormon History Association.

Sherilyn Farnes received an MA in history from Brigham Young University. She has most recently taught at Brigham Young University and is currently coeditor of the forthcoming “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise”: The Papers of Edward Partridge.

They express gratitude to Dr. Steven Harper for assistance with the research and writing of this article and to the Church History Library for generously allowing the publication of these affidavits.


1. Brigham Young and others, “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons 3 (December 15, 1841): 625–27.

2. Leonard J. Arrington, Feramorz Y. Fox, and Dean L. May, Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation among the Mormons (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 8.

3. Orson Pratt was one early LDS Apostle who taught this interpretation. Pratt, “The Equality and Oneness of the Saints,” The Seer 2 (July 1854): 289–300.

4. Robin Scott Jensen, Robert J. Woodford, and Steven C. Harper, eds., Manuscript Revelation Books, facsimile edition, first volume of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009), 101.

5. Dean Jessee, “Joseph Knight’s Recollection of Early Mormon History,” BYU Studies 17, no. 1 (1976): 38-39; “History of Joseph Smith,” Times and Seasons 5 (February 1, 1844): 416.

6. Jensen, Woodford, and Harper, Manuscript Revelation Books, 145. See D&C 51:4.

7. Joseph Knight Jr. Consecration Deed to Edward Partridge, Independence, Missouri, October 12, 1832, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City. Arrington, Fox, and May place the dating of some of the deeds prior to October 12, 1832, and others thereafter. See Building the City of God, 26–31. Recently, however, I argued in a paper presented at the annual Mormon History Association that such dating is likely inaccurate. Although these deeds were probably created sometime in 1832, placing an exact date of creation for any of them is problematic. See Mitchell Schaefer, “‘That Rich Men Cannot Have Power to Disinherit the Poor’: New Insights concerning the Law of Consecration as Implemented in Jackson County, Missouri, 1831–1833,” presented at the Mormon History Association Conference, St. George, Utah, May 28, 2011, in possession of the author.

8. Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1833–1898, Typescript, ed. Scott G. Kenney, 9 vols. (Midvale, Utah: Signature Books, 1983–84), 1:16.

9. Arrington, Fox, and May, Building the City of God, 63.

10. Glen Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, a People of Promise (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book; Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2002), 95–96.

11. Young and others, “Baptism for the Dead,” 626.

12. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980), 124–25; Jensen, Woodford, and Harper, Manuscript Revelation Books, 95–105.

13. Dean Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith, 2 vol. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989–92), 2:391–93.

14. Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2:394.

15. Dean C. Jessee, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen, eds., Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, vol. 1 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2008), lxii–lxiv; Jensen, Woodford and Harper, Manuscript Revelation Books, xxxiv–xxxv.

16. Stephen Joseph Abbott (August 16, 1804–October 19, 1843) was baptized in March 1839 and later ordained an elder and a seventy. After his death, his family migrated west with the Saints and arrived in Utah in October 1849. His second son, Myron, once said of him, “He was a kind husband, and an indulgent father, and was a true Latter Day Saint, ever willing and ready to respond to every call that was made of him by the authority of the church, and was much respected by all who knew him.” See Myron Abbott, “Diary of Myron Abbott: Bunkerville, Nevada, 1880,” 1:2–4, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; Myron Abbott, “Diary of Myron Abbott,” 2:2, Utah Historical Records Survey, St. George, Utah.

17. Albern Allen (May 22, 1802–June 2, 1867) was born in Cornwall, Litchfield County, Connecticut, and was baptized in New York in 1835. After the Saints were forced from the state of Missouri, he relocated to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1840. He was later ordained an elder and a seventy. After serving with the Mormon Battalion, he made his way to the Salt Lake Valley, where he arrived in the fall of 1847. However, his family did not arrive until a year later. He went on to serve in the Utah Legislature for two terms as a representative from Weber County. He died a faithful member of the Church and left a large family. See Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1966), 713; Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History, 1901–36), 3:580–81.

18. Orville Morgan Allen (June 9, 1805–1893) joined the Church in 1838 and was disinherited by his father for doing so. He later served as one of Joseph Smith’s bodyguards and was a captain of one of the large companies of immigrants to Utah. After migrating to the West, he eventually settled in Arizona and became the father of fifteen children. See Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 714–15.

19. John S. Canfield (dates unknown) was a member of the Nauvoo Third Ward and married to Sally Canfield. They had at least two daughters together, Emma and Susanna. It is unknown whether the Canfields moved on to Utah. See Lyman De Platt, Nauvoo: Early Mormon Records Series, Volume 1 (Highland, Utah: L. De Platt, 1980), 52.

20. There are variant spellings of his name. His surname appears as Cluff and Claugh in different records. David Clough Sr. (June 20, 1795–December 16, 1881) helped build the Kirtland Temple and was blessed for his work along with many other faithful men on March 7, 1835. He migrated to Illinois and was a member of the Nauvoo First Ward. He and his first wife, Elizabeth (Betsy), had twelve children together. The Clough family later migrated west with the Saints and settled in Arizona. See Minutes, Kirtland, Ohio, March 7–8, 1835, in Minute Book 1, 192–97, Church History Library; De Platt, Early Mormon Records, 13; Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 813.

21. Samuel W. Henderson may have signed the Scroll Petition as part of the Mormon Redress Petitions to the U.S. Congress. It is possible that either he or his son was a member of the Nauvoo Legion. However, very little evidence exists concerning his life, and it is plausible that this affidavit is the only extant record from his life as a member of the LDS faith. See Clark Johnson, ed., The Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833–1838 Missouri Conflict (Provo: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1992), 589; Richard E. Bennett, Susan Easton Black, and Donald Q. Cannon, The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois: A History of the Mormon Militia, 1841–1846 (Norman, Oklahoma: Arthur H. Clark, 2010), 392.

22. Joseph Grafton Hovey (November 17, 1812–May 6, 1868), originally of Massachusetts, converted to Mormonism in 1839 and soon thereafter moved to Nauvoo. He worked as a stonecutter on the Nauvoo and Salt Lake Temples. He trekked to Utah in the vanguard company with Brigham Young and later became the first bishop of Millville, Utah. See Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 943; M. R. Hovey, Biography of J. G. Hovey, n.d., 112–14, Perry Special Collections.

23. Henry Jacobs (July 14, 1788–October 15, 1844), originally of Vermont, converted to Mormonism in 1832 in Jefferson County, New York. He was likely the father of Henry Baily Jacobs, who married Zina Huntington, although Henry B. is not the fifteen-year-old son mentioned in this affidavit: in 1842 Henry Baily Jacobs would have been about twenty-five years old. Otherwise, very little information is known concerning Henry Sr.

24. Levi North (July 17, 1817–February 24, 1894) was a farmer, originally of White County, Illinois. He and his family migrated to Utah in September 1852 with Robert Wimmer. He was a pioneer of Mill Creek, Utah, and served a mission to Nevada. See Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1072–73.

25. Addison Pratt (February 21, 1802–October 14, 1872) was first introduced to Mormonism in 1835 but did not join until June 18, 1838. His family and friends migrated to Missouri in November 1838 and then to Illinois in 1841. He was ordained an elder in 1842 and worked on the Nauvoo Temple. In May 1843, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called Pratt on a mission to the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), but he served a large portion of his mission on the island of Tubuai in what is now part of French Polynesia, where he learned Tahitian. The Journals of Addison Pratt, ed. S. George Ellsworth (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990), 3, 105–19, 521–22.

26. It is possible that this may be John Reynolds; however, the spelling on the document does not fully support that theory. If that is so, John Reynolds was a common name of the time period, and there is far too little information on the document itself to pinpoint exactly who wrote out this affidavit. It is also possible this is the only extant document from this man’s life.

27. Augustus Stafford (June 24, 1805–date unknown) possibly served in the Nauvoo Legion as a captain or first lieutenant. However, little information is available to verify who he was exactly or any other biographical information. See Bennett, Black, and Cannon, Nauvoo Legion in Illinois, 376.

28. Elizabeth Stewart (dates unknown) may possibly have been in the Nauvoo Third Ward. However, it is difficult to find conclusive information concerning her. She may also be a relative of Urban Van Stewart (possibly his mother) since they lived in the same ward in Nauvoo and both provided consecration affidavits to Brigham Young. See De Platt, Early Mormon Records, 65.

29. Urban Van/Von Stewart (November 9, 1817–December 25, 1899) was a farmer, originally of Overton, Tennessee. He married Lydia Gage Jacobs in 1837 and migrated to Utah in September 1847. He took four other wives in polygamy and was ordained a seventy and a high priest. See Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1188.

30. Daniel Stillwell Thomas (March 15, 1803–c. June 27, 1878) was originally of Summer County, Tennessee. He married Martha Pane Jones in 1826 and heard the gospel for the first time from Wilford Woodruff in 1835. His family moved to Missouri in 1837 and then to Illinois in February 1839. By the spring of 1840, he and his family were living in Nauvoo. In 1846, they began the long trek west to Utah and arrived in 1849. See Martha Pane Jones Thomas, “Daniel Stillwell Thomas Family History,” 4–6, Perry Special Collections.

31. Little is known concerning Nelson and Lucinda Turner’s family. But it is likely that this is the same Nelson who provided an affidavit to be sent to Elias Higbee in the early months of 1840 to help argue the Saints’ case before the Senate Judicial Committee in Washington, D.C. See Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 549.

32. Whitford Gill Wilson (June 4, 1799–November 26, 1862) was likely a member of the Nauvoo First Ward. He may have also provided a redress petition for the wrongs committed against him “in consequence of an order of Governour [Lilburn W.] Boggs” on May 14, 1839. See De Platt, Early Mormon Records, 16; Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 382.

33. Thomas Woolsey (November 3, 1805–January 5, 1897) was originally from Kentucky and converted to Mormonism there in either 1834 or 1838. He was a member of the Mormon Battalion in Company E, but when the Battalion reached Fort Leavenworth, he was assigned to carry needed money to the Saints to help them prepare to cross the plains. He then was part of the Brigham Young Company that migrated to the Salt Lake Valley and arrived there in 1847. He traveled back to Winter Quarters with Brigham Young and returned to Utah in 1852. See Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:723–24, 768.

34. Ahira Young (dates unknown) was possibly a member of the Nauvoo Second Ward. However, few documents other than tax forms and census records reveal much about this individual. See Susan Easton Black, comp., “Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848,” 50 vols. (Provo: Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University, 1984–88), 48:23; De Platt, Early Mormon Records, 29.

35. This affidavit is clearly that of Lewis Zeigler. Unfortunately, the name Lewis Zeigler does not appear on many, if any, Mormon documents. There was, however, a Levi Zeigler living in Nauvoo. Otherwise, there is hardly any documentation on a Lewis Zeigler. This may be another case where this affidavit is the only record of this man’s life. See De Platt, Early Mormon Records, 68.

Share This Article With Someone