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Preface

Author David J. Whittaker

The L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has been acquiring manuscripts relating to the life of Thomas Leiper Kane for many years. The focus of searching out and collecting these manuscripts has been to discover more about Kane’s relationship with the Mormons from 1846 until his death in 1883. Over the years, items of significance have been catalogued in the Perry Special Collections’ Mormon Americana collection. In 1996, the Lee Library was able to obtain a significant Kane family archive consisting of journals, scrapbooks, letters, and other manuscripts and photographs that, when combined with the university’s existing Kane materials, for the first time allowed scholars an in-depth look at the life and work of this influential friend to the Latter-day Saints. These documents reveal important information about his family life, his service in the American Civil War, his business interests, and his political dealings. The documents also include an extensive collection of journals, scrapbooks, and correspondence belonging to Thomas’s wife, Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood Kane.1