William Henderson journal

William Henderson journal

Dates: 1885-1887

Photocopy of a handwritten diary by Henderson, documenting the years 1885 to 1887 when he served as a missionary in the British Isles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He describes his journey from Utah to Liverpool with brother-in-law Anton Anderson, and he details his travels and ministry in Scotland, where he spent the entirety of his mission. Most of Henderson's religious, family, social, and tourist experiences as a missionary take place primarily in the southern part of the country in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh, but also in the northern region in Dundee and Aberdeen. Mission companions mentioned by Elder Henderson include: Elder Martin, Elder Ritchie, Elder Galt, Elder Lowe, and Elder Anderson. He also mentions associating with Elder B. H. Roberts in the summer of 1887. Noteworthy transcriptions of documents and events contained in this diary include a blessing from Franklin D. Richards that set apart Henderson as a Mormon missionary, a letter Henderson writes to Apostle George Teasdale intended for inclusion in the Millennial Star, and a letter of appointment from George Teasdale requesting that Henderson preside over the Glasgow Conference in 1887. In the last pages of his diary, Henderson lists names, locations, and dates of baby blessings and baptisms he performed during his mission. He also includes a summary of the letters he sends and receives between 1885 and 1887.

  • Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Henderson, William, 1851-1932
  • Call Number: MSS 8210
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Location of Originals
The original diary resides with the family.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the William Henderson journal must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 8210; William Henderson journal; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 8210, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Ken Alford, a professor of Church History at Brigham Young University, is William Henderson's great-great-grandson. He loaned the journal to Special Collections for photocopying and digitization, but had to return the original journal to his father in Ogden, Utah because of an inscription on the journal's first page that requires it to remain in the family.
Acquisition Information
Loaned and photocopied; Ken Alford; June 2013.
Subject Terms
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Missions--Scotland; Henderson, William, 1851-1932--Diaries; Religion; Missions and Missionaries; Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Mormon Church--Missions--Scotland; Mormon missionaries--Scotland--Diaries
Genre / Form
Diaries; Photocopies
Processing Information
Processed; Annie Wiederhold; June 2013.
Appraisal Information
As a handwritten missionary journal dated 1885-1887, this journal fits in the 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Henderson (William) journal
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Annie Wiederhold
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-08-05T10:35-0600
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

William Henderson (1851-1932) was a Mormon missionary.

William Henderson was born in 1851 in Scotland to Robert and Mary Henderson and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1863. The Hendersons arrived in New York City during the Draft Riots in July of that year and travelled westward to Utah.

William Henderson, a polygamist, had three wives: Martha Gabriella Pearson, Eliza Hannah Easthope, and Keziah Jane Capell. He was imprisoned for two months during the winter of 1884 to 1885 for practicing polygamy; that summer Henderson was called to serve a mission to the British Isles. Henderson reconnected with many extended family members and conducted genealogy research as a missionary in Scotland.

Henderson later moved to Canada with his first wife Martha Gabriella Pearson and died there in 1932.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts