Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography

Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography

Dates: 1846

Includes two copies of Thomas Smith Johnson's 1846 autobiography detailing his life from birth to his time in Nauvoo, Ilinois and heading west to the Salt Lake Valley. Materials dated 1846.

  • Extent: 1 folder (0.01 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Johnson, Thomas Smith, 1818-1895
  • Call Number: MSS 8911
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 8911; Thomas Smith Johnson autobiography; 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 8911, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by William E. Kuttler, descendant of Thomas Smith Johnson, in August 2016.
Acquisition Information
Donated; William E. Kuttler; August 2016.
Subject Terms
Religion; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Mormon Church--Illinois--Nauvoo--History; Mormon Church--Missions--New York (State)--History; Mormon Church--New York (State)--History; Johnson, Thomas Smith, 1818-1895
Genre / Form
Processing Information
Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2016.
Appraisal Information
Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Johnson (Thomas Smith) autobiography
Finding Aid Author
Eric Wolford
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2016-12-02 14:19:41 -0700.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Thomas Smith Johnson (1818-1895) was a Mormon convert from Schenectady, New York who served in various positions of the church including as a missionary in New York and Australia, a team captain of the Benjamin Hawkins Company, and as a Seventy.

Thomas Smith Johnson was born to Isaac Johnson, Jr. and Grace Smith in Schenectady, New York on January 1, 1818. During his childhood, while living in Oneida County with his father, he was indentured to work as an apprentice to carpenter John Kingsbury until he turned 21. While he served in this identure, his father died and he was mistreated by Kingsbury to the point where he was released from his indenture not so far afterwards.

In 1839 after Johnson married his first wife Patience, Johnson was baptized as a member of the Church near Utica, New York. While not well received by members of his local community, he was called immediately after his conversion to preach the gospel in the community. After being released from this calling, he soon moved with wife and his children to Nauvoo--losing a child on the way. During this time in Nauvoo, he was called to return to New York to preach the gospel, and, after Joseph Smith's death in 1844, he left to migrate to the Salt Lake Valley in 1850--serving as a captain of the Benjamin Hawkins company at that time. After nine years living in the valley, he was called to preach the gospel once more--this time serving a three-year mission to Australia. After returning to Utah, his family soon settled in present-day Cache and Weber counties where he would serve as a farmer until his death in 1895.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts