James W. Woods memoirs

James W. Woods memoirs

Dates: 1882

Photocopied typescript of an autobiography. In 1882 when Woods was "upwards of eighty years of age" he was interviewed for several weeks probably by Edgar R. Harlan with a stenographer present who wrote down the conversations. These materials were later condensed and pertinent portions were woven into a narrative. As a lawyer in Iowa, Woods was involved in many legal actions of that state. Woods was hired by Joseph Smith (1805-1844) to serve as his counselor when he and his brother Hyrum (1800-1844) were arrested in June of 1844. He tried to negotiate bail for Joseph and Hyrum for their safety. Joseph told Woods "I will never live to see another sun" on the day he and Hyrum were murdered. Woods spoke to the people of Nauvoo, Illinois, to keep them from retaliating, brought the bodies of the two men back to Nauvoo, and delivered the personal effects of Joseph to his widow.

  • Extent: 1 folder (0.03 linear ft.) : 38 p.
  • Creator: Woods, James Weston, 1810-1886
  • Call Number: MSS SC 1060
  • 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
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from James W. Woods memoirs 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 SC 1060; James W. Woods memoirs; 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS SC 1060, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Acquisition Information
Subject Terms
Iowa--Politics and government; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Religion; Church Government; Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Mormons--Illinois--Nauvoo--History; Lawyers--Iowa--Biography; Nauvoo (Ill.)--History; Iowa--History; Illinois--History--1778-1865; Smith, Joseph, Jr., 1805-1844--Assassination; Woods, James Weston, 1810-1886; Smith, Hyrum, 1800-1844
Genre / Form
Appraisal Information
19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Woods (James W.) memoirs
Finding Aid Author
Elisa Visick
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2016-09-22 14:24:49 -0600.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Lawyer of Iowa and Illinois.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts