Isaac Russell correspondence

Isaac Russell correspondence

Dates: 1828-1893

Materials primarily contain correspondence between Russell and his family and letters to and from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also includes some correspondence between Parley P. Pratt and his family. Most of the letters are originals, except for a string-bound typescript copy of some letters dealing with Isaac Russell, the originals of which are not contained in the collection. Dated 1828-1893.

  • Extent: 14 folders (0.3 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Russell, Isaac, 1807-1844
  • Call Number: Vault MSS 497
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Condition restricted; permission to use materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services. Patrons should use color copies.
Languages and Scripts
Arranged in four series: 1. Russell family correspondence, 1831-1860. 2. Correspondence with Mormon leaders, 1837-1888. 3. Typescripts of Isaac Russell correspondence, 1837-1843. 4. Pratt family correspondence, 1841-1893.
Alternative Format
Scanned color copies, and transcriptions of materials are in Folder 8-14.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Isaac Russell correspondence must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: Vault MSS 497; Isaac Russell correspondence; 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: Vault MSS 497, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Collection was purchased by the BYU Library in 1987.
Acquisition Information
Purchased; 1987.
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory available online.
Related Material
For related materials, see also the Samuel Russell Sr. and Jr. collection (MSS 1511).
Subject Terms
Religion; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Mormons--Ohio--Correspondence; Mormons--Missouri--Correspondence; Mormons--Illinois--Correspondence; Material Types; Russell, Isaac, 1807-1844; Pratt, Parley P. (Parley Parker), 1807-1857
Genre / Form
Processing Information
Processed; Paul C. Russell and David J. Whittaker; 1990. Input into Archivist's Toolkit; Leslie Evens; 2011. Revised and updated; Ryan K. Lee; 2013.
Appraisal Information
LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, mission and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy 1. V, November 2013.)
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Russell (Isaac) correspondence
Finding Aid Author
Leslie Evens
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2015-07-01 11:14:08 -0600.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Isaac Russell (1807-1844) was an early Mormon convert in Canada and served in the first mission of the Church to England.

Isaac Russell was born at Windy Haugh near Alston, England, April 13, 1807. In 1817 his family emigrated from England to Canada, settling in Little New York (Toronto). On June 25, 1829 Isaac married Mary Walton. He built a home in the Charleston Settlement (now Downsview, Ontario), and worked as a carpenter there. In 1836 Parley P. Pratt met and baptized Russell's sister, Isabella Russell Walton. After hearing Pratt preach the gospel in the Dawson home, Isaac and his family were baptized along with several others, including John Taylor, Joseph Fielding, and John Dawson. Russell and his family moved to Kirtland, Ohio, soon after baptism, and from 1837-1839 he served in the first mission to England in the company of Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Joseph Fielding, John Goodson, and John Snider.

On April 26, 1839, after their move to Far West, Missouri, Russell and all his family and relatives and many others (91 in total) were cut off from the Church by Sidney Rigdon. When the Saints left Far West, Russell, his family, and many others who were cut off, remained in Far West. Russell was imprisoned in the Richmond Jail for contempt of court, and was sold as a slave because he would not deny his religion. He was freed by a Mr. Raglan, but only after Russell insisted that he work for Mr. Raglan in exchange for the amount that Mr. Raglan had paid to set him free. Mr. Raglan lived in Ray County on the Woodward farm where Russell moved his family while paying off his debt. While working in the Crooked River Bottoms of the Missouri River, he contracted swamp fever and died, on September 25, 1844.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts