Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Access Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Family History and Genealogy

Letters, 1846-1877

Letters, 1942

Correspondence, 1942-1944

Financial Records (Tithing), 1847-1855

School of the Prophets Essays, 1850-1871

Discourses and Theological Notes of James J. Strang, ca. 1842-1850

Printed Matter, 1850-1870

Beaver Island Documents

Poetry

Book Price Lists

Miscellaneous

Southern Methodist University

James J. Strang papers

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Strang, James Jesse (1813-1856)
Title: James J. Strang papers
Inclusive Dates: 1836-1944
Abstract: James J. Strang became the leader and "king" of a schismatic Mormon group based in Voree, Wisconsin, and Beaver Island, Michigan, often referred to as the Strangites, shortly after the death of Joseph Smith in 1844. The Strang collection contains letters (addressed primarily to Strang and his family members), essays by Strang and various members of his church, a tithing book and other documents regarding church business, miscellaneous printed matter, and correspondence involving his descendants.
Accession No: Mss 0017c
Extent: 1 box (.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

James J. Strang and his followers are generally considered a schismatic group of Mormons. Strang, of course, regarded his organization, called "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)," to be the true continuation of Mormonism after the death of Joseph Smith. At its height, Strang’s movement boasted a membership of 12,000. In order to place this collection of Strangite material in historical perspective, what follows is a brief overview of Strang’s life, his involvement with the Mormon Church and the rise and fall of his own group.

Born on March 21, 1813 in Scipio, New York, to Clement (1788-1880) and Abigail James Strang (1793-1873), James J. Strang was the second of three children. He attended school until the age of twelve. As a young man, he worked periodically on his father’s farm, served as the county postmaster, and edited a local newspaper, the Randolph Herald. He also studied law, gaining admission to the New York state bar at age 23. Prior to his conversion to Mormonism, he served as a Baptist minister.

In 1836, Strang married Mary Perce (1818-?) and thus began his first known tie with Mormonism. His wife’s sister was married to Moses Smith, a Mormon. Strang, then, was apparently aware of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at least as early as 1836, though he did not convert to Mormonism until 1844, shortly after he had moved close to his wife’s relatives in Burlington, Wisconsin. At that time, Strang and Aaron Smith, a brother of Moses, visited Nauvoo, Illinois, then headquarters of the Mormon Church. On February 25th he was baptized by Joseph Smith, who immediately "called" him to investigate possible sites for Mormon settlements along the White River near Burlington.

Strang sent a written report of his findings to Joseph Smith on May 24, 1844, but if Smith ever read the letter, there was no time for him to react to its contents. On June 27, 1844, both Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed by an angry mob. According to Strang, in the very minute Smith died, an angel appeared to him (Strang), anointing him with oil and ordaining him "to the rulership of the Saints on Earth." He also claimed that Joseph Smith had written a "Letter of Appointment" nine days before his death naming Strang as his successor and revealing a new gathering place for the saints at Voree, Wisconsin. A message relating Strang’s claim was immediately sent to Nauvoo. Believing the "Letter of Appointment" a forgery, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles – the most senior level of Church leadership following Smith’s death – excommunicated Strang.

Strang then "proceeded to develop a rear attack" by writing letters to groups of Saints preparing to depart for the West with Brigham Young, the most senior member of the governing quorum. In one such case, Strang debated with Reuben Miller for four hours in Ottawa. Convinced of Strang’s claims, Miller then traveled to Nauvoo with a message from Strang to the Apostles to stop their plans for the exodus West and their pretensions to authority. He also insisted that they present themselves for trial in Voree before April 7th. Brigham Young simply ignored the message.

According to Strang, an angel visited him on September 1, 1845, revealing to him a set of ancient records. Twelve days later, he took four followers to a hill and dug up a small set of plates made of brass. Strang and several of the faithful met to handle the plates. He announced that they contained a record of an ancient Native American ruler, one Rajah Manchore of Vorito. Known as the Voree Plates, the book spoke of a "forerunner" (Joseph Smith) and a "mighty prophet" (James J. Strang).

Meanwhile, those Saints who believed in Strang’s claims gathered in Voree, where Strang set up his leadership by patterning the basic organization of his church after the one instituted by Joseph Smith. Tithing was required as early as 1845, and by 1846 the saints were commanded to build a house for the prophet and a temple for God. In January 1848, Strang instituted the "Order of Enoch" a communitarian-based economic system in which members consecrated their earthly goods to the church. By the end of the year, 150 people had joined the Order, also called the "United Order," but the movement soon declined.

Though Strang sought to replicate some of Smith’s teachings in his church, he did not adopt all of them. At first, he vehemently denounced Joseph Smith’s practice of plural marriage, contending that the practice was an innovation of the "Brighamites" under Brigham Young. People who had left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in disgust over the introduction of polygamy flocked to Strang’s organization when they heard he had denounced it. By 1848, however, Strang reversed his views. On July 13, 1849, he married a second wife, Elvira Eliza Field (1830-1910). He eventually married three more women, including Betsy McNutt (1820-1897) in 1852 and two cousins, Sarah (1837-1923) and Phoebe Wright (1836-1914), in 1855, for a total of five wives. Unhappy with Strang’s changed views regarding polygamy, some members repudiated Strang and subsequently became instrumental in establishing the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," another, ultimately more successful, offshoot of the church Smith established. (Today, this church is called the Community of Christ.)

Meanwhile, Strang’s followers faced many problems, including an acute shortage of available land for immigrating Strangites to occupy. Also, internal problems and defections continually plagued the church. In 1847, Strang began resettling his followers on Beaver Island near the northern end of Lake Michigan, where they established a town they named Saint James. By early 1850, Voree, Wisconsin, was nearly emptied of Strangites, and Beaver Island had become the new gathering place, home to more than 250 church members. In an elaborate ceremony, Strang had himself crowned "king" of his church on June 8, 1850.

That year was a momentous one for Strang, who announced in a conference the following month that the Lord had asked him to translate another ancient record, called "The Record of Laban" – apparently a reference to a set of brass plates mentioned in the Book of Mormon as being in the possession of a man named Laban. This record, Strang said, contained the original law given to Moses. Clad in bright red robes for the conference, he informed the people that these scriptures would verify the permanent establishment of the Kingdom of God, with Strang occupying the throne. Strang called this book, published in 1851 and reprinted in an enlarged edition in 1856, The Book of the Law of the Lord.

As the number of church members on Beaver Island increased, hostility toward the Strangites arose among the local inhabitants. Island residents began beating and robbing Strangites, and a drunken mob vowed to kill all of them or drive them from the island. They also accused the saints of appropriating land and money by force. In February 1851, Peter McKinley, a prominent merchant on the island, and Eri J. Moore, a disaffected member of Strang’s church, accused Strang and his followers of a whole host of crimes, including cutting timber on federal land, tampering with the delivery of mail, and counterfeiting. The accusers publicized their claims, pressing for Strang’s arrest. In March, George C. Bates, the U.S. District Attorney for Michigan, wrote Attorney General John J. Crittenden and asked him how to handle the complaints of McKinley and Moore. Reports of the alleged crimes subsequently reached the ears of President Millard Fillmore, who authorized legal action against Strang. Based on the reports he received, Fillmore assumed Strang and his followers would resist arrest so he sent a contingent of marines along with Bates, U.S. Marshal Charles Knox, and eight deputy U.S. marshals. In May, this group arrived at Beaver Island. Strang and thirty others were detained and accused of criminal activity, but only four men (including Strang) were taken to Detroit for trial. Strang and more than twenty-three of his followers were indicted for trespass, obstructing the U.S. mail system, and counterfeiting. The federal case against Strang for interfering with the mail soon unraveled, however, and the jury reached a verdict of not guilty. Strang and the others were set free in July, and all other charges were dropped on September 29, 1851.

The following year, to counteract persecution, as well as what he believed was the bias of law enforcement and judicial officials, Strang cleverly arranged his election to the State Assembly of Michigan from Newaygo District. He kept his candidacy secret until just before the election. Then, with his adherents voting as a bloc, Strang won the election and took his place in the legislature.

Rather than reducing hostility toward Strang and his church, this incident increased it. Considerable opposition arose even among his followers, and in June 1856, two disgruntled members of his church shot him several times. He lingered for three weeks, dying on July 9, 1856. Angry mobs drove Strang’s shocked and leaderless followers off the island shortly thereafter, and the church members scattered. Though remnants of his organization remain to the present day, it never fully recovered.

Sources:

Fitzpatrick, Doyle C. The King Strang Story: a Vindication of James J. Strang, The Beaver Island Mormon King. Lansing, Michigan: National Heritage, 1970.

Jensen, Robin Scott. "Gleaning the Harvest: Strangite Missionary Work, 1846-1850." MA Thesis. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, August 2005. url: http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/ETD/image/etd956.pdf

Morgan Dale L. "A Bibliography of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [Strangite]." Western Humanities Review 5 no. 1 (winter 1950-51): 42-114.

Quaife, Milo M. The Kingdom of Saint James: a Narrative of the Mormons. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1930.

Van Noord, Roger. King of Beaver Island: The Life and Assassination of James Jesse Strang. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The James J. Strang collection constitutes a small but valuable primary source for research in Strangite history. The collection also places in broader perspective a controversial period in Mormon history. Items in the collection include family history and genealogy, letters to Strang from his followers, correspondence between Strang’s daughter Eugenia J. Phillips and Strang biographer Milo M. Quaife, a tithing book, essays from the "School of the Prophets," several of Strang’s discourses, Strang’s notes on theological subjects, several printed items, and miscellaneous documents.

The letters are divided into three series. The first largely consists of letters written to Strang or his family members. Among the more informative of these are four letters written by George Miller, a prominent leader who defected from the Brigham Young contingent and became the "general-in-chief" of Strang’s movement. Several letters in the series are directed to people outside Strang’s family. Most notable is an 1846 letter addressed to Strangite John C. Bennett that contains the signature of James Buchanan, then U.S. Secretary of State. The second series consists of letters written by Strang’s daughter Eugenia J. Phillips, and the third consists of correspondence conducted primarily between Phillips and historian Milo M. Quaife.

The tithing book contains records of church projects, accounts of labor and sacrifices of the faithful, and the progress and setbacks of the church.

Essays written by members of the church in the "School of the Prophets" represent the largest number of items in the collection. These treatises, several purportedly written by Strang, explain, in part, the theology and doctrines of Strang’s church.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 12 series:
Series 1: Family History and Genealogy
Series 2: Letters, 1846-1877
Series 3: Letters, 1942
Series 4: Correspondence, 1942-1944
Series 5: Financial Records (Tithing), 1847-1855
Series 6: School of the Prophets Essays, 1850-1871
Series 7: Discourses and Theological Notes of James J. Strang, ca. 1842-1850
Series 8: Printed Matter, 1850-1870
Series 9: Beaver Island Documents
Series 10: Poetry
Series 11: Book Price Lists
Series 12: Miscellaneous

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Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

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Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Strang, James Jesse, 1813-1856.
Church of Jesus Christ (Strangites)
Mormon Church -- History -- Sources.
Mormons -- Michigan.
Beaver Island (Mich.) -- Religious life and customs.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

James J. Strang papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1972.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Dawn Letson, March 1982. Finding aid revised by Dale F. Topham, June 2008.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2008.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
Family History and Genealogy
1 folder

Box Folder
1 1 Family History and Reminiscences
Item 1: Eugenia J. Phillips’ reminiscences, April 28, 1943. (One handwritten copy [14 pp.] and two typescript copies.)
Contains a history of the family of Benjamin G. Wright, whose daughter Phoebe married Strang. Residents of Wisconsin, they joined the Mormon Church under Joseph Smith, but left it after Smith instituted polygamy. They later became followers of Strang, who had denounced plural marriage. When Strang reversed his position on polygamy, the Wrights were unhappy but remained in his church. Their daughter became Strang’s fifth wife. Eugenia Phillips, a daughter of this union, remembers little of her father but writes more about her grandfather and her impressions growing up with a mysterious past.
Item 2: Wright Family Genealogy (3 handwritten pages).

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Series 2:
Letters, 1846-1877
8 folders

Box Folder
1 2 Letters to John C. Bennett, 1846.
Item 1: Letter from Secretary of State James Buchanan, Washington, D.C., to John C. Bennett, Burlington, Wisconsin, October 10, 1846.
Bennett’s September 29, 1846 letter concerning settling Beaver Island is being forwarded to the General Land Office.
Item 2: Letter from Acting Commissioner James H. Piper, of the General Land Office, to John C. Bennett, Burlington, Wisconsin, October 14, 1846.
Piper responds to Bennett’s inquiry concerning Beaver Island. It has not been attached to a Land District, Piper explains, hence it is not in the market. In the absence of authorized occupancy by the Chippewa Indians of Saginaw, the island is presumably subject to settlement under the Pre-emption Act of 1841.
Box Folder
1 3 Letters from George Miller and Gilbert Watson to Strang, 1849-1851.
Item 1: Letter from George Miller, Creek Nation Canadian Trading Post, to James J. Strang, Voree, Wisconsin, December 23, 1849.
Letter postmarked Van Buren, Arkansas, January 9, 1850. Apparently written by Miller when en route to join up with Strang’s church. Describes difficulties of travel, poverty, and gives plans for their continuing journey. At the time the letter was written, Miller, his family, and about thirty other "saints," traveling incognito, were detained by rains, but were temporarily employed by the Indians and traders. The group planned to travel on to St. Louis in the spring, where Miller hoped to receive a letter from Strang.
Miller’s repeated requests for a letter from Strang and other leaders may indicate insecurity about his welcome by the Strangites. He also mentions another Mormon splinter group, led by former apostle Lyman Wight to settle in Texas, and rumors of attempts on his life by the "Brigham Young faction."
Item 2: (on verso of Miller’s letter) Gilbert Watson, to James J. Strang, Voree, Wisconsin, February 2, 1850.
Sent on a mission to [illegible] and Porter[, Wisconsin?] to collect tithing, Watson reports serious trouble and rebellion with a group practicing the United Order. He mentions several desertions of church members.
Item 3: Letter from George Miller, Jeptha Castle, to James J. Strang, on board steamboat Livingston, February 17, 1851.
Miller explains a delay in crossing over to Garden Island because of ice in the lake. He also writes that the Indians are angry with them, and talks of taking enough men to "intimidate Gentiles."
Item 4: Letter from George Miller, Potosi, Grant County, Iowa, to James J. Strang, Beaver Island, June 14, 1851.
Miller and Isaac Pierce are traveling to Nauvoo, Illinois, for an undisclosed reason. Miller asks Strang for permission to bring a "certain manuscript from Nauvoo that you have heard me speak of."
Item 5: Letter from George Miller, Potosi, Grant County, Iowa, to "my dear wife and son," Beaver Island, June 14, 1851.
This letter written on the same paper as the June 14th letter to Strang. Miller acknowledges his family’s sufferings, expresses anxiety for them, and promises to sell a lot in the town of Macomb.
Item 6: Letter from George Miller, Point Pleasant, to James J. Strang, St. James, Beaver Island, November 27, 1851.
At Strang’s request, Miller provided the names of people who took wheat off a wrecked vessel before they were supposed to. Miller, who was in bad health, promised to pay tithe on the fifteen bags of wheat saved for him.
Box Folder
1 4 Letter Fragment, 1850.
Item 1: Fragment of letter from individual in Voree, Wisconsin, to James J. Strang, Baltimore, Maryland, January 15, 1850.
The correspondent is disturbed about an overdue bill and requests that Strang take immediate action "to redeem our Pledge as Latter-day Saints" to Father Norris.
Box Folder
1 5 Letter from James J. Strang to his Brother [David Strang], 1852.
Item 1: Photocopy of a letter from James J. Strang, St. James, Beaver Island, to "Dear Brother," November 25, 1852.
Discusses his election to the Michigan House of Representatives and his future political ambitions. He intends "to rule this country; and it will be a hard struggle if I do not make myself one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, within one year." Despite his plans, Strang insists that he is not "fond" of his office. He defends his religious calling, indicating that his enemies – President Millard Fillmore, U.S. Marshal Charles H. Knox, and U. S. District Attorney George C. Bates – have "secured to themselves a place in the Temple of Infamy."
Box Folder
1 6 Letter Fragment, 1855.
Item 1: Fragment of letter from individual in Lansing, Michigan, to James J. Strang, Baltimore, Maryland, June 1, 1855.
This letter fragment deals primarily with a problem the saints are having with the mail service.
Box Folder
1 7 Letter from Israel Smith to "Elvira," James J. Strang’s second wife, 1855.
Item 1: Letter from Israel Smith, Detroit, Michigan, to Elvira [Eliza Field Strang], November 6, 1855
Writing to his niece, Smith denounces plural marriage and refers her to biblical passages illustrating the misery caused by polygamy. He asks her to write him and her Aunt Lucy of Detroit, and to let them know if she received a gift.
Box Folder
1 8 Letters from Samuel Bennett to Charles J. Strang, 1873-1876.
Folder description: Charles Strang, son of James J. Strang, wrote Lorenzo D. Hickey with questions about his father’s version of Mormonism. Strang’s letter was referred to Samuel Bennett, who wrote lengthy sermons about religion and Strangite authority, obviously trying to persuade Strang to believe.
Item 1: Letter from Samuel Bennett, Cleveland, Ohio, to Charles J. Strang, Lansing, Michigan, January 2, 1873 (typescript included).
Item 2: Letter from Samuel Bennett, Cleveland, Ohio, to Charles J. Strang, Lansing, Michigan, January 29, 1876 (typescript included).
Item 3: Letter from Samuel Bennett, Cleveland, Ohio, to Charles J. Strang, Lansing, Michigan, September 23, 1876.
Item 4: Letter from Samuel Bennett, Cleveland, Ohio, to Charles J. Strang, Lansing, Michigan, October 28, 1876.
Item 5: Fragment of letter from Samuel Bennett, Cleveland, Ohio, to Charles J. Strang, Lansing, Michigan, date missing.
Box Folder
1 9 Letter from Lorenzo D. Hickey to Charles J. Strang, 1877.
Item 1: Letter from Lorenzo D. Hickey, Coldwater, Michigan, to Charles J. Strang, Lansing, Michigan, August 29, 1877.
Letter is Hickey’s reply to Strang’s request for information bearing on the life of his father, James J. Strang. Hickey, one of the apostles in Strang’s church, outlines some of the events surrounding Strang’s claims to leadership, including his early membership in the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith’s death, and the "Letter of Appointment" purportedly written by Smith appointing Strang as his successor. Hickey also writes of the reaction of Brigham Young and other church leaders to Strang’s claim, and includes an account of the problems endured on Beaver Island.

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Series 3:
Letters, 1942
1 folder

Box Folder
1 10 Letters of Eugenia J. Phillips, 1940-1942
Item 1: Typescript of two letters of Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Clement J. Strang, Benzonia, Michigan, March 29, 1940 and April 8, 1940.
Discusses family matters, her health, and her daughter’s busy social and business life.
Item 2: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Clement J. Strang, Benzonia, Michigan, March 10, 1942
This letter describes her grandfather’s activities in Wisconsin following his removal from Beaver Island after Strang’s murder.
Item 3: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Clement J. Strang, Benzonia, Michigan, May 23, 1942
Item 4: Fragment of letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to unknown recipient (page one missing).

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Series 4:
Correspondence, 1942-1944
4 folders

The correspondents discuss James J. Strang, his church, and Quaife’s 1930 biography of Strang, The Kingdom of St. James. Quaife expresses a desire to publish Phillips’s reminiscence of the Benjamin Wright family and her childhood in Michigan History Magazine. (See her essay in folder # 1 of this collection.)
Box Folder
1 11 Phillips/Quaife Correspondence, 1942
Item 1: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, June 8, 1942
Item 2: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, July 7, 1942
Item 3: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, November 11, 1942
Item 4: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, November 20, 1942
Box Folder
1 12 Phillips/Quaife Correspondence, 1943 (Part 1)
Item 1: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, February 25, 1943
Item 2: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, April 7, 1943
Item 3: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, April 28, 1943
Item 4: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, May 13, 1943
Item 5: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, May 21, 1943
Item 6: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, June 2, 1943
Item 7: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, June 12, 1943
Item 8: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, June 23, 1943
Item 9: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, June 28, 1943
Box Folder
1 13 Phillips/Quaife Correspondence, 1943 (Part 2)
Item 1: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, July 2, 1943
Item 2: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan (undated, but contents reflect that it belongs here)
Item 3: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, August 7, 1943
Item 4: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, August 18, 1943
Item 5: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, September 1, 1943
Box Folder
1 14 Phillips/Quaife Correspondence, 1944
Item 1: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, January 22, 1944
Item 2: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, March 21, 1944
Item 3: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, March 31, 1944
Item 4: Letter from Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, to Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, October 10, 1944
Item 5: Letter from Milo M. Quaife, Detroit, Michigan, to Eugenia J. Phillips, San Francisco, California, November 2, 1944

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Series 5:
Financial Records (Tithing), 1847-1855
3 folders

Box Folder
1 15 Tithing Record and Church Property Transactions, 1847-1848
Item 1: Account of tithing paid to James J. Strang, trustee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), 1847
Item 2: Account of transactions in church property by trustee [Strang], 1847-1848
Box Folder
1 16 Tithing Book, 1851-1855.
Generally half a page is devoted to each individual listed, giving information about the type of tithing settlement and the time span for which it accounts. Some of the settlements include: labor donated for building, surveying a road, cutting logs for the Tabernacle, working on the printing office, working on roads, and helping to collect money to free the prophet from prison in October 1850. (Strang was imprisoned that month on charges of threatening the lives of two former church members.) 100 pp. with index; also four separate fragments of miscellaneous tithing receipts.
Box Folder
1 17 Tithing Record, 1853-1855
Item 1: "List of tithing items paid by Bro. P. C. Tygert from Jan 1st 1853 to Nov. 1, 1855"
Signed by G. [Gilbert?] Watson, this record lists Tygert’s tithing settlements, including farm goods and labor on a road and schoolhouse.

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Series 6:
School of the Prophets Essays, 1850-1871
13 folders

Box Folder
1 18 J.S.C. [may be John S. Comstock]: "who and what are the spirits of God spoken of in revelations?"
19 Edward Chidester, "When did the Ministry of the Holy Spirit in bringing things to remembrance and showing things to come commence?"
20 Warren Post, "When did the ministry of the Holy Spirit, teaching mankind and showing them things to come commence?"
21 S. Minervia Thatcher, "At what time did the office work of the Holy Spirit commence?"
22 S. M. [Minervia] Thatcher, untitled
23 Cevilia Tage, "Whether the Holy Spirit was given man before the day of Pentecost or not," June 6, 1856
24 Seth W. Chandler, "Is the mind of woman susceptible of as high intellectual improvement as the mind of man?" September 16, 1871.
25 Wingfield Watson, "When were the gifts of the Holy Spirit first ministered to mankind?"
26 Booklet of essays sewn together. Written regarding John 11:25-26.
Essayists include:
George Miller
Gilbert Watson
Marvin M. Aldrich
Edward Childester
[James J. Strang], unsigned
Box Folder
1 27 Booklet of essays sewn together. Written on the question: "For what was Christ baptized?"
Essayists include:
George Miller
Isaac Pierce
Wingfield Watson
Reuben Field
An unsigned essay
Ebenezer Page
Warren Post
[James J. Strang], unsigned
Box Folder
1 28 Booklet of essays sewn together. Written regarding Deuteronomy 18: 18-19.
Essayists include:
Edward Childester
George Miller, St. James, May 22, 1856
S. S. Thornton
Lorenzo D. Tubbs
Minervia Thatcher
Reuben Field
Warren Post
Box Folder
1 29 Booklet of essays sewn together. Written on the question "What is the blindness?" referred to in Romans 11:25
Essayists include:
Warren Post
S.Minervia Thatcher
Mrs. Angeline Page (wife of Finley)
Wingfield Watson
Samuel S. Thornton
Reuben Field
[James J. Strang], unsigned
Box Folder
1 30 Booklet of essays sewn together. Written on Mark (mislabeled as Luke in some essays) 16:16.
Essayists include:
Unsigned essay
Isaac Pierce, St. James, May 10, 1856
Ebenezer Page
S. D. Tubbs
Unsigned essay
[James J. Strang], unsigned
Box Folder
1 31 [James J. Strang?], "The Ministry of the Holy Spirit."

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Series 7:
Discourses and Theological Notes of James J. Strang, ca. 1842-1850
18 folders

Box Folder
1 32 Discourses of James J. Strang, "The Orthodox Dilemma" and "Discourse on Sectarianism"
33 James J. Strang, "Lecture on the manners and customs of the ancient Israelites." Baltimore, Maryland, January 3, 1850.
34 James J. Strang, [Notes on Bible passages]
35 James J. Strang, "Circumcision."
36 James J. Strang, "Candlesticks."
37 James J. Strang, "Judges."
38 James J. Strang, "Baptism of the Jews."
39 James J. Strang, [views on religion, society, and freedom]
40 James J. Strang, "Priesthood."
41 James J. Strang, [notes on Old Testament Prophets and "Articles of the Methodist Faith"]
42 James J. Strang, "Moses"
43 James J. Strang, "Place of mankind after the Flood at Mt. Ararat" [includes Biblical timeline]
44 James J. Strang, "Design of Punishment."
45 James J. Strang, [Notes on Salvation and Perfection]
Item 1: Notes on a discourse given by Baptist Minister "J. S. Richmond at the ministerial conference at Clear Creek, Dec 1842" titled "What must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30"
Item 2: James J. Strang, "Christian Perfection"
Box Folder
1 46 Small booklet sewn together. James J. Strang, discourse on liquor
47 Notes taken of a discourse by George J. Adams, one of the early Strangite members who later apostatized from the church.
48 James J. Strang, excerpt from Law of the Lord? (Contains handwritten verses, numbered 10 through 21.)
49 James J. Strang, excerpt from preface of "Voree Plates"?

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Series 8:
Printed Matter, 1850-1870
3 folders

Box Folder
1 50 "Memorial" addressed "To the President and Congress of the United States, and to all the people of the Nation," from James J. Strang, George J. Adams, and William Marks, Buffalo, New York, April 6, 1850.
The document gives a history of the hardships of the saints and ends requesting the President of the United States pass a law giving the saints the right to occupy all the uninhabited islands in Lake Michigan.
51 "Correspondence of Bishop George Miller with the Northern Islander," 1855 (2 copies)
A published pamphlet recounting in several letters the events in Miller’s life that led to his becoming a member of the Mormon Church under the leadership of Joseph Smith, missions and other jobs delegated to him, the death of the prophet, and the subsequent succession crisis. Miller wrote of Brigham Young’s ascendancy, the eventual exodus of the Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois, his disaffection with Brigham Young, and later decision to leave the trek west and join Lyman Wight’s splinter group in Texas. By 1850, Miller had heard of Strang’s claims, was convinced, and left Texas to join up with the Strangites. His narration ends at that point.
52 Miscellaneous
Item 1: The Utah Pomologist 1 no. 2 (May 1870)
A newspaper published in St. George, Utah focused on fruit growing.
Item 2: Page torn from a published source on North American Indians

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Series 9:
Beaver Island Documents
1 folder

Box Folder
1 53 Beaver Island Documents
Item 1: Handwritten note concerning "Case of Shaw & others with Fields & others," evidently referred to Strang for adjudication."
Item 2: Handwritten note concerning land and materials, evidently for building a dock.
Item 3: Handwritten note concerning building supplies.
Item 4: List of 37 property holders, with legal descriptions of their lands.
Item 5: Diagrams concerning location of twelve lots near townsite of "Siloam."
Item 6: List of 108 names, apparently all residents of Beaver Island.
Item 7: Note concerning work credits and materials "For Sister Hall’s House."
Item 8: Note concerning supplies needed for building a house.

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Series 10:
Poetry
1 folder

Box Folder
1 54 Poetry
Item 1: Poem fragment [transcript included]
Item 2: Untitled religious poem [transcript included]
Item 3: Untitled religious poem [transcript included]
Item 4: Transcript of poem titled "Citty of Nauvoo: A Lamentation"
Item 5: Satirical poem [about Strang?]

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Series 11:
Book Price Lists
1 folder

Box Folder
1 55 Book Price Lists of M. Douglas, [publisher?] 11 Spruce Street, New York
Item 1: List of a ten-volume series of published plays titled "Modern Standard Drama"
Contains 75 plays
Item 2: List of a four-volume series of published plays titled "The Minor Drama"
Contains 31 plays.
Item 3: List of 27 operas published in a series titled "The Operatic Library"

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Series 12:
Miscellaneous
1 folder

Box Folder
1 56 Miscellaneous
Item 1: "Private Claims in Congress," Claimant Charles Butterfield, July 2, 1836.
Item 2: Document fragment. A list of taxes paid in March, April, and November 1845.
Item 3: Document fragment. A list of office supplies dated November 8, 1847.
Item 4: Letter fragment, from unknown, Voree, Wisconsin, to "Dear Brother," December [1848?]
Item 5: Letter fragment, undated
Item 6: mss song "On the Banks of Tampico[, Mexico]"
Item 7: Document fragment. Notes on the power of Congress to legislate for the territories on the subject of slavery.
Item 8: Document fragment [describing location of land parcels?]

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