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Inventory of the Lewis Crum Bidamon Collection, 1837-1962
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Interesting Items

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lewis Crum Bidamon Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1837-1962
    Creator: Bidamon, Lewis Crum
    Extent: 276 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The Lewis Crum Bidamon Collection was purchased from Stanley B. Kimball in July, 1966.


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lewis Crum Bidamon Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Scope and Content

    The majority of the collection is made up of the business and legal papers of Lewis Crum Bidamon (125 pieces, 1837-1889), his brother John C. Bidamon (26 pieces, 1840-1850), and his son Charles E. Bidamon (32 pieces, 1892-1941).
    Lewis Crum Bidamon (1807-1891), Virginia-born settler of Canton, Illinois, at one time served as Lt. Col. of the 32nd Regiment of Illinois Infantry (and was known as Major for the remainder of his life). In 1846, just as the Mormons were being driven out, Bidamon moved to Nauvoo, Ill. There, on Dec. 27, 1847, he married Emma (Hale) Smith (1804-1879), widow of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.
    Bidamon engaged in various businesses in Nauvoo, including selling stock for the Warsaw & Rockford Railroad Company (1853-1856) and operating the Nauvoo House, an hotel whose construction was begun by Joseph Smith and completed by Lewis and his wife. Bidamon was also greatly involved in acquiring land in Nauvoo.
    Of interest in the collection are the papers of Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon and her son Joseph Smith (1832-1914). Joseph Smith was the founder and lifelong President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Those items of note are listed below.
    The correspondence of Charles E. Bidamon contains a series of letters regarding his attempts to sell the Nauvoo House during the period 1905-1909. In this connection he corresponded with Heman Conoman Smith (Historian of the Reorganized Church) and Joseph Fielding Smith (President of the Utah Mormon Church).

    Interesting Items

    • BIDAMON, Emma (Hale) Smith. Letter to Lewis Crum Bidamon, following letter to Bidamon from David Titus (?). 1871, June 24
    • HALE, David. Letter to Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon. 1873, Feb. 12-15
    • ILLINOIS. Courts. Hancock County Circuit Court. Agreement in case Phineas Kimball vs. Joseph Smith, et al in favor of Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon and her children. 1851, July 23
    • ILLINOIS. Courts. Hancock County Circuit Court. To Melgar Couchman: Order to sommon Nathan Prentice, Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon, Lewis Crum Bidamon, Joseph Smith f, et al. 1849, Aug. 28
    • McCALLUM, Josepha (Smith)? (daughter of Joseph Smith f). Letter to Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon. 1871, Dec. 12
    • MIDDLETON, Julia (Murdock) Dixon (adopted daughter of Emma & Joseph Smith c). 4 letters to Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon. 1853-1873
    • SPENCER, Daniel & others. To Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon: Request that debt of $1000 due John Robinson by Joseph Smith c be fulfilled. 1844, Aug. 22