Guide to the Thomas Leiper Kane Papers, 1846-1883

Processed by Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Patricia White
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
© 1997
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Thomas Leiper Kane Papers, 1846-1883

Collection number: M058

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Encoded by:
Patricia White
© 1997 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Thomas Leiper Kane Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1846-1883
Collection number: Special Collections M058
Creator: Kane, Thomas Leiper
Extent: .5 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:


Publication Rights:

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


Purchased, 1934.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] Thomas Leiper Kane Papers, M058, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


Thomas Leiper Kane was a law clerk and Army officer.


Note: for a biographical sketch, see the first folder in the collection.


The Thomas L. Kane papers primarily cover his two trips West in 1846-1847, and again, in 1858. There is some material covering the period between these trips and some after 1858. The collection contains letters, diaries, agreements, clippings, notes for articles and lectures, drafts, sketches and some diagrams.
Most of the subject matter relates to the Mormons, their history, migrations, persecutions, and characteristics. Kane also describes in detail the country through which he passed along the Missouri River, across the Isthmus of Panama, and between San Bernardino, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah. He also describes the difficulties of a long sea voyage.
A small amount of material relates to the Free Soil question, democracy, and state sovereignty. There is also an account of an Indian massacre, a quasi-biblical history, a "Plea of a condemned man," and a geneology of a branch of Kane's wife's family.


NOTE: Much of this material is in the form of loose notes and drafts and some of it is not in KaneÕs hand.


Box 1, Folder 1a

Thomas Leiper Kane - biographical sketch by Mary Schofield, n. d., 7 pp.

Box 1, Folder 1

Kane letter or journal. Jun. and Jul. 1846.earliest date: Jun. 23. Description of trip up Missouri R. - St. Louis, For [Leavenworth], St. Joseph, Mo. 28 pp.

Box 1, Folder 2

Kane journal. Jul. 5-7, 1846.St. Joseph, Mo. and up river, description. 8 pp.

Box 1, Folder 3

Kane notes on trip West [1846]; written several years later, date undetermined. Description of Keokuk, Iowa. 2 pp.

Box 1, Folder 4

Kane to his sister. n.d., 6 pp. Describes trip up Missouri R. toward Council Bluffs [1846].

Box 1, Folder 5

Kane - Description of Mormon History and Persecution. (Probably notes for book or lecture. History beginning 1830-31).


a. 17 pp. draft


b. 4 pp. draft (similar to above)


c. 1 p. notes


d. 4 pp. draft


e. 2 pp. notes

Box 1, Folder 6

Kane - Description of Mormons and their migrations. n.d., notes for book or lecture.


a. children, 5 pp.


b. visions, 4 pp


c. characteristics and ideology, 14 pp.

Box 1, Folder 7

Notes on Mormon History and Persecution in Missouri and Illinois. 19 pp., general notes.

Box 1, Folder 8

Summary of history, chiefly 1844 to 1847. includes parts of draft of long letter re. wintering place for Mormons. 19 pp. of which 17 pp. is the letter.

Box 1, Folder 9

Descriptions of attack on Mormons at [Nauvoo, Ill.] n.d., 2 pp. (Probably 1845 or 46).

Box 1, Folder 10

Mormon settlement at Nauvoo. Memo, 2 pp.

Box 1, Folder 11

KaneÕs description of Nauvoo after departure of Mormons [1846]. Probably written in 1847 or later, part not by Kane.


a. 4 pp. draft


b. 12 pp. drafts and notes

Box 1, Folder 12

Description of departure of Mormons and season of year [1846] - 1 p. flowery or poetic.

Box 1, Folder 13

Resolutions at a meeting (presumably in Illinois after expulsion of Mormons) [1846]. 4 pp.

Box 1, Folder 14

KaneÕs description of the hardships of the Mormon march. 1846. Draft of article or lecture describing events from Feb., 1846 when first group left Nauvoo, to May, when the second group left. 9 pp.

Box 1, Folder 15

Difficulties of Mormon emigration after leaving Nauvoo. Draft, perhaps of a letter. 1 p.

Box 1, Folder 16

Mormon Journey to Salt Lake. Notes and descriptions, perhaps from a journal. 10 pp. [1847-1849].

Box 1, Folder 17

Copies of letters re. right of Mormons to pass through Indian territory.


a. Mitchell, R. B. to T[homas] H. Harvey. 1 p. arrival of Mormons at Council Bluffs. Jun. 29, [1846].


b. Harvey, T[homas] H. to W[illia]m Medill. 1p. Jul. 13, 1846.


c. Medill, W[illiam] to Thomas H. Harvey. 3 pp. Sept. 2, 1846.

Box 1, Folder 18

Copies of letters re. agreement of Potawatomi Indians to let Mormons winter in their country.


a. Richards, Willard to [Thomas L.] Kane. 1p. Aug. 19, 1846.


b. Young, Brigham to Col. Kearney, Capt. Clary, Major Swords or C-O at Ft. Leavenworth. Description of KaneÕs illness, 2 pp. Aug. 10, 1846.


c. Edes , H. G. W. - medical report on Kane. 1 p. Aug. 19, 1846.


d. incomplete copies of above. 2 pp.


e. Potawatomi Indians. Agreement, 1p. Jul. 2., 1846.


f. Allen, J. (Lt. Col. cmdg. Mormon Battalion). Approval, 1 p. Jul. 10, 1846.

Box 1, Folder 19

Copies of letters re. wintering of Mormons in Indian territory.


a. [Medill, William] to J. K. Kane. Conditional permit, 1 p. Sept. 3, 1846.


b. Medill, W[illiam] to Thomas H. Harvey. 2 pp. Sept. 2, 1846.


c. Allen, J. to J. C. Little. Praising Mormon Battalion. 1 p. Jul. 20, 1846.

Box 1, Folder 20

Unknown to [Thomas L.] Kane. Nov. 12, 1846.Draft of unsigned letter from member of Mormon Battalion written from Chihuahua, Mexico. 3 pp.

Box 1, Folder 21

Copies of letters re. conditions and movements of Mormons, 1846.


a. Harvey, Th[omas] H. to W[illia]m Medill. Description of Camp of Israel. 5 pp. Dec. 3, 1846.


b. Cutler, Alpheus to [Thomas H. Harvey]. 2 pp. Nov. 3, 1846.


c. Harvey, Th[omas] H. to Alpheus Cutler. 1 p. Nov. 5, 1846.


d. Cutler, Alpheus to [Thomas H. Harvey] [or Clayton?]. 5 pp. with docket notes. Nov. 6, 1846.

Box 1, Folder 22

[Kane, Thomas L.] to [? Sec. of War, Marcy, or President Polk]. n.d. (1847?). Draft, 1 p.

Box 1, Folder 23

Trials of the Mormons [1846-47] - draft of letter, n.d., description of deserted Nauvoo. 3 pp.

Box 1, Folder 24

KaneÕs description of his Mormon mission [1847] draft letter of letter, n.d., 7 pp.

Box 1, Folder 25

Kane, Thomas L. to William Medill, Apr. 2, 1847,3 pp.

Box 1, Folder 26

Kane, Thomas L. to [W. L.] Marcy, Apr. 21, 1847,4 pp. (see also folder #24)

Box 1, Folder 27

Medill, W[illiam] to W. L. Marcy, Apr. 24, 1847,8 pp. report through Marcy to the President on Mormon migration.

Box 1, Folder 28

Kane, Thomas L. - Report on Mormons [1847] 8 pp. including 1 p. draft (letter to Medill or other official, docketed ÒPresdts Report No. 2 contg. CensusÓ)

Box 1, Folder 29

[Kane, Thomas L.] to [? James K. Polk or W. L. Marcy] [1847], 5 pp. draft with notes

Box 1, Folder 30

Copies of letters to Medill from Kane re. Permission for Mormons to winter near Council Bluffs. n.d. (probably 1847 or Ô46), 15 pp.

Box 1, Folder 31

Draft of letter by Kane to Mormon friend, after KaneÕs return East [1847], 1 p. (ans. to #20 ?)

Box 1, Folder 32

[Kane, Thomas L.] to [Horace] Greeley, [Aug., 1847?]Description of Utah shortly after original group of Mormons arrived. 9 pp.

Box 1, Folder 33

Draft of Kane letter to high official re. Mormons [1848], 3 pp.

Box 1, Folder 34

Description of discovery of gold, 1 p. Sidney and Ira Willis and others of [Mormon] Battalion working for Sutter. [1848]

Box 1, Folder 35

Letter from Kane re. Utah and Free Soil. (Kane made chairman of Free Soil Central Com. in 1848) n.d., 2 pp.

Box 1, Folder 36

Woodruff, Wilford to [Thomas L.] Kane, Dec. 4, 1849,1 p. defending Mormons.

Box 1, Folder 37

Fragment of prelim. letter by Kane on Free Soil question. [Dec. 4, 1849] 2 pp.

Box 1, Folder 38

Kane report on meeting on behalf of Mormons [1850] Draft of speech, 2 pp.

Box 1, Folder 39

Richards, F. D. to T[homas] L. Kane, Oct. 30, 1851,Lecture on Mormons, 3 pp.

Box 1, Folder 40

ÒThe Mormon Outrages at Salt LakeÓ - clipping from Philadelphia newspaper, Nov. 1851,including letter of Sept. 20, from Salt Lake.

Box 1, Folder 41

[New York Herald, May 27, 1852]- clipping describing Mormon settlement and life.

Box 1, Folder 42

Bernhisel, John M. to [Thomas L.] Kane, Dec. 9, 1857,2 pp. and cover.

Box 1, Folder 43

[OÕBrien, Fitz James] - clipping of poem on death of Elisha Kent Kane, 1857.

Box 1, Folder 44

[Kane, Thomas L.] to Gov. Cummings, [1857],1 p.

Box 1, Folder 45

Kane letter (draft) to high official on DrummondÕs accusation against Mormons [1857], 2 pp. docketed on back as Apr. 27, 1857.

Box 1, Folder 46

Diary I - Jan. 8, 1858 to Jan. 28, 1858.Sea voyage from New York, across Isthmus of Panama and to San Francisco, pressed leaves, etc. in back.

Box 1, Folder 47

Diary II - Jan. 29, 1858 to May 10, 1858.San Francisco to San Pedro by ship, Feb. 8 or 9 left San Bernardino for Salt Lake. Includes account of departure from Fern Rock, Jan. 4, partly out of order and illegible, contains letters, notes, maps and diagrams.

Box 1, Folder 48

ÒMormon Martyrs" (of San Bernardino) - clipping from San Francisco paper of May 3, 1858,article by Wallach from Los Angeles dated Apr. 22 or 28, 1858.

Box 1, Folder 49

Kane, Thomas L. to Eli K. Price, Jul. 30,. 1858.severing relations with govÕt. in efforts on behalf of Mormons, 2 pp.

Box 1, Folder 50

Kane letter (draft) to official, perhaps Buchanan, on behalf of Mormons. [1850?], 8 pp. (see also folders #35 and #37).

Box 1, Folder 51

Young, Brigham to Thomas L. Kane, Jan. 14, 1859,5 pp. and cover.

Box 1, Folder 52

Forney, John W. to Thomas L. Kane, Jan. 23, 1867,at time of threatened impeachment of Johnson. 3 pp. and cover.

Box 1, Folder 53

Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Dec. 26 and 28, 1883.clippings, KaneÕs death.

Box 1, Folder 54

Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 15, 1884.clipping, KaneÕs death. (Salt Lake City paper).

Box 1, Folder 55

National Tribune (Washington, D. C.), 1886.clipping, ÒBucktail RegimentÓ - KaneÕs Civil War Regiment.

Box 1, Folder 56

Quasi-biblical descriptive matter in KaneÕs hand. 5 pp. notes, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 57

ÒPlea of a condemned manÓ. provenance uncertain, not related to western material, 2 pp. draft, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 58

Genealogy of Dennistown family. Mrs. Kane was Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood. 13 pp. and wax seal, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 59

Short dissertation on state sovereignty. 2 pp. notes, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 60

Democracy and rule of the people. 1 p. draft.

Box 1, Folder 61

Part of an account of the ÒMahaw massacreÓ, n.d., 4 pp.

Box 1, Folder 62

Notes on Mormons and their history. n.d., 4 pp.

Box 1, Folder 63



a. 2 pp. notes - arrival in Omaha territory, poetic.


b. part of letter, n.d. - about meeting, 1 p.