Lewis C. Bidamon Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by The Huntington Library staff in March 1972; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Xiuzhi Zhou and Diann Benti.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
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San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
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Overview of the Collection

Title: Lewis C. Bidamon Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1837-1962
Collection Number: mssHM 35603-35793
Creator: Bidamon, Lewis C. (Lewis Crum), -1891.
Extent: 276 pieces in 2 boxes and 2 folders
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains letters and documents related to the business and legal activities of Lewis C. Bidamon (1801-1891) of Nauvoo, Illinois, and his family. Notably, the collection contains papers of Bidamon's wife, and the widow of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, Emma Hale Smith (1804-1879) and her son, Joseph Smith III.
Language: English.


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Administrative Information

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Lewis C. Bidamon Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Purchased from Stanley B. Kimball in July, 1966.

Related Materials in the Huntington Library

Related to the Mormon file, approximately 1805-1995.

Biographical Note

Lewis Crum Bidamon (1801-1891), Virginia-born settler of Canton, Illinois, at one time served at Lt. Col. of the 32nd Regiment of Illinois Infantry. In 1846, just as the Mormons were being driven out, Bidamon moved to Nauvoo, Illinois . He married Emma Hale Smith, widow of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith (1804-1844). Bidamon engaged in various business practices in Nauvoo, including selling stock for the Warsaw and Rockford Railroad Company and operating the Nauvoo House, a hotel whose construction was begun by Joseph Smith and completed by Bidamon and his wife. Bidamon was also greatly involved in acquiring land in Nauvoo.

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).
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.
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).
Some notable items include:
  • 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, et al. 1849, Aug. 28
  • McCallum, Josepha (Smith)? (daughter of Joseph Smith III). Letter to Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon. 1871, Dec. 12
  • Middleton, Julia (Murdock) Dixon (adopted daughter of Emma and Joseph Smith). 4 letters to Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon. 1853-1873
  • Spencer, Daniel and others. To Emma (Hale) Smith Bidamon: Request that debt of $1000 due John Robinson by Joseph Smith (1805-1844) be fulfilled. 1844, Aug. 22


Arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


Bidamon, Charles E.
Bidamon, John C.
Bidamon, Lewis C.
Smith, Emma Hale.
Smith, Heman Conoman.
Smith, Joseph, Jr., 1805-1844.
Smith, Joseph, III, 1832-1914.
Smith, Joseph Fielding, 1876-1972.
Nauvoo House.
Warsaw and Rockford Railroad Company.
Mormon women -- History -- Sources.
Mormons -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Mormons -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Mormons -- Illinois -- Nauvoo -- History -- Sources.
Nauvoo (Ill.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.


Letters (correspondence) United States.

Collection Contents

Box 1


Box 2


Oversize Folder

Illinois. Hancock County. Collector. To Emma Smith : receipt for taxes [with tax account for state and county, 1844-1845. 1845 December 23 HM 35706

Oversize Folder

Walworth, Reuben H. To Chauncy Robison : warranty deed for land in Military Tract, Illinois. 1840 April 29 HM 35782