License for Christian Whitmer, 9 June 1830
“A License Liberty Power & Authority,” License,Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, for
Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...More InfoChristian Whitmer, 9 June 1830; handwriting of
18 Jan. 1798–27 Nov. 1835. Shoemaker. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Married Anna (Anne) Schott, 22 Feb. 1825, at Seneca Co., New York. Ensign in New York militia, 1825. Constable of Fayette, Seneca Co., 1828–1829. Member...View Full BioOliver Cowdery; signatures of JS and
3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...View Full BioSingle leaf measuring 7 × 7¾ inches (18 × 20 cm). The verso is blank. William E. Benjamin, aNew Yorkautograph and rare book collector and dealer,
Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...More Info1likely obtained the license circa late 1899 from Whitmer family member George Schweich when Benjamin obtained the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon.
Dickinson, Donald C. Dictionary of American Antiquarian Bookdealers. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998.2William R. Coe obtained the document by the early 1950s at the latest, after which the Coe collection was obtained by the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
Riley, I. Woodbridge. The Founder of Mormonism: A Psychological Study of Joseph Smith, Jr. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1902.
New York Times. New York City. 1857–.
Schweich, George. Letter, Richmond, MO, to O. R. Beardsley, 17 Jan. 1900. Miscellanea, Marie Eccles-Caine Archives of Intermountain Americana, Utah State University Special Collections, Logan.3
Withington, Mary C., comp. A Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Collection of Western Americana Founded by William Robertson Coe, Yale University Library. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1952.
- 1 Dickinson, Dictionary of American Antiquarian Bookdealers, 13–14.
- 2 Riley, Founder of Mormonism, 80n5, 100n59. The New York Times indicated the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon was “kept in a bank vault in this town.” On 17 January 1900, Schweich wrote to O. R. Beardsley telling him that the manuscript was with Benjamin in New York. (“The Book of Mormon,” New York Times, 21 Sept. 1899, 9; George Schweich, Richmond, MO, to O. R. Beardsley, 17 Jan. 1900, Miscellanea, Marie Eccles-Caine Archives of Intermountain Americana, Utah State University Special Collections, Logan.)
- 3 See Withington, Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Collection of Western Americana, 32.
Christian Whitmerwas one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon and was
18 Jan. 1798–27 Nov. 1835. Shoemaker. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Married Anna (Anne) Schott, 22 Feb. 1825, at Seneca Co., New York. Ensign in New York militia, 1825. Constable of Fayette, Seneca Co., 1828–1829. Member...View Full Biobaptizedshortly after the organization of the church on 6 April 1830.
An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...View Glossarylicense“signifying & proveing” that he held the office of
A document certifying an individual’s office in the church and authorizing him “to perform the duty of his calling.” The “Articles and Covenants” of the church implied that only elders could issue licenses; individuals ordained by a priest to an office in...View Glossaryteacherin the newly formed
Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...View GlossaryChurch of Christ. Whitmer was ordained to this office before the first
The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...View Glossaryconferenceof the church and received a license at that gathering, as did several other
A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...View Glossarypriesthoodofficers.Book of Mormon described the duties of a teacher in terms similar to those of a
Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...View Glossarypriest; likewise, “Articles of the Church of Christ,” a June 1829 document prepared by
An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...View GlossaryOliver Cowdery, listed the same duties for teachers and priests.Articles and Covenants,” the document unanimously approved by the church at the 9 June 1830 conference, stated that priests were authorized to “baptize, and administer the
3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...View Full Biosacrament,” while teachers were not. The primary responsibility of teachers was “to watch over the church always.”
Primarily referred to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as opposed to other religious sacraments. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed “that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord...View Glossary
- 1 Testimony of Eight Witnesses, Late June 1829; for more information on priesthood licenses, see Historical Introduction to License for John Whitmer, 9 June 1830.
- 2 See Historical Introduction to Minutes, 9 June 1830.
- 3 Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 575 [Moroni 3:3]; “Articles of the Church of Christ,” June 1829.
- 4 Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:46, 53].