Photograph, Charles R. Savage, 1870, copy at Church History Library, original in private possession.

Martin Harris Photograph, Charles R. Savage, 1870, copy at Church History Library, original in private possession.


Harris, Martin


18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar. 1808, in Palmyra. Served in War of 1812 in New York militia. Became landowner of some 320 acres at Palmyra. Reportedly investigated Quakers, Universalists, Restorationists, Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians. Took transcript of Book of Mormon characters to Luther Bradish, Samuel Latham Mitchill, and Charles Anthon, Feb. 1828. Assisted JS as scribe during translation of first portion of Book of Mormon, ca. 12 Apr.–14 June 1828. One of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Separated from wife, after June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Oliver Cowdery, 6 Apr. 1830. Ordained a priest, by 9 June 1830. Paid printing costs for publication of Book of Mormon through sale of 151 acres. Led members of Manchester, Ontario Co., branch from Palmyra to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, May 1831. Ordained a high priest by Lyman Wight, 4 June 1831, at Kirtland. Appointed to serve mission to Missouri, 6 June 1831. Appointed member of what became the Literary Firm, Nov. 1831. Appointed member of United Firm, Apr. 1832. Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834. Member of Kirtland high council, 1834. Married second Caroline Young, 1836/1837. Excommunicated, Dec. 1837. Rebaptized into LDS church, 1842, at Kirtland. Member of high council of James J. Strang’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Kirtland, 7 Aug. 1846. Joined with William E. McLellin’s religious movement, 1847. Initiated a new movement with William Smith and Chilton Daniels at Kirtland, likely 1855. Migrated to Salt Lake Valley, 1870. Rebaptized into LDS church, 1870. Died at Clarkston, Cache Co., Utah Territory.