License for Christian Whitmer, 9 June 1830
“A License Liberty Power & Authority,” License, , Seneca Co., NY, for , 9 June 1830; handwriting of ; signatures of JS and ; one page; Western Americana Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Transcription from digital color image obtained from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 2010.Single leaf measuring 7 × 7¾ inches (18 × 20 cm). The verso is blank. William E. Benjamin, a autograph and rare book collector and dealer, likely obtained the license circa late 1899 from Whitmer family member George Schweich when Benjamin obtained the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon. William 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.
Dickinson, Donald C. Dictionary of American Antiquarian Bookdealers. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998.
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.
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.
was one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon and was shortly after the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. This document is a “signifying & proveing” that he held the office of in the newly formed . Whitmer was ordained to this office before the first of the church and received a license at that gathering, as did several other officers. The Book of Mormon described the duties of a teacher in terms similar to those of a ; likewise, “Articles of the Church of Christ,” a June 1829 document prepared by , listed the same duties for teachers and priests. However, “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 ,” while teachers were not. The primary responsibility of teachers was “to watch over the church always.”
|Signed by||(Joseph Smith Jr first Elder|
|( Second Elder|