Inventory of the Mary Jane Mount Tanner papers,

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Tanner, Mary Jane Mount, 1837-1890
Title: Mary Jane Mount Tanner papers
Dates: 1837-1908 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 4 linear feet
Collection Number: Ms0200
Summary: The Mary Jane Mount Tanner papers consist of an introspective and insightful diary recording her impressions of her activities and society. It concerns primarily personal matters such as stresses in a polygamous family, problems with family members, church and social activities, and the publication of a volume of her poetry. Correspondence is primarily about family matters; between herself and father in California (1849-1876) about his activities and the settlement of his estate; to her husband Myron Tanner about their courtship; and from other family members. Autobiography and diaries available to patrons on microfilm.
Repository: J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Manuscripts Division

Special Collections
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0860

Languages: Collection materials are in English.  

Biographical Note

Mary Jane Mount Tanner was born in 1837 in Toledo, Ohio. From there she moved with her parents to Nauvoo, where she resided for four years. At the age of ten she crossed the plains with her parents and other Mormon pioneers to Salt Lake City. She married Myron Tanner, a polygamist, and together they had several children. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for her entire life.

Content Description

The Mary Jane Mount Tanner papers consist of an autobiography, diaries, correspondence, notes and contemporary books, the Mary Jane Mount Tanner collection provides an inciteful view of early Utah life. Aspiring to be a writer, Mary Jane's diaries not only record her daily life, but her views on life and the world around her.

The holograph material and contemporary books have been filed together in box one. Included are Mary Jane's autobiography, three diaries, a notebook belonging to her daughter Bessie and one belonging to a son-in-law, Calvin Cragun. There are also four published books, including Mary Jane's volume Fugitive Poems, 1880. The correspondence filed here includes Mary Jane's letters to and from her father, Joseph Mount; her husband, Myron Tanner; and her aunt Mary Hunt. There are also letter between Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Tanner and Calvin Cragun. One incomplete letter from William H. Bessac to his sister Elizabeth Bessac Mount Pond Foote (Mary Jane's mother) and one from Francis M. Lyman to his uncle Myron Tanner are filed together. A sketch of Joseph Mount, copies of Myron Tanner's land transactions, a report on the Tanner family reunion, Calvin Cragun's and Bessie's wedding invitation, and a poetic tribute to Mary Jane fill out the holograph-contempory materials.

In order to protect the holograph items from damage through use, they have been photocopied, or typescripts have been made. The second box contains typescripts of all the correspondence. Also included is a file of photocopies of newspaper obituaries for Mary Jane Mount Tanner and her family members. Box three holds a photocopy, microfilm copy, and typescript of Mary Jane's autobiography and all three diaries. Also included is a photocopy of a "Memorial" written by Mary Jane. This was written for the 50 year Jubilee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a brief autobiography dedicated to her female descendants.

Box 4 contains a large family Bible. The inner pages, provided for the purpose, are inscribed with family genealogical information.

Box 5 contains a masonic apron that belonged to Joseph Mount, Jr., Mary's father.

Family portraits have been removed and placed in the Photograph Archives.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Restrictions on Use :  

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Mary Jane Mount Tanner papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: Mary Jane Mount Tanner papers, Ms 200, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations:Ms 200.

Administrative Information

Location of Originals :  

Microfilm. Originals located at the Salt Lake City: LDS Church Historical Dept., 1966.

Processing Note :  

Processed by Marlene Lewis and Deb Holling in 1979 and 2003.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Poems, Correspondence, and Family Documents, 1849--1908
1 1 Fugitive Poems flyers
1 2 Travellers' Wonders
1 3-4 Correspondence - Joseph Mount 1849-1865; 1870-1876
1 5 Correspondence regarding the estate of Joseph Mount 1877-1882
1 6 Correspondence - Myron Tanner 1855-1858
1 7-9 Correspondence - (Aunt) Mary Hunt 1856-1865; 1875-1883
1 10 Correspondence - Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Tanner and Calvin Cragun 1887-1908
1 11 Miscellaneous Correspondence 1890
1 12 Sketch of Joseph Mount 1829
1 13 Myron Tanner Land Deeds and Transactions 1873; 1875
1 14 Tanner Family Reunion in Payson, Utah 1884
1 15 Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Tanner and Calvin Cragun Wedding Announcement 1887
1 16 " Lines in Memory of Sister Tanner who departed this life January 8, 1890, Provo City" by Mrs. Deborah Billings 1887
1 17 Autobiography: Diary 1872-1879
1 18-19 Diaries 1883-1885

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Typescripts of Correspondence and Obituaries, 1849-1908
2 1-3 Correspondence Typescripts - Joseph Mount 1849-1882
2 4 Correspondence Typescripts - Myron Tanner 1855-1858
2 5-7 Correspondence Typescripts - (Aunt) Mary Hunt 1856-1883
2 8 Correspondence Typescripts - Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Tanner and Calvin Cragun 1887-1908
2 9 Correspondence Typescripts - Miscellaneous Correspondence 1890
2 10 Obituaries of Family Members 1890-1961

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Diary Typescripts and Photocopies, 1849-1908
3 1-3 Photocopies of diaries from box 1, folders 17-19
3 4-6 Typescripts of diaries from box 1, folders 17-19

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Notebooks, Memorial, Genealogy, 1880-1890
4 1 Class Notebook 1892
4 2 Notebook with cover engraved with Henderson Woolen Mills circa 1898
4 3 Mary Jane Mount Tanner Memorial Written by Geo. Tanner (photocopy and typescript) 1880
4 4 Genealogical Records

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General Materials, 1880-1890
5 1 Notebook 1870s
5 2 Other Writings
6 Family Bible
7 Masonic apron
This apron belonged to Mary's father, Joseph Mount, Jr.

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  • Personal Names :
  • Mount, Joseph, 1806-1876
  • Tanner, Ann Crosby, 1846-1913
  • Tanner, Mary Jane Mount, 1837-1890--Archives
  • Tanner, Myron, 1826-1903
  • Geographical Names :
  • Provo (Utah)
  • Salt Lake City (Utah)--History
  • Subject Terms :
  • Gold mines and mining--California
  • Mormon Church--Reformation--History
  • Mormon women--Diaries
  • Mormons--Biography
  • Mormons--Diaries
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Polygamy

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