Guide to the John Henry Humphrey Barker papers,
1862-1890

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Barker, John Henry Humphrey, 1842-1910
Title: John Henry Humphrey Barker papers
Dates: 1862-1890 ( inclusive )
1871-1890 ( bulk )
Quantity: 10 folders (.5 linear ft.)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 025
Summary: Mostly letters of John H. Barker to his sister Jenny (1871-1890); also passenger tickets, genealogical information, and diary (1859-1863).
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

On April 5, 1842, John Henry Barker was born in Wandsworth, Surrey, England to John Humphrey and Anna Maria Delap Barker. His father was a lawyer's clerk and his mother often worked as a seamstress. During his childhood, the family moved often, living in several cities in England. As a young boy, he held several jobs, working in a linen button factory and later as a waiter.

In 1848, his family became associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, sometime after this, his father was sent to a "debtor's prison" due to financial difficulties, and the family was broken up, leaving only John and his mother in London.

In 1859, Barker was baptized into the Mormon church and over the next few years held many leadership positions within his local branch. He met his future wife, Susan Dermott, through this work, and in 1868 they came to America on the Manchester. They were married before starting across the plains later that year.

Arriving in Utah, the couple settled first in Salt Lake City, and then moved to Cache Valley, living in Paradise, Providence, and Newton respectively. Throughout the years he worked as a school teacher, a businessman, a miner, and a farmer. He also held many positions of leadership in both the Church and the Newton community.

Family was extremely important in Barker's life. He and Susan raised nine children in their home in Newton. In 1879, Barker entered into polygamy when he married Christena M. Benson. Together they had eight children. Later that same year, Barker married his third wife, Johanna Jensen. Their marriage produced two more children. In addition to his wives and children, Barker felt a strong connection to the family he had left behind in England. He maintained contact with his three living sisters, especially his youngest sister Jane, or Jenny as she was called.

Always an active member of the LDS church, Barker was called to serve a mission to England in 1909. The trip was too hard on him, however, because of his age and the stress of travel, and after only a few months there he was sent home. Once home, he was stricken with gangrene and had to have a leg amputated. During the recovery, he caught pneumonia, and on February 27th, 1910, he passed away at his home in Newton.

Content Description

The largest part of the John Henry Barker collection consists of 45 letters, 44 written by Barker to his sister Jenny over the period of 1871 to 1890. The other letter was written to Jenny by George Teasdale, her future husband. Twenty-two of these letters were published by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in their Historical Pamphlet for October 1960 as "Letters of John H. Barker" (F 826. D32). This publication also includes three other letters not included in this collection: those of January 20 and January 22, 1881; and June 17, 1888 – the last being Mr. Barker's admission to his sister that he was practicing plural marriage.

The Barker collection contains a vast amount of information about the life of an early settler in Utah. Barker writes with great detail about his jobs, his family and home life, and his community. He comments on everything from politics to religion to the weather. His letters urging his sister to come to Utah and join him are full of details about what she can expect from the trip and what the trip was like when he made it. It is interesting to note that even small details, such as the price of goods and the amount of his wages are given.

The letters are organized chronologically from November 16, 1871 to the last letter written in 1890. In addition to the letters, this collection also includes several interesting documents and artifacts. Envelopes and stamps from some of the letters have been preserved. The collection also contains tickets for the passage from England to America for both Barker and Susan Dermott, their marriage certificate, LDS family group record sheets, and several photos. The last item is a diary kept by Barker from May 9 1859 to March 1863. All of these items are organized and preserved in folders following those containing the letters.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the John Henry Humphrey Barker papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

John Henry Humphrey Barker papers, 1862-1890. (COLL MSS 025) Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Correspondence arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information :  

The John Henry Barker collection was given as a gift to Utah State Special Collections by Mrs. H. M. Jorgensen of Smithfield, Utah. The collection was received in January of 1975.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Letters , 1871 - 1873
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 1
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1871 November 16
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1872 January 16
Letter 1872 March 21
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1872 May 3
Letter 1872 May 17
Letter 1872 July 13
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1873 January 20
Letter 1873 November 2

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Letters , 1874 - 1877
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 2
Letter 1874 February 25
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1874 October 18
Letter 1875 January 11
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1875 July 4
Letter 1875 October 24
Letter 1876 January 17
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1876 June 11
Letter 1876 September 6
Letter 1876 December 25
Letter 1877 April 3
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1877 November 25

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Letters , 1878 - 1885
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 3
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1878 April 28
Letter 1878September 30
Letter 1879 January 6
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1879 May 20
Letter 1880 January 25
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1880 August 2
Letter 1880 October 27
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1881 January 9
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1882 May 31
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1882 October 19
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1883 November 13
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1884 June 22
Letter 1884 December 1
Letter 1885 February 26
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1885 September 18

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Letters , 1886 - 1890
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 4
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1886 January 22
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1887 December 15
Letter 1889 February 3
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1889 May
Letter 1890 March 9
Letter 1890 May 10
Letter 1890 May 21
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1890 June 15
Letter
Letter included in the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers historical pamphlet.
1890 June 25
Letter 1890 July 3
Letter 1890 July 12
Letter
Teasdale to Miss Barker.
1890

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Six envelopes from letters sent from J. H. Barker to Jenny Barker in England, Ireland, Italy
Container(s)
box
folder
1 5

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Note, John Barker to Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company,for $100.00 at 10% annum, 1862 October 15
Container(s)
box
folder
1 6

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Passenger's Contract Ticket No. 122, for Susan Dermott,Ship Manchester, 1862 May

>£ 3/16. On verso is tipped marriage certificate, J. H. Barker and Susan Dermott, June 28, 1862, Florence, Nebraska. Note by Mrs. Mary Light giving permission for daughter Susan Dermott to marry J. H. Barker.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 7

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Passenger's Contract Ticket No. 117, for John Barker, Ship Manchester, 1862 May

£ 3/16. Also two photos J. H. Barker:1862, 1907.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 8

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LDS Family Group Record Sheets.

John Henry Barker and wives; 1) Susan Dermott, 2) Christene Martena Benson, 3) Johanna Jensen.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 9

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Diary, 1859 May 9 - 1863 March

Also contains financial, tithing, and journal memoranda 1856 - 1874, including mission statistics, 1859 -1860.

Container(s)
box
folder
1 10

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Barker, Christena Martena Benson, 1863-1918.
    • Barker, Johanne Jensen, 1844-1912.
    • Barker, John Henry Humphrey, 1842-1910.
    • Barker, John Henry Humphrey, 1842-1910--Diaries.
    • Barker, Susan Ann Dermott, 1843-1888.
    • Stanford, Jane Carol Barker, (Jennie), 1850-1934.
    • Family Names :
    • Barker family.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Mormons--Utah--Diaries.
    • Overland journeys to the West (U.S.)
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Genealogies.
    • Overland journals.

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