Recently, a new biography was published about Hyrum Smith (1800-1844), Patriarch, Prophet and President of the Church. While I know of at least a dozen biographies of Joseph Smith, I was surprised to discover there are only four published histories of Hyrum (of which I am aware). I now have all four of these accounts in my own library.
As I have been reading this latest life sketch, I compiled a number of links to sites, pages, articles and posts about Hyrum in preparation to share my own thoughts about the new biography. While this may not be an exciting post, I hope it will prove helpful for those wishing to learn more about Hyrum. I know I will use it in my next post.
1) Hyrum Smith – A Prophet Unsung (2022) by Whitney N. Horning
This is the new biography recently published which I am now reading. Whitney published an excellent biography of Joseph in 2019, which I reviewed on this site previously. As I mentioned in my interview with Dr. Jana Riess, Whitney’s book on Joseph did more to answer my questions about Joseph Smith and polygamy than any other resource I have ever read.
If you have read this new biography, I would encourage you to post a review on the Amazon site. I intend to do so after I finish reading it. I bought the book specifically so I could do so as a “verified purchase.” As a published author, Carol informs me the more reviews she gets on Amazon, the higher on the search rankings it shows, thus more people see and read the book.
2) The Other Martyr – Insights From the Life of Hyrum Smith (2020) by Susan Easton Black
I read this one in about two hours. It’s a little over 100 pages. I like her writing style and enjoyed the book. Yes, it is a light summary and was not intended to be an exhaustive treatise on the life of Hyrum. I highly recommend it for those who want a short, yet concise summary of Hyrum’s life. I did not care for this critical review from the Association for Mormon Letters.
3) Hyrum Smith – A Life of Integrity (2003) by Jeffrey S. O’Driscoll
Isn’t that a beautiful painting of Hyrum by Del Parson featured on the cover? As the author mentions, he is not a descendant of Hyrum, but wrote the book at the request of a friend who is. As he noted in the beginning, he believes he adds additional insights into Hyrum’s life based on new material that became available since Corbett’s 1963 biography.
4) Hyrum Smith – Patriarch: (1963) by Pearson H. Corbett
This was one of the first biographies published about Hyrum by one of his descendants. It is a good resource for succeeding authors who reference it, and includes a lot of material to which the author had access that was not publicly available at the time. My copy is from the “Classics in Mormon Literature Series” and is a reprint published in 1995.
Denver Snuffer Blog Post Series (2012):
Denver Snuffer Podcast Transcript (2019) – This is a great podcast containing some unique insights into Hyrum’s life.
If you get a chance, and have read Whitney’s book, please leave a review on Goodreads. I intend to do so along with my Amazon review.
Joseph Smith Papers – A specific link to a page with all references to Hyrum
Church History – A short biographical sketch from the official church history site.
Church History Museum – An interesting article showing the clothes Hyrum wore in Carthage.
Family Search – Link opens to a page full of Hyrum’s genealogy, ancestors and descendants.
Find a Grave – Another helpful family history site with pictorial links to Hyrum’s family.
Hyrum Smith Papers at BYU Archives (donated by Eldred G Smith)
Elder Ballard (descendant) – Three Ensign articles (1994-1995):
Ronald K. Esplin – An Ensign article from 2000 -The Mildness of a Lamb, the Integrity of Job