Monday, September 13, 2010

Ammon Tenney Bibliography

This blog is regularly visited by people who arrive here after googling "Ammon Tenney." Perhaps they are looking for a contemporary Ammon Tenney, since there are three men of that name listed in Facebook. But perhaps they are looking for Ammon Meschach Tenney (1844-1925).

Two entries on this blog mention Tenney. One is about a beautiful letter my great-great grandfather Henry Martin Tanner wrote to Ammon Tenney.

The other mention of Tenney is an entry from John Morgan's diary. John Hamilton Morgan was a general authority of the church, making a tour through Arizona when he spent a day with Ammon Tenney. At the bottom of that entry, I mentioned that it was a shame that there does not seem to be a biography of Tenney, since he led such a fascinating life. I have since seen a listing for a 328-page biography by Winifred Whiting Smiley, but it is not widely available. Either it needs to be republished or made available online or one of his descendants needs to get to work to write a new biography. Alternately, a family association could fund the writing of a biography. I could name several professional historians whose interests and expertise would match the job.

Since I wrote that note about a Tenney biography, I have acquired a copy of Davis Bitton's Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies. There are four entries for Ammon Tenney, besides a mention of him in another diary. I have also added a number of other sources to the following bibliography. Feel free to mention other sources in the comments. If you would like to cite this bibliography, email me at the address on the sidebar, and I can provide you with my name and any other information you need.
Definition: A holograph is a handwritten document.

Ammon Tenney Bibliography


Heywood, Neal. Heywood Papers, 1872-1967. Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division, Tucson, Arizona. 2 linear feet (4 boxes).
Ammon Tenney is a "named person." The catalog entry does not specify the extent to which he is mentioned.
Jenson, Andrew. Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1879. November. "Mon. 24.—Ammon M. Tenney was appointed by Apostle Wilford Woodruff to preside over the Saints who were settling at St. Johns, Apache Co., Ariz." (Page 105.)
1884. December. "Fri. 5.—Ammon M. Tenney, Peter J. Christoffersen, and Christopher J. Kempe, tried and convicted of polygamy, were each sentenced by Judge Howard, at Prescott, Ariz., to three years, and six months' imprisonment in the House of Correction at Detroit, Mich., and $5.00 fine. Their offence [sic] was unlawful cohabitation, but this was construed by the court as polygamy. Wm. J. Flake and Jens N. Skousen, who plead guilty to u. c. (unlawful cohabitation), were each sentenced to six months' imprisonment at Yuma, Ariz., and $500 fine." (Page 138.)
1884. December. "Sun. 7.—Ammon M. Tenney, Peter J. Christoffersen and Christopher J. Kempe left Prescott, Ariz., for the prison at Detroit, Mich., and Wm. J. Flake and Jens N. Skousen for Yuma prison." (Page 138.)
1886. October. "Wed. 13.—...Christopher J. Kempe, Peter J. Christoffersen and Ammon M. Tenney who had been wrongfully imprisoned at Detroit, Mich., since December, 1884, received the pardon of Pres. Cleveland and were set free." (Page 138.)
——. "Tenney, Ammon M." Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson Memorial Association, 1936. (BYU Digital Collections Archive.)

——. "The Zuni Indians." The Deseret Weekly (48). p 494-95.
"Yesterday we left our friends at Ramah, and traveled twenty-two and a half miles (on our return trip) to Zuni, the famous Indian village, which in past years has been visited by quite a number of our Indian missionaries and other Elders, among whom was Ammon M. Tenney, who baptized quite a number of the villagers. By means of the Spanish language, which is spoken by quite a number of the Indians and which is also spoken fluently by Prest. Gibbons, we have conversed considerably with our dusky friends, several of whom, after being told that we were Mormons, replied that they also were Mormons; and while they went through the gestures which were intended to illustrate the ordinance of baptism and the laying on of hands, they would exclaim: 'Yes, Ammon Tenney did so and so to us.' Their knowledge of the Gospel and the nature of its ordinances beyond this seemed to be extremely limited.
"Among the chiefs to whom we were introduced was the noted Reman Luna, the present governor of the village, who treated us very kindly. He was among those baptized by Elder Tenney, and because of his friendship to the Mormon missionaries, he was, through certain influences brought to bear upon the majority of his people by Mormon-haters, deposed from his governorship, and stood thus for several years. But the reaction came; and when he was chosen governor again it was also owing to the fact that he had been a friend to the Mormons, whose consistent course toward their Indian friends had finally gained their utmost confidence; and today these Zuni villagers look upon our people as their best and truest friends."
McClintock, James H. Mormon Settlement in Arizona; a Record of Peaceful Conquest of the Desert. 1921. (Google Books edition.)

Moore, William Haas. Chiefs, Agents and Soldiers: Conflict on the Navajo Frontier, 1868-1882. University of New Mexico Press, 1994.

Nuttall, L. John. Diary Excerpts, 1877-1899, and Correspondence, 1875-1880. 25 pp. Location unlisted, probably Harold B. Lee Library, BYU.
Tenney is a "named person." This collection is about the Arizona colonization.
Peterson, Charles S. Take Up Your Mission; Mormon Colonizing Along the Little Colorado River, 1870-1900. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1973.

Romney, Catharine Cottam, and Jennifer M. Hansen. Letters of Catharine Cottam Romney, Plural Wife. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.
Catherine Romney mentioned the Tenney family repeatedly in her letters.
Romney, Thomas Cottam. The Mormon Colonies in Mexico. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 2005.

Ross, Peter V. Digest of the Decisions of the Supreme Court of Arizona: Covering Volumes 1 to 6 Inclusive of the Reports of That State, with References to the Notes in the American Decisions, American Reports, American State Reports, American Annotated Cases, and Lawyers' Reports Annotated, and a Table of Cases Digested As Well As Tables Showing Where the Arizona Decisions, Constitution, Codes, and Statutes Have Been Cited and Construed. San Francisco: Bancroft-Whitney, 1915.
The statute on bigamy cites United States v. Tenney, 2 Ariz. 29, 8 Pac. 295 (1885) a number of times. It must have been an important case.
Smiley, Winifred [Winn] Whiting. Ammon M. Tenney: His Life and Where He Lived. 196?.
This seems to refer both to a 164-page manuscript in the Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division, Tucson, Arizona, and also to a 328-page book of this name. The book does not seem to be widely available, if at all.
——. "Ammon M. Tenney: Mormon Missionary to the Indians." Journal of Arizona History 13 (Summer 1972): 82-108.


Solomon, William Henry. Diary, 1874-1875. Photocopy of typescript. 23 pp. Marriott Library, University of Utah.

Tamez, Jared. "Women’s History Month at the JI: Ammon Tenney and Female Piety in the Mexican Mission." Juvenile Instructor, March 15, 2011.
Excerpts from a paper he presented at the John Whitmer Historical Association. He indicates a continuing interest in the subject.
Tanner, George S., and J. Morris Richards. Colonization on the Little Colorado: The Joseph City Region. Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1977.

Tanner, Henry Martin and George S. Tanner. Henry Martin Tanner Letters, 1885. Harold B. Lee Library, BYU. (See here.)

Tenney, Ammon Meschach. Autobiography, 1844-1918. Holographs. 28 pp. LDS Church Archives.

——. Autobiography, 1844-1880s. Holograph. 38 pp. LDS Church Archives. Typescript. LDS Church Archives.

——. Diary, 1875-1876. Holograph. 76 pp. LDS Church Archives. Microfilm. 76 pp. LDS Church Archives. Typescript. 25 pp. LDS Church Archives. Photocopy of typescript. 25 pp. Marriott Library, University of Utah, and Harold B. Lee Library, BYU.

——. Diary, 1875-1921. Holograph. 9 vols. Arizona Pioneers Historical Society. Microfilm of holograph. 10 vols. LDS Church Archives. Microfilm (2 rolls) available at the Arizona State University Libraries, Tempe, Arizona.

—— and George S. Tanner. Papers, 1874-1889. 18 items. Photocopy of typescript. Harold B. Lee Library, BYU.
Includes letters to Tenney from Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and John W. Young about the purchase of land at St. Johns, Arizona.
——. Papers, 1874-1942. 55 pages. Harold B. Lee Library, BYU.
Handwritten letters, certificates, patriarchal blessings, family histories.
——. Papers, 1884-1923. Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division, Tucson, Arizona. .5 linear ft. (1 box).

——. "Peace..." New Mexico Historical Review, 24 (1949) pp 121-129. Diary excerpts.


Tullis, F. LaMond. Mormons in Mexico: The Dynamics of Faith and Culture. Utah State University Press, 1987.

Udall, Cameron. St. Johns. Images of America. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Pub, 2008. (See review here.)

Udall, David King and Pearl Udall Nelson. Arizona Pioneer Mormon: David King Udall, his story and his family, 1851-1938. Tucson, Arizona: Arizona Silhouettes, 1959. University of Arizona Libraries digital copy online.

—— and George S. Tanner. Papers, 1879-1880. 4 items. Relating to the purchase of St. Johns, Arizona. Harold B. Lee Library, BYU.

United States v. Tenney, 2 Ariz. 29, 8 Pac. 295 (1885).
The Pacific Reporter (11) June 10-October 28, 1886. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1886. (Available here.)
Valentine, Dale M. "The Juarez Stake Academy." Thesis. BYU. 1955.

Wikipedia. "Ammon M. Tenney."

Wilhelm, C. LeRoy, and Mabel R. Wilhelm. A History of the St. Johns Arizona Stake: The Triumph of Man and His Religion Over the Perils of a Raw Frontier. Orem, Utah: Historical Publications, 1982.

Wixom, Hartt. Hamblin: A Modern Look at the Frontier Life and Legend of Jacob Hamblin. Springville, UT: CFI, 1996.

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