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This webpage reproduces a portion of
The Private Journal

William Hyde

as transcribed by The Church Historian,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
1974 (or earlier)

the text of which is in the public domain.

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

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The original handwritten Private Journal of William Hyde is in the Historian's Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After William Hyde died it had passed to his son William, and then to the second William's daughter, Elizabeth Hyde Geary. Elizabeth donated the book to the Church after George Albert Smith, then one of the Twelve Apostles, saw it in her home and became excited about the contents, especially as they related to the history of the Church. The Church Historian had a typed copy made for Elizabeth; the present printing was typed verbatim from that copy.

It is apparent that William Hyde made his journal by copying at least parts from records he had kept at different times in his life. We can tell this because of a few comments added as he went along, which could only have been known later than the time when they are inserted.

— 1974

Thayer's Notes:

Text Source and Copyright

I in turn retyped the text from a photocopy of the typescript ("the present printing" mentioned in the Preface above), which is in Courier Elite, left-justified and single-spaced, and was very likely produced on an IBM Selectric. It is bound, has every appearance of being complete, and consists of the following pages, unnumbered: a cover page; a page with the portrait of Bishop Hyde that you see on this site's orientation page, with the caption WILLIAM HYDE / 1818 — 1874; the Preface; a Table of Contents; and the Journal itself, the first page of which is also unnumbered, but the rest of the pages numbered starting on the second page (p. 6) thru what looks to be the end (p. 80).

While there are neither footnotes nor handwritten notes, in the typed body of the text there appear in several places a word or a very few words, each time in parentheses, that seem to be editorial: corrections made, missing words supplied, and I believe in some cases glosses inserted. One lone passage, as far as I've been able to detect, has added material of more than a few words; it is set off not by parentheses but by dashes, on p6.

All these additions are by one or more unknown hands: just as there is no explicit indication that these are in fact additions to the Journal (i.e., not by Bishop Hyde himself), neither is there any indication as to who may be responsible for them — the typist of 1974, the Church Historian, or a previous hand in the actual manuscript of the Journal.

The Journal appears never to have been formally published. Surely it must not have been at the unspecified date when the Church Historian prepared the original typed version and made it available as a limited distribution. In addition, in searching the Web catalogues of a number of major U. S. libraries, I've been able to find only one exemplar of a printed copy, at Brigham Young University, q.v., which thus also appears to be a limited distribution since that university's library preserves it, despite its recent date, in Special Collections:

Personal Author Hyde, William, 1818‑1874.
Title The private journal of William Hyde.
Publication info [S.l. : W.L. Woolf, 1964?]
Physical description 101, [16] p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
General Note Includes indexes.
Personal subject Hyde, William, 1818‑1874--Diaries.
Subject term Mormons--United States--Diaries.
LCCN 91155237

An excerpt of William Hyde's Journal, very likely from this "?Woolf" print, was once online in several small pages at a "Mac Woolf Family Web Site"; like much else on the shrinking Web, the site has completely vanished. It consisted of the entries from July 16 thru December 12, 1847, charmingly illustrated, and corresponds to part of p37 of the Church Historian's typescript, all of pp38‑41, and the first two lines of p42, or about 6% of the journal; it differs significantly in punctuation and capitalization, as well as sometimes in spelling and supplied words. The Woolf site also omitted, or — far less probably — the 1974 typescript adds, one sentence, and thus it is most unlikely that the 1974 typescript derives from the Woolf exemplar, at least as the latter is presented online.


William Hyde was a literate man, and the Journal's syntax and spelling, as given in the 1974 typescript, are standard for its time, in turn not differing in any significant way from modern usage (2003), except to some extent for geographical names. To help make any transcription errors of my own stand out, however, I've marked anything that might strike the modern reader as unusual: with a little blue bullet over which if you hover your cursor, you will read a prompt, often just (sic), but sometimes an additional comment.º Anything unusual not so marked is very likely a mistake of mine, and I would appreciate hearing from you so I can check and, if need be, make the correction.

To keep these notes to a minimum, several classes of discrepancies are left unmarked:

Some frequently recurring words are not marked, because they are normal spellings in the 1974 typescript:

Allmighty, arrising, censation, dammed (damned), preceed, propiety, withall/with all

The spelling of the following varies:

anoint/annoint, counsel/councel/council, fullness/fulness, ‑ise/ize, ‑or/our

Similarly, the typescript's capitalization is inconsistent for the following words and therefore not noted:

Saints; He, Him, His, Father, Spirit
(and similar words referring to God)

In keeping with the latitude allowed by 19c usage, the possessive case is marked by an apostrophe, or not:

Shirwoods company,
Redeemers Kingdom
, etc.

Interestingly — it is one of the internal evidences that a real diary underlies the redacted memoir — the Australian town is consistently spelled Sidney until the day Hyde lands there, and from then on it is consistently spelled Sydney.

In prayers and blessings, the use of thou, thy vs. you, your is inconsistent, and has not been marked.

The Journal regularly has there is with a plural attribute. (There was 3 companies, there has been 50, etc.)

I've corrected some few spellings, where it is obvious that the typescript breaks its own usual rules, as for example when once it spells persue although it repeatedly spells pursue elsewhere. Each correction of mine is flagged by a red bullet indicating the spelling actually found in the typescript.º

To make the text clearer to the modern reader, I've changed fractions from "1‑2", "2‑3", to "½", "⅔"; so instead of "12 1‑2 miles", for example, my text will read "12½ miles".

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Page updated: 10 Jun 14