Jesse Carter Little

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Jesse Carter Little
Bust photo of Jesse Carter Little
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
October 6, 1856 (1856-10-06) – Summer 1874
Called by Edward Hunter
End reason Resignation
Personal details
Born (1815-09-26)September 26, 1815
Belmont, Maine,[1] United States
Died December 26, 1893(1893-12-26) (aged 78)
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse Elizabeth G. French
Mary M. Holbrook
Emily Hoagland
Children 27
Parents Thomas and Relief Little

Jesse Carter Little (September 26, 1815 – December 26, 1893) was a Mormon pioneer and a member of the presiding bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Little was born in Belmont, Maine.[1] In 1845, Little was taught by Latter Day Saint missionary and apostle Parley P. Pratt; he was baptized into the LDS Church and in 1846 was made a president of the church's missions in the eastern United States.

In 1846, Little met with United States President James K. Polk and former Post Master General, Amos Kendall asking for help for the emigrating members of the LDS church to the west<the War Letter>. During this time Little was advised by Thomas L. Kane, a Pennsylvania Lawyer <page 82 of the War Letter>. When help was not forthcoming, Little wrote a letter to President Polk saying he would go across the trackless ocean for help if none was provided by the United States <pages 169 & 170, the War Letter>. This resulted in a call for a battalion of Mormons for the war against Mexico<pages 212 & 213, the War Letter>. Once he was promised this help, he traveled from Washington, D.C. to Nauvoo, Illinois and from there to Omaha, Nebraska with this information <Chapter 13 & 14, the War Letter>. While Little was traveling to the Mormon camp, Colonel Kearney, commander of Fort Leavenworth, was authorized to create the battalion and sent Captain James Allen to recruit the Mormon Battalion <the War Letter>. Little was the liaison for the LDS Church with Thomas L. Kane when he became involved in assisting the church in its relations with the U.S. government.

In 1847, Little served as adjutant to Brigham Young who led a company of Mormon pioneers from Winter Quarters, Nebraska to the Salt Lake Valley<Chapter 40, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints>. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake City, Little returned to the eastern United States and continued to act as a mission president. Little's tenure as mission president ended in 1852, and he moved to Utah Territory.

On 6 October 1856, Little became the second counselor to the presiding bishop of the LDS Church, Edward Hunter. Little acted in this capacity until his resignation in the summer of 1874; he was eventually replaced in the presiding bishopric by Robert T. Burton.

Little moved to Morgan County, Utah, and lived in Littleton, a town that was named after him which he had helped establish. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, and was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Like many early members of the LDS Church, Little practiced plural marriage. He had three wives and 27 children.


  • Andrew Jenson. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia 1:242, 3:151, 4:711
  • Robert Leonard Little (2007). The War Letter: Jesse Carter Little and the Creation of the Mormon Battalion (Sacramento, Calif.: Robert Little Publishing) ISBN 0-9800279-1-8
  1. ^ a b (now Belmont, Maine)

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Position Vacant
May 27, 1840 – April 7, 1851

Preceded by
Titus Billings
 as Second Counselor to the Bishop of the Church
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
October 6, 1856 – Summer 1874
Succeeded by
Robert T. Burton