Salt Lake Herald-Republican claims Jane Manning James handled the gold plates.

Oct 2, 1899
News (traditional)
Salt Lake Herald-Republican

"First Negroes to Join the Mormon Church," Salt Lake Herald-Republican, October 2, 1899, 5

Salt Lake Herald-Republican
Salt Lake Herald-Republican, Jane Manning James
Reading Public

"Aunty Jane and Uncle Isaac are two delightfully typical old colored people who enjoyed the privilege of living in the family of the Prophet Joseph Smith and who glory in telling all about it. Besides enjoying this distinction, the old people figured in all the thrilling experiences incident to the gathering converts in Nauvoo. Aunty Jane (Mrs. Jane Elizabeth James) and her brother, Isaac Louis Manning, traveled west from their old home in Connecticut before the days of the railroad and telegraph. According to the old lady's story, she became converted the first time she heard the gospel from the Mormon missionaries who had come into the state. "I nevah shall forget it," said Aunty Jane in speaking of her experience. Such an upliftin' of the spirit. But I have often felt it since, and so does every person that becomes a Latter-day Saint. Aunty and her brother very soon after their conversion moved to Nauvoo and were received at once into the family of Joseph Smith. Uncle Isaac presided over the culinary department of the prophet's establishment, while Aunt Jane did the washing, the women of the household ironing the clothes. "My, we were so happy," said the old lady. "The prophet was the best man that ever lived." Uncle Isaac tells of the prophet's goodness to them when they arrived in Nauvoo, almost perfect strangers. They were the first colored people to join the church, and word had been sent on to headquarters of their coming west with a number of other converts. They went straight to Joseph's house and found him away. Upon his return, with a number of other men, Uncle Isaac tells how he picked him out from among the others, having seen him in a vision weeks before.

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