‘Mormon Land’: The life of Jane Manning James — from her quest to be sealed to Joseph Smith to her patriarchal blessing by Hyrum Smith and her legacy for black Latter-day Saints

(Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Jane Manning James

When historian Quincy Newell was researching 19th-century African American Mormons, one name kept popping up: Jane Manning James.

This African American convert, who worked in church founder Joseph Smith’s household and eventually was “sealed” to him as a “servant,” probably still ranks as the most famous black female member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this side of Gladys Knight.

So Newell wrote a full-fledged biography of this pioneering black woman. Titled “Your Sister in the Gospel,” it was released earlier this year by Oxford University Press.

Newell, associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College in New York state, joined “Mormon Land” this week to talk about the remarkable life and legacy of Jane Manning James.

Listen here: