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Taking Time for a Collector

Autograph collecting was a popular 19th-century hobby, and Brigham Young received a number of requests for his signature. A 16-year-old boy named Justin Kellogg, of Troy, New York, wrote politely in 1860: “Interested in collecting autographs of eminent & celebrated men, I write to obtain yours; will you oblige me so much as by granting this favor?” He included a postage stamp with his request, and Brigham Young signed his name on a sheet of paper that was returned to Justin in the following mail delivery.

Justin Kellogg letter to Brigham Young, Feb. 14, 1860, Brigham Young Office Files, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Entry for Justin Kellogg, United States Census, 1860, page 22, line 2