Literary Firm 

Summary

The branch of the United Firm responsible for church publications.1 In November 1831, a revelation appointed JS, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, and William W. Phelps as “stewards over the revelations & commandments.”2 In March 1832, a revelation directed JS, Rigdon, and Newel K. Whitney to organize “the literary and the Mercantile establishments of my Church.”3 As a result, in April 1832, the stewards over the revelations joined with the church’s bishops and those responsible for the church’s mercantile endeavors in what was called the United Firm.4 Within the United Firm, the six men responsible for the management of church printing projects were known as the Literary Firm.5 The first recorded meeting of the Literary Firm was held on 30 April 1832.6 Early Literary Firm publications, such as the Book of Commandments, were published under the corporate name W. W. Phelps & Co. in Independence, Missouri.7 After the destruction of Phelps’s printing office by a mob in 1833, F. G. Williams & Co. in Kirtland, Ohio, replaced W. W. Phelps & Co. as the church’s printing arm.8 When the United Firm was reorganized in 1834, F. G. Williams & Co. continued as a stewardship assigned to Oliver Cowdery and Frederick G. Williams.9 In 1835, F. G. Williams & Co. published the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.10 The last known mention of the Literary Firm in operation was on 16 September 1835.11 See also “United Firm” and “W. W. Phelps & Co.