Quincy D. Newell

May 18, 2019 02:33 PM MDT
Jane Elizabeth Manning was born in Connecticut in about 1820. Her mother had been enslaved, but she was emancipated by the time Jane was born. Jane’s father died when she was a young child and, perhaps in part for that reason, Jane began working as a domestic servant for a wealthy white family in the next town over. As a young woman, she was baptized and joined the local Congregational Church, but not long afterward she heard a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preach and she was convinced by his message. She was baptized a short time later, and she appears to have persuaded her family to join the Church as well. In 1843, the Mannings joined an interracial group of converts for the journey to Nauvoo. Although they left the Northeast together, the group was separated at some point during the journey. The white members continued to Nauvoo on public transportation; the black members walked. When Jane and her family reached Nauvoo, they were welcomed by Emma and Joseph Smith and stayed in the mansion house for a short time while they found jobs and housing. Jane remained in the mansion house, working for the Smiths as a domestic servant.
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