Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Young was born January 31, 1821 in Watertown, New York to Zina Baker Huntington and William Huntington. Her family was Presbyterian, but Zina's father was dissatisfied with this religion and was searching for a church with the same organization as the one Christ created on the earth. In 1833, Hyrum Smith and David Whitmer came to their home with a copy of the Book of Mormon. Zina said of gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, ' I saw what it was. The sweet Spirit of Peace was with it.  At the time I was baptized there was not a young person belonged to the Church in 20 miles of me. I was made fun of at school.' After being baptized, the family moved to Kirtland, Ohio in 1836. In 1838 they went to Far West, Missouri but moved to Nauvoo in 1839 because of persecution. Zina married Henry Bailey Jacobs March 7, 1841 in Nauvoo, Illinois and on October 27 of the same year was sealed to Joseph Smith Jr. as a 'celestial wife' with Henry's consent. Henry went on several missions after this time. On February 2, 1846 Zina was married to Brigham Young for time with Henry standing as a witness. Five days later, Zina and Henry left Nauvoo with their son Zebulon for the trek west. Zina gave birth to their second son, Chariton, along the Chariton River. Henry went on a mission to England, and when Zina reached Salt Lake City in 1848, she moved into Brigham Young's home and remained with him as his wife until his death. After returning from his mission, Henry remarried. Zina and Brigham were the parents of one daughter, Zina Presendia. As time went on, Zina became increasingly involved in public affairs. At Brigham Young's request, she practiced sericulture, becoming the first president of the Utah Silk Association and tending the family's silkworms even though she was disgusted by them. She was called to be the third general president of the Relief Society in 1888, succeeding her good friend, Eliza R. Snow. Zina worked to improve public health and to regain women's suffrage after Utah attained statehood. She died August 27, 1901 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Taken from: Bradley, Martha Sonntag, and Woodward, Mary Brown Firmage. Four Zinas: A Story of Mothers and Daughters on the Mormon Frontier. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000.
This collection contains four folders of materials by or about Zina. The first folder contains a biography of Zina. The title page states that it was written by a granddaughter, Oa Jacobs Cannon, and researched by a great grandson, David Henry Jacobs. It is 35 pages long, typewritten, and spiral bound. The biography moves through Zina's life chronologically and contains many stories about Zina from the perspective of friends and family members who knew her well. The chapters of the biography are as follows: 'Zina Diantha Huntington,' 'Zina's Marriages,' 'The Death of the Prophet,' 'William Huntington,' 'Resettlement,' 'Service-Her Life,' and 'An Incident in the Life of Henry Chariton Jacobs.' The biography contains a large appendix with diary entries by Zina, William Huntington, and others; family group sheets; letters; newspaper clippings; minutes of the funeral services for Zina; blessings given to Zina; and a short history of Zina's son, Zebulon Jacobs. The second folder contains handwritten notes, drafts of speeches, and a letter by Zina. The notes are difficult to read because they were taken on lined paper in pencil and because Zina did not use punctuation. In the notes Zina covers a variety of topics such as parenting by example, faultfinding, and questions on the doctrine of plural marriage. On February 26, 1879 Zina writes a draft of a speech about the mothers of Utah and persecution because of polygamy. She states, 'Let all Christian ministers seek to be Christ like save not destroy for we are all the children of our great Father Let us act [illegible] and nobly our part.' On January 1, 1879 she writes what may be notes for another speech or a continuation of the first speech. In this draft she mentions the United States Constitution and her pride in being an American citizen. In this folder there is also a document with resolutions by an assembly on the subject of plural marriage and a letter from Lydia Gilbert (Zina's aunt?) to Dorcas Baker (Zina's maternal grandmother), Lodema Baker, and Eliza Baker (Zina's mother). The third folder contains letters, notes and several poems. There is a letter from Zina replying to a woman about her teeth, a letter to Oliver Baker from [illegible] Baker, a letter from Zina to her step-son Willard and one from Willard to her, a letter from Zina to Sister Oliphant (1868), and a letter from Zina to 'my dear young friend R R' (1875). In this last letter, because of her friend's request, Zina writes about her early experiences with the church, including her baptism. Some of the notes in this folder have to do with Zina's trip to the Sandwich Islands. She records walking along the seashore in Laie, Oahu and seeing a beautiful shell just out of reach in the tide. One of her notes records a conversation that she had in Nauvoo with Joseph Smith. While riding by the temple in a carriage, Joseph told Zina what it would be like when the Ancient of Days comes in a place prepared for him. Other notes are related to meetings that Zina attended for Relief Society. Some of the poems in the folder are by Zina and others were written in tribute to her. One of the poems by Zina was written to a grieving parent and another was written to Joseph A. Young. There is also a poem entitled 'To Hattie 5 Months after Marriage' written by Christina Higginson. The fourth folder of the collection contains photocopies of the items in folders two and three. The photocopies are labeled with sticky notes and give some additional information or guesses as to the nature of the papers' contents. MSS SC 1592: This collection contains a 44-page biography of Zina's first husband, Henry Bailey Jacobs. It was written by a granddaughter, Oa J. Cannon at the request of Brigham Young University because Henry was one of the men who helped Joseph Smith Jr. campaign for the presidency of the United States. Because Henry did not keep a journal, Cannon uses Henry's letters to Zina, Zina's letters and journal entries, Oliver B. Huntington's missionary journal, and other sources to establish the bulk of the history. These sources are incorporated into the biography with photocopies of the originals or with typewritten transcripts. Although the biography is of Henry, it includes many references to Zina. Primary sources in the biography concerning Zina include a transcript of her diary entry about the birth of Chariton, a transcript of a letter to her family from Mount Pisga in August 1846 telling them of the death of their father, and a transcript of her being questioned about her polygamous marriages by a court official.