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 includes a handwritten, signed letter from Zina to her step-son Willard at West Point Military Academy and a typewritten transcript of the letter. The letter is dated 'Salt Lake City April 15, 1872' and is written on a piece of folded lined paper. Zina begins the letter by expressing her worry for Willard's well being: 'do not over tax your mind so as to injure your self you feel the strength and pride of our ambition for you at home and there your are a lone to battle with new and stern facts by the help of God and he will be with you.' Zina goes on to relate news about family and friends in Salt Lake City. She mentions several times that her daughter Zina has been sick with chills. She also mentions Willard's father, Brigham Young: 'you have doubtly heard the good news that your Dear Father is at liberty for which we all feel very grateful to our God although everything is very quiet and this is wisdom.' Zina concludes with her thoughts on the Saints' condition at the time: 'God is for us and all we have to fear is do right, and all will be wel I trust we may be humble as a people that God can bless us as he wishes to.' MSS SC 294: This collection consists of a marriage license and marriage certificate, printed on the same page, for the marriage of Zina Diantha Huntington and Henry B. Jacobs. The license was issued March 6, 1841 in Hancock County, Illinois. John C. Bennett, Mayor of Nauvoo, performed the ceremony on March 7, 1841 and signed the marriage certificate on March 8, 1841.