Felt, Nathaniel H.
Nathaniel Henry Felt (1816-1887)
Born and raised in Salem, Nathaniel Felt and his brother John ran a tailoring business at 217 Essex Street. In 1839, he married Eliza Ann Preston, also of Salem. In 1843, they joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, along with 120 new converts, began a small branch of the Church in Salem. Because of Nathaniel's position as branch president, this house became an important Mormon meeting place.
Nathaniel Felt's home was at 10 Liberty Street. The Peabody Essex Museum moved it some distance when the museum renovated.
In the late spring of 1844, Brigham Young sent his fourteen-year-old daughter Vilate to live with the Felt family while she attended school in Salem. Later that summer, Brigham Young visited Salem several times while campaigning for Joseph Smith (LDS Church founder), a U.S. presidential candidate. It was on one of these visits to the area that Brigham Young and local Church members first heard news of Smith's murder at Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844.
One year later, Nathaniel Felt, his family, and Vilate Young left from this house to embark on the arduous journey west, eventually settling in what would become Salt Lake City, Utah. There, Nathaniel became a highly respected member of the community, with a public career that included service as Salt Lake City alderman and Utah Territorial representative.
Home of Nathaniel H. Felt Historical Maker Site
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Mormons
"Mormon legacy: Witch City has surprising ties to Latter-day Saints" Salem Evening News, May 6, 2000, p. A1
"Local house interests Mormon church" Salem Evening News, Feb. 2, 2001, p. A2
"Research use proposed for Mormon house" Salem Evening News, July 1, 2002, p. A2