11 Nauvoo Winter 1845

                             William Warner Major


Jill C. Major, Author

Portrait of John Taylor


Soon, Major was busy working on several projects simultaneously. John Taylor wrote:

"Saturday, January 18th 1845... In the afternoon at Brother Major's having my likeness taken..."

The John Taylor portrait wasn't completed until summer.2 Paintings of John Taylor and is wife Leonora hung in the Nauvoo Temple for the short time work was performed there.  It is not known where they are today.   

Major was commissioned and paid through temple funds to create other portraits of prominent couples for the Nauvoo Temple. 3  

John Taylor


Engraved portrait of John Taylor by Frederick Piercy

Seal of the Apostles

During the winter of 1845 John Taylor recorded another project that Major worked on with John Taylor, Brigham Young:

"Thursday, January 23rd, 1845. In company with Bros. [George A.] Smith, Hyde, and Major, at the engravers and helped Bro. Major to draw a design for a seal for the Twelve, designed by Bro. Young and myself."1

The Seal of the Apostles, which Major drew, was "a sun drawn inside a circle. Around the sun are the capital letters P S T A P C J C L D S L D A O W which stand for ‘Private Seal of the Twelve Apostles, Priests of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Last Dispensation All Over the World.' In the center is the all-seeing eye with a crown over it."5 The seal was used to imprint official church documents. An Epistle to the Saints, dated January 14, 1845, advised members not to give tithing money to anyone "without a written authority from us to which shall be attached the private seal of the Twelve..."6



Later, Major helped the Taylors sell their property when they left Nauvoo in the spring of 1846.  The property was placed in Major's name, since he didn't leave until late summer or early fall.  The Taylor's property was just across the street northwest of the Mansion house, Joseph Smith's home.