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“Explanation of the Plat of the City of Zion,” circa 25 June 1833

“Explanation of the Plat of the City of Zion,” circa 25 June 1833

to the middle line each lot is four perches in front and 20 back making 1/2 of an acre in each lot so that no one street will be built on intirely through the street but one square the houses will stand on one street and on the next one another except the middle range of squares which runs north and south in which range are the painted squares the lots are laid off in their squares North and South all of them because their squares are 40 perches by 60 being twenty perches longer than the other the long way of them being east and west and by running all the lots in their squares North and South it makes all the lots in the city of one size the painted squares in the middle are for public building, the one without any figures is for store houses

Both a literal and a figurative repository for goods and land donated to the church. The Book of Malachi directed the House of Israel to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.” In JS’s revision of the Old Testament...

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for the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, he functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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and to be devoted to his use. Figure 1 is for temples

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

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for the use of the Presidency

Organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and various groups of Latter-day Saints. A November 1831 revelation underscored the importance of a president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
, the circles inside of the square are the places for the temples you will see it contains twelve. figures 2 is for the temples for the lesser Priesthood

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

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it also is to contain 12 Temples the whole plot is supposed to contain from 15 to 20 thousand people you will therefore see that it will require 24 buildings to supply them with houses of worship Schools and none of these temples are to be smaller then the one of which we send you a draft. This Temple is to be built in square marked Fig– one and to be built where the circle is which has a cross on it on the North and south of the plot where the line is drawn is to be Laid off for barns stables &c for the use of the City so that no barns or stabls will be in the city among the houses the ground to be [p. 39]
to the middle line each lot is four perches  in front and 20 back making 1/2 of an acre  in each lot so that no one street will be built  on intirely through the street but one squ[a]re  the houses will stand on one street and on the  next one another except the middle range of  squ[a]res which runs north and south in which  range are the painted squ[a]res the lots are laid  off in their squ[a]res North and South all of them  because their squ[a]res are 40 perches by 60 being  twenty perches longer than the other the long  way of them being east and west and by  running all the lots in their squ[a]res North  and South it makes all the lots in the city  of one size the painted squ[a]res in the middle  are for public building, the one without any  figures is for store houses

Both a literal and a figurative repository for goods and land donated to the church. The Book of Malachi directed the House of Israel to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.” In JS’s revision of the Old Testament...

View Glossary
for the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, he functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
and  to be devoted to his use[.] Figure 1 is for temples

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

View Glossary
 for the use of the Presidency

Organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and various groups of Latter-day Saints. A November 1831 revelation underscored the importance of a president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
, the circles inside  of the squ[a]re are the places for the temples you  will see it contains twelve[.] figures 2 is for  the temples for the lesser Priesthood

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

View Glossary
it also  is to contain 12 Temples the whole plot  is supposed to contain from 15 to 20 thousand  people you will therefore see that it will  require 24 buildings to supply them with  houses of worship Schools houses &c and  none of these temples are to be smaller then  the one of which we send you a draft. This  Temple is to be built in squ[a]re marked <Fig–> one  and to be built where the circle is which has a  cross on it on the North and south of the plot  where the line is drawn is to be Laid off  for barns stables &c for the use of the City  so that no barns or stabls will be in the  city among the houses the ground to be [p. 39]
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In summer 1831, Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, in western Missouri,

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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was identified as the site of Zion. By mid-1833, more than a thousand church members had relocated to Jackson County. In late June the presidency of the high priesthood in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, sent church leaders in Missouri a city plat for Zion, drawn by Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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. A written explanation in the margins described the configuration of the plat or pattern. The plat was revised in August.
Before mailing the original plat, Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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transcribed the explanatory text into Letterbook 1. In the process he made several textual changes and corrections. The original drawing is now incomplete, with edges missing that included text. This transcription is drawn from the text in Letterbook 1, which is more complete. JS and Williams began the letterbook to record JS’s history and also as a letter registry.

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