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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 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 for the Bishop and  to be devoted to his use[.] Figure 1 is for temples  for the use of the Presidency, 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 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, in western Missouri, 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, Ohio, sent church leaders in Missouri a city plat for Zion, drawn by Frederick G. Williams. 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 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.

Facts