20031836

Letter from Emma Smith, 7 March 1839

Quincy March 7th [1839]
Dear Husband
Having an opportunity to send by a friend I  make an attempt to write, but I shall not attempt to write my feelings al together, for the situation in which you are, the walls, bars, and bolts, rolling  rivers, running streams, rising hills, sinking vallies and spreading prairies  that separate us, and the cruel injustice that first cast you into prison and  still holds you there, with many other considerations, places my feelings far  beyond description. Was it not for conscious innocence, and the direct  interposition of divine mercy, I am very sure I never should have been able  to have endured the scenes of suffering that I have passed through, since what  is called the Militia, came in to Far West, under the ever to be remembered  Governor’s notable order; an order fraught with as much wickedness as ignorance  and as much ignorance as was ever contained in an article of that length; but I  still live and am yet willing to suffer more if it is the will of kind Heaven, that  I should for your sake.
We are all well at present, except Fredrick [Frederick Smith] who  is quite sick. Little Alexander [Smith] who is now in my arms is one of the finest little  fellows, you ever saw in your life, he is <so> strong that with the assistance of a chair he  will run all round the room. I am now living at Judge [John] Cleveland’s four  miles from the village of Quincy. I do not know how long I shall stay here. I want  you to write an answer by the bearer. I left your change of clothes with H. C. Kimbal [Heber C. Kimball]  when I came away, and he agreed to see that you had clean clothes as often as necessary.
No one but God, knows the reflections of my mind and  the feelings of my heart when I left our house and home, and allmost all of every thing that  we possessed excepting our little Children, and took my journey out of the State of  Missouri, leaving you shut up in jail that lonesome prison. But the reflection recollection is  more than human nature ought to bear, and if God does not record our sufferings and  avenge our wrongs on them that are guilty, I shall be sadly mistaken.
The daily sufferings of our brethren in travelling and camping out nights, and those  on the other side of the river would beggar the most lively description. The people  in this state are very kind indeed, they are doing much more than we ever anticipa ted they would; I have many more things I could like to write but have not time  and you may be astonished at my bad writing and incoherent manner, but you  will pardon all when you reflect how hard it would be for you to write, when your  hands were stiffened with hard work, and your heart convulsed with intense anxiety.  But I hope there is better days to come to us yet, Give my respects to all in that place that  you respect, and am ever your’s affectionately.
Joseph Smith Jr [p. 37]
Emma Smith, letter, Quincy, IL, to JS, Liberty, MO, 7 Mar. 1839; handwriting of James Mulholland; in JS Letterbook 2, p. 37; JS Collection, CHL.

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