2475714

Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 January 1832

General Confrence

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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held in this land said establishment to be put in operation as soon as circumstances may permit. Carried by unanimous vote. Confrence adjourned until 3. oclock PM. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk of Confrence.——
Con. convened according to adjournment 3. oclock P.M. Quotation from the Law. “And it shall come to pass that the Bishop

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

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of my church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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after that he has received the properties of my Church that it cannot be taken from the Church”. &c.30

A February 1831 revelation stated, “& it shall come to pass that the Bishop of my church after that he has received the properties of my church that it cannot be taken from you he shall appoint every man a Steward over his own property or that which he hath received.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:32].)  


The Confrence therefore Resolve that the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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of this Church at the time of receiving moneys or other properties for the use and benefit of this Church of any member of the same shall give a receipt to the person at the time covenanting for himself and his heirs that such moneys or properties shall be expended for the use and benefit of this church according to the covenants and Laws of the same.31

That is, the February 1831 “Laws of the Church of Christ,” which outlined the principles of consecration. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–38].)  


And that whatever amount of such moneys or properties may be in his possession should he be removed from his said office of Bishop by death or otherwise shall be handed over to his successor—32

After this time, upon receiving a donation Partridge prepared an agreement of consecration, which functioned as the “receipt” requested. This agreement stated that Partridge, having received the donation, bound himself to “cause the same to be expended” for the purposes stated on the agreement of consecration. The agreement also declared that if Partridge was “removed from the office of bishop of said church, by death or otherwise,” he and his heirs were legally bound to transmit all such donated property to the new bishop. (See, for example, James Lee and Edward Partridge, Agreement of Consecration, ca. 1832–1833, incorporated as part of Edward Partridge, Jackson Co., MO, to “Honored Father” et al., 22 Oct. 1834, Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL.)  


By unanimous vote the above resolution passed.——
Bro. Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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brought forward certain letters written by bro. Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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one addressed to himself bearing date 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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September 10th 1831. another addressed to bros John Correll

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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and Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

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.33

Corrill and Morley were appointed “assistants” to Partridge in June 1831. (Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  


bearing date Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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Portage Co. Ohio 14.th Nov. 1831. after a few remarks a motion was carried to have the said letters read by the Clerk

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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. After deliberate discussion it was Resolved that Wharas this Confrence has been made acquainted with certain difficulties existing between the Bishop of this Church (Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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) and bro. Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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and Wharas the said Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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has prefered certain charges against the said Bishop (Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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) detrimental to his character and standing as a Bishop in the church of Christ.34

These charges apparently stemmed from encounters between Partridge and JS in Missouri during the summer of 1831. A September 1831 letter from Ezra Booth reminded Partridge of an argument Partridge had with JS over the selection of land to purchase in Missouri. This argument, Booth recounted, culminated in Partridge telling JS, “I wish you not to tell us any more, that you know these by the spirit when you do not.” Rigdon likely had this incident in mind when he charged Partridge with “having insulted the Lord’s prophet in particular & assumed authority over him in open violation of the Laws of God.” Rigdon also questioned how Partridge reimbursed him for expenses incurred in the trip to Missouri. (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. VII,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 24 Nov. 1831, [1]; Minute Book 2, 10 Mar. 1832.)  


Therefore we the Confrence having no legal right to proceed to a trial of the same in the absence of one of the parties Recommend that the Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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stationed in this land converse with the said Bishop (Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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) on this subject and write the said Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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a friendly humiliating35

“Abating pride.” (“Humiliating,” in American Dictionary [1828].)  


letter advising that this difficulty be settled and thereby the wound in the Church be healed. By unanimous vote.—— General Confrence adjourned to tuesday the 3d. of 4 month (April). 1832.36

There is no extant record of a conference being held in Missouri on 3 April 1832.  


Closed. singing. prayer by bro. Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk of Confrence.——
In consequence of the ill health and crowd of business our bro. Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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was unable to attend the General Confrence37

According to his father, Gilbert was an “invalid” in a “low state of health” in 1832. His ailment is unknown. (Eli Gilbert, Huntington, CT, 24 Sept. 1834, Letter to the editor, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:9.)  


for which cause we thought proper to hold a special one to examine his accounts &c.— by his request.
Minuets of a Special Confrence held at the dwelling house of bro Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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, Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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Jan. 27. 1832. (evening) Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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appointed moderator and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk. Prayer by bro John Carrell

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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.—
Names of Elders presant.
John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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John Carrell

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Selah J. Griffin

Ca. 1795–after 1860. Blacksmith. Born in Virginia. Married first Polly. Lived in Morgan Township, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, by 1820. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1826. Supervisor of highways, 1827, and fence viewer, 1829, in Kirtland. Baptized into ...

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Brother Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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brought forward the following account of moneys received
Received of N. K. Whitney & Co.

A partnership between Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert; later the branch of the United Firm responsible for overseeing the church’s mercantile endeavors in Kirtland, Ohio. In late 1826 or early 1827, Whitney and Gilbert established this partnership to ...

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$1002.70
Received of N K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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agent of the churches at the east and sundry other brethren on the way to this land. $1692,00
$1692.00
Total amount received. $2694,70
Total amount paid out 2677.83
Sum remaining. 16.87
By unanimous vote the above account accepted
The following is the amount of disbursements
$________
Paid out for Gilbert & Whitney for Goods and transportation to this place 827.94
Paid for transportation for families and bagage &c from Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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to this place
804.8939

According to a later reminiscence of Emily Dow Partridge Young, Edward Partridge’s family and Isaac Morley’s family traveled to Missouri with “a company of Saints under the direction of W. W. Phelps and A. S. Gilbert.” (Young, “What I Remember,” 4–5.)  


Other necessaries for the use and benefit of the Church 1045.00
Total amount paid out 2677,83
After certain remarks from bro. Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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relative to the store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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in this place40

The store was probably not in operation at this time. Gilbert apparently obtained a merchant’s license in the name of “Gilbert & Whitney” from Jackson County sometime prior to 6 February 1832. On 20 February 1832, “Gilbert & Whitney” paid $371 for the former log courthouse in Independence. (Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. B, pp. 32–33, 20 Feb. 1832, microfilm 1,017,978, U. S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Eakin and Eakin, Jackson County Missouri Court Minutes Book 1, 127, 143–144; Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:47–48, 58.)  


it was Resolved that a letter be addressed by brs. Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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on the subject of the Store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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in this place to the Agent of the Desiples in the east (N K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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)41

An August 1831 revelation designated Whitney as “an agent unto the Desiples” in Kirtland. A December 1831 revelation, dictated two weeks after Cowdery and Whitmer departed for Missouri, designated Whitney as bishop for the Kirtland area. (Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:45]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–A [D&C 72:7–8].)  


requesting a special confrence to act upon the contents of said letter— By unanimous vote.
Singing. prayer by bro. Wm W Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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. Closed. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk of Confrence——
The following items I insert to accompany the foregoing documents by request of the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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. which I copy from his own hand.
“Although the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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has reported that there is nearly twelve hundred acres of land purchased that you may have a better understanding we think propper to state that it is mostly woodland & not in a situation to be improved this season even if it should be thought advisable to clear it faster than what is wanted for timber. And further we would State that one piece of the land is not as yet paid for the which when added to what has been now paid to the Elders who go east will reduce the amount of funds in the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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s hands more than 200 dollars— We would further state that provisions are scarce & dear nearly double what they were one year ago.—42

A July 1831 article in the Missouri Intelligencer indicates that both corn and wheat crops were “very light,” in part because of “excessive rains” and high water. The lack of production in fall 1831 probably increased the price of grain. (“The Crops,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 30 July 1831, [1]; “Wheat,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser, 13 Aug. 1831, [3]; News Item, Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser, 13 Oct. 1832, [4].)  


We have not a large supply on hand probable not more than enough for the brethren here.— The store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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not getting opened as soon as we expected has injured us verry much in the purchase of provisions.43

Emily M. Coburn, who came to Missouri in 1831, later recalled that “teams were constantly on the road to St. Louis, Missouri, not only for farming machinery, but for other necessaries, such as mercantile goods, all of such as were needful, both in groceries and dry goods.” (Austin, Life among the Mormons, 66.)  


According to instructions sent here it was expected to be opened about the middle of Oct. & thinking that purchases might be made with goods & the money saved in the Church we neglected to buy expecting bro. Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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would certainly be here soon.44

Weather was a substantial cause of Gilbert’s delay in reaching Missouri. Accompanied by his nephew James Rollins, Gilbert departed Kirtland for Missouri sometime in mid-October and arrived about 1 January 1832. Rollins later recalled, “We were delayed when we got to Arrow Rock, [Missouri,] one hundred miles below Independence, on account of the great flow of ice. The steamer turned back, and we remained there with W. W. Phelps for at least 5 weeks.” Emily Dow Partridge Young, who was with the group, recalled that they had to stay in a log cabin in Arrow Rock for two or three weeks until the weather improved. (Rollins, Reminiscences, 2; Young, “What I Remember,” 5.)  


From the funds in the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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s hands you will redily perceive that we are not in a situation to buy much more land & procure a stock of provisions & cows for those who are coming here this spring.—— [p. [2]]
General Confrence

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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held in this land said establishment to b[e]29

TEXT: “b[hole in paper]”.  


put in opportunity operation as  soon as circumstances may permit. Carried by unanimous vote. Confrence adjourned until 3. oclock  PM. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk of Confrence.——
Con. convened according to adjournment 3. oclock P.M. Quotation from the Law. “And it  shall come to pass that the Bishop

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

View Glossary
of my church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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after that he has received the properties of my Church that  it cannot be taken from the Church”. &c.30

A February 1831 revelation stated, “& it shall come to pass that the Bishop of my church after that he has received the properties of my church that it cannot be taken from you he shall appoint every man a Steward over his own property or that which he hath received.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:32].)  


The Confrence therefore Resolve that the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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of this Church  at the time of receiving moneys or other properties for the use and benefit of this Church of any member of  the same shall give a receipt to the person at the time covenanting for himself and his heirs that such  moneys or properties shall be expended for the use and benefit of this church according to the cov enants and Laws of the same.31

That is, the February 1831 “Laws of the Church of Christ,” which outlined the principles of consecration. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–38].)  


And that whatever amount of such moneys or properties may be  in his possession should he be removed from his said office of Bishop by death or otherwise  shall be handed over to his successor—32

After this time, upon receiving a donation Partridge prepared an agreement of consecration, which functioned as the “receipt” requested. This agreement stated that Partridge, having received the donation, bound himself to “cause the same to be expended” for the purposes stated on the agreement of consecration. The agreement also declared that if Partridge was “removed from the office of bishop of said church, by death or otherwise,” he and his heirs were legally bound to transmit all such donated property to the new bishop. (See, for example, James Lee and Edward Partridge, Agreement of Consecration, ca. 1832–1833, incorporated as part of Edward Partridge, Jackson Co., MO, to “Honored Father” et al., 22 Oct. 1834, Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL.)  


By unanimous vote the above resolution passed.——
Bro. Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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brought forward certain letters written by bro. Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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 one addressed to himself bearing date 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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September 10th 1831. another addressed to bros John Correll

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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 and Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

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.33

Corrill and Morley were appointed “assistants” to Partridge in June 1831. (Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  


bearing date Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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Portage Co. Ohio 14.th Nov. 1831. after a few remarks a motion was  carried to have the said letters read by the Clerk

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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. After deliberate discussion it was Resolved that  Whare Wharas this Confrence has been made acquainted with certain difficulties existing between the  Bishop of this Church (Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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) and bro. Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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and Wharas the said Sid ney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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has prefered certain charges against the said Bishop (Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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) detrimental to his  character and standing as a Bishop in the church of Christ.34

These charges apparently stemmed from encounters between Partridge and JS in Missouri during the summer of 1831. A September 1831 letter from Ezra Booth reminded Partridge of an argument Partridge had with JS over the selection of land to purchase in Missouri. This argument, Booth recounted, culminated in Partridge telling JS, “I wish you not to tell us any more, that you know these by the spirit when you do not.” Rigdon likely had this incident in mind when he charged Partridge with “having insulted the Lord’s prophet in particular & assumed authority over him in open violation of the Laws of God.” Rigdon also questioned how Partridge reimbursed him for expenses incurred in the trip to Missouri. (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. VII,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 24 Nov. 1831, [1]; Minute Book 2, 10 Mar. 1832.)  


Therefore we the Confrence having no legal right  to proceed to a trial of the same in the absence of one of the parties Recommend that the Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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stationed  in this land converse with the said Bishop (Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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) on this subject and write the said Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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 a friendly humiliating35

“Abating pride.” (“Humiliating,” in American Dictionary [1828].)  


letter advising that this difficulty be settled and thereby the wound in the  Church be healed. By unanimous vote.—— General Confrence adjourned to tuesday the 3d. of 4 month  (April). 1832.36

There is no extant record of a conference being held in Missouri on 3 April 1832.  


Closed. singing. prayer by bro. Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk of Confrence.——
In consequence of the ill health and crowd of business our bro. Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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was unable to at tend the General Confrence37

According to his father, Gilbert was an “invalid” in a “low state of health” in 1832. His ailment is unknown. (Eli Gilbert, Huntington, CT, 24 Sept. 1834, Letter to the editor, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:9.)  


for which cause we thought proper to hold a special one to examine his  accounts of &c.— by his request.
Minuets of a Special Confrence held at the dwelling house of bro  Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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, Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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Jan. 27. 1832. (evening) Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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appointed moderator  and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk. Prayer by bro John Carrell

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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.—
Names of Elders presant.
John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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John Carrell

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Selah J. Griffin

Ca. 1795–after 1860. Blacksmith. Born in Virginia. Married first Polly. Lived in Morgan Township, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, by 1820. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1826. Supervisor of highways, 1827, and fence viewer, 1829, in Kirtland. Baptized into ...

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Brother Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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[br]ought38

TEXT: “[Hole in paper]ought”.  


forward the following  account of moneys received
Received of N. K. Whitney & Co.

A partnership between Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert; later the branch of the United Firm responsible for overseeing the church’s mercantile endeavors in Kirtland, Ohio. In late 1826 or early 1827, Whitney and Gilbert established this partnership to ...

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$1002.70
Received of N K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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agent of the churches  at the east and sundry other brethren on the way to this land. $169[2],00
$1692.00
Total amount received. $2694,70
Total amount paid out 2677.83
Sum remaining. 16.87
By unanimous vote the above account accepted
The following is the amount of disbursements
$________
Paid out for Goods for Gilbert & Whitney for Goods  and transportation to this place 827.94
Paid for transportation for families  and bagage &c from Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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to this place
804.8939

According to a later reminiscence of Emily Dow Partridge Young, Edward Partridge’s family and Isaac Morley’s family traveled to Missouri with “a company of Saints under the direction of W. W. Phelps and A. S. Gilbert.” (Young, “What I Remember,” 4–5.)  


Other necessaries for the use and bene fit of the Church 1045.00
Total amount paid out 2677,83
After certain remarks from bro. Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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relative to the store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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in this place40

The store was probably not in operation at this time. Gilbert apparently obtained a merchant’s license in the name of “Gilbert & Whitney” from Jackson County sometime prior to 6 February 1832. On 20 February 1832, “Gilbert & Whitney” paid $371 for the former log courthouse in Independence. (Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. B, pp. 32–33, 20 Feb. 1832, microfilm 1,017,978, U. S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Eakin and Eakin, Jackson County Missouri Court Minutes Book 1, 127, 143–144; Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:47–48, 58.)  


it was  Resolved that a letter be addressed by brs. Edward Partrage

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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and Oliver Cow dery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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on the subject of the Store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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in this place to the Agent of the Desiples in the east (N K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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)41

An August 1831 revelation designated Whitney as “an agent unto the Desiples” in Kirtland. A December 1831 revelation, dictated two weeks after Cowdery and Whitmer departed for Missouri, designated Whitney as bishop for the Kirtland area. (Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:45]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–A [D&C 72:7–8].)  


re questing a special confrence to act upon the contents of said letter— By unanimous vote.
Singing. prayer by bro. W<m> W Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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. Closed. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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Clerk of Confrence——
The following items in I insert to accompany the foregoing documents by request of the  Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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. which I copy from his own hand.
“Although the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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has reported that there is  nearly twelve hundred acres of land purchased that you may know have a better understanding  we think propper to state that it is mostly woodland & not in a situation to be improved  this season even if it should be thought advisable to clear it faster Not than what is wanted for  timber. And further we would State that one piece of the land is not as yet paid for the which  when added to what has been now paid to the Elders who go east will reduce the amount of funds in  the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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s hands more than 200 dollars— We would further state that provisions are scarce nearly &  dear nearly double what they were one year ago.—42

A July 1831 article in the Missouri Intelligencer indicates that both corn and wheat crops were “very light,” in part because of “excessive rains” and high water. The lack of production in fall 1831 probably increased the price of grain. (“The Crops,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 30 July 1831, [1]; “Wheat,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser, 13 Aug. 1831, [3]; News Item, Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser, 13 Oct. 1832, [4].)  


We have not a large supply on hand prob able not more than enough for the brethren here.— The store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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not getting opened as soon as we expect ed has injured us verry much in the purchase of provisions.43

Emily M. Coburn, who came to Missouri in 1831, later recalled that “teams were constantly on the road to St. Louis, Missouri, not only for farming machinery, but for other necessaries, such as mercantile goods, all of such as were needful, both in groceries and dry goods.” (Austin, Life among the Mormons, 66.)  


According to instructions sent here it  was expected to be opened about the middle of Oct. & thinking that purchases might be made  with goods & the money saved in the Church we neglected to buy expecting bro. Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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would  certainly be here soon.44

Weather was a substantial cause of Gilbert’s delay in reaching Missouri. Accompanied by his nephew James Rollins, Gilbert departed Kirtland for Missouri sometime in mid-October and arrived about 1 January 1832. Rollins later recalled, “We were delayed when we got to Arrow Rock, [Missouri,] one hundred miles below Independence, on account of the great flow of ice. The steamer turned back, and we remained there with W. W. Phelps for at least 5 weeks.” Emily Dow Partridge Young, who was with the group, recalled that they had to stay in a log cabin in Arrow Rock for two or three weeks until the weather improved. (Rollins, Reminiscences, 2; Young, “What I Remember,” 5.)  


From <the> funds in the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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s hands you will redily perceive that we  are not in a situation to buy much more land & procure a stock of provisions <& cows> for those who are  coming here this spring.—— [p. [2]]
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This 28 January 1832 letter from Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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provided JS with important information about the welfare of the Mormon community in 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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. Cowdery and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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were directed in a November 1831 revelation to travel to Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Jackson County, Missouri, carrying copies of JS’s revelations, which the church planned to publish.1

Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 69:1–2].  


They were also instructed to take with them money donated by church members to aid in purchasing land in the Independence area.2

An August 1831 revelation instructed Sidney Rigdon to write “an Epistle & subscription to be presented unto all the Churches to obtain money to be put into the hands of the Bishop to purchase lands for an inheritance for the children of God.” (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:50–51].)  


Departing on 20 November 1831, Cowdery and Whitmer arrived in Independence on 5 January 1832.3

Whitmer, History, 38; Minute Book 2, 23 Jan. 1832.  


On 23–24 January, they held a two-day conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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in the home of Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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in Kaw Township

Settlement by whites commenced after treaty with Osage Indians, 1825. One of three original townships organized in Jackson Co., 22 May 1827. Bordered by Missouri River on north side and Big Blue River on east and south sides; western boundary was state line...

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, Missouri; they supplemented it with a special conference on 27 January at Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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’s residence in Independence. As clerk of the conferences, Cowdery kept the minutes and shortly thereafter copied them into this 28 January letter to JS.4

Cowdery’s minutes in this letter are more expansive than those Ebenezer Robinson later copied into Minute Book 2. It is possible that Whitmer, who kept minutes of several Missouri conferences in 1832, kept his own record of the 23 January meeting. If so, Robinson may have copied Whitmer’s minutes. (See Minute Book 2, 23 Jan. 1832.)  


The minutes highlight the continued development of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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in northwestern 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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and the role of leaders such as Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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and Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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in that development. As bishop

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

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, Partridge was responsible for overseeing the purchase of land in Jackson County in concert with Gilbert, who was an agent to the church in 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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. Partridge also had the task of providing Saints with their “inheritance[s]

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

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,” and Gilbert was directed by revelation to operate a store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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to generate revenues with which to purchase more land and to provision the church members who settled it.5

Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:3–4]; Revelation, 8 June 1831 [D&C 53:4]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:4–8].  


The minutes contain accountings from both Partridge and Gilbert of the moneys expended by them and a report from Partridge on land purchases. The minutes also record discussions concerning plans for schools for the Saints, the need for more skilled craftsmen to come to Missouri, and other subjects. In addition to the minutes, Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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’s letter includes a transcript of a note from Partridge to JS, a few words of general correspondence from Cowdery himself, and a list of projected costs of printing the revelations, which was to be conveyed to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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.
Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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’s letter was written to JS, who was living in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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, Ohio, but it was sent to Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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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, even though there was a post office in Hiram.6

Register of Officers and Agents [1830], 49 (second numbering).  


Cowdery had directed previous correspondence from 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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to Whitney, who served as the postmaster of Kirtland, in part because he believed Whitney’s position allowed Whitney franking privileges, which gave him “the benefits of free postage.”7

Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 8 Apr. 1831. According to the statute governing franking, postmasters could use the privilege for both incoming and outgoing correspondence that was business related and weighed no more than half an ounce. It is unclear, however, whether Whitney ever invoked his franking privilege for letters to or from Cowdery. (An Act to Reduce into One the Several Acts Establishing and Regulating the Post-Office Department [3 Mar. 1825], in Post-Office Laws, Instructions and Forms, 15–16, sec. 27.)  


JS may have obtained the letter when he made a short visit to Kirtland from 29 February to 4 March 1832, or someone from Kirtland could have brought the letter to JS in Hiram before then.8

Note, 8 Mar. 1832. Mail between Independence and Kirtland generally required three to four weeks of travel time. (Hartley, “Letters and Mail between Kirtland and Independence,” 176.)  


Regardless of the method of delivery, it is clear the letter reached Kirtland because in March, several leaders issued charges of misconduct against the Missouri conference based on their reading of Cowdery’s minutes.9 Also, the list of printing costs intended for Harris was cut from the letter, as Cowdery suggested, and presumably given to him.

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