2475714

Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 January 1832

 
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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Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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Geauga County
Ohio
0.5060

This indicates that postage on the letter was fifty cents, which agrees with the rates of postage established by Congress in 1825 and 1827: “Double letters, or those composed of two pieces of paper,” were charged double the usual rate of twenty-five cents—the cost of a letter traveling over four hundred miles. (Force, National Calendar, 140, italics in original.)  


 
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TEXT: “[page cut]wel”  


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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Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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Geauga County
Ohio

Postmark in unidentified handwriting.  


0.5060

This indicates that postage on the letter was fifty cents, which agrees with the rates of postage established by Congress in 1825 and 1827: “Double letters, or those composed of two pieces of paper,” were charged double the usual rate of twenty-five cents—the cost of a letter traveling over four hundred miles. (Force, National Calendar, 140, italics in original.)  


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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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, Letter, 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 Co., MO, to JS, Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, Kirtland Township, OH, 28 Jan. 1832; handwriting of 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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; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes postal markings and redactions.
Bifolium measuring 15⅝ × 10¼ inches (40 × 26 cm). The letter was tri-folded twice in letter style for mailing, addressed, and sealed. The front and back of the second leaf, which was used as the wrapper for mailing the letter, bear residue from morsels of an adhesive wafer that were removed. The bottom half of the front of the second leaf originally contained a printing bill for 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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, but it was excised from the document and is no longer extant.1

Part of one illegible character remains.  


Half the address block and postmarks are now missing from the wrapper because of the excision of the bill. The inscriptions “Bad” and “◊◊” appear at the top of the back of the second leaf in unidentified handwriting. A mark in red pencil follows 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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’s signature. The letter was later folded in half and tri-folded for filing purposes. All folds are partially broken, and there is a slight loss of inscription from the separations and holes in the filing folds. The letter has undergone conservation.
The custodial history of this document is uncertain. The letter was initially sent to JS and is listed in the 1973 register of the JS Collection—which suggests continuous institutional custody.2

Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 11.  


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