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Letter to Emma Smith, 13 October 1832

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[a] moment to be with them my breast is filled  with all the feelings and tenderness of a parent  and a Husband and could I be with you I  would tell you many things yet when I ref lect upon this great city like Ninavah not  desearning their right hand from their left  yea more then two hundred <thousand> souls my bow els is filled with compasion towards them  and I am determined to lift up my voice  in this city and leave the Event with God  who holdeth all things in his hands and will  not suffer an hair of our heads unnoticed  to fall to the ground there is but few cases  of the chol[e]ra in this City now and if you  should see the people you would not that  know that the<y> people had ever heard of <the> <chol[e]ra>  I hope you will excuse me for writting  this letter so soon after w[r]iting for I feel as  if I wanted to <say> you say something to you to com fort you in your beculier [peculiar] triel and presant  affliction I hope God will give you strength  that you may not faint I pray God to soften  the hearts of those arou[n]d you to be kind  to you and take <the> burdon of[f] your shoulders  as much as posable and not afflict you  I feel for you for I know your state and  that others do not but you must cumfort  yourself knowing that God is your friend  in heaven and that you have one true and  living friend on Earth your Husband
Joseph Smith Jr [p. [2]]
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In fall 1832, Bishop Newel K. Whitney operated a store in Kirtland, Ohio, for the church’s United Firm. JS accompanied him on a trip to New York City to purchase merchandise for the store. Whitney may also have traveled to New York to negotiate a $15,000 loan he had been commissioned to secure on behalf of the church.
The letter reveals something of JS’s mixture of awe and repugnance at his first encounter with New York City. The “Pearl Street House” in which JS and Whitney boarded was located only a few minutes’ walk from Five Points, a notorious slum district. While in New York City, JS wrote this letter to his wife, Emma, at Kirtland, Ohio. It is retained in the collection of the Community of Christ Library in Independence, Missouri.

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