2477114

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 reflect upon this great city like Ninavah not desearning their right hand from their left4

See Jonah 4:11.  


yea more then two hundred thousand souls my bowels is filled with compasion towards them and I am determined to lift up my voice in this city

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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and leave the Event with God5

Presbyterian minister Matthew Henry’s widely read biblical commentaries, produced 1708–1710, use the phrase “leave the Event with God” several times. (Henry, Exposition of the Historical Books of the Old Testament, 283.)  


who holdeth all things in his hands and will not suffer an hair of our heads unnoticed to fall to the ground6

The 22–23 September 1832 revelation promised those who were faithful in proclaiming the gospel that “an hair of your heads shall not fall to the ground unnoti[c]ed.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:80]; see also Matthew 10:30.)  


there is but few cases of the cholera in this City

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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now and if you should see the people you would not know that they had ever heard of the cholera7

On 31 July 1832, JS wrote to William W. Phelps that “the cholera is cutting down its hundreds in the city of New York pr day.” Phelps reported in the August 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star that “the whole number of cases in New-York, to July 31, is—3731. Deaths—1520.” A later history estimated that over two thousand people had died from cholera in New York City by the end of July. (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; “The Cholera,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1832, [1]; Chambers, Conquest of Cholera, 64.)  


I hope you will excuse me for writting this letter so soon after writing for I feel as if I wanted to say something to you to comfort 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 around you to be kind to you and take the burdon off your shoulders as much as posable and not afflict you8

While JS traveled, Emma Smith stayed in Newel K. Whitney’s white store, where she and JS had moved the month before JS penned this letter. Earlier in 1832, when JS was in Missouri, Emma attempted to lodge with the Whitneys, but Sarah Smith, the aunt of Newel K. Whitney’s wife, Elizabeth, refused to let Emma stay with the family, citing a lack of space. As a later JS history explained, Sarah said Emma “should go away, for there was not room enough for both of them.” By fall 1832, Whitney had remodeled his white store and established a living space for JS and his family that would not infringe on anyone else’s space. (Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 251, 377; JS History, vol. A-1, 209.)  


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]]
[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 left4

See Jonah 4:11.  


 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

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

More Info
and leave the Event with God5

Presbyterian minister Matthew Henry’s widely read biblical commentaries, produced 1708–1710, use the phrase “leave the Event with God” several times. (Henry, Exposition of the Historical Books of the Old Testament, 283.)  


 who holdeth all things in his hands and will  not suffer an hair of our heads unnoticed  to fall to the ground6

The 22–23 September 1832 revelation promised those who were faithful in proclaiming the gospel that “an hair of your heads shall not fall to the ground unnoti[c]ed.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:80]; see also Matthew 10:30.)  


there is but few cases  of the chol[e]ra in this City

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

More Info
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>7

On 31 July 1832, JS wrote to William W. Phelps that “the cholera is cutting down its hundreds in the city of New York pr day.” Phelps reported in the August 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star that “the whole number of cases in New-York, to July 31, is—3731. Deaths—1520.” A later history estimated that over two thousand people had died from cholera in New York City by the end of July. (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; “The Cholera,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1832, [1]; Chambers, Conquest of Cholera, 64.)  


 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 you8

While JS traveled, Emma Smith stayed in Newel K. Whitney’s white store, where she and JS had moved the month before JS penned this letter. Earlier in 1832, when JS was in Missouri, Emma attempted to lodge with the Whitneys, but Sarah Smith, the aunt of Newel K. Whitney’s wife, Elizabeth, refused to let Emma stay with the family, citing a lack of space. As a later JS history explained, Sarah said Emma “should go away, for there was not room enough for both of them.” By fall 1832, Whitney had remodeled his white store and established a living space for JS and his family that would not infringe on anyone else’s space. (Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 251, 377; JS History, vol. A-1, 209.)  


 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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JS, Letter, New York City

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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, NY, to Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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, Kirtland Township

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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, OH, 13 Oct. 1832; handwriting and signatures of JS; three pages; CCLA. Includes address, postal markings, dockets, and archival marking.
Two loose leaves, measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm). JS apparently folded the document to create a margin line prior to inscription. The document was folded with two tri-folds in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. The postage rate was inscribed in a large and elaborate script in red ink. A circular date stamp was applied in red ink. Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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reads: “Joseph Smith Jr | Oct 13th 1832 N. York

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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”. The document was refolded, apparently at a later time, probably in connection with filing. Additional docket in unidentified handwriting reads: “J. Smith | Oct 13 1832”. The two leaves appear to have been sewn together at some point in time. Graphite pagination added on the recto pages of the two leaves suggests that at one time the letter was placed in an archival letter file or book. The document has undergone some conservation.
The document includes two autograph signatures. It was apparently received and kept by Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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. The presence of the Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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docket suggests that the letter was kept for a time in JS’s office in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois. The document was apparently returned to Emma Smith because it came into the possession of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ). A late nineteenth-century printing of the letter in the periodical of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and late twentieth-century archival correspondence indicate continuous institutional custody.1

“Letters of Joseph Smith, the Martyr,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Dec. 1879, 356–357; Richard P. Howard, Independence, MO, to Richard Lloyd Anderson, Provo, UT, 10 Sept. 1971, photocopy, CHL.  


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