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Letter to Emma Smith, 13 October 1832

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PS while Brother [Newel K.] Whitney <is> Selecting goods I have  nothing to <do> but to Sit in my room and pray for him that  he may have strength to indure his labours for truly  it is <a> tedious job to stand on the feet all day to select  goods its wants good judgement and a long acquaintence  with goods to git good ones and a man must be  his own judge for no one will judge for him and  it is much pepleccity [perplexity] of mind I prefer reading and  praying and holding communeion with the holy spirit  and writing to <you> then walking the streets and beholding  the distraction of man I have <had> some conversation with  few which gave satisfaction and one very butiful  young gentleman from Jersey [New Jersey] whose countinance was  very sollam he came and set by my side and began to  converce with me about the chol[e]ra and I learned he  had been seased with it and came very near dieng  [dying] with it he said the Lord had spared him for some  wise pu[r]pose I took advantage of this and opened a  long discours with him he received my teaching with  appearanly [apparently] with much pleasure and became very  strongly attacth [attached] to me we talkd till late at nig ht and concluded to omit <conversation> till the next day  but having some business to do he was detai ned untill the boat was ready to go out and must  leave he came to me and bid me Farewell <and we parted> with  much reluctance Brother Whitney is received with  great kindness by all his old acquaintance he  is faithful in prayr and fervant in spirit  and he we take great comfort together there  is about one hundred boarders and sometimes more  in this house every <day> from one to two from  all parts of the world I think you would have  laughed right harty if you could [have] been whe[r] e you could see the waiters to day noon waited  on the table both Black and white and molato  runing bowing and maneuvering but I must  conclude I remain Your affectionate Husband  until Death
Joseph Smith Junior [p. [3]]
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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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