2476697

Letter to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832

This item is reproduced by permission of Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois.
and has forgiven my Sins and I rejoice that he Sendeth forth the Comferter unto as many as believe and humbleeth themselves before him7

See John 14:26; 15:26.  


I was grieved to hear that Hiram Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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had lost his little Child8

Mary Smith, the daughter of Hyrum and Jerusha T. Barden Smith, was almost three years old. In his journal, Hyrum Smith wrote, “I was Calt to view a Seine which Brougt unto me Sorrow and mourning Mary was Calt from time to a ternity on the 29th Day of May She Expired in mine arms Such a Day I never Before experience.” (Hyrum Smith Family Bible; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 29 May 1832.)  


I think we Can in Some degree simpathise with him9

All three children born to JS and Emma Smith to this point had died, as had Joseph Murdock Smith, one of the twins they had adopted.  


but we all must be reconciled to our lots and Say the will of the Lord be done Sister Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney

26 Dec. 1800–15 Feb. 1882. Born at Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley. Moved to Ohio, 1819. Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Shortly after, joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples...

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wrote a letter to her husband

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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which was very chearing10

Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney apparently wrote this letter after hearing news of her husband’s broken leg and his need to recuperate before traveling further. This news was relayed to the Saints in Kirtland by Sidney Rigdon, who arrived there 26 May. (Cahoon, Diary, 26 May 1832.)  


and being unwell11

As later recounted in his history, JS suffered from what he believed was deliberate food poisoning, which caused him to vomit so severely that he dislocated his jaw. (JS History, vol. A-1, 215; see also Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 220.)  


at that time and filled with much anxiety it would have been very consoling to me to have received a few lines from you but as you did not take the trouble I will try to be contented with my lot knowing that God is my friend in him I shall find comfort I have given my life into his hands I am prepared to go at his Call I desire to be with Christ I Count not my life dear to me12

See Acts 20:24.  


only to do his will I am not pleased to hear that William Mc.lelin William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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has come back and disobayed the voice of him who is altogether Lovely13

See Song of Solomon 5:16.  


for a woman.14

A January 1832 revelation commanded McLellin to travel and preach. McLellin departed on his mission but soon questioned whether he had been called by God or by man. On 25 February he decided to “cease proclaiming”until he could satisfy his mind on the matter. After working for some time as a shopkeeper, McLellin returned to the community of Mormons in Hiram, where he soon met and courted Emeline Miller, whom he married on 26 April. (Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–A [D&C 75:6–12]; McLellin, Journal, 25 Feb. 1832; William E. McLellin, Independence, MO, to “Beloved Relatives,” Carthage, TN, 4 Aug. 1832, photocopy, CHL.)  


I am astonished at sister Emaline Emeline Miller McLellin yet I cannot belive she is not a worthy Sister15

Miller was a niece of John and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson; her parents moved with the Johnsons from Vermont to Hiram, Ohio, in 1818. JS and Emma Smith apparently knew Miller from their residing with the Johnsons in Hiram in 1831 and 1832. (Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 263–264, 319.)  


I hope She will find him true and kind to her but have no reason to expect it his conduct merits the disapprobation of every true follower of Christ16

The following month, JS wrote to William W. Phelps that the Saints who traveled from Portage County, Ohio, to Missouri in the summer of 1832 had departed “under this displeasure of heaven”—in part because they had “receive[d] Wm McLelin into there fellowship & communion on any other conditions, then the filling his mission to the South countries according to the commandment of Jesus Christ.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832.)  


[p. [2]]
and has fo[r]given my Sins and I r[e]joice that he  Sendeth forth the Comferter unto as many as  believe and humbleeth themselves before him7

See John 14:26; 15:26.  


 I was grieved to hear that Hiram [Hyrum Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
had <lost> his  little Child8

Mary Smith, the daughter of Hyrum and Jerusha T. Barden Smith, was almost three years old. In his journal, Hyrum Smith wrote, “I was Calt to view a Seine which Brougt unto me Sorrow and mourning Mary was Calt from time to a ternity on the 29th Day of May She Expired in mine arms Such a Day I never Before experience.” (Hyrum Smith Family Bible; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 29 May 1832.)  


I think we Can in Some degree  simpathise with him9

All three children born to JS and Emma Smith to this point had died, as had Joseph Murdock Smith, one of the twins they had adopted.  


but we all must be  reconciled to our lots and Say the will <of the Lord> be done I was  Sister [Elizabeth Ann Smith] Whitney

26 Dec. 1800–15 Feb. 1882. Born at Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley. Moved to Ohio, 1819. Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Shortly after, joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples...

View Full Bio
wrote a letter to him <her husband

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...

View Full Bio
> which  which was very chearing10

Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney apparently wrote this letter after hearing news of her husband’s broken leg and his need to recuperate before traveling further. This news was relayed to the Saints in Kirtland by Sidney Rigdon, who arrived there 26 May. (Cahoon, Diary, 26 May 1832.)  


but and being unwell11

As later recounted in his history, JS suffered from what he believed was deliberate food poisoning, which caused him to vomit so severely that he dislocated his jaw. (JS History, vol. A-1, 215; see also Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 220.)  


 at that time and filled with much anxiety  it would have been very consoling to me to  have received a few lines from you but as you  did not take the trouble I will try to be conte nted with my lot knowing that God is my  friend in him I shall find comfort I have  given my life into his hands I am prepared  to go at his Call I desire to be with Christ  I Count not my life dear to me12

See Acts 20:24.  


only to do his  will I am not pleased to hear that William  Mc.lelin [William E. McLellin]

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

View Full Bio
has come back and disobayed the voice  of him who is altogether Lovely13

See Song of Solomon 5:16.  


for a woman.14

A January 1832 revelation commanded McLellin to travel and preach. McLellin departed on his mission but soon questioned whether he had been called by God or by man. On 25 February he decided to “cease proclaiming”until he could satisfy his mind on the matter. After working for some time as a shopkeeper, McLellin returned to the community of Mormons in Hiram, where he soon met and courted Emeline Miller, whom he married on 26 April. (Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–A [D&C 75:6–12]; McLellin, Journal, 25 Feb. 1832; William E. McLellin, Independence, MO, to “Beloved Relatives,” Carthage, TN, 4 Aug. 1832, photocopy, CHL.)  


 I am astonished at sister Emaline [Emeline Miller McLellin] yet I cannot  belive she is not a worthy Sister15

Miller was a niece of John and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson; her parents moved with the Johnsons from Vermont to Hiram, Ohio, in 1818. JS and Emma Smith apparently knew Miller from their residing with the Johnsons in Hiram in 1831 and 1832. (Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 263–264, 319.)  


I hope She  he will <find> him true and kind to her but have  no reason to expect it his conduct merits the  disapprobation of every true follower of Christ16

The following month, JS wrote to William W. Phelps that the Saints who traveled from Portage County, Ohio, to Missouri in the summer of 1832 had departed “under this displeasure of heaven”—in part because they had “receive[d] Wm McLelin into there fellowship & communion on any other conditions, then the filling his mission to the South countries according to the commandment of Jesus Christ.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832.)  


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After spending two weeks transacting church business 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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, Jackson County, Missouri, JS left for 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...

More Info
by stagecoach on 6 May 1832 with 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...

View Full Bio
and 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...

View Full Bio
. Near New Albany, Indiana, Whitney broke his ankle and leg in an accident with the stage. While Rigdon traveled on to 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, JS stayed with Whitney at “Mr Porter’s public house” in Greenville

Located thirteen miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky, in hilly area with poor soil and good timber. First permanent white settlers arrived in area, early 1800s. Population in 1833 about 200. En route from Missouri to Kirtland, Ohio, spring 1832, JS and...

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, Indiana—about a dozen miles west of New Albany—while Whitney recuperated.1

JS History, vol. A-1, 214. Mr. Porter’s brother was the doctor who took care of Whitney’s leg. Three Porter men (all apparently brothers) were in Greenville at this time: Daniel, James, and Julius. One source states that Daniel was a tavern keeper and postmaster and that James was a doctor. This same source explains that, at some point (no date is given), Julius succeeded his brother as tavern keeper and postmaster. Another source says that Daniel was a physician, not a tavern keeper. According to William Newnham Blaney, who visited Porter’s public house during the winter of 1822–1823, the tavern “was without exception the most clean and comfortable I had ever been in since I crossed the Alleghenies.” (1840 U.S. Census, Greenville, Floyd Co., IN, 299; History of the Ohio Falls Cities, 2:295–296; Wilson, “Pioneer Towns of Martin County,” 296; “Clan C,” 621.)  


JS described the delay in Greenville as “very unpleasent,” and a later JS history indicates that he experienced loneliness and homesickness, as well as physical illness.2

JS History, vol. A-1, 215.  


On 2 June, 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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arrived in Greenville

Located thirteen miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky, in hilly area with poor soil and good timber. First permanent white settlers arrived in area, early 1800s. Population in 1833 about 200. En route from Missouri to Kirtland, Ohio, spring 1832, JS and...

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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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—probably after hearing about JS and 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...

View Full Bio
’s situation from 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...

View Full Bio
.3

Rigdon arrived in Kirtland on 26 May. (Cahoon, Diary, 26 May 1832.)  


Harris informed JS and Whitney that their immediate families were well; he may have also brought a letter from Whitney’s wife, Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney

26 Dec. 1800–15 Feb. 1882. Born at Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley. Moved to Ohio, 1819. Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Shortly after, joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples...

View Full Bio
, which JS references in his letter. On 6 June 1832, JS penned a letter—likely at Porter’s public house—to his wife Emma

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 letter is one of the few surviving pieces of correspondence written entirely in JS’s own handwriting. JS expressed his melancholy and concern for Emma and his daughter, Julia

30 Apr. 1831–12 Sept. 1880. Born in Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio. Daughter of John Murdock and Julia Clapp. After death of mother, adopted by JS and Emma Smith at age of nine days. Lived in Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co....

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, and offered condolences for his brother Hyrum

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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and sister-in-law Jerusha

15 Feb. 1805–13 Oct. 1837. Born in Norfolk, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Seth Barden and Sarah. Moved to Greene, Chenango Co., New York, by 1820. Married Hyrum Smith, 2 Nov. 1826, in Manchester, Ontario Co., New York. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co...

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, who had just lost their three-year-old daughter.4

JS departed with Whitney a few days after writing the letter, and by the end of the month they were back in Kirtland. In 1842, Rigdon recalled that JS and Whitney reached Kirtland “about 4 weeks after I arrived,” which was 26 May 1832. (JS History, vol. A-1, 215–216; Sidney Rigdon, Statement, ca. 1842, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1856, CHL; Cahoon, Diary, 26 May 1832.)  


After being folded and sealed, the letter was addressed 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...

View Full Bio
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...

More Info
by 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...

View Full Bio
. The folds in the letter and the posting show that it was mailed, probably by JS or 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...

View Full Bio
, at the post office in Greenville

Located thirteen miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky, in hilly area with poor soil and good timber. First permanent white settlers arrived in area, early 1800s. Population in 1833 about 200. En route from Missouri to Kirtland, Ohio, spring 1832, JS and...

More Info
.5

Indiana Gazetteer, 79.  


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