2476697

Letter to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832

This item is reproduced by permission of Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois.
June 6th 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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Floid FloydCo 1832
Dear Wife

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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I would inform you that Brother 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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has arrived here and braught the pleasing news that our Familys were well when he left there which Greately Cheared our hearts and revived our Spirits2

After leaving for Missouri, JS instructed Emma Smith by letter to live with Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney, wife of Newel K. Whitney, in Kirtland, Ohio. JS gave this instruction in part because he feared his family was not safe in Hiram, Ohio, because of the violence he experienced there in late March (which JS believed contributed to the death of Joseph Murdock Smith, his adopted son). But Emma was unable to stay with the Whitneys because Elizabeth Whitney’s aunt Sarah Smith (who resided in the Whitney home) insisted that there was no room in the home for Emma. Emma’s situation was unsettled until JS returned; she stayed at the homes of Reynolds and Thirza Stiles Cahoon, Frederick G. and Rebecca Swain Williams, and JS’s parents. A later JS history recounts that when he returned from Missouri, he found Emma “very disconsolate.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 209; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 13, [8]; JS History, vol. A-1, 205–206, 209.)  


we thank our hevenly Father for his Goodness unto us and all of you , Martin

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 on Satterday the Same week he left Chagrin

Located in northeastern Ohio. Bordered on north by Lake Erie. French fur trading post established, 1750. Area settled, 1797. Organized 1815. Originally called Charlton, by 1750; name changed to Chagrin, by 1815. Population in 1826 about 733. Chagrin village...

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haveing a prosperous time3

Harris apparently traversed the more than three hundred miles to Greenville, Indiana, within five days. He may have caught a stagecoach in Chagrin (now Willoughby), Ohio, which was approximately three miles northwest of the Mormon community in Kirtland. From Chagrin, Harris probably traveled southwest to Cleveland and then south again toward Columbus, following the main roads. From Columbus, Harris may have continued south to Cincinnati and then west to Greenville. He evidently arrived on Saturday, 2 June 1832. Since he brought news of the 29 May death of Mary Smith, he must have departed on or after that day. (North America Sheet VIII, Ohio, with parts of Kentucky and Virginia 1844; Map of Ohio, 12 Sept. 1832.)  


we are all in good health Brother 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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s leg is gaining and he thinks he Shall be able to to perform his Journy so as to get home about the 20th my Situation is a very unpleasent one although I will endeaver to be Contented the Lord asisting me I have visited a grove which is Just back of the town almost every day where I can be secluded from the eyes of any mortal and there give vent to all the feelings of my heart in meaditation and praiyr I have Called to mind all the past moments of my life and am left to mourn and Shed tears of sorrow for my folly in Sufering the adversary of my Soul to have so much power over me as he has had in times past5

In a letter to William W. Phelps written several weeks later, JS recounted, “I often times wandered alone in the lonely places seeking consolation of him who is alone able to console me.” These reflections may have prompted JS to compose “A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr. an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Ch[r]ist,” which he wrote later in the summer. Part of this history recounts how JS, “from the age of twelve years to fifteen,” became “excedingly distressed” because of his sins, leading him to “cr[y] unto the Lord for mercy.” The history then recounts that the Lord appeared to JS, telling him “Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; JS History, ca. Summer 1832.)  


but God is merciful6

See Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:10].  


[p. [1]]
June 6th 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
Floid [Floyd]Co 18321

TEXT: Possibly “182” or “18◊◊”.  


1832
Dear Wife

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
I would inform you that Brother 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...

View Full Bio
 has arrived here and braught the pleasing  news that our Familys were well when he  left there which Greately Cheared our hearts  and revived our Spirits2

After leaving for Missouri, JS instructed Emma Smith by letter to live with Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney, wife of Newel K. Whitney, in Kirtland, Ohio. JS gave this instruction in part because he feared his family was not safe in Hiram, Ohio, because of the violence he experienced there in late March (which JS believed contributed to the death of Joseph Murdock Smith, his adopted son). But Emma was unable to stay with the Whitneys because Elizabeth Whitney’s aunt Sarah Smith (who resided in the Whitney home) insisted that there was no room in the home for Emma. Emma’s situation was unsettled until JS returned; she stayed at the homes of Reynolds and Thirza Stiles Cahoon, Frederick G. and Rebecca Swain Williams, and JS’s parents. A later JS history recounts that when he returned from Missouri, he found Emma “very disconsolate.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 209; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 13, [8]; JS History, vol. A-1, 205–206, 209.)  


we thank our  hevenly Father for his Goodness uto unto  us and <all of you> you, Martin

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
arrived on Satterday  the Same week he left Chagrin

Located in northeastern Ohio. Bordered on north by Lake Erie. French fur trading post established, 1750. Area settled, 1797. Organized 1815. Originally called Charlton, by 1750; name changed to Chagrin, by 1815. Population in 1826 about 733. Chagrin village...

More Info
haveing  a prosperous time3

Harris apparently traversed the more than three hundred miles to Greenville, Indiana, within five days. He may have caught a stagecoach in Chagrin (now Willoughby), Ohio, which was approximately three miles northwest of the Mormon community in Kirtland. From Chagrin, Harris probably traveled southwest to Cleveland and then south again toward Columbus, following the main roads. From Columbus, Harris may have continued south to Cincinnati and then west to Greenville. He evidently arrived on Saturday, 2 June 1832. Since he brought news of the 29 May death of Mary Smith, he must have departed on or after that day. (North America Sheet VIII, Ohio, with parts of Kentucky and Virginia 1844; Map of Ohio, 12 Sept. 1832.)  


we are all in good health  Brother [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
s leg is gaining and he thinks  he Shall be able to to perform his  Journy so as to get4

TEXT: Possibly “got” or “gat”.  


home <about> as Soon as the  20th my Situation is a very unpleasent one  although I will endeaver to be Contented the  Lord asisting me I have visited a grove  which is Just back of the town almost  every day where I can be secluded from the  eyes of any mortal and there give vent to all  the feelings of my heart in meaditation and  praiyr I have Called to mind all the past  moments of my life and am left to mo[u]rn and  Shed tears of sorrow for my folly in Sufering  the adversary of my Soul to have so much  power over me as he has <had in times past>5

In a letter to William W. Phelps written several weeks later, JS recounted, “I often times wandered alone in the lonely places seeking consolation of him who is alone able to console me.” These reflections may have prompted JS to compose “A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr. an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Ch[r]ist,” which he wrote later in the summer. Part of this history recounts how JS, “from the age of twelve years to fifteen,” became “excedingly distressed” because of his sins, leading him to “cr[y] unto the Lord for mercy.” The history then recounts that the Lord appeared to JS, telling him “Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; JS History, ca. Summer 1832.)  


but God is merciful6

See Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:10].  


[p. [1]]
Next
JS, Letter, 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
, IN, 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
, 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, 6 June 1832; handwriting and signature of JS; addressed 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
; four pages; Manuscripts about Mormons at Chicago History Museum. Includes postmark, redactions, docket, and archival marking.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7⅞ inches (25 × 20 cm) when folded (and trimmed). JS signed the letter at the bottom of the recto side of the second leaf of the bifolium. He then closed the bifolium and turned it over, so that the verso of the second leaf became the recto of the first leaf, and added the postscript regarding the intent 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...

View Full Bio
to return with them at the top of this page (upside down in comparison with the rest of the letter). The bifolium letter was folded for mailing in double tri-fold envelope style, addressed by 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
, and sealed with half an adhesive wafer. A docket, “Grenville

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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June 6, 1832 | Joseph Smith Jr.,” appears at the edge of the address panel. The placement of the docket suggests the letter was initially kept folded for storage. This docket was apparently written by 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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, which suggests that the letter was kept for a time in JS’s 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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office

Term usually applied to JS’s private office, which was located at various places during JS’s lifetime, including his home and, after Dec. 1841, upper floor of his brick store. JS’s office served as administrative headquarters for church and location where...

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. If so, the letter was eventually returned to the possession of 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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, because it was found among her papers when she died. In 1880, her son Joseph Smith III

6 Nov. 1832–10 Dec. 1914. Clerk, hotelier, farmer, justice of the peace, editor, minister. Born at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Son of JS and Emma Hale. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1838; to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1839; and to Commerce ...

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donated the letter to the Chicago Historical Society (now Chicago History Museum).1

See Joseph Smith III, Plano, IL, to Albert D. Hagan, Chicago, IL, 22 Oct. 1880, microfilm, Chicago Historical Society, Collection of Mormon Materials, 1836–1886, CHL. In this letter to Hagan, Joseph Smith III discussed a piece of correspondence from his father to his mother that he found after his mother’s death and that he wanted to donate to the Chicago Historical Society. Although he did not identify the item as this 6 June letter, the JS and Emma Smith correspondence held at the Chicago Historical Society, together with subsequent correspondence between Smith and Hagan, suggests that the 6 June 1832 letter is the only possible letter to which he could be referring. An old typescript made by the Chicago Historical Society makes the same identification. (Joseph Smith III, Lamoni, IA, to Albert D. Hagan, Chicago, IL, 12 June 1885, microfilm, Chicago Historical Society, Collection of Mormon Materials, 1836–1886, CHL; JS, Greenville, IN, to Emma Smith, Kirtland, OH, 6 June 1832, typescript, Chicago Historical Society, Collection of Mormon Materials, 1836–1886, CHL.)  


For a time, it was kept there in a scrapbook of autograph letters. The letter was attached to a leaf, which was cut short so the letter would fit within the book. The letter is also slightly trimmed, which was probably done in connection with placing it in the scrapbook. It was subsequently excised from the scrapbook, but the leaf stub is still attached to the folded edge on the back of the letter.2

A note on an old transcript of the letter locates the source as “Autograph Letters vol. 16, pp. 33–36.” The recto pages of the letter still bear the visible marks of the now-erased graphite inscriptions of page numbers “33” and “35.” Volume 16 of the Autograph Letters collection at the Chicago History Museum is no longer extant. However, volumes 5 and 21 of that collection, which are still intact, provide examples of how loose documents were attached to a scrapbook. (JS, Greenville, IN, to Emma Smith, Kirtland, OH, 6 June 1832, typescript, Chicago Historical Society, Collection of Mormon Materials, 1836–1886, CHL.)  


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