2476697

Letter to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832

This item is reproduced by permission of Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois.
but this is a painful subject I hope you will excuse my warmth of feeling in mentioning this subject and also my inability in convaying my ideas in writing I am happy to find that you are still in the faith of Christ and at Father Smith

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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s17

In 1831, Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith moved into a home on a farm owned by Frederick G. Williams. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 12, [6]; Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831.)  


I hope you will Comfort Father

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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and Mother

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

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in their trials and Hiram

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 Jerusha T. Barden Smith

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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and the rest of the Family tell Sophronia Smith Stoddard

16 May 1803–22 July 1876. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Daughter of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by Aug. 1804; to Tunbridge, by Mar. 1808; to Royalton, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon...

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I remember her and Kalvin Calvin Stoddard

7 Sept. 1801–19 Nov. 1836. Farmer. Born at Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York. Son of Silas Stoddard and Bathsheba Sheffield. Lived at Ontario Co., 1810. Married Sophronia Smith, 30 Dec. 1827, at Palmyra. Resident of Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, June 1830. Proselytized...

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in my prayrs18

Sophronia Smith Stoddard, who was married to Calvin Stoddard, gave birth to a daughter, Maria, on 12 April 1832. Calvin Stoddard then left on a mission with Jared Carter on 25 April. (Carter, Journal, 59.)  


my respects to the rest I Should Like to See little Julia M. Smith

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 once more take her on my knee and converse with you on all the subjects which concerns us things I cannot is not prudent for me to write I omit all the important things which could I See you I could make you aquainted with tell Brother Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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that I and Brother 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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will arrange the business of that farm when we come19

Through a land exchange in the winter of 1829–1830, Frederick G. Williams purchased a farm in Kirtland, on which JS’s parents lived. Sometime around April 1832, Philo Dibble apparently sold some of his own property to raise enough money to pay off $400 that Williams owed on the farm. Williams received the deed for the farm in April 1832. As the bishop in Kirtland, responsible for overseeing temporal affairs there, Whitney was in a position to “arrange the business” of the Williams farm, whatever that business may have been. (Cuyahoga Co., OH, Deeds and Mortgages, 1815–1866, vol. N-13, pp. 89–90, 17 Apr. 1832, microfilm 1,994,223, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Palmer, Bench and Bar of Illinois, 2:896; Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831; Dibble, Reminiscences, [4]; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 16, pp. 22–23, 20 Apr. 1832, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


give my respects to all the Brotheren Br— Whitny

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 Family20

Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney had four or five young children, and Elizabeth’s aunt Sarah Smith was also living in their home at this time. Newel’s parents were living nearby in one of his stores. (Staker, “Thou Art the Man,” 105–106.)  


tell them he is Chearfull and patient and a true Brother to me I Subscribe myself your Husband the Lord bless you peace be with you So
Farewell untill I return
Joseph Smith Jr— [p. [3]]
but this is a painful subject I hope you will  excuse my warmth of feeling in mentioning this  subject and also my inability in convaying my ideas  in writing I am happy to find that you are still  in the faith of Christ and at Father Smith

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
s17

In 1831, Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith moved into a home on a farm owned by Frederick G. Williams. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 12, [6]; Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831.)  


I  hope you will Comfort Father

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
and Mother

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

View Full Bio
in  their trials and Hiram

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
and Jerutia Jerusha [T. Barden Smith]

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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 and the rest of the Family tell Sophronia [Smith Stoddard]

16 May 1803–22 July 1876. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Daughter of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by Aug. 1804; to Tunbridge, by Mar. 1808; to Royalton, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon...

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I  remember her and Kalvin [Calvin Stoddard]

7 Sept. 1801–19 Nov. 1836. Farmer. Born at Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York. Son of Silas Stoddard and Bathsheba Sheffield. Lived at Ontario Co., 1810. Married Sophronia Smith, 30 Dec. 1827, at Palmyra. Resident of Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, June 1830. Proselytized...

View Full Bio
in my prayrs18

Sophronia Smith Stoddard, who was married to Calvin Stoddard, gave birth to a daughter, Maria, on 12 April 1832. Calvin Stoddard then left on a mission with Jared Carter on 25 April. (Carter, Journal, 59.)  


my  respects to the rest I Should Like [to] See little  Julia [M. Smith]

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....

View Full Bio
and once more take her on my knee and  converse with you on the all the subjects whi ch concerns us things I cannot is not prud ent for me to write I omit all the important  things which could I See you I could make  you aquainted with tell Brother [Frederick G.] Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
that  I and Brother 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
will arrange the  business of that farm when we come19

Through a land exchange in the winter of 1829–1830, Frederick G. Williams purchased a farm in Kirtland, on which JS’s parents lived. Sometime around April 1832, Philo Dibble apparently sold some of his own property to raise enough money to pay off $400 that Williams owed on the farm. Williams received the deed for the farm in April 1832. As the bishop in Kirtland, responsible for overseeing temporal affairs there, Whitney was in a position to “arrange the business” of the Williams farm, whatever that business may have been. (Cuyahoga Co., OH, Deeds and Mortgages, 1815–1866, vol. N-13, pp. 89–90, 17 Apr. 1832, microfilm 1,994,223, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Palmer, Bench and Bar of Illinois, 2:896; Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831; Dibble, Reminiscences, [4]; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 16, pp. 22–23, 20 Apr. 1832, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


give  my respects to all the Brotheren Br— Whitny

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]  Family20

Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney had four or five young children, and Elizabeth’s aunt Sarah Smith was also living in their home at this time. Newel’s parents were living nearby in one of his stores. (Staker, “Thou Art the Man,” 105–106.)  


tell them he is Chearfull and  patient and a true Brother to me I Subscr ibe myself your Husband the Lord bless  you peace be with [you?] So
Farewell untill I return
Joseph Smith Jr—21

TEXT: Signed in large script, with flourish below.  


[p. [3]]
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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...

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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...

More Info
, 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...

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.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...

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, 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.  


Facts