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...

View Full Bio
 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...

View Full Bio
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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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...

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, 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...

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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, 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...

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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...

More Info
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...

View Full Bio
, 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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