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Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832

Hyram [Hiram, Ohio]

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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July 31— 1832——
Brother William [W. Phelps]

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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I have received your letter dated 30th June and procede this morning to answer it. I sit down to dictate for Broth 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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to write but cannot write my feelings, neither can toungue, or language paint them to you. I only can observe that I could wish, that my heart, & feelings thereof might for once be laid open before [you], as plain as your own natural face is to you by looking in a mirror; Verily I say my only hope and confidence is in that God who gave me being in whom there is all power who now is present before me & my heart is naked before his eyes continually he is my comfeter & he forsaketh me not in the seventh trouble and in the mean time I have learned by sad experiance there is no confidence to be placed in in man that the spirit of man is as cold as the northern blast and had I not considered the great care and multitude of business which is crowding upon your mind I could not have excused the cold and indifferent manner in which your letter is writen, true you have expressed fellowship, but the spirit which I enjoy, the feeling of my soul enquires does this letter give me the important information which I stood in need of at the present critical moment from your hand concerning yourself your family & business & the faith & fellowship & prosperity of the brethren in zion &c let your own heart and the integrity of your own soul answer this question & excuse the warmth of feeling of your unworthy yet affectionate brother in the Lord travling through affliction and great tribulation, you informed me that you wrote a few lines to bear up our strength in the glorious labour wherewith our saviour hath been pleased to call us, I rejoice exceedingly for the little strength & information God has been pleased to give me through your letter— viz— to hear that our brethren from this place

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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& Nelson have arived safe in zion and as I trust without accident this is the mercy of our God, but in the discharge of my Duty must inform you that they left here under this displeasure of heaven for several reasons now what I write I write without sparing any (or the feeling of any) knowing that God will bear me up in what I write, I will give you some of the reasons, firstly making a mock of the profession of faith in the commandments by proceding contrary thereto in not complying [p. 1]
Hyram [Hiram, Ohio]

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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July 31— 1832——
Broth[er] William [W. Phelps]

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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I have received your letter dated 30th June and procede this  morning to answer it. I sit down to dictate for Broth 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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to write but  cannot write my feelings, neither can toungue, or language paint them to  you. I only can observe that I could wish, that my heart, & feelings  thereof might for once be laid open before [you], as plain as your own nat ural face is to you by looking in a mirror; Verily I say unto you  my only hope and confidence is in that God who gave me being  in whom there is all power who now is present before me & my  heart is naked before his eyes continually he is my comfeter & he  forsaketh me not in the seventh trouble and in the mean time I  have learned by sad experiance there is no confidence to be placed in  in man that the spirit of man is as cold as the northern blast  and had I not considered the great care and multitude of busi ness which is crowding upon your mind I could not have excused  the cold and indifferent manner in which your letter is writen,  true you have expressed fellowship, but the spirit which I possess  enjoy, the feeling of my soul enquires does this letter give me  the important information which I stood in need of at the  present critical moment from your hand concerning yourself  your family & business & the faith & fellowship & prosperity of the breth ren in zion &c let your own heart and the integrity of your own soul  answer this question & excuse the warmth of feeling of your unworthy  yet affectionate brother in the Lord travling through affliction  and great tribulation, you informed me that you wrote a few  lines to bear up our strength in the glorious labour wherewith  our saviour hath been pleased to call us, I rejoice exceedingly  for the little strength & information God has been ple[a]sed to  give me through your letter— viz— to hear that our brethren  from this place

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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& Nelson have arived safe in zion and as I trust  without accident this is the mercy of our God, but in the disch arge <of my Duty> must inform you that they left here under this dis pleasure of heaven for several reasons now what I write I write  without sparing any (or the feeling of any) knowing that God will  bear me up in what I write, I will give you some of the rea sons, firstly making a mock of the profession of faith in the  commandments by proceding contrary thereto in not complying [p. 1]
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By the time JS composed this candid letter to colleagues in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, he had been dealing with disharmony among church leaders for a full year. There were disagreements over the method for establishing Zion, proper handling of church resources, local control of church affairs in Missouri, and the extent of JS’s power and authority. In this letter, JS confronted these persistent strains and tensions with expressions of both reconciliation and frustration.
JS wrote this letter from Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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, Ohio, to William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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at 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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, Missouri. 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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drafted this retained copy, which was apparently transcribed for 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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