53991682

Letterbook 2

Minutes • 5 October 1839

Proceedings of the general Conference held at Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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Hancock County Illinois on Saturday the 5th day of October 1839
The meeting was opened by prayer by President Joseph Smith Jr. after which he was appointed President and James Sloan

28 Oct. 1792–24 Oct. 1886. City recorder, notary public, attorney, judge, farmer. Born in Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Son of Alexander Sloan and Anne. Married Mary Magill. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, 28 Oct. 1837, in Columbiana Co., ...

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Clerk of the conference by a unanimous voice of the meeting.
The President then spoke at some length upon the situation of the church, the difficulties they hitherto had to contend with and the manner by which they had been led to this place; and wished to know the views of the bretheren in regard to appointing this a stake stating that he believed it to be a good location and well adapted to the circumstances of the Saints.
It was unanimously agreed upon that it should be appointed a stake and a place of gathering for the saints.
The following officers were then appointed, viz.
William Marks

15 Nov. 1792–22 May 1872. Farmer, printer, publisher, postmaster. Born at Rutland, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Cornell (Cornwall) Marks and Sarah Goodrich. Married first Rosannah R. Robinson, 2 May 1813. Lived at Portage, Allegany Co., New York, where he...

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to be President. Bishop [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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to be Bishop of middle ward, Bishop Patridge [Edward Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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to be Bishop of upper ward. Bishop [Vinson] Knight

14 Mar. 1804–31 July 1842. Farmer, druggist, school warden. Born at Norwich, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Rudolphus Knight and Rispah (Rizpah) Lee. Married Martha McBride, 14 Mar. 1826. Moved to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., New York, by Mar. 1834....

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to be Bishop of lower Ward.
George W. Harris

1 Apr. 1780–1857. Jeweler. Born at Lanesboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Harris and Diana (Margaret) Burton. Married first Elizabeth, ca. 1800. Married second Margaret, who died in 1828. Moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., New York, by 1830. Married...

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, Thomas Grover

22 July 1807–20 Feb. 1886. Farmer, boat operator. Born at Whitehall, Washington Co., New York. Son of Thomas Grover and Polly Spaulding. Married first Caroline Whiting of Whitehall, 1828. Became a Methodist preacher, by 1834. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus...

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, Samuel Bent Henry G. Sherwood

20 Apr. 1785–24 Nov. 1867. Surveyor. Born at Kingsbury, Washington Co., New York. Son of Newcomb Sherwood and a woman whose maiden name was Tolman (first name unidentified). Married first Jane J. McManagal (McMangle) of Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, ca. 1824...

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, David Fullmer

7 July 1803–21 Oct. 1879. Teacher, merchant, farmer. Born in Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfoss. Moved to Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820. Married Rhoda Ann Marvin, 18...

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, Alpheus Cutler

29 Feb. 1784–10 June 1864. Stonemason. Born in Plainfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Knight Cutler and Elizabeth Boyd. Married Lois Lathrop, 17 Nov. 1808, in Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Moved to Upper Lisle, Broome Co., New York, ca. 1808...

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William Huntington [Sr.] Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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, Chas. C Rich David Dort

6 Jan. 1793–10 Mar. 1841. Farmer, miller. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Dort and Elishaba Briggs. Married first JS’s cousin Mary (Polly) Mack, 2 June 1813, at Gilsum. After Mary’s death, married her sister Fanny Mack. Moved to Pontiac...

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, Seymour Brunson

1 Dec. 1798–10 Aug. 1840. Farmer. Born at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York. Son of Reuben Brunson and Sally Clark. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Gould of Hector, Tompkins Co., New York, ca. 1823. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, Jan....

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, Lewis Dunbar Wilson to be high council who be respectfully called upon accepted their appointment.
It was then voted that a branch of the church be established on the other side of the river in Iowa Territory

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

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; over which Elder John Smith

16 July 1781–23 May 1854. Farmer. Born at Derryfield (later Manchester), Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Member of Congregational Church. Appointed overseer of highways at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York, 1810. Married...

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was appointed President and Alenson [Alanson] Ripley

8 Jan. 1798–before 1860. Surveyor, lawyer. Born at New York. Son of Asa Ripley and Polly Deforest. Married Sarah Finkle. Resided in Massachusetts, 1827. Member of LDS church in Ohio. Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834. Landholder ...

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Bishop.
Asahel Smith

21 May 1773–22 July 1848. Farmer. Born at Windham, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Dunbarton, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, 15 Apr. 1774; to Derryfield (later Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, 1778;...

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, John M Burke

4 Feb. 1793–8 June 1853. Innkeeper, farmer. Born in Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Charles Burke and Esther Robinson Bohannon. Married first Abigail Fellows, 13 Mar. 1821, in Fairfield. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1823. Baptized into...

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. Abraham Owen Smoot, Richard Howard, Williard [Willard] Snow Erastus Snow

9 Nov. 1818–27 May 1888. Farmer, teacher, merchant, publisher, manufacturer. Born at St. Johnsbury, Caledonia Co., Vermont. Son of Levi Snow and Lucina Streeter. Baptized into LDS church by William Snow, 3 Feb. 1833, at Charleston, Orleans Co., Vermont. Ordained...

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David Pettigrew

29 July 1791–31 Dec. 1863. Farmer. Born in Weathersfield, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of William Pettegrew and Phoebe. Married Elizabeth Alden. Moved to Cincinnati. Master Mason of Harmony Masonic Lodge, Oct. 1820, in Cincinnati. Moved to Kelso, Dearborn Co...

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, Elijah Fordham

12 Apr. 1798–9 Sept. 1879. Carpenter. Born at New York City. Son of George Fordham and Mary Baker. Married first Jane Ann Fisher, 23 Nov. 1822. Married second Bethiah Fisher, 12 Apr. 1830. Lived at Pontiac, Oakland Co., Michigan Territory, 1831–1833. Baptized...

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, Edward Fisher, Elias Smith, John Patton, Stephen Chase were elected High Council. Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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was elected to be continued Prisident of the high Priesthood. Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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to stand in his former office [p. 164]

Minutes • 5 October 1839

Robert B. Thompson handwriting ends; Howard Coray begins.  


Proceedings of the general Conference held at Com merce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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Hancock County Illinois on Saturday the 5th day  of October 1839
The meeting was opened by prayer by President  Joseph Smith Jr. after which he was appointed President  and James Sloan

28 Oct. 1792–24 Oct. 1886. City recorder, notary public, attorney, judge, farmer. Born in Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Son of Alexander Sloan and Anne. Married Mary Magill. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, 28 Oct. 1837, in Columbiana Co., ...

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Clerk of the conference by a unanimous  voice of the meeting.
The President then spoke at some length upon  the situation of the church, the difficulties they hitherto  had to contend with and the manner by which they  had been led to this place; and wished to know the  views of the bretheren and in regard to appointing this  a stake stating that he believed it to be a good location  and well adapted to the circumstances of the Saints.
It was unanimously agreed upon that it should be  appointed a stake and a place of gathering for the saints.
The following officers were then appointed, viz.
William Marks

15 Nov. 1792–22 May 1872. Farmer, printer, publisher, postmaster. Born at Rutland, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Cornell (Cornwall) Marks and Sarah Goodrich. Married first Rosannah R. Robinson, 2 May 1813. Lived at Portage, Allegany Co., New York, where he...

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to be President. Bishop [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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to  be Bishop of middle ward, Bishop Patridge [Edward Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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to be Bishop  of upper ward. Bishop [Vinson] Knight

14 Mar. 1804–31 July 1842. Farmer, druggist, school warden. Born at Norwich, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Rudolphus Knight and Rispah (Rizpah) Lee. Married Martha McBride, 14 Mar. 1826. Moved to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., New York, by Mar. 1834....

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to be Bishop of lower  Ward.
George W. Harris

1 Apr. 1780–1857. Jeweler. Born at Lanesboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Harris and Diana (Margaret) Burton. Married first Elizabeth, ca. 1800. Married second Margaret, who died in 1828. Moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., New York, by 1830. Married...

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, Thomas Grover

22 July 1807–20 Feb. 1886. Farmer, boat operator. Born at Whitehall, Washington Co., New York. Son of Thomas Grover and Polly Spaulding. Married first Caroline Whiting of Whitehall, 1828. Became a Methodist preacher, by 1834. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus...

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, Samuel Bent  Henry G. Sherwood

20 Apr. 1785–24 Nov. 1867. Surveyor. Born at Kingsbury, Washington Co., New York. Son of Newcomb Sherwood and a woman whose maiden name was Tolman (first name unidentified). Married first Jane J. McManagal (McMangle) of Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, ca. 1824...

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, David Ful[l]mer

7 July 1803–21 Oct. 1879. Teacher, merchant, farmer. Born in Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfoss. Moved to Huntington Township, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820. Married Rhoda Ann Marvin, 18...

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, Alpheus Cutler

29 Feb. 1784–10 June 1864. Stonemason. Born in Plainfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Knight Cutler and Elizabeth Boyd. Married Lois Lathrop, 17 Nov. 1808, in Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Moved to Upper Lisle, Broome Co., New York, ca. 1808...

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 William Huntington [Sr.] Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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, Chas. C Rich  David Dort

6 Jan. 1793–10 Mar. 1841. Farmer, miller. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Dort and Elishaba Briggs. Married first JS’s cousin Mary (Polly) Mack, 2 June 1813, at Gilsum. After Mary’s death, married her sister Fanny Mack. Moved to Pontiac...

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, Seymour Brunson

1 Dec. 1798–10 Aug. 1840. Farmer. Born at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York. Son of Reuben Brunson and Sally Clark. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Gould of Hector, Tompkins Co., New York, ca. 1823. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, Jan....

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, Lewis D[unbar] Wilson  to be high council who be respectfully called upon accep ted their appointment.
It was then voted that a branch of the  church be established on the other side of the river in  Iowa Territory

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

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; over which Elder John Smith

16 July 1781–23 May 1854. Farmer. Born at Derryfield (later Manchester), Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Member of Congregational Church. Appointed overseer of highways at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York, 1810. Married...

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was app ointed President and Alenson [Alanson] Ripley

8 Jan. 1798–before 1860. Surveyor, lawyer. Born at New York. Son of Asa Ripley and Polly Deforest. Married Sarah Finkle. Resided in Massachusetts, 1827. Member of LDS church in Ohio. Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834. Landholder ...

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Bishop.
Asahel Smith

21 May 1773–22 July 1848. Farmer. Born at Windham, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Moved to Dunbarton, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, 15 Apr. 1774; to Derryfield (later Manchester), Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, 1778;...

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, John M Burke

4 Feb. 1793–8 June 1853. Innkeeper, farmer. Born in Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Charles Burke and Esther Robinson Bohannon. Married first Abigail Fellows, 13 Mar. 1821, in Fairfield. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1823. Baptized into...

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. A[braham] Owen Smoot,  Richard Howard, Williard [Willard] Snow Erastus Snow

9 Nov. 1818–27 May 1888. Farmer, teacher, merchant, publisher, manufacturer. Born at St. Johnsbury, Caledonia Co., Vermont. Son of Levi Snow and Lucina Streeter. Baptized into LDS church by William Snow, 3 Feb. 1833, at Charleston, Orleans Co., Vermont. Ordained...

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  David Pettigrew

29 July 1791–31 Dec. 1863. Farmer. Born in Weathersfield, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of William Pettegrew and Phoebe. Married Elizabeth Alden. Moved to Cincinnati. Master Mason of Harmony Masonic Lodge, Oct. 1820, in Cincinnati. Moved to Kelso, Dearborn Co...

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, Elijah Fordham

12 Apr. 1798–9 Sept. 1879. Carpenter. Born at New York City. Son of George Fordham and Mary Baker. Married first Jane Ann Fisher, 23 Nov. 1822. Married second Bethiah Fisher, 12 Apr. 1830. Lived at Pontiac, Oakland Co., Michigan Territory, 1831–1833. Baptized...

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, Edward Fisher,  Elias Smith, John Patton, Stephen Chase were  elected to be continued High Council. Don C[arlos] Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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 was elected to be continued Prisident of the high Pries thood. Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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to stand in his former office [p. 164]
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On 27 November 1832, while residing at 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 wrote a lengthy letter 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. JS’s missive emphasized the importance of record keeping and history writing in the young church. JS began by noting that he wished “to communicate some things which . . . are laying great with weight upon my mind.” He then observed, “Firstly, it is the duty of the lord[’s] clerk whom he has appointed to keep a hystory and a general church reccord of all things that transpire in Zion . . . and also there manner of life and the faith and works.” (Letter to William W. Phelps, 27 Nov. 1832.)
This emphasis on record keeping was not widespread at the time. Scholar Dean C. Jessee has observed, “So primitive were some aspects of record keeping in nineteenth-century America that much of the early Latter-day Saint experience was a pioneering effort. . . . Although Mormon record keeping was inaugurated by [an] 1830 revelation, details for carrying out that commandment were largely hammered out on the anvil of experience in the years that followed.” (Dean C. Jessee, “The Reliability of Joseph Smith’s History,” Journal of Mormon History 3 [1976]: 27.) During a brief span in the early 1830s, JS and those working under his direction commenced the systematic collecting and recording of critical documents pertaining to church governance and administration. From that time to the end of JS’s life, correspondence-copying, revelation-recording, minute-taking, journal-keeping, and history-writing activities remained imperative commitments.
Items of correspondence were first recorded in what was subsequently designated Letterbook 1. Created from circa November 1832 to circa August 1835, it consisted of ninety-three pages preserving a record of early church-related communications dated 14 June 1829 through 4 August 1835. A second letterbook, featured here, was apparently begun in 1839 and continued to circa summer 1843. It became a repository primarily for letters, but also other items dated from 17 June 1829 through 9 February 1843. Items were copied into the volume, later designated Letterbook 2, by JS-appointed scribes including James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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, Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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, Howard Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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, 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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, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, John Fullmer

21 July 1807–8 Oct. 1883. Farmer, newsman, postmaster, teacher, merchant. Born at Huntington, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfass. Moved to Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee, spring 1832. Married Mary Ann Price, 24 May 1837...

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, and George Walker. Letterbook 2 contains over 150 items of correspondence and other documents, arranged primarily in chronological order. An index created at the time outlines the contents of the 246 pages of letters and other documents. Previously, the volume had been used as a business ledger for the Rigdon, Smith and Company store in Chester

Surveyed 1796 and 1801. Area settled, 1801–1802. Initially called Wooster. Name changed to Chester and officially incorporated as township, 1816. Population in 1830 about 550. Population in 1840 about 960. JS purchased land for store in Chester, 1836–1837...

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, Ohio.
A title page designates the volume as “Copies of Letters, &c. &c. 1839, AD.” The first entry in the letterbook, labeled “Speech of General Clarke, To the Saints at Far West. 6th. Novr 1838,” contains the text of General John B. Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

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’s oration on that occasion. Among its varied contents, the volume includes copies of a letter from JS 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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in June 1834; four letters written by Emma to JS from 1837 and 1839; three letters from Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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, 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...

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, and Elias Higbee

23 Oct. 1795–8 June 1843. Clerk, judge, surveyor. Born at Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey. Son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers. Moved to Clermont Co., Ohio, 1803. Married Sarah Elizabeth Ward, 10 Sept. 1818, in Tate Township, Clermont Co. Lived at ...

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, respectively, written in March and April 1839 to JS and other prisoners confined in the jail in Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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, Missouri; two letters sent by JS and Elias Higbee while in Washington DC

Created as district for seat of U.S. federal government by act of Congress, 1790, and named Washington DC, 1791. Named in honor of George Washington. Headquarters of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of U.S. government relocated to Washington ...

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in December 1839 to 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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and others in 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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, Illinois; a letter sent from England by Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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in May 1840 to JS in Nauvoo; a poignant exchange of letters between 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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, who had been cut off from the church, and JS in summer 1840; and an exchange in June and July 1842 between JS and Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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governor Thomas Carlin

18 July 1789–14 Feb. 1852. Ferry owner, farmer, sheriff, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of Thomas Carlin and Elizabeth Evans. Baptist. Moved to Missouri, by 1803. Moved to Illinois, by 1812. Served in War of 1812. Married Rebecca Hewitt, 13...

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. The ledger also preserves nine sets of minutes from various meetings, five petitions concerning the Saints’ treatment 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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, an 1840 memorial ascribed to JS, and an 1841 inventory of the contents of the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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cornerstone, among other miscellaneous documents.
The last document copied into Letterbook 2 appears on manuscript page 245, a letter from JS to Richard M. Young

20 Feb. 1798–28 Nov. 1861. Attorney, judge, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jonesboro, Union Co., Illinois. Admitted to Illinois bar, 1817, in Jonesboro. Served as state representative from Union Co., 1820–1822. Married Matilda M. James...

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, U.S. senator from Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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, dated 9 February 1843. Though there are a substantial number of blank pages preceding the index beginning on manuscript page 369, it is not known why the copying of documents into Letterbook 2 ceased. However, the following circumstances regarding JS’s clerks may have been factors: James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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died in December 1839, Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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died in August 1841, and Howard Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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served a mission to Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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during 1842–1843. 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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and William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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began extensive work on Joseph Smith’s history in early 1843 while continuing to perform other clerical and secretarial duties. Documents dated after 9 February 1843 that might have been expected to be copied into the letterbook were, in many instances, recorded in JS’s history. In any event, the record closed with the 9 February 1843 letter, and there is no evidence that a third letterbook was either contemplated or begun.

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