53991682

Letterbook 2

JS to Newel K. Whitney • 24 May 1839

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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Ill, 24th May 1839
Dear Sir
This is to inform you that Elder Grainger has succeeded in obtaining the house which he had in contemplation when he left here, and as we feel very anxious to have the society of 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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and his family here, we hope that he will make every exertion consistent with his own business and convenience to come up to us here 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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as soon as possibly in his power.
Joseph Smith Jr
Bishop N. 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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JS and Vinson Knight to John Bigler • 27 May 1839

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 Co Ill, 27th May 1839
Father Biggler John Bigler
Dear Sir
We have thought well to write you by Brother Markam Stephen Markham

9 Feb. 1800–10 Mar. 1878. Carpenter, farmer, stock raiser. Born at Rush (later Avon), Ontario Co., New York. Son of David Markham and Dinah Merry. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1809. Moved to Unionville, Geauga Co., 1810. Married Hannah Hogaboom, before...

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, on the subject of our purchase of lands here, in order to stir up Your pure mind to a remembrance of the situation in which we have been placed by the act of councils

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
of the Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
having appointed us a committee to transact business here for the Church. We have as is known to the Church in general; made purchases, And entered into contracts and promised payments of monies for all which we now stand responsible.
Now as money seems to come in too slowly in order that that we may be able to meet our obligations— we have determined to call upon the liberality of Father Biggler through the agency of Br Markam

9 Feb. 1800–10 Mar. 1878. Carpenter, farmer, stock raiser. Born at Rush (later Avon), Ontario Co., New York. Son of David Markham and Dinah Merry. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1809. Moved to Unionville, Geauga Co., 1810. Married Hannah Hogaboom, before...

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, and request that he will place in his hands for us, the sum of five or six hundred dollars for which he shall have the security of the said committee, also, through the agency of Br Markham

9 Feb. 1800–10 Mar. 1878. Carpenter, farmer, stock raiser. Born at Rush (later Avon), Ontario Co., New York. Son of David Markham and Dinah Merry. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1809. Moved to Unionville, Geauga Co., 1810. Married Hannah Hogaboom, before...

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, and the thanks of the Church besides.
Joseph Smith Jr
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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.
Mr John Biggler, Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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Ill.

JS to Lyman Wight • 27 May 1839

Commerce Ill

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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, 27th May 1839
Dear Sir
Having last week received a letter from Br. 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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concerning your late writings in the Quincy whig, and understanding thereby that the church in general at Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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were rather uneasy concerning these matters we have thought best to consider the matter of course, and accordingly being in council on Saturday last, the subject was introduced, and discussed at some length, when an answer to Br 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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’s letter was agreed to, and sanctioned by the Council, which answer I expect will be published, and of course you will have an opportunity to see it. It will be seen by that letter that we do not [p. 13]

JS to Newel K. Whitney • 24 May 1839

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...

More Info
Ill, 24th May 1839
Dear Sir
This is to inform you that Elder Grainger has succeeded  in obtaining the house which he had in contemplation when he left here, and as we feel  very anxious to have the society of 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...

View Full Bio
and his family here, we hope that  he will [make?] every exertion consistent with his own business and convenience to come up  to us here 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...

More Info
as soon as possibly in his power.
Joseph Smith Jr
Bishop N. 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

JS and Vinson Knight to John Bigler • 27 May 1839

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...

More Info
Hancock Co Ill, 27th May 1839
Father Biggler [John Bigler]
Dear Sir
We have thought well to write you  by Brother Markam [Stephen Markham]

9 Feb. 1800–10 Mar. 1878. Carpenter, farmer, stock raiser. Born at Rush (later Avon), Ontario Co., New York. Son of David Markham and Dinah Merry. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1809. Moved to Unionville, Geauga Co., 1810. Married Hannah Hogaboom, before...

View Full Bio
, on the subject of our purchase of lands here, in order to stir up  Your pure mind to a remembrance of the situation in which we have been placed  by the act of councils

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
of the Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
having appointed us a committee  to transact business <here> for the Church. We have as is known to the Church in  general; made purchases, And entered into contracts and promised payments  of monies for all which we now stand responsible.
Now as money seems to come in too slowly in order that  that we may be able to meet our obligations— we have determined to call upon  the liberality of Father Biggler through the agency of Br Markam

9 Feb. 1800–10 Mar. 1878. Carpenter, farmer, stock raiser. Born at Rush (later Avon), Ontario Co., New York. Son of David Markham and Dinah Merry. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1809. Moved to Unionville, Geauga Co., 1810. Married Hannah Hogaboom, before...

View Full Bio
, and request  that he will place in his hands for us, the sum of five or six hundred dollars  for which he shall have the security of the said committee, also, through the  agency of Br Markham

9 Feb. 1800–10 Mar. 1878. Carpenter, farmer, stock raiser. Born at Rush (later Avon), Ontario Co., New York. Son of David Markham and Dinah Merry. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1809. Moved to Unionville, Geauga Co., 1810. Married Hannah Hogaboom, before...

View Full Bio
, and the thanks of the Church besides.
Joseph Smith Jr
V[inson] 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....

View Full Bio
.
Mr John Biggler, Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

More Info
Ill.

JS to Lyman Wight • 27 May 1839

Commerce Ill

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...

More Info
, 27th May 1839
Dear Sir
Having last week received a letter from Br. R[obert] 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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 concerning your late writings in the Quincy whig, and understanding thereby that  the church in general at Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

More Info
were rather uneasy concerning these matters  we have thought best to consider the matter of course, and accordingly being in  council on Saturday last, the subject was introduced, and discussed at some  length, when an answer to Br 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...

View Full Bio
’s letter was agreed to, and sanctioned  by the Council, which answer I expect will be published, and of course you  will have an opportunity to see it. It will be seen by that letter that we do not [p. 13]
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Letterbook 2, [1839–ca. summer 1843]; handwriting of 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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, 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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, 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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, 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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, 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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, and George Walker; 271 pages, including twenty-six pages of an index; JS Collection, CHL.
This letterbook was inscribed in a large-size, commercially produced ledger book measuring 14¼ × 9½ × 1¾ inches (36 × 24 × 4 cm) with leather-covered boards. It contains 238 leaves. The leaves, which measure 13½ × 8⅞ inches (34 × 23 cm), are vertically ruled with eight single red lines and three interspersed double red lines and horizontally ruled with thirty-nine blue lines and one double red line at the top or bottom of the page depending on how the ledger book was turned. The book was originally used as a financial ledger book for 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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, Smith, and Co., beginning in September 1836; eighty-three pages of financial entries were inscribed. In April 1839, the book was inverted, and what would have been the back of the book for the financial firm became the front of a letterbook. A title is inscribed on the blank leaf before the letterbook that reads “Copies of Letters, &c. &c. 1839 AD.” Following the title page, there are 245 pages of inscribed letters. There is a mix of contemporaneous letters, earlier letters, church records, and church business records. The first fifty-one pages of Letterbook 2 contain letters on the 1838 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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difficulties, and many of them appear to be copies of letters that JS or others received while in jail in Liberty, Missouri, in winter 1838–1839. These pages also feature copies of letters sent to and from church leaders in Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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and 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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, Illinois, in spring and early summer 1839; JS’s journal provides evidence that he was “employed dictating letters and attending to the various business of the Church” during this time, indicating that this volume was an active letterbook, with letters being contemporaneously copied into it. On page 52, following a 27 June 1839 letter and a 12 November 1837 letter, the copies of much earlier letters began to be inscribed; these letters include a letter originally written on 29 July 1833 by John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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with a postscript by 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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to Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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and JS, which is followed by 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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dated 4 June 1834 and a 17 June 1829 letter from Jesse Smith 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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. Copying these documents may have coincided with the writing of JS’s history or with the writing of the history of the difficulties in Missouri per JS’s instructions in March 1839. The active recording of contemporaneous letters continued after these few earlier letters until February 1843.

Facts