Letterbook 2

JS to Horace Hotchkiss • 13 May 1842

Nauvoo May 13th. 1842
Dr. Sir I proceed without delay to give a hasty  reply to yours of the 12th. ultimo just received. My engagements will not admit  of a lengthy detail of events & circumstances which have transpired to bring  about that state of things which now exists in this place, as before you receive  this you will probably be apprized of the failure of myself and brethren to execute  our designs in paying off our contracts, or in other words that we have been  compelled to pay our debts by the most popular method (IE) by petitioning  for the privileges of General Bankruptcy, a principle so popular at the present  moment throughout the Union.—
A pressure of business has been sufficient excuse for not giving  you earlier notice, although it could been of no real importance <use> to you  yet I wish you to understand our intentions to you and your company, & why  we have taken the course we have. You are aware Sir, in some  measure of the embarassments under which we have labored through  the influence of Mobs and designing men, & the disadvantageous circumstance,  under which we have been compelled to contract debts in order to our existance  both as Individuals & as a society & it is on account of this as well as a pressure  on us for debts absolutely unjust, in themselves, that we have been compelled  to resort to the course we have to make a general settlement & this we deferred  till the last moment, hoping that something would turn in our favor, so  that we might be saved the painful necessity of resorting to such measures  to accomplish which, Justice demanded a very different course, from those  who are justly our debtors but demanded in vain. We have been compelled to the  course we have pursued & you are aware Sir, that all have to face alike in  such cases. But Sir, you have one, yea two things to comfort you. Our faith  in intention & good feeling remain the same to all our creditors, & to none  more than yourself. & 2nd.ly. There is property sufficient in the inventory  to pay every debt and some to spare, according to the testimony of our solicitor  & the good judgement of others, & if the court will allow us some one for  assignee who will do justice to the cause we confidently believe that  yourself and all others will get their compensation in full & we have enough  left, for one loaf more for each of our families, Yes and I have no doubt that  you will yet & in a short time be enabled to have your pay in full in the  way I have before proposed or some other equally advantageous; his money is  out of sight, it might as well be out of mind for it cannot be had.  Rest assured Dr Sir, that no influence or exertion I can yet render [p. 232]
Letterbook 2, [1839–ca. summer 1843]; handwriting of Howard Coray, James Mulholland, Robert B. Thompson, Willard Richards, John Fullmer, William Clayton, and George Walker; 238 leaves, 245 pages of letters, plus 26 pages of index and 83 pages of company records for Rigdon, Smith, & Co.; JS Collection, CHL.
Note: This book was originally used as a ledger, then turned over and repurposed as a letterbook. The ledger portion will be posted on this website at a later date.