53991682

Letterbook 2

Petition to George Thompkins • 15 March 1839

Petitions.
To the honorable Judge George Thompkins, or either of the Judges of the Supreme Court for the State of 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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.
Your petitioners, Alansen 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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Heber C. Kimble Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, Joseph B. Noble

14 Jan. 1810–17 Aug. 1900. Farmer, miller, stock raiser. Born in Egremont, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Ezekiel Noble and Theodotia Bates. Moved to Penfield, Monroe Co., New York, 1815. Moved to Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, ca. 1828. Baptized...

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William Huntington, and Joseph Smith Jr beg leave respectfully to represent to your honor that Joseph Smith Jr is now in Liberty Jail, Clay County (Mo) that he has been restrained of his liberty near five months. Your petitioners claim that the whole transaction which has been the cause of his confinement, is unlawful from the first to the last, he was taken from his home by a fraud practiced upon him by a man by the name of George M. Hinkle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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and one or two others thereby your petitioner respectfully shows that he was forced contrary to his wishes and without knowing the cause into the Camp which was commanded by General Samuel D. Lucas

19 July 1799–23 Feb. 1868. Store owner, recorder of deeds. Born at Washington Co., Kentucky. Son of Samuel Lucas Sr. Married Theresa Bartlett Allen, ca. Nov. 1823, in Harrison Co., Kentucky. Member of Presbyterian church. Lived at Independence, Jackson Co...

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of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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and from thence to Ray County

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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sleeping on the ground and suffering many insults and injuries and deprivations which were calculated in their nature to break down the spirits and constitution of the most robust and hardy of mankind, he was put in Chains immediately on his being landed in Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

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and there underwent a long and tedious expartie examination. Not only was it expartie, but your petitioners solemnly declare that it was a mock examination that there was not the least shadow of honor or justice or law administered toward him, but sheer prejudice and the spirit of persecution and malice and prepossession against him on account of his religion— that the whole examinations show that the said Joseph Smith Jr was deprived of the privilege of being examined before the court as the law directs— that the witnesses on the part of the State

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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were taken by force of arms and threatened with extermination, immediate death, and were brought without Subpoena or warrant under this awful and glaring anticipation of being exterminated if they did not swear something against him to please the Mob, or his persecutors, and those witnesses were compelled to swear at the muzzle of the Gun and that some of them have acknowledged since which your petitioners do testify and are able to prove; that they did swear false and that they did it in order to save their lives and your petitioners testify that all the testimony that had any tendency or bearing of criminality against Said Joseph Smith Jr is false.
We are personally acquainted with the circumstances and being with him most of the time, and being present at the times spoken of by them therefore we know that their testimony was false and if he could have had a fair and impartial and lawful examination before the court, and could have been [p. 21]

Petition to George Thompkins • 15 March 1839

Petitions.
To the honorable Judge [George] Thompkins, or either of the Judges of the  Supreme Court for the State of 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...

More Info
.
Your petitioners, Alansen [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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 Heber C. Kimble [Kimball]

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, Joseph B. Noble

14 Jan. 1810–17 Aug. 1900. Farmer, miller, stock raiser. Born in Egremont, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Ezekiel Noble and Theodotia Bates. Moved to Penfield, Monroe Co., New York, 1815. Moved to Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, ca. 1828. Baptized...

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William Huntington, and Joseph Smith Jr  beg leave respectfully to represent to your honor that Joseph Smith Jr is now  in Liberty Jail, Clay County (Mo) that he has been restrained of his liberty near  five months. Your petitioners claim that the whole transaction which has  been the cause of his confinement, is unlawful from the first to the last, he was  taken from his home by a fraud practiced upon him by a man named by the  name of George M. Hinkle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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and one or two others thereby your petitioner respectfully  shows that he was forced contrary to his wishes and without knowing the cause  into the Camp which was commanded by General [Samuel D.] Lucas

19 July 1799–23 Feb. 1868. Store owner, recorder of deeds. Born at Washington Co., Kentucky. Son of Samuel Lucas Sr. Married Theresa Bartlett Allen, ca. Nov. 1823, in Harrison Co., Kentucky. Member of Presbyterian church. Lived at Independence, Jackson Co...

View Full Bio
of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
 and from thence to Ray County

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

More Info
sleeping on the ground and suffering many  insults and injuries and deprivations which were calculated in their nature  to break down the spirits and constitution of the most robust and hardy of man kind, he was put in Chains immediately on his being landed in Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
 and there underwent a long and tedious expartie examination. Not only was  it expartie, but your petitioners solemnly declare that it was a mock examination  that there was not the least shadow of honor or justice or law administered toward  him, on account of his religion but sheer prejudice and the spirit of persecution  and malice and prepossession against him on account of his religion— that  the whole examinations show that the said Joseph Smith Jr was deprived  of the privilege of being examined before the court as the law directs— that the  witnesses on the part of the State

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...

More Info
were taken by force of arms and threatened with exter mination, immediate death, and were brought without Subpoena or warrant  under this awful and glaring anticipation of being exterminated if they did not  swear something against him to please the Mob, or his persecutors, and those  witnesses were compelled to swear at the muzzle of the Gun and that some of  them have acknowledged since which your petitioners do testify and are able to  prove; that they did swear false and that they did it in order to save their lives  and your petitioners testify that all the testimony that had any tendency or  bearing of criminality against Said Joseph Smith Jr is false.
We are personally acquainted with the circumstances and being  with him most of the time, and being present at the times spoken of by them  therefore we know that their testimony was false and if he could have had a fair and  impartial and lawful examination before the court, and could have been [p. 21]
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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