31702

Letter from William W. Phelps, 14 November 1833

November 14, 1833.
Since I last wrote, our brethren have been moving in every direction.1

See Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833; Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 23–24; Whitmer, History, 48; Corrill, Brief History, 20; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Jan. 1840, 1:36; and Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2].  


It is impossible to say where many of them are.—The situation of many is critical having nothing to buy food with, and having raised none the passed season. Great destruction is said to be making with the property left—such as corn, potatoes, household furniture, &c.2

At great risk to his life, Parley P. Pratt returned to his property in Jackson County in hopes of finding provisions or food that his family had left behind. He wrote, “All my provisions for the winter were destroyed or plundered; and my grain left growing on the ground, for our enemies to harvest.” (See Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 23.)  


The Savior said, Blessed are ye when ye are hated of all men for my name’s sake3

See Luke 21:17; Mark 13:13; Matthew 10:22; 24:9; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 480 [3 Nephi 12:10].  


—and I think we have come to that. It is impossible to give you the information which requires a personal interview. Now is the hour that tries our souls; yea, the souls of the saints: we want victuals and clothes, and we mean to be saved, even if we die—for life with the present prospect before us, is not very desirable! I shall give more general information in my next if I can obtain it.
In great tribulation,
Yours, &c. [p. 119]
November 14, 1833.
Since I last wrote, our brethren have been moving in every direction.1

See Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833; Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 23–24; Whitmer, History, 48; Corrill, Brief History, 20; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Jan. 1840, 1:36; and Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2].  


It  is impossible to say where many of them are.—The situation of many is  critical having nothing to buy food with, and having raised none the passed  season. Great destruction is said to be making with the property left—such  as corn, potatoes, household furniture, &c.2

At great risk to his life, Parley P. Pratt returned to his property in Jackson County in hopes of finding provisions or food that his family had left behind. He wrote, “All my provisions for the winter were destroyed or plundered; and my grain left growing on the ground, for our enemies to harvest.” (See Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 23.)  


The Savior said, Blessed are ye  when ye are hated of all men for my name’s sake3

See Luke 21:17; Mark 13:13; Matthew 10:22; 24:9; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 480 [3 Nephi 12:10].  


—and I think we have come  to that. It is impossible to give you the information which requires a per sonal interview. Now is the hour that tries our souls; yea, the souls of the  saints: we want victuals and clothes, and we mean to be saved, even if we  die—for life with the present prospect before us, is not very desirable! I shall  give more general information in my next if I can obtain it.
In great tribulation,
Yours, &c. [p. 119]
The letter featured here, written on 14 November 1833 to church leaders in 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, depicts the plight 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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church members who had been forced to leave their homes in 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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. Distanced from their homes and daily provisions, church members had difficulties finding food and shelter for the coming winter months. A day after arriving in Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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, Missouri, Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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and a small company of men began to fell cottonwood trees to build cabins.1 The families of 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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and John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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lived together in an old stable for the winter,2

Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833; Lyman, Journal, 10; Young, “Incidents,” 77–78.  


and many, including 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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, struggled to feed their families.
Following the forced exodus from 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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, 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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, 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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, and Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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all wrote to JS sometime on or after 14 November 1833. They sent their correspondence, possibly as a parcel, to 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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on 19 November.3 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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published the Corrill and Phelps letters as part of an article printed in the December 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star.4

“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 118–120. The Partridge letter was not published in The Evening and the Morning Star. (See Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833.)  


Although Cowdery published the letters without acknowledging their authorship, contemporary sources help determine who wrote each of these two missives.
One letter, dated 17 November 1833, discussed the writer’s imprisonment with Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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at the jail in 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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on 4 November 1833. John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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was imprisoned with Gilbert at that time, indicating that Corrill likely wrote the 17 November letter.5

Letter from John Corrill, 17 Nov. 1833; Orson Hyde, Letter to the Editor, The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 120; see also Corrill, Brief History, 20.  


The 14 November letter featured here was placed in an article in The Evening and the Morning Star immediately after two other extracts of a letter known to be from 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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, written on 6 and 7 November 1833.6 Therefore, it is likely that Phelps also wrote the letter featured here. 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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’s mid-November correspondence, which was not printed in The Evening and the Morning Star, is still extant and is featured as the next document in this volume.7
On 10 December 1833, JS responded to the communications from 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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, 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...

View Full Bio
, and Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

View Full Bio
.8 JS offered spiritual encouragement by turning the suffering refugees’ attention to a revelation he had dictated nearly two years earlier during his first trip to 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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. That revelation stated in part, “After much tribulation cometh the blessings.”9

Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:4].  


Despite the hardships detailed in these letters, JS expressed hope for the redemption of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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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...

More Info
.

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