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Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 21 April 1833

assistence for the Lord established him in Zion for that express purpose, it is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new translation in the Star but when it is published it will all go to the world together in a volume by itself, and the new Testament and the book of Mormon will be printed together14

Editor William W. Phelps had routinely printed excerpts of revelations and even some passages from the Book of Mormon and JS’s translation of the Old Testament in the monthly periodical The Evening and the Morning Star. (See, for example, “Extract from the Prophecy of Enoch,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1832, [2]–[3] [Moses chap. 7]; “The Book of Jacob,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Sept. 1832, [2]–[4] [Jacob chap. 5]; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B, in “Revelation Given, Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [6] [D&C 1].)  


With respect to Bro Olivers Oliver Cowdery’s

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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private letter to me on the subject of giving deeds & receiving contrabutions from brethren &c I have nothing further to say on the subject but to make yourselves acquainted with the commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of the Lord15

Oliver Cowdery’s letter has not been located. Legal problems arose in Missouri over what to deed and what kind of deed to give to a person who received a stewardship in return for his or her consecrations. Though JS had “nothing further to say on the subject” in this letter, two weeks later he sent Bishop Edward Partridge a letter giving details on his “views, concerning consecration, property, and giving inheritances.” The “commandments of the Lord” likely refer to earlier revelations containing guidelines for consecration, which include Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–39, 54–55]; and Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51]. (Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833; see also De Pillis, “Development of Mormon Communitarianism,” 189–204.)  


and the Laws 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
16

A later Missouri state law required that any transfers of registered land be recorded by the county assessor. (An Act to Provide for Levying, Assessing, and Collecting the Revenue [14 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], 533.)  


and govern yourselves accordingly Bro David Elliott

18 Nov. 1799–2 Dec. 1855. Blacksmith. Born at Charleston, Montgomery Co., New York. Son of Peter Elliott and Phebe Holley. Married first Almira Holliday of Solon, Cortland Co., New York, ca. 1821. Married second Margery Quick. Lived at Ithaca, Tompkins Co...

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was here yesterday and shewed us a letter from Bro 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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and we were well pleased with the spirit it was writen in the probability is that he will not go to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
at present as he has bought in Chagrin

Located in northeastern Ohio. Bordered on north by Lake Erie. French fur trading post established, 1750. Area settled, 1797. Organized 1815. Originally called Charlton, by 1750; name changed to Chagrin, by 1815. Population in 1826 about 733. Chagrin village...

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17

Deed records indicate that David Elliott did not purchase land in Geauga County, in which Chagrin (later Willoughby) was located, until 1836, when he received a deed for a parcel of land sold to him by JS. Elliott, however, resided in Chagrin as early as 22 January 1834, suggesting that he may have begun the process of purchasing the land much earlier than 1836. About two weeks before this letter was written, Elliott and his wife, Mary Cahoon, initiated a land sale to Luther Snow for a piece of property in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for $500. (Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 23, p. 422, 15 Oct. 1836, microfilm 20,240, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Cuyahoga Co., OH, Deeds and Mortgages, 1815–1866, vol. N, pp. 191–192, 9 Apr. 1833, microfilm 1,994,223, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Letter to the Church in Clay Co., MO, 22 Jan. 1834.)  


We rejoice to here that the siminary lands are reduced in price and are coming into market18

In 1828 the United States government publicly announced that it would begin selling federal lands in Missouri. Such lands were sold at auction for $1.25 per acre in tracts of at least eighty acres. Purchasers paid the surveyors’ fees up front, filed the necessary paperwork, and were required to complete payment within two or three years in order to obtain title to the land. In 1831 the federal government offered for sale the lands it had reserved to benefit public education, including the “Seminary Lands,” which had been set aside to fund higher education in Missouri and included much of the land in Jackson County. The seminary land was initially offered for sale at $2 per acre. (An Act to Provide for the Sale of Seminary Lands [31 Dec. 1830], Laws . . . of the State of Missouri, vol. 2, chap. 155, pp. 209–213.)  


and be assured that we shall use our influence to send brethren to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
that are able to help you in the purchase of lands19

The 20 July 1831 revelation, which designated Independence as the center place of Zion and identified the exact location for the temple in Independence, also instructed members of the church to purchase the temple site and “also every tract lying westward even unto” the Missouri border so that they would own land “in all the regions round about.” By January 1832, Edward Partridge, Sidney Gilbert, and other church leaders had purchased 1,200 acres for the Saints in an ongoing effort to obtain land. (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:3–6]; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.)  


&c &c——
We have just received a letter from brother 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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he has built up a church of 8 members in Madina Co Medina County

Located in northeastern Ohio. Settled 1811. Organized from Portage Co., 1818. Population in 1830 about 7,600. Seat of justice, town of Medina. JS visited many areas in county, including New Portage and Norton, 1834. JS attempted to obtain license from county...

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Ohio and prospects of more—20

The Evening and the Morning Star mentioned this 21 April letter from JS only in regards to this information about Rigdon. Apparently, the editors of the Star in Missouri received a subsequent letter dated 2 May 1833, reporting that Rigdon had recently returned to Kirtland and that during his brief mission to Medina County he had baptized sixteen people. ([William W. Phelps], “The Progress of the Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1833, 100.)  


With respect to the deaths in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
21

It is unclear who died and if a particular illness or event caused these deaths.  


we feel to mourn with those that mourn22

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 192 [Mosiah 18:9].  


but remember that the god of all the earth will do right and now my beloved brethren I commend you to god and his grace23

See Acts 20:32; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 566, 585 [Ether 12:41; Moroni 9:22].  


praying him to keep and preserve you [p. 35]
assistence for the Lord established him in Zion  for that express purpose, it is not the  will of the Lord to print any of the new transl ation in the Star but when it is published  it will all go to the world together in a volume  by itself, and the new Testament and the  book of Mormon will be printed together14

Editor William W. Phelps had routinely printed excerpts of revelations and even some passages from the Book of Mormon and JS’s translation of the Old Testament in the monthly periodical The Evening and the Morning Star. (See, for example, “Extract from the Prophecy of Enoch,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1832, [2]–[3] [Moses chap. 7]; “The Book of Jacob,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Sept. 1832, [2]–[4] [Jacob chap. 5]; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B, in “Revelation Given, Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [6] [D&C 1].)  


With respect to Bro Olivers [Oliver Cowdery’s]

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...

View Full Bio
private letter  to me on the subject of giving deeds &  receiving contrabutions from brethren &c  I have nothing further to say on the subj ect but to make yourselves acquainted  with the commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
of the Lord15

Oliver Cowdery’s letter has not been located. Legal problems arose in Missouri over what to deed and what kind of deed to give to a person who received a stewardship in return for his or her consecrations. Though JS had “nothing further to say on the subject” in this letter, two weeks later he sent Bishop Edward Partridge a letter giving details on his “views, concerning consecration, property, and giving inheritances.” The “commandments of the Lord” likely refer to earlier revelations containing guidelines for consecration, which include Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–39, 54–55]; and Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51]. (Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833; see also De Pillis, “Development of Mormon Communitarianism,” 189–204.)  


 and the Laws 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
16

A later Missouri state law required that any transfers of registered land be recorded by the county assessor. (An Act to Provide for Levying, Assessing, and Collecting the Revenue [14 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], 533.)  


and govern  yourselves accordingly Bro [David] Elliott

18 Nov. 1799–2 Dec. 1855. Blacksmith. Born at Charleston, Montgomery Co., New York. Son of Peter Elliott and Phebe Holley. Married first Almira Holliday of Solon, Cortland Co., New York, ca. 1821. Married second Margery Quick. Lived at Ithaca, Tompkins Co...

View Full Bio
was  here yesterday and shewed us a letter  from Bro [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,...

View Full Bio
and we were well  pleased with the spirit it was writen  in the probability is that he will not  go to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
at present as he has bought  in Chagrin

Located in northeastern Ohio. Bordered on north by Lake Erie. French fur trading post established, 1750. Area settled, 1797. Organized 1815. Originally called Charlton, by 1750; name changed to Chagrin, by 1815. Population in 1826 about 733. Chagrin village...

More Info
17

Deed records indicate that David Elliott did not purchase land in Geauga County, in which Chagrin (later Willoughby) was located, until 1836, when he received a deed for a parcel of land sold to him by JS. Elliott, however, resided in Chagrin as early as 22 January 1834, suggesting that he may have begun the process of purchasing the land much earlier than 1836. About two weeks before this letter was written, Elliott and his wife, Mary Cahoon, initiated a land sale to Luther Snow for a piece of property in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for $500. (Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 23, p. 422, 15 Oct. 1836, microfilm 20,240, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Cuyahoga Co., OH, Deeds and Mortgages, 1815–1866, vol. N, pp. 191–192, 9 Apr. 1833, microfilm 1,994,223, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Letter to the Church in Clay Co., MO, 22 Jan. 1834.)  


We rejoice to here that to the  siminary lands are reduced in price and  are coming into market18

In 1828 the United States government publicly announced that it would begin selling federal lands in Missouri. Such lands were sold at auction for $1.25 per acre in tracts of at least eighty acres. Purchasers paid the surveyors’ fees up front, filed the necessary paperwork, and were required to complete payment within two or three years in order to obtain title to the land. In 1831 the federal government offered for sale the lands it had reserved to benefit public education, including the “Seminary Lands,” which had been set aside to fund higher education in Missouri and included much of the land in Jackson County. The seminary land was initially offered for sale at $2 per acre. (An Act to Provide for the Sale of Seminary Lands [31 Dec. 1830], Laws . . . of the State of Missouri, vol. 2, chap. 155, pp. 209–213.)  


and be assured  that we shall use our influence to send  brethren to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
that are able to help you  in the purchase of lands19

The 20 July 1831 revelation, which designated Independence as the center place of Zion and identified the exact location for the temple in Independence, also instructed members of the church to purchase the temple site and “also every tract lying westward even unto” the Missouri border so that they would own land “in all the regions round about.” By January 1832, Edward Partridge, Sidney Gilbert, and other church leaders had purchased 1,200 acres for the Saints in an ongoing effort to obtain land. (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:3–6]; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.)  


&c &c——
We have just received a letter from  brother 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...

View Full Bio
he has bui[l]t up a church  of 8 members in Madina Co [Medina County]

Located in northeastern Ohio. Settled 1811. Organized from Portage Co., 1818. Population in 1830 about 7,600. Seat of justice, town of Medina. JS visited many areas in county, including New Portage and Norton, 1834. JS attempted to obtain license from county...

More Info
Ohio  and prospects of more—20

The Evening and the Morning Star mentioned this 21 April letter from JS only in regards to this information about Rigdon. Apparently, the editors of the Star in Missouri received a subsequent letter dated 2 May 1833, reporting that Rigdon had recently returned to Kirtland and that during his brief mission to Medina County he had baptized sixteen people. ([William W. Phelps], “The Progress of the Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1833, 100.)  


With respect  to the deaths in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
21

It is unclear who died and if a particular illness or event caused these deaths.  


we feel to mourn with  those that mourn22

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 192 [Mosiah 18:9].  


but remember that  the god of all the earth will do right  and now my beloved brethren I commend  you to god and his grace23

See Acts 20:32; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 566, 585 [Ether 12:41; Moroni 9:22].  


praying  him to keep and preserve you [p. 35]
PreviousNext
JS, Letter, Kirtland Township

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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, Geauga Co., OH, to “Brethren in Zion,” [Jackson Co.

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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, MO], 21 Apr. 1833. Retained copy, [ca. 21 Apr. 1833], in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 32–36; handwriting of Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.

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