30486

Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 September 1833

 
Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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O
2
Sept 11
Viana Jaquish

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

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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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Jackson County
Missouri
 
Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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O
237

TEXT: “2[page cut]”. Possibly “25”. Standard postage rate for a letter of this size traveling the distance between Kirtland and Independence was $0.25. Postmark in unidentified handwriting. (Force, National Calendar, 139.)  


Sept 11
Viana Jaquish

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

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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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Jackson [County]38

TEXT: Word omitted because of page cut.  


Missou[ri]39

TEXT: “Missou[page cut]”.  


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In 1831, Vienna Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

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, an unmarried woman in her forties, converted to the Church of Christ

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...

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. In the early 1830s, Jaques resided in Boston

Capital city located on eastern seaboard of Massachusetts at mouth of Charles River. Founded by English Puritans, 1630; received city charter, 1822. Population in 1820 about 43,000; in 1830 about 61,000; and in 1840 about 93,000. JS’s ancestor Robert Smith...

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, where she, “by patient toil and strict economy, had accumlated considerable means for those times.” While in Boston, Jaques had affiliated with a Methodist Episcopal church, but when she heard of JS and of the Book of Mormon, she traveled 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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, Ohio, met JS, and was baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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.1

George Hamlin, “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Mar. 1884, 12:152.  


She returned to Boston, and in the summer of 1832, she assisted Samuel Smith

13 Mar. 1808–30 July 1844. Farmer, logger, scribe, builder, tavern operator. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811...

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and Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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in raising a small branch of the Church of Christ in Boston and the surrounding area.2

According to one Boston area newspaper, “Mormonite preachers have recently visited this city, and made about 15 converts to their strange doctrines, who have been baptised and joined the Mormon church.” According to Orson Hyde’s and Samuel Smith’s journals, during that summer the two men also preached in areas surrounding Boston and once lodged at Jaques’s second home in Fox Point wharf, near Providence, Rhode Island. (See “Mormonism,” American Traveller [Boston], 28 Aug. 1832, [2]; Samuel Smith, Diary, 22 June–7 Aug. 1832; and Hyde, Journal, 25 June–7 Aug. 1832.)  


That same summer Jaques decided to collect her means and again travel to Kirtland to gather with the Mormons.3

George Hamlin, “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Mar. 1884, 12:152.  


She arrived in Kirtland by November 1832 and remained there until the spring of 1833.4

A copy of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon that apparently belonged to Vienna Jaques is held at the Church History Library. On the first page of the book is inscribed the following: “The Writeing above is Joseph Smith’ own handwriteing which he wrote, the day he gave the book me Vienna Jaques on the 22d of November 1832.” This note, apparently written by Jaques, follows a notation written by JS: “Vienna Jaque[s] Book Novem 22d. 1832.” A letter JS wrote to Missouri in late November 1832 indicates that Jaques was in Kirtland by that time. (Letter to William W. Phelps, 27 Nov. 1832.)  


By 8 March 1833, the day a JS revelation directed Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

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to relocate 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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, Missouri, Jaques had consecrated

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

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a substantial sum of money to the church.5

Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:28–31].  


The precise amount of money that Jaques donated is uncertain. In the summer of 1832, an article published in the Boston

Capital city located on eastern seaboard of Massachusetts at mouth of Charles River. Founded by English Puritans, 1630; received city charter, 1822. Population in 1820 about 43,000; in 1830 about 61,000; and in 1840 about 93,000. JS’s ancestor Robert Smith...

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newspaper American Traveller stated that several members of the Church of Christ branch in Boston contemplated “going to the west” for the “promised land.” The article reported that two women had left and that they had taken with them all their wealth. These two women “had acquired by industry, one 1500 and the other 800 dollars, which they have given up to go into the general stock.” The article did not name these women, but one of them was likely Jaques, as she immigrated 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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in the summer or fall of 1832, around the same time the women in the article departed. No other contemporary accounts mention Jaques or the financial situation of women immigrating to Kirtland at this time.6

“Mormonism,” American Traveller (Boston), 28 Aug. 1832, [2]. Later histories stated the amount donated by Jaques was $1,400. However, neither the evidence cited in those histories nor extant contemporaneous evidence corroborates that figure. According to Edward Tullidge’s Women of Mormondom, published in 1877, Jaques “went to Kirtland in 1833, being a single lady and very wealthy. When she arrived in Kirtland she donated all of her property to the church.” It is not clear if Tullidge interviewed Jaques for this publication. One obituary for Jaques similarly states that she collected her “considerable means” and that “by her liberality rendered” much “pecuniary assistance to the Church in its infancy.” Another obituary simply stated, “She was well known and widely respected for her life-long integrity and many virtues of character.” (Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 441; George Hamlin, “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Mar. 1884, 12:152; “Vienna Jacques Dead,” Deseret News [Salt Lake City], 13 Feb. 1884, 49.)  


Whatever the amount, Jaques’s consecration came at a propitious time. Church leaders were in the midst of contracting to purchase several parcels of land in Kirtland and needed additional funds to carry out such agreements. Jaques’s contribution, as JS wrote in this letter, “proved a Savior of life as pertaining to [JS’s] pecunary concern.”
By 30 April 1833, Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

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had not yet left for 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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, Missouri, as she had been directed to do by the 8 March 1833 revelation. A conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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of high priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

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convened that day and “decided that Sister Vean Jaqush [Vienna Jaques] should not immediately procede on her Journy 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...

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but to wait untill William Hobert

Ca. 1813–Oct. 1833. Typographer. Directed to accompany recent LDS church convert Vienna Jaques from Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, to Jackson Co., Missouri, June 1833. Intended to work for The Evening and the Morning Star newspaper in Independence, Jackson Co...

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gets ready and go in company with him.” Jaques and Hobert probably left sometime before mid-May and arrived 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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, Missouri, by 7 June. Jaques experienced considerable hardship on the journey when Hobert “was afflicted with a delirium, which for a short time entirely deprived him of his natural intellect.”7

Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:28–30]; Minutes, 30 Apr. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833; “Obituary,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 117.  


What is more, in July, just weeks after Jaques arrived in Jackson County, anti-Mormon violence erupted as county residents intended to force members of the Church of Christ to leave their lands.8 Jaques was an eyewitness to the tarring and feathering 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 other violent actions in Jackson County later that month, including the razing of the church’s print shop

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

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. According to Jaques’s later statement, during the attack on the print shop, she was attempting to gather pages from the partially printed Book of Commandments that “were thrown into the streets” when a “mobber came a long and remarked to her, ‘Madam this is only a prelude to what you have to suffer.’”9

Vienna Jaques, Statement, 22 Feb. 1859, CHL; see also [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18.  


Jaques

10 June 1787–7 Feb. 1884. Laundress, nurse. Born in Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Henry Jaques and Lucinda Hughes. Lived in Boston, 1827–1830. Baptized into LDS church by E. Harris, 12 July 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833....

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wrote to JS sometime after her arrival 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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, but her letter, which included “a history of [her] Journey and [her] safe arival,” has not been located. JS stated that both Jaques’s earlier letter and his own spiritual promptings led him to write the letter featured here. In the letter, JS expressed his gratitude for her safe arrival in Independence, reflected on the contemporary plight and future destiny 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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, shared news of church growth and temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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construction 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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and reports of missionary success in the East, provided instructions for Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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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 gave comments about or intended for mutual acquaintances.10

JS earlier stated that letters to Missouri were meant to be available to all church members. (Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.)  


This document is the earliest surviving letter that JS addressed specifically to a woman other than his own wife Emma Hale Smith. The letter was postmarked on 11 September 1833, and though no extant record mentions its reception, it would have likely arrived 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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in early October, just weeks before violence there resumed.

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