Invitation to Wilson and Elizabeth Sikes Law, 11 January 1843
JS and , Invitation, [, Hancock Co., IL], to and , [, Hancock Co., IL], 11 Jan. 1843; handwriting of ; one page; JS Office Papers, CHL. Includes docket.
Single leaf, measuring 8⅝ × 7¾ inches (22 × 20 cm). The leaf was unevenly cut and torn along the bottom edge. The other edges of the leaf have the square cut of manufactured paper. The leaf was originally part of a bifolium that used to inscribe a now incomplete draft of an 11 January 1843 proclamation issued to the traveling . The bifolium was later separated. Richards subsequently reused the leaf to draft this document. The leaf was folded in half twice for filing.
The document was presumably retained by JS’s office. It was docketed by Jonathan Grimshaw, who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office (now CHL) from 1853 to 1856. In 2012 the document was cataloged as part of the JS Office Papers at the CHL. Its early docket and inclusion in the JS Office Papers suggest continuous institutional custody.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Office Papers, 1835–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 11 January 1843, drafted an invitation from JS and to and to attend a banquet on 18 January 1843. JS had returned to , Illinois, from , Illinois, on 10 January following his discharge after officials attempted to extradite him. The following day, he directed the drafting of banquet invitations for approximately fifty individuals to celebrate his legal victory and return to Nauvoo as well as his and Emma’s wedding anniversary. According to a list on the same sheet as this invitation draft as well as lists in ’s and JS’s journals, invitees included JS’s close friends—particularly those who had accompanied him to Springfield— leaders, and leaders.
The draft featured here likely served as a template for each of the invitations sent to the Smiths’ guests. The invitees presumably received the invitations between 11 and 17 January. The majority of those invited, including the Laws, attended the banquet at the home of JS and on 18 January. The attendees sang the “jubilee songs” composed by , , and ; listened to some informal speeches and discussions; and dined at two o’clock in the afternoon. At about six o’clock in the evening, the party dispersed and JS left to attend a meeting at the Masonic lodge.
The formal invitations that JS and sent to the Laws and other guests are apparently not extant. wrote the extant draft on a piece of scratch paper. In addition to containing the draft of the invitation, the page includes an at least partial list of invitees and a partial draft of a proclamation of the , the full version of which the Wasp subsequently published in its 14 January 1843 issue, declaring 17 January 1843 a day of “fastings, humiliations, and thanksgivings” in gratitude for JS’s discharge. Neither the list of invitees nor the portion of the proclamation is transcribed here.
Brigham Young, “Proclamation to the Saints in Nauvoo,” Wasp, 14 Jan. 1843, .
The Wasp. Nauvoo, IL. Apr. 1842–Apr. 1843.
General Joseph Smith<’s> & his <’s> <presnt their> compliments— to— General— , And — reqesting soliciting the pleasure of their company on wednesdy next <to <a> din[n]er party> <on> at Wedneday 18th inst.— at 10. oclck A. M.