, Letter, , Adams Co., IL, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 13 July 1842; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Included enclosures (not extant); includes address, dockets, and notation.
Bifolium measuring 13¾ × 7¾ inches (35 × 20 cm), ruled with thirty-five blue lines (now faded). The letter included an enclosure of bankruptcy notices (not extant). The letter was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. The second leaf was torn when the letter was opened, and both sides of the leaf bear residue from the wafer seal. The letter was subsequently folded for filing. Some discoloration of the paper has occurred in the address block on the verso of the second leaf.
, who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844, docketed the document twice. A notation, inscribed in graphite in unknown handwriting, is on the recto of the first leaf and reads “”, a style that appears to have been used by Church Historian’s Office employees around the beginning of the twentieth century. The document was listed in an inventory that was produced by the Church Historian’s Office circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early docket, the circa 1904 inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 13 July 1842, attorney wrote a letter to JS at the request of members and to report that JS did not need to fear extradition to . Miller and Derby had stopped in , Illinois, on their way to , Missouri, where they were going to consult with Missouri governor about JS’s possible extradition from Illinois. Having been arrested in 1841 in connection with a Missouri extradition attempt, JS was apprehensive about the possibility of being taken back to that state, even though the 1841 attempt was ultimately unsuccessful. He had earlier inquired of Illinois governor to learn whether the governor would protect him from being kidnapped and taken to Missouri. Carlin had informed JS in a 30 June 1842 letter that “as all men were held amenable to the laws, so in like manner the rights of all would be protected.” However, Carlin also implied that he considered himself duty-bound to comply with extradition requests. Carlin’s letter raised JS’s concerns—as did a published threat from former Latter-day Saint that he would deliver JS “up to justice, or die in the attempt,” along with a reported plot between Bennett and and of , Iowa Territory, to kidnap JS and take him to Missouri—so JS had sent Miller and Derby to consult with Illinois and Missouri government officials.
’s letter also commented on the legal services he was providing to JS and other church members in filing bankruptcy claims. Warren, who practiced law in , stated that he was enclosing six notices that he wanted JS to have printed in the Wasp. Given the lack of postal markings, the letter and notices were apparently hand delivered to JS. It probably took a few days for the letter to travel the approximately fifty miles from Quincy to , Illinois. Although no reply from JS to Warren is extant, notices for several bankruptcy cases appeared in the 16 July 1842 issue of the Wasp, indicating that JS had received the letter and the enclosures by that time and that he had arranged for the requested notices to be printed.
Miller, for example, wrote Reynolds on 28 June 1842 asking for any information he had about Bennett’s attempts to “conspire with” Missouri citizens to incite “mob voilence” against the Latter-day Saints. (George Miller, Nauvoo, IL, to Thomas Reynolds, 28 June 1842, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 236–237.)
See the bankruptcy notices for Charles Warner, Windsor P. Lyon, Edward F. Chittenden, Talton E. Fox, William Niswanger, and John S. Fullmer, in Wasp, 16 July 1842, .
The Wasp. Nauvoo, IL. Apr. 1842–Apr. 1843.
July 13th 1842
Genl. Joseph Smith
Dear Sir; Messrs & have just performed their Mission in this and departed for — At their request I drop you this line to inform you of their success here— they called on who gave them all the assurances they desired to obtain, of the import I wrote and said to you— wrote a letter of introduction for to — he is satisfied with it— we also found s abolition Manifesto to Mr. [Charles V.] Dyer! It will ensure no little attention for in ! they say they can kill him with it, I suppose they dont mean murder Public opinion has not been enlisted to any extent in behalf of the ! has conferred with & others, and has reason to be, as we think he is, satisfied that no danger threatens you in that direction! As to my coming up, as you request, either myself or can probably come up next week— If any think [thing] special demands our assistance, let us know and we shall be always ready to serve you—
The cases of Bankrupts enclosed, 6 cases please have Wasp publish in next number & continue 2 or 3 weeks only— a mistake in the Journal makes this necessary! Mr. Caltin wrote me that he would be [p. ]
In addition to serving as major general in the Nauvoo Legion, John C. Bennett had training in the medical profession, serving a medical apprenticeship with his uncle Samuel P. Hildreth from 1822 to 1825, passing an exam before the Twelfth Medical Society of Chester, Ohio, and receiving a certificate. (Times and Seasons, 1 July 1842, 3:842.)
Ralston was one of Warren’s law partners in the Quincy-based law firm of Ralston, Warren & Wheat. He was also a member of the Illinois state senate. (Advertisement, Wasp, 16 Apr. 1842, ; Clayton, Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 208–210; Palmer, Bench and Bar of Illinois, 2:875.)
The Wasp. Nauvoo, IL. Apr. 1842–Apr. 1843.
Clayton, John. The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673–1968. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970.
Palmer, John M., ed. The Bench and Bar of Illinois. 2 vols. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1899.
In a later recollection, Miller did not provide details about conversations he and Derby had with Ralston, Carlin, or Reynolds, but Miller did state that after these visits, “the blow was warded off, and all was peace again.” (George Miller, St. James, MI, to “Dear Brother,” 26 June 1855, in Northern Islander [St. James, MI], 16 Aug. 1855, .)
The notices, which first appeared in the 16 July 1842 issue of the Wasp, continued in subsequent issues through 13 August 1842. (See Bankruptcy Notices, Wasp, 23 July 1842, ; between 30 July and 4 Aug. 1842, , ; 13 Aug. 1842, .)