Letter from Edward Hunter, 27 October 1841
, Letter, , Chester Co., PA, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 27 Oct. 1841; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, docket, and endorsement.Bifolium measuring 10 × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm). The document was trifolded twice in letter style with four horizontal and two vertical folds and then sealed with a red adhesive wafer, addressed, and stamped. The second leaf was torn, likely when the letter was opened. Residue from the adhesive wafer remains on the verso of the second leaf. There is also separation along the folds of the second leaf.A docket and an endorsement were inscribed on the third page by , who served as JS’s scribe from December 1841 until JS’s death in June 1844 and served as church historian from December 1842 until his own death in March 1854. The letter is listed in a Church Historian’s Office inventory from circa 1904. By 1973 it had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The docket, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection indicate the letter has remained in institutional custody since its receipt.
On 27 October 1841, , a businessman from eastern , wrote to JS in , Illinois, regarding various financial matters. Hunter appears to have been in Nauvoo during the summer of 1841, when he initiated several land purchases there and received a power of attorney from Nauvoo resident Margaret Smith, who had previously lived in . The power of attorney authorized Hunter to collect money from Margaret Smith’s cousin , whom she had left in charge of her properties and finances in Philadelphia. The settlement of Margaret Smith’s affairs was impeded, however, when Guest refused to recognize Hunter’s authority because his power of attorney lacked the proper government certification. Hunter also apparently received direction from JS in summer 1841 to obtain goods from eastern Pennsylvania and transport them to Nauvoo. The letter featured here offered JS information about the goods Hunter had obtained and about their transit to Illinois. Hunter also used the letter to update JS on his efforts to recover money for Margaret Smith and to request JS’s aid and advice on land transactions and business ventures in Nauvoo.sent the letter via the post office, where it was postmarked on 29 October. The letter likely arrived in by 15 December 1841, when a second power of attorney from Margaret Smith was written and sent through government channels for proper approval. JS responded to Hunter’s letter on 21 December.