, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to JS and , , 3 Jan. 1840; handwriting of ; one page; Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Record Group 233, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC. Includes postal markings. Transcription from a digital color image obtained in 2015.
In March 1840, collected all of the papers submitted to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in support of the church’s memorial to Congress and returned them to , Illinois. This letter was presumably still with that collection of documents when subsequent church delegations resubmitted the documents with additional petitions to the federal government. Congress apparently stored this letter with other documents it received in the 1840s relative to the church’s ongoing petitioning efforts. Those records were transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration sometime after its creation in 1934. Since then, the National Archives and Records Administration has had continuous custody of the document.
On 3 January 1840, wrote a letter from the , Illinois, area to JS and in listing the patents Partridge held for land in , Missouri, as a of the . Several months before the church delegation left for Washington DC, church leaders started gathering legal documents and producing bills of damages to demonstrate the persecution the Saints experienced in and to quantify the property lost when they were driven from the state. Once in the capital, JS and Higbee continued to prepare a memorial to Congress requesting redress and reparations for the losses in Missouri. The men also wrote home asking for additional affidavits, letters, and legal documents to support their case. Due to the expense required to mail numerous items to Washington DC, Partridge instead sent a list of his patents with the data necessary for JS and Higbee to have the patents validated at the General Land Office in Washington.
According to the postmark, mailed the letter from , Illinois, on 7 January. It probably arrived in by the end of the month. It is unknown whether JS and brought the letter to the General Land Office to certify Partridge’s claims. The letter was likely among the documents supporting the church’s memorial that Senator of submitted to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on 17 February.
Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, Being the First Session of the Twenty-Sixth Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1839, and in the Sixty-Fourth Year of the Independence of the Said United States. Washington DC: Blair and Rives, 1839.
Ill. Jany. 3d 1840
The following is a list of land patents held by me for land in Mo. which being heavy we think best not to send, but to send you the list of them so that you can go to the recorder’s office of land patents and get him to certify that such patents are recorded in his office <their>
This we concieve to be the cheapest and safest way weight is about eight ounces
Certificate No. 3172 dated March 8th 1834— Recorded in Volume 6 page 180— Exd
Certificate No 1871— Dated Decr. 5th 1833— Recorded in vol. 6 page 446— Exd
Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives / Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to the Committee on Judiciary during the 27th Congress. Committee on the Judiciary, Petitions and Memorials, 1813–1968. Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789–2015. National Archives, Washington DC. The LDS records cited herein are housed in National Archives boxes 40 and 41 of Library of Congress boxes 139–144 in HR27A-G10.1.
Hudson M. Garland served as recorder in the General Land Office from 4 July 1836 to June 1841. (Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States, 24th Cong., 1st Sess., 4 July 1836, 4:576–577; 27th Cong., 1st Sess., 17 June 1841, 5:386.)
Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America, from March 4, 1829, to March 3, 1837, Inclusive. Vol. 4. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1887.
In 1840 the postage rate for letters weighing an ounce or more and sent to a destination more than four hundred miles from their point of origin was one dollar per ounce. Accordingly, if Partridge had sent JS and Higbee all of his land patents listed in this letter, the cost would have been about eight dollars. (American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, 119.)
The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, for the Year 1841. Boston: David H. Williams, 1840.
TEXT: From this point on, the text on the page appears to have been canceled at a later date, possibly indicating the end of the list of information pertinent to the federal government’s consideration of the church’s petitioning efforts.
“Exd” was written in the upper right-hand corner of each of the land patents listed in this letter. According to an explanation written several decades later by an individual familiar with the processes of the General Land Office, “Exd” stood for “examined,” meaning that the land office staff had examined the patent application. (Index to the Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives, 121–122.)
Index to the Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives for the First and Second Sessions of the Forty-Fifth Congress, 1877–’78. Vol. 5, Nos. 834 to 1017 Inclusive. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1878.