Letter from Emma Smith, 25 April 1837
, Letter, , Geauga Co., OH, to JS, 25 Apr. 1837. Featured version copied [between ca. 29 May and ca. 27 June 1839] in JS Letterbook 2, p. 35; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
wrote the letter featured here in reply to a letter she had received from JS, which is no longer extant. JS and left , Ohio, earlier that month and remained absent from Kirtland for much of April and May because of threats made against JS’s life. JS’s location during his time away is unknown, but on 25 April—the same day Emma wrote this letter—he was arrested and released by sheriff in relation to a lawsuit for unpaid business debt.In the letter, informed JS of the family’s welfare, noting her and their children’s unease at his absence. She also referred to tensions in and a lack of faith among some members, writing, “If I had no more confidence than some I could name, I should be a sad case indeed.” This is one of the earliest indications of unrest among the Kirtland Saints in the spring of 1837; the turmoil would develop over the next few months into direct opposition against JS.
Transcript of Proceedings, 24 Oct. 1837, Newbould v. Rigdon et al. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Geauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Record Book U, pp. 351–353, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; see also Historical Introduction to Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 20 Apr. 1837.
Geauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Record Book U. Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH.
For more on the growing dissent, see Historical Introduction to Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 23 May 1837; Historical Introduction to Charges against JS Preferred to Bishop’s Council, 29 May 1837; and Historical Introduction to Letter from Abel Lamb and Others, ca. 28 May 1837.