, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 23 Mar. 1842; handwriting presumably of ; four pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, dockets, and notation.
Bifolium measuring 12½ × 7½ inches (32 × 19 cm). Fidler inscribed the letter on all four pages; on the last page, he left space in the middle for an address panel. The bifolium was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. When the letter was opened, the wafer tore two holes in the second leaf; wafer residue appears on both sides of the leaf. The letter was refolded for filing.
The document was docketed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. Another docket was inscribed by , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) from 1853 to 1859. The document was listed in an inventory produced by the Church Historian’s Office circa 1904. A graphite notation of unknown significance and in unidentified handwriting appears above the address block: “Clarrissa Marvel”. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early dockets as well as its inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
JS, Journal, 29 June 1842; “Clayton, William,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:718; Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18, 30–31.
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.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 23 March 1842 member wrote a letter to JS from , Illinois, about concerns that he had lost JS’s confidence because he had failed to repay a debt. JS had hired Fidler, a recent immigrant from , as a clerk. Although Fidler’s specific assignment is unknown, JS apparently dismissed him before he finished his work. Fidler suspected that , a in Nauvoo, had encouraged JS to take that action.
left JS’s employ believing that JS was satisfied with his work. Sometime later JS made comments to Fidler’s mother suggesting he no longer held him in high esteem, and Fidler became troubled. Fidler believed he had upset JS because he had taken out a debt that exceeded his salary. He wrote JS a private letter to explain why he was unable to repay the debt, stating that all of his money had gone toward providing his family with necessities.
The lack of postal markings, together with the fact that wrote the letter in , indicates that the letter was hand carried rather than mailed. JS evidently received this letter, as indicated by a docket by . If JS responded, the response is no longer extant.
Maughan, Mary Ann Weston. Autobiography, 1894–1898. CHL. MS 6402.
. March 23rd. 1842
Should the liberty I may now take in addressing you or encroaching upon your time. be deemed an intrusion I hope it may be forgiven. I am aware while writing that you are much oppressed by Public business and have little time to dedicate to any particular individual but should you do me the Honour of perusing the following it will be confering an everlasting obligation which will ever be remembered
In the first place the reason why I have taken this mode of addressing you is that an interview could not be easily had and not only that but would propable [probably] take to[o] much of your time to have. entered into the details of my subject
A few words that you spoke during an interview with my Mother sometime since. convinced me that in some measure I. had lost that Confidence and Goodwill. I was so proud of and which I enjoyed when under your employ. to again if Possible regain that esteem. [h]as induced me to take this step and likewise endeavouring to vindicate myself
While with you. and under your friendly Eye. I enjoy’d happier moments then I have since that period. or may again, but as to my acting in any way dishonourable towards the confidence reposed in me by yourself in placing me in a trusty situation. I can Call my Heavenly Father to witness that while in your employ I served you faithfully and ardently in the persuit of my business. that no selfish or sordid motives entered my breast but only a wish to serve him who had so kindly taken me under his protection. I am fully aware that my account on your Book overrun my salary though it had not been fixed upon. but it was not without first beingfixed consulting you upon the subject as to allowing me some things to pay the men I employed to erect a House for myself [p. ]