, Letter, , Lancashire, England, to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 9 July 1840. Featured version published in “Epistle,” Times and Seasons, 1 Apr. 1845, 859–863. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
On 9 July 1840, wrote a letter to JS from recounting the previous nine months of his travels and proselytizing efforts. Kimball was one of seven members of the then serving a mission in Great Britain, in accordance with a July 1838 revelation that directed the apostles to “go over the great waters, and there promulge my gospel.” The letter recounted Kimball’s journey to Great Britain, documenting how his travels intersected with those of other missionaries headed to and across the Atlantic Ocean. As they traveled to the eastern and proselytized along the way, the missionaries were delayed intermittently by illness, injury, and fatigue and were dependent upon the charity of members for food and lodging. The first group of three missionaries sailed from New York for on 19 December 1839. The remainder, including Kimball, did not sail from New York until 9 March 1840, nearly six months after Kimball left , Illinois, with in September 1839.
In his letter, , who had preached in in 1837 and 1838, described the state of the church there, noting the joy that the British Saints felt in being reunited with missionaries from the . He emphasized the growth of the church and expressed optimism about current opportunities to proselytize throughout the United Kingdom, including in Scotland and Ireland. Kimball also detailed the poverty he had encountered in England’s cities and reported on Great Britain’s economic depression and a burgeoning potato shortage in Ireland.
If JS responded personally to , that letter has not been located. On 15 December 1840, however, JS wrote a letter to the entire Quorum of the Twelve, in which he acknowledged “several communications” from the apostles he had not yet answered, citing the “multiplicity of business” that had occupied his attention in , Illinois. Kimball’s original 9 July letter is not extant. The version featured here was published in the 1 April 1845 issue of the Times and Seasons.
Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.
bles laid before the house of Commons, that the average price of labor in Ireland, for thirty or forty weeks in the year, is eight pence per day, for an able-bodied man; for the remainder of the season, principally during the summer months, one-fourth of the entire population are blank idle.
[“]Now, observe, a stone (fourteen pounds) of potatoes will hardly give a man, his wife, and four or five children (many of them have ten children) one meal in the day. A stone of potatoes is eight pence to one shilling at present; where then are this vast population to be fed from? Nothing short of the miraculous interference of heaven can save them. Hunger has driven them already to attack the flour and provision stores in Limerick, Ennis, Galway, Menreagh, Killaloe, and at several other places along the banks of the Shannon. Upon one occasion they attacked a boat taking in oats intended for the English market; this they instantly seized, and distributed its contents, six hundred sacks, in small parcels amongst the vast multitude. In every case there was no appearance of drunkenness, but there was every appearance of hunger. Yet while all this is going on, we perceive your bishops and princes, your lords and ladies squandering away thousands upon thousands in idle luxury in , that enormous den. Dare we contemplate the end?”—Dublin correspondent of the Manchester Advertiser.
These things are coming upon the inhabitants, yet they are blind and cannot see it: they appear to exult over the , and when a few fine days come (which are indeed scarce) they cry out to the saints, “where is your famines, pestilences, and judgments you have predicted;” we tell them to wait a little while and they shall see them, and then they shall know that we have told the truth. And now after all these things which I have seen, together with the toils, fatigues, labors, pains, and sufferings, which I have endured; I have never had one discouraging moment, nor felt the least dismayed; but with an unshaken confidence I have pressed my way forward, and am still determined to pursue the same path, looking forward to the recompense of reward; and these are the feelings of my brethren as far as I have knowledge; they are in good spirits and we have had a season of rejoicing together for the past few days. Since we came into this land there has been six of the church in different parts to do the business of the church; and there has not been hitherto in all our proceedings, the least discordant voice, and we feel as though God was with us indeed, and does bless us and our labors.
A short time ago I went in company with to Burnley, a large town, to visit a church. Having a desire to go down into a coal-pit; I went to the master and told him that I was from and had a desire to go down into the pit. He consented and fitted us out in colliers clothes, and then let us down the shaft to the depth of one hundred and seventy-four yards or five hundred and twenty-two feet. We then took a course and went from the shaft something more than nine hundred yards, and in this place there was about one hundred men and boys laboring, and six horses which drawed the coal from different parts of the mine to the shaft. Burnley is the place where the Danes assembled, when they conquered ; and took the men captive, and took their women to wife. These women entered into a secret combination with each other and appointing a night they slew the Danes and liberated their own husbands.
I must now close my correspondence for the present, and I desire that you would give my love to , and to your and , and to all your friends; to , , and ; and to the ; and to all the and saints in ; and especially to yourself and family. The brethren all send their love to you and the saints. Please to remember me to my dear and children. wishes to be remembered to you and all the saints. This from your friend and well wisher in the .
In addition to the conferences at Preston and Manchester discussed in this letter, conferences were held in Worcestershire on 14 June 1840, in Herefordshire on 21 June 1840, and in Staffordshire on 29 June 1840. (Woodruff, Journal, 14, 21, and 29 June 1840.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
Heber and Vilate Murray Kimball had four living children, aged fourteen years old to eleven months: William Henry Kimball, Helen Mar Kimball, Heber Parley Kimball, and David Patten Kimball. (Kimball, Heber C. Kimball, 311.)
Kimball, Stanley B. Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981.