, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 11 Oct. 1841; handwriting of ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, and docket.
Bifolium measuring 9⅞ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm), ruled with twenty-four horizontal blue lines. The letter was written on the first page only and then trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and stamped for postage. The last page was torn, likely when the letter was opened. The letter was later folded for filing and docketed.
The docket by , who served in a clerical capacity for JS from 1841 to 1842, indicates the document was retained by the office of JS in 1841. The letter is listed in a Church Historian’s Office inventory from circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The docket, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection suggest continuous institutional custody of the letter since its receipt.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
wrote a letter from , Connecticut, to JS in , Illinois, on 11 October 1841 to discuss a proposed transaction that would settle an interest payment on a debt leaders owed him and his business partners for an 1839 land purchase. Hotchkiss sent this October letter without having received a response to his last letter to JS, written 13 September 1841. Although JS had responded to a letter from Hotchkiss’s partner , which was also written in mid-September, Hotchkiss was not aware of JS’s response when writing the letter featured here. JS’s letter to Tuttle provided details regarding JS’s efforts to repay the debts in the face of incarceration and the unexplained absence of church , who had been assigned to settle the debts with Hotchkiss.
According to promissory notes signed at the time of the original 1839 agreement, , JS, and owed and his partners $3,000 in interest annually. In this 11 October letter, Hotchkiss stated that he was willing to accept from church member a tavern stand and 137 acres of timbered land in as payment for the annual interest. Before Hotchkiss could accept the land as payment, he and Ivins required JS’s approval because Ivins was acting as an agent for the church; Hotchkiss requested this approval in the featured letter. Nearly three weeks later, Ivins departed for to consult with JS on the matter.
mailed the letter featured here on 11 October in , Connecticut. JS received this letter and another from Hotchkiss a month later before responding in December 1841. The interest payment for 1841 was settled in February 1842, when sold the property to Hotchkiss for $3,200.
Dr. Sir— I have just returned from where I met Mr and he has paid me the 2,500 dollar Note given me for the purchase— He now has a tract of land in the pines consisting of one hundred and odd acres of not much value belonging to your and the same mentioned in letter to me— Mr. has also the Tavern Stand at belonging to the Church which has been heretofore valued by some I beleive at 2500 dollars— Now in order to make the payment of interest as easy to your Church as possible I proposed to Mr to receive this 137 acres pine land and the tavern stand for Three thousand dollars— It is possible that these two pieces of property were taken for more than that sum by the Church but that they will bring even that sum now cannot be expected— has given me a contract for the delivery of these two pieces property for three thousand dollars provided that the arrangement meets the approbation of the Church on his arrival at — That they are solicitous to pay this interest I have your own and other assurances— An opportunity now occurs for commencing the payment upon favourable terms and I wish you sir if convenient immediately to write me and say whether this conditional contract meets your acceptance
Cook’s Mills was located in Burlington County, New Jersey, approximately two miles southwest of New Egypt. (Woodward and Hageman, History of Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey, 29, 34, 384; “An Account of the Capture and Death of the Refugee John Bacon,” 151.)
Woodward, E. M., and John F. Hageman. History of Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Their Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia: Everts and Peck, 1883.
Fort, George F. “An Account of the Capture and Death of the Refugee John Bacon.” Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society 1, no. 4 (1846): 151–153.