, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 12 Apr. 1842; handwriting of ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notations, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 12¾ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm). The recto of the first leaf was inscribed in graphite. The verso of the first leaf and the recto of the second leaf are blank. The document was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and postmarked. The letter was torn when opened, and some wafer residue remains on both sides of the second leaf. Later, the bifolium was folded in half horizontally.
The letter was docketed twice by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as Nauvoo temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. It may be one of the four 1842 letters from listed in an inventory produced by the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) circa 1904. By 1973 the letter had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early dockets as well as its possible inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and its inclusion 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.
“Letters to and from the Prophet,” ca. 1904, , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL. “Index to Papers in the Historians Office,” ca. 1904, Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL, and its draft cite a letter from Horace Hotchkiss, but it is unclear which of the several 1842 Hotchkiss letters it is.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 12 April 1842 wrote from his home in , Connecticut, responding to a letter JS wrote a month earlier regarding land dealings. JS and the were actively engaged in working to pay the debts owed Hotchkiss and his business partners, and , for land purchased in the , Illinois, area in August 1839. , acting on behalf of the church, had recently concluded a transfer of land to Hotchkiss, Tuttle, and Gillet—the second payment Ivins made to Hotchkiss during the preceding seven or eight months.
JS wrote to on 10 March 1842 describing additional properties the church proposed selling to Hotchkiss and his colleagues. JS informed Hotchkiss that because of problems with the State Bank of Illinois, the citizens of the had “ceased to take her notes.” Consequently, JS reported, the most effective way for the Latter-day Saints to pay Hotchkiss was through land transactions.
In his 12 April letter, responded that while he was aware of the problems with the bank, he would take $3,000 to $6,000 in notes from that institution as payment because he was a stockholder in the bank. Although Hotchkiss did not address all the properties that JS offered to sell, he stated that he had passed along to the offer to trade $5,000 worth of land near Gillet’s home. JS replied to Hotchkiss on 13 May 1842, informing him that church payments to all creditors were suspended by recent applications for bankruptcy by church leaders and a number of other residents.
JS, Nauvoo, IL, to Horace Hotchkiss, Fair Haven, CT, 13 May 1842, Joseph Smith Papers, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Springfield, IL.
12 April 1842
Joseph Smith Esqr.
Dr Sir— Yours of 10th. is at hand— I am at this time exceedingly busy and shall therefore reply in very few words— Mr [Smith] Tuttle has written to relative to the lands in his vicinity and we shall soon know the opinion of upon the subject of their value— I am aware of the total failure of the State Bank of and can readily perceive that it leaves your without a sound currency but being a stockholder in that Bank I will receive in payment of interest say three to six <thousand> dollars of the notes of this institution at par and if you or your friends should not have it on hand you can no doubt borrow it on very favourable terms—
In his 10 March 1842 letter to Hotchkiss, JS stated that Dr. Barton Robinson “has property in the neighbourhood of Mr Gillet to the amount of $5,000. and proposes an exchange for property in Nauvoo, and I understand Mr Gillett is willing to take the property.” Gillet lived in Lake Fork, Logan County, Illinois. (Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 10 Mar. 1842; John Gillet, Lake Fork, IL, to Smith Tuttle, Fair Haven, CT, 10 June 1841, Gillett Family Papers, 1736–1904, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.)
Gillett Family Papers, 1736–1904. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.
Ford, Thomas. A History of Illinois, from Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847. Containing a Full Account of the Black Hawk War, the Rise, Progress, and Fall of Mormonism, the Alton and Lovejoy Riots, and Other Important and Interesting Events. Chicago: S. C. Griggs; New York: Ivison and Phinney, 1854.