, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 13 Sept. 1841; handwriting of ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm) and ruled with twenty-six horizontal blue lines. The letter was written on the recto and verso of the first leaf and on the recto of the second leaf. It was then trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and stamped for postage. The second leaf has substantial tears, which have been repaired.
Two dockets appear on the verso of the second leaf. The first docket was written by , who served as JS’s scribe from December 1841 until JS’s death in June 1844 and served as church historian from December 1842 until his own death in March 1854. , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844, later added a second docket. 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 dockets, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection suggest that the letter has been in continuous institutional custody since its receipt.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 13 September 1841, wrote a letter from , Connecticut, to JS in , Illinois, to continue their correspondence regarding JS’s debt repayment for lands purchased in 1839 from Hotchkiss and his partners, and . The letter was a direct response to JS’s letter of 25 August, in which JS expressed his frustration with Hotchkiss for actively seeking payment; JS apparently believed that Hotchkiss had agreed to defer interest payments for five years. Hotchkiss sent the letter featured here to defend his position and to justify his collection of interest on the debt.
In the letter, explained the many attempts he had made to obtain repayment, including traveling to and , and his frustration at not being able to meet JS’s at various times. Both parties were irritated, and the tension between them intensified because their communication was limited to letters, which were slow to arrive and easily misunderstood. Despite his frustrations, Hotchkiss knew he could lose his investment if he was too demanding—JS had already indignantly invited Hotchkiss to “come and take the premises and make the best you can of it.” Hotchkiss was therefore open to resuming settlement negotiations with JS.
mailed his letter on 13 September 1841 from nearby , Connecticut. Approximately two weeks later, JS received the letter and an additional letter from Hotchkiss’s business partner . JS responded only to the letter from Tuttle, apparently as an answer to both, since he was aware the two were communicating with each other and sharing his letters.
far as regarded myself provided I received such property as would yield six pr. cent interest and expressed an opinion that Messs. and would do the same— Here the matter rested untill and Your brother arrived at my house when it is true the subject of receiving lands in payment was again revived but upon enquiry I found that the lands had not yet been procured— I proposed to receive the interest in lands either in or which was agreed to and I held myself in constant readiness for two months to consumate the agreement but have not heard a word from your to this moment and nothing from the until 25th. July when I got a letter from him stating that he was then on his return to and informing me that Mr at was authorised to pay me a tavern stand and some land upon the Note signed by and but did not even allude to the payment of interest or principle upon the other debt— I immediately wrote Mr and got a reply ten or twelve days ago saying that he should be at untill the 15th instant— On the 9th. being last thursday & went to for the purpose of examining the property but then learned to our astonishment that had gone a week before to — Mr had also gone to — We came home of course much disappointed— I left my 2500 dollar note with a friend to negociate— There may be very sufficient reasons for this course and I shall be as ready to view explanations with a lenient eye as any person ought to be but at present I do not understand it—
What you have said in your last about the [p. ]