, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to and JS, , 17 Mar. 1840. Featured version copied [between Apr. and June 1840] in JS Letterbook 2, p. 118; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
On 17 March 1840, wrote this letter to JS and in an attempt to contact them in . Hotchkiss was a land speculator from who had partnered with and to sell to JS and other leaders much of the land in the newly platted town of , Illinois, on long-term credit.
It is clear from ’s letter that the men repeatedly failed to connect during JS’s trip to the eastern , either in person or through correspondence. In this letter, Hotchkiss indicated that he had sent a letter to JS in “some time since.” Because he had not received a response, he sent a second letter, featured here. Still waiting for a reply two weeks later, Hotchkiss wrote a third time, on 1 April 1840. Neither Hotchkiss’s first letter nor JS’s responses to the three letters, if he wrote any, have been found.
By the time wrote the 17 March letter, JS had already left , arriving at , Illinois, by 29 February 1840. However, , who was still in the nation’s capital, received the letter and responded to Hotchkiss, informing him that JS had returned to . The 17 March 1840 letter was presumably sent or carried to the Commerce area by Higbee and was subsequently copied by into JS Letterbook 2—likely sometime between the third week of April and the end of June 1840.
Gent. I some time since addressed a letter to, Mr. Smith at , to which I have recd. no reply, and was in that City two or three weeks ago, but not being able to hear any thing of Mr. Smith, I suppose he must of course have left; and with the hope of still reaching you I now send to — I should have written you long before, and indeed very often this winter. but my health has been miserable, and since my return from I have been confined to my house.
I beg you to inform me how you are progressing with your petition before Congress and its probable result— Whether you have any friends in the House or in the Senate, who will bring forward your case, and advocate it in cincerity— and persevere in your behalf with skill and ability untill something is accomplished. Milk and water friends in Congress are good for nothing. They must be true. have talents, be zealous, or else they will be detrimental rather than advantageous to you— Should you Gent. & come as far east as this it will afford much gratification to have you take up your quarters at my house— I did intend to see you at , but my health will not now permit