Letter from Jacob Stollings, circa 12 April 1839
- Source Note
, a merchant in , Daviess County, Missouri, wrote a letter to JS around 12 April 1839, introducing a written version of a verbal agreement between the two men. Stollings and JS made the agreement in Gallatin on 12 April, around two days after a grand jury indicted JS for crimes he had allegedly committed during the 1838 conflict, including stealing items from and burning Stollings’s store on 18 October. Several account books had apparently been removed from his store that day, and the agreement specified that Stollings would forgive of the debts they owed for purchasing goods from him in 1838 if JS would recover the merchant’s account books.wrote this letter to introduce the enclosed agreement and to offer to compensate anyone who returned the books. Stollings probably wrote the letter the same day as or within a day or two after writing the formal agreement. He addressed the letter to JS in “Diamon” (a common shortened name for , Missouri), which indicates that Stollings penned the missive after JS and the other prisoners departed on 12 April for Adam-ondi-Ahman but probably before 14 April, when the prisoners departed Adam-ondi-Ahman for on a change of venue. It is unknown whether Stollings delivered the letter and the enclosed agreement or whether he relied on a courier. JS received the letter and took it with him when he and his fellow prisoners escaped from Missouri a few days later. On 27 June 1839, about ten weeks after Stollings wrote the letter, JS responded from his new residence in . Stollings’s letter was copied into JS Letterbook 2 by sometime between June and 30 October 1839; the original letter is apparently not extant.