, Letter, , Ashtabula Co., OH, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 16 Nov. 1842; handwriting of ; three pages; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes address, docket, and archival marking.
Bifolium measuring 10⅛ × 7⅞ inches (26 × 20 cm) when folded. The letter was inscribed in blue ink. It was trifolded twice in letter style with the outer edge of the second leaf folded in a triangular pattern to form a seal flap. The letter was addressed and sealed with an adhesive wafer, which was pressed with a blind-stamp pattern of three circles.
received the letter, likely by 25 January 1843, when he recorded the reception of the donations associated with the letter, and docketed it. In late 1844, following JS’s death, became one of the interim church trustees and was appointed “first bishop” among other bishops. It was presumably during this time that many of the church’s financial and other administrative records passed into his possession. This document, along with many other personal and institutional documents that Whitney kept, was inherited by Newel K. and ’s daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who was married to Isaac Groo. The documents were passed down within the Groo family. Between 1969 and 1974, the Groo family donated their collection of Newel K. Whitney’s papers to the J. Reuben Clark Library (renamed Harold B. Lee Library in 1973) at Brigham Young University.
Andrus and Fuller, Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 24; Wilkinson et al., Brigham Young University, 4:255.
Andrus, Hyrum L., and Chris Fuller, comp. Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers. Provo, UT: Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1978.
Wilkinson, Ernest L., Leonard J. Arrington, and Bruce C. Hafen, eds. Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years. Vol. 4. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1976.
On 16 November 1842, wrote to JS informing him of the status of the of the in , Ohio. Adams had presided over the Saints in Andover since at least 1837. By 1841 there were about thirty members of the church in the area, though in his letter Adams noted that “a number” of individuals had been since that time. The occasion for Adams writing this letter seems to have been the arrival of Samuel Russell, a church member who was on his way to , Illinois, after attending to personal financial business in the eastern . It appears Adams quickly made arrangements with Russell to carry the donations from the Andover branch with him to Nauvoo; Adams then scrambled to gather what donations he could from the branch with only a few days of notice. Once Adams had assembled the donated goods, he penned this letter to JS describing the conditions of the church in Andover and providing an inventory of their donations. Adams then gave the letter and goods to Russell to transport to Nauvoo.
Russell arrived in by 13 January 1843 and probably presented the letter and most of the branch’s goods to the temple recorder on that date. However, Russell did not differentiate between the cash donations from Andover and his own financial resources. After Russell arrived in Nauvoo, his brother, , argued that Samuel had used too much of the family’s money on his business in the East and claimed twenty dollars of donations from the Andover branch as well as twenty-five pounds of dried apples to recoup these costs. The day he arrived in Nauvoo, Samuel met with JS to explain the problem. Although JS subsequently spoke to Daniel, he was unsuccessful in retrieving the donated money or apples.
The loss of the tithing money from the branch was representative of a broader problem with tithing donations at this time. In spring 1843, JS stated that “many complaints [have] come to me of money being sent which I never received.” Indeed, at a 6 April 1843 of the church, JS complained that collecting donations for the church “have had to[o] great latitude to practise fraud.” JS argued that measures should be taken to ensure that only authorized of the church or members of the received donations on behalf of the church and that even then, the agents or apostles should be held strictly accountable for all the money they received. During his sermon, JS used the loss of the Andover branch’s tithing donations as an example for why tighter regulations were needed.
The letter identifies this individual only as Brother Russell, but when the editors of JS’s history fleshed out some of JS’s later remarks regarding the donations referenced in this letter, they identified Samuel Russell as the church member who brought the letter and donations to Nauvoo. (JS History, vol. D-1, 1514–1515.)
Historian’s Office. General Church Minutes, 1839–1877. CHL
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Ashtabula Co Ohio No 16<the> [16th] 1842
Brother Joseph Smith Dear sir
It is with heartfelt grattitude to our heavenly Father that a priveledge is at this time is aloted me of addressing you through the medium of my pen & informing you of the prosperity of the cause of God which you have been the honored instrument in the Lords hand in bringing to light in These last days for the salvation of the honest in heart by gathering to gather & being prepared to stand upon when the Saviour shall appear in the clouds of heaven with power & great glory. Certain it is that truth will ere long Triumph over falshood bigottry & delusion for almost daily some in this part of the Lords vineyard are becomming convinced of the correctness of those principles which the great Jehove has reveiled unto a falling & apostate world in this generation because it is in accordiance with all other Dispensations heretofore given & of the great plan of salvation which was devised in the cabinet of Eternal Wisdom before the foundation of the world for the final restoration of Israel & the establishment of the Kingdom of God to be thrown no more down forever. During the past year there has been a number added to this of the & also others in verious places in this section of the country where the of Israel have been faithful in proclaiming the everlasting Gospel free free & unmixed from the precepts & doctrins of men. Thus the honest in heart will be gathered out while the hypocrite & those who have drank deep into the sperit of aposticy & deluson both Priest & people are bemoaning themselves because the Lord is spoiling <there> pasture bringing to light the hidden things of dishonisty & causing the light of revelation & the glorious Gospel to shine fourth amid the darkness which has prevaded the world of manakind for the last twelve hundred years & upward. And may the God of the saints be praised & adored because the day spring from of on high has dawned upon a dark & benighted world & brought the principles of life & immortality [p. ]
Several passages in the book of Revelation refer to forty-two months, or the equivalent 1,260 days, when the Gentiles or the beast would have power over the saints of God. In the nineteenth century, many Christians, including Latter-day Saints, argued that the days mentioned in these passages refer to the number of years between the rise of the antichrist and the second coming of Christ. In his revision of the Bible, JS even changed days to years in at least one instance. Based on their varying calculations of when the antichrist came to power, these Christians frequently dated the Second Coming to sometime in the nineteenth century. (Revelation 11:2–3; 12:1–6; 13:5; New Testament Revision 2, p. 152 [second numbering] [Joseph Smith Translation, Revelation 12:5]; see also, for example, “Millerism,” Times and Seasons, 15 Feb. 1843, 4:103–105; Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons, 15 June 1843, 4:230–231; and Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons, 1 Dec. 1844, 5:732.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.