, Letter, , Allegheny Co., PA, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 15 Aug. 1842; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, dockets, and notation.
Single leaf measuring 12¼ × 7½ inches (31 × 19 cm), ruled with thirty-four blue lines (now faded). The top, bottom, and right edges of the leaf’s recto have the square cut of manufactured paper, while the left edge is uneven, suggesting the leaf was removed from a bound volume or was a leaf from a bifolium. The letter is written in blue ink except for the address, which is in black ink. The document was folded in half, then trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and sealed with an adhesive wafer. When the letter was opened, the wafer tore a hole in the leaf, which eliminated some text. The letter was later refolded for filing.
, who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844, docketed the document. , who was a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office from 1853 to 1859, added another docket. The notation “copied by A.J.” was apparently added by a clerk or secretary for Andrew Jenson, who served as assistant church historian from 1897 to 1941. The document was listed in an inventory that was produced by the Church Historian’s Office circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early dockets and notation, the circa 1904 inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
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.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 15 August 1842, wrote a letter from to JS in , Illinois, discussing the need to refute highly publicized charges was making against JS and the . By the time this letter was written, the Sangamo Journal in , Illinois, had published several letters from Bennett accusing JS of immoral conduct. Some newspapers in the eastern had reprinted Bennett’s letters or provided summaries of them. According to Page, these publications were influencing public opinion and adversely affecting proselytizing efforts. Page strongly encouraged JS to rebut Bennett’s accusations in print; Page himself had recently written a series of articles for the Pittsburgh newspaper the Morning Chronicle that refuted the antagonistic work of La Roy Sunderland. JS and others had already taken some action along these lines. On 27 July, an extra edition of the Nauvoo newspaper the Wasp published affidavits, editorials, and other documents refuting Bennett’s charges against JS. The 1 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons then reprinted many of these items.
also praised , who, along with , was traveling to from . Adams had returned in April from a fourteen-month mission to , and in June and July he had engaged in debates with George Montgomery West over the teachings of the church. According to Page, Adams would transmit to JS more information about the effects of ’s allegations on public opinion. Page also asked JS to send him the Wasp extra, as well as issues of church newspapers, hymnals, copies of the Book of Mormon, and other books and pamphlets that he could sell as he continued to proselytize in .
apparently sent his hastily written letter to JS with and . The letter was evidently delivered to JS on 7 September 1842, when Adams and Rogers gave JS “several letters from some of the brethren” in the eastern . No response from JS is extant.
See John C. Bennett, Nauvoo, IL, 27 June 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 8 July 1842, ; John C. Bennett, Carthage, IL, 2 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 15 July 1842, ; John C. Bennett, Carthage, IL, 4 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 15 July 1842, ; and John C. Bennett, St. Louis, MO, 15 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 22 July 1842, .
See, for example, “A Row among the Mormons,” Sun [Baltimore], 22 July 1842, ; “Trouble in the Mormon Camp,” New-Bedford (MA) Register, 27 July 1842, ; and “Important from the Far West,” New York Herald, 21 July 1842, .
Page’s first article attacking Sunderland’s book, Mormonism Exposed, was published in the 13 June 1842 issue of the Morning Chronicle. Other installments were published throughout June and July, ending with the 20 July 1842 issue. (“Mormonism Alias, Truth,” Morning Chronicle [Pittsburgh], 13 June 1842, ; “Mormonism—Concluded,” Morning Chronicle, 20 July 1842, .)
I wish you to send me a copy of all the papers sent me from the first to last the Star published at the messenger and Advocate &c, &c— I will pay when I can is the best I can say— please Send me Hymn Books & the Book of mromon [Mormon] to sell on commission and all other Books of or Pamphlets such as you please Give me a bill of Prices at the wholesale on commishion— the signs of good in this are good at this time our chapel was full last evening the reports are very favorable this morning scores are on the fence— I am now writing for the methodist paper in this city—
The Evening and the Morning Star was the church’s monthly newspaper from 1832 to 1834, published in Independence, Missouri, under William W. Phelps’s editorship until the printing office there was destroyed by a mob in July 1833. It recommenced publication in December 1833 in Kirtland, Ohio, under Oliver Cowdery’s editorship and continued through September 1834, when it was replaced by the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, also edited by Cowdery. The Messenger and Advocate was published monthly through November 1837 under different editors, including Cowdery, John Whitmer, and Cowdery’s brother Warren A. Cowdery. (Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:32–34, 47.)
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.
In an earlier letter, Page stated that he had “secured the old Cumberland Church” in Pittsburgh for the Saints. This was likely a Presbyterian church located on Sixth Street in Pittsburgh. It had the capacity to accommodate five hundred people. (Times and Seasons, 1 July 1842, 3:843; History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1:323–324.)
History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Including Its Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time. . . . 2 vols. Chicago: A. Warner, 1889.
This newspaper may have been the Christian Advocate, a publication of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which began publication in 1833 as the Pittsburgh Conference Journal, edited by the Reverend Charles Elliott. The name was changed to the Christian Advocate in 1841. (Killikelly, History of Pittsburgh, 498.)
Killikelly, Sarah H. The History of Pittsburgh: Its Rise and Progress. Pittsburgh: B. C. and Gordon Montgomery, 1906.