Letter from Levick Sturges and Others, 30 January 1842
, , , and , Letter with postscripts by , , Allegheny Co., PA, to the (including JS) and , , Hancock Co., IL, 30 Jan. 1842; handwriting presumably of and handwriting of ; signatures presumably of , , , and and signature of ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, dockets, redactions, and notations.
Bifolium measuring 11⅞ × 7½ inches (30 × 19 cm). The letter begins on the verso of the first leaf, continues on the recto of the second leaf, and concludes at the top of the recto of the first leaf. The document was trifolded twice in letter style, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and addressed. The recto of the second leaf contains wafer residue, and there is a tear on the verso surrounded by wafer residue. The letter was later refolded for filing.
The document was docketed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. Another docket was inscribed by , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) from 1853 to 1859. Graphite redactions and a notation in the body of the letter are in the handwriting of Andrew Jenson, who began working in the Church Historian’s Office in 1882 and served as assistant church historian from 1897 to 1941. Another notation, “Copied by A.J.”, was apparently added by a clerk or secretary for Jenson. The document was listed as a letter from 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 notations as well as its inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
JS, Journal, 29 June 1842; “Clayton, William,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:718; Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18, 30–31.
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.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 30 January 1842, four members in —, , , and —wrote to the and in , Illinois, notifying them of the recent death of and requesting that apostle remain in the city to preach. Gee was assigned the previous October to serve a mission in Pittsburgh. He arrived on 22 December 1841, only four days before , who was en route to Nauvoo to explain his delay in leaving on a mission to Europe and Palestine. At Gee’s request, Page remained in the city to help proselytize. As reported in the 30 January letter, Page continued preaching in Pittsburgh after Gee died, and because Page’s oratory attracted large audiences, the four church members in Pittsburgh requested that Page be allowed to remain and move his family there as well.
apparently wrote the letter, after which he, , , and signed it. Then added two postscripts. In the first, he expressed his willingness to remain in if he could also relocate his family there, discussed the advantages of establishing a in the city, and reviewed his successful labors there. He also explained his intention to report to in the spring to account for his delay in leaving on his mission. In the second postscript, he asked JS to relay his love to the Saints and his plans to see his family when in Nauvoo.
The letter indicates it was carried to by the “politeness of S. Bennet,” referring to , who had been in five days before and was likely passing through en route to . No letter of response from the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has been located, but the letter likely influenced the decision of the April 1842 special to assign to serve in Pittsburgh.
Dear Brethern as it pleased our heavenly father that you should send unto us who we Received with Joy but it has pleased our heavenly father to Remove him from among us he bore testemony of the truth of the work of God in these Last Days <to his End> arrived here on the 22d of December and died on the 20thof inst. arrived here on the 26 of December he was on search of us he had Given up the search for us but through Divine providence there was a Gentleman that Resided in the house where put up that understood there was to be mormon preaching he asked the Landlord to Go with him but he Refused Remarked that he would accompany him so they Came to our place of preaching after Got through arose and addressed the Congregation on Revelation and the authority of the he was Going to start for home the next day. wished him to stop we was all anxious he should to assist in Breaking Down the prejudice of the poeple told that he knew all about his Buisness in the West and assured him there was nothing of a series [serious] nature and if there was any Charge against him for staying here he would take that charge upon himself. Delivered four Lectures. has Delivered about five Lectuers a week our hall is filled sometimes over flowing many have to Go away with out hearing; the Congregations are very attentive and we beli[e]ve there will be much Good Done here many are Believeing and four have offered themselfs for . the poeple are a searching for them selfs the Congregations are taking <taken> up with s preaching and they are all anxious that he should stay here it is our prayers to the Lord that he may be permitted to bring his family to this place and stay with us. this is our prayers and Desiers if he is not permitted to stay send us one as soon as you can and send us one that is experienced that understands the whole matter from begin[n]ing to the end please address your anser to one of us
On Sunday, 26 December 1841, Page presumably found them preaching at the hall the Saints rented “in the central part of the City” on Sunday and Thursday evenings. (Letter from George Gee, 30 Dec. 1841.)