, Letter, , Saratoga Co., NY, to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 23 May 1842; handwriting of ; two pages; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU.
Single leaf measuring 7¾ × 4½ inches (20 × 11 cm), ruled with thirteen brown lines (now faded). The letter was inscribed with blue ink. The top of the recto appears to be hand cut, with a second cut about one line below that, running the width of the leaf. The left edge of the recto appears to have been torn from a larger leaf, leaving significant tears that removed text along the left edge of the recto. The right and bottom edges of the recto have the square cut of manufactured paper, with some tearing along the bottom edge. The letter was apparently torn from a larger letter written by to an unidentified individual, instructing the recipient to give the letter featured here to JS. The larger letter is no longer extant. The featured letter has one horizontal fold and two vertical folds, possibly made for filing. Marked water damage and subsequent decay resulted in a loss of text. The leaf has undergone conservation.
In late 1844, following JS’s death, became one of the interim church trustees and was appointed “first bishop” among other . 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.
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.
On 23 May 1842, member wrote to JS in , Illinois, from , New York, reporting on the state of the church there. By 1839, Martin had married , a cousin of JS, and moved to , Lee County, Iowa Territory. In August 1841, he left Nashville to proselytize in the eastern . In November, Martin wrote to JS from La Porte, Indiana, reporting on his missionary activities and asking JS to check on his family “the first time that you go” to Nashville. About a month before Martin sent the featured letter to JS, was expecting Martin to arrive in , Massachusetts, to assist Snow in preaching there. However, it appears that Martin did not join Snow in Salem since he was proselytizing in eastern at that time.
By the time wrote his 23 May 1842 letter, Latter-day Saint missionaries had been present in and around for at least five years. At a held in June 1842, in Utica, New York, Martin reported that had a of eighteen members and that a branch he had organized approximately sixty miles to the south in Windham, New York, had six members.
In this 23 May letter to JS, reported on his work in ; asked for instructions on dealing with property offered to the church, presumably by Latter-day Saints; and requested a subscription to the Times and Seasons on behalf of a church member residing in Windham. The letter appears to have been written on a larger page that Martin sent to another recipient, with instructions to forward the featured portion to JS. The recipient evidently tore the written communication to JS from the larger leaf and likely hand delivered it. No response from JS is known. Because the torn edges of the document have removed or obscured the text in several instances, some text has been editorially provided in brackets, based on contextual conjecture.
[page torn] few lines to brother Joseph forward it to him [as] [so]on as posible
May the 23th
May the 23th 1842 Saratoga Co N Y
Dear brother in the Lord I am well at the preasant and that [thes]e few lines may find you in joying the same the worke the Lord [page torn] [o]pening in all parts as fair [far] as I can hear such a cry for preaching I never seen it has been vary cold and dry this spring and has evry appeuriance [appearance] of famin and the people are much fri[gh]tened about the water I wish that you would notice in the times and seasons that I have established a small of the in Windom [Greene] Co Ny and they request that coming that way [page torn] call, if they please, I wrot[e] to you about some property [p. ]