, Letter, , Lancashire, England, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 24 Oct. 1841; handwriting of ; four pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamps, postal notation, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). The letter was written on all four pages and then trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and postmarked in Philadelphia. The letter was later folded for filing.
The document was docketed in its original trifolded state by , who served as JS’s scribe from December 1841 until JS’s death in June 1844 and served as church historian from December 1842 until his own death in March 1854. After the letter was folded for filing, it was docketed a second time by , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office from 1853 to 1859. The letter is listed in a Church Historian’s Office inventory from circa 1904. By 1973 it had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The dockets, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection indicate this letter has remained in continuous institutional custody since its receipt in 1842.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 24 October 1841, wrote a letter from , England, to JS in , Illinois, to report on the British mission and to confirm his intention to send funds for the construction of the in Nauvoo. Pratt was a member of the , and he and the rest of the were called in an 1838 revelation dictated by JS to serve an overseas mission to Great Britain. Several of the apostles eventually headed east a year later in 1839. Pratt departed on 9 March 1840 and arrived in on 6 April. Several months later, he returned to New York to escort his and children to because he expected to stay to preside over the mission when the other members of his quorum returned home. Pratt had been back in England for a year when he wrote this letter.
In accordance with JS’s direction, most of the apostles completed their missions and left during the spring of 1841. Staying behind with his family, managed the ’s printing operations in England, chiefly the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star newspaper, and supervised the continued emigration of church members from England. In his letter, Pratt reported on emigration, church growth, and recent excommunications.
likely mailed the letter in late October or early November. It was stamped upon arrival in on 23 December 1841. A version of the letter was published in the 1 February 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, indicating that the letter was likely received by JS sometime in January.
Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.
Parley P. Pratt, Manchester, England, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 24 Oct. 1841, in Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1842, 3:682–683. Though the letter was formally and primarily addressed to JS, it was common practice to publish such letters reporting on missionary work. In this case, the letter published in the Times and Seasons also included words of encouragement for “the Building Committe, and to the saints in general,” and conveyances of love from Pratt and his wife to friends and fellow Latter-day Saints back home.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
from one to two hundred Saints on board, with at their head.
The in this are generally Rejoicing, and filled with the testimony of Jesus. Great zeal is manifested by the officers in general, of which there is probibly more than one thousand. we are increasing in Numbers and in Gifts and blessings. New of the Church are rising in many places, and great additions made to the old ones. and vicinity has poured forth a stream of emigration for the last 18 months, and still we numbered on at our , two weeks ago, near sixteen hundred members, in between one and two hundred officers; all these with<in> one hours journey of . There has been a general time of pruning, we have cut off upwards of 100 members from this Conferene in a few months; this causes the young and tender Branches to grow with double vigour.— I now come to the principal subject for which I write this letter, viz. the !
The Lord enabled us to send about sixty dollars in Gold by ; this was mostly subscribed by two or three individuals. We shall probibly send as much more by the Ship Chaos, in care of . [p. ]
The October issue of the Millennial Star (printed about one week before the conference) expressed concern about those who had been baptized without a full testimony and ended up “blaspheming against the things now revealed, and railing against the servants of the most high.” It urged that “the rules of the church discipline should be strictly enforced, and iniquity rooted out of the church.” The next month, the Millennial Star reported that 125 members had been excommunicated, and in December the paper notified readers that church member Andrew Gardner and his followers, though professing to be Latter-day Saints, had been excommunicated for “rebelling against the constituted authorities” of the church. (“To the Elders and Priests of the Church of the Saints,” Millennial Star, Oct. 1841, 2:87; Minutes, Manchester, England, 17 Oct. 1841, in Millennial Star, Nov. 1841, 2:105; “Beware of a Deceiver,” Millennial Star, Dec. 1841, 2:128.)