, 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.
You are hereby authorised to say to the , that I subscribe five hundred dollars for the , including what I have already sent, all to be paid in installments between this and next fall; which they may safely depend on if the Lord prospers me. Br will go hand in hand with me; so that between us. we hope to send one thousand dollars in the course of the season, be sides some little from the Churches.
Say to the Building Committe, and to the in general, for me; “Let not your hands be slack, nor your hearts fe[e]ble; but drive the ahead in the name of the Lord god of Israel; for thus the Spirit whispers in my heart, they shall not lack, nor be left in embarasment.”— I would suggest the Idea of using Le<a>d for the Roofs of the and all other pirmanent buildings; I think it will be found more durable, more conv[en]ient; and cheeper than timber, and will perhaps save whole blocks from being consumed by fire.
The Roofs should be nearly flat, or a little ◊ulling like the deck of a vessel and should be covered with Led, Rolled in Sheets two feet wide, any length that is convenient and burned togather into one solled [solid] mass; about the eighth of an inch thick. [p. ]
In an earlier 1841 letter, Pratt promised to send money for the temple construction: “I have obtained a few dollars for the temple, from two or three individuals, and am in hopes to add something to it, before the sailing of the ‘Tyrean,’ and some more before the sailing of the next ship.” (Parley P. Pratt, Manchester, England, to the Church in Nauvoo, IL, 12 Aug. and 12 Sept. 1841, in Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:625, italics in original.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
In the 1820s and 1830s, fireproofing buildings by constructing them with metal materials became a priority in English architecture, but builders usually used iron, not lead. Though lead was used in the United States for some eighteenth-century architecture, lead was not commonly used in English architecture until the 1850s. (Gayle et al., Metals in America’s Historic Buildings, 8–11, 42–72; Wermiel, “Development of Fireproof Construction,” 3–10.)
Gayle, Margot, David W. Look, and John C. Waite. Metals in America’s Historic Buildings: Uses and Preservation Treatments. Washington DC: Preservation Press, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1980.
Wermiel, Sara. “The Development of Fireproof Construction in Great Britain and the United States in the Nineteenth Century.” Construction History 9 (1993): 3–26.