, Letter, [, NJ], to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 3 Apr. 1840. Featured version copied [between Apr. and June 1840] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 125–127; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
On the morning of 3 April 1840, wrote a letter from to JS regarding Rigdon’s plans to return to the , Illinois, area. Throughout the delegation’s travels in the eastern , Rigdon had been afflicted with poor health. While the delegation waited for Congress to consider the church’s memorial, JS and visited church members in and throughout the Delaware River Valley, and Rigdon eventually joined them. Although JS and Higbee returned to at the end of January 1840, Rigdon remained ill after arriving in Philadelphia and was forced to stay there. According to Higbee, Rigdon finally left Philadelphia for New Jersey on 5 March. The dateline of this letter indicates that Rigdon composed it at the home of near Hornerstown, New Jersey, where he likely stayed.
In the letter, relayed to JS information from a letter Rigdon had received from the previous day: that Congress had declined to further hear the church’s memorial for redress and reparations for the property the Saints lost in . Rigdon also described the financial assistance that Senator provided the church delegation, his own health and plans to return to , and rumors of recent misconduct in , Ohio, by former church leader .
presumably sent the letter to JS by post. The original letter is not extant. The version featured here was copied into JS Letterbook 2 by sometime between the third week of April and June 1840.
at be◊mont, he is well. You may also say to them that the prospect of my speedy restoration to health, is flattering at present; and that I will be there, as soon as I think my health sufficient for the journey. I expect to return to , week after next, and will not tarry one day longer that I think my health requires.
My company is all gone, & am entirely alone; but it is all right, there is no blame, I should have been very glad to have been at the ; but as I cannot, I repine not.
Beleive me Your br. in the hope of eternal life as ever
Robinson was married to Rigdon’s oldest daughter, Athalia. It is unknown why Robinson was traveling to the eastern United States, but he may have been visiting family members around his birthplace, Pawlet, Vermont. A reminiscence states that he had passed through Indianapolis in November 1839. (“G. W. Robinson,” Times and Seasons, 15 Aug. 1842, 3:878.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Rigdon possibly intended to return to Philadelphia in order to travel west by train. From Philadelphia, he could have traveled as far as 82 miles west to Columbia, Pennsylvania, by rail or 253 miles west to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, by canal before traveling the rest of the way to Commerce by land. (Tanner, American Traveller, 99–100.)
Tanner, H. S. The American Traveller; or, Guide through the United States. Containing Brief Notices of the Several States, Cities, Principal Towns, Canals and Rail Roads, &c. with Tables of Distances, by Stage, Canal and Steam Boat Routes. 6th ed. Philadelphia: By the author, 1840.