Around 13 February 1843, wrote a brief letter to JS at , Illinois, forwarding a copy of a petition requesting that Rigdon be retained as Nauvoo city postmaster. The petition was written to counter efforts to replace Rigdon with businessman as Nauvoo’s postmaster. Rigdon hoped that JS would approve of the petition and assist him in obtaining additional signatures before sending it to John A. Bryan, second assistant postmaster general for the .
Neither the letter nor the petition bears a date, but both were likely written on or around 13 February. On that day, informed JS of ’s efforts to get control of the , stating that member , whose relationship with JS was growing increasingly strained, supported Rollosson. Though JS was opposed to Rollosson assuming the position, he had also criticized ’s management of the post office in 1842. JS formalized his complaints about Rigdon in November, signing and supporting a petition for Rigdon’s removal and for JS’s appointment to the position. Earlier in February 1843, JS had asked Senator for an update regarding the November petition, noting that he was “extremely anxious to learn something on the subject.” Rigdon may have hoped that the February 1843 efforts to replace him with Rollosson would be of greater concern to JS than Rigdon’s continuation in that position and that therefore JS would drop his own efforts to supplant Rigdon.
Extant records do not indicate how JS responded to ’s letter and petition. Furthermore, it is unclear whether Rigdon ever forwarded the petition to the office of the postmaster general. The original copy of this letter is no longer extant. Around 13 February 1843, copied the letter into JS’s journal for that date, and that copy is featured here.
To the Hon Mr Bryant [John A. Bryan] 2d asst P. M. [postmaster] General we your petitioners beg leave respectfully to submit that as an attempt is now beingmade by certain individuals being made. to place the in this place into hands of a strangir in our place. and one whose conduct since he came here, has been such as to forbid our having confidence in him. and we do hope. and pray. both for our sakes. and that. of the public. that he may not recive the appointme[n]t of Post Master in Ills. but that the present post master may continue to hold the office—
Bro J. Smith. If the foregoing can have a number of respectable subscribers I believe cannot get the office. I should like to have it so as to send it out on Thursdays mail. Resp[ectful]ly [p. ]
At the time Rigdon wrote this letter, Bryan was responsible for the United States Appointment Office. Accordingly, all “complaints about postmasters” were directed to him. (Blain, Table of Post-Offices in Ohio, 70.)
Blain, John T. A Table of Post-Offices in Ohio, Arranged by Counties, Townships, and Towns; As They Were, January 1, 1843. . . . Columbus, OH: Wright and Legg, 1843.
U.S. Post Office Department. Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832–September 30, 1971. National Archives Microfilm Publications, microcopy M841. 145 microfilm reels. Washington DC: National Archives, 1977.
TEXT: Possibly “Shundays”. During the nineteenth century, mail was commonly delivered on Sundays. Accordingly, the mail day referred to above would have been either Thursday, 16 February 1843, or Sunday, 19 February 1843. (See “Review of Reports on Sunday Mails,” 149–159.)
“Review of Reports on Sunday Mails.” Christian Spectator Quarterly 1, no. 1 (Mar. 1829): 149–175.