Letter from Smith Tuttle, circa 15 September 1841
, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, ca. 15 Sept. 1841; handwriting presumably of ; four pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, docket, and notation.Bifolium measuring 12¾ × 7¾ inches (33 × 20 cm); each leaf is ruled with thirty-seven horizontal blue lines. The top right corner of the first page is embossed with a logo from a paper mill: “I. Donagle New Haven”. The letter was written on all four pages, trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with an adhesive wafer, and stamped for postage. The second leaf was torn, likely when the letter was opened. An additional notation was added in unidentified handwriting. The additional notation appears to have been contemporaneous. The letter was later folded for filing and inscribed with a docket.A docket by , who served in a clerical capacity for JS from 1841 to 1842, indicates the document was retained by the office of JS in 1841. The letter is listed in a Church Historian’s Office inventory from circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The docket, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection suggest continuous institutional custody of the letter since its receipt.
In September 1841, wrote a letter to JS about the ’s payment on a debt owed to him and his business partners. Tuttle, , and were partners in a land syndicate in that sold on credit to JS and the church significant amounts of property in the area of Illinois in 1839. Paying the interest due on this debt was among JS’s most pressing financial concerns in 1841, and he had written a letter to Hotchkiss in August 1841 expressing frustration at what he considered Hotchkiss’s unreasonable demands for an interest payment at that time. Because of his business relationship with Hotchkiss, Tuttle wrote to JS to clarify some of the misunderstandings between JS and Hotchkiss.These misunderstandings resulted in part from the actions of and , whom JS had appointed as church and sent on a mission in spring 1841 to make payments on the land debts. Hyrum Smith and Galland planned to exchange lands in and for lands owned by church members in and and then transfer to the deeds to those eastern lands as payment. In March the two men met with Hotchkiss, who agreed to accept the land deeds as payment. Working with , Galland evidently secured some properties in early April. The properties, however, were never transferred to Hotchkiss’s ownership, prompting a letter of inquiry from Hotchkiss to JS on 24 July. JS’s response called into question Hotchkiss’s motives for seeking immediate payment and criticized him for not having patience with the Saints in the midst of difficult circumstances. In the letter featured here, defended Hotchkiss and outlined the failure of church agents to follow through on transferring the lands.apparently wrote this letter on or shortly before 15 September, the date he mailed the letter through the , Connecticut, post office. JS received the letter sometime before 5 October and responded with a letter on 9 October.