, 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.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
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.
when here that it was our intention to present you with a bell for your when you got through with our payments & which we then thought would be at an early day & still think it would be mutually benefical if you can accomplish it— You may rest assured that we should feel a pleasure in doing it aside from pecuniary considerations— I trust from what I have stated and I refer you to your & who I trust is with you before this for the correctness of my statements so far as they have knowledge, that you will admit that without any explanation from you & your friends, we had some cause to feel dissatisfied, & that we do not wish to crush you in your infancy As before stated I believe events have transpired over which you had no control but which were as you see unknown to us, which has led at least in part to the misunderstanding so far, and I hope in future nothing of the kind will occur—
I deeply sympathize with you in the loss your family & have sustained & I sincerely hope you may not soon again be thus afflicted— I notice with regret in the times & seasons that you have had some difficulty in obtaining your types for your new Paper but hope it is removed befor this— I also fear the loss of Messrs & will prevent the publication at an early day— I wish a copy of it & will remit the pay on receiving the first number— I wish you to write me on rec[eip]t of this in relation to the prospects of arranging our claim
<and in relation to your prospects generally— I ought perhaps to mention that after the arrangement with your & last spring I was so confident of carrying their proposition in to effect that I relinquished my store when I was doing a good business with a view of being able to attend to the property which we might receive from them— This of course does not concern you but it adds to my disappointment— I hope & trust that in our future arrangements we shall neither of us have cause to complain— With my best wishes for your future welfare I remain your obedt servt
An editorial in early August had addressed the question of when the Saints would begin publishing a weekly newspaper in Nauvoo. The editors explained that the paper was delayed because the type had not arrived. (“The Weekly Paper,” Times and Seasons, 2 Aug. 1841, 2:497–498.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Don Carlos Smith and Robert B. Thompson were coeditors of the Times and Seasons from 1 May 1841 until Smith’s death on 7 August 1841. Thompson then assisted with the editing of the next issue of the periodical before his own death on 27 August 1841. (“The Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons, 1 May 1841, 2:406; “Death of Col. Robert B. Thompson,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:519.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Tuttle’s letter filled all four pages of the bifolium. At some point Tuttle added extra text in an insertion written sideways and in red ink in the margin of the first page. This line referred JS to that insertion. The transcription of the insertion appears immediately after Tuttle’s note.