JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , New York Co., NY, 7 Sept. 1842; handwriting of ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm) when folded. The first three pages of the bifolium are inscribed. The document was trifolded in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer.
docketed the letter when he received it, and an unknown scribe added a docket as well. It is unclear how and when this letter came into the possession of the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department). By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL).
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 7 September 1842, JS composed a letter in , Illinois, to in , updating him on several matters, including the status of the construction of the Nauvoo and the ongoing attempts to arrest him and extradite him to . Bernhisel had been appointed of the New York City of the in 1841, and although he had corresponded with JS since then, the two men had never met. JS’s communication was a response to a letter Bernhisel had written to JS a month earlier on 8 August 1842. JS apparently received that letter when he was in hiding at the home of . The entry in JS’s journal for 7 September notes that in the morning, church members and of brought JS “several letters from some of the brethren in that region.” Bernhisel’s letter was likely one of them.
had apparently inquired about the material JS and others planned to use for the roofing on the and evidently offered to help acquire tin from for that purpose. Bernhisel had also apparently made arrangements to give JS as trustee-in-trust of the church part of a tract of land he had purchased near Nauvoo earlier that year. In his 7 September reply, JS informed Bernhisel that church leaders had not yet decided on the roofing material and that he would send him a deed for his purchased property. JS then described the ongoing efforts of certain officials in and to arrest and extradite him. Finally, he informed Bernhisel that and others—including members of the —were en route to on a mission and would more fully update him on the ongoing extradition attempts when they arrived.
JS likely dictated this letter to his clerk . The letter was sent to by post on 14 September. It was mailed from , Illinois, instead of , perhaps because JS suspected that some of his mail was being stolen by the men running the Nauvoo post office. Alternatively, because he was in hiding in Nauvoo at this time, JS may have had the letter mailed from Quincy in order to avoid alerting others to his continued presence in Nauvoo. It is unclear who mailed the letter, but it may have been either or , both of whom were and trusted associates of JS and were in Quincy on 14 September. Bernhisel received the letter by 1 October 1842, when he replied to JS.
In a letter he composed to the church around the same time, JS indicated that he was “journeying,” possibly to remain undetected by authorities seeking his arrest. (Letter to the Church, 7 Sept. 1842 [D&C 128].)
Your friendly communication of the 8th. Ult has been put into my hands.
With regard to the subject treated upon viz, the covering of the Roof of the with Tin &c I have only to say that we have not come to any conclusion what kind of mettals or material we shall use as yet, and I think it would be best not to be in haste about paying money for those materials for some time yet as there are many other things which are far more needful for the at the present time. By the time the material will be wanted for the roof, we shall have had the privilege of mature reflection and as we shall have constant communication between here and there will be little difficulty in getting it when wanted if we conclude to fetch it from there.
I shall have a Deed made out for the six acres of land according to your instructions which I will forward to you for signature and acknowledgement by when he returns, which he will do soon.
I am happy to be able to state that the progresses steadily, notwithstanding the pressure of the times and the wrath of our enemies, [p. ]