JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , Hancock Co., IL, 12 Dec. 1840; handwriting of JS; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket.
One leaf, measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm). An illegible paper mill mark is present in the upper left-hand corner of the recto. The top, right, and bottom edges of the recto have the square cut of manufactured paper. The left edge is unevenly cut. The leaf was folded in half and then in fourths, presumably for filing, and has undergone some conservation.
The letter apparently has been in continuous church custody since received it. It was cataloged in the JS Collection in 1973 by Church Historical Department staff.
Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 8..
Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.
On 12 December 1840, JS wrote a letter to , one of the in , Illinois. The letter requested that the bearer—whose identity is unknown—be given wood for JS’s . JS had only recently moved into this office, which was later described by as a two-story building, with most of the office work occurring on the second floor. This letter is similar to pay orders JS wrote in 1840 to Whitney and , both of whom served as proprietors of a “Store of Goods” in Nauvoo that was likely used as a .
JS wrote the note himself and signed it. It was taken to in , who made a notation on the back of the document: “Joseph Smith, Letter for Wood 12 Der. 1840.”
I am at work in my am under the necesity to have some help from time to time to help me along in my calling I therefore desire you to let the bearer of this hav[e]<some> of that dry wood to burn in the stove of my office and obliege
In June 1840, JS submitted a memorial to the Nauvoohigh council asking that he be relieved of “the anxiety and trouble necessarily attendant on business transactions” so that he could focus on “those things connected with the Spiritual welfare of the Saints.” The high council voted to have Henry G. Sherwood be a clerk for the sale of city plots in Nauvoo. JS also employed scribes and clerks to help him with record keeping. (Memorial to Nauvoo High Council, 18 June 1840; Minutes, 3 July 1840; Jessee, “Writing of Joseph Smith’s History,” 440–458.)