Minutes, , Geauga Co., OH, 28 Nov. 1834. Featured version copied [not before 25 Feb. 1836] in Minute Book 1, pp. 77–80; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
On 28 November 1834, the , Ohio, , including JS, met with and his cousin , who, with Joseph’s sister, Caroline, had stopped in Kirtland on their way from , New York, to . The three Tippetses were apparently in 1832 and were part of the Lewis of the church, which consisted of “about forty disciples” by September 1832. In 1833, visited the region and Joseph Tippets as a and his older brother as an . visited the branch in March 1834 and stated that he “found a band of brethren desireing to serve the Lord but labouring under some disadvantages for want of understanding.” Lyman stayed with them for a few days, and upon his departure, the branch provided him with money to help him go to Missouri, as well as “$2. for papers & [$]4 for Revelaton.”
In December 1833, a revelation instructed the branches of the church to “gather to gether all their monies” and send “wise men” to to purchase land there. Accordingly, in 1834, the branch collected almost $850 to buy land in Missouri. Sometime after 20 October 1834, , , and Caroline Tippets carried the money to , where they sought guidance from the high council on whether to continue to Missouri that winter. The Tippetses presented the council with a letter from , who may have been the presiding authority in the Lewis branch. The letter outlined the Lewis branch’s plans to go to Missouri and purchase land there and delineated the contributions branch members had made for the purchases. A June 1834 revelation indicated that much of the “church abroad,” or the branches outside of Kirtland, had been unwilling to purchase land in Missouri and migrate there. The willingness of the Lewis branch to follow the counsel of the December 1833 revelation was probably heartening to JS, who in August 1834 characterized the church in the Kirtland area as being “in a languid cold disconsolate state” and commented that church members needed to “with one united effort perform their duties” so that the church could gather again to in , Missouri.
Despite the branch’s desire to migrate, the high council advised the Tippetses to stay in for the winter. Because the Lewis branch would no longer need their funds immediately if they sojourned in Kirtland, the high council requested a loan of $430 from the branch’s representatives. and Caroline Tippets agreed to loan the money, which JS, , and promised to repay by 15 April 1835. They may have intended to use the money to help , who, according to the minutes of a September 1834 high council meeting, was in “embarrassed circumstances” at the time. The money may also have been needed to make payments on the land where the was being constructed or for materials to build the house. Regardless of what it was used for, the money came at an opportune time, and JS and Cowdery expressed gratitude to God for the loan on 29 November. According to Eleanor Wise Tippets, John’s wife, JS later “returned to John H Tippets, every dollar due.”
kept the original minutes of the meeting, though they are not extant. At some point, likely in 1836, copied the minutes, as well as the letter from , into Minute Book 1.
Lyman, Journal, 26 Mar. and 7 Apr. 1834. The money for “papers” was probably for subscriptions to The Evening and the Morning Star; the money “for Revelaton” may have been for copies of a December 1833 revelation that had been printed as a broadsheet. According to Eber D. Howe, editor of the Painesville Telegraph, the revelation was taken to the “congregations” of the church, some of which paid “one dollar per copy” for it. (Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 155.)
Howe, Eber D. Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous Golden Bible Was Brought before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries into the Probability That the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spalding, More Than Twenty Years Ago, and by Him Intended to Have Been Published as a Romance. Painesville, OH: By the author, 1834.
Ames, Autobiography, 1834, . At least one payment of $1,500 for the land was due in April 1835, and it is possible that another $1,500 payment, due in April 1834, had not yet been made. (Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 17, pp. 38–39, 10 Apr. 1833, microfilm 20,237, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; see also Revelation, 4 June 1833 [D&C 96:2]; and Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 17, pp. 359–361, 17 June 1833, microfilm 20,237, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
Ames, Ira. Autobiography and Journal, 1858. CHL. MS 6055.
The then decided that Joseph Smith Jur. take such amount of said money as those brethren can part with for the present, by giving sufficient security, to be paid, with interest, by the 15th of April 1835. It was ascertained by the council sister Caroline Tippits [Tippets] held $.149.75 of the money mentioned in said letter, She was accordingly called into the council— and expressed a willingness to loan the same, A Note of $.280. was drawn in favor of , due April 15th. 1835 and signed by Joseph Smith Junr & and another in favor of Caroline Tippits of $.150. due April 15th. 1835 signed by Joseph Smith Jn. &. . The council then closed in prayer by J. Smith Junr
Clerk of Conference)
The next Counsellors will be arranged as follows.
The following letter was presented by and formed the subject of the preceding council.
Written to brother Joseph & high council in by to be sent greeting.
Brother Joseph will recollect the time I left last winter in order to come for to dispose of the property I had in possession, which I have been striving to do, from that time till about the first of Sept. last. [p. 78]
It is unclear how much property Alvah Tippets had. His father (John’s uncle) died in 1826, leaving Alvah, at the age of seventeen, as the head of his household in Lewis. (Taylor, Heavens Are No Longer as Brass over Our Heads, 5–6; 1830 U.S. Census, Lewis, Essex Co., NY, 317.)
Taylor, Matthew J. The Heavens Are No Longer as Brass over Our Heads: A Biography; Alvah Lewis Tippets, 1809–1847. Provo, UT: By the author, 2013.
Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.