Letter from Elias Higbee, 9 March 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Mar. 9. 1840
Dear Bro,
I expected by this time, that we would be through with our business, but the chairman of the committee gave notice last week, he should call it up to day, in the Senate: though ’s having gone to , it will not be called up untill his return, which will be on next thursday, according to the information that I have obtained relative to this matter.
If the resolution is passed, as annexed to the Report; I shall get my papers, and leave the — I have written some letters to , which, it seems he did not get, (at least all of them). writes; that lefit [left] for the Jerseys, on the 5th. inst. He stated, that he expects me to come there, to go with him home; and that he would write m[o]re soon on the subject— I shall [wait] for him to make the necessary arrangements
He says. Dr. Ells’ family left about a week ago, for ; also that the there numbers about one hundred, and , , & , were to sail from to on the 7th inst. As I have lately written several letters to you,”— I shall bid adieu not to write again unttill after the Senate acts upon our business Mr. [John M.] Robinson says, he has sent you a Report, notwithstanding I shall enclose another, for you— I have changed my place of boarding in consequence of Mrs Richeys. breaking up house keeping, and gone to Baltimore,— I am busy here at chimney corner preaching— Yours as ever, in the Bonds of everlasting love
P.S.
Lest my previous Letters, should not come to hand, I m[e]rely say that I will have been before the committee, three days, and done all in my power to effect the object of our mission—have spoken my mind freely on the subject; an[d] feel to have a conscience void of [p. 104] offence towards God in this matter— The subscription of which the Report makes mention— was on condition, they could not lawfully do any thing for us— After examination we were to submit and wait untill the great disposer of human events, shall adjust these things, in that place where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest— (This I think is nearly the sentiment, though perhaps not the very worlds words). And I for one hope and pray, the time will soon come, when they will not trouble us in the West as they have hitherto done— There is a man here, <​who​> owns two printing presses, and much Type, reading our Books, (on whom I occasionally call), I will, with the assistance of God, get to come to the West as soon as possible with his press, that you may set him to printing the truth— He told me if we had any printing to do, he would do it cheap; and even go to the West if necessary—
Give my respects to , and also all the household of faith
[p. 105]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Senator Garret D. Wall. (Journal of the Senate of the United States, 26th Cong., 1st Sess., 16 Dec. 1839, 11.)  

    Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, Being the First Session of the Twenty-Sixth Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1839, and in the Sixty-Fourth Year of the Independence of the Said United States. Washington DC: Blair and Rives, 1839.

  2. 2

    12 March 1840. The Senate did not hear the report and resolution of the Committee on the Judiciary until Monday, 23 March 1840. (Journal of the Senate of the United States, 26th Cong., 1st Sess., 23 Mar. 1840, 259–260; Letter from Elias Higbee, 24 Mar. 1840.)  

    Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, Being the First Session of the Twenty-Sixth Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1839, and in the Sixty-Fourth Year of the Independence of the Said United States. Washington DC: Blair and Rives, 1839.

  3. 3

    The judiciary committee resolved that it would “be discharged from the further consideration of the memorial in this case; and that the memorialists have leave to withdraw the papers which accompany their memorial.” (Report of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 4 Mar. 1840.)  

  4. 4

    Bennett was appointed as the presiding elder of the Philadelphia branch in January 1840. (Minutes and Discourse, 13 Jan. 1840.)  

  5. 5

    Rigdon joined JS and Higbee in Philadelphia around 14 January 1840, but he remained there after JS and Higbee returned to Washington DC at the end of that month. (Historian’s Office, JS History, Draft Notes, 14 and 27 Jan. 1840, 2.)  

  6. 6

    A letter from Bennett to Higbee has not been located, nor has any communication from Rigdon to Higbee.  

  7. 7

    TEXT: Possibly “write”.  

  8. 8

    Likely Josiah Ells, a former Methodist preacher who was baptized by Benjamin Winchester in Upper Freehold Township, New Jersey, on 1 October 1838. (Benjamin Winchester, Payson, IL, 18 June 1839, Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons, Nov. 1839, 1:11; History of the Reorganized Church, 3:764.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

    The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 8 vols. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1896–1976.

  9. 9

    Higbee was likely referring to the Philadelphia branch of the church, over which Bennett presided. (Minutes and Discourse, 13 Jan. 1840.)  

  10. 10

    This group of missionaries sailed to England on the Patrick Henry on 9 March 1840. (Heber C. Kimball to Vilate Murray Kimball, Commerce, IL, 3 Apr. 1840, Heber C. Kimball, Collection, CHL.)  

    Kimball, Heber C. Collection, 1837–1898. CHL. MS 12476.

  11. 11

    Robinson, a senator from Illinois, had worked with JS and Higbee in their efforts to petition Congress. (Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo High Council, 5 Dec. 1839; Letter to Seymour Brunson and Nauvoo High Council, 7 Dec. 1839.)  

  12. 12

    Robinson and Higbee apparently had copies of the judiciary committee’s report; these copies were likely made from the manuscript draft of the report because the Senate did not order it printed until 23 March 1840. (Journal of the Senate of the United States, 26th Cong., 1st Sess., 23 Mar. 1840, 259–260.)  

    Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, Being the First Session of the Twenty-Sixth Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1839, and in the Sixty-Fourth Year of the Independence of the Said United States. Washington DC: Blair and Rives, 1839.

  13. 13

    20–22 February 1840. (Letter from Elias Higbee, 20 Feb. 1840–A; Letter from Elias Higbee, 21 Feb. 1840; Letter from Elias Higbee, 22 Feb. 1840.)  

  14. 14

    See Acts 24:16.  

  15. 15

    “The subscription” refers to the resolution in the report of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. (Report of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 4 Mar. 1840.)  

  16. 16

    See Job 3:17.  

  17. 17

    In a subsequent letter, Higbee identified the printer mentioned here as William Green. In response to Parley P. Pratt’s request to print the Book of Mormon and other church publications in New York, Hyrum Smith urged Pratt to send to the Commerce area any printers willing to settle there so that the First Presidency could supervise the printing. (Letter from Elias Higbee, 24 Mar. 1840; Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 22 Nov. 1839; Hyrum Smith, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt, New York City, NY, 22 Dec. 1839, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 80–81.)  

  18. 18

    Rockwell and Foster were part of the group that traveled to the eastern United States with JS, Rigdon, and Higbee. (Historian’s Office, JS History, Draft Notes, 29 Oct. 1839, 66; Historical Introduction to Letter of Introduction from Sidney Rigdon, 9 Nov. 1839.)