Letter from Horace Hotchkiss, 9 November 1841

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

9th Novr. 1841
Rev. Jos. Smith
Dear Sir— I was gratified in the perusal yesterday of the proceedings of your relative to the “published in the Times and Seasons— Should it be convenient for the editor to send me pr. mail six or eight copies of that paper containing the article refered to I should be greatly obliged to him—
Some time since I wrote you stating that Mr had settled the twenty five hundred dollar Note together with the interest upon it— He gave me two Notes for 721 dollars each against Riley Allen and a piece of Land for 1200 dolls.— Mr Allen has since died and the land I have sold for One thousand dollars so that you will perceive I shall not realise near the face of my Note but is of course no way to blame for that as he could not have foreseen the death of Mr Allen—
I informed you in the same letter that and myself had offered to receive from the and One hundred and thirty seven acres p[r]ime lands for the sum of Three Thousand dollars towards an interest— This he assented to provided it should be thought best after a consultation between himself and the heads of the — I doubt not it will be approved
left about 10 days since for your
Your Obt Servant
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<​ CT​> <​Nov 10​>
Rev. Joseph Smith
Hancock County
Illinois [p. [4]]


  1. 1

    Though this letter and others from Hotchkiss are addressed or have a postal stamp from Fair Haven, Connecticut, Hotchkiss’s residence was a mile or two away in New Haven. (Bond from Horace Hotchkiss, 12 Aug. 1839–A; Bond from Horace Hotchkiss, 12 Aug. 1839–B.)  

  2. 2

    At the October general conference in Nauvoo, Illinois, Orson Pratt read aloud a September 1841 letter from Smith Tuttle, Hotchkiss’s business partner, and the attendees approved a motion for JS to write to Hotchkiss about the debt. Immediately following the October general conference, the Times and Seasons published the conference minutes and an epistle from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that discussed the details of the Hotchkiss purchase and the intention to utilize lands in the eastern United States to cover the debt. The epistle encouraged church members in the East to trade their land for property in Nauvoo and relocate there. (See Minutes and Discourse, 1–5 Oct. 1841; “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, 2:567–570; and Letter from Smith Tuttle, ca. 15 Sept. 1841.)  

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

  3. 3

    JS relayed Hotchkiss’s request to Ebenezer Robinson, who was editor of the Times and Seasons at the time. (Masthead, Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, 2:582; JS, Nauvoo, IL, to Horace Hotchkiss, Fair Haven, CT, 10 Dec. 1841, in JS Letterbook 2, p. 216.)  

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

  4. 4

    JS gave Hotchkiss a promissory note for $2,500 in fall 1840 for payment on the William White property. Hotchkiss had purchased two tracts of land from William White, but before making a full payment to White, Hotchkiss sold the land to JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith. Records indicate that in April 1840, JS bypassed Hotchkiss and paid White directly the amount he was still owed by Hotchkiss; six months later, JS gave Hotchkiss the $2,500 promissory note for the remaining amount owed him on the White purchase. This note, promising payment of $2,500 with interest within eight months, was given to Hotchkiss in October 1840. (Promissory Note to Horace Hotchkiss, 12 Aug. 1839; Receipt from William White, 23 Apr. 1840; Promissory Note to Horace Hotchkiss, 23 Oct. 1840; Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 28 July 1840; Letter from Horace Hotchkiss, 11 Oct. 1841.)  

  5. 5

    In his previous letter of 11 October 1841, Hotchkiss likewise proposed receiving the property at a value of $3,000 and informed JS that Ivins would travel to Nauvoo to ensure that church leaders approved of the transaction. (Letter from Horace Hotchkiss, 11 Oct. 1841.)  

  6. 6

    JS did not mention consulting with Ivins when he answered Hotchkiss on 10 December with a counteroffer of $3,200 for the property. By February 1842 the land exchange was completed and a receipt was created for Hotchkiss for $3,200, settling the interest payment for 1841. (JS, Nauvoo, IL, to Horace Hotchkiss, Fair Haven, CT, 10 Dec. 1841, in JS Letterbook 2, p. 216; Horace Hotchkiss et al., Receipt, Fair Haven, CT, to James Ivins, 28 Feb. 1842, JS Collection, CHL.)  

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    Postal place stamped in brown ink. The stamp is circular.  

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    Date in unidentified handwriting.  

  9. new scribe logo

    Stamped in brown ink.  

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    Postage in unidentified handwriting.