Letter from John C. Bennett, 30 July 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Wayne Co. Ill. July 30th 1840
Rev. Joseph Smith Jr.
Respected Friends:—
It is with difficulty that I can forgo the felicitous of an immediate immersion into the true faith on of your beloved people. I have written you several letters and forwarded you several newspapers to which I hope will be duly receivd as they contain some matters of importance. Is ? or ? to be [p. 168] the general point of concentration for the Mormon people? for at that point I desire to locate, and ever remain.
My anxiety to be with [you] is daily increasing, and I shall wind up my professional business immediately, and proceed to your blissful abode, if you think it best. Look at all my letters and papers and write me forth with. You are aware that at the time of your most bitter persecution, I was with you in feeling & proffered you my military knowledge & prowess. My faith is still strong— I believe the God of the whole earth will avenge your wrongs in time as well as in eternity, O. my friends! go on and prosper; and may the God of all grace save you with an everlasting salvation.
Yours respectfully
[p. 169]


  1. 1

    Bennett enclosed portions of the Louisville Journal in his 25 and 27 July letters to JS and Rigdon. (Letters from John C. Bennett, 25 and 27 July 1840.)  

  2. 2

    The earliest extant versions of all three letters Bennett wrote to JS and Rigdon in July 1840 are those copied into JS Letterbook 2, which did not retain the address panels of the original letters. Bennett apparently directed the letters of 25 and 27 July to Commerce, Illinois, and the letter of 30 July to Nauvoo. His confusion about the name of the Saints’ new gathering place was not unusual. The Commerce area had become more officially known as Nauvoo in April 1840, when the name of the post office changed from Commerce to Nauvoo. However, the names were used interchangeably by both residents and outsiders for some time thereafter. (Letters from John C. Bennett, 25 and 27 July 1840; Robert Johnstone to Richard M. Young, 21 Apr. 1840, in JS History, vol. C-1, 1053; News Item, Times and Seasons, May 1840, 1:106; Alanson Ripley, “Keokuk,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:24; “Official Returns of the Hancock County Election, August 7th, 1843,” Nauvoo Neighbor, 16 Aug. 1843, [2].)  

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

    Nauvoo Neighbor. Nauvoo, IL. 1843–1845.

  3. 3

    Bennett was referring to a letter he apparently wrote to JS during the “Mormon War” in Missouri. When he wrote to JS and Rigdon earlier in July 1840, Bennett also referred to this letter he claimed to have written while JS was in Missouri. (Letters from John C. Bennett, 25 and 27 July 1840; Letter to John C. Bennett, 8 Aug. 1840.)  

  4. 4

    See 1 Peter 5:10.  

  5. 5

    See Isaiah 45:17.