Letter from Levick Sturges and Others, 30 January 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

January 30th 1842
to the and the of the
Dear Brethern as it pleased our heavenly father that you should send unto us who we Received with Joy but it has pleased our heavenly father to Remove him from among us he bore testemony of the truth of the work of God in these Last Days <​to his End​> arrived here on the 22d of December and died on the 20th of inst. arrived here on the 26 of December he was on search of us he had Given up the search for us but through Divine providence there was a Gentleman that Resided in the house where put up that understood there was to be mormon preaching he asked the Landlord to Go with him but he Refused Remarked that he would accompany him so they Came to our place of preaching after Got through arose and addressed the Congregation on Revelation and the authority of the he was Going to start for home the next day. wished him to stop we was all anxious he should to assist in Breaking Down the prejudice of the poeple told that he knew all about his Buisness in the West and assured him there was nothing of a series [serious] nature and if there was any Charge against him for staying here he would take that charge upon himself. Delivered four Lectures. has Delivered about five Lectuers a week our hall is filled sometimes over flowing many have to Go away with out hearing; the Congregations are very attentive and we beli[e]ve there will be much Good Done here many are Believeing and four have offered themselfs for . the poeple are a searching for them selfs the Congregations are taking <​taken​> up with s preaching and they are all anxious that he should stay here it is our prayers to the Lord that he may be permitted to bring his family to this place and stay with us. this is our prayers and Desiers if he is not permitted to stay send us one as soon as you can and send us one that is experienced that understands the whole matter from begin[n]ing to the end please address your anser to one of us
[p. [1]]
Dear Bretheren as I am permited to scribe a line on this sheet— I would just say that if it should meet the approbation of you[r] better minds and the mind of the Lord that I should tarry here for the coming year shorter or longer as you may see fit— I am will<​ing​> to do so provided I can be allowed to bring my family to this with me. this is a kind of a thorough fair for the travling bretheren and a busyness place which If there could be a of the raised up to any considerable extent I think it would be to the temporal as well as the Spiritual advantage of the church
There is a number of gentlemen of wea[l]th and extensive busynes that are constant attendants on my meetings I have sold a good quantity of the Books of Mormon voice of warning Hymn Book Bro. s origin o[f] the Book of Mor—n and Slander Refuted of my own Publication our Books sell fast no mistake and all helps the work— the fact is the day of creaping is over the cause is onward thank God and all that the Priests of baall can do is stand and weep a blat at there own conteptable weakness and Ignorance— as soon as navigation is open up the I shall be at to receive my fate and your decision on my head and give an account of my and my mishion If I have er[r]ed I still have the truth which is this church and its doctrin Where I have er[r]ed I hope to find Mercy. Where I have done right I hope to be Justifyed. To be abused I wont be with out showing proper resentment as I have been by some I have meet with with since I see you— is my Enemy—
. [p. [2]]
Give My Love to all Saints Please send word to my family that I am well and shall be home Early in the Spring—
I am hap[p]y to say I am you[r] humble servant and Bro in the faith and patience of the Gospel of Christ
To the
of the
Joseph Smith Jr & [1/2 page blank] [p. [3]]
Mr. Joseph Smith— Jr
Hancock Co
By the politeness of [p. [4]]


  1. new scribe logo

    Handwriting presumably of Levick Sturges begins.  

  2. 1

    Gee wrote that in late December he “was laboring under a very violent cold.” (Letter from George Gee, 30 Dec. 1841.)  

  3. 2

    On Sunday, 26 December 1841, Page presumably found them preaching at the hall the Saints rented “in the central part of the City” on Sunday and Thursday evenings. (Letter from George Gee, 30 Dec. 1841.)  

  4. 3

    Richard Savary, who later joined the church, credited Page for having “convinced me of my errors, relative to the divinity of the Bible . . . and the result is, I am almost persuaded to be a Christian, on the principles contained in the Book.” (Letter from Richard Savary, 2 Feb. 1842, italics in original.)  

  5. 4

    Gee wrote to the First Presidency in December 1841 informing them that he had asked Page to stay and agreeing “to take the blame . . . if there was any” for Page’s decision to acquiesce and remain in Pittsburgh. (Letter from George Gee, 30 Dec. 1841.)  

  6. 5

    Twenty-three people, none of whom were members of the church, later signed a petition requesting that Page return to Pittsburgh after his visit to Nauvoo. (Petition from Richard Savary et al., ca. 2 Feb. 1842.)  

  7. new scribe logo

    Signatures of William Small, Levick Sturges, Jeramiah Cooper, and George Simon.  

  8. new scribe logo

    Handwriting presumably of Levick Sturges ends; John E. Page begins.  

  9. 6

    Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor traveled through Pittsburgh in 1841 on their way to Nauvoo and gave advice to other elders planning to take that route. (Brigham Young, Pittsburgh, PA, to Willard Richards, Richmond, MA, 9 June 1841, Willard Richards, Journals and Papers, CHL.)  

    Richards, Willard. Journals, 1836–1853. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, boxes 1–2.

  10. 7

    Between 1837 and 1842 there were four printings of Parley P. Pratt’s Voice of Warning. (Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:69–71, 97–98, 172–173, 182.)  

    Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.

  11. 8

    A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Use of the Latter Day Saints, edited by John E. Page and John Cairns (no publisher, 1841). (See Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:152–154.)  

    Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.

  12. 9

    This is likely a reference to Orson Pratt’s A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records, first printed in 1840 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Two American editions were printed in 1841. (Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:127–129, 160–161.)  

    Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.

  13. 10

    John E. Page, Slander Refuted (no publisher, 1841). (See Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:173–174.)  

    Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.

  14. 11

    See 1 Kings 18:17–40.  

  15. 12

    Page was apparently planning to travel down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River. According to an early American steamboat directory, ice on the Ohio River usually broke up in February, rendering the river “open for navigation.” In March 1838 the chief engineer of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reported that “the navigation of the Ohio River opens always by the 1st of March, and generally by the middle of February.” (Lloyd, Lloyd’s Steamboat Directory, 50–51; Documents Submitted by the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, 12; see also Roberts, Practical Views on the Proposed Improvement of the Ohio River, 48–49.)  

    Lloyd, James T. Lloyd’s Steamboat Directory, and Disasters on the Western Waters, Containing the History of the First Application of Steam, as a Motive Power. . . . Cincinnati: James T. Lloyd, 1856.

    Documents Submitted by the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, in Behalf of Their Application to the Legislature of Virginia. Richmond, VA: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 1838.

    Roberts, W. Milnor. Practical Views on the Proposed Improvement of the Ohio River. Philadelphia: Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1857.

  16. 13

    In September 1841 Page recommended that Winchester be replaced as the president of the Philadelphia branch. That same month, Winchester wrote JS to inform him that Page had not increased his efforts to meet Hyde in England, despite the Times and Seasons notice reprimanding Page for his delay. (Letter from John E. Page, 1 Sept. 1841; Letter from Benjamin Winchester, 18 Sept. 1841; Notice, Times and Seasons, 15 Jan. 1841, 2:287.)