Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 29 October 1841

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

29 October 41
Brother Joseph
Dear Sir,
I am in this place in good health and spirits, tho some what worse for ware riding in the stage knight & day, I have not recd. any information from Brother Patten since I left , I calld. at the Post Office in Rochester expecting to receive a letter from him but found none. we have purchased near 5000$ worth of Goods & have the most part of them in this place and the balance I expect Brother Chase will be here with within about 10 days, I think I will forward what I have here to Portsmouth by the first boat & wait untill Br Chase arrives at this place and assist him in geting the balance through the Canal, and ship them all of them on one boat on the Ohio riv[er] as I do not like to have them too much scattered— The goods we have purchased consist mostly of Woollen clothes Calicoes & domestic Cottons— I drop you this line that you may be made acquainted as Earley as possible with the amount of our purchases &c— and you may expect we shall be at as Earley as possible— I trust you will not fail to Call & let my family know that I am on my way home &c—
In haste but as ever yours truly
P. S. I shall pay a short visit to while waiting for Br Chase [p. [1]]
<​ [OH] [OC]T [31]​>
Mr. J. Smith
Handcock Co
Illinois [p. [2]]


  1. 1

    Possibly one of David W. Patten’s brothers, such as John Patten or Archibald Patten, who were both members of the church.  

  2. 2

    This almost certainly refers to Rochester, New York, a city of approximately 20,000 people located on the Erie Canal, although it might also refer to Rochester, Ohio, a small village located approximately fifty miles southwest of Cleveland. (Peck, History of Rochester and Monroe County, New York, 1:52, 59–60.)  

    Peck, William F. History of Rochester and Monroe County, New York, from the Earliest Historic Times to the Beginning of 1907. 2 vols. New York: Pioneer Publishing, 1908.

  3. 3

    There were several men with the last name Chase who were members of the church, including Isaac Chase, Darwin Chase, Sisson Chase, and Stephen Chase. It is unclear to which “Brother Chase” Whitney refers in this letter.  

  4. 4

    Portsmouth, Ohio, was the southern terminus of the Ohio and Erie Canal, where the canal emptied into the Ohio River.  

  5. 5

    TEXT: “riv[hole in page]”. The hole in the page was caused by the removal of a red adhesive wafer used to seal the letter for mailing. The torn-off paper is still adhered to the wafer.  

  6. 6

    Whitney apparently planned to meet with “Brother Chase” and send all the goods together via the Ohio and Erie Canal to the Ohio River, down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River, and then up the Mississippi River to Nauvoo.  

  7. new scribe logo

    Postal place and date stamped in brown ink. “[incomplete ink transfer] [incomplete ink transfer]T [incomplete ink transfer]”.  

  8. new scribe logo

    Postage in unidentified handwriting.