Letter from Samuel Bent and George W. Harris, 23 September 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Sept. 23d. 1840
To The
& of the
We gladly embrace this opportunity of conveying a few lines to you by who, I expect will leave this place for in a few days. Brother and have visited the several of the Church in , Pike Co, & .
On our way we stoped at and Pleasant Garden, Indiana; we found the bretheren generally willing and anxious to do all in their power to assist the church in the great and glorious cause that we have engaged in respecting the printing of the several Books in contemplation; but, I am sorry to say, I found them destitute of the means to relieve our present necessity. However we have succeeded in obtaining several notes of hand from different bretheren in the state of to the amount of about Eighty three dollars which will come due on the first day of Oct next and we have handed them over to for to be delivered to Joseph Smith Jr. for collection.
We expect will arrive with them at the time they become due. We have obtained some money which we have paid over to Br. we have also given our obligations as for the church to Mr. Shepherd [Edwin Shepard] & [George] Stearns to the amount of three hundred dollars, two hundred of which becomes due on the 26th. day of Nov. next and the other one hundred on the 26th day of December next being the amount due Shepherd and Stearns for the Stereotype Plates. We have taken up the bonds that bro. Brown gave for the waggon or carraige which he let Joseph Smith Jr. have, and we have succeeded in procuring a horse and harness to put along side of the other horse to make it easier for him. We got said horse and harness by contribution from the bretheren at & West Milton Ohio— Bro. (we think) has been very economical, diligent [p. 179] and persevering & successful in the business whereunto he was sent. He has gained the confidence of the gent. with whom he has been transacting business in this , & has has done honor to the cause of Christ and his . We can further say to you, bretheren, We think the course he has taken and our united exertions with him has established the credit of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in this place, (I mean as to business transactions,) to that extent that we can obtain any amt. of Paper Type and other materials requisite to carry on the printing business to a large extent and upon terms that will warrant us success.
We therefore shall go on with renewed courage and zeal trusting in the Lord to prepare the way before us, and we feel to ask your prayers that God peradventure may expand the minds of the saints abroad, that they may be able to comprehend the magnitude of the work which we so much desire to accomplish, which, in all probability, will induce them to donate with alacrity.
Bro is preaching with the manifestations of the spirit, and power in this place and with considerable success. We think [when] leaves the city of the inhabitants thereof will be left without excuse for not receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ & his garments clear from their blood in the day of Judgement. Accept our love and best wishes,
Yours in the bonds of the
. [p. 180]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Robinson arrived in Nauvoo by 4 October. (Minutes and Discourse, 3–5 Oct. 1840.)  

  2. 2

    Robinson later recalled contracting with Edwin Shepard for $550 for stereotyping, with a paper manufacturer for $250, and with a bookbinder for $250 for leather and the binding of two thousand copies of the Book of Mormon. (Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 260.)  

    The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.

  3. 3

    In a detailed account of his interactions and agreements with Shepard, Robinson later noted Shepard’s enthusiastic support in enlisting binders and paper suppliers in addition to his own stereotyping and printing services. Robinson also reported that all debts owed Shepard and others were paid in full and on time. (Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 260–262.)  

    The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.

  4. 4

    “Bro. Brown” is probably a reference to the Mr. Brown who was a neighbor to Andrew Lamoreaux in Dayton, Ohio. JS left a few horses in Dayton during his trip to Washington DC in 1839 and, according to testimony sworn by Lamoreaux years later, stayed there again on his return trip in early 1840. (Robert D. Foster, “A Testimony of the Past,” True Latter Day Saints’ Herald, 15 Apr. 1875, 225; Andrew Lamoreaux, Statement, 10 June 1844, JS Office Papers, CHL.)  

    Saints’ Herald. Independence, MO. 1860–.

    JS Office Papers / Joseph Smith Office Papers, ca. 1835–1845. CHL. MS 21600.

  5. 5

    Page similarly praised Robinson’s efforts in his letter of the same date: “He merits the esteem and confidence of the saints and all good men for his diligence and economy while getting the Book of Mormon stereotyped &c.” (Letter from John E. Page, 23 Sept. 1840.)  

  6. 6

    Decades later, Robinson recounted that when he returned to Nauvoo he brought with him “several fonts of type, and material for a stereotype foundary and book-bindery, and a winter’s supply of news and book paper” that he had purchased from various suppliers in Ohio. Robinson bought some materials with cash and some on credit, which he reported paying in full within the allotted time. (Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 261–262.)  

    The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.

  7. 7

    Page had been in Cincinnati since at least the “latter part of August,” when he and Orson Hyde parted ways while in the city. Page wrote on 23 September that he had baptized thirteen people since his arrival and that “many are believing.” (Letter from Orson Hyde, 28 Sept. 1840; Letter from John E. Page, 23 Sept. 1840.)  

  8. 8

    In his 23 September letter, Page wrote to JS and the church members in Nauvoo that he intended to depart for Philadelphia “as soon as possible.” (Letter from John E. Page, 23 Sept. 1840.)