Letter to Edward Hunter, 9 and 11 March 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

March 9th. 1842,
Dear Sir
I yesterday had the pleasure of Receving your Letter of Feb. 10— am much pleased that you have effected a Sale, and are So Soon to be with us &c.——
I have purchased the lands you desired, and will use my influence to have the improvements made which you wish, Bro. [Jacob] Weiler rec’d your Letter and says he will do what he Can to have all done,
The Power of Attorney I will forward to you with all its due forms
The Eight hundred dollars for the & I wish you to bring in goods, which I will give you Stock & Credit for, as soon as Received,
I wish you to invest as much money as you possibly can in goods, to bring here, and I will purchase them of you, when you come, if we can agree on terms, or you can have my new brick to rent, I wish the business kept up by some one, in the building as it is a very fine house, and cost me [p. [1]] a handsome amount to build it— Some Eight or ten thousand dollars worth of goods would be of great advantage to this place, therefore if you or some of the Brethren would bring them on, I have no doubt but that I can arrange for them in some way to your (or their) advantage,
As to money matters here, the State Bank is down, and we Cannot tell you what Bank would be safe a month hence, I would say that Gold and Silver is the only safe money a man can keep these times, you can sell Specie here for more premium than you have to give, therefore there would be no loss, and it would be Safe, The Bank you deposit in might fail before you had time to draw out again——
I am now very busily engaged in Translating, and therefore cannot give as much time to Public matters as I could wish, but will nevertheless do what I Can to forward your affairs
I will send you a memorandum of such goods as will suit this market,
Yours affectionately Joseph Smith [p. [2]]
March 11. After diligent enquiry I have learned that the presiding of this circuit is a great distance from this. & it will not. be possible according to present appearances. to get an acknowled[g]ement of the Letter of Atto[r]ney until the former part of May.— If you Sir. & the parties concerned will proce[e]d with the business Just as though you had the Letter. for the purpose of expediting the business. I pledge my honor that a duly authenticatd letter of attorney shall be forth coming at the earliest date possible.— & by so doing you will confer a favor on your fri[e]nd. &c.
Joseph Smith
. Scribe
Dear Sir
I am happy to inform you that we are enjoying general good health in , and are greatly blest, &c.—
If you bring out an engine perhaps we would buy it of you as we are building a steam mill and may not be suited before you Come the most suitable kind would be 9 inch cilindar, about 4½ to 5 ft. Stroke, a double flue boiler 20 to 22 ft. long & 40 to 44 In. diametor, if it has been in use a year or two it is none the worse, and would Come Cheaper, large engines are not profitable, about a 12 horse power is best— If you could bring Bro. Joseph a Lot of goods it were well, as they would help him do the place good, and be no loss to you.—
Yours ever , [p. [3]]
I wrote you some time ago to deposite the am’t of your note ($1100,00) in the Bank in where you left my name. Should that Bank not be safe get the paper with my name on it and deposite in some safe Bank,— or else bring the money with you when you Come.
Yours .
West Nantmeal
Chester Co
Pennsylvania [p. [4]]


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    William Law handwriting begins.  

  2. 1

    Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842.  

  3. 2

    Hunter informed JS that he had just sold one of his farms and intended to move to Nauvoo in May. (Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842.)  

  4. 3

    Hunter requested that JS purchase ninety acres of woodland outside of Nauvoo from Chauncey Robison and an additional forty acres from Hugh McFall. He also asked him to contact Jacob Weiler, whom he had hired to build his home in Nauvoo. Hunter also mentioned that he had asked Weiler to arrange for Stephen Winchester or someone else to plow eighty acres of his land and William Garner to fence the property. (Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842.)  

  5. 4

    Since December, Hunter had tried to send word to Weiler to complete the construction of his home as quickly as possible, including by asking in his 10 February letter to JS that he relay the message. Weiler finally learned that Hunter was trying to contact him from a “Brother Sheets” in late February and wrote to Hunter on 27 February 1842. (Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842; Jacob Weiler, Nauvoo, IL, to Edward Hunter, Chester Co., PA, 27 Feb. 1842, Edward Hunter, Collection, 1816–1884, CHL.)  

    Hunter, Edward. Collection, ca. 1798–1965. Photocopy and typescript. CHL.

  6. 5

    A January 1841 revelation commanded the Saints to build the Nauvoo temple as well as the Nauvoo House, a boardinghouse that would also serve as a home for JS and his family. (Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124:55–56].)  

  7. 6

    On 10 February 1842 Hunter wrote JS expressing his intention to donate $800 in support of both construction projects. Hunter had previously shipped goods from Pennsylvania to Nauvoo. (Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842; Letter from Edward Hunter, 27 Oct. 1841.)  

  8. 7

    JS’s general store was located on the southeast corner of Water and Granger streets. The store opened for business on 5 January 1842. (JS, Journal, 14 Dec. 1841; Letter to Edward Hunter, 5 Jan. 1842.)  

  9. 8

    Thomas Ford recalled that “in February, 1842, the State Bank, with a circulation of three millions of dollars, finally exploded with a great crash, carrying wide-spread ruin all over the State.” In July state bonds reportedly “sold at about sixteen sents to the dollar.” (Ford, History of Illinois, 223; “To the Voter of Sangamon,” Illinois Weekly State Journal [Springfield], 22 July 1842, [4].)  

    Ford, Thomas. A History of Illinois, from Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847. Containing a Full Account of the Black Hawk War, the Rise, Progress, and Fall of Mormonism, the Alton and Lovejoy Riots, and Other Important and Interesting Events. Chicago: S. C. Griggs; New York: Ivison and Phinney, 1854.

    Illinois Weekly State Journal. Springfield, IL. 1831–1869.

  10. 9

    In the 1 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, the first installment of the Book of Abraham was published. That installment came from a portion of the text that JS and others had produced in 1835. JS’s journal entry for 8 March 1842 states that he “Commenced Translating from the Book of Abraham, for the 10 No [15 March 1842 issue] of the Times and seasons—and was engagd at his office day & evening.” The 9 March entry states that JS “continud the Translation of the Book of Abraham.” (“The Book of Abraham,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 3:703–706 [Abraham 1:1–2:18]; JS, Journal, 8–9 Mar. 1842.)  

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    Signature of JS.  

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    William Law handwriting ends; Willard Richards begins.  

  13. 10

    Stephen A. Douglas served as the presiding judge of Illinois’s fifth judicial circuit from May 1841 to October 1843. (Gregg, History of Hancock County, Illinois, 240.)  

    Gregg, Thomas. History of Hancock County, Illinois, Together with an Outline History of the State, and a Digest of State Laws. Chicago: Charles C. Chapman, 1880.

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    Willard Richards handwriting ends; William Law begins.  

  15. 11

    On 10 February 1842 Hunter expressed his intention to bring one or two steam engines to Nauvoo. (Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842.)  

  16. 12

    In the late 1830s and early 1840s, Pennsylvania, like the rest of the United States, was experiencing a financial crisis that effected bank failures and significant depreciation of currency. (Sumner, History of Banking in the United States, 347.)  

    Sumner, William Graham. A History of Banking in the United States. New York: By the author, 1896.

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    William Law handwriting ends; William Clayton begins.