Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 10 March 1842
- Source Note
On 10 March 1842 JS wrote to in regarding various land transaction proposals. In August 1839 JS, , and , informally acting on behalf of the , agreed to purchase approximately four hundred acres of land in , Illinois, from Hotchkiss and his business partners, and . The land comprised much of the north half of what subsequently became the city of . While the principal owed for this large purchase was not due for nearly two more decades, interest payments of $3,000 per year had begun accruing. To pay the first year’s interest two weeks earlier, the church—through —transferred some property in to Hotchkiss, Tuttle, and Gillet.As had notified JS of the partnership’s willingness to accept land in lieu of cash, JS wrote to Hotchkiss in early March with additional proposals of land transfers. One of these involved a sizeable property near , Indiana, owned by Dr. . The value of this property and similar properties that could be made available in short order, JS reported, was enough to cover the $50,000 principal of the purchase, concluding the 1839 sale if Hotchkiss and his colleagues agreed to take it.JS closed his letter by describing the plight of the State Bank of Illinois, suggesting that without reliable paper money in circulation, land transfers would be the most efficient and profitable way for and his partners to receive payment for the property. Though Hotchkiss responded to JS’s letter the following month, he did not directly address the significant offer of ’s land.The original letter is apparently not extant. inscribed the original and later copied it into JS Letterbook 2, probably around the time the letter was written.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Gillett Family Papers, 1736–1904. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.
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.