Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 25 August 1841

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August 25th. 1841
Esqr
Dr Sir
Yours of the 24th ulto., came to hand this day, The contents of which I duly appreciate I presume you are well aware of the difficulties that occurred before, and at, The execution of the writings in regard of the landed transactions between us, touching the annual payments of the interest, If you have forgotten I will here remind you; You verbally agreed, on our refusal, and hesitancy to execute the notes for the payment of the Land, That you would not exact the payment, of the interest that would accrue on them under five years, and that you would not coerce the payment even then, To all this you pledged your honor, and upon an after arrangement, you verbally agreed, to take Land in some one of the Atlantic States that would yield Six per cent interest (to you,) both for the principal and interest, and in view of that matter I deligated my Bro. & Doctor to go east and negociate for Lands, with our friends, and pay you off for the whole purchase that we made of you, But upon an interview with you they learned that you were unwilling to enter [p. [1]] into an arrangement according to the powers that I had deligated to them, That you would not receive any of the principal at all, but the interest alone, which we never considered ourselves, in honor or in justice bound to pay under the expiration of five years, I presumed you are no stranger, to the part of the plat we bought of you, it being a deathly sickly hole, and that we have not been able in consequence to realize any valuable consideration from it, although we have been keeping up appearances, and holding out inducements, to encourage emigration that we scarcely think justifiable in consequence of the mortality, that almost invariably awaits those who come from far distant parts, <​and​> at that with a view to enable us to meet our engagements, And now to be goaded by you for a breach of good faith and neglect, and dishonorable conduct seems to me to be almost beyond endurance, you are aware that we came from destitute of every thing but physical form, and had nothing but our energies and perseverence to rely upon to meet the payment of the extortionate sum, that you exacted for the Land that we had of you, Have you no feelings of commisseration, or is it your design to crush us, with a ponderous load before we are able to walk, or can you better dispose of the [p. [2]] property than we are doing it. for your interest? If so, to the alternative; I therefore propose in order to avoid the perplexity and annoyance that has hitherto attended the transaction, that you come and take the premises and make the best you can of it. Or stand off and give us an oppertunity, that we may manage the concern, and enable ourselves by the management thereof to meet our engagement as was originally contemplated. We have taken a city plat at at the head of navigation for vessels of heavy towage on the most advantagious terms, The proprietors waiting on us for the payment of the plat until we can reallize the money from the Sales, leaving to ourselves, a large and liberal net proffit. We have been making every exertion and used all the means at our command [to lay] a foundation that will now begin to enable us to meet our pecuniary engagements, and no doubt in our minds, to the entire satisfaction of all those concerned, if they will but exercise a small degree of patience, and stay a resort to Coersive Measures, which would kill us in the germ, even before we can (by reason of the season) begin to bud and blossom, in order to bring forth a plentiful yield of fruit.
I am with considerations of high respect your Obt. Servt.
Joseph Smith
P.S. Since writing the above, I have had a conference with my Bro. , who informs me that when he left that he left with [p. [3]] nearly enough of real estate (in the hands of the ) to liquidate the amt. due you, my having been compelled to return, in consequence of ill heal[t]h, expecting that the would have the matter arranged long before this. Therefore so soon as we learn the particulars from we will take such measures, as will most likely meet your approval, We have learned that has been partially blind, which may be the reason why the business has not been arranged as stipulated between you and them. as, he, was to remain, with a view to accomplish that object, after my returned.— I will now give you an account of some recent deaths that have taken place here, My Brother , . and one of my s, together with many other valuable citizens— In fact we are in the midst of death— yours
JS—
 
<​25​>
<​ Ill | AUG | 28​>
Esqr
Con. [p. [4]]

Footnotes

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