Letter to John M. Bernhisel, 4 January 1842

Document Transcript

Copy of a letter to Dr .
176. Hudson Str
 
January 4. 1842
Dear
Yours of the 11th Dec. post Marked 13th. is rec[e]ived & I have this day made a purchase according to your request, of 60 acres of land off the South Side, of the south east quarter, <​of​> Section 9. of Township six north, of range 8 west, of the 4th principal Meridian in the tract appropriated for Military bounties, for the Sum of $480. I.E. $8. per Acre, which is less than its present value, & that on account of Previous advances on your part.
The land is situated about 2 miles east by south of the , and of an excellent quality though perhaps not quite so great a proportion of timber as you would have preferred, yet it was the best chance which presented itself to me at present, We do not long expect to be dependent on wood, from this immediate vicinity for firing our , there are, unquestionably, inexaustable mines of coal in the neighborhood, not far beneath the surface, which we expect will shortly be opened, furnishing an abundance of fuel at a moderate price, & also lights for the , as soon as means can be brought in requisition to establish Gas works.
The purchase I made of Mr & have his deed to you for the Land, & I shall improve the earliest opportunity. to forward it to the Recorders Office, for entry, and after that is accomplished I will file it away with my Deeds, holding it subject to your order.
The certificate of deposite referred to in your letter, July 12— 1841 for $425,
together with the 8th Sept for . of 40
$465,
deducted from the, 480
paid for the land, leaves a balance in my favor of $15—
[p. 221] concerning which you will act your pleasure or or convenien[c]e. I would rather it should be forwarded by the brethren, or some private conveyance, than risque it in the Post office, &c
&c—
I remain yours in the
Joseph Smith.
pr Scribe
omitted all but the business Part.— [p. 222]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    This letter is apparently not extant.  

  2. 2

    JS and Emma Smith’s farm was located nearby, in the northeast quarter of section 8. Hancock County sat on a tract of land that had been set aside to pay veterans of the War of 1812. Later, these lands were sold to land speculators. Most of the parcel mentioned here had been granted to Thomas Kennedy in 1817. (Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, 1840–1904, vol. 1, pp. 228–229, 16 Sept. 1841, microfilm 954,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Flanders, Nauvoo, 117; Land Patent for Thomas Kennedy, Hancock Co., IL, no. 2396, General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Flanders, Robert Bruce. Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965.

    General Land Office Records. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior. Digital images of the land patents cited herein are available at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/.

  3. 3

    This parcel of land was prairie land, which tended to sell for much less than town property throughout the region. (See Anthony Hoffman, Rushville, IL, to John Reid, Argyle, NY, 1 Nov. 1833, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.)  

    Hoffman, Anthony. Letter, Rushville, IL, to John Reid, Argyle, NY, 1 Nov. 1833. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.

  4. 4

    On 12 July 1841 Bernhisel asked JS to purchase land with a “sufficient quantity of timber.” (Letter from John M. Bernhisel, 12 July 1841.)  

  5. 5

    On 20 March 1842 the Twelve Apostles, in an epistle to the Saints abroad, also championed the prospects of obtaining “coal in abundance” in Nauvoo. (Brigham Young et al., “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Times and Seasons, 1 Apr. 1842, 3:738; see also JS, Journal, 12, 14, and 16 Jan. 1842.)  

  6. 6

    “Gas works” were public works buildings devoted to producing gas from coal, which could then be used for lighting. (See Strickland et al., Reports, Specifications, and Estimates of Public Work in the United States of America, 12–14.)  

    Strickland, William, Edward H. Gill, and Henry R. Campbell, eds. Reports, Specifications, and Estimates of Public Works in the United States of America. . . . London: John Weale, 1841.

  7. 7

    Letter from John M. Bernhisel, 12 July 1841.  

  8. 8

    Letter from John M. Bernhisel, 8 Sept. 1841.  

  9. 9

    Other letters exchanged between JS and Bernhisel used similar valedictions. (See, for example, Letter to John M. Bernhisel, 3 Aug. 1841; and Letter from John M. Bernhisel, 8 Sept. 1841.)