Letter to Oliver Granger, 4 May 1841

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

City of May 4, 1841
Dear .
having returned and given me a statement of his journey and proceedings in the East, which have been very pleasing and satisfactory. I was sorry to hear that you had been so sick, and not able to attend to business as much [as] could be desired.
I have since heard that you have had a relapse, and that you were very sick again, this I was sorry to hear— However I hope you will yet recover and that we shall see you at this place before long.
I am very anxous indeed to have the matters which concern the settled as soon as possible, for until they are I have to labor under a load that is intolerable to bear, I therefore respectfully reccommend to you to give a whole statement of the whole affairs to who is yet in the east, and will be in soon, and get him to take the matter into his hands and get the thing business straitened up. This I must beg leave to urge upon you to do, for delays are dangerous, your health is precarious and if any thing should occur— [p. [1]] so that you were to bid adieu to mortality it would be impossible for me ever to get the run of the business and I should be again involved in difficulties from which it would be impossible for me to extrecate myself. Now dear Brother I do hope you will see the reasonableness of this my request and assist in the affair.
I do not make these observations because I have lost confidence in you far from it, but I feel impressed to write what I have done, from a sence of duty which I owe to the , to you and to myself.
I wish you to see that the judgment obtained on the mortgage on the , in the Circuit Court, be entered satisfied, and I will settle with you <​the same​> as if you held it yourself— House & Lot I want deeding to Mrs and her heirs.
I am happy to inform you, that things are going on well in this place, we have been greatly prospered, and many are flocking in from Europe & about 300 have arrived in less than a week, more are on the way. [p. [2]]
I shall be anxous to hear from you, as soon as possible, relative to these matters &c
I am with great respect very respectfully
Joseph Smith
The house and store encumbered by the debts for the “Plates” is are now at liberty, <​that debt​> having <​been​> settled that debt You can therefore let t[ake] control over them untill I settle w[ith] him. You will also keep possession of the Keys of the . until you receive further instructions from me.—
Joseph Smith
sends his respects to you and family.— [p. [3]]
<​ Ills​>
<​May 8th​>
Lake Co
Ohio [p. [4]]


  1. 1

    Hyrum Smith returned prematurely from his trip to the eastern United States due to illness, but while there, Smith and Galland had reportedly succeeded in obtaining “nearly enough” land to pay the church’s debts. (Report, Times and Seasons, 1 May 1841, 2:403; Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 25 Aug. 1841; Letter from Smith Tuttle, ca. 15 Sept. 1841; JS et al., Bond, Nauvoo, IL, to Henry Kern, Bart Township, PA, 6 Apr. 1841, JS Collection, CHL; Isaac Galland, Philadelphia, to Edward Hunter, [West Nantmeal Township, PA], 27 July 1841, Edward Hunter, Collection, CHL; Robert Peirce, Nauvoo, IL, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 28 Feb. 1842, in Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 3:715.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

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

  2. 2

    JS had recently been served a pay order for one of the debts Granger was assigned to settle. (Letter to Amos Keeler, 16 Mar. 1841.)  

  3. 3

    Existing records do not reveal the circumstances or details of this judgment. Church leaders mortgaged the House of the Lord in Kirtland in July 1837 to Mead, Stafford & Co. Although the deed transferred ownership of the building to that firm, the church maintained use of the facility. Granger had apparently satisfied the mortgage debt by January 1841, since in a January 1841 letter JS said he was pleased that Granger had secured “the keys of the Lords House.” (Historical Introduction to Deed to William Marks, 10 Apr. 1837; Mortgage to Mead, Stafford & Co., 11 July 1837; Letter to Oliver Granger, 26 Jan. 1841.)  

  4. 4

    Agnes Coolbrith Smith was the wife of JS’s younger brother Don Carlos Smith. After learning that Granger had regained possession of Don Carlos’s property in Kirtland, Ohio, Don Carlos wrote a letter to Granger in February 1841 imploring him to arrange for the transfer of the house and lot back to himself. (Don Carlos Smith, Nauvoo, IL, to Oliver Granger, Kirtland, OH, 14 Feb. 1841, Don Carlos Smith, Letters to Oliver Granger, 1841, CHL.)  

    Smith, Don Carlos. Letters to Oliver Granger, 1841. CHL.

  5. 5

    The recent influx of British immigrants resulted from the apostles’ decision to help converts from Great Britain emigrate to the United States. (Fielding, Journal, 1840–1841, 10; Joseph Fielding, Liverpool, England, to Willard Richards, Preston, England, 25 Mar. 1840, Willard Richards, Papers, CHL; see also Letter from Brigham Young and Willard Richards, 5 Sept. 1840; Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 15 Dec. 1840; and Report of the First Presidency to the Church, ca. 7 Apr. 1841.)  

    Fielding, Joseph. Journals, 1837–1859. CHL. MS 1567.

    Richards, Willard. Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490.

  6. 6

    Almon Babbitt.  

  7. 7

    During their efforts to found a banking venture known as the Kirtland Safety Society, JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery commissioned banknote plates to be produced by the New York engraving firm Underwood, Bald, Spencer & Hufty in late 1836. By June 1837 the founders of the Kirtland Safety Society had defaulted on their debt, and the engraving firm took legal action to obtain payment. (See Kirtland Safety Society Notes, 4 Jan.–9 Mar. 1837; and Transcript of Proceedings, 16 Apr. 1839, Underwood et al. v. Rigdon et al. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1839], Final Record Book X, pp. 34–36, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH.)  

  8. 8

    See Letter to Oliver Granger, 26 Jan. 1841.  

  9. new scribe logo

    Postage in unidentified handwriting.  

  10. new scribe logo

    Postal place and date in unidentified handwriting.