, Letter, , Wayne Co., IL, to and JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 27 July 1840. Featured version copied [probably ca. Aug. 1840] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 170–171; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
wrote to and JS on 27 July 1840, repeating much of the message from a letter he had written to them two days earlier. Bennett reiterated that he intended to retain his recently acquired position as quartermaster general of the militia and that he had offered to assist the during their difficulties in . Bennett also reminded JS and Rigdon of his decision to move to , Illinois, to join with the Saints. In this slightly lengthier 27 July letter, he more explicitly stated that he intended not only to move to the Saints’ new gathering place but also to become a member of their faith. He also requested more information about the , Illinois, area. In his response, dated 8 August 1840, JS answered this question in detail and addressed other topics from Bennett’s letter.
The original letter is apparently not extant, but copied the letter into JS Letterbook 2, probably soon after JS received it.
I wrote you a few days ago from this place but I my great desire to be with you and your people prompts me to write me again at this time; and I hope it will not be considered obtrusive by friends whom I have always so highly esteemed as yourselves.
At the last district and circuit Court of the , holden at in June last I had the honor of being on the grand Inquest of the for the District of , and hoped to have seen you there; but was quite disappointed. I attended the meeting of your people opposite Mr Lowry’s Hotel but did not make myself known as I had no personal acquaintance in the Congregation.
It would be my deliberate advice to you to concentrate all of your at one point— If with for its commercial Emporium is to be that point, well,— fix upon it and let us co-operate with a general concerted action. You can rely upon me in any event. I am with you in Spirit, and will be in person as soon as circumstances permit, and immediately if it is your desire. Wealth is no material object with me; I desire to be happy and am fully satisfied that I can enjoy myself better with your people [p. 170]
McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 1. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).
The United States Circuit Court for the District of Illinois was moved to Springfield in the late 1830s, where court was held twice each year, in June and December. Federal district judge Nathaniel Pope presided over the June 1839 court, and Bennett served on the jury. (History of Sangamon County, Illinois, 84–85; Meese, “Nathaniel Pope,” 19, 21.)
History of Sangamon County, Illinois; Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages, and Townships. . . . Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1881.
Meese, William A. “Nathaniel Pope.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 3 (January 1911): 7–21.