, Letter, , New York Co., NY, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 12 July 1841; handwriting of ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamps, postal notation, endorsement, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 9⅞ × 7⅝ inches (25 × 19 cm). The leaves are ruled with thirty horizontal blue lines (now faded). An embossed logo from the paper mill “Southworth Co., Springfield” is visible in the top left corner of the first page. The letter was written on the recto and verso of the first leaf and the recto of the second leaf, trifolded twice in letter style, and addressed.
, who served in a clerical capacity for JS from 1841 to 1842, added a docket on the verso of the second leaf, noting the receipt of “$. 4.25,00”. A second docket was later added on the same leaf in the hand of , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office from 1853 to 1859. The document was folded for filing. The early dockets suggest that the letter has remained in institutional custody since its receipt in 1841.
On 12 July 1841, wrote a letter from to JS in , Illinois, requesting that JS purchase land for him. In March of that year, Bernhisel had asked JS for help securing property in Nauvoo. JS replied in April that he would “endeavour to obtain a suitable place” for Bernhisel and invited him to send an unspecified amount of money with an of the . This 12 July letter authorized JS to act on Bernhisel’s behalf in purchasing land. Bernhisel, a member of the church who had never met JS, also enclosed a certificate of deposit for $425.
In his March letter, apparently expressed the desire to obtain a very large parcel of land close to the center of , perhaps near the construction site of the . In his response in April, JS informed Bernhisel of the rapidly rising real estate prices in the city and suggested Bernhisel widen his search if he wanted to secure a large tract of land with the amount of money he wanted to spend. JS, who managed the sales of Nauvoo land, had overseen numerous property transactions from 1839 to 1841.
After penning the letter, sent it by mail from . JS received the letter approximately three weeks later, accepted Bernhisel’s money and request, and sent a reply to Bernhisel in the first week of August.
I have delivered your Message to the Bretheren here respecting your reply to their letter on the subject of for the dead. We were rejoiced to here that you were delivered out of the hands of wicked and ungodly men. It was reported that you designed making us a visit about the latter part of May, we therefore anxiously expected you, but it is superfluous to add that were disappointed. I have for several weeks past transmitted the New York Evangelist to the Editors of the Times & Seasons, if it is of no service to them, please say to them if they will return a no. I will discontinue sending it. arrived in this on the 6th instant, on his way to , and will sail for in a few days. has not yet returned from the state of . We have had the pleasure of a flying visit from Elders , & . I tender to you my grateful acknowledgments for your kind offer to attend to this affair, but it is with some reluctance that I accept it, for your are no doubt almost overwhelmed with business.
With sentiments of the highest Regard I am yours in the Gospel
176 Hudson street
P. S. delivered three discourses yesterday to crowded congregations, and requests me to present his best respects [p. ]
JS was arrested on 5 June 1841 based on a requisition that former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued to Illinois governor Thomas Carlin to extradite JS as a fugitive from justice. After obtaining a writ of habeas corpus at Quincy, Illinois, JS attended a hearing in Monmouth, Illinois, on 8 June and was discharged on 10 June 1841, when the arrest was ruled invalid. (“The Late Proceedings,” Times and Seasons, 15 June 1841, 2:447–448.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.