, Letter, , Saratoga Co., NY, to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 23 May 1842; handwriting of ; two pages; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU.
Single leaf measuring 7¾ × 4½ inches (20 × 11 cm), ruled with thirteen brown lines (now faded). The letter was inscribed with blue ink. The top of the recto appears to be hand cut, with a second cut about one line below that, running the width of the leaf. The left edge of the recto appears to have been torn from a larger leaf, leaving significant tears that removed text along the left edge of the recto. The right and bottom edges of the recto have the square cut of manufactured paper, with some tearing along the bottom edge. The letter was apparently torn from a larger letter written by to an unidentified individual, instructing the recipient to give the letter featured here to JS. The larger letter is no longer extant. The featured letter has one horizontal fold and two vertical folds, possibly made for filing. Marked water damage and subsequent decay resulted in a loss of text. The leaf has undergone conservation.
In late 1844, following JS’s death, became one of the interim church trustees and was appointed “first bishop” among other . It was presumably during this time that many of the church’s financial and other administrative records passed into his possession. This document, along with many other personal and institutional documents that Whitney kept, was inherited by Newel K. and ’s daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who was married to Isaac Groo. The documents were passed down within the Groo family. Between 1969 and 1974, the Groo family donated their collection of Newel K. Whitney’s papers to the J. Reuben Clark Library (renamed Harold B. Lee Library in 1973) at Brigham Young University.
Andrus and Fuller, Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 24.
Andrus, Hyrum L., and Chris Fuller, comp. Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers. Provo, UT: Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1978.
On 23 May 1842, member wrote to JS in , Illinois, from , New York, reporting on the state of the church there. By 1839, Martin had married , a cousin of JS, and moved to , Lee County, Iowa Territory. In August 1841, he left Nashville to proselytize in the eastern . In November, Martin wrote to JS from La Porte, Indiana, reporting on his missionary activities and asking JS to check on his family “the first time that you go” to Nashville. About a month before Martin sent the featured letter to JS, was expecting Martin to arrive in , Massachusetts, to assist Snow in preaching there. However, it appears that Martin did not join Snow in Salem since he was proselytizing in eastern at that time.
By the time wrote his 23 May 1842 letter, Latter-day Saint missionaries had been present in and around for at least five years. At a held in June 1842, in Utica, New York, Martin reported that had a of eighteen members and that a branch he had organized approximately sixty miles to the south in Windham, New York, had six members.
In this 23 May letter to JS, reported on his work in ; asked for instructions on dealing with property offered to the church, presumably by Latter-day Saints; and requested a subscription to the Times and Seasons on behalf of a church member residing in Windham. The letter appears to have been written on a larger page that Martin sent to another recipient, with instructions to forward the featured portion to JS. The recipient evidently tore the written communication to JS from the larger leaf and likely hand delivered it. No response from JS is known. Because the torn edges of the document have removed or obscured the text in several instances, some text has been editorially provided in brackets, based on contextual conjecture.
that was profered to be given for the [page torn] part was to be given but have receved no answer from you I [page torn] Concluded you thought it not best to take it if you do I wish y[ou] to write to as soon as you receive this
Pleas send the times and Seasons to Elijah Fuller to Windom, Pa Green County Ny for one yea[r begin]ning with the first number of abrihams history and I will send you the money for the same the first safe opertunity and hold my self responsible for the same, pray for me and for my success in the redeemers cause Yours with respec[t]
This letter from Martin is not extant. In October 1841, church leaders asked members to donate their time and goods to support the effort to build the temple in Nauvoo. They also invited members in “the eastern states” who had an abundance of property “to appropriate some portion thereof for the benefit of his [God’s] people.” Some church members decided to donate proceeds from the sale of their property for the construction of the temple. The church conference held in Utica, New York, in June resolved that Martin “be recommended . . . to receive donations for the building up of the Temple.” (Brigham Young et al., “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, 2:568; Letter from John Vance, 1 Nov. 1841; “Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 15 July 1842, 3:861.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
According to a later autobiographical account, Fuller, who was born in Windham, was baptized by Martin in May 1842. Fuller was then “ordained an Elder and appointed to preside over the [Windham] branch.” (“From an Octogenarian,” Deseret Evening News [Salt Lake City], 26 Apr. 1894, 2.)