JS, Letter, , Clay Co., MO, to , , Caldwell Co., MO, 1 Dec. 1838; handwriting of JS; two pages; CHL. Includes address, docket, and possible dealer marking.
One loose leaf measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm). The document was trifolded twice in letter style and addressed but not sealed. The document was later refolded, possibly for filing. A docket in unidentified handwriting reads: “Joe Smith Jr | Mormon”. A possible dealer marking in unidentified handwriting reads: “#090”. The docket and possible dealer marking are both in graphite and appear to have been inscribed at the same time. The letter has undergone conservation work. presumably received the letter, and it likely remained in the Smith family’s possession for some time before it was acquired by a third party. The Historical Department of the LDS church purchased the letter from David G. Phillips Co. of North Miami, Florida, in 1979; David G. Phillips Co. represented the estate of E. N. Sampson of Clearwater, Florida.
Kenneth R. Laurence, North Miami, FL, to Robert D. Bingham, Salt Lake City, 15 Jan. 1979; Donald T. Schmidt, Salt Lake City, to Kenneth R. Laurence, North Miami, FL, 23 Jan. 1979, Donald T. Schmidt, Correspondence, CHL; Minutes, 25 Jan. 1979, Historical Department File, 1970s–1980s, CHL. In 1975, rare documents dealer Steve Barnett informed officials in the church’s Historical Department that the letter was in private possession. It was purchased on 24 January 1979. (Steve Barnett, Provo, UT, to Dean Jessee, [Salt Lake City, UT], 2 Sept. 1975, photocopy, CHL.)
Schmidt, Donald T. Correspondence, 1972–1982, 1984. CHL.
Historical Department File, 1970s–1980s. CHL.
Barnett, Steve. Letter, Provo, UT, to Dean Jesse, [Salt Lake City, UT], 2 Sept. 1975. Photocopy. CHL.
On the evening of 1 December 1838, JS wrote a short letter to his wife , informing her that he and his fellow prisoners had been safely transported from , Missouri, to the in , Missouri. The men had been in Richmond for a criminal court of inquiry, at which Judge of the fifth judicial circuit ruled there was probable cause to believe that JS, , , , and had committed treason in , Missouri, and that had committed the same offense in , Missouri. Because treason was a nonbailable offense and neither Daviess nor Caldwell County had a jail, King committed the prisoners to the Clay County jail to await their trials in the spring.
In this 1 December letter, JS did not detail the outcome of the court of inquiry, which suggests that he had previously conveyed that information to his . He noted in this letter that , captain of the militia, would deliver the letter to her in .
My Dear I take this oppertunity to inform you that I we arrived in and commited to this Evening but we are all in good spirits will hand you this line my respects to all remain where you are at preasant