JS, Letter, , Sangamon Co., IL, to , , Hancock Co., IL, 9 Nov. 1839; handwriting of JS; one page; JS Materials, CCLA. Includes address and docket.
One leaf, measuring 12½ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm), with thirty-eight ruled lines. The document was trifolded in letter style and sealed. Later, the document was refolded for filing. Remnants from the adhesive wafer are on the verso of the letter. The signature of JS was clipped, and a dark stain exists along a crease next to the missing signature.
presumably kept the letter until it was given to or inherited by her son , who in turn donated it to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now Community of Christ).
[Joseph Smith III], “Letters of Joseph Smith, the Martyr,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Dec. 1879, 356–357.
Saints’ Herald. Independence, MO. 1860–.
On the morning of 9 November 1839, JS wrote a letter to from , Illinois, while on his journey to . He and the rest of the delegation seeking redress had departed , Illinois, eleven days earlier, and they stopped in Springfield to allow , who was still recovering from malaria, to further recuperate. The stopover apparently provided JS with time to write home. He explained in the letter that the traveling party was behind schedule because of Rigdon’s poor health and that they planned to leave him in Springfield to recover fully. JS also expressed concern for the welfare of his family, encouraged Emma to care for their children, and requested a reply from her.
The letter was carried from to by a “Mr Law,” who delivered it to sometime before 6 December, when she wrote a letter back to JS and confirmed she had received this letter.
perhaps you may thing [think] strange That we are not further on our Jouny [journey] at this date but I will say that we have done all that we could for the saf[e]ty of on account of his week state of hea[l]th and this morning we are under the neces nesesity of leaveing him at and pesueing [pursuing]our Journy without him we think he will soon recover his health as he is not dangerously sick we regret that he cannot go on with us very muchmuch but cannot help ourselves but must commit him into the hands of God and go on being fil[le]d with constant anxiety for our Families and friends behind I shall be filled <with>constant anxiety about you and the children until I hear from you and in a particular maner litle it was so painful to leave him sick I hope you will wa[t]ch over those tender of[f]springs in a maner that <is><is> becoming a mother and <a> saint and try to cutivete [cultivate] their minds and learn <them> to read and be sober do not let <them> be exposed to the wether to take cold and try to git all the rest you can it will be a long and lonesome time anddureing my absence from you and nothing but a sense of humanity could have urged me on to a so great a sacrafice but shall I see so many perish and <not> seek redress no I will try this once in the <name> of the Lord therefore be patient untill I come and do the best you can I cannot write what I want but believe me <my> feelings are of the best kind towards you all my hand cramps so I must close I am
In a report dated 29 November 1838, Major General John B. Clark of the Missouri state militia estimated that forty church members were killed in the Missouri conflict. (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)