JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , New York Co., NY, 13 Apr. 1841; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal notations, endorsement, and docket.
Bifolium measuring 12¾ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm). Embossed in the upper left corner of the first page are a decorative star and “D. & J. Ames, Springfield”, the insignia of a Springfield, Massachussetts, paper mill firm. The pages are ruled with thirty-five horizontal lines in blue ink. The letter was written on the recto and verso of the first leaf, and then the document was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. The last page has a 1-inch (3-cm) tear on the edge to the left of the wafer.
Presumably the letter was acquired by the church sometime after ’s arrival in , Illinois, in 1843 and has remained in continuous institutional custody. By 1973 it had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL).
Whiting, “Paper Making in New England,” 309; Gravell et al., American Watermarks, 235.
Whiting, William. “Paper-Making in New England.” In The New England States: Their Constitutional, Judicial, Educational, Commercial, Professional and Industrial History, edited by William T. Davis, vol. 1, pp. 303–333. Boston: D. H. Hurd, 1897.
Gravell, Thomas L., George Miller, and Elizabeth Walsh. American Watermarks: 1690–1835. 2nd ed. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2002.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 13 April 1841 in , Illinois, JS dictated a letter to in in response to a letter from Bernhisel dated 6 March 1841; Bernhisel’s letter is apparently no longer extant. In his letter, Bernhisel, who was a practicing doctor of medicine in New York and a recent convert to the , had evidently requested JS’s help in obtaining property in Nauvoo.
’s request generated a series of at least nine letters between himself and JS over the course of the next year. Seven of the extant letters deal with property matters and Bernhisel’s relocation. Their correspondence confirms that Bernhisel wanted to relocate and join the members of the church living in and that he hoped to secure property before his relocation. Bernhisel received the letter featured here on 10 May and responded to it on 12 July 1841.