, , Jackson Co., MO, Proposal for ’s City Center, ca. late Sept. 1833; retained copy, [ca. late Sept. 1833]; handwriting of ; one page; Edward Partridge Papers, CHL.
One leaf measuring 7⅜ × 12⅛ inches (19 × 31 cm). The document contains two ink drawings—one on each side of the leaf—of the plat for the ’s two center blocks with dimensions and explanations. This document and others in the collection underwent conservation efforts in the mid-1980s.
This document, along with other papers belonging to , was in the Partridge family’s possession until at least the mid-1880s, sometime after which it came into the possession of the Church Historian’s Office.
See Whitney, “Aaronic Priesthood,” 5–6; Partridge, Genealogical Record, 1; and the full bibliographic entry for the Edward Partridge Papers in the CHL catalog.
Whitney, Orson F. “The Aaronic Priesthood.” Contributor, Apr. 1885, 241–250.
Partridge, Edward, Jr. Genealogical Record. 1878. CHL. MS 1271.
Over a two-month span, church leaders in received two different sets of plats and plans to be used for laying out the and constructing religious buildings. Remarking on the need to revise the original patterns, wrote that the first city plat was “incorrect, being drawn in haste.” redrew the plat and, apparently at JS’s direction, sent the revised version to Missouri with two messengers, and , who left , Ohio, between 18 August and 4 September and arrived in , Missouri, in late September. In the document featured here, proposed a further modification to the revised plat by rearranging the twenty-four temples in the city’s two central blocks.
To , ’s remark that the first version of the city plat was incorrect may have suggested that further modifications, particularly to the plat, were welcome. Even though the original explanation of the plan of the House of the Lord sent in June 1833 stated that “the plot for the City and the size form and dime[n]sions of the house were given us of the Lord,” Partridge apparently thought that the arrangement of central temple blocks on the revised version “was not by revelation.” His suggested alterations adjusted the positions of the temples to create more equal spacing between the buildings on each square. On the revised plat sent to in August 1833, the temples were set back four rods (sixty-six feet) from the street on the north and south sides and two rods (thirty-three feet) back on the east and west sides. The revised plat also called for a four-rod (sixty-six-foot) separation between the east and west ends of the respective buildings and a ten-rod (165-foot) separation between the north and south ends of the buildings. Partridge, on the other hand, suggested a four-rod (sixty-six-foot) setback between the buildings and the streets on all sides. He rearranged the temple rows and reconfigured the buildings within the temple blocks so that there were three temples across and four down, rather than four across and three down. He additionally proposed putting a space of “between 6 & 7 rods” between the middle column of buildings running north and south and the two outside columns of buildings and a separation of 5⅓ rods (846 feet) between each of the rows of buildings that would run west to east.
revised the plat in the aftermath of the late-July riot that pressured church leaders into signing an agreement to leave , which suggests he believed JS’s promise, made in a letter Partridge received in September along with the revised plat, that God “will spedily deliver ” and that “you shall [be] deliverd from you[r] dainger and shall again flurish in spite of hell.” However, by mid-November Partridge and many church members had been forced to leave Jackson County and relocate to , Missouri, a move that indefinitely suspended any building plans for the ’s .
Given that drew both of the plat maps sent to and that JS responded to an earlier query from relative to the plat, Partridge could have addressed the document to either Williams or JS or to the entire . If Partridge finished these revisions by the end of September, he could have sent them to before the renewal of violence in Missouri. If he chose not to trust the mail with this sensitive document, he may have sent it to Kirtland with and in November. However, no evidence confirms that JS or Williams received this document. The extant version of the revised plan and explanation was one retained by Partridge, and whether it is a copy or the original is not known.
In the presentation that follows, images of individual blocks appear next to their corresponding transcripts. Any text that was written sideways on the document is transcribed as being right side up. Images are oriented with the north side up, as in the original document.
“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 118; JS, Journal, 25 Nov. 1833.
The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.
I have marked out the 2 squares below & also the 24 buildings. I have arranged them so as to leave the spaces between them more equal, and according to the natural judgment of man would be preferable to the arrangement on the plat <you sent you,>— Thinking perhaps that their arrangement was not by revelation, and that also that you had not seen them platted out has induced me to plat them this way for you to view & reflect upon
By rearranging the twenty-four temples in Zion’s central squares so that there would be three temples across and four down, rather than four across and three down, Partridge was able to “leave the spaces between them more equal.” His proposal required him to renumber the temples, but he placed the temple labeled “1” in the southwest corner of the center block, the same location where the first temple appears in the Revised Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early Aug. 1833.
Even though it provided an extra twenty feet of end-to-end space between the temples, Partridge’s three-across, four-down arrangement still managed to allow a generous four-rod (sixty-six-foot) border between the temples and the streets. Partridge is here suggesting that even more space between the buildings could be gained by reducing that border. The revised plat of the city of Zion called for only a two-rod (thirty-three-foot) separation between the temples and the streets on the east and west sides of the two temple blocks. (See Revised Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early Aug. 1833.)