Invitation to Nauvoo Legion Officers and Wives, 28 April 1842
JS and , Invitation, [, Hancock Co., IL], to Nauvoo Legion officers and wives, [, Hancock Co., IL], 28 Apr. 1842; handwriting of ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket.
Single leaf measuring 9⅝ × 7¾ inches (24 × 20 cm). The document was folded in half twice horizontally. It was docketed by James Ure, who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) from 1852 to 1855. It was listed in an inventory produced by the Church Historian’s Office circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early docket as well as its inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 28 April 1842 JS and his wife issued an invitation to the generals of the , along with their wives and their staffs, to attend a dinner at the Smiths’ home in , Illinois, on 7 May. The dinner was to accompany a day of activities involving Nauvoo’s independent unit of the state militia; at the time, the unit comprised approximately two thousand men in twenty-six companies. The legion’s commanding officers, Lieutenant General Joseph Smith and Major General , apparently planned the event for several months. In January they published a notice explaining that the event would include an inspection and review parade and inviting governor and other dignitaries to attend.
inscribed the invitation featured here, possibly from JS’s dictation or at his direction. JS retained this invitation, but Bennett may have made additional copies to distribute to the other generals, and . The invitation was also published in the 30 April 1842 issue of the newspaper Wasp. Scribe recorded in JS’s journal that, as scheduled, an “excellent dinner” was held on 7 May between one and three o’clock and that the day’s activities were “very fine. & passed away very harmoniously. without drunkenness. noise or confusion.”
JS, Journal, 7 May 1842. Richards further described the activities: “There was a great concourse of spectators. & many distinguis[h]ed Strangers who exp[r]essed much satisfaction.— & the commander in chief [JS]. in a very appropriate address. remarkd that his soul was never better satisfied than on this occasion.” Wilford Woodruff wrote that “Gen. Joseph Smith prepared a splendid dinner for the whole staff intire with their Ladies.” (Woodruff, Journal, 7 May 1842.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
General Joseph Smith, and , present their compliments to the Officers (and their respective Ladies) of th[e] Consolidated General Staff of the ;— that is to say,— his personal Staff,— ’s Staff, including th[e] Band,— ’s Staff,— and ’s Staff;— and respectfully solicit their company to <at> dine a repast militaire, at his quarters, on th[e] 7th day of May, proximo, at 1 o’clock, P.M.
has been ordered to issue a programm of the operations, and field exercises, of the day, which will appear in ample form, and <in> due season.