, Letter, , Chester Co., PA, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 10 Feb. 1842; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal notations, endorsements, and docket.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7½ inches (25 × 19 cm). When the bifolium is folded so the letter begins on the recto of the first leaf and ends on the verso of the first leaf, the addressing appears on the recto of the second leaf and the verso is blank. The paper is ruled with twenty-six blue horizontal lines. The bifolium was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and postmarked. When the letter was opened, the wafer tore a hole in the second leaf; wafer residue appears on the recto and verso of that leaf. The letter was later refolded for filing.
The document was endorsed in graphite by , who served as JS’s scribe from December 1841 until JS’s death in June 1844 and served as church historian from December 1842 until his own death in March 1854. It was also endorsed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. The document was docketed by , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) from 1853 to 1859. The document may be the 1842 letter from 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 endorsements and early docket as well as its possible inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and its inclusion in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
JS, Journal, 29 June 1842; “Clayton, William,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:718; Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18, 30–31.
Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 10 February 1842 wrote a letter from , Pennsylvania, to JS in , Illinois, detailing the latest developments in their business affairs and inquiring about the state of banks in the region. This letter was one of a series of letters exchanged between JS and Hunter while the latter was in from fall 1841 to summer 1842. Hunter had returned from visiting Nauvoo to his native West Nantmeal to settle his own financial affairs, purchase goods for JS, and conduct business on behalf of Margaret Smith, a recent convert from who had relocated to Nauvoo. On 21 December 1841 and 5 January 1842, JS wrote Hunter to inform him that, as requested, he would accept a shipment of goods delivered as payment for a debt Hunter owed him. JS also told Hunter that he had purchased ninety acres of land on Hunter’s behalf. On 10 February, Hunter responded to JS.
Addressing JS as church , reported the transportation costs for the recent shipment of goods. He also explained that there was a defect with the new power of attorney JS had sent him. In addition, Hunter expressed his intention to transport one or two steam engines to when he traveled there in the spring. He then requested information regarding the best possible means by which to donate money from the sale of one of his farms to the and the . Finally, Hunter sought JS’s help in arranging improvements on his properties in Nauvoo.
The letter was mailed by the Guthrieville, Pennsylvania, post office—seven miles southeast of —which postmarked it on 18 February 1842. JS received the letter on 8 March 1842 and answered it the following day.
Margaret Smith supplied Hunter with a power of attorney so he could take over her finances from her cousin John Guest. Because the initial document lacked the proper certification, JS had another produced on 15 December 1841. Hunter explained in this February 1842 letter that the new power of attorney was also defective. (Letter to Edward Hunter, 21 Dec. 1841; Edward Hunter to Margaret Smith, Bond, 25 Sept. 1841; Margaret Smith to Edward Hunter, Power of Attorney, 15 Dec. 1841, Edward Hunter, Collection, 1816–1884, CHL.)
Hunter, Edward. Collection, ca. 1798–1965. Photocopy and typescript. CHL.
Beloved Brother— I receivd your letter of the 5th of January & rejoice in hearing of the welfare of the Inhabitants of and am well pleased that the goods have arived safe the Amount of them and the money paid , for transportation is <Dolls> 2533.86 Cents— the 90 Acres of Wood land and the 40 If you can purchace I shall feel much obliged— ☞The Power of Attorney could not be recorded in the office in consequence of it not being certifyed by the president Judge— The Language of the recorder is such he wrote it down in these words, ☞Acknowledged before a president Judge of any court (of sd. state) and Certifyed by the Clerk under seal of the state or Court— The law reads thus togather with the certificate of the President Judge of the court of the County or district as the case may be— The power of attorney was good and correct excepting the acknowledgment of a Judge— the form was correct & would [have] been recorded only for this error— says he can get <D> 1000. Thousand Dollars immediately the other money he says he thinks it will take some time to collect but will get it as soon as he can, he appeared willing to let me have the money if the power could be recorded— Brother Wm. Stan[d]ley & myself purposes taking one or Two Steam Enjines out to in the spring, I have sold one of my Farms & the other I do not know whether I can sell it, the money matters is in a dreadfull situation Banks are breaking Continually— I intend sending out 400: <Four hundred> Dollars for the erection of the , & Four hundred <$400.> Dollars for Stock in I would like to send [p. ]
On 1 April, Edward Hunter finalized the sale of 253 acres and 70 perches in Chester County to John Cornog for $12,735.23. On 21 May he sold another 2 acres and 79 perches to Cornog for $30. He sold additional properties totaling 245 acres on 8 October 1842. (Chester Co., PA, Deeds, 1688–1903, vol. U-4, pp. 484–486, 1 Apr. 1842, microfilm 557,205; vol. W-4, pp. 63–64, 21 May 1842; vol. X-4, pp. 92–95, 8 Oct. 1842, microfilm 557,207, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
In the late 1830s and early 1840s, Pennsylvania, like the rest of the United States, experienced a financial crisis that effected bank failures and significant depreciation of currency. (Sumner, History of Banking in the United States, 347.)
Sumner, William Graham. A History of Banking in the United States. New York: By the author, 1896.