Letter from Emma Smith, 16 August 1842
, Letter, [, Hancock Co., IL], to JS, [near , Hancock Co., IL], [16 August 1842]. Featured version copied [between 21 and 23 Aug. 1842] in JS, Journal, Dec. 1841–Dec. 1842, in Book of the Law of the Lord, p. 175; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124].
On 16 August 1842, in response to a letter of the same date, wrote to JS, who was hiding at the home of , and indicated she was willing to leave with him, as he requested. In his letter to Emma, written the morning of 16 August, JS had suggested that it might be best for their family to travel to and stay there for a time to avoid his enemies. JS apparently expected Emma to receive his letter later that morning, as he instructed her to report back to him on “the appearance of things this morning.”’s response to her husband was most likely written the same day. In the letter, she stated that she would prepare to leave, but she also expressed confidence that JS could safely remain in if they took certain precautions. Emma, who had been involved in prior land transactions, also notified JS of ’s terms and conditions for a proposed land transaction. When left with JS’s letter to Emma on 16 August, he was “expected back soon,” and he probably returned to Sayers’s house with Emma’s reply later that same day.The next night, on 17 August, visited JS at ’s house and informed him that “rumors were afloat in the , intimating that president Smiths retreat had been discovered, and that it was no longer safe for him to remain at brother Sayers.” JS and Emma immediately went to the home of , a friend who was not a member of the and who lived “on the North East part of the city.” Two days later JS returned home; he moved to his the following day, where he hid until he returned home again on 23 August., who appears to have been at ’s farm on 16 August, either retained the original letter or copied it onto a loose leaf of paper; neither the original nor a copy is extant. He copied the contents of the letter into JS’s journal between 21 and 23 August, as suggested by the letter’s location in the Book of the Law of the Lord and by changes in ink color.