Letter from George J. Adams, 23 February 1843
, Letter, , Suffolk Co., MA, to JS and , , Hancock Co., IL, 23 Feb. 1843; handwriting of ; four pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamps, postal notation, endorsement, docket, and notation.Bifolium measuring 9⅞ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm) when folded. The letter is inscribed in blue ink. It was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed to , and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. The second leaf tore when the letter was opened, resulting in a loss of text. The letter was later refolded and docketed for filing.The document was endorsed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844. It was also docketed by , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) from 1853 to 1859. The notation “copied by A.J” was added by Andrew Jenson, who began working in the Church Historian’s Office in 1891 and served as assistant church historian from 1897 to 1941. The document was listed in an inventory that was 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 endorsement, early dockets, and notation as well as its inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and 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.
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.
“Obituary of Leo Hawkins,” Millennial Star, 30 July 1859, 21:496–497.
Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. Manchester, England, 1840–1842; Liverpool, 1842–1932; London, 1932–1970.
Jenson, Autobiography, 192, 389; Cannon, Journal, 9 Feb. 1891; Jenson, Journal, 9 Feb. 1891 and 19 Oct. 1897; Bitton and Arrington, Mormons and Their Historians, 47–52.
Jenson, Andrew. Autobiography of Andrew Jenson. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1938.
Cannon, George Q. Journals, 1855–1864, 1872–1901. CHL. CR 850 1.
Jenson, Andrew. Journals, 1864–1941. Andrew Jenson, Autobiography and Journals, 1864–1941. CHL.
Bitton, David, and Leonard J. Arrington. Mormons and Their Historians. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1988.
“Letters to and from the Prophet,” ca. 1904, , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 23 February 1843, wrote a letter from to JS in , Illinois, refuting additional rumors of his marital infidelity, reporting on his successes as a missionary, and reaffirming his loyalty to JS. In September or October 1842, JS confronted Adams with charges of adultery while Adams was visiting Nauvoo. He confessed to the charges in an 11 October 1842 letter to JS, claiming to be guilty only of a one-time indiscretion. After preaching for some time in the Nauvoo area, he returned to his home in to continue his missionary work in the eastern .Around the beginning of January 1843, Mary Connor gave birth to a son and subsequently arrived at ’s home with the child, claiming Adams was the father. Adams’s wife, , wrote to JS informing him of the situation and asking him to recall her husband to . Unaware of his wife’s letter, George Adams resumed his missionary work in , where he had enjoyed considerable success a year earlier. Between January and March 1843, he held numerous public lectures in Boston and surrounding towns expounding Latter-day Saint doctrines and refuting the claims of other religious denominations.By late February, apparently began to fear that rumors of his child that were circulating among Latter-day Saints in would reach JS. On 23 February 1843, he wrote this letter asking JS to ignore any charges made against him and to publish a statement in the Times and Seasons in support of his character. Adams also described the interest in and growth of the in , inviting JS to come east and join in his missionary efforts. Because of the private nature of his letter, he addressed the letter to , just as his wife had done a month earlier, believing that a letter sent to Emma was less likely to be seized or read by others.By the time sent this letter, JS had already received ’s letter and had instructed the to call George and his family to . Adams received a letter from and conveying this message on 10 March 1843.JS received this 23 February letter by 15 March 1843. On that date, he dictated a response, no longer extant, with likely serving as scribe. Clayton then endorsed this 23 February letter, noting that it had been answered.
“Review of the Mormon Lectures,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1843, 4:126. For sources reporting Adams’s earlier success, see, for example, “The Mormons in Salem,” Salem (MA) Register, 2 June 1842, ; “From Our Boston Correspondent,” Norfolk Democrat (Dedham, MA), 17 June 1842, ; “The Mormon Controversy at Marlboro’ Chapel,” Christian Freeman and Family Visiter, 1 July 1842, 34; “Mormonism,” New-London (CT) Gazette and Advertiser, 6 July 1842, ; and “Latter Day Saints, or Mormons,” Times and Seasons, 1 July 1842, 3:835–836.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Salem Register. Salem, MA. 1841–1903.
Norfolk Democrat. Dedham, MA. 1839–1854.
Christian Freeman and Family Visiter. Boston. 1841–1843.
New-London Gazette and Advertiser. New London, CT. 1840–1844.
See, for example, “Millerism,” Daily Bee (Boston), 20 Jan. 1843, ; Notice, Daily Bee, 26 Jan. 1843, ; and Notice, Daily Bee, 25 Feb. 1843, .
Boston Daily Bee. Boston. 1842–1857.
In June 1843, after meeting with Adams, JS published a notice in the Times and Seasons stating that Adams had been appointed to serve a mission to Russia and had been “found worthy of the confidence of the saints.” After the Nauvoo high council tried Adams in September, William Marks also published a notice, stating that Adams had been “honorably acquitted by the High Council in Nauvoo, from all charges heretofore preferred against him from any and all sources.” (“Recommendatory,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1843, 4:218; “To Whom It May Concern,” Times and Seasons, 15 Aug. 1843, 4:303.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
George J. Adams, New York City, NY, to Brigham Young and Willard Richards, Nauvoo, IL, 10 Mar. 1843, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL.
Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878. CHL. CR 1234 1.
Clayton spent at least part of the day on 15 March 1843 working in JS’s mayoral office. (JS, Journal, 15 Mar. 1843; Clayton, Journal, 15 Mar. 1843.)
Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.