Letter from Horace Hotchkiss, 12 April 1842
, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 12 Apr. 1842; handwriting of ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notations, and dockets.Bifolium measuring 12¾ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm). The recto of the first leaf was inscribed in graphite. The verso of the first leaf and the recto of the second leaf are blank. The document was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and postmarked. The letter was torn when opened, and some wafer residue remains on both sides of the second leaf. Later, the bifolium was folded in half horizontally.The letter was docketed twice by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as Nauvoo temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. It may be one of the four 1842 letters from listed in an inventory produced by the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) circa 1904. By 1973 the letter had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early dockets as well as its possible inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and its inclusion in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
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.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
On 12 April 1842 wrote from his home in , Connecticut, responding to a letter JS wrote a month earlier regarding land dealings. JS and the were actively engaged in working to pay the debts owed Hotchkiss and his business partners, and , for land purchased in the , Illinois, area in August 1839. , acting on behalf of the church, had recently concluded a transfer of land to Hotchkiss, Tuttle, and Gillet—the second payment Ivins made to Hotchkiss during the preceding seven or eight months.JS wrote to on 10 March 1842 describing additional properties the church proposed selling to Hotchkiss and his colleagues. JS informed Hotchkiss that because of problems with the State Bank of Illinois, the citizens of the had “ceased to take her notes.” Consequently, JS reported, the most effective way for the Latter-day Saints to pay Hotchkiss was through land transactions.In his 12 April letter, responded that while he was aware of the problems with the bank, he would take $3,000 to $6,000 in notes from that institution as payment because he was a stockholder in the bank. Although Hotchkiss did not address all the properties that JS offered to sell, he stated that he had passed along to the offer to trade $5,000 worth of land near Gillet’s home. JS replied to Hotchkiss on 13 May 1842, informing him that church payments to all creditors were suspended by recent applications for bankruptcy by church leaders and a number of other residents.