Letter from Horace Hotchkiss, 13 September 1841
, Letter, , New Haven Co., CT, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 13 Sept. 1841; handwriting of ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, and dockets.Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm) and ruled with twenty-six horizontal blue lines. The letter was written on the recto and verso of the first leaf and on the recto of the second leaf. It was then trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and stamped for postage. The second leaf has substantial tears, which have been repaired.Two dockets appear on the verso of the second leaf. The first docket was written 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. , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844, later added a second docket. The letter is listed in a Church Historian’s Office inventory from circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The dockets, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection suggest that the letter has been in continuous institutional custody since its receipt.
On 13 September 1841, wrote a letter from , Connecticut, to JS in , Illinois, to continue their correspondence regarding JS’s debt repayment for lands purchased in 1839 from Hotchkiss and his partners, and . The letter was a direct response to JS’s letter of 25 August, in which JS expressed his frustration with Hotchkiss for actively seeking payment; JS apparently believed that Hotchkiss had agreed to defer interest payments for five years. Hotchkiss sent the letter featured here to defend his position and to justify his collection of interest on the debt.In the letter, explained the many attempts he had made to obtain repayment, including traveling to and , and his frustration at not being able to meet JS’s at various times. Both parties were irritated, and the tension between them intensified because their communication was limited to letters, which were slow to arrive and easily misunderstood. Despite his frustrations, Hotchkiss knew he could lose his investment if he was too demanding—JS had already indignantly invited Hotchkiss to “come and take the premises and make the best you can of it.” Hotchkiss was therefore open to resuming settlement negotiations with JS.mailed his letter on 13 September 1841 from nearby , Connecticut. Approximately two weeks later, JS received the letter and an additional letter from Hotchkiss’s business partner . JS responded only to the letter from Tuttle, apparently as an answer to both, since he was aware the two were communicating with each other and sharing his letters.