, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to JS and , , 2 Jan. 1840. Featured version copied [between Apr. and June 1840] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 91–94; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
On 2 January 1840, wrote a letter to JS and , who were in , in response to a number of letters he had received from the two men. With and JS out of town, Smith was the only member of the in , Illinois, which made him responsible for managing affairs there and responding to inquiries from church spread throughout the country.
In his letter, updated JS and on his efforts to gather duplicates of land records that JS and Higbee apparently planned to submit to Congress as support for the church’s petition for redress. He also reported on his work to secure more financing for their trip, as JS had directed, especially since the delegation was already running short on funds. Smith apprised JS and Higbee of ’s request to publish editions of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the church’s hymnbook in . In addition, Smith informed them of ’s delay in traveling to to help settle some of the church’s debts. Finally, Smith asked JS for advice on several other matters, including whether their parents should accompany Granger to , Ohio.
likely sent the letter by post, the primary method by which the church’s delegation to the federal government communicated with church leaders in . No response from JS has been located. The original letter from Smith is apparently not extant, but copied it into JS Letterbook 2 sometime between April and June 1840.
having the approval of Heaven, I would say, go on dear Bretheren in the name of the Lord, and while you are pleading the cause of the Widdow and the Fatherless, may He who has promised to be a Father to the Fatherless and a husband to the Widdow bless you in your undertaking and arm you with sufficient streng[t]h for the herculean task in which you are engaged: Your exertions will be seconded by the Bretheren in this region, who are desposed to do all they possibly can.
I had just got ready to start for when I received your letter, I no sooner read it than I abandoned the idea of going there. I then made exertions to obtain funds for you in this place; but not being able to get any, and hearing there were bretheren in lately from ; I started off the following day and succeeded in obtaining from Bro. Herringshaw three hundred Dollars which I deposited with Messrs Holems & co Merchants in , subject to the order of , the reason why I deposited it with them was in consequence of the Banks not doing any business and refusing to take deposits &c—
I hope that we shall be able to raise you some more soon: Bro has promised to let us have one hundred Dollars as soon as he gets a remittance from the East, which he expects daily. We have not been able to get much on the City lots since you left, not more than enough to pay some wages for surveying and a few debts. Bro. returned the subscription paper a few days ago, stating that he had not collected any thing on the same since you left, In consequence of my health which has been poor and the coldness of the weather I have not been able to attend to it myself. I hardly think we shall be able to raise the one thousand dollars for Mr by the time he will expect it. is yet in ; not being able to move in consequence of the low stages of water in the ohio river. I received a letter lately from , stating that he was in City of had published [p. 92]
An 1833 revelation directed church leaders to appeal to the federal government for redress if government officials in Missouri refused to provide reparations. (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:86–92].)
Likely Hugh Herringshaw. The minutes of a 29 December 1839 meeting of the Nauvoohigh council record that Oliver Granger had recently obtained “four hundred dollars” from “Brother Herringshaw for the use of our breth[r]en who are delegated to Washington.” (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 29 Dec. 1839, 38, underlining in original.)
Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.
Likely either Joseph T. Holmes or his brother Samuel Holmes, and their respective business partners. Joseph Holmes also functioned as president of the Quincy branch of the Illinois State Bank at this time, although the bank had transacted limited business since halting specie payments in May 1837. (History of Adams County, Illinois, 952; Collins and Perry, Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, 46–47, 60, 110–111, 222, 534; Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois, 452.)
The History of Adams County, Illinois. Containing a History of the County—Its Cities, Towns, Etc. . . . Chicago: Murray, Williamson, and Phelps, 1879.
Collins, William H., and Cicero F. Perry. Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing, 1905.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, together with Biographies and Portraits of All the Presidents of the United States. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1892.
During the nationwide financial depression that followed the Panic of 1837 and that particularly affected Illinois and other western states, the Illinois State Bank suspended payments and stopped receiving deposits. This suspension started a chain reaction that halted the business of most other banks in the state, which was likely the reason Hyrum Smith could not deposit money with a bank and had to work through local merchants instead. (“State Bank Suspension,” Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 1 Nov. 1839, .)