Jacob Scott, Letter, [Appanoose Township, Hancock Co., IL], to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 14 Dec. 1841; handwriting of Jacob Scott; one page; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes address and archival marking.
Single leaf measuring 12¼ × 7⅝ inches (31 × 19 cm). The document was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. There is wafer residue on the verso of the leaf. Wear and moderate damage along the first horizontal fold resulted in some loss of text on the recto and the separation of the top portion of the document from the rest of the sheet. Two small holes on a vertical fold also resulted in the loss of some text.
This document, along with many other personal and institutional documents that kept, was inherited by Newel K. and ’s daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who was married to Isaac Groo. The documents were passed down within the Groo family. Between 1969 and 1974 the Groo family donated their collection of Newel K. Whitney’s papers to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.
Andrus and Fuller, Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 24.
Andrus, Hyrum L., and Chris Fuller, comp. Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers. Provo, UT: Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1978.
On 14 December 1841 Jacob Scott wrote to JS in , Illinois, requesting that JS visit him at his home, which was in Appanoose Township, five miles northeast of Nauvoo. In addition, Scott requested that JS repay him for a loan he had given him and sought to repair an unidentified rift in his relationship with JS. The difficulty between JS and Scott may have begun on 1 April 1839, when Scott wrote a letter to JS and other leaders incarcerated in , Missouri. described the letter as “Insolent and Saucy.” Three weeks later Scott was excommunicated, along with twenty-nine others, by a in , Missouri.
Jacob Scott and his wife, Sarah Warnock Scott, moved to the area in summer 1841. As of December 1841 Jacob Scott had not met with JS to discuss his standing in the church, although the family was not shunned in Nauvoo. For example, in August 1841 JS sent his apologies for not attending Sarah Scott’s funeral, explaining that one of his children was sick. This treatment corresponded with sentiments in a letter that church member wrote on 29 November 1840 to Isaac Russell, who had been excommunicated with Scott. According to Law, JS disapproved of the excommunications “with much warmth and wishes you and the rest to appeal to the general assembly of the Church, you would be received here with open arms were you to come back.” Whether Scott was aware of such assurances is unknown, but in his letter to JS on 14 December, Scott wrote that he was deathly ill and entreated JS to visit him so they could be reconciled before he died.
The letter has no postal markings. Because the post office closest to Scott was in , the letter was presumably hand delivered. After JS received the letter, he and visited Scott. On 24 March 1842 Scott wrote his children: “Joseph and I are now reconciled to each other. He has been out to see me this winter and appeared very friendly. He has paid me part of what he owed me and has promised me more.”
Scott owned thirty acres of Section 20 in Township 7 North, Range 8 West. (Jacob Scott to “My Dear Children,” 24 Mar. 1842, typescript, CCLA; Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. L, pp. 306–307, 10 July 1841, microfilm 954,599, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
Jacob Scott to “My Dear Children,” 24 Mar. 1842, typescript, CCLA.
Hanson, Paul M. Papers. CCLA.
Decr. 14th, 1841
Long continued sickness prevented me from seeing you, which I have greatly desired—
I have more reasons than one for this, One principal one is, I want to be more fully reconciled and give that satisfaction which it is my duty to do. I am unable to go to you; I entreat you Brother Joseph give me the opportunity, by coming to see me, before me before I die. I most earnestly desire this Interview, not to be delayed; pardon my importunity Brother Joseph <for> but I am a Dying man.
[Page torn] [ot]her reason of minor importa[nce is] that in conseq[ue]nce of general sickness in the my family, we have not been able to provide the necessary <necessaries> of life for the winter, and unless you brother Joseph, will help us with the <smal sum of> money of I lent you, we must unavoidably suffer—
Dear Brother, <I> entreat you, do not be grieved nor offended with <me> for this liberty I have taken with you, and let it not prevent you, (& let it not prevent you) from coming to see me <&> speedily if in your power.
If agreeable to you, as <I> pres[u]me it would, I would I be glad if would accompany you.
Please present my sincer[e] respects to .
Great[l]y desiring to see your face, I remain Dear brother, yours in the Kingdom and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ
A few months later, after recovering, Scott wrote that his illness had made him “helpless as a child for a considerable time” and that when JS visited him in winter 1841–1842, he “was living, to all human appearance, almost at the point of Death. . . . I was reduced to a skeleton.” (Jacob Scott to Mary Warnock, 28 Feb.–13 Mar. 1843, typescript, CCLA; Jacob Scott to Mary Warnock, 28 Feb.–13 Mar. 1843, typescript, CCLA.)
Hanson, Paul M. Papers. CCLA.
Jacob Scott. Letter, Nauvoo, IL, to Mary Warnock, Trafalgar, Upper Canada, 28 Feb. and 13 Mar. 1843. CCLA.
Both Law and Scott joined the church in Canada in 1837. Law preached at the funeral for Sarah Scott in August 1841. (Cooper, “Spiritual Reminiscences,” 567; Minutes, Messenger and Advocate, May 1837, 3:511–512; Jacob Scott to Mary Warnock, 28 Feb.–13 Mar. 1843, typescript, CCLA.)
Cooper, F. M. “Spiritual Reminiscences in the Life of Sister Ann Davis, of Lyons, Wisconsin.” Autumn Leaves 3, no. 12 (Dec. 1890): 566–568.
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.