, Letter, , Philadelphia Co., PA, to JS, [, Hancock Co., IL], 25 Jan. 1842; handwriting of ; one page; Helen Vilate Bourne Fleming, Collection, CHL. Included enclosures (not extant); includes address, dockets, and notations.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7⅝ inches (25 × 19 cm). When the bifolium is folded so that the letter appears on the recto of the first leaf, the address appears on the recto of the second leaf. The letter included an enclosure of twenty-eight dollars (not extant). The letter was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and sealed with a red adhesive wafer. The second leaf was torn when the letter was opened, and its verso contains wafer residue. It was later refolded for filing. Separations along the folds have been repaired.
After the letter was received, notations and two dockets were inscribed 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. This letter was in a collection of papers held by Helen Vilate Bourne Fleming, a descendant of and . The collection was passed down to Fleming’s descendant Helen Marian Fleming Petersen. Shortly after Petersen’s death in February 1988, one of her children found this letter and other items in a box in her home. By December 1988 the materials had been donated to the Church Historical Department (now CHL).
See the full bibliographic entry for Helen Vilate Bourne Fleming, Collection, 1836–1963, in the CHL catalog.
On 25 January 1842 wrote to JS from , enclosing money to repay a debt. Members of the Philadelphia were sending the money as their final payment to , who had loaned them $125 for a meeting space. The payments were made directly to the and credited on Leonard Soby’s tithing account as donations toward the construction of the , Illinois, . In addition to explaining the enclosed payment of $28, Nicholson listed the previous payments and asked for a receipt of the final payment.
A note on the letter indicates carried it to . He delivered the letter by 26 February 1842, as indicated in one of ’s notations, at which time Richards recorded the donation in the Book of the Law of the Lord. On the verso of the second leaf, Richards inscribed information about the five banknotes sent as payment, providing the name of the issuing institution, the denomination, and the serial number of each note. No response to this letter has been located, perhaps because JS stopped issuing receipts around this time.
I enclose the sum of twenty eight dollars. being the balance of the debt due to . by the Church in and which was donated for the , upon my first being appointed one of the committe[e] of Finance. I was informed that had in the commencement of the work in this , loaned the sum of 125 dollars for the purpose of fitting up a place of Meeting, we have endeavored as fast as possible to discharge this as fast debt, 75. dollars we sent out by the hands of . 5 dollars we gave to whilst he was in the , 17. dollars we sent out by the hands of Samuel Parker, who said you had authorised him to collect funds for the . we have their several receipts for the sums we have already paid. you will please write a line acknowledging the receipt of this, in order to have data to show for this money. as we have borrowed it for this purpose. has requested me to say that he would feel grateful for a reply to his. letter, so that if misrepresentations have been made. they may be made known.
When organized in 1830, the church was denominated the “Church of Christ.” In 1834 the name was changed to “Church of the Latter Day Saints,” and an April 1838 revelation incorporated both previous names: “For thus shall my Church be called in the Last days even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” (“Communicated,” The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1834, 160; Revelation, 26 Apr. 1838 [D&C 115:4].)
The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.
On 22 October 1840 James B. Nicholson, Jacob Baker, Jesse Price, William West, and William Wharton were “appointed a Committee to have the care of the financial affairs of the Church” in Philadelphia. (Philadelphia, PA, Minutes and Records, 22 Oct. 1840, 8.)
Philadelphia, PA, Minutes and Records, 1840–1854. CCLA.