, Letter, , New York Co., NY, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 1 Oct. 1842; handwriting of ; two pages; JS Materials, CCLA. Includes address, postal stamps, postal notations, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 9⅞ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm) when folded. The first three pages are ruled with twenty-nine printed lines. Embossed in the upper left corner of the recto of the first leaf is “Southworth Co. | W Springfield” encircling foliage, the insignia of a West Springfield, Massachusetts, paper mill established by Wells Southworth in 1839. The first two pages are inscribed. The letter was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and postmarked. The outside edge of the second leaf was torn at the wafer site when the letter was opened. The document was refolded for filing and docketed. It was later stapled in the upper left corner; the staple was removed at some point.
The document was docketed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844. Another docket is in unidentified handwriting. The letter was likely retained by JS and passed down among Smith family descendants. At some point before 1961, it was transferred to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ).
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.
On 1 October 1842, wrote a letter in to JS in , Illinois, expressing sympathy for him amid the ongoing efforts to arrest him and extradite him to and updating him on ’s efforts to publish his exposé of JS and the . Bernhisel was writing in response to a 7 September 1842 letter in which JS described the persistent attempts to arrest him and the resultant need for him to remain in hiding. Bernhisel offered JS moral support in his legal circumstances and informed him that the editor of the New York Herald, , was critical of John C. Bennett’s book and had declined to publish it. In addition, Bernhisel informed JS of ’s plans to depart for Nauvoo on 3 October.
mailed the letter on the same day he wrote it. It is unclear when JS received the letter, as he was in hiding for much of October.
After spending part of the summer in New York City, Richards was again in the city from 28 September through 3 October and started his journey home for Nauvoo via Philadelphia on 4 October. He arrived in Nauvoo on 29 October. (Richards, Journal, 22 July–4 Oct. 1842; 29 Oct. 1842.)