, Letter, , Lancashire, England, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 24 Oct. 1841; handwriting of ; four pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamps, postal notation, and dockets.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). The letter was written on all four pages and then trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with a red adhesive wafer, and postmarked in Philadelphia. The letter was later folded for filing.
The document was docketed in its original trifolded state 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. After the letter was folded for filing, it was docketed a second time by , who served as a clerk in the Church Historian’s Office from 1853 to 1859. The letter is listed in a Church Historian’s Office inventory from circa 1904. By 1973 it had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The dockets, inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection indicate this letter has remained in continuous institutional custody since its receipt in 1842.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 24 October 1841, wrote a letter from , England, to JS in , Illinois, to report on the British mission and to confirm his intention to send funds for the construction of the in Nauvoo. Pratt was a member of the , and he and the rest of the were called in an 1838 revelation dictated by JS to serve an overseas mission to Great Britain. Several of the apostles eventually headed east a year later in 1839. Pratt departed on 9 March 1840 and arrived in on 6 April. Several months later, he returned to New York to escort his and children to because he expected to stay to preside over the mission when the other members of his quorum returned home. Pratt had been back in England for a year when he wrote this letter.
In accordance with JS’s direction, most of the apostles completed their missions and left during the spring of 1841. Staying behind with his family, managed the ’s printing operations in England, chiefly the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star newspaper, and supervised the continued emigration of church members from England. In his letter, Pratt reported on emigration, church growth, and recent excommunications.
likely mailed the letter in late October or early November. It was stamped upon arrival in on 23 December 1841. A version of the letter was published in the 1 February 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, indicating that the letter was likely received by JS sometime in January.
Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.
Parley P. Pratt, Manchester, England, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 24 Oct. 1841, in Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1842, 3:682–683. Though the letter was formally and primarily addressed to JS, it was common practice to publish such letters reporting on missionary work. In this case, the letter published in the Times and Seasons also included words of encouragement for “the Building Committe, and to the saints in general,” and conveyances of love from Pratt and his wife to friends and fellow Latter-day Saints back home.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Dear Br, I have just Recd. several letters from , togather with the times and Seasons up to Sept, 15th being 1 month and 9 days on the passage. The information from that quarter cheers our hearts in regard to the peace and prosperity of . We had previously herd of the Death of Gen, and Colonel ; Which filled our minds with sorrow, not for our them, but for those who still live to feel their loss. , I had known for Eleven years, and I never knew him to turn to the right or left from the path of Jesus, or the Duties of his holy profesion. was by me in 5 years ago; and a more humble, and constant, and Charitable friend of Zion, I never knew, or one who grew faster in knowledge and usefulness. But they are Gone— and it must be for some wise purpose— and the Lords will be done!
On the 20 of Sept, the Ship “Tyrean” sailed from for , under a charter of the ; S[h]e had upwards of two hundred on board, with at their head. By chartering, we saved the company at least 500 or 600 dollars.— The Splendid New Ship Chaos, 1200 tons Burthen, will sail on the 5th November, under our charter. She will have [p. ]
The August and September issues of the Times and Seasons included an article titled “The Church and Its Prospects,” obituaries of Don Carlos Smith and Robert B. Thompson, and a poem Eliza Snow had written for Don Carlos. Pratt reprinted these items in the November issue of the Millennial Star. None of the letters Pratt received from Nauvoo were reprinted in the Millennial Star in November and December. (“The Church and Its Prospects,” Obituaries for Don Carlos Smith and Robert B. Thompson, and “The Funeral of Brig. General Smith,” Millennial Star, Nov. 1841, 2:102–103, 108–109, 111–112.)
Don Carlos Smith, a brigadier general in the Nauvoo Legion and JS’s youngest brother, died on 7 August 1841. JS’s scribe Robert B. Thompson, who served as an aide-de-camp with the rank of colonel in the Nauvoo Legion, died on 27 August 1841. (“Death of General Don Carlos Smith,” Times and Seasons, 16 Aug. 1841, 2:503; “Death of Col. Robert B. Thompson,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:519; Minutes, 4 Feb. 1841.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
There were 207 passengers on the Tyrian. (Editorial, Millennial Star, Oct. 1841, 2:94.) Fielding, a native of England who had immigrated to Canada, traveled back to Preston, England, with Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde in 1838 to help open missionary work in Britain. (Allen et al., Men with a Mission, 25, 61.)
A September 1841 announcement in the Millennial Star estimated that by chartering the Tyrian, “from £1 10s. to £2 will be saved on each passenger in the price of passage and provisions to New Orleans, and some more saved in going up the river from New Orleans to Nauvoo.” (“To Emigrants,” Millennial Star, Sept. 1841, 2:80.)