, Letter, , Fountain Co., IN, to JS, , and others, , Hancock Co., IL, 24 May 1840; handwriting probably of ; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal markings, dockets, and notation.
Bifolium measuring 10⅛ × 7¾ inches (26 × 20 cm) when folded. The paper was apparently intended for writing letters, as lines were printed only on the recto and verso of the first leaf and recto of the second leaf. The bifolium was trifolded in letter style and sealed with an adhesive wafer. The second leaf was torn at the wafer site when the letter was opened and is blank except for dockets and an address on the verso, which was probably written by . A postmark in unidentified handwriting is located above the address block. At a later time, the letter was trifolded for filing. Two dockets and a notation were inscribed on the wrapper.
docketed the letter, presumably within a few years of when it was received. A docket in the handwriting of suggests that the letter was in institutional possession as early as 1843. The document was included in the Church Historian’s Office inventory circa 1904, and it was cataloged in 1973 by Church Historical Department staff in the JS Collection. The dockets and archival records suggest continuous institutional custody since reception.
“Index to Papers in the Historian’s Office,” ca. 1904, draft, 4; “Index to Papers in the Historian’s Office,” ca. 1904, 4, Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 8; see also the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection in the CHL catalog.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.
On 24 May 1840, , a member of the living near , Indiana, wrote a letter to JS, , and the Saints in , Illinois. Having learned the previous day that the church was printing a newspaper in Nauvoo, Hewitt requested a subscription. Hewitt also described the condition of the of the church in his area and requested that an be assigned to set the branch “in order.” No letter of response from JS has been located, and it is unknown whether any ministerial assignments to Fountain County, Indiana, were made based on Hewitt’s request.
The first issue of the Times and Seasons was printed in July 1839 and reissued in November of the same year. The paper was devoted to publishing “all general information respecting the church.” (Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 257–258; “Prospectus of the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons, Nov. 1839, 1:16.)
The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Fountain County Indiania
May the 24th 1840
Deer Brothers and Sisters in the Lord these will Inform you that I and my Famley & the Brothers & sisters in this section ar[e] all well and we thank Hour Heavnley Father for the same non[e] of us have herd from for nearley 12 Mont[h]s and we ar[e] very anxious to hear from you all their. I Reseved [received] a leter from David Judy Yesterday he livs near Mack[i]naw Illinois and he writ[e]s to me that thare is a paper Printed at by the Brothren and adviseses me to git it and I have wanted to git the papers if I Could [k]now how to came at them I have Enquired of Evry one that I thought knew any thing about them but never Could find out whether there was eny or not Printed yet till E[l]der Judy wrate [wrote] to me I [i]nquired of him By Leter about the papers and he Let me no [know] but he Did not let me no wath [what] the price was nor who was the Editor and I thought that I would wright to you and see if you would send them to me you can git a noledge [knowledge] of me from Wm. Boldin or Stanton Joseph Rose Dayton Uriah C[u]rtis and others the of the here is in a coald state at this time it Reminds me of Peter and the wrest when they went a fishing [p. ]
Twelve months before Hewitt wrote this letter, church members were only just beginning to settle in the Commerce area. At a council of church members on 24 April 1839 in Quincy, Illinois, it was resolved that as many church members “as are able, move on to the north [to Commerce] as soon as they possibly can.” (Minutes, 24 Apr. 1839.)
The Times and Seasons was edited by Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith. A subscription to the monthly periodical cost one dollar per year, payable in advance. (Masthead, Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:32.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives / Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to the Committee on Judiciary during the 27th Congress. Committee on the Judiciary, Petitions and Memorials, 1813–1968. Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789–2015. National Archives, Washington DC. The LDS records cited herein are housed in National Archives boxes 40 and 41 of Library of Congress boxes 139–144 in HR27A-G10.1.
Rose was born 25 February 1792 in Orange, New York. (“Members of the Quorum When Organized and up to the Year 1852,” Second Quorum of Seventies, Records, vol. 1, p. 21, in Seventies Quorum Records, CHL.)
Probably Hiram Dayton, who was born 1 November 1799 in Herkimer, New York, and was living in Commerce at the time Hewitt wrote this letter. (Hiram Dayton, “The Sufferings and Loss of Property of Hiram Dayton and Family,” 26 May 1879, Historian’s Office, History of Persecutions, 1879–1880, CHL; Temple Records Index Bureau, Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, 61.)
Historian's Office. History of Persecutions, 1879–1880. CHL.
Temple Records Index Bureau of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, 10 December 1845 to 8 February 1846. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1974.