Letter to Edward Hunter, 21 December 1841
JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , Chester Co., PA, 21 Dec. ; handwriting of ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal notations, docket, redactions, and archival marking.Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm). The bifolium was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, sealed with an adhesive wafer, and postmarked. The residue of a wafer seal and a tear from opening the letter appear on the recto and verso of the second leaf. The letter was later refolded for filing. The document has undergone some conservation.The document was docketed by , who served as JS’s scribe from 1843 to 1844 and as clerk to the church historian and recorder from 1845 to 1865. The document was listed in an inventory that was produced by the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department) circa 1904. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early docket as well as its inclusion in the circa 1904 inventory and in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
On 21 December 1841 JS wrote from , Illinois, to respond to in , Pennsylvania, concerning property and business matters in Nauvoo and . In late summer or early fall, Hunter had returned from Nauvoo to his native Pennsylvania to settle his own financial affairs, purchase goods for JS, and conduct business on behalf of Margaret Smith, a recent convert from Pennsylvania who had relocated to Nauvoo. While there, Hunter sent a letter to JS dated 27 October 1841. In his response, featured below, JS addressed concerns about a power of attorney Margaret Smith had supplied to Hunter in order to settle her affairs in Pennsylvania, acknowledged the receipt of goods that he had sent to Nauvoo, informed him about land he had purchased on his behalf near Nauvoo, and advised him on the prospect of building mills in Nauvoo.JS dictated his letter of reply to on 21 December, and the letter was sent by the post office, postmarked 25 December. JS was concerned this letter would not reach , so on 5 January he wrote another letter to Hunter with very similar details. The 21 December letter, featured here, was returned to the church’s custody, so it is likely Hunter received it and at some point returned it to JS or the church. However, it is uncertain when he received it. He wrote to JS on 10 February 1842, but it is unclear whether he was responding to both letters or solely to JS’s 5 January letter at that time.