JS, Letter with postscript by , , Hancock Co., IL, to , , Chester Co., PA, 9 and 11 Mar. 1842; handwriting of , , and ; signatures of JS and ; four pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, docket, and use marks.
Bifolium measuring 9¾ × 7¾ inches (25 × 20 cm). The letter was inscribed on the first three pages and on the bottom of the fourth page, leaving space on the fourth page that was used for addressing. The bifolium was trifolded twice in letter style and addressed. The letter was later refolded for filing.
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. It was listed in an inventory 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.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 9 and 11 March 1842, JS wrote a letter from , Illinois, to in , Pennsylvania. Hunter had been in his native since the previous fall, settling his own financial affairs, purchasing goods on behalf of JS, and conducting business on behalf of Margaret Smith, a recent convert from the area who had relocated to . This letter was one in a series of letters exchanged between JS and Hunter while the latter was in Pennsylvania. JS received a 10 February 1842 letter from Hunter on 8 March and began his reply the next day. In his reply he responded to Hunter’s inquiries about contacting Jacob Weiler, whom Hunter had hired to build a house in Nauvoo, and about the condition of the State Bank of Illinois and the Bank of St. Louis. Hunter intended to donate financially to the and and wondered which bank would be more secure. JS encouraged Hunter to avoid the banks altogether and instead to bring additional goods to outfit his new general store in Nauvoo.
JS also responded to ’s concerns about the power of attorney that allowed Hunter to settle Margaret Smith’s financial affairs. On 15 December 1841, after Hunter notified him that the initial document was not properly certified, JS arranged for a new power of attorney for Hunter. In his 10 February 1842 letter, Hunter informed JS that the new power of attorney was deficient because it did not include the presiding judge’s signature. In a continuation of the 9 March 1842 letter, written on 11 March 1842, JS promised to obtain the proper paperwork once the judge returned to the area in May.
, JS’s counselor in the , acted as scribe for the original portion of the letter, which JS signed, and acted as scribe for the 11 March addition, signing on JS’s behalf. Law also added his own note to this letter sometime on 11 March or shortly thereafter. Because he and his brother were planning to construct a steam mill in , Law suggested the possibility of purchasing a steam engine that intended to bring to Nauvoo. He also wanted Hunter to determine whether the bank in was in danger of failing and if so to remove a $1,100 payment Hunter had placed there for Law.
The absence of postal markings suggests that the letter was hand carried to . received the letter before 10 May 1842, when he replied.
I yesterday had the pleasure of Receving your Letter of Feb. 10— am much pleased that you have effected a Sale, and are So Soon to be with us &c.——
I have purchased the lands you desired, and will use my influence to have the improvements made which you wish, Bro. [Jacob] Weiler rec’d your Letter and says he will do what he Can to have all done,
The Power of Attorney I will forward to you with all its due forms
The Eight hundred dollars for the & I wish you to bring in goods, which I will give you Stock & Credit for, as soon as Received,
I wish you to invest as much money as you possibly can in goods, to bring here, and I will purchase them of you, when you come, if we can agree on terms, or you can have my new brick to rent, I wish the business kept up by some one, in the building as it is a very fine house, and cost me [p. ]
Since December, Hunter had tried to send word to Weiler to complete the construction of his home as quickly as possible, including by asking in his 10 February letter to JS that he relay the message. Weiler finally learned that Hunter was trying to contact him from a “Brother Sheets” in late February and wrote to Hunter on 27 February 1842. (Letter from Edward Hunter, 10 Feb. 1842; Jacob Weiler, Nauvoo, IL, to Edward Hunter, Chester Co., PA, 27 Feb. 1842, Edward Hunter, Collection, 1816–1884, CHL.)
Hunter, Edward. Collection, ca. 1798–1965. Photocopy and typescript. CHL.