Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 10 December 1841
- Source Note
JS wrote a letter to on 10 December 1841, responding to two letters Hotchkiss wrote in October and November regarding ongoing land dealings. Two years earlier Hotchkiss, a land speculator from , along with his partners and , sold to JS and the much of the land in the , Illinois, area that became . Hotchkiss wrote to JS on 11 October 1841, informing him that he had received from church some parcels of land in full payment of the smaller of two obligations the church owed Hotchkiss. In the same letter, and a subsequent one dated 9 November, Hotchkiss offered to credit $3,000 toward the larger debt in exchange for some additional church-owned properties in that Ivins proposed transferring to Hotchkiss.Though these two transactions with demonstrated the church’s efforts to pay and his partners the money owed them, the church was already falling behind on the interest payments due on the larger of two land purchases from Hotchkiss. , JS, and had agreed on 12 August 1839 to purchase approximately four hundred acres from Hotchkiss, , and for $110,000. This amount included $50,000 in principal due in twenty years, along with forty interest payments of $1,500 each, two being due each year for twenty years. By the time JS wrote this letter to Hotchkiss in December 1841, the first four of the interest payments on this land, totaling $6,000, were due.The poverty of many of the Latter-day Saints moving to meant that much of the land the church sold to them was purchased on long terms, resulting in little immediately available money to pay , , and . JS had raised the issue at the October 1841 general of the church in Nauvoo, and a plan was devised by which Saints moving to Nauvoo would turn over property they were leaving for payment to Hotchkiss and his partners, whereupon the immigrating Saints would be given land of equal value in or around Nauvoo. Notice of this arrangement was published in an open letter by the , and JS wrote of the plan to Tuttle on 9 October. Apparently after seeing the letter to Tuttle and a copy of the Times and Seasons issue reporting on the conference, Hotchkiss wrote to JS on 9 November, acknowledging that he was pleased with the report of the conference and discussing his proposal to purchase the additional land offered by .JS apparently dictated his 10 December response to , who then copied it into JS Letterbook 2, probably around the time the original was written. Because the original letter is apparently not extant, the copy is featured here. responded to JS’s letter on 30 December 1841.