JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , [, Lee Co., Iowa Territory], 19 Jan. 1842. Featured version copied [ca. 19 Jan. 1842] in JS Letterbook 2, p. 225; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
On 19 January 1842 JS wrote from , Illinois, to in , Iowa Territory, in response to a letter Galland sent to him the previous day. In February 1841 Galland was authorized as a to travel to the eastern “to sell stock in the and obtain subscriptions and donations for building the ‘’” in Nauvoo. While in the East, Galland was also to repay debt owed to , , and by deeding them land in and that was owned by Latter-day Saints who were moving to Nauvoo. In return, these Saints would receive land in Nauvoo.
In August, JS received word that had left the eastern without paying the church’s creditors. JS was unable to reach him to obtain a report of his financial dealings for the church until December, after Galland returned to . In a 10 December letter, JS urged Galland to report to . Galland responded the next day, agreeing to visit as soon as he finished business dealings he had planned for the following week. On 17 January 1842 JS sent another letter to Galland, petitioning him to visit Nauvoo “within two or three days” or, if he was unable to make the journey, to send “all the funds you possibly can as my wants are verry great.” Galland responded the next day, probably by the same carrier who delivered JS’s letter, explaining that he had no money to send but that he would visit when possible. The tone of the letter apparently troubled JS and likely prompted his decision to revoke Galland’s power of attorney that day.
In his 19 January letter, featured here, JS proposed that he and settle their accounts. He also expressed concern that converts from the East who had arranged with Galland to deed their property there in return for land in had arrived in the city and turned to JS to fulfill these obligations without Galland having forwarded any form of payment.
The original letter is apparently not extant. acted as scribe for the original letter and later copied it into JS Letterbook 2, probably soon after the letter was composed. It is uncertain when received the letter, but it may have been hand delivered by and on 27 January 1842, when they retrieved Galland’s power of attorney. No response from Galland has been located. Perhaps motivated by this letter, Galland traveled to in early February to meet with JS.
By your reply of the 18 <ist [instante mense]> to my note of the 17[th].— I am led to conclude that you received my communication in a manner altogether unintended by me, and that there may be no misunderstanding between us and that you may be satisfied that I did not intend, and that I do not now intend any thing only upon the principles of the strictest integrity & uprightness before God, and to do as I would be done unto,— I will state that I have become embarrassed in my operations. to some <a certain> extent and partly from a presentation of Notes which you, as my , had given for lands purchased in the eastern , they having been sent to me. I have been obliged to cash them. and having no returns from you to meet those demands, or even the trifling expenses of your outfit, it has placed me in rather an unpleasant situation, and having a considerable amount of your scrip on hand,— enough, as I supposed, to counterbalance the debts due you, and leave a balance in my favor, to some extent even if it were small, and as I was pressed for funds from the causes above mentioned as well as others, I had hoped it would be convenient for you to lend me some assistance, at the present time, and this was the reason why I sent a messenger to you as I did. And now. Sir that we may have no misunderstanding, in this matter I think we had better have a settlement, and if I am owing you I will pay you as soon as I can. & if you owe me, I shall only expect the same thing in return, for it is an old and trite maxim, that short reckonings make long fri[e]nds With this view of the matter I would request you to call as soon as you can possibly make it convenient and compare accounts, so that all things may be understood most perfectly between us in future, time, and that all occasion for unpleasant feelings, if any such there be, may be entirely obliterated.
In response to JS’s 17 January 1842 letter, in which JS asked him to send all available funds, Galland stated that he was “at a loss to determine whether you intend it [the letter] as an absolute dun or as an appeal to my liberality.” A dun was “an urgent request or demand of payment in writing.” (Letter from Isaac Galland, 18 Jan. 1842; “Dun,” in American Dictionary , 554.)
An American Dictionary of the English Language; First Edition in Octavo, Containing the Whole Vocabulary of the Quarto, with Corrections, Improvements and Several Thousand Additional Words. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. 2nd ed. 2 vols. New Haven: By the author, 1841.