JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , New York Co., NY, 3 Aug. 1841; handwriting of ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postal stamp, postal notation, and docket.
Bifolium measuring 9⅝ × 7¾ inches (24 × 20 cm) and ruled with twenty-six horizontal blue lines. The letter was written on the first recto only. The letter was trifolded twice in letter style, addressed, and mailed from the Nauvoo post office on 7 August 1841.
A docket was later added by , who served as JS’s scribe from December 1841 until JS’s death in June 1844 and served as church historian from December 1842 until his own death in March 1854. The letter has presumably remained in institutional custody since its receipt, sometime after ’s arrival in in 1843, when Richards docketed and filed the letter in JS’s office.
On 3 August 1841 in , Illinois, JS dictated the following letter to his scribe in response to previous communications from in . Bernhisel had sent JS a certificate of deposit for $425 as partial payment for some real estate he asked JS to purchase on his behalf in , Illinois, and this letter confirmed the receipt of the money. Although JS stated in the letter that he had received a certificate of deposit of $500 from Bernhisel, JS had in fact only obtained the $425 that Bernhisel promised. JS was still awaiting the remaining $75, which Bernhisel stated he would send as soon as possible.
JS sent the letter on 7 August from the post office. On 18 August 1841, though had not yet received the 3 August letter featured here, he wrote to JS about the land purchase. By early September, Bernhisel had received the 3 August letter and responded to it with another letter, written on 8 September 1841.
Your certificate of deposit of $500.— came Safe to hand a few days ago. It shall be applied on the most advantageous purchase I can find. If a purchase could have been made early in the spring it could have been done to much better advantage than at present, owing to the vast number of the who are continually pouring in to this — all, of course, want locations, consequently the land in the immediate vicinity had been taken up— However, I have no doubt, but that for Cash a good bargain can be had, which I shall endeavour to effect— the first oppertunity I have, and shall write you on the subject as soon as I do
With sentiments of esteem I am Yours in the bonds of the E[verlasting] Covenant
Many Nauvoo city lots were available for purchase at this time, but prices were likely escalating because “immigrants [were] flocking in in multitudes.” Immigration from the British Isles began in 1840, and by 1842 over 2,700 immigrants had settled in Nauvoo. (“Vernal Equinox,” Times and Seasons, 1 Apr. 1841, 2:368; “Emigration,” Millennial Star, Feb. 1841, 1:263; Jensen, “Transplanted to Zion,” 78; see also Trustees Land Books A and B, CHL.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.