JS, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , Lake Co., OH, 26 Jan. 1841; handwriting of ; three pages; Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. Includes postal and archival markings.
Bifolium measuring 12¾ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm) when folded. The letter was written on the first three pages of the bifolium and then trifolded in letter style, sealed, addressed, and stamped for mailing. The last page is torn where the letter was opened, and remnants of a red adhesive wafer are present. The letter has undergone conservation for various tears near the folds and where the letter was torn when opened. The document also may have been damaged by water.
The early custodial history of the letter is unknown. The Huntington Library purchased the document in November 1964 from Maxwell Hunley of Beverly Hills, California.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery to Maxwell Hunley Rare Books, Receipt, 10 Nov. 1964, Maxwell Hunley Rare Books, Records, 1952–1967, Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California Los Angeles; see also the archival notations on the folder housing the featured document at Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.
Maxwell Hunley Rare Books, Records, 1952–1967. Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California Los Angeles.
On 26 January 1841, JS wrote a letter to encouraging him to cooperate with in leading the at , Ohio. Granger, who was working to resolve outstanding debts of JS and the church, was appointed as the presiding officer over the Kirtland Saints in May 1839. However, a general of the church held in October 1840 assigned Babbitt to that position. Babbitt had only recently been cleared of charges that included speaking against JS and other church leaders, but JS had been under the impression that Granger would soon return to the , Illinois, area, necessitating the appointment of another presiding officer in Kirtland. JS expressed concern that the news of the leadership change would upset Granger and assured him of his confidence that the two men could work together in leading the Kirtland church.
JS also addressed ’s assignment of extricating JS and other church leaders from debts they owed to merchants in . JS applauded Granger’s apparent success in paying off a mortgage that the firm of Mead, Stafford & Co. held against the and informed Granger that , and possibly , would be traveling to the eastern to help with the church’s business transactions. JS also asked to be kept informed of Granger’s progress in paying off the remainder of the debts.
With serving as scribe, JS began writing the letter after receiving one from as well as additional correspondence discussing the state of the church in and Granger’s attempts to pay off the debts. After receiving another letter from Granger, dated 9 January 1841, JS continued composing this letter. The letter includes two initialed postscripts by JS, and a postmark indicates he mailed the letter from on 29 January 1841. If the letter took the same amount of time to get to Kirtland as Granger’s correspondence took to get to Nauvoo, Granger would have received the letter sometime around mid-February 1841.
P.S With respect to giving advise to the moving to I would say, that I feel desireous that the Eastern brethren should come to , but at the same time, those who had rather move to than to this place are at liberty to do so.
I am pleased you have secured the keys of the and should advise you and you are hereby requested to hold them until I home come, whe I cannot say when I shall pay you a visit but I think not before the debts be settled. So if you are desireous to see me, you will have to exert yourselves to get the debts settled.
Please to write me all the p[ar]ticulars of your transactions and let me know when we shall have the pleasu[re] of Seeing you here
accompanied by some one of the brethren (perhaps ) intend to leave this place in a few days for the East, on business for the church, they will call at and will be glad to see you as you may possibly give them such information as may will be necessary for them in their business transactions.
The possibility of JS being imprisoned in New York for outstanding debts may explain why he would have been reluctant to travel to Kirtland—located not far from the southwestern boundary of the state of New York—until those debts were settled. (See Letter from Jacob W. Jenks, 31 Dec. 1839.)