Letter to Robert D. Foster, 11 March 1840
JS, Letter, [, Hancock Co., IL], to , , Adams Co., IL, 11 Mar. 1840; unidentified handwriting; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes address, postmark, and dockets.Bifolium measuring 12¼ × 7⅝ inches (31 × 19 cm) when folded. The first two pages contain the body of the letter, and an address is written on the final page. The letter was trifolded in letter style for mailing. At a later time, it was folded twice horizontally and docketed for filing. apparently retained possession of the letter until it was filed with JS’s office sometime between 1842 and 1846. The document was cataloged in the JS Collection in 1973. The nineteenth-century docket and twentieth-century cataloging suggest continuous institutional custody.
Richards, Willard. Journals, 1836–1853. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, boxes 1–2.
Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.
On 11 March 1840, JS wrote a letter from the , Illinois, area to in , Illinois, in which he updated Foster on his activities since returning to Commerce from his four-month trip to the eastern . Foster, a physician who had recently joined the , was a late addition to the group that traveled with JS. In October 1839, JS, , , and stopped in , Illinois—approximately thirty miles from Foster’s home in Beverly—to attend to pressing business related to their plans to petition the federal government for redress and reparations. At that time, JS invited Foster to travel with the group and care for Rigdon, who was suffering from malaria. JS and Foster departed together for home from sometime in late January or early February 1840, leaving Higbee in the capital and a still-ailing Rigdon in .In his letter, JS informed that he had visited his ill father, , and had delivered discourses in which he recounted the trip to the eastern . He also updated Foster on ’s growth and development, ’s efforts before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the general shift in church members’ political allegiances from Democratic to Whig, and the status of ’s health. Finally, he requested that Foster come to the Commerce area to visit him.The letter was written in an unidentified hand. The notation of postage paid indicates the letter was mailed. apparently received it because it was given to , the church historian, within a few years. It is not known when Foster received the letter, if he wrote back, or if he visited JS.