Letter from David Thomas, 31 March 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Mo. March 31st 1838
Respected Sir
Permit me to introduce to your acquaintance Mr. of near this place on His buisness I am unacquainted with, Though any thing he may say to you, you may put the most implisit confidence in, as I have allways found him to be a man of truth & honor, neither have I ever [p. 26] known him to give a misrepresentation of any part, He is a merchant and I suppose doing a moderate buisness[.] his place is now, onley laid out about a year since a beautifull sight to the , and a first rate landing And Sir permit me to say to you, if you could make it convenient or for your advantage to settle in this County, I would let you have part of my land[.] There is yet to enter adjoining my land, as good land is in the world, I have no doubt you can do as weell here in forming a settlement and probaly better than any place in the The facilities of the will be of great servise to in settling this uper country besid[e]s some of the knowing ones have aimed to uproot you, but here you can break them down in turn, I will join you in the speculation if necessary and if possible the church[.] I will have after paying for 1600 acres of land $4,000, If they pay me in , enough give my respects to & accept for yourself
a friends respect
Elder Joseph Smith Jr
N.B. P.S. Further I own a section of land in near the forks of , and if necessary sell or make a settlement there I know of no man in the world I would rather entertain than yourself I would be glad if you would find whether my debt is secure in that place, and let me know Please to help me if you can do so without being oppressive to your feelings or interest these I do not wish you [to?] violate for me is my confidential friend anything [you?] may say to him is safe, if you cannot come [p. 27] a line from you at any time will be thankfully Received through the mail or otherwise
I expect is on the buisness which I have named to you in this, We have consulted on this buisness by others——
[p. 28]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Root owned part of the plat for De Witt, near the Missouri River. (Carroll Co., MO, Deed Records, 1819–1929, bk. A, pp. 234–238, 367–368, microfilm 959,374, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. [2]–[3], Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 36; see also Perkins, “Prelude to Expulsion,” 264–268.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

    Perkins, Keith W. “De Witt—Prelude to Expulsion.” In Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Missouri, edited by Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson, 261–280. Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994.

  2. 2

    Thomas owned land a few miles west of De Witt. (Carroll Co., MO, Deed Records, 1819–1929, bk. A, pp. 418–419, microfilm 959,374, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  3. 3

    Far West and other Mormon settlements in Caldwell County were situated on Shoal Creek and its tributaries. Shoal Creek ran into the Grand River, which ran into the Missouri River at De Witt. (See Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:286; and Hamer, Northeast of Eden, 18–19, 30–31.)  

    Berrett, LaMar C., ed. Sacred Places: A Comprehensive Guide to Early LDS Historical Sites. 6 vols. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999–2007.

    Hamer, John. Northeast of Eden: A Historical Atlas of Missouri’s Mormon County. [Mirabile, MO]: Far West Cultural Center, 2004.

  4. 4

    A network of influential “old-settlers” in northwestern Missouri believed that the Latter-day Saints should be driven from the area or that their settlement should be confined to Caldwell County. (Anderson, “Clarifications of Boggs’s Order,” 30–39.)  

    Anderson, Richard Lloyd. “Clarifications of Boggs’s ‘Order’ and Joseph Smith’s Constitutionalism.” In Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Missouri, edited by Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson, 27–83. Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994.

  5. 5

    Located at the confluence of the Grand and Missouri rivers, De Witt was a strategic site for facilitating Mormon participation in regional commerce. The Saints in the Far West area could haul agricultural products by wagon to Adam-ondi-Ahman, ship them on the Grand River to the De Witt landing, and from there send them on the Missouri River to other markets. (Riggs, “Economic Impact of Fort Leavenworth,” 130.)  

    Riggs, Michael S. “The Economic Impact of Fort Leavenworth on Northwestern Missouri, 1827–1838. Yet Another Reason for the Mormon War?” In Restoration Studies IV: A Collection of Essays about the History, Beliefs, and Practices of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, edited by Marjorie B. Troeh and Eileen M. Terril, 124–133. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1988.