Letter from Emma Smith, 25 April 1837
- Source Note
wrote the letter featured here in reply to a letter she had received from JS, which is no longer extant. JS and left , Ohio, earlier that month and remained absent from Kirtland for much of April and May because of threats made against JS’s life. JS’s location during his time away is unknown, but on 25 April—the same day Emma wrote this letter—he was arrested and released by sheriff in relation to a lawsuit for unpaid business debt.In the letter, informed JS of the family’s welfare, noting her and their children’s unease at his absence. She also referred to tensions in and a lack of faith among some members, writing, “If I had no more confidence than some I could name, I should be a sad case indeed.” This is one of the earliest indications of unrest among the Kirtland Saints in the spring of 1837; the turmoil would develop over the next few months into direct opposition against JS.
Kirtland Elders Quorum. “A Record of the First Quorurum of Elders Belonging to the Church of Christ: In Kirtland Geauga Co. Ohio,” 1836–1838, 1840–1841. CCLA.
The Twelve Apostles. [Kirtland, OH: ca. Apr. 1836]. Copy at CHL.
Morris, Rod. “William Tenney and Eliza L. Webb.” The Morris Clan. Accessed 9 June 2016. http://www.themorrisclan.com.
JS Office Papers / Joseph Smith Office Papers, ca. 1835–1845. CHL. MS 21600.
H. Smith & Co. Daybook, July–Nov. 1836. In Gilbert Belnap, Account Book, 1836–1874. CHL.