Letter from John M. Bernhisel, 11 April 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

April 11th 1842.
Dear Brother,
On the 29th ultimo, I forwarded to you by a private conveyance fifteen dollars, being the amount due on the land which you had the goodness to purchase for me, and on the 5th instant, I deposited in the post office a certificate of deposite, payable to your order, on the Butchers & D[r]overs’ Bank in this for one hundred and eighty one dollars and seventy five cents, contributed by members of this and that of New Rochelle, in aid of the funds for the erection of the of the Most High, since which time I have received five dollars from brother Ezra Oakley for the same object, which I send you by Bush Reynolds who is about to take his departure for .
I am with great respect Yours in the
176 Hudson St.
P.S. If any tax shall be imposed on my land the current year, will you have the kindness to let me know the amount of it. [p. [1]]
[page [2] blank] [p. [2]]
[page [3] blank] [p. [3]]
Joseph Smith
Illinois. [p. [4]]


  1. 1

    Letter to John M. Bernhisel, 4 Jan. 1842.  

  2. 2

    The Butchers’ and Drovers’ Bank was incorporated in 1830. In 1842 it was located at 124 Bowery Street on the northwest corner of Bowery and Grand streets in New York City. (Longworth’s American Almanac [1842], 32.)  

    Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, for the Sixty-Seventh Year of American Independence. . . . New York: T. Longworth and Son, 1842.

  3. 3

    The New York City branch was founded in 1837. John M. Bernhisel was ordained bishop of the branch on 15 April 1841. He likely considered collecting and forwarding these donations part of his assignment as a bishop. (Foster, History of the New York City Branch, [1]; Minutes, Times and Seasons, 2 Aug. 1841, 2:499.)  

    Foster, Lucian R. History of the New York City Branch, 1837–1840. High Priests Quorum Record, 1841–1845. CHL.

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  4. 4

    The branch in New Rochelle, a village located about twenty-five miles northeast of New York City, numbered thirty-five by 29 November 1841. (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 15 Apr. 1842, 3:764.)  

  5. 5

    JS dictated a revelation in January 1841 that commanded the Saints to build a temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. In December 1841 the apostles published a request for donations. (Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124:55]; Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:625–627.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  6. 6

    Oakley was a local businessman and farmer who was baptized on 7 February 1841. (Fontano, “Ezra Oakley and Elizabeth DeGroot,” 10.)  

    Fontano, Mildred P. M. “Ezra Oakley and Elizabeth DeGroot.” In Oakley Family History, edited by Arthur D. Oakley, 9–13. Springville, UT: No publisher, 1955.

  7. 7

    Reynolds was a local member of the church who had been ordained a deacon. (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 15 Apr. 1842, 3:765.)  

  8. 8

    Other letters exchanged between JS and Bernhisel used similar valedictions. (See, for example, Letter to John M. Bernhisel, 3 Aug. 1841; and Letter from John M. Bernhisel, 8 Sept. 1841.)