Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 13 March 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

March 13th 1842
Dear Brethren President Smith and the , I Drop you a hasty line to Inform you that Br sets sail tomorrow Morning for With the Ship Hanover, 230 passengers. He is Coming on a visit, and on Buisiness, and I Can, with all Confidence Recomend him to you as an honest, prudent and trustworthy man Who has the Building up of and the of the People at heart.
Some Merchants here entirely unconnected with the have advanced us about 3,000 Dollars in Gold to Buy flour in , and vicinity to ship Back here for the supply of Our ships and other ships next fall and Winter. We have Laid out about 2000 Dollars in Wollens, Merinoes, Delanes [delaines], Muslins, and the most sale[a]ble goods, purchased at the Lowest Cash terms in the Market, will Bring these and some Gold to in Order to make an immediate exchange for flour, and some Wheat. to Bring Back with him, to be here by the first of September next, at Which time he must be here to attend to Emigration as no one can fill his place, as it takes much experience as well as care and prudence to Charter and fit up a ship and provision for Emigrants.
He also wishes to Cooperate with you in the Establishment of an Agent in , and a provision for River Navigation, as We now almost hold the keys of the port of [p. [1]] In regard to Emigrating to the western States, and Shall <​[illegible] it so, more fully,​> quite, by Next fall if God will, as our plan is so far superior Superior to all others in this Buisiness. We shall no doubt send some 5000 or 6000 passengers next fall and Winter to . and if you will you may hire Boats and take them all up the your selves. and be sure that arrangments are made for them not to touch at . An emigration officer and Agent Who is a faithful and trustworthy man is Greatly needed at .
Now Dear Brethren, if you can Manage to supply this plan and take the goods and gold, and send back by the first Sept I am shure it Will be a great advantage to you; but if not, please be so kind as to assist and advice him Where, and who to Deal with. Our own ships for emigra Emigrants, Will consume several hundred Barels of flour on Ship B[o]ard, next fall and Winter. for Inst We Buy some fifty Barrels of Bread thus far this Ship and It is the sixth ship we have sent this season.
Dear Breth[re]n, we are all well and prospering exceedingly; the power of god is With us in all this . thousands are awaking to the truth, We are continually doing for the , and I expect if the Lord will to Come to next Spring with all the means We can muster, to be laid out in Lands and Building. is in , and Was Well on the 18th January. [p. [2]]
I am pr[i]nting his account of the mission to and Will send a Coppy next week to be Reprinted by you. G[eorge] J, Adams has been to sea ten weeks and is Blown Back to this port. With the Conversion of many of the Ship Company. he will sail again tuesday next for . he is well. I think I shall send this line by him.
Great War in India, the British army is Slaughtered by the natives.
Great Distress in , thousands are looking to us and our god for Deliverance, and flocking to our ships for the Land of Joseph, Both and unbaptised.
In haste I Remain Yours in the
P, S,
has safely arived, and is Doing good.
I Rec’d a line from three of the Dated feb 1st Josephs translating Room for Which I feel thankful. and shall be glad to assist in arrangements, for the temporal or Spiritual good of the cause, Both sides of the water.
Excuse this hasty Line and good night, God Bless you All. [p. [3]]
Mr Joseph Smith, or Mr
, ,
Hancock Co, Ill,
United States
Emigration office Office and publishing office
36 Chapel St ,
to which all Lette[r]s mail’d be addressed. [p. [4]]


  1. 1

    The Millennial Star advertised Pratt and Fielding’s charter of “the First Class American Ship, ‘Hanover,’” scheduled to depart on 12 March 1842. (“Emigration,” Millennial Star, Mar. 1842, 2:176; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 91–92.)  

    Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. Manchester, England, 1840–1842; Liverpool, 1842–1932; London, 1932–1970.

    Sonne, Conway B. Ships, Saints, and Mariners: A Maritime Encyclopedia of Mormon Migration, 1830–1890. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987.

  2. 2

    When Pratt returned to the United States in January 1843, he avoided St. Louis: “I would not venture into Missouri after the abuses I had experienced there in former times.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 361–362.)  

    Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.

  3. 3

    Pratt noted receiving letters from Hyde dated 1 and 18 January 1842. (“Highly Interesting from Jerusalem,” Millennial Star, Mar. 1842, 2:166.)  

    Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. Manchester, England, 1840–1842; Liverpool, 1842–1932; London, 1932–1970.

  4. 4

    In the March 1842 issue of the Millennial Star, Pratt printed a portion of a letter Hyde wrote on 1 January 1842. (“Highly Interesting from Jerusalem,” Millennial Star, Mar. 1842, 2:166–169; Hyde, Voice from Jerusalem, 6–20.)  

    Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. Manchester, England, 1840–1842; Liverpool, 1842–1932; London, 1932–1970.

    Hyde, Orson. A Voice from Jerusalem, or a Sketch of the Travels and Ministry of Elder Orson Hyde, Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to Germany, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Liverpool: P. P. Pratt, 1842.

  5. 5

    On 1 June 1842 the Times and Seasons republished the excerpt of Hyde’s letter printed in the March 1842 issue of the Millennial Star. (“Highly Interesting from Jerusalem,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1842, 3:804–805.)  

  6. 6

    Adams departed Liverpool on the Mersey on 31 December 1841. The first eight days of the voyage were marked by “fair wind and good weather,” but the duration of the voyage was marked by stormy weather. A weeklong tempest began on 6 February 1842, damaging the ship and forcing the company to return to Liverpool. The company arrived on 25 February 1842. (Letter from George J. Adams, 21 Apr. 1842.)  

  7. 7

    Three days later, on 16 March 1842, Adams departed Liverpool on the Sheridan, a packet ship bound for New York. (Letter from George J. Adams, 21 Apr. 1842.)  

  8. 8

    Pratt was alluding to recent developments in the First Anglo-Afghan War, which involved Afghanistan and British-governed India. Pratt provided more details in an article published a month earlier: “War has suddenly commenced in India, and a large tract of country is in a state of insurrection, and the people in arms against the British forces, whose officers were massacred, detachments cut in pieces, large bodies of troops blockaded, almost without provisions or ammunition, the English government fearing to hear every day that these too have surrendered or been massacred.” (“War,” Millennial Star, Feb. 1842, 2:160, emphasis in original.)  

    Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star. Manchester, England, 1840–1842; Liverpool, 1842–1932; London, 1932–1970.

  9. 9

    Pratt was referring to the increasing civil unrest resulting from the Corn Laws, which restricted the importation of grain into the United Kingdom. (See Letter from Alfred Cordon, 17 Feb. 1842.)  

  10. 10

    On 31 August 1841 the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles voted that Elder Lorenzo Barnes “proce[e]d on his mission to England without delay.” (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Minutes, 31 Aug. 1841.)  

    Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Minutes, 1840–1844. CHL.