Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 19 April 1844

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, Ill, April 19th 44
President Smith and the Twelve,
Dear Brethren, I am here awaiting a Boat for , the “Madison” a fine Steamer sails in the morning. Navigation has but fairly opened between and . I am well and in as good spirits as I can be away from home. I hope all are well at .
I write at this time to Call your special attention <​to​> this part of our , or the part between and , as affording every facility for settlements and Stakes of Zion. from , and other seaports on the Atlantic communication is easy, cheep, and expeditious to by way of the Lakes and canal and Rail Roads. it is now but six days journey from to .— has a good harbour, and will soon have a canal, connecting the Lakes with the . it is a good Market, as it only costs a few cents on a Bushel of Wheat for transportation from here to . The Country between and Peoria 150 miles is composed mostly of Rich, Dry, Rolling, and healthy Prairies most beautifully watered with Durable Streams and Rivers, and will, so far as can be ascertained from the appearance, and from the history of the past be one of the healthyest counties in the world, and certainly it is the most productive and pleasant. Peoria is on the one hundred miles from , and is only eaqualed by in Beauty of Location, Otawa [Ottawa, Illinois] is Little Inferior. is not beautiful in Natural Cite, but is the best Location for trade of any port of the west. [p. [1]]
I would earnestly sugjest the propriety of appointing those three towns as Stakes, or at Least some Location in the vicinity of each. and that we by enlightening the present inhabitants, and poring in a flood of Emigration from the East commence the Immediate ocupation of these and the surrounding country Extending all the way from to . There are already some of the finest Locations in the world Occupied by Branches of the Chuch, Among which is George Town 55 m.s. from and 20 from Otawa, and also a Large Branch of Norwegians who have abundance of Lands 10 m s from Otawa and 65 from . In Short the Saints are scatered all through this wide Region, in every Town and Prairiee.
Brethren, Lets make a Long, Steady, Strong, and persevering exertion to save the State of , which, once saved may easily contain 2 millions of souls in within 15 years from this date, and wield more wealth and Influence than any other State in the .
These are some of my thoughts suggested for the Consideration of the most exalted Council with which our earth is at present Dignified.
In haste I Subscribe myself as ever your Br, and fellow Servant.
[p. [2]]
[p. [3]]
<​PAID​> <​18½​>
<​ Ill. APR 20​>
Mr Joseph Smith,
April. 12. 1844
Ill. April 12 19th. 1844
to Joseph Smith [p. [4]]


  1. new scribe logo

    “PAID” stamped in red ink.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Postage in blue ink in unidentified handwriting.  

  3. new scribe logo

    Circular postmark stamped in red ink.  

  4. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.  

  5. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Jonathan Grimshaw.