Letter from Robert Peirce, 28 February 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Joseph Smith,
Dear sir:—I feel anxious to express my feelings, concerning the business transactions between the and myself;—as it is well known to many, that , as for the church, purchased my farm while I was living in , Chester co. Pa, and many supposed or pretended to suppose, I would get nothing in return;—but I wish to say to all my old friends and enemies in , through the medium of the “Times and Seasons,”—-[which I rejoice you now have the control of,]- that I have received my pay in full from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, through yourself, sir, as their Trustee in Trust, according to the original contract; and that from my acquaintance with yourself, and those brethren who are assisting you in the great and increasing business of the church, I have the fullest confidence in all the transactions of the church, and I request those papers in who published concerning my sale and loss, with such bitter lamentations to publish this also. I am, sir, your brother and well wisher,
, Feb. 28, 1842. [p. 715]


  1. 1

    Beginning with the issue dated 15 February 1842, JS was listed as the editor of the Times and Seasons, replacing Ebenezer Robinson. (See Masthead, Times and Seasons, 15 Feb. 1842, 3:702.)  

  2. 2

    Illinois law allowed each religious organization that incorporated in the state to elect up to ten trustees, who would be legally responsible for all physical property the organization owned. Pursuant to this law, JS was elected the “sole Trustee in Trust” for the church on 30 January 1841. (An Act concerning Religious Societies [6 Feb. 1835], Laws of the State of Illinois [1834–1835], pp. 147–148, sec. 1; Appointment as Trustee, 2 Feb. 1841.)  

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835. Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1835.

  3. 3

    Philadelphia’s Saturday Courier depicted the transactions as an attempt to defraud the region’s residents. On 14 August 1841 it reported that “they (the Mormon preachers) pretended to give him a claim for land in Nauvoo, for $600, the sum which his late farm was worth.” In the following issue the newspaper identified the farmer as Peirce and corrected the figure from $600 to $6,000. (“The Mormons—the Crimes of Their Leaders and the Delusion of Their Dupes—Their History, Etcetera,” Saturday Courier [Philadelphia], 14 Aug. 1841, [2], italics in original; “A Mormon Champion—Swindling Mr. Pierce of His Farm,” Saturday Courier, 4 Sept. 1841, [2].)  

    Saturday Courier. Philadelphia. 1841–1848.