Letter to Emma Smith, 9 November 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

<​Ill​> November 9th 1839
My Dear
perhaps you may thing [think] strange That we are not further on our Jouny [journey] at this date but I will say that we have done all that we could for the saf[e]ty of on account of his week state of hea[l]th and this morning we are under the neces nesesity of leaveing him at and pesueing [pursuing] our Journy without him we think he will soon recover his health as he is not dangerously sick we regret that he cannot go on with us very much much but cannot help ourselves but must commit him into the hands of God and go on being fil[le]d with constant anxiety for our Families and friends behind I shall be filled <​with​> constant anxiety about you and the children until I hear from you and in a particular maner litle it was so painful to leave him sick I hope you will wa[t]ch over those tender of[f]springs in a maner that <​is​> <​is​> becoming a mother and <​a​> saint and try to cutivete [cultivate] their minds and learn <​them​> to read and be sober do not let <​them​> be exposed to the wether to take cold and try to git all the rest you can it will be a long and lonesome time and dureing my absence from you and nothing but a sense of humanity could have urged me on to a so great a sacrafice but shall I see so many perish and <​not​> seek redress no I will try this once in the <​name​> of the Lord therefore be patient untill I come and do the best you can I cannot write what I want but believe me <​my​> feelings are of the best kind towards you all my hand cramps so I must close I am
[Joseph Smith Jr.]
To [p. [1]]
Ill— [p. [2]]


  1. 1

    Snider was a church member who was apparently residing in Springfield at the time. He moved to Hancock County, Illinois, by or during 1840. (1840 U.S. Census, Hancock Co., IL, 183.)  

    Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.

  2. 2

    At the time of JS’s departure, JS and Emma’s three-year-old son, Frederick, was suffering from a fever. (Letter from Emma Smith, 6 Dec. 1839.)  

  3. 3

    In a report dated 29 November 1838, Major General John B. Clark of the Missouri state militia estimated that forty church members were killed in the Missouri conflict. (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  4. 4

    TEXT: The bottom right-hand corner of the letter has been cut away, indicating the removal of JS’s signature.