May 7 - l843 Nauvoo
Friends in Boston - Having a good opportunity of sending a letter to you by Elder Snow, I shall do it with pleasure. We have had a long cold winter and the spring is backward but we have lived through it and now enjoy good health, all of us. We got here in October.
I was sick a few days after we got here and so was Lavinia's Mother. But her health has been good most of the time. She stood the journey first rate.
We are all well contented. This is a find country. Nauvoo for situation is beautiful. It lies on the east side of the Mississippi in a large bend in the river. It extends about four miles along the river and about the same distance back from the river. It contains twelve or 15 thousand inhabitants. The people are gathering from all parts of the states and from Europe and the islands of the sea. It bids fare to be a greater place and for all I know it may become the joy of the whole earth.
I bought me two lots in the city and have got them partly planted. The lots contain one acre each. There is a log house on each lot. We live in one and the other Lavinia keeps for a school house. She has got this spring a school of twenty-five scholars.
I have been getting out building timber the last part of the winter and spring, to sell. I think I shall build for myself in the fall. I expect James Eastman (his brother-in-law) out in September.
Lots are selling in the city from fifty to a thousand dollars a piece. I paid four hundred for my two. Land out of the city sells from $150 to two thousand dollars per acre.
Provisions are very cheap: wheat 31¢, corn 12 1/2¢ (per bushel), pork $1.50 per hundred, butter 8¢/lb., eggs 6¢/doz. Store goods have been high until this spring. Now goods can be bought at a fair rate - nails 7¢, glass lights (panes) 31¢, dried apples and peaches $1.00, sugar 16 lbs. for a dollar, molasses 25¢.
It is not here as many think, nobody but Mormons. There are many mechanics and merchants who do not belong to the Church. Our city is a very quiet one. They have steady habits, no swearing in the streets nor reeling to and fro of drunkards for there is no place in all the city where liquor is sold to the tippler nor to anyone except for medicine.
The people do not throng the taverns. They are seen sometimes playing ball or pitching quarters for amusement.
We are building a large house, a temple, a place for worship. It is about 80 feet by 180 feet, built of hewn stone. It is to be 150 feet from the ground to the top of the steeple. It has basement story of twelve x 15 feet where is to be the baptismal fount place on twelve oxen carved big as life. In it the sick are healed and in it we are baptized for friends that are dead, who never had the chance to be baptized for themselves. By that it gives them a chance to come forth in the first resurrection.
We have become acquainted with Mr. Joseph Smith and find him to be a moral and religious man. We know that the reports that are in circulation about him are false.
If Morse is in Boston, tell him that I want him to come out here and bring his family with him. Mr. Haley, his friend is here and doing well.
And to you, James, Elvira and Emmaline, we should be very happy to receive a visit from you.
Your mother says to tell Em, I haven't been deceived as to Mormonism, but that you have been. Mother says the doctrines of the Bible are of more consequence to her than the doctrines of men.
Although, you Emmaline said in your letter your expectations in the eternal world was to shine forth like the stars in the firmament. Well, Sr. Em, the Apostle Paul tells us in the 15th Chapt. of Corinthians that there are three glories--one of the sun, another of the moon, and one of the stars. And if you are satisfied with the glory of the stars, so be it. But I hope that I prove faithful and keep the perfect law and I shall a fullness of glory like that of the sun. And I know that unless I commence with the first principles and so continue on that I shall come short of a part in the first resurrection and the reign with Christ. But that my body shall sleep in dust while my spirit is confined in prison until the last resurrection at the end of the thousand years and then when I come forth, receive nothing more than the glory of the stars.