Greene, John Portineus, 1793-1844.

Letter, 1843 Mar. 18, Buffalo, New York, to Joseph Smith, Nauvoo, Illinois

Joseph Smith Collection, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.



            City of Buffalo March 18 - AD 1843.  NY

            President Joseph Smith


                        Dear Sir it is with the deepest interest that I take my pen to communicate to you the very particular & interesting relation in which the god of Isreal has placed you or caused you to stand between him self & the saints of the last days, always makes my <hart> leap within me when I think of this very grate blessing - & when I think of the many happy & proffitable hours & day[s] Spent in youre society & family with many of oure bretheren the Saints, with the much valuable yes infinitely valuable instruction received from you Dear Sir it almost makes me forget that I am one thousand miles from you & the grate family of the Saints in the butiful city of Nauvoo (located in the midst of the land of Ephraigm) & almost seeme at times to be in your there too: but [s]ome moments reflection discovers my hasens me back to this grate dopoe [depot?] of Babilon with about twenty Saints <who> with me are ingaged in open contack with about twenty thousand inhabitance who are led captive by the priests of baal. but I assure you their refuse of lies, does not make a very permanant breast work for the word & the spirrit of god which secret is the deep of thing of God, & disernes between the joints & marrowes of and the thoughts & intents of the hearts of mann, has already penetrated the darke cavern of preastcrafts, & led out several of its dupes translated them th in to the Church of Jesus Christ to thire grate Joy - many outhers are standing Just on the bank of the watre [p. 2] I visit this City about the middle of december last - stayed about <one> week baptized a number of persons & organised a branch of fifteen & then left & returned again the last of Feb. - but had no houes for preaching untill the first Sunday in March - being the 5th - March at that time I commence a course of lectures on the principles of the gospel of our Lord as believe by the Latter-day as well as the former day Saints.  Come [o]ut with ha[n]dbills withe a very polite invitation to any gentleman or professor of divinity to come out publickly & debate these principles the Bible being the standard -, but no one has yet come out but a universilest - & we met this morni[n]g at 9˝ oclock - with a very respectable houes, & the Judges brought in a verdict unanimous in oure favor - & we hope for better times in Buffalo <for here> here are many very respectable cittizens that are favorable inclined and are seriously inquiring after the truth of the Book of Mormon - I am now preaching five times in a week <in Buffalo> & sevrel at Black rock where there are is also a goo[d] attention paid to the word & they say we never herd it on this wise before, (& I have not at any time in my life realised the pour [power] of any prophetic exspression more sensible than the promis you made to the Elders that volunteared last fall to go out & preach the word trusting in God. for the Lord has not only taugh[t] me to preache his word faithfully & in the demonstration of the Sprrit for both comfort to the Saints and to the shutting of the mouths of gainsayers the healing of the sick & the casting out of Devils; but to my owne astonishment & grate Joy he has turned my horse whither he would have me to gow, & when I would of gone a head the Stormes has prevented me untill the Serva[n]ts (Cornealiuos) like) had time to arive & call for me to go & tell them wat to do or words whare by they & there hous might be saved & by this interpersition of the hand of the Lord I was led in to this grate City, now their are ma[n]y rejoiceing in the new & everlasting Covenant & I know of a Truth that God will preserve and direct all the Elders that are faithfull to live by all the word of the Lord ; & I can can truly say that I have never felt the neede of youre counsel more [p. 3] in all my life than I have since Elder Wight left me in this region to take care of the whole co[n]ferance and while in this little branch where they all (like dutiful children to a faithful father) look to <me> for instruction & will swallow evrey thing that I teach them & run after the prinsiples of life as an ox drinks the dow [dew?] water when he is dry - & all most evrey body look to the mormons for to reconcile many passages of scripture, & so [much?] that we feel the gratuer need of reciveing the word at thy mouth & my dear brother do pray for me that the lord will abide withe me untill I am prm permited to come home & receive his will at thy mouth! when Elder Wight left me he instructed to procede on to the East after our autumn conference. & visit all the branches I could & hold conferances where it was needed instruck the Saints the ne[c]issity of contribiting to the building of the Temple & the Nauvoo hous as also of a speady gathering - this is my instruction at p[r]esant but I think there should <be> a sutible Elder left in this place; as we have gotten a foot hold in this grate depo we aught [to] hold oure claim & assurt our wrights in which all important points as this is, important to the Saints both in the east & in the west in the same propo[r]tions as it might facilitate in the gathering. as in other matters of importance, I wish you to instruct me on this point particularly & in all matters that may seem wisdom to you for I have but one interest that is to build up Zion & am at the disposial of the authoroties <that> be in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, & if you will to have me stay in Buffalo through the summer I will do so - but if you would have me go on in the Sp[r]ing & visit the branches: you have only to write me your will - which I shall expect you will do soon after you receive this - I want to heare from the home of the Saints how the two houses are coming forward & how all the work prospers in its different branches; as also what the antimormons are at since their defeat on the Mosurey claim & the repeals of Charters (o thank God for I will prays him in the congragations of the Saints) I have many things to say to you but cannot now; only the winter has been very serious in the state - the ground has been coverd with snow sinc[e] the 18. day of Nov. & good Slaying all the time with the exceptions of the snow drifts & the last week since the 15 of March - has been some [of] the most severe snow & winds that I have experianced, it is said the Ice is now three feet thick in the lak[e] - this cold ha[r]sh wind seriously affects my lungs & I think has ingoured my helth, my wife & little dauter - Mary Emma, Joine in their respects to youre self & most ameable wife & family & wishes she was at this time injoying the salubrious zephirs of youre delyhtfull Nauvoo - & dear Sir.  I am with the warmest respect yours in the bonds of the Everlasting covenant

            Joseph Smith prophet of the most high God /s/ John P. Greene

NB.  Show this to Br Br. Young - I should of written to him now but it is hard getting money to pay postage & will not send with out[,] oure love to Br. Young and all the twelve (yes to gods people) I wish they would send me both- Papers to this place - & tell them we should have some subscriptions for them this spring, the work of Love is prospering in this reagion as far as I have hered, also remember me to President Hyrum & family & wishe to be remember in his praey[er]s

[p. 4] I have seen some & heard from severals of Elders who are Traveling about from place to place liveing on the bretherin & on the people & have not — preached all winter & have told those that I have seen they might do more laboring on the Temple - than traveling withe out preaching do not neglect to write me immediately, oure conference comes on the 6 of April & if I go East as soon as possible


[address on outside of letter:]

Joseph Smith - Mayor

City of Nauvoo. Hancock Co


[postmarked “Buffalo, N.Y., Mar 21”]


[Document transcribed and proofread by Brian D. Reeves, 23 April 1999.]