Letter: Edson Whipple to Mr. Napoleon Thomas

Letter: Edson Whipple to Mr. Napoleon Thomas

Mr. Napoleon Thomas Sir:

Many days have passed away since we have had any intercourse together. Thinking perhaps a few lines from me at this time may be interesting to you, judging by my own feelings. For certainly a letter from you informing me of the condition of yourself and shop mates would be very gratifying, and I shall expect an answer to this letter from you giving full details of matters and things pertaining to yourself and all the shop.

As it is respecting myself and family, we are all here in Nauvoo and are well, and well contented.

Our city contains from fifteen to twenty thousand inhabitants very handsomely situated on the east side of the Mississippi in a large bend in the river. The distance from the river to the center of the city is about two miles and from the north to south about the same distance.

We are building a house for a place of worship near the center of the city. When finished, it will be the finest building, west of the Allegheny Mountains.

The inhabitants are not all Mormons. There are several merchants and several machinists that don't belong to our church and they are well satisfied with the laws and regulations of our city. We have a steady set of inhabitants. Every thing seems to move on in order. There is not any grog shops in all the city where liquor is sold to the tippler. No, not one. Where can you find another city on the face of the earth that can tell the same story?

Now for the Prophet, what shall I say of Him? What kind of story would suit you best? Would one that would contradict itself suit you best or one that is so unreal or insincere that no sensible person can believe it. No, I think not. I think perhaps you would be better pleased with the truth.

He is a man whose character stands unimpeached and is respected and considered a good citizen by all who are not prejudiced and who have become acquainted with him.

I know him to be a kind-hearted man, given to hospitality and one would divide the last meal of victuals with the poor if necessary (not only kind and hospitable but possessing almost every other qualification of a Christian and perfectly original).

I have located myself near the middle of the city. I bought me a lot soon after I came in last fall. I gave three hundred dollars for it, one acre of land with a log house on it, but I am building a frame house and expect to have it finished before cold winter. I have got a cellar dug and stoned and the frame ready to go up. I have got most of the materials for finishing it. It is to be 24 feet in front and two stories high and 36 feet deep including a kitchen and a well room.

I have paid for my lot and I think if I am blessed with health I shall have my house finished and paid for by next spring.

Building material can be bought quite cheap, in lumber is $10 a thousand, brick is four and five dollars a thousand, and nails 7¢ a pound and glass and other in proportion.

Provisions are cheap - wheat 44¢, corn 20¢, pork and beef $2.00 per hundred.

Tinkering is a first rate business. We have only one in the place I wish you were here well fixed in business.

Give my respects to all that inquire after me and tell them I think Nauvoo is the best place in the world and all that do not believe it may come and see the people gathering from all quarters of the world to this place. Several thousand have come this season.

Well might the Prophet say when the scenes of the last days were shown him by vision, "Like doves to the windows in clouds see them come."