In my browsings on Ebay I came across something of a gem, what is apparently an original handwritten letter of George Reynolds, then secretary to President John Taylor. Though the price tag of $199 seems a little steep, the content is interesting. The text, as given in the item listing is as follows:
Latter Day Saints.
PO Box B.
Mr. J. B. Farr
Your favor of 12 inst. to President John Taylor has been handed to me for reply.
Polygamy, or rather plural marriage, as taught and practiced in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is conducive to health, intelligence and longevity, because it is in accordance with the laws of man’s being. The Census of 1870 shows that in Utah the percentage of insane and idiotic was 5, in Massachussetts [sic] 23, in the District of Columbia 35, taking those three widely distant portions of our common country as examples. This is all the more favorable to
Yours very truly,
The letter was sent to Wyandotte, Kansas, and now, almost 125 years later, is being sold one hour’s drive away in Lexington, Missouri. How many of these types of documents remain undiscovered, squirreled away in basements, attics, and trunks? Was a copy retained in a letterbook that may be housed at the Church archives, or is this a totally unique item?
What strikes you about the letter’s content?
PS: A rather unique and also overpriced Sidney Rigdon piece is also on sale.