Written with his own hand (which was VERY rare), Joseph Smith, Jr., while a fugitive, encouraged a secret meeting between
“…three of his closest friends. They were Bishop Newel K. Whitney, his wife Elizabeth Ann and a person whom he refers to as ‘and &c’ – Sarah Ann Whitney whom he had been married to for twenty-two days.”
H. Michael Marquardt, The Strange Marriages of Sarah Ann Whitney to Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet… (Salt Lake City, UT: Modern Microfilm Company, 1973), 5.
In one of the finest examples of Joseph Smith’s plot to deceive Emma [“Emma wont come to night if she dont dont fail to come”], collusion [“burn this letter as soon as you read it”], and likely encourage a polygamist tryst [“I have a room intirely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect saf[e]ty”], he writes:
“Nauvoo August 18th. 1842 Dear, and Beloved, Brother [Newel K. Whitney] and Sister, [Elizabeth Ann Smith] Whitney, and &c. [Sarah Ann Whitney]—I take this oppertunity to communi[c]ate, some of my feelings, privetely at this time, which I want you three Eternaly to keep in your own bosams; for my feelings are so strong for you since what has pased lately between us, that the time of my abscence from you seems so long, and dreary, that it seems, as if I could not live long in this way: and if you three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am alied, do love me, now is the time to afford me succour, in the days of exile, for you know I foretold you of these things. I am now at Carlos Graingers [Granger’s], Just back of Brother Hyrams [Hyrum Smith’s] farm, it is only one mile from town, the nights are very pleasant indeed, all three of you
comecan come and see me in the fore part of the night, let Brother Whitney come a little a head, and nock at the south East corner of the house at the window; it is next to the cornfield; I have a room intirely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect saf[e]ty, I know it is the will of God that you should comfort me now in this time of affliction, or not allat all now is the time or never, but I hav[e] no kneed of saying any such thing, to you, for I know the goodness of your hearts, and that you will do the will of the Lord, when it is made known to you; the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty: only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater frendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I will tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it, keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it, one thing I want to see you for is to get the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads, &c. you will pardon me for my earnestness on this subject when you consider how lonesome I must be, your good feelings know how to make every allowance for me, I close my letter, I think Emma wont come to night if she dont dont fail to come to night, I subscribe myself your most obedient, and affectionate, companion, and friend. Joseph Smith[.]”
Joseph Smith, Jr., Letter to Newel K., Elizabeth Ann Smith, and Sarah Ann Whitney, 18 August 1842 (Salt Lake City, UT: The Joseph Smith Papers, 2020), 1, 2.