Smith wrote to and received letters from a wide
variety of people, including his wife Emma and
other family members; church leaders and members;
and politicians, attorneys, businessmen, and
newspaper editors. A few of the outgoing letters
are in his own hand, but most were either dictated
to a scribe or written by an associate under his
direction. In some cases, the sent letters were
authored by a group of individuals that included
Joseph Smith, such as the church presidency;
similarly, in some cases the received letters were
addressed to him and others. Some of the original
letters have survived but in most cases the best
versions available are early copies, such as the
copies made in Joseph Smith’s two letterbooks.
Some letters were transmitted not by hand but by
publication in a newspaper.
following index provides one way to access the
Joseph Smith correspondence on this website.
Correspondents are listed in alphabetical order by
surname, with individual items of correspondence
listed underneath the name. Unnamed correspondents
appear at the end of the list, as do groups of
people with whom Joseph Smith corresponded.
ways to access correspondence on this website are
to perform a search using the keyword “letter”
(without quotation marks) and the name of the
correspondent; or to open the correspondent’s biographical
sketch and look through the documents listed
under the tab for “Papers”; or to browse through
the list of documents in the Documents series
looking for items with the word “letter” in the
index will be updated as additional Joseph Smith
correspondence is published on this website.