Nauvoo, January 18th, 1844
Dear Sir [Justin J. Butterfield Esq. Chicago, Cook Co, Illinois, RCK]
I am instructed by General Joseph Smith to address a few lines to you at this time and apologize for not writing sooner. You have heard from him some time ago had he been prepared to send you the money according to your request.
I am sorry to say that he has met with a number of disappointments with regard to money this fall [of 1843, RCK] and in fact has not been able to affect any sales as yet. He has used due diligence to accomplish it, but hitherto without success. The times are dull, and although we have had some little emigration during the fall and winter they have almost invariably been of the poorer class and not able to purchase. Agreeable to his request, I have used every effort to raise the money to send to you, and he also has spent considerable effort, but as before stated we do not yet succeed, and according to present appearance, there is no hopes [sic!] that he can do any thing until the Spring opens and emigrants again begin to move in.
I hope Sir it will not be any disadvantage to you to wait a few months longer, for be assured, it is not neglect that has caused the disappointment, in the Spring I hope to be able to accommodate you.
Let me hear from you[.] In the mean time I have the honor to remain as ever
<sig> Wm. Clayton // for Joseph Smith