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Dear Gramps,

A church friend gave me a copy of a letter written from the Prophet Joseph to his wife Emma while in Liberty Jail (dated Match 21, 1839). Could you please interpret the beginning of the fourth paragraph for me? It reads:

“I want you to try to gain time and write me a long letter and tell me all you can and even if OLD MAJOR is alive yet and what those LITTLE PRATTLERS say that cling around your neck.”





Dear Jeffrey,

“Old Major” was the name of the Prophet’s dog. The word “prattler” was a term in common use in Joseph’s time for little children. The noun comes from the verb, “to prattle” which means “to speak in an unaffected or childish manner.” The word comes from the low German, “pratelen.” Its first recorded use was in 1532.






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