Important Letters, Friendly and Otherwise—Summary of Recent Procedure in and about Nauvoo with Comment of an Editorial from The Times and Seasons
“Wednesday, October 29, 1845.—Evening, the Twelve met at Elder Taylor’s. The following letter was read:
Wild Schemes Proposed by ‘Backwoodsman’ of Palmyra, Missouri, for the Conjoint Occupancy of ‘California’ by the Latter-Day Saints and Migrating Citizens from the United States, But to Live in Separate Communities—Founding of Independent Government—’The United States of the West’
‘Palmyra, Mo., Oct. 22, 1845.
Sir: Owing to particular circumstances, I make free to address you, though a stranger, and I do it with plainness and candor because I think candor is always best, and may prevent difficulty hereafter. I see from the papers that you Mormons as a body intend to remove next spring to California, I myself am one of a very large number who have for some time been making arrangements for a settlement there with a view to the ultimate and not very remote establishment of an independent government not with a view to annexation to this government at all, but for that and Oregon to form the ‘United States of the West’.
General Leslie Combs of Kentucky and several sons of Mr. Clay, are of the number, and the design will be carried out, and it is folly in you to think of settling there, unless it be on terms of compromise, that will insure the peaceable enjoyment of your peculiar organization. Experience ought to have taught you by this time, that it is impossible for you to exist as a community collected together in a city in the midst of another community, governed by other laws, than those you esteem paramount to all laws. You cannot be tolerated long, in that manner of living, anywhere; it is contrary to human nature and to the nature of things. The very principles you inculcate, that as the Lord’s chosen people you have a right to everything you need, are incompatible with civil government, and the rights of others, and will not be tolerated, I again say, in any place long. If therefore you locate in California when it has already commenced settling, you interfere with the settlers already there, and you will create a prejudice against you, and so soon as enough others join them, which will soon be the case, you will again be expelled, this is inevitable.
I freely acknowledge, that although I have never taken any part against you, yet, I have felt a strong prejudice against your community because I believe that the natural tendency of your institutions is to make a part of your community bad citizens. No people have a right to interfere with your religious views, but if your religious views tend to disturb or resist the laws, or trespass on the rights or property of others, then the community have the right to interfere, and such is the case, too well established to be doubted by any person of intelligence, after making all proper allowance for false reports against you, of which I doubt not there are many. I think I understand you about as well as you do yourselves. There are three classes among you, the leaders, the fanatics and the dishonest part. The whole design of the leaders is to obtain power and wealth, the fanatics are conscientious and honest in their belief that they are doing God’s service, but a large proportion have joined you, just to get the license and impunity which your numbers and strength give them, to pilfer and steal. This is the real state of the case, and it is useless to deny it. I do not charge all your denomination with the faults of a part, but I charge that the nature of your organization inclines the body to protect those committing depredations. I know there are good and bad in all communities, but the fear of the law with us, checks the vicious, with you they are emboldened, because they think your numbers will shield them from punishment, hence they indulge to a greater degree in bad practices, not because they are worse than others but because of the nature of your social system. Whenever men have the strength, they tyrannize and even well disposed persons may be induced to connive at such practices by such arguments as these: ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, and he giveth it to his chosen people, we are his chosen people, therefore we have a right to everything we need’.
The country around and on the Bay of San Francisco and in the valley of the Sacramento has already commenced settling, and in that part our party will settle and if you settle there you cannot stay there for the two communities cannot and will not live together, but if you are wise and will consent to the arrangement we propose, you will neither infringe upon, nor be infringed upon.
Mr. Hastings describes California as being naturally divided into two sections which he denominates the western and eastern sections. (I suppose you have read his book). In the eastern section there are no settlements, that section is watered by the great river, the Colorado of the west, which puts into the Gulf of California, or rather into the Bay of Colorado which is connected with the gulf; Hastings says that the harbor at the estuary of the river is very capacious and good, this affords a very eligible situation for an extensive settlement, and large city of commercial business; here, as there are no settlements, you can safely locate without infringing upon anybody and by a prudent arrangement being made beforehand the settlement may be permanent. I hope you may see the necessity of such arrangements, and avoid all occasion for such continual agitation and commotion as have been heretofore in connection with your community. I was often deeply pained on seeing your women and children, moving from Missouri through the snow and inclement weather, but notwithstanding these were my feelings, my acquaintances with the world and with human nature is such, that I know you cannot live in your organized embodied state in the midst of another community. We are willing to come to an understanding with you and reduce it to something like the form of a treaty that you shall settle at the mouth of the Colorado of the west and have assigned you a certain district of country, sufficiently large on that river, and in the eastern section exclusively and that we will not intrude on you within those bounds, provided you do not intrude on us, or on others without those bounds, and on the further condition that you join us and the original settlers to revolutionize the country from the dominion of Mexico and erect it into an independent government in connection with Oregon under the denomination of the United States of the West, Oregon and California including lower California will form sufficient territory to form twenty states.
Lower California would be forced into the confederation because it would be cut off from communication with any part of Mexico. It would evidently be your interest to join in the revolution because the Catholic religion being the established religion of the Mexican government, you could not be tolerated in the enjoyment of your views, but establish an independent government with full toleration of all religions, and then by a division of territorial limits as I propose, all difference will be prevented, for as we would have nothing to do with each other’s religious views, and if each party were confined within its own limits we would know each other only as citizens, equally bound to protect each other and the country against all foreign invasion, and consequently to protect each other in the enjoyment of our respective peculiar views, then there need be no interruption of friendship and we could forget the past, as prejudice would die away. We could have an arrangement by which a due proportion of governmental patronage would be bestowed upon and enjoyed by each party, according to their relative strength as citizens, and to be wielded for the good of the whole republic and not for the exclusive benefit of either party so that as citizens of the republic we would all be precisely on the same footing and know no distinction any more, than if you had no separate social organization at all.
I submit this for your serious consideration and I request an early understanding and a positive statement in writing whether you abide by the proposed agreement or not, to be stated so definitely that it will admit of no misunderstanding.
You can write to this place addressed to ‘Backwoodsman’, distinctly defining your position in relation to this matter. We must know soon as measures have already been taken to send a messenger round by sea to put the settlers and the authorities on their guard so as to prevent your settling there, if you do not close with and come into this arrangement.
If you accede to this offer, I wish you to keep this letter and take it with you as evidence for it is written in good faith.[Signed] Backwoodsman.’
Brigham Young’s Comment on the above Proposition
The above letter contains the lucubrations of some of Senator Benton’s mobocratic associations who, no doubt, desire to make us a barrier between them and the Mexican government. His falsehoods in relation to our social system, and interference with the rights and property of others, are too absurd to be noticed, but I copy the letter as a specimen of numerous others which I am constantly receiving and which show the vanity, folly and corruption to which the human heart has been prostituted.
We had prayers as usual.
I received a letter from Elder Willard Snow, dated at Boston, October 12th.
Thursday, 30.—Bishop George Miller and E. A. Bedell returned from Springfield at 10 a.m. and reported their interview with Governor Ford and informed us that the governor would be at Carthage today, and intends to see to matters himself and try to preserve peace until we can get away.
Orson Spencer’s Letter to Governor Ford (But with Sanction of President Young and His Council); Overzealous and Unnecessarily Harsh toward Governor Ford
‘Nauvoo, City of Joseph,
October 23rd, 1845.
To His Excellency Thomas Ford.
Sir: The familiar interview I have had the honor to share with you, and the portentous state of affairs in Hancock county induce me to write you. Not however without the impulse of President Young and his council. After our interview in June last, in presence of ex-Governor Reynolds and Samuel Brannan, Esq., I ventured unequivocally to assure the authorities in this place that you, Sir, would never, no never, lend your official influence to oppress or exterminate this people.
This was the prominent and emphatic object of my mission to Springfield, and made uppermost in our whole discourse, as you well recollect. The result of that interview was perfectly satisfactory to me and in the strength of your generous, noble avowal never to walk in the steps of Governor Boggs of Missouri, and never to jeopardize the lives of our leaders under writs and arrests as the Smiths had been, I made the most sanguine assurances to the council of your high-minded and patriotic bearing towards this people. You also will recollect that I labored to apprise you that by misrepresentation, and falsehood they might endeavor to array the state executive against us, before a full disclosure of facts could come to your knowledge. And, Sir, contrary to all these assurances and pleasing ground of joyful hope, that the high authority of the state would never be wielded against law and order, and consequently against a long persecuted and unoffending people, we find your troops, yes, your troops, clothed with the power of your own signature, and all the potency your official name can impart, right in our midst! And for what purpose have they been here the last six weeks? Let the facts speak, and what have they done?
Have they stayed the progress of crime? and spliced up the fragments of law and order? Have they looked with paternal charity after the fugitives that have been compelled to run for their lives, before the lurid flames of the incendiary? Have they administered to the sick, or afforded them shelter, when precipitated on the cold ground of autumn to die, under the excitement of threats, conflagration, and disease? Have they ever shielded those that humanely volunteered to go twenty miles and under to gather up scattered fragments of property and crops and dispersed cattle, hogs, and fowls that the wretched survivors might be protected? Have they come valiantly forward to help the high sheriff of the county in his perilous and arduous struggle, to stop the marauders in their hellish deeds of robbery, midnight arson, and murder? To all these inquiries I answer before all men, and before the Judge of quick and dead solemnly—no! But, Sir, the doings of your troops have been not only the negative, but the very ingenious and hypocritical counterpart of all this. In proof of this, if proof were necessary (when scores of journals and visiting spectators to these awful scenes have testified through the land), I ask you Sir, where now is the head and right arm of the law in Hancock county. Sheriff Backenstos severed; yes, completely amputated and severed. And for what and by whom, has this noble-hearted patriot, dared to break the midnight arson and the infuriated cupidity of fiends, and roll back the crimson current of onward desolation, and pick up the routed sick, and quench the rolling conflagration? In God’s name and with retributive solemnity I ask where is this noble right arm of the law? Severed indeed but not by the mob: no—would to God it had been for the honor of our state and nation, and for the blushing glory of humanity. But it was not so, this ‘valiant arm of the law’, with the firmness and patriotism of Jackson, Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry had won a victory that will ever laurel his brow, or the circle of such worthies as Washington, Marion, and Howard for all time to come, he had rescued the sick from the tusks of the wild boar, and boldly struck down the midnight arson, with the torch in his hand, and routed the whole host of inhuman fiends when your troops arrived. Horrible to say, your troops Sir, forthwith arrested the benefactor and released ‘Barrabas’. The sick and robbed hung aside their harps and mournfully exclaimed: Has Governor Ford become another Boggs? Your troops Sir, were immediately a safeguard and shield to robbers and murderers, who speedily returned to their houses in quiet, while the veteran of law and order, with the whole posse of government were exposed to warrants and recognized for manslaughter. In no instance has an anti-Mormon malefactor been arrested. Posses of state troops continually throng our city and the vicinity with attempts at all hours of the night and day to make arrests. The consequence is, that peaceable, unoffending citizens, and those who have yielded prompt obedience to the order of the sheriff in authority, are filled with fearful apprehension of being ferreted out to undergo the like fate of the assassinated Smiths, and of being tried under the impanelment of the most notorious mobocrat as elisor. Your troops Sir, in the estimation of the public (soon after they were disbanded) murdered the defenseless Smiths in prison and the state force is now a perfectly legalized mob-sweetened arsenic—honeyed poison. The mob arsenic and poison when unadulterated we are not afraid of. But when they are administered to us by your potent arm, with all the authority of government our condition is appalling, and desperatives must be used. The only difference between your troops and the mob is like the difference between a keg of arsenic and a keg of choice flour fatally flavored with arsenic. The mob we dare to resist where they are purely mob: but the state force, though equally fatal we are obliged to submit to because of legal authority.
And now will you in the eyes of a nation and world that is canvassing your acts by their domestic firesides and in the reading room, continue to legalize the doings of an armed soldiery, that are more obnoxious to law than the mob. Then, Sir, for humanity’s sake, speedily withdraw these troops, and allow us peace long enough to attend to our sick and prepare for a general departure in the spring.
Do not force us to blood shedding or a fatal dispersion in the inclement winter, when multitudes of the poor must inevitably perish, and your own exalted name, sink beneath that of Nero, Boggs and Williams. Withdraw then these troops and lend not a listening ear to aspiring politicians, or the cupidity of the cruel, but, let the oppressed bless your name, for permission to breathe the air of liberty long enough to escape in a warm season to the caves of the mountains, or to some distant island of the Pacific.
With high hopes of your bold philanthropic determination, in behalf of the council,
Your friend and obedient servant,[Signed] Orson Spencer.’
Governor Ford’s Repudiation of Spencer’s Letter
October 30, 1845.
Sir: I return your letter of the 23rd instant as not being respectful: as containing undeserved censure and as being in many particulars false and libellous: When were the Mormon people exterminated by my order?
It is acknowledged on all hands that there are some thieves in your city as in all other cities. These your people say, you have no power to restrain and punish for want of a city government and court. If you cannot restrain them I can and will. This is not extermination, or following in the footsteps of Governor Boggs.
I am very respectfully
Your obedient servant,[Signed] Thomas Ford.
Orson Spencer, Esq.
Governor Ford’s Letter to General (Bishop) George Miller: Further Repudiation of Spencer’s Letter
‘Springfield, October 30th, 1845
General George Miller,
Sir: The two letters mentioned by you as having been mailed at Quincy by yourself and Mr. Spencer, were received the next morning after you left. Mr. Spencer is a man for whom I have felt a warm personal esteem but really his letter is a most uncalled for philippic containing the most extraordinary charge, that I have exterminated your people. It is true that I have sent troops to Hancock to quell disturbance. They were few in number and not sufficient for the work of extermination if they had been ever so willing. They were successful in everything except in arresting the rioters. This the sheriff’s posse could not do, because they had run away. It is true also that the sheriff had apparently restored order before the arrival of General Hardin, but that order was not likely to continue. The anti- Mormons had fled from the county and were successfully enlisting forces in the neighboring counties. You may not believe it, but I assure you they would have raised four or five thousand men. Nothing has saved an attack on your city, by that number, but the march of General Hardin by my order. You may have beaten the assailants and a great number of good honest citizens, the dupes of anti-Mormon falsehoods, would have lost their lives, this was not to be permitted, it would have disgraced any government which would have permitted it.
Although neither your people nor the anti-Mormons were in a temper to appreciate the favor, it was no less my duty and that of General Hardin to stop you on both sides, both parties were so enraged that they were, as they said, anxious to be permitted to fight, though they were much like the two men whose disposition to fight increased as they were forced asunder by their neighbors; and their ardor sensibly abated when the obstacle to a fight should be removed.
It is supposed by your people that if the sheriff had not been interfered with by the state militia he could have kept the peace and preserved order. There are many reasons why this is not so. First, the anti-Mormons would have removed out of the county. The people of the surrounding counties were afraid in that event, that your people would get the whole of Hancock, and would be as troublesome to them as you had been to the anties of Hancock. For which reason they were determined to drive you off before you got stronger. They reasoned thus: these people, the Mormons, have for some cause or other been in difficulty with all the people they ever lived amongst. They were obliged to leave Ohio and Missouri and they have not agreed better with their neighbors of Hancock. If these neighbors move away their places will be occupied by Mormons, and we, the surrounding counties, will be their nearest neighbors and may expect with certainty to have the like difficulties with them. They said therefore we will take time by the forelock and drive them away before they get stronger and more capable of resistance.
Secondly, although the sheriff had put down the house-burners, he had not suppressed stealing and murder on the other side. One man had certainly been murdered between Carthage and Appanoose, another was missing in Nauvoo under circumstances which leave no doubt but that he was murdered in your city and most probably by order of some of your principal men. At least such is and was the popular belief. Stolen property has been traced to your city during the ascendancy of the sheriff, and the owners who came to search were ordered away and fled for fear of their lives. None of the stolen property could be found and in fact the owners did not dare to go to look for it without the aid and protection of the state troops. You may say this is the work of only a few and that your people are not responsible for the few in your city any more than in any other city; this may be true, but its truth does not do away with the necessity for a military force. I have long believed that there are those in Nauvoo who carry on a pretty large business in stealing. Some have alleged that this gang are patronized by the church authorities. This charge, however, I never believed and would not believe it unless proved by the most satisfactory evidence. Be this as it may, the thieves are there and they do steal as is the case in all other cities of ten or twelve thousand inhabitants.
I think it likely that some of your people who were burnt out by the mob, have persuaded themselves that they have a right to indemnify themselves for their losses by taking the property of their enemies. It is also probable that many persons unconnected with the Mormons go to Hancock to steal on their credit. Be this as it may, stealing as well as burning has been done and the stolen property has been traced to your city. Other thieves have been captured whilst taking it there: all these things took place during the ascendancy of the sheriff and was kept secret from him, or if he knew of it he had no power to prevent it. Under these circumstances it was considered advisable by General Hardin, Judge Douglas, Major Warren and Mr. McDougall the attorney-general to leave one hundred men as a permanent guard. General Hardin informs me by letter that your high council expressed a wish that this force might be left. It was also requested, as he says, by all the well disposed persons in the county and particularly by the Reverend Mr. Owen who has never been a mobocrat. I cannot hear that this force has annoyed your people in any other way than once in a while to be marched into your city in quest of stolen property. This must be what Mr. Spencer calls extermination, for I have never heard that the troops have annoyed you in any other way. Mr. Spencer complains that the presence of these troops prevents the Mormons from going on peaceably and quietly in making their arrangements to remove in the spring. I am at a loss to perceive how, unless it be really true that a part of those arrangements are intended to consist in making reprisals upon the property of your enemies to pay you for your losses. This must not be attempted and will not be permitted. A demonstration of your intention to this effect will cause an attempt by the anti-Mormon party to drive you out before spring. If there are more of you in Nauvoo than can live this winter, good sense would say scatter until spring and be making something by labor to live upon. At all events until I am better informed I will hold it to be my duty to continue a military force in Hancock, both to protect you from the attacks of your enemies, as well as to prevent stealing whether by the anti-Mormons on your credit; by the Mormons themselves; by interlopers who come to your city as a place of refuge or by those who have been burnt out and who may be tempted to take this method of indemnifying themselves for their losses; and if the civil law is not strong enough martial law must be resorted to. Because if these things are not put an end to, the surrounding counties will take up the guard and you may be driven in despite of the state, in the dead of winter.
In the course of my official duties I have had a great deal of trouble with both parties in Hancock. I have been called to do both of you some good and some harm. The harm is always remembered: the good is either not understood or is forgotten. I do not expect any gratitude or applause from either party; and you may be sure that the last things that I will think possible to be accomplished will be to please either you or the anti-Mormons, by any moderate conduct which, by taking the law for guide, repudiates the wildness and infatuation of both parties.
My health is bad or I should have started for Hancock on Wednesday morning last to see for myself what the state of things really are.
I am most respectfully your
obedient servant,[Signed] Thomas Ford.’
Friday, 31.—At the Tithing Office, writing a letter to Brother V. Shurtliff to receive tithing in the east, and donations to help away the poor.
P. M., council met at Elder Taylor’s. We wrote the following to Bishop John B. Purcell of Cincinnati:—
Letter to Rev. Bishop Purcell, et al, Cincinnati
‘City of Nauvoo, October 31, 1845.
To Reverend Bishop Purcell, and all Other Authorities of the Catholic Church—Greeting:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hereby take opportunity to inform you by letter and by our confidential messenger, Almon W. Babbit, Esq., that it is our fixed purpose to remove hence early next spring.
The hand of oppression and the lacerations of the tongue of calumny have compelled us to the determination to dispose of numerous lots, tenements, etc., in this city together with our public buildings, for instance our Temple, the Nauvoo House, the Academy, Seventies’ Hall, Concert Hall, and other buildings, also our farms and other possessions in Hancock county, even all our effects and temporal interests. The individual members of our community have also determined en masse to do the same with their effects and have empowered agents to sell. The bearer, Mr. Babbitt, is empowered to represent as our authorized agent all our said property and interest in this city and county. Through the suggestion of Judge Ralston of Quincy and other friends to your faith we are disposed to invite the authorities of your church, either personally or by authorized agents, to visit our city that we may negotiate with them, at as early a period as possible, the sale of our property. We shall forbear any extensive sales to other communities until we learn your answer to this our epistle. The bearer may be relied upon as our confidential and highly esteemed brother who will furnish you any information preparatory to the proposed negotiation and sale.
With sentiments of high consideration, I have the honor to subscribe myself in behalf of the Council of the Church, your friend and obedient servant,
I received a long epistle from Elder Woodruff dated Liverpool, October 1st, relative to the course pursued by Elder Reuben Hedlock and Thomas Ward.
I also received the following:
Letter of Orson Pratt to Brigham Young on the Matter of Purchasing Arms and Selling Nauvoo Property
‘New York, October 31, 1845.
President Brigham Young and Council.
I received a communication relative to obtaining six-barreled pistols for self-defense, (while journeying in western wilds). I immediately took active measures to obtain them and the present prospect is good. I think I shall obtain several hundred dollars for that purpose. The six-inch pistols can be obtained at retail for twelve dollars. The wholesale price is ten dollars but by agreeing to take some thirty or forty they can be obtained at nine and one-half dollars. As soon as I have raised the most of the funds that can be raised I shall make the purchase. I now have between one and two hundred dollars tithing subject to your order: tithing comes in very slowly since the exertions that were made for the canvass. The recent troubles in the west have put new life and zeal into the saints in the east, they are very anxious to assist all they can, and to gather westward.
The celebrated Robert Owen 1 has been to visit me several times. I have been endeavoring to persuade him to rent our houses and lands in Illinois, and he has quite a notion of so doing. He will let me know more about it in a few days: he thinks of locating the Owenites at Nauvoo.
Brother Brannan thinks it will be difficult to take his printing establishment and go to California unless he goes away dishonorably without paying debts. If we could sell he could pay his debts.
He is very anxious to go, and is willing to do anything he is counseled. He says that the church perhaps would consider it wisdom to buy his establishment and still keep up the paper.
I have not had an opportunity of visiting Philadelphia as yet, perhaps you may consider it wisdom to send two faithful elders to preside: one in Philadelphia, another in Boston.
Brother Willard Snow’s pleadings to go home are almost irresistible, I believe that I will give him permission. I hope that it will meet with your approbation for I wish to do right. Since I heard of your persecutions and resolutions to leave Nauvoo in the spring I can hardly contain myself. I want to fly upon the wings of the wind and be with you, where you go, I want to go, where you stop, I want to stop. Brethren, give me counsel on this matter. Can I go with you in the spring? If so is it my privilege to return this fall? Count me worthy to receive counsel on these important items. Should my feelings get the upper hand of me and I start forthwith for Nauvoo I hope you will forgive me. I am willing to abide your counsel in all things.
I remain, dear brethren, your everlasting friend and fellow laborer,[Signed] Orson Pratt.’
I received a letter from Charles A. Lovell, Mass., October 20th recommending us as a community to remove to California. Another from Thomas J. Farnhaus, New York, October 20th, on the same subject. Also one from Edward Warren, Boston, October 22nd portraying the Bay of San Francisco and country round as one well adapted for our location in the west,
Saturday, November 1, 1845.—I paid William Clayton one hundred and fifty dollars to purchase instruments for the brass band.
I met in council with the Twelve and Presiding Bishop, at 10 a.m.
The following editorial appeared in the Times and Seasons:
Great Persecution of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Illinois
Summary of Persecutions up to Date.
‘After we had begun to realize the abundance of one of the most fruitful seasons known for a long time, and while many hundreds of saints were laboring with excessive, and unwearied diligence to finish the Temple and rear the Nauvoo House, suddenly in the forepart of September, the mob commenced burning the houses and grain of the saints in the south part of Hancock county. Though efforts were made by the sheriff to stay the torch of the incendiary and parry off the deluge of arson, still a ‘fire and sword’ party continued the work of destruction for about a week, laying in ashes nearly two hundred buildings and much grain.
Nor is this all: as it was in the sickly season, many feeble persons, thrown out into the scorching rays of the sun, or wet with the dampening dews of the evening, died, being persecuted to death in a Christian land of law and order; and while they are fleeing and dying, the mob, embracing doctors, lawyers, statesmen, Christians of various denominations, with the military from colonels down, were busily engaged in filching or plundering, taking furniture, cattle and grain. In the midst of this horrid revelry, having failed to procure aid among the ‘old citizens’, the sheriff summoned a sufficient posse to stay the ‘fire shower of ruin’, but not until some of the offenders had paid for the aggression with their lives.
This, however, was not the end of the matter. Satan sits in the hearts of the people to rule for evil, and the surrounding counties began to fear that law, religion, and equal rights, in the hands of the Latter-day Saints, would feel after iniquity or terrify their neighbors to larger acts of ‘reserved rights’, and so they began to open a larger field of woe. To cut this matter short they urged the necessity (to stop the effusion of blood), to expel the church, or as they call them, the Mormons, from the United States, ‘peaceably if they could, and forcibly if they must’, unless they would transport themselves by next spring. Taking into consideration the great value of life, and the blessings of peace, a proposition upon certain specified conditions was made to a committee of Quincy, and which it was supposed from the actions of conventions was accepted. But we are sorry to say, that the continued depredations of the mob and the acts of a few individuals, have greatly lessened the confidence of every friend of law, honor and humanity, in everything promised by the committees and conventions, though we have already made great advances towards outfitting for a move next spring.
A few troops stationed:n the county, have not entirely kept the mob at bay: several buildings have been burned in the month of October.
We shall, however, make every exertion on our part, as we have always done, to preserve the law and our engagements sacred, and leave the event with God, for he is sure.
It may not be amiss to say, that the continued abuses, persecutions, murders, and robberies practiced upon us by a horde of land pirates with impunity in a Christian republic, and land of liberty, (while the institutions of justice, have either been too weak to afford us protection or redress, or else they too have been a little remiss) have brought us to the solemn conclusion that our exit from the United States is the only alternative by which we can enjoy our share of the elements which our heavenly Father created free for all.
We can then shake the dust from our garments, suffering wrong rather than do wrong, leaving this nation alone in her glory, while the residue of the world, points the finger of scorn, till the indignation and consumption decreed, make a full end.
In our patience we wil possess our souls and work out a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, preparing, by withdrawing the power and priesthood from the Gentiles, for the great consolation of Israel, when the wilderness shall blossom as the rose, and Babylon fall like a millstone cast into the sea. The just shall live by faith: but the folly of fools will perish with their bodies of corruption: then shall the righteous shine: Amen.’ ”