Letter from Elias Higbee, 22 February 1840

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temporal, civil & political matters, and by this means caused all the Mormons to vote the whole hog ticket on one side, except two persons: but when I got an opportunity of speaking, I observed that Joseph Smith never led any of the in these matters; as we considered him to have no authority, neither did he presume to exercise any, of that nature; that revelations were only concerning spiritual things in the Church, and the Bible being our standard we received no revelations contrary to it. I also observed that we were not such ignoramuses as perhaps as he fain would have people believe us to be, and some other things on this subject. I then told him that every man exercised the right of suffrage according to his better judgment, or without any ecclesiasticle restraint being put upon him; that it was all false about a revelation v on voting: And the reason of our voting that ticket, was, in consequence of the democratick principles having been taught us in <from> our infancy; That <they> ever believed & extended equal rights to all; and that we had been much persecuted previous to that time, many threatenings being made from the Counties round about, as well as among us, who took the lead in political affairs. It was <true> we advised our brethren to vote this ticket, telling them we thought that party would protect our rights, and not suffer us to be driven from our lands, as we had hitherto been; believing it to be far the most liberal party; but in that we were mistaken because when it came to the test, there were as many democrats turned against us, as whigs; and indeed less liberality and political freedom was manifested by them, for one whig Paper came out decidedly in our favor. I made these remarks partly from motives, which I may, at another time, explain to you. He laid great stress on the trials at , and a constitution, that he said and others had soon to (who were in good standing in the Mormon <Church> at this time) swore to: [p. 112]
temporal, civil & political matters, and by this means caused all the Mormons to vote the whole hog ticket on one side, except two persons: but when I got an opportunity of speaking, I observed that Joseph Smith never led any of the in these matters; as we considered him to have no authority, neither did he presume to exercise any, of that nature; that revelations were only concerning spiritual things in the Church, and the Bible being our standard we received no revelations contrary to it. I also observed that we were not such ignoramuses as perhaps as he fain would have people believe us to be, and some other things on this subject. I then told him that every man exercised the right of suffrage according to his better judgment, or without any ecclesiasticle restraint being put upon him; that it was all false about a revelation on voting: And the reason of our voting that ticket, was, in consequence of the democratick principles having been taught us from our infancy; That they ever believed & extended equal rights to all; and that we had been much persecuted previous to that time, many threatenings being made from the Counties round about, as well as among us, who took the lead in political affairs. It was true we advised our brethren to vote this ticket, telling them we thought that party would protect our rights, and not suffer us to be driven from our lands, as we had hitherto been; believing it to be far the most liberal party; but in that we were mistaken because when it came to the test, there were as many democrats turned against us, as whigs; and indeed less liberality and political freedom was manifested by them, for one whig Paper came out decidedly in our favor. I made these remarks partly from motives, which I may, at another time, explain to you. He laid great stress on the trials at , and a constitution, that he said and others (who were in good standing in the Mormon Church at this time) swore to: [p. 112]
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