Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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deem it almost superfluous to say is justified as well by the laws of nature as by the law of self preservation. It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics or knaves; for one or the other they u[n]doubtedly are, made their first appearance amongst us and pretending as they did and now do— to hold personal communion and converse, face to face with the most high God, to receive communications and revelations direct from heaven, to heal the sick by the , & in short to perform all the wonderworking miracles wrought by the inspired apostles & prophets of old. We believed them to be deluded fanatics or weak and designing knaves and that they & their pretensions would soon pass away, but in this we were decieved.
The acts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as a society and since the arrival of the first of them they have been daily increasing in numbers & if they had been respectable citizens in society & thus deluded, they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt & hatred, but from their appearance, from their manners and their conduct since their coming among us, we have every reason to believe fear that with very few exceptions, they were of the very dregs of <that> society from which they came, lazy, Idle & vicious, This we concieve is not idle assertion, but a fact susceptible of proof, for with these few exceptions above named, they brought into our country county, little or no property with them, & left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon Car who had nothing earthly or heavenly to loose by the change, and we fear that if some of the leaders amongst them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of being chosen embassadors of the most high, they would have been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true colours. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had been tampering with our slaves and endeavoring to sow dissensions & raise seditions among them. Of this the Mormon Leaders were informed & they said they would deal with any of their members who should again in like case offend, but how specious are appearances? In a late Star published at , by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free Negroes & Mulattoes from other States to become Mormons and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of their society to inflict on our society an injury that they know not would be to us entirely unsupportable and one of the surest means of driving us from the for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduction of such a cast amongst us would corrupt our blacks & instigate them to bloodshed.—— They openly blaspheme the Most High God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from Heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues; by direct inspiration, and by divers pretences derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion [p. 53]
deem it almost superfluous to say is justified as well by the laws of nature as by the law of self preservation. It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics or knaves; for one or the other they undoubtedly are, made their first appearance amongst us and pretending as they did and now do— to hold personal communion and converse, face to face with the most high God, to receive communications and revelations direct from heaven, to heal the sick by the , & in short to perform all the wonderworking miracles wrought by the inspired apostles & prophets of old. We believed them to be deluded fanatics or weak and designing knaves and that they & their pretensions would soon pass away, but in this we were decieved.
The acts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as a society and since the arrival of the first of them they have been daily increasing in numbers & if they had been respectable citizens in society & thus deluded, they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt & hatred, but from their appearance, from their manners and their conduct since their coming among us, we have every reason to fear that with very few exceptions, they were of the very dregs of that society from which they came, lazy, Idle & vicious, This we concieve is not idle assertion, but a fact susceptible of proof, for with these few exceptions above named, they brought into our county, little or no property with them, & left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon Car who had nothing earthly or heavenly to loose by the change, and we fear that if some of the leaders amongst them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of being chosen embassadors of the most high, they would have been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true colours. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had been tampering with our slaves and endeavoring to sow dissensions & raise seditions among them. Of this the Mormon Leaders were informed & they said they would deal with any of their members who should again in like case offend, but how specious are appearances? In a late Star published at , by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free Negroes & Mulattoes from other States to become Mormons and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of their society to inflict on our society an injury that they know would be to us entirely unsupportable and one of the surest means of driving us from the for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduction of such a cast amongst us would corrupt our blacks & instigate them to bloodshed.—— They openly blaspheme the Most High God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from Heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues; by direct inspiration, and by divers pretences derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion [p. 53]
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