History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 986
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<​November 28 Petition to Congress​> any resistance to the Mob, it was in self defence, and for these acts of self defence they always had the authority and sanction of the officers of the law for so doing. Yet they to the number of <​about​> Fifteen thousand souls have been driven from their homes in — their property to the amount of two millions of dollars has been taken from them, or destroyed, some of them have been murdered, beaten, bruised or lamed, and have all been driven forth, wandering over the world without homes, without property— But the loss of property does not comprise half their sufferings— They were human beings, possessed of human feelings, and human sympathies: Their agony of soul, was the bitterest drop in the cup of their sorrows. For these wrongs the Mormons ought to have some redress, yet how and where shall they seek and obtain it? Your Constitution guarantees to every Citizen, even the humblest, the enjoyment of life liberty and property It promises to all religious freedom, the right to all to worship God, beneath their own vine and fig tree, according to the dictates of their conscience— It guarantees to all the Citizens of the several States, the right to become Citizens of any one of the States, and to enjoy all the rights and immunities of the Citizens of the State of his adoption. Yet of all these rights have the Mormons been deprived, They have without a cause, without a trial, been deprived of life, liberty, and property. They have been persecuted for their religious opinions. They have been driven from the State of at the point of the bayonet, and prevented from enjoying and exercising the rights of Citizens of the State of . It is the theory of our laws, that for the protection of every legal right, there is provided a legal remedy— What then we would respectfully ask is the remedy of the Mormons? Shall they apply to the Legislature of the State of for redress? They have done so. They have petitioned, and these Petitions have been treated with silence and contempt. Shall they apply to the Federal Courts? They were at the time of the injury, Citizens of the State of — Shall they apply to the Court of the State of ? Whom [HC 4:37] shall they sue? The order for their destruction, their extermination was granted by the of the State of . Is not this a plea of justification for the loss of individuals done in pursuance of that order? If not, before whom shall the Mormons institute a trial? Shall they summon a Jury of the individuals who compose the Mob? An appeal to them were in vain: They dare not go to to institute a suit, Their lives would be in danger.”
For ourselves we see no redress unless it <​is​> awarded by the Congress of the . And here we make our appeal as American citizens, as Christians and as men believing that the high sense of justice which exists in your honorable bodies will not allow such oppression to be practiced upon any portion of the citizens of this vast republic with impunity; but that some measures which your wisdom may dictate may be taken, so that the great body of people who have been thus abused may have redress for the wrongs which they have suffered— And to your decision they [p. 986]
November 28 Petition to Congress any resistance to the Mob, it was in self defence, and for these acts of self defence they always had the authority and sanction of the officers of the law for so doing. Yet they to the number of about Fifteen thousand souls have been driven from their homes in — their property to the amount of two millions of dollars has been taken from them, or destroyed, some of them have been murdered, beaten, bruised or lamed, and have all been driven forth, wandering over the world without homes, without property— But the loss of property does not comprise half their sufferings— They were human beings, possessed of human feelings, and human sympathies: Their agony of soul, was the bitterest drop in the cup of their sorrows. For these wrongs the Mormons ought to have some redress, yet how and where shall they seek and obtain it? Your Constitution guarantees to every Citizen, even the humblest, the enjoyment of life liberty and property It promises to all religious freedom, the right to all to worship God, beneath their own vine and fig tree, according to the dictates of their conscience— It guarantees to all the Citizens of the several States, the right to become Citizens of any one of the States, and to enjoy all the rights and immunities of the Citizens of the State of his adoption. Yet of all these rights have the Mormons been deprived, They have without a cause, without a trial, been deprived of life, liberty, and property. They have been persecuted for their religious opinions. They have been driven from the State of at the point of the bayonet, and prevented from enjoying and exercising the rights of Citizens of the State of . It is the theory of our laws, that for the protection of every legal right, there is provided a legal remedy— What then we would respectfully ask is the remedy of the Mormons? Shall they apply to the Legislature of the State of for redress? They have done so. They have petitioned, and these Petitions have been treated with silence and contempt. Shall they apply to the Federal Courts? They were at the time of the injury, Citizens of the State of — Shall they apply to the Court of the State of ? Whom [HC 4:37] shall they sue? The order for their destruction, their extermination was granted by the of the State of . Is not this a plea of justification for the loss of individuals done in pursuance of that order? If not, before whom shall the Mormons institute a trial? Shall they summon a Jury of the individuals who compose the Mob? An appeal to them were in vain: They dare not go to to institute a suit, Their lives would be in danger.”
For ourselves we see no redress unless it is awarded by the Congress of the . And here we make our appeal as American citizens, as Christians and as men believing that the high sense of justice which exists in your honorable bodies will not allow such oppression to be practiced upon any portion of the citizens of this vast republic with impunity; but that some measures which your wisdom may dictate may be taken, so that the great body of people who have been thus abused may have redress for the wrongs which they have suffered— And to your decision they [p. 986]
Page 986