History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1504
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<​March 27​> and sent it to him by , to which I received the following reply.
“Prest. J. Smith. Dear Sir,
I received your letter by the hand of a few minutes since, the contents of which are surprising to me, though I am glad that you have let me know your feelings, so as to give me a chance to reply to them. Why it is that you have the feelings which you seem to entertain I know not, and what caused you to think that I had any connection with , at any time, is not within my power to say. As to the Post Office I never asked one word about it when I made application for it. If he ever wrote to the Department at anything about it, it was, and is, without my knowledge,
<​revised Feb 25/56​>
<​​>
<​​>
<​E[zra] T Benson)​>
for surely I know of no such thing being done at any time neither did I <​know​> at the time I applied for the office, that you intended to apply for it, nor did I know it for some time afterwards; as far as the Post Office is concerned these are the facts. I wrote myself to the department to the Department offering myself as an applicant, and referred the Department to several members of Congress to ascertain my character. This is all I ever did on the subject. I never wrote but one letter to the Department on the subject, neither had I at the time any acquaintance of any amount with , nor for a very considerable time afterwards. He never was at our house, but very little, and then always on business and always in a hurry, did his business and went off immediately. I know not that ever knew that I had applied for the office, and I am quite satisfied he did not till some time after I had written to the Department on the subject, and if he ever did anything about it, it was, and is, to this day without my having any knowledge of it.
As to the difficulties here, I never at any time gave any countenance in relation to it, and he knows it, as well as I do, and feels it keenly, he has threatened me severely, that he could do with me as he pleased, and if I did not cease to aid you, and quit trying to [HC 5:314] save “my Prophet” as he calls you, from the punishment of law, he would turn against me: and while at on his way to Upper , he, in one of his speeches made a violent attack on myself, all predicated on the fact that I would not aid him. Such are his feelings on the subject, and his threatenings. As to if there is anything in his mind unfavorably disposed to you, he has, as far as I know kept it to himself, for he never said anything to me, nor in my hearing from which I could draw even an inference of that kind. He was here yesterday when you came, much dejected in spirit in relation to his temporal affairs, and commenced telling of the great injuries he had received by his son-in-law, and the great losses he had sustained by him, and seemed greatly dejected on account of it; but he never mentioned any other subject. When I went to on Friday, it was purely in relation to temporal matters making arrangements for provisions for the ensuing season and to regulate some matters in relation to property only. While there, I heard the report of the new indictments, and told me, the day before I went out that I was among the number of those who were to be demanded, in relation to this I made such enquiry as I thought would enable me to determine the fact, but failed in the attempt. I confess I felt some considerable interest in determining this fact, and felt anxious to know if I could find out how it was. Now on the broad scale I can assert in truth that with myself and any other person on this globe there never was, nor is there now existing anything privately or publicly to injure your character in any respect whatever neither has any person spoken to me [p. 1504]
March 27 and sent it to him by , to which I received the following reply.
“Prest. J. Smith. Dear Sir,
I received your letter by the hand of a few minutes since, the contents of which are surprising to me, though I am glad that you have let me know your feelings, so as to give me a chance to reply to them. Why it is that you have the feelings which you seem to entertain I know not, and what caused you to think that I had any connection with , at any time, is not within my power to say. As to the Post Office I never asked one word about it when I made application for it. If he ever wrote to the Department at anything about it, it was, and is, without my knowledge,
revised Feb 25/56
Ezra T Benson)
for surely I know of no such thing being done at any time neither did I know at the time I applied for the office, that you intended to apply for it, nor did I know it for some time afterwards; as far as the Post Office is concerned these are the facts. I wrote myself to the Department offering myself as an applicant, and referred the Department to several members of Congress to ascertain my character. This is all I ever did on the subject. I never wrote but one letter to the Department on the subject, neither had I at the time any acquaintance of any amount with , nor for a very considerable time afterwards. He never was at our house, but very little, and then always on business and always in a hurry, did his business and went off immediately. I know not that ever knew that I had applied for the office, and I am quite satisfied he did not till some time after I had written to the Department on the subject, and if he ever did anything about it, it was, and is, to this day without my having any knowledge of it.
As to the difficulties here, I never at any time gave any countenance in relation to it, and he knows it, as well as I do, and feels it keenly, he has threatened me severely, that he could do with me as he pleased, and if I did not cease to aid you, and quit trying to [HC 5:314] save “my Prophet” as he calls you, from the punishment of law, he would turn against me: and while at on his way to Upper , he, in one of his speeches made a violent attack on myself, all predicated on the fact that I would not aid him. Such are his feelings on the subject, and his threatenings. As to if there is anything in his mind unfavorably disposed to you, he has, as far as I know kept it to himself, for he never said anything to me, nor in my hearing from which I could draw even an inference of that kind. He was here yesterday when you came, much dejected in spirit in relation to his temporal affairs, and commenced telling of the great injuries he had received by his son-in-law, and the great losses he had sustained by him, and seemed greatly dejected on account of it; but he never mentioned any other subject. When I went to on Friday, it was purely in relation to temporal matters making arrangements for provisions for the ensuing season and to regulate some matters in relation to property only. While there, I heard the report of the new indictments, and told me, the day before I went out that I was among the number of those who were to be demanded, in relation to this I made such enquiry as I thought would enable me to determine the fact, but failed in the attempt. I confess I felt some considerable interest in determining this fact, and felt anxious to know if I could find out how it was. Now on the broad scale I can assert in truth that with myself and any other person on this globe there never was, nor is there now existing anything privately or publicly to injure your character in any respect whatever neither has any person spoken to me [p. 1504]
Page 1504