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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1374
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<​August 16​> hand. I think we will have news from as soon as tomorrow— Yours affectionately for ever —”
, Ill. one o’clock afternoon Augt. 16. 1842— Lieut. Gen. J. Smith— My dear friend— I have just received and read yours of to day and hasten to reply. [HC 5:110] There is no movement of any kind going on to day amongst the enemy as far as I can see, which helps to strengthen me in my opinion of yesterday, but still it might be a calm before a storm, and if so we will meet it when it comes— You wish my opinion respecting your absenting yourself for some time from those friends, that are dear to you as life, and to whom you are also as dear, and from the place and station to which you are called by Him who ruleth in the armies of heaven— and amongst the inhabitants of the Earth. I must confess that I feel almost unworthy to give an opinion on the subject, knowing that your own judgment is far superior to mine, but nevertheless you shall have it freely, it is this. I think that if they cannot get you peaceably according to the forms of law, that they will not dare to attempt violence of any kind upon the inhabitants of the , for they are well aware that they cannot insult us with impunity, neither use violence, only at the risk of their lives, and there are but few men, who are willing to risk their lives in a bad cause, it is the principles and spirit of liberty, of truth, of virtue, and of religion and equal rights, that make men courageous and valiant and fearless in the day of battle and of strife; and just the contrary with the oppressor for nine times out of ten a bad cause will make a man a coward and he will flee when no man—— pursueth. Now if I am right in thinking that it is you alone they seek to destroy as soon as they find they cannot get you, they will cease to trouble the except with spies; and if we knew that you were completely out of their reach, we could either laugh at their folly, or whip them for impertinence or any thing else, as the case might be, for we would feel so happy in your safety that we could meet them in any shape. On the whole I think it would be better for you to absent yourself till the next Governor takes the Chair, for I do think if you are not here they will not attempt any violence on the , and if they should, they will disgrace themselves in the eyes of the world, and the world will justify us in fighting for our rights, and then you can come out like a Lion and lead your people to victory and to glory in the name of the Lord of Hosts. I know the Sacrifice you must make in taking this course, I know it will grieve your noble spirit to do so, for when I think of it myself, I feel no desire in life, but to fight, and to cut off from the Earth all who oppress, and to establish that true form of government at once which would guarantee to every man equal rights. I know we have justice on our side in respect of city laws, and that the acts of the Municipal Court are legal, but the question is, are we now able to assert them, or had we better wait till we are more able. the Latter course will [HC 5:111] give us peace a little while, by sacrificing your liberty and the feelings of your family and friends and depriving us all … all of your Society and governing wisdom. I will only add I am ready for either course and may God direct us to do that, that is best. If you should conclude to go for a while, I must see you before you go. And for the present I will bid you be cheerful and make yourself as happy as you can, for the right side of the wheel will soon be up again— And till then and ever I remain under every circumstance your friend and obedient servant. .” [p. 1374]
August 16 hand. I think we will have news from as soon as tomorrow— Yours affectionately for ever —”
, Ill. one o’clock afternoon Augt. 16. 1842— Lieut. Gen. J. Smith— My dear friend— I have just received and read yours of to day and hasten to reply. [HC 5:110] There is no movement of any kind going on to day amongst the enemy as far as I can see, which helps to strengthen me in my opinion of yesterday, but still it might be a calm before a storm, and if so we will meet it when it comes— You wish my opinion respecting your absenting yourself for some time from those friends, that are dear to you as life, and to whom you are also as dear, and from the place and station to which you are called by Him who ruleth in the armies of heaven— and amongst the inhabitants of the Earth. I must confess that I feel almost unworthy to give an opinion on the subject, knowing that your own judgment is far superior to mine, but nevertheless you shall have it freely, it is this. I think that if they cannot get you peaceably according to the forms of law, that they will not dare to attempt violence of any kind upon the inhabitants of the , for they are well aware that they cannot insult us with impunity, neither use violence, only at the risk of their lives, and there are but few men, who are willing to risk their lives in a bad cause, it is the principles and spirit of liberty, of truth, of virtue, and of religion and equal rights, that make men courageous and valiant and fearless in the day of battle and of strife; and just the contrary with the oppressor for nine times out of ten a bad cause will make a man a coward and he will flee when no man—— pursueth. Now if I am right in thinking that it is you alone they seek to destroy as soon as they find they cannot get you, they will cease to trouble the except with spies; and if we knew that you were completely out of their reach, we could either laugh at their folly, or whip them for impertinence or any thing else, as the case might be, for we would feel so happy in your safety that we could meet them in any shape. On the whole I think it would be better for you to absent yourself till the next Governor takes the Chair, for I do think if you are not here they will not attempt any violence on the , and if they should, they will disgrace themselves in the eyes of the world, and the world will justify us in fighting for our rights, and then you can come out like a Lion and lead your people to victory and to glory in the name of the Lord of Hosts. I know the Sacrifice you must make in taking this course, I know it will grieve your noble spirit to do so, for when I think of it myself, I feel no desire in life, but to fight, and to cut off from the Earth all who oppress, and to establish that true form of government at once which would guarantee to every man equal rights. I know we have justice on our side in respect of city laws, and that the acts of the Municipal Court are legal, but the question is, are we now able to assert them, or had we better wait till we are more able. the Latter course will [HC 5:111] give us peace a little while, by sacrificing your liberty and the feelings of your family and friends and depriving us … all of your Society and governing wisdom. I will only add I am ready for either course and may God direct us to do that, that is best. If you should conclude to go for a while, I must see you before you go. And for the present I will bid you be cheerful and make yourself as happy as you can, for the right side of the wheel will soon be up again— And till then and ever I remain under every circumstance your friend and obedient servant. .” [p. 1374]
Page 1374