History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 7 [addenda]
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<​June 26​> your letter showed anything but an amicable spirit. We have suffered immensely in from mobs, in loss of property, imprisonment and otherwise. It took some time for us to weigh duly these matters, we could not decide upon matters of such importance immediately, and your posse were too hasty in returning; we were consulting for a large people, and vast interests were at stake. We had been outrageously imposed upon and knew not how far we could trust any one; besides a question necessarily arose, how shall we come? Your request was that we should come unarmed. It became a matter of serious importance to decide how far promises could be trusted, and how far we were safe from mob violence.
Col. Geddes. It certainly did look from all I have heard, from the general spirit of violence and mobocracy, that here prevails, that it was not safe for you to come unprotected.
. I think that sufficient time was not allowed by the posse for you to consult and get ready. They were too hasty, but I suppose they found themselves bound by their orders. I think too there is a great deal of truth in what you say, and your reasoning is plausible, yet I must beg leave to differ from you in relation to the acts of the City Council. That council, in my opinion, had no right to act in a legislative capacity, and in that of the judiciary. They should have passed a law in relation to the matter, and then the Municipal Court, upon complaint could have removed it; but for the City Council to take upon themselves the law making and the execution of the law is, in my opinion, wrong; besides these men ought to have had a hearing before their property was destroyed; to destroy it without, was an infringement of their rights; besides it is so contrary to the feelings of American people to interfere with the press. And furthermore, I cannot but think that it would have been more judicious for you to have gone with to , notwithstanding the law did not require it. Concerning your being in jail, I am sorry for that, I wish it had been otherwise. I hope you will soon be released, but I cannot interfere.
Joseph Smith. , allow me, Sir, to bring one thing to your mind, that you seem to have overlooked. You state that you think it would have been better for us to have submitted to the requisition of and to have gone to . Do you not know, , that that writ was served at the instance of an anti-Mormon mob, who had passed resolutions, and published them to the effect that they would exterminate the Mormon leaders, and are you not informed that was not only threatened when coming to , but had a gun fired at his boat by this said mob in , when coming up to , and that this very thing was made use of as a means to get us into their hands, and we could not, without taking an armed force with us, go there without, according to their published declarations, going into the jaws of death? To have taken a force would only have fanned the excitement, as they [p. 7 [addenda]]
June 26 your letter showed anything but an amicable spirit. We have suffered immensely in from mobs, in loss of property, imprisonment and otherwise. It took some time for us to weigh duly these matters, we could not decide upon matters of such importance immediately, and your posse were too hasty in returning; we were consulting for a large people, and vast interests were at stake. We had been outrageously imposed upon and knew not how far we could trust any one; besides a question necessarily arose, how shall we come? Your request was that we should come unarmed. It became a matter of serious importance to decide how far promises could be trusted, and how far we were safe from mob violence.
Col. Geddes. It certainly did look from all I have heard, from the general spirit of violence and mobocracy, that here prevails, that it was not safe for you to come unprotected.
. I think that sufficient time was not allowed by the posse for you to consult and get ready. They were too hasty, but I suppose they found themselves bound by their orders. I think too there is a great deal of truth in what you say, and your reasoning is plausible, yet I must beg leave to differ from you in relation to the acts of the City Council. That council, in my opinion, had no right to act in a legislative capacity, and in that of the judiciary. They should have passed a law in relation to the matter, and then the Municipal Court, upon complaint could have removed it; but for the City Council to take upon themselves the law making and the execution of the law is, in my opinion, wrong; besides these men ought to have had a hearing before their property was destroyed; to destroy it without, was an infringement of their rights; besides it is so contrary to the feelings of American people to interfere with the press. And furthermore, I cannot but think that it would have been more judicious for you to have gone with to , notwithstanding the law did not require it. Concerning your being in jail, I am sorry for that, I wish it had been otherwise. I hope you will soon be released, but I cannot interfere.
Joseph Smith. , allow me, Sir, to bring one thing to your mind, that you seem to have overlooked. You state that you think it would have been better for us to have submitted to the requisition of and to have gone to . Do you not know, , that that writ was served at the instance of an anti-Mormon mob, who had passed resolutions, and published them to the effect that they would exterminate the Mormon leaders, and are you not informed that was not only threatened when coming to , but had a gun fired at his boat by this said mob in , when coming up to , and that this very thing was made use of as a means to get us into their hands, and we could not, without taking an armed force with us, go there without, according to their published declarations, going into the jaws of death? To have taken a force would only have fanned the excitement, as they [p. 7 [addenda]]
Page 7 [addenda]