Sir— It is with feelings of no ordinary cast that I have retired after the business of the day and evening too, to address your honor. I am at a loss how to commence; my mind is crowded with subjects to numerous to be contained in one letter. I find myself almost destitute of that confidence, necessary to address a person holding the authority of your dignified, and responsible office; and I would now offer, as an excuse for intruding upon your time and attention, the justice of my cause. Was my cause the interest of an individual or of a number of individuals; then, perhaps I might be justified in remaining silent. But it is not! Nor is it the pecuniary interest of a whole community alone, that prompts me again to appeal to your excellency. But dear sir, it is for the peace and safety of hundreds I may safely say, of this community, who are not guilty of any offense against the laws of the ; and also the life of my husband; who has not committed any crime whatever; neither has he transgressed any of the laws, or any part of the constitution of the ; neither has he at any time infringed upon the rights of any man, or of any class of men or community of any description. Need I say he is not guilty of the crime alleged against him by .
Indeed it does seem entirely superfluous for me, or any one of his friends in this place, to testify his innocence of that crime; when so many of the citizens of your place, and of many other places in , as well as in the Territory; do know positively that the statement of is without the least shadow of truth; and we do know, and so do many others, that the prosecution against him, has been conducted in an illegal manner; and every act demonstrates the fact, that all the design of the prosecution, is to throw him into the power of his enemies; without the least ray of hope, that he would ever be allowed to obtain a fair trial, and that he would be inhumanly and ferociously murdered; no person having a knowledge of the existing circumstances, has one remaining doubt: and your honor will recollect that you said to me that you would not advise Mr Smith, ever to trust himself in . And dear Sir, you cannot for one moment indulge one unfriendly feeling towards him, if he abides by your council. Then sir, why is it that he should be thus cruelly pursued? why not give him the privilege of the laws of . When I reflect upon the many cruel and illegal operations of [p. 176]
Less than three weeks earlier, Emma Smith, accompanied by Eliza R. Snow and Amanda Barnes Smith, visited Governor Carlin at his Quincy, Illinois, residence with a petition from the Female Relief Society soliciting protection for JS. Snow wrote: “The Gov. received us with cordiality, and as much affability and politeness as his Excellency is master of, assuring us of his protection, by saying that the laws and Constitution of our country shall be his polar star in case of any difficulty. He manifested much friendship, and it remains for time and circumstance to prove the sincerity of his professions.” (Eliza R. Snow, Journal, 29 July 1842; Eliza R. Snow, “Pen Sketch of an Illustrious Woman,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Oct. 1880, 9:73–74; Thomas Carlin to Emma Smith, 24 Aug. 1842.)