“Old Fifty,” Letter to editor of Times and Seasons [JS], , Hancock Co., IL, before 15 Oct. 1842. Version published in Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1842, 3:953–954. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
the behests of Smith, whether for good or evil,—will long enjoy the respect of those who are governed by more liberal and Republican notions in both religion and politics, and when this society of men are shown to have practiced all manner of immoral and vicious acts under the cloak of religion, it is not surprising that a feeling of resentment, and a desire to get rid of the society root and branch, should take possession of the entire community. But with all this resentment and detestation of their corrupt practices, we hope no such things as mobs or violations of law, will be resorted to. Let public opinion stamp the men who are engaged in keeping up this religious delusion, with proper condemnation. Let their meetings be held as often as they choose to hold them—but let no man who has any respect for his own character and who detests imposture in every shape and form, keep aloof from these meetings, and the society will soon become a harmless one in point of numbers—the fire will soon burn out for want of fuel. Already have their conversions become “few and far between” in this country, and their missionaries are compelled to resort to and Ireland, among the ignorant and uneducated class, for converts to build up the new Jerusalem, and the . When the enormities, however, which have been practised at , for the last three years, have been widely spread and known, through both Great Britain and , it is fair to presume, that the society will exist only in name—that is, there will be no more converts, and the backsliders will become so numerous, that none will be left in the society, but those who have their own corrupt ends to accomplish.
This last paragraph is just in keeping with men that have no respect for law, gospel, virtue, humanity, God, man, or the devil! In 1840 these same conductors of public opinion, held the following language relative to the claim of upon the persons of Smith and ; viz:
Fudge! We repeat, Smith and should not be given up. The law requiring the Governor of our to deliver up fugitives from justice, is a salutary and wise one, and should not in ordinary circumstances be disregarded, but as there are occasions that authorize the citizens of a State to resent a tyranical and oppressive government, so there are occasions when it is not only the privilege, but the duty of the Governor of the State to refuse to surrender the citizens of his State upon the requisition of the Executive of another,—and this we consider as the case of Smith and .
I have brought in this candid calculation of these wholesale dealers in human rights, to show their glaring hypocrisy, and shall revert to that significant question of the Savior: Judas betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?
There must have been a great change in the morals of men in the short space of a few years;—sense, feeling, humanity, and kindred consanguinity, as members of a great and growing nation, would once have shuddered at the idea of even supposing, that men, women, and children, on account of the religion of Jesus Christ, should be asked to exile themselves from their happy country, constitutions, rights, and privileges which were purchased by the blood of a [Joseph] Warren, a Wayne, yea, many a noble soul, that escaped in fire to heaven; and which, after seven years struggle, was consummated by a Washington, a Jefferson, and a galaxy of other equally worthy patriots: yea, strange, wild, wicked and outrageous would have been considered a proposition, for one or two hundred thousand people to abandon “all” for a wilderness five thousand miles off, among savages! It seems to me, that nothing but the heart of a beast, would ever have conceived such a mode of extermination, ruin and death; but this much is certain, as said the Apostle of old: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus our Lord”—nor willingly from our homes, unless it comes with a thus saith the Lord, though we may meet the Pharaohs, Nebuchadnezzars, Neroes, and a host of other equally destitute of compassion or mercy.
According to a letter Heber C. Kimball wrote to Parley P. and Mary Ann Frost Pratt in June 1842, new converts were moving to Nauvoo “from most Evry State in the union.” (Heber C. Kimball, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt and Mary Ann Frost Pratt, “Manchester or Liverpool,” England, 17 June 1842, Parley P. Pratt, Correspondence, CHL.)
Pratt, Parley P. Correspondence, 1842–1855. CHL. MS 897.
Warren was a leader of colonial protests against the policies of the British government in Boston during the 1770s and was killed fighting the British Army in the Battle of Bunker Hill. (Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren, chaps. 4–6, 16.)
Frothingham, Richard. Life and Times of Joseph Warren. Boston: Little, Brown, 1865.
This is likely a reference to Anthony Wayne, an American general in the Continental army during the American Revolution. However, Wayne did not die during the Revolution; he perished in 1796, shortly after his military service in the Northwest Indian War. (Nelson, Anthony Wayne, 42, 299.)
Nelson, Paul David. Anthony Wayne: Soldier of the Early Republic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.