Thomas Rawcliff, Letter, , Hancock Co., IL, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 24 May 1843; handwriting probably of Thomas Rawcliff; docket in handwriting of ; six pages; JS Collection, CHL.
in , for I could see Doctors having plenty of employment, and scores of things, quites contrary to what was expected by the Mormons in when I was there. I mention these things to show you how people feel cast down when they have left their homes for Christ<’s> sake, and find it out that they have been taken with guile; not saying in the least that I was. Well I had not been here many days before a Mormon offered to sell me a peice of Land and as you are well aware, I knew nothing about Tax Titles or Patent Titles or any thing else; and so I advised with a friend or two, who told me that the man was a Mormon brother and I need not be afraid of him, for one of them had bought some Land with the same Title that is Tax title on the recommend of ; well I thought that is sufficient for a bishop is not to be a lover of filthy lucre, so I thought money could not be any temptation to him; and I agreed to give the man 8 dollars per acre for some Land, to which I expected he had a clear deed; as he demanded the whole payment at once; but when I got it, found it out to be a bond for a deed; to be given in two years after two payments had been made on it; so you see the hazard I had to run, In case there had been any fuss here, whether he would have made the payments or not. Or where a man buys Land of the Quincy Company sells the whole of it out in parcels, gets the whole money, and leaves them to settle with the first owner for themselves; can you call it any thing but swindling. for <Or when> a person to go to buys a Quarter Section for 400 dollars to be paid for in three yearly instalments, with 50 or 100 dollars down, comes to , takes advantage of a lot of English just landed; calls them brother, and so on, don’t you want to buy a peice of Land? sells them some at the rate of 8 or 10 Dollars per acre, and leaves them to make it up with the Quincy company the best way they can; giving them only bonds for their deeds, and duping them in this way under a cloak of religion, This is only one case out of an hundred that I could tell you; but I want to proceed to buisness of more importance to me at prestent; very soon after I had been sucked in by that brother in the Land affair; One morning, that arch imposter ; whose every Day’s transactions in lying and duplicity; would make the devil blush and and feel his own littleness, for he can out Yankee” all yankees; having got a wind that another green horn had just landed; lost no time, determined to have the first pull, came pouncing on me with a very sanctimonious face, and whined out a long palaver about being sorry for a poor man whose name was John Warre, that was wanting to go back to to fetch his wife, and said you must lend me 25 dollar[s] in the name of God, and the prophet, and you must not deny me, I must have <it> for I always go to the handle of the big jug first, and if he bids me God speed; then all the devils in Hell cannot stand against me; he thinking I was a Mormon spun out long yarns about the blessings of &c; and says he, if you will let me have the money, for this poor man 10 days; I will pay it you again and 10 bushels of corn with it, so help me God. and Joseph will be bound wi[th] me for any thing I want. It is not for my own benefit that I want but I feel so <sorry> for this poor man that wants to fetch his wife; but I soon found out what he felt a great deal more for them the poor man fetching his wife; the man was leavi[n]g in his possession 150 dollars worth of goods, in clothing, tools, watch, guns, &c &c. and he had sold the man 600 or 700 dollars worth of wild land on the prarie, some were wher by the big mound, at a good round price; and the man was going to fetch something that liked far better than his wife although that may seem rather strange! At last I let him have the money, in good faith that he would pay; after all these vows, and promises, and useing brother Joseph’s name so much; but alas, for the integrity of , that took place in Nov. 1841, and after going scores of times; than my heart aches with his lies, that he tells me every time I go. he has the impudence to tell me he has never had any money, that the those store goods were his brothers, that Joseph borrowed all he got off , and that he had to borrow money to get back from , when he went to show off. and spout against old . and all the while He can keep hearing tell of him paying monies and speculating in Land &c, and one day I caught him in the fact of paying a man about 40 dollars; he has money for anything, but paying his debts; I am waiti[ng] just now to go to to fetch my wife, but he is not so sorry for me, because I have not a lot of clothing to leave him, or else he could be as feeling for me <too> and go and delude some other unsuspecting fool, in the name of brother Joseph, and of the most high God out of some <more> money. And just to show you <the> chains such like wretches as have has over the minds of the people by using your name, I will recite a little discourse I had with a man about him, Says I, do you know this , yes say he, very well by sight. he is the man that Joseph’s had a revelation about building him a new house, and do you suppose God would choose a bad man; no not he. So do you see the effect of this liberty he takes with your name, But now he has got to using your name in a different style to me; for one day, he says, if Joseph would pay me what he is owing me I could pay you right off, for when we settled up, he was owing me 1800 Dollars, and I cannot get a picayune; while he has thousands of dollars, and if I was to say anything he would come right out and curse me on the stand; and do me a great deal of injury among the ignorant; where he has so much influence; There is <also> a report that he is going out a preaching Mormonism, and if it be true, I will venture a prophesy that it is not for god’s Glory, but his <own> benefit; that he is going to seek out customers for his good titled Lands, for any that he baptizes can do no less than buy of him, and I throw this out as a hint, as to what has induced a good many more to go a preaching, so that they may have the first chance to fleece them. [p. ]