Letter from Thomas Rawcliff, 24 May 1843

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time, and I had got such an opinion of them as to being gentleman and punctual, that, if an angel had appeared and told me they would not pay me at the time; I could scarcely have believed it w <​him​> I should have been jealous he was a bad one, like your brother said the other sunday, I wish such sermons as your preached was adhered to a little more, I mean about honesty &c— but I believe it just goes in at one ear, and then out at the other. but the corruption of this place will soon be its own downfall, for people after being duped out of their money and wages (as it is the universal cry) will not set down patiently and die off to please their deceivers, but they’ll warn others to beware, as it is every ones duty to do. and try to stop such wide spreading ruin and wretchedness from stalking thru the place just to enrich a few speculators. I should not have wrote this had not the last week after <​me​> going a few times to ask, and beg of them for my money, as I was really in great need of it; not only being a great loss to me in my little way, but likewise stopping two of us from going to , and a man that I was owing some money to, having come 200 miles to receive it. but all this could not reach his righteous soul. for he told me just like as they have done before every time. that they could get no money, and that I need not keep coming for they were as honest men as I was and would pay me as soon as they could get it; so you may judge they [the] state of my mind at present, having made every preparation, to go off to as near as I can, keeping a house agoing, and a housekeeper to hire. and another man that has been working for me waiting to go back with me; and the man that has come for the money I owe him; having a wife in that should have come with my friends to last fall. but as they are not coming yet, than they see me, on account of the bad report that people give of this place, that have gone back to .
So, now Sir, I will conclude with a hope, that you will use that infl[uenc]e of which you are possesed; as it never can be employed in a better cause, than in doing justice to the poor and needy; for I do not no [know] what to do at the present time; my hopes are blasted, and I am fast sinking into despair, for told me if I did not like to wait until they got it, that I might take my own course I suppose they are intending to takeing advantage of the new and damnable law, for he said they would not sacrifice property under half its value to pay any debt, and they value the hemp field at 100 dollars per acre, and so just to pay this debt, they would condescend to take 50 Dollars for a few acres in cash. so you see the case as it stands: and I know they sold 40 acres of Timber land to , and a man about a fortnight ago, and got half the payment down; and when I told them of it said it was only a transfer about an old affair that took place in winter, when they [the] man that bought it told me, it was nothing of the kind; but a new bargain, and the money paid right down, A good many mormons and some holding high offices in your church have advised me not to write at all to you, for you were so closely connected with Laws that you will only make a fool of me a on the stand, for said they you often hear tell of people lending money, but do you ever hear of any getting it back again excepting some of their Land at 10 time its value
 
To Joseph Smith Esq
Mayor of the City of
Ill.
 
May 24— 1843
Thomas Rawcliff to Joseph Smith about & swindling him [p. [4]]
time, and I had got such an opinion of them as to being gentleman and punctual, that, if an angel had appeared and told me they would not pay me at the time; I could scarcely have believed him I should have been jealous he was a bad one, like your brother said the other sunday, I wish such sermons as your preached was adhered to a little more, I mean about honesty &c— but I believe it just goes in at one ear, and then out at the other. but the corruption of this place will soon be its own downfall, for people after being duped out of their money and wages (as it is the universal cry) will not set down patiently and die off to please their deceivers, but they’ll warn others to beware, as it is every ones duty to do. and try to stop such wide spreading ruin and wretchedness from stalking thru the place just to enrich a few speculators. I should not have wrote this had not the last week after me going a few times to ask, and beg of them for my money, as I was really in great need of it; not only being a great loss to me in my little way, but likewise stopping two of us from going to , and a man that I was owing some money to, having come 200 miles to receive it. but all this could not reach his righteous soul. for he told me just like as they have done before every time. that they could get no money, and that I need not keep coming for they were as honest men as I was and would pay me as soon as they could get it; so you may judge they [the] state of my mind at present, having made every preparation, to go off to as near as I can, keeping a house agoing, and a housekeeper to hire. and another man that has been working for me waiting to go back with me; and the man that has come for the money I owe him; having a wife in that should have come with my friends to last fall. but as they are not coming yet, than they see me, on account of the bad report that people give of this place, that have gone back to .
So, now Sir, I will conclude with a hope, that you will use that influence of which you are possesed; as it never can be employed in a better cause, than in doing justice to the poor and needy; for I do not no [know] what to do at the present time; my hopes are blasted, and I am fast sinking into despair, for told me if I did not like to wait until they got it, that I might take my own course I suppose they are intending to take advantage of the new and damnable law, for he said they would not sacrifice property under half its value to pay any debt, and they value the hemp field at 100 dollars per acre, and so just to pay this debt, they would condescend to take 50 Dollars for a few acres in cash. so you see the case as it stands: and I know they sold 40 acres of Timber land to , and a man about a fortnight ago, and got half the payment down; and when I told them of it said it was only a transfer about an old affair that took place in winter, when they [the] man that bought it told me, it was nothing of the kind; but a new bargain, and the money paid right down, A good many mormons and some holding high offices in your church have advised me not to write at all to you, for you were so closely connected with Laws that you will only make a fool of me on the stand, for said they you often hear tell of people lending money, but do you ever hear of any getting it back again excepting some of their Land at 10 time its value
 
To Joseph Smith Esq
Mayor of the City of
Ill.
 
May 24— 1843
Thomas Rawcliff to Joseph Smith about & swindling him [p. [4]]
Page [4]