Bifolium measuring 9⅞ × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). The document was inscribed on the recto of the first leaf; all other pages are blank. Pagination was inserted by an unidentified scribe in the top left-hand corner of the first recto.
This document constitutes the final page of the manuscript draft, addressed “to the publick,” of a pamphlet published in 1840 as An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The authorship of this pamphlet is attributed to . brought the manuscript draft to the print shop of Glezen and Shepard in in 1840. The manuscript was presumably returned to church leaders shortly thereafter, suggesting continuous institutional custody from the time it was returned. It was cataloged by Church Historical Department staff in the JS Collection in 1973.
Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 9.
Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.
Around 1 November 1839, JS, , and signed an undated statement that was likely read at a of members held on 1 November in , Illinois. The statement declared that JS, Rigdon, and Higbee intended to petition the federal government to reinstate the Latter-day Saints on their lands in and provide reparations for damages the Saints suffered there. Because it appears on the last page of a manuscript draft of the pamphlet—originally addressed “to the publick”—titled An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which the Quincy conference approved for publication at the same meeting, this statement may have been written as a conclusion to the pamphlet, even though it does not appear in the published version.
Although church members in western were by this time generally informed of the church’s plan to send a delegation to , the conference may have seen including this statement in the pamphlet as a fitting way to notify the wider public of the church’s petitioning efforts. For unclear reasons, however, the statement was left out of the published pamphlet. The statement was likely composed and signed when the church’s delegation to the federal government stopped in Quincy from 30 October to 1 November. , who was the first signatory, likely composed the statement.
Therefore The undersign’d who are chosen by the to represent to the and congress of the the Cruel outrages and injustice inflicted upon the said Church by the citizens of the State of and also their suffering condition in consequence thereof. Do hereby for and in behalf of the said church do hereby petition his Excellency the and also the Honorable the Senate and house of Representatives of the in Congress assembled that they cause to be made a full and complete restoration of all the rights and priveleges which we have been and now are deprived of and that we may enjoy all the rights and priveleges guarranted [guaranteed] to us (in common with other citizens of the ) by the constitution thereof and not only do we ask to be reinstated to enjoy and be protected in the peaceable possession of our Lands purchased of the in the State of but we also ask for a Just remuneration of damages which we have sustained by being deprived of the right of citizenship contrary to the constitution and Laws of the and your Petitioners in behalf of the said Church as in duty bound will ever pray