Letter from John C. Bennett, 15 August 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Wayne Co. Ill.
Aug. 15th 1840
Rev Joseph Smith Jr &
Respected Friends
I have written you several times communications to & supposing they were different places but a brother to a Lady in your [p. 171] community now in this place informs me that they are one and the same. I have received no reply to my letters and attribute the delay to a press of business or professional absence. I have come to the conclusion to join your people immediately and take up my abode with you.
Let us adopt as our motto— Sicut patribus sit Deus nobis—(As God was with our fathers, so may he be with us)—and adopt the means to the end and the victory is ours— The winged warrior of the air will not cease to be our proud emblem of liberty, and the dogs of war will be forever chained. I shall be with you in about two weeks and shall devote my time and energies to the advancement of the cause of truth and virtue and the advocacy of the Holy religion which you have so nobly defended, & so honorably sustained. My love to all the bretheren. With sentiments of paternal regard
Yours, Respectfully
[p. 172]


  1. 1

    The Commerce, Illinois, area became more officially known as Nauvoo in April 1840, when the name of the post office changed from Commerce to Nauvoo. (Robert Johnstone to Richard M. Young, 21 Apr. 1840, in JS History, vol. C-1, 1053; News Item, Times and Seasons, May 1840, 1:106.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  2. 2

    Bennett used the same eagle imagery in his inaugural address as mayor of Nauvoo on 3 February 1841: “The winged warrior of the air perches upon the pole of American liberty, and the beast that has the temerity to ruffle her feathers should be made to feel the power of her talons; and until she ceases to be our proud national emblem we should not cease to show our attachment to Illinois.” (John C. Bennett, “Inaugural Address,” Times and Seasons, 15 Feb. 1841, 2:318.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  3. 3

    The phrase “dogs of war” derives from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, act 3, sc. 1, l. 273, in Riverside Shakespeare, 1166.)  

    The Riverside Shakespeare: The Complete Works. Edited by G. Blakemore Evans, J. J. M. Tobin, Herschel Baker, Anne Barton, Frank Kermode, Harry Levin, Hallett Smith, and Marie Edel. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.