Letter from John C. Bennett, 27 July 1840

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Quarter Master General’s. office
, Illinois July 27th. 1840
To the
Rev &
" Joseph Smith Jr.
Respected Friends:—
I wrote you a few days ago from this place but I my great desire to be with you and your people prompts me to write me again at this time; and I hope it will not be considered obtrusive by friends whom I have always so highly esteemed as yourselves.
At the last district and circuit Court of the , holden at in June last I had the honor of being on the grand Inquest of the for the District of , and hoped to have seen you there; but was quite disappointed. I attended the meeting of your people opposite Mr Lowry’s Hotel but did not make myself known as I had no personal acquaintance in the Congregation.
It would be my deliberate advice to you to concentrate all of your at one point— If with for its commercial Emporium is to be that point, well,— fix upon it and let us co-operate with a general concerted action. You can rely upon me in any event. I am with you in Spirit, and will be in person as soon as circumstances permit, and immediately if it is your desire. Wealth is no material object with me; I desire to be happy and am fully satisfied that I can enjoy myself better with your people [p. 170] with my present views and feelings than with any other. I hope that time will soon come when your people will become my people and your God my God, At the time of your peril and bitter persecution in you are aware I proffered you my utmost energies, and had not the conflict have terminated so speedily I should have been with you then. God be thanked for your rescue from the hands of a savage but cowardly, foe! I do not expect to resign my office of “Quarter Master General of the State of Illinois,” in the event of my removal to , unless you advise otherwise: I shall likewise expect to practice my profession; but at the same time your people shall have all the benifit of my speaking powers and my untiring energies in behalf of the good and holy faith. In necissariis unitas, in non necessariis libertas, in omnibus charitas, shall be my motto, with the suaviter in modo fortiter in re. Be so good as to inform me circumstantially of the population of & , the face of the country, climate, soil, health etc etc How many of your people are concentrated there? Please to write me in full immediately. Louisvill[e] paper will accompany this— please inquire for this it.
With sentiments of profound respect and esteem, suffer me to subscribe myself—
Yours Respectfully
. [p. 171]