Letter from Sybella McMinn Armstrong, 1 May 1843

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May 1ts 1843
President Joseph Smith, Dear Borether
It is with feelings of no ordinry nature that I adress the following lines to you— but a strong sense of duty to my-self and the causse of Christ alone prompts me, I appeal to you because you— your-self have felt the sting of Slander, and know how sha[r]per then a Serpents tooth it is— I appeal to you Sir because I know and believe you to be a Man endowed with a Strong sense of Justice! and that you have a disposition to administer the same to the wronged and oppressed! You may think strange that woman as I am I should appeal to You in this matter, I seek redress at the hands of the Chu[r]ch first because tis my dhutry [duty] so to do— others Counsel when direct[ed] it by the Chu[r]chs— When I uniteted myself with the Chu[r]ch of latter day Sa[in]ts God kn[o]ws so far as the world was concernd I parted with my Charctar— I was willing to have my name cast out as evil— and endure all manner of reproaches for the sake and cause of my Master— [p. [1]] and suffer the loss of Family and Fr[ie]nds rather than not obey the Gospel of Christ! Yes sooner would I suffer my right Hand sevrd [severed] from my body then I would deny that God has spoken in these last dans [days]— I can endure all maner of scorn and disisern [derision?] from the world and Rejoice in it! but to have my Charactar stabbed in the dark and mutilated by a villain! in the Gard [garb?] of Righte[ou]sness is more than I can put down and truely bear! I seek not for vengence I ask it not— but in the name of the Lord I ask for Justice, for the deepest wrongs inflicted without the slightest provction [provocation]— but to be plain has basicly Sla[n]dered my Charctar in time oft and again, this I bore not satisfied with this he goes to and repprted me as being a str[u]mpet and that I was a wom[a]n of so notrietry but a Christin that I was kno[w]n to all the Captans on the Ohio and Rivers, nor is this all he represnted us as getting our livi[n]g by plucking the Public! Now Sir when he was brought to an acc[o]unt for these things did he deny it [p. [2]] no! but with the most embar[ra]ssing affr[on]tery said he had been told so— but did he tell it for hear-say no! but took Go[o]d care to tell it as matter of fact— could he give his authors no but called on Mrs— Newton to say I had acted imprudntly with — and also my going on a visit to that I b[e]haved verry imprud[ent]ly with him ther, I appeal to for the propriety of my connduct— with him at all times and in all places, Brother Joseph you have staid at our Home You kn[o]w what we are and how I with the rest of my family conducted ourselves— my natural disposition is Gay and lively, I am ever cheerful— I am Happy myself and try to make others so— at times pe[r]haps I say and do my litrlre [literal?] things from the impu[l]se of the mom[e]nt— that were I to take a second though[t] I would not do Levity is my lasting sin! Please submit this to the Corim [Quorum] of the Twelve— and my God dirrect you in adminstrg [administering] Justice to the oppressed
I rem[ai]n Your Sister in the Gospl of Chrrst [p. [3]]
<​. Pa MAY 2​>
<​ Ills. MAY 15​>
<​PAID​> <​25​>
Joseph Smith Junr
. Hanokk <​Hancock​> Cou[n]ty
Sybbella, Armstrong. May 1st 1843 against
<​take his Licence from him. says Joseph​> [p. [4]]


  1. new scribe logo

    Circular postmark stamped in red ink.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Circular postmark stamped in blue ink.  

  3. new scribe logo

    Postage written in blue ink in unidentified handwriting.  

  4. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.  

  5. new scribe logo

    Endorsement in the handwriting of Willard Richards. At the 27 May 1843 meeting where Armstrong’s letter was considered, church leaders removed Winchester’s license to preach and instructed him to move back to Nauvoo with his family. (Minutes and Discourse, 27 May 1843, p. 348 herein.)