Letter from Thomas Burdick, 28 August 1840

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Aug 28th 1840
We are in the dark concerning the mission and proceedings of , who recently passed through this place. He presents himself first by a letter dated Waterford, Washington Co. Ohio, Muskingham river directed to Hiram Kellogg of . Ohio. (in “haste”).
The following are some of the Items contained in the letter in his own words “Dear brother in the gospel and new Covenant, I feel it a duty to inform you that I am on my way and mission to the State of , I have just returned from the ! by way of , &c. I started in company with three other Elders who have all got sick & I have been obliged to leave them, two of whom have gone back & the other I left in Covington K.Y. opposite . My mission is urgent indeed. I am now left alone” I and want you to select out if possible three or four preachers and have them ready when I arrive to go to Catteraugus Buffalo Tonawanda, Tuscaroras, Alleganys Onendagas and Oneidas:— I want the bretheren if possible to assist me in getting to the Onida Castle by water for I am in haste to return to at Oct. , & then to my station in the Territory of 9 miles from the Garrison (Levingworth), from whence I have just come. A new scene of things are about to transpire in the west, in fulfilment of prophecy, &c I want your prayers & also the prayers of the bretheren that I may have my health to accomplish my mission. I am not sent to the neither to the Cities of the Sameritans, but to the promised people of the house of Jacob, who if they go through &c”
To this letter he signs his name “ Lamanite” Hyrum Kellogg being absent, his son Henry Kellogg, a Universalist preacher takes the letter out of the Post Office and reads it & replies “the mormons ought to be seen to or words to that amount”; &c— soon afterwards arrives & confirms the letter by preaching much stronger meat than it contains, both in publick and in private: in publick he says “this nation is about to be destroyed” and suggests to the bretheren that there [p. 174] is a place of safety preparing for them away towards the Rockey mountains they may have a long and crooked Road to go to get there” and says but few will be preserved to arrive there, he suggests that twelve may be built up & again thrown down—that the ten tribes are somewhere on a Planet taken from this Plannet which when it comes back will cause this earth to reel to and fro like two Boats meeting— that Adam had 15 or 16 sons before Cain &c. We acknowledge that men of God ought to have enough of this his spirit to enable them to understand all things as they come along; but such teachings are not all understood in this place, they are calculated to make excitement & what the consequences may be I am not able to say. We are not only willing but greatly desire to receive all necessary instructions and information in the order and own due time of the Lord, and whatever and whatever the consequences may be to try to bear up under them as well as we can.
was somewhat indulged in this place & although we were not fully satisfied as to the propriety and truth of all his teachings, yet, we did not take up against him for fear of doing wrong: but since he went away being left rather in the dark with regard to his authority, reflecting on the nature of his mission, & looking at all his proceedings and teachings, I for one cannot help but doubt more and more his being authorized & sent to teach all these things in this place at this time, therefore of my own accord I have written this letter for information: I have directed it to you expecting that, probably Joseph might not be at home, I want the letter put into his hands to be examined and answered according to the mind and will of the Lord. If he is not at home I want it submitted to the and as many of the as are at home that we may receive true information and instruction or none as the Lord will. will probably be back through here in Oct. [p. 175]
When was here was in and has not returned yet. Brother Kellogg is also absent. If the bretheren or you send an answer direct to me or as may be thought best. Tell us as much about sickness and health and every thing else that may be proper as you can afford and it will be thankfully received. Tell us about the health of your father (and family[)] in particular.
Yours in the bonds of the
[p. 176]