Joseph Wood, Letter, Bonhomme, St. Louis Co., MO, to and JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 14 Mar. 1843; handwriting of Joseph Wood; endorsement in handwriting of ; dockets in handwriting of and ; three pages; JS Collection, CHL.
Bonhomme Mo. 14th March A. D. 1843.
Perhaps some of you think the Devil has got me before now, and if he has not, it is full time he should; but be that as it may I am yet in the land of the living and hope long to be— and though some brethren are perhaps, prejudiced against me and <have> laid several things to my charge having only heard one side, (which things by the by they will find a great difficulty in proving) yet I do not deny the faith, nor would I if I had a thousand devils to fight, and <nor> in times of trial and difficulty betray brethren to death and <nor> rob them of their property— and here allow me to assert that no case of seduction can be proved against me!
I have been practicing Law in this for some time, and have become quite celebrated as a criminal lawyer, so much so indeed that I am somtimes, in special cases, called to the city of to confront what is called, by some at lea[s]t, the most powerful cou[n]sel in the .
I went to the other day to defend a man charged with Larceny, but before I commenced his defence, I was informed that one of my brethren was in jail charged with an attempt to Murder , on going to the jail I found there , he wanted counsel, I promised to appear & also engaged as an assistent he is a fearless attorney, faithful to his client, and the best criminal Lawyer in the , he is the only Lawyer that dread in argument in the , so far as I <as> my acquaintance extends and I am acquainted with the most celebrated— I promised him $2,50 to assist me if is the p[e]rson I sup[pose] him to be; if he is Joseph’s friend—
They have sent him in Irons to , and if the church want him saved, steps must be taken quickly— I think he can be acquitted, if in time, the right means are used.
will be principal witness against him, but I am informed that there <are> men in who know of so much of his rascality that his testimony may be impeached— he should quit breathing— He has for some time <been> telling lies about the church [p. ]