Letter from Orson Hyde, 9 June 1844

  • Source Note
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and all others whether religious or not religious who are disposed to avail themselves of its benefits: Why then were not all these parties consulted? We are not the representatives of the Mormons alone, but of all other classes, and we go in for ‘equal rights.’
The foregoing is a fair description of the reasoning and views of our representatives in Congress; not their precise words, but their exact views.
I was told by decidedly, that Congress could not Constitutionally appoint Mr. Smith a member of the Army of the . I am not a lawyer or a politician, and heretofore have cherished a strong distaste for both these pursuits which is the cause of my presen[t] limited knowledge in these matters; and I am so constituted that I cannot make brass supply the place of knowledge, and even if I could, it would not go as far among the members of Congress. They will be their own jud[g]es of what is constitutional or unconstitutional. Have not Presidents Smith and been to this place in earlier days, and poured upon the heads of this nation their richest streams of eloquence upon subjects entitled to deeper and warmer sympathies than that with which I am entrusted? Have they not exhausted their skill and wisdom to show the constitutionality of their cause, and the jurisdiction Congress had in the cause <​premises​>? But did they succeed? Did they not find that and all others would be their own judges of the Constitution after all was said and done? If, then, Bros Smith and with their superior [p. 3]
and all others whether religious or not religious who are disposed to avail themselves of its benefits: Why then were not all these parties consulted? We are not the representatives of the Mormons alone, but of all other classes, and we go in for ‘equal rights.’
The foregoing is a fair description of the reasoning and views of our representatives in Congress; not their precise words, but their exact views.
I was told by decidedly, that Congress could not Constitutionally appoint Mr. Smith a member of the Army of the . I am not a lawyer or a politician, and heretofore have cherished a strong distaste for both these pursuits which is the cause of my present limited knowledge in these matters; and I am so constituted that I cannot make brass supply the place of knowledge, and even if I could, it would not go as far among the members of Congress. They will be their own judges of what is constitutional or unconstitutional. Have not Presidents Smith and been to this place in earlier days, and poured upon the heads of this nation their richest streams of eloquence upon subjects entitled to deeper and warmer sympathies than that with which I am entrusted? Have they not exhausted their skill and wisdom to show the constitutionality of their cause, and the jurisdiction Congress had in the premises? But did they succeed? Did they not find that and all others would be their own judges of the Constitution after all was said and done? If, then, Bros Smith and with their superior [p. 3]
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