Letter to Thomas Carlin, 24 June 1842
- Source Note
On 24 June 1842, JS wrote a letter to governor explaining ’s improper conduct in , Illinois, and asking the governor for direction on what the Latter-day Saints should do if a mob from entered the city. JS wrote the letter after being informed of rumors that Bennett was working with Missourians to kidnap him. In 1839, JS and others escaped from Missouri custody after being imprisoned for various charges, including treason, and since then at least one attempt had been made to extradite him back to Missouri: In June 1841, JS was served an arrest warrant, signed by Carlin, which was intended to lead to JS’s extradition, though he was quickly released after the warrant was ruled defective. Later, after JS was rumored to have been involved in a failed assassination attempt on former Missouri governor in May 1842, fears that Missouri would again attempt to extradite him increased.JS also wrote this 24 June letter in his capacity as lieutenant general of the to report the conduct of , one of the senior officers in the legion, and to discover whether Bennett had resigned his commission. In addition, JS seemed concerned that Bennett might begin spreading slanderous rumors about him that would influence ’s opinion. Although the Saints had held Carlin in high regard for welcoming them to in 1839 and helping them obtain the charter for , the relationship had become strained after Carlin issued the arrest warrant for JS’s extradition to . Hoping to deflect any negative reports Bennett might convey to Carlin, JS used this letter to provide his own account of what had happened with Bennett.The letter featured here echoed a letter JS wrote the day before to members and “all the honorable part of community.” That letter also provided information about ’s conduct, asserting that Bennett was a fraud and a liar and specifically explaining when JS had known about Bennett’s improper behavior and what JS did to address it.The original letter to is not extant. copied it into JS’s second letterbook, likely soon after the letter was composed, but did not include Carlin’s location in the copy. Carlin received the letter within a few days and responded on 30 June, answering JS’s specific questions, but it is not known whether the letter was sent to Carlin in , Illinois, where he was located on 22 June, or to , Illinois, where he answered the letter.