History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​May 16​> and when a man is all the day long boasting of the rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen of the under the Constitution and laws and at the same time is so prejudiced against one of the most peaceable citizens that ‘he does not know whether he can render him justice’in a court of equity, but would rather strengthen the hands of mobocrats and law breakers, the inference that one must naturally draw is, that such a man is either a consummate scoundrel and hypocrite, or that he is guilty of the most flagrant violation of the most sacred constitutional principles embraced in the fundamental doctrines of this Republic. I am happy, sir, to have evidence daily that no such corrupt prejudice exists in the heart of General Joseph Smith, nor in the community so far as I have been able to discover.
“Now, as to the exceptions these men have taken in regard to Gen. Smith’s religious views, or general course of conduct, it matters not much. His religious views are his inalienable right, and is nobody’s business; and the man who cannot render him justice on that account is a wilful violator of the laws he professes to admire; and, sir, I have for more than two years last past been a close observer of Gen. Smith’s ‘general course of conduct’, as well as his private life; and justice to him, to myself, and the cummunity at large, compels me to say, that in all my intercourse with men, I never associated with a more honorable, upright, charitable, benevolent, and law abiding man than is the much perseuted Gen. Smith, and, sir, when I hear men speak reproachfully of him, I never ask for a second evidence of their corruptness and baseness. General Smith, sir, is a man of God, a man of truth, and a lover of his country; and never did I hear him breathe out curses or railery at any man because he saw fit to differ in religious matters. Shame on the principle— shame on the man or the set of men who show themselves so degraded and miserably corrupt.
“The last night of our stay at , I had the privilege of speaking on the principles of my religion to a number of individuals in a kind of argument with two men; and sir, although it is near fours years since I have made a practice of preaching, it felt as sweet as ever. Truth to an honest heart is sweet, but to a wicked man is like a pierc[HC 6:383]ing sword, as was manifest on that occasion; for although the principles of the gospel were laid down so plain and clear that it was impossible to misunderstand, yet the opposing party repeatedly misconstrued my language, and even his own accessions.
“I cannot persuade myself that the prejudice referred to above is a general thing; there are many honorable exceptions, and I presume if the Mormons had signified their intentions of supporting the democratic candidate for the Presidency at the ensuing election, instead of nominating an independent candidate of their own choice, their prejudice would not have been so great at the trial of and , and perhaps Gen. Smith would have obtained a judgment somewhat equivalent to the injuries he sustained from that unholy persecution. But the Mormon people are too noble minded to be bought or biased by fear or favor, and have been too often deceived by the plausible pretensions of demogogues to put trust in any but tried friends. Gen. Smith has ever been an undeviating friend, not only to this community, but to the oppressed of every name or society; and we consider him as competent and qualified for the highest office of the as any other man, and a little more so; and a great deal more worthy of it.
“In conclusion, let me say that whatever others may say, I consider it an honor to be associated with such a man as Gen. Joseph Smith, and all true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and the more wicked men despise and misrepresent the principles and conduct of President Smith, the more I love him and delight in his [p. 38]
May 16 and when a man is all the day long boasting of the rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen of the under the Constitution and laws and at the same time is so prejudiced against one of the most peaceable citizens that ‘he does not know whether he can render him justice’in a court of equity, but would rather strengthen the hands of mobocrats and law breakers, the inference that one must naturally draw is, that such a man is either a consummate scoundrel and hypocrite, or that he is guilty of the most flagrant violation of the most sacred constitutional principles embraced in the fundamental doctrines of this Republic. I am happy, sir, to have evidence daily that no such corrupt prejudice exists in the heart of General Joseph Smith, nor in the community so far as I have been able to discover.
“Now, as to the exceptions these men have taken in regard to Gen. Smith’s religious views, or general course of conduct, it matters not much. His religious views are his inalienable right, and is nobody’s business; and the man who cannot render him justice on that account is a wilful violator of the laws he professes to admire; and, sir, I have for more than two years last past been a close observer of Gen. Smith’s ‘general course of conduct’, as well as his private life; and justice to him, to myself, and the cummunity at large, compels me to say, that in all my intercourse with men, I never associated with a more honorable, upright, charitable, benevolent, and law abiding man than is the much perseuted Gen. Smith, and, sir, when I hear men speak reproachfully of him, I never ask for a second evidence of their corruptness and baseness. General Smith, sir, is a man of God, a man of truth, and a lover of his country; and never did I hear him breathe out curses or railery at any man because he saw fit to differ in religious matters. Shame on the principle— shame on the man or the set of men who show themselves so degraded and miserably corrupt.
“The last night of our stay at , I had the privilege of speaking on the principles of my religion to a number of individuals in a kind of argument with two men; and sir, although it is near fours years since I have made a practice of preaching, it felt as sweet as ever. Truth to an honest heart is sweet, but to a wicked man is like a pierc[HC 6:383]ing sword, as was manifest on that occasion; for although the principles of the gospel were laid down so plain and clear that it was impossible to misunderstand, yet the opposing party repeatedly misconstrued my language, and even his own accessions.
“I cannot persuade myself that the prejudice referred to above is a general thing; there are many honorable exceptions, and I presume if the Mormons had signified their intentions of supporting the democratic candidate for the Presidency at the ensuing election, instead of nominating an independent candidate of their own choice, their prejudice would not have been so great at the trial of and , and perhaps Gen. Smith would have obtained a judgment somewhat equivalent to the injuries he sustained from that unholy persecution. But the Mormon people are too noble minded to be bought or biased by fear or favor, and have been too often deceived by the plausible pretensions of demogogues to put trust in any but tried friends. Gen. Smith has ever been an undeviating friend, not only to this community, but to the oppressed of every name or society; and we consider him as competent and qualified for the highest office of the as any other man, and a little more so; and a great deal more worthy of it.
“In conclusion, let me say that whatever others may say, I consider it an honor to be associated with such a man as Gen. Joseph Smith, and all true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and the more wicked men despise and misrepresent the principles and conduct of President Smith, the more I love him and delight in his [p. 38]
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