Letter to John C. Calhoun, 2 January 1844

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injustice and insult, and the money came. And shall filled with Negro drivers, and White Men Stealers, go “unwhipt of Justice” for tenfold greater sins than ? No; verily no! while I have powers of body and mind; while water runs and grass grows; while virtue is lovely and vice hateful; and while a stone points out a sacred spot where a fragment of American Liberty once was, I, or my posterity, will plead the cause of injured innocence until makes atonement for all her sins— or sinks disgraced, degraded and damned to hell— “where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”
Why Sir, the power not delegated to the , and the States, belongs to the people, and Congress sent to do the people’s business, have all power— and shall fifteen thousand citizens groan in exile? Oh vain men, will ye not, if you do not restore them to their rights and $2,000,000 worth of property, relinquish to them, (the Latter Day Saints) as a body, their portion of power that belongs to them according to the Constitution? Power has its convenience, as well as inconvenience. “The world was not made for Caesar alone, but Titus too.”
I will give you a parable: A certain Lord had a vineyard in a goodly land, which men laboured in at their pleasure; a few meek men also, went and purchased with money from some of these Chief Men that labored at pleasure, a portion of land in the vine yard, at a very remote part of it, and began to improve it, and to eat and drink the fruit thereof, when some vile persons who regarded not man neither feared the Lord of the Vineyard, rose up suddenly and robbed these meek men and drove them from their possessions, killing many. This barbarous act made no small stir among the men of the vineyard, and all that portion who were attached to that part of the Vineyard where the men were robbed, rose up in grand council with their Chief Man, who had firstly ordered the deed to be done, and made a Covenant not to pay for the cruel deed but to keep the spoil, and never let those meek men set their feet on that soil again neither recompense them for it. Now these meek men, in their distress, wisely sought redress of those wicked men in every possible manner and got none. They then supplicated the Chief Men who held the Vineyard at pleasure, and who had the power to sell and defend it, for redress and redemption, and those men, loving the fame and favor of the multitude, more than the glory of the Lord of the Vineyard, answered, “your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you, because we have no power.” Now, when the Lord of the Vineyard saw that virtue and innocence was not regarded and his vineyard corrupted by wicked men, he sent men and took the possession of it to himself and destroyed those unfaithful servants and appointed them their portion among hypocrites.
And let me say, that all men who say that Congress has no power to restore and defend the rights of her Citizens, have not the love of the truth abiding in them. Congress has power to protect the nation against foreign invasion and internal broil: and whenever that body passes an act to maintain right with any power: or to restore right to any portion of her Citizens, it is the Supreme law of the Land and should a State refuse submission, that State is guilty of insurrection or rebellion, and the president has as much power to repel it as Washington had to march against the “Whiskey Boys of ,” or General Jackson had to send [p. [3]]
injustice and insult, and the money came. And shall filled with Negro drivers, and White Men Stealers, go “unwhipt of Justice” for tenfold greater sins than ? No; verily no! while I have powers of body and mind; while water runs and grass grows; while virtue is lovely and vice hateful; and while a stone points out a sacred spot where a fragment of American Liberty once was, I, or my posterity, will plead the cause of injured innocence until makes atonement for all her sins— or sinks disgraced, degraded and damned to hell— “where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”
Why Sir, the power not delegated to the , and the States, belongs to the people, and Congress sent to do the people’s business, have all power— and shall fifteen thousand citizens groan in exile? Oh vain men, will ye not, if you do not restore them to their rights and $2,000,000 worth of property, relinquish to them, (the Latter Day Saints) as a body, their portion of power that belongs to them according to the Constitution? Power has its convenience, as well as inconvenience. “The world was not made for Caesar alone, but Titus too.”
I will give you a parable: A certain Lord had a vineyard in a goodly land, which men laboured in at their pleasure; a few meek men also, went and purchased with money from some of these Chief Men that labored at pleasure, a portion of land in the vine yard, at a very remote part of it, and began to improve it, and to eat and drink the fruit thereof, when some vile persons who regarded not man neither feared the Lord of the Vineyard, rose up suddenly and robbed these meek men and drove them from their possessions, killing many. This barbarous act made no small stir among the men of the vineyard, and all that portion who were attached to that part of the Vineyard where the men were robbed, rose up in grand council with their Chief Man, who had firstly ordered the deed to be done, and made a Covenant not to pay for the cruel deed but to keep the spoil, and never let those meek men set their feet on that soil again neither recompense them for it. Now these meek men, in their distress, wisely sought redress of those wicked men in every possible manner and got none. They then supplicated the Chief Men who held the Vineyard at pleasure, and who had the power to sell and defend it, for redress and redemption, and those men, loving the fame and favor of the multitude, more than the glory of the Lord of the Vineyard, answered, “your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you, because we have no power.” Now, when the Lord of the Vineyard saw that virtue and innocence was not regarded and his vineyard corrupted by wicked men, he sent men and took the possession of it to himself and destroyed those unfaithful servants and appointed them their portion among hypocrites.
And let me say, that all men who say that Congress has no power to restore and defend the rights of her Citizens, have not the love of the truth abiding in them. Congress has power to protect the nation against foreign invasion and internal broil: and whenever that body passes an act to maintain right with any power: or to restore right to any portion of her Citizens, it is the Supreme law of the Land and should a State refuse submission, that State is guilty of insurrection or rebellion, and the president has as much power to repel it as Washington had to march against the “Whiskey Boys of ,” or General Jackson had to send [p. [3]]
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