Memorial to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 28 November 1843, Willard Richards Copy
[JS] and others, Memorial, , Hancock Co., IL, to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, , 28 Nov. 1843; handwriting of ; signatures of and 44 others; docket in handwriting of ; seven pages; JS Office Papers, CHL.
They were finally compelled to fly from those counties; and on the 11th. of October 1838, they sought safety by that means, with their families, leaving many of their effects behind; that they had previously applied to the constituted authorities of for protection but in vain. The Society were pursued by the mob, conflicts ensued, deaths occurred, and finally a force was organized under the authority of the of the State of , with orders to drive us from the , or exterminateus. Abandoned and attacked by those to whom we had looked for protection, we determined to make no further resistance, but submit to the authorities of the , and yield to our fate however hard it might be. Several members of the Society were arrested and imprisoned on a charge of treason against the , and the rest, amounting to above 14,000 souls, fled into the other states, principally into , where they now reside.
Your Memorialists would further state, that they have heretofore petitioned your honorable body praying redress for the injuries set forth in this memorial, but the committee to whom our petition was referred, reported in substance, that the General Government had no power in the case; and that we must look for relief to the Courts and the Legislature of . In reply Your Memorialists would beg leave to state that they have repeatedly appealed to the authorities of in vain; that though they are American Citizens, at all times ready to obey the laws and support the institutions of the , none of us would dare enter for any such purpose, or for any purpose whatever, [p. 5]