Memorial to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 28 November 1843

  • Source Note
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shot down and killed Eighteen, as they would so many Wild Beasts.
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 on each side, and finally a force was organized under the authority of the of the State of , with orders to drive us from the , or exterminate us. 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 applied 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 Country, none of us would dare enter for any such purpose, or for any purpose whatever. Our property was seized by the Mob, or lawlessly confiscated by the , and we were forced at the point of the Bayonet to sign Deeds of Trust relinquishing our property but the exterminating order of the of is still in force and we dare not return to claim our just rights— the Widows and Orphans of those slain, who could legally sign no deeds of Trust, dare not return to claim the Inheritance left them by their Murdered Parents.
It is true the Constitution of the gives to us in Common with all other native or adopted Citizens, the right to enter and settle in , but an executive order has been issued to exterminate us if we enter the , and that part of the Constitution becomes a nullity so far as we are concerned.
Had any foreign State or power committed a similar outrage upon us, we cannot for a moment doubt that the strong arm of the general government would have been stretched out to redress our <​wrongs, and we flatter ourselves that the same power will either redress redress our​> grievances or shield us from harm in our efforts to regain our lost property, which we fairly purchased from the general government.
Finally your Memorialists, pray your Honorable Body to take their wrongs into consideration, receive testimony in the case, and grant such relief as by the Constitution and Laws you may have power to give.
And your Memorialists will every pray &c
, Illinois, November 28th. 1843.
Whole number of Names 3419
Joseph Smith Mayor Counsellor
Counsellor
Aldermen Counsellors
City Marshal
, Recorder
[p. 3]
shot down and killed Eighteen, as they would so many Wild Beasts.
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 on each side, and finally a force was organized under the authority of the of the State of , with orders to drive us from the , or exterminate us. 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 applied 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 Country, none of us would dare enter for any such purpose, or for any purpose whatever. Our property was seized by the Mob, or lawlessly confiscated by the , and we were forced at the point of the Bayonet to sign Deeds of Trust relinquishing our property but the exterminating order of the of is still in force and we dare not return to claim our just rights— the Widows and Orphans of those slain, who could legally sign no deeds of Trust, dare not return to claim the Inheritance left them by their Murdered Parents.
It is true the Constitution of the gives to us in Common with all other native or adopted Citizens, the right to enter and settle in , but an executive order has been issued to exterminate us if we enter the , and that part of the Constitution becomes a nullity so far as we are concerned.
Had any foreign State or power committed a similar outrage upon us, we cannot for a moment doubt that the strong arm of the general government would have been stretched out to redress our wrongs, and we flatter ourselves that the same power will either redress our grievances or shield us from harm in our efforts to regain our lost property, which we fairly purchased from the general government.
Finally your Memorialists, pray your Honorable Body to take their wrongs into consideration, receive testimony in the case, and grant such relief as by the Constitution and Laws you may have power to give.
And your Memorialists will every pray &c
, Illinois, November 28th. 1843.
Whole number of Names 3419
Joseph Smith Mayor Counsellor
Counsellor
Aldermen Counsellors
City Marshal
, Recorder
[p. 3]
Page 3