Letter from John Laws, 18 October 1841

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October 18’ 1841
Sir. The undersigned having embarked in a controversy with some of the traducers of the Mormon Sect will be viewed I trust as a sufficient apology for my troubling you with this communication, If however your opinion should not accord with my own I have no excuse to offer and you may dismiss the subject as a matter of no moment
It is possible that one or more communications published in the public Ledger and Daily Chronicle of this over the signature of J L in refutation of the aspersions cast upon the “Latter Day Saints” has met your eye if this shall have been the Case you can more readily estimate the motives of the writer in seeking for information from the only source that will be relied on. The authors of the communications refered to was prompted to the task by feelings of indignation at what he believed to be a conspiracy of News Paper Editors and others to overthrow Mormonism by the summary process of exterminating its proselytes by sanguinary means and not by reason and argument It is very evident that the unexpected and unwished for oppositions to their schemes has had a salutary effect in causing a cessation of hostilities for the present but whether to be revived again time will make manifest.
But what I wish to call your attention to is this. In a number of the Saturday Courier of August last may be found the following “last Saturday we were at the plantation of a friend of ours in and there we learned that the Mormon Preachers took the Deed of a Farm belonging to a that they pretended to give him a Claim for land in for $6000 the sum which [p. [1]] his late farm was worth and the very next week afterwards they sold the same farm which they had pretended to purchase at $6000 to a grocer in for the sum of $3000 just one half, the poor duped farmer has a wife and Children and their little homestead has now been forever lost to them by the swindlings of these pretended latter day Saints, are there no thunders in Heaven”
Now although I firmly believe that the whole of the above Charge (as regards its criminality) is utterly destitute of truth like the “cruel Murder of ” I think it proper to be prepared in case of another attack by the Press and to enable me to be so if resides in (as informs me he does) I wish to obtain his deposition touching the facts of the Case.
The following form I suggest for the benefit of the functionary who may be employed.
) ss
County of [blank])
Be it Known that on the [blank] day of [blank] AD 1841 Before me A B [blank] a Justice of the Peace (or Judge of the Court of &c as the case may be) in and for the said County personally appeard [blank] of the City of in the county and state aforesaid Farmer late of in the state of Pennsylvania who being duly sworn according to law doth depose and say that (state the facts touching the sale and all the materials points concerning it) and such other matters as may be deemed by you important and comporting with the truth) and further deponent saith not.
Sworn to and subscribed the Day and year first above written, Before me
A B
Justice of the Peace or Judge of &c (as the case may be) [p. [2]]
You will please send me the affidavit as soon as you can conveniently do so.
Very respectfully
Jno Laws
No 74 Green Street
Rev Joseph Smith Jr.
Illinois
<​Sold to for 6500—​>
<​Received upwards of 3500 of th[e] pay, & hold obligation I or Joseph Smith, , & .​> [p. [3]]
 
<​ Pa | OCT | 22​>
<​PAID​>
<​25​>
Rev Joseph Smith. Jr.
City of
Hancock Co Illinois
<​Single​> [p. [4]]

Footnotes

  1. new scribe logo

    Notation in unidentified handwriting.