Letter from Sybella McMinn Armstrong, 1 May 1843

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May 1ts 1843
President Joseph Smith, Dear Borether
It is with feelings of no ordinry nature that I adress the following lines to you— but a strong sense of duty to my-self and the causse of Christ alone prompts me, I appeal to you because you— your-self have felt the sting of Slander, and know how sha[r]per then a Serpents tooth it is— I appeal to you Sir because I know and believe you to be a Man endowed with a Strong sense of Justice! and that you have a disposition to administer the same to the wronged and oppressed! You may think strange that woman as I am I should appeal to You in this matter, I seek redress at the hands of the Chu[r]ch first because tis my dhutry [duty] so to do— others Counsel when direct[ed] it by the Chu[r]chs— When I uniteted myself with the Chu[r]ch of latter day Sa[in]ts God kn[o]ws so far as the world was concernd I parted with my Charctar— I was willing to have my name cast out as evil— and endure all manner of reproaches for the sake and cause of my Master— [p. [1]] and suffer the loss of Family and Fr[ie]nds rather than not obey the Gospel of Christ! Yes sooner would I suffer my right Hand sevrd [severed] from my body then I would deny that God has spoken in these last dans [days]— I can endure all maner of scorn and disisern [derision?] from the world and Rejoice in it! but to have my Charactar stabbed in the dark and mutilated by a villain! in the Gard [garb?] of Righte[ou]sness is more than I can put down and truely bear! I seek not for vengence I ask it not— but in the name of the Lord I ask for Justice, for the deepest wrongs inflicted without the slightest provction [provocation]— but to be plain has basicly Sla[n]dered my Charctar in time oft and again, this I bore not satisfied with this he goes to and repprted me as being a str[u]mpet and that I was a wom[a]n of so notrietry but a Christin that I was kno[w]n to all the Captans on the Ohio and Rivers, nor is this all he represnted us as getting our livi[n]g by plucking the Public! Now Sir when he was brought to an acc[o]unt for these things did he deny it [p. [2]] no! but with the most embar[ra]ssing affr[on]tery said he had been told so— but did he tell it for hear-say no! but took Go[o]d care to tell it as matter of fact— could he give his authors no but called on Mrs— Newton to say I had acted imprudntly with — and also my going on a visit to that I b[e]haved verry imprud[ent]ly with him ther, I appeal to for the propriety of my connduct— with him at all times and in all places, Brother Joseph you have staid at our Home You kn[o]w what we are and how I with the rest of my family conducted ourselves— my natural disposition is Gay and lively, I am ever cheerful— I am Happy myself and try to make others so— at times pe[r]haps I say and do my litrlre [literal?] things from the impu[l]se of the mom[e]nt— that were I to take a second though[t] I would not do Levity is my lasting sin! Please submit this to the Corim [Quorum] of the Twelve— and my God dirrect you in adminstrg [administering] Justice to the oppressed
I rem[ai]n Your Sister in the Gospl of Chrrst Sybella Armstrog [McMinn Armstrong] [p. [3]]
<​. Pa MAY2​>
<​MONMOUTH Ills. MAY15​>
<​PAID​> <​25​>
Joseph Smith Junr
.Hanokk <​Hancock​> Cou[n]ty
Illinois
 
Sybbella, Armstrong. May 1st 1843 against
 
<​take his Licence from him. says Joseph​> [p. [4]]

Footnotes

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    Circular postmark stamped in red ink.  

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    Circular postmark stamped in blue ink.  

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    Postage fee written in blue ink in unidentified handwriting.  

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    Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.  

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    Endorsement in handwriting of Willard Richards.