Letter to Robert B. Thompson, 25 May 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

, Hancock Co Ill 25,th May 1839
Dear Sir
In answer to your’s of the 13th Inst. to us concerning the writings of Col, on the subject of our late sufferings in the State of ; we wish to say that as to A statement of our persecutions being brought before the world as a political question, we entirely disapprove of it.
Having however great confidence in ’s good intentions And considering it to be the indefeisible right of every free man to hold his own opinion in politics as well as to religion, we will only say that we consider it to be unwise as it is unfair to charge any one party in politics, or Any one sect of religionists with having been our oppressors, since we so well know that our persecutors in the State of were of every sect, And of all parties both religious and political: And as disclaims having spoken evil of any administration save that of , we presume that it need not be feared that men of sense will now suppose him wishful to implicate any other.— We consider that in making these remarks we express the sentiments of the in general as well as our own individually, and also when we say in conclusion that we feel the fullest confidence, that when the subject of our wrongs has been fully investigated by the authorities of the , we shall receive the most perfect justice at their hands; whilst our unfeeling oppressors shall be brought to condign punishment with the approbation of a free and an enlightened people without respect to sect or party.
We desire that you may make whatever use you may think proper of this letter, And remain Your Sincere friends And Brethren.
Joseph Smith Jr
. [p. 11]


  1. 1

    Wight was elected as a colonel when the Caldwell County militia was organized in August 1837. (Lyman Wight, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 10, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

  2. 2

    Instead of “fully,” the Quincy Argus version of this letter has “fairly.” (Joseph Smith et al., Commerce, IL, to Robert B. Thompson, [Quincy, IL], 25 May 1839, in Quincy (IL) Argus, 15 June 1839, [2].)  

    Quincy Argus. Quincy, IL. 1836–1841.

  3. 3

    Around 22 March 1839, JS instructed church members to draft affidavits describing their suffering in Missouri, preparatory to seeking redress from the federal government. At the general conference of the church on 4–5 May 1839, Sidney Rigdon was appointed to go to Washington DC and present the church’s claims. (Letter to Edward Partridge and the Church, ca. 22 Mar. 1839; Minutes, 4–5 May 1839; Historical Introduction to Bill of Damages, 4 June 1839.)