Letter from Horace Hotchkiss, 1 April 1840

Fair Haven 1st. April 1840
Rev. Joseph Smith Junr.
My Dear Sir— After writing you at,  and then going to Phild. and not finding you, I add ressed a letter to Washington City, and recived a reply  from Judge [Elias] Higbee by which I first [learned?] of your return  to Illinois and at the same time I got the commit tees report upon your application to Congress for  redress of the outrages perpetrated upon your people  by the Missourians. I am not, I must confess, much  disappointed in the result; as [you] know the vaccilating,  fawni[n]g character of many, in both Houses of Con gress; and these are not their worst traits either,  for they not only lack the moral courage, to do rig ht, but will know do what they know to be pos itively wrong, if they can make political capital  by it, and will abandon you, me, or any one else,  with perfect indifference, and heartless treachery, if by doing it they can obtain governmental favour,  or political preferment— If we should not put our  faith in Princes, it appears most emphatically  true, that we should repose no confidence in politici ans— The idea conveyed in the report, that exact  justice will <be> meted to you by the judicial tribunals  of Missouri, is too preposterous to require comment—
It is indeed a new doctrine, that we should ap ply to robbers or their supporters to condem them selves— to restore the valuables they have stolen— &  to betray each other for the murders they have comm itted. I do not believe, (tho, I am Sorry to say it)  that you will ever receive a just or honorable remu neration for your losses of property; or any repar ation for the personal indignities, privations and  sufferings, which your people have sustained in  Missouri— The greatest reliance which your peo ple have for regaining your wealth is the in the hon orable conduct of your people; their pure morals—  their correct habits— their indefatigable industry—  their untiring perseverance, and their well directed [p. 123]
Horace Hotchkiss, letter, Fair Haven, CT, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 1 Apr. 1840; handwriting of Howard Coray; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 123–125; JS Collection, CHL.