<February 27 Democratic Association in > law of humanity, are entitled to our sympathy and commiseration— all which is submitted— J. W. Whitney Chn— February 27. 1839”
This, gentlemen is a brief outline of the difficulties that we have labored under, in consequence of the repeated persecutions that have been heaped upon us; and as the ’s exterminating order has not been rescinded, we, as a people, were obliged to leave the , and with it, our lands, corn wheat, pork &c that we had provided for ourselves and families, together with our fodder, which we had collected for our Cattle, horses— &c— those of them that we have been able to preserve from the wreck of that desolation which has spread itself over and counties. In consequence of our brethren’s being obliged to leave the , and as a sympathy and friendly spirit has been manifested by the Citizens of , numbers of our brethren, glad to obtain an asylum from the hand of persecution, have come to this place— We cannot but express our feelings of gratitude to the inhabitants of this place for the friendly feelings which have been manifested, and the benevolent hand which has been stretched out to a poor, oppressed, injured, and persecuted people; and as you, gentlemen, of the Democratic Association, have felt interested in our welfare, and have desired to be put in possession of a knowledge of our situation, our present wants, and what would be most conducive to our present good, together with what led to those difficulties, we thought that those documents -[Memorial, Order of Extermination, and ’s address]- would furnish you with as correct information of our difficulties and what led to them as any that we are in possession of. If we should say what our present wants are it would be beyond all calculations, as we have been robbed of our corn, wheat, horses, cattle, cows, hogs, wearing apparel, houses and homes, and indeed, of all that renders life tolerable.
We do not, we cannot expect to be placed in the situation that we once were, nor are we capable, of ourselves, of supplying the many wants of those of our poor brethren, who are daily crowding here and looking to us for relief, in consequence of our property, as well as theirs being in the hands of a ruthless and desolating Mob. It is impossible to give an exact account of the widows, and those that are entirely destitute, as there are so many coming here daily; but, from enquiry, the probable amount will be something near twenty, besides numbers of others who are able bodied men, both able and willing to work, to obtain a subsistence, yet owing to their peculiar situation, are destitute of means to supply the immediate wants that the necessities of their families call for, We would not propose, gentlemen, what you shall do, but after making these statements, shall leave it to your own judgment, and generosity. As to what we think would be the best means to promote our permanent good, we think that to give us employment, rent us farms, and allow us the protection, and privileges of other Citizens, would raise us from a state of dependence, liberate us from the iron grasp of poverty, [p. 890]