<February> prisoners, but the hardness of their hearts would not admit of so charitable a deed— but they continued to importune at the feet of the Judges, and also to visit the prisoners, and no one of the ruling part of the community disputed the innocence of the prisoners, but said, in consequence of the fury of the mob, that even handed justice could not be administered, they were therefore compelled to abandon the idea of importuning at the feet of the Judges, and leave the prisoners in the hands of God.
26 February 1839 • Tuesday
<26 ’s Letter> Ill. Feb. 26. 1839.
“Mr. D[avid] W. Rogers. Dear Sir— Yours of the 11th. inst. was received yesterday, I perceive that it had been written before your brethren visited my house— I had also wrote to Mr. [Israel] Barlow before I received yours, and which is herewith also sent. I wish here to remark that about 10 or 15 houses or cabins can be had in this neighborhood, and several farms may be rented here. On the Half breed lands I think that more than 50 families can be accommodated with places to dwell in, but not a great quantity of cultivated land, as the improvements on that tract are generally new, there are however several farms which can also be rented. Since writing to Mr. Barlow, I have conversed with a friend of mine, who has also conversed with Governor [Robert] Lucas of in relation to your Church and people. Governor Lucas says, that the people called Mormons, were good citizens of the State of , and that he respects them now, as good and virtuous Citizens, and feels disposed to treat them as such. I wish also to say through you, to your people, that Isaac Van Allen Esqre. the Attorney General of , is a personal, and tried friend of mine, and I feel fully authorized from a conversation which I have had with him on the subject to say, that I can assure you of his utmost endeavors to protect you from insult or violence.
I will here repeat what I have wrote to Mr. Barlow, that I do believe, that under a territorial form of government which is directly connected with the general government of the , your Church will be better secured against the capriciousness of public opinion, than under a state government, where murder, rapine and robbery are admirable traits in the character of a demagogue: and where the greatest villains often reach the highest offices. I have wrote to Governor Lucas on the subject, and when I receive his answer, I will communicate it to your Church. I desire very much to know how your captive brethren in are faring— I should like to know if Joseph Smith Jr. is at liberty, or not, and what his prospects are. I shall be at , our Seat, during the fore part of next week, and soon after that (perhaps the next week following) I expect to go to I.T. when I expect to see the Governor and converse with him on the subject, I will probably be at home from the 6th. until the 12th. of March— I shall be pleased to see you, or any of your people, at my house at any time, when you can make it convenient. It is now necessary that something definite should be done in relation to renting farms, as the season for commencing such operations is fast approaching us. A Mr. Whitney a Merchant in is owner or proprietor of several farms in this vicinity, and it might be well to see him on the subject— I wish to serve your cause in any matter which providence may afford me the opportunity of doing, and I therefore [p. 887]