Letter from Isaac Galland, 5 April 1841

priety, and his goodness excelling our most  sanguine expectations, will not admit of a  sing[l]e doubt; we are however still left to  trust to that inscrutible wisdom, and Almigh ty power, to turn this most melancholly and  disastrous event to our good—whether we  have not sinned as a nation by idolizing that  worthy and long to be lamented patriot and  father of the West. by looking to him as a  source of relief in our present calamities, in stead of relying upon that God in whose  hands is the fate of all the kingdoms and em pires of the earth, is worthy of our serious  consideration. It would seem that the wick edness of the present generation is so super latively great, that the Father of mercies has  condescended in his infinite wisdom and be nevolence to afford to the present nations of  the earth, one of the most striking examples  of the mutability of all earthly glory, honor  and excellence. For it is asserted, and that  too with great propriety, that the office of  Chief Magistrate of the United States, filled  as it is by the voice of the people (which is  the voice of God) is surrounded with a halo of  human glory, and earthly grandeur, unparal lelled in excellence by all the hereditary Mon archies, Royalties, Aristocracies, or mixed  Republics of the earth. Hence the individual  whose sudden and unexpected death this na tion is now called to mourn, has been called  from the very pinicle of human aggrandize ment, after filling, for the brief period of thir ty days, the highest and most exalted station  upon this earth, to the peaceful slumbers of  the tomb, and joyful repose in the paradise  of God. Though he is hereby taken from the  “evil to come,” yet we are admonished there by that “in the midst of life we are in death.’  O, what a lesson is this to a sinful world!—  But I tremble for my country when I reflect  that God has taken from us the individual  who was so pre-eminently qualified to re store again the tranquility and prosperity of  our nation. While we are surrounded with  menaces from abroad, and threatened with  ruptures and disunion from within, it has  pleased the Almighty Father, for some wise  purpose, known only to himself, to deprive  us of the aid and influence of that amiable  person to whom all eyes were turned. We  are again loosed from our anchorage and cast  forth upon a boisterous political sea, to toil  and strive with adverse winds of political  speculation, with the blustering gales of hu man passion and the mis-leading ignis fatuus  of political demagogues. Vain, therefore it  would seem is the help of man; we can only  rely with assurance of success upon the Lord  for help. For the credit of human nature, I  wish I could say that this national bereave ment was duly appreciated by all our citizens,  but alas! how mortifying the reflection to  know that there are some who would even  wish to be regarded as respectable citizens,  who are so destitute of every redeeming vir tue, and so puffed with the malignity of party  rancor, that they cannot suppress their infer nal and fiend-like howlings of exultations un til the solemnities of the occasion are ended.  O! what a comment on human depravity—it  would seem as though this generation was  labouring under a depravity which could only  be the result of the fall of a second Adam.
But I cannot dwell on a subject which is a  reproach to my species, and makes me blush  that I am a man. May God protect our na tion, and grant that this signal judgment of  his providence may cause our people to learn  wisdom and practice virtue.
I am most sincerely yours  in the bonds of the everlasting gospel,
P. S. President Harrison breathed his last  at 35 minutes past 12 o’clock on the morning  of the 4th inst, (yesterday morning.)
Isaac Galland, Letter, Philadelphia, PA, to JS, Nauvoo, IL, 5 Apr. 1841; in Times and Seasons, 1 May 1841, 2:399–400.