Letter from Robert B. Thompson, 13 May 1839

which have been inserted in the Quincy Whig, I am aware that upon a cursory  view of these, nothing very objectionable may appear; yet, if they are attentively  considered there will be found very great objections to them indeed: for instance  in condemning the Democracy of Missouri why condemn that of the whole union,  and why use such epithets as “Demagogue” to T[homas] H. Benton for not answering his  letter when it is very probable that he had not received it. Yesterday I was waited  upon by Mr Morris who asked me what was intended by such publications, and  why we should come out against the democracy of the nation, when they were doing  all in their power to assist us; It was something which he could not understand  and wished to know if we as a people countenanced such proceedings. I told him  for my part, I was sorry that his letters had ever made their appearance, and  believed that such a course was at variance with the sentiments of the greater part  of our people. Yesterday I brought the subject before the authorities of the  Church who are here, where it was manifest that his conduct was not fellowshipped  and the brethren wished to disavow all connexion with such proceedings and appoin ted a committee to wait on Brother Wight to beg of him not to persist in the course,  which if not nipt in the bud will probably bring persecution with all its horrors upon  an innocent people by the folly and imprudence of one individual.
From information I understand that the feelings of the Governor are  very much hurt by the course which is pursued. I think we ought to correct  the publick mind on this subject, and as a Church disavow all connexions with  politics; by such a course we may in some measure counteract the baneful  influence which his letters have occasioned: But if such a course which he  (Bro Wight) has adopted, be continued (as I understand that he intends to do) it  will block up our way and we can have no reasonable prospect of obtaining  justice from the authorities of the union whom we wantonly condemn before we  have made application.
The same feelings are beginning to be manifested  in Springfield by those who have been our friends there. The Whigs are glad of such  weapons and make the most of them.— You will probably think I am  a little too officious but I feel impressed with the subject, I feel for my brethren;  The tears of widows, the cries of orphans & the moans of the distressed are continually  present in my mind and I want to adopt and continue a course which shall  be beneficial to us— — but if through the imprudence and conduct of Isolated  individuals 3— 4— or 5 years hence our altars should be thrown down our Homes  destroyed, our brethren slain, our wives widows and our Children orphans, your  unworthy unworthy brother wishes to lift up his hands before God and appeal  to him and say, thou who knowest all things, knowest that I am innocent  in this matter. I am with great respect, Gent. Yours in the Bonds of Christ.
Excuse haste &c &c  I have not time to Copy
N.B Postcript other side.  J. M. [James Mulholland] [p. 10]
Robert B. Thompson, letter, Quincy, IL, to the First Presidency, 13 May 1839; handwriting of James Mulholland; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 7, 10–11; JS Collection, CHL.