Letter to Elias Higbee with JS Postscript, 7 March 1840

especially in relation to our damages, the amount of  which we think has been estimated full low, and if  an offer should be made to remunerate us for our  Lands at entry price, or any thing short of the full  amount claimed in any particular— to treat such  offer with proper contempt. Our rights we ask for;  our rights we want, and must have of the Government  of the United States: And nothing short of that can  be received. We demand them upon constitutional  premises, and expect to [be] heard in our appeal to the  General Government, and answered in a manner which  shall be honorable to the guardians, of the rights and  privileges of American citizens; who compose that honorable  body, and acceptable to those who have been persecuted,  Smitten, and driven from their peaceful habitations,  in violation of the Constitution, and of the natural  and unalienable rights of man—
Our cause will unquestionably  be strongly opposed by such, relentless, unfeeling and  unprincipled demagogues as, Benton, and others of  the “Golden humbug”, firm of [Martin] Vanburen &,co. who have  disgraced the American character, by their subserviency  to a s[c]heme of peculations and political fraud, The  sole aim of whom has been, to aggrandize themselves, at  the expence of the labouring class of community, and  to enrich the few at expence of the many. As regar dless of honor, honesty; or the rights of man, as Bonapart,  Nero, or Caligula— I cincerely hope that every such  unprincipled character, will take a decided stand  in favor of [Lilburn W.] Bogg’s exterminating decree; as such a  course would speak volumes in our favor, and expose  them to the just indignation of an abused and injured  publick, who will not fail to meet ours out to them  a just recompence of reward without distinctions of  name, sect or party by applying that peaceable and  constitutional corrective, guarenteed to eve[r]y American  citizen, the right of suffrage, if there is virtue enough  left in the sons of. the revolutionary Fathers, to transmit  to their posterity, those inestimable blessings purchased by  Fathers at the expense of so much blood and Treasure. [p. 110]
Elias Smith, letter, Lee County, IA, to Elias Higbee, Washington DC, 7 Mar. 1840, with postscript by JS; handwriting of Howard Coray; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 109–111; JS Collection, CHL.