Correspondence of the North American.
MATTERS AND THINGS IN GENERAL, AND THE MORMONS IN PARTICULAR.
QUINCY, Ill., December 22, 1840.
Messrs. Editors:—Having but partially re-deemed my pledge to furnish you with some sketches of men and manners in "Sucker" land, I will continue the series with a brief sketch of that "singular" people, as the news-papers call them, the Mormons. The history of their mishaps in Missouri, and of the savage zeal with which they were pursued by the Missourians, is familiar to all your readers. That they were persecuted much and cruelly, admits of no cavil; but that they were a wretch-ed, thieving race, a curse to the community in which they were then placed, as they are to the neighborhood in which they now locate themselves, is equally true. Their first set-tlement, in fleeing from the Missourians, was made here. Strangers, half starved, half naked, they perished in great numbers from disease during the year succeeding their land-ing. As a body they migrated from this neighborhood to a point on the river some 60 miles above in Hancock county, which they call Nauvoo. In that place and within a cir-cuit of 5 miles round, they now number about 5000 inhabitants. Some of them are scattered through this county (Adams), but the great majority seek for a resting place in Hancock. It is truly a resting place, for a more idle, wretched, worthless race, it would be difficult to find collected any where. There may be a few exceptions, like black swans, to this gene-ral remark, but in the main it holds good. Nor can it be supposed to be otherwise, when you find none but the most ignorant, illiterate, depraved, idle and knavish of the community joining them. Their character as I have given it to you, is that which is universally given to them by the inhabitants of this country. No faith is placed in their promises or professions, and whenever a band of them settles down in a neighborhood, the old inhabitants are anxious at once to sell out and be off. At Nauvoo they have organized several companies of troops which are commanded by that prince of knaves, Joe Smith, the Prophet. Since Governor Carlin has consented to exchange him for the Missourians who lynched some of "the brethren" some time since, he goes con-stantly heavily armed, and avows his deter-mination not to be taken. The Missourians do the same, and the people of a portion of that State would massacre any one attempting to arrest one of their citizens for punishing a Mor-mon, such is their invincible antipathy to them; and the feeling is mutual.
Joe is a most arrant knave and cuts some queer pranks at times for the benefit of his besotted followers. Some months since he ex-hibited himself in the streets of Nauvoo in a state of crazy intoxication. The next morning some of the leading men called on him to re-monstrate with him on the impropriety of a prophet so demeaning himself. Joe replied that he had seen a disposition on the part of some of them to do the same thing, and that he had done as he did the day before for the pur-pose of trying their faith and seeing whether they would also follow his example. Such is a slight sketch of this "misguided and perse-cuted" people;—short, but long enough I trust to let your readers see that they are probably quite as sinning as sinned against.
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