Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 3.7

Thomas Reynolds, 1840-1844

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from L. B. Fleak, Iowa to Governor Reynolds, Jefferson City, Mo. ]
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                                                Keokuk I.T. Augt 3rd 1843

His Excellency Gov Reynolds

            Dear Sir,  Herewith I send you a copy of

an affidavit that is now in my office although there

is nothing definite in it yet you may rely upon it that if those

Mormons do not give you trouble on your Western & Northern

lines this Fall it will be because they cannot get enough of

Indians to fall in with their diabolical schemes.  They have

numbers of emissaries among the Indians at this time who repre=

sent to the Indians that they are Englishmen.  They are also

scattering English medals among the Indians & represent to

them that Smith holds a commission under the British govern=

ment.  This may all look like a hoax to you but the time will

come when it will not be felt as a hoax.  Hitchcock the deponent

has long been acquainted with Pottawattomies, speaks their language

as fluently as he does the English language.  He is well known here

and has been known, always as a man of undoubted veracity

I myself know that those Chiefs (as they call themselves)

were there at the time he mentions in his affidavit & I

also know that they returned at the time that says they told

him they would & that they brought their own interpreter

with them [this] last time.  The following is a true

copy of the Affidavit, many of the expressions are awkward

but he says it is a literal translation of their conversation so far

as it goes

Territory of Iowa)

Lee County         )  ss—Personally appeared before the undersigned

Justice of the Peace for Lee County, Iowa Territory E. Hitchcock

who being duly sworn according to Law, deposeth & sayth

            “That about the first of April last, three Pottawattomie Chiefs, the

oldest was Waugh-bz-he-she, the next oldest Apa-guch-a-bn & the

youngest Na-am-west came to Montrose and enquired of the

deponent for the British Captain that talks with the Great Spirit

a Mormon took them across the River to Nauvoo about 10 oClock

A.M. & about 2 oClock P.M.  Jos Smith (the Prophet so called) sent a


request for the deponent to come to Nauvoo which the deponent

complied with.   when the deponent arrived at Smith’s, said

Chiefs were before Smith’s house surrounded by about one hundred

Mormons.  After the lapse of some minutes, Smith ordered the

deponent & Chiefs to appear before him in his room.  This was before

the deponent began the interpretations.  The house of Smith was

then closed and no one allowed to enter the room but Hiram Smith

Joe’s Brother & three other Mormons.  The Chiefs requested the deponent

to tell the British Capt (Joe Smith) that many of his men were

among them on Kanzas River and had told them that that great

white streak seen in the West two & a half moons past, signified

the great white prophet (Brittish Capt Joe Smith) that talked with

the Great Spirit and that he Ů Smith would tell them how to settle

all of the abuses of the Whites and how to get redress

for their wrongs.  The Chiefs then said that ten tribes

had already smoked the pipes of Peace & were then ready

to receive & obey his (Smith’s) orders.  The Chiefs also re-

quested Smith to send some of his [big] men home with

them.  They then showed Smith two Brittish medals to prove

to him that they were true friends as they said.  All the

reply that Smith made to them through the deponent was my hands

are tied by holding a Commission under the United State’s but he

said to them that he wished the ten tribes to stick closely together.

            Hiram Smith told the deponent to say to them that they should

not send any one with them but if brother Dunham was willing

to go with them he might go.  The next morning about sunrise

the Chiefs came back to Montrose, when this deponent asked

them when they would return to Nauvoo, they replied when

corn comes knee high.  The Chiefs earnestly requested this

deponent to keep their talk a secret & further the deponent

saith not.                     Signed  Emanuel Hitchcock

Sworn to & subscribed before me on this 27th day of July 1843

                                    Signed  J. A.Clark J. P.

The above is a true copy of the affidavit &with my knowledge of

those fanatics together with the fact of the return of those Chiefs

at the time specified and other circumstances.  Its

fully clear that there will be an attempt made on the frontier

of Missouri this very Fall.  I have read a letter from Capt

Allen of Fort Rackoon, some 250 miles up the Desmoines [sic] River

He states that there had been one or two hundred Pottawatto=

mies incamped in that vicinity & that the Sac & Fox Indians

had furnished them with some 80 or 100 horses, he says in

his letter that he does not apprehend any difficulty, but at the

same time he will be on the alert, always in readiness

and keep his eye closely on any whites that may

be passing.  It is not my wish to create any unnecessary

alarm but I do think that the inhabitants on the border of the

State should know what facts there are in the case, That the

Mormons have a fixed hatred against Missouri you are

well aware.  One of the principal articles of their creed 

is the destruction of Missouri.  No Mormon ever prayed

yet I expect without calling for the vengeance of

Heaven on Missourians.  Well I claim to be a Missourian and

glory in the name & I hope the Mormons will make their

intended invasion, then the extermination of them would take

place beyond a doubt, I said I was a Missourian, I am not

by birth but by adoption, I have resided in the State for several years

& intend being there shortly again, as soon at least as I finish closing

my business which will be in two or three months

            I now am offering to pay the reward for Smith that you

offered provided he is delivered to me in Clark Co Mo

five miles from this place.  There is nothing on earth would

give me more pleasure than to make my appearance at

Jefferson City with Joe in tow   However I have no hopes

of success as he keeps a body guard near him all the while

I send you a paper to day containing Hiram Smith’s Testimony

As given before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, at Smith’s last

exparte examination                Very Respectfully

                                                            Your Obdt Servt

                                                                        [L. B.] Fleak


1843. Augt


                        Keokuk I.T.)

                        Augt 4        ) Free. L.B. Fleak P.M.

His Excellency Gov Reynolds

Jefferson City

                        River Mail)                                     MO