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 Iowa Tty July 12th 1842

His Excellency Gov Reynolds


                        Some months ago I took the liberty of troubling you

with a note, and I now again take the same liberty on the

same subject      Genl Bennet, late a  Mormon leader,  now

a dissenter goes to you as he tells me for the purpose of giving

information touching the attempted assassination of Ex Gov

Boggs  It is not doubted here in the least but that the

information which he intends to convey to you is literally

correct, i.e. that he knows who the person is that shot Boggs

and that he /Bennet/ can prove Smiths agency in the matter

sufficiently clear to satisfy any person of his participation in

the matter,  Bennet accuses a fellow by the name of Rock-

wood or Rockwell & from some circumstances, I suspected

him the very day the news  reached & I wrote the Post Master

of Independence Missouri for a description of the person who

was seen lurking around there about the time the affair took

place.  It is certain that immediately proceeding the news

reaching here of the attempted assassination Smith stated that

he had it revealed to him of God himself that Boggs would

not die in his bed  If he had not had some knowledge of

the contemplated murder, what grounds would he have had

for such remarks- None of us are willing to admit that

he holds communion with the Deity, without admitting it we

are compelled to believe him to be by proxy the authority of that

most foul deed.  Ever since he was compelled to leave your

State he has denounced the Citizens with heaviest imprecations

could Treason be made our words, in the United States, he has

certainly been guilty of treason toward Missouri but such is not the case

Nearly his whole conversation & thoughts are taken up by planning the

destruction of Missouri and unless checked depend upon it he

will some day and that before long give your State more trouble

than you are aware of or once think of.  If his society was composed

men of moral honesty you would know how to meet them, but a ma-

jority of them are renegades.  Now, Sir do not think this idle spec-

ulation for if you do you will be deceived, grossly deceived

            I know that the Mormons can never seriously affect Mis

souri but they will one day give her a great deal of trouble

A person unacquainted with them knows nothing of the reverential

awe with which they receive and obey Smith’s mandates or from

the mouths of a majority of them is constantly heard imprecations

against & plans for the destruction of your State.

            Smith’s word is law & his prophecies , revelation  among them

and could you attend one of their military parades (and you could

not miss one any day in the year (Sundays excepted) for their city is

constantly a military encampment) you would be satisfied that my

remarks are not groundless.

            Now sir, it is in your power to break up this horde of villainy

and murder by removing it’s head or leader,  Is not Smith a

refuge from your State?  And does not justice to her citizens require you

to demand from Illinois his immediate surrender?  Rest assured

your call would be recd   with loudest cheer from this quarter &

from the adjoining Counties on the opposite side of the Mississippi

            You can form no idea of the accession that is daily being made

to their members by the arrival of Foreigners & other pressonez  from differ=

ant parts of the United States all filled with hatred to Missouri

There are some good meaning persons among them I have no doubt,

but in large majority of them are villains of the darkest dyes

and an as enthusiastic as they are worthless

            I expect to be a citizen of Missouri shortly & would

be glad to see the vile traducers of your State & the black  assas=

sin of one of her ex Governers  brought to Justice.

                                                                            You will pardon

me for intruding myself on you a second time, I take a warmer

interest in this matter than I should do, perhaps-

            I am well known in St Louis & should you think proper

to make any enquiries respecting my standing I will refer you

to Mr O.D. Filley Mess Wm Clafflin & Co Messrs Crow

Tevis & McCreevy, Messers Smith Brothers & Co & A. G. Lentzes & Co

all merchants of fine standing in the city-  I wish the

above to be considered as confidential

                                                I am very Respectfully

                                                Your obdt servant

                                                   L.B.. Fleak  P.M.

                                                  at KeoKuK I. T.

L B.  Fleak

about the Mormons

L B  1842

His Excellency  Gov Reynolds

                            Jefferson City



                                                                               Montrose  May 14th  1842

To His Excely

Govsaner  Reynolds


                                            we have just recd via

St Louis information that Ex Gov Boggs

of your State was murdered in his own house

on the 9th inst & that suspicion was excite

-d that the awful deed had been committed

by a follower of the wretched imposter Joe


                        If it is true that Gov Boggs

has been murdered & that it is not satisfa-

-clarily Known who Committed the murder,

then I should not Entertain a doubt that

it was done by some of  Joe’s Minions at

his instigation.  He has sworn Vengeance pub-

-lickly against Gov Boggs ever Since he

Settled in this neighborhood. A friend of Mine

was present to day when the news was

made Known to Joe- he exclaimed in