W. Patten, letter to the editor, 13 June 1839. Quincy Whig (Quincy, Illinois) 2, no. 9 (29 June 1839).
JUNE, 13, 1839
Messrs. Editors: I saw your last number an article signed S. Rigdon, which appears so destitute of candor, of courtesy, and of decorum, that I confess my surprise at its appearance. But since it has appeared, having a personal knowledge of some of the matters to which he adverts, I deem it proper to reply, and inform the reader how far such an incoherent subterfuge can be palmed upon this community. For this purpose I ask for a place in your paper.
From the only construction I can put upon his writing, it seems that all who are opposed to Mormonism are “liars,” and their sayings “lies.” He has certainly mistaken the character of the western people, if he supposes he can force such a thing upon them for truth, merely by the repetition of his favorite phrase liars and lies. Suckers can swallow almost any digestable matter, but they never can swallow this, especially when they have opened their doors, replenished their tables, and welcomed the needy Mormons to the comforts of life. What, all are liars! merely because they cannot believe the absurdities of this new ism. Almost every person who comes under his notice is a desperado—no respect to either sex of whatever age, neither of the dead or the living. Such is the production of one of the head men of that sect who have cryed so loud for our piety and our hospitality.—However, we have only to refer to the article in order to see the oftened told maxim verified—thief cries thief in the chase.
I am told that Rigdon claims to have a mission direct from God, with special powers to preach special and new revelations, for the special purpose of bringing mankind to imbibe the meek and placid doctrines of the gospel, and to usher in the millenium. These powers they identify with those that were bestowed on the prophets and the apostles. Placing himself high above the clergy of all other sects in point of sanctity. Now, I ask the candid reader to compare the logic, the sentiment, and the spirit of the article with that of the gospel, and he will find that it gives the lie to Rigdon’s pretence to a preacher of righteousness. Moreover, it evinces the strongest presumptive evidence that he is guilty of the crime with which he is charged. In addition to the presumptive evidence, we have proof of the positive kind, showing that he is void of moral honesty. With all of his precaution to keep back the date of his residence at Pittsburgh, he does not reach the end of his introductory paragraph, before he betrays himself and tells a palpable falsehood, which is manifest to every reader.
He says “for if her testimony is to be credited, her pious husband in his life time, wrote a bundle of lies for the righteous purpose of getting money.” Now hear “her testimony”: his “sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbors.” Gentlemen, what does such a perversion of truth show? Does it show him to be dishonest? Does is show that he lied about her testimony? Most assuredly. Yes, Rigdon lied.— What a Saint!
Can Rigdon tell when and from what Methodist society, Hulburt was ‘excluded for immoralities”; when and who has called him an “eminent physician”; when, where, and to whom was he married? If he can answer these questions, perhaps we may think different about his vulgar story of the old deacon and the five dollar bank note. More anon.