Letter to Orson Spencer, dated July 8, 1847, at Mertyr Tydfil. (Vol 9:299,300)
Merthyr, July 8th, 1847
Dear brother Spencer,--Perhaps a short sketch of our Mormon comedies among the mountains here would not be uninteresting to read in your leisure hours, for we have a variety of them here just now.
Well, last Saturday week, while coming through a city of about 12,000 inhabitants, on my way home here, and having sent an advertisement before hand to some Saints who were living there, and who had the use of a hall to preach, they had placarded the town over so, that on my arrival about noon, the whole place appeared to be in as great an uproar as Mars Hill of old.
The first situation after my arrival, was an invitation from the Mayor to defend myself against charges. When I reached his worship, he was in a hasty stew, reading a long catalogue of charges which were at the head of a lengthy petition to banish us from the limits of the city; attached were the names of the clergy, rev. doctors, lawyers, and deacons, and, following, the names of their deluded followers. After a dozen attempts I succeeded in hearing my own voice, and proceeded to defend myself against their charges, one at a time. The first was Blasphemy. 2. Infidelity. 3. Saying that the end of the world was at hand, thereby scareing people out of their senses--taking them to a foreign country, and selling them as slaves, &c., &c., &c,. You'll be surprised to hear that the chief magistrate had been made to believe these lies so firm, that he had actually made his arrangements to put me in prison, which he told me to my face! But I had weathered too many storms to give up the ship so. But to make the story short, I reasoned there with him until he pledged himself to befriend me! that he would do all he could to procure me the lone of the hall, longer. He summoned the aldermen, and they, after a long confab, upset all my impressions. I had a broadside with each of them in turn, and none but some doctor or lawyer there returned the rally. However, thus I was alone amidst all the lions of the city, yet I was uppermost every turn, until it was after
midnight. Their clergy, my accusers, had refused to toe the mark. The last of the game was, an admission from the mayor "that they all had got up with their shirts wrong side out, and that captain Jones had proven Mormonism to be the 'Established Church' according to Paul's theory." For I had pinned them hard down upon the premises that "God has set some in his church," &c., and hence a church of God's establishing was the only established church. But the corporation voted against my having the hall, a great majority of them being sectarian deacons and priests. But how true it is that all things work together for good; this unparalleled and public persecution, after such a defence, drew us the almost universal sympathy of the city--ladies in particular. Law or not, I took French leave to defend the holy faith of Mormonism next morning, at ten, (being Sunday), in the public square; and I do believe that there were more hearers, and more attention too, than in any chapel lthere. When I cited them to the treatment which we received in our native land, and among the graves of our fathers, for our religion, there was hardly a dry face in the vast assenbly, even the sergeant of police who had presented, and big nobs who had signed the petiton, wept like babes. The mayor had ordered the police and preporters there, and they never were in a more suitable place of worship! At night, again I preached in the same place, and there was a larger concourse
of respectable people than they had witnessed together for a number of years, they said. I heard not a murmur against the principles; but doubtless some scores told me that they would obey if I would stay with them, and some gave in their names then. All the cry through the streets was, shame on the preachers foolishness of the enemy of truth. I had to come off to this conference, but expect daily to hear of a great draw of fishes there. All things are going on well here.
I am, your obedient and humble servant,