We got in an express this morning saying that there was some 900 troops on the way this side of Laramie & some 12 government Baggage trains.
Capt Van Vleit Came into the office & President Young had a good deal of Conversation with him. He said to him I do not want to fight the United States but if they drive us to it we shall do the best we can & I will tell you as God lives that we shall Come off Conquerer for we trust in God. ... But for the Government of the United States to array their armies against us it is to despicable & damnable for any honorable Nation & God will have them in derission for doing it. ...
We are the supporters of the United States Constitution & we love the Constitution & Laws of the United States But it is the Corrupt Administration of those Laws which we are suffering under & not the Laws. If the Laws had been Carried out in Missouri it would have hung Gov Boggs Between the heavens & the Earth and all his friends who was in the murdering & expelling the Saints from the states. They shot down the mormons whenever they could. ... / It will be so with the United States if they insist in whiping us they will get awfully whiped.
... I Carried a large Bowie knife with me and I said that any man that laid hands upon my Sholder and said Mr Young you are my prisioner I would send that man to hell across lots & I have said that all the time since and I say it now. I have broaken no law neither will I be taken by any United States officer to be killed as they have killed Joseph. ...
Capt Van Vleit said that I do not think that it is the intention of the Government to take you but to instill a New Governor in this Territory.
President Young said I Believe that you tell the truth that you believe this but you do not know their intention as well as I do.... The people have all the time accused [us] of Colleagueing with the Indians against the Government & they were much afraid that Joseph Smith would go among the Indians & they watched to keep him away from them. But now they have driven us into their midst and now I want you to watch the signs of the times & you will see that God will work against that Nations who are trying to destroy both the Indians & Mormons. The Government has become Corrupt & they are the ones who are breaking the Constitution of the United States & if it is ever saved it will be saved by the Mormons who are the Elders of Israel.
[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]
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