Sidney Rigdon to Oliver Cowdery. Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate (Kirtland,Ohio) 2, no. 9 (June 1836): 334–35.
Br. O. Cowdery:
Sir—I have just received the desperate information, that Simons Rider, in consequence of the notice which I have taken of him, is going to prosecute me; and I greatly desire, through the medium of your paper, to plead with him for quarters. For O! I do not want to be sued for the terrible crime of telling the truth about a man.
I know that the truth is a tight fit upon Simons, and I think it is likely that it hurts him some too; as no chastisement for the present is joyous but grievos, nevertheless afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who are exercised therewith. And could Simons avoid sueing me, for a little season, perhaps it might have that effect upon him. O Simons! do not sue me if you can any way avoid it!
But if Simons cannot in his patience possess his soul, I think I can put him on a better scheme to ally his feelings, and I think gratify them perhaps more.
I have an old uncle in the state of Maryland, that was never married, and he possesses a large property. I would say to him, get his brother Adamson Bentley (for he is an animal of his own kidney) and go there; he is now about eighty years of age, & of course it is will-making time, and about the right age for Bentley to prevail on him to make a will that will disinherit a monstrous heretic. I think it is probable there will be no difficulty in engaging Bentley in his service; seeing he has been so successful in his former attempt with old Mr. Brooks, my wife’s father, and got his own wife so-well fattened on other people’s property.—He can, no doubt, be engaged again for the same service. Besure my uncle is not a Campbellite in religion, but a regular Baptist; but that will not make any difference; for Bentley can become all things to all men, that he may gain some.
This course I think may satisfy Simons until his chastisement works out the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and I will escape being sued; and if my family should lose a few thousand dollars, if Bentley’s wife only gets it, it is as well; it is all in the family.
Simons would do well also to say to his brother Darwin Atwater, as he has a great deal of labor to carry about and read Howe’s book, that he can be favored with the history of old Clapp, his wife’s father, to carry with him; so that he can show the people Campbellism unveiled also.
Yours in great haste, and you may well think, not without some anxiety too.