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Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois

Misc. Peoria Newspapers
1838-42 Articles

An Early View of Peoria, with the Illinois River in foreground (c. 1831)

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misc. Ill. papers   |  Alton Telegraph   |  Sangamo Journal
Quincy papers   |  Warsaw Signal   |  Nauvoo Wasp, etc.
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Vol. II.                               Friday, September 15, 1838.                               No. 24.


"A few days since I witnessed the emigration of 95 families, consisting of near 600 souls, gathered from different parts, going to the extreme west of Missouri. They call themselves "Latter Day Saints," commonly called Mormons. This latter name they do not acknowledge, but say it is only a 'nick name.' They travel in wagons, and make about 15 miles a day, and expect to be 12 weeks upon their journey; they encamp at night and pitch their tents in the form of a hollow square, in which they perform their cooking and other necessary duties, their wagons and horses being ranged on the outside; they also place sentinels at different posts around the camp, as in military encampments.

"I made some inquiries of one of their members respecting their leader, whether he was an educated man, a man of superior talents. He said he was of like passions with ourselves, and out of his place no more than any other ordinary man. I asked if he pretended to more sanctity than others of their denomination; he replied no, not much. And yet he believed that the mantle had fallen on Joe, and that he was gifted with the spirit of prophecy, and could reveal things hidden in the womb of futurity. He informed us that two of their prophets had visited England about a year since, and that they have about 2000 converts there now. If they go on this way, I think Joe bids fair to rival Mahomet." -- Correspondent of the Phila. Focus.

Note: This Philadelphia Focus article was also reprinted by the Illinois Quincy Whig, in its issue of Sept. 22, 1838.


Vol. II.                               Friday, October 6, 1838.                               No. 27.


It appears from the following article for which we are indebted to the last number of the Western Star published at Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri -- that serious difficulties have arisen between the people of Daviess County and the Mormons, which may result in a civil war: and as the latter are very determined, and receiving frequent reinforcements from other parts of the country, it seems probable that they will not be easily reduced to submission. We know little or nothing of the origin of differences beyond what is given in the Star. --  Alton Telegraph.


(read Alton reprint of article)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               Friday, October 13, 1838.                               No. 28.

The Mormon War.

This war which has kept a large portion of our citizens in excitement for the last thirty days, is now at an end in everything, except paying the piper, which the people have yet to do

The war it isestimated will cost the state at least fifty or sixty thousand dollars. We are told that the whole was easily aranged by General Atchison, in the following manner. General A., who by the way has the confidence of the Mormons to a very great degree, and is deserving of general respect, with about two hundred select men, in the character of conservatives of the peace, repaired to Far West, where he held a conference with the leading Mormons, and was assured by them that every disposition was entertained on their part to abide by the laws. They stated their willingness to submit to the judicial decisions of the county, and claimed nothing but the protection of the law. A full investigation of General A. of the whole matter, satisfied him that the Mormons were the injured party, and that the statement of Justice Black and others, of the Mormons' threats and attempts to force persons to sign a paper and swear allegiance to Jo Smith were entirely false and groundless. General A. easily succeeded after learning the whole facts, in restoring oeace and quiet to the county and in dispersing all the armed forces in the neighborhood.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               Friday, November 10, 1838.                               No. 32.


It seems by the following, which we extract from the Missourian, and confirmed by the St. Louis papers, that the disturbances between the Mormons and other citizens of Caldwell and Daviess counties, Mo., has terminated in a civil war -- a state of things brought about by persecution and intolerance on the one hand and fanaticism on the other:

(view original article from Missouri paper)

Mormon Emigration.

The Far West of the 24th Oct. states that a gentleman received a letter a few days since from Springfield, Ills., stating that 500 emigrating Mormons had recently passed through that place on their way to Daviess and Caldwell counties, and bought up all the powder and ammunition to be had. -- West. Emigrant.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               Friday, November 17, 1838.                               No. 33.


The account of a bloody butchery of thirty-two Mormons, in Splowns Creek, is fully confirmed. Two children were killed, we presume by accident, considerable plunder -- such as beds, hats, &c., were taken from the slaughtered. -- Not one of the assailants was killed or hurt.

About the time of the surrender, several Mormon houses were burnt in Chariton; and one Mormon who refused to leave, killed.

At Far West, after the surrender, a Mormon had his brains dashed out, by a man who accused the Mormons of burning his house in Daviess.

On Monday next, commence the sale of public lands, in Davis county. -- Eve. Gaz. St. Louis, Nov. 10.


(view original article from Missouri paper)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                               Friday, November 24, 1838.                               No. 34.


(view original article from Missouri paper)

In addition to the foregoing, which appeared in the Republican of this morning, [copied from Nov. 17th MO paper] we cut from the Far West, the following statement without pretending to vouch for its authenticity.

A Doctor Avord, who was high in the favor of the church, has, since the surrender of the Mormons, made some awful disclosures, of relation to their high-handed proceedings, and their contemplated designs [-----] against the upper country. Among many other things, they had associated themselves into three different societies, called Danites, Gideonites and the destroying angels, -- composed of about 150 men all together. The object of the band was to carry out on a regular and systematic course of robbery and murder, and swear out suits against all dissenters from the church, and others under false pretences, of debts and claims against them, the proceeds of which were to be placed in a general fund -- for the benefit of the church. We are now in possession of facts sufficient to give the details of this unholy combination. No man doubts but there are among the Mormons many honest and innocent men, who joined them through virtuous and pure motives, and whenever these facts can be ascertained by their actions, they should not be disturbed.

The Columbia Patriot furnishes the following:

Bands of men are said to be ranging through that part of the country inhabited by Mormons, and killing, without regard to age or sex, every one of these unfortunate creatures that they meet. A mangled victim has succeeded in making his way to Huntsville, where were the first Samaritans that could be found to take compassion on his wounds. In all parts of the country are scattered Mormons fleeing for their lives. An intelligent and worthy gentlemen who has been in that section and just returned, gives it as his conviction that many Mormon women and children are not only famishing with hunger, but perishing with cold -- they have fled from their houses to avoid a more instantaneous fate! But we forbear further details. Thus much we have given, because we considered it a duty imposed on us by our station to do so, and not from any desire to trumpet that which will every where carry with it the evidence of disgrace to our state, and infamy upon the character of our citizens.

Note: Neither the Far West nor the Columbia Patriot files remain extant for this period in Missouri's past. Their articles, presenting valuable information on the 1838 "Mormon War," are known only from reprints in other papers, such as the Peoria Register.


Vol. 3.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  June 15?, 1839.                 No. 11.


The Boston Recorder of last week contains the following singular development of the origin and history of the Mormon Bible. It accounts most satisfactorily for the existence of the book , a fact which heretofore it has been difficult to explain. It was difficult to imagine how a work, containing so many indications of being the production of a cultivated mind, should be connected with a knavery so impudent, and a superstition so gross, as that which must have characterized the founders of this pretended religious sect. The present narrative, which, independently of the attestations annexed, appears to be by no means improbable, was procured from the writer by the Rev. Mr. Stow, of Holliston, who remarks that he has "had occasion to come in contact with Mormonism in its grossest forms." It was communicated by him for publication in the Recorder.

"Origin of the 'Book of Mormon,' or 'Golden Bible.'" -- As this book has excited much attention, and has been put by a certain new sect, in the place of the sacred scriptures, I deem it a duty which I owe to the public, to state what I know touching its origin. That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded, needs no proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions. That any sane person should rank it higher than any other merely human composition, is a matter of the greatest astonishment; yet it is received as divine by some who dwell in enlightened New England, and even by those who have sustained the character of devoted Christians. Learning recently that Mormonism had found its way into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some of its members with its gross delusions, so that excommunication has become necessary, I am determined to delay no longer doing what I can to strip the mask from this monster of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.

Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage, he resided in Cherry Valley, N.Y. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio; sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated upon Conneaut creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem, there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers, and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man, and passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity of course would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit, occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and, assumed the title of "Manuscript Found." The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. S. progressed in decyphering the manuscript, and when he had sufficient portion prepared he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with this work and repeatedly heard the whole of it read.

From New Salem, we removed to Pittsburgh, Pa. Here Mr. S. found an acquaintance and friend, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. P. who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time, and informed Mr. S. that if he would make out a title page and preface, he would publish it and it might be a source of profit. This Mr. S. refused to do, for reasons which I cannot now state. Sidney Rigdon, (one of the leaders and founders of the sect,) who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at this time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where Mr. S. deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. McKenstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside, and by other friends. After the "Book of Mormon" came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's residence, and the place where the "Manuscript Found" was written. A woman preacher appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the "Book of Mormon." The historical part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants, as the identical work of Mr. S., in which they had been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, who is an eminently pious man, and recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted, that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he arose on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his deep sorrow and regret, that the writings of his sainted brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. -- The excitement in New Salem became so great, that the inhabitants had a meeting and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all of whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided in New Salem.

I am sure that nothing could grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which have been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition, doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purposes of delusion. Thus an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics, as divine. -- I have given the previous brief narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation, and its author exposed to the contempt and execration he so justly deserves.

MATILDA DAVISON.            

Rev. Solomon Spaulding was the first husband of the narrator of the above history. Since his decease, she has been married to a second husband by the name of Davison. She is now residing in this place; is a woman of irreproachable character, and an humble Christian, and her testimony is worthy of implicit confidence.   A. ELY, D. D.
            Pastor Cong. Church, in Monson.
                  D. R. AUSTIN,
            Principal of Monson Academy.
     Monson, Mass., April 1, 1839.

Note: The date for this reprinted article in the Register may be off by one week; its clipping bears no day or month, but it evidently appeared in the paper prior to June 29th.


Vol. 3.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  June 29, 1839.                 No. 13.

Origin of the book of Mormon.

Mr. Davis -- knowing that it is the wish of every honest and candid person to hear both sides of a question before they come to a conclusion, I believe it necessary to notice to the public a few of the errors contained in a publication signed Matilda Davis. [sic]

First. It says: "As this book has excited much attention, and has been put, by a certain new sect, in place of the sacred scriptures." This would mean as much as if they laid the Bible and Testament entirely aside; for before we can put anything in the place of another, we must remove the former. This I can testify to be a false statement and so can any honest person acquainted with their preaching; for there are no people of any denomination whatever that put more belief in the Bible and Testament, and the fulfillment of the writings of the prophets and apostles.

Second. We must recollect as we go along, that Mr. Spaulding is styled a minister of the gospel as he is called Rev. Solomon Spaulding; yet he scrupled not to write a romance. "It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nations, and to have been recovered from the earth, and assumed the title of 'Manuscript Found.'" Thus it appears that he was willfully deceiving his neighbors, as they "would often inquire how Mr. S. progressed in decyphering the manuscript, and when he had a sufficient portion prepared he would inform them and they would assemble to hear it read."

Third. A woman preacher appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the Book of Mormon. This is the first woman preacher that I have heard of belonging to the church of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons as they are generally called; for they do not authorize women to preach in their churches. They believe in the writings of the Apostle Paul on this subject (see 1st Cor. Chap. XIV, ver. 34, 35), as I have been personally acquainted with their preaching for the last seven years. In the meeting of the Woman's Mr. S. is called a saint by his brother, which is the first saint I believe that we have any account of ever writing a romance. The public can read the different publications about Mr. S's manuscript and see how they agree. One says the printer in Pittsburgh offered to publish it and make it a source of profit, which Mr. S. refused. Another writer says that Mr. S. wrote it for the purpose of profit, but was unable to raise the funds to publish it. As to the Mormon Bible and Golden Bible, they have no books bearing such titles.

The following is a testimony of P. P. Pratt, an elder in the church of Latter Day Saints, published by himself in the city of New York sometime since:

But that ridiculous story concerning S. Spaulding's 'Manuscript Found' converted by Sidney Rigdon to the "Book of Mormon, [is] without a shadow of truth. And many are as willing to believe this as the Jews were, that the disciples had come and stolen the body of Jesus, in order to palm a deception upon that age. But for the sake of the honest in heart, who love the truth, I here offer my Testimony on this subject; as I was a personal actor in the scenes which brought S. Rigdon into an acquaintance with the Book of Mormon, and into connection with the Church of Latter Day Saints.

About A. D. 1827, Messrs. A. Campbell, W. Scott, and S. Rigdon, with some others residing in Virginia, Ohio, came off from the Baptist[s] and established an order under the name of Reformed Baptists, or Disciples; and they were termed by their enemies, Campbellites, Ridgonites, etc. This reformation, as to its doctrine consisted principally of the baptism of repentance, for remission of sins, etc. and Mr. Rigdon, in particular, held to a literal fulfilment and application of the written word; and by this means he was an instrument to turn many from the false notions of sectarian tradition to an understanding of the prophecies touching the great restoration of Israel and the mighty revolutions of the last days. Many hundred disciples were gathered by his ministry throughout the lake country of Ohio; and many other preachers stood in connection with him in those principles. I was then pursuing an agricultural life, but being a member of the Baptist Church and a lover of truth, I became acquainted with Mr. Rigdon, and a believer in and a teacher of the same doctrine. After proclaiming these principles in my own neighbourhood and adjoining country, I at length took a journey to the state of New York, partly on a visit to Columbia, Co., N. Y., my native place, and partly for the purpose of ministering the word. This journey was undertaken in August, 1830. I had no sooner reached Ontario Co. N. Y., than I came in contact with the Book of Mormon; Which had then been published about six months, and had gathered about fifty disciples, which were all that then constituted the church of Latter Day Saints. I was greatly prejudiced against the book; but remembering the caution of Paul, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good;" I sat down to read it; and after carefully comparing it with other scriptures and praying to God, he gave me the knowledge of its truth by the power of the Holy Ghost. And what was I, that I should withstand God. I accordingly obeyed the ordinances, and was commissioned by revelation and the laying on of hands to preach the fullness of the gospel. Then after finishing my visit to Columbia county, I returned to the brethren in Ontario Co., where for the first time I saw Joseph Smith Jr. who had just returned from Pennsylvania, to his father's house in Manchester; about the 15th of Oct. 1830 I took my journey, in company with Elder Cowdery, and Peter Whitmer to Ohio. We called on Elder S. Rigdon, and then for the first time his eyes beheld the Book of Mormon. I myself had the happiness to present it to him in person. He was much surprised and it was with much persuasion and argument that he was prevailed on to read it; and after he read it he had a great struggle of mind before he fully believed and embraced it. And when finally convinced of its truth, he called together a large congregation of his friends, neighbours and brethren and then addressed them very affectionately for near two hours, during most of the time both himself and nearly all the congregation were melted into tears. He asked forgiveness of every body who might have had occasion to be offended with any part of his former life. He forgave all who had persecuted or injured him in any manner; and next morning, himself and wife, were baptized by Elder Cowdery. I was present. It was a solemn scene: most of the people were greatly affected; they came out of the water overwhelmed in tears. Many others were baptized by us, in that vicinity, insomuch, that during the fall of 1830, and the following winter and spring, the number of disciples were increased to about one thousand. The Holy Ghost was poured out, and the word of God grew and multiplied.

Early in 1831, Mr. Rigdon having been ordained, under our hands, visited elder J. Smith, Jr., in the state of N. Y. for the first time; and from that time forth, rumor began to circulate that he (Rigdon) was the author of the book of Mormon. The Spaulding story never was dreamed of until several years afterwards, when it appeared in 'Mormonism Unveiled,' a base forgery, by D. P. Hulbert and others of similar character, who had long strove to account for the book of Mormon in some other way beside the truth. Now I testify, that the forgers of the Spaulding story concerning S. Rigdon and others are of the same description as those who forged the story against the disciples of old accusing them of stealing the body of Jesus, etc. And in that day when the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest, then shall they know that these things and many others were base falsehoods, put in circulation by the devil and his servants, and that the book of Mormon is a record of Eternal truth, which speaks from the dust or from the dead, bearing record of the gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer, reproving the sins of the world and warning them of the things which must shortly come to pass. Therefore, repent, all ye ends of the earth and be baptized for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and signs shall follow those that believe; and this gospel of the kingdom shall first be preached among all nations and then shall the son of man come.

                  B. D.
              Tazewell County, Ill., Jn. 22, 1839.

Note: Tazewell County, Illinois resident Benjamin Dobson (1799-1876) was baptized a Mormon on Dec. 28, 1836 by Elder Harvey Green, -- see Saints' Herald Jan. 1877, p. 15; Peroria Register April 17, 1840; Times and Seasons Vol.2, No.24, (Oct. 1, 1841) p.581, etc. for other communications identifying "B. D." as Elder Benjamin Dobson.


Vol. III.                      Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  July 27, 1839.                    No. 17.

The Mormons.

Correspondence of the Register and Gazetteer.

Quincy, June 16, 1839.    
Mr. Editor:

Dear Sir: It is precisely 9 o'clock P. M. and I find myself snugly stowed away in no. 77 in the fourth story of Quincy House, of which I may have occasion to speak in my next letter; but suffice it for the present to speak of the day's adventures. However, not being able with Irving to manufacture a good story out of every flock of sheep or heard of swine I meet, I will pass by the particulars of my day's journey, not even stopping to describe the village of Clayton at which I breakfasted, nor the color of the lady's eyes or the number of her children, and come at once into the flourishing village of Columbus. This town stands on an uneven prairie of a fertile healthy appearance, 16 miles from Quincy, 12 from Clayton, and 24 from Mount Sterling, so that when I arrived here I had ridden 24 miles. My horse was warm and tired and so was I, but being anxious to get to the end of my days journey, I intended not to halt, but before I had fully entered the town my attention was drawn to a mass of human beings, who were all moving in the direction of a frame house which stands in the suburbs, and many of the men were carrying on their shoulders benches, planks and chairs. My curiosity being a little excited, I rode up to a house and inquired the cause of all this, and was informed that it was a Mormon meeting; that the preacher was appointed to preach in a school house, but the congregation was so great that they could not all get in, whereupon permission had been given him to preach in the meeting house, and it not being well provided with seats, the benches, &c. belonging to the school house were taken along to accomodate the multitude.

On being informed, I wheeled my horse round and in a few minutes I was in the midst of the "Latter Day Saints." The good people were singing a hymn as other good Christians are wont to do, to keep the first people quiet while the last of them were coming in. Then another hymn was sung, after which a prayer was made, and a very good Christian prayer I adjudged it to be. The preacher prayed feverently that his people might be blest with meekness, patience, and Christian fortitude to enable them to bear, as did the children of God of old, the manifold persecutions that were permitted to come upon them. After the prayer another hymn was sung, and then a text was taken and a sermon was preached, -- just such a sermon "for all the world" as you might hear from one of our Methodist or Cumberland brethren, with this remarkable difference, that instead of proving from the old testament the truth of the new, the burden of his argument was to prove from both the old and the new testaments the truth of the Book of Mormon.

This being over, a sort of irregular skirmish ensued between the Mormon preacher and others. Short speeches were made against the Mormons and replied to. Diverse questions were propounded respecting the Book of Mormon, the gift of miracles, &c. which I thought not well answered. In return these divers questions were propounded to querists, which I thought equally puzzling, and no better answered. After the meeting was over I had a conversation with several of these people, and heard them converse with others; and being in the habit of scrutinizing human conduct, I watched them closely, and am of opinion that, though woefully deluded, they are an ignorant, honest, and if let alone, would be innocent people. As for the preacher, whose name I understand was Groves, I strongly suspect his sincerity; for although in his sermon he got along very well and seemed to believe what he said, yet when he came to be interrupted respecting his belief, the crimson appeared in his cheeks, and I conceited that an indescribable something in his countenance contradicted his words.

The Mormons profess to be pilgrims and not permanently settled in our state. When they were banished from Missouri, many of them scattered through the western parts of Illinois; and wherever they can obtain employment they are laboring to support their families.

What blinded mortals we are! How little do we profit by experience! The history of the human race teaches that the absurdity of an opinion in theology is no guaranty against its being believed; that the majority of mankind act not from reason, but from impulse and passion; that symphany is the direct avenue to the heart; and that in all ages any impostor who could procure himself to be persecuted would enlist the sympathy of the multitude, and make disciples to any foolish dogmas he might think proper to teach. And yet, in the face of these facts, the people of the United States have blindly persecuted these people wherever they have attempted to settle, and thereby given them a degree of consequence which neither they nor their ridiculous story about lost tribes is entitled to.

If they had been let alone and treated with the silent contempt they merited, who cannot see that before now Joseph Smith would have been as contemptable a personage as Jemima Wilkinson or the notorious Matthais? But now the Mormons, through persecution, have grown obstinate and deaf to the voice of reason, and in my opinion they will persevere with a zeal worthy a better cause until they become a powerful sect. That my views are correct, when I say that persecution has given them all their consequence, it is only necessary to look into the Book of Mormon. Whether the writer was Smith, Rigdon, Spaulding, or some one else, it is manifest it was not the writer's intention, that it should be a foundation of a sect, for there is not allusion to any thing of the kind [in] it. It only professes to be history of a part of the Israelites who at an early period peopled this continent. Now if this history can be addressed to the judgment and not to the passions, how could it be the pretext of raising a sect, much less of arraying one part of the community against the other? Leave people to act free from excitement, and few would ever believe in it; and if any body did, no body would care, for ut cannot be of any consequence whether a man believes that the American Indians descended from the Israelites, the Syrians, or some other race. As well might I say the romance called "Travels before the Flood" was fact, and found a sect of that opinion. In conclusion, I would remark that two facts are manifest from the Book of Mormon. One is that it was written by a New-Englander, because it contains certain New-England expressions which belong to the English language, and which none but new-England people use. Secondly that the writer read the romance before alluded to, and borrowed some of his ideas from there.      B.

Note: The above letter was eevidently written by Peoria attorney, historian and land speculator, Charles Ballance. According to local historian Patricia L. Goitien, Mr. Ballance was raised in the Shaker community of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, where his parents were founding members of the settlement.


Vol. III.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  August 17, 1839.                 No. 20.


Since the dispersion of these people in Missouri last fall, they have settled in small groups in various parts of Iowa and Wisconsin territories; and some have renounced the faith and returned to their firmer homes and friends in other states.

We learn that their leaders have recently purchased a large interest in the town of Commerce on the Mississippi river, in Hancock County, Illinois, where they are now settling. It is stated that they will shortly commence at that place the publication of a newspaper, devoted to their interests and the dissemination of their principles.

One of their preachers has recently visited Cincinnati, as we learn from the News of that city, where he was received with respect by some of the citizens. He addressed a public meeting, in which he made a full statement of their sufferings in Missouri. Of course he exhibited the subject to the audience in such a light as to produce much sympathy and deep feeling in behalf of his brethren. Hon. Thomas Morris, who has recently traveled in the northern part of this state, where the Mormons are now locating, was present at the meeting, and gave his opinion that the statement of the speaker was substantially correct. Resolutions were passed by the meeting recommending the speaker to the favorable notice of the charitable, in obtaining donations for the benefit of his persecuted brethren.

The persecution of the Mormons has produced a sympathy in their behalf, and gained for them respect and confidence, which they never could have obtained in any other way. Indeed, such has been the effect of persecution every where and in all ages. The persecuted gain access to the feeling and confidence of many, not on account of their opinions, but because their rights are invaded, and their lives and property sacrificed. -- Chester Advocate.

Note: The source for the original article has yet to be loacted -- possibly it came from the West Chester, Pennsylvania, National Republican Advocate.


Vol. 3.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  November 2, 1839.                 No. 31.


A spirited meeting was held in New-York for the relief of this unfortunate and persecuted sect. Mr. Green, deputed by his people to make known their cause, and introduced by a letter of credit signed by governor Carlin, senator Young, and other residents of this state, addressed the meeting. The result was a contribution on the spot of over fifty dollars, and the appointment of a committee to obtain subscriptions in aid of the women and children of the Mormons -- to be applied, after due investigation, by the committee themselves. The narrative of these unfortunate people is full of interest. They first settled in the state of Missouri -- after a series of cruel persecutions were expelled by force from the state, and obliged to surrender, without compensation, the lands and houses which they acquired by their own money or built with their own hands. In the year 1831 about a hundred families of the "Latter Day Saints" came from some of the eastern states and settled in Jackson county, Missouri. They purchased land, erected houses, and cultivated the soil for a livelihood, and maintained a peaceable relation with the other inhabitants of the county. In the year 1833, on the 20th of July, an armed mob of three or four hundred were assembled at Independence, in that county. They appointed a delegation to wait upon the "Latter Day Saints" and inform them that they must leave the country without delay. In consequence of their refusal to go, a two story brick building, which cost seven or eight hundred dollars, occupied as a dwelling and printing office, was attacked, the women and children roughly cast from the premises, the type thrown promiscuously together or into pi, the press broken, and the building torn down -- the publisher of the paper violently dragged into the public square, and together with another individual, stripped tarred and feathered. Four days after the mob again assembled and its force had increased to seven or eight hundred men. About nine o'clock they came marching along, bearing a blood red flag in token of their unmerciful designs. They were all armed with guns, bayonets or clubs. The violently took several leaders into custody, and drove them to the public square, where they were stripped, tarred and feathered. Mr. Pitcher the commanding officer, then called a dozen of his men, ordered them to cock their pieces, present them at the prisoner's hearts, and fire at his command. He then addressed the prisoners, and told them that if they would adjure the Book of Mormon and acknowledge it as an imposture, they should be set at liberty -- if not they should die. But they declared themselves willing to lay [down] their lives rather than thus to pronounce a lie what they believed true. They were afterwards, however, set at liberty upon entering into a written agreement that one-half of the society should leave the country by the first of January, and the other half by the first of April ensuing. All, after this, was quiet until in the succeeding October, the mob, believing that the Mormons would not remove in accordance with their stipulations, again commenced their persecutions. They burned their houses, destroyed their property, and sent negroes to abuse their helpless women. Such treatment roused up a part of the sufferers to arms -- about 33 in number met with a mob of 70 persons, and a battle ensued -- which resulted in the death of one Mormon, two or three of their antagonists, and the wounding of several. This movement aroused the whole country, and in two or three days the number amounted to seven or eight hundred -- under the command of lieutenant governor Boggs. A treaty was entered into between some of the principle men of the Mormons in the one part, and Governor Boggs and Mr. Pitcher on the other, and in pursuance of its stipulations, the Mormons gave up their arms on the assurance that they should be protected from molestation, and should be allowed to remain peaceably in their possessions, until the stipulated time of removal in January and April. The next day after this covenant, the mob, then composed of three or four hundred persons, was divided into bands and proceeded at attack their three settlements, situated from ten to twenty miles apart. They drove the people from their homes, and that too during the most inclement season of the year, on the 13th of November. Two hundred and forty houses were burned or destroyed and the inhabitants driven into the forest on the prairie to seek for shelter. Before noon the next day after their flight, their course could be traced by blood from their feet. The whole number of persons who were expelled from Jackson County amounted to about 1200. After suffering great hardships, they crossed the Missouri into Clay county, where the people hospitably gave them a shelter for the winter. They petitioned that a county should be set apart for them by the Missouri legislature. It was done, and they commenced purchasing the preemption rights for the land. They built themselves houses, tilled and improved the land, and pursued their peaceful avocations until the August of 1838.

At the state election that year, at Gallatin, in Davis county, they were assailed by one of the candidates for the legislature in a stump speech -- calling them a band of robbers, unworthy of the privilege of voting and said that they should not vote in that county. This excited the anger of the Mormons, and one of them, remarking that the speaker had told a falsehood, as he should vote, was struck with a club, and with another person who interfered, terribly beaten. A general engagement ensued with stones, clubs and dirks. A concession was again effected and peace restored. But a mob soon again assembled and declared that the Mormons should not remain in the county. They petitioned the governor of the state for assistance, which was refused, except on condition that they should leave the state, declaring if they did not, they would be massacred. They were thus cast upon the world without the means of a comfortable subsistence, and suffering greatly. A number of Mormons, -- about 30 families -- emigrating to join them, were living at Harris's Mills, on Shoal Creek, about twenty miles from Far West. In violation of an agreement between the Mormons and the mob, that neither party should disturb the other, they were again attacked. One of the Mormons swinging his hat cried for peace, which was answered by the discharge of a rifle at him. The Mormons fled to a blacksmith's shop. They were pursued and were deliberately shot at through the interstices of the logs. Eighteen persons were killed and a number of others severely wounded. Among others who took shelter in the shop were two boys, who concealed themselves under the bellows. They were found and one of them had the top of his head blown off with a rifle while begging for mercy. The other boy was shot through the hip, and only saved his life by pretending he was dead. The Mormons afterwards removed to Quincy, in this state, where they were relieved as far as the people could afford.

Is not the detail of their sufferings disgraceful to the American people?
            [Benjamin Dobson ?]

Note: Although unsigned, the above letter bears all the indications of having been a communication from Elder Benjamin Dobson of Tazewell Co., Illinois. Elder Dobson submitted a number of letters for publication in the Register during this period.


Vol. IV.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  April 17, 1840.                 No. 4.


It is known that these people, since their dispersion in Missouri, have collected in great numbers in and around Commerce, in this state, on the Mississippi river. The name of Commerce, as we have heretofore stated, they have changed to Nauvoo, from the Hebrew or Egyptian, though of the signification of the term we are ignorant. They hold two great conferences every year, -- in the spring and fall, and that appointed for the present spring took place last week, commencing on the 6th and ending on the 9th inst. We learn that between 2000 and 3000 persons were present, and that considerable accessions were made to the church from the surrounding neighborhood. Our informant states that the number was 74, all received by baptism, and that at the same time thirty of the ablest men were ordained to preach the gospel.

The preachers present were Joseph and Hiram Smith, John Page, Orson Hyde and two others. Messrs. Page and Hyde, with ten others, (probably chosen elsewhere,) were commissioned to go to the Holy Land to preach the gospel to the Jews. They are to meet in Quincy next Sabbath, and from there take their departure for Palestine.

About 300 houses have been put up in Nauvoo since last October. Some of these are neat frame buildings, but the greater portion are log cabins designer for temporary habitations merely. The ground assigned to each is generally one acre, though to some there are five acres.

The increase of population by immigration is very great. Our informant states that several families arrive every day. A gentleman living on the road from Quincy to Nauvoo assured him that on some days at least 15 families passed his house, all bound to the latter place.


The public have been advised that a deputation from the Mormons in this state, consisting of the prophet Joseph Smith, with Messrs. Rigdon and Higbee, proceeded to Washington early in the winter, for the purpose of presenting a memorial to congress touching their troubles in Missouri, and obtaining, if possible, the favor of the president therein. Mr. Smith returned about the first of March, without having accomplished any thing. On Monday week, (the 6th inst.) the great semi-annual conference of this sect commenced at Nauvoo, and continued four days. On the first day Mr. S, took occasion to give to the assembled multitude, consisting of about 3000 persons, a detailed account of his mission, which was related with great clearness, and heard with deep interest. He said that soon after reaching Washington, he called on Mr. Van Buren, and asked permission to leave with him the memorial with which he had been entrusted, at the same time briefly stating its contents. Mr. Van Buren's manner was very repulsive, and it was only after his (Smith's) urgent request that he consented to receive the paper and to give an answer on the morrow. The next day Smith again called, when Mr. Van Buren cut short the interview by saying, "I can do nothing for you, gentlemen. If I were you, I should go against the whole state of Missouri, and that state would go against me in the next election." Mr. Smith said he was thunderstruck at this avowel. He had always believed Mr. Van Buren to be a high-minded statesman, and had uniformly supported him as such; but he now saw that he was only a huckstering politician, who would sacrifice any and every thing to promote his re-election. He left him abruptly, and rejoiced when without the walls of the palace, that he could once more breathe the air of a freeman.

The effect of this statement has been to turn the Mormons, almost to a man, against Mr. Van Buren, and to make them equally as unanimous for Gen. Harrison. Of the vast multitude who were present at Nauvoo, our informant assures us very few will vote for Mr. V. B. Some of those who have been hitherto the most prejudiced in his favor, declare they will not vote at all, but the others will go generally for the incorruptible farmer of North Bend -- the man of stern and inflexible justice -- the poor man's friend.

If any of our readers are inclined to question the accuracy of these statements, we are permitted to give the name of Mr. William Thompson, a Mormon of this county, as our authority. He was present throughout the conference, and vouches for the accuracy of Mr. Smith's remarks in substance, as well as their effect upon the Mormons. (While putting this paragraph in type yesterday, Mr. Benjamin Dobson, a Mormon of Taswell county, who was also at the conference, stepped into the office, and on our reading to him the foregoing he confirmed it, and authorized us to give his name as additional voucher.)

We feel bound to say, however, that we are somewhat incredulous as to Mr. Van Buren's making the avowel attributed to him, as it is not in accordance with his non-committal character. We do not doubt that he was unwilling to favor the claim of the Mormons, for the very reason which he is alleged to have given; but it is not likely that he was so far off his guard as to acknowledge it. We rather think this reason instantly struck the mind of Mr. Smith, and that he substituted his own belief for the direct avowel of the president. In either case the effect upon the Mormons is the same. Regarding their leader as a prophet, and consequently infallible, they implicitly obey his directions, and are prepared to follow wherever the shall point the way.

This is a sign of more significance than many of our readers probably are aware of. The Mormons harmonize as strictly in their political views as they do in their religious faith. In Missouri it is known that they resided in Caldwell, Daviess and Clay counties, and that their head quarters were in the first named. By turning to the table of votes for members of congress in that state in 1838, we discover the state of the parties to have then been as follows:

                                         Adm..        Whig
Caldwell                           337            002                   
Daviess                             209            033
Clay                                  838            500
The first named counties were formed after 1836, but the third named had then an existence, and the vote stood thus:

                                         V. B..        Harrison
Clay                                  347           282                   
V. B. majority in Clay in 1836: 65; in 1838: 335; this great increase being occasioned by the accession of the Mormons to the population in the interval.

Mr. Thompson estimates the number of Mormon voters in this state at 6000, at the least. Knowing their strong party predilections heretofore, we had supposed they would have united for Van Buren, as they did in 1836, and that as the laborers on our public works had for the most part left our state, this strong political force would step into their place at the polls in November. Mr. Smith's mission to Washington has opened their eyes, however; and they now discover that the man whom they had been taught to regard as a democrat and the friend in common with rights, is a selfish intriguing politician, "with no single feeling in common with the great republican party.

Since writing the foregoing we have met with the following in the New-York Journal of Commerce of March 27, from a correspondent of that paper, dated at Montrose, Iowa, (opposite Nauvoo) March 24. It thus appears that Mr. Smith had given a relation, a month previous, materially the same as that now vouched for by Mr. Thompson:

Jo Smith, the Mormon leader and prophet, returned here a day or two since, and joined his followers, the "Latter-day Saints." Yesterday being the Sabbath, (notice having been previously given,) the "Saints," and not a few of the "Gentiles," assembled to hear from the prophet's own mouth "words of wisdom."

I, with other "Gentiles," had the curiosity to see and hear, and as the place appointed for him to hold forth at, was on the opposite side of the river, in a grove, I took passage on board the ferryboat, loaded with "Saints and Gentiles." When we landed, we found a large concourse. The "prophet" was seated, with bishops, elders, &c., on a staging in the center. After engaging in prayer to the Most High, and reading a chapter of sacred writ, he commenced his discourse. He told his people he was their servant; that they had a right to know all the incidents of his journey; he would therefore endeavor to give them a minute account. He did like to preach politics on the Sabbath, but he must free his mind, must tell the whole story.

The object of his visit at Washington, you well know, was to make application to congress for relief, touching their troubles in Missouri. But to the discourse. He said, on his arrival at Washington, he, with two of his elders, (Rigdon and Higbee,) called on Mr. Van Buren at the "White House" with a letter of introduction, and after making known to him the subject of their visit, and soliciting him to help them, Mr. Van Buren replied "Help you! How can I help you? All Missouri would turn against me." But they demanded of Mr. Van Buren a hearing, and he, after listening a few moments to their tale of injured innocence, abruptly left the room. After waiting some time for his return, they were under the necessity of departing, disappointed, and chagrined.

He thought Mr. Van Buren treated them with great disrespect and neglect, and in conversation, among other things, told the president that he (the president) was getting fat. The president replied that he was aware of the fact; that he had to go every few days to the tailor's to get his clothes let out, or purchase a new coat. The "prophet" here added, at the top of his voice, -- "he hoped he would continue to grow fat, and swell, and, before the next election, burst!"

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  April 24, 1840.                 No. 5.


In our article last week upon the affect on the Mormons of Joseph Smith's relation of his interview with Mr. Van Buren, we said:

"Regarding their leader as a prophet, and consequently infallible, they implicitly obey his directions, and are prepared to follow wherever the shall point the way."

We have since been kindly reminded, by a member of this society, that we are misinformed as to the political relation subsisting between the prophet and his people. They only acknowledge him as a leader in spiritual things. He never attempts to influence them on political subjects, but each member forms his opinions for himself and expresses them with the same independence that actuates the great mass of our countrymen. Their principles inclining them "to yield obedience to the powers that be," and hence they have heretofore, with great unanimity, supported the administration of the general government. In their conviction that the president has no regard for the strict principles of right and justice which ought to govern the chief magistrate of a nation, and not by Mr. Smith's personal or political preferences. The latter pyblicly declared, at the close of his address, that he wished to influence no man's vote, and he desired none to vote against Mr. Van Buren simply because he himself intended doing so.

We were equally incorrect in saying that the members of this society regard Joseph Smith as infallible. On the contrary they consider him subject to the passions and imperfections common to all men -- infirmities which were shared by the ancient prophets and apostles.

The article on the meeting of the Mormons contained an error which we are also requested to correct. The 12 ministers are not commissioned to go to the Holy Land, but to "go out into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Two only (Messrs. Page and Hyde, then named,) are to go to Palestine.

Since we are upon the subject of the Mormons, we will subjoin a communication received several weeks since, presuming the notoriety which the society has lately attained in the region will cause their views and princiles to be somewhat generally inquired after:


Their view of government and laws in general.

Mr. Editor: That our belief with regard to earthly governments and laws in general may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, I have thought proper, for the sake of those that wish to be informed thereon, to copy the following from the book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 252:

Of Governments and Laws in General.

That our belief, with regard to earthly governments and laws in general, may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our opinion concerning the same.

1 We believe that Governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, either in making laws or administering them, for the good and safety of society.

2. We believe that no Government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

3. We believe that all Governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same, and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people (if a Republic,) or the will of the Sovereign.

4. We believe that religion is instituted of God, and that men are amenable to him and to him only for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

5. We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective Governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such Governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all Governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

6. We believe that every man should be honored in his station; rulers and magistrates as such -- being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men show respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man, and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.

7. We believe that Rulers, States, and Governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.

8. We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense: that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that Government in which the offence is committed: and for the public peace and tranquility, all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders, against good laws to punishment.

9. We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil Government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

10. We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies, provided that such dealing be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, neither to inflict any physical punishment upon them, -- they can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

11. We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the Government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons, in times of exigencies, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

12. We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men; such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every Government allowing human beings to be held in servitude.

P. S. We believe that the government and the constitution of North America are the best in the world, and should be kept strictly inviolate.
                                                          B. D.
                                                         Tazwell county, April 4, 1840.

We append one other document, the report of the judiciary committee presented to the Senate of the United States at its present session. It was in the long list of grievances here enumerated that Mr. Van Buren could see nothing to interest his good will, when the vote of Missouri, according to Joseph Smith, might be lost by his interposition.

Report of the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the memorial of a dele gation of Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons:

The petition of the memorialists sets forth...
[report of the judiciary committee, as published follows]

Note: As with several other "B. D." communications to the Register during this period, the above quoted letter of April 4th came from Elder Benjamin Dobson (1799-1876).


Vol. 4.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  July 31, 1840.                 No. 18.


We notice the following paragraph in our exchange papers, and think it very probable that the statements will turn out to be correct. Hancock county is the great point of gathering of the Mormons who have come into the state since 1838, and who will go almost to a man against him who said, according to Joseph Smith their prophet, that he could do nothing for them, lest it should injure his election:

"A slight change. -- In 1838 Hancock county, in Illinois, gave Stuart for congress a majority of 171 votes. It has been satisfactorily ascertained that next November the majority for Harrison will not be less than 1500."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday, August 28, 1840.                 No. 22.


The Quincy Whig of the 18th states that the citizens of Tully, Mo., have recently missed several articles, and laid the theft to the Mormons living at Nauvoo, Ill., immediately opposite. At length a number of the citizens of Tully crossed the river, in the vicinity of the Mormon settlement, where after some searching they found several of the stolen articles. Shortly after falling in with a party of three or four Mormons, they were charged with the theft and forcibly taken across the river and severely lynched. One of them escaped, and running to the river, seized a canoe and reached the other shore, where he fell exhausted.

A public meeting of the Mormons has been held in Nauvoo, at which the following, among other resolutions, was passed:

"That the people of Missouri not having sufficiently slacked their thirst for blood and plunder, are now disposed to pursue us with a repetition of the scenes of brutality which marked their whole course of conduct towards us during our unhappy residence among them.

Notwithstanding they have already robbed us of our homes, murdered our families, stolen and carried away our property; and their exertions to complete the measure of their infamy as a State, have caused unoffending thousands to be banished from the State, without even the form of a trial, or the slightest evidence of crime, they are now sending their gangs of murderous banditti, and thieving brigands, to wreak further vengeance and satisfy their insatiable cupidity in the State of Illinois, and that too, before we have even had time to erect shelters for our families."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday, September 18, 1840.                 No. 25.


We learn that the agent of officer dispatched by Gov. Carlin ro the Gov. of Mo., for the purpose of demanding the authors of the outrage committed upon certain Mormon citizens of this state at Tully, in July last, has returned, and that the demand was successful. The authors of the outrage will be given up, to be dealt with according to our laws.

Immediately upon the return of Gov. Carlin's messenger, two envoys made their appearance in our city, from Gov. Boggs of Missouri, commissioned with powers to demand of Gov. Carlin, oseph Smith, Jr. and Sydney Rigdon, two citizens of this State, -- as runaway criminals from Missouri.

Gov. Carlin and the 2 Missouri agents held a conference on Sun. last and the result was, as we learn, that Gov. Carlin is to give up Messrs. Smith and Rigdon, to the Mo. authorities. * * *

We greatly doubt the policy of this step on the part of Gov. Carlin. Most certainly, Smith and Rigdon should not be given up. The Governor well knows the prejudices existing in Mo. against the society, of which they are prominent members. Should they be given up, and the Governor of Mo. should protect them from a mob, they could never expect justice in a trial under the laws of Mo. The prejudices against their society, originating in foul injustice and official persecution, so deeply affect the minds of the people of Upper Mo., that a trial for crimes alledged against them, would be a mere mockery -- a farce. Their cases are all pre-judged. Even if tried and acquited, the mob would not leave them to go harmless from the State.

Under this view of the circumstances, the Governor should have reflected more than two hrs. before he consented to give up Smith and Rigdon. If he gives them up, he gives them up as victims for a sacrifice, and their families will see them no more. Quincy Whig, Sept. 12

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4.                   Peoria,  Illinois,  Friday,  October 30, 1840.                 No. 31.

                                              For THE REGISTER.
THE  MORMONS.       

MR. EDITOR: I was at the semi-annual conference of the Latter Day Saints, held at Nauvoo, in Hancock county, Ill., which was to have commenced on the 2d day of this month, but owing to the inclemency of the weather, did not commence till Saturday the 3d. Notwithstanding the previous bad weather the congregation was very large. I was supposed to be about five thousand, with a great many preachers and elders present. A few of the names I will mention, viz: Joseph Smith, Jr., Hiram Smith, Mr. J. B. Grant, Mr. Babbit, Mr. Wright, and many others. About one hundred were baptized during the conference. The church seems to be in a much more prosperous condition than at any former time. Several families have arrived from England, belonging to the church.

They have been very industrious in building houses and raising provisions of all kinds. -- They have fore or five stores, and a saw-mill within the town, which goes by a tread wheel, and two water mills within the bounds of the town about ready to start, and are now building a large stone school-house, and will soon commence a large meeting-house, which I think is be be 120 feet long and 60 or 100 geet wide, to be of stone.

When they first began to settle in Hancock county, the commanding officer of the division of that part of the state went to see them, to know what their minds were about doing military duty, and found them willing to attend every thing that is required by the laws of the state and of the United States. Accordingly they were formed into companies, battalions and regiments, according to the laws of the state, and do regular military duty. The quarter-master general of the state, Dr. Bennett, has lately joined the church. They feel bound to contend for the rights of their country and the laws of the United States -- to live for it, and, if necessary, to die for that freedom and that liberty which was gained by the blood of our forefathers, under that most honorable of all commanders Gen. Washington, the father of freedom and equal rights.

But oh! where will we go to find that liberty and that freedom? Shall we go to the state of Missouri? Oh no! Or to the president of the United States? Oh no! we don't find it there. Then what shall we do? Why, let every republican and lover of liberty stand to his post, and implore the assistance of their Heavenly Father, that they may be protected in their rights and privileges as republican citizens.

As I have already run this longer than I expected, I will come to a close.     B. DOBSON.

P. S. The next general conference will be on the 6th of next April.
Tazewell co. Oct. 20, 1840.

Note: Benjamin Dobson (1799-1876) was baptized a Mormon by Elder Harvey Green, on Dec. 28, 1836 -- see Saints' Herald Jan. 1877, p. 15; Peroria Register April 17, 1840; Times and Seasons Vol.2, No.24, (Oct. 1, 1841) p.581


Vol. IV.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, December 4, 1840.                     No. 36.


An English paper has the following paragraphs about a new shipment to this country. Its location of Quincy, "on the Mississippi. in Michigan." is amusing, and shows a wonderful precision in the knowledge of transatlantic geography:--

"The New York packet ship North American, Capt. Lowber, sailed on Tuesday week with 19 cabin passengers and 200 in the sterage. the whole of the steerage passengers belong to the sect called "Latter Day Saints," and are bound for Quincy, in the State of Michigan, on the borders of the Mississippi, where a settlement has been provided for them by one of their sect, who has purchased a large tract of land in Michigan. We understand that upwards of 2000 are in treaty to embark early next spring for the same locality. A great portion of those who sailed in the North American; are members of the total abstinence society, and are from Leicestershire and Herefordshire."

We cut the foregoing from the Illinois State Register. In one respect it is worthy of the special notice of the legislature bow in session. The 2000 Mormons expected next spring will on their arrival imbibe the party views which are now entertained by that sect, and will probably to a man support the national administration. It is not to be doubted that such a body of waters would hold the balance of power in this state, and thus change its present political complexion. The present Van Buren majority in the state is caused by the foreigners employed on our public works, each of whom is entitled to vote after a residence of six months; and this seems very proper to the party now in the ascendency. In a year or two the increase of the Mormon population will turn the tables, and make the present majority a minority, even if there be no change in the permanent native population. But we submit whether this is not wrong, and so appeal to the present legislature to apply a remody. If unnaturalized foreigners cannot be restricted from voting by law, or by any other means short of an amendment to the constitution, then we invite the legislature to authorize the calling of a convention to attain that end. The whigs are committed in favor of such an amendment, and we presume the Van Buren party will now see sufficient reasons for concurring with them.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. II.                            Wednesday, April 28, 1841.                            No. 11.


The St. Louis Pennant of Thursday notices the arrival at that part of 237 English Mormons on their way to Nauvoo, the Mormon city in this state. That paper does not speak of them in the most complimentary terms.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, June 18, 1841.                     No. 12.


It is doubtless known to most of our readers that Joe Smith, the Mormon prophet, was arrested on Saturday last, in Quincy, on the warrant of Gov. Carlin, under the requisition of the governor of Missouri. He was, however, brought up on a habeas corpus before Calvin A. Warren, master in chancery for Adams county, and Judge Douglass having arrived in the city just at the time, he ordered the prophet to be taken to Monmouth, to be examined before him. The judge arrived in this place on Sunday morning last on his way to Monmouth, where the court is now sitting. We understand that a question has been raised as to the legality of the arrest, and the object of the examination is to decide the point.

The last we heard of the prophet he was in the custody of the sheriff of Adams county, and on his way to Monmouth. -- Warsaw Signal, June 9.

By a gentleman from Monmouth we are advised of the finale of this matter. The cause was argued before Judge Douglass on Wednesday of last week, who, after a patient hearing of almost the entire bar, decided that the prophet be released, mainly on the ground of the insufficiency of the writ. The counsel on behalf of the people were, Messrs. Morrison of Hancock, Perkins of Rushville, Mitchell of Warren, Jennings of Henderson, Knowlton of Peoria, and Minehall of Rushville; on the part of Smith, Messrs. Cyrus Walker of [Mocub], Browning of Quincy, Warren of Warsaw, Little of Hancock, and ex-judge Ralston of Quincy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, July 2, 1841.                     No. 14.


A person (says the Boston Courier of a late date) calling himself "Elder Freeman Nickerson," a preacher of the sect of Mormons, held forth to a large audience in this city on Monday morning. The Daily Mail of the 6th inst. contains a report of his discourse, which is nothing but an outpouring of incoherent dogmatism, fanaticism and cant. Perhaps the prayer which the elder offered, in the course of his remarks, should be excepted from this censure, for that was simple, devotional, and apparently sincere. That the man is a hypocritical Knave, or, if honest, but little removed from an idiot, is manifest from the boastful claims he makes to the power of working miracles. The following conversation took place, as reported in the Mail:

When the elder had finished his rapsody, captain Tylor Parsons, one of the friends of free discussion, rose in the assembly, and said he wished to ask the preacher a question.

The elder replied that he would hear it with pleasure.

Well, said Capt. Parsons, do I understand you to say you can cast out devils -- take deadly poison -- and heal the sick?

All those things, replied the elder, were done in the ancient church --

I don't care anything about the ancient church, interposed the captain, I want to talk about the modern church. You pretend to say that believers can work miracles. I ask you, if you can do these things?

Yes sir! replied the elder, striking his hand upon the desk with great emphasis, I can, sir! I have sir! I have caused the blind to awake; the sick be healed, the lame to walk; and I have seen these miracles performed by others!

Capt. Parsons continued: Let me tell you, sir, that you have come to preach in a city where people do not take everything for granted. You say that believers shall be able to cast out devils; that if they lay hands on the sick they shall be healed; that they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. How, sir, I ask you if you dare eat a piece of prussie acid, half as big as a pea? No, sir, you durst not! Or dare you try to heal the sick? No, sir! If you will try, I will take you this moment to a sick bed. No, sir, I have heard you in quietness and candor, but I repudiate those doctrines; and unless you prove the divine character of your mission, by some direct act, I pronounce you an impudent charlatan!

The elder heard all this very calmly, and then put on his spectacles, and turned to the 6th chapter of Mark, read the passage quoted above.

Yes! said he, when he had finished, "and these signs shall follow them that believe." Captain, do you not deny the word of God?

That has nothing to do with the point at issue, replied the captain. Is there a person here that believes you can call upon a sick woman, and say, "Madam, arise!" and that she will obey you? Or that you can take up a rattlesnake with his teeth in, and not be harmed? Or that you can eat the prussie acid, without having your throat and stomach prepared against it, and not have it hurt you? No, sir! We are not fools, I assure you!

Look here captain, said the Mormon, if you don't believe the Bible, what evidence shall I bring you of these things? You would not believe though one were to rise from the grave. Let the Lord do his work!

Yes, said the captain, triumphantly, you are right there! Let the Lord do his own work, that will be the best way for you! But we don;t want any of your Cape Cod arguments. We want the proof -- the proof, sir! We live in a day of light and reason, sir, and things which were once considered dark and mysterious, are now fully explained. We want the proof, sir!

Look here, captain urged the Mormon, you just wait till I have preached here a little while, and see the salvation of God yourself. And now, my friends, (addressing the assembly) when you go away, I hope you will put a little money in the box at the door to pay expenses!

The audience now began to move out very rapidly. Several persons dropped coppers, buttons, buckles and pieces of tobacco into the contribution box, and one man had the generousity to come up and put a genuine quarter of a dollar on the preacher's desk.

The quick eye of the Mormon caught a glimpse of the silver, "Ah!" exclaimed he, involuntarily, "there's a quarter!" and he, quicker than thought, stowed it away in his capacious pocket.

Some of our readers will remember an old acquaintance in "Elder Freeman Nickerson," he held forth in the court-house here several times last fall, and scenes similar to that described above were witnessed by a large number of our citizens. -- Ed. Reg.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, July 16, 1841.                     No. 16.


We have for some time observed that a part of the western newspapers of this state have manifested a little sensitiveness in regard to the movements of this new sect of religionists, the center of whose operations is now located in Hancock county, with all the preparations and appearance of a permanent establishment. They are daily receiving accessions to their number, not only by immigration from other states and from Europe, but by process of proselyting at home.

The favorable reception which the Mormons met upon their first entry into this state, was probably in a great degree occasioned by the persecutions with which they were driven from Missouri. They were found to be sufficiently numerous to claim the attention of the political leaders, with a view to adding the weight of their votes to their respective parties.

The legislature of Illinois, at their session last winter, were very liberal to them, in the passage of local acts for their benefit -- one of which was to incorporate the "Nauvoo Legion," consisting of six hundred men, an establishment independent of the military organization of the state....

This has excited some surprise, as the legislature has hereto fore been very cautious in regard to the granting of charters to literary institutions supposed to be designated for the benefit of a particular religious denomination.

The "Warsaw Signal," a paper published in the same county, seems disposed to raise the tocsin of alarm against these people. Speaking of his "position," the editor says"

"We profess to represent in this controversy those high-minded and independent citizens of Hancock who DARE TO THINK, and fear not to SPEAK their thoughts. We profess to represent those of both political parties, who are not shackled by self-interest, and who have the manliness to stand up [for] their rights in opposition to the dictates of a political and military church. We profess to represent that class of our fellow citizens who would save the country and state from the disgrace of being ruled by an ignorant and unprincipled aspirant for power -- from the [degradation] of submitting to religious despotism in a land of freedom and laws. We profess to represent those, too, who are not willing to wait until they are trodden under foot before they make resistance."

What sort of "resistance" the editor would recommend, he does not specify. We hope no proceeding vi et armis is within his contemplation. The success of the Missourians in acquiring the detestation and scorn of the civilized world, for their treatment of the Mormons, should be a warning to the people of Illinois, against following their example. -- Gen. Lib.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, August 6, 1841.                     No. 19.


His holiness, if we may believe his own declarations, has, like Emanuel Swedenborg, a direct communication with Heaven, and walks through the "everlasting gate" just as familiarly as one neighbor would walk in at the door of another's house. According to a late revelation he happened to be there on Gen. Harrison's arrival, and was a witness to the manner of his reception, The old hero was received as an honored guest, but still there was a balance in the books against him, and he was directed to turn to the left, where a big arm-chair, nicely cushioned, had been prepared for accommodation. This was not exactly a place of punishment, though it appeared he had, on account of some unexpiated sin, forfeited the more effulgent glories on the right hand. The prophet does not say so, but leaves us to infer that the general had incurred some slight degree of punishment for not embracing Mormonism before he died. Another big arm-chair, in close vicinity to the general's, was in reserve for Old Hickory, when he shall have "shuffled off this mortal soil." No seat was left for Mr. Van Buren, and the prophet learned upon inquiry, or knew it without, that a dark corner of the nether regions was awaiting his arrival. On earth he could tread in "the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor," but it appears their paths diverge very much after entering the other world. If Jo Smith himself be half as great an impostor as we think he is, a temporary residence in Pandemonium would be but a fit punishment for his hypocrisy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, August 13, 1841.                     No. 20.


The last Mormon paper ("Times and Seasons") mentions the return to Nauvoo, with one exception, of "the twelve," who went to England about two years ago to disciple that nation. According to the paper before us they were highly successful and we suppose it is to their agency that we may attribute the numerous reported arrivals of Mormon immigrants from that country within the last year. An extract from the journal of one o the twelve, records the conversion of "about thirty in one family and its connections, six of whom were ordained to be fellow laborers in the vineyard."

The Mormons at the recent election voted a ticket of their own for county officers in Hancock county. The Warsaw Signal publishes the returns by precincts, from which we gather that the votes of this sect are not so numerous as many supposed. For county commissioner the vote was for Wilton (anti-Mormon) 861l for Bagby (Mormon) 847. We imagine, however, that almost the entire Mormon vote was cast in Nauvoo, which stood, Wilton 9, Bagby 486. -- (For congress it was at the same place Stuart 488, Ralston 16.) So that after all the speculation about the political tendency of the Mormons, it does not appear that as yet they are sufficiently numerous to be courted by either party.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, August 20, 1841.                     No. 21.


We find in the New York Log Cabin a letter from Lewiston, Fulton county, to the editor, dated July 11, over the initials " H. W. W." which we take to mean Henry W. Weed, Seq., the very popular Van Buren stump orator of the late presidential campaign in this region. And aside from the paternity, which is creditable to the second paragraph, doubtless, was not intended for publication; and being written in the freedom of private friendship, must be supposed to express the real desire of the writer. This we trust he will be induced to change. If Fulton county must continue to be governed by locofocoism, let it furnish men who know something, since it has them. If Mr. Weed had been the candidate for congress, in the election just passed, the party hereabout would have supported him far more cordially than they did Ralston.


"The papers are beginning to speak of the Mormons, and, with the same carelessness which they manifest usually, are publishing stories entirely untrue about them. Their chief city, Nauvoo, is but 76 miles from here, and I am personally acquainted with many of their sect, among them Joe Smith and brother, S. Rigdon, Bennett, and others of their leaders. They have laid out a beautiful city on the banks of the Mississippi, which is increasing rapidly in numbers and wealth, and already contains upwards of 8,000 inhabitants. The town, or rather "city," -- for it was incorporated by the legislature last winter and has a mayor and aldermen and city courts, -- is regularly laid out in acre lots; each lot is built upon as soon as sold, and the ground inclosed with a neat paling fence, and beautifully cultivated. It presents as neat and striking an appearance as I ever beheld; as yet the houses are quite indifferent, some of logs, of brick, of wood, of plank, but all exhibiting a degree of neatness and care which pleases the eye. They are also now erecting a "temple" of large dimensions, and an immense building for a tavern, which will cost $150,000. They are remarkably industrious and in general orderly an quiet. They propose to cultivate twelve miles square, of an extensive prairie adjoining them, which I have no doubt will be done in a masterly manner. The other citizens of the county (Hancock) are determined to quarrel with them, and they seize upon every little circumstance, magnify and add to it, and circulate it to the injury of the Mormons. The Mormons, too, are often indiscreet, and I have no doubt there will be some difficulty, but not at present. They have nominated a ticket for county officers this year without the name of a single [non?]Mormon on it; the other[s] have got up an anti Mormon ticket in opposition. There are several other Mormon towns in Hancock county, and one or two in Adams county. Generally they present a neat and thriving aspect; but the spirit which is manifested towards them, fostered, doubtless, by their own imprudence, and in some instances by a desire to be persecuted, will, I fear, lead to bad consequences. They have several companies of citizen soldiers, organized and armed under the authority of and by the state, which are called the "Nauvoo Legion," and exercised about twice a week. This makes a great noise, and gives occasion for many hard words and bitter epithets.

This is a glorious country, Greeley, so far as beauty and fertility of soil can make it so. After a few years, with God's blessing, I hope to be able to return to the eastern states and visit my friends, and give them a more particular description of things. As soon as possible I propose to put in 100 acres of wheat, and have me as good a farm as can be found; although professional business will receive all the attention it requires. Politics and office-seeking I eschew -- nay, I hate all office seekers. If I was inclined that way I could have a glorious chance soon, but I won't.

Further from the Mormons.

Joe Smith's disciples, says the N. Y. Tribune, celebrated the 4th at Nauvoo with great pomp. It was a kind of military celebration, accompanied with an oration and feasting. Mr. Rigdon delivered the oration, and a table one thousand feet long was provided for the faithful. Joe Smith, it seems, wore "flaming regimentals," as commander-in-chief of the "Nauvoo Legion." The editor of the Burlington (Iowa) Hawkeye was present, and thus describes the appearance of the Mormons, &c.

As you approach Nauvoo from the river, and reach the bank, which is not very high, you begin to ascend a gentle slope of prairie, interspersed with a few scattering oaks. The ascent is gradual for nearly a mile as to cause no more inconvenience than in walking over a [plain].

The surface of the whole town site for a mile up and down the river does not vary much from this description. About three-quarters of a mile from the landing we saw a large convocation of people, apparently engaged in listening to someone addressing them. Most of the Mormons could be distinguished by their militiary dress. We do not know how they appeared on parade, but as we saw them, they presented the appearance of having searched the world and all the armories to boot, to obtain their military dresses and equipment. They seemed in truth a motley crew; some with one pistol, some with two; others with a pike or harpoon. We even saw some with a brace of pistols, a gun and a sword. The cavalry or cohorts remained on their horses, and surrounded the stand, so that it was difficult to get near enough to hear Rigdon's speech to any advantage.

Shortly after arriving we were obliged to disperse with the crowd, when we wended our way towards the dinner table. On the way we took a look at the foundation of the temple, which, with the help of one-tenth of all their labor, which we are informed is required, is progressing tolerably fast. Before going to the dinner table we visited the "ox shed." Here we found the "front half" of twelve oxen as large as life, carved from wood. Some of them were in such a state of forwardness as to look quite natural. When finished they are to be gilded and placed within the temple, as the base of a great baptismal laver, according to the Mosaic ritual, we suppose. We then visited the table, but were not allowed to come very close on account of the guard. It was situated on a second bench of the prairie before mentioned, and was stretched along the plain for upwards of a thousand feet. After waiting a short time, the cannon -- they had several on the ground -- announced the approach of the procession. "Jo Smith," his body guard having retired, was now seated in a barouche at the foot of the procession, with what we took to be his family. He was dressed in a splendid uniform from top to toe. After he alighted and took the head of the table, the procession moved on, consisting of men, women and children, to their respective places at the table. The crier informed the surrounding multitude, that there was sufficient room for 500 more, but few took advantage of the information. We waited to see the "prophet" carve a large fat turkey, and distribute it to the ladies around, after which our company left the ground. Thus ended our visit to the Mormons."

Note: One clipping bearing the above article is dated, in pencil, as being from August 20, 1841. A second clipping of the same item is dated as "Dec. 3, 1841." Possibly this same piece was published twice by the Register.


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, September 3, 1841.                     No. 23.


The statements contained in the following article were given to the Rev. Dr. Murdock, of New Haven, by a minister of the Mormons, as they were pursuing their way as fellow-passengers on board a steam-boat on the Ohio river, and communication by Dr. M. to the Hartford Observer. They present briefly one of the most remarkable exhibitions of the obliquities and follies of the human mind in its religious speculations which the history of this age records.

Joseph Smith, now 35 years of age, is the eldest of five brothers, all born at Norwich, in the state of Vermont. The family originated in the south part of New England, but my informant could not tell precisely where. In the year 1816-1817, the whole family removed to the state of New York, and lived sometimes in Palmyra, and sometimes in the adjacent town of Manchester. They were in rather low circumstances, and followed farming. About the year 1823, there was a revival of religion in that region, and Joseph was one of several hopeful converts. The others were joining, some one church, and some another, in that vicinity, but Joseph hesitated between the different denominations. While his mind was perplexed with this subject he prayed for divine direction, and afterwards was awaked one night by an extraordinary vision. The glory of the Lord filled the chamber with a dazzling light, and a glorious angel appeared to him and told him that he was a chosen vessel of the Lord to make known true religion. The next day he went into the field, but he was unable to work, his mind being oppressed by the remembrance of the vision. He returned to the house, and soon after sent for his father and brothers from the field; and then, in the presence of the family -- my informant one of them -- he related all that had occurred. They were astounded, but not altogether incredulous. After this, he had other similar visions, in one of which the existence of certain metallic plates was revealed to him, and their location described -- about three miles off, in a pasture ground. The next day he went alone to the spot, and by digging discovered the plates in a sort of rude stone box. They were eight or ten inches long, less in width, about the thickness of panes of glass, and together made a pile of about five or six inches high. They were in a good state of preservation, had the appearance of gold, and bore inscriptions in strange characters on both sides. He brought them home, but was unable to read them. He afterwards made a facsimile of some parts of the inscription, and sent it to professor Anthon of New York city. The professor pronounced the characters to be ancient Hebrew corrupted, and the language to be degenerate Hebrew, with a mixture of Egyptian. He could decypher only one entire word. After this, Joseph Smith was supernaturally assisted to read and to understand the inscription; and he was directed to translate a great part of it. The pages which he was not to translate were found to he sealed together, so that he did not even read them and learn their contents. With an assistant to correct his English, he translated so much of the inscription as now makes the Book of Mormon. He kept the plates a long time in his chamber, and after translating from them, he repeatedly showed them to his parents and to other friends. But my informant said he had never seen them. At length he was directed to bury the plates again in the same manner -- which he accordingly did.

The Book of Mormon is Mr. Smith's professed translation of the inscription on the plates; and it bears the name of Mormon, because a Jewish christian of the 4th century, bearing the name of Mormon, is the alledged author of the inscription. The book is historical. It gives an account of a company of Jewish christians of the tribe of Joseph, who left Judea by divine direction, a little before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, under the guidance of Lehi, their priest and prophet. This little band, after wandering long and far, came to America, and planted themselves in the western part of the present state of New York. So long as their christian characters remained unsullied, they were prosperous; but when their piety degenerated, they became split into parties, were assailed by their heathen neighbors, conquered, and either exterminated or enslaved, and thus ceased to be a christian people. Of these divine judgments upon them they were forewarned by their prophets, but without effect. Before their overthrow in the 4th century, Mormon, their priest and prophet, was directed to write their history, and inscribe it on plates, and to bury those plates in the place where, in 1827, a revelation guided Joseph Smith to search for them and to find them.

Mr. Smith, with no great difficulty, persuaded his parents, his four brothers, and a few others, to acknowledge his prophetic character, and to embrace his views; but from the mass of the people he met with ridicule and opposition. At the end of three or four years he could number only a hundred followers. Afterwards he was more successful; and now -- A. D. 1841 -- he has he has perhaps 15,000 adherents. A large body of them reside at Nauvoo, in the state of Illinois, where Mr. Smith himself lives and has fixed the center and capital of the sect. The rest are scattered over the United States, and in Europe. Three heads of the sect are now laboring in England, Scotland and Ireland, where they meet with much success. About one hundred English Mormons lately arrived at Nauvoo.

The sect do not throw all their property into a common stock, but each man enjoys the fruits of his own industry. For public objects taxes are assessed. The general rule is a tenth of each man's income.

In religions doctrines, or creed, the Mormons agree perfectly with the Campbellites, except in two particulars. First: They regard the Book of Mormon as a true history, and an inspired work. It is not in their view a new Bible, or a book which is to introduce a new dispensation, and to supersede the use of the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. It is only another inspired volume, having for its chief aim to record the history of those Jewish Christians who wandered to America and became lost in the 4th century. Yet being written at an early period of the church, and by an inspired man, it throws additional light upon the Bible, and upon primitive Christianity, which last it is the sole aim of the Mormon preachers to restore. Hence they hold the Bible in profound reverence; from it they ordinarily take their texts for sermons; and its true meaning they profess to unfold. Yet the Book of Mormon they believe sheds new light on some subjects which are not fully explained in the Bible: for example, the mode of baptism is not clearly stated in the New Testament; but the Book of Mormon shows that it should always he by immersion.

Secondly: From the Campbellites the Mormonites differ by believing that all real Christians receive the Holy Ghost, with all those spiritual gifts which are mentioned in the New Testament. They likewise believe that inspired prophets have appeared in the church quite down to modern times: that Joseph Smith is such a prophet: that he has divine revelations from time to time, by which he is guided in this revival of pure primitive Christianity. Such, for substance, were the statements of the Rev. William Smith. I offer no comments upon the alleged facts, but merely say, that I have aimed to report those facts truly, without any coloring whatever.

                  JAMES MURDOCK.
   New Haven, June 19, 1841.

Note: From various hints dropped in the above article, and from the final paragraph, it appears that the source for this "origin" account was none other than William Smith, the brother of Joseph


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, September 10, 1841.                     No. 24.

Mormons in New Jersey. -- The Trenton State Gazette states that the Mormons have two societies in Monmouth county, one at Hornorstown and the other at Tom's River. About 100 belong to the former and 70 or 80 to the latter. They have meetings regularly once a week at New Egypt, besides occasional meetings at other places.

Obituary. -- R. B. Thompson, another of the editors of the Times and Seasons, died at Nauvoo, on Friday the 27th, ult., after a short illness. Don Carlos Smith, another of the editors (brother of Jos. Smith,) died about a fortnight before, and this afflicting loss leaves that paper under the entire control of Mr. Ebenezer Robinson, one of its original publishers. -- Warsaw Signal, Sept. 1.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                       Peoria,  Illinois, Friday, September 17, 1841.                     No. 25.

The Mormons, strange as it may seem, are organizing societies in this region (Pennsylvania), having had, for some time, one or two in this city. It is said that a camp meeting has been in session for some days past, near Taylorsville, Bucke county, where their preachers have been making extraordinary efforts to increase their proselytes. Large numbers of people have visited their camp, and doubtless the delirium has seized upon many an unfortunate and superficial mind. -- Philadelphia North American.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                             Peoria, Illinois, December 10, 1841.                     No.      37.

                                                         From the Missouri Republican.


We are indebted to a pious and intelligent gentleman of this city, for the following description of Mormonism, as it is to be found at Nauvoo, and of Jo Smith, its leader. The intelligent reader will scarcely believe that such humbuggery could be successfully practiced, at this day, upon the most credulous or ignorant of the community, yet it is so in this instance.

(view orignal letter from Missouri paper)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. II.                            Peoria, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1842.                            No. 49.

The Mormons and the Sangamo Journal.

The last Sangamo Journal is in a great ferment on the subj. of a letter from Joseph Smith to his "friends in Ill." The letter appears in the city of Nauvoo, and declares the intentions of the writer to vote for Snyder and Moore, at the next election. This is a terrible thing in the estimation of the Journal, and we suppose it is not so agreeable to the feelings of the print and its friends as a contrary announcement of Mr. Smith would have been. When the Mormons voted the Whig ticket, it was all right with that party; now, when there is a probability that they will support the other side of the question, the Journal is dreadfully alarmed, and says it will set "the people to thinking!" More likely it will set the whig candidates to "thinking." But Smith calmly says: --

We care not a fig for whig or democrat, they are both alike to us &c. We voted for Gen. Harrison because we loved him -- he was a gallant officer and a tried statesman; but this is no reason why we should always be governed by his friends. He is now dead, and all his friends are not ours. We claim the privileges of freemen, and shall act accordingly, &c.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                             Peoria,  Illinois, January 21, 1842.                           No. 43.


The last number of the "Times and Seasons," the Mormon paper published under the direction of this sect at Nauvoo, contains the following extraordinary document:


City of Nauvoo, Illinois,               
December 20th, A. D. 1841.        

To my friends in Illinois: --

The Gubernatorial Convention of the State of Illinois, have nominated Colonel Adam W. Snyder for GOVERNOR, and Colonel John Moore for LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR of the State of Illinois -- election to take place in August next. -- Colonel Moore, like Judge Douglass, and Esq. Warren, was an intimate friend of General Bennett long before that gentleman became a member of our community; and General Bennett informs us that no men were more efficient in assisting him to procure our great chartered privileges than were Colonel Snyder and Colonel Moore. -- They are sterling men, and friends of equal rights -- opposed to the oppressor's grasp, and the tyrant's rod. With such men at the head of our State Government we have nothing to fear.

In the next canvass we shall be influenced by no party consideration -- and no Carthagenian coalescence or collusion, with our party, will be suffered to affect, or operate against General Bennett or any other of our tried friends already semi-officially in the field; so the partizans in this county who expect to divide the friends of humanity and equal rights will find themselves mistaken -- we care not a fig for Whig or Democrat: they are both alike to us; but we shall go for our friends, our TRIED FRIENDS, and the cause of human liberty which is the cause of God. We are aware that "divide and conquer" is the watch-word with many, but with us it cannot be done -- we have suffered too much to be easily duped -- we have no cat's-paws amongst us. We voted for Gen. Harrison because we loved him -- he was a gallant officer and a tried statesman; but this is no reason why we should always be governed by his friends -- he is now DEAD, and all of his friends are not ours. We claim the privileges of freemen, and shall act accordingly. DOUGLASS is a Master Spirit, and his friends and our friends -- we are willing to cast our banners on the air, and fight by his side in the cause of humanity, and equal rights -- the cause of liberty and the law. Snyder, and Moore, are his friends -- they are ours. These men are free from the prejudices and superstitions of the age, and such men we love, and such men will ever receive our support, be their political predilections what they may; Snyder, and Moore are known to be our friends; their friendship is vouched for by those whom we have tried. We will never be justly charged with the sin of ingratitude -- they have served us, and we will serve them.
               JOSEPH SMITH.
           Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion.


As we have at different times expressed ourselves pretty decidedly against the political tendencies of this sect, when they were acting with the whigs, we cannot be charged with sudden hostility to them now that their leader has gone over, horse, foot and dragoons, to our opponents. This is probably the first time that a public manifesto of this sort has been issued by a religious leader in this country. The Roman Catholics in New-York city last fall, under the call of Bishop Hughes, voted in a body for their candidates and elected them over both parties. But we have no recollection of a movement any where similar to that of the Mormon prophet. We trust that all parties will see its dangerous tendency, and at once rebuke it. The credit of Illinois abroad is bad enough now. What will it be when the fact is proclaimed that Mormonism sways its councils?

But we do not believe the Mormon prophet can influence in this way his followers throughout the state. He may control those at Nauvoo, composed chiefly of immigrants from abroad, and a large portion of them just from Europe; but we imagine the intelligent and sober-minded elsewhere, who have despite this attempt to trammel them.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. II.                            Peoria, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 1842.                            No. 50.

The last last Sangamo Journal devotes a column and a half of its editorial matter to the address of Joseph Smith to his friends in Illinois, in which Smith states that he and his friends will vote for Snyder and Moore at the next August election. The Journal breaks forth in a solemn warning to the "citizens of Illinois," and calls upon them to "read and consider." He tells the story of the Farmer and Asp; that when the farmer had warmed the poisonous reptile in hos bosom, so that returning life appeared, the asp began hissing and curling itself up preparatory to a deadly attack upon the farmer, who seeing its intent and aim, destroyed it. The Journal then adds, "the moral is perceptible, and needs no words of explanation." We must confess we read these remarks of the Journal with amazement and alarm. That paper was mute so long as the Mormons, or "latter day saints," voted for Harrison and sleepy John; but when there is an indication that they, like thousands of other citizens, are becoming disgusted with Whig rule, or rather misrule, then they are treated with scorn and ignominy, and there is a giving out in no unmeaning terms, that if they act the part of freemen and vote as they think right, a terrible vengeance awaits them: "The moral is perceptible, and needs no words of explanation." Truly the meaning of the Journal is plain and cannot be misunderstood -- it means this: The whigs have been courting and fawning about the Mormons, but now "seeing their intent and aim," to vote for Snyder and Moore, they must be destroyed; yes, "DESTROYED!" Indeed, this is the moral the Journal inculcates. We are no apologists of the Mormons; we are almost wholly unacquainted with the principles of their religious faith; they may have embraced much error, for aught we know, but whether they have or not is no business of ours. The law throws its mantle of protection all around every citizen and no man is to be disfranchised or molested on account of his religious belief. All have their political rights and privileges. Does the editor of the Journal want another Missouri war? Does he wish our state disgraced? It is from such a course as that paper pursues that mobs are excited to acts of violence and encouraged to trample all laws, human and divine, all rights of individuals and the community under foot. We sincerely hope that the Journal will find no sympathy or support from other whig presses for the blood-thirsty sentiments it has uttered.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, May 27, 1842.                           No. 8.


The last Rock Island Mississippian has the following notice:

"Col. John Wentworth, of Chicago, will address the people of Rock Island county, on Tuesday the 24th inst. at half past 7. P. M. on the 'Fulfillment of the Prophecies,' at the courthouse."

There is but one Col. John Wentworth in Illinois -- he of the Chicago Democrat. We have had some misgivings, from his approbatory notices of the Mormons lately, that he was about to become one, tho' we never dreamt of his turning preacher. By the way, if the severe rebuke copied from the Democrat on our first page, is an extract from one of his sermons, he bids fair to become inimitable.

Ex-governor Boggs was shot a few days ago, while sitting in his parlor at Independence, by a man through the window. The St. Louis Reporter says:

"It was supposed that the assassin was one of Joe Smith's followers, and that he would be caught before he could reach Nauvoo. Letters, it was said, had been written from Jefferson City to Gov. B. before his assassination, putting him on his guard against an assault threatened against his life by some Mormon fanatics. The information was sent to Jefferson city by several respectable persons, who had learned from a Mormon belonging to Nauvoo that Joe Smith had been endeavoring to persuade some of his followers to murder Gov. B. for the course he took against them a few years ago. We give this rumor for what it is worth."

The last report is that Gov. B. was not expected to survive.

Note: The news report concerning the shooting of ex-Governor Boggs was taken from the St. Louis Missouri Reporter of May 14th.


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, June 24, 1842.                           No. 13.


The last Times and Seasons contains the following bull of excommunication. Gen. Bennett, it will be remembered, was the head of the "Nauvoo Legion," and one of the main pillars of the Mormon ediface:

Notice. -- The subscribers, members of the first presidency of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, withdraw the hand of fellowship from Gen. John C. Bennett, as a christian, he having been labored with from time to time, to persuade him to amend his conduct, apparently to no good effect. JOSEPH SMITH,
The following members of the Quorum of the Twelve concur in the above sentiments:
Brigham Young,       Heber C. Kimball,
Lyman Wight,       William Smith,
John E. Page,       John Taylor,
Wilford Woodruff,       George A. Smith,
Willard Richards.
We concur in the above sentiments:

Bishops of the above mentioned Church.

              Nauvoo, May 11th, 1842.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. III.                            Peoria, Wednesday, July 13, 1842.                            No. 22.


The Sangamo Journal is becoming perfectly furious against the poor Mormons. Their great offence it seems, is, that they have determined to pursue an independent course at the ensuing election. When they voted the whig ticket they were considered a rather clever sort of people by the Journal. But no sooner did that paper understand that there was a probability of the Mormons voting the democratic nominations, than the Journal became rampant against them. He and Jo Duncan at once discovered that Joseph Smith was an impostor -- his followers were fools and knaves -- and he intimated in no very unintelligible terms, that they ought to be DESTROYED. He also a few weeks ago, dragged the Catholics before the public in his paper, and gave them and Van Buren a foretaste of what they might expect if they should persist in going counter to his sovereign will and pleasure. From some cause the Journal suddenly dropped the Catholics; perhaps Gov. Duncan found that it would not be a very profitable game, to traduce in rapid succession too many religious denominations, simply because some of them could not conscientiously vote to elect him governor. Still the whig Journal thinks Van Buren committed an unpardonable offence in expressing a willingness to shew respect to the subject of the Pope. That was certainly very naughty in the man of Kinderhook! Now, if Van Buren has told the Pope in plain terms, that his subjects, here ought to be DESTROYED, as the Journal gave Jo Smith to understand his people ought to be treated, then we suppose that whig papers would have no fault to find, and probably he would not say anything prejudicial to the Catholics, especially if they should all go headlong for Jo Duncan. The whig leaders at Springfield may yet learn that opposition to the freedom of conscience is not the most speedy steed for them to mount who wish to ride rough shod into power.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. III.                             Peoria, Wednesday, July 20, 1842.                             No. 25.


The Sangamon Journal has of late been most assiduously engaged in making disclosures, and publishing letters against his old friends, the Mormons. But there is one letter which he has not found it convenient to admit into his columns. Why is this so? Is Mr. Francis afraid to tell the whole truth? We suspect this is the case. And to show that there is reasonable ground for his suspicion, the reader shall see what Mr. Francis has suppressed. Here it is:

"2nd. The 'CITY OF NAUVOO.' This charter I likewise wrote and procured, without any 'CORRUPT BARGAIN,' or nefarious 'PLOT AND LEAGUE' as charged by Mr. Francis -- neither did Joe Smith, the Mormon prophet, as he calls him, ever see or converse with the leaders of either party on this subject, prior to the granting of the charters now under consideration; and I am bold to say, that this city possesses no unusual or extraordinary powers -- certainly none which are not possessed in common by Chicago, Springfield, Quincy, or any other city. Have not all cities the use of a county or city jail? -- Certainly they have, and Mr. Francis knows it as well as any other man -- for if he is so ignorant as that, he certainly deserves expatriation. Neither is the mayor the 'final judge,' as Mr. Francis says, for any person may appeal from the decision of the mayor or any alderman to the municipal court, and from the municipal court to the circuit court of Hancock county, and from the circuit court to the supreme court of the state of Illinois. So all is safe yet, Mr. Francis. If the city council of Nauvoo have passed any illegal ordinances, let the party aggrieved apply to the judiciary for redress, and have the ordinances set aside -- there would be no difficulty in such a case whatever. -- Come, Mr. Francis, if you are a law abiding man, redress the grievances by due course of law, and there will be no barrier interposed. But this, I presume, would not answer your party purposes in the coming election. I repeat it again -- Nauvoo possesses no unusual powers whatever, and I defy the proof to the contrary.

"3d. The 'CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS,' or Mormons. This body is incorporated under the general act and not by special grant, and possesses no power or privileges but what is common to all other churches in the state of Illinois.

The office of master in chancery for Hancock circuit court, has never, in my hands, been prostituted to the subversion of the due course of law in the administration of public justice; nor has any person or party been made the subject of favorism, to the injury of another -- this boon will be awarded me by all. Let this suffice then in relation to myself.

"4th, "SIDNEY H. LITTLE, ESQ.' This gentleman was not elected by or in any way dependent on the Mormons. He was a senator before the Mormons located in Hancock county, and utterly declined to re-election. It is then, to say the least of it, ungentlemanly and cruel to impugn his motives. He viewed the charter as every other liberal statesman did before their eyes were jaundiced by the rancor and fury of party strife.

"5th. I now close this article by stating that the charters under consideration were not passed on party grounds, for the vote was unanimous in the senate in their favor, and there were only fifteen dissenting members in the house of representatives; GOVERNOR DUNCAN'S friends voting for their passage in both houses, and in the council of revision.

I have done for the present -- will Mr. Francis publish?

                                              Yours respectfully.
Nauvoo, Ill., June 14, 1842.        JOHN C. BENNETT.

Note: The above material (excluding the initial paragraph) was apparently reprinted directly (without attribution) from the columns of the Springfield Illinois State Register of July 15, 1842, which, in turn, extracted the contents from General Bennett's letter from the Nauvoo Wasp of June 18, 1842. Both the Illinois State Register and the Peoria Democratic Press heralded Bennett's letter of June 14th letter as having been "suppressed" by Mr. Francis, the Editor of the Sangamo Journal, after he published Bennett's series of hostile letters, exposing Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormonism, etc. in the columns of the Sangamo Journal, beginning on July 8, 1842.


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, July 22, 1842.                           No. 17.


Gen. Bennett was at St, Louis last week, on his way to New-York to publish his threatened expose of the Mormons. While there he caused the following letter to be published in The Bulletin:

Gen. John C. Bennett.
Dear Sir: -- I left Warsaw a short time since for this city, and having been called upon by you through the Sangamo Journal, to come out and disclose to the world the facts of the case in relation to certain propositions made to me at Nauvoo, by some of the Mormon leaders, I now proceed to respond to the call, and discharge what I consider a duty devolving upon me as an innocent but insulted and abused female. I had been at Nauvoo near three weeks, during which time my father's family received frequent visits form Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, two of the Mormon apostles, when early one morning, they both came to my brother-in-law's (John McIlwricks) house, at which place I was then on a visit, and they particularly requested me to go and spend a few days with them. I told them I could not at that time, as my brother-in-law was not at home; however they urged me to go the next day and spend one day with them -- the day being fine I accordingly went. When I arrived at the foot of the hill, Young and Kimball were standing conversing together. They both came to me, and after flattering compliments, Kimball wished me to go to his house first. I said it was immaterial to me, and accordingly went. We had not however, gone many steps when Young suddenly stopped and said he would go to that brother's (pointing to a little log hut a few yards distant,) and tell him that you (speaking to Kimball.) and brother Glover or Grover, I do not remember which, will value his land. -- When he had gone, Kimball turned to me and said, "Martha, I want you to say to my wife, when you go to my house, that you want to buy some things at Joseph's store, (Joseph Smith's) and I will say I am going with you to show you the way; you want to see the prophet, and you will then have an opportunity." I made no reply. Young again made his appearance, and the subject was dropped. We soon reached Kimball's house, where Young took his leave saying, "I shall see you again Martha." I remained at Kimball's near an hour, when Kimball seeing that I would not tell the lies he wished me to, told them to his wife himself. He then went and whispered in her ear, and asked if that would please her. "Yes" said she, "or I can go along with you and Martha." "No," said he, "I have some business to do and I will call for you afterwards to go with me to the debate," meaning the debate between yourself and Joseph. To this she consented. So Kimball and I went to the store together.

As we were going along, he said, "Sister Martha, are you willing to do all that the Prophet requires you to do?" I said I was, thinking of course he would require nothing wrong. "Then, are you ready to take counsel?" I answered in the affirmative, thinking of the great and glorious blessings that had been pronounced upon my head, if I adhered to the counsel of those placed over me in the Lord. "Well, " said he, "there are many things revealed in these last days that the world would laugh and scoff at, but unto us is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom. " He further observed, "Martha, you must learn to hold your tongue, and it will be well with you. You will see Joseph, and very likely have some conversation with him, and he will tell you what you shall do." When we reached the building he led me up stairs to a small room, the door of which was locked, and on it the following inscription -- "Positively no admittance." He observed, "Ah! brother Joseph must be sick, for strange to say he is not here. Come down into the tithing office, Martha," and went out, I know not where. In this office were two men writing, one of whom, William Clayton, I had seen in England; the other I did not know. Young came in and seated himself before me, and asked where Kimball was. I said he had gone out. -- He said it was all right. Soon after Joseph came in and spoke to one of the clerks, and then went up stairs followed by Young. Immediately after Kimball came in. --

"Now Martha, " said he, "the Prophet has come, come up stairs." I went and found Young and the Prophet alone. I was introduced to the Prophet by Young. Joseph offered me his seat, and to my astonishment, the moment I was seated Joseph and Kimball walked out of the room, and left me with Young, who arose, locked the door, closed the window and drew the curtain. He then came and sat before me and said, "This is our private room, Martha." Indeed sir, said I, I must be highly honored to be permitted to enter it. He smiled, and then proceeded, "Sister Martha, I want to ask you a few questions; will you answer them?" "Yes, sir," said I. "And will you promise not to mention them to any one?" "If it is your desire sir," said I, "I will not." "And you will not think any the worse of me for it, will you Martha?" said he. "No sir," I replied. -- "Well," said he, "what are your feelings towards me?" I replied "My feelings are just the same towards you that they ever were sir." "But come to the point more closely," said he, "have not you an affection for me, that, were it lawful and right you could accept of me for your husband and companion?"

My feelings at that moment were indescribable. God only knows them. What, thought I, are these men that I thought almost perfection itself, deceivers and is all my fancied happiness but a dream? 'Twas even so; but my next thought was, which was the best way for me to act at this time; If I say no, they may do as they think proper; and to say yes, I never would. So I considered it best to ask for time to think and pray about it. I therefore said "If it was lawful and right perhaps I might; but you know sir, it is not." "Well, but," said he "brother Joseph has a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives; for as it was in the days of Abraham, so it shall be in these last days, and whoever is the first that is willing to take up the cross will receive the greatest blessings; and if you will accept of me I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom; and if you will have me in this world, I will have you in that which is to come, and brother Joseph will marry us to-day, and you can go home this very evening and your parents will not know any thing about it." "Sir," said I, "I should not like to do any thing of the kind without the permission of my parents." "Well, but," said he, "you are of age, are you not?" "No sir," said I, "I shall not be until the 24th of May." "Well," said he, "that does not make any difference. You will be of age before they know, and you need not fear. If you will take my advice it will be well with you, for I know it to be right before God and there is no sin in it, I will answer for it. -- But however Joseph wishes to have some talk with you on the subject -- he will explain things -- will you hear him?" "I do not mind," said I. "Well but I want you to say something," said he. "I want time to think about it, said I. "Well," said he, "I will have a kiss any how," and then rose and said he would bring Joseph.

He then unlocked the door, and took the key and locked me up alone. He was absent about ten minutes and then returned with Joseph, "Well" said Young, "sister Martha would be willing if she knew it was lawful and right before God." "Well Martha," said Joseph, "it is lawful and right before God -- I know it is. Look here, sister, don't you believe in me?" I did not answer. -- "Well Martha, said Joseph, "just go ahead and do as Brigham wants you to -- he is the best man in the world except me." "Oh!" said Brigham, "then you are as good," -- "Yes," said Joseph. "Well," said Young, "we believe Joseph to be a prophet -- have known him near eight years, and always found him the same." "Yes," said Joseph, "and I know it is lawful and right before God, and if there is any sin in it, I will answer for it before God; and I have the keys of the Kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven -- and if you accept of Brigham, you shall be blessed -- God shall bless you, and my blessing shall rest upon you; if you will be led by him you will do well, for I know Brigham will take care of you, and if he don't do his duty to you, come to me and I will make him. And if you do not like it in a month or two come to me and I will make you free again; and if he turns you off I will take you on." "Sir," said I, rather warmly, "it will be too late to think in a month or two after. I want to think first." "Well, but," said he, "the old proverb is, 'nothing ventured, nothing gained,' and it would be the greatest blessing that ever was bestowed upon you." "Yes," said Young, "and you will never have reason to repent of it -- that is, if I do not turn from righteousness, and that I trust I never shall, for I believe God who has kept me so long will continue to keep me faithful. Did you ever see me act in any way wrong in England Martha?" "No sir," said I. "No," said he, "neither can any one else lay any thing to my charge."

"Well, then" said Joseph, "what are you afraid of, Sis -- come let me do the business for you." "Sir," said I, "do let me have a little time to think about it, and I will promise not to mention it to any one." "Well, but look here," said he, "you know a fellow will never be damned for doing the best he knows how." "Well then," said I, "the best way I know of is to go home and think and pray about it." -- "Well" said Young, "I shall leave it with Brother Joseph, whether it would be best for you to have time or not." "Well," said Joseph, "I see no harm in her having time to think, she will not fall into temptation." "O sir," said I, "there is no fear of my falling into temptation." "Well, but," said Brigham, "you must promise me you will never mention it to any one." "I do promise it," said I. "Well," said Joseph, "you must promise me the same." I promised him the same. "Upon your honor," said he, "You will not tell." "No sir, I will lose my life first," said I. -- "Well, that will do," said he, "that is the principle we go upon. I think I can trust you Martha," said he. "Yes," said I, "I think you ought." Joseph said, "she looks as if she could keep a secret."

I then rose to go, when Joseph commenced to beg of me again -- he said it was the best opportunity they might have for months, for the room was often engaged. I however had determined what to do. -- "Well," said Young, "I will see you tomorrow, I am going to preach at the school house opposite your house, I have never preached there yet; you will be there I suppose." "Yes," said I. The next day being Sunday, I sat down, instead of going to meeting, and wrote the conversation and gave it to my sister, who was not a little surprised, but she said it would be best to go to the meeting in the afternoon. -- We went, and Young administered the sacrament. After it was over, I was passing out and Young stopped me, saying, "Wait Martha -- I am coming." I said "I cannot -- my sister is waiting for me." -- He then threw his coat over his shoulders and followed me out and whispered "have you made up your mind, Martha?" "Not exactly, sir," said I, and we parted.

I shall proceed to the justice of the peace and make oath to the truth of these statements, and you are at liberty to make what use of them you think best.
        Yours, Respectfully
               MARTHA H. BROTHERTON.

Sworn and subscribed before me, this 13th day of July, A. D. 1842.
         Du Bouffray Fremon.

Justice of the Peace for St. Louis County


We have not published a line about Judge Ford since his nomination for Governor by the loco foco party... On the Mormon question, which has recently been brought into the canvas... we believed he would do what is right and that if it became necessary to resort to any legislation to [undo] what has been done, or otherwise to control within due bounds this growing sect, no political consideration would influence his conduct. Whatever private understandings there may be between the Mormon prophet (J. Smith) and certain leaders of the loco foco party, we do not believe that Judge Ford is any party in the contract, and therefore we have published nothing conveying such imputation... We believe if the Mormons depend on Judge Ford's favor in case he is elected governor, they will be deceived... They have no more to gain from him than from Gov. Duncan, and hence they will vote for either only as they may be effected by the opinions they entertain of their national or state politics. What are the state politics of the former we are now advised in the article below, from the Sangamo Journal...

                                                            Mount Carmel, July 9, 1842.
Our citizens were enlivened today by the speeches of Gov. Duncan and Judge Ford, our candidates for Governor. The Canal, the Mormon Charters, and the alleged bargains between the Prophet and certain office-holders, and the claim of Wisconsin to the Northern portion of our State, were the principal subjects of discussion. Judge Ford stated that he was opposed to involving the State one cent more for the benefit of the Canal; that he was opposed to that claim of Wisconsin to the Northern portion of our State where he resided; that he was in favor of repealing the Mormon Charters, and if elected would recommend their repeal in the Legislature; that he considered Joe Smith an impostor and [a] great scoundrel.

Gov. Duncan charged him (Judge Ford) with having concealed his opinions, on all these subjects while in the North, and that he had never made a publication of any of them, but had concealed them from the public eye.

Judge Ford declared that he was not the Canal candidate...etc., etc.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, July 29, 1842.                           No. 18.


... More Mormon atrocities!! -- The Warsaw Signal of the 16th says: --

"We understand by the stage-driver from Nauvoo last evening, that O. Pratt had suddenly disappeared from the city. He left a paper containing his reasons for leaving; which were, the treatment his wife had received from Joe Smith, and some other matters concerning the policy of the church. It was supposed, in Nauvoo, that he had committed suicide, and about 500 persons were out on search for him."

Gov. Boggs, who was so nearly killed a short time ago by an unknown hand, is recovering. He is a candidate for the state senate, from the district composed of the counties of Jackson, Van Buren and Bates, and has issued a circular stating that he has not withdrawn and that he is fast recovering -- so fast that he will be able to take his seat if elected. -- St. Louis Republican.

Governor Carlin, of Illinois, is said to have made a requisition upon Gov. Reynolds, of Missouri, for the delivery of the person of Gen. Bennett, charged by Jos. Smith with high treason against the state of Illinois. This will delay proceedings against Joe until after the election.

... Something has been said my my competitor, in all his harangues, about certain charters granted to the people called Mormons, in Hancock county, by the last legislature. I reside at a great distance from these people, and know nothing about them, and I have never read these charters until very lately. It is my opinion that there are provisions contained in them which are objectionable, and that they ought to be amended, so as to place them upon an equality with our other citizens.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. III.                             Peoria, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 1842.                             No. 27.

The Sangamo Journal, a Mormon paper, published by Mr. Francis, in Springfield, is making some strange disclosures in relation to the religious sect called Mormons. We call the Journal a Mormon paper, and we are sure no one, who has seen the "Looking Glass" held up for it by the last State Register, can doubt at least its past claims to that distinction. But it seems that a difficulty has recently occurred between some of the leaders of that sect at Nauvoo, and they have fallen to abusing each other at a sound rate; and this peculiar people will probably soon be divided into two parties, the one headed by Joe Smith the Mormon prophet and the other by Bennett and the editor of the Sangamon Journal, he having formerly been a staunch advocate and defender of this religious people. Whether he has renounced Mormonism or not, or whether he intends to do so, he does not inform us. We infer, however, that while he denounces Smith as an impostor, he yet clings to the doctrines of the sect, and he will doubtless fall in with that portion of them who follow Bennett, and we shall probably hereafter see him the adherent of Bennett as he once was the apologist and defender of Joe Smith. We hope after the election and its excitement are over, Mr. Francis will give the people a full statement of the doctrines and practices of the Mormon sect; his long adherence to which, and his close connections with the denomination will enable him to do it better than any person we know of.

Note 1: The newspaper clipping from which the above typescript was taken bears the added date of "July 20th." It appears more likely that the article appeared on Aug. 3, 1842, but this latter date remains unverified.

Note 2: Just prior to the August 1842 election in Illinois, some of the Democrat-owned newspapers took it upon themselves to confuse their readers and the voters with fanciful allegations describing the Whig Sangamo Journal as being a "Mormon paper." Nothing could have then been farther from the truth, but the Democrats must have felt that their resorting to such deceiving disclosures would create enough confusion among the voters so as to effectively counteract the Whig charges of corruption in the Mormon leadership and corrupt, secret bargains between them and the Illinois Democrats.


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. III.                             Peoria, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 1842.                             No. 28.

More Obscene Disclosures Coming.

The Sangamo Journal says Joe Smith got up a large meeting some days ago at Nauvoo, for the purpose of whitewashing himself; and that a resolution was there proposed making out Joe to be all sorts of a moral and pious man. There were three or four persons who voted against the resolution -- Orson Pratt was one of them, and he gave the reasons for it which "related to the attempted outrages upon his wife by the impostor." The Journal says he hopes Pratt "will furnish a copy of it for the public eye." In default of that he may publish F---y H---. How many of those who copied former "disclosures" from the Journal would insert this in their columns it is difficult to tell, as some of them might not deem it of interest without the plates. Truly, there is no disputing of tastes, at least when coon editors are in question. The more obscene and disgusting the "disclosure" the greater their industry in parading it before the public. No sense of delicacy restrains them.

In Hancock Ford and Moore have upwards of 500 maj. J. C. Davis. dem., elected sen.; Thomas H. Owens, dem., and Wm. Smith, Mormon, elected reps.

Note: Henry Cleland's "F---y H---" (Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) was first published in London in 1749. American reprints circulated widely on the ante-bellum American frontier.


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, August 19, 1842.                           No. 21.

After the election. -- According to "common street talk," the governor of Missouri has demanded of the governor of this state, the person of JOSEPH SMITH, the Mormon prophet, and one of his disciples, named O. P. Rockwell, for the purpose of having them tried in Missouri, for certain crimes alleged to have been committed by them in that state. Gov. Carlin, as the story goes, in obedience to the demand of Gov. Reynolds of Mo., issued a writ one day last week, for the apprehension of Smith and Rockwell, and the execution of the same was entrusted to one or two constables of this city. In accordance with the requirements of the writ, these officers proceeded to Nauvoo, and apprehended Smith and Rockwell; but before leaving the city, a process was issued by the municipal authorities of Nauvoo, to bring the arrested persons before a city court convened for the purpose, where, after an examination of the executive writ, it was pronounced insufficient, and the prisoners set at liberty. This is the substance of the reports in circulation, and it may be correct or incorrect. It is further stated, that the governor's "dander is up," and that he is determined to take "Joseph," any how, and that another writ has been dispatched for the purpose. Alas! the poor Mormons! Even the 1000 majority for Ford does not avail them in this emergency. The locos have used Smith -- now we suppose they will hang him!   Quincy Whig, August 13.


The following endorsement was made on a letter addressed to James Brown, post-office agent, and received here on Wednesday night by the mail from Springfield. The date is probably Tuesday night:

"The Mormons and anti-Mormons have been fighting, and the express says that 30 or 40 have been killed and wounded. The governor has gone down with 200 men."

The governor resides at Quincy, and the fighting, if any, was probably at Nauvoo, up from Quincy about 46 miles. Before the receipt of this rumor we had copied from the Quincy Whig a paragraph about the recent doings in the case of Joseph Smith, which may be seen in our domestic compendium. There may have been some hot work afterwards, though it is strange that the Quincy mail, which arrived here direct on Wednesday noon, should have brought no news of it.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, August 26, 1842.                           No. 22.


It turns out that rumor of a battle at Nauvoo was a hoax. The latest accurate information we have from Nauvoo is from the Quincy Whig of last Sat:

The second attempt of Gov. Carlin, to apprehend Jo Smith and Rockwell, proved about as unsuccessful as the first. -- When the officers arrived at Nauvoo, neither Joseph or Rockwell were to be found -- they had either crossed the river into Iowa or were secreted in that holy city. -- The Mormons treated the officers with every respect, and offered to assist them if necessary, in fulfilling their duty. The whole affair begins to look exceedingly like a farce, and this opinion is becoming very prevalent. We suppose all proceedings will stop here for the present.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, September 2, 1842.                           No. 23.

"Back again." -- Forty Mormons reached here this morning in the Roselie, leaving Mormonism and its absurdities behind them. --  S. L. Gaz. Aug. 24.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, October 7, 1842.                           No. 28.


We received a note this week requesting us to publish some affidavits "against the writings of Dr. J. C. Bennett," alluding, we suppose, to [the] Bennett expose of Mormonism, or rather of the Mormon prophet, published in the paper some time ago. We have never seen the affidavits alluded to, nor do we think there would be any use in publishing them, for the public already [know and] appreciate Bennett's character, and give, in this instance, "the devil his due."

Gov. Carlin has offered a reward of four hundred dollars, as may be seen by examining our advertising columns, for the apprehension of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, and O. P. Rockwell, both of whom were concerned in the crime of shooting, with intent to kill, Lilburn W. Boggs of Missouri.


                                                    State of Illinois, Executive Department.
                                                    September 20. 1842.

Whereas, a requisition has been made upon me, as the executive of the state, by the governor of the state of Missouri, for the apprehension and surrender of O. P. Rockwell, who is charged with a crime of shooting Lilburn W. Boggs, with intent to kill, in the county of Jackson, and state of Missouri in the night of the sixth day of May.

And whereas, a demand has also been made by the governor of Missouri, upon me, for the apprehension and surrender of Joseph Smith, (commonly called the Mormon prophet,) who is charged with the crime of being accessory to the shooting of said Boggs, at the time and place aforesaid, with intent to kill,

And whereas, in obedience to the constitution and laws of the United States, and of this state, executive warrants have been issued, and the said Rockwell and Smith arrested as fugitives from justice from the state of Missouri;

And whereas, the said Rockwell and Smith resisted the laws, by refusing to go with the officers who had them in custody, as fugitives from justice, and escaped from the custody of said officers:

Now, therefore, I, Thomas Carlin, governor of the state of Illinois, in conformity to an act entitled "An Act concerning fugitives from justice." approved January 6th, 1827, do here offer a reward of TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS, to any person or persons, for the apprehension and delivery of each or either of the aboved named fugitives from justice, viz. O. P. Rockwell and Joseph Smith, to the custody of Jas. H. Pitman and Thomas C. King, or to the sheriff of Adams county at the city of Quincy.

L. S.   In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the state to be affixed, the day and date above written.

By the governor,
Lyman Trumball, Sec'y. of State.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, October 21, 1842.                           No. 30.

Arrest of Jo Smith.

We understand the Governor has received information, that Jo Smith is in custody at Carthage, and that he is being brought before Judge Douglass, who is there holding court, on a writ of habeas corpus, for the purpose of trying the validity of the Governor's writ of arrest. From the course the thing is taking, it is not impossible that the same farce played off two years ago, in which the same parties were interested, will be re-acted again in the present instance. -- Quincy Whig.

(Since ascertained to be incorrect, Smith is at large in Nauvoo.)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, November 11, 1842.                           No. 33.


Since the publication of Bennett's letters on the Mormons last summer, we have been frequently importuned to publish something by way of fact. As the Register was not then under our control, we felt under no obligation to devote any part of our space to this purpose; but to gratify those concerned we now give two documents, selected by a Mormon from a mass of the same kind, with the understanding that no more will be asked of us. While referring to Bennett we may say we this week received through the post office his promised "book," marked 84 cents postage. Deeming this sum to be more than it is worth, we have declined taking it, and it accordingly remains in the office, free, we suppose, for any person who will pay the postage.


We the undersigned, members of the city council of the City of Nauvoo, testify that John C. Bennett was not under duress at the time he testified before the city council may 19th 1842 concerning Joseph Smith's innocence, virtue, and pure teaching his statements that he has lately made concerning this matter are false, -- there was no excitement at the time, nor e asked the privilege of speaking, which was granted, after speaking for some time on the city affairs, Joseph Smith asked him if he knew any thing bad concerning his public, or private character: he then delivered those statements contained in the testimony voluntarily, and of his own free will, and went of his own accord as free as any member of the council.

We do further testify that there is no such thing as a Danite Society in this city nor any combination, other than the Masonic Lodge, of which we have any knowledge.


Subscribed and sworn to, by the persons whose names appear to the foregoing affidavit, this 20th day of July, A. D. 1842; except N. K. Whitney, who subscribed and affirmed to the foregoing this day, before me
                    DANIEL H. WELLS,
Justice of the Peace, within and for Hancock County, Illinois.


Sir, From a perusal of the St. Louis papers, I find from an article signed J. C. Bennett, stating that all who are friends to Mr. Joseph Smith he considers his enemies: -- as a matter of course then, I must be one, for I am and have been for a long time the personal friend of Joseph Smith; and I will here say that I have never yet seen or known any thing against him that I should change my mind. It is true many reports have been and are put in circulation by his enemies for political or religious effect, that upon investigation are like the dew before the morning sun, vanish away, because there is no real substance in them.

Could Dr. Bennett expect any man acquainted with all the circumstances, and matters of fact which were developed both here and from abroad, respecting his conduct and character, previous to his leaving this place, for one moment to believe him I answer NO! he could not. And all his affidavits, that came from any person entitled to credit, (I say entitled to credit, because some there are who are not entitled to credit, as Dr. Bennett very well knows) are in amount nothing at all, when summed up, and render no person worthy of death or bonds.

F. M. Higbee's knowledge concerning the murder of a prisoner in Missouri, I am authorized to say, by F. M. Higbee that he knows of no such thing -- that no prisoner was ever killed in Missouri, to the best of his knowledge. And I also bear the same testimony, that there never was any prisoner killed there, neither were we ever charge with any such thing, according to the best of my recollection.   ELIAS HIGBEE.
    July 22, 1842.

This is to certify that I do not know of the murder of any prisoner in Missouri, as above alluded to.   F. M. HIGBEE.
    July 22, 1842.

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, December 16, 1842.                           No. 38.

O H I O.

Mormonism revived. -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer says: "The Mormon temple at Kirtland, has lately been dedicated anew. On Saturday, the 29th ult., three of Joe Smith's specially commissioned and faithful followers arrived at the temple from Nauvoo, and commenced preaching faith and repentance. The Sunday morning following, they commenced baptizing in a branch of the Chagrin river, and continued at intervals for three days -- baptizing in all two hundred and six persons, at two shillings a head! Old converts were rebaptized, and their sins washed away for the same price as the young ones, making no distinction between old sheep and the lambs of the flock.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. III.                             Peoria, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1842.                             No. 46.


Twenty persons professing Mormonism were baptized in the Delaware river, at Philadelphia, on Sunday the 11th inst.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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