(Newspapers of Illinois & Indiana)

Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois

Misc. Peoria Newspapers
1843-45 Articles

An Early View of Peoria, with the Illinois River in foreground (c. 1839)

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Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, January 6, 1843.                           No. 41.


                                                                Springfield, Jan. 1, 1843.
Time, in her never ceasing course, has ushered in another year.... Immediately upon the Supreme Court adjourning it was rumored that the prophet JOE SMITH had been arrested under the governor's warrant and proclamation and that he had obtained a writ of habeas corpus from Judge Pope of the district court of the United States, to try the matter whether under the constitution he is a fugitive from justice. It will be recollected that Gov. Reynolds of Missouri made a requisition upon our Gov. for Joe, as being accessory to the attempted murder of ex-Gov. Boggs. It was upon this writ he was arrested and the habeas corpus designed to try the legality of this proceeding.

The constitution and laws of the United States make it the duty of the Gov. of one state upon proper demand being made by the Gov. of another state to deliver up fugitives. The Gov. of Missouri has made a demand of Joe and so far as I have been able to learn, it is in strict conformity to the laws of the United States; and the Gov. of Illinois could do nothing but [honor?] his warrant for his arrest and delivery to the agent of the state of Missouri. But this grave question arises -- Is the affidavit made by ex-Gov. Boggs and upon which the goverbor of Missouri issued his requisition, to be taken as conclusive evidence that Joe is a fugitive? Or can he, under the writ of habeas corpus, show that he never fled from the justice of the state of Missouri, for the crime imputed to him? The constitution of the United States only requires a surrender of persons who have committed crime in one state, and who has fled to another to escape justice. Then under the constitution they must be fugitives.

A man cannot be a fugitive unless he has actually fled. Now the case of JOE SMITH I believe it is not pretended that he was bodily present in Missouri at the time he is charged to have committed the crime, and I understand that he is fully able to show that he was not; and if so, he can not be a fugitive, and he unquestionably has a right under the writ of habeas corpus to show that he was not. And such I opine will be the decision of the courts. If any otherdoctrine was established, there would be many of the citizens of the free states taken as fugitives, who have questioned the institution of [slavery]. And though I should not much regret, if some were removed, yet I should deprecate the establishment of the principle.

Joe entered into bail for his appearance before the judge on Monday, when I suppose he will have the whole matter investigated. He has his DANITES with him, some dozen in all; also his high priests and apostles. They were preaching to-day in the hall of the house of representatives, and I suppose to crowded houses. For my own part, I cannot stand such flummery and did not go. Joe is certainly not a bad looking man. -- Bennett, in his book, has given a very good likeness, and I am not certain that he has not given a true character.

It is said that we are to be thrown with the Mormons in our congressional district; but it embraces counties which will make it a whig district, let the Mormons vote en masse against us...
                                                  Yours, &c.,       CLITO.

                                                    Springfield, Jan. 1, 1843.
Joe Smith arrived in town yesterday. Numerous were the crowd that sought to catch a glimpse of the great prophecier. He is brought up before Judge Pope [in] the distruict court, on a writ of habeas corpus. He was admitted to bail in the sum of $2000 dollars. His trial takes place Monday.

                                                    January 2, 1843.
Joe Smith was arraigned before Judge Pope this morning. Upon the application of the attorney general his trial was postponed till Wednesday. He will be discharged, and permitted to recommence his but too successful [science] of villany.

Gen. Bennett, author of the Mormon expose, will lecture this and to-morrow evenings at the court house, on the subject of Mormonism.

This evening ladies and gentlemen admitted. To-morrow evening, gentlemen only admitted.

Those persons who are desirous of hearing a full expose of the most stupendous system of delusion, fraud, and imposture, ever practiced upon the credulity of man, are respectively [sic - respectfully?] invited to attend.

An admission fee of 12 1/2 cts. for each lecture will be required merely to defray the incidental expenses of the lecturer.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. III.                                Peoria, January 11, 1843.                                 No. 48.

General  Bennett,

The apostolizing Mormon, has been enlightening the citizens of Peoria, the past week, in a series of lectures on the abominations, absurdities and iniquitous principles and practices of the sect, to which he formerly belonged and of which he has been one among the highest, or rather lowest, for preeminence in a sect, which according to his account make pollution, perjury and blasphemy a part of their system should be accounted degrees of degradation. We attend[ed] the lectures, the second of which the general, it seems from his advertisement, considered too indecent to be listened to by an audience of both sexes, but which was substantially the same and neither worse in language or sentiment, than his letters, which appeared last summer in the columns of the Peoria Register, Sangamo Journal and other whig prints. He commenced by stating cases in which the city council of Nauvoo had exceeded the powers granted them under their act of incorporation, such as issuing writs of habeas corpus &c. In such cases no one would be bound to obey these laws or the processes issued under them, he would have his remedy at law, the same as though these laws did not exist, we opine. The general then gave an account of some of Jo Smith's intrigues and attempts at seduction, being the cases, which have heretofore appeared in print of Misses Brotherton, Rigdon and others. He stated also, that there are two societies among the Mormons the sole object of the institution of which is to devise ways to seduce the women of their church to vice. The order lodge consisting of men, the other consisting entirely of women, (we cannot find in our heart to believe this) called the relief society at the head of this latter, we use words of Bennett, "is the delectable Emma Smith, the wife of the prophet." He said, the abandoned women were divided into three classes, the cyprian Saints, the chamber sisters of Charity, and the Cloister Saints; the first the lowest class, the latter the spiritual wives. But we forbear entering into the minutia, which in a paper of general circulation would be more offensive than edifying. The general goes it with a rush, and we have no doubt, like seceders from other societies, will prove one of the most effective and uncomfortable antagonists to his former brethren.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, January 13, 1843.                           No. 42.

Rev. Mr._____'s letter to Bishop Chase

Rt. Rev. Sir: A lady of this town who has been an attendant of our church for a condiderable time, wishes to be a communicant. I hope she is pious. Before her residence here she was connected with the Mormons, but never looked upon Joe Smith as a true prophet. She says she was baptized by a Mormon preacher in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. She had never any other baptism. My object in addressing you is this: Ought I to Baptize her, or in case I believe that the Mormon who baptized her believed in the Trinity as well as herself, must I let that baptism suffice... I have spoken to her plainly on the subject, and told her that if she chooses the Episcopal Church, she must do so for life, and never have any further connection with the Mormons.

I remain yours respectively, etc....

Bishop Chase's Answer.

                                                                    Jubille, Jan. 3, 1843.
Rev. Mr. ______: Your favor of Dec. 24th came by last mail... This is a singular case in many respects, and it appears to me that the request of the lady for immediate admission to communion ought to be well considered on the grounds of her inconsistency. She never looked on Joseph Smith as a true Prophet, and pray what is this but to own that she was convinced by his false pretensions, and always regarded him as a deceiver? And yet strange to tell she submitted to be vaptized by one of his preachers, who had no other authority to Baptize but such as he derived from this false prophet, this deceiver!

If the lady did the thing understandingly, and with her eyes open to the guilt of taking God's name in vain, the fact is sufficient to incline you to postpone her request till the church will have been assured of her deep and sincere repentence. If she did it through ignorance of the solemnity of Baptism, and of the authority by which it should be administered though the crime is not lessened, yet the punishment may, through the merits of Christ, be mitigated.

But setting inconsistency aside in this transaction we will consider the bare fact of the woman's having been a Mormon. Now what is it to be a Mormon, and what is sinful about being a Mormon? To be a Mormon is to believe in Joseph Smith's Mormon Bible, and other things which he has set forth as a new revelation from heaven, without any of those evidences of its truth which God has always vouchsafed to give man, in proof that God was speaking to him....

Baptism by a heretic, who had set up a new revelation, was never allowed by any part of the universal church of Christ... How clearly do these figures rep. the case of Joseph Smith and his unhappy followers! The declaring himself the prophet of the Most High God, without a particle of evidence that he is truly such -- in that character setting forth a new Bible, and collected a body of deluded people around him, and bidding them walk by the light which he and his preachers [hold out to] them -- is painful in the extreme.

Without going at length into the consideration of the moral character of J. Smith, which those who have traced his history, from Vermont thru Ohio, and Mo. up to his settlement in Ill., say is very bad, I shudder when I read in Holy Scripture the divine denunciations against all those who pretend to be new revelation...

And how sad is it to contemplate the faith of so many whom Joseph Smith, by his emissaries in Eng., hath enticed to join him in sin! What agony is it in the thought that these deluded persons, if they repent not and come out from among them, must share in his punishment! What adds poignancy to my grief is the fact, that many of those who have been enticed to come from Eng. and join Joseph Smith, were in their own country members of the church, and baptized by the lawful ministers of Christ.

But you say the lady has left the Mormons, and disbelieving Joseph Smith to be a true prophet, wishes now to become a communicate in our primitive church as soon as possible. To this I would respectfully reply that the matter needs serious consideration, and on yours Godly caution.... In discharging this duty I would refer to what has already been advanced of the heresy and apostacy of Joseph Smith. If he be a heretic and apostate, the baptisms performed by him and his followers are null and void, although the words used were ever so correct...

Thus the Mormon preachers with Joseph Smith, the inventor of a new Bible and the usurper of the office of prophet and priest, may make use of good words even the name of the Sacred Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and yet be in no wise blessed. On the contrary we are bound to believe it a sin and the taking of God's name in vain; and it behooves those who are submitted to such a baptism sincerely to repent thereof and seek forgiveness of Him whose awful name they have profaned, and [whose] sacrament they have abused.

Your affectionate friend and faithful servant in Christ.
                                                      Philander Chase.
                                                              Bishop of Ill.

Gen. Bennett's Lecture.

As we anticipated, our court was crowded last wk. to hear Gen. Bennett['s] exposures of the Mormons. The gen. belief is that in the main he spoke the truth. Even the Mormons among us have been staggered by his disclosures and avow their determination to inquire in the proper quarters, "if these things be so." Gen. B. left Mon. A. M. for Springfield, from which place he will proceed to St. Louis, and thence to Jefferson City, Mo. He is determined to bring Joe Smith to punishment.

Note: In the Jan. 5, 1843 issue of the Springfield Sangamo Journal there was a report of John C. Bennett "lecturing on Mormonism in Chicago." From Chicago Bennett traveled south to Peoria, and then on to Springfield. He evidently arrived there late on Jan. 9, 1843, not long after Joseph Smith, Jr. was released from custody by Judge Pope. Probably the two men did not cross paths. However, while in Springfield Bennett met with new representative from Hancock co., William Smith. This younger Smith brother shared something bordering upon friendship with Bennett, all the way through the year 1847, at least -- they both served briefly together, in top leadership positions, in James J. Strang's church at Voree, Wisconsin in 1846-47. It may have been in consideration of some understanding he reached with William, that Bennet did not give publicized anti-Mormon lectures while he was in Springfield. Instead he proceeded on to Alton and then to St. Louis, spending most of January lecturing against Joseph Smith in these river towns.


Vol. VI.                             Peoria,  Illinois, February 14, 1843.                           No. 47.

Bishop Chase's Pastoral Letter

Reply of a Mormon.

Dear Editor.

While passing over the columns of your valuable journal of Jan 13 our attention was somewhat occupied with a "pastoral letter" written with the pen of Bishop Chase, a member of the state church of England.... The Good Gent has occupied near three columns in this journal in which he makes various remarks concerning J. Smith and Mormonism. etc, Then says "Now what is it to be a Mormon?" ...

Let us now examine their conduct in the old country. I will give you my testimony as an individual. I have been a sufferer under that priesthood [C. of Eng.] for one; and I am sorry to say there are thousands, and thrice treble its no., actually starving in the sts., and dare not beg for bread. The inquiry is made for why must they not beg for bread? The ans. is this, The heads of the clergy sit in the house of lords, or peers, and there make laws for themselves; and if you have violated any of those laws, you are then taken before a minister of the Gospel, he being a magistrate. If you are begging for bread for your perishing family, Bishop Chase's brethren will ask you, what makes you beg knowing it is against the laws of the country? And then replies abruptly, and gives the poor widow or orphan her sentence. You are committed to prison to hard labor for 1, 2, or 3 months....

In short, do they teach all the things that Jesus commanded? ... we would say, that we have been taught so long by hirelings, that made unto themselves friends of the righteous mammon, who have put "darkness, for light and light for darkness," as the prophet speaks in Isaiah.

"Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased by money." Act. 20-21. If the Ling of Glory called these men by revelation, we shall see how He raised their wage since the apostolic age.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. IV.                                 Peoria, March 22, 1843.                                 No. 6.


The Missouri Reporter states that Mr. Rockwell, who has been charged with having attempted to assassinate ex-governor Boggs of that state, was arrested in St. Louis on the 6th inst. When arrested he was on his way to Nauvoo from the east and had entered his name at the stage office for Jacksonville of this state. General Bennett had pledged himself to prove that Rockwell is the person who endeavored to assassinate Governor Boggs, and that his instigator was the Mormon prophet. He will be immediately taken to Independence, Missouri, to await the investigation of the charge.
                                                                        Quincy Herald.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                             Peoria,  Illinois, July 14, 1843.                           No. 15.


By the last Times and Seasons we learn that the Saints, on the 3d and 5th of July, held a "special conference of the Church, at the green near the temple," for the purpose of appointing elders to go on a "special mission" to the different counties in the state: for Peoria, George W. Pitkin and John Wakefield were appointed; knox, Elijah Fordham; Henderson, Jacob H. Butterfield; Stark, Wm. S. Covert; [-----], Alfred Brown; Henry, U. C. Nickerson; Tazewell, Thos. Dobson; Bureau, Jas. Twist; Fulton, Graham Coltrin, &c.

Note: Probably the Peoria editor actually meant to cite a recent issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor newspaper, rather than the Times and Seasons.


Vol. VII.                             Peoria,  Illinois, August 11, 1843.                           No. 19.


Walker has been beat, badly beat. The whole Mormon vote, contrary to expectation, was given to Hoge. Our little governor with his troop were not in St. Louis in a week before the election for nothing. We are a Yankee, and have the right to use the Yankee privilege to guess, and exercising that right we do guess it was at St. Louis concocted and agreed that all and every prosecution now pending either in the state of Illinois or Missouri against Joe Smith should immediately be dropped, and no harm should come to Joe therefrom, providing that Joe's Mormons voted for Hoge. Joe's Mormons did. And now for our locofoco governor's part of the contract. Joe need no longer fear. He can roam through Illinois at will. The many and manifold accusations that before election were heaped upon him have frittered away. His sins are all atoned for; and he now stands forth not a criminal, but an injured persecuted man.

We understand that on the Sabbath before the election Joe preached to his Mormons. He told them that his brother Hiram had had a vision. In that vision it had been revealed to him that Joseph P. Hoge, of Galena was to do great and wonderful things for the Mormons. He said he had been trying hard to have a vision, but couldn't come it. The Lord would not reveal anything practical to him. As for himself he would vote for Walker, as Walker was a personal friend of his' but if Hiram had had a vision they had better vote for Hoge. Hiram was never known to lie. Therefore with these instructions they went to the polls and voted en masse for Hoge.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                             Peoria,  Illinois, August 25, 1843.                           No. 21.


We learn by a gentleman from Warsaw, that a meeting of the people of Hancock county, to be held at Carthage, was called for-today, to take into consideration their relations with the Mormons. It is said that a good deal of excitement exists against them, and apprehensions of a serious riot and outbreak were entertained. The people of that section of the state are heartily tired of the Mormons as ever the citizens of Missouri were, but they have suffered them to obtain so strong a foothold that no power exists which can deprive them of their possessions, or induce them to abandon their present residence.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democrat Press.

Vol. V.                             Peoria, Illinois, October 18, 1843.                             No. 5.


The Mormons and the Whig. -- The following is extracted from the Quincy Whig, and is one of the most beautiful specimens of professions of friendship, before election and practices afterward, that we have seen since the hard cider campaign of 1840:

The Mormons when they came to this state were small as to numbers -- by their statements of persecutions at the hands of the people of Missouri; the sympathies of our people were warmly excited in their behalf, the hand of charity was freely held out to them, but since their residence here, their society has largely increased as to numbers, and instead of acting the part of quiet, law loving people, grateful for the sympathies which had been extended towards them in their misfortunes, their leaders assumed to dictate to their former benefactors, and to control the local elections of their vicinage as well as to screen their people in the perpetration of crime.

It is truly amusing to hear the organ of O. H. Browning denouncing the Mormons as disturbers of the peace and violators of the law for dictating to their former benefactors and controlling the elections of the country.

But a few months have elapsed since the junto here dispatched a messenger to Nauvoo to induce these very Mormon leaders to control the election in his congressional district by dictating to the members of their Church to vote for this same O. H. Browning and against Judge Douglass, and but a few weeks have passed since about seven hundred Mormons voted for Mr. Browning in this district, under written instructions from Nauvoo, in pursuance of an understanding between the leaders here and there to that effect. Before the election the Mormons were all that is pure, moral, honest and patriotic; but now they are accused by the same men of "trampling upon the laws, and by their arrogant, dictatorial and turbulent conduct, creating discord, confusion and perhaps civil war."

The Mormons would doubtless feel much mortified and chagrined that the opinion of their fast friends, Browning, Jones, &c., should undergo such a radical change back again before the next election. Perhaps the Mormons will console themselves for being abused by the Whigs, now, with the assurance of being praised by them next year.

We predict that before the next election the Mormons will become, in the estimation of the Whigs, an injured, abused, and persecuted people. By that time Browning will again want their votes for Congress.

Note: The above quote from the Quincy Whig evidently came from its issue of Oct. 11, 1843. However, an inspection of an incomplete paper of that date has yielded no such article.


Peoria Democrat Press.

Vol. ?                             Peoria, Illinois, March 20, 1844.                             No. ?


The Nauvoo Neighbor has for its candidates, "For president, gen. Joseph Smith, Nauvoo, Illinois; vice president gen. James A. Bennett, New York." We have not heard whether the Mormons intend to hold a national convention or whether they will nominate electors of their own denomination. Time will tell.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democrat Press.

Vol. ?                             Peoria, Illinois, May 29, 1844.                             No. ?


Ascending an acclivity somewhat abrupt and turning to the right you are at the site of the Temple. The foundation is entirely of stone, constructed in the most massive manner, and the superstructure is to be of the same material and construction. The dimensions are perhaps 130 feet by 90, and the edifice is to have three stories of some 20 feet each in altitude. The spire is to be about one hundred feet higher than the walls, or 160 feet from the ground. The appearance presented by this edifice in the diagram model, which was shown me by the prophet, is grand and imposing. The Tower, the casements, the doors, and all the prominent parts of the edifice, are to be richly ornamented, both within and without -- but in a style of architecture, which no Greek, nor Goth, nor Frank, ever dreamed. I will be bound to affirm, indeed, as I learned from the lips of the prophet himself -- the style of architecture is exclusively his own and must be known henceforth and forever, I suppose, as the "Mormon order!" The external layer of stone is dressed with considerable neatness, and each of the rouge [sic - range?] of pilasters, by which it is ornamented, bears upon its sculptural representation of the Crescent, with the profile of a man's face in strong relief -- Much in the style of that edifying picture of the moon you may have been want to admire, as well as myself, in the primer when a boy! The effect of this image is semi-solemn, semi-laughable, and certainly more than semi-singular. In the workshop beside the structure, in which a large number of stone-cutters are employed, may be seen divers other carvings on stone, designed for the holy edifice, still more novel than that I have named. Among them are suns, full moons and half the constellations of the firmament; to say nothing of human faces, of expression weird enough for an egyptian obelisk. There are 75 or 100 of the fraternity zealously at work at the present time hewing stone of laying it for the temple, -- all other public improvements being in perfect abeyance that this greatest and holiest of all may advance. The walls of the structure are about two feet in depth, and the solidity of the buttresses, and the porthole aspect of the basement apertures for windows, lend the pile more the appearance of a fortilace than a sanctuary. It has three entrances all on the west front. On each side of the main entrance is an apartment perfectly circular without window or loop hole, or division of any kind, designed for some vestibular purpose which none of our party could define. At the eastern extremity is a large arched window, and here no doubt is to stand the altar. The basement story, as you look down to it, reminds you more of a wine cellar, with its dozen apartments or crypts, each divided from the other by ponderous masonry.

In the center of the basement, resting upon the backs of eight white oxen carved from wood with passable skill, stands the baptismal fount -- a rectangular box of some twelve feet square, and shoulders of two oxen up to their knees in buck-work -- with most inexpressive eyes -- most extensive ears -- a remarkable longitude of face, and a protrusion of horns perfectly prodigious with a single exception -- one horn of one unhappy ox having been torn off by some more than usually rude grasp at the "altar"! The effect of all this is of a character somewhat mixed. It is certainly a little startling in the "dim religious" duskiness of the spot, to stumble upon these eight white oxen, standing so still, and stiff, and stark, and solemn, with their great stony eyes startling [sic - staring?] at you for the intrusion; and yet, the first inclination, after recovering from your surprise is to laugh and that most heartily. The idea of this fount seems to have been revealed to the prophet directly by the plan of the "molten sea" of Solomon's temple, which we are told in the old scriptures, stood upon twelve oxen, three looking to the north, three to the south, three to the east, and three to the west: "all their hinder parts inward."

The Mormon temple should it ever be complete -- and it has been three years reaching the second floor -- will certainly present one of the most extraordinary architectural structures since the era of the erection of the massive sanctuaries of the Nile -- of descriptions of the ruins of which, the spectator is by this reminded! Its interior structure and arrangement we were informed by the prophet, had not been decided upon -- (he did not tell me "had not yet been revealed to him," as he did to many others) and indeed he was by no means certain, he should erect the edifice externally in accordance with the plan proposed and published.

The view of the roofs and streets of the city beneath -- the farms and fields away to the north and east -- the river winding its dark and serpentine course in front -- the long and wooded island lying midway in the stream -- the little village of Montrose on the opposite side, and far away in the distance. Blue along the western horizon, the retreating undulating hills of Iowa -- all these objects are spread out like a map before the eye, at a Coup Doeil, from the walls of the temple; and the scene is as grand as it is Beautiful.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. VI.                             Peoria, Illinois, April 23, 1845.                             No. 11.


William Smith, brother of the Mormon prophet, charged with publishing a libel against B. Winchester, in the paper called "The Prophet," published in New York, was on the 24th ult. held to bail by the mayor in the sum of $3000, to answer the charge in the court of quarter sessions.

Note: Similar news itens appeared in the April 17, 1845 issue of the Sangamo Journal and the April 12, 1845 issue of the Alton Journal. See also contemporary issues of the Mormons' New York paper, The Prophet for more details in this story.


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. VI.                             Peoria, October 8, 1845.                             No. 35.

                           From the Chicago Democrat of Oct. 1.


On Thursday morning last, at 4 o'clock, F. Bonney, Esq., of Montrose, Iowa, arrived in this city in the steamboat Champion, with two of the five murderers of Col. Davenport, Wm. E. Birch alias Haines, and John Long alias Howe. Both these men are well known in the Rock River region and need no description at our hands. The people there will also rejoice to learn that Fox alias Sutton was arrested, a long time since, by this same chivalrous Bonney and has been kept in irons secretly, safe in one of the jails of this state. In order to prevent alarm, it was reported that he was arrested for horse stealing, as the gang have accomplices [all] over the western states, many of whom will not steal or murder, but will knowingly, harbor those who do both.

This intrepid Bonney, who lives at Montrose, Lee County, Iowa, took an interest in discovering the murderers of Miller and Liesy, who were the two Hodges and Tom Brown. He succeeded in bringing the two Hodges to the gallows, but Tom Brown is still at large and has recently been traced from Iowa to Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. He was making arrangements to pass counterfeit money, finding out the proper places to stop and the men to circulate it.

It will be remembered that, when the two Hodges were tried, Birch, Sutton, Long and Co. were on hand to prove an alibi, as usual. It was of no avail, however, they were hung, protesting, not their innocence, but that there was not enough evidence to hang them

Bonney succeeded so well in the case of the Hodges that he was induced to undertake the discovery of the murders of Col. Davenport. By a process best known to himself, a disclosure of which would deprive him of his magic, he discovered that the murderers of Col. Davenport were Birth, Sutton and Long and two others who should be arrested and taken to Rock Island wherever found or without process. The two others are J. Baxter and Aaron Long. Let all those knowing these men organize a posse instanter and take them to Rock Island.

The Galena Gazette of the 3d inst. says: -- Dr. Gregg of Rock Island returned to our city yesterday with another of the murderers -- F. Baxter. He was taken at the house of his brother-in-law, Berry Haney, near Madison, Wisconsin. Baxter has for several years been a resident of Rock Island, and always bore a good name until his participation in this diabolical murder was made public.

It is reported that Fox, who had been arrested in Indiana, and made his escape, has been re-taken. If this is true, all the murderers are secured, viz: Burch, Baxter, Fox and the two Longs.

Baxter, it was supposed, acted as the spy to the party -- seeking out work, while Fox, the dare-devil of the gang, executed the murderous deeds. There is little or no doubt that it was the latter who shot Col. Davenport. Baxter, but a week or two before the murder, and no doubt while he was planning it, took tea with Col. D., at the residence of the latter. The annals of crime perhaps never presented a case of more hardened villainy, and we rejoice that the fiendish actors, who have so long eluded the grasp of justice, are about to pay the penalty of their crimes.

There is a gang of lawyers and tavern keepers all along that country who are in the secrets of these murderers, and in due time, will be exposed. The publications in this paper, by representing these villains somewhere in this vicinity still, enabled Bonney to find them out. Every number of this paper has been seen by Birch and Sutton; and, when in Ohio, they felt safe. The keeper of the great depot of all sorts of knaves, at St. Louis, shamed Birch the first article about him.

As is usually the case, after the murder, they all fled to Upper Missouri, to Aiken's to stay until some one should write them whether they were mistrusted. A fictitious letter was written to Aiken that the murderers of Davenport were pursued and that he would be lynched if he was found harboring them; but no names were called.

"Big Davis" was and is now in that region. Either Aiken or Davis turned them in another direction. They then stole a horse each, traveled nights and slept days, and run to St. Louis. There a certain "black leg" tavern keeper showed Birch the Democrat, and they fled to Lebanon, Illinois. There they stole three horses and fled to Terre Haute, Indiana, near which they separated, Fox, alias Sutton, taking a route by himself to the residence of his father, a respectable farmer by the name of John Fox, in Wayne county. There he was arrested for passing counterfeit money and bound over in the sum of $800. His father bailed him. Bonney asked them if they knew he was arrested? They replied, "but his father bailed him." They, undoubtedly, from their confidence of being rescued, thought Fox was still at large. But, after being bailed, he was arrested on another counterfeit money charge, but really for the murder of Col. Davenport, and has been privately secure, for some time.

Fox was born on the farm where his father now lives, in Indiana, and is about 28 years of age. Long and Birch are said to be North Carolinans born. The former is 25 years of age, and has broken nearly every frontier jail in the west. The latter is 28 years of age. He and Fox have been at their deviltries eight years and have never, before this year, been arrested as they boast.

Long is a pupil of the celebrated villain, Brown, who was killed at Belleview, Iowa a few years since.

Bonney, after securing Fox, went in search of Long and Birch, who, with another knave, were to have robbed an honest farmer near Sandusky, Ohio, on Saturday night, a week last. They were to do as they did by Mulford, if they could; if not, as they did by Davenport. When Mulford counted out the money on his knee to Birch, he said to Mulford, "You must have been a d___d lazy devil not to have scraped together more money than this, at your age." Birch says he never killed a man in his life, and was opposed to killing Davenport. But Long said "dead men tell no tales" and fired away. There is no doubt, however, but Burch and Long either would kill West if they could get a good chance. By the way, they stole a splendid race mare in Mo., which Bonney had left in Indiana until her owner should give some orders as to the proper disposition of her.

Bonney first saw Birch at the race track, in Little Sandusky and recognized Col. Davenport's chain; and, as a stranger, spoke frequently to him, But, as Long was not with him, he did not arrest him. Finding that they were to be in Lower Sandusky together, he went ahead of them and made arrangements for their arrest. He arrived in the morning, and they came passengers in the southern stage at night. Just as they were about being arrested, a notorious blackleg, purely out of sympathy and without the least acquaintance with them, steps up to Birch and says "You are going to be arrested." His name is Rich, and he ought to be in the state's prison. No sooner was this said than Birch tore off the watch chain and threw it away. This was seen; and the chain was found, answering Col. Davenport's description exactly.

They were then arrested and taken away. Whilst on the passage across the lake from St. Joseph here, Birch supposing that the gold chain and other articles of evidence against him were in Bonney's portmanteau, with fetters on, [went] to the clerk's office, took it out and threw it overboard. When asked why he did so, he relied, "I felt full of the devil and wanted to do something."

They arrived here about 4 o'clock, A. M. and were taken to our jail, where Mr. Lowe, our sheriff, and Mr. Perrior, our jailor, gave their usual good attendance and they were kept safe until about nine o'clock, when they were started off for Rock Island in company with Bonney, the sheriff of Sandusky, Ohio, and Wm. Wessencraft, of our city police. Lest the news of their arrest might get to their accomplices around Inlet and Washington Grove, they were to hurry through so as to be at Dixon on Friday morning, and at Rock Island on Friday evening. What scenes will then transpire cannot be conjectured.

These men who have been outraging that community, for the past 5 years, will first engage a lawyer. The Rock Island court will soon sit. We think it will be next week, if not this. Their lawyer, as is generally the case, will advise a change of venue. Perhaps, he will make them swear it out of the circuit. They will want to go through the winter without a trial in hopes to break jail in the mean time. Should a trial be forced, they will swear some necessary witness is absent, and cannot be had, say Davis, Aiken, or an alibi. If a trial is still forced, then they may have the luck to find some of their accomplices, yet undetected, willing to perjure themselves and swear that they saw them somewhere else on that day. This has been the usual course in such cases.

This Long is the one who robbed Frink and Walker's stage a while ago; and Fox says that he and Birch did the very act for which Bliss was sent to prison. When here, they were told that Bridge and been lynched. Birch immediately said, "That's the death I shall die," and almost cried. He continued, "I have done a great many bad things on Rock River -- the people are prejudiced against me -- I have never killed anyone -- I want a fair trial -- do write to Knox to defend me -- do let me stay here until the excitement is over -- I don't want the people to kill me -- but they will do it, if I am carried there now." &c. But Long reproved him and told him to stop whining, saying, "I am not afraid -- I've done nothing to trouble me" &c., manifesting the greatest indifference. Birch seems a great coward and could easily be frightened by fear of the lynchers to confess all his dark deeds. But it is doubtful whether Long would confess even on the gallows.

We would not be at all surprised if Birch should turn state's evidence, as they is his first arrest. But Long has been arrested so often and has always escaped, that nothing need be expected from him but the most daring acts to break away.

The people of Rock River country cannot be too grateful to Bonney for this three months constant, shrewd and daring pursuit of these murderers and he should have his $2,500 in ready gold the moment he delivers them up. We hope there will be no backing out on the reward, as is too often the case. We have never heard or read of adventures equal to his, and we say let him have his due praise, No one knows the amount of treasure and of blood he has saved, they having already one engagement to rob, and who knows but a dozen, on hand.

By the way, these murderers, in order to avoid detection, buried the money obtained from Col. Davenport's safe immediately after the murder, and it still remains buried.

P. S. We learn that Bonney and the officers with him arrived at Rock Island in safety with the prisoners and lodged them in jail.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. VI.                             Peoria, October 15, 1845.                             No. 36.


The Springfield Register of last Friday says, the place of the ultimate destination of the Mormons is Vancouver's island in the territory of Oregon, whence they will all remove next spring. We have seen nothing of this in any communication from Nauvoo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Peoria Democratic Press.

Vol. VI.                             Peoria, November 26, 1845.                             No. 42.

California -- the Mormons,

William Smith, a brother of the late "prophet," gave us a short time since, some items with regard to the Mormon movements, their Californian views, &c., which, though not altogether new, are interesting. It is stated that their desihn is to set up an independent government, in that region. That they will carry with them several pieces of ordinance -- the same which excited the alarm of the Anties, last summer, on their arrival at Nauvoo. That the plan has been maturing for a long time, and that, in fact, with hate in their hearts, skillfully kept up by the Mormon leaders, whose pockets are to be enriched by their toil, the mass of the Mormons will be alike purged of American feeling, and shut out by a barrier of mountain and church restrictions from any other than Mormon freedom. -- That the design of Brigham Young and the "Twelve" is to build up a sacerdotal tyranny, the spirit of which will be more repugnant to the spread of republican principles than could possibly be the rule of Europe. This, with much more, is what is stated by Wm. Smith and other opponents of the present Mormon organization; and if this be at all true, it certainly will cause the expected removal of these people to be regarded with very different eyes by the great body of Americans, who have, heretofore, sympathized with them, as far as the matter of persecution goes, but who, nevertheless, are keenly awake to the character of every germ that may be planted in a land designed by Providence for the growth of freedom in its widest reach of branch and limb, not for the gnarled and stunted trunk of bigotry and superstition. As a people flying for conscience sake, the Mormons must interest all; but as a tribe marching, however far, with a deep design of appropriating territory for the planting of institutions which can never combine with the fabric we are raising, they become no more than cunning adventurers, whose progress few will say 'God speed' to.

We only state a case; -- the entire disinterestedness of Wm. Smith and others, is no more unquestionable than that of those whom he denounces; but our attention has, certainly, been attracted by the tone of the last saintly organ, which seems to have for its object the exasperation of the Mormons not only against their oppressing neighbors, but against the whole country, consigned accordingly to the editor, to woe and destruction. Passion might excuse such ridiculous intemperance but policy seems rather to be at the bottom of it, and we are led to suspect that there may be some truth, in the Anti-American nature of the expected removal. The following is the tone of their farewell to the Union, and we argue little good from it:

We owe the United States nothing: we go out by force as exiles from freedom. -- The government and people owe us millions for the destruction of life and property in Missouri and Illinois. The blood of our best men stains the land, and the ashes of our property will preserve it till God comes out of his hiding place, and gives this nation a hotter portion than he did Sodom and Gomorreh. 'When they cease to spoil they shall be spoiled,' for the Lord hath spoken it. -- Revellie

Notes: (forthcoming)

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