(Newspapers of Illinois)

Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois

Warsaw  Signal
1842 Articles

Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois -- late 1840s

1840   |   1841   |   1842   |   1843   |   1844   |   1845   |   1846-47   |   1848-52

Jan 26    Feb 02    Feb 09
Feb 16    Feb 23    Apr 13
Apr 20    May 04    Jul 09
Jul 16    Jul 23    Jul 30
Aug 06    Aug 13    Aug 20
Aug 27    Sep 03    Sep 17
Oct 01   

misc. Ill. papers   |  Alton Telegraph   |  Sangamo Journal
Quincy papers   |  Peoria papers   |  Nauvoo Wasp, etc.

Old Newspaper Articles Index


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, January 26, 1842.                           No. 38.


As we expected, the wonderful document issued by the Prophet, directing his followers how to vote, has created great shaking amongst the dry bones of the politicians. On one hand, the Whigs say it is a high-handed and insolent production, and on the other, the Democrats say umph! scarcely knowing whether to approve or condemn.

We are not prophets, but we will hazzard the prediction who tampers with the Mormons, or condescends to sycophancy in order to insure their support, will, in less than five years, lose more by the withdrawal of the confidence of the people than it is now in the power of the Mormons to give. But still, notwithstanding this is apparent, such is the [devotion] with which men kneel to [----- --- that] there are those who are willing [to worship a] Money-Digger as a god, if [---- ----- they] can secure their political [---------].

The Sangamo Journal, heretofore a friend of the Mormons, has had its tune wonderfully changed by the proclamation. Hear him --

"The Proclamation which follows this preface, is in itself most strange and daring -- perversive of the privileges of a citizen! It would not be so, were the signer anyone else than the person whom it represents -- JOSEPH SMITH. Mr. S. is supposed by his followers to be a Prophet of the Most High God. Whether he is or not, is no matter of dispute at present; but as such Prophet he is held in the highest veneration and respect by his followers, whom he leads easily by the belief of his high calling. Now, as long as Mr. Smith keeps near the sanctuary and prophecies of religion, he is guileless of offence, but when he enters upon the duties of a civil office of the State, and as a Lieutenant General, speaks to his friends, whom [as a] PROPHET he can command, and uses the religious influence he possesses, under the Military garb he has acquired, he becomes a dangerous man, and must look to the consequences. If he would take a friendly advice, we would say, let some Joshua, the son of Nun, lead the armies, and let him stick to interpretation and prophecy -- and for we do assure him upon an honest belief, that his situation in Illinois, is far more dangerous than ever it was in Missouri; if he undertakes to take Mahomet's part, his only prototype, save Mokhauna, and play the warrior and patriot [sic -prophet?].

As for the Supreme Judge, who is so all powerful with the sect, let him look to it that ambition does not overlap its mark."

Nauvoo, Ill., Jan 20, 18[42].      
T. C. Sharp, Esq.
      Editor of the Warsaw Signal.

Dear Sir -- Will you do me the justice to say that I am not a candidate for the Senate of Illinos, from Hancock county. I am in favor of the Independent Democratic candidate, Mr. Owen, our former distinguished Senator, for that high and responsible station. I have no interest in this matter but what is common to us all -- the public good.
Yours, respectfully,                        

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 2, 1842.                           No. 39.

Chicago  Democrat  and  the  Mormons.

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 9, 1842.                           No. 40.



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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 16, 1842.                           No. 41.


The "Address to the Mormons," ...

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 23, 1842.                           No. 42.



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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, April 13, 1842.                           No. 49.

Of the People of Hancock County.

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, April 20, 1842.                           No. 50.


==> We have received ...

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2.                           Warsaw, Illinois, May 4, 1842.                           No. 52.

Of the People of Hancock County.

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 9, 1842.                           No. 1.


We understand that the very mischief is brewing in Nauvoo, since the threatening of Bennett to expose the villainy of Joe and his satellites. Several of Joe's right hand men, among them, one of the Pratts, G. W. Robinson, and Sidney Rigdon, have left the church and joined Bennett's party.

One disclosure particularly will prove interesting -- and that is in relation to Bogg's murder. -- Bennett states that a Mr. Rockwell started suddenly from Nauvoo, about two weeks before Boggs' assassination; that he (Bennett) asked Joe where Rockwell had gone; and that Joe replied, that 'HE HAD GONE TO MISSOURI TO FULFIL PROPHECIES!!' He says further, that Rockwell returned to Nauvoo on the very day that the news of Governor Boggs' assassination arrived. Since that, the Prophet has presented said Rockwell with a carriage and horse, or horses; and he has suddenly become very flush of money, and lives in style. These statements we give as we received them. It is said that Bennett has affidavits to prove every fact above stated, and will shortly present them to the world. If this be true, there will but little doubt remain, that Joe Smith was the real instigator of Boggs's assassination.


We understand that Gen. Bennett, who pur readers are aware has been ousted from his place in the Mormon Church; has commenced writing for the Sangamo Journal a series of communications, going to show the rascality of Joe Smith and his clan, and the dangerous designs which he is capable of forming and executing. The General asks not to be believed on his own assertions, but proves matters as he goes; he is a man of great energy and perseverance, and we should not be surprised if he made the Mormons feel like stuck hogs for a few months to come. -- Give it to them General, we like to see it -- although there is no doubt that you yourself deserve a few SMALL compliments.


The last Pole Cat, contains the Phrenological chart of Joe Smith's head, by A. Crane. He must be a crane indeed if he thinks to stuff down the throats of Phrenologists, that Joe Smith's moral and intellectual organs, are largely developed, while the baser passions are but moderate.


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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 16, 1842.                           No. 2.


==> 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 Jo. Smith, and some other matter concerning the policy of the Church. It was supposed in Nauvoo, that he had committed suicide, and about 500 persons were out on the search for him.

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 23, 1842.                           No. 3.

L E T T E R S.
From General Bennett, Into
Mayor of the City of Nauvoo,
&c. &c. &c.

From the Sangamo Journal.

Carthage, Hancock County.      
July 2, A. D. 1842.      

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 30, 1842.                           No. 4.

Miss Brotherton's Statement.

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Bennett's 3d Letter.

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Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 6, 1842.                           No. 5.


As was expected, the letters of General Bennett, have caused a great fluttering among the faithful at Nauvoo, and every effort is being made to counteract, as far as possible, the impressions which they are calculated to produce on the public mind. We have now before us a paper entitled 'Proof Sheet of the Wasp,' containing the affidavits of Wm. Law, Hyrum Smith, and Danl. H. Wells, all contradicting the statements of Gen. Bennett, and going to dhow the baseness of his character and motives.

With regard to Bennett's character and conduct, we have nothing to say in defence -- the part he has played with the Mormons -- his participation with Smith in all his base doings -- his winking at acts which a man of common honesty could regard only with abhorence -- his abetting Smith in his vile attempts at seduction -- and his hanging on to this filthy mass of corruption, until compelled to let go his hold -- all show Bennett, for his own sake, is worthy of but little credit or confidence. We, however, believe that his statements are not without foundation -- First, because the exposures which he makes are but on a par with the doings of this holy brotherhood in Kirtland and in Missouri. And, secondly, because Bennett's testimony is corroborated by concurrent circumstances.

Any one acquainyed with the history of the Mormons -- who is acquainted with their mercantile and banking operations in Kirtland, the teachings of Joe and Co. in Missouri, the designs of the famous Danite band, and the thousand other enormities which have at different times, been committed, under the sanction, and by the authority of the Church leaders, -- will object to nothing said by General Bennett, as at all incredible. A man who, under the garb of religion, can commit the most villainous swindling operations, not only upon the poor dupes whom he has induced to follow his standard, but also upon the whole community; who can commit muder and rapine under the pretended sanction of Heaven, and sacrifice hundreds of his devoted band, for the accomplishment of his unholy purposes, is capable of any act of enormity, to which human nature is equal. The testimony of Gen. Bennett, then, although of no weight if it stood alone, has force and effect, when taken in connection with that of Dr. Avard, W. W. Phelps, and others, as given before the Court of Inquiry in Missouri, and the direct corroborations of Col. Higbee and Miss Martha H. Brotherton. All go to show the point arrived at, viz.: that Joe Smith is a most consumate villain and knave.

The second reason why we believe that Bennett does not speak without reason, is the fear of exposure which Joe himself seemed to manifest, on the withdrawal of Bennett from the Church. It appears that he procured an affidavit from Bennett, stating that he (Smith) had never taught any thing wrong, either by word or act. Now, we ask, why did he want this affidavit? -- If he was conscious of having never taught nor acted contrary to the principles of honor, honesty, and righteousness, where was the necessity of procuring from Bennett an assurance of his purity? The truth is, no explanation can be given, other than this, that Joe was fully aware that Bennett was in possession of facts, which, if made public, would bring infamy on himself and the Church. Hence his anxiety to deprive Bennett of the power of doing injury, by procuring his affidavit, & publishing it, together with a statement of Bennett's character, before the latter had made any charge against him to the world. His object, in this, evidently was to forestall public opinion, by destroying the character of a man whose knowledge of his baseness, would render him dangerous. Now, we ask, if Joe was conscious of rectitude, why this anxiety to discredit Bennett, before he had uttered a word to the public against him? Innocent men do not generally attempt to justify themselves before they are accused; but Smith was industrious to stop the mouth of a witness who, he alleged, knew nothing against him.


The result of the recent election clearly demonstrates that the old citizens of Hancock county are the humble subjects of his Royal Highness, Joe Smith. We are now totally deprived of one of the dearest rights of Freemen -- the Elective Franchise; and, hereafter, all our County officers and our Representatives, are to be chosen by the sole dictation of ONE MAN, and that man the most consummate villain and knave in the State! -- Know, then, fellow citizens, that we are in effect, but Political SLAVES -- and are placed in the tri-lemma, of Submission -- Compromise -- or Resistance. The latter every thinking man will deprecate, the first is impossible to be long continued, -- peaceable compromise, then, is the only method by which we can regain our rights, without staining our cause. HOW CAN SUCH A COMPROMISE BE EFFECTED? -- is a question which we now submit to the citizens of this county, and ask of them a calm, dispassionate, but decisive answer.

You are all aware that resistance to Mormon rule is an every-day topic among us; and every thinking man must see that there must be a compromise, or, sooner or later, it will come to this. Submission is out of the Question. We may not resist now -- we may submit for years -- but we must be contented to live slaves, or seek a remedy for the existing evil. That remedy we may as well seek now as in future. Again we ask -- Can there not be a compromise?

In this matter, let the old citizens hang together; let not one person of the county forsake the other; but let us make a common cause, and ask if there cannot be a peaceable division of the county, so as to set the Mormons off from us. We submit this subject, with the request that some of our citizens, in the various sections of the county, will give their views to the public through our columns.


The Election passed off last Monday, without any particular disturbance or disorder. In Carthage, a trifling fracus occurred between J. B. Backenstos and Francis Worrell, in which the latter received a wound, not dangerous however, with a knife. The blame generally attaches to Backenstos; and if the facts be as stated to us, he certainly acted in a most dastardly manner.

. The results of the Election, as far as heard from, will be found in another column. It will be seen that the whole Democratic ticket -- so called -- but more properly Mormon ticket, is elected. One of our Representatives is a Mormon, and a brother to the Prophet -- our Sheriff is in fact and in heart a Mormon, but has never had the honor of baptism conferred upon him; the other candidates are from the ranks of the old citizens, but would never have had the support of Joe, had he been as conscious of the extent of his power as he must be now. The whole ticket was a mongrel affair, made up by agreement between Joe Smith and some anxious office-seekers, of one of the political parties -- and to say the best of it, is fully worthy of its originators. How very patriotic must have been the aspirations of Messrs. Davis and Owen, when they consented to run on the same ticket with so high-minded -- so gentlemanly -- so noble a personage, as Bill Smith! He will certainly give dognity and weight to our county in the Halls of Legislation! Should not his colleagues feel proud of him?


After waiting for some time to get the Official Returns for this county, we are at last disappointed, and go to press without them. We have, however, the aggregate majority for Ford -- which is 1038. The Mormon-Democratic ticket is elected by a majority generally short of the above...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 13, 1842.                           No. 6.


Most of our readers are doubtless aware that a recent attempt has been made by the Executive of this State to arrest Joe Smith and O. P. Rockwell in obedience to the requisition of the Governor of Missouri. The charges upon which this requisition was founded, are those preferred by Gen. Bennett, viz.: that Smith was accessory & Rockwell principal in the recent attempt on the life of Gov. Boggs.

The warrant was not placed in the hands of the officer until the latter part of last week; but whether there was any political maneuvering, as is rumored, whereby the warrant was shifted off until the election we cannot say.

The officer charged with arrest passed through this place on last Saturday accompanied by three or four men. They gave out that they were in search of runaway negroes; and in leaving the town took such a circuitous route as to prevent any suspicions of their real destination or design. On Monday they without difficulty arrested Smith and Rockwell; but the prisoners were immediately brought before the municipal court of Nauvoo, on habeas corpus and discharged. The officers however insisted that the Municipal Court had no power in that case to grant the writ, and that the ordinance under which it was granted was of no effect. Smith on the other hand insisted that the writ should be returned to the Governor with the endorsement, that they had been discharged by the City Court, refusing to go with the officer unless this were done; and pledging himself to be forthcoming if the Governor should again send for him. The officer seeing no hope of being able to take Smith, against his will, returned to Quincy; but the Governor immediately dispatched him back to Nauvoo, with instructions to take Smith at all hazards. In the mean time Judge Ralston had been sent for by Smith; who arrived at Nauvoo previous to the return of the officer. If rumor is correct he advised Smith to secrete himself, as his case was a desperate one. Accordingly when the warrant arrived again in the city, Smith and Rockwell were among the missing. Thus ends the chapter.

Our citizens were in hopes that the scamp would be taken or else make open resistance; no termination of the affair could be less satisfactory than the one which has taken place. If he had resisted, we should have had the sport of driving him and his worthy clan out of the State en masse, but as it is we are mortified that there is no efficacy in the law to bring such a scamp to justice. We hope that our Executive will spare no effort hereafter to bring about this consummation so devoutly to be wished.


It is stated that when the officer arrested O. P. Rockwell in Nauvoo on Monday last, that he turned deathly pale, and exhibited every symptom of alarm, and guilt. Shortly after he was discharged by the municipal court he left the city, and has not been heard from since. A fellow by the name of Derby, of about equal standing with O. P. Rockwell; and his professed friend, was in this place on Wednesday last; and in conversation on the subject of Rockwell's guilt, said, that Rockwell could prove that he was fifteen miles from Independence on the night that Boggs was shot, and that he went down the Missouri river in the same boat with the sheriff who was in pursuit of the murderer. This we conceive is rather confirmatory than exculpatory; at all events it proves that Rockwell was in that region of the country at the time of the attempted murder, on what business it will rest with him to show.

From the whole circumstances -- Smith's prophecy that Boggs should die within a year by violence, his stating that Rockwell had gone into Missouri to fulfill prophecies -- the fact that Rockwell was in the neighborhood of Boggs at the time of the attempt on his life -- his return to Nauvoo just as the news arrived of the assassination of Boggs -- his sudden elevation from a low blackguard to a gentleman by the presents of Smith on his return -- his conduct when arrested -- his flight as soon as released -- all form a concatenation of events, to say the least, strangely mysterious; and we are very much mistaken, if those taken with what other proof might arise on identifying Rockwell in Missouri, would not consign him and his villainous instigator to the gallows.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 20, 1842.                           No. 7.


Regulating the mode of proceeding in Cases of Habeas Corpus, before the Municipal Court.

Sec. 1. Be it Ordained by the City of Nauvoo, that in all cases where any Person or Persons, shall at any time hereafter, be arrested or under arrest, in this city, under any Writ or Process, and shall be brought before the Municipal Court of this City, by virtue of a Writ of Habeas Corpus, the Court shall in every such Case shall have power and authority and are hereby required to examine into the Origin, Validity and Legality of the Writ or Process, under which such arrest was made, and if it shall appear to the Court, upon sufficient testimony that said Writ or Process was illegally or not legally issued, or did not proceed from proper authority, then the court shall discharge the Prisoner from under said Arrest; but if it shall appear to the Court that said Writ or Process had issued from proper authority, and was a legal Process, the Court shall then proceed and fully hear the merits of the Case, upon which said Arrest was made, upon such evidence as may be produced and sworn before said Court, and shall have power to adjourn the hearing, and also issue process from time to time in their discretion, in order to procure the attendance of Witnesses, so that a fair and impartial trial and decision may be obtained in every such case.

Sec. 2. And be it further Ordained, That if upon investigation it shall be proven before the Municipal Court, that the Writ or process has been issued, either through private pique, malicious intent, or religious or other persecution, falsehood, or misrepresentation, contrary to the Constitution of this State or of the United States the said Writ or process shall be quashed and considered of no force or effect, and the Prisoner or Prisoners shall be released and discharged therefrom.

Sec. 3. And be it also further ordained, that in the Absence, Sickness, Debility or other circumstances disqualifying or preventing the Mayor from officiating in his office, as Chief Justice of the Municipal Court, the Aldermen present shall appoint one from amongst them to act as Chief Justice pro tempore.

Sec. 4. This Ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Vice-Mayor and President Pro Tempore.       
Passed August 8, 1842.
                          James Sloan, Recorder.

We copy the above ordinances in order to show our readers the barefaced affrontery with which the holy brotherhood at Nauvoo set at defiance the civil authorities of the State. No man having claims to even an ordinary share of common sense, can ever believe that there is the least shadow of authority in the City Council of Nauvoo, to pass such an ordinance as the above; indeed the Legislature of this State has not power to do it. The City Charter gives to the Municipal Court power to issue writs of Habeas Corpus; evidently this power is only granted in reference to case of arrest under the Municipal Laws, and by the most latitudinarian construction, cannot be made to extend to cases of an arrest under the laws of the State -- but this Mormon ordinance, not only extends to all cases of arrest; but sets the laws of the United States at defiance, by giving authority to the Municipal Court to enquire into the causes of the arrest; a power which even the legislature of this State cannot confer.

By the constitution and laws of the United States, the Governor of this state is bound to deliver up fugitives from justice on the requisition of the Governor of any other State, and the judiciary of this state have no right to enquire under any circumstances into anything further than the sufficiency of the writ on which the arrest is made. If this is in due form, and properly served, there is no power for any tribunal in this State to make any further inquiry. The guilt or innocence of the accused must be determined by the Courts of the State from whence the requisition issued; and any court of law, which institutes any inquiry on this nature, oversteps the boundaries of its jurisdiction, and openly sets at defiance the laws of the land.

Now we ask our Citizens, what think you of this barefaced defiance of our laws by the City Council of Nauvoo, and if persisted in, what must be the final result? If these things are suffered to pass unheeded by the authorities of this state, who is safe whether in his person or property? A Mormon cut-throat may take the life of one of our citizens, and returning to the City of Saints, set a defiance the laws of the land.

Independent of the ordinances above quoted, which was evidently designed to give some semblance of legality to the protection of criminals, we believe that the Mormon church is just such a body, as can be the shelter to every blackleg, cut-throat, or horse thief, who chooses to take refuge amongst them. While under the protection of Joe, who can harm them; what means has an officer of either discovering or arresting a man sheltered by a band who regard the laws of the land as secondary to the commands of their Prophet?

==> General Bennett passed through Louisville on his way to New York. where he is going to publish his great expose of Mormonism.


In the last No. of the Signal, under the Editorial head, in reference to the arrest of Smith at Nauvoo, is the following passage -- "If he (Smith) had resisted we should have had the sport of driving him and his worthy clan out of the state, en masse, &c.

Being connected with the paper, in the capacity of printer, I consider it due to myself, lest my silence should [be] interpreted otherwise, to say that I utterly repudiate all such sentiments, holding them to be repugnant to every principle of right or justice, of law or order; and that, in no event, do I consider their adoption justified.

I may be allowed to add further, that I am not willing to believe them the sentiments of the great body of the Anti-Mormon party in this county -- and, had they been avowed as such, I could not have acted with it for a moment.
TH. GREGG.      

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 27, 1842.                           No. 8.


==> The New York Herald announces with a great flourish the arrival of Gen. John C. Bennett in New York city. It says that Bennett is immediately to set about publishing a history of Mormonism, presenting facts that the world never dreamed of. Doubtless it will be a delicious morceau.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, September 3, 1842.                           No. 9.


It is now reduced to a certainty, that Smith is in Nauvoo. On Monday last, he addressed a large crowd of his followers in that city; on the subject of the late attempt to arrest him. He stated that he would not be taken -- that King and Pitman, (the officers charged with the arrest) were cowards, and could not take him. He was very profuse of oaths -- cursing everything that did not smell of Mormonism.

At the conclusion of his speech, he commissioned two hundred and fifty Ministers to travel throughout the country and preach the Gospel -- instructing them to exort all converts to migrate to Nauvoo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, September 17, 1842.                           No. 11.


In consequence of matters, more important, probably, to ourselves, than to the rest of the world, our paper last week edited itself -- and from this circumstance, an item of domestic news of some interest, was omitted. It is this: ...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 3.                           Warsaw, Illinois, October 1, 1842.                           No. 13.


In the absence of the Editor, it becomes our solemn and painful duty to notice the demise of the Warsaw Signal ...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)

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