(Newspapers of Maryland & Wash., D. C.)

Niles Weekly / National Register
1821-1840 Articles

-- Baltimore, Maryland, 1840 --

1821-1840  |  1841-1850

Apr 05 '23    May 03 '23    Oct 01 '25
Jan 21 '26    Nov 13 '26    May 19 '27
Oct 27 '27    Aug 30 '28    Sep 06 '28
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Sep ? '31    Sep 08 '32    Sep 14 '33
Jun 07 '34    Jul 12 '34    Jul 26 '34
Sep 15 '38    Oct 06 '38    Oct 13 '38
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Jul 20 '39    Aug 17 '39    Jan 11 '40
Feb 01 '40    May 16 '40    May 23 '40
Sep 26 '40    Oct 31 '40    Nov 21 '40

Articles Index   |   Washington  Daily National Intelligencer   |   NJ, MD, DE papers


Vol. XXIV.                         Baltimore,   April 5, 1823.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

THE JEWS. It is stated in the "Family Visitor" that the society for meliorating the condition of the Jew, are now engaged in a negotiation for 20,000 acres of land in the "Genesee country," for a Jewish colony. Will the Jews work on it?

Note 1: "The American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews" was founded by Elias Boudinot (author of the 1816 book, A Star in the West) in New York on Feb. 8, 1820 (with Boudinot as its president) under the name of "Society for Evangelizing the Jews." The society applied for incorporation in the state of New York early in 1820 and a bill was presented to the New York Legislature for that purpose. In deference to the prominent Jewish journalist and politician, Mordecai M. Noah, the Legislature changed the society's name when it approved its incorporation (see M. M. Noah's editorial in the May 13, 1826 issue of his newspaper, The National Advocate). When Boudinot died in 1821 his will provided the Society with 4000 acres of land in Warren Co., Pennsylvania, a few miles south of Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., New York. The society's officers sold the land for $1000 and, during the first months of 1823, were shopping about for a more suitable location in western New York (between Rochester and Buffalo), at which to establish Boudinot's planned colony for converted Jews. This was apparently the "negotiation" mentioned in the Richmond Family Visitor. See these sources: George A. Boyd's 1952 book, Elias Boudinot, pp. 261-262; Jonathan D. Sarna's 1981 book, Jacksonian Jew, The Two Worlds of Mordecai Noah, pp. 56-57; and ASMCJ Report No. 3, 1823

Note 2: Major M. M. Noah was keenly aware of the "Meliorating" society's plans to establish a colony for converted Jews in the "Genesee country" of western New York (or adjacent northwestern Pennsylvania) and the founding members of that society were well aware of Noah's plans to institute a counter measure to upstage their Jewish colonizing plans. Near the end of 1819 Noah petitioned the New York Legislature to sell to him Grand Island, in the Niagara River in western New York, where he intended to establish a gathering place for faithful Jews and native "Israelites," to be known as "New Jerusalem." His petition was read in the Legislature on Jan. 19, 1820, less than a month before Boudinot's "Evangelizing" society was formally organized. Neither colonizing plan was successful. Noah's petition was killed in committee and never produced a bill to be voted upon; he then turned his attention towards establishing a Jewish gathering place at Newport, Rhode Island. Although feeble attempts were made to establish Boudinot's planned colony (near Plattesburg, NY, as it turned out), nothing remarkable came of the effort. Had both plans gone forward as hoped for, at the beginning of the 1820s, two competing colonies would have grown up in the "Genesee country," one an Israelite "New Jerusalem" and the other a refuge for converted Jews. As coincidence would have it, this time and place also marked the advent of Oliver Cowdery on the Niagara frontier. What impressions these two failed "Israelite" gatherings had upon young Cowdery's mind remains unknown, but he and his printer cousin, Benjamin Franklin, could not have been unaware of the "New Jerusalem" schemes unfolding practically in their own backyards c. 1823-25.


Vol. XXIV.                         Baltimore,  May 3, 1823.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

CURIOUS MANUSCRIPT. -- The public has been much amused of late, with an account of the discovery of a curious manuscript at Detroit, which not a little puzzled the learned. It was determined that it was not Chinese, Arabic, Syriac-French, Spanish or English, &c. but what it was no one could tell. Four pages of the book being sent to major general Macomb, at Washington, he submitted it to the examination of the professors of Georgetown college, where it has been discovered to be Irish and, with a few exceptions, "truly classical." Some "strange abbreviations" make it difficult to unravel it, but a part has been translated, and it is evidently a treatise on some of the doctrines of the catholic church.

Note: See the Mar. 7, 1823 issue of the Detroit Gazette for more information on the genesis of this strange news report. The "curious manuscript" was reportedly discovered by the business partner of Joseph Smith's uncle and the same Samuel L. Mitchill who failed to certify the language of the 1823 Detroit text also failed to certify the language of the 1827 "golden plates" text -- excerpts from both of which were sent to Mitchill to inspect and decipher.


Vol. ?                         Baltimore,  October 1, 1825.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

ARARAT.   Mr. Noah, editor of the New York National Advocate, as the agent for some land speculators, having purchased Grand Island, which lies in the Niagara River, proceeded, on the 15th ult. to the performance, (at Buffalo), of certain ceremonies, as founding a new city to be built on the island, and called "Ararat." He made a great speech on the occasion -- long enough to fill several pages, and has issued a proclamation to the Jews, which beats gen. Smyth's address to the "men of New York," "all hollow," We had some disposition to publish these things, but do not see how we should be fully judged in giving up so much room to an individual, employed to make the most out of the bargain which he has negitiated, for, most probably, some foreign speculators -- Jews themselves, perhaps, who have no sort of objection to advance their own wealth at the cost of their fellows -- and to "get money, honestly if they can -- but to get money."

Mr. Noah has nominated himself "governor and judge of Israel!" -- which he says that he is, aye, and by "the grace of God" too! He tells us the island is to be an asylum for the Jews. He revives the government of the Jewish nation, and commands all the venerable Rabbies, Elders, &c. to respect his proclamation and give it credance and effect. He orders a census of all Jews, and directs that they shall be registered. The Jews that are in the military employment of emperors, kings, &c. he enjoins to conduct themselves bravely and with fidelity "until furtherorders." He commands them to be neutral in the war between the Greeks and the Turks. Prescribes the giving of gifts to his "pious brethren" at Jerusalem. He abolishes polygamy forever, and prohibits marriages, unless the parties can read and write. Orders the saying of prayers. Directs that the black Jews of India and Africa shall have an equality of rights, and decrees that the American Indians are the descendants of the lost tribes! He levies a capitation tax, of one dollar per annum, on every Jew that there is in the world, TO PASS INTO HIS TREASURY! Names commissioners to act for him in different countries, to whom he will send instructions. He appoints a day in February next, to be observed as a general thanksgiving, and wishes to be remembered in the prayers of his brethren. All which is "given at Buffalo, the second day of Tisri, in the year of the world, 5586," corresponding with the 15th Sept. 1825" -- a strange mixture of Christianity and Judaism, and the whole is signed, "By the judge, A. B. Siexas, sec. pro tem."

So much for "I, Mordecai Manual Noah, citizen of the United States, late consul of the said states to the city and kingdom of Tunis, High Sheriff of New York, Counsellor at Law, and by the grace of God, (and self-nomination), governor and judge of Israel;" and he tells us "that the judges of Israel were absolute and independent like the kings," the power of which he has assumed for himself; calling out "attention the universe -- by kingdoms, to the right wheel, march," and stand by your arms on my island!

It is very possible that this speculation may succeed, so far as to fill the pockets of Mr. Noah and his associates -- which, it is plainly evident, is the corner stone of the project just developed. A gathering of the Jews on a little island in the Niagara river, previous to a re-conquest of Canaan, is a queer notion, indeed; and, if partial success attends it, we shall be prepared to hear another proclamation that our brother editor is self-declared to bw, at least, the immediate forerunner of the expected Messiah! But this is a matter between him and his brethren; and we do not see any reason why Mr. Noah may not make as good a judge, high priest or king, as Ferdinand of Spain, Charles of France, or George of England -- or even the great autocrat and "deliverer" himself: and, surely, the Jewish women will speak well of him for abolishing polygamy. But enough about this land-jobbing business, with which the newspapers are filled. Mr. Noah is paid for his services, and bound to do the best he can for his employers -- and if he can quiz the Jews into the payment of six millions of dollars a year, (for there is supposed to be six million of them), he will do a very great business, indeed!

Note 1: See the the Buffalo Patriot and other New York newspapers for more on these "certain ceremonies." Major M. M. Noah's 1825 project for the "gathering of scattered Israel" in western New York came in the aftermath of a parallel plan by the "American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews," which envisioned sponsoring its own gathering in the "Genesee Country," somewhere in the western part of New York. Major Noah outdid the Christian society's designs, by including in his "gathering" the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (i.e., the American Indians). See the notes for the Register of Apr. 5, 1823 for further details. This was Noah's second plan to populate Grand Island with "Israelites;" his 1819-20 scheme never got off the ground. In 1824, after the island had finally been cleared of squatters and surveyed into lots, Noah tried for a second time to implement his colonizing scheme, changing the name of its proposed capital from "New Jerusalem" to the biblical "Ararat." Moradeci M. Noah envisioned sending European Jews westward from Albany on the Erie Canal to Grant Island and making that place the commerical center of the west. For several years his New York newspaper featured a Masonic styled depiction of Noah's Ark in the masthead -- apparently symbolic of his hopes to ship Jews to western New York by water.

Note 2: Major Noah's inclusion of American Indians in his planned "gathering of Israel" and in the building of a "city of refuge" (an American Zion) on the western frontier anticipated the more active efforts of the Mormons just a few years later. The Mormons were not interested in giving Major Noah any credit for originating or influencing their own "literal gathering of Israel," however. Compare Niles' sharp words in the above article with the rhetoric of the Mormon journalist W. W. Phelps -- who was even less sympathetic in his assessement of Major Noah -- "a man [who] has failed to dupe his fellow Jews, with a New Jerusalem on Grand Island... to wheedle money from the Jews to fill his own pockets..." (LDS Messenger and Advocate Vol. 2, No 3, Dec. 1835). As things turned out, Noah's plan was a failure and Grand Island never became the great Jewish commercial hub he envisioned.


Vol. ?                         Baltimore,  January 21, 1826.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

Re-assemblage of the Jews.

The following letter has been addressed to the editor of the Paris Journal des Debats, in consequence of the publication, in that city, of Mr. Noah's facetious proclamation to the Jews.

The wisdom and love of truth which distinguish your journal, and the well merited reputation it enjoys in France and in foreign countries, induce me to hope that your politeness will grant me a place in your next number, for some observations which I address to the public on interests of reason and truth.

The French and English papers have lately abbounced the singular project of aMr, Noah, who calls himself the founder of the city Ararat, in the United States of North America. Certainly, if Mr. Noah was, as he is supposed to be, the proprietor or occupier of a great extent of uncultivated land, and confined himself to the engagement of men without fortunes to run the risk of colonizing with him, promising them, at the same time, mountains of gold, nobody would think of disputing his right to follow the fashion of sending forth projects: but Mr. Noah aspires to play a much more elevated character. He dreams of a heavenly mission; he talks prophetically; he styles himself a judge over Israel; he gives orders to all the Israelites in the world; he levies a tax upon all Hebrew heads. In his exultation he even goes so far as to make the central Jewish consistory of France his charge d;affaires, and he honors the president of this body with the noble rank of "commissioner of emigration." The whole is excellent; but two trifles are wanting: 1st, the well authenticated proof of the mission and authority of

Mr. Noah; 2dly, the prophetic text which points out a marsh in North America as the spot for re-assembling the scattered remains of Israel.

To speak seriously, it is right at once to inform Mr. Noah, that the venerable Messrs. Hiershell and Meldonna, chief rabbis at London, and myself, thank him, but positively refuse the appointments he has been pleased to confer upon us. We declare that, according to our degrees, God alone knows the epoch of the Israelitish restoration; and he alone will make it known to the whole universe, by signs entirely unequivocal; and that every attempt on our part, to re-assemble with any political-national design, is forbidden, as an act of high treason against the Divine Majesty. Mr. Noah has doubtless forgotten that the Israelites, faithful to the principles of their belief, are too much attached to the countries where they dwell, and devoted to the governments under which they enjoy liberty and protection, not to treat as a mere jest the chimerical consulate of a pseudo restorer.

As, however, justice requires some consideration to the absent, we should be sorry to refuse him the title of a visionary of good intentions.

Accept, Mr. Editor, the assurance of the distinguished and respected sentiments with which I remain your most humble servant.

The grand rabbi DE COLOGNE.      

===> Some of Mr. Noah's remarks on the preceeding, are as follows:

"The political motives connected with the above letter cannot be misunderstood, and is what I anticipated and referred to in the address of the 15th September.

"The attention of the European Jews have, of late, been actively directed towards this country; and when once the current of emigration sets this way, no efforts of the old governments can check it. It is policy, therefore, to pronounce the whole as visionary, and alarm the curious and enterprising, at the prospect of encountering the privations of a wilderness. These terrors will be dissipated by the actual experiment.

"I feel grateful to my friend, the grand rabbi, for conceeding to me the title of "A visionary of good intentions." I am willing to be considered as a "visionary," and my "good intentions" could never have been doubted; but the result of the experiment will show something of practical utility. ot I am mistaken in the character of this country and its institutions At all events, this opposition to an incipient stage, will do good; it will excite curiosity and promote inquiry, which is all I ask at present.

"While I am on this subject, I subjoin a letter I received from Mr. Simon * a converted Jew, or rather a learned man, well known in this city, who joined the society for ameliorating the condition of the Jews, but has since, for some reason, thought proper to withdraw. It explains the views of a man who is not in the interest of a foreign government, and appears to feel for the situation of his people."

Mr. Noah also "quotes scripture," (heaven save the mark!) in favor of the proceedings by which he himself caucussed himself into a "nomination," and by which he, himself, elected himself judge over Israel; and finds authority for it in Deborah's song, when she said --

"My heart is towards the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people."

Now, Mr. Noah has offered himself "willingly," to sell the land, and receive a capitation tax from all the Jews in the world! If assistant judges are needed, he can find a plenty of them among our Christian land speculators, provided the descendants of Abraham will put down the cash, either for "city lots," or by way of captiation tax, or on any other account whatsoever, "Money is the thing."
* He then publishes a letter dated "Utica, October 7, 1825," and signed "Erasmus H. Simon," who expresses his opinion that the house of Judah and Israel will be again united, by the coming of the European Jews, (who are of Judah), to America, to join themselves to our Indians, who are of the house of Israel -- the long lost tribes! But the grand rabbi has no faith in the "divine mission" of Mr. Noah -- and rather thinks, as every body else does, that he cares less about a gathering of the Jews than of making money for himself and his employers, by sales of lots in the city of "Ararat."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                         Baltimore,  November 13, 1826.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.


The Harmonists, at their new settlement near Pittsburg, are paying great attention to the breeding of sheep and the manufacture of woolen goods. They will have nearly 4,000 acres of land for sheep-walks. In addition to the wool consumed in the district, $12,000 worth has been sent over the mountains to market.

Note 1: George Rapp's Harmony Society members built their first communal town on Conoquenessing Creek, Butler County, Pennsylvania (20 miles north of Pittsburgh), between 1804 and 1815. In the latter year the community there was disestablished. The Pennsylvania property was offered for sale to local buyers beginning in 1814 (for a newspaper notice documenting the disposal of the Harmonists' first western Pennsylvania communal colony, see the Nov. 2, 1814 issue of the Pittsburgh Mercury.) Between 1815 and 1824 Rapp's followers inhabited a second communal colony, "New Harmony" in Indiana. Like old Harmony before it, this latter enterprise was also eventually abandoned. In April, 1824 George Rapp advertised New Harmony for sale (Robert Owen soon bought it) and purchased 3,000 acres in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, on the Ohio River (10 miles north of Pittsburgh). In the year that followed Rapp's group returned to Pennsylvania and established their third colony, the new town of "Economy" in Beaver County. Thus they had a going concern by 1826, when Niles published his little report on their success.

Note 2: Sidney Rigdon was 22 years of age and living 30 miles south of old Harmony when Rapp's followers abandoned the community. Two years later, while studying for the Baptist ministry, Rigdon temporarily resided in North Sewickley, just 5 miles west of the old Harmony town-site. Rigdon almost certainly heard many stories about Rapp's Harmonists and he probably encountered a few former members of the society in person. The Harmonists began their return to Pennsylvania, from Indiana, at just about the same time that Rigdon was leaving the Pittsburgh area for good. For more information on the probable effect of George Rapp's religious and social ideas upon the Rev. Sidney Rigdon (and upon the earliest Latter Day Saints), see Karl J. Arndt's "The Harmonists and the Mormons," in The American-German Review, X:5 (June 1944) pp. 6-9. See also James H. Kennedy's Early Days of Mormonism, (NYC: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1888) p. 68, n. 1.


Vol. 32                         Baltimore,  May 19, 1827.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

COUNTERFEITERS. A whole nest of counterfeiters of coin has been arrested near Painesville, Ohio, and another at Ashtabula, consisting together of about twenty persons. The chiefly manufactured pieces in imitation of half-dollars, and appear to have carried on a very extensive business for a considerable time. The base coins are said to be well-made, though easily detected if care is used.

Note: This report brings to mind the 1838 allegation made by Joseph Smith, Jr., -- that his secretary, Warren Parrish stole "the paper out of the institution [the Mormons' Kirtland Bank], and went to buying bogus or counterfeit coin with it, becoming a partner with the Tinkers creek blacklegs..." Similar allegations were made by the top Mormon leadership against Oliver Cowdery. Among the reasons given for his demanded exclusion from the Latter Day Saints was that Cowdery had been associated with other "blacklegs" in the "bogus" business at Tinkers Creek in Trumbull Co., Ohio. The "Tinkers creek coiners" presumably operated out of the swamps of what is now Tinkers Creek State Park near Hudson, Ohio. This 1830s band of bogus makers were practically (if not directly) the successors of the ring of blacklegs mentioned in the 1827 Niles report.


Vol. 33                         Baltimore,  Oct. 20, 1827.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

NEW YORK. The following proclamation, removing Eli Bruce, the sheriff of Niagara county, has been issued by governor Clinton. Mr. Bruce was one of the persons concerned in the abduction of Morgan. This exercise of power on the part of the governor, will be commended by every one.

By De Witt Clinton, governor of the state of New York.

Whereas, Eli Bruce, sheriff of the county of Niagara, has been charged before me with a violation of his duties as a good citizen and a faithful officer, in being concerned in the abduction of William Morgan, and has been heard in his defence: And whereas, in the investigation of the said accusation, it appeared that it was completely in the power of the said Eli Bruce, if innocent, to establish his innocence; and whereas, in order to afford him that opportunity, a decision on the complaint has been suspended for an ample time, and he has given no explanation of his conduct: And whereas, it appears that, at the recent trial at Canandaigua, of certain persons charged with the said abduction, the said Eli Bruce, when called on as a witness, refused to testify on several material points, on the ground of self-crimination; from all of which, I am persuaded that he was participant in the said abduction, and thereby has rendered himself unworthy of the official station which he at present occupies: I do, therefore, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the constitution of this state, remove the said Eli Bruce from the office of sheriff of the county of Niagara

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and privy seal of the state, at the city of Albany, this 26th day of September, Anno Domini, 1827.
                            DEWITT CLINTON.

Note: Governor DeWitt Clinton was then the Grand Master of the York Rite in the state of New York and arguably the highest ranking Freemason in the "Empire State." His detailed knowledge of (and effective control over) "Royal Arch" Scottish Rite masonry and the lower level "blue lodges" of New York was perhaps minimal. The "Morgan Affair" began with William Morgan's exclusion from the chartering of a Royal Arch Chapter in Batavia, Genesee Co., New York and his abduction was carried out by western masons belonging to Grand Master Joseph Enos' reprobate "Country Grand Lodge" -- apparently led by Nicholas G. Chesbro, the Master of the Canandaigua, "blue lodge." Clinton probably exercised no direct authority over Enos or Chesbro, though he must have commanded sufficient influence in masonic circles to have prevented the Morgan abduction, had he known of the scheme in advance. History records that three New York "Country Lodge" Masons, Nicholas G. Chesbro, Loton Lawson, and Edward Sawyer, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to "seize and secrete" William Morgan. Together with Niagara Co. Sheriff Eli Bruce, John Whitney, and Orsamus Turner, all served terms in prison for either their direct involvement or subsequent assistance in the conspiracy (see also notes for issue of May 30, 1829).


Vol. 35                         Baltimore,  Aug. 30, 1828.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

To the editors of the Argus, dated Canandaigua, August 20.

"The trial of Bruce, Darrow and Turner, on the indictment for kidnapping Morgan will come on this morning, the counsel for the people and for the defendants being as ready as they ever will be. Mr. Mosely the state commissioner, and Messrs. Whiting and Butler, are counsel for the defendants. The trial will probably occupy all the week, and will be highly interesting..."

Canandaigua, Thursday, 6 o'clock, P.M., Aug. 21.

"Mr. Mosely moved on the trial of the indictment against Bruce, Turner and Darrow yesterday afternoon at 2. It was resumed this morning at 1/2 past 8. Nearly twenty witnesses have been examined in chief on part of the people, and this afternoon Edward Giddings was offered, and objected to by the defendants' counsel on the ground that Giddings did not entertain such religious opinions as to render him a competent witness. In support of the objection one David Missison was called who testified that he was intimately acquainted with Giddings, and had known him since 1820, and between that and 1825, had frequent conversations with him, in which he expressed the opinions that there was no God -- nothing spiritual to matter, and that the existence of a God was contrary to philosophy. Morrison produced a letter written to him by Giddings, date 20th April, 1827, containing such sentiments. Several witnesses have been examined on this question, by the people, and defendants, and Mr. Marvin is now engaged in arguing the question of admissibiliy to the court.

"9 o'clock, P.M. -- After full argument, the court has decided unanimously that Giddings comes within the rule which excludes a witness on the ground of infidelity.

"Turner and Darrow will doubtless be acquitted. The testimony against Bruce is very strong.

"These trials excite great interest, and for the first time there [has been] a clear and legal history of the abduction of Morgan."

Note: The "Turner" mentioned above was Orsamus Turner (1788-1860), the later historian-author of such books as Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase (1849) and History of the Pioneer Settlement of the Phelps & Gorham Purchase (1851) -- both of which include interesting allegations respecting Elder Oliver Cowdery. At one point in the Morgan trials Turner refused to testify, was held in contempt by the court, and sentenced to serve a short, largely symbolic prison sentence. Strangely enough, in his meticulously detailed histories of western New York Turner offers barely a single word germane to the principals and events of the "Morgan Affair."


Vol. 35                         Baltimore,  Sept. 6, 1828.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

To the editor of the Albany Argus, dated
Canandaigua, Friday, Aug. 22, 6 o'clock, P.M.

"The trial of the indictment of Bruce, Darrow and Turner, was resumed this morning at 8 o'clock.

The people having rested, the defendant's counsel concluded not to call any witnesses. They moved that Bruce be discharged on the ground that his court had not jurisdiction of the offence -- that no act had been proved against Bruce in the county of Ontario -- that if he was concerned in the conspiracy to adbuct Morgan, he acted in the county of Niagara, and could only be tried in that county and not elsewhere -- that the indictment charged a conspiracy to kidnap Morgan from Canandaigua, in the county of Ontario, and transport him to foreign parts and places, and that the prosecution had proved the abduction, and therefore the conspiracy was merged in the consummation of its object -- that there could not be an indictment for a conspiracy to do an unlawful act, the act having been done; the indictment must be for the act alone and not for the conspiracy, General Mathews and Mr. Griffin argued it very ably for the defenndant; Bruce, and Mr. Whiting and Mr. Butler argued in opposition. The counsel for the people contended that the indictment lay for the conspiracy -- that the overt acts of abduction were proved in aggravation of his offence -- that the gist of the indictment was the combination or confederacy -- that the conspiracy being formed to commit a misdemeanor, the doctrine of merger did not apply -- that the acts of Bruce in Niagara county being in furtherance of the objects of the conspiracy, he must be regarded as a principal in the conspiracy -- that all the conspiracy might be tried in the county in which the first overt act was done, to wit, where Morgan was first unlawfully subjected to their power, and where the conspiracy must have been formed.

The court over-ruled the objection, and said the cause must go to the jury.

The cause was summed up by Mr. Adams, for the defendant (Bruce) and Mr. Mosley for the people, and was committed to the jury at 8 o'clock P. M. The court advised the jury, that if from the evidence they were satisfied that Bruce acted in pursuance of a conspiracy against Morgan they were satisfied that Bruce acted in pursuance of a conspiracy against Morgan, previously entered into, and which he was a party, they must find a verdict of guilty; and if they believed that Bruce knew nothing of the conspiracy, but first knew of the transportation of Morgan when he acted, then they would find him not guilty, because his acts would amount to an assault and battery and false imprisonment, in the county of Niagara, for which he could not be convicted in this county, under this indictment, which was for a conspiracy to kidnap. The court also advised the jury that they must be satisfied that Morgan was in the carriage in which and on which Bruce rode, and that Bruce knew it, and further, that Morgan was there against his will, and Bruce knew that also.

Giddings having been rejected as a witness, there was no testimony against Turner and Darrow, and under the direction of the court, and with the full consent of the public prosecution, they were acquitted.

      Saturday, 7 A.M.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty against Bruce, at 12 o'clock last night.

The evidence proved Bruce to have rode with the carriage in which Morgan was transported from Molineaux's, on the Ridge road, 16 miles east of Lewiston, to Lewiston, and from thence to Fort Niagara; all within the county of Niagara. Bruce procured the horses for the exchange at Molineaux's, and procured a hack and horses at Lewiston, and the passengers who came in the carriage from the east were exchanged in a back street into the carriage which Bruce procured at Lewiston. Bruce was at Molineaux's with the carriage at 12 o'clock on the night of the 13th September. He was at Lewiston at 2 o'clock same night, and started from Lewiston about that hour toward the fort.

Morgon was proved to be confined in the magazine on the morning of the 14th. One witness heard a voice of a man in the magazine that morning at 11 o'clock. No person lived in or occupied any part of the fort at that time. It has been closed since June, 1826. Giddings had the key to the magazine on the 14th September. The witness who testified to the voice in the magazine went into the yard of the fort with Giddings, and Giddings went into the magazine, opened it, and the witness... [remainder illegible]

Note: Freemason historian and author Rob Morris called Eli Bruce the "Masonic Martyr." If he was a "martyr" it was not in the sense of being an innocent victim of political anti-Masonry, but in the sense that he was the scapegoat among the conspirators who abducted William Morgan. As the designated scapegoat of that group, Bruce was condemned to lose his job as Sheriff of Niagara Co., lose his previous good reputation, and spend 28 months in the Cnanadaigua Jail, while more prominent conspirators, such as Nicholas G. Chesbro, the Master of the Canandaigua "blue lodge," escaped with little more than a confession of minor misdemeanors and a "slap on the wrist" short-term sentence in the local lock-up. Participants in the "Morgan Affair" such as Eli Bruce and Orsamus Turner obviously knew far more about the scheme, its purposes and its outcomes, than was ever related in open court. In fact, William Morgan was probably not abducted for his publicized plans to publish the contents of the lower degrees of freemasonry ritual, but rather for his unpublicized plans to expose some of the wrongdoings of leaders in western New York blue lodges, allegiant to Grand Master Joseph Enos' problematic "Country Grand Lodge" of the state of New York.


Vol. 36                         Baltimore,  May 30, 1829.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

MORGAN AFFAIR. The Rochester Daily Advertiser of the 15th ult. says -- The grand jury of Niagara county have re-indicted several persons who previously stood arraigned for a participation in the abduction. The reason of this course of procedure appears to be -- lest the supreme court should set aside the proceedings instituted in other counties against some of the accused, whose agency in the affair, so far as developed by overt acts, was within the county of Niagara. The case of Bruce, to whose trial in Ontario county his counsel took exceptions on latter ground is not yet decided by the supreme court.

The trials of Whitney and Gillis are expected to soon come on at Canandaigua.

Note: Joseph Smith's father had an occasion to become personally acquainted with Morgan Affair conspirator, former Niagara Co. Sheriff Eli Bruce. Joseph Smith Sr. "did time" in the Canandaigua Jail with Eli Bruce, who had been charged with participating in the abduction of William Morgan in 1826 "Morgan Affair" and sentenced in 1829 to 28 months confinement in the jail. According to Bruce's journal entry for Nov. 5, 1830, he "Had a long talk with the father of the Smith (Joseph Smith,) who according to the old man's account, is the particular favorite of Heaven! To him Heaven has vouchsafed to reveal its mysteries; he is the herald of the latter-day glory. The old man avers that he is commissioned by God to baptize and preach this new doctrine. He says that our Bible is much abridged and deficient; that soon the Divine will is to be made known to all, as written in the new Bible. or Book of Mormon. (The Masonic Martyr. The Biography of Eli Bruce, Sheriff of Niagara County, New York, Who for His Attachment to the Principles of Masonry, and His Fidelity to His Trust, Was Imprisoned Twenty-eight Months, in the Canandaigua Jail by Rob Morris [Louisville, Kentucky: Morris & Monsarrat, 1861] pp. 266-67).


Vol. 36                         Baltimore,  June 6, 1829.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

THE MORGAN AFFAIR. We intended this week to have copied from the Canandiagua papers, a full account of some late trials of certain persons concerned in the abduction of Morgan, but must defer its insertion for our next publication. The result was, that Eli Bruce, former sheriff of Niagara county, and John Whitney, were found guilty of having participated in the abduction -- and the first was sentenced to two years and four months close custody in the common jail, and the other to like imprisonment for one year and three months. It now is said to be proved beyond doubt, that Morgan was put in the magazine of Fort Niagara, but what happened to him afterwards is as much a mystery as before.

Note: (see issue of May 30th)


Vol. XLI.                         Baltimore,  July 16, 1831.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

MORMONISM.  Most of our readers must recollect that certain knaves, pretending to have found some holy writings hidden under a stone in Ontario county, New York, started a new religion! The leaders make bold pretensions and assert a gift to work miracles. The members of this sect are now said to amount to 1,000 souls! -- some of whom, very honestly, no doubt, believe in all things that are told them, and yet have borne the character of worthy men. Their great prophet Jo, has selected a part of Geauga county, Ohio, and pronounced it to be "the promised land," and thither the deluded people are flocking, chiefly from New York. As a few men of property have been induced to cast their funds into a common stock, there is no want of recruits from among the lazy and the worthless classes of society. They say that a miracle was worked in their behalf, by clearing a passage through the ice at Buffalo -- some of them affect a power even to raise the dead, and perchance, (such is the weakness of human nature), really believe that they can do it! The chiefs of those people appear to exempt themselves from labor, and herein is, probably, the grand object for which they have established this new religion.

Note 1: Although the editor says that his readers will "recollect" the story of Joseph Smith and the golden plates, no report of that news was published by Niles himself. This July 16, 1831 item was the first mention of Mormonism in the columns of the Weekly Register.

Note 2: The "clearing a passage through the ice at Buffalo" story involved Lucy Mack Smith, who was in charge of the group of New York Mormons traveling via Buffalo to Kirtland, Ohio. The report saying that, "some of them affect a power even to raise the dead," was a common one for the Mormons during the early 1830s. By about 1834 that particular tenet seems to have disappeared from the LDS religion.


Vol. XLI.                         Baltimore,  September ?, 1831.                         Whole No. ?

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

Millenium. -- The Mormonites have announced that the millenium will commence next year at Philadelphia. The New York and Baltimore Editors are contending for the precedence. One party insisting it will come to the North, the other that it will first spread to the South.

Note: The exact date of this news item remains undetermined. The report was an erroneous one, deduced from journalists' confusion of the Mormons with another prophetic sect of the time.


Vol. XLIII.                         Baltimore,  September 8, 1832.                         Whole No. 1094.

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

MORMONISM. Two preachers of this sect have lately visited Boston, and soon made 15 converts to their strange doctrines -- some of whom are respectable persons -- 5 also had joined at Lynn. Certain of these converts have cast considerable sums of money into the stock, and all were about to depart for the "promised land," in Jackson county, Missouri -- the precious spot having been lately discovered..

Note: Mormon Elder Orson Hyde writes in his 1832 missionary journal:   June 25: Arrived at Boston on Friday the 22nd, June... four came forward [for baptism]...   June 26: baptized four persons...   June 29: two ladies confessed their faith in the work, and a Miss and Mrs Cobb...   July 2: talked with a man names [Henry] Cobb... I cried against his spirit and told him that 'it was of the Devil...' July 3: two came forward for baptism. July 16: baptized one in the evening... left the city after baptizing one more July 29: baptism at 2 o'clock July 30: baptized three young ladies... Aug 3: baptized his wife and another lady   Aug. 13: Visited a number of the Sisters... explained the Vision to them...   Aug. 14: Left Boston and came to Lynn...   Aug. 26: baptized two persons...   Aug. 29: H. Harriman, his wife and Mrs. Holmes were baptized...   Sep. 2: Four persons came forward for baptism...   Sep. 12: Exhorted. prayed, and baptized one...   Oct. 2: called upon Mr. Coolbrith, whose daughter I baptized in Boston...


Vol. XLV.                         Baltimore,  September 14, 1833.                         Whole No. 1147.

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.


In copying the following from the "Missouri Republican" of the 9th August, we wish to be considered only as registering an uncommon transaction.

Some very extraordinary proceedings have recently taken place in Jackson county, in this state, against the sect of fanatics called Mormons. These proceedings may find some justification in the necessity of the case, but they are wholly at war with the genius of our institutions, and as subversive of good order as the conduct of the fanatics themselves. Perhaps, however, it was the only method which could have been effectually put in practice to get this odious description of population out of the way. Banished as they are from that frontier, it may well be asked to what place will they now remove; and will they enjoy any better security in the new abode which they may select? But to the proceedings:

A meeting of the citizens of Jackson county, to the number of four or five hundred, was held at Independence on the 20th of July. Their avowed object was to take measures to rid themselves of the Mormonites. Col. Richard Simpson was called to the chair, and Jonas H. Flournoy and Samuel D. Lucas appointed secretaries. A committee was then appointed to report an address to the public, in relation to the object of the meeting. After having retired for some time, they sumitted an address, which was unaninously adopted; and in which the conduct and views of the obnoxious sect are exposed. They represent that the Mormonites number some 1,200 souls in that county, and that each successive spring and autumn pours forth its swarms among them, with a gradual falling off in the character of those who compose them, until they have now nearly reached the low condition of the black population. That the citizens have been daily told that they are to be cut off, and their lands appropriated to the Mormons for inheritances; but they are not fully agreed among themselves as to the manner in which this shall be accomplished, whether by the destroying angel, the judgement of God, or the arm of power. The comittee express their fears that, should this population continue to increase, they will soon have all the offices of the county in their hands; and that the lives and property of other citizens would be insecure, under the administration of men who are so ignorant and superstitious as to believe that they have been the subjects of miraculous and supernatural cures; hold converse with God and his angels and possess and exercise the gift of divination, and of unknown tongues; and, are withal, so poor as to be unable to procure bread and meat. The committee say that one of the means resorted to by them, in order to drive us to emigrate, is an indirect invitation to the free brethren of color in Illinois, to come like the rest to the land of Zion. True, the Mormons say this was not intended to invite but to prevent emigration; but this weak attempt to quiet our apprehensions is but a poor compliment to our understanding." The invitation alluded to, contained all the necessary directions and cautions to enable the free blacks, on their arrival there, to claim and exercise their right of citizenship. Finally, the committee say --

Of their pretended revelations from heaven -- their personal intercourse with God and his angels -- the maladies they pretend to heal by the laying on of hands -- and the contemptible gibberish with which they habitually profane the Sabbath, and which they dignify with the appelation of unknown tongues, we have nothing to say. Vengeance belongs to God alone. But as to the other matters set forth in this paper, we feel called on by every consideration of self-preservation, good society, public morals, and the fair prospects, that if not blasted in the germ, await this young and beautiful country, at once to declare, and we do most solemnly declare.

1. That no Mormon in future move and shall settle in this county.

2. That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their intention within a reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property and close their business without any material sacrifice.

3. That the editor of the 'Star' be required forthwith to close his office, and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of this declaration, and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the same.

4. That the Mormon leaders here, are required to use their influence in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with the above requisitions.

5. That those who fail to comply with these requisitions, be referred to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them.

Which address being read and considered, was unanimously adopted. And thereupon it was resolved that a committe of twelve be appointed forthwith to wait on the Mormon leaders, and see that the foregoing requisitions are strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal that said committee do, as the organ of this county, inform that it is our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest consideration of all the consequences and responsibilities under which we act, to use such means as shall ensure their full and complete adoption, and that said committee, so far as may be within their power report to this present meeting. And the following gentlemen were named as said committee: Robert Johnson, James Campbell, col, Moses Wilson, Joel F. Chiles, hon. Richard Fristoe, Abner F. Staples, Garr Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russel Hicks, esq., col. S. D. Lucas, Thomas Wilson, and James M. Hunter, to whom was added col. R. Simpson, chairman.

And after an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, and the committee of twelve reported that they had called on Mr. Phelps, the editor of the "Star," Edward Partridge, the bishop of the sect, and Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store house, and some others, and that they declined giving any direct answer to the requisitions made of them, and wished an unreasonable time for consultation, not only with their brethren here, but in Ohio.

Whereupon it was unanimously resolved by the meeting that the "Star" printing office should be razed to the ground, the type and press secured. Which resolution was, with the utmost order, and the least noise or disturbance possible, forthwith, carried into execution, as also some other steps of a similar tendency; but no blood was spilled nor any blows inflicted. The meeting then adjourned till the 23d instant, to meet again to know further concerning the determination of the Mormons.

The citizens again convened on the 23d day of July, 1833, which was composed of gentlemen from all parts of the county, and much more unanimousely attended than the meeting on the 20th instant.

The meeting was organized by the chairman taking his seat, when the following gentlemen were appointed a committee, to wit:

Henry Chiles, esq., Dr. N. K. Olmstead, H. L. Brazile, esq., Zachariah Waller, Samuel Weston esq., Wm. L. Irwin, Leonides Oldham, S. C. Owens esq., George Simpson, captain Benjamin Majors, James C. Sadler, col. Willian Bowers, Henry Younger, Russel Hicks esq., Aaron Overton, John Harris, and Harmon Gregg, to wait upon the Mormon [leaders], who had intimated a wish to have conference with said committee. After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, when the committee reported, to the meeting that they had waited on most of the Mormon leaders, consisting of the bishop, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Phelps, editor of the Star, Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store house, and Messrs. Carrol, Whitmer, and Moseley, elders of the church, and that the said committee had entered into an amicible agreement with them, which they had reduced to writing, which they submitted; and that the committee have assured Mr. Phelps that whenever he was ready to move, that the amount of all his losses should be paid to him by the citizens. The written agreement is as follows:

"Memorandum of agreement between the undersigned of the Mormon society in Jackson county Missouri, and a committee appointed by a public meeting of the citizens of said county, made the 23d day of July, 1833.

"It is understood that the undersigned, members of the society, do give their solemn pledges each for himself, as follows, to wit:

"That Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, William McClealand, Edward Partridge, Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter and [John] Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, shall remove with their families out of this county, on or before the first day of January next; and that they, as well as the two hereinafter named, use all their influence to induce all the brethren now here to remove as soon as possible -- one half, say, by the first of January next, and all by the first day of April next. To advise and try all means in their power to stop any more of their sect from moving to this county; and as to those now on the road, they will use their influence to prevent their settling permanently in the county, but that they shall only make arrangements for temporary shelter, till a new location is agreed on for the society. John Carrol and Algernon Gilbert are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the business of the society, so long as necessity shall require; and said Gilbert may sell out his merchandise now on hand, but is to make no new importations.

"The 'Star' is not again to be published, nor a press set up by any of the society in this county.

"If the said Edward Partridge and W. W. Phelps move their families by the first day of January, as aforesaid, that they themselves will be allowed to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business.

"The committee pledge themselves to use all their influence to prevent any violence being used so as long as a compliance with the foregoing terms is observed by the parties concerned; to which agreement is subscribed the names of the above named committee, as also those of the Mormon brethren named in the report as having been present."

The report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the meeting and it was then adjourned.

Note: This was Niles' first lengthy report on the Mormons. Coming as it did, as a threat of religious war on the frontier, public interest was no doubt considerably aroused. Niles' reprinting of the Missouri Republican gave eastern readers one of their first detailed glimpses into the situation of the Latter Day Saints in western Missouri.


Vol. XLVI.                         Baltimore,  June 7, 1834.                         Whole No. 1185.

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

It is said that these poor fanatics, the Mormonites, have armed themselves to reconquer their "Holy Land," in Missouri. They count 500 men, and seem mad enough for the "trial of battle."

Note: This was, of course, a report of the commencement of Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" military expedition to Missouri. While some accounts say that the Mormons attempted to keep their identity a secret along their lengthy line of march, the news quickly leaked out about who they were and what they were up to. In the end, the publicity of this and other ill-advised Mormon efforts of the times actually had the effect of spreading the word about their religion and of bringing in numerous new comverts.


Vol. XLVI.                         Baltimore,  July 12, 1834.                         Whole No. 1190.

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.


Current information from Missouri confirms the apprehensions entertained of the breaking out of a furious civil war between the Mormons and the residents of Jackson county, in the state of Missouri, The Fayette Monitor of the 21st, says "By our next number we anticipate something, (on the Mormon controversy). in an authentic form. The people may look for the worst."

The Missouri Enquirer, (printed at Liberty), of the 18th June, says, that, on the Monday preceding, a committee on the part of the citizens of Jackson county, and one in behalf of the Mormon people, met at Liberty, to take into consideration the subject of compromising the difficulties which occurred in Jackson county last autumn. No compromise was affected, however, notwithstanding the exertions of the people of Clay county, (in which Liberty is situated), a committee of whom were appointed to act as mediators. On the contrary, the excitement among the people was such, that the conference was, in consequence of it, obliged to be adjourned. The proposition made by the people of Jackson county to the Mormons, who were driven out of the county last autumn, and are about to re-enter it with additional numbers, in arms, is to buy all the lands and improvements of the Mormons, at a valuation by disinterested arbitrators, to which valuation one hundred per cent. shall be added, to be paid within thirty days thereafter; the Mormons thereupon to leave the county, and not hereafter to attempt to enter it, individually or collectively. Or, the citizens of Jackson county to sell their lands to the Mormons on exactly reciprocal terms. To neither of these propositions were the committee of the Mormons authorized to assent, nor does there appear any probability that either of them will be assented to. The Enquirer, after narrating these facts, gives utterance to the following melancholy foreboding: "It is a lamentable fact, that this matter is about to involve the whole upper country in civil war and bloodshed. We cannot, (if a compromise is not agreed to before Saturday next), tell how long it will be before we shall have the painful task of reporting the awful realities of an exterminating war." The citizens of Jackson, it appears, though inferior in numbers to the Mormons, are resolved to dispute every inch of ground; and the chairman of their committee declared, at the meeting in the court house of Clay county, appealing to heaven for the truth of his assertion, that "they would dispute every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and suffer their bones to bleach on their hills, rather than the Mormons should return to Jackson county." :

The following account of a fatal accident, which occurred on the evening after this conference, evidently refers the disaster to the enmity existing between these exasperated parties:

From the Missouri Enquirer of June 18.

Independence, Mo., June 17th, 1834.    

Messrs. Kelly & Davis: Having understood that you have received intelligence of the sinking of the ferry boat at Everett's ferry, on the Missouri, last evening, together with a statement of the sufferings of those who happened to be on board, we, a part of those who escaped, have thought proper, for the correct information of yourselves and others, to give a statement of the facts as they actually occurred.

Eight of the citizens of this county, a majority of whom was a part of the committee that waited on the Mormons, in your town, on yesterday, embarked on board of the boat at about nine o'clock, it being perfectly clear, and the moon shining as bright as we ever saw it. Upon our embarking, the boat appeared to be in as good order as we ever saw it -- the false floor was tight and good. After our having left the shore some two hundred yards, in an instant, as it were, the boat was filled with water. We are confident the boat struck nothing. Our impressions at the time were, and still are, that something had been done to the boat to sink her, as it was known that the committee from this county would cross at that point last night. The names of the persons lost are -- James Campbell, William Everett, David Linch, Jefferson Cary, and a Mr. Bradbury -- the two last were the ferrymen.

Those escaping -- Smallwood Noland, Richard Fristoe, Smallwood V. Noland, Samuel C. Owens, Thomas Harrington, and a Mr. Frost -- the last being the third ferryman. Those who escaped, we assure you, suffered much. Respectfully, your obedient servants, Samuel C. Owens,
S. V. Nolland,
Thomas Harrington.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XLVI.                         Baltimore,  July 26, 1834.                         Whole No. 1192.

Edited, Printed and Published By H. Niles, at $5 Per Annum, Payable in Advance.

The report of a battle with the "Mormons," in Jackson county, Missouri, was not true; but these poor people, to the number of 800 or 1,000, well armed, advanced, assured by their prophet, Smith, that he would raise all that should be killed in fighting the battles of the Lord! The people of Jackson county had also armed themselves, and a bloody fight must have ensued, had the parties come into contact. But they had not, at the latest advices, and a hope is expressed that some negotiations may be entered into, to quiet the controversy. The marching of so large a body of armed men into the state, has caused much excitement among the people. In another part of this sheet will be found a letter from gov. Dunklin on the subject.


Copy of a letter from Daniel Dunklin, governor of the state of Missouri, to col. J. Thornton, dated

City of Jefferson, June 6, 1834.    

DEAR SIR I was pleased at the receipt of your letter, concurred in by Messrs. Rees, Atchison and Doniphan, on the subject of the Mormon difficulties. I should be gratified indeed, if the parties could compromise on the terms you suggest, or, indeed, upon any other terms satisfactory to themselves. But I should travel out of the line of strict duty, as chief executive officer of the government, were I to take upon myself the task of effecting a compromise between the parties. Had I not supposed it possible, yes, probable, that I should, as executive of the state, have to act, I should, before now, have interfered individually, in the way you suggest, or in some other way, in order if possible to effect a compromise. Uncommitted, as I am to either party, I shall feel no embarrassment in doing my duty; though it may be done with the most extreme regret. My duty in the relation in which I now stand to the parties, is plain and straight forward. By an official interposition, I might embarrass my course, and urge a measure for the purpose of effecting a compromise, and should it fail, and in the end, should I feel it my duty to act contrary to the advice I had given, it might be said, that I either advised wrong, or acted wrong; or that I was partial to one side or the other, in giving advice that I would not, as an officer, follow. A more clear, and indisputable right does not exist, than that of the Mormon people, who were expelled from their homes in Jackson county, to return and live on their lands, and if they cannot be persuaded as a matter of policy, to give up that right, or to qualify it, my course, as the chief executive of the state, is a plain one. The constitution of the United States declares "that the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states." Then we cannot interdict any people, who have a political franchise in the United States, from immigrating to this state, nor from choosing what part of the state they will settle in, provided they do not trespass on the property or rights of others. Our state constitution declares that the people's "right to bear arms, in defense in themselves and of the state, cannot be questioned." Then it is their constitutional right to arm themselves. Indeed, our military law makes it the duty of every man, not exempted by law, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, to arm himself with a musket, rifle, or some firelock, with a certain quantity of ammunition, etc.; and again, our constitution says, "that all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences."

I am fully persuaded that the eccentricity of the religious opinions and practices of the Mormons is at the bottom of the outrages committed against them. They have the right constitutionally guaranteed to them, and it is indefeasible, to worship Joe Smith as a man, an angel, or even as the only true and living God, and to call their habitation Zion, the Holy Land, or even heaven itself. Indeed, there is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that they have not a right to adopt as their religion, so that in its exercise they do not interfere with the rights of others.

It is not long since an impostor assumed the character of Jesus Christ and attempted to minister as such; but I never heard of any combination to deprive him of his rights.

I consider it the duty of every good citizen of Jackson county and the adjoining counties to exert himself to effect a compromise of these difficulties; and were I assured that I would not have to act in my official capacity in the affair, I would visit the parties in person and exert myself to the utmost to settle it. My first advice would be to the Mormons, to sell out their lands in Jackson county, and to settle somewhere else, where they could live in peace, if they could get a fair price for them, and reasonable damages for injuries received. If this failed, I would try the citizens, and advise them to meet and rescind their illegal resolves of last summer, and agree to confirm to the laws in every particular, in respect to the Mormons. If both these failed, I would then advice the plan you have suggested, for each party to take separate territory, and confine their members within their respective limits with the exception of the public right of ingress and egress upon the highway. If all these failed, then the simple question of legal right would have to settle it. It is this last that I am afraid I shall have to conform my action to in the end, and hence the necessity of keeping myself in the best situation to do my duty impartially.

Rumor says that both parties are preparing themselves with cannon. That would be illegal: it is not necessary to self-defense, as guaranteed by the constitution, and as there are no artillery companies organized in this state, nor field pieces provided by the public, any preparation of that kind will be considered as without right, and, in the present state of things, would be understood to be with criminal intent, I am told that the people of Jackson county expect assistance from the adjoining counties, to oppose the Mormons in taking or keeping possession of their lands. I should regret it extremely if any should be so imprudent as to do so; it would give a different aspect to the affair.

The citizens of Jackson county have a right to arm themselves and parade for military duty in their own county independent of the commander-in-chief; but if citizens march there in arms from other counties without order from the commander-in-chief or some one authorized by him, it would produce a very different state of things. Indeed, the Mormons have no right to march to Jackson county in arms, unless by order or permission of the commander-in-chief; men must not "levy war" in taking possession of their rights, any more than others should in opposing them in taking possession.

As you have manifested a deep interest in a peaceable compromise of this important affair, I presume you will not be unwilling to be placed in a situation in which, perhaps, you can be more serviceable to these parties. I have therefore taken the liberty of appointing you an aid to the commander in chief, and I hope it will be agreeable to you to accept. In this situation you can give your propositions all the influence they would have were they to emanate from the executive, without committing yourself or the commander-in-chief, in the event of failure.

I should be glad if you, or some of the other gentlemen who joined you in your communication, would keep in close correspondence with these parties, and by each mail write to me.

The character of the state has been injured in consequence of this unfortunate affair; and I sincerely hope it may not be disgraced by it in the end.   With high respect, your obedient servant,
                                          DANIEL DUNKLIN.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  September 15, 1838.                         Whole No. 1407.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MORMONS. We learn from a late number of the St. Louis Republican that there exists considerable excitement in the upper part of Missouri, in consequence of the Mormons having again "raised their Ebenezer" in Jackson county. It appears from the proceedings of a public meeting of the citizens, that about eight years since these fanatics were driven from that country, as it is alleged "for improper conduct," and that they took refuge in Clay county, the good people of which looked upon them as the victims of religious persecution, and extended to them hospitality and protection. Experience, however, ere long demonstrated the impracticality of their "dwelling together in amity" with their benefactors, and they were expelled from Clay county also. A compact was then entered into between the Mormons and the citizens of the upper part of the state, in which it was stipulated that the former should select and settle peaceably upon some tract of uninhabited country, and obstain from and further intrusion into the adjoining counties. They did so, and located themselves in what is now known as Caldwell county. It appears, however, that they have recently violated the treaty, by buying lands and and making actual settlements in the eastern part of Carroll. Upon this a meeting was held and a committee deputed to request them to leave the country. The Mormons took this in high dudgeon, and returned for an answer language of the most insulting character; whereupon the meeting was again convened, and five persons appointed a committee of safety vested with extraordinary powers. These persons are authorised to "adapt such measures as to them shall seem most expedient for the safety of the citizens of Carroll," abd to "raise, by subscription or otherwise, a sufficient sum of money to defray any expense that may accrue" in carrying out the object of the meeting -- which is stated to be the expulsion of "Mormons, abolitionists and other disorderly persons." By one of the resolutions adopted, the citizens of the adjoining counties are requested to form corresponding committees, "and hold themselves in readiness to give assistance, if the same should be required." From the foregoing we should judge that the breaking out of another Mormon war is no improbable event.

Later information, contained in a letter from Livingston county (Mo.) says, in substance, that --

Some cutting and stabbing were perpetrated by the Mormons of Davies county on the day of election, and, that some companies have been raised in Livingston with a view of going over and assisting in drubbing the Mormons; but that, before they got quite ready to march, they learned the strength of the Mormons, which suggested to their prudence the propriety of remaining at home till they could be assured that reinforcements would join them from other counties, sufficiently great to cope with the combined force of the Mormons.

The St. Louis Gazette of the 30th ult. says:

"The steamboat Astoria, from Rialto (Platte county) brings word the Joe Smith (Mormon) had surrendered himself to the civil authorities. This implies some further movements against the Mormons, of which we are not yet advised."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  October 6, 1838.                         Whole No. 1410.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.


From the St. Louis Republican

WE have nothing later from Davis county than the 14th. At that time the militia from Clay, Saline, Jackson and some other counties were collecting in Daviess and Carroll, but no decisive steps had been taken on either side. We copy below an article from the Western Star, (published at Liberty, in Clay county,) of the 14th, which shows the origin and progress of the difficulty. We have heard a number of verbal reports, but nothing that can be relied on, so wer prefer waiting for more positive intelligence. The remarks of the Star are as follows:

We desire in the statement we are about to make to give a true narrative of the causes which have produced the difficulty between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess county, as well as to give all that has occurred respecting the movements of both parties since the first difficulty took place.

At the election in Daviess county a citizen objected to a Mormon voting, which brought about angry words. The Mormon was strucj with a club, and, in return, used the same weapon himself, and, before the affair terminated, several on both sides were engaged, and knives freely used. No person was killed, but some cut and bruised.

The excitement did not terminate with the fight. -- Shortly afterwards, Joe Smith, Lyman Wight, and other Mormon leaders, collected a large force in Caldwell, and went into Daviess county to protect the Mormons residing there. They went armed and equipped for war, but they say their intentions were peace; and, if what we hear be true respecting the paper which they presented to Adam Black, a justice of the peace, for his signature, a very different face has been placed upon the transaction to what B. has sworn to. The paper Smith presenetd to Black was to the effect that inasmuch as it was snticipated that difficulties would grow out of the fight at the election, between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess, he (Black) as a justice of the peace pledged himself that he would take lawful notice of any unlawful proceedings of either party -- Smith representing to Black that if he would sign such a paper, he would show it to his own people, and to others, and that it would have an effect to prevent difficulties.

We understand that the facts illicited at the trial of Smith and Wight (who gave themselves up, and were heard before the judge of our circuit court last week) completely stamped the certificate of Black, Comstock, and others with falsehood. After the trialof Smith and Wight, it was believed that difficulties had ceased, but not so. The people of Daviess county had sent letters and messengers to other counties in order to raise men to drive all the Mormons out of Daviess, and many from other counties had gone to their aid. The Mormons seeing this, made preparations also. When, seeing the crisis at which things were arriving, the Judge of our Circuit, Hon. Austin A. King, directed General D. R. Atchison to raise 1000 men in his Division, and forthwith march them into Daviess, to keep the peace, and prevent bloodshed.

Two hundred men from Clay, under the command of Brig. Gen. Doniphen, Major Lightburne, and Capt's Moss, Whittington, and Price, marched out on yesterday and the day before.

We are not apprehensive that any thing serious will take place, though both parties have become much excited. Both sides are to blame, but our opinion is that the Mormons are the aggressors. Until the 4th July, we heard of no threat being made against them, in any quarters. The people had all become reconciled to let them remain where they are, and indeed were disposed to lend them a helping hand. But one Sidney Rigdon, in order to show himself off as a great man, collected them all together in the town of Far West, on the 4th July, and there delivered a speech containing the essence of, if not treason itself. This speech was not only published in the newspapers, but handbills were struck for distribution in Caldwell and Daviess counties. We have not the speech now before us, but we recollect amongst other threats, that the author said: "We will not suffer any vexatious law-suits with our people, nor will we suffer any person to come into our streets and abuse them." Now, if this is not a manifestation of a disposition to prevent the force of law, we do not know what is. -- It is also true, that when the Mormons left this county, they agreed to settle in, and confine themselves to a district of country, which has since been formed into the county of Caldwell; but they have violated that agreement, and are spreading over Daviess, Clinton, Livingston and Carroll. Such a number had settled in Daviess, that the old inhabitants were apprehensive they would be governed soon, by the Revelations of the great Prophet, Joe Smith, and hence their anxiety to rid themselves of such an incubus.

So many reports are in circulation relative to battles fought, and men on both sides being killed and captured, that it is hard to get at the truth. We are certain, however, that up to yesterday, no person had been killed. Three men from Ray county were captured by the Mormons, and some 50 guns taken. The men are in confinement, (or rather, are guarded and kept,) in the town of Far West; and it is said the people of Daviess have captured one Mormon.

Gen. Doniphan, in some remarks made to the company which went out from this county said, that the men and arms captured by the Mormons would be demanded, as also the Mormon captive in Daviess. Should the Mormons refuse to give up the men and arms, the worst consequences must follow.

We hope and believe they will not be so blinded as to refuse; but if they should, we can tell them, that "war to the knife" will be waged against them, and they will no longer be suffered to remain in the State. We rely greatly upon the standing and influence of Generals Atchison and Doniphan, as well as the other gentlemen who have gone out, to bring this matter to a peaceable termination.

The Mormons From the St. Louis Republican, Sept. 19. We had hoped that this difficulty was at an end; but more recent intelligence leaves no doubt of the quarrel being of a more serious character than was at first anticipated. Below we give an extract from a letter written by a respectable gentleman of Lexington, and addressed to a citizen of this city. This account of the state of affairs is truly alarming. The writer says: "Great excitement prevails the other side of the river against the Mormons -- they are all up in arms and have, we understand this morning, some fighting, which resulted in the killing of a few of both parties. The citizens of Ray county sent a wagon-load of arms and ammunition, to the citizens of Daviess, for the purpose of defending themselves. On their way out, they were captured by a company of Mormons, and taken to Far West. A Committee has this morning arrived from the other side asking for men to assist them in the protection of their property. We learn from the clerk of the steam boat Howard, which came down yesterday, that a report was circulating along the Missouri river that the Mormons had fortified their town, (Far West) and were determined to hold out. They were stated to be about one thousand strong and well supplied with arms and ammunition.

The Boonville Emigrant [of the 13th] says: from the best information we can obtain, the Mormons are from 1,500 to 2,000 fighting men; and it is stated upon good authority, that a large emigrating party of Mormons are now on their way from Canada to join their friends in Missouri, which will increase their force, so as to make them very formidble: if this war should break out, it must become a war of extermination, as the Mormons are desperate, and rendered more so by the fanatical spirit infused into them by that arch-deceiver, Joe Smith, under whose banner they act, and by whose malign influence they are misguided, and ready for any act of desperation. Their disorderly conduct for months past, has so exasperated the people that they can no longer tolerate or permit them to remain among them.

The Missouri Watchman (published in Jefferson city) of the 20th ult. says --

Information has been received by express from Judge King, who presides in the circuit where the difficulty exists, that an insurrection is now actually on foot in the counties of Caldwell and Daviess. The same information has just been received from Gen. Atchinson, who is now at Richmond, with 250 men, and intends proceeding immediately to the scene of difficulty. Gen. A. has ordered out 400 more men from his division. In consequence of this information, the governor has, by expresses, ordered generals Grant of Boone, to have three hundred men, Clark, of Howard, to have five hundred men, Lucas of Jackson, four hundred men and Crowther, of Cooper, four hundred men, organized and to march immediately to the scene of difficulty, to suppress the insurrection and restore order to the community. Gen Atchinson states that the men now under arms in Daviess and Caldwell, are not less than 2000; the greater part of whom are Mormons, and the balance citizens.

The governor has also ordered out the Boonville Guards, to be in readiness, to join him at Boonville on Saturday or Sunday next, and march with him to the scene of operation. The governor, adjutent general, and two aids leave this morning.

Major general Bolton will also repair to the scene of action with some two hundred volunteers from this county in two or three days.

The only object of the commander-in-chief seems to be to prevent the shedding of blood and restore order to the community.

The citizens in that quarter may now rest assured that the strong arm of the law will be enforced and themselves protected in their rights.

Note: The report in the St. Louis Republican, of Sept. 19th, saying that "it must become a war of extermination," probably represents something of a bridge in semantics, between the "extermination" rhetoric expressed by the Mormon leadership at Far West on July 4th and Governor Boggs' infamous "extermination order." Clearly, the threat of "extermination" was first raised by the top Mormon leaders themselves: "it shall be between us and them a war of extermination, for we will follow them, till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us: for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses, and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed." Papers like the St. Louis Republican, and Niles Register simply picked up the Mormon threat -- that either they or the Gentiles must soon be exterminated -- and passed the news along to their readers. The newspapers, at this point, do not clearly state that it is the concerted intention of the Missourians to exterminate the Latter Day Saints in their state. Once this report had been widely spread (by word of mouth and through the popular press), it was subsequently picked up and used with dire design by the highly excitable Boggs himself.


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  October 13, 1838.                         Whole No. 1411.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.


From the Columbia (Mo.) Patriot of the 22d ult.

The true secret of the excitement against the Mormons, it is shrewdly suspected, lies in the desire to keep them off some of the fine lands in Carroll, Daviess, and the counties adjoining Caldwell. They have settled some rich farms which are very tempting to the cupidity of some citizens, who think by raising an outcry against them and exciting them to violence they may be driven off and their lands be portioned out to other hands. Such we believe to be the very worthy purpose at the bottom of all this outcry, and to aid in carrying this laudable design into effect can but be the ultimate result, though perhaps undersigned, of the movement of troops now against the Mormons.

In addition to this we annex the more conclusive testimony of a committee sent by the citizens of Chariton county to investigate the state of the difficulty in the Green river counties. The report is [as] follows:

Keytesville, Sept. 10, 1838.           

To the citizens of Chariton:

The committee appointed for the purpose on the 3d inst. have to-day returned from the neighborhood of the Mormon difficulties, and left the Mormons begging for peace. Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight came before judge King on Friday last for trial, and bound with security in the sum of $1,000 each, to appear at the next regular term of the court for further trial. The crime seems (from the evidence) only to have been the taking of an armed force into the county of Daviess, which the Mormons say they were led to do, from hearing that two of their church had been killed at the election, and that the citizens of Daviess had refused to suffer them to be buried until a mob could be raised to drive the balance out of the county. but [that on] their arrival in the county they learned that nobody had been killed. They then called at Adam Black's to learn whether a mob would be raised, as had been reported; when Mr. Black assured them that he had not nor would not attach himself to any such mob. Mr. Black was then requested to give up his statement in writing; he refused to sign the instrument presented to him by one of the company, but drew an instrument himself and signed it, which was to this effect, that he was bound to support the constitution of this state and of the United States, and that he was not nor would not attach himself to a mob, nor would not molest the Mormons if they did not molest him, Mr. Black says, that Mr. Smith may have said that he would not be forced to sign any instrument of writing but that he requested it as a favor.

Messrs. Smith and Wight say that they have at all times been willing to give themselves up to an officer, to administer law, but not willing to be taken by a mob who ere endeavoring to drive them from the county, after having sold to the Mormons their improvements. There were great fears manifested by the citizens of Daviess, that if the Mormons gave themselves up to be tried by the law it would allay the difficulty. The citizens insist that the Mormons are disagreeable neighbors, and that they are not willing to live in the county with them. The Mormons have, perhaps, become the majority of Daviess county.

The committee have thought proper, to take from Messrs. Smith and Rigdon the following certificates.

"We hereby certify that we have learned that a Mr. Nathan Marsh has certified that the people some times called Mormons have ingratiated themselves with the Indians, for the purpose of getting the Indians to commit depredations upon the people of this state, which certificate of Marsh (as represented to us) is utterly false. We have never had any communication with the Indians on any subject; and we, and all the Mormon church, as we believe, entertain the same feelings and fears towards the Indians that are entertained by other citizens of this state, We are friendly to the constitution and laws of this state and of the United States, and wish to see them enforced.


Sworn to and subscribed before me this 8th day of September, A. D. 1838.
One of the justices of the county court within and for Caldwell county.

EDGAR FLORY, } Committee.
Since the above was in type, we have received the Missouri Watchman of the 27th ult. which contains the following:

The Mormon war ended -- return of the volunteers. Before we had an opportunity to announce the departure of the volunteers of this county, for the seat of the Mormon war, we are greated with their return. An express met them a few miles beyond Boonville, which caused this retrograde movement. The difficulty with the Mormons is amicably settled and quiet restored.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  November 10, 1838.                         Whole No. 1415.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor. BR>

Mormon Difficulties, St. Louis, Oct. 18. Late yesterday we recived from our esteemed friend in Glasgow the following letter in relation to these difficulties, which, for the present, seem to have ended bloodless:

Glasgow, Oct. 12, 1838.     

DEAR SIR: I informed you a few days ago of the then existing difference between the citizens of Carroll and the Mormons residing at Dewitt; I now have the pleasure of informing you that, on yesterday, I witnessed the departure of every Mormon in Carroll county for Far West, in Caldwell county. The matter at last was settled amicably, and the Mormons yielded to the proposition from the citizens, that is, that they should be paid for their property, and such damages as should be assessed by two men, chosen by each side, from the counties of Howard and Chariton; and upon the arrival of the committee on the ground, both parties took up the line of march and moved off. The citizens of Carroll pledged themselves to assist any county who assisted them, when called on for a similar purpose. -- There was a company of militia stationed near the place to preserve the peace, of about 100 men, who after peace was made declared that they would not let the Mormons pass to far west; they said there was no room for them in Caldwell county. We have not heard whether they were intercepted on their way, but presume not, for the Mormons were double their number. However, I am inclined to believe that the adjoining counties to Caldwell will never be contented until they leave the state. Had the Mormons refused to sell on the day the last proposition was made to them, it would have been a serious matter for both parties, for there was but little difference in their forces, and the citizens had come to a determination to make, if possible, a successful attack on the day the compromise was effected.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  November 17, 1838.                         Whole No. 1416.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MORMON WAR.  The Fayette Missourian for the 27th ult. gives what it calls "later and more dreadful news" from the scene of the Mormon difficulties. A meeting of the citizens of Fayette was called in the dead of night, on the 26th, by the tolling of the bells, to hear the accounts just brought, of "the most barbarous authorities." At this meeting a letter was read from major Woodword, aid to general Parks, dated Snowden's, Oct. 25, which stated the arrival of information at that post, that "the Mormons had attacked and cut to pieces captain Bogart's company" of fifty men, but three or four escaped! The Mormon force was estimated at 300 to 400. The town of Richmond was threatened, and the letter requested that two or three companies, if they could be spared, should "repair to Richmond with all speed."

Another letter of same date, from an officer at Carrollton, also states that Bogart's company of fifty men had been cut to pieces and that reports of cannon had just been heard in the direction of Richmond. Firing had indeed been heard in various directions, and there is no doubt, save the letter, that these infatuated villains have attacked Richmond. Daveis [sic] county is said to be "a scene of desolation," and Ray county was believed to be already in a like condition. Carrollton was expected to be their next object. The writer had received orders from gen. Parks, by express, to raise 150 mounted men. Fifty had already volunteered, and the remainder he expected to obtain in a day or two. Yet the letter says -- "Be up and doingl bring all the men you can; stir the people up in Howard and Chariton; send all the braves you can with Wolf, that we may meet and check them in their mad career." The terms of the letter show the writer's sense of the power and purpose of the Mormons, and the magnitude of the evil pending over that quarter of Missouri.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  January 5, 1839.                         Whole No. 1423.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

MISSOURI LEGISLATURE. The governor has made a statement of the expenses of the Mormon war, which he estimates at 70 or 80,000 dollars; and suggests that the United States are liable for it.

The governor's position is that the Mormon movement was an insurrection, and that the national government is bound to suppress insurrections. But, with the St. Louis Gazette, we conceive that, before the general government pays for heating the poker, it will first inquire whether there was an insurrection by the Mormons; and next, whether that insurrection was directed against the laws and authorities of the Union. The Gazette says: "We opine that the governor will find it no easy matter to answer either of these questions affirmatively." And we opine, moreover, that the state of Missouri will gain nothing, any way, by carrying its Mormon story into the national legislature.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LV.                         Washington,  February 2, 1839.                         Whole No. 1427.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MORMON AFFAIR. We learn from the St. Louis Republican that the senate passed on the 3d upon the joint resolutions of the Mo. Legislature. "The first resolution," says the Republican, "declares that it is inexpedient, at this time to prosecute the investigation into the cause of the Mormon disturbances and the conduct of the military in suppressing them. The second, that none of the documents or evidence accompanying the governor's message ought to be published, with the sanction of the legislature. The third, that a committee should be appointed, to consist of members of both branches, to be vested with power to investigate the whole matter and report to the governor. This resolution was amended in the house, so as to require the governor to convene the legislature when the committee reported." The first and second resolutions were passed and the third rejected.

Judge King lately presided at an anti-Mormon meeting in Ray county. He is the judge of that circuit, and the Mormon prisoners, now in jail, are to be tried before him. Truly, they have an excellent chance for a fair and impartial trial.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVI.                         Washington,  June 29, 1839.                         Whole No. 1448.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MORMONS have excited a good deal of interest in Cincinnati, where one of their sect has been giving a history of that people, and of the persecutions to which they have been recently exposed in Missouri. It is stated in the report given in the Cincinnati News that they were ruthlessly driven from their homes, their property destroyed, the women and children forced into the woods, without shelter from the inclemency of the weather of January, where they roamed about till their feet became so sore that their enemies tracked them by their foot-prints of blood. The Mormons stated that there were instances where men were murdered in cold blood, and boys who had taken shelter from the fury of the mob, were dragged from their hiding places; and after being scuelly maltreated, deliberately shot. In one case an old man, a soldier of the revolution, was pursued by a mob, but finding he could not escape, turned and supplicated their mercy. The reply he received was a shot from a rifle, which wounded him mortally; he still besought them to spare him, when one of the party picked up a scythe, or sickle, and literally hacked him to pieces as he lay on the ground.

Thomas Mooris, formerly U. S. senator addressed the meeting:

"He said he had been in the vicinity of these transactions, and had taken some pains to acquaint himself with the facts; and from all he could learn the Mormons were an industrious and harmless people, that no specific charges had been brought against them by the executive of Missouri, but that their persecution was for no other purpose than that their religion gave offence to a mob -- for causes which may at any time induce the same persecution of any religious sect in our land. He said he believed the statements made to be true, and that they were corroborated by those who resided in the vicinity of their occurence."

The Evening Gazette contains the following: -- "It seems that there are in Illinois scattered bands of Mormons, some of which come in contact with their neighbors and occasion much difficulty. We have heard from the neighborhood of Shelby County that about a week since differences having arisen between the Mormons and old residents, the former applied to the governor for aid. The governor ordered out several companies, who went to the scene of difficulty; but discovering that they were likely to be over-matched, returned without affecting their object."     [St. Louis Republican

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVI.                         Washington,  July 6, 1839.                         Whole No. 1449.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

MORMON MEETING. Agreeably to public notice, a meeting was held in the college chapel last evening, which was opened by a few remarks from a gentleman accompanying Mr. Greene; after which Mr. Greene gave a statement of the early settlement of the Mormons in Missouri, and a history of their persecution, which has hardly a parallel even in the persecution of the primitive Christians. They were ruthlessly driven from their homes, their property destroyed, the women and children forced into the woods, without any shelter from the inclemency of the weather, (it being in the month of January) where they roamed about till their feet became so sore that their enemies tracked them by the foot-prints of blood. The men were in many instances cruelly murdered. On one occasion the mob attacked a smith-shop, into which nine of the Mormons and two boys had taken refuge; it being a log house, the mob fired between the logs and killed every individual of the nine men; then entered and dragged the two boys from under the bellows who begged for mercy in most piteous tones; one of the miscreants applying his rifle to the ear of the youngest, (who was but nine years old,) said, "my lad we have no time to quarter you, but we will halve you," and immediately shot away the whole upper part of his head. The other boy was severely wounded in the hip, but had the presence of mind to fall and remain quiet, and so escaped; he is still living, and is at Quincy, Ill. -- Speaking of the massacre, he said, "they had killed my father and brother, and I was afraid if I moved they would kill me too." To cap the climax, the villains plundered the dead bodies of their clothes, &c. In another instance; part of the mob pursued an aged man, who, finding he could not escape, turned and raising his hands to heaven begged for mercy: the reply he received was a shot from a rifle, and he fell mortally wounded; he still besought them to save him, when one of the party picked up a scythe, or sickle, and literally hacked him to pieces as he lay on the ground. This man assisted in the achievement of our liberties in the revolutionary war. Mr. Greene's narrative contained many such instances, and was indeed a tale of woe and suffering at which the heart sickens.

On motion, a chairman and secretary were appointed, and resolutions passed condemning the conduct of the executive of Missouri; appointing a committee to prepare a statement of the treatment received by this distressed people, and recommending them to the favorable notice of the people of Cincinnati.
                                        Cincinnati Daily News, June 18.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVI.                         Washington,  July 20, 1839.                         Whole No. 1451.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

Mormon troubles in Illinois. The Shelby Republican gives the following version of the difficulties in that county, in which it was reported the troops had been called out:

"Some of the inhabitants of that county -- many of them said to be old residents, -- embraced the Mormon faith. These, while pursuing their ordinary avocation, were beset by a mob, and assaults committed upon them. In order to enjoy the equal rights secured by the constitution, the Mormons made application to Judge Breese for warrants to arrest the offenders, Judge Breese issued warrants against fifteen of the mob, and authorized and directed col. James W. Vaughn, to call out his regiment to assist in arresting them. The col. ordered out a part of his regiment, but part of his men refused to obey the order, and the mob increasing, the military retreated."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVI.                         Washington,  August 17, 1839.                         Whole No. 1455.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

The Mormons. Some disciples of John [sic, Joseph?] Smith have established themselves in the neighborhood of New Egypt, and in other places, in Monmouth, N. J. They first appeared there some six months ago. They have made converts of several persons of some standing and influence; and strange as the story seems, their numbers are increasing.    [New Jersey State Gazette.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVII.                         Washington,  January 11, 1840.                         Whole No. 1476.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

Mormons. The Mormons have purchased a tract of 20,000 acres at the head of the Des Moines rapids of the Mississippi, on noth sides of the river, including the town of Commerce. This name is changed to Nauvoo, from the Hebrew. The whole purchase money amounts to $70,000, a large proportion of it on long payments.

Joseph Smith, jr., Sidney Rigdon and judge Higbee, have started to Washington to petition congress for relief growing out of the Missouri persecution.       [New York American.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVII.                         Washington,  February 1, 1840.                         Whole No. 1479.

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.


January 28. The following memorials and petitions were presented and appropriately referred:...

By Mr. Young: From Joseph Smith, Rigdon, Higbee, and others, of the Mormon faith, setting forth grievances under which they labored while in Missouri, and asking the interposition of congress in their behalf.

After some remarks from Mr. Young, giving a general descriiption of the contents of the memorial, he moved its reference to the committee on the judicuary.

Mr. Linn said he hardly knew what should be done with a memorial like this. A sovereign state seemed about to be put on its trial before the senate of the United States, and he was entirely opposed to the jurisdiction. The memorial and documents were wholly ex parte, and, if these papers were depended on alone, they could not fail to make impressions unjust and injurious to the state and people of Missouri. Her population was made up of emigrants from almost every state in the union -- this young, enterprising, vigorous, intelligent, virtuous and religious, respecting the rights of others, and willing and able to protect their own. He was entirely unwilling to believe that, amid such a population there was not a sufficient number of persons to prevent such flagrant acts of wrong and oppresion as were complained of by the memorialists. At all events, investigation might be searching and thorough. Mr. L. said this was truly an extraordinary state of things, when an independent state should be [arraigned] at this bar for a violation of her own municipal laws.

Mr. Young said he had depended on the memorial for the statements which he had now made to the senate. He did not regard the whole state of Missouri as implicated; but he thought the memorialists had made out a bad case against some of her people. In addition to the violence and destruction of improvements, these Mormons had three hundred certificates from the land office for the land purchased by them in Missouri, from which they had been driven not only by he people, but by an order from the governor.

Mr. Linn said that he could not believe that an order from the governor, which was in violation of every law of God and man. would be executed by the people. In the absence of all testimony to the contrary, he was bound to believe that the governor and other authorities had done their duty. It was impossible to avow the conclusion that if the senate entertained the subject and referred it on ex parte testimony, and the appropriate committee should make a report, reflecting on the conduct of the governor of Missouri, the people were likewise condemned as they carried out his orders. It was impossible to separate them. They must stand innocent or condemned together.

Mr. L. said, from his absence from home, here and elsewhere, he had not an opportunity to learn all the particulars of their distirbance, and the causes that led to such serious results. But the Mormons were accused of committing the first aggressions, by burning houses, plundering and destroying property and other acts of violence, saying that they were within the limits of the New Jerusalem, which had been given to them exclusively by the Lord. If these charges were correct, the Mormons were the aggressors, and brought upon themselves the punishment which followed: the people defended themselves -- the military were called out to support the civil authoritym and bloodshed and violence ensued. The whole subject had undergone an investigation by the legislature, and by the judicial tribunals -- with what results he was not prepared to say. -- Their Mormon prophet, Joe Smith, was at one time in custody with others, but escaped. He said he was very unwilling to believe that either the legislature or judiciary would do injustice, or aid or even countenance oppression, and he wished that, if the parties implicated by the Mormons were to be tried at the bar of the senate, they might have an opportunity to be heard.

Mr. Norvell said it appeared to him that congress had no business with the subject at all, and that the memorial should go no further.

Mr. Preston said it was unusual on a preliminary question of this kind to authorise a committee to send for persons and papers, and he would suggest that it be sent to the committee, and if necessary they could ask for power to send for persons and papers.

Mr. Linn said he did not wish, as a respresentative from Missouri, to move to lay the subject on the table, but he would do so if no other persons did.

Mr. Norvell moved to lay it on the table.

Mr. Young called for the reading of the memorial, which was read accordingly, giving a long and minute account of the transactions in question.

Mr. Benton asked with what view the motion had been made to lay this matter on the table?

Mr. Norvell. That it may lie there forever.

Mr. Benton. I am against that, but I am willing that it should be laid on the table to be taken up again.

Mr. Preston expressed the hope that it would not be laid on the table. He thought a fit and respectable disposition ought to be made of it, that it should undergo a proper investigation and receive a fitting answer.

Mr. Norvell said he made the motion because he thouht congress had no power on this subject.

Mr. Preston called for the yeas and nays on the subject.

Mr. Benton again urged that the question should be on laying the memorial on the table only for a day or two, and Mr. Norvell modified his motion accordingly.

Mr. Clay of Kentucky. With that understanding, I am indifferent to the motion; but I have risen to say that the subject ought to be referred, and that inquiry should be made by the committee whether it is a matter of grievance, and, if it is, whether congress has any power of redress.

The subject was now temporarily laid on the table....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVIII.                         Washington,  May 16, 1840.                         Whole No. ?

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MORMONS have deputized twelve of their number (answering, we suppose, to the twelve apostles), to go to the Holy Land and preach the gospel to the Jews. John Page and Orson Hyde are two of the number. The head quarters of the Mormons are now at Commerce, Illinois, on the Mississippi river. Their number is increasing.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LVIII.                         Washington,  May 23, 1840.                         Whole No. ?

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

THE MORMONS, since their dispersion in Missouri, have collected in great numbers at a place they have christened Nauvoo, in Illinois, where they are daily receiving numerous accessions of families and individuals. They have erected about 300 houses there since October last. They had 3,000 disciples collected at a recent conference at Nauvoo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LIX.                         Washington,  September 26, 1840.                         Whole No. ?

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

The Mormons. A keel-boat arrived in this city on Sunday last, with about thirty Mormons. We understand they belong to a party of thirty-nine, who left the vicinity of Preston, England, about two months since, although the company separated at Pittsburg, they are all still destined for the head quarters of Mormons, at Nauvoo, adjoining Commerce, Illinois. These were all good looking farmers and mechanics; and we are told that another party is on the way from England, destined to the same point.

This sect is rapidly on the increase. Their church in England comprises between 2,000 and 3,000 members, mostly in Lancashire; they have also regularly organized societies in Liverpool, Edinburg, Birmingham, Manchester, &c. About 100 Methodist preachers in England have embraced this faith. In this country, there are about 2,800 at Nauvoo, Illinois, and about 2,000 in Lee county, in Iowa, on the opposite side of the Mississippi. They have churches in Quincy, Springfield, Jacksonville, and various other parts of Illinois. There is a church of about 100 members at Dayton, Ohio, and they intend to establish on in this city shortly -- eight persons were baptized by them, in the river, in front of this city, last Sunday and Monday. With the exception of Missouri, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana, they have regularly organized churches in every state of the union; those at Philadelphia and New York comprise each about 300 members. They publish a monthly journal at Manchester, England, and another at Nauvoo, Illinois. The inhuman persecutions they suffered in Missouri, in the winter and spring of 1839, were a disgrace to the state and to the benevolent spirit of the age. "To their own Master they stand or fall."     Cincinnati Chronicle, of Aug. 26.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. LIX.                         Washington,  October 31, 1840.                         Whole No. ?

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

MORMONS. Latter day saints The Liverpool Chronicle says: -- "The New York packet ship North America, captain Lowbar, sailed on Tuesday week with 19 cabin passengers and 200 in the steerage. 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 2,000 are in treaty to embark early next spring for the same locality. A great portion of those who sailed in the North America; are members of the total abstinence society, and are from Leicestershire and Herefordshire. The are shipped by the respectable house of Fitzhugh & Grimshaw, of this town.

Note: Among the passengers on the North America was William Clayton, destined to become a prominent Mormon -- see his journal for details of the landing of the North America in the USA, etc.


Vol. LIX.                         Washington,  November 21, 1840.                         Whole No. ?

Printed and Published Every Saturday, By William Ogden Niles, Editor and Proprietor.

MORMON CONFERENCE. The rapid increase of this society is one of the wonders of the day. It is said that they now have nearly one hundred thousand members. The Quincy Ill. Whig says: This people held a conference at Nauvoo on Saturday last, which continued three days. It is estimated that there was not far from three thousand in attendance. A gentleman who was present, speaks in the highest terms of the appearance of the immense assemblage, and the good order which prevailed. The mild and humane principles which abound among this people are having their just and proper effect upon this people. Their Society is not only increasing in numbers, but individually their condition is greatly improved, surrounded as they are by the gifts of an over-ruling power. We learn, that they are expecting a large accession to their numbers in a short time from England -- one of their preachers, a Mr. Turley, having met with distinguished success in that country.

John C. Bennett, quartermaster general of Illinois, was baptized at Nauvoo, in the belief of the Latter Day Saints, (Mormon faith) one day last week.

Note: For more on the Mormons' conference activities in the Quincy area, following their expulsion from Missouri, see the 1848 article " Memoir of the Mormons."

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